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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 26, 2012. Posted: 26 Oct 2012 12:13:46
ARB Newsclips for October 26, 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 Distant air pollution might bite Butte County farmers. Local farmers might have to replace their tractors and other diesel equipment in a few years, because of how bad the air pollution is in the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles basin. The Butte County Air Quality Management District board got that news Thursday morning at the end of a board-requested review of the history of air pollution controls imposed on farmers. County Air Pollution Control Officer Jim Wagoner told the board the so-called "tractor rules" …Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/california/ci_21860018/distant-air-pollution-might-bite-butte-county-farmers http://www.orovillemr.com/news/ci_21859949/air-pollution-might-bite-local-farmers DAY CARE CENTERS Treasure Island sites safe, state says. State health officials have declared day care and youth centers, ball fields, some residential backyards and other sites on Treasure Island safe from radiation in response to fears about the area's nuclear past. The state surveyed the 24 locations in response to public concern about exposure to radioactivity at the former Treasure Island Naval Station. Health department technicians found negligible levels of radiation posing no health threat at those locations, according to reports produced in response to a Bay Citizen public records request. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Treasure-Island-sites-safe-state-says-3982610.php#ixzz2AQCl0vm3 http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_21848311/california-daycare-centers-exceed-standards-formaldehyde-study-reveals http://www.kqed.org/news/story/2012/10/25/110104/study_finds_elevated_chemical_levels_in_day_care_centers?category=science http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49569430#.UIq6E9Vp33U http://www.healthcanal.com/environmental-health/33291-Study-finds-elevated-levels-formaldehyde-other-contaminants-day-care-centers.html http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/state&id=8859403 http://news.softpedia.com/news/High-Levels-of-Contaminants-Formaldehyde-Found-in-Californian-Day-Care-Centers-302171.shtml?http://tinyurl.com/3ts4jsg+utm_source=dlvr.it http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=164334 http://www.kionrightnow.com/story/19909050/day-care-centers-may-expose-children-to-contaminants http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-elevated-formaldehyde-contaminants-day-centers.html CLIMATE CHANGE Cost of CO2 rules risk more UK energy price hikes. Britain's utilities face a 2-billion-pound ($3.2 billion) bill in 2013 from schemes to cut carbon dioxide emissions, Reuters data show, risking higher prices for consumers and more discomfort for a government anxious to keep energy costs down. Prime Minister David Cameron threw Britain's energy policy into confusion last week when, amid rising prices, he gave an unexpected pledge to parliament that energy suppliers would be forced to give customers their cheapest tariffs. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/26/britian-power-carbon-idUSL5E8LQANM20121026 Calif.'s cap-and-trade system is tested and ready to launch, regulators say. California's landmark carbon cap-and-trade system is set to start next month without delay, a state air board official assured market participants yesterday. "We are ready to go," said Michael Gibbs, assistant executive officer at the California Air Resources Board (ARB). He added, "We're really excited to get the program up and going." Speaking at the Environmental Markets Association's annual fall meeting, Gibbs addressed traders…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/26/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Cap-and-trade system likely to survive lawsuits – experts. California's pending cap-and-trade system is likely to survive most legal challenges, court experts said yesterday. The Golden State's landmark program is designed in ways that should allow it to steer clear of problems that have tripped up other green rules, said panelists at the Environmental Markets Association's fall meeting here. "The cap-and-trade program will likely go forward without significant tinkering by the courts," said Cara Horowitz, executive director of the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/26/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Pay-to-save programs help cities cut their carbon emissions. Brea, Calif., about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, set out to cut its carbon emissions but had trouble finding cash to pay for projects. So the city turned to an energy-savings performance contract that requires no upfront costs and allows the city to pay for the project over time using the savings on utility bills. It's becoming a popular method among other cities. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/26/10 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Climate skeptics, seeing rising prospects for a carbon tax, vow to make it 'toxic' Climate skeptics concerned about the rise of conservative groups favoring a carbon tax are preparing a response that seeks to make the policy politically "toxic" for Republicans who might consider it. The pre-emptive effort, still in its early stages, is designed to discredit the idea that taxing carbon emissions is a good trade-off for lower corporate and individual tax rates, as the nation lurches toward, perhaps, a wide-ranging overhaul to its tax system. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/26/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Ports eye LNG as marine fuel but shift will be slow. Ports around the world are considering liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a ship fuel in a drive to reduce carbon emissions, but the shift will be slow due to the high capital costs of fitting ports and vessels and a lack of investors, industry players say. The Rotterdam and Singapore ports, both major international sea transportation hubs, recently announced plans to invest in facilities that would allow ships to take LNG as fuel instead of oil-based fuel products, known as bunker fuels. osted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/26/lng-ports-fuel-idUSL5E8LPH9620121026 Mexico clashes with auto industry over fuel efficiency. Carmaker Toyota and Mexico's auto industry have sued the Mexican government to try to block proposed regulations to align the fuel efficiency standard of cars and light trucks with that of the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Toyota last month obtained a federal court injunction to stop the government's work on Nom-163, a rule that would require the fleet of new cars and light trucks to achieve a fuel economy rate of 14.9 kilometers per liter, or 35 miles per gallon…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/26/mexico-auto-idUSL1E8LQ8AU20121026 Shale Glut Becomes $2 Diesel Using Gas-to-Liquids Plants. Drivers are next in line to benefit from the U.S. shale boom. Technologies that create motor fuels from raw materials other than oil, some drawing on techniques first commercialized in Nazi Germany, are poised to turn the glut of U.S. natural gas into energy for cars, trucks and planes. A Chesapeake Energy Corp.-backed company and Oxford Catalysts Group Plc are planning U.S. factories to make diesel, gasoline and jet fuel from gas, which fell to a decade-low price this year. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-10-24/nazi-technology-turns-cheap-shale-gas-into-sub-2-diesel-energy.html Judge's death may alter fuel standard ruling. The future of California's low-carbon fuels standard, requiring suppliers to cut tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases, may be shaped by a random drawing to replace a federal appeals court judge who died after hearing arguments in the case last week. Judge Betty Binns Fletcher, part of a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that held a hearing Oct. 16 on a lawsuit by fuel companies, truckers and out-of-state farmers, died Monday in Seattle. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Judge-s-death-may-alter-fuel-standard-ruling-3982612.php#ixzz2AQCFyPiq Westerly students donate $25K worth of bioheat. Westerly youth group that hopes to expand its grease and oil recycling project into Providence is presenting $25,000 worth of bioheat to five charities. Students on the Junior WIN Team of the Westerly Innovation Network are in Providence on Friday to formally announce the donation and demonstrate how households can recycle their oil waste. Mayor Angel Taveras (tuh-VEHR'-us) will welcome them to Veazie Street Elementary School. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Westerly-students-donate-25K-worth-of-bioheat-3984314.php#ixzz2AQDpLxvs Drilling waste soars with ND oil output. The state Health Department says waste from drilling activity in western North Dakota has grown exponentially with the output of oil, and more special landfills are proposed to keep pace. Data obtained by The Associated Press show the amount of so-called oilfield special waste has increased nearly 5,100 percent in the past decade, to more than 512,000 tons last year. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Drilling-waste-soars-with-ND-oil-output-3984334.php#ixzz2AQDU2H6K Lack of competition in Calif. gasoline market sends prices soaring. Earlier this month, gasoline prices in California hit a record high of $4.67 a gallon. The share of that price going to refiners, known as the margin, jumped to $1.22 a gallon -- up 75 percent from the week before and nearly triple the average margin of 42 cents a gallon, according to California Energy Commission data. That led to huge protests from consumers and calls for investigations by senators, and it left gasoline station owners raising prices while making little profit. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/26/19 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BP shelves plans for cellulosic plant and focuses on research center and demonstration plant. BP Biofuels is shelving a plan to build a 36-million-gallon plant for ethanol from sugar cane, the company announced yesterday. Instead, the company will be shifting resources from its proposed plant in Florida to a research facility in San Diego and a demonstration plant in Jennings, La., to continue developing and testing its technology. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/26/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Novozymes cuts its U.S. ethanol production forecast further. Novozymes, the world's biggest maker of enzymes used in ethanol production, slightly reduced its forecast for the U.S. ethanol market this year amid falling gasoline prices and high raw material costs. The Danish company now expects full-year 2012 U.S. ethanol production to end at around 13.3 billion gallons, a decrease of approximately 5 percent compared with 2011 and slightly lower than the 13.4 billion gallons Novozymes forecast in August. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/26/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Methane destabilizing off East Coast may add to global warming – study. Temperature changes in the Gulf Stream off the East Coast have destabilized frozen methane hydrate deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of seafloor. Researchers estimate that 2.5 metric gigatons of frozen methane hydrate could separate into gas and water. It is not clear whether that is happening yet, but that methane gas would have the potential to rise up through the ocean and into the atmosphere, where it would add to the greenhouse gases warming Earth. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/26/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Electric-car maker Tesla bucks traditional dealership network. Tesla opens its own stores to sell its flagship Model S directly to consumers. Some auto dealers and regional associations have sued the automaker. When electric-car company Tesla Motors Inc. started selling its flagship Model S luxury hatchback earlier this year, it eschewed the traditional dealership network to open its own stores. But that's not sitting well with U.S. auto dealers, who have controlled new-vehicle sales for nearly a century. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-tesla-20121026,0,3280317.story GREEN ENERGY California PUC launches probe of San Onofre outage. The probe will look at the costs already incurred in the long-running outage at the nuclear power plant resulting from defective replacement steam generators. The California Public Utilities Commission has launched an investigation into the nine-month outage at the San Onofre nuclear plant, which could result in rates eventually being lowered or money refunded to utility customers. The five commissioners voted unanimously to launch the investigation at a meeting Thursday in Irvine, the first such probe in California in a decade. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-san-onofre-20121026,0,2195924.story Obama Agrees: Wind Generators Make More Than Just Energy. eMarine Systems, a Southwest Wind Power master distributor, is benefiting from this new interest in wind generators. President Obama visited the highly endorsed Southwest Wind Power in Flagstaff, AZ because they are the largest worldwide manufacturer of small wind generators (100 KW and below). It is difficult to truly appreciate how emerging technologies impact our economy. It is not just about manufacturing of wind generators. The generators require poles to mount them plus wires and controls for proper connectivity and installation. Posted. http://news.yahoo.com/obama-agrees-wind-generators-more-just-energy-130624184.html MISCELLANEOUS Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District set to start restrictions. The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District has announced that the 2012-13 season of its Don't Light Tonight program will launch on Nov. 1. Wood smoke is a significant contributor to wintertime air pollution in Yolo and Solano counties, air district officials said, adding that the smoke contains fine particulate pollution, which has been shown to have serious health effects when breathed, particularly for children, the elderly and those with respiratory ailments such as asthma. Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/california/ci_21860502/yolo-solano-air-quality-management-district-set-start Going green: Preschool tries nontoxic pest control. When the directors and staff at Peregrine Early Childhood Center in Davis decided to take a completely green approach to pest management this year, they were fortunate to have in their midst Belinda Messenger. Messenger’s twin daughters, 3-year-olds Charlotte and Margaret, attend Peregrine. And Messenger herself is an environmental scientist with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, which has developed an integrated pest management program specifically for child care facilities emphasizing non-chemical pest management. Posted. http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/going-green-at-peregrine-preschool-tries-nontoxic-pest-control/ OPINIONS Green energy’s top foe: Other greens. ‘Think globally, act locally”: Amazingly often, that principle leaves the environmental movement fighting environmental projects. And a major case of it may be coming soon to New York. Indeed, New York City’s already gotten a taste of it: Just last year, Park Slope residents’ leveraged environmental-review requirements to sue the city to remove bike lanes by Prospect Park. Enough copycat lawsuits could mean big bills for the city: In 2006, an environmental suit against San Francisco’s bike-lane plan kicked off a five-year legal battle that cost the city over $1 million…Posted. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/green_energy_top_foe_other_greens_zTGyVtTZumohb1OrpHDuiJ Italy blames the messengers. Scientists shouldn't be jailed because they can't precisely predict the future. I used to say, during doctoral examinations in theoretical physics, that the stakes were a bit more relaxed than passing or failing a medical student. After all, granting a doctorate was unlikely to result in life or death for anyone. Well, an Italian court decided this week that I was wrong. Six scientists were convicted of manslaughter because their data did not allow them to predict a 6.3-magnitude temblor in the city of L'Aquila in 2009 with enough certainty to issue a safety warning. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-krauss-earthquake-manslaughter-italy-20121026,0,449027,print.story Editorial: Californians stranded on a 'fuel island'. State motorists vulnerable to price spikes. Prices at gasoline pumps in California have receded from the record highs recorded two weeks ago and may well drop below $4 a gallon, on average, by Thanksgiving. The development is welcomed by the state's motorists, who, in some cases, saw gasoline prices rise by as much as 20 cents a gallon overnight, and, in some locations, fuel prices top $5 a gallon. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/state-375727-california-gasoline.html Carbon Tax: Will Tweedle Dum Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory? Are carbon taxes an idea whose time has come? That’s what some Republicans are saying, including former Secy. of State George Schulz, former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis, and several economists advising Gov. Mitt Romney: Greg Mankiw, Glenn Hubbard, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and Arthur Laffer. Romney opposes a carbon tax, though he has not made a compelling case against it. He should do so, because carbon taxes are political poison for the GOP. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/10/25/carbon-tax-will-tweedle-dum-snatch-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory/ BLOGS Is U.S. climate policy better off without cap-and-trade? When negotiations over a cap-and-trade bill in the Senate collapsed back in April 2010, environmentalists despaired. The legislation to reduce U.S. carbon emissions, wrote Ryan Lizza,”perhaps the last best chance to deal with global warming in the Obama era, was officially dead.” But a surprising thing happened next. Even though cap-and-trade died, U.S. carbon emissions kept dropping. Since 2006, the United States has cut its carbon-dioxide emissions by 7.7 percent — comparable to what Europe is achieving under its cap-and-trade system. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/25/was-u-s-climate-policy-better-off-without-cap-and-trade/ Toward a Tougher Cap and Trade Program. The multistate carbon trading system known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is undergoing its first comprehensive review since it was first put into effect in 2009. While the nine participating Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states, including New York, have found that RGGI (pronounced reggie) has succeeded in producing almost $1 billion for energy efficiency programs and in encouraging reliance on renewable energy, they are considering making some changes. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/toward-a-tougher-cap-and-trade-program/?pagewanted=print Reports of Clean Energy's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. If the notion "he who lives by the subsidy dies by the subsidy" is true, then oil, gas and nuclear companies must be dying a thousand deaths. "A Sad Green Story," the recent New York Times article by David Brooks, is way off the mark with where we need to go as a country and as an entire planet. Now is not the time to malign investments in our health, welfare and a sustainable energy future. The idea that our energy industry should be a free market, without "government interference," is regrettably mistaken. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-cowell/reports-of-clean-energy_b_2024115.html?view=print&comm_ref=false Stavins: Cap-and-Trade, Carbon Taxes, and My Neighbor’s Lovely Lawn. Speaking of externalities associated with energy use, Robert Stavins throws cold water on "current enthusiasm about carbon taxes in the academic and broader policy-wonk community": Cap-and-Trade, Carbon Taxes, and My Neighbor’s Lovely Lawn, by Robert Stavins: …my conclusion in 1998 strongly favored a market-based carbon policy, but was somewhat neutral between carbon taxes and cap-and-trade. Indeed, at that time and for the subsequent eight years or so, I remained agnostic regarding what I viewed as the trade-offs between cap-and-trade and carbon taxes. Posted. http://www.favstocks.com/stavins-cap-and-trade-carbon-taxes-and-my-neighbor%E2%80%99s-lovely-lawn/25915823/