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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 1, 2013.

Posted: 01 May 2013 14:22:47
ARB Newsclips for May 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.


Burn permits now required. Starting at 8 a.m. today, residents
within the boundaries of the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit of the
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will be
required to obtain permits before burning piles of brush, leaves
and other yard debris. The unit includes most of the occupied
areas of Tuolumne and Calaveras counties as well as the eastern
edges of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. Posted.

Wind prompts health warning in Northern San Joaquin Valley. Yet
another windy Tuesday in the Northern San Joaquin Valley prompted
local air pollution officials to issue a health cautionary
statement through this morning in several counties, including
Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin. Blowing dust can result in
unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and
smaller, which in turn can cause serious health problems,
aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and


Up, Up and Away! Scientists Anxious as CO2 Levels to Cross 400
PPM. For the first time in human history, concentrations of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are expected to pass 400 parts
per million across much of the Northern Hemisphere in May,
according to scientists who study data from the Mauna Loa
Observatory, the world's longest-running CO2 monitoring station.
While crossing the 400 ppm mark isn't a "tipping point" that
signals climate catastrophe, scientists told InsideClimate News,
it is an important symbolic milestone that underscores government
inaction on global warming. Posted.

Biofuel Pioneer Forsakes Renewables to Make Gas-Fed Fuels.  Alan
Shaw, the chemist and executive who led a six-year effort to turn
inedible crops into fuels to displace gasoline, has renounced the
industry he helped pioneer and decided the future instead lies
with natural gas.  Formerly chief executive officer of Codexis
Inc. (CDXS), the first advanced biofuel technology company to
trade on a U.S. exchange, Shaw now says it’s impossible to
economically turn crop waste, wood and plants like switchgrass
into fuel. He’s trying to do it instead with gas, in his new post
as CEO of Calysta Energy LLC. Posted.

California Regulator Eyes Tracking of Fracking Chemicals.
California may set up its own system for tracking chemicals used
in hydraulic fracturing by oil and natural gas producers, rather
than depend on the current voluntary registry, the state’s energy
industry regulator said.  California’s formal rule proposal may
also extend the time required for prior notification of fracking,
said Mark Nechodom, director of the state Conservation
Department. He said the plan may be released in weeks. Posted.

One month after Arkansas oil spill, still no answers to basic
questions. One month after a 65-year-old ExxonMobil pipeline
burst without warning and dumped Canadian tar sands oil in the
town of Mayflower, Ark., government investigators and residents
are still looking for answers to basic questions about the spill.
When did the pipeline begin leaking? When and how did the oil
company find out about it? How quickly did the company act? How
much oil spilled from the pipeline's 22-foot-long gash? And what
condition was the line in before it ruptured? Posted.

California Assembly panel OKs three measures to halt fracking for
more study. In the latest sign of Democrats' determination to
rein in the disputed extraction process known as hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, a California Assembly committee has
advanced three bills that would halt the practice in the state
for the foreseeable future. They were not the first fracking
bills to make it out of committee this year, but they go further
than other fracking legislation by calling for a moratorium to
allow more time to study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing,
which involves blasting a mix of chemicals and water deep
underground. Posted.

The U.S. Has Much, Much More Gas and Oil Than We Thought. The
United States has double the amount of oil and three times the
amount of natural gas than previously thought, stored deep under
the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according
to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday. In
announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary
Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within
weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing…Posted.

Saudi official cheers 'renewed faith' in fossil fuels in U.S.
Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi yesterday welcomed U.S. shale oil
on the world market but said American talk of energy independence
is "naive" and "rather simplistic." In an address at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.,
Al-Naimi called the U.S.-Saudi relationship "enduring, like oil
itself," and said the two countries should continue to work
together to ensure oil market stability. "I welcome these new
supplies into the global oil market," … Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/05/01/2  BY

EPA moves up deadline for oil companies' greenhouse gas
monitoring requests. U.S. EPA has moved up its deadline for oil
and gas companies to submit requests to use alternative
monitoring methods to comply with a sectorwide greenhouse gas
reporting requirement, according to a final rule published today
in the Federal Register. The agency originally proposed a Sept.
30 deadline for oil and gas producers to submit their
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/05/01/18  BY


Electric-Car Maker Coda Files for Bankruptcy to Seek Sale. Coda
Holdings Inc., parent of the electric-car maker backed by
billionaire Philip Falcone, filed for bankruptcy and will seek to
sell its assets to a group led by a Fortress Investment Group LLC
(FIG) unit. Coda will focus on its energy-storage business, Chief
Executive Officer Phil Murtaugh said in a statement. The Los
Angeles-based company’s Coda Automotive unit listed assets of as
much as $50 million and debt of as much as $100 million in the
Chapter 11 filing in Wilmington, Delaware, today. Posted.


China automaker to open electric bus plant in CA. A Chinese
company whose mantra is Build Your Dreams plans to build
all-electric buses in California's Mojave Desert. Lancaster Mayor
R. Rex Parris and officials of BYD Automotive scheduled a news
conference Wednesday to announce plans to open the first
Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States in
the wind-swept high-desert city 60 miles northeast of Los
Angeles. Posted. 


Calif. reactors might be retired if restart nixed.  Costs tied to
the long-running shutdown of California's San Onofre nuclear
power plant have soared to $553 million, while the majority owner
raised the possibility Tuesday of retiring the plant if it can't
get one reactor running later this year. The twin-domed plant
between San Diego and Los Angeles has not produced electricity
since January 2012, when a tiny radiation leak led to the
discovery of unusual damage to hundreds of tubes that carry
radioactive water. Posted.




Energy Makes Up Half of Desalination Plant Costs: Study. Energy
is the largest single expense for desalination plants, accounting
for as much as half of the costs to make drinking water from the
sea, according to a report. Desalination plants on average use
about 15,000 kilowatt- hours of power for every million gallons
of fresh water that’s produced, the Pacific Institute said today
in a report. Posted.

Solar power expansion urged in Los Angeles.  A number of
environmental groups joined forces on Tuesday in a call for the
city of Los Angeles to increase the amount of rooftop solar
installations in the city, aiming for 20 percent of all energy by
the year 2020. With their report, "Go Solar L.A.," members of the
Los Angeles Business Council, Sierra Club and others said the
time to expand solar is coming as the city seeks to end its
reliance on coal power by 2025. Posted.

U.S.-designed no-emission power plant will debut off China's
coast. Forty years of research and development by Lockheed Martin
into harnessing energy from steep differentials in ocean
temperatures will see its first commercial deployment in China.
There, a resort developer has partnered with the U.S. defense and
aerospace giant to build a 10-megawatt power plant using ocean
thermal energy conversion (OTEC) technology. Posted.


Bay Area College Offers Master's in Batteries. The school says
there is a need for the degree because California's alternative
fuel cell industry can't find enough qualified people to fill
available positions. Jeff Anderson is with the battery storage
trade association Cal Charge.  He says students who earn a
master's degree will need more than science, "You need to
understand the markets and the business factors that influence
how technology's developed.  Posted.

Agency to change the way it handles environmental justice
complaints. U.S. EPA plans to change the way it investigates
environmental justice complaints, recently releasing two policy
papers that address long-standing criticism of the agency's
Office of Civil Rights. The papers target so-called Title VI
complaints, which are named after a provision in the Civil Rights
Act that prohibits recipients of federal funding from using the
money in a discriminatory way. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/05/01/19 BY


Dan Morain: Calculating the profits, pitfalls of an oil tax. At
least some of those grease spots on the Assembly and Senate
floors are what's left of grand legislation to raise taxes on the
oil industry. Emboldened legislators have proposed 12 versions of
an oil tax since 1994. They sought billions of dollars to fund
all sorts of good causes. An Assembly speaker tried. So did a
Senate president pro tem. Oil industry lobbyists crushed them
all. Sen. Noreen Evans is carrying the latest bill to tax oil at
the wellhead.  Posted.

Temecula vintners get climate lesson.  As Temecula Valley Wine
Country vintners assess the impact of climate change on their
grapes (“Winemaking would suffer under climate change, study
reveals,” April 20), they can feel comforted that conservative
politicians and media figures believe the greenhouse effect is a
liberal hoax. The denialists also believe decades of careful
climate research are irrelevant because scientists are only
interested in money. Posted.


Extreme Weather in a Warming World, and the American Mind. To see
the relationship between extreme weather and public attitudes on
human-driven climate change, check out the latest report from the
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication — “Extreme Weather
and Climate Change in the American Mind April 2013.” To see where
attitudes are in and out of sync with climate science, look back
through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

SALTON SEA: One bill passes, one bill fails Tuesday. Assembly
committees considered a pair of measures Tuesday that aim to help
remedy what ails the Salton Sea. The sea, which straddles
Riverside and Imperial counties, is shrinking. The decline in
agricultural runoff will increasingly expose the sea’s
selenium-laden floor, officials say, releasing clouds of toxic
dust across the Coachella Valley and points further west. Posted.

20 Percent of L.A. Power from Rooftop Solar By 2020?  That's The
Goal! Now this is an audacious campaign! On the heels of the
announcement by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
(LADWP) that it's weaning itself from coal as an energy source by
2025, a coalition of environmental and business groups wants the
municipal utility to get 20 percent of its power from L.A.
rooftop solar panels by 2020. Posted.

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