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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 25, 2013. Posted: 25 Mar 2013 14:27:46
ARB Newsclips for March 25, 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 Battery recycling plant in Vernon ordered to cut emissions. The order from the South Coast Air Quality Management District comes after recent tests showed that Exide Technologies is posing a health danger to as many as 110,000 people in neighboring cities. A battery recycling plant in Vernon is being told to reduce its emissions after recent tests showed it is posing a danger to as many as 110,000 people living in an area that extends from Boyle Heights to Maywood and Huntington Park. Posted. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/23/local/la-me-0324-exide-air-20130324 CLIMATE CHANGE PROMISES, PROMISES: Climate Change. The issue: Slowing the buildup of greenhouse gases responsible for warming the planet is one of the biggest challenges the United States and President Barack Obama face. The effects of rising global temperatures are widespread and costly: more severe storms, rising seas, species extinctions, and changes in weather patterns that will alter food production and the spread of disease. Politically, the stakes are huge. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMAS_IOUS_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/promises-promises-hopes-on-climate-change-action-may-fall-short-again-in-obamas-new-term/2013/03/25/23c35f6e-951d-11e2-95ca-dd43e7ffee9c_story.html http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/PROMISES-PROMISES-Climate-Change-4381251.php http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_22864420/promises-promises-climate-change http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/25/promises-promises-climate-change/#ixzz2OZEUZrs8 Reef-building corals lose out to softer cousins due warming. Climate change is likely to make reef-building stony corals lose out to softer cousins in a damaging shift for many types of fish that use reefs as hideaways and nurseries for their young, a study showed. Soft corals such as mushroom-shaped yellow leather coral, which lack a hard outer skeleton, were far more abundant than hard corals off Iwotorishima, an island off south Japan where volcanic vents make the waters slightly acidic, it said. A build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is turning the oceans more acidic…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/24/us-corals-idUSBRE92N0GI20130324 Senators back Keystone XL and EPA regs but oppose carbon tax. A filibuster-proof majority of senators are now on record supporting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline after a nonbinding but symbolically important series of votes this weekend that also demonstrated resistance to a carbon tax but backing for U.S. EPA rules to limit greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants from power plants. Those issues were among dozens the Senate considered in an all-night "vote-a-rama" that started Friday afternoon and wrapped up just before 5 a.m. EDT Saturday when the Senate narrowly approved its first budget resolution in four years, 50-49. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/25/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Most of the world's militaries recognize climate change as a threat. A strong majority of militaries around the world, in places as diverse as Kiribati and Canada, are in agreement that climate change poses a serious national security threat, according to new research by the American Security Project. The index on defense and climate change released last week shows that 71 percent of nations -- or 110 of 155 countries for which information was available -- definitively state that climate change is a security issue. That includes the United States. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/25/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Calif. farmers team up to convert beets to ethanol. Amid the vast almond orchards and grape fields that surround Five Points in California's Central Valley, a once-dominant crop that has nearly disappeared from the state's farms is making a comeback: sugar beets. But these beets won't be processed into sugar. A dozen farmers, supported by university experts and a $5 million state grant, are set to start construction of a Fresno County demonstration plant that will convert the beets into ethanol. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FOOD_AND_FARM_BEETS_TO_BIOFUELS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.examiner.com/article/california-pilot-plant-to-make-ethanol-from-energy-beets http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/23/calif-farmers-team-up-to-convert-beets-to/#ixzz2OZGa8Iwj COLUMN-Better route planning cuts fuel use in freight sector: Kemp. U.S. distributors and freight hauliers have held down diesel consumption even as their business recovers from recession by making thousands of small changes to their operations. Improved driver training, restrictions on idling and careful route planning to reduce deadheads (where vehicles travel empty) are all reducing consumption of expensive diesel while helping companies promote their green credentials. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/column-kemp-freight-fuel-idUSL5N0CH1CI20130325 Valero plans repairs for California refinery. Valero Energy Corp. has notified California environmental officials that it will need to flare gases at its Wilmington refinery for the next two days. Valero is required to notify the South Coast Air Quality Management District, an air pollution control agency, whenever it needs to conduct flaring that would exceed daily limits. The flaring will be necessary while repair work is being conducted on a valve at a storage facility. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2013/03/25/valero-plans-repairs-for-california.html Sierra Club blasts new plan to improve fracking. The Sierra Club and some other environmental groups are harshly criticizing a new partnership that aims to create tough new standards for fracking. The criticism Thursday came a day after two of the nation's biggest oil and gas companies made peace with some national and regional environmental groups, agreeing to go through an independent review of their shale oil and gas drilling operations in the Northeast. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/23/sierra-club-blasts-new-plan-to-improve-fracking/#ixzz2OZDJ6GwK NYC slowly moves away from sooty fuel oil. Few sights capture Manhattan's beauty like the grand, old apartment buildings that ring Central Park. But for decades, many of these mansions for the rich and famous have also been a literal source of urban grit. Like other pre-war buildings throughout the city, scores of the graceful towers around the park have long burned the dirtiest heating fuel around: a nasty sludge called No. 6 oil that puts more soot into the air annually than all the city's vehicles combined. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/24/nyc-slowly-moves-away-from-sooty-fuel-oil/#ixzz2OZDjNDcv VEHICLES Car CO2 goals needed in EU to keep driving affordable. High oil prices will make driving a car less and less affordable unless the European Union vehicle industry has more stringent emissions limits than those the European Commission is battling to enforce, the body representing European consumers said. Debate on these limits is intense in the European Parliament, which holds the next of a series of committee votes on Tuesday on proposals for 2020 vehicle CO2 standards. These would curb greenhouse gas emissions and also cut fuel use. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/24/us-eu-cars-idUSBRE92N06V20130324?feedType=RSS China's cities help companies launch electric vehicle rentals. A car rental company here aims to help the public familiarize itself with the quirks and advantages of electric vehicles (EVs) by launching a rental service, but industry players say that presents some challenges. EHi Auto Services Ltd., partly owned by U.S.-based Enterprise Holdings Inc., the world's largest car rental company by revenue, will lease more than 200 zero-emission electric vehicles this year in Shanghai starting next month. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/25/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Bosch abandons solar energy. Bosch ROBG.UL said it will sell or shut down its heavily loss-making solar energy operations, the latest blow to the industry as Germany curbs green energy subsidies and cheap Chinese imports flood the market. In a rare reversal of strategy from the manufacturing conglomerate, Bosch said on Friday it would end its photovoltaics, or solar panel production early next year and put parts of the business up for sale. Unlisted Bosch, one of the world's largest maker of car parts…Posted. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/22/uk-bosch-solar-idUKBRE92L0VR20130322 Solar panels brighten Barstow Unified's budget outlook. Barstow Unified's biggest energy hogs have a new source of food: the abundant High Desert sunshine. Eight of the district's most demanding buildings - seven schools and the district offices - will have solar panels providing their power. The solar installations are a chance to "go more green in our district and a great opportunity for savings in tough financial times," said Superintendent Jeff Malan, watching electricians wire up an array of 1,736 modules outside Barstow Junior High School. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_22862648/solar-panels-brighten-barstow-unifieds-budget-outlook Green energy helps grow jobs. “Green” or “clean economy” jobs are a growing segment of the Coachella Valley and overall employment markets, driven by government incentives, legislative mandates and a desire by companies to save money by cutting waste or simply marketing their operations as socially beneficial. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20130323/BUSINESS0302/303230051/Green-energy-helps-grow-jobs?nclick_check=1 Apple moves to cut emissions from 'cloud' storage and other facilities. Apple took a large bite out of its carbon emissions in 2012, relying more than ever on renewable energy and adopting policies to ensure the company's carbon footprint grows smaller even as it expands its physical and financial presence around the globe. In a new report documenting the company's recent environmental performance, Apple said it has increased renewable energy consumption at its global corporate facilities from roughly 35 percent of all energy used in 2009 to 75 percent last year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/25/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Green tech shows progress but not prosperity. Is this a good time to be John Woolard or not? By one standard, the CEO of solar-technology company BrightSource Energy is nearing success. BrightSource is planning to open its $2.2 billion electricity plant, which it is building with partners NRG Energy and Google, near Las Vegas. Known as Ivanpah, it's the world's biggest solar facility of its kind, and its juice is presold to utilities for 20 to 25 years. But Woolard still scrambles for money to build BrightSource. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/24/financing-green-tech-companies/1919633/ OPINIONS Analysis: Obama's climate agenda may face setbacks in federal court. President Barack Obama's plan to use federal agencies, and the Environmental Protection Agency in particular, to drive his second-term climate change agenda might be in peril if he cannot fill vacant seats on the federal court that has jurisdiction over major national regulations, legal experts say. Obama is the first full-term president in more than a half century not to have appointed a single judge to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/24/us-usa-courts-epa-idUSBRE92N07520130324 LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Wind power needs further evaluation. In his letter to the editor titled “Wind power endorsed by private sector” (Friday), John Feehery notes the $25 billion of private investment, the 90-percent drop in “the cost of wind power” since 1980 and the 75,000 jobs that the wind industry has produced as a way of lauding wind power’s achievements. There should be a realistic evaluation period and analysis of several economic factors applied to this “engine of growth” in the private sector. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/25/wind-power-needs-further-evaluation/#ixzz2OZldmUy5 Life After Oil and Gas. This mantra, repeated on TV ads and in political debates, is punctuated with a tinge of inevitability and regret. But, increasingly, scientific research and the experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what extent will we really “need” fossil fuel in the years to come? To what extent is it a choice? Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/sunday-review/life-after-oil-and-gas.html?hpw&_r=0 Green Desert: Energy's effect on economy studied. Left to my own devices, I could spend a good deal of my time immersed in the many new studies of renewable power and energy efficiency, announcements for which land in my email box or turn up on my Twitter feed almost daily. Two this week speak to the growing role of green technology in our economy and a trend toward quantifying its value in terms that make sense to financial institutions, investors and policymakers. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20130323/BUSINESS0302/303230052/Green-Desert-Energy-s-effect-economy-studied BLOGS Can Earth Hour Help Save the Planet? Camera, lights off, action! Last Saturday night between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. local time — at this time of year, an hour of darkness in most places — hundreds of millions people switched off non-essential electric lights for Earth Hour. Initiated by the WWF, the annual event is aimed at raising awareness of the planet and climate change. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/can-earth-hour-help-save-the-planet/ Our Carbon, Our Climate, Our Cash. We all buy stuff that generates carbon dioxide emissions and threatens the stability of our climate. We don’t directly pay the resulting costs, which are postponed to a vague and indefinite future in which none of us can be held individually accountable for a devastating increase in the level and variability of average global temperatures. A tax on carbon consumption could help solve the problem, bringing the prices of carbon-intensive goods and services into closer alignment with their true costs and discouraging us all from buying more of them. Posted. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/our-carbon-our-climate-our-cash/ Another Look at Natural Gas. After my column on Wednesday about how the nation’s natural gas boom is helping reduce emissions of heat-trapping carbon, I received a bunch of e-mail arguing that gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing could, on the contrary, worsen climate change. The main reason is that fracking wells — where water, chemicals and sand are pumped at high pressure into horizontal shafts to fracture shale rock deep underground — leak. Posted. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/another-look-at-natural-gas/ Lawmakers ask EPA to look into gas price increase as ethanol credits rise. A pair of US lawmakers told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that ethanol credits are leading to some deficits. Attempting to stem what they say could be an additional boost in gas prices prior to the busy summer-driving months, David Vitter (R-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are raising questions, Reuters reports. In a letter to the EPA, the two senators say fuel suppliers are having a progressively harder time buying enough credits, or RINs (Renewable Identification Number), from renewable fuel producers to keep up with federal mandates. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/03/23/vitter-murkowski-ethanol-credit-price-epa/ Translating renewables and energy efficiency into dollars and good sense. The first, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and funded by energy giant, BP, aims to set out a method for comparing coal, oil and gas reserves with renewable reserves, an effort emerging from an industry group called the Renewable Reserves Initiative. BP is apparently a leading member. The study points out that renewables constitute an increasing amount of the world’s primary energy — that is the underlying energy sources needed to generate the electricity required to power the world’s economy. Posted. http://greenenergy.blogs.mydesert.com/2013/03/22/translating-renewables-and-energy-efficiency-into-dollars-and-good-sense/ Can we 3D print our way out of climate change? Tech optimists’ crush of the decade is surely 3D printing. It has been heralded as disruptive, democratizing, and revolutionary for its non-discriminatory ability to make almost anything: dresses, guns, even houses. The process — also known as “additive manufacturing” — is still expensive and slow, confined to boutique objets d’art or lab-driven medical prototyping. But scaled up, and put in the hands of ordinary consumers via plummeting prices, 3D printing has the potential to slash energy and material costs. Posted. http://grist.org/business-technology/can-we-3d-print-our-way-out-of-climate-change/ The worst way to measure energy efficiency. It is widely assumed that over the coming decades, increased energy efficiency will help the world meet its energy needs and reduce carbon emissions. That may be true, but recent research suggests that energy intensity — a widely used way of measuring efficiency — isn’t the right metric. Posted. http://grist.org/politics/the-worst-way-to-measure-energy-efficiency/ Let’s count the ways Keystone approval helps us. So, why do we want President Obama and Secretary John Kerry to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico? Because it will allow Canada to double and then triple production of tar sands and send it to thirsty Asian consumers. Because it will encourage Wall Street to increase investment in tar-sands mining; they’re worried now that increased amounts of tar sands can’t get out of Canada without more pipeline capacity. All the other new pipeline routes are currently being blocked by citizen campaigns in Canada and the U.S. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/lets-count-the-ways-keystone-approval-helps-us/ California ARB considering regulations for alternative diesel fuels; focus on biodiesel. The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) is holding a public meeting on 23 April in Sacramento to discuss regulatory concepts for establishing fuel requirements for alternative diesel fuels (ADF), including biodiesel, renewable diesel and other emerging diesel fuel substitutes. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/03/arbadf-20130324.html Difference Engine: End the ethanol tax. THE uneasy relationship between America’s corn (maize) farmers and its oil refiners is fraying at the edges. The source of the conflict is the amount of corn-derived ethanol which has to be blended into petrol as an oxygenator, to boost the fuel’s octane rating (while also providing a generous off-budget subsidy for corn-growers). The farmers want the amount of ethanol used in petrol to be increased from 10% to 15% of each gallon sold at the pump. Posted. http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/03/biofuels