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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.


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. 

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. 


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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


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. 



'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. 

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 


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.

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.


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. 


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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