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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 of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Greenhouse-gases-from-centuries-ago-3921058.php http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Greenhouse-gases-from-centuries-ago-3921058.php 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/us-epa-air-pollution-power-plant-idUSBRE89413620121005 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. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/03/science/la-sci-humans-climate-change-20121004 http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/environment/study-reveals-greenhouse-gas-emissions-eons-ago-656213/ http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-climate-romansbre892120-20121003,0,1510687.story 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. http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/humans-added-plenty-greenhouse-gases-before-industrializa 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444450004578004074034640026.html 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/epa-appeals-court-ruling-that-overturned-border-crossing-pollution-rule/2012/10/05/adcfdf16-0f1c-11e2-ba6c-07bd866eb71a_story.html CHEVRON CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4884278/climate-change-denial-getting.html#storylink=misearch 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/04/4883024/introducing-the-sidebreeze-from.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/markets-nymex-natgas-idUSL1E8L548020121005 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. http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/05/warming-lakes-barometers-of-climate-change/ 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. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/is-climate-change-the-sleeper-issue-of-the-2012-election/263187/ 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. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/polar-arctic-greenland-ice-climate-change?newsfeed=true 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. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/05/3018465/un-polar-bears-among-species-to.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/un-anticipates-heated-trade-debates-over-future-of-polar-bears-elephants-rhinos-sharks/2012/10/05/e814e422-0f04-11e2-ba6c-07bd866eb71a_story.html DIESEL 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. http://www.redding.com/news/2012/oct/04/farmers-ranchers-loggers-agree-proposed-diesel/ FUELS 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gas-prices-20121005,0,2326954.story http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4883639/gas-prices-suddenly-skyrocket.html#storylink=misearch http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_21706045/california-gas-prices-jump-by-up-20-cents?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/04/gas-shortage-headed-our-way/ http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21698765/gas-shortage-shutters-costco-stations-simi-northridge-and?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/us-eu-trade-bioethanol-idUSBRE8940TA20121005 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. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/markets-nymex-natgas-idUSL1E8L4LD220121005 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/APc934cd53dae74046a2a26d0a9812958a.html?KEYWORDS=natural+gas http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21707581/us-releases-estimate-utica-shale-reserves?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com 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. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2012/10/05/the-energy-journal-oil-companies-push-ahead-with-alaska-pipeline-proposal/?KEYWORDS=natural+gas 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443995604578001901362643448.html?KEYWORDS=greenhouse+gas 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. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21707460/us-drops-11-1-837-rigs-exploring-oil?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com&IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/us-rig-count-drops-11-to-1837-actively-exploring-for-oil-natural-gas/2012/10/05/52c152ca-0f13-11e2-ba6c-07bd866eb71a_story.html 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. http://grist.org/news/with-fuel-prices-spiking-in-southern-california-gas-stations-close-up-shop/ 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. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/app-20121005.html VEHICLES 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/GM-to-move-fuel-cell-research-from-NY-to-Michigan-3922052.php http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4884680/gm-to-move-fuel-cell-research.html#storylink=misearch http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21706407/gm-move-fuel-cell-research-from-ny-michigan?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/hydrogenics-20121005.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/bw-20121005.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/sendyne-20121005.html 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 GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/SimpleRay-Now-Offers-Affordable-Financing-Options-3921534.php 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4884289/clean-wind-energy-tower-inc-provides.html#storylink=misearch 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4884863/brattle-group-economists-to-manage.html#storylink=misearch 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4883616/calstrs-will-invest-in-solar-power.html# 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/us-france-germany-supply-idUSBRE8940KT20121005 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/markets-europe-electricity-idUSL6E8L5IF020121005 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. http://grist.org/news/more-jobs-lost-as-wind-tax-credit-nears-expiration-congress-you-listening/ MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/04/a-closer-look-at-obamas-90-billion-for-clean-energy/ OPINION 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4883497/viewpoints-california-must-get.html#storylink=misearch BLOGS 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21700676/ross-clark-earth-matters-californiafirst-innovative-financing-your?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com