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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 17, 2012. Posted: 17 Dec 2012 12:33:02
ARB Newsclips for December 17, 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 New air pollution standards restrict soot particles. The Obama administration announced a new air pollution standard Friday that would bring about a 20% reduction in microscopic particles of soot emitted by coal-fired power plants and diesel vehicles that contribute to haze and respiratory ailments. The new limit, fought by industry and welcomed by environmentalists, marks the first time the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the soot standard since it was established 15 years ago. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-na-obama-soot-20121215,0,3200679.story http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/17/obama-tightens-air-pollution-limits-soot Coachella Valley air quality funding: Paving proposal cut. The $51 million in air quality improvement funds from a natural gas peaker plant now under construction in North Palm Springs continued to generate controversy Friday as Coachella Valley residents called for further changes in the list of 26 projects recommended to receive a slice of the funding. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20121214/NEWS07/312140006/Coachella-Valley-air-quality-funding-Paving-proposal-cut?nclick_check=1 Is EPA’s soot rule a sign for the second term? EPA’s critics say they see ill omens for President Barack Obama’s second term in Friday’s announcement of significantly tightened air pollution limits on soot from exhaust pipes and smokestacks. The finished rule that emerged from the agency Friday is mostly as stringent as the one that EPA submitted for White House review in the summer. Posted. http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/is-epas-soot-rule-a-sign-for-the-second-term-85118.html#ixzz2FKhnoWLF Air advocates applaud new soot standards, cautiously celebrate effects on climate. Although proponents of U.S. EPA's newly completed standards for particulate matter (PM 2.5) are confident it will reduce the number of premature deaths and hospital visits in the country, it's not clear how much it will do to control climate change. EPA announced the final rule for the new national ambient air quality standards for PM 2.5 on Friday, tightening the restriction from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12 micrograms, averaged over a 12-month period. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY City plans shift from sprawl to low-carbon, multifamily housing. The City Council of Newark, a San Francisco Bay suburb, has voted to convert 200 acres of land into a development that should set the trend for a state bent on decarbonizing its economy. The development, on land that is owned largely by chemical companies, will have 2,500 new homes, mostly town houses and apartments, built within walking distance of stores and schools and connected by a new train to jobs in Silicon Valley across the Bay. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/10 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Some cleaner-burning cookstoves aren't clean enough – study. Ceramic cookstoves in sub-Saharan Africa are proving effective at easing some health symptoms associated with inhalation of smoke and other pollutants from traditional cooking fires. But a key metric of health in children -- pneumonia burden -- appears to be unaffected by the stoves' deployment in one western Kenyan district. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Sacramento nonprofit will screen projects for state cap and trade market. A Sacramento nonprofit will play a key role in California's new "cap and trade" greenhouse gas market, designed to reduce carbon emissions. The American Carbon Registry was approved as one of two "offset project registries" - organizations that will screen projects aimed at reducing carbon in the atmosphere. The other registry is Climate Action Reserve of Los Angeles. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/14/5055223/sacramento-nonprofit-will-screen.html California appoints carbon watchdogs for cap-and-trade program. Two nonprofits, including one with operations in Sacramento, were appointed to key roles Friday in California's new cap-and-trade carbon market. The American Carbon Registry and Climate Action Reserve were named "offset project registries" – groups that scrutinize projects designed to curb greenhouse gases. Their appointment was announced by the California Air Resources Board, which runs the market and held its first auction a month ago for carbon emissions allowances. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/15/5055809/california-appoints-carbon-watchdogs.html Amid climate change, a need to define and promote energy innovation. Today’s energy technologies won’t be able to propel the world to deep reductions in global carbon emissions, Stepp writes, but improving energy innovation and developing new designs can. The United States and the world face an urgent imperative to transform its energy system by developing and deploying low or zero-carbon technologies on a dramatic scale. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/1217/Amid-climate-change-a-need-to-define-and-promote-energy-innovation Offset companies cleared to enter Calif. Market. California regulators last week gave their stamp of approval to companies waiting to collect and sell carbon offsets for use in the state's economywide cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases. With the state's stamp of approval on several major links in the offset supply chain, market participants expect a stream of offsets to be available in the coming months for companies that have to reduce their emissions under the state's landmark greenhouse gas law, A.B. 32. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS ARB issues solicitation for zero-emission off-road equipment projects. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a grant solicitation for demonstration projects on zero-emission off-road equipment. ARB expects that up to $1 million will be available for this solicitation, although funding could be increased to a maximum of $5 million depending on the availability of state funds. The potential number of projects selected for funding is expected to be two, but up to five projects may be selected, the agency said. The solicitation was issued under AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program’s (AQIP)…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/12/arborzev-20121215.html FUELS USDA awards $10M in grants to spur production of biofuels, bioenergy and biobased products. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $10 million in research grants to spur production of biofuels, bioenergy and biobased products that will lead to the development of sustainable regional systems and help create jobs. Vilsack highlighted the announcement with a visit to Michigan State University, a grant awardee. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/12/usda-20121215.html Plan for U.S. oil exports brings talk of economic boon, fears of failure. Not long ago, the U.S. was facing the prospect of spending billions to import pricey natural gas from overseas to heat our homes, fuel electrical generation and run our city buses. The industry was furiously building terminals to handle what was sure to be enormous ship traffic from places like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/17/plan-for-us-oil-exports-brings-talk-economic-boon-fears-failure/#ixzz2FKuLnbpc VEHICLES Nissan shifts Leaf marketing strategy. Nissan admits its launch strategy on the Leaf miscalculated the short-term market potential for the electric vehicle and says it will do a better job of targeting potential buyers. Al Castignetti, Nissan vice president for sales, said sales momentum began slowing in February when Nissan started supplying Leafs to dealers in all 50 states, regardless of whether their local markets had adequate EV charging infrastructure. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/nissan-shifts-leaf-marketing-strategy/article_fcd7ac4f-17df-5c47-a299-74aadd99f289.html Manteca rolls out hybrid garbage trucks. Two new hybrid garbage trucks will be put into commission in Manteca on Monday. The San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District provided grant funds for their purchase. The two residential garbage trucks are the first in California to feature Parker's RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive System, the city said in a news release. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/15/2497543/manteca-rolls-out-hybrid-garbage.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Texas project boosts hybrid automobile and smart metering use. A Texas project is testing and analyzing the impacts of alternative vehicles, renewable electricity generation and energy efficiency technologies. The project -- Pecan Street Inc., a 1-square-mile neighborhood in Austin -- has attracted support from General Motors, utilities and high-tech firms, and the Department of Energy, which has granted it $10.4 million. Private investors have given $14 million. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/11 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Radioactive hot spots remain at former research facility's site. A federal study shows hundreds of hot spots at the 2,850-acre facility, overlooking the west San Fernando Valley, half a century after a partial nuclear meltdown there. Half a century after America's first partial nuclear meltdown, hundreds of radioactive hot spots remain at a former research facility overlooking the west San Fernando Valley, according to a recently released federal study. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-meltdown-study-20121218,0,2007532.story Fuel cell park in Bridgeport moves forward. Dominion Energy has agreed to buy a proposed fuel cell site in Bridgeport in a deal that will allow the long-planned clean energy project to go forward. The deal announced Friday means a 15-megawatt fuel cell park will be built in Bridgeport by the end of 2013. The park is expected to generate enough power for 15,000 homes. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22204119/fuel-cell-park-bridgeport-moves-forward?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Eye on Environment: Ventura mission sets environmental example with Christmas trees. Who has the greenest Christmas tree in Ventura County? The winner might be the San Buenaventura Mission, which has two 120-foot Norfolk pines beautifully illuminated for Christmas. Earlier this year, crews took down a lighting system that had been in the branches of the mission's trees for 30 years and replaced it with strings of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/15/ventura-mission-sets-environmental-example-with/#ixzz2FKVwcOMG Sierra Club gives Capitol administrators lumps of coal for the holidays. Sierra Club leaders and Capitol Hill-area residents filled a stocking with coal this morning as a symbolic holiday president for U.S. Capitol administrators, protesting what they say is the ongoing burning of coal at the Capitol Power Plant. Environmental advocates are urging residents to attend a public hearing this evening over a proposed permit to develop a combined heat and power system. They say it would effectively loosen air pollution standards and allow the continued burning of coal. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/17/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Blue and red counties both voted to steer money to green energy. When Californians in November approved a ballot measure expected to generate as much as $2.75 billion for green energy, support came from counties that politically are very different. Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange and San Francisco counties are among those that backed Proposition 39, which mandated that all businesses operating in California pay taxes based on their in-state sales and use half the new revenue to fund clean energy. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/17/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Cost-cutting is focus of latest DOE offshore wind power grant. The wind blowing off the coasts and lakeshores of the United States could power the country four times over, according to the Department of Energy. Yet to date, not a single offshore wind turbine has been built. The problem, in a word, is cost -- technology and installation costs remain prohibitively high, and the bar is set to rise further with the expiration of the production tax credit for wind energy at the end of this year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Wyden and Murkowski: The Great Senate Hope for Energy Innovation Policy in 2013. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin recently proclaimed in reference to possible energy policy in 2013, “I have never been more optimistic than I am right now with Ron Wyden and Lisa Murkowski.” That’s a bold statement in an energy policy debate known more for its political pitfalls like Solyndra and a Senate known more for mind-numbing gridlock and inaction. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewstepp/2012/12/17/wyden-and-murkowski-the-great-senate-hope-for-energy-innovation-policy-in-2013/ MISCELLANEOUS Santa Ana-based Edison Mission Energy files for bankruptcy. Edison Mission Energy, an unregulated power-generating unit of Rosemead-based Edison International, said Monday that it had filed for bankruptcy and had agreed on a reorganization plan with its parent company and holders of its $3.7 billion in debt. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which we believe reflects the long-term value potential of our organization,” Pedro Pizarro, president of Edison Mission Energy, said in a statement. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-edison-mission-energy-20121217,0,6930849.story?track=rss OPINIONS Analysis: California refiners dreamin' of shale oil face hurdles. Two years on, a gusher of U.S. shale oil production is finally starting to seep into California, where refiners in the country's most isolated fuel market are waging an increasingly desperate battle to curb costs. It's far from certain, however, that cut-priced light crude from eastern Texas or North Dakota will arrive quickly enough or in sufficient volume to revitalize California plants in the same way new domestic oil has rescued East Coast refiners. The nation's toughest permitting rules, complex new carbon emission limits and a lack of pipeline infrastructure might delay the flow of large-scale shipments until the end of next year or beyond. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/17/us-oil-california-idUSBRE8BG0GD20121217 EDITORIAL: We need these new rules on soot emissions. Fifth-grader Jaxin Woodward was diagnosed with severe asthma as an infant. She takes medication daily to control her symptoms. But, as Woodward told U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulators who were in Sacramento last summer to gather testimony about proposed new emission standards, asthma "is only part of who I am. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/12/16/3103864/editorial-we-need-these-new-rules.html#storylink=misearch Our View: It's not just fireplaces. Some local residents are fuming over a proposal to further restrict fireplace use in the San Joaquin Valley. They see it as another example of government infringing on their freedoms and as an economic hardship. Here's what some of these fired-up opponents may not know: • This is only the latest of many steps to reduce ozone and particulate pollution in the valley over the last two decades. The mandates have come in five overlapping phases. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/15/2497157/its-not-just-fireplaces.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Global Warming. I recently watched a benefit on TV for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The audience filled Madison Square Garden. Just imagine - hurricane remnants stretching all the way to New York and the Jersey Shore. I hear there will be more relief campaigns for Bopha victims - stunned, reeling in their need, far greater than their government’s expectation or their own. Typhoons don’t usually come south that far. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/17/global-warming/?print=1 What different climate hardiness zones mean. Gale Brownell writes: I often see reference in your column and others to hardiness zones. Sunset magazine has one scale with which I am familiar, but your column and others sometimes refer to a different hardiness scale. Are there different zones in different parts of the North Bay? What is the source of that scale and what zone are we in? Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20121215/LIFESTYLE/212151005 Hedging Climate Bets: Hurricane Sandy and Climate Adaptation. With environmental issues, crisis often spurs action. Nuclear safety was ramped up after Three Mile Island. Hazardous waste laws were strengthened after Love Canal. And oil transport laws were refined after the Exxon Valdez spill. Along the same lines, Hurricane Sandy has generated renewed attention to the potential effects of climate change and the issue of climate adaptation. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/12/17/hedging-climate-bets-hurricane-sandy-and-climate-adaptation/ BLOGS Amid Global Trade Fight, a Bright Year for Solar Use in the U.S. The United States installed more solar panels in 2012 than in any previous year, according to a new report, with residential use of solar power up 70 percent over 2011. By the end of this year, homeowners, businesses and utility companies will have installed enough photovoltaic cells to produce 3.2 gigawatts (or GW) of electricity in the United States, up from 1.9 GW last year, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/amid-global-trade-fight-a-bright-year-for-solar-use-in-the-u-s/ What’s Your Meme? Changing the Climate Change Conversation. Yes we can! Ermahgerd. Occupy. I had a dream. Haters gonna hate. Tear down this wall! Gangnam Style. Drill, baby, drill. We are constantly bombarded by memes in our daily lives. Some spontaneously flare up and then burn out as quickly as they appeared, while others stick around for decades. We hardly consider their presence, much less contemplate their possible influence on our lives. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/whats-your-meme-changing-the-climate-change-conversation/?partner=rss&emc=rss Climate Change Revisited: It Isn't Just For Natural Scientists Anymore. Last week I shared an interview with Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist and Winthrop Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. Lewandowsky's recent research investigates why people do or don't accept the lessons of contemporary climate science, and in my post we discussed the provocative new finding that rejecting anthropogenic climate change is associated with conspiratorial thinking. Posted. http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/12/17/167293723/climate-change-revisited-it-isn-t-just-for-natural-scientists-anymore Global Toll of Air Pollution: Over 3 Million Deaths Each Year. We have long known that many people die from air pollution. What is surprising is how high the public health toll is and that it is largely preventable. A new study in The Lancet, developed by an international group of experts, finds that outdoor air pollution, especially fine particulate matter (soot) contributes to more than 3.2 million premature deaths around the world each year. That’s a terribly high number – and much more people than previously thought. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dpettit/global_toll_of_air_pollution_o.html Climate Change Revisited: It Isn't Just For Natural Scientists Anymore. Last week I shared an interview with Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist and Winthrop Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. Lewandowsky's recent research investigates why people do or don't accept the lessons of contemporary climate science, and in my post we discussed the provocative new finding that rejecting anthropogenic climate change is associated with conspiratorial thinking. Posted. http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/12/17/167293723/climate-change-revisited-it-isn-t-just-for-natural-scientists-anymore