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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 8, 2013. Posted: 08 Jan 2013 12:03:56
ARB Newsclips for January 8, 2013. 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 Spare the Air alert called for Tuesday. Citing cold, still conditions conducive to a buildup of wood smoke pollution, air regulators declared the season's third "Spare the Air" alert for Tuesday. That means it's illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to burn wood, fire logs or pellets for 24 hours, and violators face remedial classes for a first offense followed by fines of $500 and more, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The winter Spare the Air season runs from November to the end of February, but there were no alerts until Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 because of heavy rain and winds that dominated weather patterns in the last several weeks of 2012. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/bay-area-news/ci_22328635/spare-air-alert-called-tuesday?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/bay-area-news/ci_22328635/spare-air-alert-called-tuesday?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130107/ARTICLES/130109664 CLIMATE CHANGE Some corals are 'always prepared' to take the heat. As the tide drops, seawater in Ofu Lagoon gets cut off from the ocean swirling around American Samoa. Under the intense South Pacific sun, these shallow waters can reach 93 degrees -- temperatures that typically would make corals overheated, cause them to bleach bone white and die. Yet the corals in these hot waters seem to be thriving. A team of researchers at Stanford University has figured out why: These corals leave a set of 60 genes in the “on” position to help them resist heat shock and then recover and repair. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-some-corals-are-always-prepared-to-take-the-heat-20130107,0,2216409.story?track=rss Cap and trade may draw individual investors. The participants in California's new program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the buying and selling of pollution permits have so far been large industrial interests, but there's another large group that can join in: any resident of the United States. The program, known as cap and trade, was created as part of the state's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, AB32 that was passed in 2006. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Cap-and-trade-may-draw-individual-investors-4171615.php#ixzz2HP47xTbp Greenhouse gas emissions to keep rising amid slow policy responses – study. Global greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise this year, putting the world on track for long-term warming approaching 4 degrees Celsius, far above the 2-degree target, analysts at British bank HSBC said in a new report. "The year ahead will be dominated by growing tension between ever-stronger evidence of climate change and the inadequate policy response," …Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/08/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Internet Truckstop Helps Members Navigate New CARB Regulation. Internet Truckstop has rolled out a new decision support tool to help Truckstop.com members transition into new regulations, now in effect, from the California Air Resources Board. The new CARB regulation just went into effect on Jan. 1, and requires every carrier driving on California roads to comply with the rules, or face hefty fines. While the weight of the regulations primarily fall on carriers, brokers and shippers will face penalties if they fail to ensure they are contracting with compliant carriers. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=78965 Transit district penalized $35K. Bus emissions not properly tested, recorded. The San Joaquin Regional Transit District will pay a $35,250 penalty for failing to adequately monitor emissions from its diesel buses, according to a settlement agreement. That agreement, announced recently by the California Air Resources Board, is the result of confidential negotiations that will allow the district and the state to avoid costly litigation, the air board said. According to the agreement, the district failed to test and keep records of smoke emissions from its fleet in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130107/A_NEWS/301070308/-1/rss01 FUELS Biofuels cause pollution, not as green as thought – study. Green schemes to fight climate change by producing more bio-fuels could actually worsen a little-known type of air pollution and cause almost 1,400 premature deaths a year in Europe by 2020, a study showed on Sunday. The report said trees grown to produce wood fuel - seen as a cleaner alternative to oil and coal - released a chemical into the air that, when mixed with other pollutants, could also reduce farmers' crop yields. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/07/us-climate-biofuels-idUSBRE90601A20130107 Methane leaking from fracking wells in Colorado and Utah raising concerns. A new study of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) wells in Colorado and Utah confirms an earlier study that methane is leaking from the wells at alarming rates. The study indicates as much as 9% of the methane gas is leaking into the air at those wells. The study raises concerns about the environmental benefits of natural gas. A boom in gas production is transforming the US energy system and the economies of many communities. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/methane-leaking-from-fracking-wells-colorado-and-utah-raising-concerns Major coal-burning utility retires more plants, converts others. Georgia Power, one of the nation's largest coal-fired electric utilities, said yesterday it would seek permission to close more than 2,000 megawatts of coal- and oil-fired generation as part of its revised integrated resource plan to be submitted to the state Public Service Commission later this month. The planned closures, including 10 coal-fired units at three large power plants, come as utilities such as Georgia Power and its parent…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/08/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Proposal for Noisier Electric Cars at Low Speed. A government safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more noise when traveling at low speeds, so pedestrians can hear them coming. The cars and trucks, which are much quieter than conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles, do not make enough noise at low speeds to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Monday in a statement. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/business/make-electric-vehicles-noisier-at-low-speeds-for-safety-us-says.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/federal-safety-agency-wants-electric-cars-to-make-noise-to-warn-pedestrians/2013/01/07/c9305986-5902-11e2-b8b2-0d18a64c8dfa_story.html http://cars21.com/news/view/5113 Study finds that aluminum reduces electric vehicle cost against steel counterpart for same targeted range. A recent study found that an aluminum electric vehicle can cost up to €635 (US$829) less than that its steel counterpart despite the higher cost of aluminum, given equivalent range targets. The study, conducted by Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka) for the European Aluminium Association (EAA) and the International Aluminum Institute (IAI), found that any additional cost of building a car with aluminum is more than offset by the cost savings that can be made on the battery pack, since a lighter car needs less battery capacity to drive the same distance. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/fka-20130107.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL $135 million federal grant keeps Sacramento region's rail expansion rolling. One hundred and fifty years ago, Sacramento launched the transcontinental railroad. Today, city leaders are seeking to become rail pioneers once again. They're tapping the transit-friendly Obama administration for hundreds of millions of dollars to help them build what they say will be a seamless, 21st-century regional rail network, on which passengers will move easily from streetcars to light-rail trains to Amtrak and – someday – to high-speed rail. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/08/v-print/5098682/135-million-federal-grant-keeps.html OPINIONS Climate change won't wait. Obama appears unwilling or unable to take the tough steps to deal with global warming. In Washington over Presidents Day weekend, the largest environmental demonstration in years will try to prod him. Societal change usually happens slowly, even once it's clear there's a problem. That's because, in a country as big as the United States, public opinion moves in leisurely currents. Change often requires going up against powerful, established interests, and it can take decades for those currents to erode the foundations of our special-interest fortresses. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mckibben-climate-20130106,0,7334383,print.story Smog testing changes are step in right direction. Two changes are coming to how drivers need to get their vehicles smog checked in 2013 and one should be a very welcomed change. Officials with the Bureau of Automotive Repair said by early fall a significant change will be put into effect that will hopefully make it much easier for owners of newer vehicles to not only get their vehicle smog tested, but hopefully will reduce the cost involved. The new program will no longer require the more extensive tailpipe emissions testing…Posted. http://www.recorderonline.com/articles/smog-55399-vehicles-change.html Avoiding a climate-change apocalypse. As you may have noticed, the end of the year was all about the end of the world. Mayan doomsday prophesies. Rogue planets on a collision course with Earth. Fear-mongering about an artificial “fiscal cliff.” House Republicans doing, well, what they usually do. Fortunately, for now, life as we know it continues. And scary as all of this sounds, the real horror show, the true existential threat, is yet another crisis of our own making: the catastrophic effects of climate change. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-a-climate-change-apocalypse/2013/01/07/f440d704-58e4-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html Restrict air pollution from Moreno Valley warehouses. Moreno Valley needs to take a more stringent approach to air pollution from warehouse traffic than the city now proposes. A city contemplating a vast expansion of warehouse space should take every possible step to curb diesel emissions — for the good of city residents and the region. The South Coast Air Quality Management District says that Moreno Valley is pushing ahead with warehouse projects without doing enough to protect air quality. Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20130106-editorial-restrict-air-pollution-from-moreno-valley-warehouses.ece Natural gas: It’s a hedge, not a bridge. Boosters of natural gas frequently argue that it can serve as a “bridge fuel,” spanning the chasm between our current global electricity systems, dominated by coal, and systems mostly or completely comprised of low-carbon sources like wind and solar. The idea is, we ramp up natural gas, the least dirty of the fossil fuels, to displace coal, thereby giving ourselves a few more decades to develop renewable energy, which will then replace natural gas. Natgas gets us from here to there. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/natural-gas-its-a-hedge-not-a-bridge/ Opinion: A green energy loss in perspective. As Congress resumes work on the budget, energy subsidies – and the Solyndra fiasco – will again play a part in the debate. Let's put the failed solar tech company’s losses in context with other energy investments. How do you measure whether an energy investment is wise or unwise? Honest or scandalous? With budget work consuming our new Congress, the only policy discussion on climate change likely from the Capitol near term will consist of debate over energy tax breaks and subsidies. Posted. http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2013/01/opinion-solyndra-perspective A look at the future of biofuels. Jan Koninckx, global director of biofuels for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, discusses 2nd generation biofuels with Robert Rapier of Consumer Energy Report. During the recent Total Energy USA Conference in Houston, I had a chance to interview Mr. Jan Koninckx. Mr. Koninckx is the global director of biofuels for DuPont Industrial Biosciences – an arm of DuPont that has a strong focus on biofuels. Also present was Wendy Rosen, DuPont’s PR director. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0108/A-look-at-the-future-of-biofuels BLOGS The best solution for climate change is a carbon tax. With Lisa Jackson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, stepping down, President Barack Obama is losing one of the few people left in Washington who was willing to speak up about global warming and to push for significant measures to curb its impact. During her tenure, Ms. Jackson was frequently denounced by GOP members of Congress and all too often reined in by Obama. Posted. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/01/04/the-best-solution-for-climate-change-is-a-carbon-tax/ Will 2013 Be the Year of the Electric Car? The Hague —Last year was a good one for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, according to 2012 sales figures and experts. For example, sales of the Chevrolet Volt, one of North America’s most popular plug-in hybrid cars, tripled in the United States, according to year-end figures. The 23,461 Volts sold last year represented only about a third of a percent of all new passenger cars sold in the United States, but such sales might be the harbingers of an automobile market shift toward green vehicles. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/will-2013-be-the-year-of-the-electric-car-finally/ Ideas to Watch in 2013: Traceable Gas-Drilling Fluids. For several years now, I’ve been assessing policies and technologies that might allow the United States and other countries with vast shale deposits of natural gas to harvest this resource with the fewest regrets. Below you can learn about one nascent technology to watch in 2013: harmless chemical I.D. tags that could make the fluids used in drilling every single gas well individually identifiable, potentially ending fights over the source of any subsequent contamination of water supplies in a drilling area. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/ideas-to-watch-in-2013-traceable-frackin-fluids/ Brown's budget expected to aid schools' energy efficiency. When Gov. Jerry Brown releases his budget proposal Thursday, he will include his plans for $500 million in new spending on energy efficiency and related programs. Much of that money is expected to be earmarked for retrofitting schools to help lower utility bills, according to Capitol staffers. They say Brown's plan will largely mirror a proposal put forward by Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) to improve schools' energy efficiency with better insulation, lighting and ventilation systems. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2013/01/california-school-energy.html A Kickstarter for green energy. By Internet standards, crowdfunding has been around forever. The idea to tap into online communities to raise money first became popular in 1997, when fans of the British rock group Marillion raised $60,000 to fund a U.S. tour for the band. Since then crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter have been used to raise money for everything from blogs to clothing design companies and independent films. Now investment firms are getting into the act. Posted. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/01/07/a-kickstarter-for-green-energy/