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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 7, 2013.

Posted: 07 Jun 2013 12:48:17
ARB Newsclips for June 7, 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.


EU Proposes Lowest Allowed Limit for Imported Carbon Credits. The
European Union’s regulatory arm proposed to set the quota for
international carbon credits at the lowest level allowed by law
after imports aggravated a record glut of permits in the EU
emissions-trading system.  Participants in the world’s biggest
carbon market will be entitled between 2008 and 2020 to use
United Nations’ credits totaling up to 11 percent of the EU
permits granted to them for free in 2008-2012, according to a
draft regulation published by the European Commission yesterday.

The Cap-and-Trade Program & Data Centers: Encouraging Efficiency
or Suffocating Investment?  Now in its 8(th) year,
DatacenterDynamics Converged San Francisco has become the largest
event for the Data Center industry on the West Coast. Speakers
will include David Gauthier from Microsoft, Thomas Furlong from
Facebook and Jonathon G. Koomey, Ph.D., Stanford University.  At
the start of this year, California became the first state to put
a price on carbon emissions. The Cap-and-Trade program, part of
California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), forms a core
part of that state's ambitious energy policy targets. Posted. 


Aftermarket exhaust systems bring $500,000 fine from California
air board. The California Air Resources Board has fined Santa Fe
Springs-based Vance & Hines Performance LLC $500,000 for
violations of air quality laws related to the sale of illegal
aftermarket motorcycle exhaust systems in the state. ARB said a
late 2012 investigation found that Vance & Hines sold, advertised
and offered for sale motorcycle exhaust systems that replaced
original emissions-critical components, such as catalytic
converters. Posted.

Ameren can't transfer pollution waiver to Dynegy.  Ameren Corp.
cannot transfer a waiver from pollution controls at five
coal-fired power plants when it sells the plants to Dynegy Inc.,
the Illinois Pollution Control Board said Thursday. Houston-based
Dynegy announced in March that it would acquire Ameren's Illinois
coal plants, and wanted to assume a pollution-control waiver that
gave Ameren a five-year delay in installing soot-control
equipment required by state rules. Posted.

Spare the Air alert called for Friday in the Bay Area.  The
second Spare the Air alert of the summer season has been called
for Friday as high temperatures are expected to brew unhealthy
concentrations of smog in the Bay Area.  "We are about on track.
This is about normal for what we'd see at this time of year,"
said Lisa Fasano, spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality
Management District. "But with the way the weather pattern is
looking this weekend, we're watching it very closely. We may also
have to call it for Saturday and Sunday."  Posted. 


Washington state hires climate consultant to shrink greenhouse
gases. A legislative workgroup chaired by Gov. Jay Inslee voted
unanimously Tuesday to hire a Virginia-based climate consultant
to examine Washington State’s options for reducing greenhouse
gases that are contributing to global climate change. The Climate
Legislative and Executive Workgroup is tasked with figuring out
the best way for Washington to meet its goal of slashing
greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 –…Posted.

Deadline near to apply for climate money. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has set a
June 14 deadline for California farmers and land stewards to
apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program. The program is
designed to provide conservation benefits, including improvement
of water/soil quality, wildlife habitat enhancement and adoption
of conservation practices addressing climate change. Posted.

Wash. U gets 300K for climate research. Washington University in
St. Louis has been awarded a federal grant of about $300,000 for
climate research. The Environmental Protection Agency said in a
release Wednesday that Washington University is among 13
institutions receiving a share of $4.3 million for climate
research aimed at helping the federal government improve its air
quality management and climate change models. Posted.

Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez Advances New Statewide Energy
Procurement Policy.  Sacramento, California - Today, Assemblyman
V. Manuel Pérez put forth a legislative proposal for a new
coordinated approach to state energy procurement that emphasizes
affordability and reliability, while helping the state meet its
greenhouse gas emission goals and improve air quality through the
enhanced use of renewable energy.  “Currently energy procurement
in California is guided by multiple policies that have
disconnected goals related to greenhouse gas emission reductions,
environmental protection, and the economy,” explained Pérez. 
“The state needs a clear, unified policy that coordinates these
goals, while addressing the real system needs of affordability
and reliability.”  Posted. 

A climate scientist and a meteorologist call for linking climate
change and extreme weather. In the past few years, the world has
seen, as Rutgers climate scientist Jennifer Francis put it, "a
smorgasbord of wacky weather." Droughts in England, floods in
England. Nor'easter after nor'easter in the U.S. Northeast. Snow
extending down to the warm south coast of the Mediterranean.
Swimsuit weather in March across the United States last year.
Extreme flooding in Europe in past years and this week. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982461/print BY


COLUMN-Scaling-up shale: Kemp. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic
fracturing are transformative technologies, but their eventual
impact on global oil and gas supplies depends on whether the
production techniques pioneered in just a handful of shale plays
in the United States can be replicated in others around the
world. So far the evidence remains thin. Only a tiny number of
shale wells have actually been fractured outside North America.

Schools Addressing Students' Fossil Fears Without Divesting.
Divesting university endowment holdings from fossil fuel
companies may be technically and financially difficult, and
schools considering doing so in response to student campaigns may
want to consider alternatives, investment professionals say.
Colleges and universities that have started divesting from fossil
fuel companies say despite the difficulties, it is possible and
that doing so is consistent with their schools' values even if
the action does not directly affect large electric, oil, and gas
companies. Posted.

Canadian Utility Finds a Use for Detroit’s Pile of Oil Sands
Byproduct. In something resembling a bottle return program,
Detroit’s enormous petroleum coke pile, a byproduct of Canadian
oil sands, is making its way back to Canada.  A Canadian
electrical power plant, owned by Nova Scotia Power, is chipping
away at the three-story-high, blocklong pile of petroleum coke on
Detroit’s waterfront. The company is burning the high-carbon,
high-sulfur waste product because it is cheaper than natural gas.

Californians uneasy about fracking's safety, lack of oversight.
More than 70% of voters favor banning or heavily regulating
chemical injections into the ground to tap oil and natural gas, a
USC Dornsife/L.A. Times poll finds. As energy companies seek to
plumb vast reserves of underground oil in California through the
controversial drilling technique known as fracking, voters are
concerned about its safety and uneasy with the state's lack of
oversight, according to a new poll. Posted.


Oil rises above $95, tracking stock market. The price of oil
jumped back above $95 Friday, following stock markets higher
after the U.S. government reported that May was another month of
steady job growth. In morning trading in New York, benchmark oil
for July delivery was up 87 cents to $95.63 a barrel. The oil
market's initial reaction to the report from the Labor Department
was negative. Oil fell as low as $93.72 a barrel after the jobs
numbers came out. Posted.

California Company Launches Industry-First Alternative Fuel for
Trucks. The performance of a new clean-burning alternative fuel
for heavy duty trucks will soon be tested in California.
San-Diego-based Oberon Fuels has developed a process to convert
biogas or natural gas into a clean burning fuel called
dimethyl-ether or DME. DME is sulfur-free and generates no
harmful particulate matter. Oberon will test DME’s performance in
heavy-duty commercial Volvo trucks driven by Safeway for
operations in the San Joaquin Valley. Posted.


Court rules California’s LCFS will remain in effect.  On June 3,
California’s Fifth District Court of Appeal handed down a
provisional ruling in the lawsuit filed by Poet LLC against the
California Air Resources Board in regard to the state’s low
carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program. According to court
documents, the LCFS will continue to operate.  Poet originally
filed the lawsuit in January 2012. It alleges that the
environmental impacts of the LCFS were not adequately studied,
and therefore the program should be discontinued.  Posted. 


Coal may not regain its dominance in the electricity sector –
study. While coal consumption by U.S. electric utilities has
rebounded from 2012's historic low levels, a new analysis from
SNL Financial suggests that coal will not regain its dominance
among energy fuels as utilities and independent power producers
gravitate toward natural gas, wind, solar and other alternate
fuels to meet U.S. electricity demand. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982446/print BY

Drilling damages the environment, groups say; fracking not so
much. Environmental groups conceded in comments sent to Congress
that there's little or no proof that hydraulic fracturing,
defined as one step in the broader process of producing shale oil
and gas, has contaminated drinking water. Oil and gas production
made possible by the fracturing, or fracking, process, however,
has caused widely documented damage to public health and the
environment, they said, particularly water contamination. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059982448/print BY


Germany in new push against EU car emissions plan-draft. Germany
has put forward a fresh proposal on regulating carbon dioxide
limits for cars sold in the European Union, which campaigners say
is a last-ditch attempt to dilute a new emissions law. Germany
has been pushing for months for greater flexibility in
implementing an emissions goal of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per
kilometre (g/km) as an average across new EU vehicles from 2020.

UPDATE 2-U.S. auto recovery cushions Johnson Matthey profit drop.
A recovering U.S. auto market cushioned catalyst maker Johnson
Matthey's drop in annual profit, sending its shares to an
all-time high as it forecast steady progress due to tougher rules
on vehicle emissions. Johnson Matthey, the world's largest maker
of catalysts that control vehicle emissions, was badly hit by the
impact of weaker metals prices on its division that refines,
markets and distributes platinum - used in catalytic converters -
and other precious metals. Posted.

Plug is pulled on electric car booster's meeting with Obama. Paul
Scott got an invitation to a DNC fundraiser in Santa Monica and
hoped to tell the president about the merits of electric cars.
But the invitation was rescinded and his large donation returned.
If history dwells at all on President Obama's trip this week to
California, it will probably be because of his Friday meeting in
Rancho Mirage with President Xi Jinping of China. Posted.

U.S. trails in building fueling stations for hydrogen-powered
cars. Hyundai Motor Co. rolled out the first 15 of its
hydrogen-powered ix35 sport utility vehicles headed to 
Copenhagen this week. But part of the news for U.S. drivers
interested in the technology was the fact that the event was in
Europe and not here. The reason could be summed up in one word:
infrastructure. Europe has it for this kind of demonstration; the
U.S. does not. Posted.

Toyota adds some pizazz to its typically plain-vanilla Corolla.
The redesigned compact gets more aggressive styling, more room
and more standard features as Toyota tries to keep it atop the
hyper-competitive small-car segment. What do you do with a car
that is approaching sales of 40 million globally since its
introduction 47 years ago? Don't mess it up, and don't forget the
competition. That sums up the challenge for Toyota in launching
the 11th generation of its workhorse Corolla sedan, the
economy-car equivalent to Ford's Model T. Posted.

Strong demand for electric vehicles leaves supplies short.  If
you've been enticed by the recent spate of cheap lease deals on
electric cars, good luck finding one.  Southern California
dealers are seeing heavy demand for battery-powered cars, now
leasing for as little as $199 a month. Fiat's new 500e has
waiting lists even though it hasn't hit dealer lots. And Honda
dealers have already sold out of the Fit EV since a $259 lease
was announced Thursday.  Posted. 


California bullet train project lurches ahead as contractor
chosen. California moved a step closer to building a high-speed
train line on Thursday, when a state commission chose a
contractor to handle construction of the route's first leg from
Merced to Fresno in the state's breadbasket. The rail line, a
major priority of California Governor Jerry Brown, would send
passengers hurtling through the state's fertile San Joaquin
Valley as they zipped from San Diego to points north, eventually
including Sacramento and San Francisco. Posted.




Bill Would Sweeten Loans for Energy-Efficient Homes. Home buyers
purchasing energy-efficient properties could qualify for larger
mortgages than their incomes would normally allow under a Senate
bill reintroduced Thursday with broad real estate industry
support. The measure would allow lenders to include projected
energy savings from efficiency upgrades when measuring the
borrower’s income against expenses and the value of the home
against the debt. Posted.

Edison will shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant for good.
Southern California Edison announced Friday it would shut down
the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant. The move comes 17
months after the San Onofre plant was closed because of problems
in steam generator systems. The plant powered about 1.4 million
households in Southern California before the outage. Until now,
Edison had vowed to restart the plant. But the company released a
statement Friday saying it would stop the process to fire up the
plant. Posted.


Why is San Onofre nuclear plant closing? How much will this cost?
Southern California Edison's decision to close the San Onofre
nuclear power plant comes after problems with the steam
generators. Q: What was the problem at San Onofre? High vibration
and other issues degraded about 8.7% of the tubes in the
replacement steam generators at San Onofre and led to a leak of
radioactive water in one generator, according to the manufacturer
of the generators. Posted.

Renewables in progress, but not fast enough.  Renewable energy
technologies have had their successes.  The average cost of a
solar power system has fallen by 31 percent in the past two
years. Solar now generates six times more electricity in the U.S.
than it did a decade ago, and wind produces 14 times more. Most
major automakers offer some type of electric vehicle.  And this
success has come despite the fact that renewable energy’s major
benefit — that it doesn’t pollute — is given little or no value
in the marketplace because most governments haven’t adopted taxes
or penalties for fossil fuel pollution.  Posted. 

Bill would raise renewable energy target to 51% by 2030.
California lawmakers are considering a major boost in the state's
renewable energy targets. State Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez (D)
on Wednesday added language to a bill that would require the
state's utilities to get 51 percent of their electricity from
renewable energy by 2030. The current target is 33 percent by
2020, which utilities are on their way to meeting (ClimateWire,
Jan. 15). Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982463/print BY

Calling for compromise around a 'most of the above' energy plan.
Instead of an "all of the above" U.S. energy policy as President
Obama and others support, what about a "most of the above"
strategy? That is the formula advocated by Michael Levi, director
of the energy security and climate change program at the Council
on Foreign Relations, in his newest book, "The Power Surge." The
strategy implies a willingness of energy developers and
environmental advocates and their political allies to look for
common approaches to the greatest energy and environmental
challenges and opportunities, while setting aside less crucial
parts of their agendas. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059982468/print BY


Exclusive: John Woolard steps down as CEO of BrightSource Energy.
 John Woolard is stepping down as CEO of Oakland-based
BrightSource Energy, the solar thermal company he has led for
seven years. Woolard's departure, effective last Friday, has been
under discussion for several months, he and other company
officials told this newspaper, and comes as the privately held
company pivots from being primarily a developer of
California-based projects to a solar thermal technology provider
in partnership…Posted.

CI Climate Science Institute and Camp to Unite Students, Teachers
and Climate Experts.  CSU Channel Islands (CI) will hold its
second Summer Climate Science Institute and Camp, which will
bring together NASA scientists, climate science experts, local
teachers and students for seven days of learning about climate
change and the science behind it.  The Teacher Institute kicks
off Monday, June 24. Eighteen science teachers from the Oxnard
Union High School District…Posted. 

Cost of getting Apple employees out of their cars? $35 million.
Getting Apple workers out of their cars doesn't come cheap. The
Mac maker plans to spend $35 million a year as part of its
"transportation demand management" program, according to the
economic impact report that set the tech world abuzz yesterday. A
TDM is a system companies use to reduce the number of its
employees' single-occupancy auto trips. That includes shuttle
systems, transit subsidies, bike sharing, and so on. Posted.


Editorial: State should use carbon funds to cut emissions. Voters
have sent a clear message on California's leadership role in
reducing energy emissions and costs. By a 22-point margin, voters
in 2010 rejected an oil industry-led voter initiative that sought
to roll back implementation of the landmark Assembly Bill 32, the
California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 that would reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The money from
four cap-and-trade auctions a year – February, May, August and

Another View: A sweet deal on solar for consumers. In an
editorial ("Bills advance that could have big impact on solar,"
June 3), The Bee asked again: "Does (California) want to make
solar energy available to all residents of the state at
reasonable prices, or does it want to side with the utilities,
which worry about more change to their business model?" We'd like
to set the record straight. PG&E believes that California should
absolutely have more solar at reasonable prices. The change we
worry about isn't to our business model. Posted.

Households should get all proceeds of a carbon tax. Re "Climate
debate is settled; carbon tax is vital" (Viewpoints, June 5): It
is nothing new that the vast majority (97 percent) of climate
scientists agree that fossil fuel pollution is causing climate
change around our planet. It is long past time for rational
people to support nationwide action to prevent the worst effects
of human-caused climate change. The article discusses the
advantages of a revenue-neutral carbon tax and dividend approach.

Viewpoints: Money grab would hurt state's climate cause. If you
listen to Jerry Brown, you'd think he was one of the foremost
climate change leaders around. At UC Berkeley's May graduating
class speech on May 20, he said, "the changes in our climate are
… soon to be irreversible." On May 23, The Bee reported that Gov.
Brown "complained bitterly" that "the news media ignores climate
change." Naturally, you would think he would proudly lead
California's effort to reduce our climate pollution. Right?

Review: Best picks among newly cheap electric cars. What would it
take to get you into an electric car today?  Forced by state
regulators to sell more zero-emission vehicles, automakers are
tripping over one another to offer consumers rock-bottom lease
deals. For the first time, electric vehicles are penciling out to
be cheaper than their gas-powered counterparts.  Honda joined the
price war last week by dropping the lease on its Fit EV from $389
to $259 a month. Posted.

China and the U.S.: a little big summit.  President Obama and
China's new leader, Xi Jinping, convene this week in Rancho
Mirage, Calif., for their first face-to-face discussion as
presidents. It is a summit without precedent in Sino-American
relations. Both leaders agreed to informal discussions very
different from the highly structured agendas generally associated
with presidential meetings.  Detached from the diplomatic
protocol and elaborate preparations of most summits and
physically far removed from both capitals, the two days of
meetings have a very different objective.  Posted. 


In Japan, electric vehicles seem to have run out of juice.  Japan
-- a leader in the development of electrically powered vehicles
-- has largely failed to fall for so-called EVs.  Not that the
Japanese don't care about CO2 emissions. Millions of dollars have
been spent by the state to promote greener alternatives to the
internal combustion engine, while hybrid car purchases remain the
highest in the world. Last year a whopping 40% of Toyota's (TM)
sales in Japan were hybrids.  Posted. 

2014 Ford Fiesta gets fuel economy bump to 41 mpg.  The 2014 Ford
Fiesta is in showrooms now with refreshed styling and new
performance ST model, but it's what isn't yet available that
should help the Fiesta stand out from the growing crowd of
subcompacts. Aside from the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost model coming
later this year, Ford recently told us that a new Fiesta SFE trim
level is on the way that should put the updated Fiesta at the top
of its class for fuel economy.  Posted. 

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