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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 25, 2013.

Posted: 25 Apr 2013 13:19:53
ARB Newsclips for April 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.


Concerns remain over Quebec’s cap-and-trade design.  Last
Friday’s unanimous decision by California’s Air Resources Board
to link its cap-and-trade carbon market with Quebec as of Jan. 1,
2014, is designed to allow companies to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions at lower cost. Concerns still exist, however, about the
efficiency of Quebec’s own cap-and-trade design. Posted. 


No End to Power Rout as Carbon Market Vote Fails: Energy Markets.
Europe’s failure to rescue the region’s carbon market is likely
to encourage utilities to burn record amounts of coal, putting
power prices in Germany on course for the worst-ever sequence of
quarterly declines. Electricity for next year, the benchmark
contract already trading near an almost eight-year low, may drop
a further 4.8 percent through June, according to a Bloomberg News
survey, extending an unprecedented eight quarters of losses.

Scientist Says Pollution From China Is Killing a Japanese
Island’s Trees. A mysterious pestilence has befallen this
island’s primeval forests, leaving behind the bleached, skeletal
remains of dead trees that now dot the dark green mountainsides.
Osamu Nagafuchi, an environmental engineer with a passion for the
island and its rugged terrain, believes he knows the culprit:
airborne pollutants from smog-belching China, hundreds of miles
upwind. Posted. 

Bay Area air pollution reaches Devils Postpile National Monument.
That fresh, pine-scented mountain air that you happily breathe in
the Sierra Nevada could be hazardous to your health. Samples
taken by federal scientists in Devils Postpile National Monument,
southeast of Yosemite National Park, show that ozone levels
occasionally exceed state air pollution standards. “Even at
remote eastern Sierra locations, ozone air pollution may be a
problem for human and ecosystem health…Posted.


Slow Start on Environment in Second Obama Term. SHORTLY after
winning re-election in November, President Obama promised
assertive leadership on climate change and energy. In his State
of the Union address in February, he vowed that if the assembled
lawmakers failed to pass broad climate legislation, he would act
And yet in the ensuing months, little more has been heard from
the president or his cabinet on the matter. Posted.


Poland Prioritizes Cheap Power in Shift Away From Coal. Poland is
prioritizing low-cost electricity as it revamps its energy policy
and shifts away from its reliance on coal-fired generation, the
nation’s environment minister said. Marcin Korolec said he’d like
to phase out subsidies for both clean power and fossil fuels,
though the country must also replace aging power stations
including some that are more than 40 years old. Posted.

Merkel Says Clean-Energy Policy Must Allow Profits for Gas.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country’s system to
spur clean-energy generation needs to change, including reducing
green subsidies paid by consumers, to ensure gas-fired plants are
able to operate at a profit. National and state leaders “in the
next months and at least one to two years” need to find a way to
change the so- called EEG law on subsidies, Merkel told a
Frankfurt conference. Posted.

AG criticizes oil pipeline plan review. New York state's top
lawyer accused the Obama administration Wednesday of breaking
federal environmental law by ignoring climate change in its
review of a controversial pipeline project that would carry
Canadian tar sands oil through the U.S. Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman released a 21-page letter to Secretary of State John
Kerry, whose office last month released its environmental review
of the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from
Canada through the U.S. Midwest and ultimately to Texas, where it
would be refined or exported. Posted.

House OKs bill to disclose 'fracking' chemicals. In a pre-emptive
move, the Florida House voted Wednesday evening to require oil
and natural gas companies to disclose the chemicals pumped
underground as part of hydraulic fracturing operations - a
process better known as "fracking." That method for extracting
oil or gas hasn't been used in the Sunshine State to date, but
supporters of the measure say parts of the Panhandle and
southwest Florida have been identified as as geological areas
suitable for fracking. Posted. 

California Cities Snub Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power. California's
leading cities are sending messages to the energy industry
powers-that-be on Tuesday, and that message is "we want change."
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council finalized a much-lauded
agreement to wean the city's Department of Water and Power
(LADWP) off coal-fired electricity, and went on to oppose
reopening of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Posted.


Obama administration missed clues on Fisker. The Energy
Department did not realize for four months that troubled
automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. had missed a crucial production
target that was required as part of a half-billion dollar
government loan, documents released Wednesday show. The mistake
allowed Fisker to obtain an additional $32 million in government
funding before the loan was suspended in June 2011. Posted.




Detroit Electric forms EV venture with China's Geely. Detroit
Electric, the Michigan-based startup electric-car maker, said
Thursday it will partner with China's Geely Automobile to develop
electric cars for the Chinese market. Geely owns Sweden's Volvo
Cars and recently withdrew as a potential bidder for Fisker
Automotive, the failing California green-car startup. Detroit
Electric earlier this month unveiled its own model, a $135,000,
battery-powered sports car that it says will go into limited
production in August in the Detroit area. Posted.


Mobile Chargers Prepare for Their Day in the Sun. WHETHER you’re
comparing restaurant menus while sitting in the park or turning
on the air-conditioner before getting home, life is becoming
increasingly mobile thanks to smartphones and tablets. And with
new apps appearing constantly, the possibilities for this kind of
connected living could be endless — if only the batteries lasted
long enough. Now, a range of solar technology companies are
offering small, portable chargers and accessory cases that
provide power on the go. Posted.

California's Dream to Be the Saudi Arabia of Solar Is Dead. Three
years ago California regulators in quick succession approved nine
multibillion-dollar solar thermal power plants. They were to be
built in the desert and would generate 4,142 megawatts (MW) of
carbon-free electricity. The state, it was said, was on its way
to becoming the Saudi Arabia of solar. Not any more. Today, the
developers of four of those projects have since gone bankrupt and
only three solar thermal power plants are under currently under
construction. Posted.

California Launches First 'Battery University' to Push Energy
Storage Technology. The United States’ first graduate program in
battery technology launches this autumn at a Silicon Valley
university. Given the spate of bankruptcies of American battery
makers such as A123 Systems and Ener1 over the past year, one
might ask if that horse has already left the barn. But battery
storage has emerged as the linchpin for scaling up intermittent
sources of renewable energy such as solar and wind…Posted.

Can new LED street lamps bring back 'starry nights' to
light-polluted cities?  Light-emitting diodes, better known as
LEDs, require much less electricity than traditional incandescent
light bulbs. In recent years, they have become one of the go-to
lighting alternatives to cut back on energy consumption and shave
a couple of bucks off the electric bill. Now, according to new
research, special LED streetlights could also help reduce the
nighttime haze of light pollution that makes it difficult to see
stars in most cities. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/25/7 BY


California suspends operations at Vernon battery recycler. Toxics
regulators say Exide Technologies has been releasing hazardous
waste into the soil beneath its plant because of a degraded
pipeline. State regulators took the highly unusual step Wednesday
of suspending operations at a Vernon battery recycler that has
discharged harmful quantities of lead for years and more recently
has been deemed to pose a danger to as many as 110,000 people
because of arsenic emissions. Posted.

Bill to change environmental review could help Sacramento's Kings
arena. Sacramento's proposed downtown arena project could get a
boost under major environmental legislation unveiled Wednesday by
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Steinberg's proposed
rewrite of the landmark California Environmental Quality Act,
months in the planning, aims to reduce the chance that urban
projects like the Downtown Plaza arena will get hit by lawsuits
that stall construction. Posted.

USDA, dairy industry renew greenhouse gas deal. Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack says the federal government is renewing a
pact with the dairy industry aimed at decreasing greenhouse gas
emissions. Vilsack says the federal government has helped
thousands of dairy farms implement conservation plans, build
anaerobic digesters and conduct energy audits under the original
2009 agreement. The dairy industry has committed to reducing its
greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Posted. 


California high-speed rail estimates “astounding”.  The idiocy of
California’s proposed high-speed rail line continues to astonish.
For reasons why, consult “California High-Speed Rail: An Updated
Due Diligence Report”
prepared for the Reason Foundation by Wendell Cox and Joseph
Vranich. Cox and Vranich point out that the high-speed rail
authority’s projections are hopelessly unrealistic. Posted. 


How Do You Find the Best Green Cars? Spring is in the air, and
Earth Day is just behind us. Apparently, that means it’s green
car choosing season, at least for the people who take the time to
determine such things. But with the list of more environmentally
friendly cars and trucks at an all-time high, choosing the best
one can be tough. Kelley Blue Book and the American Council for
an Energy-Efficient Economy tried to make the choice simple by
doing the choosing for consumers. Posted.

The changing face of U.S. drought: shrinking but still sprawling.
 Drought across the Lower 48 in the last year has undergone wild
swings.  From just regional pockets of drought last spring to one
of the worst droughts on record last summer, drought has now
begun an aggressive retreat.  Consider that in April 2012 just 37
percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing at least moderate
drought conditions, a number that shot up over 63 percent by
mid-summer.  Now it’s back down to 47 percent.  Posted. 

Connect The Dots On Climate Change: The Tangible Effects Of A
Warming World.  Climate change means drastic and long-term
effects like rising sea levels and the increased likelihood of
extreme weather events. But across the world, we are already
witnessing the consequences of a warming world.  In the U.S.,
climate change means that allergies are getting worse as pollen
counts increase, and some of your favorite foods -- from apples
to oysters to coffee and wine -- are also in jeopardy. Posted. 

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