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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 17, 2012. Posted: 17 Sep 2012 14:15:53
ARB Newsclips for September 17, 2012. This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. AIR POLLUTION Ventura County's air meets federal 1997 smog standards. Ventura County has met its deadline for cleaning up smog per 1997 standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced. It is one of nine areas in the state to do so, federal officials said. The county, however, still falls short of current smog standards, set in 2008. "It's a huge step in a positive direction. It's a big milestone," said Niloufar Glosson, policy analyst with the EPA. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/15/ventura-countys-air-meets-federal-1997-smog/?partner=RSS http://www.newsreview.com/chico/butte-county-meets-smog-standard/content?oid=7629042 http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/news/article_28b05860-fea5-11e1-8beb-0019bb2963f4.html CLIMATE CHANGE Carbon Trading Heating Up. With California on Track to Implement Cap-Trade Laws, the Market Gets Active. After a series of false starts, the market for trading carbon-emission credits is showing new signs of life in California. Trading volumes for these carbon credits—which allow holders to emit as many greenhouse-gas emissions as they want, provided they acquire enough of them—are at a nine-month high. Prices are up 1% since the start of this year, even as prices on carbon allowances elsewhere in the world are plumbing lows. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443779404577643592149738280.html?KEYWORDS=carbon+trading+heating+up&_nocache=1347903912785articleTabs=article&user=welcome&mg=id-wsj#printMode BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Droughts latest wrinkle in climate debate. Climate change is here. Even those who differ over its cause agree that it’s happening. In the United States alone, 28,570 high-heat records have been set so far this year, more than ever before, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported this month. As if that weren’t problem enough, the world is also plunging into another major food crisis. And what most people don’t know is that the two issues are directly related. Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81276.html#ixzz26kgO3wLN FUELS Drilling boom means compromises for eager oil companies. High petroleum prices are prompting a drilling boom in California, which in recent years has struggled with an oil production drop. But in July, about 53 rigs were searching for oil and gas in the Golden State -- that's the highest number per month in the past 22 years, industry data show. Oil companies find themselves having to negotiate difficult and complicated deals with residents who live near oil zones and local officials on how to tap the oil with little disruption. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/09/17/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Car2go rates rise $1 an hour. San Diego's car2go network of anytime electric rental cars is increasing its rates by $1 an hour starting Sept. 17. In an email to customers, car2go cited rising operating costs for insurance and parking, as well as investments in electric charging infrastructure. Per minute rates will increase 9 percent to 38 cents a minute from 35 cents. Lengthier rentals will increase to $13.99 an hour, or $72.99 a day. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/14/san-diego-car2go-raises-rates/ GREEN ENERGY Japan Sets Policy to Phase Out Nuclear Power Plants by 2040. TOKYO — Japan said Friday that it would seek to phase out nuclear power by 2040 — a historic shift for a country that has long staked its future on such energy, but one that falls far short of the decisive steps the government had promised in the wake of the world’s second-largest nuclear plant disaster last year. Although the long-awaited energy policy was named the “Revolutionary Energy and Environment Strategy” by its authors, it extended the expected transition away from nuclear power by at least a decade and includes caveats that appear to allow some plants to operate for decades past even the new deadline. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/world/asia/japan-will-try-to-halt-nuclear-power-by-the-end-of-the-2030s.html?ref=earth Solar companies look to East Bay. Alameda County -- Even at the eastern edge of the Bay Area, where power lines crisscross a sprawl of nearby waterways and browning rural land, location is a hot commodity. Spurred by California's mandate that all utilities produce 33 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, solar companies hoping to harness the sun's energy have eyes on flat land just west of Mountain House near the San Joaquin County line. It is a prime location next to transmission lines and substations. At least four applicants showed interest in that area of Alameda County last year. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/environment/ci_21547469/headline 'Bio-digester' seen as answer to problems from Ojai Valley manure. Bill O'Brien hears two questions most often: How much will it cost, and how bad will it smell? For several years, the Meiners Oaks man has championed an idea to develop a "bio-digester" that could turn horse manure into electricity. Sparked by concerns about pollutants in the Ventura River, the plans call for a facility to process horse and cattle manure, restaurant discards and other green waste into methane gas, fertilizer and compost. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/16/bio-digester-seen-as-answer-to-problems-from/ MISCELLANEOUS San Francisco officials to vote on public power. San Francisco officials on Tuesday are set to decide whether to fund an energy plan that will give city residents the option of getting 100 percent of their power from renewable sources. The city's Board of Supervisors will consider whether to approve $19.5 million for the contract with Shell Energy North America, the San Francisco Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/S2xA52). Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/San-Francisco-officials-to-vote-on-public-power-3871752.php#ixzz26l5bUbm4 http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/San-Francisco-officials-to-vote-on-public-power-3871752.php http://www.modbee.com/2012/09/17/2377246/san-francisco-officials-to-vote.html#storylink=misearch Sharp joins composting program. San Diego ---- Sharp HealthCare will become first health care organization to join city of San Diego's Food Waste Composting Program. Two hospitals within Sharp HealthCare will divert more than 336,000 pounds of food waste from local landfills each year as part of the city of San Diego's Food Waste Composting Program. Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns and Sharp Memorial Hospital expect to send about 7,000 pounds of food waste each week to the Miramar Greenery composting facility, located at the Miramar Landfill. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/sharp-joins-composting-program/article_b6c58295-85a6-51ad-95ce-a8af6546b371.html Century-old toxins complicate hotel project. A major component of a planned expansion of a downtown hotel will be delayed because of buried 19th century toxins. On Aug. 21, the Napa City Council approved plans for a 26-room expansion of the Napa River Inn, including a pool, fitness center and other amenities. The addition of a third floor to the inn’s Embarcadero building at the south end of the property can go ahead, but the construction of a new building in the parking lot of the Historic Napa Mill complex will be delayed, developer Harry Price said last week. Posted. http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/century-old-toxins-complicate-hotel-project/article_8ec1683a-feda-11e1-98f3-0019bb2963f4.html CORONA: Apartments planned for former toxic site. Owners of a former toxic dump site in west Corona say they plan to build apartments and an industrial park on 38 acres. The project could be considered by the Corona Planning Commission in November, but a date has not yet been set, said Sandra Yang, associate planner for Corona. Developer Rusty Turner, of Turner Real Estate Investments in Newport Beach, said his company is working to get entitlements to build 288 apartments and an industrial park on the site known as Thomas Ranch. Revisions to the project still are being made. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/corona/corona-headlines-index/20120914-corona-apartments-planned-for-former-toxic-site.ece OPINIONS Building a Green Consumer. Energy users need financial incentives. But money alone isn't enough. When it comes to saving energy, people aren't irrational. They just seem that way sometimes. Policy makers and executives sometimes think that if they just make it cost-effective for people to save energy, it will happen. But it hasn't—at least not in a big enough way. Households and businesses remain far less energy-efficient than they would be if their decisions followed standard economic principles. So why aren't more people making those investments? Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443792604577572852896507494.html BU SUBSCRIPTION ONLY The Presidential Politics of Climate and Energy. I know it shouldn't surprise me anymore, but the amount of disinformation about climate and energy that is blasted at us all the time still manages to inspire shock and awe. I'm old enough to have first read Orwell's 1984 when it was still a date in the future, and I find today's barrage of propaganda bringing to mind Orwell's protagonist, Winston Smith, and his struggle to distinguish fact from propaganda. The idea that climate science is continuing to be challenged by the fossil-fuel industry and its political beneficiaries is no longer news, but the credence given to these fringe views is scary. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/the-presidential-politics_b_1889725.html?utm_hp_ref=green Climate Change: 'Hoax' Or Crime Of The Century? Well, we had a warm summer here in the United States, and that brought some of the climate change alarmists out again. Looks like it’s time for another rebuttal! John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel, and various other critics have called the theory that human use of carbon-based fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic global warming or climate change a “hoax.” It is, but it’s more than that, it’s criminal. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2012/09/16/climate-change-hoax-or-crime-of-the-century/ A global warming duel blows into town. Newport Beach, Mark Tabbert: As the Arctic hourglass of melting sea ice marks the time we have left to address global warming, the Register sticks its head in the thawed-out permafrost [“Alarmism, not climate, grows more extreme,” Editorial, Sept. 12]. Ninety-eight percent of climate scientists – the people who do the peer-reviewed research – dispute Register’s contention on climate change. If 98 out of 100 doctors told you that you have cancer, you’d start the chemo treatment. If 98 out of 100 airplane mechanics said that a plane was unsafe to fly, you wouldn’t board it. Posted. http://letters.ocregister.com/2012/09/17/a-global-warming-duel-blows-into-town/ Farm bill a climate disaster in the making. FARMERS went to Washington last week. Members of a coalition representing more than 80 agricultural organizations rallied on Capitol Hill to demand passage of a new farm bill that has been stalled in Congress. The Democratic-led Senate has already passed its version of the bill; the Republican-controlled House is squabbling over a competing approach (one that sharply cuts food aid to the poor). Irate farmers want both sides to shut up and pass something that can replace the current farm bill, which expires Sept. 30. All of the parties, though, are focused on the wrong thing. The farm bill is not only the centerpiece of United States food and agriculture policy, it is also a de facto climate bill. And in this respect, both the Senate and House versions of the legislation are a disaster waiting to happen. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_21551551/farm-bill-climate-disaster-making BLOGS Shell Stymied in 2012 Arctic Oil Quest. Saying that a spill response dome aboard a vessel has been damaged, Shell announced Monday that it would defer its plan to drill for oil in the Arctic off the Alaskan coast this year. In seeking approval to drill, the company fought a long battle against environmentalists and others who say that drilling in the icy region is too risky. In a statement, Greenpeace claimed vindication and called Shell’s high-stakes program a “monumentally reckless gamble.” But the company says it will press on and seek a safety permit for the vessel next year. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/shell-stymied-on-this-years-arctic-oil-quest/?ref=earth L.A.’s Transit Revolution. How a ballot initiative, a visionary mayor, and a quest for growth are turning Los Angeles into America’s next great mass-transit city. On a recent visit to Southern California, I began my day in Claremont, where I’d spoken the previous evening at a Pomona College event. I walked from a hotel near campus to the Claremont Metrolink station, where I grabbed a commuter rail train to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. From there I transferred to the L.A. Metro’s Red Line and rode up to the Vermont/Santa Monica station and checked into a new hotel. Posted. http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_pivot/2012/09/l_a_metro_how_los_angeles_is_becoming_america_s_next_great_mass_transit_city_.html