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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 11, 2013.

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 13:01:39
ARB Newsclips for February 11, 2013. ARB Newsclips for February
11, 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.


Toxic emissions rise in California. Toxic chemicals released into
the environment by manufacturing plants and facilities in
California rose in 2011 after steady annual declines since 2007,
according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's yearly
Toxic Release Inventory report. The TRI report also found that
releases decreased in Sacramento and Solano counties, but
increased year over year in Placer and Yolo counties in 2011, the
latest year for which the EPA has toxic release information.

Fewer New Year fireworks in polluted Beijing. The annual Lunar
New Year fireworks barrage in Beijing was notably muted Sunday
following government appeals to reduce the smoky celebrations
after air pollution rose to near catastrophic levels over recent
weeks. The holiday was also being celebrated in Vietnamese and
Korean communities, and in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang,
streams of residents offered flowers and bowed deeply before
giant statues of national founder Kim Il Sung and his son and
late leader Kim Jong Il.


New group seeks to save near-lawless oceans from over-fishing.
The high seas that cover almost half the Earth's surface are a
treasure trove with little legal protection from growing threats
such as over-fishing and climate change, according to a new
international group of politicians. "High levels of pillage are
going on," David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary,
told Reuters. He will co-chair the Global Ocean Commission, which
will start work this week and give advice to the United Nations
on fixing the problems. Posted.

Cool steps help fight global warming. When it comes to high-tech
possibilities for counteracting climate change, the headlines
tend to focus on the seemingly sci-fi stuff: brightening clouds,
pumping particles into the stratosphere and launching giant
mirrors into space. But there are down-to-earth versions of the
same basic concept, approaches as simple as painting roofs white
or using light-colored pavement to cast away more heat from the
Earth. Posted.

California Air Resources Board announces cap-and-trade workshops.
 The California Air Resources Board has announced three workshops
to begin soliciting public comment on the development of an
investment plan for the state portion of the AB 32 cap-and-trade
auction proceeds. Two bills that were passed in 2012, AB 1532
(Perez) and SB 535 (De Leon), set the framework for the
Department of Finance to develop an investment plan for projects
and programs using cap-and-trade auction funds. Posted. 

EPA Climate Change Adaptation Plan sees likely increase in
tropospheric ozone, with more difficulty in attaining NAAQS in
many areas.  Among the many climate-related vulnerabilities that
can impact its mission, the US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) cites a likely increase in tropospheric ozone pollution as
potentially making it more difficult to attain National Ambient
Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in many areas with existing ozone
problems. The analysis comes in a draft Climate Change Adaptation
Plan that the agency has released for public comment.  Posted. 

Obama admin releases first-ever climate adaptation plans. This
year, the Commerce Department will investigate the feasibility of
a bicycle share program. The Agriculture Department's Risk
Management Agency will redraw planting zone maps for the purposes
of insuring nursery-grown plants. And the Department of Defense
will scale down its fleet of gas-guzzling Humvees. These are all
examples of steps federal agencies will take in 2013 in an effort
to deal with the risks of future climate change. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/2 BY

Climate change-related spending makes up 20% of new E.U. budget.
European leaders agreed to a seven-year budget Friday worth €959
billion, or nearly $1.3 trillion, of which at least 20 percent is
targeted for climate change-related spending. "This is a major
step forward for our efforts to handle the climate crisis. Rather
than being parked in a corner of the E.U. budget, climate action
will now be integrated into all main spending areas -- cohesion,
innovation, infrastructure, agriculture etc. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/5 BY

After 800 years of isolation, warming opens a valley to fire. For
close to a millennium, the sheltered valley of Fern Lake, 3 miles
west of Estes Park, Colo., lay untouched by fire. Its remote
location, high altitude and long, snow-blanketed winters made the
valley something of an anomaly, a place where trees could age 800
years and never feel the decadal burns that moved through the
rest of the Rocky Mountains. That changed last fall. For the
first time in recorded history, lightning touched off a blaze
around Fern Lake that smoldered for weeks, in what scientists
call one of the clearest depictions to date that fire regimes are
shifting under climate change. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/4 BY


In-state oil fields don't all meet standard. Environmentalists
often call oil from Canada's tar sands the dirtiest fuel on
Earth, because the complex process of extracting it spews huge
amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. But by that standard,
some of the crude oil pumped in California is just as dirty. In a
few cases, it's even worse. Several California oil fields produce
just as much carbon dioxide per barrel of oil as the tar sands
do, state data show. A handful of fields yield even more. Posted.

Drought forces 20 ethanol plants to close. Twenty ethanol plants
have ceased production as farmers struggle to produce corn during
the ongoing drought. The Renewable Fuels Association said 191
plants remain operational. The shutdowns will likely last until
fall, when 2013 corn is harvested. About 40 percent of the
nation's corn crop is used in ethanol production. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/11/15 BY

Aging fields may not meet Calif. fuel standard. Several
California oil fields produce the same amount of carbon dioxide
per barrel of oil as the Canadian oil sands do, state data show.
And a small number of fields produce even more, fueling debate
over the state's low-carbon fuel standard. After years of use,
some fields require injections of steam in order to produce more
oil. Power plants create that steam, generating greenhouse gas
emissions in the process. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/11/16 BY


Study finds European cars are less green than claimed. European
car manufacturers are exploiting test loopholes to exaggerate
their vehicles' green credentials, an official European
Commission study has found. The report, which is likely to stoke
already heated debate on carbon standards, found that cars are a
lot less fuel-efficient and more polluting than their makers tell
us. Simulations used to test new cars have never perfectly
reflected actual emissions. Posted.

Plugging In, Dutch Put Electric Cars to the Test. When Patrick
Langevoort’s company issued him an electric vehicle two years
ago, the first months were filled with misadventure: he found
himself far from Amsterdam, with only a 25 percent charge
remaining, unable to find the charging point listed on a map.
Though the car was supposed to travel 100 miles on a full
battery, he discovered that cold weather and fast driving
decreased that range. Posted.

Ventura County paves smoother road for electric vehicles. Russell
Sydney’s first electric vehicle was a scooter he used to zip
around Santa Monica, propelled by a desire to ditch reliance on
oil. A decade later, the founder of the Sustainable
Transportation Club is still an electric vehicle advocate. The
Santa Paula man owns three electric vehicles and is converting
another vehicle from gasoline to electric. As a member of a
close-knit community, Sydney has watched the ranks of electric
vehicle owners grow over the past year as more carmakers roll out
electric and electric hybrid models. He welcomes the change.

E.U. asks grid experts to plan for more electric cars. A group of
Dutch, German and Danish specialist energy and software companies
have been asked by the European Union to examine what an
international smart energy grid might do to prod snail-paced
electric vehicle sales. Project NEMO, which stands for Novel
E-Mobility, has until April 2015 to come up with answers to the
key questions of how an enlarged and redesigned grid could meet
the charging demands resulting from major growth of electric
vehicles. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/3 BY


Solar industry grapples with hazardous wastes.  Homeowners on the
hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with
images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words
about the technology's benefits for the environment — and the
wallet.  What customers may not know is that there's a dirtier
side.  While solar is a far less polluting energy source than
coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling
with a hazardous waste problem. Posted. 

Other related articles:


Job Front: Sacramento area's clean-tech sector grows.
Sacramento's still-evolving clean-tech sector is adding jobs even
as it continues to grow in stature. The region's clean technology
firms increased payrolls by more than 1,000 jobs in 2012, pushing
job rolls to more than 3,200 – a 31 percent increase, according
to a clean-technology incubator, the Sacramento Area Regional
Technology Alliance. The growth pushed revenue for the sector
above $2 billion, up nearly a third from 2011. There are 99
clean-tech companies in the greater region. Posted.

Wind power capacity grew 20% globally in 2012, figures show. 
Wind power expanded by almost 20% in 2012 around the world to
reach a new peak of 282 gigawatts (GW) of total installed
capacity, while solar power reached more than 100GW, having more
than doubled in two years.  More than 45GW of new wind turbines
arrived in 2012, with China and the US leading the way with 13GW
each, while Germany, India and the UK were next with about 2GW
apiece.  Posted. 


Bay Area stuck with congestion like L.A.'s. The Bay Area's
traffic congestion is as bad as Los Angeles', according to the
latest version of a respected national transportation study. For
Bay Area residents, this may seem unfathomable, unthinkable and
an insult to regional pride. Anyone who's sat in one of the
Southern California parking lots called a freeway knows that
traffic there seems far more pervasive, persistent and painful
than it does in the Bay Area. But according to the Texas
Transportation Institute's Urban Mobility Report…Posted.


It’s Not Easy Being Green. GREEN jobs have long had a whiff of
exaggeration to them. The alternative-energy sector may
ultimately employ millions of people. But raising the cost of the
energy that households and businesses use every day — a necessary
effect of helping the climate — is not exactly a recipe for an
economic boom.
The stronger argument for a major government response to climate
change is the more obvious argument: climate change. Posted.

Stuart Leavenworth: A CEQA advance environmentalists should
explore. For environmentalists in the Golden State, few laws are
more sacred than the California Environmental Quality Act.
Enacted in 1970, the law gives citizens and interest groups the
power to challenge the decisions of local governments and state
regulators and block projects they find objectionable. Used at
its best, CEQA has protected poor communities from toxic
incinerators and landfills. Posted.

Paper, plastic or bacteria-filled reusables? I’ve always tried to
observe the environmentally appropriate position when it came to
the choice of paper or plastic, forgoing the latter because — as
ecologists have so effectively pounded into us — it takes too
much oil to make plastic bags and they pollute waterways and kill
marine animals. But then I read that it takes 14 million trees to
make paper bags and creates 70 percent more air pollution than
the production of plastic bags. Posted.


Scientists Explore Options as Polar Bears Face New Threats. The
surge of hunting that depleted many polar bear populations in the
20th century is largely under control. But just as the species
has been recovering from that threat, global warming is creating
new pressures through the loss of summer sea ice and other
impacts on the bears’ preferred maritime habitat. Recent DNA
analysis has shown that polar bears are a far older species than
was thought even a few years ago, and they clearly are adaptable
and resilient. Posted.

Cap-and-trade is still alive in New England. Is it working? 
Remember cap-and-trade? Back in 2010, Democrats in Congress had a
proposal to set a nationwide limit on U.S. greenhouse-gas
emissions and let businesses trade pollution permits. But the
climate bill died, and cap-and-trade mostly vanished from
discussion.  Except in the Northeast. For the past decade, ten
states stretching from Maine to Maryland have been experimenting
with their own modest cap on carbon pollution from electric power
plants. Posted. 

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