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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 20, 2013. Posted: 20 Feb 2013 15:01:46
ARB Newsclips for February 20, 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 RESOURCES BOARD Phil Serna to be sworn in to California Air Resources Board. Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna will be sworn in as the newest member of the California Air Resources Board tomorrow at 9 a.m. The swearing in will take place in the Joe Serna Jr. Cal/EPA Headquarters Building, 1001 I St., named after Serna's late father, who was once mayor of Sacramento. Serna was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to fill a new seat created by recent legislation to add representation for the region. The legislation was authored by Assembly member Roger Dickinson, a former Sacramento County supervisor. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/19/5201659/phil-serna-to-be-sworn-in-to-california.html#storylink=cpy AIR POLLUTION China to Impose Limits on Six Industries to Tackle Air Pollution. China will impose emission limits on six polluting industries including coal-fired power plants and steel and petrochemical factories as soon as March 1 to improve air quality in major cities. China “must strictly impose” the limits to improve air quality, according to a statement posted on the Ministry of Environmental Protection website today that cited a meeting headed by Minister Zhou Shengxian. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-20/china-to-impose-limits-on-six-industries-to-tackle-air-pollution.html UC Davis study says it found source of air pollutants. Researchers at UC Davis have established, for the first time, a link between toxic substances that pollute the air and what causes them. The research, announced Monday by the California Air Resources Board and the Electric Power Research Institute, holds the potential to better regulate sources of air pollution – an issue of great import to the asthma-plagued Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/20/5202039/uc-davis-study-says-it-found-source.html#storylink=cpy Valley air officials give preliminary OK to hydrogen plant emissions. Central Valley regulators have tentatively signed off on the air pollution expected to be generated by the Hydrogen Energy California power and chemical plant proposed near Tupman. While a full project approval is at least several months away, the preliminary determination of compliance issued last week by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District signals that HECA appears to meet its various requirements. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/local/x837005528/Valley-air-officials-give-preliminary-OK-to-hydrogen-plant-emissions Think tank encourages EPA to apply rarely used legal move to cut greenhouse gas emissions. A New York-based institute has asked U.S. EPA to consider a little-used section of the Clean Air Act to cut greenhouse gases, a move it says will give states more control over how to curb climate change. The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University sent a petition to acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe yesterday, requesting that the agency consider using Section 115 of the Clean Air Act to require states to formulate plans to reduce emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Clouds and pollution -- a climate change mystery solved. How does pollution affect cloud formation and climate change? This question has long been an unsolved mystery of climate science, leading to uncertainty in climate modeling. Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences takes a big step toward answering that question and helping scientists improve those models. For nearly half a century, scientists speculated that air pollution from burning fossil fuels causes clouds to form differently. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CAP AND TRADE In European Union, Emissions Trade Is Sputtering. President Barack Obama is trying to persuade the United States to adopt a cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But the European Union’s Emissions Trading System — the world’s flagship effort — is sputtering. European carbon permits, which traded at about €30 per ton a few years ago, are now hovering at about €5 per ton or less. The Union set up the E.T.S. in 2005 to send a clear signal to electric utilities and other polluters that over time they needed to switch to cleaner energy sources and adopt innovative anti-pollution technology. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/business/energy-environment/21iht-green21.html California holds second auction of carbon credits. California held its second auction Tuesday for carbon-emissions allowances, pursuing the next phase in its controversial mechanism to curtail greenhouse gases. The Air Resources Board sold more than 22 million allowances, each one containing the right to emit a ton of carbon into the air. The state agency will wait until Friday to release prices and other results from the three-hour electronic auction. The minimum bid price was $10.71 a ton. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/20/5201960/california-holds-second-auction.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2013/02/20/2585770/california-holds-second-auction.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy CLIMATE CHANGE TransCanada: Pipeline would not affect climate. In a shift in strategy, the company that wants to build an oil pipeline from western Canada to Texas said Tuesday that the project will have no measurable effect on global warming. Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's president for energy and oil pipelines, said opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have grossly inflated its likely impact on emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/19/transcanada-pipeline-would-not-affect-climate/ Legislative watchdog questions legality of Brown plan for spending climate fees. California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to spend climate change fees on hiring at a housing agency could be illegal, a state audit agency warned yesterday. Brown's proposal, included in the 2013-2014 budget the Democrat unveiled last month, would take $650,000 from fees that businesses pay for the state climate programs and spend it on five new positions at a housing agency. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/20/14 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Industry, environmentalists mull 'fracking' rules. Leases have been signed on tens of thousands of acres in southern Illinois. Studies have hinted at the potential economic payoff of drilling for oil and gas deposits deep underground. But so far, oil and gas companies have held off on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Illinois because the state lacks ground rules for the industry. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/20/industry-environmentalists-mull-fracking-rules/#ixzz2LT1XaatL Calif. walloped with criticisms on proposed fracking rules. A group of California residents yesterday denounced the state's proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas, saying they are inadequate and wouldn't protect people or resources. About 80 people who filled a hotel ballroom here rattled off what they saw as flaws with the draft regulations, including that the proposed rule fails to provide enough advance warning when fracking will occur and would not force public disclosure of all chemicals used. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/02/20/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Industry fights back on Keystone XL's climate impact. In the wake of environmental protests at the White House, supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline pushed back yesterday against the argument that the planned oil conduit from Canada would be a climate catastrophe. Canada constitutes about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the oil sands constituting a small percentage of that total, said Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's president of oil pipelines and energy…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Home Solar Systems to Be an Option for Honda Customers. Automakers have long resorted to incentives like zero-percent financing, rewards points and rebates to inspire customer loyalty. Now Honda is offering a different deal: inexpensive home solar power systems for customers. Through a partnership with SolarCity, a residential and commercial installer, Honda and Acura will offer their customers home solar systems at little or no upfront cost, the companies said on Tuesday. The automaker will also offer its dealers preferential terms to lease or buy systems from SolarCity on a case-by-case basis, executives said. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/business/honda-to-offer-customers-a-home-solar-system-option.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print California wins ruling on 2000-2001 energy crisis. More than a decade after the last rolling blackout, Californians could get $1.6 billion in electricity refunds because of market manipulation during the first few months of the energy crisis, officials said Monday. A federal administrative law judge issued a preliminary decision last Friday in California's favor against several big energy wholesalers, including a U.S. government agency that sells hydropower from the Pacific Northwest and the government of British Columbia. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/20/5201958/california-wins-ruling-on-2000.html#storylink=cpy U.S. spent more on energy efficiency than on conventional energy in 2010 – study. The United States spent $574 billion on energy efficiency in 2010. That's 3.4 times the investment in conventional energy technology, an indication that productivity of the U.S. economy may be linked more to efficiency than extracting energy resources. A report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), following an analysis of energy efficiency resources in the United States, estimates that $170 billion was invested in conventional energy supply…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Emerging markets seen as 'next wave' in smart grid growth – report. The global smart grid market could grow to be worth more than $66 billion by the year 2023, with much of that growth likely to occur in emerging economies in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia, according to a new analysis by Washington, D.C.-based research firm Northeast Group. "In North America and Western Europe, they've been doing a lot of smart metering already," said Ben Gardner, president and co-founder of Northeast Group LLC. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONY MISCELLANEOUS Toxic nap mats draw suit in Oakland. An Oakland watchdog group said Tuesday it is suing major manufacturers and retailers, including Target and Amazon.com, for selling nap mats made with a toxic flame retardant that is also a known carcinogen. The lawsuit is the latest legal move for the group, which last year put the companies on notice for selling or making similarly contaminated changing pads, crib mattresses and other items. While some of the manufacturers and retailers say they've started to change their practices, the Center for Environmental Health says it wants the courts to require swift action. Many foam nap mats, which are widely used at places like day care centers, are doused with flame retardants linked to obesity, hormone disruption. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Toxic-nap-mats-draw-suit-in-Oakland-4292200.php#ixzz2LTWD1y00 Clean-air chief Gina McCarthy seen as likely pick to head EPA. President Barack Obama is expected by environmental advocates to name Gina McCarthy, the controversial chief of the Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution arm, to head the agency. The nomination of McCarthy, 58, who has served as the head of the EPA's clean-air division since 2009, could come as early as next week, according to officials of three environmental groups. Her boss, Lisa Jackson, left the administrator's post Thursday. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/15/5194507/clean-air-chief-gina-mccarthy.html#storylink=cpy Sacramento moves ahead on proposal to ban plastic grocery bags. A Sacramento City Council subcommittee moved forward Tuesday with drafting an ordinance to ban single-use plastic shopping bags at large grocery stores in the city. The council's Law and Legislation Committee directed city staff to begin working on the ordinance, which will eventually return to the committee before being voted on by the City Council. The process of adopting a ban would likely take until June. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/19/5201725/sacramento-moves-ahead-on-proposal.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region#storylink=cpy OPINIONS No, Greenland Does Not Belong to China. Greenland may well develop into a large exporter of uranium. In the south of the island, rare earth deposits are among the largest in the world. Huge reserves of oil and gas are hidden off shore. And yes, London Mining, a British mining company, and the Greenland self-government authority are luring the Chinese to invest $2 billion in an iron-ore mine close to the Greenland ice sheet some 175 kilometers north of Nuuk, the capital. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/opinion/no-greenland-does-not-belong-to-china.html?_r=0 BLOGS Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy. California’s cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gases resumed this week with its second auction of carbon allowances to industrial polluters. The market is being closely watched around the world, and billions of dollars are at stake. But some nagging questions are lingering from the first auction. The state’s first-ever carbon auction last November was a very exclusive online event, open only to bidders and regulators at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/02/19/working-the-kinks-out-of-californias-carbon-market/