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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 3, 2012. Posted: 03 Oct 2012 11:59:03
ARB Newsclips for October 3, 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 Voters ban borough home heating device oversight. Voters in the Fairbanks North Star Borough have approved an initiative that bans borough officials from regulating air pollution from home heating devices, including hydronic heaters that burn wood. The decision strips the borough of enforcement powers connected to air quality and wood-burning devices. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/VgxjOt) reports the decision comes a few months before state and local officials must submit a plan telling the Environmental Protection Agency how the area will correct its perennially polluted air. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21688315/voters-ban-borough-home-heating-device-oversight?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21688315/voters-ban-borough-home-heating-device-oversight?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Plan calls for shuttering part of NM power plant. Months of wrangling over the best way to curb pollution from a coal-fired power plant that serves more than 2 million customers in the Southwest have given way to a proposal that could see New Mexico transition to cleaner sources of energy to meet its electricity demands. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration on Tuesday unveiled details of a proposed settlement involving pollution controls at the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21682641/plan-calls-shuttering-part-nm-power-plant?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Air pollution agency investigating possible violation at Thousand Oaks plant. The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District is investigating gas venting from an anaerobic digester at the Thousand Oaks Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant. City officials reported four incidents last month in which raw digester gas was released into the air. The venting violates the plant's air pollution control district permit, which could result in fines. Kerby Zozula, engineering manager with the district, said the agency will look into whether the venting was unintentional or negligent. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/02/air-pollution-agency-investigating-possible-at/#ixzz28FcSsd8u Plan calls for shuttering part of NM power plant. Months of wrangling over the best way to curb pollution from a coal-fired power plant that serves more than 2 million customers in the Southwest have given way to a proposal that could see New Mexico transition to cleaner sources of energy to meet its electricity demands. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration on Tuesday unveiled details of a proposed settlement involving pollution controls at the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/02/plan-calls-for-shuttering-part-of-nm-power-plant/#ixzz28Fd07Q18 Plan calls for shuttering part of PNM power plant. Months of wrangling over the best way to curb pollution from a PNM Resources Inc. coal-fired power plant that serves more than 2 million customers in the Southwest have given way to a proposal that could see New Mexico transition to cleaner sources of energy to meet its electricity demands. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration on Tuesday unveiled details of a proposed settlement involving pollution controls at the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico. Posted. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57525195/plan-calls-for-shuttering-part-of-pnm-power-plant/ CLIMATE CHANGE Candidates ignore climate change debate. When President Obama and Mitt Romney square off Wednesday in their first debate, global warming may be the biggest topic that neither wants to touch. Obama devoted all of four sentences to climate change in his speech at the Democratic National Convention last month. Romney rarely mentions it at all. It's a stark change from the 2008 presidential race, when both Obama and his Republican opponent, John McCain, preached the need to reduce greenhouse gases. And environmentalists are furious. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Candidates-ignore-climate-change-debate-3914294.php#ixzz28GCOqHbC Water forecast mixed following dry year. The new “water year” for California started Monday with officials hoping 2012-13 provides more wetness than the past 12 months. But the forecast is mixed, and the state Department of Water Resources said precipitation patterns over the rainy season remain “anyone’s guess.” That lines up with recent statements by the National Weather Service, which said to expect “near normal” weather in coming months as a weak El Niño weather phenomenon influences Southern California. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/01/water-forecast-mixed-following-dry-year/ Business Groups Oppose Cap and Trade Auction. California business leaders say they are being mischaracterized as opposing the state’s pending cap and trade program. They say they simply want the California Air Resources Board to cancel the planned auction part of the program. Under cap and trade, a company that pollutes must buy one "allowance" for every ton of carbon dioxide it emits. The Air Resources Board plans to sell those allowances at an auction with part of the proceeds going to clean air programs. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2012/10/02/business-groups-oppose-cap-and-trade-auction FUELS Lithuania hits Gazprom with $1.9 billion claim. Lithuania's government said Wednesday it planned to file a (EURO)1.45 billion ($1.9 billion) claim against Russia's Gazprom, alleging that the world's largest natural gas company has hiked prices unfairly. Government ministers said the size of the claim covers what the country has overpaid for natural gas since 2004, when Gazprom obtained a major stake in Lietuvos Dujos, the country's largest gas importer, and changed the formula for determining the gas price. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21687221/lithuania-hits-gazprom-1-9-billion-claim?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com Penn State stops work on Marcellus gas report. Penn State University won't participate this year in an industry-funded Marcellus Shale natural gas study that has been criticized in the past. Previous reports on the economic impacts of the gas boom had appeared under the Penn State logo, though they were funded by the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21688385/penn-state-stops-work-marcellus-gas-report?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21688385/penn-state-stops-work-marcellus-gas-report?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Albania sells state oil company to Vetro Energy. Albania has sold its state-owned Albpetrol oil company for (EURO)850 million ($1.1 billion) to the U.S.- and Singapore-based Vetro Energy consortium. Prime Minister Sali Berisha says the deal will also allow Vetro Energy to explore and exploit offshore oil and gas fields, build a refinery, and transport and distribute natural gas in Albania for 25 years. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21687893/albania-sells-state-oil-company-vetro-energy?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/03/3015801/albania-sells-state-oil-company.html#storylink=misearch VEHICLES Tracy company building, outfitting natural gas trucks for PG&E. American Truck & Trailer Body Co. Inc. is on a roll as it builds and outfits a full range of work trucks and vehicles for Northern California's largest utility. That includes the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s first newly designed natural gas crew truck in 30 years, which was delivered Tuesday to the utility's maintenance workers in Stockton. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121003/A_BIZ/210030305&cid=sitesearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Pike report ranks Chevrolet as current leader in the plug-in vehicle market. A new report by Pike Research assessing the plug-in vehicle (PEV) strategy and execution of 16 leading vendors ranks Chevrolet as the current leader in the PEV market, due to its high ratings in both strategy and execution, closely followed by Renault. Pike rates Toyota and Nissan as very close contenders for leadership, though both have either product portfolio or pricing issues that limited their scoring in Pike’s evaluation. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/pikepev-20121003.html Domestic automobile manufacturers take centre stage in China’s EV market - ELECTRIC CHINA WEEKLY No14. On September 26, 11 Chinese ministries and agencies of the central government initiated a project to test-drive China-made electric cars among government departments in Beijing. Staff of the 11 ministries and agencies will drive a fleet of 23 electric cars from two domestic automobile manufacturers BYD and Anhui JAC Motors as their official vehicles in a one-year trial. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4968 GREEN ENERGY Exclusive: AT&T becomes Bloom Energy's largest corporate customer. AT&T became Bloom Energy's largest corporate customer Tuesday when it announced plans to more than double its existing contract with the Sunnyvale-based fuel cell startup. Last year, AT&T signed an initial contract with Bloom for 7.5 megawatts. On Tuesday, the telecommunications giant added an additional 9.6 megawatts. Bloom Energy's fuel cells will power 28 AT&T facilities in California and Connecticut, including two facilities in San Jose. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21678877/exclusive-att-becomes-bloom-energys-largest-corporate MISCELLANEOUS Assemblymember Dickinson and Supporters Celebrate Sacramento Area’s New Seat on the California Air Resources Board. At a press conference today at the California State Railroad Museum, Assemblymember Roger Dickinson’s (D-Sacramento) along with a large group of supporters celebrated the signing of AB 146. The bill, signed into law on September 25, will add an additional member to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) representing the Sacramento region. “The Sacramento region is the largest major metropolitan area in the state currently without designated representation on the Air Resources Board. Posted. http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/74146/Assemblymember_Dickinson_and_Supporters_Celebrate_Sacramento_Areas_New_Seat_on_the_California_Air_R REGION: Final green light given for fast-track mines. As expected, a narrow majority of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors gave final approval Tuesday for a measure that makes surface mines eligible for fast-track review. For the second week in a row, a bitterly divided board voted 3-2 to extend that privilege to quarries, as well as solar and wind power plants. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/region-final-green-light-given-for-fast-track-mines/article_3e488762-eb7c-5951-89d2-22b230f02294.html California Agency Seeks Enforcement Assistance for Recycling Operations Legislation & Regulations, Metallics. Departments plan to cooperate to ensure scrap metal recyclers meet state environmental regulations. The California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) is seeking to improve intra-agency coordination when it comes to the inspection of scrap recycling facility operations in the state. While recognizing the value of the scrap metal industry for the state, the DTSC notes that some scrap metal operations can create significant environmental and public health threats. In many cases the problems are beyond the regulatory authority of a single state agency. Posted. http://www.recyclingtoday.com/department-toxic-substance-control-scrap-recycler.aspx OPINIONS Editorial: UP must step up on toxic legacy of the railyard. Union Pacific's theme this year is "Building America for 150 years," marking President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Pacific Railway Act and creation of the company in 1862. Evidence of this iconic company's role in building the nation was on display in Old Sacramento this past weekend – from the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific (No. 844) to the latest advanced, experimental, low-emissions locomotive (No. 9900). Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/03/4876287/up-must-step-up-on-toxic-legacy.html#storylink=cpy LOIS HENRY: So you want better air? Avoid those drive-thrus. Do you really want cleaner air? Really and truly? Then make your dang coffee at home and take it to work! In case you haven't heard we are under an AIR ALERT. The weather is so hot, stagnant and downright crappy that there's nothing more businesses can do (short of shutting down) to reduce emissions. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/lifestyle/health-beat/x371315051/LOIS-HENRY-So-you-want-better-air-Avoid-those-drive-thrus BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Forrest Shearer: Snowpack a victim of climate change. AS a professional snowboarder lucky enough to ride mountains around the world, I have seen the impacts of climate change firsthand. I've seen once-famous slopes now with zero snow, ski resorts that have shut down, and glaciers that are disappearing. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21683923/forrest-shearer-snowpack-victim-climate-change?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com Clean energy showdown in Arizona. National politics, with all its sturm und gaffe, tends to suck up all the attention. But there are several state fights going on that could have huge effects on the future of clean energy. A while back I highlighted the impending vote over Michigan's renewable energy standard. Now let's have a look at Arizona. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/one-of-the-years-most-important-clean-energy-fights-is-happening-in-arizona/ Why We Need to Fight for Cape Wind. Now. 11 years. That's how long we've been waiting for the promise of Cape Wind: clean, renewable energy; new, green jobs; reduced air emissions and carbon pollution; energy at a predictable price over the long-term; and energy security. At a time when the evidence of global warming is overwhelming, and the need for jobs critical, unleashing the potential of this home-grown offshore wind project can only be a good thing. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-b-kassel/cape-wind_b_1930878.html?utm_hp_ref=green BLOGS Why the new U.S. battery industry is still struggling. One of the more intriguing—and controversial—parts of the 2009 stimulus bill was a $2.4 billion provision to kick-start a domestic battery industry in the United States. As Michael Grunwald described in his book, “The New New Deal,” the Obama administration was hoping that these battery funds could help make the widespread adoption of electric cars a reality: Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/03/why-the-brand-new-u-s-battery-industry-is-struggling/ Drop in Emissions Not a Trend Set in Stone, Study Says. A report released today by Climate Central asks a provocative question: Can United States carbon emissions keep falling? This comes with the year 2050 in mind, by which time climate scientists have said there needs to be a major reduction in greenhouse gas emissions if the worst impacts of climate change are to be avoided. The report by Eric D. Larson from the Energy Systems Analysis Group at Princeton shows that American carbon emissions have dropped by nearly 9 percent since 2005. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/drop-in-emissions-not-a-trend-set-in-stone-study-says/?ref=earth Championing Solar Power, on Land and Sea. He recently circumnavigated the globe in his solar-powered boat, but Raphaël Domjan’s mission is far from over. “The goal was not to go around the world, but to spread the message that we can change, that it is not too late,” he said in an interview in Barcelona, where he participated in the Global Clean Energy Forum. During the 585-day, 60,000-kilometer journey, described by my colleague Bettina Wassener in May, Mr. Domjan and his crew were subjected to all the rigors of an around-the-world sailing trip, except that lack of sun was the most daunting problem — not lack of wind. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/championing-solar-power-on-land-and-sea/?ref=world Feeling The Economic Impact Of Climate Change. Everyone knows that the weather this summer in the United States was a disaster. Temperature records fell faster than knickknacks off a broken bookshelf across much of the country. Vast swaths of the nation were facing "extreme" or "exceptional" drought conditions. And while it is impossible to say with certainty if any particular weather event is caused by climate change, the events of the summer are pretty much exactly what climate scientists have been predicting for decades. Posted. http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/10/02/162140665/feeling-the-economic-impact-of-climate-change