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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 27, 2012

Posted: 27 Sep 2012 12:59:12
ARB Newsclips for September 27, 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.


Sacramento region gets seat on state air board. The Sacramento
region will get a seat on the California Air Resources Board
under legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown this week.
Assembly Bill 146 will expand the ARB from 11 to 12 members, with
the new seat reserved for a representative from the Sacramento,
Placer, Yolo-Solano, El Dorado or Feather River air districts.
Sacramento Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, who proposed
AB 146, noted that the Sacramento region had been the largest
major metropolitan area in California not assured a seat on the
state air board. Posted.


EASTVALE: Sewage treatment plant odors trigger lawsuit. For
nearly 15 years, a treatment plant in Eastvale went nearly
unnoticed as it performed one of the dirtiest and most vital jobs
in the city: collecting and treating the sewage for Eastvale’s
estimated 56,000 residents. Now, the residential growth made
possible by the plant has triggered a lawsuit from home builder
Meritage Homes of California, which alleges noxious fumes from
the plant have caused property values to plummet and potential
buyers to walk away from purchase contracts on homes across the
street from the plant. Posted.

DuPont's DeLisle plant pays $117K pollution fine. The Mississippi
Department of Environmental Quality has fined DuPont Co.'s
DeLisle plant $117,000 after pollution control equipment broke
down, allowing a smokestack to emit too much during a March 2011
test. DuPont Co., based in Wilmington, Del., makes titanium
dioxide, a whitening agent used in paint, paper and plastics, at
the Harrison County plant. More than 800 employees and
contractors work at the complex, which is Mississippi's largest
single releaser of toxic chemicals. Posted.


Australia issues 6.37 million CO2 units. Australia on Thursday
issued 6.37 million free carbon units to companies seeking
compensation from the country's CO2 pricing mechanisms, the
government said, the first ever emission rights to be issued
under Australia's carbon scheme. The units were issued via
Australia's emissions unit registry to alumina refiner Alcoa and
ammonia and ammonium nitrate producer Queensland Nitrates, said
the Clean Energy Regulator, the government body administering the
scheme. Alcoa got just over 5.9 million of the units. Posted.

Alcoa Gets First Free Carbon Permits From Australian Regulator.
Alcoa (AA), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, and Queensland
Nitrates are the first to get free carbon permits from Australia
through an A$8.6 billion ($8.9 billion) program to help
businesses facing global competition. The companies are getting
permits under the Jobs and Competitiveness Program, according to
a statement today from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator.
Businesses such as aluminum smelters and steelmakers, which face
constraints in their ability to pass through costs in global
markets, can apply for free units over three years, according to
the regulator. Posted.

Valley farmers examine climate change issues.  New science and
research has San Joaquin Valley farmers taking a harder look at
the effect that climate change may have on their industry.  If
researcher's predictions hold true, the Valley's multi-billion
dollar agriculture industry will be hit with longer stretches of
hot temperatures, fewer colder days and shrinking water supplies.
 What that means for agriculture is potentially lower yields, a
loss of revenue and fewer acres being farmed.  Posted. 

AB 32 draws fire from businesses.  Manufacturers, oil refiners
and other business groups are protesting California’s
cap-and-trade carbon market before the California Air Resources
Board.  The groups are demanding last-minute changes to AB 32,
the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which they have labeled
a “job killer” due to the cost of participating in the carbon
market, according to The Sacramento Bee.  Posted. 

State's greenhouse gas law drives city planners away from urban
sprawl – report. Major regions of California are shifting away
from urban sprawl because of a law that mandates cuts in
greenhouse gas emissions, a green group report says. Sacramento,
San Diego and the greater Los Angeles region have passed
long-range plans that emphasize public transit, walking and
biking, the analysis released this week from the Natural
Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says. The new strategies plan
very different futures from what exists now, said Amanda Eaken,
deputy director of sustainable communities for NRDC. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/3  BY

Australia, moving ahead with cap and trade, talks to Calif. about
linkage. Australia is "keen" to link its new emissions trading
system to California's, a top Australian climate official said
yesterday. Mark Dreyfus, Australia's parliamentary secretary for
climate change and energy efficiency, said that he met earlier
this week with California officials and that the government is
eager for more conversations. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/4  BY

Analyst warns Calif. auction could drive down prices. An analysis
of California's first-in-the-nation economywide auction of
greenhouse gas allowances is warning that prices could be lower
than current advance trading is fetching. Bloomberg New Energy
Finance says there is a "real risk" that the Nov. 14 auction for
at least 61 million carbon allowances will fetch prices near or
at the minimum of $10 per ton, particularly for the batch of 39.5
million allowances that will be turned in starting in 2016.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/5  BY

STUDY: TV News Covered Paul Ryan's Workout 3x More Than Record
Arctic Sea Ice Loss. TV News Covered Paul Ryan's Workout Over
Three Times More Than Arctic Sea Ice Loss. Since June, the major
TV news outlets have devoted seven full segments to Paul Ryan's
physical fitness and P90X workout routine, and only one to Arctic
sea ice loss. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have each
covered Paul Ryan's workout routine as much or more than Arctic
sea ice loss. In total, TV outlets have discussed Ryan's fitness
66 times -- more than three times as much as Arctic sea ice.

 Venice Lagoon research indicates rapid climate change in coastal
regions. Researchers believe that this is partly as a result of a
process known as the 'urban heat island effect'; where regions
experiencing rapid industrial and urban expansion produce vast
amounts of heat, making the area warmer than its surroundings.
Professor Carl Amos of Ocean and Earth Sciences at the University
of Southampton, will be making a speech at the Estuarine &
Coastal Sciences Association's Research & Management of
Transitional Waters international symposium, in Lithuania on
Thursday 27 September. Posted.


Governor moves to help Port of Hueneme pay for power system. Gov.
Jerry Brown took action this week to help California's ports
avoid needing to borrow money for costs associated with a state
mandate to build land-based power systems to reduce pollution.
The systems are being developed to comply with new regulations
requiring that ships anchored at California ports turn off their
engines to limit emissions. Vessels will plug into equipment at
the shore, allowing them to shut down their diesel engines and
keep from emitting nitrogen oxides and particulate matter into
the air. Posted.

California Lower-Emission School Bus Program Issues Revisions to
Implementation Dates. The California Air Resources Board (CARB)
said it is adjusting the implementation deadline for the 2008
Lower-Emission School Bus Program Guidelines. A "Mail Out" posted
on the CARB website, announces new statutory changes tied to
Senate Bill 1018 (Chapter 39, Statutes of 2012), which include an
extension of the expenditure deadline for Lower-Emission School
Bus Program Proposition 1B (the Highway Safety, Traffic
Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006) funds
from June 30 of this year to June 30, 2014. Posted.

Freight Wing Offers New Side Skirt for Box Fairing Trailers.  For
truckers and fleets hauling van trailers with drop down storage
boxes, aerodynamic fairings that improve fuel economy up to 5%
are now available from Freight Wing.  Attached to the storage box
on each side of the trailer, the fairings are made of automotive
grade plastic. A full fairing starts at the beginning of the
trailer and connects to the belly box directing airflow around
the storage container. The belly box profile is then extended
downward with the Freight Wing fairing to about 8 inches from the
ground.  Posted. 


Biofuel startups turn to cosmetics, health supplements for
profits.  Once a promising source of green energy, high-tech
biofuel is being eclipsed by skin cream and food products as
manufacturers shift to more lucrative products.  After Congress
enacted a renewable fuel standard in 2005, more than a dozen Bay
Area companies joined the race to design new biofuels. The idea
was to use genetically engineered microorganisms or other novel
techniques to convert renewable crops into fuel with half the
carbon emissions of gasoline.  Posted. 


Fight over canola pits biofuels vs. organics. Wet winters and
cool, dry summers make Oregon's Willamette Valley one of the best
places on the globe to produce seeds for organic broccoli,
cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and a variety of other
vegetables known as brassicas. That means the fields south of
Portland are also an ideal place to grow canola, another brassica
whose seeds can be pressed to extract oil for food or renewable
fuel. Posted.

Qatar natural gas firm to send more fuel to Japan. Qatari
state-backed natural gas producer Qatargas says it has signed a
long-term supply deal with a Japanese power company as the Asian
nation increasingly relies on fossil fuels after a nuclear
meltdown last year. Qatargas said Wednesday the deal with Kansai
Electric Power Company covers shipments of half a million tons of
liquefied natural gas annually for 15 years, beginning next year.
Financial details were not disclosed. Posted.

REGION: Supervisors green light expansion of financing program.
Riverside County Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to
authorize expansion of a program that provides financing for
homeowners to make houses energy- and water-efficient. Through
the Western Riverside Council of Governments program, homeowners
have secured $51 million in loans to install solar panels,
tankless water heaters, efficient air conditioners, drip
irrigation systems and other improvements. Posted.

Builders aim for super-energy-efficient homes. Crowned with three
gables and painted in hues of gray and white, the suburban home
in Lake Forest, Calif., doesn't look much like the domicile of
the future. But as summer heat radiates off the fresh asphalt
outside, the home runs comfortably at full tilt indoors. Recessed
lights shine, radios blare and air-conditioned splendor greets
hot skin. Despite all systems going, the property is producing
more electricity than it can consume on a warm summer day - and
that's the goal. Posted.


British utility to burn wood for fuel. Drax Group PLC will
convert part of the United Kingdom's biggest coal-fired power
plant to biomass-burning units, which will require harvesting
forests four times the size of Rhode Island each year. "We see a
key part of our future as converting from essentially a coal
station to a biomass station," said Drax CEO Dorothy Thompson.
"It will take Drax from being the largest carbon emitter by site
in the U.K. to being, probably, one of the largest renewable
plants in the world." Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/7  BY


Latest on energy storage and charging infrastructure - Electric
Japan Weekly No46.  This Japan column reports on promising
developments in energy density of EV batteries from Toyota,
wireless charging experiments, which are part of a Smart City
Project, and the growing charging infrastructure in the Kanto
area. Also, the end of the Eco Car subsidy program was marked by
a total government assistance of €2.7bil.  Last week at an event
in Tokyo, Toyota presented its latest achievements in energy
storage technology. In the prototype battery the lithium-ion
battery electrolyte was replaced by all solid electrolyte
improving overall compactness. Posted. 

Walnut Creek's County Connection Free Ride trolley buses to go
electric.  The green trolley buses are about to get more green. 
Thanks to a $4.3 million federal grant, the "Free Ride" will soon
run on electrically charged batteries rather than by diesel
power. It will make the downtown route the first in the county
operated by all-electric powered buses.  Posted. 

Automakers explore 'lightweighting,' another route to boost gas
mileage. When it comes to improving fuel economy, engines,
powertrains, fuels and batteries seem to get all the attention.
But what about the car's traditional steel side panel or rooftop?
Using advanced lightweight materials on even the most basic car
parts can improve overall fuel efficiency, too. According to the
Department of Energy, reducing a vehicle's weight by 10 percent
can improve fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent. Steel has
traditionally made up about 60 percent of a vehicle's total
weight. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/2  BY

Self-Regulating Tires Inflate While Rolling. We all know the
consequences of driving on under-inflated tires: faster wear,
increased potential for popping, and decreased gas milage. About
half of all commercial vehicle breakdowns result from tire
problems, according to the American Trucking Association, and
tires are the single biggest expense for fleet operators. Since
2011, Goodyear has been working on self-regulating tires, and
next year the company will begin testing its new self-inflating
technology on commercial vehicles. Posted.


Jerry Brown Tells Californians They Can 'Eat High Speed Rail'. 
California has long been a national leader. In industries such as
aerospace, entertainment, agricultural and hi-tech, to name just
a few, the Golden State has historically led the way. Today,
however, California is the trendsetter in such statistics as
unemployment, foreclosures, deficits, unfunded pension
liabilities and government workers.  Posted. 

Judge will high-speed rail injunction request.  A Sacramento
judge will consider a motion for a preliminary injunction that
could derail California's high-speed rail project in the central
San Joaquin Valley.  Judge Timothy Frawley ordered Friday that
three separate lawsuits against the California High-Speed Rail
Authority will be combined for future hearings in Sacramento
Superior Court. The cases are challenging the rail authority's
final approval of environmental reports and a route between
Merced and Fresno -- one of the first sections of tracks that the
authority hopes to begin building next year.  Posted. 


Taxpayers, ratepayers will fund California solar plants.  Driven
by the Obama administration's vision of clean power and energy
independence, the rush to build large-scale solar plants across
the Southwest has created an investors' dream in the desert. 
Taxpayers have poured tens of billions of dollars into solar
projects -- some of which will have all their construction and
development costs financed by the government by the time they
start producing power.  Posted. 

GE 'betting big on gas' with new turbines. The world's largest
gas turbine manufacturer unveiled a new natural gas-fired power
plant yesterday, expressing confidence in long-term cheap gas
supplies and the need to supplement increasing amounts of
renewable electricity. Flanked by California regulators and
international customers, General Electric Co. executives
announced 19 orders for the turbines totaling $1.2 billion. The
company has spent close to $750 million on research and
development, including a $170 million testing center in South
Carolina. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/09/27/2  BY


Resort’s Snow Won’t Be Pure This Year; It’ll Be Sewage.  Klee
Benally, a member of the Navajo tribe, has gone to the mountains
just north of here to pray, and he has gone to get arrested. He
has chained himself to excavators; he has faced down bulldozers.
For 10 years, the soft-spoken activist has fought a ski resort’s
expansion plans in the San Francisco Peaks that include
clear-cutting 74 acres of forest and piping treated sewage
effluent onto a mountain to make snow. Posted.

County contests billion-dollar stormwater rules. Regulations
designed to reduce chronic pollution problems that close beaches
after rainstorms are projected to cost far more than county
officials say they can afford. Expensive regional plans for
cleaning up bacterial contamination are creating a backlash
against stormwater regulators, forcing long-running questions
about the costs and benefits of environmental rules back into the
spotlight. Posted.

Pollution-busting laundry additive gets set to clean up September
26, 2012  Within just two years, we could all be wearing clothes
that purify the air as we simply move around in them. Plans are
now proceeding to commercialise a revolutionary liquid laundry
additive called 'CatClo', which contains microscopic
pollution-eating particles. The new additive is the result of
collaboration between the University of Sheffield and London
College of Fashion, with initial support from the Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Posted.


Will Surging Oil Prices Prevent Environmental Doom? In the 21st
century, burning hydrocarbons is critical to achieving the
economic expansion that is needed to support the billions of new
people who are projected to inhabit the planet. Yet chasing that
growth could throw so much carbon into the atmosphere that it may
undermine humanity’s very survival. Thankfully, there is another
way to look at this dilemma. If the abundance of hydrocarbons has
brought us to the brink of catastrophic climate change…Posted.

A Climate Success Story to Build On. In the early 1970s,
scientists discovered the first human threat to the Earth’s
atmosphere — the threat from chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, to the
stratospheric ozone layer. The ozone layer shields plants and
animals, including humans, from deadly ultraviolet radiation. If
the ozone layer were depleted as a consequence of human
activities, millions of Americans would develop skin cancer and
U.S. health care costs would reach several trillion dollars later
this century. Worldwide it would be a catastrophe. Posted.

Cap-and-Trade: Investing in California’s Future.  California is
poised to launch a new wave of investment and economic growth. In
November, the state will conduct its inaugural auction of
emission allowances under California’s Cap-and-Trade program.
This market-based program is an important component of the Global
Warming Solutions Act, and part of a portfolio of smart
strategies that will transition California to a clean energy
economy under AB 32.  Posted. 


First carbon permits issued as emissions market dawns. CARBON
trading has officially begun in Australia, with the government
yesterday issuing the first permits under its carbon price.
Nearly three months since the scheme began, two companies have
been given permits worth a total of nearly $150 million -
aluminum firm Alcoa, and Queensland Nitrates, which supplies
chemicals to the mining industry. The issue of the permits is
significant because it marks the point at which carbon permits
start to be bought and sold among the roughly 300 companies that
pay the carbon price. Posted.


How Rachel Carson Spurred Chemical Concerns by Highlighting
Uncertainty. Rachel Carson‘s work and legacy are being actively
assessed at the moment, given that her landmark book, “Silent
Spring,” was published 50 years ago this week. A good starting
point is “How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental
Movement,” a fascinating feature by Eliza Griswold in last
Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. Posted.

The Domino Effect in Nature, and Visual Storytelling. My friend
Randy Olson, the filmmaker and science-communication evangelizer
devoted to prodding folks out of the “nerd loop,” has been at it
again — this time running one of his three-day video-making boot
camps for graduate students in the TerreWEB program (on
communication of global-change science) at the University of
British Columbia. One student, Megan Callahan, came up with a
particularly effective video on the interconnections in
ecosystems. Posted.

ELEMENTS: Summer of Extremes. Summer of 2012 was the most extreme
in U.S. history, the non-profit science organization Climate
Communication concluded, after reviewing data compiled by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For instance,
the report stated, more than 10,000 record high temperatures were
recorded between June and August. And about 80 million people -
about 10 million more than in 2011-experienced heat waves of 100
degrees or higher. Posted.

Climate Policies that Deliver What Communities Need. What if the
stroke of a pen could direct more resources to disadvantaged
communities? What if we could double health benefits from
measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions? And what if we
could move the biggest toxic polluters to the top of the list for
facility upgrades and efficiency improvements?  All of these are
possible as part of a comprehensive climate strategy that focuses
action where the added benefits to society are greatest.  Posted.

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