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newsclips -- ARB Newswclips for October 18, 2012. Posted: 18 Oct 2012 14:14:03
ARB Newsclips for October 18, 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 Chevron fire spurs air board to increase toxic pollution monitoring after releases from refineries. A strategy for increasing toxic air pollution monitoring after refinery releases like the Aug. 6 Chevron fire in Richmond was approved Wednesday by the Bay Area's air pollution board. The plan sets out an 18-month schedule for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to complete a series of reports and actions and adopt a new rule to track pollution from refineries. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21796183/chevron-fire-spurs-air-board-increase-toxic-pollution?source=rss http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21796181/chevron-fire-spurs-air-board-increase-toxic-pollution http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21796183/chevron-fire-spurs-air-board-increase-toxic-pollution?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com The worst everyday air pollutants -- and what they do to our bodies. The Clean Air Act of 1970 has gone a long way toward improving the air we consume, but we still have a long way to go. According to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2012 report, 127 million people — or 47 percent of the nation — live with air pollution levels that are too dangerous to breathe at various times. As the Clean Air Act celebrates another benchmark, let’s take a look at some of the worst air pollutants continuing to make their mark on our atmosphere — and our lungs. Posted. http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/stories/the-worst-everyday-air-pollutants-and-what-they-do-to-our-bodies CLIMATE CHANGE Business group asks Gov. Brown to delay cap and trade. A business coalition has appealed to California's governor to delay the state's pending cap-and-trade program, arguing that without adjustments it will hobble the economy. The A.B. 32 Implementation Group -- which represents nearly 200 companies and trade associations -- on Monday sent Gov. Jerry Brown (D) a letter urging intervention. It arrived as the California Air Resources Board (ARB) finalizes plans for cap and trade. The agency meets today in Sacramento, its last planned session before the Golden State holds its inaugural auction of carbon allowances on Nov. 14. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/18/14 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Cutting Carbon Emissions the Cap-and-Trade Way. Speaking of climate change, one of the best ways of reducing carbon emissions is to implement a cap-and-trade scheme. Basically, the government sets a nationwide cap for carbon emissions and then auctions off permits on a quarterly basis. Companies can buy permits at auction, and they can later trade them on the open market as their needs vary. The government caps and companies trade. It's a pretty elegant solution to reining in carbon pollution. Of course, the whole point of these permits is that they raise the cost of energy…Posted. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/10/cutting-carbon-emissions-cap-and-trade-way China's carbon trading debut defies doubters. China’s first steps to build what is destined to be the world’s second-biggest emissions market are boosting the prospects for fledgling programs from Australia to California. Four cement makers in China, the world’s biggest emitter, bought 1.3 million pollution permits for 60 yuan ($9) a metric ton last month in Guangdong. The province plans the largest of seven pilot programs for a proposed national market within three years. Posted. http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/chinas-carbon-trading-debut-defies-doubters-20121012-27hti.html#ixzz29fcu1W3g PORT OF LOS ANGELES Port of Los Angeles: Authorities conduct surprise pollution inspections of heavy trucks. Authorities Wednesday conducted surprise inspections of heavy-duty trucks traveling in and around the Port of Los Angeles to check for compliance with state air pollution laws. The operation took place at New Dock Street and Pier S Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to noon, according to the California Air Resources Board. "The measures aimed at cleaning up diesel vehicles include requirements to report fleet information to the ARB…Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_21796314/authorities-conduct-surprise-pollution-inspections-heavy-trucks-at DIESEL EMISSIONS CARB Says "Gear Up for Clean Truck Month" a Success. The California Air Resources Board announced that its month-long multi-agency campaign to ensure that trucks traveling on California's roadways are obeying state air pollution laws was a huge success. With assistance from the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, CARB staff inspected 4,053 trucks at roughly 40 locations throughout the state during August, noting an overall compliance rate of more than 80%. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=78321&news_category_id=3 CSA Scrutiny Intensifies. Scrutiny of the CSA truck safety program went up a notch this week with a congressional request for an audit and the launch of a review by a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration advisory group. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., asked Calvin Scovel, the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation, to audit CSA concerning issues raised in a recent congressional hearing. DeFazio wants the Inspector General to look into the accuracy, reliability and significance of CSA scores, in light of testimony that the system does not accurately rate carrier performance. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-print.asp?news_id=78328 Johnson Matthey CRT Particulate Filter wins CARB extension 17th October 2012. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has extended its verification of the Johnson Matthey CRT Particulate Filter system to include 13-inch diameter systems. These will work on large bore, high horsepower 1994 to 2006 model year on-road engines. Johnson Matthey's CRT filter has revolutionized modern diesel emissions reduction since it became the first filter verified by the US Environmental Protection Agency and CARB. Posted. http://www.platinum.matthey.com/media-room/news-room/johnson-matthey-crt-particulate-filter-wins-carb-extension/801471064.html FUELS California Will Regulate Fracking After All. State's Top Oil and Gas Administrator says regulation and oversight coming to industry after decades of no fracking rules. Despite inaction in the state legislature this year, California will proceed with tighter regulation and oversight of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as ‘fracking,’ to recover oil deposits throughout the state. Posted. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/California-Will-Regulate-Fracking-After-All-174408581.html Taking a stand against oil pipeline. Oil has long lived in harmony with farmland and cattle across the Texas landscape, a symbiosis nurtured by generations and built on an unspoken honor code that allowed agriculture to thrive while oil was extracted. Texans have long welcomed the industry because of the cash it brings to sustain agriculture, but they also see its presence as part of their patriotic duty to help wean the United States off "foreign" oil. So the answer to companies that wanted to build pipelines has usually been simple: yes. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Taking-a-stand-against-oil-pipeline-3958395.php#ixzz29fZ2pzDe California Energy Commission selects 7 biofuel companies for almost $27M in funding. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected seven companies as proposed recipients for $26,896,373 in Round 2 of awards from a solicitation released under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) to provide funding for the development of new, California-based biofuel production facilities that can sustainably produce low-carbon transportation fuels. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/cec-20121018.html VEHICLES Toyota Prius is best selling car in California; domestics lag. When it comes to auto brands, Californians like their passenger cars from Japan, their luxury cars from Germany and their muscle cars from Detroit. The Toyota Prius beat out all other cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles to be the best selling passenger vehicle of any type in California through the first nine months of this year. Toyota sold 46,380 of the hybrids in the Golden State, according to a report from AutoCount, the car data division of Experian Co., and the California New Car Dealers Assn. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-auto-california-car-sales-20121018,0,1693565.story Tesla starts Roadster buyback program. Say you're one of those lucky, well-compensated few who owns a Tesla Roadster. The $109,000 electric sports car may turn plenty of heads, but it has its limitations. No trunk, no backseat, no power steering. And let's face it - after production ended last year, the Roadster is no longer the newest, coolest thing. Tesla's latest car, the Model S sedan, has a better claim on that title. So Tesla has created a buyback program for Roadster owners who want to trade in their old ride for a Model S. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Tesla-starts-Roadster-buyback-program-3957536.php#ixzz29fXIy4Se California ZEV Mandate — Would a Gas Tax Be Better? California's zero-emissions vehicle mandate, law since 1998 and generally thought responsible for the introduction of hybrids and electric vehicles in the U.S., is ratcheting up the stakes as it enters its third phase. The requirements are aimed at slashing petroleum use and the resulting pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and trucks, and if unaltered would require automakers doing business in California to achieve sales of 1.5 million hydrogen fuel-cell and battery-electric vehicles in the state by 2025. Posted. http://www.insideline.com/toyota/california-zev-mandate-would-a-gas-tax-be-better.html HIGH SPEED RAIL Bakersfield battle looms over high-speed rail. The Bakersfield City Council voted Wednesday to hire an outside attorney to file a lawsuit against the California High Speed Rail Authority. The city would argue the authority's environmental impact reports don't meet the standards of state law. City officials say they've tried to get the Authority to provide details about potential impacts, but they're not getting answers. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Bakersfield-battle-looms-over-high-speed-rail-174682371.html High Speed Rail - to sue or not to sue? To sue or not to sue, that's the decision the Bakersfield City Council will have to make Wednesday night regarding the High Speed Rail project. City officials say the High Speed Rail Authority glossed over California Environmental Quality Act standards and that could cost the city millions and create problems for residents. Residents who live near 16th Street, right next to one of the proposed high speed rail lines, have many concerns. "More worried about the noise, more worried about the demolition. Posted. http://www.kget.com/news/local/story/High-Speed-Rail-to-sue-or-not-to-sue/7Ht_-nR250aZ1O_F4Cpkug.cspx GREEN ENERGY DOE invests in a fuel cell technology to help remove CO2 from power plant emissions. Armed with new Department of Energy money, a Connecticut company announced this week it is moving forward with a carbon capture project that it thinks could revolutionize the technology. FuelCell Energy is one of a handful of companies investigating how to address one of the biggest barriers in trying to capture carbon dioxide from coal plants for later storage underground, an unproved concept. The problem is called parasitic load. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/18/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Americans remain confused and misinformed on energy and climate – poll. Americans hold contradictory views about the power of the president to bring down the cost of energy and are ill-informed about the drivers of global warming, according to a new opinion survey. The University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll was conducted between Sept. 6 and 17. Weighted to reflect U.S. Census Bureau demographics, 2,092 people responded to the online survey, which focused on energy policy and the elections. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/18/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Presidential debate: What climate crisis? A lot of hot air on energy. Watch news clips of Tuesday night's presidential debate and chances are that the back-and-forth between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney on energy policy will loom large -- not because of the policies under discussion, which were a rehash of old talking points, but because of the playground-style sniping ("Did not reduce drilling on federal lands!" "Did so!") that might have marked a new low point in the history of such debates. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-obama-romney-energy-climate-20121017,0,858686.story?track=rss&dlvrit=104530 Ethanol relief vital to state's cows. Attempts to clean up our air and to ensure that the nation has enough milk to drink are on a collision course. As a result, the future of California's dairy industry looks sour. Around 100 farms are expected to go bankrupt this year alone, and the trend seems likely to continue if nothing is done. Because of the demand for grain to produce the gasoline additive ethanol - which was supposed to reduce air pollution - plus a nationwide drought, many of the state's cash-strapped farmers are selling their cows for slaughter because they can't afford to feed them. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Ethanol-relief-vital-to-state-s-cows-3958138.php#ixzz29fYQxodf Victor Davis Hanson: Obama's vision is already present in California, and it's not working. I thought of my fellow Californian, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, last week, when I paid $4.89 a gallon in Gilroy for regular gas -- and had to wait in line to get it. The customers were in near revolt, but I wondered against what and whom. I mentioned to one exasperated motorist that there are estimated to be more than 20 billion barrels of oil a few miles away, in newly found reserves off the California coast. He thought I was from Mars. California may face the nation's largest budget deficit at $16 billion. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_21796434/victor-davis-hanson-obamas-vision-is-already-present Relief at the pump? A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was heard arguments Wednesday in San Francisco in a legal challenge to a California regulation that imposes a low-carbon standard for transportation fuels within the state. The first-in-the-nation regulation, an offshoot of Assembly Bill 32, the state’s 2006 global warming law, was ruled unconstitutional last year by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill, in a case brought by farming, oil and transportation industry groups against the California Air Resources Board. Posted. http://www.vvdailypress.com/opinion/state-37152-regulation-assembly.html The EPA Is Moving The Goalposts, Even After The Game Has Started. Football fans would be outraged if every time one team was preparing to kick a field goal the officials moved the goalposts further back, making it harder to score. And yet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) frequently moves the goalposts further away for companies and industries trying to abide by countless federal regulations. One of President Obama’s top agenda items was to pass cap-and-trade legislation intended to limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2012/10/18/the-epa-is-moving-the-goalposts-even-after-the-game-has-started/ BLOGS For Hybrid Drivers, a Gas Pump Allergy? Although electric vehicles have not taken off as some had hoped, there are now enough of them on the road that some behavioral differences between drivers of all-electric models and plug-in hybrids have become evident, in addition to those between E.V. users and owners of conventional models. Data on drivers’ habits has been harvested by href=”http://www.ecotality.com/”>ECOtality, a start-up that is struggling to help build up the nation’s charging infrastructure. Many say that a core apparatus is needed to spur mass demand for electric vehicles. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/for-hybrid-drivers-a-gas-pump-allergy/ Another Debate Postscript: Voters and Gasoline Prices. Gasoline prices are as predictable a political issue in a presidential election campaign as taxes or unemployment, even though presidents have little if any control over them. So it’s hardly news that Mitt Romney noted in Tuesday night’s debate that gas prices are roughly twice as high as they were when President Obama came to office. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/another-debate-postscript-voters-and-gasoline-prices/ One Last Energy Fact From the Presidential Debate. One assertion by President Obama about energy achievements in Tuesday night’s campaign debate drew little notice. Refuting Mr. Romney’s charge that he had jeopardized American energy security by vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline for carrying crude oil from Canada, the president said: “And with respect to this pipeline that Governor Romney keeps on talking about, we’ve — we’ve built enough pipeline to wrap around the entire earth once. So I’m all for pipelines; I’m all for oil production.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/one-last-energy-fact-from-the-presidential-debate/ Obama and Romney, Oil and Science. It’s not surprising that the first substantive energy exchange between the two candidates dealt with gas prices, given — as a national poll by the University of Texas just found — that this is by far the most pressing energy issue on voters’ minds (to the consternation of climate hawks). Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/obama-and-romney-oil-and-science/ What we can learn from Europe’s cap-and-trade system. We know, we know. No one in Washington wants to talk about climate change. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney mentioned the subject in the second presidential debate on Tuesday. And there’s a widespread belief that a cap-and-trade program to cut carbon emissions won’t resurface in Congress anytime soon. Still, that hasn’t stopped our friends on the other side of the Atlantic from tackling the issue. And there’s a new report (pdf) out today from the analysts at the Environmental Defense Fund, looking at the track record of Europe’s cap-and-trade system over the past seven years. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/17/what-we-can-learn-from-europes-cap-and-trade-system/ How climate change disappeared from the debates. Over at the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert laments the fact that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney had anything to say about climate change during the second presidential debate Tuesday. Oh, sure, they talked about energy — about oil leases, about coal, a few quick nods toward renewable energy. But nothing about this warming planet of ours. Nothing about the summer’s droughts or wildfires or the rapidly melting Arctic. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/18/how-climate-change-disappeared-from-the-debates/ Natural Disaster Trends Report Cites Link To Climate Change 'Footprint'. North America has seen the world’s sharpest increase in the number of natural catastrophes during the past 32 years, a trend that in some respects is linked to manmade global warming, according to a report released Wednesday from the global reinsurance giant Munich Re. The study, which has not undergone scientific peer review, examined natural disaster losses between 1980 and 2011…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/natural-disaster-trends-report_n_1975190.html EPA invests $30 million to reduce diesel pollution. Last week EPA awarded $30 million in funding to diesel clean-up projects across the nation through the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). The program has invested in more than 500 diesel clean-up projects since it began in 2008, reducing hundreds of thousands of tons of air pollution and saving millions of gallons of fuel. It is especially exciting to see these smart investments continue since DERA has seen threats to its funding in these lean economic times. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbailey/epa_invests_30_million_to_redu.html Californians: Here Are Your Clean Vehicle Choices! Few states in the U.S. can match California’s generosity when it comes to clean vehicle rebate programs. In fact, back in September, the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency awarded the state’s 10,000th Clean Vehicle Rebate to a Nissan Leaf owner from Meadow Vista, California. But which cars are eligible, and how much rebates can you claim if you live in California? Thanks to a comprehensive web page from the Center for Sustainable Energy in California, the answers are just a click away. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1079877_californians-here-are-your-clean-vehicle-choices Five Turbocharged Green Cars You Need To Drive. There was a time when a turbocharger under the hood meant one thing and one thing only: that the car you were driving was a performance-oriented, sporty beast with that oh-so-addictive turbo whine. Today, the turbocharger has become the biggest thing in green car technology since the hybrid drivetrain, with everything from minicars to luxury sedans switching to smaller, turbocharged engines in the pursuit of higher gas mileage. But with so many cars to choose from, which turbocharged green cars are the best? Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1079910_five-turbocharged-green-cars-you-need-to-drive