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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 1, 2012 Posted: 01 Oct 2012 14:30:54
ARB Newsclips for October 1, 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. Air quality near the closed 10-mile portion of the 405 Freeway reached levels 83% better than typical weekends, according to a team at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. 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. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-carmageddon-air-quality-20120928,0,3656316.story Utah taking public comment on clean-air plans. State regulators are calling for stricter controls on industrial emissions along the heavily populated Wasatch Front. The Utah Air Quality Board will start taking public comment Monday on three sets of plans to reduce air pollution in northern Utah. Up for consideration are new emission standards for industrial baking ovens, dry cleaners, furniture makers and other operations. One of the three plans calls for expanding vehicle emission tests to Cache County. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Utah-taking-public-comment-on-clean-air-plans-3908087.php#ixzz283p3RTqn 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. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21652628/fairbanks-warned-sanctions-lack-air-plan Spare the Air continues through Monday. A Spare the Air alert will continue through Monday, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The district, which was also declared an alert for the weekend, forecasts concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution that will be unhealthy. Residents are encouraged to drive less and reduce their energy use to lower the levels of pollution. A heat wave expected to send temperatures into the triple digits in some parts of the East Bay is a contributing factor, the district said. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21668920/spare-air-continues-through-monday Drive as little as possible, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District officials advise. With temperatures expected to be well in the 90s this week, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District advises residents to reduce their driving. The pollution district advises you to take the following steps through Wednesday: Carpool or vanpool. Ride your bicycle, walk or use mass transit. Eliminate vehicle idling and reduce the number of vehicle trips. Employers making employee telecommuting available. http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_220b7f5c-0b6c-11e2-946c-0019bb2963f4.html CLIMATE CHANGE Fish to shrink as global warming leaves them gasping for oxygen. Fish are likely to get smaller on average by 2050 because global warming will cut the amount of oxygen in the oceans in a shift that may also mean dwindling catches, according to a study on Sunday. Average maximum body weights for 600 types of marine fish, such as cod, plaice, halibut and flounder, would contract by 14-24 percent by 2050 from 2000 under a scenario of a quick rise in greenhouse gas emissions, it said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/30/environment-fish-idUSL6E8KU1QZ20120930 Nichols Says Rail ‘Legitimate’ Use of Some Carbon Revenue. The construction of a high-speed rail line connecting California’s biggest cities would be a “legitimate” use of some revenue generated from the state’s auctions of carbon allowances, the state’s air chief said. Using all of the money generated from the sale of carbon permits for the rail project is “not the intent” of California’s carbon program, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the state’s Air Resources Board, said during a renewable energy conference in San Francisco today. Each permit allows for the release of one metric ton of emissions in the state. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-27/nichols-says-rail-legitimate-use-of-some-carbon-revenue Heat keeps rising in Northern California - for now. It's been more than a decade since Sacramento experienced 100-degree weather in October, but the city could broil under century-mark heat today or Tuesday. The National Weather Service is forecasting 99 degrees for today and 100 on Tuesday, very hot weather for early autumn. The toasty temps are courtesy of a high-pressure system parked over Northern California. The hot temperatures come in the wake of 26 days of 90-degree weather or hotter in September - breaking the previous September record of 24 set in 1974. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/01/4870247/heat-keeps-rising-in-northern.html#storylink=cpy Different green energy ideas from McKenna, Inslee. Climate change may have faded as a national issue, but it remains prominent in the Washington governor's race. When it comes to incentives and regulations to help green-energy producers, the two main candidates for Washington governor see things differently, The News Tribune (http://is.gd/J0pESP) reported in Sunday's newspaper. Democrat Jay Inslee made reducing greenhouse-gas emissions his signature issue as a congressman. He said it should be an all-out effort in the style of the Apollo project that put a man on the moon. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Different-green-energy-ideas-from-McKenna-Inslee-3906976.php#ixzz283rFEIBx Higher temperatures bring new struggles in Calif. wine country. Farmers have always been gamblers, long accustomed to betting on the probabilities of the weather. But for the Napa Valley, where the temperatures have been ideal for the wine industry, the changes could be significant. "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, which assists growers and municipalities dealing with the disruptions caused by the changing climate. "Now, though, climate change is stacking the dice." Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/x485099552/Higher-temperatures-bring-new-struggles-in-Calif-wine-country?utm_source=widget_160&utm_medium=latest_entry_images_widget&utm_campaign=synapse Kern County farmers not convinced climate change is issue. The farming community in Kern County is split in its views on climate change with a chunk saying it's not an issue and others saying it profoundly affects their crops. The weather has been off in recent years, but whether that's because of climate change and if farmers will need to change their practices is up for debate among Kern County farmers. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x371314823/Kern-County-farmers-not-convinced-climate-change-is-issue?utm_source=widget_63&utm_medium=latest_entries_widget&utm_campaign=synapse Calif.'s air chief to discuss global cap-and-trade linkage at Australia conference. California's top greenhouse gas regulator will go to Australia next month to discuss the state's cap-and-trade system with other governments, including those of China and the European Union. Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols will attend the World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness meeting Oct. 24 in Sydney, agency staff said last week. The partnership includes the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and other governments that contribute funds to countries developing market-based greenhouse gas systems, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/01/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS EU to monitor shipping emissions from next year. Global steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry are moving too slowly so the European Union will introduce its own system next year in a bid to accelerate reform, its executive body said on Monday. International shipping accounts for around 3 percent of the world's emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas widely blamed for global warming, and this share could go to 18 percent by 2050 if regulation is not in place, according to the International Maritime Organization. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/01/us-shipping-emissions-idUSBRE8900HH20121001 FUELS Hydrogen Fuels Autorickshaws and Dreams of Cleaner Air. Across India, small three-wheeled autorickshaws ferry people and goods from place to place, with tens of thousands in Delhi alone buzzing and chugging through the traffic alongside buses, cars, taxis, trucks and motorbikes. In January, the world’s first hydrogen-powered autorickshaws took to the road on the grounds of Pragati Maidan, the sprawling exposition center on the capital’s east side. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/business/energy-environment/hydrogen-fuels-autorickshaws-and-dreams-of-cleaner-air.html?ref=greenhousegasemissions VEHICLES Soft Sales Crimp Outlook for Electric Cars. Many auto executives were not that enthusiastic about battery-powered cars at their outset, and now that sales of electric vehicles made by Tesla and Renault have been disappointing, some carmakers are playing down the technology. Martin Winterkorn, the chief executive of Volkswagen, said last week, on the eve of the Paris Motor Show, that the company would instead focus on plug-in hybrids, which can travel short distances on battery power alone and switch to gasoline or diesel fuel for longer trips. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/business/global/electric-vehicles-a-low-priority-for-automakers.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print Self-driving cars are approaching fast — and safely. As Google has worked on a fully self-driving car, some automakers have already employed autonomous safety features that are reducing crashes. Having a hard time parallel parking? Press a button on a touch screen and let the car park itself. Want to stay a safe distance from the car ahead while traveling 65 mph? Switch on adaptive cruise control and let a radar-linked computer handle the accelerator, slowing and speeding your vehicle to keep pace. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-self-driving-cars-20120930,0,7404524.story Governor OKs free toll lane access for clean cars. Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he signed a bill that will allow the next generation of clean-energy vehicles to access California carpool lanes for free if they are converted to toll lanes. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego are experimenting with high-occupancy toll lanes - or HOT lanes - to help reduce congestion. Brown signed AB2405 by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills, which seeks to encourage Californians to buy plug-in hybrids and certified zero-emission vehicles, such as those that run on electricity, hydrogen fuel cells or compressed natural gas. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/28/governor-oks-free-toll-lane-access-for-clean/ Tesla pulls into San Diego. Tesla is pulling into San Diego. The luxury plug-in electric car maker has begun outfitting a showroom store at the Westfield UTC shopping center on La Jolla Village Drive. A spokeswoman for the car maker declined to how soon the University City store might open. A boarded-over storefront already bears the Tesla logo. Like Tesla's cars or not, U.S. taxpayers have a stake in the future of the Palo Alto-based upstart, whose ongoing expansion is backed by a Department of Energy loan. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/01/tesla-pulls-san-deigo/ 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. The innovation is “the answer to the three major problems that are holding back electrical vehicles, or at least people think are holding back electrical vehicles,” Musk said before a curtain was lifted from a giant model of one of the devices. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/viewart/20120930/BUSINESS0301/309300018/Tesla-unveils-faster-electric-car-charging-station GREEN ENERGY Obama and Romney find little common ground on energy production. Romney embraces greater reliance on fossil fuels — the greatest contributors to climate change. Obama sees a future increasingly tied to renewable energy. No matter who wins the 2012 election, the next president will take office as the United States faces vast new opportunities in energy production and profound challenges to environmental protection. After decades of growing dependence on imported oil, the U.S. is moving to energy self-sufficiency, thanks to greater domestic supplies of oil and natural gas and reduced demand. Coal…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-election-energy-20120929,0,7774789.story San Jose solar company opens factory, headed for Solyndra-type loan. San Jose solar startup SoloPower opened the doors of its first factory on Thursday, a key milestone toward allowing the company to collect on a $197 million government loan guarantee. The 225,000-square-foot facility in Portland, Ore., will one day accommodate two of the company's planned four production lines. Only the first line is producing panels so far. The remaining three lines will be built with the help of its loan guarantee, SoloPower said. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21647158/solopower-san-jose-solar-company-opens-factory-headed-solyndra-loan Energy proposal raises debate over costs, jobs. A proposal to require that Michigan utilities steadily boost their use of renewable energy sources over the next dozen years is stirring a whirlwind of competing claims about costs, jobs and spinoff issues that could leave voters dizzy with confusion. The measure on the Nov. 6 election ballot would require electricity suppliers to generate 25 percent of their power from wind, solar, biomass or hydropower by 2025. If approved, the policy would be added to the state constitution, meaning the legislature couldn't overturn it. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/29/energy-proposal-raises-debate-over-costs-02/ New law limits permit fees for rooftop solar. Legislation limiting local permitting fees for rooftop solar installations was among a raft of green energy bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday. The law limits fees that cities and counties may charge for solar permits to about $400 or slightly more, depending on the size of the rooftop system, under the legislation from Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. To exceed those limits, a local agency must provide detailed evidence of administrative costs and its efforts to streamline permit requests and approvals. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/28/new-law-limits-permit-fees-rooftop-solar/ Obama's blocking of wind farm adds to U.S.-China tension. President Obama's decision to block a Chinese-owned firm's plan to build wind farms demonstrates growing tensions around the international competition to develop clean energy technology and joins a list of disputes between the United States and China that observers say could have lasting implications for the two countries' relationship. The president last week blocked Ralls Corp., which is owned by two executives of a Chinese energy firm, from developing four wind farms in Oregon. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/01/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Environmentalists oppose PG&E plans for undersea air blasts. PG&E plans to use underwater 'air cannons' emitting 250-decibel blasts every 15 seconds for 12 straight days to map earthquake fault zones near Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Over objections of Central Coast residents and environmental groups, Pacific Gas & Electric plans to map earthquake fault zones near its Diablo Canyon nuclear plant by blasting high-decibel air cannons under the surface of the ocean. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-sonic-20120929,0,7977891.story Toxics cleanup dispute at former railyards in Sacramento. Workers in Sacramento's downtown railyard this summer unearthed a disconcerting find: a large container of contaminated soil, likely buried by the Southern Pacific railroad company, which once used the property to build and fix locomotives. It wasn't the first such surprise. A few months before that, they had dug up an old tank. The discoveries are adding fuel to a behind-the-scenes disagreement over how much contamination remains in the 240- acre property – once known as the biggest industrial complex west of the Mississippi – and who will pay to get rid of it. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/30/4866721/toxics-cleanup-dispute-at-former.html#storylink=cpy Uranium Plant Using Laser Technology Wins U.S. Approval. RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A nuclear power partnership of General Electric and Hitachi has received federal approval to build the first plant to enrich uranium for use in commercial reactors using a classified laser technology. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license to General Electric-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment this week to build and operate a uranium enrichment plant near Wilmington, N.C., deploying the laser technology instead of costlier centrifuges. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/business/energy-environment/uranium-plant-using-laser-technology-wins-us-approval.html?ref=earth RIVERSIDE: Low electric rates being used as business magnet. Looking to capitalize on one of its assets — the city-owned water and power utility — Riverside is offering lower electricity rates as a way to lure new companies to the city. The Riverside City Council on Sept. 11 approved a temporary economic development electrical rate aimed at new commercial and industrial customers. “We’re looking at bringing in new jobs and filling empty buildings,” Councilman Mike Gardner said Friday, Sept. 28. New commercial ventures would receive discounts of 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent through the end of 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20120928-riverside-low-electric-rates-being-used-as-business-magnet.ece The clunky, lagging transition to renewable energy. History suggests that it can take up to 50 years to replace an existing energy infrastructure, and we don't have that long, Cobb writes. No doubt you've heard people speak of an energy transition from a fossil fuel-based society to one based on renewable energy--energy which by its very nature cannot run out. Here's the short answer to why we need do it fast: climate change and fossil fuel depletion. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/1001/The-clunky-lagging-transition-to-renewable-energy OPINIONS COLUMN-You can count on new burst of infrastructure spending. As global economies from Beijing to Berlin struggle to keep their heads above water, a new wave of stimulus spending is under way. Given that infrastructure spending is almost always a function of population growth - which does not seem to be slowing down in emerging markets - this is a potent trend if you are a long-term investor. While any nascent U.S. plan depends upon the outcome of the November election, the agenda for other countries is full speed ahead. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/01/column-wasik-infrastructure-idUSL1E8L181I20121001 A Dirty Internet: How Data Centers Waste Energy. “Power, Pollution and the Internet” (“The Cloud Factories” series, front page, Sept. 23) exposes the problem with data centers and unnecessary energy waste. While “cloud” data centers are in the spotlight because of their huge energy appetites, they should not obscure the millions of smaller server rooms in American businesses wasting about $2 billion in electricity a year. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/opinion/a-dirty-internet-how-data-centers-waste-energy.html?ref=greenhousegasemissions Green Desert: Answers sought at energy summit. As an energy reporter, going to conferences can get a bit ho-hum. You go, you see the energy reporters from other papers or green websites, you hear a lot of the same talking heads saying a lot of the same things over and over. What you really want is for someone to say something that will shake things up, get folks looking at things from a different angle and take the conversation to a new level. That certainly is what I hope happens when officials from across the Inland Empire and beyond converge on Palm Springs on Thursday and Friday for the Southern California Energy Summit. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012309300026 Bad air hurts parks. While recent news and opinions present myriad positions about who's to blame and what needs to be done to fix the Valley's dirty air, the fact remains that we suffer from some of the worst air pollution in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Dirty air is dangerous for our health and quality of life in the Valley and iconic national wonders such as Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon national parks. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, through the approval of its governing board, is responsible for cleaning up stationary sources of air pollution. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/29/3009941/bad-air-hurts-parks.html#storylink=misearch Believe it or not, climate change is a reality ag must face. Today: cherries and the Valley mind. In the past few days, the media reported that climate change threatens Valley crops. What is interesting about this is most Valley farmers don't believe in climate change. Farmers are realists; but most Valley farmers reject (what I believe to be) global warming reality. Something in the Valley's conservative mindset impels them to. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120930/A_NEWS0803/209300317&cid=sitesearch BLOGS Was climate change responsible for the Mongol hordes? Was climate change responsible for the Mongol hordes? First scientists told us that a “distinct drying” during the third century might have encouraged the fall of the Roman Empire, prompting critics to decry the idea as the “latest global warming scare tactic.” Now the journal Science is highlighting similar speculations that wet and warm conditions in the central Asian steppe in the 13th century help explain the exceptionally rapid expansion of the infamously cruel Mongols under Genghis Khan. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/was-climate-change-responsible-for-the-mongol-hordes/2012/09/28/33405d1c-0994-11e2-858a-5311df86ab04_blog.html “Spare the Air” Alert Issued for Monday. A Summer Spare the Air Day has been issued for Monday October 1, 2012. The following is from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District: During these summer months when ground-level ozone, or “smog,” becomes a pollution problem, the Air District issues Spare the Air Smog Alerts on days when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy. All summer long, we urge residents to cut back on any activities that cause pollution – such as driving, using oil-based paints, gasoline-powered lawn mowers, or household aerosol products like hair sprays. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/incontracosta/2012/09/30/%E2%80%9Cspare-the-air%E2%80%9D-alert-issued-for-monday/