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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 5, 2012

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 15:08:17
This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office
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individual websites to view some of the following news articles 


Greenhouse gases from centuries ago.  Centuries before the
Industrial Revolution or the recognition of global warming, the
ancient Roman and Chinese empires were already producing powerful
greenhouse gases through their daily toil, according to a new
study.  The burning of plant matter to cook food, clear cropland
and process metals released millions of tons of methane gas into
the atmosphere each year during several periods of pre-industrial
history, according to the study, published Thursday in the
journal Nature.  Posted. 

EPA asks full court to rehear air pollution case.  The EPA filed
an "en banc" petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit, which in August ruled 2-1 to suspend the agency's cross
state air pollution rule and ordered it rewritten.  The EPA rule
targeted sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power
plants, ensuring that emissions in one state do not travel
downwind to increase pollution in neighboring states.  Posted. 

Study reveals ancient greenhouse gas emissions.  Centuries before
the Industrial Revolution or the recognition of global warming,
the ancient Roman and Chinese empires were already producing
powerful greenhouse gases through their daily toil, according to
a new study.  The burning of plant matter to cook food, clear
cropland and process metals released millions of tons of methane
gas into the atmosphere each year during several periods of
pre-industrial history, according to the study, published
Thursday in the journal Nature.  Posted. 

Humans added plenty greenhouse gases before industrialization. 
Humans were big emitters of greenhouse gases long before the
Industrial Revolution, a finding that raises worrying questions
about the benchmark for measuring global warming, a study
published on Wednesday said.  For 1,800 years before
industrialization took off in the 19th century, emissions of
methane rose in line with expanding populations, human conquest
and agricultural techniques, it said.  Posted. 

Should There Be a Price on Carbon?  What price carbon? That
question is splitting even those who agree that government should
be pursuing policies to promote clean energy.  Supporters say
making industries that burn fossil fuels pay to spit out carbon
dioxide would encourage a shift to cleaner, alternative-energy
sources by making it more expensive to burn coal, gasoline or
natural gas.  Posted. 

EPA appeals court ruling that overturned border-crossing
pollution rule.  The Obama administration is appealing a federal
appeals court ruling that overturned its regulation clamping down
on power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in
neighboring states.  A divided three-judge panel of the U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in
August the Environmental Protection Agency’s cross-state air
pollution rule exceeded EPA’s authority.  Posted. 



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 percent of the Lower 48 states,
which affected 70 percent of the corn and soybean crop and
rendered part of the Mississippi River non-navigable.  Posted. 

Introducing the Sidebreeze™ from Blu Homes.  California and
Massachusetts-based green, precision homebuilder Blu Homes
(www.bluhomes.com) today announced the Sidebreeze™, the company's
largest and most luxurious home design to date. With the
introduction of the Sidebreeze, Blu Homes now offers eight home
models, giving homebuyers a wide range of
environmentally-friendly, beautifully-designed options. The
Sidebreeze is available now at
http://www.bluhomes.com/homes/sidebreeze.  Posted. 

UPDATE 2-US natural gas futures mixed, fronts slip on weather. 
U.S. natural gas futures turned mixed on Friday, with front-month
contracts lightly pressured by
Thursday's bearish storage report and forecasts for mild
mid-month weather, while colder days expected next week helped
limit the downside.  Recent gains - the front contract has
climbed 20 percent over the previous eight sessions - had been
backed by forecasts for much cooler weather for the Midwest and
East late this week and next week. Posted. 

Warming Lakes: Barometers of Climate Change?  News reports about
warming lake temperatures began to trickle into my world lakes
news feed as the summer heated up this year. I read stories about
warmer than normal lakes in North America and Europe, including
lakes in Kansas, California, and Washington. By the end of July,
the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth
reported that Lake Superior’s average surface temperature was
8-10°F above average and expected to stay above normal through
the remainder of summer.  Posted. 

Is Climate Change the Sleeper Issue of the 2012 Election?  It was
quite the messaging turnaround. In his September 6 acceptance
speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte,
President Obama -- whose reticence about so much as mentioning
global warming has flummoxed environmental activists -- used the
subject to launch an unexpected attack on his opponent. "Climate
change is not a hoax," the president declared. "More droughts and
floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our
children's future." In the after-speech gabfest, Politico cited
the moment as one of Obama's top applause lines.  Posted. 

Climate change may force evacuation of vulnerable island states
within a decade.  One of the world's foremost climate scientists
has warned that vulnerable island states may need to consider
evacuating their populations within a decade due to a much faster
than anticipated melting of the world's ice sheets.  Michael
Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania
State University, said the latest evidence shows that models have
underestimated the speed at which the Greenland and west
Antarctic ice sheets will start to shrink.  Posted. 

UN: Polar bears among species to be hotly debated.  Nations will
be asked to decide whether the polar bear should be considered an
endangered species because of global warming.  The U.S. proposal
to increase the protection given to polar bears was among 67
proposals submitted before Friday's deadline for consideration by
CITES, the Geneva-based International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora.


Farmers, ranchers, loggers fume over proposal to replace old
diesel engines.  Farmers, ranchers and loggers told California
Air Resources Board officials Thursday that a proposed rule to
phase out old diesel engines will hurt their businesses.  Many of
those who spoke during an air resources board workshop in Redding
asked state officials to not make a one-size-fits-all policy
where businesses in Shasta County have to follow the same rules
as those in areas with worse air pollution, such as the San
Joaquin Valley.  Posted. 


Gas prices suddenly skyrocket in California.  Skyrocketing
gasoline prices caused some local service stations to shut off
their pumps Thursday while others shocked customers with
overnight price increases of 30 cents or more. California's fuel
industry isn't running out of gasoline — supplies are only 2.5%
lower than this time last year — but recent refinery and pipeline
mishaps sent wholesale prices to all-time highs this week. As a
result, some station owners weren't buying fuel for fear they
couldn't sell it. Those who did buy simply kicked prices higher
and bet customers would understand.  Posted. 

EU probe finds no sign of U.S. bioethanol dumping: documents. 
The European Commission opened a case last November and in August
began registering U.S. imports.  A document on the anti-subsidy
proceedings seen by Reuters said because the United States had
stopped the main subsidy scheme, the Commission had decided that
any retaliatory measures "would not be appropriate at this
stage".  Posted. 

US natural gas futures mixed early, front slips slightly.  U.S.
natural gas futures traded mixed early on Friday, with
front-month contracts pressured by the previous day's bearish
inventory report and milder mid-month weather forecasts despite
cool temperatures over the next week that should stir demand. 

US releases estimate of Utica Shale reserves.  Government
geologists say the Utica Shale formation holds about 38 trillion
feet of recoverable natural gas.  The Utica lies beneath the
Marcellus Shale in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia,
Virginia, New York and Maryland. It's the first assessment of the
Utica by the U.S. Geological Survey.  The agency said Friday it
estimates the formation holds about 940 million barrels of oil
and 9 million barrels of natural gas liquids.  Posted. 

The Energy Journal: Oil Companies Push Ahead With Alaska Pipeline
Proposal.  Oil companies are pushing ahead with a proposal to
build a natural gas pipeline in Alaska, a long-discussed project
that would become part of an effort to export liquefied natural
gas to Asia. Soaring U.S. production has depressed prices to the
lowest levels in a decade, and companies are racing to export to
more profitable markets. The price tag: potentially as much as
$65 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal, meaning it
would be among the costliest gas-export projects in the world. 

Should Washington Block the Keystone Pipeline?  The proposal for
a pipeline to carry oil extracted from tar sands in Canada to
refineries on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. is likely to remain a
focus of political debate in this election season.  President
Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline early this year, saying
it needed further study amid concerns about the possible
environmental impact. It is expected to be months from now, at
least, before a fresh application from TransCanada Corp., the
company that would build the pipeline, completes the review
process and is acted on.  Posted. 

US drops 11 to 1,837 rigs exploring for oil, gas.  The number of
rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S.
dropped this week by 11 to 1,837.  Texas-based oilfield services
company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,398 rigs were
exploring for oil and 437 were searching for gas. Two were listed
as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,012 rigs. 

With fuel prices spiking in southern California, gas stations
close up shop.  That's an 11 percent spike in the past week. The
problem is a massive drop in California's gasoline supply,
particularly in the southern part of the state. Gas stations are
literally running out of fuel. And without fuel, they're closing
up shop. From Bloomberg:  Posted. 

Alaska Pipeline Project partners progressing on massive LNG
export project; total cost between $45 to 65+ billion.  The
partners in the Alaska Pipeline Project (APP)—ExxonMobil,
ConocoPhillips, BP, and TransCanada—submitted a letter to Alaska
Governor Sean Parnell describing their companies’ progress in
advancing an Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project. 


GM to move fuel cell research from NY to Michigan.  General
Motors says it will close its hydrogen fuel-cell research
operation near Rochester, N.Y., and move it to Michigan.  The
company says most of the 220 salaried workers in Honeoye
(Hun-ee-OY) Falls, N.Y., will be offered the chance to move to
GM's engine and transmission research unit in Pontiac, Mich. 

Hydrogenics awarded US$90+ million contract for integrated fuel
cell power propulsion systems for OEM; largest single order yet. 
Hydrogenics Corporation has been awarded the largest single order
in its company history by a major OEM. Secured by Hydrogenics’
Power Systems division, based in Toronto, Canada, the follow-on
contract includes a firm-fixed-price exclusive design and
manufacture contract valued at more than US$36 million.  Posted. 

BorgWarner expanding variable cam timing technology for I4
engines; OEM diesel and gasoline applications in 2015. 
BorgWarner is expanding its variable cam timing (VCT) technology
with a new family of cam phasers for inline-4 engines. The
modular design supports a variety of cam phasing technologies,
including cam torque actuated (CTA) and torsional assist (TA)
phasers with optional mid-position lock technology.  Posted. 

Sendyne awarded second patent for active cell balancing
technology for large battery arrays.  Sendyne, a developer of
semiconductor components and advanced circuits for the management
of battery systems used for grid storage and EVs, was awarded a
new patent for its active balancing technology. Patent number
8,269,455 was issued by the US Patent Office for a Charge
Balancing System with high efficiency and the ability to provide
continuous and bi-directional charge transfers among cells in a
large battery array.  Posted. 

Guide to the UN Requirements for Lithium Battery Testing Prior to
Transportation.  Whether you are deeply entrenched in lithium
technology or planning on using these batteries in the near
future, you will likely face the challenge of transporting them.
The sometimes complex prospect of transporting lithium cells or
batteries from one country to another has stumped even the
largest of manufacturers, but it is very common that
transportation regulations are not considered during the battery
development or sourcing cycle. At Intertek, we are often
approached by parties who never considered the resources, safety,
and logistical issues involved in the transport of lithium
batteries.  Posted.  http://cars21.com/knowledge/papersView/300


SimpleRay Now Offers Affordable Financing Options.  SimpleRay is
pleased to announce they are now an approved FHA/HUD contractor
and will now be offering financing options. The company can offer
FHA-backed Home Improvement loans for anyone interested in
installing a solar PV system on their home.  Posted. 

Clean Wind Energy Tower, Inc. Provides Update on Previously Filed
Patent Application "Atmospheric Energy Extraction Devices &
Methods".  Clean Wind Energy Tower, Inc. (OTCBB: CWET, the
"Company") provides an update on a previously filed patent
application that is of significant importance to the Company.
Last year, Clean Wind Energy Tower, Inc. announced that the
Company had filed with the United States Patent & Trademark
Office "A Petition to Make Special under the Accelerated
Examination Program" a patent application titled Atmospheric
Energy Extraction Devices and Methods.  Posted. 

Brattle Group Economists to Manage Large Purchase of Solar
Alternative Energy Credits by FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania
Utilities.  Economists at The Brattle Group announced today that
they will administer the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for
the purchase of 14,500 Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy
Certificates (SPAECs) annually over a ten-year period on behalf
of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania Utilities.  Specifically,
FirstEnergy seeks to purchase 2,000 SPAECs annually for
Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), 7,000 SPAECs annually
for Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), and 5,500 SPAECs
annually for Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed).  Posted. 

CalSTRS will invest in solar power plant.  CalSTRS said Thursday
it's investing $42.8 million in a solar-power plant near
Sacramento and three other California infrastructure projects. 
The California State Teachers' Retirement System said the
investments are part of its 2-year-old commitment to
infrastructure. The pension fund has $750 million invested in the
field.  Posted. 

Analysis: Cold, calm and cloudy may mean power cuts for Western
Europe.  Tight power supply may spark local blackouts in the
event of a severe cold spell and could also trigger price spikes
at a time industry, bruised by the economic slowdown, badly needs
to save energy costs.  As winter nears, policymakers and the
energy industry are under high pressure to implement pre-emptive
remedies to avoid any disruption.  Posted. 

Europe Power-German spot climbs on wind lull.  Forecasts showing
a sharp fall in
wind power capacity for Monday sent German spot electricity
prices sharply up on Friday, countering the impact of more sun
power in the region.  More delayed restarts at French nuclear
power reactors also had a upward impact on prices.  Traders
pointed to forecasts for lower wind power production in Germany,
the Netherlands and France on Monday. Forecasts showing more
solar output did not outweigh the trend.  Posted. 

More jobs lost as wind tax credit nears expiration. Congress, you
listening?  The slowdown in the wind industry due to the imminent
expiration of a key tax credit is spreading beyond manufacturers
of turbines. From Reuters:  Kaydon Corp, a maker of specialty
ball bearings for wind turbines, said it would shut a South
Carolina plant and record a charge of $47 million to $52 million
due to the impending expiration of a renewable energy tax credit
and weak markets.  Posted. 


A closer look at Obama’s “$90 billion for green jobs”.  At last
night’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney criticized the Obama
administration for putting “$90 billion into green jobs,” saying
the money could have been spent instead on things like teachers.
Romney also claimed that half the companies funded by these
energy programs have “gone out of business” — an untrue statement
that was quickly rebutted by fact-checkers. (The real figure so
far is less than 1 percent.)  Posted. 


Viewpoints: California must get serious about its business
climate.  Last week was a very bad week for California's and
Sacramento's economies.  Unfortunately, it was just the latest
evidence that a serious problem exists and must be addressed. 
Comcast is closing all of its California call centers, with a
loss of 300 jobs from its Natomas site alone. Vision Service Plan
announced it is putting 150 new jobs on hold until a dispute is
resolved with state officials and has threatened to move all of
its operations out of the state. Posted. 


Ross Clark, Earth Matters: CaliforniaFIRST, innovative financing
for your business's energy future.  Solar power systems are
cheaper than ever, and with electricity being a significant cost
for many California businesses, commercial rooftop solar should
be widespread. Monday, local banks, businesses and solar
installers met to discuss the hurdles facing businesses and how
CaliforniaFIRST, a new public/private partnership, can help
companies make commercial solar systems pencil out.  Posted. 

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