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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/09/18/study-air-pollution-from-grilled-burgers-worse-than-trucks/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/story.php?s=25790 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. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012309190036&nclick_check=1 CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/19/4835329/business-groups-plan-protest-over.html#storylink=cpy 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. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-arctic-idUSBRE88H15A20120918 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/science/earth/arctic-resources-exposed-by-warming-set-off-competition.html?_r=1&ref=science 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. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USBRE88I03G20120919 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/column-wynn-nuclear-ccs-idUSL5E8KH8BL20120919 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. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2012/09/19/pge-davis-to-update-emissions-report.html 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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. http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/09/19/reducing-carbon-emissions-is-going-to-cost-something/ DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/sports/superyachts-clean-up-in-drive-for-efficiency.html?pagewanted=all&pagewanted=print FUELS 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/us-fuel-economy-iea-idUSBRE88I0Q720120919 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. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21580067/japan-gets-cold-feet-total-nuclear-phase-out?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21580067/japan-gets-cold-feet-total-nuclear-phase-out?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21580067/japan-gets-cold-feet-total-nuclear-phase-out?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/19/2997849/japan-gets-cold-feet-on-total.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/japan-launches-new-nuclear-regulatory-agency-following-fukushima-disaster/2012/09/18/69da749e-01ff-11e2-bbf0-e33b4ee2f0e8_story.html 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21581345/fairbanks-cooperative-bp-sign-natural-gas-deal?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com- www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21581345/fairbanks-cooperative-bp-sign-natural-gas-deal?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com VEHICLES 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21574044/sales-plug-electric-vehicles-reach-400073-by-2020 http://www.insidebayarea.com/business/ci_21574044/sales-plug-electric-vehicles-reach-400073-by-2020?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com- www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/business/ci_21574044/sales-plug-electric-vehicles-reach-400073-by-2020?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com 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. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/18/greenest-car-them-all-lexus-hybrid/ 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443816804578004910591745132.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlines BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21580264/san-francisco-moves-provide-green-power?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21580264/san-francisco-moves-provide-green-power?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/19/2997934/san-francisco-moves-to-provide.html#storylink=misearch MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/09/residents-vent-over-treasure-island-contamination#ixzz26wNOoWNZ OPINIONS 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. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/18/2997640/earth-log-is-chinas-ozone-a-big.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/18/gop-needs-to-start-talking-about-epa-reform-now/ 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. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/0918/Renewable-standards-boosted-green-energy.-Are-storage-standards-next BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/19/how-would-a-carbon-tax-work-lets-ask-british-columbia/ 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 . Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/kicking-tires/post/controversy-persists-over-epas-four-gallon-rule/2012/09/19/65cbc1b6-0275-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_blog.html 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/the-social-cost-of-carbon-how-to-do-the-math/ 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. http://blog.pe.com/environment/2012/09/19/climate-change-wildfires-have-grown-larger-more-frequent/ 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. http://www.starcourier.com/article/20120918/BLOGS/120819081 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/auris-20120919.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/ecotough-diesel-20120919.html 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. http://www.euractiv.com/specialreport-electric-vehicles/iea-government-support-crucial-e-news-514877