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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 20, 2012 Posted: 20 Dec 2012 16:06:08
ARB Newsclips for December 20, 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 Oil and gas sites a source of ozone pollution, say U.S. EPA petitioners. U.S. EPA should step up air quality monitoring for ozone near oil and gas sites to protect public health, a coalition of 30 green groups said in a formal petition filed with the agency yesterday. The groups also asked the agency to issue guidelines to industry on control technologies that reduce emissions. The petition was filed by the Environmental Defense Fund, the Clean Air Task Force, the Natural Resources Defense Council and others. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/12/20/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CAP AND TRADE California utilities are benefiting from cap-and-trade program. Most businesses say California's new cap-and-trade program, designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions, is a job killer that will suck billions of dollars out of the economy. But you won't hear too many protests from some of the biggest businesses of all: California's electric utilities. From SMUD to Southern California Edison, the state's utilities have been placed in a special class that effectively cushions companies and their ratepayers from the cost of reducing carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/20/5066969/california-utilities-are-benefitting.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/20/2503167/california-utilities-are-benefitting.html#storylink=misearch http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/12/20/3108004/california-utilities-are-benefitting.html#storylink=misearch CLIMATE CHANGE UK's Met Office sees 2013 likely to be one of warmest on record. Global temperatures are forecast to be 0.57 degrees above the long-term average next year, making 2013 one of the warmest years on record, Britain's Met Office said on Thursday. "It is very likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest 10 years in the record which goes back to 1850, and it is likely to be warmer than 2012," the Met Office said in its annual forecast for the coming year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/20/climate-global-metoffice-idUSL5E8NK9TN20121220 Genetically Enhanced Seeds to Get Carbon Credits. The United Nations-overseen emissions-market regulator has approved a system of rules that will allow farmers using genetically improved seeds to claim carbon offset credits, according to Arcadia Biosciences Inc. Nitrogen-efficient seed allows farmers to maintain high crop yields while using less fertilizer, the Davis, California- based agricultural-technology company said today in a statement. Nitrogen is a large source of agricultural emissions because less than half the volume applied to fields globally is used by plants…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-19/genetically-enhanced-seeds-to-get-carbon-credits.html FERC will track impact of Calif. cap and trade on power prices. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has begun monitoring California's cap-and-trade system after a Republican commissioner warned the program could have a chilling effect on larger Western power markets. FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller said today the state program has the potential to be a "wealth transfer from other states to California" and must be carefully monitored to avoid a repeat of the 2001 energy crisis that rocked California. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/12 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Rising San Francisco Bay threatens the Silicon Valley high-tech mecca. The headquarters of Facebook sits on a sprawling campus beside San Francisco Bay, a scenic location with water bordering three sides. The 57-acre site features two- and three-story office buildings in shades of red and orange, outdoor basketball hoops, and sofa-sized benches on large lawns. Just outside the property, however, is a reminder that this location has a major drawback. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/20/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY U.S. can store 2,400B metric tons of CO2 – report. The United States holds several centuries' worth of space underground for storage of carbon dioxide in rock formations, oil and gas reservoirs, and unminable coal seams, the Department of Energy said in a report yesterday. The new numbers came as part of an update of the department's carbon utilization and storage atlas, a broad analysis of the locations of the nation's power plants and industrial emitters, and the options for capturing and storing their greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/20/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Jerry Brown proposes new California 'fracking' regulations. The Brown administration on Tuesday released draft regulations that would require oil companies for the first time to disclose where in California they use hydraulic fracturing, a controversial but little regulated method of oil extraction. The proposed rules, issued by the state Department of Conservation, were immediately criticized by environmentalists as too lenient. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/19/5063698/jerry-brown-proposes-new-california.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Draft-of-fracking-regulations-released-4129560.php http://www.contracostatimes.com/politics-government/ci_22219245/california-releases-first-ever-fracking-regulations?source=rss Chevron pipe choice found to meet codes. Chevron's choice of metal pipe to replace fire-damaged sections of its Richmond refinery meets industry standards and fire codes, according to two experts advising city officials who must decide whether to approve the company's reconstruction plans. Both experts, however, stopped short of endorsing Chevron's decision to use a type of metal known as 9 Chrome, which the company says will resist the corrosion that destroyed a section of pipe at its refinery and led to the huge Aug. 6 blaze. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Chevron-pipe-choice-found-to-meet-codes-4133489.php#ixzz2FcPXYb4H Power Company Loses Some of Its Appetite for Coal. American Electric Power, or A.E.P., the nation’s biggest consumer of coal, announced that it would shut its coal-burning boilers at the Big Sandy electric power plant near Louisa, Ky., a 1,100-megawatt facility that since the early 1960s has been burning coal that was mined locally. Big Sandy this year became a symbol of the plight of the coal industry nationwide. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/business/energy-environment/aep-has-plan-to-close-kentuckys-big-sandy-power-plant.html?_r=0 Navajo Nation moves to buy reservation coal mine. The Navajo Nation is moving toward taking over a coal mine that supplies one of two power plants on the reservation, in an effort to preserve jobs and protect one of its top revenue sources. The tribe and BHP Billiton announced Wednesday they've outlined terms that would put the Navajo Mine in the hands of the tribe in June. BHP would run the mine in northwestern New Mexico until 2016, when its agreement to supply coal to the Four Corners Power Plant is set to expire. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/19/navajo-nation-moves-to-buy-reservation-coal-mine/#ixzz2Fc2LHGy9 E.U. panel endorses proposed anti-dumping tariff on U.S. ethanol. A proposal to set a nearly 10 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol imports is making its way through the European Commission. Yesterday, the commission's Antidumping Advisory Committee endorsed the 9.6 percent duty, which was proposed earlier this month as part of an ongoing investigation into accusations that the U.S. ethanol industry was dumping its product into the European market. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Eco-friendly Calif. poised to be top U.S. oil producer in 10 years. Even as it seeks to be an environmental leader, California is a top contender for the title of the largest oil-producing state in the next 10 years, laying the foundation for the country to reach its once lofty goal of energy independence. The potential for booming production comes from the Bureau of Land Management's sale last week of 15 leases covering about 18,000 acres of Southern California's Monterey Shale. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/12/20/10 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Idling ambulances wearing out their stay. Ambulances and the wail of sirens are commonplace near the California Pacific Medical Center campus in San Francisco's Pacific Heights, where there is plenty of goodwill for first-response crews. But some local shopkeepers and restaurateurs say the friendliness sometimes gets taxed when ambulances sit idling in loading zones and prevent delivery truck drivers from dropping off their loads...Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Idling-ambulances-wearing-out-their-stay-4133528.php#ixzz2Fc0ocXhe GREEN ENERGY China to overhaul struggling solar panel industry. China's government says it will encourage mergers among producers of solar panels to strengthen an industry that has suffered huge losses due to excess production capacity and price-cutting wars. The announcement, which analysts have expected for months, comes as Beijing faces trade sanctions by the United States and possibly Europe over complaints its support for solar panel producers violates trade rules. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/19/china-to-overhaul-struggling-solar-panel/#ixzz2Fc3IrYjt BLM moving forward with world's largest solar power plant. The Obama administration is nearing final approval of what would become the world's largest solar power project on a strip of Southern California desert near the McCoy Mountains that could eventually power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected today to announce that the Bureau of Land Management has completed a final environmental impact statement (EIS)…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Can Calif. panel maker prosper in dark times for U.S. industry? A solar panel maker opened a new factory here yesterday, expanding at a time when others in the industry are struggling to survive. Soitec, a France-based maker of semiconductor materials, formally inaugurated its 176,000-square-foot facility that will make concentrated photovoltaic, or CPV, panels. When it is running at full speed next year, the plant will employ 450 people. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/16 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Reducing waste: Relegate food scraps to green waste -- not garbage. With the holidays fast approaching, friends and families are making plans to get together and celebrate. An important part of most festivities is food; whether you're serving up a traditional turkey or a vegan feast, what you do after the meal is consumed is just as important as what is prepared. I recently read that in the U.S., about 40 percent of food is tossed in the garbage. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22224881/reducing-waste-relegate-food-scraps-green-waste-not?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com BLOGS Fewer Americans Say Their Actions Can Slow Climate Change. Americans may be buying more compact fluorescent light bulbs these days, but they are less likely to set their thermostats low during the winter than they were four years ago and have less confidence that their actions will help to curb global warming, according to a new survey. The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication found that the proportion of people who say their own energy-saving actions…Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/fewer-americans-say-their-actions-can-slow-climate-change/?pagewanted=print Exploring a Proposed Carbon Diet for American Power Plants. Earlier this week, Daniel Lashof of the Natural Resources Defense Council blogged about the group’s new proposal for cutting carbon dioxide emissions from American power plants — not just at the plant itself but by creating incentives for end users to conserve electricity. That means you, me and the businesses that we rely on. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/exploring-a-proposed-carbon-diet-for-american-power-plants/ Battle expected over disclosure of 'fracking' chemicals. Under pressure from state lawmakers and environmentalists, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration released draft regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," the controversial drilling process driving the nation's oil and gas boom. As The Times reported Wednesday, the proposed rules would require energy companies to disclose for the first time the chemicals they inject deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/12/environmentalists-industry-signal-fight-over-fracking-secrets.html Air pollution now kills more people than high cholesterol. The Lancet recently unveiled a major overview of global health risks — and one of the most eye-catching papers highlighted just how deadly air pollution has become over the past two decades. In 2010, 3.2 million people died prematurely from outdoor air pollution, mainly in Asia, and mainly from soot and other pollutants from diesel cars and trucks. That means outdoor air pollution is now a bigger health risk than high cholesterol — and, along with obesity, one of the fastest-growing health risks in the world. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/20/air-pollution-now-kills-more-people-than-high-cholesterol/ How air pollution impacts worker productivity. Of course, air pollution has negative impacts on human health, but does it also lead to an unproductive workforce? It seems that way: [R]esearchers found that a 10 ppb (parts per billion) change in average ozone exposure results in a significant 5.5 percent change in agricultural worker productivity. “These estimates are particularly noteworthy as the U.S. EPA is currently moving in the direction of reducing federal ground-level ozone standards,” said Dr. [Matthew] Neidell, PhD. Posted. http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/how-air-pollution-impacts-worker-productivity/8529 U.S. Taxis Get Greener; Hybrid & Electric Cabs Increasing. For decades, the stalwart of the taxi ranks has been the full-size sedan. Sturdy, simple and cheap to buy, cars like Ford's Crown Victoria have become part of the landscape in cities like New York. But with rising gas prices and concerns over emissions, things are really changing. While not yet a dominant force in taxi fleets, hybrid and electric vehicles are increasingly popular as a way of cleaning up city fleets. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1081211_u-s-taxis-get-greener-hybrid-electric-cabs-increasing