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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 10, 2012

Posted: 10 Oct 2012 13:55:36
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 


Inglewood Oil Field fracking study finds no harm from the method.
 A long-awaited study released Wednesday says the controversial
oil extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,
would not harm the environment if used at the Inglewood Oil Field
in the Baldwin Hills area.  The yearlong study included several
issues raised by residents living around the field, such as the
potential risks for groundwater contamination, air pollution and
increased seismic activity.  Posted. 

Pesticides blamed by report for illnesses.  Pesticides pervade
the environment, from the air we breathe to the food we eat, and
they are making children sicker than they were a generation ago,
a new report warns.  More than 1 billion pounds of pesticides
used annually nationwide have contributed to an array of health
problems in youth, including autism, cancer, birth defects, early
puberty, obesity, diabetes and asthma, the Pesticide Action
Network North America, an environmental group in Oakland, said in
a report released Tuesday.  Posted. 

Jakarta's Air-Quality Conundrum JAKARTA—As Indonesia posts
near-record rates of economic growth, its mega-city capital faces
an unsavory side effect: worsening air quality.Long among the
most-polluted cities in the world, Jakarta had in recent years
shown some signs of improvement, as periods of weaker economic
growth and new environmental policies led to a slowdown in some
activities that create the worst pollutants. Posted. 

Worth noting in business: Small Business University set, more.
Featuring discussions on a wide variety of issues of interest to
small business owners, the free event is being presented by the
Business & Entrepreneurship Center of Ken Community College
District, UC Merced Regional SBDC Network and the Central Valley
Business Incubator. Posted.

Port Commission president meets with residents GULFPORT, Miss. —
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Port Commission President Lenny Sawyer
says the Port of Gulfport is studying its options regarding
elevation issues. The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/Tvx8ya )
that Sawyer told a group of local residents that the port will
announce Nov. 15 what direction the port expansion will take. He
says Gov. Phil Bryant, a critic of the elevation project, has
been invited to the meeting. Posted.

China vows to improve "lagging" urban transport system The move
aims to relieve worsening traffic congestion and air pollution in
cities, the State Council, or China's cabinet, said at the
meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, according to a statement
published on the government's website. China has announced a
number of new infrastructure spending plans to help shore up a
slowing economy, but has provided little detail on how they will
be funded. Posted. 


No easy answer to fixing California's record gas prices.  As
Californians fume over the latest record-setting spike in gas
prices, there's a big question at the pumps: Is there any way
out?  Not really, say industry officials, environmentalists and
state regulators.  Skyrocketing gas prices over the past week
have been blamed on two key issues: outages at California
refineries and the fact that the state requires a unique type of
clean-burning summer gasoline that can't be easily replaced or
imported from other places during shortages.  Posted. 

Related stories:

Gasoline price in California sets record; pace of rise is
slowing.  For the fourth day in the row, California broke the
state's record on gasoline prices, according to the AAA Fuel
Gauge Report. The only good news, analysts said, was that the
rise continued to lose momentum Tuesday. According to the AAA,
the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California
reached $4.671. That was an increase of just 0.3 cent overnight. 


Exit Sign Warehouse Announces Town Hall Series On How To Prepare
Your LED Exit Signs For Inclement Weather.  Experts in the
lighting want consumers to know that not all Exit signs are
equal. If signs are exposed to rain, snow or sleet, even the best
made standard Exit signs can experience electrical failures,
which puts the public at risk for injury, and business owners at
risk for costly lawsuits or government fines. According to the US
governments Office of Compliance, “The answer may seem obvious,
but people often do not appreciate the importance of exit signs. 

Common ground: State rep candidates in broad agreement on enviro
issues.  All four candidates in Westport's two state
representative races this year touted their commitment to
environmental protection and sustainable economic development
during a forum Tuesday night at the Earthplace natural history
center.  Posted. 

LG Electronics and DoSomething.org Recognize Youth for
Energy-Saving Efforts on ENERGY STAR® Day 2012.  LG Electronics
USA and DoSomething.org today announced the 25 youth winners of
the "2012 Team ENERGY STAR Challenge." The organizations are
using EPA's first ENERGY STAR Day, Oct. 10 (celebrating ENERGY
STAR's 20th anniversary), to recognize the efforts of today's
youth in saving energy and protecting the climate.  Posted. 

ISOS To Raise The Bar For Non-Financial Disclosure, As Carbon
Disclosure Project Silver Consultancy Partner.  ISOS Group, LLC
is pleased to announce its recent status as a Carbon Disclosure
Project (CDP) Silver Consultancy Partner in the U.S. As the
world's largest voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reporting
organization, CDP works on behalf of 655 institutional investors
representing US78 trillion in assets to assess risk across a
broad spectrum of sustainability considerations, including
climate change risk in their investment portfolios.  Posted. 

Oceans' rising acidity a threat to shellfish and humans.  Peering
into the microscope, Alan Barton thought the baby oysters looked
normal, except for one thing: They were dead.  Slide after slide,
the results were the same. The entire batch of 100 million larvae
at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery had perished.  It took
several years for the Oregon oyster breeder and a team of
scientists to find the culprit: a radical change in ocean
acidity.  Posted.

Political storms threaten Europe's offshore wind goals 
BRUSSELS/LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Political wavering in
Britain, the world's biggest offshore wind market, is casting
doubt on European ambitions to build a fleet of gigantic turbines
out at sea, desperately needed to meet legally binding climate
change targets. The increasing scale of offshore wind means it is
the one green energy source able to make up for the phase-out of
nuclear generation - especially in the EU's largest economy
Germany - and for the closure of ageing and polluting coal plants
in other countries such as Britain and France. Posted.

Most Americans link weather to global warming: survey 
Conducted by Yale and George Mason universities, the survey found
74 percent of Americans believe that global warming is affecting
weather, up 5 percentage points since March 2012, the last time
the two organizations asked these questions. Seventy-three
percent of Americans said global warming made the record-high
temperatures of summer 2012 worse, and 61 percent said weather in
the United States has been worsening over the past several years,
an increase of 9 percentage points since March. Posted. 


Record Heating Bills Seen in U.S. as Colder Winter Forecast. 
U.S. households that use heating oil will face record prices this
winter as weather forecasters predict colder temperatures in the
Northeast that will drive up demand, according to a government
report.  The Energy Information Administration, which tracks and
analyzes energy data, projects households will spend 19 percent
more on average for heating oil and 15 percent more for natural
gas from Oct. 1 to March 31, the period covered in its short-
term energy and winter fuels outlook released today.  Posted. 


Oil prices rise on encouraging economic data.  The price of oil
rose slightly Wednesday on another encouraging sign for the U.S.
economy. The government reported wholesalers' sales were up for
the first time in four months.  Benchmark crude gained 42 cents
to $92.81 per barrel at midday in New York. The price of oil rose
more than 3 percent Tuesday on concerns about supplies from the
Middle East and the North Sea.  Posted. 

U.S. regulators struggle to police shale energy boom: report egal
limitations and a lack of key data have hampered the
Environmental Protection Agency's oversight of shale production,
said the report from the Government Accountability Office,
Congress' non-partisan investigative arm. "Officials at EPA
reported that conducting inspection and enforcement activities
for oil and gas development from unconventional reservoirs is
challenging due to limited information, as well as the dispersed
nature of the industry and the rapid pace of development," the
report said. Posted. 


C-Max Hybrid: A Ford challenges Prius.  Ford's newest
gasoline-electric vehicle, the C-Max Hybrid, is so roomy, stylish
and smart, it's likely to attract buyers before they see the
noteworthy 47 miles-per-gallon fuel rating on the window sticker.

More details on work supporting NEC prototype 4.5V Li-ion
battery; modified LiNiMnO cathode and fluorinated electrolyte. 
NEC Corporation has developed a prototype next-generation
manganese lithium-ion battery featuring cathodes that support
higher voltage operations (4.5V rather than 3.8V) and an
electrolyte solution that improves the stability of the higher
voltage operations. (Earlier post.) The new cathode and
electrolyte solution improve battery energy density by
approximately 30%.  Posted. 

Carmakers join forces to kick start Nordic fuel cell vehicles
market.  Carmakers Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai are joining
forces to introduce fuel cell vehicles to the market in Norway,
Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.  The memorandum of agreement signed
by the carmakers and Nordic associations promises to support the
introduction of fuel cell vehicles and a hydrogen refuelling
infrastructure between 2014 and 2017.  Posted. 

New Chinese White Paper explores new business model for EVs -
Part I.  On 25 September 2012, the Development Research Center
Enterprise Institute of China’s State Council released a policy
White Paper that analyses the possible business model for
electric vehicles in China with a view help materialise the
country’s ambitious EV development goal.  Posted. 


German renewable surcharge to rise by 47 percent: source The 47
percent increase reflects the fact that renewable sources are
providing increasing amounts of electricity, which is bought from
producers at guaranteed prices above market rates. Coming a year
ahead of a federal election in which Chancellor Angela Merkel
will seek a third term, the sharp rise in the surcharge is
politically charged. The so-called 'Umlage' -- charges levied on
German consumers to support renewable power -- will rise to 5.3
euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2013 from 3.6 cents in
2012, the source said. Posted.

Hundreds attend contentious forum on San Onofre's future.  The
troubles at the San Onofre nuclear power plant brought out
hundreds of people Tuesday night for a forum held by the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Plant workers and anti-nuclear
activists formed warring cheering sections in a ballroom at the
St. Regis Monarch Beach hotel in Dana Point as a panel of
regulators, ratepayer advocates and residents of nearby
communities fielded questions and debated the merits of
restarting one of the plant's reactors.  Posted. 

Agriculture Chairwoman Sen. Stabenow, State and Local Officials
Help NOVI Energy Celebrate Startup of Fremont Community Digester.
 "Fremont Community Digester is a great example of how innovative
Michigan businesses and West Michigan agriculture are partnering
to develop new clean energy, which will create new jobs and
reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said U.S. Senator Debbie
Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, to a
group of Fremont community supporters and government officials as
they celebrated the startup of the $22 million Fremont Community
Digester (FCD) plant, which produces electric power by processing
organic wastes.  Posted. 

DEP Approves First Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant in Pennsylvania.
 The Department of Environmental Protection today issued an air
quality plan approval to Moxie Liberty LLC of Vienna, Va., for
construction of the first power plant in Pennsylvania to run on
natural gas, including gas from the Marcellus Shale. The plant,
which will generate up to 936 megawatts of electricity, will be
built in Asylum Township, Bradford County, and create 500
construction jobs at its peak.  Posted. 

Frost & Sullivan: Energy Storage is the Answer to Looming Power
Shortages. The significant shortfall in electricity supply within
the next three years highlighted by Ofgem in its latest report
presents a strong case for energy storage technologies as they
can de-couple production and consumption of electricity by
creating a buffer.  Electrical power generation in the UK has
been facing many challenges in the last decade. Posted. 

KYOCERA Supplies Solar Power Generating Systems to Medical
Facilities in Tajikistan.  Kyocera Corporation along with
Marubeni Corporation and Marubeni Protechs Corporation announced
that the companies have supplied a total of 160kW of solar power
generating systems to the Diakov Hospital and Research
Institution of Obstetrics Gynecology and Perinatology in
Dushanbe, the capital city of the Republic of Tajikistan. Posted.

Wärtsilä-led Consortium Wins Major Contract to Build World's
Largest Tri-Fuel Power Plant in Jordan.  A consortium headed by
Wärtsilä has been awarded a turnkey contract to build a 573 MW
tri-fuel power plant in Jordan. When completed, it will be the
world's largest tri-fuel power plant capable of utilizing natural
gas, heavy fuel oil and light fuel oil as its main fuels. Posted.

ReneSola to Launch Optimized Virtus II (R) Plus 250 Solar Module
to the Australian Market at All Energy Australia 2012.  As
Chinese manufacturer ReneSola looks to upgrade and optimize its
product line, the Company will launch its optimized Virtus II ®
module, Virtus II ® Plus 250, at All Energy Australia 2012, which
will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre,
October 10 – 11, 2012.  Following the successful launch of
quasi-mono product Virtus I in the first half of 2012, ReneSola
has grown its presence in a number of key PV markets around the
world.  Posted. 

Midtown Developer Accuses Con Ed of Overcharging It is not easy
being green and trying to keep the electric company from raising
your rates. The owner of the Bank of America Tower in Midtown
Manhattan is learning that lesson. For the second time in less
than a year, it has accused Consolidated Edison of trying to
overcharge for the sophisticated power plant in the building,
which it has heralded as the most environmentally advanced
skyscraper in the country. Posted.


Pacifica Environmental Family candidates' forum focuses on
environmental issues. In a well attended forum designed to air
candidates' views about environmentally sensitive issues that
affect Pacifica, City Council candidates showed they stood united
about key issues. They all support a ban on fireworks on the
beach. They would all ban the use of plastic bags in Pacifica.
They all support maintaining Sharp Park Golf Course as a golf
course, but by adding an ongoing habitat management plan. Posted.


Insurer: Hey, these climate-related disasters are getting
expensive.  There is no industry less enthusiastic about climate
change than the insurance industry. After all, if something bad
happens to a house or a business or a person, it's the one that
has to pay out -- and its entire business model is predicated on
minimizing how often it has to pay out. More and more floods and
fires and derechos and who-knows-what means more and more checks
flowing out of corporate headquarters. Not a pleasant prospect. 

Fracking oversight: With regulators hobbled, good samaritans step
in.  Friends (allies? sweethearts? paramours? hot erotic lovers?)
of the fossil fuel industry have done a hell of a good job
shutting down official government observation of what it is
they're up to. Not as good as the industry would like, mind you,
but a very, very good job in the eyes of those skeptical that
their stewardship of the Earth is sincere.  Posted. 

EDITORIAL: Who to thank for pump prices?   
As gas prices spiked to record highs Monday in California, with
the state average hitting $4.67 for a gallon of regular, here are
a few people motorists can thank (besides the bad luck of a
couple of refinery outages). Posted.


United States: AB 32 And GHG Market And Auction Basics.  On
August 30, 2012, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and
about 150 market participants held a test auction for the
purchase and sale of California carbon allowances (CCAs). The
California state legislature passed Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) in
September 2006 requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gases
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a 17 percent reduction.
California's auction is part of a cap and trade program designed
by CARB.  Posted. 

A Coffee Seller Seeks to Cut Hunger Among Coffee Growers There’s
perhaps no habit that more firmly illustrates the global nature
of the modern human enterprise than drinking coffee. For
centuries, trade in beans came with scant concern at the consumer
end for the conditions on the plantations or small farms where
coffee is harvested. That’s changing, of course, with growing,
and sometimes controversial, efforts to certify good labor or
environmental standards in coffee regions. Posted. 

Is Online Communication an Asset or Liability in Sustaining the
Human Journey I’m overdue to post this video of a lecture I
delivered while teaching a weeklong course on climate and
communication at the Bren School of Environmental Science and
Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It’s
one variant on my stump speech on the power of the emerging
“Knowosphere” — the fast-expanding menu of ways to share and
shape ideas — to smooth the human journey. Posted.

Those Snowy Slopes, Sprayed With Wastewater As I wrote in The
Times recently, a ski resort in northern Arizona will become the
first in the world to make artificial snow totally out of sewage
effluent this winter. Last February, a federal appeals court
ruled in favor of the resort, Arizona Snowbowl, ending a 10-year
legal battle waged by environmental and Native American groups
that warned that the wastewater snow would damage wildlife, human
health and a mountain considered sacred by 13 Indian tribes.

On Our Radar: Visualizing Your City’s Emissions Relying on public
data mining, traffic simulations and building-by-building energy
consumption, researchers develop software capable of estimating
greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes.
[Phys.org] An ethics watchdog group files a complaint with the
Federal Election Commission over an Ohio coal company’s alleged
requirement that employees donate to Mitt Romney’s presidential
campaign. [Mother Jones]. Posted.

U.S. Car Makers Benefit from Fuel-Efficient Fleet A move toward
more fuel-efficient vehicles has helped American car
manufacturers navigate the latest surge in fuel prices with
relative strength. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Chicago, in a new report, consider three recent periods of
surging gasoline prices occurring in the summer of 2008, the
spring of 2011, and from February until April of this year.

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