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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 8, 2012. Posted: 08 Oct 2012 16:08:28
ARB Newsclips for October 8, 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 Release of ‘winter-blend’ gas in Calif could reduce prices; air quality not expected to worsen. State air pollution regulators say they do not expect California’s air quality to worsen appreciably after the governor ordered the release of a dirtier blend of gasoline to help slash record-high pump prices. The California Air Resources Board on Monday said the last time the state made an early shift to so-called “winter-blend” gasoline was in 2005, in response to supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/release-of-winter-blend-gas-in-calif-could-reduce-prices-air-quality-not-expected-to-worsen/2012/10/08/8beedd1c-1178-11e2-9a39-1f5a7f6fe945_story.html http://www.startribune.com/nation/173156021.html?refer=y Beijing completes air quality monitoring network after public pressure and US Embassy tweets. Beijing authorities have completed a network of monitors that will more accurately measure air quality in the smog-ridden city after being pushed into it by public pressure and pollution reports from the U.S. embassy. The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center said Saturday that another 15 monitoring stations had begun releasing real-time data on small particulates known as PM2.5. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/beijing-completes-air-quality-monitoring-network-after-public-pressure-and-us-embassy-tweets/2012/10/07/a102dd5c-104c-11e2-ba6c-07bd866eb71a_story.html AIR QUALITY: Palms Springs area golf-cart paths could get $17.4 million. Despite taking some heat for the idea earlier this year, Southern California air quality officials recommend spending $17.4 million to build a nine-city network of paved pathways in the Coachella Valley for golf carts, bicyclists and pedestrians. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20121005-air-quality-palms-springs-area-golf-cart-paths-could-get-17.4-million.ece CLIMATE CHANGE EU Power, Gas Market Coordination Can Help Cut CO2, Exxon Says. Closer integration of the European Union’s natural gas and power markets can encourage a shift to less-polluting fuels in the bloc’s member states and help reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, according to Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM). The 27-nation EU needs to make sure that the importance of natural gas “is not lost” in the debate about the bloc’s climate and energy policies, Linda DuCharme, director of Europe, Russia and the Caspian at Exxon Mobil International Ltd. said in an interview in Brussels on Oct. 5. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/eu-power-gas-market-coordination-can-help-cut-co2-exxon-says.html UN Regulator May Need Expanded Global Carbon Role: Marcu. The United Nations emissions regulator in Bonn will probably need expanded authority to approve new national markets for UN compliance, according the Carbon Market Forum in Brussels. With few nations expected to agree on extending the 1997 Kyoto Protocol when its targets for industrialized nations expire this year, national governments will probably take the lead in creating carbon markets over the next few years, Andrei Marcu, head of the Centre for European Policy Studies’ Carbon Market Forum in Brussels, said in an Oct. 5 paper. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/un-regulator-may-need-expanded-global-carbon-role-marcu.html Palm Oil Seen Clearing Tropical Forest in Borneo in Yale Study. Expanding palm-oil production is driving rain-forest destruction in the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, also known as Kalimantan, according to a study by researchers at Stanford and Yale universities. The area converted to palm oil increased 35-fold between 1990 and 2010, with 90 percent of the land covered with forest prior to conversion, according to the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Indonesia’s palm oil and palm-kernel oil production generated about $11.1 billion in 2010, the researchers wrote. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/palm-oil-seen-clearing-tropical-forest-in-borneo-in-yale-study.html Greenhouse gases rise with GDP, slower to fall in recession. Greenhouse gas emissions rise when economies expand but don't fall as quickly when recession strikes, perhaps because people stick with a higher-emitting lifestyle from the boom times, a study showed. The report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Climate Change dents many governments' hopes that recession can at least bring the consolation of a sharp contraction in greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, rose by an average of 0.73 percent for every 1 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/07/us-climate-emissions-idUSBRE8960DK20121007 Climate linked to California ER visits. The risk of heading to the emergency room for certain conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney disease and low blood pressure rises slightly as temperature and humidity increase, according to a new study from California. Researchers also found that for a few conditions, including aneurysm and high blood pressure, higher temperatures were tied to a drop in ER visits. "What we know about climate change is that heat waves in California and throughout the world are going to become more severe and more intense," said Rupa Basu, the study's lead author and an epidemiologist at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Posted. http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-climate-linked-to-california-bre8941fi-20121005,0,1395566.story CALIFORNIA GAS PRICES More pain at pump as Calif. gas prices rise again. The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in California rose to an all-time high Monday, the third record-setting day in a row that is prompting calls for a federal investigation into the price spike. The average price in the state hit $4.668, according to AAA. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate, saying residents need to be protected from "malicious trading schemes." Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_GASOLINE_PRICES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT California governor orders state begin move to winter-blend gasoline. California Governor Jerry Brown ordered state pollution regulators on Sunday begin taking steps to move up the sale of winter-blend gasoline to reduce supply shortages and reduce high retail prices, according to a statement issued by Brown's office. California gasoline prices hit a record this week, selling as high as $5 a gallon in some locations, because of refinery and pipeline shutdowns with some retail stations running out of supply. Retailers had asked the state to move up the start date for sale of winter-blend gasoline from October 31 to boost supply. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/07/us-california-gasoline-brown-idUSBRE8960L420121007 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/california-facing-5-gasoline-stirs-brown-to-relax-rules.html http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/us/jerry-brown-moves-to-reduce-gas-prices-in-california.html http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-gov-brown-gas-prices-20121007,0,2291534.story http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/More-pain-at-pump-as-Calif-gas-prices-rise-again-3924470.php http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_21720239/california-gas-prices-hit-new-high-brown-orders http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_21720916/gas-prices-rise-gov-jerry-brown-orders-early?source=rss http://www.ocregister.com/news/prices-373866-gallon-refinery.html http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1184066736/Gas-prices-hit-new-high BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.pe.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20121007-gas-gov.-brown-orders-up-winter-blend-early.ece http://www.pe.com/local-news/transportation-headlines/20121006-gas-inland-pumps-climb-to-record-average-price.ece http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/06/gas-price-pain-persists-in-ventura-county-as/?partner=popular#ixzz28jR2KK4r http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/07/gas-prices-hit-record-high-2nd-straight-day/?partner=popular http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/08/calif-gov-takes-action-as-gas-prices-keep-rising/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/state-gov-brown-takes-emergency-action-to-try-to-reduce/article_7a4a2d3f-b786-59a7-b8f9-0e585a7256e2.html http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20121007/WIRE/121009590 http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20121006/ARTICLES/121009653 http://247wallst.com/2012/10/07/california-governor-moves-to-cut-gas-prices/ Feinstein wants federal probe of record California gas prices. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is calling for a federal investigation to determine whether “an illegal short squeeze” is responsible for the soaring price of gasoline in California, which hit another record high Monday. With a regular gallon now costing $4.669, the third all-time high in a row, Feinstein is urging the Federal Trade Commission to look into doubts that “the price spike and supply disruption are related to supply and demand,” she said. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-feinstein-ftc-gas-prices-investigation-20121008,0,3032803.story?track=rss http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/08/4891217/calif-gov-takes-action-as-gas.html Analysts: California gas-price surge could end today. Analysts said that the record-breaking climb of California gasoline prices could end as early as today, if the state manages to avoid any new refinery problems. Analysts said the price jump was already slowing down even as Gov. Jerry Brown decided Sunday to ease the state's gas-blend requirements to allow refiners to process the less expensive winter blend of fuel three weeks early. Today, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California is up just 1.3 cents overnight, to $4.668 a gallon, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-gas-price-surge-end-20121008,0,5109416.story?track=rss Spike in gasoline prices slows. California pump prices showed new signs of stability the day after Gov. Jerry Brown took emergency measures to contain a gasoline price spike. The statewide average price for regular crept up by a penny to $4.67 on Monday, according to AAA’s daily fuel gauge report. That’s up 50 cents from $4.17 a week ago. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/08/spike-gasoline-prices-slows/ $5 gas sends California drivers to hybrids, bikes, Vegas. The inexorable surge of gas prices is adding a brand new layer to California road rage. Already irascible drivers are swearing off their cars, dusting off their bicycles, forgoing meals and extending trips to Las Vegas, where gasoline is far cheaper. On social media, they’re cursing at the increases – which in parts of Southern California have resulted in prices well over $5 a gallon – as “ridiculous,” “insane,” “out of control” and a variety of other colorful terms. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-high-gas-prices-drivers-20121008,0,6282346.htmlstory FUELS More US coal plants to retire due to green rules-study. More U.S. coal-fired power plants could retire due to environmental regulations and weaker-than-expected electric demand, costing the industry up to $144 billion, economists at consultancy Brattle Group said. In a new study, Brattle's economists forecast 59,000 to 77,000 megawatts (MW) of coal plant capacity would likely retire over the next five years. That was about 25,000 MW more than the firm had estimated in 2010, Brattle said in a release. There is about 317,000 MW of coal-fired capacity now in the United States. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/08/utilities-brattle-coal-idUSL1E8L851620121008 BP sells Texas City refinery to Marathon Petroleum. BP has finally found a buyer for its Texas City refinery, one of the largest and most complex in the U.S. The total value of the deal could reach $2.5 billion. Marathon Petroleum Corp. will pay $598 million for the refinery and other nearby pipelines and fuel terminals, plus $1.2 billion for the inventory of oil and petroleum products owned by the plant. Marathon may have to pay another $700 million over 6 years if certain unspecified conditions are met, the company said Monday. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/08/bp-sells-texas-city-refinery-to-02/ VEHICLES Chevy Sonic-to-Fiat 500 Surge in Big Year for Small Cars. Small cars are selling big for brands from Chevrolet and Fiat to Toyota, Volkswagen and Honda, on pace to capture the largest share of the U.S. auto market since 1993 and driving the best sales month in four years. High gasoline prices coupled with the best crop of compact and subcompact cars that the market has ever seen drove a 50 percent increase in sales of small sedans, coupes and wagons last month. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/chevy-sonic-to-fiat-500-surge-in-big-year-for-small-cars.html Mercedes, BMW recall sports cars; Chrysler recalls trucks. Mercedes-Benz is recalling one of its fanciest cars because the air conditioning refrigerant could explode under certain crash conditions. The German luxury automaker will recall 432 of its 2013 model year SL-Class cars to fix the problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday. The sticker price of the SL, a two-door sports car, starts at more than $100,000 and ranges up to nearly $150,000 depending on options and equipment. Mercedes isn't the only German automaker with a problem in some high-end cars. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-auto-mercedes-bmw-chrysler-recall-20121008,0,1837128.story Regulator argues California EV targets exceed rules. Regulators, undaunted by sluggish sales of electric vehicles, will stick with aggressive clean-car sales targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols said. California regulators believe policies, including incentives to encourage builders to include charging stations in new construction and working with utilities, are going to expand the market for electric and hydrogen fuel-cell cars, Nichols said in an interview with Bloomberg in Washington, D.C., this week. Posted. http://www.thestarphoenix.com/cars/Regulator+argues+California+targets+exceed+rules/7347710/story.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL Delays may threaten Valley high-speed rail funds. Federal money for California's high-speed rail program could be jeopardized if the start of construction is significantly delayed in the San Joaquin Valley. And there are signs that might happen. Court records suggest the California High-Speed Rail Authority's schedule continues to slip for building the project's first stages in Madera and Fresno counties. In its legal battle arguing that an injunction to block construction is unnecessary, the authority said major work is unlikely to start before next fall. Originally, construction was expected to start last month. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/06/3020211/delays-could-compromise-valley.html#storylink=cpy GREEN ENERGY Jobs Blow Away as Congress Fails to Act on Wind Energy. Leeco Steel LLC’s fortunes rose even during the Great Recession thanks to a single customer: the burgeoning U.S. wind-energy industry. Leeco had 50 employees when it started selling 7 ton steel plates to wind-tower makers in 2004. It now has 125, and wind accounts for about 40 percent of the Lisle, Illinois-based Company’s business. “We’ve done extremely well,” John Purcell, Leeco’s vice president for wind energy, said in an interview. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/jobs-blow-away-as-congress-fails-to-act-on-wind-energy.html Battle brews at Pearl Harbor over Navy solar plan. Veterans and historians worry that solar panels on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor would mar a World War II historic site. There is perhaps no greater American monument to the War in the Pacific than Ford Island in Hawaii's Pearl Harbor. The naval base there with its old hangars, runway and control tower — some still showing damage from the Japanese attack that brought the United States into World War II — is on the National Register of Historic Places. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-ford-island-20121008,0,6915865.story Rampant recycling fraud is draining California cash. Fraud rings bring cans and bottles from other states and illicitly 'redeem' deposits that were never paid. And some private recycling centers might claim bigger reimbursements than they deserve. Just over 8.5 billion recyclable cans were sold in California last year. The number redeemed for a nickel under California's recycling law: 8.3 billion. That's a return rate of nearly 100%. That kind of success isn't just impressive, it's unbelievable. But the recycling rate for certain plastic containers was even higher: 104%. California's generous recycling redemption program has led to rampant fraud. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-can-fraud-20121007,0,6241851.story MISCELLANEOUS Puma launches biodegradable shoes to aid nature, lift sales. German sportswear company Puma announced a range of biodegradable shoes and clothes on Monday, seeking to lead in protecting nature as it tries to catch up with rivals Nike and Adidas in sales. The company, praised by United Nations reports as a corporate leader in trying to limit environmental damage, also said it would widen its accounting for the costs of its air pollution, greenhouse gases, waste, land and water use. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/08/us-puma-idUSBRE8970YI20121008 CicLAvia brings 'sea of bicycles' to L.A. streets. Cyclists, pedestrians and skateboarders abound during the festival, which encourages Angelenos to explore and enjoy the city without their cars. Traffic was heavy in and around downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, but not for the reasons one might expect in a city known for freeways, angry drivers and bumper-to-bumper frustration. Organizers estimate about 100,000 bicyclists, pedestrians and skateboarders flooded much of Spring, Figueroa, West 7th and East 4th streets and beyond as part of the city's fifth CicLAvia festival, which bills itself as the city's biggest block party. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1008-ciclavia-20121008,0,4967907.story Romney’s Goals on Environmental Regulation Would Face Difficult Path. Mitt Romney vowed in a campaign appearance earlier this year to “take a weed whacker” to the thicket of federal regulations adopted by the Obama administration and promised to impose a rigid freeze and cost cap on all new government rules. He has pledged to reverse a half-dozen major Environmental Protection Agency pollution and public health rules, to swiftly approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/us/politics/romney-weed-whacker-on-environmental-rules-may-falter.html?ref=earth INLAND: Construction deadline bearing down on Inland rail-crossing projects. The Inland area is about to get overwhelmed with work on overpasses and underpasses, as local transportation planners race to finish about a half-billion dollars of projects before state deadline. As part of the Prop. 1B transportation program voters approved in 2006, all projects funded through the Trade Corridors Improvement Fund must start construction by the end of 2013. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/transportation-headlines/20121007-inland-construction-deadline-bearing-down-on-inland-rail-crossing-projects.ece OPINIONS The other side of the fracking fight. NEW YORK STATE has become the country’s most intense battleground in the fight over unconventional natural-gas drilling, known as fracking. Now anti-fracking activists in the Empire State are claiming a victory. They ought to think twice about what they are wishing for. Those who would ban fracking or regulate it into oblivion ignore the exceptional benefits that inexpensive natural gas can provide in the biggest environmental fight of our time — against climate change. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-other-side-of-the-fracking-fight/2012/10/05/016fdf14-0c15-11e2-a310-2363842b7057_story.html A forecast for the American West: hot and hotter. Climate change will mean more and larger fires in 11 Western states. Over the summer and on into the fall, images of flames, smoke plumes, firefighting teams and ruined homes have been on replay, and with good reason: As of Aug. 31, this year tied the record for total acreage burned by wildfires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 8.4 million acres have burned to date — an area larger than the state of Maryland up in flames. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-1004-kenward-fire-climate-change-20121004,0,3266044.story Does $5 gas = buy a hybrid or electric car? A cost/benefit analysis [Updated]. This post has been updated from its original version. A new paragraph, marked by an asterisk, has been added. Walking the dog the other morning, I heard an odd whistle and hum behind me; it was one of my neighbors returning home (I happened to be standing in front of his driveway at the time), driving his new Nissan Leaf electric car. "How do you like your Leaf?" I asked, while dragging the pooch out of his path. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-gas-prices-electric-cars-20121005,0,5048496.story Another View: Bee should report business support for AB 32. Hundreds of thousands of California businesspeople are enthusiastic supporters of Assembly Bill 32; our state's pioneering climate and clean energy law. They know the carbon market and other elements of the AB 32 framework are good for the economy and for the state as a whole. But you wouldn't know that from reading The Bee lately, including news stories such as "Who will get carbon money?" Oct. 2; "State's carbon auction assailed," Sept. 21; and "Businesses urge changes in cap-and-trade market," Sept. 20). Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/07/4886168/bee-should-report-business-support.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy A Checkup for Natural Gas. Just as New York State seemed ready to allow drilling upstate to extract a rich supply of natural gas, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a delay. Officials will now take another look at the potential health risks of hydraulic fracturing — a technique for extracting natural gas from deep shale formations, like the Marcellus Shale that lies beneath the states’s southern tier. Such caution makes sense, especially when approval of full-scale drilling could mean tens of thousands of gas rigs dotting the landscape over the next 30 years. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/06/opinion/a-checkup-for-natural-gas-in-new-york.html?ref=airpollution Roadshow: California's special blend of gas is one reason for highest prices in the nation. Q Just like every other leftist in the media, you fail to report why our gas prices are higher than any other state. While the refineries are indeed part of the problem, the California Air Resources Board is the real problem with their requirements of custom blends that other states don't have to do in their fuel distribution. Remember MTBE? Thanks, Air Resources Board and Mary Nichols. Now, do some reporting, unless you are afraid you will be rejected at the cocktail parties. Good luck, dummy. Jimmy Williams Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow/ci_21707507/roadshow-californias-special-blend-gas-is-one-reason BLOGS Why California’s gas prices are going haywire. Gasoline at the pump in California is typically about 40 to 50 cents more expensive than it is anywhere else in the country. The state’s gas taxes are significantly higher than the national average and many of its retailers have to sell a higher-quality blend of gasoline in order to reduce smog and other pollutants. That all raises prices. But over the past week, things have really gotten out of whack. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/08/why-gasoline-prices-are-going-haywire-in-california/ Jerry Brown calls for switch to winter-blend fuel to ease gas prices. Gov. Jerry Brown called on state regulators today to allow the early sale of less expensive, winter-blend gasoline in California, a measure he said could bring down spiking fuel prices. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/10/jerry-brown-calls-for-switch-to-winter-blend-fuel-to-ease-gas-prices.html http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2012/10/07/brown-feinstein-seek-action-on-gas-prices/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PoliticalBlotter+%28Political+Blotter%29 GAS: Another day, another increase, another record price. Come Monday, a lot more people might be hopping on the bus rather than pay $4.60 or more for gas. Rising pump prices continue pushing the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Riverside-San Bernardino are upward. The average price Sunday, Oct. 7, climbed to a record $4.67, a nickel hike overnight, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. The jump broke Saturday’s hold as the costliest gas day in Inland history. The state average, a penny less than the local price, also set a record. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/transportation/2012/10/07/gas-another-day-another-increase-another-record-price/