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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 2, 2013.

Posted: 02 May 2013 12:21:10
ARB Newsclips for May 2, 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.


Calif. adds more offsets to ease cap-and-trade supply crunch. 
Analysts are predicting lower prices in California's economywide
cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases, thanks to regulators'
plans to add more carbon offsets to the market. Projects that
reduce emissions from coal mines and forests should help fill in
a projected shortage, but supplies will still be short through
2020, according to the new analysis from carbon market analysis
firm Thomson Reuters Point Carbon. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/02/8 BY

Can California Cap and Trade if Brussels Stumbles? Last week, the
European Parliament rejected a proposal to reduce the quantity of
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions allowances in order to fix a
supply-demand imbalance in the European Union Emissions Trading
System (EU ETS). Some view this as the beginning of the end of
the European Union’s ten-year carbon cap-and-trade experiment. A
high profile failure of the EU ETS is likely to provide
ammunition to critics California’s cap-and-trade program. Posted.


Air quality from Banning fire potentially affects San Bernardino
County residents. As hundreds of acres burned in a Banning
wildfire and ash fell here from approximately 20 miles away
Wednesday, officials warned of the smoke's negative health
The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for the
area, while the South Coast Air Quality Management District put
out a smoke advisory warning. Posted.

Texas, La., community groups sue EPA for emissions. Community
groups in Texas and Louisiana have filed a lawsuit against the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accusing it of using
"outdated and inaccurate formulas" to report emissions from
refineries and chemical plants. The Environmental Integrity
Project in Texas, along with Air Alliance Houston, the Louisiana
Bucket Brigade and other groups filed the lawsuit Thursday in the
U.S. District Court in Washington. Posted.

First full cruise season under new EPA rules start. More than 1
million cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Alaska this
year, but industry officials fear new fuel standards intended to
limit pollution from large ships could drive vessels away and
lower that number later. This will be the first full cruise
season in Alaska under rules that require cargo carriers and
cruise ships to use a low-sulfur fuel within 200 miles of U.S.
and Canadian shores. The U.S. agreed to the standards as part of
an international treaty. Posted.

SM Energy project stalls on air quality for second time. Whether
it is ever approved, one thing about Santa Maria Energy's plan to
extract oil from the Careaga Lease in the Orcutt Hills field is
certain — it will be one of the most discussed projects in county
history. On Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County Planning
Commission failed for a second time to pass a motion to approve
three permits that would allow the company to produce oil from
136 wells using an enhanced steam injection process on the
Careaga Lease south of Orcutt. Posted.

EU Factories Double Use of UN Carbon Credits Last Year in Survey.
Power stations and factories in the European Union’s emissions
market probably doubled their use of United Nations carbon
offsets to meet their pollution limits last year, according to a
survey of analysts. Companies have surrendered about 600 million
Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units for
2012, compared with 254.6 million offsets in the previous year,
according to the median estimate of five analysts surveyed by
Bloomberg News in the past two days. Posted.


Low-key U.S. plan for each nation to set climate goals wins
ground.  A U.S.-led plan to let all countries set their own goals
for fighting climate change is gaining grudging support at U.N.
talks, even though the current level of pledges is far too low to
limit rising temperatures substantially. The approach, being
discussed this week at 160-nation talks in Bonn, Germany, would
mean abandoning the blueprint of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which
set central goals for industrialized countries to cut emissions
by 2012 and then let each work out national implementation.

Most firms get greenhouse gas reports wrong: report. Most of the
world's largest companies do not report their greenhouse gas
emissions fully or correctly and do not have the data
independently verified, a study by an environmental research body
showed on Wednesday. Companies are under pressure worldwide from
policymakers, and a public increasingly concerned with green
issues, to report the environmental fallout of all activities
related to their daily business - from plane journeys to office
supplies. Posted.

UN Envoys Consider 2050 Carbon Target in Talks on Climate Deal.
Envoys at United Nations global warming talks are considering
whether to adopt a target for carbon emissions around 2050 as
they struggle to work toward a deal to limit climate change that
they aim to adopt in 2015. The delegates from about 190 nations
meeting this week in Bonn are discussing whether they could boost
ambition by adopting a worldwide goal for the middle of this
century backed by interim measures proposed by national

Preventing climate change is good for business, GM declares.
General Motors officially acknowledged today that implementing
policies to prevent climate change is “good business.” GM became
the first automaker to sign the “Climate Declaration” pledge,
which is promoted by nonprofit Ceres’ Business for Innovative
Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition. The decision to sign
the pledge comes as GM has been pressuring the U.S. government to
establish a national energy policy focused on promoting energy
security with a diverse range of sources, including natural gas
and renewables. Posted.

Proposed desalination plants could breach Calif. carbon targets.
Interest in ocean desalination has spiked in California in recent
years, with 17 plants proposed along the state's coast. While
desalination can be a reliable way to quench the state's growing
water concerns, its high energy requirements -- and associated
carbon emissions -- could make it much harder for the state to
meet its 2020 reduction goals, a study showed. In a report
released yesterday, researchers at the Pacific Institute looked
at the implications of building and operating new desalination
plants in the Golden State. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/02/6 BY


Diesel program cutting emissions, but funding to be slashed. 
More than 50,000 high-polluting diesel engines have been cleaned
up or removed from U.S. roads in a federal program designed to
reduce smog and greenhouse gases, according to a new
Environmental Protection Agency report to Congress. While
industry and environmental officials call the program a landmark
success, it is now threatened with a 70 percent cut in funding
under the Obama Administration’s new budget. About 230,000 tons
of soot and smog-causing pollutants and more than two million
tons of carbon dioxide were eliminated, according to the report.


The Importance of Feedstock Within California’s LCFS. 
California’s Global Warning Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32)
established the state’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The statute charged the
California Air Resources Board with developing and implementing
regulations in multiple sectors to achieve that goal. In January
2007, then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order
S-01-07 calling on CARB to determine whether a low carbon fuel
standard (LCFS) could be adopted under AB 32…Posted.


Shell Makes Big Bet on Boom in Natural Gas. As Big Oil
increasingly becomes Big Gas, no major petroleum player may have
more at stake in the shift than Royal Dutch Shell. More than any
of its rivals, Royal Dutch Shell, which will report its quarterly
results on Thursday, is betting its future on the business of
bringing natural gas from remote locations like Qatar to
energy-hungry destinations like China and Japan. Posted.

New method finds shortcut to produce fuel from crop wastes.
Cellulose is an appealing raw material for fuels. Several
chemical processes can turn this long sugar chain into fuel
precursors for cars, trucks and aircraft. It's abundant in crop
waste, like leaves and stalks from corn, so it's cheap and won't
raise food prices. But making it efficiently is tricky. Most of
the common ways to break cellulose down involve finicky enzymes
or microbes, which will only work with high-quality cellulose
sources and require a strictly controlled environment. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/02/3 BY


Reports highlight ongoing advances in vehicle technology,
consumer demand for fuel efficiency in US and Europe.  Two
separate reports highlight the ongoing improvement in vehicle
technologies and the growing trend toward consumers purchasing
more fuel efficient vehicles in the US and in Europe. In the US,
the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released an analysis—“On
the Road to 54.5 MPG: A Progress Report on Achievability”—of the
response of consumers and automakers as both begin to experience
the effects of the newly adopted federal fuel economy standard. 

US Electric Vehicles sales report for April.  The monthly EV
sales report is provided by InsideEVs and is updated with latest
information available. In April 2013, more than 6,000 EVs were
sold in the US market, twice as many as in April 2012, for a
total market share slightly below 0,5% of new light vehicles
sales.  The sales information currently includes sales of 11 car
models. Data from Ford is currently missing, but as soon as the
information is made available this article will be updated. 
Posted.  http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5364 


For Obama and Pena Nieto, a delicate 'first dance' around energy.
When the conversation between President Barack Obama and his
newly elected Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto turns to the
controversial topic of energy during their meeting this week,
both are apt to step carefully. The two countries have abruptly
changed positions over the past decade: Mexico, once the growing
energy power, is struggling to maintain production; the United
States, once a guaranteed importer, is enjoying a lucrative
energy boom. Posted.

Conn. renewable energy plan passes first test. New rules for
renewable energy use in Connecticut passed their first big test
Wednesday when the state Senate approved legislation proposed by
the governor to boost hydropower from Canada. The 26-6 vote was a
defeat for environmentalists who fought Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's
administration, demanding a greater reliance on smaller-scale
wind and solar energy. Posted. 


Cross-Country Solar Plane Expedition Set for Takeoff. When
Bertrand Piccard was growing up in Switzerland, heady discussions
about the boundless potential for human endeavor were standard
fare. His grandfather, a physicist and friend of Albert Einstein
and Marie Curie, had invented a special capsule so he and a
partner could be first to reach the stratosphere in a balloon.
His father, an engineer, helped design the submarine that made
him and an American naval officer the first to plunge undersea to
the earth’s crust. Posted.

Lipstick's allure may come with heavy metal price. The quest for
lusher, ruby-red lips may be exposing women to dangerous metals,
including cadmium, a highly toxic element linked with renal
failure, a UC Berkeley study suggests. Researchers found trace
amounts of nine metals, some benign, some potentially dangerous,
in 32 lipsticks and glosses used by Asian women in Oakland. None
exceeded current public health exposure standards. Posted.

Panel approves Steinberg's CEQA bill, kills broader GOP version.
A bill that would make some changes to California's landmark
environmental review law moved forward in the state Senate on
Wednesday, but Democrats rejected a GOP-backed proposal as "too
broad and comprehensive a change." Senate President Pro Tem
Darrell Steinberg defended his Senate Bill 731, which passed the
Senate Environmental Quality Committee…Posted.

Calif. sues: Lead in candied ginger, plum. The state of
California is suing Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Target and other
retailers and candy makers, claiming the companies have exposed
consumers to illegal lead levels in their candied plum and ginger
products. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in San Francisco
Superior Court by the state attorney general's office, accuses
the retailers of knowingly selling products that contain lead in
violation of Proposition 65…Posted.

Calif. governor names former reporter to state EPA post.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) yesterday named a former
journalist to a high-ranking job at the state Environmental
Protection Agency. Alex Barnum, 52, of Berkeley, Calif., has been
tapped as deputy secretary for communications and external
affairs. He has been a communications officer at the
philanthropic San Francisco-based James Irvine Foundation since
2006. Prior to that, Barnum worked in a similar role at the
nonprofit Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/05/02/8 BY


Valley doesn't need more air regulations. In response to "Air in
San Joaquin Valley cities among nation's worst" (April 24): Oh,
joy! Another story that wants government to put the screws to a
region that's already being crushed by air quality regulations.
Geography plays an important part when it comes to air quality.
The San Joaquin Valley is an elongated bowl with one opening
along its western ridge. Posted.

Air Apparent: L.A.'s Bright Skies Are Not As Clear As They Seem.
The act of breathing is pretty straightforward, and, when
everything is functioning properly, is an unconscious musculatory
response. Yet the chemical composition of the air we are
breathing is not so clear-cut, which means we need to be
intensely aware of what we are inhaling (and at what time of day
we are drawing this essential oxygen into our lungs). Posted.

Unintended Consequences of Green Chemistry Law. California has
long set the trend for groundbreaking environmental regulations
designed to protect consumers from hazardous chemicals and
emissions.  Because of this, California has seen its pollution
levels drop over the last few decades.  While we still have a
ways to go, our progress is encouraging. Occasionally, however, a
well-intended policy creates a host of unintended consequences. 


Obama group misleadingly cites a vote on a climate change bill.
President Obama’s new political group, Organizing for Action,
last week released a new video that mocks Republican lawmakers
for appearing to play down or dismiss concerns about climate
change. Some of the clips are fairly interesting — or amusing,
depending on your perspective. It has already been viewed more
than 225,000 times on You Tube. We’ve written before about the
growing consensus among climate researchers that climate change
is the result of human activity; …Posted.

Bill to change California's environmental review law advances.  A
bill that would make changes to California's landmark
environmental review law moved forward in the state Senate
Wednesday, as Democrats rejected a GOP-backed proposal as "too
broad and comprehensive a change." Senate President Pro Tem
Darrell Steinberg defended his Senate Bill 731, which passed the
Senate Environmental Quality Committee Wednesday…Posted.

Natural Aerosols May Help Slow Climate Change By Small Amounts,
New Study Shows. Could plants help to slow the march of global
warming? It's possible, suggests a new study, which finds that as
climates warm around the world, plants may respond by releasing
more aerosol particles into the atmosphere. The research,
published online April 28 in the journal Nature Geoscience, finds
that these natural aerosols can fuel cloud formation, which may
help cool a warming climate. [The Reality of Climate Change: 10
Myths Busted] Aerosols are fine particles of solid or liquid
matter, suspended in air. Posted.

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