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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 15, 2013.

Posted: 15 Jan 2013 16:50:17
ARB Newsclips for January 15, 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.


China pledges to curb auto emissions, reduce air pollution. Few
have experienced more rapid success in China than the auto
industry, which has doubled its volume sales in just the last
four years. But as anger simmers over the country's air
pollution, fingers are increasingly pointing at the millions of
new cars clogging Chinese roads. Following a weekend in which the
country experienced some of its worst smog on record, the
Ministry of Environmental Protection pledged Monday to reduce
vehicle emissions, the source of about a quarter of China's air
pollution. Posted.

China Says Beijing Pollution Lifts as Party Answers Critics.
China reported that pollution eased in Beijing after reaching
record high levels in the past three days, as state media said
the capital was becoming more famous for its smog than its
culture or food. Official measures of PM2.5, fine airborne
particulates that pose the largest health risk, fell in the
morning after the government expanded efforts to fight the
pollution and light wind that had blown the smog against
mountains to Beijing’s north shifted south. Posted.

Black carbon's climate role larger than previously thought –
study. Black carbon from diesel engines, kilns, inefficient
stoves and other sources accounts for nearly twice the amount of
man-made warming than previously believed, according to a report
published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research:
Atmospheres. Formed through incomplete fuel combustion, black
carbon is a major short-term forcer of climate change, having a
much larger heat-trapping effect than similar quantities of
carbon dioxide but leaving the atmosphere much more quickly.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/15/17 BY


New Cap And Trade Legislation Could Be Watershed Moment For These
Stocks. An increase in government regulation is most often
considered a burden to corporate America and industries subject
to a high amount of regulation trade at discounts due to the
risk. There is one industry where the growth of policy and
programs adds to topline sales, and public sentiment is actually
turning in favor of more regulation. Posted.


NH $700M case against 2 oil companies begins. Day one of what is
expected to be a marathon pollution trial over the gasoline
additive MTBE ended Monday with lawyers for the state of New
Hampshire and two big oil companies heatedly accusing each other
of misleading jurors. The judge denied demands for a mistrial
made by Citgo's lawyer, Nathan Eimer, but may give jurors a
special instruction when the trial resumes Tuesday with more
opening statements from the lawyers. Posted.

Judges deny request for full court rehearing of E15 case. A
federal court today denied petitions by groups representing oil
refiners, food producers and automakers to rehear their cases
challenging U.S. EPA's approval of expanded ethanol use in the
market. The groups had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit for the full court to reconsider a
summer ruling that they did not have legal standing to pursue a
challenge to EPA's decision on E15, or gasoline containing 15
percent ethanol. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/15/18  BY


First take on 2013 Detroit auto show: Sportscars trump EVs. The
message from automotive CEOs at the opening of this year's
Detroit auto show is deceptively simple: Sportscars are hot,
electrics are not. As General Motors Corp CEO Dan Akerson
unveiled a new 450-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette and Fiat SpA CEO
Sergio Marchionne extolled the Italian automaker's $130,000
Maserati Quattroporte luxury sedan, their counterpart, Carlos
Ghosn, chief executive of Japan's Nissan Motor Co, announced a
stunning $6,000-plus price cut on the slow-selling Nissan Leaf
electric vehicle. Posted.

Chevy Volt goes upscale in new electric Cadillac. General Motors
is trying to take the Chevrolet Volt's electric technology
upscale with a new Cadillac. The company on Tuesday introduced
the ELR, which has the same battery and gas-powered generator as
the Chevy version. The new car has angular lights and fenders
like other new Cadillacs, but it also has a more sloped,
forward-leaning aerodynamic look. It also has a plush new
interior that differentiates it from the Volt and sets the tone
for future Cadillacs. Posted. Posted.



NRC chief says San Onofre plant won't reopen until it is safe.
NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane travels to California for the
first time since taking office in July to visit the plant and
meet with elected officials, environmentalists and union
representatives. The chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission made her first visit Monday to the troubled San Onofre
nuclear plant, offering assurance that the facility will remain
closed until its safety is certain but giving few hints about its
ultimate fate. Posted.

Tax credits for energy efficiency are back. Federal tax credits
for energy-efficient home improvements are back. Reinstatement of
the popular credits was a little-noticed part of the American
Taxpayer Relief Act, the last-minute legislation that kept
America from tumbling over the fiscal cliff at the start of the
year. The law allows homeowners to claim tax credits of varying
amounts on improvements such as insulation, energy-smart windows
and highly efficient furnaces.  Posted.

Los Angeles launches feed-in tariff to help switch to solar
power. Los Angeles' abundant sunlight will soon be converted into
energy and cash for millions of everyday Angelinos under a new
solar feed-in tariff (FiT) program that allows electricity
ratepayers, solar companies and even third parties to generate
and sell solar energy back to the city's public utility. Phase 1
of the FiT program, approved last week by the Los Angeles Board
of Water and Power Commissioner…Posted. 
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/15/4 BY

Calif.'s renewable energy rules created a boom, and now also a
bust. California's renewable energy mandate has fueled growth of
green power so swiftly that utilities here won't need to buy much
more for several years, officials said yesterday. Pacific Gas and
Electric Co. (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San
Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E) all are on track to hit the
state's 33 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2020.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/15/5 BY


Gun control? Illegal immigration? No, climate change should be
No. 1. Gun control? Illegal immigration? Sorry, our country has a
more important issue to deal with: climate change.  As I read
Neela Banerjee’s story on the latest report -- a draft of the
Third National Climate Assessment -- that adds to the stack of
scientific findings pointing out that climate change is here and
is wreaking havoc on our planet, I could only shake my head.
Climate change, also known as global warming, is by far the most
pressing issue to the country and, in fact, the world. Posted.

Letters: Diesel do-gooders.  Re "Joining the EPA's war on soot,"
Editorial, Jan. 2 The Times notes that "coal plants and diesel
engines have begun the work of reducing soot" but left out how
much has been accomplished. According to the California Air
Resources Board, particulate-matter emissions from heavy-duty
diesel trucks declined from 7.5% of all such emissions in the
entire state in 1990 to 3.8% in 2008 and will be just 1.6% in
2020. The diesel truck share of particulate-matter emissions in
the South Coast Air Basin decreased from 7% in 2005 to 3% in
2011. Posted.

More warming scaremongering based on small sample. Re "How hot?
2012 in record books" (Page A1, Jan. 9): Imagine my relief.
Global warming is back as a scare topic supplanting fiscal, gun,
and healthcare cliffs. Kudos to the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration for telling me 2012 was warmer. Well,
at least for the lower 48 states, about 1.5 percent of the
world's surface. See, I was still worried over 2008 being two
full degrees cooler than 2006. And 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 all
being cooler than 1998. Posted.

California high-speed rail plan is simply a Field of Dreams.  A
Dec. 14 editorial in The Sacramento Bee called our expressed
concerns regarding the viability and cost of California's
high-speed rail project "baffling." While we welcome a public
debate over the merits of high-speed rail, our position is hardly
"baffling" -- it reflects the concerns of our local communities
and constituents.  Over the past few years, as the business plan
has inflated and funding estimates have swollen, the most recent
plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority has been panned
across the board by economic and transportation experts alike.


Climate Scientist Backs Bill to Curb Emissions. Michael E. Mann,
a prominent climatologist at Penn State, has thrown his support
behind an effort to get Pennsylvania to do more to reduce its
carbon dioxide emissions. Dr. Mann appeared Monday at news
conference organized by a state representative, Greg Vitali, to
promote two bills that would provide subsidies for solar
installations and increase the amount of electricity that the
state’s electric power utilities must generate from renewable
sources of energy. Posted.

Charting a Post-Pollution Path for Cities – From London, 1952,
through Beijing, 2013. On Sunday I posted a 140-character Twitter
item containing four links that sketch humanity’s urban pollution
challenges and opportunities over the last 60 years. (Link
shortening is one of many reasons 140 characters can matter).
It’s worth expanding on this haiku a bit to be sure the meaning
is clear. Posted.

Beijing's Smog Prompts Chinese Government To Be Unusually
Transparent About Air Pollution.  One of Beijing's worst rounds
of air pollution kept schoolchildren indoors and sent coughing
residents to hospitals, but this time something was different
about the murky haze: the government's transparency in talking
about it.  While welcomed by residents and environmentalists,
Beijing's new openness about smog also put more pressure on the
government to address underlying causes, including a lag in
efforts to expand Western-style emissions limits to all of the
vehicles in Beijing's notoriously thick traffic.  Posted. 

EU: European countries must reduce diesel emissions.  Europeans
drive a lot of diesel-powered vehicles. This is intentional.
Since diesel is inherently more efficient than gasoline, many
European countries give tax advantages to diesel fuel. In
response, automakers in Europe offer several small diesel
vehicles with high-torque engines, offering high mileage and
practicality. Posted. 

Oil group's ad campaign to push for biofuel rule repeal.  The
American Petroleum Institute (API) announced a new advertising
campaign Tuesday that aims to coax Congress into repealing a
biofuel mandate.  The lobby shop’s ad blitz will be an “all hands
on deck” effort across TV, print, radio and online, Cindy Schild,
refining senior manager with API, said Tuesday in a call with
reporters.  Posted. 

Why the environmental movement couldn’t get cap-and-trade passed.
 The 2010 failure of the Senate to pass cap-and-trade legislation
is a scar the environmental movement tries to ignore but can’t
stop examining. It sits there, barely healed, still painful — a
reminder of the lost promise of a new president and a brief House
majority.  Harvard University political scientist Theda Skocpol
has released a long, robust assessment of what went wrong in the
political fight. It’s a detailed document that analyzes the
politics of environmental policy leading up to the fight and in
the years following, drawing direct contrast with the push for
healthcare reform. Posted. 

Blue-Green Algae Biofuel Research Continues.  Researchers at
UC-Davis and one at Sandia National Labs are exploring the use of
cyanobacteria for making biofuels. At UC-Davis their
cyanobacteria produced 2.4 grams of 2.3 butanediol for each liter
of material used. This rate was the highest reported so far for
such chemicals intended for commercial development. 2,3
butanediol is an alcohol which is suitable for use as a biofuel,
like ethanol. Posted. 

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