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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-china-smog-20130115,0,2246673.story 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. http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/China-Says-Beijing-Pollution-Lifts-as-Party-4194514.php#ixzz2I43PcBGt 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://seekingalpha.com/article/1111531-new-cap-and-trade-legislation-could-be-watershed-moment-for-these-stocks FUELS 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. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/14/nh-700m-case-against-2-oil-companies-begins/ 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/15/us-autoshow-wrap-idUSBRE90E03L20130115 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. http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Chevy-Volt-goes-upscale-in-new-electric-Cadillac-4195070.php#ixzz2I44qp1pV http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/15/chevy-volt-goes-upscale-in-new-electric-cadillac/#ixzz2I4LvUu31 GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0115-san-onofre-20130115,0,713862.story?track=rss 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/15/5115416/tax-credits-for-energy-efficiency.html#storylink=cpy 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-climate-change-policy-20130114,0,6672034,print.story 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0112-saturday-diesel-soot-20130112,0,5537110.story 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/14/5109831/global-warming.html#storylink=cpy 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. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/hot-topics/x2088955699/California-high-speed-rail-planis-simply-a-Field-of-Dreams BLOGS 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/climate-scientist-backs-bill-to-curb-emissions/ 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. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/charting-a-post-pollution-path-for-cities-from-london-1952-through-beijing-2013/?ref=earth 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/beijing-china-smog-air-pollution-2013_n_2470589.html 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/01/14/eu-european-countries-must-reduce-diesel-emissions/ 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. http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/277243-api-ad-campaign-to-push-for-biofuel-rule-repeal 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. http://grist.org/news/why-the-environmental-movement-couldnt-get-cap-and-trade-passed-2/ 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. http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/15/blue-green-algae-biofuel-research-continues/