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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 1, 2013. Posted: 01 Mar 2013 15:32:10
ARB Newsclips for March 1, 2013. ARB Newsclips for March 1, 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 Better air quality so far this winter, say smog police. With spring finally in the air, the Valley’s air pollution experts look back on the depths of winter with favor. They say Friday that there was dramatically improved air quality in the San Joaquin Valley air basin portion of the Central Valley this winter resulting in fewer residential wood-burning curtailments than during the previous season. The annual wintertime program that reduces particle pollution ended its 10th season Feb. 28. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=22955 CAP AND TRADE A carbon market takes root in California. When California held its first-ever auction of greenhouse gas emission allowances last fall, allowances sold for $10.09, just pennies above the $10 floor price set by state regulators. Some observers warned that the low price meant the state's new cap-and-trade program wouldn't work and was a sign that companies were not participating. But in the second auction last week, the allowances sold for $13.62 each, higher than many analysts had expected. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_22691814/carbon-market-takes-root-california?source=rss Californians are Set to Benefit from Cap-and-Trade Proceeds. Since California’s cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases officially entered into force this year, many have focused on its cost to businesses – particularly energy companies and industry. Those firms now have to pay for each tonne of greenhouse gas they emit into the atmosphere, either by buying allowances for those emissions at state-run auctions or by buying the allowances from each other. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/03/show-money-californians-set-benefit-cap-trade-proceeds/ CLIMATE CHANGE Carbon market debate leans towards tighter pollution cap. Hours of debate on reform of the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme on Friday showed support for tighter annual pollution limits, but hardly any backing for a change to an overall EU 2020 goal on carbon cutting. Both measures would reduce the oversupply of carbon allowances, which pushed the EU ETS to a record low of less than three euros per tonne earlier this year. The price collapse means the ETS, a core piece of EU environment policy, is unable to engineer a shift to lower carbon energy, prompting the European Commission to propose a combination of short-term and long-term changes. Posted. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/01/us-eu-ets-idUKBRE9200VC20130301 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-01/eu-s-record-carbon-glut-poses-risk-for-auctions-energy-markets.html Study of Ice Age Bolsters Carbon and Warming Link. A meticulous new analysis of Antarctic ice suggests that the sharp warming that ended the last ice age occurred in lock step with increases of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the latest of many indications that the gas is a powerful influence on the earth’s climate. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/science/earth/at-ice-age-end-a-smaller-gap-in-warming-and-carbon-dioxide.html?_r=0 http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/01/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Sahara Desert dust affects California water supply, study finds. Dust particles blown from Asian and African deserts can increase rain and snow in the Sierra Nevada, researchers report. High-altitude dust blown thousands of miles across the Pacific from Asian and African deserts can make it rain and snow in the Sierra Nevada, according to new research that suggests tiny particles from afar play a role in California's water supply. The study, published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science, grew out of researchers' questions about two similar Sierra storms in winter 2009. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-water-dust-20130301,0,4934653.story Sacramento area sees third driest Jan.-Feb. ever recorded. Sacramento had the third driest first two months of the year since rain totals were recorded downtown. Only 1.32 inches of precipitation was recorded in January and February in Sacramento, according to the National Weather Service. That places 2013 in third behind 1889 (.48) and 1920 (1.10). Here's the top eight driest starts to a new year from the NWS: Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/01/5228310/sacramento-area-sees-third-driest.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/01/5227515/snowpack-two-thirds-of-normal.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-sees-record-dry-start-in-13-4319136.php http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22692734/snow-survey-confirms-driest-jan-feb-record-california?source=rss http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_22690167/following-driest-january-and-february-ever-recorded-sierra?source=rss FUELS State Department to issue assessment of Keystone XL on Friday. The State Department will release on Friday a long-awaited draft environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would link Canada's oil sands to Texas refineries, several government sources said. The State Department will release the assessment of TransCanada Corp's pipeline, which will examine a new route in Nebraska as well as emissions associated with the pipeline, the sources said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/01/us-keystone-idUSBRE9200W620130301 China's natural gas drive may cut oil demand by a tenth. China's drive to fuel more vehicles with cleaner-burning natural gas could reduce oil demand by nearly a tenth - equivalent to Turkey's total oil consumption - and may help ease its cities' toxic smog problem, too. The country's rise to become the world's biggest car market has seen rapid growth, too, in oil demand over the past decade, and has contributed to the heavy pollution that chokes its cities. China is now the world's second-largest oil consumer after the United States, burning some 9.6 million barrels per day (bpd) - more than a tenth of global demand. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/28/china-lng-transport-idUSL4N0AL6UI20130228 California gas prices peak; pump pain changes U.S. driving habits. California gasoline prices may have already peaked for the first half of the year and should head lower soon, analysts said. Meanwhile, nationwide gasoline price averages over the first two months of the year rose at such a blistering rate that Americans were on pace to pay half a trillion dollars on gasoline in 2013 for the first time ever, analysts said. The high prices were causing big changes in the driving habits of American motorists, with gasoline consumption dropping sharply. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-pump-pain-changes-us-driving-habits-california-gas-prices-peak-20130228,0,244369.story Sundrop closes on land purchase for plant. Sundrop Fuels, Inc. has closed on the purchase of more than 1,213 acres of land in Louisiana where the biofuels company plans to locate its plant manufacturing "green gasoline." The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/WvI1xm ) Sundrop has had an option on the property for more than a year while it moved forward with pre-construction efforts, including permitting. The sale price was $4,752,000, according to Rod Noles with NAI/Latter & Blum of Alexandria, who represented the property owners. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/01/sundrop-closes-on-land-purchase-for-plant/#ixzz2MJNOSezN Tribe To Launch Biomass-Fueled Fuel Cell Plant in Northern California. Fuel cells used to be a favorite promising technology for many renewable energy advocates. They offered the possibility of extracting electrical energy from chemical fuels without burning them, reducing emissions and greatly increasing efficiency. About 10 years ago the fuel cell buzz started to die down a bit, but the technology hasn't gone anywhere. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/biomass/tribe-to-launch-biomass-fueled-fuel-cell-plant.html VEHICLES Peugeot Bets on a Different Kind of Hybrid. It’s the Hybrid Air — an experimental vehicle that the French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroën has been trumpeting lately as an exemplar of energy efficiency. While some skeptics doubt whether it is truly breakthrough technology, the Peugeot and Citroën concept cars containing it may prove to be some of the more intriguing models on display next week at the Geneva Motor Show. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/business/global/peugeot-bets-on-a-different-kind-of-hybrid.html Auto review: Tesla S is a bodice-ripper of an electric vehicle. My affair with the Tesla Model S began innocently enough, as a chance meeting brought on by unforeseen circumstances. The recent New York Times towing incident prompted a radio station request for me to talk about the all-electric S - an invitation I initially declined because I hadn't met the car. The timing for a personal introduction just hadn't been right. Sure, I'd seen the S around. I'd peered in its windows when it was parked in a mall garage and taken in its cavernous luxury. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/01/5228080/auto-review-tesla-s-is-a-bodice.html#storylink=cpy Calif. gives $4.5M recharge to electric vehicle rebate program. California yesterday awarded $9.5 million to fund rebates on electric cars and for development of a facility to turn sugar beets into biofuels. The California Energy Commission (CEC) pledged $4.5 million to help the state's Air Resources Board recharge funding for a popular battery-operated car program. The state gives rebates of up to $2,500 to people who purchase zero-emissions vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Volt, cars made by Tesla, and TH!NK City. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/01/10 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Are California's electric-car charging stations too congested? California is by far the largest single market for electric cars, Voelcker writes, and that means charging stations in public parking lots are now sometimes fully occupied, meaning they can't recharge their electric cars' batteries. Electric cars aren't evenly distributed across the U.S. By far the largest single market for them is California. And in a sign of increasing adoption rates--…Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2013/0228/Are-California-s-electric-car-charging-stations-too-congested MISCELLANEOUS Population growth is threat to other species, poll respondents say. About two-thirds of registered voters in the U.S. believe society has a responsibility to address the problem if it pushes other animal species to extinction, a survey finds. Nearly two-thirds of American voters believe that human population growth is driving other animal species to extinction and that if the situation gets worse, society has a "moral responsibility to address the problem," according to new national public opinion poll. A slightly lower percentage of those polled — 59% — believes that population growth is an important environmental issue and 54% believe that stabilizing the population will help protect the environment. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-population-poll-20130302,0,3593053.story OPINIONS COLUMN- Are we near peak biofuels?: Gerard Wynn. A stalled biofuel industry will need to produce far more efficient fuels to avoid setting off another bout of arguments over its contribution to boosting energy security and cutting carbon emissions. Biofuels had a difficult 2012. In the United States, Energy Information Administration data show production through November fell compared with the same period the previous year…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/01/column-wynn-biofuel-return-idUSL6N0BRE7D20130301 Why The U.S. Needs A National Climate And Energy Plan. I wrote yesterday about a bill recently introduced by a freshman state lawmaker that would require policymakers to plan for how California will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The prudent proposal reminds lawmakers that California’s forward-thinking climate policy, which includes a declining cap on GHG emissions and, most importantly, a price on carbon, must be extended beyond 2020, when the state’s climate change law, AB32, expires. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2013/02/28/why-the-u-s-needs-a-national-climate-and-energy-plan/ BLOGS Some Far Out (at Least for Now) Energy Ideas. The just-concluded annual meeting of ARPA-E, an agency founded to nurture interesting energy ideas that may or may not work, featured an exhibition hall with scores of displays staffed by hopeful entrepreneurs. Many of them seemed to be Ph.D. engineers; in some cases, you needed a Ph.D. yourself to understand what was being presented. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/some-far-out-at-least-for-now-energy-ideas/ Ford C-Max, Fusion hybrids subject of MPG lawsuit in California. A California lawsuit over the fuel economy claims for the 2013 Ford C-Max was first reported back in December. Based on the numerous reports we've heard of disgruntled owners failing to get their car's EPA fuel economy ratings on the C-Max and 2013 Fusion Hybrid, we suspected there would be more to this story. The Detroit News is reporting that two California law firms are combining their lawsuits against Ford on this matter for "false and misleading" claims. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/03/01/ford-c-max-fusion-hybrids-subject-of-mpg-lawsuit-in-california/