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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 22-26, 2012 Posted: 27 Nov 2012 09:28:03
ARB Newsclips for November 22-26, 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 Kettleman City activists seek to block expansion of toxic dump. Environmental activists and leaders of this impoverished community, outraged by unreported spills of cancer-causing chemicals, are trying to block expansion of a toxic waste dump that is the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Activists say the history of the troubled Chemical Waste Management dump and new citations alleging failure to report 72 hazardous materials spills over the last four years show the company cannot be trusted to protect public health. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-kettleman-spills-20121125,0,5393590.story Proposal to increase no-burn days in Central California. Central California air officials are proposing to further curtail residential wood burning in an effort to reduce airborne particulate pollution in one of the nation's most polluted regions, according to a plan released this week. The proposal by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District would increase the number of no-burn days for fireplaces, other wood burning heaters and outdoor devices. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22057888/proposal-increase-no-burn-days-central-california?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com Related: http://fresnobee.com/2012/11/23/3076510/proposal-to-increase-no-burn-days.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2012/11/23/2466702/air-panel-proposal-would-crack.html#storylink=cpy http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121123/A_NEWS/121129965&cid=sitesearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/23/proposal-to-increase-no-burn-days-in-central/ http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/24/smog-prompts-wood-burning-ban-in-parts-of-la/#ixzz2DLs6wptm http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Smog-prompts-wood-burning-ban-in-parts-of-LA-4064173.php Conservation groups debate gas drilling ties. As a natural gas drilling boom sweeps Pennsylvania and other states, conservation groups are debating whether it makes sense to work with the industry to minimize impacts to the environment — and whether to accept industry donations. The big question is "how to deal with this overwhelming impact," said Phil Wallis, executive director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Audubon Society, adding that the industry "in general, is interested in resolving these issues." Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. http://online.wsj.com/article/AP00ccf60acb1f49ef810e3fb794bfb066.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution Richmond's coming air data deluge. The Aug. 6 fire at Chevron's Richmond refinery reopened a long-simmering community debate about who is monitoring what residents are breathing. In the wake of the fire, there now are multiple air monitoring efforts under way, but will they result in actions to clear the air - or just produce more smoke screens? Hours after a corroded pipe leaking hydrocarbon vapor erupted into a fire that sent an enormous black plume wafting over the Bay Area, Richmond residents seized the moment to revive the conversation about the effects of living next to a huge oil refinery. Some 15,000 people sought emergency medical treatment for breathing problems and illness. The community demanded to know what was spewed into the air and how it might affect residents' health. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Richmond-s-coming-air-data-deluge-4065579.php New Online Tool Calculates Health Benefits, Economic Value of Climate Change Efforts that Reduce Air Pollution. AirCounts™—a new online tool to help large and medium-sized cities calculate the health benefits and monetary value of air quality improvements—was introduced today by its developer, Abt Associates. "As cities across the globe begin establishing climate change policies and programs that include improving air quality, they'll need to answer questions about the health benefits and economic value that can be realized from those programs," said Mike Conti, vice president of Abt Associates' Environment & Resources Division. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/26/5011161/new-online-tool-calculates-health.html#storylink=misearch Poseidon proposes wetlands project in San Diego Bay. In Carlsbad, Poseidon Resources wants to filter salt from seawater to serve a thirsty county. And in San Diego Bay, the company plans to submerge 66 acres of dry scrub to create a saltwater marsh. By restoring wetland in an area once covered by farms and salt flats, Poseidon aims to compensate for marine life harmed by its proposed desalination plant. That facility would take in 100 million gallons of seawater per day, use reverse osmosis to generate 50 million gallons of highly purified drinking water and then discharge the leftover water back into the Agua Hedionda lagoon. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/nov/25/poseidon-proposes-wetlands-project-san-diego-bay/ Central Valley residents tire of receiving L.A.'s urban waste. Every day, the trucks rumble into the Central Valley by the dozens, chugging over the Grapevine loaded with lawn clippings from Beverly Hills, sewage sludge from Los Angeles and rotting yogurt and vegetables from around Southern California. Los Angeles officials and others say the daily caravan is an essential step toward recycling thousands of tons of urban waste and turning it into compost and fertilizer in California's vast agrarian middle. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-central-valley-20121126,0,7729974,full.story CAP AND TRADE Is California’s Cap-and-Trade Program the Solution to Reducing U.S. Carbon Emissions? Cap-and-trade is strongly advocated as an ultimate solution to reducing U.S. carbon emissions. California led the country by passing the Global Warming Solution Act (AB32), which creates an instate carbon cap-and-trade program. AB32 enforcement begins next year by capping Power and Industrial sectors’ carbon emissions. Posted. http://theenergycollective.com/jemillerep/148026/california-s-cap-and-trade-program-solution-reducing-us-carbon-emissions Cap-and-trade spending legally limited. Among the revenue that will strengthen California's general fund this year is cash from the state's new cap-and-trade program to limit greenhouse-gas emissions - about half a billion dollars - but officials may be legally barred from spending much of that money. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office says lawmakers and the governor will probably be able to use only $100 million or so of the $500 million they were counting on spending in this year's budget. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Cap-and-trade-spending-legally-limited-4065869.php Cap-and-trade market seems fraud-proof. California's new cap-and-trade system uses the power of markets to fight global warming. But as Californians know all too well, markets can be manipulated. Twelve years ago, Enron and other companies figured out ways to game the state's recently restructured electricity market, sending power prices soaring. The crisis bankrupted California's largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., and cost Gov. Gray Davis his job. That experience haunted the regulators who created California's cap-and-trade system, and they vowed not to let history repeat itself. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Cap-and-trade-market-seems-fraud-proof-4060315.php#ixzz2DMvfPcIK CLIMATE CHANGE Will U.S. role at climate talks change after storm? During a year with a monster storm and scorching heat waves, Americans have experienced the kind of freakish weather that many scientists say will occur more often on a warming planet. And as a re-elected president talks about global warming again, climate activists are cautiously optimistic that the U.S. will be more than a disinterested bystander when the U.N. climate talks resume Monday with a two-week conference in Qatar. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22061216/will-u-s-role-at-climate-talks-change?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://fresnobee.com/2012/11/24/3077209/will-storm-struck-us-deliver-at.html#storylink=misearch Euro debt crisis saps EU's ability to lead climate debate. The EU's debt crisis has sapped its ability to lead the way in global climate talks, which began in Doha on Monday, and build on a fragile victory it clinched a year ago. The European Union is one of the few to have promised to sign up to a second emissions-cutting period under the Kyoto process, the only international pact on tackling climate change. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/climate-talks-eu-idUSL5E8MN84I20121126 U.S. holds to climate goals despite poor nations' pleas. About 200 nations met for annual U.N. talks on global warming with little prospect of a breakthrough and recriminations over how to keep alive hopes of a new, global U.N. deal to fight climate change meant to start up in 2020. "We're sleepwalking off a cliff," Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists said. There was a lack of ambition to confront rising world greenhouse gas emissions at the two-week meeting, the first in an OPEC nation, he said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/us-climate-doha-idUSBRE8AO0FE20121126 Sea snails show impact of more acidic ocean. Oceans soak up about a quarter of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year and as CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase from burning fossil fuels, so do ocean levels, making seas more acidic. Ocean acidification is one of the effects of climate change and threatens coral reefs, marine ecosystems and wildlife. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/us-climate-seasnails-idUSBRE8AO08Z20121126 http://grist.org/news/the-shells-of-ocean-animals-are-already-dissolving-in-acidic-seas/ Timeline: How the world found out about global warming. Here is a timeline of the road to action on global warming: 300 BC - Theophrastus, a student of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, documents that human activity can affect climate. He observes that drainage of marshes cools an area around Thessaly and that clearing of forests near Philippi warms the climate. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/22/us-climate-talks-history-idUSBRE8AL0LE20121122 Factbox: Climate negotiating positions of big greenhouse emitters. The current emissions-cutting pact, the Kyoto Protocol, commits most developed states to binding targets for cutting emissions but expires at the end of this year. It may be extended for a period of five or eight years, but several industrialized countries have already said they will not sign up to further emission cuts. Following are the negotiating positions of the some of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters ahead of the U.N. meeting. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/22/us-climate-talks-emitters-idUSBRE8AL0PO20121122 Focus Turns to Climate. Environmentalists have seized on recent comments by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on climate change to push him to call for far stricter controls on carbon dioxide emissions. The effort comes as the nine states in the cap-and-trade system called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are preparing to adopt new rules on emission levels for power plants. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324352004578137443280611494.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change State awaits Obama's next move on environment. "I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it," President Barack Obama said Nov. 14. The president has been sending signals on the environment like policy test balloons. He mentioned climate change twice since re-election, once during his victory speech, and above, during a press conference at the White House. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_22060368/state-awaits-obamas-next-move-environment?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com US defends 'enormous' climate efforts at UN talks. The U.S. defended its track record on fighting climate change on Monday at U.N. talks, saying it's making "enormous" efforts to slow global warming and help the poor nations most affected by it. Other countries have accused Washington of hampering the climate talks ever since the Bush administration abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty limiting emissions of heat-trapping gases by industrialized countries. Posted http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22066233/un-climate-talks-open-qatar?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22066233/un-climate-talks-open-qatar http://fresnobee.com/2012/11/25/3078278/un-to-launch-new-round-of-talks.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/emissions-climate-aid-in-focus-as-new-round-of-un-climate-talks-opens-in-qatar/2012/11/26/6816e80e-379c-11e2-9258-ac7c78d5c680_story.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/26/un-climate-talks-open-in-qatar/#ixzz2DLtEZiw1 What Climate Change and Rising Seas Mean to the California Coastline. How much could the sea rise here, and what does it mean for real estate on our hundreds of miles of coastline? Val Zavala discusses with Joshua Willis, a climate scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and an expert on the role of oceans in the world's climate. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/interview/what-climate-change-and-rising-seas-mean-to-the-california-coastline.html What Climate Change Will Mean for the California Desert. A report released this month by the World Bank bears some upsetting news: without a redoubled commitment to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, the world will very likely warm by an average of 3-4° Celsius by the end of this century. (That's 5.5-7°Fahrenheit.) For parts of the California desert that already regularly experience long stretches of daytime temperatures exceeding 100°, considering a boost of seven more degrees Fahrenheit is daunting indeed. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/the_back_forty/weather/climate-change-and-the-california-desert.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Hong Kong's Hazy Outlook. Diesel fumes from aging trucks and buses that clog Hong Kong's narrow streets are putting Asia's financial hub on course for one of its worst years ever for roadside air pollution. The city prides itself on its reputation for modernity that attracts professionals from around the world. And though smog regularly obscures Hong Kong's famed harbor, some pollution has become an accepted fact of life. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324469304578140652103306788.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution New Conn. program to cut diesel emissions. The state of Connecticut is making $360,000 in grants available to replace on-road, heavy-duty diesel trucks with new, low-emission trucks. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection unveiled the program on Friday. It is being funded with proceeds from a federal court decree involving an environmental enforcement matter. The judge in the case required that the money be spent to reduce air pollution. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/New-Conn-program-to-cut-diesel-emissions-4062202.php FUELS COLUMN-Extreme project risk still holds back GTL: John Kemp. Gas-to-liquids (GTL) beats other options like pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) for smaller gas deposits stranded thousands of kilometres from consuming markets. GTL plants are the most attractive way to realise the value in natural gas when oil prices are above $60 per barrel and gas prices are below $8 per million British thermal units, according to the 2012 "Global Energy Assessment", a landmark study compiled by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/column-kemp-natural-gas-idUSL5E8MQ79E20121126 Tamar group inks $4 bln Israel Corp natgas deals. In all, Tamar group will supply at least 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas in three, multi-year contracts. Israel Corp previously had a deal to buy Egyptian gas, but Egypt stopped supplying gas to Israel earlier this year. The Tamar prospect, whose estimated reserves of 274 bcm made it one of the largest discoveries of the past decades, is expected to begin production around April 2013. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/tamar-natgas-israelcorp-idUSL5E8MQ31N20121126 Linde awarded major contract for LNG plant by PETRONAS in Malaysia. The technology company The Linde Group has received an order for a mid-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant from Malaysia LNG Sdn. Bhd., a production subsidiary of Malaysia's national oil and gas company PETRONAS. The new boil-off gas re-liquefaction facility has a maximum design capacity of 1,840 tons of LNG per day and will be located in the Bintulu LNG complex in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/idUS68078+26-Nov-2012+HUG20121126 Ivory Coast's Foxtrot to invest nearly $1 bln to up gas output. Ivory Coast-based Foxtrot International, along with partners Gaz de France and state oil company Petroci, plans to invest around 500 billion CFA francs ($987.76 million) over five years to boost offshore gas production, Foxtrot's managing director said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/ivorycoast-gas-idUSL5E8MQ71020121126 Westport introduces advanced LNG tank system for natural gas trucks; unsaturated LNG for large SI engines. Westport Innovations Inc. is introducing a new on-board liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage solution that supports the use of cold (unsaturated) LNG fuel for large SI-engine vehicles that would have earlier required warm (saturated) LNG. By carrying fuel as cold LNG, the Westport LNG Tank System can increase fuel storage times and improve vehicle range by up to 10%. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/westport-20121126.html DOE seeks input on barriers to thermochemical liquefaction conversion of biomass to drop-in transportation fuels. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0000796) to garner input from researchers in industry, academia, and other interested biofuels stakeholders to identify key technical barriers in converting biomass via thermochemical direct liquefaction pathways to transportation fuels in the gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel ranges. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/chase-20121122.html With Ban on Drilling Practice, Town Lands in Thick of Dispute. This old farming town near the base of the Rocky Mountains has long been considered a conservative next-door neighbor to the ultraliberal college town of Boulder, a place bisected by the railroad and where middle-class families found a living at the vegetable cannery, sugar mill and Butterball turkey plant. But this month, Longmont became the first town in Colorado to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, the oil-drilling practice commonly known as fracking. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/us/with-ban-on-fracking-colorado-town-lands-in-thick-of-dispute.html?hpw Va. uranium panel meets in Richmond for last time. A multi-agency state panel studying the possibility of uranium mining in Virginia conducts its final public meeting Tuesday before submitting its report to legislators in December. The Uranium Working Group meeting is scheduled to review statutory and regulatory changes that would be required if a 30-year ban on uranium mining is ended so a mining company can tap a 119-milllion-pound deposit of the radioactive ore in Southside Virginia. The Richmond meeting is also expected to examine emergency preparedness and response plans, should mining be allowed. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Va-uranium-panel-meets-in-Richmond-for-last-time-4067241.php#ixzz2DMCMcUwv Baker Hughes Converts Fleet of Hydraulic Fracturing Units to Bifuel. Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE: BHI), through its subsidiary Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, has converted a fleet of its Rhino™ hydraulic fracturing units to bifuel pumps as a way to improve operational efficiency, lower costs, and reduce health, safety and environmental impacts. The new pumps use a mixture of natural gas and diesel, reducing diesel use by up to 65 percent with no loss of hydraulic horsepower. The converted fleet, which meets all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards, also can reduce a number of emissions including nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and particulate matter. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/26/5011165/baker-hughes-converts-fleet-of.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Propane distributor hopes to entice motorists with alternative fuel option. Greg Schultze has made it his mission to educate anyone who will listen about the benefits of propane gas. But spare Schultze any "King of the Hill" jokes or comparisons to the cartoon's propane-selling Hank Hill character. The regional sales manager for Delta Liquid Energy is serious when it comes to discussing propane as a viable, cleaner source of transportation fuel. Posted.http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/24/propane-distributor-hopes-to-entice-motorists/#ixzz2DLsZiDaq Iran plans new oil storage, airline hikes fares. Iran is planning to build new oil storage facilities so it can store more of the fuel it is having a hard time selling due to Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program. State-run Press TV quoted Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh, Director of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, as saying nearly 8.1 million barrels will be added to Iran's crude oil storage capacity by the next summer. Iran has the world's third largest proven oil reserves and was OPEC's second largest exporter, but sanctions have stymied the flow since summer. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/26/iran-carrier-hikes-fares-on-international/ GREEN ENERGY Marin Voice: Electric trolleys are a viable transit option in Marin. A DICK SPOTSWOOD column was a big disappointment to those of us who look toward a more sustainable future in California, thanks to new technologies and attitudes about energy, housing and development, as well as transportation. Spotswood (IJ, Sept. 23, "SMART 'transit hub' housing won't lessen carbon footprint") sees these changes as a smoke screen for increasing housing. There is a larger view that he is missing, and it is about Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit connecting to Marin. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_22055542/marin-voice-electric-trolleys-are-viable-transit-option?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com Authorities: Marijuana growers using solar power. Illegal marijuana growers are increasingly using solar power to operate large-scale operations in an attempt to remain off the grid and avoid detection from law enforcement agents, authorities said. In isolated regions of the country, law enforcement agencies say they are finding more growers going green and trying to be self-sufficient by drawing power directly from the sun. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22057730/authorities-marijuana-growers-using-solar-power?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22054128/authorities-marijuana-growers-using-solar-power?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Mass. natural gas explosion damaged 42 buildings. Building inspectors assessing homes and businesses in western Massachusetts' largest city after a natural gas explosion says the blast damaged more than 40 buildings. The Friday evening explosion in Springfield leveled a strip club next to a day care. It injured 18 people, many of them emergency workers. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_22059566/mass-natural-gas-explosion-damaged-42-buildings?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com Berkeley studying electrical power options. Like it or not, most PG&E customers get their electricity from a mix of sources, including nuclear, hydroelectric, natural gas, coal, wind and sun. But there's a renewed effort in the Oakland-Berkeley area to create a program -- formally called a Community Choice Aggregation -- where decisions are made locally on what energy sources to use and where to procure that power. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22059773/berkeley-studying-electrical-power-options?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com UK energy deal triples renewable subsidy by 2020. The agreement is expected to boost the share of renewables in Britain's energy mix to 30 percent by 2020, outpacing European Union targets of 20 percent, and create thousands of new jobs. "Today we've reached a landmark agreement on energy policy that's going to deliver a clear, durable signal to investors," British Prime Minister David Cameron's spokeswoman said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/23/us-energy-subsidy-idUSBRE8AM0ML20121123 Related: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324352004578137040885144894.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change UPDATE 1-Russia's Gazprom wins 30-year gas export deal in Turkey. Gazprom clinched a long-term deal on Monday to export natural gas to private companies in Turkey, securing a growing market for the Russian gas export monopoly as it faces declines from its core consumers in the European Union. Turkey's energy market regulatory authority gave private energy companies Akfel, Bosphorus and Kibar licences to import gas from Russia's Western Line over 30 years. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/turkey-energy-licences-idUSL5E8MQ6X820121126 German local power grids need 30 bln euro investment –utilities. Germany needs more than 30 billion euros of investment in its local electricity distribution grids in the next two decades to ensure the success of its switch from nuclear to renewable energy, local utility association VKU said. "VKU estimates that (existing) distribution grids need investments of 25 billion euros ($32 billion) up to 2030," the group said on Monday. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/germany-power-grids-idUSL5E8MQAG720121126 The rise and fall of the U.S. wind industry, in one chart. Twenty years ago, it would have been extremely difficult to find a single wind turbine looming over the hills and plains of the United States. Things have changed since then — and dramatically so. Thanks to a series of tax credits from Congress as well as state-level mandates, wind power has taken off, with thousands of turbines dotting the landscape in states such as Texas and California. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/26/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-u-s-wind-industry-in-one-chart/ Climate skeptic group works to reverse renewable energy mandates. The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country. The Electricity Freedom Act, adopted by the council’s board of directors in October, would repeal state standards requiring utilities to get a portion of their electricity from renewable power, calling it “essentially a tax on consumers of electricity.” Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/climate-skeptic-group-works-to-reverse-renewable-energy-mandates/2012/11/24/124faaa0-3517-11e2-9cfa-e41bac906cc9_story.html Doubts on $30 billion aid for climate change overshadow UN talks. Doubts mounted about whether developed nations honored a pledge to deliver $30 billion in aid for fighting and defend against climate change after two analysts estimated different amounts had been paid out. The question over how much finance was provided under the “fast-start” program has the potential to undermine trust between donor and recipient nations during two weeks of United Nations talks on a treaty to curb global warming. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/doubts-on-30-billion-climate-aid-pledge-threaten-un-trust/2012/11/26/9d8dbbf2-37c4-11e2-9258-ac7c78d5c680_story.html US/China research team proposes “solar energy funnel” to harness photons for electricity; using elastic strain to capture a wider spectrum. Researchers from Peking University in China and MIT are proposing using elastic strain as a viable agent to create an optoelectronic material with a spatially varying bandgap that is tunable for use in photovoltaics, photocatalysis and photodetection. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/funnel-20121126.html Study finds biodiesel from algae, yeast and bacteria can displace both petroleum diesel and soybean biodiesel. Biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester) derived from oleaginous microbes—microalgae, yeast, and bacteria—can effectively displace both petroleum diesel and biodiesel produced from plant oils, according to the findings of a new study by a team from Utah State University. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/wahlen-20121123.html Related: http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=78610 2nd annual Race to Reduce Awards to recognize leaders in energy reduction, landlord/tenant collaboration. Are the Toronto region's office buildings on track to meet their collective energy reduction goal in the four-year Race to Reduce? CivicAction's Greening Greater Toronto will answer that question as it announces the winners of office building performance, landlord-tenant engagement, and action and innovation at the second annual Race to Reduce Awards. The 2012 Race to Reduce awards take place on Wednesday, November 28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre at 5:30 p.m. The event is one of several during the week-long celebration of CivicAction's tenth-year anniversary. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/26/5010747/2nd-annual-race-to-reduce-awards.html#storylink=misearch Clean Diesel Power Delivers Official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree To Washington, D.C. After a three-week, 28-city tour across the United States, the 73-foot Engelmann Spruce Christmas tree that will be illuminated outside the U.S. Capitol building arrived this morning in Washington, D.C. "The People's Tree" began its 5,012 mile cross-country journey on November 2nd from the White River National Forest in Colorado en route to the nation's capital. The tree's journey was under the supervision of the U.S. Forest Service. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/26/5011059/clean-diesel-power-delivers-official.html#storylink=misearch Solar power plants burden the counties that host them. When it comes to attracting business to California's eastern deserts, Inyo County is none too choosy. Since the 19th century the sparsely populated county has worked to attract industries shunned by others, including gold, tungsten and salt mining. The message: Your business may be messy, but if you plan to hire our residents, the welcome mat is out. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-counties-20121125,0,4188597.story New closing date set for sale of UP power plant. Escanaba Green Energy could become owner of the Escanaba power plant in less than a month. The Daily Press reports that Dec. 20 is the new closing date for the sale of the coal-fueled plant in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The sale price is $1.6 million. Escanaba Green Energy plans to invest more than $30 million to buy, modernize and convert the facility to burn biomass. Company president Charles Detiege says construction to convert the plant from coal to wood chips could begin in April. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/23/new-closing-date-set-for-sale-of-up-power-plant/ HIGH SPEED RAIL California's high-speed rail gains momentum, but doubts remain. California's effort to build a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles - the largest public works project now under way in the United States - is picking up political momentum, but even supporters wonder whether it can stay on track to meet its goal by 2029. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/25/5008994/californias-high-speed-rail-gains.html#storylink=misearch VEHICLES German carmakers seek wider EU loophole on CO2 standard. EU car manufacturers are divided over how a 2020 EU target to cut carbon emissions to an average of 95 grams per km should be shared out across the European industry. A proposal from German automakers' body VDA would allow manufacturers effectively to add on around 10 grams of carbon per km to the EU target, campaigners say. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/us-eu-cars-co-idUSBRE8AP0SF20121126 Natural gas drillers target US truck, bus market. If the trash truck or bus rolling down your street seems a little quieter these days, you're not imagining things. It's probably running on natural gas. Surging gas production has led the drilling industry to seek out new markets for its product, and energy companies, increasingly, are setting their sights on the transportation sector. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. http://online.wsj.com/article/AP2b15ad0db7f0478bbd14a610c0a2eb32.html?KEYWORDS=vehicles http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/25/natural-gas-drillers-target-us-truck-bus-market/ Freeway Drones for a Futuristic Highway Patrol. IT’S a future far from Ponch and Jon, the Los Angeles-based motorcycle officers of “CHiPs,” a TV series that rose to popularity in the 1970s. In this take on the California Highway Patrol of 2025, patrol cars and motorcycles would be replaced by computerized drones; chips take over CHiPs. Here, the highway patrol vehicles of the future will be mostly self-driving, if you accept the solutions offered by the entries in this year’s Design Challenge, an annual competition organized in conjunction with the Los Angeles auto show. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/automobiles/freeway-drones-for-a-futuristic-highway-patrol.html Shanghai General Motors introduces Sail SPRINGO EV at Auto Guangzhou 2012; green technology strategy to 2020. At the opening of Auto Guangzhou 2012, Shanghai General Motors launched its first localized new energy vehicle, the Sail SPRINGO EV. The vehicle was developed by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), making it the first production electric vehicle created by a Chinese joint venture. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/springo-20121126.html GM and U Mich receive patent on plug-in series hybrid/extended range electric vehicle powertrain using multiple free piston linear alternator engines. GM Global Technology Operations LLC and the Regents of the University of Michigan recently were awarded a US patent (Nº 8,261,860) for a plug-in series hybrid or range-extended electric vehicle powertrain using multiple free piston linear alternator (FPLA) engines. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/fpla-20121125.html OPINIONS Editorial: California's first cap and trade foray doesn't yet answer question: Will it reduce greenhouse gas? California dipped its toe into the cap-and-trade water and found it to be neither too hot nor too cold. Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary D. Nichols proclaimed the first auction of carbon allowances to be a success. Numerous environmentalists who want cap and trade to succeed also praised it. But in reality, the first live auction conducted last week and assessed this week was like taking a test drive in an alternative fuel vehicle. Maybe it will fit California's needs. Maybe it won't. Nichols and others said the goal of cap and trade, in which polluters pay to offset their carbon emissions, is not to generate money for the state. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/21/5001206/editorial-californias-first-cap.html Get real about rail: Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The newspaper is on the right track by pointing out how proponents of the bullet train from Southern California to San Francisco are out of touch with reality. The voters were sold a bill of goods for a bullet train that has already proven to be unrealistic. Estimated costs have risen. Projected ridership, revenues and ridership are all problematical. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_22060369/get-real-about-rail-letters-editor-sunday-nov?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com All Fresno must care about west Fresno air. How would you feel if you knew that where you live is prematurely cutting 27 years off of your life? I'm not talking about living in some underdeveloped or war-torn region of the world. Recent research from the Central Valley Health Policy Institute reveals that west Fresno residents, who are primarily African-American and Latino, are expected to live an average of 27 years less than residents of other parts of Fresno. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/11/23/3076968/chris-breedlove-all-fresno-must.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy AHRON HAKIMI: Amtrak rolls out its vision for better service in Central Valley. Regardless of whether the high-speed rail project continues forward at its present rate, a lesser-known expansion proposal of the existing Amtrak system throughout the San Joaquin Valley has been quietly gathering steam. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Caltrans will host a public workshop on Amtrak's San Joaquins Vision Project at the Kern Council of Governments office, 1401 19th St., Suite 300, in Bakersfield. The San Joaquin line, which runs from Bakersfield to Oakland and Sacramento, is the fifth-busiest run in the nation. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/hot-topics/x1801509731/AHRON-HAKIMI-Amtrak-rolls-out-its-vision-for-better-service-in-Central-Valley WILLIAM DICKINSON: Earth's explosive population growth manifesting as climate change. Climate change, global warming -- call it what you will -- forces us to deal with the consequences of another threat to humankind: overpopulation. If today's 7.1 billion people have already dangerously overloaded our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, what can we expect when world population tops 9 billion by midcentury? This is an existential question the climate denial folks don't want to answer and, to their relief, it is one rarely asked. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/hot-topics/x59956314/WILLIAM-DICKINSON-Overpopulation-drives-Earths-warming-trend GREAT GOAL – BUT CRAZY REGULATORS. Next week, Chrysler Group LLC will unveil a new car that executives expect few customers to buy, and few dealers to order, according to The Wall Street Journal. But this failure has a perverse bright side, because Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne expects to lose up to $9,000 on each one he sells. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/nov/24/tp-great-goal-but-crazy-regulators/ BLOGS First cap-and-trade auction a bust for California budget. State environmental leaders this week hailed California's first cap-and-trade auction a success, but it was hardly so for the state budget. Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers assumed three auctions this fiscal year would generate $1 billion total for the state, half of which they want to plug the state budget deficit. But most of the $289 million raised this month is dedicated for utilities and their ratepayers, leaving only $55.8 million for state purposes. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/11/first-cap-and-trade-auction-a-bust-for-california-budget.html#storylink=cpy What's your QELRO? Fast guide to UN climate lingo. Every time U.N. negotiators meet for their annual climate talks, they come up with a new set of unintuitive acronyms, as if to make sure that people outside the climate bubble won't understand what they're talking about. So here's a guide that will help you crack the code to the climate lingo at the two-week conference that started Monday in Doha, Qatar. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22067319/whats-your-qelro-fast-guide-un-climate-lingo?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com While we dither on spending to prevent disaster, Big Oil doubles down on causing it. Disaster cleanup is a lousy way to spend $19 billion, even if it creates thousands of temporary jobs. A much better way is to spend money to prevent the worst effects from happening at all. So far, Americans have shown little interest in such foresight. From The New Yorker's James Surowiecki: Posted. http://grist.org/news/while-we-dither-on-spending-to-prevent-disaster-big-oil-doubles-down-on-causing-it/ Paris to ban older cars, ruining all of your chase scenes. If you know Paris, you know that it is primarily populated by men with pencil-thin mustaches who wear berets and carry around baguettes in paper bags. A lot of them wear shirts with thick horizontal stripes. These men don't talk much, they mostly loiter around in the background speaking a language comprised mostly of sniffs and grumbles. Posted. http://grist.org/news/paris-to-ban-older-cars-ruining-all-of-your-chase-scenes/ Sandy-battered neighborhood gives thanks for solar [VIDEO]. Since Hurricane Sandy, the historic Belle Harbor Yacht Club in the Rockaways -- one of New York City's hardest-hit neighborhoods -- has become an indispensable hub for supplies, volunteers, and a much-needed round of drinks. Three weeks after the storm, the oft-maligned Long Island Power Authority still hasn't reconnected this building, not to mention its neighbors, back to the grid, leaving locals to face the prospect of a cold, dark Thanksgiving. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/sandy-battered-neighborhood-gives-thanks-for-solar-video/ Did You Save Some Turkey Fat? Other Oils? Most of us tend to pour the oil directly down the drain. A quick wash with dish liquid convinces us that we’re breaking down the fat sufficiently. Unfortunately, that’s when the work might begin for the plumber. Fat, oil and grease (FOG) poured down a drain will eventually cool, clinging to the sides of pipes and making it harder for water to flow through the vast arterial networks underground. But some people are aware that our Thanksgiving effluent has potential as biofuel. And as it turns out, several cities across the United States are running public or privately run FOG recycling drives. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/did-you-save-some-turkey-fat-other-oils/?ref=earth The Worldwide Vulnerability of Forests. One of the great scientific tasks of the day is to understand how and why trees die. It may seem like a question that would have been answered many decades ago, but it was not — at least not at a detailed physiological level. Now, amid growing signs worldwide that forests are at risk as the climate changes, scientists are trying to catch up to events. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/the-worldwide-vulnerability-of-forests/?ref=earth Another Path to Biofuels. Last week I wrote about two companies that are racing to be first in commercial-scale production of motor fuel from nonfood sources. A large group of other companies is pursuing various other strategies, one or two steps behind. One of those companies is planning to use algae. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/another-path-to-biofuels-two-actually/?ref=earth Creating a Vital Long View for Gauging Environmental Change. Last year, Michael SanClements, an ecologist affiliated with the Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research at the University of Colorado, sent a Dot Earth “Postcard” about a project studying soil microbes in Antarctica. Here’s a fresh contribution from SanClements, along with colleague Jeff Taylor, from the other end of the planet — Alaska’s Arctic tundra. They are both staff scientists with the National Ecological Observatory Network, an initiative supported by the National Science Foundation that has a goal of creating a view of ecological change that spans the continent over the next three decades. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/creating-a-vital-long-view-for-gauging-environmental-change/?partner=rss&emc=rss&utm_source=UniBulGreen&utm_medium=twitter An 83-Second History of 20 Years of Climate Diplomacy. If you want to review the history of climate diplomacy before you start seeing coverage from Doha, Qatar, next Monday of the 18th round of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, two choices are to click on the 83-second animation above or click here for my past coverage for The Times. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/an-83-second-history-of-20-years-of-climate-diplomacy/ As Doha Climate Talks Convene, Report Finds Broken Promises. All eyes are on Doha, Qatar, this week as world leaders, politicians, academics and environmentalists gather to work on a global solution to climate change at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. O.K., not all eyes. After deep disappointment at the Rio+20 conference in June, when nations wrestled with the related challenges of sustainable development, more and more people may be ignoring these global confabs. Still, it is in Doha that the slow-turning wheels of global politics will try to devise plans to both mitigate climate change and adapt to it. “This conference is not merely procedural, it can also bring about important policy,” said Martin Kaiser, head of the International Climate Politics unit of Greenpeace. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/as-doha-climate-talks-convene-report-cites-unfulfilled-commitments/ Air quality agency issues Southland no-burn alert. Much of Los Angeles is being asked to hold off lighting wood-burning fireplaces or open pits starting at midnight Saturday and continuing for 24 hours to avoid releasing unhealthy soot that becomes trapped in the air by a wintertime weather pattern. The first-ever no-burn alert comes with a $50 fine for first-time residential violators and applies to the downtown area, West Hollywood, Burbank and much of the eastern San Fernando Valley. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/no-roasting-over-an-open-fire-aqmd-tells-los-angeles.html