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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 21, 2013. Posted: 21 Mar 2013 12:55:12
ARB Newsclips for March 21, 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. CLIMATE CHANGE Warm spring, continued drought predicted for US. Government forecasters say much of the United States can expect a warm spring and persistent drought. The National Weather Service said Thursday above-normal temperatures are predicted across most of the Lower 48 states and northern Alaska. The forecast also calls for little relief for the drought-stricken Midwest and Southwest. Currently, half the country is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Warm-spring-continued-drought-predicted-for-US-4373635.php#ixzz2OCBdua5Z Will California's Cap and Trade Be Fair? Even when she was a kid, Melissa Cervantes knew something was wrong with the air in Wilmington, a neighborhood next to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach where she has lived most of her life. The streets here are verdant with mango, guava and avocado trees. But a brownish haze hangs above the houses. “I kind of figured the refinery was making people sick,” she says. “But when you’re just a little kid, you don’t put it together as a puzzle.” Posted. http://www.thenation.com/article/173449/will-californias-cap-and-trade-be-fair# FUELS Heating Oil Companies Face Inquiry on Purity of Fuel. State and federal authorities are investigating whether several New York heating oil businesses cheated tens of thousands of customers for years, selling fuel diluted with recycled or waste oil, according to law enforcement and city officials. In addition, two related civil lawsuits make accusations against two other companies that in recent years have sold tens of millions of gallons of oil to…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/nyregion/state-and-federal-inquiry-asks-whether-heating-oil-companies-cheated-customers.html?pagewanted=all Tough fracking standards part of deal. Some of the nation's biggest oil and gas companies have made peace with environmentalists, agreeing to a set of tough standards for fracking in the Northeast that could lead to a major expansion of drilling. The program announced Wednesday will work a lot like Underwriters Laboratories, which puts its familiar UL seal of approval on electrical appliances that meet its standards. In this case, drilling and pipeline companies will be encouraged to submit to an independent review of their operations. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Tough-fracking-standards-part-of-deal-4371845.php#ixzz2OC7gBCpd California bills could delay fracking. Fracking for oil and natural gas in California could slam to a halt, at least temporarily, under legislation circulating in Sacramento. One bill calls for a moratorium on the practice until the state conducts a sweeping study of fracking's benefits and risks, including the potential for groundwater contamination. Another piece of legislation would allow fracking while the state conducts such a study. But the same bill, from Sen. Fran Pavley, would slap a moratorium on fracking if the study isn't finished by 2015. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/California-bills-could-delay-fracking-4371839.php#ixzz2OCBGlR1N Tribe: Nevada coal plant falsified pollution data. Representatives of an Indian tribe fighting to force the closure of a coal-fired power plant outside Las Vegas said Wednesday they uncovered evidence that from 2006 to 2011, the state's dominant electric utility submitted "phony" reports to the state about pollution levels near the plant, and avoided any penalty when the problem was discovered. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/20/tribe-nevada-coal-plant-falsified-pollution-data/ California ARB considering four new low-carbon fuel pathways; Neste renewable diesel and sugarcane molasses ethanol. California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted four new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) pathways to the LCFS web site. (Earlier post.) Among the new pathways to be considered is the production of renewable diesel from Australian tallow at Neste Oil’s Singapore plant. Others are sugarcane molasses ethanol from Guatemala; mixed feedstock to biodiesel from Texas; and a new ARB-staff-developed pathway for North American landfill gas. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/03/arb-20130320.html VEHICLES EVs are good for jobs. On 19 March 2013, RICARDO-AEA presented the key findings of the technical and macro-economic study “An economic assessment of low carbon vehicles”. Focusing on light-duty vehicles – cars and vans, the study shows that a shift to low-carbon cars generates positive direct and indirect employment impacts. The report, published by Cambridge Econometrics and Ricardo-AEA is based on a research project convened by the European Climate Foundation. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5309 HIGH-SPEED RAIL New poll says economic worries crowding out big issues in California. The still-stagnant economy is weighing so heavily on Californians' minds that it's crowding out other top issues such as immigration, gun control and climate change -- and is stifling support for major statewide initiatives such as high-speed rail and a Central Valley water project. In a survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, nearly three-quarters of likely voters -- 71 percent -- said taming the federal deficit should be an essential priority for Congress this year. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_22835390/new-ppic-poll-says-economic-worries-crowding-out?source=rss http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-water-bond-poll-20130320,0,7006584.story http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2013/03/california-voters-supports-high-speed-rail-slipping http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/20/ppic-poll-reservations-over-high-speed-rail-water/ http://www.capradio.org/articles/2013/03/20/poll-shows-support-only-for-cheaper-water-bond,-high-speed-rail http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=236880 GREEN ENERGY Chinese Solar Panel Giant Is Tainted by Bankruptcy. It was the Icarus of the solar power industry. And, on Wednesday, it fell to earth. The main subsidiary of Suntech Power, one of the world’s largest makers of solar panels, collapsed into bankruptcy in a remarkable reversal for what had been part of a huge Chinese government effort to dominate renewable energy industries. The bankruptcy is a sign of the worldwide consolidation of the solar industry…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/business/energy-environment/chinese-solar-companys-operating-unit-declares-bankruptcy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Illinois recycles 39M pounds of electronics. Nearly 39 million pounds of old televisions, computers and other electronics have been recycled during the first year of a statewide ban on throwing away the materials in Illinois landfills. The ban is part of a law that took effect in 2008 requiring manufacturers to start recycling programs for discarded and unwanted electric products. A new phase of the law took effect Jan. 1, 2012, that applies to consumers. Illinois residents are required to take electronic devices to a registered recycler. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Illinois-recycles-39M-pounds-of-electronics-4373028.php#ixzz2OCAwoHXQ California Energy Commission awards more than $5.5M for green transportation projects and $1.8M for 20 energy research projects. The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects including biodiesel production, power control electronics for medium-and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles, and buydowns for propane vehicles. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/03/cec-20130321.html MISCELLANEOUS Book industry getting greener, study says. Thanks to conservation efforts and the rise of e-books, the publishing industry is creating a leaner and cleaner paper trail. According to a new report by two environmental groups - the Book Industry Environmental Council and Green Press Initiative - paper suppliers use around 25 percent recycled fiber for book materials, compared with an estimated 5 percent in 2004. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/21/book-industry-getting-greener-study-says/ Key climate agency exec moving to consumer post. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has named a top official at the state's key climate change agency to a post overseeing consumer protection. James Goldstene, executive officer of the state Air Resources Board (ARB) since 2007, will become undersecretary at the California State and Consumer Services Agency, Brown announced yesterday. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/21/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY California Utility Commissioners Deliberate In Public And Private Meetings In San Diego. The Public Utilities Commission has promised to hold a public meeting in San Diego soon about whether rate payers should continue to pay for the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant. But today the agency is holding a private, invitation-only meeting in La Jolla, one day before a public meeting where Commissioners will decide about three new gas powered plants in San Diego. Posted. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/mar/20/california-utility-commissioners-deliberate-public/ OPINIONS Green power will cost you some green. San Francisco is about to find out how much it costs to be clean and green. After years of study and initial approvals, city residents will learn the price of a new energy diet, one that promises electricity from only renewable sources. The plan, known as CleanPowerSF, won support from city supervisors and appears on track to win backing from the city Public Utilities Commission, which will oversee it. Then it will be time to test bigger questions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Green-power-will-cost-you-some-green-4368114.php#ixzz2OC9jlVfS BLOGS Scientists Propose a New Architecture for Sustainable Development. As a United Nations working group negotiates a set of “sustainable development goals,” 10 scientists and development analysts, in a commentary published today in Nature, have proposed a fundamentally different way to frame this concept. (Click here for relevant Dot Earth posts.) Over the last several decades, sustainable human development has been conceived largely as the outcome of balanced work on three “pillars” — economic and social development and environmental protection. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/scientists-propose-a-new-architecture-for-sustainable-development/ Fund Green Infrastructure, but Not With Cap-and-Trade. A dollar is a dollar, right? But when it comes to government policy, some dollars draw a lot of attention, while other funds fly under the public's radar. All dollars have the same purchasing power, but highly visible dollars have magnified political repercussions, and must be handled with care. For example, the 2009 Federal Stimulus Bill's price tag was visible to taxpayers, but the "infrastructure" it funded was mostly not…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-sandler/fund-green-infrastructure_b_2912561.html How Global Warming Went Cold in America. Even before liftoff, the fight against global warming has become grounded in America. Whenever a potential breakthrough appears on the horizon, either the left or the right throws a challenge to stall the solution. Consider shale gas. Newly-nominated energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, has backed it as a bridge to a carbon-free future. Shale gas emits less than half the carbon dioxide in power generation as coal does. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sunil-sharan/how-global-warming-went-c_b_2911892.html