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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 25, 2012. Posted: 25 Oct 2012 11:52:23
ARB Newsclips for October 25, 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 Kellogg agrees to pay $500K in emissions case. The government says Kellogg Co. has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty to resolve Clean Air Act violations at manufacturing facilities in Battle Creek and Grand Rapids. The agreement with the Battle Creek-based company was announced Thursday by the U.S. attorney's office in Grand Rapids. Kellogg also agreed to improve emission levels at the facilities and replace a cooling and dehumidifying system, a project that's expected to cost more than $435,000. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Kellogg-agrees-to-pay-500K-in-emissions-case-3981261.php#ixzz2AKaoiiui California day care centers exceed standards for formaldehyde, study reveals. UC Berkeley researchers found nearly nine out of 10 local day care centers exceeded state safety guidelines for formaldehyde, according to a new study, heightening concerns because children can be especially vulnerable to such chemicals. An ingredient in some furniture glue, carpet, paints and fabrics, formaldehyde can trigger breathing difficulties and, at very high levels, has been identified as a cancer-causing agent. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21848311/california-daycare-centers-exceed-standards-formaldehyde-study-reveals http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21848314/california-daycare-centers-exceed-standards-formaldehyde-study-reveals?source=rss http://www.ksee24.com/video/Day-Care---AGR-175699501.html First-offense wood burners: Go to smoke class. Light a fire on a bad air day and you may be going to smoke school -- or pay a $100 fine if you refuse. The Bay Area's air pollution district is getting tougher this year on scofflaws, violators of its four-year-old»¿ rule banning home or business owners from burning wood fires in chimneys and stoves during Spare the Air alerts. First-time violators used to get off with a written warning, but they won't anymore. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21844803/first-offense-burners-go-smoke-class http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21844803/first-offense-burners-go-smoke-class?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21844803/first-offense-burners-go-smoke-class?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com How Bay Area no-burn rules work. If you burn a wood fire in your home or business fireplace or stove during a 24-hour Spare the Air alert, you can be cited by the Bay Area Air Quality Management for violation of their smoke rule. An air district inspector must personally observe the smoke to write up a violation notice. Inspectors' patrol routes are based on priorities that consider areas with a history of high smoke concentrations or complaints about illegal burning. Inspectors don't give people violation notices. The air district mails them to violators. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21844807/how-bay-area-scofflaw-get-caught-smoking?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Report: More Chinese cities need to come clean on air pollution. Several Chinese cities have shown improvements with air quality information -- a politically-sensitive issue in China -- but improvements are still needed, according to a Beijing-based non-profit environmental group. The report by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs assessed air quality monitoring in 113 cities across China. Posted. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/25/world/asia/china-air-quality-disclosure/index.html Enviros push EPA to make industry report toxic releases. Oil and gas companies should be required to report releases of toxic chemicals to a U.S. EPA database of environmental pollution, according to a petition filed yesterday with the agency by a coalition of green groups. Industries that must file annual reports of environmental pollution to EPA's Toxic Release Inventory divulge information only about the 682 listed chemicals, which means such reporting, …Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/10/25/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE U.S. looks to old Arctic ship logs for climate change clues. A project to help track Arctic climate change using volunteers to transcribe U.S. ship logs online was launched on Wednesday by the National Archives and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Using citizen scientists to transcribe thousands of pages of logbooks from Navy, Coast Guard and other ships from 1850 to World War Two will fill a big data gap, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/us-usa-climate-arctic-idUSBRE89N1CU20121024 Cap-and-Trade Failure Aided U.S. to Cut Carbon Emissions. The failure by Congress to pass cap- and-trade legislation in 2010 had one unanticipated impact: It helped to cut greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions are likely to be lower by 2020 because of regulatory measures and market changes than they would have been under legislation backed by President Barack Obama and Democrats, said Dallas Burtraw, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future in Washington. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-10-25/cap-and-trade-failure-aided-u-dot-s-dot-to-cut-carbon-emissions Smithsonian launches marine effort with $10M gift. The Smithsonian is launching a new initiative to study coastal waters and create the first global network monitoring climate change and human impacts on ocean life with a $10 million gift. Los Angeles hedge fund manager Michael Tennenbaum is announcing the donation Thursday. He says long-term data is needed to raise the level of dialogue about climate change and biodiversity. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/10/25/2428082/smithsonian-launches-marine-effort.html#storylink=misearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Many Calif. companies shun offsets as cap-and-trade system nears launch. As California prepares to launch its carbon cap-and-trade program, fear persists about buying offsets because they can be ruled invalid retroactively, a market insider said yesterday. Buyer liability for problems with offsets "has been the No. 1 thing that people have been worried about," said Joel Levin, vice president for business development at Climate Action Reserve, a nonprofit that issues credits for offset projects. "It's scared them off of the program." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/25/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Indigenous leaders rejecting California REDD hold governor responsible for their safety. As California lawmakers prepare to launch the state’s cap and trade program as part of its Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB32, indigenous leaders traveled to Sacramento to urge officials not to include an international forest-based carbon offset mechanism, known as REDD, in the law. REDD, which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, is a controversial market-based policy mechanism that proposes to protect tropical forests in order to capture and store carbon dioxide pollution. Posted. http://www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2012-10-indigenous-leaders-rejecting-california-redd-hold-go Brown asked to cool it on cap-and-trade. A group of employer and taxpayer organizations has formally asked Gov. Jerry Brown to delay the scheduled Nov. 14 auction of greenhouse gas allowances long enough to “fix” the state’s cap-and-trade program. The auction would sell to regulated businesses the right to emit greenhouse gases in a scheme that would lower annually the permissible total emissions. Posted. http://www.vvdailypress.com/opinion/brown-37269-asked-trade.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Speed limit on ships urged for air quality. Setting a speed limit for cargo ships sailing near ports and coastlines could cut their emission of air pollutants by up to 70 percent, a U.S. study says. David R. Crocker III of the University of California, Riverside, and colleagues say their evaluation of the impact of vessel speed reduction policies such as those proposed by the California Air Resources board suggests they would help reduce the impact of marine shipping on Earth's climate and human health. Posted. http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/10/24/Speed-limit-on-ships-urged-for-air-quality/UPI-93481351106336/#ixzz2AG8kH6Oo FUELS Algae biofuel not sustainable now-U.S. research council. Biofuels made from algae, promoted by President Barack Obama as a possible way to help wean Americans off foreign oil, cannot be made now on a large scale without using unsustainable amounts of energy, water and fertilizer, the U.S. National Research Council reported on Wednesday. "Faced with today's technology, to scale up any more is going to put really big demands on ... not only energy input…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/usa-biofuels-algae-idUSL1E8LODXX20121024 Oil Refining’s Fortunes Rise. The refinery business has long been the difficult stepchild of the oil industry, expensive to run, prone to accidents and a low-margin headache for executives who preferred drilling for gushers. But signs of the improving fortunes for the industry can be seen at Valero Energy’s Three Rivers refinery here, about 70 miles south of San Antonio at the doorstep of a giant new shale oil field. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/business/energy-environment/cheaper-oil-and-gas-give-a-lift-to-the-refining-business.html?pagewanted=all Hearing planned on alternative fuel tax break. The revenue department is holding a public hearing on proposed regulations that spell out limits on the state's alternative fuel vehicle tax credit. The tax break program's cost has grown much larger than estimated and has become a headache for Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration because of differing interpretations about what should be included. Proposed regulations, set for discussion at Thursday's hearing, would limit the tax credit program costs to an estimated $10 million…Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/25/hearing-planned-on-alternative-fuel-tax-break/ Southland gas prices falling; drivers say it's still not low enough. Just how far the region's gasoline prices have dropped from the sudden, scary peak of nearly three weeks ago could be seen Wednesday at an unbranded station in Calabasas. Attracting unwanted national attention during the spike, Low-P on Calabasas Road had been charging $5.79 for regular unleaded - and customers were still buying. On Wednesday, the station was charging $3.999 - about a 30 percent drop. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_21848252/southland-gas-prices-falling-drivers-say-its-still VEHICLES China's BYD sending electric cabs to London. Chinese automaker BYD Co. is sending 50 electric cabs to London in a boost to China's struggling makers of all-electric vehicles. BYD and cab company Green Tomato Cars Ltd. announced this week they will start trial use of 50 of BYD's e6 sedans in late 2013. They said it will be the British capital's first all-electric fleet. BYD, one of whose investors is Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Corp., is seen by industry analysts as China's most advanced competitor in the infant electric vehicle industry. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/25/chinas-byd-sending-electric-cabs-to-london/ GREEN ENERGY Green energy would save EU trillions by 2050: report. A green revolution to make EU energy almost totally carbon-free by 2050 would generate 3 trillion euros ($3.9 trillion) in fuel savings, a report commissioned by environmental campaigners said. The energy shift would already create around half a million extra jobs by 2020, researchers from German aerospace center DLR, which also specializes in energy and transport, found. The European Union has legislated to ensure that 20 percent of the energy mix is green by 2020, as part of a set of three main environmental goals. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/us-eu-greenpeace-idUSBRE89N0F120121024 U.K. Renewables Make Up 2% of Energy Bill Increases, Lobby Says. U.K. programs promoting the use of renewable power accounted for just 2 percent of the increase in consumer bills over two years, an industry lobby said, after Centrica Plc (CNA)’s British Gas and RWE Npower Plc raised charges. Renewables contributed 4 pounds ($6.40) to the average jump in a dual-fuel energy bill of about 205 pounds in the two years to July, the Renewable Energy Association said today, citing data from energy regulator Ofgem and the government. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-10-24/u-k-renewables-make-up-2-of-energy-bill-increases-lobby-says.html Cities Enticed by Pay-if-You-Save Energy Deals. WHEN the city of Brea, Calif., about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, set out to reduce its carbon emissions and save money on energy costs, the challenge was the same faced by many other cities nationwide: allocating the funds to pay for the program. Finding projects to make city buildings more energy efficient was far easier. So the city turned to a form of financing that has become common among government agencies at all levels: …Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/business/energy-environment/energy-service-contracts-a-boon-for-public-agencies.html?ref=earth&_r=0 Guess where all of our new energy came from last month? (Hint: Not coal). Last month, the United States added 433 megawatts of new electricity generation. And according to SustainableBusiness.com, all 433 of those megawatts came from renewable sources. Five wind projects totaling 300 megawatts (MW) and 18 solar projects for 133 MW were added, according to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. Posted. http://grist.org/news/guess-where-all-of-our-new-energy-came-from-last-month-hint-not-coal/ MISCELLANEOUS New recycling program to start at KU football game. As Blaine Bengtson walked around outside Memorial Stadium following the Kansas University football game against Rice last month, he didn't like what he saw in the trash cans. "So many just plastic bottles and things that were totally recyclable were being thrown away," Bengtson said. For Bengtson, a KU junior from Salina, it was an assessment that confirmed the need for a project on which he was already hard at work: a new KU football gameday recycling program, which will kick off at Saturday's homecoming game against Texas. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/New-recycling-program-to-start-at-KU-football-game-3980784.php#ixzz2AKbH4It0 Medical pot growers hurting California forest habitat. California's annual medical marijuana harvest is just about done, but this year brings a new revelation sweeping the nascent industry: The feel-good herb may not, in fact, be so good for the environment. From golden Sierra foothills to forested coastal mountains, an explosion of pseudo-legal medical marijuana farms has dramatically changed the state's landscape over the past two years. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/25/4937606/medical-pot-growers-hurting-california.html#storylink=cpy Treasure Island sites called safe from radiation. Health officials find no health risks at 24 areas after contamination fears raised. State health officials have declared day care and youth centers, ballfields, some residential backyards and other sites on Treasure Island safe from radiation in response to fears about the area’s nuclear past. The surveys taken from 24 publically accessible locations were not part of the Navy’s scheduled cleanup program, but were prompted by public concern about exposure to radioactivity on the former Treasure Island Naval Station. http://www.baycitizen.org/health/story/treasure-island-areas-declared-safe/ Facing onslaught over climate position, Lungren struggles to hold onto his House seat. When it comes to Democrats' and environmentalists' efforts to chip away at the Republican House majority on Election Day, no Republican has a bigger target on his back than California's Rep. Dan Lungren. And he wants you to know it. "It is nice to be here to prove to you that I am the same person you voted for in the past; I am not that guy on television," Lungren said at a recent forum here hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/25/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS COLUMN-European biofuel push hard to reverse: Wynn (The author is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.) European policymakers are discovering the difficulty of curbing a biofuel industry they weaned five years ago as a low-carbon alternative to crude oil but which is increasingly at odds with the environment and food production. To halt or put into reverse a $22 billion European biofuel industry requires a sound justification. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/column-wynn-biofuel-carbon-idUSL5E8LN8G620121024 Re "California gas prices and reality" (Dan Walters, Oct. 16): Dan Walters fails to recognize the tremendous benefits of California's cleaner gasoline blends. The state's gasoline rule cuts smog-forming emissions that contribute to health emergencies like asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis and other lung and heart illnesses. Given our severe smog problems, California is right to require these tighter standards to protect public health. Walters also doesn't acknowledge the benefits that will come from kicking our addiction to dirty petroleum fuels altogether. Pursuing clean fuel alternatives will make the biggest public health impact in our state. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/24/4935581/california-gas-rule-cuts-smog.html#storylink=cpy The big bottle and can rip-off. California's recycling program is turning into a pot of gold for fraudsters. The state's billion-dollar recycling fund is being raided by out-of-state hustlers who are loading up trucks with bottles and cans to redeem here. Little oversight and few rules have invited abuse. Next-door states, which don't offer redemption fees, are a ready source for empties that can be packed up, driven across the border, then turned in for cash at any of the state's 2,300 recycling centers. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/The-big-bottle-and-can-rip-off-3976013.php#ixzz2AKcSCnNs John Horgan: Broadway rail crossing decision a tough call. The Burlingame City Council found itself in a pickle last week. It was nearly four years in the making. Ever since California voters approved Proposition 1A in November 2008, cities along the Peninsula have been struggling to deal with that bond measure which provides moneys to begin construction of a high-speed rail project in the Golden State. That's because fast-train planners have been preparing to use the local Caltrain right of way (which is to be electrified in the bargain) for their new system. . Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/john-horgan/ci_21848005/john-horgan-broadway-rail-crossing-decision-tough-call Is the Carbon Market Just Hot Air for the Environment? As California, environment stewards and the sixth largest economy in the world, prepares to launch the most extensive carbon market in North America Nov. 14, stakeholders can look to Europe to learn the dangers from selling too many unverifiable emission credits and permits. The state plans to auction off 10 percent hand of the credits and hand out the others free of charge. California anticipates that businesses will pay some $1 billion over the next five years for the credits. Posted. http://business.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981721610 How Does Climate Change Factor into Decision 2012? Last election season, presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain agreed that climate change was a critical issue demanding urgent attention. Four years later, both candidates Obama and Mitt Romney barely discuss climate change. In fact, the words were never uttered during any of the three presidential debates. Coral Davenport has been investigating what’s behind the change as the energy and environment correspondent for The National Journal. Posted. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/environment/climate-of-doubt/how-does-climate-change-factor-into-decision-2012/ BLOGS An Airline Fleet Fueled by Natural Gas. At the end of next year, Qatar Airways is scheduled to open a new airport that will include a 25-meter swimming pool and squash courts, among other amenities. But it will also be extraordinary from an energy standpoint because it will pump airline fuel made from natural gas. Qatar has relatively little oil and vast supplies of natural gas. Oil goes on tankers to distant destinations, but moving natural gas is much harder for the Persian Gulf emirate. So Royal Dutch/Shell built a gas-to-liquids plant called Pearl that makes a variety of liquid fuels. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/an-airline-fleet-fueled-by-natural-gas/?ref=earth An inside look at California's cap-and-trade program. California is gearing up to set in motion cap-and-trade, its market-based program for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, with the state’s first auction for carbon allowances next month. The program was created by the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which aims to reduce emissions in the state to its levels in the 1990s by 2020. The way it works: Businesses, utilities, refineries and manufacturers in California that spew more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year are required to obtain allowances to emit greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/10/25/inside-look-at-california-cap-and-trade-program