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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 19, 2012.

Posted: 19 Oct 2012 14:30:36
ARB Newsclips for October 19, 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.


Officials to beef up air monitors near refineries.  Local air
quality officials have approved a new plan to more tightly
monitor pollution near refineries after gaps in the system were
exposed during a fire at Chevron's Richmond refinery.  The Contra
Costa Times reports ( http://bit.ly/R5uuwU) that the Bay Area Air
Quality Management District approved the plan at its meeting
Wednesday.  The new strategy sets an 18-month timetable for
creating a new rule to more accurately measure toxic air
pollution from refineries.  Posted. 

WHY IT MATTERS: Clean air and water, but at what price?  The
issue: Everyone wants clean air and water. But people also want
to drive their cars whenever they wish and light up a room by
flipping a switch. It’s a never-ending balancing act for
government as it tries to protect health and the environment
while promoting economic growth and jobs.  Where they stand:
President Barack Obama achieved historic increases in
fuel-economy standards that would save drivers money at the pump
while raising the cost of new vehicles. Posted. 

Other related articles:


REFILE-In climate puzzle for crops, ancient tree offers clues. On
a windswept Swedish mountain, a 10,000-year-old spruce with a
claim to be the world's oldest tree is getting a new lease of
life thanks to global warming, even as many plants are
struggling. Scientists are finding that the drift of growing
areas for many plants out toward the poles is moving not in a
smooth progression but in fits and starts, causing problems for
farmers aiming to adapt and invest in cash crops that are more
sensitive to climate than is this ancient conifer known as "Old
Tjikko". Posted.

A Rogue Climate Experiment Outrages Scientists.  A California
businessman chartered a fishing boat in July, loaded it with 100
tons of iron dust and cruised through Pacific waters off western
Canada, spewing his cargo into the sea in an ecological
experiment that has outraged scientists and government officials.
 The entrepreneur, whose foray came to light only this week, even
duped the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the
United States into lending him ocean-monitoring buoys for the
project.  Posted. 

Ocean scientists condemn iron-dumping experiment. A California
businessman chartered a fishing boat in July, loaded it with iron
dust and cruised through Pacific waters off western Canada,
spewing 100 tons of his cargo into the sea in an ecological
experiment that has outraged scientists and government officials.
The entrepreneur, whose foray only came to light this week, even
duped the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the
United States, which lent him ocean-monitoring buoys for the
project. Posted.

Americans increasingly believe in global warming, Yale report
says. For the first time since the United States entered a deep
recession five years ago, 70% of Americans now say they believe
global warming is a reality, according to researchers. In a
report released Thursday by the Yale Project on Climate Change
Communication, authors wrote that America’s concern about global
warming is now at its highest level since 2008, and that 58% of
Americans expressed worries about it. Posted.

7 in 10 Americans say they believe in climate change. Following
months marked by drought, floods, wildfires and violent storms, a
new national survey by Yale and George Mason universities shows
that seven in 10 Americans now believe in climate change. Figures
jumped by 13 percentage points over the last two and a half
years, from 57 percent in January 2010 to 70 percent in September
2012, according to the poll. The number of Americans who say
climate change is not happening fell from 20 percent to 12
percent over the same period. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/19/6   BY

As waters warm, predators may go hungry. Predators of the North
Pacific Ocean - among them many sharks, whales, seals and sea
turtles - will be forced to swim farther from their food supplies
or go hungry as the world's warming climate shifts their normal
habitats, a marine scientist has concluded. Yet the changes
pushed by ocean warming may benefit some seabirds and
fast-swimming tuna, which are built to forage farther than their

Activists want climate change on presidential debate agenda. 
Despite a year that has produced unprecedented ice melts in the
Arctic and Greenland, a devastating drought across much of the
country and hundreds of record high temperatures around the
world, the subject of climate change has managed to remain in the
deep freezer of presidential politics.  At a small rally in Miami
Beach on Thursday, environmentalists took one last longshot at
making global warming a meaningful campaign issue…Posted. 

Environmentalists worry California's cap-and-trade plan will hurt
national efforts.  REDD, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Degradation, the United Nations plan to reduce emissions from
deforestation and degradation, is an attractive idea: have rich
countries pay tropical forest nations to keep trees standing and
soaking up carbon.  With the international Kyoto Climate Treaty
stalled, Norway has done some REDD deals on its own in Brazil and
Indonesia, and now California is getting ready to follow suit. 

Hillary Clinton puts clean energy, climate change on State's
marching orders. A global clean energy transformation is key to
economic development, national security and fighting climate
change, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said
yesterday. In a major speech at Georgetown University on energy
diplomacy, Clinton called the transformation to greener pathways
"essential to reducing the world's carbon emissions and at the
core of a strong 21st-century global economy." Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/19/3  BY


British engineers create petrol from air and water. A small
British company has developed a way to create petrol from air and
water, technology it hopes may one day contribute to large-scale
production of green fuels. Engineers at Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS)
in Teeside, northern England, say they have produced 5 liters of
synthetic petrol over a period of three months. The technique
involves extracting carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from
water, and combining them in a reactor with a catalyst to make
methanol. The methanol is then converted into petrol. Posted.

U.S. officials to visit Indonesia for palm oil emissions talks.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will visit Indonesia
next week, officials said on Friday, in what may prove a crucial
step in the battle to meet green standards and open up a
potentially huge market for the world's top palm oil producer.
Indonesia is seen as a key player in the fight against climate
change and is under intense international pressure to curb its
rapid deforestation rate and destruction of carbon-rich
peatlands. Posted.

Pump prices continue slide in capital, state. Gasoline prices in
Sacramento and statewide fell 3 cents a gallon on Thursday, and
the pace of declining at-the-pump costs seems to be picking up
speed. After falling about a penny a day late last week, prices
fell a nickel a gallon over a two-day period. In Sacramento, AAA
said the average for unleaded regular Thursday was $4.41 a
gallon, down from $4.44 on Wednesday and $4.53 one week ago. Gas
prices soared shortly after Oct. 1, when a series of production
disruptions at refineries throughout California lowered statewide
supplies. Posted.

Alternative fuels are the best remedy for gas prices.  This week,
a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
indicated that high gas prices may have reduced drunken driving
among American kids. "Teens are especially sensitive to increases
in gasoline prices and declines in economic conditions, which
might have decreased their miles driven since 2007."  Reducing
drinking and driving among teenagers is a public good. But I am
not sure, and neither is the report sure…Posted. 

Growing biofuels on 'surplus' land may be harder than estimated –
study. There's money to be made in the barren corners of the
world. From the California desert to the badlands around
Chernobyl, Ukraine, bioenergy is taking root in the form of moss
and algae. In Ireland and Denmark, farmers are planting
switchgrass and miscanthus in low-grade soil, hoping to turn a
profit on biofuels markets. Surplus land, or land unused in
either conservation or agricultural production, offers an elegant
solution to the food versus fuel arguments that have plagued
bioenergy since its inception. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/19/7  BY


Fresno looks to smooth the high speed rail route.  The city
council approved seeking some changes to the high speed rail
route through the city.  The public works department is asking
for an underpass to be built at Ventura and G Street, and for an
overpass to be built at Church and East. Both moves would ease
traffic flow after the project is built, and during construction.
 Scott Mozier said, "Also to phase the construction to keep roads
open, not close them all at the same time."  Posted. 


AES says energy storage business is unfazed by A123's fall.
Despite a key battery supplier's filing for bankruptcy this week,
the head of AES Energy Storage LLC said the developments would
not affect his company's current and future grid-scale projects.
A123 Systems Inc., which develops lithium iron phosphate
batteries for cars and grid-level storage, filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection Tuesday (Greenwire, Oct. 16). The firm's
batteries power several of AES's energy storage projects,
including a 32-megawatt storage system at the Laurel Mountain
Wind Farm near Belington, W.Va. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/19/4  BY


Hybrid vehicle battery creator Ovshinsky, 89, dies. Stan
Ovshinsky, the self-taught inventor who developed the
nickel-metal hydride battery used in the hybrid vehicle industry,
has died at his home in suburban Detroit after a fight with
cancer. He was 89. Ovshinsky, who ran Energy Conversion Devices,
a car battery development company, also created a machine that
produced 9-mile-long sheets of thin solar energy panels intended
to bring cheaper, cleaner power to homes and businesses. Posted.

Challenge the 3,000-mile oil-change habit. Local oil filter
exchange event on Saturday. Should motorists change their
vehicle’s oil every 3,000 miles? Not necessarily, according to
the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
Their “Check Your Number” campaign encourages drivers to rethink
current habits and only change motor oil as recommended in your
vehicle’s owner manual. Posted. 

California DTSC stands by Safer Consumer Products Regulation.
DTSC director describes economic analysis criticism as "pinnacle
of misinformation". California's Department of Toxic Substances
Control (DTSC) has defended the economic arguments used in the
state's proposed Safer Consumer Products Regulation. “Economic
impacts have always been front and centre of this regulation,
“DTSC director Debbie Raphael told Chemical Watch. Posted.


Climate change activists beg more attention from Romney, Obama.
With just 2 1/2 weeks left before election day, there’s an
urgency on all fronts in the presidential race. For activists,
it’s not just about whether President Obama or Mitt Romney will
win, but whether either man will pay attention to their issue.
Perhaps no interest community has been as disappointed as those
who worry about global climate change. They have repeatedly
called for more attention to the issue and, for the most part,
failed to get it. This week’s presidential debate prompted a new
round of regret and demands for Romney and Obama to address the
topic, as both candidates spent their most notable time arguing
about how much coal they would extract from federal lands.

Why aren't candidates debating climate change? The following
editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News on Friday, Oct.
19: The past 12 months have been the hottest on record, according
to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Throughout the nation, drought, wildfires, floods and other
extreme weather have made global warming a visible reality. So it
was maddening - and tragic - that both presidential candidates
spent significant time during Tuesday's debate trying to one-up
each other on how much more fossil fuels they plan to extract,
burn and allow into the atmosphere. Posted.


Toward a Hip Solar Historic Landmark.  Solar panels on an 1850’s
building?  In New York City, where most buildings were built
before the Second World War, owners of historic rowhouses and
brownstones have special considerations to deal with when it
comes to installing solar panels or green roofs or undertaking
efficiency retrofits that have the potential to interfere with
some distinctive architectural feature.  But preservation
officials said there’s no reason why historic buildings can’t be
part of the city’s efforts to rein in fossil fuel consumption to
adapt to climate change. Posted. 

With Tight Research Budgets, Is There Room for the Eternal
Promise of Fusion?  Moving beyond the country’s, and the world’s,
existing energy menu, which is still by far dominated by abundant
and relatively cheap fossil fuels, is hard, whatever your
preferred path.  To use a sports analogy (and setting aside, for
the moment “stasists” locked into the status quo), the debate
tends to break down to those pushing the ground game…Posted. 

Sign-ups open for catalytic converter etching event in Rocklin.
The Rocklin Police Department and Sierra College Auto Club will
team up to offer free catalytic converter etching Nov. 3. The
event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the auto shop on the
Sierra College campus, 5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin. Participants'
vehicle license plate number will be etched on the converter and
the etching painted for easy recognition. Each vehicle also will
receive a small window decal indicating "This vehicle's catalytic
converter has been etched by Rocklin PD" Posted.

Will Obama and Romney Address Climate Change in Florida Debate? 
What a difference four years makes.  In 2008, during the second
presidential debate--a town hall format similar to what we
witnessed a few days ago--an audience member asked the two
candidates: "I want to know what you would do within the first
two years to make sure that Congress moves fast as far as
environmental issues, like climate change and green jobs?"  In
response, John McCain and Barack Obama both acknowledged the
reality of global warming. Posted. 

Gettin' down with cap 'n trade. Next month, California will hold
the first auction as part of its carbon cap and trade program.
The program, which will be the second largest CO2 emissions
trading system in the world, has been in the works since 2006,
when the Golden State passed the Global Warming Solutions Act, a
piece of legislation that mandated chiseling down greenhouse gas
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. A cap and trade system puts a
limit on the total amount of carbon dioxide polluters can emit –
that’s the cap. For its initial cap, the California Air Resources
Board (CARB) set a CO2 limit of 162 million tons. Posted.

Amp stops conversion SUV plans, shifts focus to electric delivery
trucks.  It's a turn in the road for Amp Electric Vehicles. The
conversion electric vehicle (EV) company announced this week that
it was no longer planning on making or selling EVs based on
passenger vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes-Benz
ML. Instead of the SUVs, Amp will now put all of its focus into
delivery trucks, like the recent conversions for Navistar and
FedEx. On a conference call yesterday, CEO Steve Burns said Amp
will convert medium-sized step vans from 10 miles per gallon
diesel beasts into quiet electric-drive trucks. Posted. 

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