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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 6, 2013

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 13:51:13
ARB Newsclips for June 6, 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.


Poor ventilation in California classrooms may make kids ill,
researchers say. It's a crisp, clear day, and you decide to throw
open the windows to let the fresh air inside. Good thinking,
health experts say. But when it comes to public schools, a
majority of California elementary classrooms monitored for a new
indoor air study failed to meet minimum state health standards
for ventilating classrooms. In the largest study of its kind,
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers tracked the
outdoor ventilation rate in 162 classrooms. Posted.

Your Place: Dander, black carbon polluting the air.  You think
tree pollen has been in great quantity this spring? An
environmental research firm hired by Honeywell looked into what
air purifiers had captured over two months in houses in Los
Angeles and New York City and this is what was found: Black
carbon - emission sources include diesel engines, vehicles, and
residential heating. Heavy metals - trace metals include
aluminum, chromium, nickel, tin and lead, a known neurotoxin.



Options offered to prevent So. Cal fire pit ban. A proposed ban
on fire pits at Southern California beaches has made more than a
few people hot under the collar. But it may not happen. The
Orange County Register ( http://bit.ly/11lEB2n) says regulations
that stop short of a ban will be presented this week to the South
Coast Air Quality Management District. A board vote could come
next month. Posted.


Biomass power plant settles pollution violations. The operator of
a biomass power plant on the Mississippi River in Cassville will
pay $150,000 to settle air pollution violations. DTE Stoneman and
the state Department of Justice have signed the agreement in
Grant County Circuit Court. DTE Energy Services, of Ann Arbor,
Mich., bought the plant in 2008 and later converted it from coal
to biomass, including burning renewable wood waste. Posted.

Invention backed by EPA just might make you a regulator. Inventor
David Kuller is out to fix the most basic -- and, he says, most
flawed -- of human actions. Breathing. "Very few people, outside
of those studying yoga, are concerned with their breath," Kuller
said. "But there's so much we can learn from the breath about our
body. I think there's a movement of people learning how to
breathe better, and we want to be at the pilot of that." The
Obama administration agrees and has laid down a hefty bet that
Kuller can help people breathe smarter. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2013/06/06/stories/1059982419 BY


S.D. foundation gets climate-change grant.  The San Diego
Foundation has received a $425,000 grant from the Kresge
Foundation to help fund programs addressing climate change. The
money will support workshops, training and technical assistance
aimed at helping San Diego communities adapt to projected impacts
of shifts in climate. The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion,
private institution working to improve quality of life for future
generations in areas such as the environment, arts, health and
education. Posted.

Researchers develop tool to set cost and emissions targets for
energy sources. Climate change is an intractable problem, but not
impossible to solve. There are a number of approaches, from
sucking greenhouse gases from the air to switching to
zero-emissions energy sources that could avert disaster. Yet the
world's population continues to grow and use more energy, so
policymakers have to place their bets on what technologies will
pan out without bankrupting themselves in the process. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982365/print BY

USDA launches new efforts to help farmers adapt to climate
change. Field-baking droughts, pine-beetle outbreaks, massive
wildfires and other consequences of climate change have spurred
the Agriculture Department to introduce new measures to cut
greenhouse gases and make U.S. agriculture more resilient.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced three new programs to
address climate change yesterday, following on actions earlier
this year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982384/print BY


California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Rule Is Working, Study Says, but
Threats Loom.  California is replacing oil with cleaner-burning
fuels in cars and trucks, thanks to a landmark low-carbon fuel
rule, according to a recent report. But the rule's fate is
uncertain amid legal chaos and a shortfall in the production of
clean biofuels. The report, conducted by researchers at the
Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of
California, Davis, said California drivers saved more than two
billion gallons of gasoline in the two years since the launch of
the rule…Posted.

Natural-Gas Price Break May Aid Motor-Fuel Use: Chart of the Day.
Cars, trucks, trains and ships will increasingly run on natural
gas after the fuel’s price broke a traditional link with crude
oil, according to Edward L. Morse, Citigroup Inc.’s head of
global commodities research. As the CHART OF THE DAY shows, the
price of gas for immediate delivery dropped 32 percent at the
Henry Hub in Erath, Louisiana, since 2010. Posted.

EPA to investigate efforts to reduce methane leaks. The
Environmental Protection Agency's Inspector General plans to
investigate what actions are being taken to reduce methane leaks
from natural gas pipelines. The IG says in memo dated Monday that
they will review data and interview EPA staff, environmental
groups, industry associations, and scientists. There's no
estimate of when the investigation will be complete. Posted.


Lufthansa Tests Electric Taxiing to Reduce Fuel Spending.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA), Europe’s second-largest airline, is
testing electric ground-handling vehicles at Frankfurt airport to
help cut a fuel bill that reached a record 7.39 billion euros
($9.7 billion) in 2012.  Lufthansa is taking part in a 15.7
million-euro project at the airport, Europe’s third busiest by
passenger numbers, to use electric service vehicles such as
pusher tugs for plane taxiing, and to upgrade landing gear,
Germany’s Transport Ministry said in a statement. Posted.

Oak Ridge lab announces breakthrough with high energy-density car
battery. Safe, low-cost, energy-dense batteries are widely
considered to be the holy grail in furthering low-carbon energy
use. Making high-performance batteries has proved elusive, but
scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory claim they've
made a breakthrough. The Oak Ridge lab announced yesterday it has
designed and tested a completely solid lithium-sulfur battery
with about four times the energy density of comparable
lithium-ion battery technology. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982380/print BY


California high-speed rail's choice: Price or quality in building
first leg? The leaders behind California's $69 billion bullet
train face a stark choice Thursday: Should they save a hundred
million dollars or more by hiring a contractor with the poorest
qualifications or pick a more expensive firm they think would do
a better job? Bullet train critics say the state will pay more in
the long run by hiring a Southern California firm that came in
with the lowest bid but has a history of cost overruns. Posted.


Mongolia Opens $122 Million Wind Farm With Aim to Cut Pollution.
Mongolia is scheduled to start operations at its first wind farm
this month, a $122 million project that’s the biggest power plant
in 30 years and part of a government effort to cap pollution
cloaking the capital city. The 50-megawatt facility developed by
Clean Energy LLC using 31 turbines from General Electric Co. (GE)
is located on a wind-raked ridge about 45 miles (72 kilometers)
southwest of Ulaanbaatar. Posted.

House built by youth expected to achieve highest green standard. 
AKRON, Ohio -- At one time, the participants of YouthBuild Akron
were considered underachievers. Now they're about to attain one
of the highest achievements in their field. The young adults
recently finished renovating a house on Akron, Ohio's Garfield
Street that is expected to achieve LEED Platinum status, the
highest level of certification offered under the U.S. Green
Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
program. Posted.

Mass. touts high rankings in clean energy tech. A research and
consulting firm has ranked Massachusetts second in the country in
clean energy technology. California was the only state above
Massachusetts in the 2013 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index's
overall clean technology rankings. The rankings are done by Clean
Edge Inc., which credited the state for — among other things —
its commitment to energy efficiency and early stage technology
development. Posted.

U.S. utilities grow renewable energy but lack incentives for
efficiency. Electric utilities in Oregon, California and Texas
led the nation last year in green power sales using voluntary
programs in which customers pay a premium to receive electricity
produced using clean sources, according to Energy Department
figures released yesterday. The No. 1 utility for total green
power sales was Portland General Electric, with 834,125
megawatt-hours, according to data compiled by the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982362/print BY

DuPont extends, expands 2012 agreement with Chinese solar
company. DuPont Co., a U.S. chemical company, announced yesterday
that it has signed a second one-year, $100 million agreement with
a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese solar giant Yingli Green
Energy Holding Co., which includes the installation of a solar
plant at one of DuPont's facilities in China. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982363/print BY


Feds back California on JPMorgan energy trades. In a case with
echoes of Enron and the energy crisis, California officials won a
fight with a Wall Street power trader Wednesday over millions of
dollars’ worth of disputed electricity trades. The Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission ruled that traders at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
improperly manipulated California's energy markets between 2009
and 2011. The decision was a victory for the California
Independent System Operator, the Folsom entity that runs the
state's transmission grid and oversees spot-market electricity
trades. Posted.

The Cap-and-Trade Program & Data Centers: Encouraging Efficiency
or Suffocating Investment? The West Coast's Largest Event for the
Data Center Industry, DatacenterDynamics Converged San Francisco,
Will Explore the Relationship Between California's Cap-and-Trade
Program and Data Centers -- Does It Encourage Efficiency or
Suffocate Investment? Now in its 8th year, DatacenterDynamics
Converged San Francisco has become the largest event for the Data
Center industry on the West Coast. Posted.



Solar energy is a poor substitute for carbon tax. Re "Bills
advance that could have big impact on solar" (Editorials, June
3): Climate change is one of the most urgent problems in the
world. The Bee has written many good articles about the imminent
dangers from climate change. However, the action now that is the
most important is for Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature to tax
carbon. The bills referred to in this editorial regarding solar
energy will not make very much impact in reducing carbon
emissions. Posted.

Viewpoints: Climate debate is settled; carbon tax is vital. Last
month, a team of international citizen scientist volunteers
published the results of a survey of more than 12,000 peer-
reviewed climate science papers published over the past two
decades. They found that among climate research that takes a
position on what's causing global warming, 97 percent agree that
humans are responsible. Surprisingly, the survey found that the
scientific consensus on human-caused global warming had already
formed in the early 1990s, and has steadily grown stronger since
then. Posted.

An end-run with clean energy funds.  Gov. Brown wants to take
money from the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund and dole it out to
school districts and community colleges without regard to their
needs or plans. Approved by voters in November, Proposition 39 is
expected to raise close to $1 billion a year by eliminating a tax
break enjoyed by some multistate businesses. The money, however,
comes with a significant string attached: For the first five
years, half of it must be spent on projects that improve energy
efficiency and reduce greenhouse emissions. Posted.

Science of global warming not in dispute. Even though fewer and
fewer scientists remain skeptical about global warming every
year, a letter writer ("Seeing the worst in recent events," May
30) insists that there is no science behind the global warming
phenomenon. He has no perception of the time frame to which he
refers. Forty years ago, the global cooling trend he refers to
was projected to occur after the warming trend, over thousands,
perhaps millions of years. Posted.

Climate change: let's bury the CO2 problem.  How often have you
read that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solve the
problem of climate change – shortly followed by frustration and
disappointment? People might expect me, as a climate scientist,
to be disappointed by the failure of the attempt by the MP Tim
Yeo to set an ambitious decarbonisation target in Tuesday's
debate on the energy bill. But I'm not.  Not because I don't
think it is possible, or even desirable: get climate policy
right… Posted. 


Congress hates carbon pricing. The rest of the world doesn’t. The
idea of slapping a price on carbon to reduce emissions and tackle
global warming is moribund in Congress for now. But that’s not
the case elsewhere in the world. A big new World Bank report
(pdf) finds that more than 40 national governments and 20
sub-national governments have either put in place carbon-pricing
schemes or are planning one for the years ahead. That includes
either carbon taxes or some form of cap-and-trade. Here’s a map
of the countries that are planning the latter: Posted.

United planes to fly on advanced biofuel. United Airlines on
Tuesday announced it has committed to buy at least 15 million
gallons of cleaner-burning renewable jet fuel from a Los
Angeles-based refinery, marking a potentially major breakthrough
in the commercial aviation industry’s quest to pare carbon
dioxide emissions. United is planning to use the advanced biofuel
on flights out of its Los Angeles hub beginning next year.

AIR QUALITY: Citizens can now collect pollution data. The
implications are huge. Tech-savvy citizens can now bring
attention to pollution in neighborhoods, school campuses and
other places that might otherwise escape the notice of
regulators. I can think of several places in the Inland Empire
where  community-level data would be help clarify the
implications of living with some of the worst air in the United
States. I’d first look at data from neighborhoods near freeways,
rail yards and factories. Posted.

Not Your Granddaddy's Garbage Burners: Why Burning Waste for
Energy Fights Climate Change. When we think of climate change
deniers, tea partiers and republicans often come to mind. But
some of the most troubling stumbling blocks to reducing
greenhouse gases come from urban liberals and left-leaning
environmental groups who oppose burning municipal solid waste to
produce energy. In California, when new Waste To Energy plants
(WTEs) are proposed, they run into buzz saws of liberal
opposition. Consequently, California leads the nation in
landfilling, at 28 million tons. Posted.

Wildfire Smoke A Rising Health Concern With Climate Change. 
Suffocating smoke blew into the streets and schools of Cashmere,
Wash., in September -- the billowing byproduct of wildfires
blazing in forests surrounding the town and a harbinger of what
experts say is a public health threat that increases with climate
change.  "Everyone was in third period," ninth-grader Hugo Pina
told Seattle's KING 5 News. "We were all studying. Students said
their heads hurt. They couldn't breathe."  Posted. 

Carbon pricing is catching on around the globe — just not in
Washington, D.C.  More than 40 national governments and 20 states
or other “sub-national” governments are now charging polluters
for emitting greenhouse gases, or plan to start in the coming
years, according to a new report from the World Bank.  The U.S.,
of course, is not one of the countries with a national
cap-and-trade plan or carbon tax, but California and parts of New
England are pushing ahead despite Congress’ refusal to act. 

Arctic summers could be nearly ice-free in seven years. 
Everybody get ready to grab your swimsuit and head north. The
latest melting projections by government scientists suggest that
the Arctic could be nearly ice-free during summer in seven years
— or maybe even sooner.  But before you get all excited about the
novelty of taking a dive into waters that once harbored
year-round ice, we should warn you that the seven-year thing is a
worst-case scenario. Posted. 

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