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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 1, 2013. Posted: 01 Feb 2013 14:30:40
ARB Newsclips for February 1, 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 California Adopts Plans on Fine Particles For San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles Area. California air quality officials approved new plans Jan. 24-25 to bring San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles area into compliance with federal 24-hour standard for fine particulates (PM-2.5). At a Jan. 24 meeting in Bakersfield, Calif., the California Air Resources Board signed off on a strategy it said demonstrates attainment with 35 micrograms per cubic meter standard throughout the entire eight-county San Joaquin Valley air basin by the end of 2019. Posted. http://www.bna.com/california-adopts-plans-n17179872084/ Shanghai Air Worsens as Beijing Sees ‘Long-Lost’ Blue Skies. Air quality in Shanghai, China’s financial center, deteriorated as Beijing residents saw a return of “long-lost” blue skies following 20 days of hazardous pollution last month. The concentration of PM2.5, fine air particulates that pose the greatest human health risk, rose to 120.7 micrograms per cubic meter at 4 p.m. in Shanghai from an average of 66 in the past 24 hours, the city’s environmental monitoring center said. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-01/beijing-sees-long-lost-blue-skies-as-smog-clears-over-capital.html Canned air for sale to combat smog in China. If there's a need, a Chinese entrepreneur will find a way. The foul smog swallowing much of China has inspired one such man to launch a humorous campaign to focus on environmental issues -- by selling canned fresh air. Known for his showman flair, millionaire Chen Guangbiao stood on a Beijing sidewalk on Wednesday handing out cans filled with what he said was air procured from remote areas of the country untainted by air pollution, according to Reuters. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-china-canned-air-smog-20130131,0,7420550.story Report: No evidence of harmful particulate levels in Wildomar neighborhood. A regional agency's report released Wednesday concludes air and soil sampling in a Wildomar neighborhood found no harmful levels of contaminants, despite residents' concerns that their families suffered health consequences from breathing poisonous air in and around their homes. The South Coast Air Quality Management District performed the sampling in January in response to complaints from residents in the city's Autumnwood subdivision, particularly from households on the Amaryllis Court cul de sac. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/31/wildomar-autumnwood-air-quality-study/ CLIMATE CHANGE Why Canada Oil-Sands Industry Wants CO2 Tax Harper Hates: Energy. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vilified political opponents who support a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions. The oil-sands industry, Canada’s fastest growing CO2 polluter, says he’s out of step. The contradiction of an industry seeking a new tax on itself has emerged in energy-rich Canada because producers are concerned the crude they process from tar-like sands will be barred from foreign markets for releasing more carbon in its production than competing fossil fuels. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-02-01/why-canada-oil-sands-industry-wants-co2-tax-harper-hates-energy.html Obama's Climate Vow Elevates EPA Role in Keystone XL Review. InsideClimateNews.org -- One of the biggest unknowns in the unfolding Keystone XL debate is the role the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might play. Because the Canada-to-Nebraska oil pipeline crosses an international border, the State Department, not the EPA, will decide whether to give the project the federal permit it needs. But the EPA will weigh in during the review, and its opinion will carry new weight now that the Obama administration has vowed to make climate change a national priority. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-31/obama-s-climate-vow-elevates-epa-role-in-keystone-xl-review.html Populated U.S. Coasts Found Most Vulnerable to Climate Change. U.S. coasts are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise, erosion, storms, and flooding, especially in the populated, low-lying areas along the Gulf of Mexico and the mid-Atlantic, according to a report released Jan. 28 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey. Sea-level rise and storm surge flooding pose significant threats to energy, water…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-29/populated-u-s-coasts-found-most-vulnerable-to-climate-change.html Obama faces angry liberals over pipeline. As he begins his second term, President Obama is barreling toward what one Bay Area activist predicts could be "all out warfare" with environmentalists who want him to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, the transcontinental conduit for tar sands fuel from Canada that many scientists say could expedite climate change. Obama's political dilemma lies in the pipeline's potential upside: …Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/politics/joegarofoli/article/Obama-faces-angry-liberals-over-pipeline-4241843.php#ixzz2JfsiVW9C Rethinking the Cap and Trade Offsets. Environmental groups seek changes to California’s cap-and-trade program. Despite losing a court case earlier this week, environmental groups are determined to seek improvements to California’s cap-and-trade program, which they say may lead only to a change on paper. Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), enacting the Global Warming Solutions Act, was signed in 2006 to allow the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to plan for a 2020 greenhouse gas emission limit with programs like cap-and-trade. Posted. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/rethinking-the-cap-and-trade-offsets-342168.html Political insiders start firm targeting cap-and-trade cash. Lobbying on California's cap-and-trade money has begun. A group of people with ties to California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), the state Legislature and several key agencies yesterday announced that they have launched a new advocacy firm that will be focused in large part on helping businesses, tech firms and investors access bounty from the state's carbon reduction program. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/01/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Is the ozone hole making climate change worse? The ozone hole over Antarctica may be lowering the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by southern ocean waters, with major repercussions for climate change, according to a new study. The findings are important, the authors say, because carbon dioxide that doesn't seep into the ocean will remain in the atmosphere, creating an additional feedback for further warming. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/01/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS DPF Maker Cleaire Shuts Down Following Fires and Recalls. Brush fires caused by spark from its diesel particulate filters and expensive recalls have apparently caused Cleaire, Inc., a California specialty manufacturer, to suddenly shut down. Without a public announcement, the company, based in San Leandro with a manufacturing operation in San Diego, ceased operations and pulled down its website last Friday. Cleaire is owned by NewWorld Capital Group, a private equity firm that invests in firms engaged in environmental mitigation. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/print/story/2013/01/dpf-maker-cleaire-shuts-down-following-fires-and-recalls.aspx http://www.dieselnet.com/news/2013/01cleaire.php FUELS Chevron and its allies take aim at California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. San Ramon-based Chevron is leading an aggressive campaign to delay implementation of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a cornerstone of the state's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fuel standard requires the oil industry to gradually reduce the "carbon intensity" of transportation fuels like diesel and gasoline by at least 10 percent by 2020. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/business/ci_22492404/chevron-and-its-allies-take-aim-at-californias?source=rss EPA proposes 2013 standards for RFS; cellulosic biofuel at 14 million gallons. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2). The proposal comes shortly after the DC Circuit Court vacated the EPA’s 2012 cellulosic biofuels standard for the RFS. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/eparfs-20130131.html VEHICLES More Electric Car Loans ‘Remains to Be Seen,’ Chu Says. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said it “remains to be seen in the future” whether about $16 billion in available U.S. government loans to develop alternative- technology vehicles will be disbursed. Providing money for electric-vehicle development was a component of President Barack Obama’s goal of having 1 million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015, a number well above current forecasts. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-31/future-of-u-s-electric-car-loans-remains-to-be-seen-chu-says.html Cleaner, more efficient diesels power their way into U.S. showrooms. More than 20 new diesel vehicle models are on track to hit U.S. showrooms this year in what industry experts are calling the most exciting year for clean diesel cars in U.S. history. "Consumers have a choice of 23 models of diesel cars and pickup trucks they can buy today," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. "We expect that to grow to as many as 54 in two years -- almost doubling of the number of diesel choices for consumers in the U.S." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/01/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Energy Secretary Chu to step down. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who won a Nobel Prize in physics but came under questioning for his handling of a solar energy loan, is stepping down. Chu offered his resignation to President Barack Obama in a letter Friday. He said he will stay on at least until the end of February and may stay until a successor is confirmed. Posted. http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ENERGY_SECRETARY?SITE=NDBIS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-01-13-04-09 OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/energy-secretary-steven-chu-resigns/2013/02/01/9809fd8a-6c8f-11e2-8f4f-2abd96162ba8_print.html http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/steven-chu-steps-obama-energy-secretary-article-1.1253105?print http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-energy-secretary-steven-chu-step-down-20130201,0,3894054.story http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/01/5158285/energy-secretary-chu-to-step-down.html#storylink=misearch http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Energy-Secretary-Chu-to-step-down-4243044.php http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_22498612/energy-secretary-steven-chu-stepping-down http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50667748 Norway May Boost Hydro Output 12% by 2020, Survey Shows. Norway, Europe’s biggest producer of hydropower, may increase annual production by 12 percent through 2020 as the country strives to meet EU targets for higher renewable energy output, an investor survey showed. Hydropower investors are ready to build new plants and upgrade existing stations, adding at least 15 terawatt-hours of annual output to Norway’s average 130 terawatt-hours over the next eight years…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-02-01/norway-may-boost-hydro-output-12-by-2020-survey-shows.html Scam-Ridden U.S. Biofuel Program Targeted for Fix by EPA. The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing rules to expand the use of renewable fuels and thwart scams in a program hit by fraud and facing increasing criticisms from U.S. refiners. The EPA yesterday called for a mandate of 16.55 billion gallons for renewable fuels such as ethanol for this year, up 8.9 percent from 2012 and in line with a target set by Congress. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-31/epa-seeks-to-increase-renewable-fuel-mandate-by-8-9-for-2013.html U.S. Renewable-Energy Capacity Doubled From 2009-2012, BNEF Says. Renewable-energy capacity in the U.S. almost doubled from 2009 to 2012, helping reduce the nation’s carbon-dioxide emissions last year to the lowest since 1994, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. The cumulative installed solar, wind, geothermal and biomass-based energy sources in the U.S. climbed to 85.7 gigawatts in 2012, compared with 43.5 gigawatts in 2008, the London-based research company said in a report today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-31/u-s-renewable-energy-capacity-doubled-from-2009-2012-bnef-says.html First Solar May Sell Cheapest Solar Power, Less Than Coal. First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the world’s largest thin-film solar manufacturer, may receive the lowest rates ever for selling U.S. solar power, less than electricity from new coal plants, for a project it purchased in New Mexico, according to a regulatory filing. First Solar bought the 50-megawatt Macho Springs project from Element Power Solar, according to a statement yesterday. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-02-01/first-solar-may-sell-cheapest-solar-power-less-than-coal.html Polysilicon Seen Rebounding as China Plans Import Duties: Energy. Polysilicon used in solar panels is set to extend its rebound from a decade low as China moves to impose duties on importers such as Germany’s Wacker Chemie AG. (WCH) Spot prices will jump as much as 39 percent this year to $22 a kilogram ($9.98 a pound), according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts. The commodity hit a low $15.83 in December, the cheapest price since at least 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-31/polysilicon-seen-rebounding-as-china-plans-import-duties-energy.html . S. Korea Approves Private Coal Power Plants to Spread Investment. South Korea granted approval for Samsung C&T Corp. (000830) and three other private companies to build eight coal-fired power plants as part of an energy plan that spreads investment among state and private power generators. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-31/s-korea-approves-private-coal-power-plants-to-spread-investment.html France Will Dim Its Lights to Conserve Energy. As of July, all shops and offices in France will have to shut off their lights at night, under a government decree issued on Wednesday. The decree, from the Environment Ministry, is intended to save energy and “reduce the print of artificial lighting on the nocturnal environment.” France is proud of its lights. Tourists cherish the Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Élysées, the 20,000 flashing bulbs on the Eiffel Tower and the bright, imaginative shop windows of large department stores like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. Major attractions like the Eiffel Tower will remain lighted, and local authorities can make exceptions for Christmas lighting and other celebrations. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/world/europe/paris-lights-to-be-dimmed-to-save-energy.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print Delays in energy-saving standards could cost $3.7B -- advocacy group report. Delays in updating energy efficiency standards for certain appliances and devices could cost consumers and businesses $3.7 billion in lost savings -- and lead to an extra 40 million metric tons of excess carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report from two energy efficiency advocacy groups. The report, from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, looked at the potential impact of delaying new standards for eight devices. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2013/02/01/13 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Maker of Tide agrees to reduce levels of suspected carcinogen in its detergents. The Procter & Gamble Co., the maker of Tide and other name brands, will significantly reduce the levels of a chemical in its laundry products that California designates as a carcinogen, according to an agreement made last week in a California court. The agreement comes in the wake of a study from the group Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE), "Dirty Secrets: What's Hiding in your Cleaning Products?" on the potential dangers surrounding 20 household cleaning products. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/01/21 BY SUBSCRIPTIO ONLY OPINIONS Mixed Results in New EPA Report on Toxins and Children. We’ve come a long way since the days when kids played in clouds of DDT, gas stations sold leaded gasoline, and smoking near youngsters was commonplace. America has made great strides since the 1970s in reducing toxins in the environment that cause health issues in children, according to a new edition of the EPA report, “America’s Children and The Environment.” The EPA is obliged, by executive order, to examine toxins’ effects on children. Posted. http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/01/30/mixed-results-in-new-epa-report-on-toxins-and-children/ We Don’t Want High-Speed Rail Here. California's High-Speed Rail Authority is still selling their so-called bullet train, by saying they're going to get from Madera to Fresno to Bakersfield. There's a problem though: Bakersfield city officials don't think the train is going to make it there, because the rail authority doesn't have enough money and they've admitted as much in meetings. Posted. http://www.myfoxla.com/story/20929029/time-to-pull-the-plug-on-high-speed-rail