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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/world/europe/italy-grapples-with-giant-polluting-ilva-steel-plant.html 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22157747/breathers-beware-particulate-fouls-icy-fairbanks?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22157747/breathers-beware-particulate-fouls-icy-fairbanks?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/breathing-uneasy-wood-smoke-particulate-make-winter-air-dangerous-in-frigid-fairbanks/2012/12/09/41be9bcc-4244-11e2-8c8f-fbebf7ccab4e_story.html 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CAP AND TRADE 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-unreliable-power-20121210,0,7497674,full.story CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CLIMATE_TALKS_QATARS_ROLE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/science/earth/talks-on-climate-produce-promises-and-complaints.html?hpw&_r=0 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22161144/un-climate-talks-qatar-boost-gulf-awareness?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://fresnobee.com/2012/12/10/3096151/un-climate-talks-in-qatar-boost.html#storylink=misearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/08/un-talks-nearing-weak-deal-on-climate/#ixzz2EfcSBml8 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/09/after-climate-talks-eyes-on-us-for-next-round/#ixzz2Efc7ZtLX http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22157563/after-climate-talks-eyes-us-next-round?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22157563/after-climate-talks-eyes-us-next-round?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com 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. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121208/A_NEWS/212080322&cid=sitesearch FUELS 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. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GAS_DRILLING_AIR_POLLUTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/some-energy-experts-say-drilling-can-be-done-responsibly-some-companies-better-than-others/2012/12/10/6eade69a-42fa-11e2-8c8f-fbebf7ccab4e_story.html 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/09/more-in-e-neb-powering-vehicles-with-natural-gas/#ixzz2EfgL8ck4 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/with-a-natural-gas-tax-everyone-can-benefit/2012/12/07/6c678b8a-3cd7-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22160797/conn-manufacturer-building-fuel-cell-plant?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22157329/ny-taking-comment-revised-gas-drilling-rules?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22157329/ny-taking-comment-revised-gas-drilling-rules?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22157356/fracking-surveys-find-support-unexpected-places?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/business/global/auction-for-a123-systems-won-by-wanxiang-group-of-china.html GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-unreliable-power-20121210,0,7497674,full.story 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 blackouts. State officials say JPMorgan Chase & Co. is blocking a critically needed power plant renovation in Huntington Beach. The California Independent System Operator…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/10/5043060/states-power-plant-fight-with.html#mi_rss=Our%20Regionhttp://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/10/5043060/states-power-plant-fight-with.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region#storylink=cpy OPINIONS 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. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/our-view/x1012270516/Lets-extend-wind-energy-tax-credit BLOGS 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/u-s-agricultural-research-is-faltering-report-warns/ 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. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/want-to-live-longer-breathe-clean-air/?partner=rss&emc=rss 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. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/business/energy/gasoline-prices-on-slow-steady-decline/article_5dcd8d7e-7682-5ac4-86e4-e4ad2ee24b2d.html 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. http://grist.org/news/new-yorks-bike-share-gets-a-new-new-new-new-new-launch-date/ 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. http://grist.org/news/projections-for-future-carbon-emissions-in-u-s-keep-dropping-but-the-emissions-keep-rising/ 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. http://grist.org/news/the-u-n-climate-conference-wraps-up-and-now-all-of-our-problems-are-solved/ 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/12/prelim-20121209.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/12/idtechex-20121208.html