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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 19, 2012.

Posted: 19 Sep 2012 13:04:50
ARB Newsclips for September 19, 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.


Study: Air Pollution From Grilled Burgers Worse Than Trucks. A UC
Riverside study found that commercially cooked hamburgers cause
more air pollution than diesel trucks. The study, which focused
on commercial charbroilers found in burger restaurants, said the
equipment generates grease, smoke, water vapors and combustion
products, which emit a large amount of particulate matter into
the air. Posted.


Pushback vs. Power plant.  Their chances are slim to none, but a
small, determined band of Coachella Valley residents have
launched a last-minute campaign to stop work on a natural gas
power plant now under construction in North Palm Springs.  With
six of its eight smoke stacks standing tall over a site off
Dillon Road, Competitive Power Ventures’ 850-megawatt Sentinel
power plant is more than two-thirds complete and on track to go
online by next August.  Posted. 


Business groups plan protest over California's cap-and-trade
plan. Business groups plan a major protest against California's
cap-and-trade carbon market at a regulatory hearing Thursday.
Manufacturers, oil refiners and others plan to testify against
the controversial market during a meeting of the California Air
Resources Board, which is in charge of the fledgling carbon
market. These groups see the carbon market as a giant tax that
will cost businesses upwards of $1 billion a year. They are
urging the Air Resources Board, and Gov. Jerry Brown, to lighten
the cost burden on businesses or do away with the program
altogether. Posted.

Arctic sea ice thaw may be accelerated by oil, shipping. Local
pollution in the Arctic from shipping and oil and gas industries,
which have expanded in the region due to a thawing of sea ice
caused by global warming, could further accelerate that thaw,
experts say. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said
there was an urgent need to calculate risks of local pollutants
such as soot, or "black carbon", in the Arctic. Soot darkens ice,
making it soak up more of the sun's heat and quickening a melt.


U.S. West should expect bigger wildfires more often: report. A
warming trend has contributed to a sharp rise in the number and
size of wildfires on forest lands in the U.S. West, where big
burns are likely to become the norm, according to a report
released on Tuesday by a climate research group. The average
annual number of fires that cover more than 1,000 acres has
nearly quadrupled in Arizona and Idaho and doubled in California,
Colorado and six other Western states since 1970, the study by
Climate Central showed. Posted.

Targets to cut carbon lag nuclear phase-out: Gerard Wynn.
Developed countries are increasingly bold in planning to reduce
nuclear power but hesitant in announcing clear plans to cut
greenhouse gas emissions, leaving themselves wriggle room to
replace low carbon nuclear generation with fossil fuel gas. It is
particularly tempting to be vague about timetables for cutting
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as countries have failed to
explain how lost nuclear capacity could be matched by a ramp-up
in carbon capture and storage (CCS), which remains untested on
gas and coal-fired power. Posted.

Davis updating greenhouse emissions report. Pacific Gas and
Electric Co. is investing more than $15,000 to provide the city
of Davis with an intern to help update the city’s energy and
greenhouse gas inventories at no cost to the city, Melanie Turner
writes. PG&E’s Green Communities program also will help Davis
incorporate its updated inventory and forecasts into the city’s
existing Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, adopted in 2010. The
inventories will help the city track and analyze energy
consumption and fuel use, and identify opportunities to reduce
energy consumption. Posted.

Climate change rifts appear in U.K. coalition government over
future uses of gas, wind and nuclear energy. A warning by the
U.K. government's climate change advisers that it risks breaking
its own laws if it makes a dash for gas-powered electricity
generation at the expense of renewable energy has revealed a
deepening rift within the center-right coalition. The Committee
on Climate Change, an independent body set up by law to advise
the government, made the accusation to Ed Davey, the Liberal
Democratic minister of state for energy and climate change.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/19/2  BY

Reducing carbon emissions is going to cost something. Heather
Scoffield explores three options for reducing carbon emissions—a
carbon tax, cap-and-trade and regulation—and explains that each
involve costs. The federal policy of regulating emitters sector
by sector — “command and control,” as business likes to call the
approach — also carries hidden costs. Buried deep in federal
regulations to restrict emissions in the coal-fired electricity
sector, officials explain that the costs of those new rules is
about $16 billion in today’s terms. Posted.


Superyachts Clean Up in Drive for Efficiency. Superyachts are
built for luxury. Sustainability and energy efficiency have
tended not to be among their top design requirements.
“Superyachts are the most backward form of transportation on
Earth. Even roller skates are more efficient,” said the naval
architect Richard Sauter, head of design at Sauter Carbon Offset
Design in Bali, Indonesia. Steel, the material in which most
luxury yachts have traditionally been built, “is the worst hull
you can have,” added Mr. Sauter…Posted.


Fuel use in new cars could halve by 2030: IEA. Fuel consumption
in new vehicles could be slashed by half in the next 20 years,
helping the world curb its dependency on oil, provided
governments set up bold policies to boost the use of available
technologies, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
The transport sector, which consumes around one fifth of global
primary energy, will account for nearly all the future growth in
oil use, said the Paris-based agency, which advises industrial
nations on energy policy. Posted.

Japan gets cold feet on total nuclear phase-out.  Japan's Cabinet
on Wednesday stopped short of committing to phase out nuclear
power by 2040, backtracking from an advisory panel's
recommendations in the face of opposition from pro-nuclear
businesses and groups.  The decision came the same day Japan
launched a new regulatory body to replace the agency whose lack
of independence from the nuclear industry was blamed for
contributing to last year's disaster.  Posted. 

Fairbanks cooperative, BP, sign natural gas deal.  Golden Valley
Electric Association says it has agreed on a contract with BP to
purchase North Slope natural gas.  The power cooperative serving
rural Fairbanks customers will now decide whether it's
financially viable to truck liquefied gas south for power
generation and distribution to homesPosted. 


Sales of plug-in electric vehicles may miss ambitious estimates.
Sales of plug-in electric vehicles will reach 400,073 units
nationwide by 2020, according to an estimate released Tuesday by
Pike Research, a number far short of the Obama administration's
goal of seeing 1 million EVs on the road by 2015. California, New
York, Florida and Texas will lead the way as consumers slowly
adopt to the new technology, according to the report. The top
five metropolitan areas for plug-in electric vehicle sales are
expected to be New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay
Area, Seattle and Portland, Ore. Posted.


Greenest car of them all? Which car is the greenest of them all?
An influential guide to low-pollution, fuel-sipping cars by the
Automobile Club of Southern California has a new favorite. The
Lexus GS 450h. The $62,000 sedan is something of a souped up,
luxurious cousin to the Toyota Prius. “What Lexus has done over
the years is to take a little different tack,” said Steve Mazor,
manager of the Automotive Research Center in Diamond Bar, where
cars were tested for emissions and fuel efficiency.” Posted.

Fiat flourishes with natural gas, propane cars. Against the
backdrop of an ailing Italian economy, one business is booming.
Deliveries of cars powered by natural gas and propane have grown
90 percent to 114,226 vehicles through August, softening the blow
of the recent 20 percent plunge that brought the Italian car
market to its lowest level in more than 30 years. Italy's Fiat
says it has 90 percent of the market for natural gas cars and 47
percent of the market for propane vehicles in its home country --
a blessing for a company that lacks an advanced electric vehicle
strategy. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/09/19/9  BY


Power Plan Is Closer For Bay City. San Francisco moved a step
closer Tuesday toward a plan that would change the way residents
of one of California's largest cities buy electricity, and deal a
victory to Royal Dutch Shell PLC's power business, with a
potential loss for PG&E Corp. The city's Board of Supervisors
voted to move forward with the plan, called "CleanPowerSF." The
plan needs the approval of Mayor Ed Lee before the city can
proceed. Under the plan, San Francisco would buy electricity from
Shell's North American power business to serve residents and
businesses who join the program. Posted.


Residents vent over Treasure Island contamination. Treasure
Island radiation levels are not known to be dangerous for those
living on the former Navy base, officials reiterated Tuesday
night at a meeting with concerned residents. But even as speaker
after speaker presented a highly technical recap of cleanup
assessments revealing no major health danger, island dwellers
remained uneasy — many of them vocally angry. Posted.


Earth Log: Is China's ozone a big problem? Scientists are
exploring a game-changer in the battle over cleaning up the San
Joaquin Valley's air: China might make bigger contributions to
the ozone problem than anyone knows. Researchers already have
established that pollution is floating eastward high above the
Pacific Ocean to the U.S. Accounting for that pollution is
becoming more important as California struggles to meet federal
standards. Posted.

MILLOY: GOP needs to start talking about EPA reform now.
Regulations are stifling U.S. economy. One issue that has been
noticeably absent from the Republican platform this election
season is any discussion of the Obama Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA). It didn’t even come up at the Republican National
Convention a couple of weeks ago. If the omission was an
oversight, it was a big one. If it was intentional, it’s cause
for concern. The EPA has spent the better part of its 42-year
existence trying to put America out of business, but especially
under the Obama administration. Posted.

Renewable standards boosted 'green' energy. Are storage standards
next? California is eyeing utility requirements for energy
storage large enough to serve an electric grid. In the cleantech
sector, pretty much everyone knows the acronym RPS, for Renewable
Portfolio Standards. Since the first RPS policy in the U.S.,
implemented in Iowa in the late 1990s, 30 states have passed
similar policies to promote the installation of renewable energy
projects and expedite penetration (overcoming the ambivalence or
outright opposition of utilities) of renewable energy in electric
power supply. Posted.


How would a carbon tax work? Let’s ask British Columbia. It’s not
hard to see why so many tax wonks find the idea of a carbon tax
alluring. Slap a fee on oil, gas and coal use. Use the revenue to
cut taxes elsewhere, such as income or corporate taxes. In
theory, economists have argued, this sort of “tax swap” could
help reduce carbon pollution without much harming the economy.
But how do carbon taxes actually work in practice? One place to
look is the Canadian province of British Columbia, which has had
a modest carbon levy in place since 2008. Posted.

Controversy Persists Over EPA's Four-Gallon Rule. Under a new
rule, the EPA will require you to buy a minimum of four gallons
of gas from any pump that sells E15, or gasoline that's 15%
ethanol. Most stations sell E10, or 10% ethanol. But the handful
of stations that sell E15, which made its debut two months ago ,
generally dispense it from the same pump as E10. Problem is,
anyone who fills up with E10 after an E15 buyer could get as much
as a quart of residual E15, American Motorcycle Association
spokesman Peter Terhorst told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel .

The Social Cost of Carbon: How to Do the Math? This year’s
presidential campaign has shown that a gulf exists between the
two candidates on America’s energy future — at least in theory.
Mitt Romney opposes renewal of the federal wind energy tax credit
and champions the exploitation of fossil fuels. President Obama
advocates an “all of the above” strategy on energy but — after a
period of silence on the issue — implicitly evoked the dangers of
runaway emissions at the Democratic convention by warning that
climate change is indeed a threat. Posted.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Wildfires have grown larger, more frequent. An
analysis of fire records going back to 1970 found that the
largest fires have occurred in the last decade, a finding that
points in part to the effects of climate change, researchers
said. What’s more, according to the Climate Central study of U.S.
Forest Service data, the fire season is now 75 days longer than
it was in the 1970s, it was reported in the Press-Enterprise
today. This is an interactive map of active wildfires from
Climate Central. Posted.

Blog: Biodiesel use reduces harmful emissions. I know how much
time I spend around diesel-powered vehicles, equipment and
machinery, and I'd bet that most farmers around the United States
spend similar amounts. That's why I'm so alarmed at the recent
news from the World Health Organization and its International
Agency for Research on Cancer, which now considers diesel fuel
exhaust to be a carcinogen as dangerous as secondhand smoke.
Farmers and ranchers make up the third-largest category of diesel
fuel users behind truck drivers and heating oil users. Posted.

Toyota reduces fuel consumption and emissions across the new
Auris range; 13% average reduction in CO2 compared to
predecessors; gasoline, diesel and hybrid.  Toyota is unveiling
its new Auris for the European market (earlier post),
representing its first step in a product offensive in the
European C-Segment. Aerodynamic improvements, weight savings and
engine enhancements have reduced fuel consumption and CO2
emissions across the range. Toyota anticipates a 1/3 full hybrid,
1/3 gasoline, 1/3 diesel engine mix.  Posted. 

New Federal-Mogul coated diesel piston reduces friction up to
13%; reduced fuel consumption and CO2.  Federal-Mogul Corporation
has developed a new coated diesel piston that reduces frictional
losses in both light and heavy-duty engine applications. This
improves fuel economy, CO2 emissions, noise and refinement.
Currently undergoing development with two leading engine
manufacturers, the EcoTough Diesel piston skirt coating is
expected to enter production in 2013.  Posted. 

After 40,000 miles EVs break even with traditional fuel cars on
cost.  One year after the launch, data collected in the
Scotland’s largest electric vehicle project prove that electric
vehicles make perfect economic sense for short journeys.
Comparing the cost of using an EV and a traditional fuel-powered
car show that after 40,000 miles (64,373.8 km) an EV becomes a
cheaper option.  Posted.  http://www.cars21.com/news/view/4947 

IEA: Government support 'crucial' for electric cars roll-out. 
Public subsidies, legislative innovations and consumer education
are vital for the development of Europe’s fledgling electric cars
industry, an energy analyst at the International Energy Agency
(IEA) has told EurActiv.  He was speaking as the European
Commission issued a transport and technology communication
calling for EU governments to “break away from conventional
thinking” in the paradigm shift to alternative propulsion
systems, and embrace “new financial instruments to increase the
leverage of public budgets”.  Posted. 

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