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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 11, 2013

Posted: 11 Apr 2013 11:23:21
ARB Newsclips for April 11, 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.


International cap-and-trade markets expanding – but still
contentious. Nascent carbon emissions-trading exchanges in
several countries are increasingly looking at options to
interlink with one another, which advocates say would offer
investors long-term stability, increase revenues for the
development of renewable energy and strengthen corporate support
for climate policy. Yet critics warn that so-called cap-and-trade
systems are inefficient and create incentives for polluting
industries to continue with business as usual. Posted.

Jerry Brown makes cosmic case for carbon reduction.  Gov. Jerry
Brown used a stage at one of China’s most prestigious
universities Thursday to make his pitch for environmental
policies that he said could help reverse the global impacts of
climate change and boost the economies of China and California. 
Speaking at Tsinghua University, Brown boasted about the state’s
record as an innovator on clean technology and government
crackdowns on carbon emissions and said a deeper partnership
between the state and Chinese government would be mutually
beneficial.  Posted. 


China pollution may hold silver lining for California.  As Gov.
Jerry Brown tours some of China's economic hubs this week, he is
breathing the kind of heavy, soiled air that blanketed Los
Angeles decades ago.  The soot and smog that are byproducts of
this country's industrial progress are choking its people and
threatening its economy. Chinese leaders are talking openly about
the need to clean up the air, and to learn how from California. 


Towns, ecologists seek climate-friendly culverts. The humble
highway culvert—cheaper than a bridge and unseen by drivers
tooling through stream-laced mountains—has become a focal point
in efforts to help communities and wildlife adapt to climate
change. The critical role of these structures—essentially big
pipes or concrete boxes carrying streams beneath roads—was
demonstrated dramatically in a series of extreme weather events
hitting the Northeast in recent years. Posted.


Bethel Island meeting to focus on diesel engine emissions laws.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District will give a presentation
this month on emissions requirements for commercial diesel
engines. The public meeting will be 6 to 9:30 p.m. April 18 at
Scout Hall, 3090 Ranch Lane, Bethel Island. Representatives from
the air pollution control agency will talk from 6 to 7:30 p.m.,
followed by a time for the audience to ask questions. Posted.

Grants available to clean up diesel emissions.  The Butte County
Air Quality Management District has about $180,000 available for
grants to help clean up emissions from older diesel engines. 
Projects allowed under the Carl Moyer Clean Engine Incentive
Program involve replacing old diesel engines, purchasing new
vehicles or equipment, or retrofitting older engines with
emission control devices.  Projects must be voluntary rather than
be required by any legal mandate to qualify. Grants awarded
according to cost effectiveness.  Posted. 


Environmentalists' raging war on coal. Exports from the Pacific
Northwest are an ongoing battleground in the environmental war on
coal. Last week, the Sierra Club and three other groups announced
that they would file suit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Railway and six coal companies over shipments of coal in
open-topped train cars. The announcement is an escalation in the
three-year battle to stop new export terminals proposed for ports
in Washington and Oregon. Underlying all the rhetoric is a
concern that mankind is causing dangerous global warming. Posted.

Alberta premier: US pipeline rejection would hurt. If the Obama
administration rejects the Keystone XL pipeline, it would be a
significant thorn in Canadian-U.S. relations, Alberta's premier
said Wednesday. Premier Alison Redford was in Washington for her
fourth trip to lobby on behalf of a pipeline that Canada sees as
critical to its economic well-being. The Obama administration is
considering whether to approve the pipeline, which would carry
800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta across six U.S. states
to the Texas Gulf Coast, which has numerous refineries. Posted.

Poor fuel quality major cause of air pollution: Experts.  Experts
at a workshop on Tuesday underlined the need for cleaner fuel
usage in vehicles to control air pollution and lessen the burden
from national kitty in terms of pollution related diseases. 
Speaking on “A Roadmap for Upgradation of Vehicular Fuel Quality
in Pakistan,” the experts underlined the need for improving fuel
efficiency in road transport and improve the fuel quality for
controlling air pollution.  Posted. 


New Solar Process Gets More Out of Natural Gas. The Energy
Department is preparing to test a new way for solar power to make
electricity: using the sun’s heat to increase the energy content
of natural gas. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory in Richland, Wash., hope by this summer to carry out
the test, which entails a process that could cut the amount of
natural gas used — and the greenhouse gasses emitted — by 20
percent. Posted.

Goodbye fluorescent bulb? Philips says yes. If you've worked in
an office, you're probably familiar with the soft glow of
fluorescent tubes drifting from the ceiling. If Europe's Philips
brand is right, those lamps could soon be history. Royal Philips
NV, the Dutch consumer appliances giant, said Thursday that it
has developed an LED light that will soon be far more efficient
than the best fluorescents on the market. That should make it
cheaper and greener, as well. Posted.


A little wind is a good thing. Sure, the stiff north wind that
filled the Valley with dust, knocked out power and knocked down
trees was nasty. But there is an upside. Statewide,
wind-generated electrical power spiked in recent days. The
California Independent System Operator, which runs the state's
wholesale electricity transmission grid, said that wind-powered
turbines - if you've been over the Altamont Pass on Interstate
205/580, you've seen them - generated a record 4,196 megawatts on
Sunday. Posted.

Learn about chemicals in fracking. Several articles have been
printed in The Bee opinion section dealing with the topic of
fracking. Neither of the articles by Kristin Olsen or Dave Quast
said a word about some of the dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals
such as benzene, toluene or xylene that are used in the fracking
process and are being injected into the ground. They only painted
a naive, quick- fix solution for jobs. And the great commentary
on fracking by Anita Young of the Sierra Club was misleading.

Corporations Can't Ignore Climate Change.  Late last October, the
New York Stock Exchange stood quiet as Superstorm Sandy battered
the East Coast. It was the first time since 1888 that weather had
caused the exchange to close for two consecutive days.  In the
wake of a disaster like Sandy, it’s easy to point fingers—at
industry, regulators, government officials—but several years ago,
I came to the conclusion that society is not going to solve our
most vexing environmental problems by simply deciding who’s to
blame. Instead, we must shift the levers of power by involving
the major players in our capital markets.  Posted. 

How can we boost distributed solar and save utilities at the same
time?  Yesterday I wrote that solar PV and other
distributed-energy technologies pose a radical threat to U.S.
power utilities and the centralized business model they’ve
operated under for the last century. This is, I hasten to add,
according to the utilities themselves.  So what should be done
about it?  It’s complicated. On one hand, more distributed
renewable energy is a good thing. It reduces carbon emissions,
increases resilience, stimulates the growth of new industries
with new jobs, and gives Americans a taste of energy democracy. 


In Gina McCarthy Hearing, Possible Conversation Over
Cap-and-Trade.  On the eve of Gina McCarthy's first Senate
committee hearing towards her confirmation, we find our work a
potential topic of conversation between certain senators and the
candidate for EPA Administrator.  Four senators on the
Environment and Public Works Committee, including James Inhofe
and David Vitter, sent a letter to Ms. McCarthy asking for her
take on a petition the Institute for Policy Integrity, which we
direct, submitted to the EPA in 2009. There are now reports that
they plan to raise the question during tomorrow's hearing. 

Lawmakers look to move biofuel bill through House Energy
Committee.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers is having discussions
with the chairman of the House Energy Committee about bringing
forward legislation to gut a federal biofuel law.  Rep. Bob
Goodlatte (R-Va.), a bill co-sponsor, said his talks with House
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) have
left him “hopeful” about securing a hearing.  Posted. 

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