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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 28, 2013. Posted: 28 Feb 2013 11:51:22
ARB Newsclips for February 28, 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 Pollution expected on China's congress agenda. Air quality worsened in China's capital and surrounding regions on Thursday, as the country's new leaders geared up for a major congress where public anger has likely pushed pollution onto the agenda. Particularly bad bouts of dirty air in recent weeks and unprecedented coverage of the pollution by state media are focusing attention on the issue ahead of two meetings next week that mark the highlight of the Chinese political calendar and lay out priorities for the rest of the year. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_POLLUTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/28/pollution-expected-on-chinas-congress-agenda/ http://www.dailynews.com/ci_22686122/pollution-expected-chinas-congress-agenda?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22686122/pollution-expected-chinas-congress-agenda http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22686122/pollution-expected-chinas-congress-agenda Beijing Air Pollution Tops Hazardous Levels Days Before Congress. Beijing’s air pollution climbed to hazardous levels days before the national legislature opens its annual meeting, drawing new attention to environmental degradation that the government has promised to address. Concentrations of PM2.5, fine particles that pose the greatest health risk, rose to 469 micrograms per cubic meter at 10 a.m. near Tiananmen Square, compared with an average of 275 in the previous 24 hours, the Beijing government reported. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-02-28/beijing-air-pollution-tops-hazardous-levels-days-before-congress.html Campaign to diagnose air quality concludes in California. NASA's DISCOVER-AQ team completed an intense flight and ground-based air quality research campaign in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California this month. This is the second destination in a five-year mission to study air pollution in the part of the atmosphere where people live and breathe, a region called the boundary layer. Posted. http://climate.nasa.gov/news/870 SECOND HAND SMOKE California bill would ban smoking in multi-unit housing. Millions of Californians would not be able to smoke tobacco inside their own homes under new legislation that would raise the bar nationwide for fighting secondhand smoke. No state ever has ventured into personal bedrooms and living rooms with its smoking restrictions, but California is going even further than that by targeting owner-occupied residences as well as rental units. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/27/5223330/california-bill-would-ban-smoking.html#storylink=cpy CLIMATE CHANGE Keystone rejection would send strong signal-EU climate chief. The European Union's top climate change official said on Thursday that if the Obama administration rejects the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, it would send a strong message that the United States is serious on combating climate change. "That would be an extremely strong signal for the Obama administration," Connie Hedegaard, the EU Commissioner for Climate Action, told reporters in a briefing in Washington on Thursday. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/28/eu-climate-keystone-idUSL1N0BSB1020130228 Public concern about environment overshadowed by crisis. Public concern about environmental issues hit a 20-year low last year, a poll showed, as worries about the aftermath of the global financial crisis overshadowed growing evidence of man-made climate change. Canada-based research group GlobeScan surveyed 22,812 people from 22 countries, asking them to rate the seriousness of six issues - air pollution, water pollution, species loss, automobile emissions, fresh water shortages and climate change. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/28/us-climate-opinion-idUSBRE91R10220130228 http://www.examiner.com/article/global-warming-concerns-reach-a-twenty-year-low Shell bets on gas to limit climate change until 22nd century. Royal Dutch/Shell believes a policy-led shift to gas, carbon capture and nuclear power could keep a lid on climate change into the 22nd century while a more free market approach would result in carbon emissions some 25 percent higher. Sketching possible paths of development for global energy use, Shell, which has bet the most heavily of all the top oil firms on a big future for natural gas, promoted its use as a way to moderate greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2100. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/27/energy-future-shell-idUSL6N0BRIJY20130227?feedType=RSS& EU Climate Chief Says Talks on Airline Emissions Will Test Obama. European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said an early test of President Barack Obama’s commitment to combating climate change is how he negotiates an international agreement on aviation emissions. “I really believe that when it’s about finding a global way forward for aviation now, we -- the U.S. and the European Union -- should be on the same side, working for the obvious, namely that if I take a long-haul plane. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-28/eu-climate-chief-says-talks-on-airline-emissions-will-test-obama.html FUELS California oil production rises slightly. The U.S. oil industry's revival may finally have reached California. The amount of oil pumped from the ground in California rose last year for the first time since 1997, according to federal government statistics released Wednesday. The increase was tiny - less than 1 percent - and came at a time of booming oil production in some other states, thanks to the combination of horizontal drilling and fracking. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/California-oil-production-rises-slightly-4314836.php#ixzz2MDZOlGpR US natural gas supplies fell last week. The nation's natural gas supplies rose last week, the government said Thursday. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage dropped by 171 billion cubic feet to 2.229 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Feb. 22. Analysts expected a drop of 166 billion to 170 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_22687607/us-natural-gas-supplies-fell-last-week?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22687607/us-natural-gas-supplies-fell-last-week http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22687607/us-natural-gas-supplies-fell-last-week http://fresnobee.com/2013/02/28/3192337/us-natural-gas-supplies-fell-last.html#storylink=misearch Diesel overtakes jet as more profitable product for European refiners. Diesel has become the more profitable product for European refiners on bullish global supply pressures, displacing jet after nearly three months, according to trading sources and Platts data. The 10 ppm FOB Rotterdam barge crack -- the value of the product versus crude -- was assessed at $18.32/barrel Wednesday, while its jet counterpart was at $17.82/b, Platts data shows. Trading sources said refiners would now be considering making the switch to maximizing production of ultra-low sulfur diesel… Posted. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Oil/8187241?sf204569=1 EPA drops 2012 cellulosic requirements to zero. U.S. EPA has altered its cellulosic biofuel requirements for 2012 -- from 8.65 million gallons to zero. A federal court decision Friday vacated EPA's 2012 cellulosic biofuels standard. As a result, obligated parties -- oil companies required to show EPA that they blend biofuels in their fuel supply -- won't need to provide information on their compliance. The agency will submit refunds to companies that have submitted payments for 2012 cellulosic waiver credits. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/28/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Natural gas compared to diesel. With the expansion of natural gas supplies, the transportation industry is looking at it as an alternative to diesel. "From a North American perspective natural gas is really taking off as a transportation fuel," says Deidre Donaldson Meyer, SaskEn-ergy director of business development. "(For example) approximately one in every two transit buses in the U.S. is now a natural gas bus." Posted. http://www.leaderpost.com/Natural+compared+diesel/8026769/story.html VEHICLES California approves Amp electric truck sales. Less than five months after electric-vehicle maker Amp said it was switching from passenger-vehicle conversions to delivery-truck electric-vehicle production, the company earned a victory of sorts by getting approval to sell its trucks in the most populous US state. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said Amp could start selling its 2014 model-year E-100 heavy-duty electric trucks. Amp started making those trucks, which have a 19,500-pound payload and a 100-mile single-charge range…Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/02/28/california-approves-amp-electric-truck-sales/ New low-temperature catalytic process for producing hydrogen from methanol; potential future application for fuel cell vehicles. Researchers from Germany and Italy have developed an efficient low-temperature catalytic process to produce hydrogen from methanol. Hydrogen generation by this method proceeds at 65–95 °C (149-203 °F) and ambient pressure with excellent catalyst turnover frequencies (4,700 per hour) and turnover numbers (exceeding 350,000). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/nielsen-20130228.html XL Hybrids enters installation and distribution partnership with Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products; expands hybrid drive system to Ford E-series vans. XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 3 commercial fleet use (earlier post), signed a non-exclusive installation partnership and distribution agreement with Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products (CVP), one of the top commercial vehicle upfitters. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/xlh-20130228.html GREEN ENERGY Reducing Waste: Food waste recycling produces 'green' energy. In Central Contra Costa, composting food and other organic materials is very popular. Many people have backyard compost systems, whether they use a container or have an open "pile." But there are other options for organics recycling in addition to the traditional backyard approach. And, since landfilled organics are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, it's beneficial when those materials are put to a higher use. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_22679650/reducing-waste-food-waste-recycling-produces-green-energy Solar industry will boom globally and challenge cheap natural gas – Citigroup. Large consumer electronic brands are likely to enter the solar energy market and fuel a worldwide boom in panel installations that will surpass most expectations as the rooftop technology becomes cheaper than gas, a report by Citigroup says. Although worldwide solar installations grew by an average of 59 percent per year from 2007 to 2012, much of that advance was due to subsidies and legislation mandating solar spending. That's about to change, according to the report. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/28/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Dan Walters: California bullet-train financing still shaky. On Monday, the Assembly Transportation Committee held what was supposedly an oversight hearing on the state's nascent bullet train project. It was a joke. The committee's chairwoman, Long Beach Democrat Bonnie Lowenthal, beamed as the boss of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Jeff Morales, emitted bland assurances that the project was proceeding smoothly and tossed a couple of softball questions. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/26/5219976/dan-walters-california-bullet.html#storylink=cpy How Will California Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80% By 2050? These are heady days for us California climate policy watchers. Last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported that the state’s carbon emissions declined in 2011 for the third straight year. Last week, CARB convened its second successful carbon allowance auction. And with each day, it seems, the state sets a new solar power record. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2013/02/27/how-will-california-slash-greenhouse-gas-emissions-80-by-2050/?ss=business%3Aenergy Real test of Obama's climate commitment: coal. The test of President Barack Obama's seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It's whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants - one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions - to the ashcan of history. Since his re-election, Obama has signaled a new focus on climate change. "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires…Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130228/A_OPINION0608/302280312&cid=sitesearch#sthash.ppl2KV5i.dpuf BLOGS The most shocking photo of Beijing air pollution I’ve ever seen. China’s air pollution has been bad lately. Really, really bad. We’ve posted photos of it before, but the above shot really drives home how severe this has gotten. Both photos were taken in Beijing by Bill Bishop, who runs an excellent all-things-China e-mail newsletter called Sinocism (go subscribe). The photo on the left shows his view on a clear day. That tall building is the mammoth China World Trade Center Tower III. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/28/the-most-shocking-photo-of-beijing-air-pollution-ive-ever-seen/ Could a quiet sun cancel global warming? The current solar maximum, the high point in the sun’s activity over an 11-year cycle, is the lowest in over 100 years NASA say. Scientists speculate solar activity may decline further in the coming decades. Could a quieting sun cause the climate to cool enough to stall or even reverse global warming from the build-up of greenhouse gases? Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/could-a-quiet-sun-cancel-global-warming/2013/02/28/156b9f3e-81c8-11e2-a350-49866afab584_blog.html An Emblem for Puerto Rico’s Climate Fight. More on amphibians as a bellwether: Advocates for action on climate change in Puerto Rico have a mascot: the coquí, a tiny tree frog. Named for its high-pitched calls, a familiar evening serenade, the coquí is the generic name for some 14 species of frog, some only half an inch long, that long inhabited the island archipelago. Three of the species have gone extinct since the 1970s because of a warming climate and habitat loss in the densely populated territory…Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/an-emblem-for-puerto-ricos-climate-fight/ A Fresh Look at China’s Long March on Energy and Emissions. The Rhodium Group consulting firm has released a “report card” on China’s energy trends and policies that describes the country’s intensifying efforts to increase the proportion of renewable sources like wind and hydroelectric dams and boost the efficiency of coal use (essentially the metric called “greenhouse gas intensity” by President George W. Bush). The blunting upward trajectory in the graph above reflects progress, but a long path ahead. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/a-fresh-look-at-chinas-long-march-on-energy-and-emissions/ A Fresh Look at Nuclear Waste. The American program to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and other highly radioactive wastes is at a standstill for a variety of reasons. First-of-a-kind efforts tend to be technologically difficult, but the real problems are not hardware issues, according to a new book, “Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/a-fresh-look-at-nuclear-waste/?ref=earth Sequestration would be bad news for clean energy and a clean environment. If the environment could be likened to a punching bag, beaten up by pollution, climate change deniers, and rampant deforestation, then a colossal political impasse that the U.S. is facing this week could be likened to a redwood log connected to a battering ram being swung at Mother Earth’s punched-up face. Posted. http://grist.org/news/sequestration-would-be-bad-news-for-clean-energy-and-a-clean-environment/