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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 10, 2012.

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 14:45:50
ARB Newsclips for December 10, 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.


Grappling With Italian Steel Plant That Provides and Pollutes.
Every morning, Graziella Lumino cleans the black soot from her
kitchen window, which looks out on the hulking Ilva steel plant
where her husband, Giuseppe Corisi, worked for 30 years. After he
died this year at the age of 64 from violent, sudden-onset lung
cancer, his friends put a plaque on the wall of their apartment
building: “Here lived the umpteenth death from lung cancer.
Taranto, March 8, 2012.” Posted.

Breathers beware: Particulate fouls icy Fairbanks.  Stanford
University Medical Center doctors gave Alex Lee a parting gift at
the end of his heart operations earlier this year: surgeon's
masks.  They knew Lee, 19, would be returning home to Fairbanks,
Alaska, and gave him the masks to protect himself from air
polluted with suspended particulate that can cause irregular
heartbeat or a heart attack. Diagnosed with Down syndrome, Lee is
not in position to take his doctors' stronger suggestion—moving
away from his hometown air.  Posted. 



All eyes turn to EPA with major air standards due this week.
Public health advocates, industry groups and lawmakers this week
are anxiously waiting to see whether U.S. EPA will finalize major
new air standards for small particles that come from power
plants, boilers and car tailpipes. The agency faces a
court-ordered deadline of Friday to set new national ambient air
quality standards, or NAAQS, for fine particles, also referred to
as PM 2.5 or soot. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/10/3 BY


State ponders double carbon tax tangle. As Washington lawmakers
warm up to the idea of a carbon tax to curb greenhouse gas
emissions, California could be faced with a double taxation
problem, having recently launched its cap-and-trade system. Both
approaches -- a carbon tax and cap and trade -- put a price on
the emissions that are heating the planet. But they do it in
different ways. Use both systems at once, and companies could end
up paying twice for the same pollution. Posted. 


UN climate talks in Qatar boost Gulf awareness. Holding a
high-profile U.N. climate change conference in Qatar, smack in
the middle of the region that produces so much of the fossil fuel
blamed for global warming, was a gamble. In the end, it displayed
the hosts' drive for a leading place on the world stage and
evoked a surprising new regional awareness of the environmental
crisis. The two-week conference that ended Saturday challenged
the tight control Qatar and other Gulf nations keep over their
societies, and protesters took the brunt of that. Posted.




Report says ski resorts in trouble. Winter as we know it is on
"borrowed time," according to a national environmental group that
on Thursday said climate change has cost the ski resort industry
$1 billion over the past decade. The report by the Natural
Resources Defense Council and the nonprofit group Protect Our
Winters comes after a frustratingly dry winter of 2011-12.


Energy experts say drilling can be made cleaner. In the Colorado
mountains, a spike in air pollution has been linked to a boom in
oil and gas drilling. A thousand miles away on the plains of
north Texas, there’s a drilling boom, too, but some air pollution
levels have declined. Opponents of drilling point to Colorado and
say it’s dangerous. Companies point to Texas and say drilling is
safe. The answer appears to be that drilling can be safe or it
can be dangerous. Industry practices, enforcement, geography and
even snow cover can minimize or magnify air pollution problems.


More in E. Neb. powering vehicles with natural gas. Two years
ago, all the operations vehicles at the Lincoln Airport, from
maintenance trucks to police vehicles, ran on either unleaded
gasoline or diesel fuel. Now 11, out of a fleet of 25 run on
compressed natural gas. The airport used a federal grant to help
pay to convert the first four vehicles to run on natural gas but
has since paid to convert seven on its own. Posted.

With a natural gas tax, everyone can benefit.  Every once in a
while, one of those economic policy dogfights comes along that
involves huge sums of money and pits one powerful industry
against another. The K Street lobbying machine goes into
overdrive, dueling studies are commissioned, the think tanks
start churning out policy briefs and rival committee hearings are
scheduled on Capitol Hill. As a journalist, my rule has been to
never let such a donnybrook go to waste.  Posted. 

Conn. manufacturer building fuel cell plant.  A Connecticut fuel
cell manufacturer and Bridgeport officials are looking to strike
a deal for a power plant that would be the biggest in the world
to be run by a fuel cell.  The Connecticut Post reports
(http://bit.ly/U7LNvj) that FuelCell Energy Inc. and Bridgeport
city officials are planning a 15-megawatt project. That would be
enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.  Posted. 

NY taking comment on revised gas drilling rules.  New York
regulators will begin taking public comments on revised
gas-drilling rules this week, though an extensive environmental
review outlining the basis for those rules remains incomplete,
and neither drillers nor environmentalists are happy lately with
the state's work on the issue. Posted. 


Fracking surveys find support in unexpected places.  Many people
in New York and Pennsylvania have voiced concerns about the
safety of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or fracking. But
two new surveys found that many people who live in New York City
and the suburbs approve of drilling in parts of that state, and
that Pennsylvania residents who live in an area of heavy drilling
feel the benefits outweigh the risks.  Posted. 

Calif. drilling will trigger temblors -- industry expert.
Drilling for oil in California is likely to trigger earthquakes
but most will be very small, an industry consultant said here
last week. Companies hoping to extract petroleum trapped in
Golden State shale in many cases must drill long horizontal
wells, said Michael Bruno, president of GeoMechanics
Technologies, an analysis firm. As developers stimulate larger
areas, he said, man-made or "induced" seismic reactions can
occur. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/12/10/2  BY


Chinese Firm Wins Bid for Auto Battery Maker. Wanxiang Group, a
large Chinese auto parts maker, won a high-stakes auction on
Sunday for assets of A123 Systems, the bankrupt American battery
maker that was a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s loan
program for electric vehicles. A123, which filed for bankruptcy
in October after chronic losses and a damaging battery recall,
said Wanxiang agreed to pay $256 million for its automotive and
commercial operations, including its three factories in the
United States. Posted.


Rise in renewable energy will require more use of fossil fuels.
As the state attempts to reach the goal of producing one-third of
its electricity from wind and solar sources by 2020, more
reliable sources of traditional power will be needed as a backup.
The Delta Energy Center, a power plant about an hour outside San
Francisco, was roaring at nearly full bore one day last month,
its four gas and steam turbines churning out 880 megawatts of
electricity to the California grid. Posted.

State's power-plant fight with JPMorgan Chase is a legacy of
deregulation mess. It sounds like a bit of leftover mischief from
the energy crisis: an electricity trader from Houston accused of
hobbling California's power supply, leading to possible
State officials say JPMorgan Chase & Co. is blocking a critically
needed power plant renovation in Huntington Beach. The California
Independent System Operator…Posted.


Let's extend wind energy tax credit. As Congress struggles with
debt reduction measures amid talk of the looming fiscal cliff, it
is instructive to remember that more is at stake than just an
across-the-board increase in income tax rates. Hanging in the
balance as well is the wind energy tax credit, set to expire at
year's end. Supporters are hoping that an extension of the tax
credit is part of any cliff-avoidance deal. Posted.


U.S. Agricultural Research Is Faltering, Report Warns. A
blue-ribbon panel of scientific and technology advisers to
President Obama warns that the nation risks losing its
longstanding supremacy in food production because research in
agriculture has not kept up with new challenges like climate
change, depleted land and water resources and emerging pests,
pathogens and invasive plants. Posted.

Want to Live Longer? Breathe Clean Air Continuing declines in air
pollution are linked to increasing life expectancy, a national
study has found. From 2000 to 2007, air pollution, as measured in
concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in
diameter, has continued to decrease, although not as rapidly as
in the 1980s and ’90s. But even the slower rate of decrease is
apparently lengthening life expectancy. Posted.

Gasoline prices on slow, steady decline. Gasoline prices have
been falling slowly as the holiday travel season approaches. A
gallon of regular sold for $3.68 on average in San Diego on
Monday, down 20 cents from a month ago, according to AAA's daily
fuel gauge report. A year ago, the average was $3.60.Analysts
anticipate further price declines nationwide, with gas prices
loosely tracking oil markets amid relatively low winter fuel
demands. Posted.

New York’s bike share gets a new new new new new launch date. 
New York City's bike-share program -- originally slated for late
summer, then this fall, then some point next year, then
who-knows-when-because-Sandy -- will be launched in May of 2013.
If you believe the city, which you shouldn't, based on its prior
track record.  Posted. 

Projections for future carbon emissions in U.S. keep dropping —
but the emissions keep rising.  The U.S. Energy Information
Agency has a graph showing how its projections for U.S. carbon
dioxide output keeps being revised downward. In case you didn't
get the point, it has a big blue arrow pointing down. They
probably had a few meetings to discuss whether the arrow was big
enough.  Posted. 

The U.N. climate conference wraps up, and now all of our problems
are solved.  There are pretty good odds that the atmosphere
already contains enough greenhouse gases to push global
temperatures more than 2 degrees Celsius higher by the end of the
century, an increase broadly understood to mean catastrophic
effects across the globe. If the atmosphere isn't yet at that
point, the amount that we'd have to curb our pollution to prevent
it becomes steeper and less realistic by the day.  Posted. 

New petroleum refining lifecycle model finds the variability in
GHG emissions from refining different crudes as significant as
magnitude expected in upstream operations.  Researchers at the
University of Calgary (Canada) have developed the Petroleum
Refinery Life-cycle Inventory Model (PRELIM). PRELIM uses a more
comprehensive range of crude oil quality and refinery
configurations than used in earlier models and can quantify
energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with detail and
transparency the better to inform policy analysis, the duo
suggests.  Posted. 

IDTechEx forecasts $18B market for electric vehicle inverters in
2023.  The market for electric vehicle inverters, including
converters, for both hybrid and pure electric vehicles—land,
water and air—will grow to $18 billion in 2023 according to a new
report from IDTechEx, “Inverters for Electric Vehicles
2013-2023”.  Posted. 

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