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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 28, 2012. Posted: 28 Sep 2012 15:33:13
ARB Newsclips for September 28, 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 UCLA researchers say last year's Carmageddon improved air quality. The reprieve lasted for only one weekend, but UCLA researchers say that last year's Carmageddon closure of the 405 Freeway rid Los Angeles of both traffic and another notorious problem: pollution. Air quality near the closed 10-mile portion of the freeway reached levels 83% better than typical weekends, according to research released Friday by a team at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-carmageddon-air-quality-20120928,0,3656316.story Fairbanks warned of sanctions for lack of air plan. The Environmental Protection Agency says Fairbanks could lose highway money and see federal regulations imposed if it doesn't meet a December deadline for a plan that will meet clean air standards. Agency officials voiced concerns in a letter to Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/Q84gI8) reports state and the borough officials are completing a State Implementation Plan. The document will outline steps the borough and the state will use take to decrease borough air pollution by 2014. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/28/4863089/fairbanks-warned-of-sanctions.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21652628/fairbanks-warned-sanctions-lack-air-plan?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com CLIMATE CHANGE California May Adjust Carbon Permit Allocations to Companies. California’s air resources board may adjust the number of carbon permits it plans to give to specific companies before the first auction of allowances in November under the state’s cap-and-trade program, Mary Nichols, the board’s chairman, said during a conference in San Francisco. Industry allocations wouldn’t change, just the distribution to companies within the sectors, she said. The agency hasn’t officially assigned the permits yet to most of the companies regulated under the program and may reconsider allocations based on new data. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/california-may-adjust-carbon-permit-allocations-to-companies.html New Zealand Curbs Gas Emissions as Polluters Use More Renewables. New Zealand’s energy industry reduced its greenhouse gas emissions for the third straight year in 2011 as polluters decreased their reliance on coal and gas in favor of renewable sources. Companies cut their emissions by 1.9 percent last year, according to a report on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s web site. The fall was largely driven by a 10 percent drop in electricity emissions after high rainfall and increased use of wind and geothermal power curbed natural gas emissions, the report said. New Zealand is seeking to harness more of its renewable power sources after the energy industry’s emissions surged by a third in the last two decades from population growth and more cars and road freight. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-09-28/new-zealand-curbs-gas-emissions-as-polluters-use-more-renewables.html Australia joins U.N.-led climate coalition. Australia on Friday announced it will join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a U.N.-led initiative to cut short-lived climate pollutants such as soot and methane. The initiative, launched in February this year, targets emissions that contribute to climate change and cause local air pollution that can threaten human health. "The science suggests that acting quickly to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, which are more potent than carbon dioxide, has the potential to slow down warming by 2050," Mark Dreyfus, Australia's parliamentary secretary for climate change, said in a statement. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/28/us-australia-climate-idUSBRE88R0ZQ20120928 Clinton Urged to Support ‘Robin Hood’ Tax to Fund Climate. Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace joined 61 other charities, unions and campaign groups to urge U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to support a financial transaction tax to help fund the fight against climate change. A transaction levy, or “Robin Hood Tax,” could help fund $100 billion of climate change aid that developed countries have pledged by 2020, and extend to health care and education as well, the 63 groups said in a letter yesterday to Clinton that was e-mailed today by Friends of the Earth. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-28/clinton-urged-to-support-robin-hood-tax-to-fund-climate.html Changing Calif. climate a threat to crops. Farmers have always been gamblers, long accustomed to betting on the probabilities of the weather. But for the Napa Valley, where temperatures have been ideal for the wine industry, shifts in the Earth's climate could be a game-changer. "They're used to rolling the dice every year," said Stuart Weiss, a conservation biologist and chief scientist at the Creekside Center for Earth Observation in Menlo Park, which assists growers and municipalities dealing with the disruptions caused by the changing climate. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Changing-Calif-climate-a-threat-to-crops-3901021.php#ixzz27mmetOOf Air resources board may tweak cap and trade. California's air resources board may adjust the number of carbon permits it plans to give to specific companies before the first auction of allowances in November under the state's cap-and-trade program, Mary Nichols, the board's chairman, said during a conference in San Francisco on Thursday. Industry allocations wouldn't change, just the distribution to companies within the sectors, she said. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Air-resources-board-may-tweak-cap-and-trade-3900342.php Newly signed Lieu bill will allow coastal agency to fund climate change projects. The California Coastal Conservancy, the state agency charged with protecting and restoring coastal resources, can soon designate public funds to directly address climate change issues under a South Bay legislator's bill signed into law Thursday. Senate Bill 1066 - authored by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach - allows the conservancy to fund and undertake projects that affect climate change, prioritize such projects, and award grants to public agencies to do similar work. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_21646385/newly-signed-lieu-bill-will-allow-coastal-agency Deadly connection: New report on extreme weather and climate change. Climate change is having a steroidal effect on extreme weather. A summer featuring the hottest July on record in the continental United States punctuated a series of costly and deadly weather events. This week, we released a new report, “Going to Extremes: Climate Change and the Increasing Risk of Weather Disasters” [PDF]. The report looks at the impacts of 2012’s record-breaking heat on agriculture, wildfires, storms, and water levels. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/deadly-connection-new-report-on-extreme-weather-and-climate-change/ Air chief defends cap-and-trade program, exhorts businesses to innovate. California's top greenhouse gas regulator defended the state's landmark cap-and-trade program against attempts to weaken it, saying it would deliver emissions reductions at a low cost to businesses. Speaking at a renewable finance conference in San Francisco, Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols said that some businesses' stated support for cap and trade is a "fig leaf" that hides an antipathy to carbon regulations. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/28/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS California leaders hail Caltrain milestone. Politicians amassed on the southbound platform of the Millbrae Caltrain Station on Thursday to celebrate a major milestone toward the transformation of the commuter line from a 20th century relic into a modern, more energy-efficient system. "We are here to reboot Caltrain," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, after the California Transportation Commission voted earlier in the day to release $39.8 million for work designing a new electronic brain to manage Caltrain's fleet, a critical first step in the roughly $1.5 billion project to overhaul the rail line. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21646312/speier-state-and-local-leaders-hail-caltrain-milestone?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21646312/speier-state-and-local-leaders-hail-caltrain-milestone?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com FUELS 'Nemesis' breaks electric car land speed record. A battery-powered Lotus Exige breaks the UK land speed record for electric cars at an airfield in North Yorkshire Link to this video. A battery-powered car designed to "smash the boring, Noddy stereotype of the green car" broke the UK electric land speed record on Thursday. The Nemesis, a Lotus Exige modified by utility company Ecotricity, reached an average speed of 151mph near York today. It was driven by 21-year-old Nick Ponting, who started racing go-karts at the age of 12, and first broke the record by hitting 148mph earlier today at Elvington airfield in North Yorkshire. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/27/nemesis-electric-car-land-speed-record?newsfeed=true 2012 Paris Motor Show: EV Premieres. The 2012 Paris Motor show, taking place from 29 September to 14 October 2012, is the scene of an incredible 80 World Premieres. With the catastrophic time that Europe is going through at the moment in Europe automotive sector, the Paris Motor show and its Premieres is a good way to see what international brands have changed with regards to European market. "In developing our electric vehicles we accord top priority to customer benefits," says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4957 VEHICLES Honda finds the right fit with Fit EV. Honda has traditionally held back in coming to market with a competitive vehicle in any given category, until they're sure they have it right. They want not only to be able to compete, but to dominate. Welcome the 2013 Honda Fit EV to the electric vehicle marketplace, which boasts a world-leading energy efficiency of 29kWh per 100 miles and a gasoline miles per gallon equivalent of 118 MPGe (combined city/highway, adjusted). The Fit EV is capable of delivering an EPA-certified unadjusted driving range of 132 miles on a single charge. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cars/article/Honda-finds-the-right-fit-with-Fit-EV-3902151.php#ixzz27msmdsvy Buyers, automakers raise doubts about electric cars. Having largely exhausted a pool of electric-car devotees as buyers, automakers are facing headwinds in trying to make plug-in cars a mass-market product. Nissan joined General Motors last week in offering deeper lease discounts on its premier electric car. The latest deal on the all-electric Leaf brings the lease payment closer to the level of a comparable non-electric car, not counting the gas savings, an analysis for USA TODAY by Edmunds.com finds. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/09/Buyers-automakers-raise-doubts-about-electric-cars-70001305/electric-cars-have-a-bad-week/70001305/1 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Caltrain Receives First Chunk Of CA High Speed Rail Bond Money. Caltrain has received its first big chunk of high-speed rail bond money, which will be used to electrify and modernize the system. Adrienne Tissier, the chair of Caltrain’s Joint Powers Board, said the release of the $40 million in state funds is an important step in the process. “Caltrain is engaged in reinvention and it’s going to mean more service, faster service, less pollution and fewer cars on our roads and highways,” said Tissier. Posted. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/09/27/caltrain-receives-first-chunk-of-ca-high-speed-rail-bond-money/ OPINIONS The G.O.P. and the Environment. To the Editor: Re “Calling Teddy Roosevelts” (Taking Note, editorial page, Sept. 23): Robert B. Semple Jr. is correct that the Republican Party has repudiated the tradition of environmental stewardship. What is most shocking is that so many of the upstate New York Republican members of Congress have gone along. In the mid-1990s, we saw these extreme measures in the House of Representatives led by Newt Gingrich. But during that time, Representative Sherwood Boehlert of Utica led the New York delegation in standing up for clean air and clean water. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/opinion/the-gop-and-the-environment.html?pagewanted=print Back-seat Driver: Driverless cars face many questions. This week's futuristic law allowing companies to test driverless cars on California roads is being heralded by tech aficionados and some safety advocates as a breakthrough moment. But it has the auto insurance industry saying: Wait, what? If no one is driving, and the car gets in a crash, who is at fault? The car occupant, who may be sitting with his head down doing a Sudoku puzzle? The car manufacturer? The other car? Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/28/4862060/back-seat-driver-driverless-cars.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS Don’t Blame Trade for Climate Change. Could limiting trade, perhaps through emissions tariffs, combat global warming? Some people think so, since Western nations typically import items that produce significant greenhouse emissions in developing countries. But two European climate change experts are doubtful such tariffs would do much good. In fact, in a new paper, they suggest that, absent international trade, developing nations such as China might emit even more greenhouse gases than they already do. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2012/09/28/dont-blame-trade-for-climate-change/ California Issues 10,000th Rebate for Zero-Emissions Incentive Program. Start undressing California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, a program intended to spur the sales and leases of zero-emission vehicles, and front-page topics come into view — reduction of greenhouse gases and job creation chief among them. So when the program recorded its 10,000th rebate earlier this month, it merited some pomp. Courtesy of the Air Resources Board Natasha Casteel, with her 2012 Nissan Leaf. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/california-issues-10000th-rebate-for-zero-emissions-incentive-program/#more-174125 Reality Check: California’s Ultra-Low-Greenhouse Gas Future. What will it really take to meet the state’s aggressive carbon reduction goals? As the centerpiece of California’s climate strategy, the law known as AB 32 gets all the attention. But a little-known component of the state’s plan to mitigate climate change, Executive Order S-3-05, is even more ambitious. A new report from the independent California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) takes aim at its aggressive greenhouse-gas-reduction goal for 2050, and shows just how difficult it will be to reach it. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/09/27/reality-check-californias-ultra-low-greenhouse-gas-future/