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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 9, 2013.

Posted: 09 Jan 2013 14:47:11
ARB Newsclips for January 9, 2013. ARB Newsclips for January 9,

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.


Iran denies home-produced fuel contributing to pollution crisis.
Iran's state-owned oil refining company denied on Wednesday that
poor quality, domestically-produced fuel is contributing to
Tehran's worsening pollution crisis, saying that its gasoline met
refining standards. Thick yellow smog has shrouded the Iranian
capital for most of the past week, prompting the closure of
government offices, banks and schools for several days and
official calls for residents to leave the city or remain indoors.

No wood burning Tuesday in Reno's polluted air. Washoe County
health officials have temporarily banned wood burning throughout
the Reno-Sparks area due to worsening air quality caused by a
temperature inversion. The county health district raised the burn
code to "red" on Tuesday morning. It had been at "yellow" where
wood burning is discouraged but not prohibited. Forecasters say
hazy skies and air pollution problems are expected to continue
across the area until a coming storm is expected to blow them
away on Wednesday. Posted.


UN climate experts deny secrecy after new leak. The U.N. panel of
climate scientists has rejected criticism that it is too
secretive after a blogger skeptical about global warming
published a leaked draft on Tuesday of one of its massive
reports. The panel, whose work is a guide for governments
deciding whether to make billion-dollar shifts away from fossil
fuels, said it welcomed comments from all to fine-tune the report
whose final version is due to be published in 2014. "Posted. 

Not Even Close: 2012 Was Hottest Ever in U.S. The numbers are in:
2012, the year of a surreal March heat wave, a severe drought in
the Corn Belt and a huge storm that caused broad devastation in
the Middle Atlantic States, turns out to have been the hottest
year ever recorded in the contiguous United States. How hot was
it? The temperature differences between years are usually
measured in fractions of a degree, but last year’s 55.3 degree
average demolished the previous record, set in 1998, by a full
degree Fahrenheit. Posted.



EPA head calls climate-change shift a proud milestone. As she
prepares to step down from her position as administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson said she is
proudest of presiding over the landmark finding that
climate-changing greenhouse gases endanger public health and
welfare. "Americans are back to believing that something is
happening with our climate and that mankind has a role to play in
that. These are not natural phenomena," said Jackson in her first
newspaper interview since announcing on Dec. 27 that she would
leave the EPA. Posted.

Study: Fixing climate change will take new energy tools. The task
is more difficult now than just a few years ago, a new study
says, citing the recent surge in global greenhouse-gas emissions.
Its co-author proposes eliminating emissions altogether by 2060.
What will it take to fix climate change? The world will need new
technologies that produce energy without emitting greenhouse
gases, scientists argue in a study to be published Wednesday. The
research looks at a popular 2004 approach put forward by two
Princeton scientists who said the increase in carbon dioxide

California Ratepayers to Receive Cap-and-Trade Dividend.
California regulators will direct the state's largest utilities
to return 85% of cap-and-trade proceeds to ratepayers. The move,
which comes about a month after the successful completion of
California's first carbon allowance auction, aims at offsetting
higher electricity costs resulting from the cap-and-trade
program, by providing a "climate dividend" on utility bills.


European Union has to crack down on diesel –officials. The
European Union must cut emissions from diesel vehicles as part of
its efforts to reduce air pollution, which is causing close to
half a million premature deaths per year, EU officials said on
Tuesday. The European Commission says it will publish legislative
proposals to improve air quality in the second half of this year.
As well as a law on air quality, it has already put forward
tougher vehicle emissions standards and is introducing stricter
vehicle testing standards. Posted.


NY assemblymen seek more comment time on fracking.  Three state
Assembly committee chairmen asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday to
suspend the comment period on new gas drilling regulations until
a health review is completed. The 30-day comment period for
revised regulations for shale gas drilling using hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, ends Friday. Numerous environmental
groups and elected officials from around the state have called on
Cuomo to suspend the comment period until regulations are revised
to reflect the health impact review findings. Posted.


New study concludes oil sands development has significantly
increased PAH and DBT loadings in regional lakes; combined with
effects of climate change, a “new ecological state” for the
lakes.  A new study by a team from Environment Canada and Queen’s
University (Canada) has shown that polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) within the sediments of lakes in the
Athabasca oil sands region in Canada—particularly C1-C4–alkylated
PAHs, increased significantly after development of the oil sands
resource began some 50 years ago—followed by significant
increases in dibenzothiophenes (DBTs).  Posted. 

Almost 16,000 electric or plug-in hybrids sold in California
since March 2010.  California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
(CVRP) is an additional purchase incentives for zero emission
(all electric or fuel cell) vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles,
and zero emission motorcycles. The project recently released data
for uptake of these vehicles between March 2010 and December
2012. The data shows that over half of qualifying clean vehicle
purchases were for all electric vehicles.  Posted. 


COLUMN-LEDs set to dominate lighting technology: Wynn. The LED
lighting industry is set to dominate the global market more than
a century after its discovery, benefitting from a widespread ban
of conventional incandescent bulbs and as the market share of
competing green replacements fade. Light emitting diodes (LEDs)
have a vital edge in that they have superior energy efficiency
and longer lifespans compared with rivals, while a global glut in
LED chips means they are becoming more competitive. Posted.

NRC staff recommends costly filtered vents at some U.S. reactors.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff on Wednesday will
brief the commission on its recommendation to require nuclear
operators to spend tens of millions of dollars to install
filtered vents at more than two dozen reactors. Energy analysts
have said the filtered vents recommendation, which were in
response to the staff's review of lessons learned from the 2011
Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, was just one of several
factors that could increase costs of nuclear power and possibly
lead to the shutdown of some older reactors. Posted.

U.S. Gives a Late Reprieve to Wind Power Developers. Last week,
global wind turbine manufacturers heaved a sigh of relief after
the U.S. government extended a tax credit considered crucial to
the industry. But 2013 will still bring challenges to wind
developers around the world. In the United States, long-term
uncertainty about the tax credit — which was extended for only
one year, after considerable political tension — will continue.
Growth in China is expected to slow, a casualty of constraints on
the electric grid. And Spain, an important market in Europe, has
stalled. Posted.

Chinese buyer says solar firm MiaSole will expand.  The Chinese
company that bought MiaSole, a California producer of thin-film
solar panels, says it can make the emerging technology successful
where others have suffered huge losses.  Hanergy Group's strong
finances will help MiaSole invest in research and ride out a
downturn in the global solar market, while its links to customers
in China and abroad will help build sales, Chairman Li Hejun said
Wednesday.  Posted. 




Repairs on Chevron refinery nearly done. Refinery nearly back
online.  Chevron Corp. expects to finish repairs this month on
the only crude unit at its Richmond refinery and start the
equipment by February, two people familiar with the work said.
Work on the No. 4 crude unit, shut since a fire Aug. 6, should be
finished by the end of January, said the people, who asked not to
be identified because the information isn't public. Barring any
regulatory hurdles, the unit will be back in service by sometime
next month, they said.

Quebec's Olivier discusses expectations for first joint auction
with California. Where do efforts behind linking California's and
Quebec's carbon markets stand? During today's OnPoint, Alain
Olivier, director of the Quebec Government Office in Washington,
D.C., discusses the latest progress on Quebec's carbon trading
system and his expectations for linking systems with California
as early as August of this year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/tv/transcript/1620 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY


We all deserve better air to breathe. Fireplace wood smoke is a
genuine problem in the Valley. Unfortunately, California no
longer has a population of 15 million people; it's more like 38
million people. With an increase in the population, the potential
for air pollution has reached a health concern level. I'm glad
that the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has
taken action on this fireplace wood-burning air pollution
problem. In my neighborhood here in Lodi, the smoke from
fireplaces can get thick. Posted.


Solyndra stunk. The green stimulus didn’t. The federal
clean-energy loan guarantee program that gave you Solyndra wasn’t
just a multibillion-dollar political debacle – it also didn’t
create jobs, didn’t reduce carbon emissions and ran up financial
risk for taxpayers. And yet, the program wasn’t enough of a bust
to outweigh the job-creation and emissions-reducing successes of
the complete $90 billion “green stimulus” the Obama
administration built into the $800 billion American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act four years ago, as the country was plunging
deeper into recession. Posted.

Customers have paid more than $1 billion for idle San Onofre
plant. The California Public Utilities Commission held an initial
meeting Tuesday in an investigative process that could eventually
result in ratepayers getting a refund for a portion of the bills
they have paid during the San Onofre nuclear plant's year-long
outage. The plant has been out of service since last January,
when a steam generator tube leaked a small amount of radioactive
steam, leading to the discovery of unusual wear on many more
tubes in the newly replaced steam generators. Posted.

EPA Gives Green Light for California’s Costly Car Program. Last
week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a waiver
to the state of California to move forward with its Advanced
Clean Cars Program. The EPA waiver allows California to implement
even tougher fuel efficiency standards than the White House
announced last summer in an attempt to integrate more
zero-emission vehicles into the market. The promises of
California’s program are similar to those touted by proponents of
the federal fuel-economy standards: Clean up the environment by
reducing emissions and save consumers money on fuel costs.

America’s oil imports to hit 25-year low by 2014.  The US Energy
Information Administration predicted that net imports of liquid
fuels, including crude oil and petroleum products, would fall to
about 6m barrels per day in 2014, their lowest level since 1987
and only about half their peak levels of more than 12m during
2004-07. The figures reflect the spectacular growth of US
production thanks to the unlocking of “tight oil” reserves using
hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in states led by
North Dakota and Texas.  Posted. 

It’s official: 2012 was the warmest year on record for the U.S. 
Congratulations, America. You set a few records last year. To
wit, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: It
was the warmest year in the recorded history of the U.S., dating
back to 1895. The average temperature was a degree warmer than
the previous high, in 1998.  The average temperature in the
contiguous U.S. was 55.3 degrees, 3.3 degrees above the average
in the 20th century.  Precipitation averaged 26.57 inches, 2.57
inches below the 20th century average.  Posted. 

Interior pledges ‘high-level review’ of Shell’s Arctic farce. 
"Unified Command confirms Kulluk is safely anchored," trumpets
the most recent update from the Shell-led team responsible for
towing the company's errant drilling rig back to safe harbor. One
can imagine the movie scene running through the mind of the Shell
VP in charge on-scene: He steps up to a cluster of microphones in
a hushed room packed with cameras; a pause for effect; "The
Kulluk is safe"; pandemonium.  Posted. 

Solar snowboard charges your phone with power collected on the
slopes.  In case there was still any doubt that solar is rad, the
dudes at Signal Snowboard have made a snowboard equipped with
solar panels that can actually charge your phone. Wait, should I
be talking more like a snowboarder? I meant to say it can,
actually, like, charge, like, your phone.  Posted. 

Who will serve on Obama’s second-term green team?  Much of
President Obama's green team is moving on to greener pastures.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced last month that she'll
be retiring soon, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu is expected to
follow suit. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is said to be mulling
over his future. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood appears to
be undecided as well, and there's a chance that Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack could leave.  Posted. 

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