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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 4, 2012. Posted: 04 Oct 2012 12:26:29
ARB Newsclips for October 4, 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 High court asked to throw out oil refinery permit. Opponents of a proposed $10 billion oil refinery in southeastern South Dakota on Wednesday asked the state Supreme Court to strike down a state permit that would let a Texas company to begin construction. Gabrielle Sigel, an attorney for three groups fighting the Hyperion Energy Center, said the Board of Minerals and Environment erred when it approved an air quality permit last year because its study did not include a full-blown environmental impact statement. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SD_HYPERION_REFINERY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/03/high-court-asked-to-throw-out-oil-refinery/ CLIMATE CHANGE UPDATE 1-El Niño seen weak into Northern Hemisphere winter – CPC. The U.S. national weather forecaster still expects the much-feared El Niño phenomenon, which can wreak havoc on global weather, to remain weak into the Northern Hemisphere winter, even after its development slowed last month. In its monthly assessment, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said on Thursday it is still not clear whether a fully-fledged El Niño would emerge, although there is a "possibility" it will strengthen over the next few months. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/04/weather-elnino-cpc-idUSL1E8L4A8Q20121004 Romans, Han Dynasty were greenhouse gas emitters: study. A 200-year period covering the heyday of both the Roman Empire and China's Han dynasty saw a big rise in greenhouse gases, according to a study that challenges the U.N. view that man-made climate change only began around 1800. A record of the atmosphere trapped in Greenland's ice found the level of heat-trapping methane rose about 2,000 years ago and stayed at that higher level for about two centuries. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/03/us-climate-romans-idUSBRE89212020121003 DIESEL EMISSIONS Tehama County Board rallies against tractor emission plan. The Tehama County Board of Supervisors voiced its disapproval Tuesday regarding proposed emission reductions from the California Air Resources Board targeting agricultural tractors across the state. The Air Resources Board will be holing a public workshop at the Shasta County Supervisors Building 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss the in-use off-road mobile agricultural equipment rule that is still in the concept stage, but may be adopted as early as December 2013. Posted. http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/ci_21687829/tehama-county-board-rallies-against-tractor-emission-plan Cummins Westport begins development on new mid-range natural gas engine; production by 2015. Cummins Westport Inc. has begun development on the ISB 6.7G, a mid-range 6.7-liter natural gas engine designed to meet the increasing demand for on-highway vehicles powered by natural gas. The ISB6.7 G engine will be based on the Cummins ISB6.7 diesel engine and will use Cummins Westport’s proven spark-ignited, stoichiometric cooled exhaust gas recirculation (SEGR) technology. Exhaust aftertreatment will be provided by a simple, maintenance-free three-way catalyst (TWC). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/cw-20121004.html FUELS OPIS: California Low-Carbon Fuel Will Mean Higher Pump Prices. Californians could face even higher gasoline and diesel costs when new low carbon fuel regulations gain traction Jan. 1, warn fuel experts at the Oil Price Information Service, which says studies show price hikes of as much as $1 per gallon for gasoline and $2 per gallon for diesel could be on the way. The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard aims to cut greenhouse-gas producing emissions from motor fuel by 10% between now and 2020. It was part of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), the Global Warming Solutions Act. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=78191&news_category_id=42 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Lawsuits seek injunction to halt rail work. High-speed rail opponents that include Madera County filed a motion Wednesday in Sacramento asking a judge to order work on California's proposed bullet train to stop until their lawsuits over the Merced-Fresno stretch are decided. A hearing will be held Nov. 16 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley on the motion for a preliminary injunction. The court is combining three different lawsuits that challenge the California High-Speed Rail Authority's approval in May of an environmental-impact report and selection of a route between Merced and Fresno. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/03/3016859/lawsuits-seek-injunction-to-halt.html GREEN ENERGY NRC needs months to review San Onofre reactor restart. U.S. nuclear regulators said Thursday they would take months to review Southern California Edison's (SCE) plan to restart a reactor at the long idled San Onofre nuclear power plant in California. "Our primary focus now must be on analyzing SCE's response ... before addressing the restart question. The agency will not permit a restart unless and until we can conclude the reactor can be operated safely," U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Allison Macfarlane said in a release. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/04/us-energy-edison-sanonofre-idUSBRE89311Y20121004 http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/04/4880528/future-of-damaged-calif-nuke-plant.html Deepwater to build first U.S. offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind is racing to build the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Rhode Island and hopes to parlay that into a string of East Coast farms, the company's chief executive told Reuters. The privately held U.S. wind power developer plans to begin construction of the $250 million, 30-megawatt (MW) Block Island project by early 2014, ahead of a farm proposed by Cape Wind long expected to be the nation's first offshore facility. "The Block Island project is on target to become the nation's first offshore wind project," Deepwater CEO William Moore said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/03/us-deepwater-wind-idUSBRE8920ZX20121003 Warren Buffett Buys California Wind Facility. MidAmerican Wind, a division of natural gas tycoon Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Renewables, has bought 300 megawatts-worth of wind turbines in the Tehachapi mountains. The company announced late last week that it would buy the Alta Wind VII and IX projects from developer California Highwind Power, a subsidiary of Terra-Gen Power. The two components of the massive Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) began construction in April 2012. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/wind/warren-buffett-buys-california-wind-facility.html MISCELLANEOUS Milpitas sues San Jose over landfill expansion. City of Milpitas filed a lawsuit against City of San Jose last week for "critical errors" in the environmental impact report related to odor impacts governing the planned expansion of Newby Island Landfill and Resource Recovery Park on the Milpitas-San Jose border. Filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court Sept. 27, the lawsuit follows San Jose City Council's denial of Milpitas' appeal in August to thwart plans to raise the height of Newby Island Landfill by about 95 feet. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_21697689/milpitas-sues-san-jose-over-landfill-expansion Oildale joins the green scene with fair. A group dedicated to improving life in Oildale is holding a green fair -- its first-ever event -- on Saturday. Suzanne Lange, an Oildale Leadership Alliance board member, spoke with The Californian last week about the resurgence of the north-of-the river community, which is getting a facelift along North Chester Avenue as well as a morale boost from a series of community events like the one this weekend. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/entertainment/community/x371315090/Oildale-joins-the-green-scene-with-fair New computer shutdown rules designed to save energy, money. To help save energy — and money — new rules are now in place that require everyone who uses a military computer to shut down the system at the end of each day and to turn off power strips before leaving for the weekend. Doing this is expected to save Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) a substantial sum, according to Tom Santoianni, installation energy manager. “A conservative estimate puts roughly 10,000 NMCI computers in operation at NBVC,” he said. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/03/new-computer-shutdown-rules-designed-to-save/ State lawmakers, industry call for delay of Calif. consumer protection program. Industry officials and some state legislators this week ramped up opposition to a landmark California program aimed at protecting consumers from harmful chemicals, arguing that regulators have yet to study the economic impact of the plan. At issue are California's "Safer Consumer Products" regulations, which the Department of Toxic Substances Control, or DTSC, rolled out over the summer after years of drafts and revisions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/04/27 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Climate-change denial getting harder to defend. It was a long hot summer. The United States experienced the warmest July in its history, with more than 3,000 heat records broken across the country. Overall, the summer was the nation's third warmest on record and comes in a year that is turning out to be the hottest ever. High temperatures along with low precipitation generated drought conditions across 60% of the Lower 48 states, which affected 70% of the corn and soybean crop and rendered part of the Mississippi River nonnavigable. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-macdonald-climate-change-20121004,0,5256621.story Air pollution health risks not as dire as claimed. Contrary to what some may think, AB 32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006,” has nothing to do with air pollution as it has been classically defined. AB 32 is the California Legislature’s attempt to deal with the worldwide problem of global warming by using regulations and market mechanisms (“cap-and-trade”) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020. A recent U-T San Diego commentary, “Clean air and AB 32 help to keep us healthy,” presents a highly inaccurate view of air pollution health effects in San Diego County and California. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/03/air-pollution-health-risks-not-as-dire-as-claimed/ The World According to CARB: Not Clobbering Businesses with a Huge Hidden Energy Tax is a ‘Windfall?’. The recent statement by a California Air Resources Board (CARB) spokesman that not charging major California employers a billion dollars a year or more for emissions allowances would be a “windfall” for the businesses was breathtaking in its audacity. Business leaders held a news conference Tuesday reiterating their support for the goals of AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act) and a well-designed cap-and-trade carbon program as a tool to get there. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/10/the-world-according-to-carb-not-clobbering-businesses-with-a-huge-hidden-energy-tax-is-a-windfall/ The World According to CARB: Not Clobbering Businesses with a Huge Hidden Energy. The recent statement by a California Air Resources Board (CARB) spokesman that not charging major California employers a billion dollars a year or more for emissions allowances would be a “windfall” for the businesses was breathtaking in its audacity. Business leaders held a news conference Tuesday reiterating their support for the goals of AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act) and a well-designed cap-and-trade carbon program as a tool to get there. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/10/the-world-according-to-carb-not-clobbering-businesses-with-a-huge-hidden-energy-tax-is-a-windfall/ Voters may care about climate change — but not nearly enough to make a difference. Our partners at Climate Desk have an overview of a series of recent polls that lead to one conclusion: People are increasingly concerned about climate change. And “people” obviously means “undecided voters” — since those are the people who count for the next 34 days. The findings, in summary: [I]t is not that any type of climate communication is a guaranteed win—just that it is far from a guaranteed loser. Posted. http://grist.org/news/voters-may-care-about-the-environment-but-not-nearly-enough-to-make-any-difference/ BLOGS Debating the Facts on ‘Green Energy’. The first debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama only passingly touched on issues that are a focus of this blog, in several references by the candidates to energy independence (an unattained goal of presidents since the Nixon era) and Romney’s assertion about billions spent propping up “green energy” startups. The Times has produced a very helpful fact checking tool in which passages in the debate (video and transcript) are linked to assessments by reporters on relevant beats. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/debating-the-facts-on-green-energy/?ref=earth A Tug of War Over Solar Tariffs. The United States trade case against Chinese manufacturers of solar panels took a step toward completion Wednesday with a final hearing before the International Trade Commission on whether cheap Chinese imports have injured or threatened to injure the domestic solar industry. The Commerce Department found earlier this year that Chinese companies, which dominate the global panel business, were benefiting from unfair government subsidies and were selling their products below the cost of production on the American market. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/a-tug-of-war-over-solar-tariffs/?ref=earth Inquiry Finds No Proof That Federal Biologist Falsified Data. An internal investigation of allegations that a government biologist omitted critical data to “advance a global warming agenda” has yielded no evidence that he did so. The scientist, Charles Monnett of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, is known for four 2004 sightings of dead polar bears in the Beaufort Sea that helped turn the bear into a symbol of the impacts of climate change. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/inquiry-finds-no-proof-that-federal-biologist-falsified-data/?ref=earth A Thousand Words on Global Warming. Luis Prado has created what he hopes will become an international symbol for global warming. “When I searched for a global warming icon, nothing appeared,” said Luis Prado, a graphic designer who illustrates publications and creates interpretive signs at his job at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. “So I made one.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/a-thousand-words-on-global-warming/?ref=earth