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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 7, 2013. Posted: 07 Feb 2013 12:31:24
ARB Newsclips for February 7, 2013. ARB Newsclips for February 7, 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 MORENO VALLEY: Mega warehouse would have wide impact. The draft environmental impact report released this week for the 41.6 million-square-foot warehouse center that Moreno Valley officials want to develop on the city’s east side states what critics have suspected – that the project probably will create more traffic, affect air quality and pose long-term health care risks. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/moreno-valley/moreno-valley-headlines-index/20130205-moreno-valley-mega-warehouse-would-have-wide-impact.ece Utah regulators target hamburger-grill emissions. A powerful state board charged with cleaning Utah's air approved new emissions controls Wednesday that will affect Burger King and other hamburger joints that use conveyor-driven flame broilers to cook their beef. The regulation is among dozens the Utah Air Quality Board is adopting to curb smog across the greater Salt Lake region, which is experiencing another severe pollution episode. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/06/utah-regulators-target-hamburger-grill-emissions/#ixzz2KENmJ2z4 CLIMATE CHANGE U.S. Northeast Cap-and-Trade Program Said to Lower Cap. The U.S. Northeast’s cap-and-trade program, which was been hampered by pollution limits that exceed carbon emissions, is expected to reduce its cap by as much as 45 percent tomorrow, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Companies in the nine states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will be permitted to emit a total of about 91 million tons of carbon dioxide a year under the new policies, Dale Bryk, a director and attorney at the New York-based environmental group, said today in an interview. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-06/u-s-northeast-cap-and-trade-program-said-to-lower-carbon-limit.html http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Utilities prepare for carbon rules on operating power plants. Imposing greenhouse gas regulations on the nation's existing power plants is the main climate priority sought by environmental groups as President Obama begins a second term. But that move has been anticipated in the utility sector, and many of its members are prepared for it, according to industry officials. The present fleet of coal-fired generating plants is getting smaller as cheap natural gas replaces coal and as older facilities close because of age and the high costs of installing new equipment to meet earlier regulations, including limits on mercury and sulfur emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY U.S. may not meet its pledge to cut CO2 by 17% without more action – study. The United States is not on track to meet its Copenhagen climate change target, according to a new major study that could undermine the Obama administration's claims to the international community that it is headed in the right direction. The findings from the World Resources Institute show the United States could still achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade even if Congress won't pass legislation. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY New analytic methods reduce uncertainty in forest-carbon relationship. Tropical forests are less vulnerable to climate change than scientists had previously thought, a new study concludes. The study, published this week in Nature, placed the amount of carbon released naturally from tropical ecosystems at about 53 billion metric tons per degree Celsius of warming. This is about one-quarter of some previous estimates, which reached up to 200 billion metric tons of CO2. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Ariz. senator challenges global warming with new bill. Arizona Sen. Judy Burges (R) has set out to "free" teachers to share their doubts about global warming with their students. Burges submitted a bill saying state schools cannot prohibit teachers from discussing the "strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories" about "controversial" topics such as global warming and climate change. Furthermore, the bill opens the door for teachers to argue for scientific validity of "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/13 BU SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Debate resolved -- earthworms do contribute to global warming. Earthworms increase the global warming potential of soils by 16 percent, a new study shows. In the study, published in Nature, scientists from the Netherlands, the United States and Colombia looked into 237 experiments from other studies on earthworms' role in global warming and deduced their net contribution to the greenhouse effect. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/14 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FULES Advocates gear up to defend renewable fuel standard. Advocates for the biofuel industry are sharpening their swords and ginning up support for the federal mandate on biofuel blending in anticipation of a new round of attacks from the oil and gas industry. Under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), refiners are required to mix 36 billion gallons of biofuel with traditional transportation fuel by 2022. Of that amount, 21 billion gallons is to come from advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Automakers hope to rev up sales of diesel vehicles. Diesel-powered vehicles account for only 3% of U.S. auto sales, but GM, Volkswagen, Mazda and other brands are rolling out new models in a bid to raise that figure. Drivers in the U.S. are discovering what Europeans have known for years: Diesel engines are powerful and still get eye-popping fuel economy, especially at highway speeds. Automakers are rolling out new diesels in the U.S. market, including a diesel version of General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Cruze, which debuts Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-diesel-20130207,0,20780.story http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/06/hot-wheels-chevrolet-cruze-diesel/#ixzz2KENSWk00 California Governor’s Office releases 2013 ZEV action plan; 1.5M ZEVs on CA roadways by 2025. California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office and state agencies issued a 2013 Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan. The Action Plan follows on Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) released March 2012, which set required milestones for state government to enable 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025. (Earlier post.) The Action Plan details concrete actions that state agencies are taking to help accelerate the market for plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/zev-20130207.html HIGH SPEED RAIL REGION: Contractor chosen for Metrolink project. Transportation officials have accepted a $132 million build to build a Metrolink line to Perris that is the target of a lawsuit from an environmental group. The Riverside County Transportation Commission on Friday, Feb. 1, chose to award the $132,202,749 contract to Ames Construction, Inc. – contingent on if a judge’s ruling lets the Perris Valley Line project move forward. Friends of Riverside’s Hills is suing the commission for approving the project…Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/perris/perris-headlines-index/20130206-region-contractor-chosen-for-metrolink-project.ece New high-speed rail map stirs debate. A conceptual map from a California artist has lots of people talking about the future of high-speed rail in the United States. Artist Alfred Twu created this map showing high-speed rail plans right through Denver. Yet, the concept is just that, right now. Government officials, planners, and think tanks have created dozens of maps in the past few years on the feasibility and usefulness on the future of high-speed rail. Posted. http://www.9news.com/news/article/315275/222/New-high-speed-rail-map-stirs-debate GREEN ENERGY Edison ignored safety risks at San Onofre, Sen. Boxer says. Southern California Edison and the maker of steam generators at San Onofre nuclear plant knew about problems with the generators even before they were installed, Boxer and a congressman assert. Southern California Edison was aware of problems with replacement steam generators at its San Onofre nuclear power plant but chose not to make fixes, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer charged Wednesday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0207-san-onofre-20130207,0,3728522.story It looks as though California has broken another solar power record, and it's done so in one of the least-sunny times of year possible. According to preliminary figures provided by the California Independent System Operator, the state's grid received more than 1,300 megawatts of power from solar arrays for a few hours on Wednesday, likely an all-time record -- in a month when the sun shines with less intensity than at most other times of year. Keep in mind that California only passed the 1,000-megawatt mark in its solar generating output on August 20, 2012…Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/a-new-california-solar-record-in-february.html New York Times' new building cuts net energy by 24% -- study. California researchers this week called The New York Times' new high-tech building on the West Side of Manhattan one of the best examples around of how well-designed building components can save energy. In a study supported by the Energy Department and the California Energy Commission, researchers found that buildings like the newspapers can keep occupants cool or warm and save money by employing time-triggered window shades and better airflow, among other measures. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Wind projects dominated new power production last year – study. Electric utilities and independent power producers completed 430 new power plants accounting for 29,335 megawatts of new generation projects in 2012, a whopping 43 percent increase over the previous year, according to figures released yesterday by SNL Financial. Six of the 10 largest projects were natural gas- and coal-fired generators in the Southeast and Midwest, while wind power accounted for the lion's share of new generation nationally, with 12,953 MW of added capacity, or 44 percent of the total. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BLOGS Environmentalists and unions band together to fight CEQA changes. Environmentalists and labor unions are banding together to fight efforts to overhaul California's landmark environmental law. Organizers said the new coalition, made up of dozens of advocacy groups and dubbed "CEQA Works," was formed to counter an aggressive campaign by business groups to make changes to the California Environmental Quality Act. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2013/02/environmentalists-and-unions-band-together-to-fight-ceqa-changes.html Northeast pact to dramatically lower greenhouse emissions for power plants. Massachusetts and eight other Northeast states are nearly halving the amount of carbon dioxide power plants are allowed to emit –- a dramatic reduction that is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the state while combating global warming. The revision of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative agreement comes four years after the nine-state program first put in place a cap aimed at curbing emissions of the key heat-trapping gas in order to slow manmade climate change. Posted. http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/green/greenblog/2013/02/northeast_pact_to_dramatically.html Hong Kong Taking Major Steps to Address Air Pollution. While the air in Beijing and throughout much of China has been notoriously polluted in recent weeks, Hong Kong (where I currently live) does not fare much better. The poor air quality in Hong Kong has been a source of concern and protest here for many years. Both residents and environmental groups have long demanded that the government do more to tackle the problem, as air pollutants consistently exceed World Health Organization limits as well as levels set by the Hong Kong government itself. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/bfinamore/hong_kong_taking_major_steps_t.html