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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 22, 2012 Posted: 22 Feb 2013 11:19:16
ARB Newsclips for February 22, 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 Report: Unreliable data could hinder EPA efforts to control pollution from natural gas boom. Limited data and unreliable estimates on air pollution from oil and natural gas production is hindering the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to police the drilling boom, the agency’s internal watchdog said in a report released Thursday. Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. said the EPA has failed to directly measure emissions from some pieces of equipment and processes, and some estimates it does have are of “questionable quality.” Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/report-unreliable-data-could-hinder-epa-efforts-to-control-pollution-from-natural-gas-boom/2013/02/21/3354b646-7c98-11e2-9073-e9dda4ac6a66_story.html CLIMATE CHANGE Second cap and trade auction needs big bucks. In a private and somewhat secret event on Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed state budget inched a little more towards balance... or further towards a multi-million dollar hole created by what's turned out to be relatively low demand for greenhouse gas pollution credits. It was the second of three initial auctions of carbon dioxide credits, and the first since November's offering came up significantly short in revenues available to the state. Posted. http://www.news10.net/capitol/article/231163/525/Second-cap-and-trade-auction-needs-big-bucks Ontario moving forward on cap-and-trade system. Environmental lawyers at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt said that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s posting of a discussion paper on GHG emission reductions in January is a sign that a cap-and-trade system is in the works for the province. “This Discussion Paper is the latest indication that the Ontario Government intends to pursue a greenhouse gas reduction strategy that involves a cap-and-trade system that may have far-reaching effects on industry in the province,” write Daniel Kirby, Jack Coop, Jennifer Fairfax and Patrick Welsh in the Osler Update. “The Discussion Paper also makes it clear that the interests of stakeholders, including Ontario businesses, will be considered.” Posted. http://business.financialpost.com/2013/02/21/ontario-moving-forward-on-cap-and-trade-system/ FUELS EU member states say biofuels limit needs more thought. Limits must be imposed on the use of biofuels made from food crops, leading EU member states France and Britain said on Friday, while questioning the detail of a Commission proposal for a 5 percent cap. Concern that some biofuels create more problems than they solve led to a major policy shift in September when the EU executive announced plans to limit the use of crop-based biodiesel and bioethanol to 5 percent of total transport fuel consumption. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/22/eu-biofuels-idUSL6N0BM7IB20130222 U.S. natural gas futures slip, cold trend limits selling. Front-month U.S. natural gas futures turned slightly lower on Friday after some early buying, but the downside was limited by fairly cold forecasts for the eastern half of the country in the next two weeks that should stir more heating demand. Traders also said that gas prices at current levels should continue to draw support from some utilities opting to shun more-expensive coal for power generation. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/22/markets-nymex-natgas-idUSL1N0BM33220130222 MIT study finds fuel economy standards are 6-14 times less cost effective than fuel tax for reducing gasoline use. In a study published in the journal Energy Economics, MIT researchers have found that a fuel economy standard is at least six to fourteen times less cost effective than a fuel tax when targeting an identical reduction in cumulative gasoline use (20% by 2050). The researchers also found that a binding fuel economy standard, combined with a cap-and-trade (CAT) policy, increases the cost of meeting the GHG emissions constraint by forcing expensive reduction in passenger vehicle gasoline use, displacing more cost-effective abatement opportunities. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/mit-study-finds-fuel-economy-standards-are-6-14-times-less-cost-effective-than-fuel-tax-for-reducing-gasoline-use.html VEHICLES Electric-vehicle drivers outfit homes with specialized chargers. Fremont, Calif., resident Shinya Fujimoto bought his Nissan Leaf during heady times for electric-vehicle fans. It was spring 2011, when there was so much anticipation over a shipment of these all-electric vehicles from Japan to the West Coast that someone climbed aboard a chopper, shot photos of the cars on shipboard on their way to Southern California and posted them on a blog popular among plug-in vehicle owners. Postd. http://www.modbee.com/2013/02/22/2589171/electric-vehicle-drivers-outfit.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Workplaces offer electric car charging for employees. Employees at General Motors' plant in White Marsh, Md., have an unusual workplace benefit: Anyone who drives an electric car can plug it in to charge while they work. At the plant, which produces transmissions and electric motors, workers can park their electric vehicles - or EVs - in any of eight spaces under two solar-powered canopies in the employee lot. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/02/22/2589170/workplaces-offer-electric-car.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy WHAT OTHERS SAY: EPA botches oversight of car mileage claims. Indeed, the mileage claims made by automakers play a key role in a multibillion-dollar industry that deserves close government scrutiny. But what happens when the regulators fall down on the job? The federal Environmental Protection Agency has failed consumers with its abysmal handling of a controversy involving the fuel efficiency of some recent Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130222/MCT/130229884/0/SEARCH Hyundai increases fuel efficiency and all-electric operation in 2013 Sonata Hybrid. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid offers increased fuel efficiency and operation in all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time, with an advanced version of the brand’s Hybrid Blue Drive architecture. The improved 2013 Sonata Hybrid will offer two different model grades: Sonata Hybrid and Sonata Hybrid Limited. The Hybrid has estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined (6.5, 5.9, and 6.2 l/100 km, respectively). The Hybrid Limited model carries estimated ratings of 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/sonata-20130222.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL Bill would ensure no new tracks for Peninsula high speed rail. State Senator Jerry Hill unveiled legislation Friday that would ensure that California's proposed high speed rail project will not include a new set of tracks through the Peninsula. Hill's bill has specific language to guarantee the high speed rail would run on the two existing tracks, sharing them with Caltrain. High speed rail officials have already promised Hill they would not add two additional tracks, making it a total of four on the Peninsula, where many neighbors oppose the idea. Posted. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/peninsula&id=9002720 GREEN ENERGY Analyst wants competitive process for clean-energy money. The Legislative Analyst's Office is turning up its criticism of Gov. Jerry Brown's plans for clean energy funding. Brown wants to increase energy efficiency at thousands of local schools with $450 million generated by Proposition 39, which changed the corporate tax code. But legislative analysts say that may not achieve the goal of maximizing energy savings. The analysts originally expressed their concerns in a January report and expanded upon them in a new report released Thursday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/political/la-me-pc-schools-clean-energy-20130221,0,451833.story Unsubsidised roof-top solar power grows competitive. Roof-top solar power is increasingly cost-competitive with retail power prices, with far-reaching implications for solar manufacturers, utilities and rival generation technologies.Data gathered from U.S. installations by the Department of Energy suggests it is cheaper to generate electricity from roof-top solar panels than to purchase power from electric utilities, if applied to European retail power prices. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/22/column-wynn-solar-subsidies-idUSL6N0BKEGQ20130222 Solar company acquired. Aztec Solar Inc., a Rancho Cordova company specializing in residential and commercial solar water heating, solar electric and solar pool heating installation and service, recently acquired Solahart Services of Stockton. Ed Murray, president of Aztec Solar, said the acquisition will expand Aztec's base in the Sacramento Valley. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120222/A_BIZ/202220310&cid=sitesearch BLOGS Climate Change Poll: Americans Think Government Can Affect The Climate. A week after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) responded to President Barack Obama's climate change push by arguing that "the government can't change the weather," a new poll shows that most Americans think the U.S. government can make some difference in combating climate change. But polls also show that people consider climate change to be a relatively low priority, underscoring the political difficulty of taking action on the issue. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/21/climate-change-poll_n_2733856.html Keystone XL decision will define Barack Obama's legacy on climate change. Very few of us have the opportunity in life to look forward to our legacy. However, sometimes events occur that we just know will shape how history will judge us. One of those events is about to happen to President Barack Obama. This year, his administration is expected to make a decision on whether to allow the construction of a massive pipeline that would be used to export tar sands from Alberta, Canada. The so-called Keystone XL pipeline would essentially bisect the United States to bring the tar substance (bitumen) to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it could be exported around the world. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/feb/22/keystone-xl-pipeline-barack-obama-oil-sands Study of California cap-and-trade system suggests refinements. In the absence of federal action to create a national greenhouse gas emission "cap-and-trade" system, states are taking the lead. Last month, California launched the world's first economy-wide greenhouse cap-and-trade system, which affects power plants and other major greenhouse gas producers like refineries, cement and glass manufacturers. California's system builds on lessons learned by other pioneering systems, including the nation's first cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions, which began in 2008 and incorporates more than 200 power plants in nine Northeastern states that make up the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Posted. http://phys.org/news/2013-02-california-cap-and-trade-refinements.html Louisiana may see the highest-rising seas in the world. As Hurricane Katrina approached, many Americans for the first time learned about New Orlean’s precarious, below-sea-level orientation. The city is described as “bowl-like,” rimmed by levees and natural structures that might not hold back surging storm water — and might make drying out nearly impossible. It turned out that the analogy was imperfect. New Orleans is more like a TV dinner tray, and only the Ninth Ward ended up flooded. Posted. http://grist.org/news/louisiana-may-see-the-highest-rising-seas-in-the-world/