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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 19, 2012

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 16:21:30
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 


Calif. to release cap-and-trade auction results. State regulators
plan to release the results of California's first auction of
greenhouse gas emission permits, which officially kick-started
the state's new carbon marketplace. The California Air Resources
Board on Monday was scheduled to reveal the price companies paid
for the permits — called allowances — and how many businesses
participated in the program. California's cap-and-trade plan is a
central piece of the state's 2006 global warming law, a suite of
regulations meant to dramatically reduce emissions of
heat-trapping gases. Posted.


Calif. officials call carbon auction a success.  State regulators
say California's first auction of greenhouse gas emissions
permits went smoothly, and that all of the pollution permits
available for 2013 were sold.  The California Air Resources Board
said 23.1 million permits—which allow for one ton carbon—sold for
$10.09 each at last week's auction.  Posted. 

California's climate trade opens to lawsuit. Before the economic
recession, Californians blindly approved the California Global
Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32) that regulates
reductions of greenhouse gases (GHGs, principally carbon dioxide
[CO2]) through market trading of CO2 reduction credits to new CO2
sources. This cap-and-trade program goal is to reduce CO2
emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, according to the
California Air Resources Board (CARB). Posted.

Shell, BP join dozens of companies expressing support of carbon
pricing.  Everyone wants a carbon tax. Literally everyone. I just
did a poll of my house and my dog Lucy kind of nodded slightly,
so I feel confident in saying that 100 percent of Americans
support a carbon tax (margin of error, 100 percent).  Really, it
isn't just me and my dog. (Actually, I'm kind of iffy on it, but
I'm willing to hear the dog's arguments.)  Posted. 


UK postpones auctions of EU aviation CO2 permits. "If agreed,
this announcement could impact on the volume of aviation
allowances to be auctioned during 2012," a Department of Energy
and Climate Change spokeswoman said.  As the Commission is unable
to determine the precise number of allowances to be auctioned in
2012, we consider that it is sensible to postpone the remaining
aviation allowance auctions scheduled for 2012."  Posted. 

Air quality alert issues for parts of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources has issued an air quality alert
for eastern and south-central Wisconsin.The alert issued Sunday
cites particle pollution, and it's rated orange, which means the
air quality could be unhealthy for people in sensitive groups.
It's scheduled to expire at noon Monday. Posted.

Ventless Gel Fireplace Introduces Clean Burning Contemporary
Interior Fireplaces to Eliminate Indoor Health Hazards. Portable
fireplace retailer Ventless Gel Fireplace has seen growing
customer demand for safer, cleaner alternatives to traditional
wood-burning fireplaces. For the holiday season, Ventless Gel
Fireplace presents customers with a new line of contemporary
fireplaces that burn clean without any harmful emissions. Posted.

Ball Aerospace Selected by NASA for TEMPO Air Pollution Mission.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is part of a team selected to
build the first space-based instrument to monitor major air
pollutants across the North American continent for NASA's
Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO)
mission.Led by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory,
Cambridge, Mass., the TEMPO team will build a geostationary
ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectrometer to continuously measure
ozone, aerosols and other trace gases over greater North America.
 The geostationary position of the instrument will allow delivery
of regional, hourly readouts of atmosphere data during daylight
hours.  This data will advance air quality research on how air
pollution affects climate change and air quality on a continental
scale. Posted.

Australian scientists find excess greenhouse gas near fracking.
Environmental researchers have detected excess greenhouse gas
levels near the site of Australia's biggest coal seam gas field,
prompting calls for halting expansion of hydraulic fracturing
until scientists can determine whether it might be contributing
to climate change.
The reported findings of methane, carbon dioxide and other
compounds at more than three times normal background levels have
stirred new controversy in eastern Australia over the pros and
cons of boosting natural gas output by "fracking," a process that
blasts sand, water and chemicals into deep underground wells.


Toll Unsettles Los Angeles Motorists Used to ‘Free’ in Freeways.
At precisely 10 p.m. last Saturday, motorists faced a toll of up
to $15.40 for the privilege of driving an 11-mile stretch of
express lanes between Gardena and downtown Los Angeles. Never
mind that tolls have been around as long as dirt roads and
covered bridges, and that congestion pricing — as this is known —
has become embraced by metropolises across the country to combat
traffic and pollution. And never mind that the toll’s reach here
is limited to lone drivers willing to pay up to $1.40 a mile,
depending on traffic, for a money-back guarantee that their
average speed will never drop below 45 miles per hour. Posted.

EPA puts new emission limits on Ariz. power plants. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency has imposed new pollution limits
on three coal-fired Arizona power plants, aiming to protect the
environment and air quality for wilderness areas and landmarks
such as the Grand Canyon. The EPA set limits for the Cholla,
Coronado and Apache generating stations that will require
technology upgrades to keep 22,700 tons of nitrogen oxide out of
the air each year. Posted.

Elk Grove rejects plan to cut greenhouse gases. The carbon
footprint in Elk Grove will stay the same size, at least for now.
The Elk Grove City Council last week backed off on long-range
plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, saying programs to
encourage sustainability might hurt businesses and job creation.
The council put aside two plans crafted by city staff to reduce
the city's emissions by about 15 percent by 2020. The plans
promote green building, energy efficiency, alternative
transportation and resource conservation. Council members,
primarily concerned about the effects of green building
requirements, unanimously voted instead to meet with business
leaders and discuss how to soften any harmful effects of going
green. Posted.


Brown defends Calif. steps to fight climate change. Gov. Jerry
Brown told attendees at an environmental conference Friday that
climate change must be prevented or humans might one day be
forced to live on another planet. Addressing the Greenbuild Expo
in San Francisco, Brown lauded California's cap-and-trade auction
for greenhouse gas emissions, which began this week. It was the
formal launch of the nation's most ambitious carbon-trading
market, which for the first time established a market-based
system to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. 

No nation immune to climate change - World Bank.  All nations
will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but it is the world's
poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages,
rising sea levels, cyclones and drought, the World Bank said in a
report on climate change.  Under new World Bank President Jim
Yong Kim, the global development lender has launched a more
aggressive stance to integrate climate change into development. 




DRIESSEN: Global warming hysteria will kill jobs.  Horizontal
drilling and hydraulic fracturing have boosted shale gas
production from zero a few years ago to 10 percent of all U.S.
energy supplies in 2012, observes energy analyst Daniel Yergin.
It has increased U.S. oil production 25 percent since 2008, in
the face of more federal land and resource withdrawals,
permitting delays and declining public land production. Posted. 

Glacial-paced U.N. climate talks need overhaul: researchers. 
Almost 200 nations will meet in Doha, Qatar, from November 26 to
December 7 to try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan
for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that
runs to the end of 2012.  They have been trying off and on since
Kyoto was agreed in 1997 to widen limits on emissions but have
been unable to find a formula acceptable to both rich and poor
nations.  Posted. 

Film looks at climate change in the Arctic; book goes to the edge
of the universe.  In 2005, National Geographic photographer James
Balog began to collect “irrefutable” evidence of climate change.
As part of his Extreme Ice Survey project, he ventured into the
Arctic with more than 20 time-lapse video cameras to capture the
changing topography of the world’s giant ice masses and compress
years of slow change into mere seconds. Posted. 

Iowa scientists: Drought a sign of climate change.  More than 130
scientists from Iowa colleges and universities say this year's
drought is consistent with a warmer climate predicted as part of
global climate change and more droughts can be expected. 
Scientists and researchers from 27 Iowa colleges and universities
signed the Iowa Climate Statement released Monday. It says a
warming climate causes wet years to be wetter and dry years to be
hotter and dryer.  Posted. 




Nov. 29 presentation looks at state diesel regulations. The
California Air Resources Board will have staff in Lake County on
Thursday, Nov. 29, to provide an in-depth discussion of how to
comply with state diesel regulations.This presentation will take
place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lake County Courthouse, 255 N.
Forbes St., Lakeport.This presentation will cover on road trucks,
off road construction equipment, public fleets, school buses,
diesel idling, and Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicle Inspection Programs.
This is an opportunity for Lake County diesel equipment operators
to meet with CARB staff, ask questions, and get detailed
information on how to comply with the multiple regulations.


Group: Toxics linger after Chevron fire. Cancer-causing chemicals
linger around homes and in gardens over a 9-square-mile area more
than three months after a catastrophic fire at the Chevron
refinery in Richmond, according to an environmental justice
group. Independent testing by Global Community Monitor found that
toxic fallout from the giant plume of smoke and soot that spewed
from the plant on Aug. 6 blanketed an area stretching from Albany
to San Pablo with dangerous hydrocarbons. Posted.

Consumer advocates say refineries may have falsified information.
Consumer Watchdog, saying that refineries operating in the state
may have falsified information to help boost gasoline prices,
wants the California attorney general to launch a criminal
investigation. The advocacy group made its request in a letter to
state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. “It appears that California’s
oil refineries falsified public information to drive up the price
of gasoline," Consumer Watchdog’s president, Jamie Court, and
energy project director, Liza Tucker, said in the letter. Posted.

E.P.A. Upholds Federal Mandate for Ethanol in Gasoline. The
Environmental Protection Agency declined on Friday to relax its
requirement on the use of corn ethanol in gasoline, rejecting a
request from several states related to a steep decline in the
nation’s corn production.  A summer drought that withered crops
led to a spike in prices, hurting the livestock industry and
others that depend on corn for food. Estimates indicate that as
much as half of the nation’s crop will be used to produce ethanol
this year to meet the federal renewable energy standard for
transportation fuel. Posted.

Gas drilling presents Obama with historic choices. Energy
companies, environmental groups, and even Hollywood stars are
watching to see what decisions President Barack Obama makes about
regulating or promoting natural gas drilling. The stakes are
huge. Business leaders don't want government regulations to slow
the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars of clean, cheap
domestic energy over the next few decades. Environmental groups
see that same tide as a potential threat, not just to air and
water, but to renewable energy. And on a strategic level,
diplomats envision a future when natural gas helps make the U.S.
less beholden to imports. Posted. 




Green groups slam Keystone pipeline, march around White House. 
Hundreds of people who say they worry oil that would be carried
the Keystone XL pipeline will accelerate climate change marched
around the White House on Sunday, hoping to revive a movement
credited with slowing down the permit process for the crude oil
project.  Posted. 

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher bouyed by 'Fiscal Cliff' talks.
 Republican and Democratic congressional leaders emerged from a
meeting with President Barack Obama on Friday pledging to find
common ground on taxes and spending that would allow them to
avert an upcoming "fiscal cliff" that could send the economy back
into recession.  Hundreds of people who say they worry oil that
would be carried by the Keystone XL pipeline will accelerate
climate change marched around the White House on Sunday, hoping
to revive a movement credited with slowing down the permit
process for the crude oil project.  Posted. 

After Sandy, EPA extends clean fuel waivers for N.J., New York
City.  The waivers had been set to expire on November 20, but
Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New
York asked the EPA to extend them because of continued fuel
supply shortages.  The EPA said it will continue to waive clean
gasoline and diesel requirements for the area until December 7. 

AAA Michigan: Gas prices up 6 cents from last week. AAA Michigan
says gasoline prices have risen roughly 6 cents during the past
week to a statewide average of about $3.53 per gallon.The auto
club said Monday the average is about 20 cents per gallon more
than last year at this time as motorists gear up for Thanksgiving
travel. Of the Michigan cities it surveys, AAA Michigan said the
cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Traverse
City area, where it's about $3.40 a gallon. The highest average
is in the Ann Arbor area at about $3.57. Posted.

Lower gas prices, economy boost Thanksgiving travel forecast.
Need another encouraging sign that the U.S. economy is slowly on
the mend? Look to this year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel
forecasts. AAA predicts that 43.6 million Americans will travel
50 miles or more from home during the holiday weekend, up almost
1 percent over the 43.3 million who traveled last year. That’s
the fourth consecutive year for holiday travel growth since 2008,
when Thanksgiving travel plummeted 25 percent as the economy
tanked. AAA defines the holiday period as Wednesday through
Sunday. Posted.


New plug-in cars catching on. Sales and leases of plug-in
vehicles in California continued to accelerate in October, likely
topping 2,000 autos for the first time.The October estimate comes
from the California Center for Sustainable Energy, which
administers the state's zero-emission vehicle program, providing
up to $2,500 toward purchases and three-year leases. The center
received 1,820 rebate applications during the month of October,
its highest participation to date. Posted.

Audi Confirms Four New U.S. Diesels For L.A. Auto Show.  If you
love glow plugs and green-handled fuel pumps, get ready to love
some new Audis. The German luxury carmaker will be bringing four
new diesels for the U.S. market to the 2012 Los Angeles Auto
Show.  The Audi A6, A7, A8, and Q5 will all get TDI "clean
diesel" versions next week, joining the Q7 and A3 TDI to bring
Audi's diesel offerings to a total of six.  Posted. 

Ford to offer 1L EcoBoost in 2014 Fiesta in North America.  The
new 2014 Ford Fiesta on sale next year will be the first vehicle
available in the United States with Ford’s 3-cylinder 1.0-liter
EcoBoost (direct injection plus turbocharging) engine. (Earlier
post.) Though the car has not yet undergone EPA testing, Ford
says it expects the Fiesta to be certified as the most
fuel-efficient non-hybrid car available in the United States. 

Honda boosts performance and fuel economy on 2013 CR-Z Sport
Hybrid Coupe using new Li-ion pack.  The 2013 Honda CR-Z goes on
sale 21 November with a number of powertrain, styling and feature
upgrades, including a new Li-ion battery pack that replaces the
NiMH pack in the MY 2012 CR-Z hybrid and delivers more power and
improved fuel economy.  Posted. 

SmartBatt consortium shows prototype optimized future battery
pack technology for electric vehicles.  The European SmartBatt
(Smart and Safe Integration of Batteries in Electric Vehicles)
consortium has produced a prototype optimized battery pack
targeted at small electric vehicles; the pack is currently on
display at the European Electric Vehicle Congress (EEVC) in
Brussels.  Posted. 

Chicago awards $13.4M contract to Motiv Power Systems for 20
Class 8 electric refuse trucks.  The City of Chicago has awarded
San Francisco Bay Area startup Motiv Power Systems a
$13.4-million contract for 20 Class 8 electric refuse trucks. The
52,000-lb trucks, powered by a 200 kWh battery pack, will have a
range of up to 60 miles.  Posted. 

Study identifies social policy as important factor in national
environmental performance.  A country’s social policy (SP) plays
an important role in explaining differences in the environmental
performance (EP) of countries, according to a new study by Dorit
Kerret and Renana Shvartzvald at Tel-Aviv University.  The paper,
published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology,
tries to unravel factors that explain national differences in EP
by using quantitative data to examine factors affecting the EP of
a broad sample of country-wide data.  Posted. 


Hawaii's solar power flare-up: Too much of a good thing? On an
island whose stock in trade is sun, and lots of it, Lawrence and
Cindy Lee figured they'd be foolish not to join their neighbors
and put a few solar panels on the roof. The Lees called one of
the solar contractors racing around Hawaii these days, and put in
their order. Eleven months later, in October — after endless
consultations, emails and a $3,000 study required by Maui
Electric Co. — they were still waiting for a permit. Posted. 

Nokia Siemens Networks, Ballard Power Systems develop fuel cell
backup power for mobile networks. Nokia Siemens Networks is
working with Ballard Power Systems, Inc. to develop mobile
networks that can continue to operate during power blackouts.
Japanese operator NTT DOCOMO has evaluated the Nokia Siemens
Networks Flexi Multiradio base station with integrated fuel cell*
backup for potential commercial deployment. The solution has been
installed at a DOCOMO R&D Center test site in Japan's Yokosuka
Research Park. Posted.

CAW and CEP Urge Federal Government to Appeal WTO Ruling Against
the Green Energy Act. The CAW and CEP are voicing their
opposition to the WTO ruling siding with the European Union and
Japan's complaint against Ontario's Green Energy Act and is
urging the federal government to appeal the decision.The dispute
centres on Ontario's feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which requires
regional and national electric-grid utilities to purchase
electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind and
hydro-electric power. Posted.

NORCO-EASTVALE: Manure/energy project still on table. The
manure-to-energy issue is not yet dead in Eastvale or Norco,
despite a recent uproar over the matter in one city and a
decision to put things on hold in another.The most recent
development involves land in Eastvale that is owned by Orange
County and is of interest to an Irvine technology company
searching for a place to build a scaled-down version of a
previously proposed waste-to-energy conversion plant. Posted.

Natural resources can affect value of sovereign bonds – UNEP. 
Pressures on nations from the overuse and scarcity of water,
food, forests and minerals, coupled with the effects of climate
change, are currently mostly left out of models used to set
sovereign credit ratings.  "Commodity markets, food prices and
food and resource security are becoming increasingly volatile,
exacerbated by climate change-caused weather extremes and
uncertainty," UNEP said in a study.  Posted.

German minister backs EU proposal to squeeze carbon market. 
Peter Altmaier, an influential figure in Chancellor Angela
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), told Reuters he hoped the
ruling centre-right coalition could agree to support it in time
for a European Union summit in December.  "The European
Commission in recent weeks made new proposals which show a sense
of proportion and reality," he said in an interview on Monday,
adding this would help stabilize trade in carbon permits and give
business an incentive to reduce CO2.  Posted. 

HOW TO PLAY IT-Predicted US oil glut a boon to those who move it.
 Railroads, pipeline companies and refiners stand to do
especially well from a U.S. drilling bonanza that is upending the
energy trade balance for the world's largest economy.  An
anticipated surge in U.S. oil output to the highest levels in the
world would give a boost to those who move crude to where it can
be turned into finished products and even shipped abroad. 


Air monitors needed at Chevron refinery. 
An independently conducted study of the toxic contamination
produced by the Aug. 6 Chevron refinery fire in detailed what the
regional air board also should have known: the fire produced
health-affecting toxic fallout.The Bay Area Air Quality Manage
District maintains air quality monitors in the region but not at
the refinery fence. The air board reported there were background
levels of pollution but not enough to affect human health, even
though it did not test air quality at and near the refinery.


A Rough Road from Swords to Ploughshares. For nearly 20 years,
the Energy Department has been seeking to destroy plutonium
recovered from surplus nuclear bombs by converting it to fuel for
civilian reactors. Most of it would be destroyed by fission, and
the remainder would be embedded in highly radioactive fission
products. Anti-proliferation groups are eager to see the
plutonium destroyed as part of a Russian-American agreement
because as long as it exists, it can be refashioned into nuclear
bombs. Posted.

In Defense of Sustained Research on Fusion. As budget
negotiations heat up, so does the debate over the balance between
investments in the long-term future and short-term necessities.
Fusion is a long-term opportunity that will transform how we
energize our society. The fact that ignition in a large American
experimental inertial confinement fusion facility did not occur
as hoped by Sept. 30 has sadly raised questions about the
scientific legitimacy of that pursuit. That the scientists did
not meet their goal by that day probably has little bearing on
that field’s ultimate success. Importantly, this non-event should
not bear any relation to the fate of other vital work centering
on an entirely different approach known as magnetic fusion.

Households to Reap Gains from Holding Polluters Accountable. The
California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the
state’s investor-owned utilities including Pacific Gas & Electric
Co. and Southern California Edison, issued a proposed ruling
Friday directing how AB 32 cap-and-trade proceeds will be
allocated to utility customers. The cap-and trade rule developed
by the state’s Air Resources Board requires the utilities to use
proceeds from the sale of carbon pollution allowances exclusively
on behalf of their customers, but tasks the Commission with
filling in the details. Posted.

Climate scientsts are Nate Silver, radio edition.  Last week, I
wrote a post called “Climate science is Nate Silver and U.S.
politics is Karl Rove.” PRI’s radio show Living On Earth asked me
to do a version of it as a commentary, and so I did. Have a
listen Or have a read: Perhaps the most striking thing about the
recent presidential election is how predictable it was — or to
put it another way, how predicted it was. From the moment Mitt
Romney was chosen as the Republican candidate, the polls showed
that Obama was on track for a narrow win in most swing states.

Buy or die: The survivalist approach to climate doom.  That’s the
advice from the New York Times Magazine feature “How to Survive
Societal Collapse in Suburbia.” Wait, don’t laugh yet — we’ll get
to that.  First, meet Ron Douglas, a champion of survivalist
consumer culture as a solution to our impending human-made doom.
Douglas, his wife, and their six children live in the Denver
exurbs with a “modified” vehicle that holds a lot of gas, which
is apparently super “self-reliant.”  Posted. 

The CIA shutters its climate change center, because who needs it?
 The CIA will close its Center on Climate Change and National
Security.  Ugh. Who’d it sleep with?  Kidding! It didn’t sleep
with anyone; it is inanimate, and sleeping with things requires
animation. (Generally.)  The center, which recently celebrated
its third birthday, is the victim of budget cuts, because Mitt
Romney won the election.  Posted. 

This cute baby rhino welcomes climate change.  If you ask him,
it's too cold by half. Global warming might keep him from having
go around wrapped in a blanket. (Baby rhinos do not understand
the difference between weather and climate.) Posted. 

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