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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 15, 2013. Posted: 15 May 2013 14:42:09
ARB Newsclips for May 15, 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. CAP AND TRADE Gov. Brown chided for plan to borrow from cap-and-trade funds. Gov. Jerry Brown sparked controversy Tuesday when he proposed to shift $500 million out of the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and loan it to the state general fund as part of the effort to balance the budget. The money would come from a program to limit carbon emissions by factories and other big polluters. The program allows firms to buy credits to produce more than their share of carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/political/la-me-pc-governor-brown-cap-trade-20130514,0,1331347.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedly http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?xid=11fjqnp52905zjj&utm_source=feedly http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059981189/print AIR POLLUTION Pollutant's cooling effect on climate may be overstated, study shows. Don’t count on sulfur dioxide to bridle climate change. The ability of that pollutant to reflect the sun is not quite what it was assumed to be, according to new research. Sulfur dioxide -- a common pollutant from burning fossil fuels, contributes to the formation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere, which reflect sunlight. Figuring out just how much this can counteract greenhouse effects of carbon dioxide and other gases has remained one of the bigger uncertainties in climate modeling. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-climate-cooling-overstated-20130514,0,5963816.story CLIMATE CHANGE China Unlikely to Stimulate New Carbon Credit Supply Efforts. China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas, will probably avoid importing carbon credits for two decades, challenging diplomats as they craft a new emissions market that will increase supply, a government official said. Using offsets from outside China in that period is an “unlikely scenario,” Su Wei, the nation’s climate negotiator, said an interview. “Rather, internally we will have a lot of offsetting credits.” Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-15/biggest-emitter-china-may-not-import-carbon-credits-for-decades.html For Insurers, No Doubts on Climate Change. If there were one American industry that would be particularly worried about climate change it would have to be insurance, right? From Hurricane Sandy’s devastating blow to the Northeast to the protracted drought that hit the Midwest Corn Belt, natural catastrophes across the United States pounded insurers last year, generating $35 billion in privately insured property losses, $11 billion more than the average over the last decade. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/insurers-stray-from-the-conservative-line-on-climate-change.html?pagewanted=all Climate change melting Mount Everest glaciers, research finds. A warming climate is melting the glaciers of Mount Everest, shrinking the frozen cloak of Earth's highest peak by 13 percent in the last 50 years, researchers have found. Rocks and natural debris previously covered by snow are appearing now as the snow line has retreated 590 feet, according to Sudeep Thakuri, a University of Milan scientist who led the research. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-everest-climate-20130514,0,7957473.story http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/14/5420350/climate-change-melting-mount-everest.html#storylink=cpy Appeals court dismisses greenhouse gases lawsuit. A federal appeals panel has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a group of Mississippi Gulf Coast residents and landowners who alleged that emissions by energy companies contributed to global warming, which intensified Hurricane Katrina, which, in turn, damaged their property. In the lawsuit, the landowners sought compensatory and punitive damages against 32 companies and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Appeals-court-dismisses-greenhouse-gases-lawsuit-4518071.php#ixzz2TNsTIsI4 DIESEL EMISSIONS Oakland Officials Withhold Air Pollution Plan. Regulators for county, regional, and state agencies say the city and the developer of the Oakland Army Base have yet to reveal plans for how they will control toxic emissions. The California Transportation Commission approved $176 million in funding last week for the redevelopment of the old Oakland Army Base — a potentially $1 billion project intended to reinvigorate the city and the nation's fifth busiest seaport. Posted. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-officials-withhold-air-pollution-plan/Content?oid=3547241 FUELS Energy costs require rethink for EU heavy industry-IEA. Europe faces higher fuel costs than the United States and China for the foreseeable future and therefore needs to reconsider its reliance on energy-intensive industry, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency said. Debate over competitiveness is intense in Europe as shale gas in the United States has drastically cut costs and led some heavy industry to relocate there. A summit of EU leaders next week is set to discuss ways to limit the impact of energy costs. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/14/eu-iea-costs-idUSL6N0DV50D20130514 A look at EU investigation of oil price fixing. The European Union's executive arm, the Commission, on Tuesday said it had raided the offices of a number of oil industry companies for possible price-fixing. Here are some questions and answers on the investigation. — Which companies were raided and why? The EU Commission did not say which companies it is investigating. However, some firms have confirmed they are part of the probe. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/A-look-at-EU-investigation-of-oil-price-fixing-4518771.php#ixzz2TNqyYYQw Solving the case of Southern Calif.'s missing methane. In Southern California, scientists knew the missing methane had to be coming from somewhere. Was it dairies? Landfills? Natural seeps? Oil and gas operations? Emissions of methane from the Los Angeles basin had been estimated in the mid-2000s as part of the state's landmark cap-and-trade bill, known as A.B. 32, which regulates emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas. But later measurements of the air in the region showed there was a lot more methane being emitted than was accounted for, more than a third as much. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059981192/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Governor calls fracking 'a fabulous opportunity' California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday voiced some support for hydraulic fracturing in the state, saying that the oil and natural gas drilling technique "could be a fabulous opportunity." The Democratic governor said he was evaluating the pros and cons of the process also known as fracking, where companies blast chemical-laced water underground at high pressure to break apart rock formations and release oil or natural gas. It's not about political ideology, Brown said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2013/05/15/stories/1059981194 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Defunct ethanol plant turns to crude processing. The original operator, Cascade Grain Products LLC, filed for bankruptcy in 2009, less than a year after kicking off ethanol production. The new owners are using the facility to store and transport crude oil from North Dakota's booming Bakken Shale oil play, putting two 3.8-million-gallon tanks to use. The newly named Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery plant, once the recipient of $36 million in green loans and tax credits from Oregon's Department of Energy…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059981145/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Tesla’s Stock Is Trading at Rich Multiples. Tesla’s shareholders seem to be assuming that its chief executive, Elon Musk, is infallible. Tesla, the electric carmaker, is on a roll. Last week, it recorded its first quarterly profit and received the best score that Consumer Reports has bestowed on a car for six years. The company’s stock has since surged as much as 70 percent, leaving Tesla worth more than Fiat and Peugeot combined. Its stock is also trading at a whopping 27 times estimates for earnings in 2016. Posted. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/teslas-stock-is-trading-at-rich-multiples/ Tesla revenue to get boost from selling "green" car credits. Tesla Motor Co. may draw about 11 percent of its revenue this year from selling "green" car credits to other automakers under pressure to meet clean air policies in U.S. states like California, an analyst said on Tuesday. This year, Tesla could make $188 million from selling zero emission vehicle and greenhouse gas credits, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said. This is about 11 percent of Tesla's expected 2013 revenue of $1.7 billion. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23247810/tesla-revenue-get-boost-from-selling-green-car#ixzz2TNV4x8bL GREEN ENERGY Arctic states open council to China, India, SKorea. Arctic states agreed Wednesday to let nations that are located nowhere near the Earth's north to become observers to their diplomatic council, boosting rising superpowers China, India and South Korea that are seeking to mine the region for its untapped energy and other natural resources. The European Union also was tentatively granted observer status to the eight-state council but must first address several questions about its bid, including concerns about its ban on Canadian seal exports. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_ARCTIC_OBSERVERS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT LanzaTech Plans to Raise $80 Million for Waste Gas-to-Biofuel. LanzaTech NZ Ltd., a closely held developer of transport fuels and chemicals from waste gases, plans to start raising $60 million to $80 million from venture capital and strategic investors this year to develop technology. The company is developing projects with Baosteel Group Corp. and Shougang Group in China to use emissions from their steel mills to make ethanol for vehicles, said Jennifer Holmgren, chief executive officer of the Auckland, New Zealand-based company. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-15/lanzatech-plans-to-raise-80-million-for-waste-gas-to-biofuel.html Clean Energy Learns to Compete. Europe used to be nirvana for companies in the clean-energy business, but in the past couple of years it has become a much tougher place. With economies anemic, electricity demand is down; and, not surprisingly, once-generous subsidies that encouraged installing swaths of solar collectors in sun-poor Germany or wind farms in relatively calm areas of France are either being reduced or look as if they could be. But for some people and companies, the harsher environment is fostering a tough-minded approach that may be healthy for the effort in the years ahead to curb the greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/business/energy-environment/16iht-green16.html Legislation would give clean energy more access to investment tool. Congressional lawmakers from both parties are taking a step to catalyze the nation's clean energy economy: After 32 years of restricting a crucial investment tool to expanding fossil fuels, they're pushing to open it to renewables. Legislation is moving through both houses to tweak the tax code to let clean energy developers form a master limited partnership, or MLP, a type of publicly traded company structure not subject to corporate taxes. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/15/5421915/legislation-would-give-clean-energy.html#storylink=cpy An experiment to adapt solar power to serve electric grids. A partnership between California-based Cool Earth Solar Inc. and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will seek to solve one of solar energy's major shortcomings, the intermittency of sunlight and the negative effect that "ramping" solar energy has on grid stability. The $2.7 million research project, funded partly by the California Energy Commission, will create and test a new model for communities to manage their solar generation in ways that account for changing weather conditions, according to officials involved in the work. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059981166/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Decision on San Onofre pushed back to June at the earliest. The head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday that the agency will not make a decision on whether to restart the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant until late June at the earliest. The timeline for the plant has been pushed back repeatedly. The plant's operator Southern California Edison had hoped at one point to have one of the plant's two units operating by summer, but NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane made it clear that will not happen. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-onofre-restart-20130514,0,3441282.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29 Glendale moves to ban smoking in new apartments, condos. The Glendale City Council on Tuesday moved to ban smoking in all new apartment and condominium units, give individuals the right to sue others who break smoking rules and increase the distance between smokers and non-smokers in outdoor dining areas. Since 2008, Glendale has implemented a variety of smoking bans at common areas, private balconies and patios in multi-unit buildings. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-glendale-smoking-ban-apartments-condos-20130515,0,3730761.story Report card: Great Lakes still have big problems. A decades-old effort to nurse the battered Great Lakes to health has made progress toward reducing toxic pollution and slamming the door on invasive species, but the freshwater seas continue to face serious threats, a U.S.-Canadian agency said Tuesday. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/14/5420503/report-card-great-lakes-still.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Report-card-Great-Lakes-still-have-big-problems-4515119.php Environmental Exposures in the Context of Child Care. Just beyond the front door of the Montessori School at Five Canyons, a square glass-walled foyer is brimming with verdant houseplants in clay pots. Garden sculptures and glazed ceramic art are interspersed throughout. Above it all floats the looped sound of softly chirping birds. This lush tableau provides a fitting transition between the world outside and the carefully controlled atmosphere within, where child care director Meher Van Groenou has made environmental health one of her top priorities. The school serves 120 toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners in Castro Valley, California.1 Within its five classrooms, most toys and utensils are made of wood, glass, or stainless steel. Posted. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/121-a160/ BLOGS No. 2 at California toxic substances control department resigns. Odette Madriago, the chief deputy director of the Department of Toxic Subtances Control has resigned from her post to take a lower-level job at the agency before she retires at end of the year. Madriago's decision to leave came after the non-profit Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission that she had a financial stake in some companies that the department regulates. The group has also published a report that accused Madriago of blunting state regulatory efforts. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/the_state_worker/2013/05/no-2-at-california-toxic-substances-control-department-resigns.html#storylink=cpy Enviros Livid as Brown Diverts Cap-and-Trade Funds. Starting this year, many big industrial emitters in California are having to pay for the right to put greenhouse gases into the air. "Totally disappointed." That was Kathryn Phillips' reaction when she read the fine print in Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget. Phillips, state director for the Sierra Club, is one of a chorus of voices from the environmental community howling over Brown's decision to divert revenue from the state's cap-and-trade program into the general fund -- temporarily, he says. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/05/14/enviros-livid-as-brown-diverts-cap-and-trade-funds/ GOLDEN EAGLES: Wind farms get a pass for killing protected raptors. The killing of iconic golden eagles is a federal crime that has been enforced by the Obama administration when birds drown in oil company waste pits or when they are electrocuted in power lines. But when the birds slam into the spinning blades of wind turbines and fall lifeless to the ground, the wind farm owners get a pass…Posted. http://blog.pe.com/environment/2013/05/15/golden-eagles-wild-farm-deaths-occur-with-impunity/#more-3148 AIR POLLUTION: Ban considered for beach bonfires. That bonfire you look forward to at the beach? It could be a thing of the past under new regulations being considered by Southern California air quality regulators. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is trying to reduce emissions from wood smoke, which causes respiratory irritation and aggravates asthma and other respiratory diseases. The district’s board will consider Rule 444, which would prohibit open wood burning on beaches, at its meeting on June 7. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/environment/2013/05/14/air-pollution-ban-considered-for-beach-bonfires/#more-3141