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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 25, 2012. Posted: 25 Sep 2012 12:16:18
ARB Newsclips September 25, 2012. This is a service of the California Air Resources Boardís Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. AIR POLLUTION Air pollution regulators probe Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington. The Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington had a flare Saturday afternoon that produced a header that could be seen all over the Los Angeles basin. State air quality regulators are investigating whether a daylong burn-off at the Phillips 66 oil refinery in Wilmington could have been avoided, officials said Monday. The Sept. 15 burnoff of petroleum products lasted for about six hours after a power outage caused a sudden shutdown of all refinery operations at about 2 p.m. Black smoke billowing out of the refinery's flare could be seen for miles. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_21620536/air-pollution-regulators-probe-phillips-66-refinery-wilmington http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_21620536/air-pollution-regulators-probe-phillips-66-refinery-wilmington RICHMOND REFINERY Chevron: Failed pipe had unknown weakness. A corroded pipe that failed and triggered a leak and massive fire at Chevron Corp.'s Richmond refinery had a low silicon content that went undetected during the company's tests and therefore was unaddressed, the manager in charge of the facility said Monday. Nigel Hearne, general manager of Chevron Richmond, described the chemical composition of the decades-old, eight-inch pipe section as a contributing factor to the Aug. 6 blaze that sent thousands of people to the hospital with smoke-related complaints and knocked offline one of the nation's largest refineries. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REFINERY_FIRE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Other Related Stories http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/25/us-refinery-operations-chevron-richmond-idUSBRE88O05220120925 http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Chevron-says-pipe-low-on-key-protectant-3890861.php#ixzz27Ur7sVRN http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_21620306/public-meeting-into-chevrons-richmond-fire-expected-draw?source=rss CLIMATE CHANGE Stratospheric winds influence ocean currents, scientists say. Changes in wind direction 15 to 30 miles above Earth's surface can affect mile-deep currents in the North Atlantic by striking an oceanic "Achilles' heel," according to atmospheric scientists. The discovery, published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, carries implications for the study of Earth's climate and how we predict its change. Scientists have long understood that events in Earth's stratosphere -- Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-stratosphere-ocean-link-20120924,0,3280093.story?track=rss NRCC uses Solyndra, cap and trade in attack ads. The National Republican Congressional Committee has rolled out a trio of ads seizing on two of the GOPís favorite attack points: Solyndra and cap and trade. The nearly $1 million ad buy against Democratic Reps. Jerry McNerney of California, Nick Rahall of West Virginia and Bruce Braley of Iowa goes after votes the three lawmakers took in previous Congresses when House Democrats were in control. Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81621.html#ixzz27VWS0X8b Meeting Calif. goal of 80% GHG reduction possible, but difficult Ė study. California cannot reach its goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 without major advancements in technologies, a new report says. "Existing technologies, off the shelf technologies" and ones likely to be available in the near future are insufficient to power the Golden State to the finish line on reductions mandated by its climate law, A.B. 32, an analysis from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released yesterday says. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/25/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Coal exports make U.S. cleaner, EU more polluted. Shale gas has jolted traditional roles in the planet's climate drama, giving cleaner fuel to the United States, whose displaced coal has headed to Europe to pollute the old continent. It is an ironic twist for the European Union, whose energy policy is largely based on promoting renewables and a target to cut emissions by 20 percent by 2020. The U.S. did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol to combat global emissions and its national goals are far less ambitious than Europe's. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/25/europe-emissions-shale-idUSL5E8KO4V320120925 VEHICLES Tesla unveils faster electric car charging station. Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled a solar-powered charging station on Monday that it said will make refueling electric vehicles on long trips about as fast as stopping for gas and a bathroom break in a conventional car. CEO Elon Musk said at a news conference at the company's design studio that the company's roadside Supercharger has been installed at six highway rest stops in California. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TESLA_SUPERCHARGER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/electric-car-maker-tesla-unveils-solar-powered-charging-stations-to-promote-longer-trips/2012/09/24/93ffd800-06c2-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_story.html Honda pledges to double global sales in five years. Honda is aiming to double down. It plans to produce twice as many vehicles as it does today. That will take it to more than 6 million vehicles over the next five years as the Japanese automaker gears up for ambitious growth after bouncing back from last year's disasters. "We have now reached the stage of going on the offensive," Honda President Takanobu Ito told reporters Friday, as he announced his worldwide target for the fiscal year ending March 2017. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/09/23/honda-double-sales/70000937/1#.UGHuEdVp33U Calif. governor to sign bill to OK driverless cars. Gov. Jerry Brown plans to sign legislation that will pave the way for driverless cars in California. The bill by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla, of Los Angeles, would establish safety and performance regulations for autonomous vehicles. Representatives for Brown say the governor is expected to sign the legislation on Tuesday at the Mountain View headquarters of Google, which has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the California legislation. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Calif-governor-to-sign-bill-to-OK-driverless-cars-3892470.php#ixzz27UtumogR http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120925/A_NEWS/120929944 GREEN ENERGY U.S. poised to hand over $197 million to San Jose solar panel startup. A tiny San Jose solar company named SoloPower will flip the switch on production at a U.S. factory Thursday, a major step toward allowing it to tap a $197 million government loan guarantee awarded under the same controversial program that supported failed panel maker Solyndra. SoloPower has initiated a strategy to differentiate it from struggling commodity players in the solar panel industry. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/business/ci_21619883/san-jose-solar-startup-solopower-197-million-loan-guarantee?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com MISCELLANEOUS Longtime activists worry California government is softening on Santa Susana Field Lab cleanup. A community group that has fought for 20 years to get the Santa Susana Field Laboratory cleaned up, blasted California's Department of Toxic Substances Control on Monday for appearing to soften its stance on decontamination efforts of the former rocket engine testing site. In a strongly worded letter sent to the DTSC on MondayÖPosted. http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_21622170/longtime-activists-worry-california-government-is-softening-santa?source=rss SAN ONOFRE: Regulators had questions about dome repairs at nuke plant. Nuclear regulators a year ago questioned the strength of concrete used to repair San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's two containment domes, but still haven't said whether those repairs were up to snuff. A nuclear watchdog group, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, says it has been trying to get more information on the matter since October, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasn't released a final report on the concrete that plugged a 28-foot hole in each of San Onofre's two iconic domes. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/san-onofre-regulators-had-questions-about-dome-repairs-at-nuke/article_09d8cc31-4206-53e6-ab65-5478a1a66a46.html OPINION Fracking lessons from Beverly Hills High: John Kemp. Both supporters and critics of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (together usually known as "fracking") usually portray the technique as novel, with unknown but potentially large risks, and certainly disruptive for surface communities. It might be possible in far-away places like the north plains of the Dakotas and Montana, they say, but is not appropriate in populated areas, especially ones with sensitive geology and prone to earthquakes. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/25/us-column-kemp-fracking-losangeles-idUSBRE88O0FH20120925 Letters: Inaction on climate change will be costly. I was stunned to read the article "Midwest drought belt: A changed world emerges" and not see a single mention of climate change. The question to be posed is, "If Republicans got it wrong about climate change, who will pay for the clean up?" Answer: You and I will, with higher taxes and higher commodities prices. It is irresponsible to print this article without mention of the likely causation of the possible "third-costliest natural disaster in U.S. history." Instead, it ends with a rosy idea: What goes around comes around. Ridiculous. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/letters/story/2012-09-24/drought-climate-change-heat/57838368/1 Pushing the Green Button. Knowledge is power, they say, but when it comes to knowing how much electricity their home is using, most consumers are in the dark. In fact, consumers, on average, spend about 6 minutes per year interacting with their electric utility. Because of that, they're missing out on opportunities to save some power -- and money. That's beginning to change. A year ago, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched the Green Button initiative. The premise was to make it easy and fun for consumers to learn how much electricity their home was using. So far, it's working according to plan. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-wood/green-energy_b_1912992.html?utm_hp_ref=green BLOGS Are the U.S. and Europe headed for a trade war over airline carbon fees? Are the United States and Europe poised for a trade war over airline fees? Suddenly, thatís not such a ludicrous question. Late last Friday night, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to try to block a European Union plan to cap carbon emissions on all flights in and out of Europe. The bill sets the stage for a cross-Atlantic showdown that could get unruly. The tempest started back in January, when a new E.U. law went into effect requiring all flights that take off from or land in Europe to buy allowances for their carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/25/could-the-u-s-and-europe-start-a-trade-war-over-airline-carbon-fees/ How California is planning growth for a prosperous economy and clean environment. A thorough new report developed by my colleagues at the Natural Resources Defense Council, together with Move LA, a transportation and smart development partnership in southern California, documents the impressive progress made over the last four years to ensure that our nationís most populous state will absorb future growth in a sensible way. Called Bold Plans for California Communities, the report traces the history and implementation of the stateís landmark planning framework, adopted by the state legislature and signed by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/how_california_is_planning_gro.html