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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. CAP AND TRADE 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. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-06/eu-proposes-lowest-allowed-limit-for-imported-carbon-credits.html 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130606-909253.html?mod=googlenews_wsj AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/06/5477150/aftermarket-exhaust-systems-bring.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Ameren-can-t-transfer-pollution-waiver-to-Dynegy-4583735.php#ixzz2VYErPob5 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_23405549/spare-air-alert-called-friday-bay-area?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_23405549/spare-air-alert-called-friday-bay-area?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/06/5476707/washington-state-hires-climate.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5478280/deadline-near-to-apply-for-climate.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Wash-U-gets-300K-for-climate-research-4586034.php#ixzz2VYEP7skN 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. http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/news/california-news/4432-perez-advances-new-statewide-energy-procurement-policy.html 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS 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. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/07/column-kemp-shale-idUSL5N0EJ23W20130607 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-05/fossil-fuel-divestment-difficult-for-schools-yet-alternatives-exist.html 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. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/business/huge-petroleum-coke-pile-making-way-back-to-canada.html 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-poll-fracking-20130607,0,7466494.story http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-now-live-fracking-poll-20130606-dto,0,4871479.story 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5479145/oil-falls-below-95-after-us-jobs.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2013/06/06/california-company-launches-industry-first-alternative-fuel-for-trucks/ http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/06/5477332/volvo-trucks-to-commercialize.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/9921/court-rules-californiaundefineds-lcfs-will-remain-in-effect http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/9147/recent-lcfs-court-ruling-wont-have-much-impact-on-biodiesel 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/07/eu-cars-idUSL5N0EI3RP20130607 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/06/johnsonmatthey-results-idUSL5N0EI0EG20130606 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-electric-car-20130607,0,6461561.story?track=rss 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-hydrogen-fuel-stations-20130605,0,3199910.story 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-autos-toyota-corolla-20130607,0,2527257.story 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-electric-cars-sold-out-20130605,0,2362712.story HIGH-SPEED RAIL 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/06/us-usa-california-rail-idUSBRE9551BI20130606?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rail-contract-20130607,0,1301519.story?track=rss http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_23405434/california-high-speed-rail-approves-cheapest-firm-start?source=rss&utm_source=feedly http://capradio.org/4446?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CapitalPublicRadioLatestNewsRSS+%28Capital+Public+Radio%3A+Latest+News+RSS%29 http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=247570 GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/business/senate-bill-sweetens-loans-for-energy-efficient-homes.html?src=rechp&_r=0 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. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-edison-closing-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-20130607,0,7920425.story http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5479205/calif-utility-says-it-will-retire.html http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Calif-utility-will-close-troubled-nuclear-plant-4586342.php 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. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-why-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-closing-cost-20130607,0,885030.story 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. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/07/tp-renewables-progress-but-not-fast-enough/ 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_23404932/exclusive-john-woolard-steps-down-ceo-brightsource-energy 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jun/07/ci-climate-science-institute-and-camp-to-unite-stu/ 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. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/06/05/cost-of-getting-apple-employees-out-of.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_sanjose+%28Silicon+Valley+%2F+San+Jose+Business+Journal%29 OPINIONS 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 November…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5477915/state-should-use-carbon-funds.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5477918/a-sweet-deal-on-solar-for-consumers.html#storylink=cpy 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. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5474942/97-is-nothing-new.html#storylink=cpy 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? Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5477910/money-grab-would-hurt-states-climate.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/07/5479028/review-best-picks-among-newly.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/06/07/3332233/china-and-the-us-a-little-big.html BLOGS 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. http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/03/in-japan-electric-vehicles-seem-to-have-run-out-of-juice/ 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. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/06/07/2014-ford-fiesta-gets-fuel-economy-bump-to-41-mpg/