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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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

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


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. 



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.

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.


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.

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


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.





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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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


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.

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. 

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