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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.


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.



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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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

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

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
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059981145/print  BY


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.

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. 


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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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