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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 10, 2013. Posted: 10 Jun 2013 12:50:23
ARB Newsclips for June 10, 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. AIR RESOURCES BOARD ARB fines Yamaha Motor Corporation for violating air regulations. California's Air Resources Board (ARB) announced yesterday that it has fined Yamaha Motor Corporation $44,625 to settle violations of California air pollution regulations. The penalties were imposed after Yamaha notified ARB about violations related to portable generators and all-terrain vehicles. The subject equipment may be familiar to Bakersfield residents and those who enjoy off-roading and camping in Kern County's recreational areas. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/arb-fines-yamaha-motor-corporation-for-violating-air-regulations Akrapovic America fined $88,000 for illegally modified motorcycle exhausts. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced yesterday that Akrapovic America LLC, was fined $88,000 for air quality violations related to the sale of illegal aftermarket motorcycle exhaust systems in California. Bakersfield and Kern County racing enthusiasts may be familiar with the Akrapovic brand and its history in motorcycle racing. ARB investigators discovered that Akrapovic sold replacement motorcycle exhaust systems that replaced critical components such as catalytic converters. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/akrapovic-america-fined-88-000-for-illegally-modified-motorcycle-exhausts Motorcycle manufacturer fined $175,000 by Air Resources Board. California's Air Resources Board announced yesterday that it had fined Piaggio Group Americas, Inc. $175,000 for violating state air pollution regulations. The violations were associated with the company's Aprilia brand of motorcycles. Aprilia is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of motorcycles and scooters. According to a quick search of local dealers, however, Bakersfield motorcycle enthusiasts may need to travel to Fresno or Simi Valley to find the nearest Aprilia dealer. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/motorcycle-manufacturer-fined-175-000-by-air-resources-board AIR POLLUTION UN Climate Goals Possible With Efficiency Measures, IEA Says. Improving energy efficiency is among four policies that the International Energy Agency said can help achieve emissions cuts needed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The measures would reduce energy-industry emissions by about 3.1 billion metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent compared with a business-as-usual scenario, the Paris-based adviser to 28 developed nations said in an e-mailed report. The reduction is about 80 percent of what’s needed by the end of the decade to meet the United Nations goal of keeping global temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-10/un-2020-climate-goal-possible-with-efficiency-measures-iea-says.html http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-10/un-2020-climate-goal-possible-with-efficiency-measures-iea-says.html http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/10/iea-emissions-idUSL5N0EM1V320130610 http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/carbon-dioxide-emissions-rose-14-percent-in-2012-iea-report-says/2013/06/09/35d32bac-d123-11e2-8cbe-1bcbee06f8f8_story.html http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/06/10/report-global-carbon-emissions-hit-record-high http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/10/iea-energy-emissions-rose-to-record-high-in-2012/ L.A.-Long Beach Area Has Worst Ozone Pollution In U.S. Three California cities - Long Beach, Los Angeles and Riverside - once again have the highest level of ozone pollution of any metropolitan area in the country. The Long Beach-L.A.-Riverside metro was No. 1 on the list of Top 10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities in the American Lung Association's 2013 State of the Air rankings. This metro area has topped the list for the worst ozone pollution in the country for 13 of the 14 years the report has been issued. It came in fourth on the list of the Top 10 Cities Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution (soot). Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23426074/l-long-beach-area-has-worst-ozone-pollution#ixzz2VpiL3trU French Air Traffic Controllers Set to Strike. Air traffic controllers in France have planned three days of strikes beginning Tuesday, and their counterparts in several other European countries were expected to take more limited labor action this week, to protest a plan by the European Commission to accelerate the integration of air traffic management systems across the Continent. France’s civil aviation authority made contingency plans over the weekend, asking airlines serving the country’s airports in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseille…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/business/global/french-air-traffic-controllers-set-to-strike.html?_r=0 PERRIS VALLEY LINE: Environmental group says it’s not trying to kill project. A small Riverside environmental group that persuaded a judge to halt a 24-mile commuter rail line maintains it isn’t trying to kill the $232.7 million project, but make it friendly to the environment and neighborhoods. Three members of Friends of Riverside’s Hills said this week they are willing to negotiate a compromise with the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the regional agency planning the Perris Valley Line, to pave the way for certifying a crucial environmental impact report and launching construction. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20130609-perris-valley-line-environmental-group-says-its-not-trying-to-kill-project.ece BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY California Achieves Cleaner Air Despite Having More Cars. Despite a threefold increase in people and cars in the last 50 years, California's strict vehicle emissions standards have managed to significantly clear the state's air, according to new research. The study also found that Southern California's air chemistry has changed for the better. The amount of organic nitrates in the atmosphere -- which cause smog's eye-stinging irritation -- has drastically fallen off, according to federal researchers. Posted. http://www.governing.com/news/state/mct-ca-achieves-cleaner-air-despite-more-cars.html# CLIMATE CHANGE California Summit Leaves Host of Unresolved U.S.-Sino Issues. Xi also must guard against being seen as overly friendly with the American president, Pei says. Zhu Rongji, who set China on its path to become a global trading power, was often criticized by rivals for being too popular in the West. As the summit ended, an agreement was announced to work together on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, which the White House called “an important new step to confront global climate change.” Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-09/california-summit-leaves-host-of-unresolved-u-s-chinese-issues.html UN Green Climate Fund Signs Agreement to Set Up HQ in S. Korea. The United Nations Green Climate Fund signed an agreement with South Korea to locate its headquarters in Incheon, west of Seoul. The fund chose South Korea from six bidders last year, according to a statement on the fund’s website. The agreement includes privileges for the fund’s staff, Sung Moon Up, deputy director general at South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said by phone today, without giving details. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-10/un-green-climate-fund-signs-agreement-to-set-up-hq-in-s-korea.html Sunnylands: Obama and Xi deepen ties, talk climate change. Wide-ranging talks at an unusual two-day summit allowed President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sketch out plans for a stronger relationship, air their differences and try to prevent future conflicts between the world’s two biggest economies. Both governments said the talks provided valuable face time for the leaders, giving them an opportunity to discuss various subjects, including cybersecurity, concerns about North Korea’s nuclear program and efforts to boost economic cooperation. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013306080030&nclick_check=1 President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree to wind down production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The agreement between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday to wind down the production and consumption of a class of chemicals commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners could mark a key step toward eliminating some of the most potent greenhouse gases. The United States and roughly 100 other countries have already pledged to seek substitutes. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/president-obama-and-chinese-president-xi-jinping-agree-to-wind-down-production-and-use-of-hydrofluorocarbons-or-hfcs/2013/06/08/92e4d79e-d08f-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982542/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Nuclear plant shutdown to increase California's reliance on natural gas. California's growing reliance on natural gas to fuel its power plants will increase and power prices will remain elevated following Southern California Edison's decision to retire a crippled nuclear power plant. Both reactors at the 2,150-megawatt (MW) San Onofre plant will be permanently closed due to uncertainty over the cost and timing of restarting one of the units, said SCE, a unit of California energy company Edison International, on Friday. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/09/us-utilities-sanonofre-natgas-analysis-idUSBRE95802620130609 UPDATE 2-Duke's Indiana Edwardsport coal power plant enters service. Duke Energy Corp's 618-megawatt (MW) Edwardsport coal-fired power plant in Indiana has entered service, the power company said on Monday. Edwardsport cost about $3.5 billion, including financing. Duke, the biggest U.S. power company, said it will be able to recover about $2.6 billion of that cost from its 790,000 Indiana ratepayers. The plant uses an advanced integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology to gasify coal, strip out pollutants, and then burn the cleaner gas to produce electricity. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/10/utilities-operations-duke-edwardsport-idUSL3N0EM2G720130610 Abandoned Oil Wells Raise Fears of Pollution. Amid the dry weeds on a 470-acre ranch here, a rusted head of steel pokes up, a vestige of an oil well abandoned decades ago. Across the field stand two huge, old wooden oil tanks, one of them tilting like a smokestack on the Titanic. “Basically I get 61 acres here I can’t do anything with,” said Stuart Carter, the landowner, who is in a legal dispute with the oil producer operating on part of his ranch over who should clean up the site. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/us/abandoned-oil-wells-raise-fears-of-pollution.html?ref=earth A long cooling-off period for San Onofre nuclear plant. Tearing down San Onofre's two nuclear reactors will be a technically complex job completed over decades. It's likely Southern California Edison will first mothball the plant. Southern California Edison built San Onofre's two nuclear reactors in about nine years, but tearing them down will be a technically complex, multibillion-dollar job completed over decades. It is likely that Edison first will mothball the plant, which under federal rules could keep its imposing imprint on the Orange-San Diego County coastline for another half-century. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-san-onofre-nuclear-20130609,0,3498797.story Turning cow dung into electricity. Dairy farmers have been burned by systems that promise to turn manure into power, but a new generation of digesters could revive this segment of the renewable energy field. Dairy farmer Ron Koetsier's 1,200 cows produce roughly 90 tons of manure daily, and for the last three decades, he has tried unsuccessfully to turn the stinky dung into energy to power his 450-acre farm in Visalia. Posted. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/07/business/la-fi-dairy-digester-20130609 VEHICLES Diesel cars and SUVs make a comeback in California. Once derided as dirty and shunned by consumers, diesel cars have made a comeback in California as green machines. While public attention has focused on flashier technologies like all-electric, hydrogen or hybrid vehicles, registrations for diesel cars and sport-utility vehicles jumped 55 percent in California from 2010 to 2012, according to figures compiled by auto information specialist R.L. Polk & Co. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/09/5480758/diesel-cars-and-suvs-make-a-comeback.html#storylink=cpy GREEN ENERGY Pentagon green energy award tops $19 billion in May contracts. The Pentagon bucked the automatic budget-cutting trend last month by going green. The U.S. Defense Department kicked off a renewable energy program with a contract that may reach $7 billion as the Obama administration seeks to curb the military’s fossil-fuel use. The agreement, with initial awards to Munich-based Siemens, Chicago-based Exelon’s Constellation Energy Group and three other companies, topped the more than 240 contracts announced by the military in May, according to federal data. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pentagon-green-energy-award-tops-19-billion-in-may-contracts/2013/06/08/2056810c-cf7f-11e2-8f6b-67f40e176f03_story.html MISCELLANEOUS Rail Project At Los Angeles Port Draws Environmentalists' Ire. In California, a high-profile lawsuit is seeking to halt construction of a new $500 million rail yard next to the Port of Los Angeles. Activists, including a national environmental group that's spearheading the opposition, say the massive project would mean even more pollution for nearby neighborhoods that already have some of the worst air in the country. The planned Southern California International Gateway is part of a multibillion-dollar effort that aims to ensure that L.A.'s sprawling port doesn't lose business once the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2013/06/10/189279823/rail-project-at-l-a-port-draws-environmental-group-ire?ft=1&f=1025 OPINIONS End obstruction; support Metrolink extension to Perris. Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” One organization that needs to pay heed to the old adage is the Friends of Riverside’s Hills. Taking NIMBYism to an extreme, this “environmental” organization actually brought a lawsuit to stop a transit project that has been in the works for more than 10 years. Metrolink, one of Southern California’s biggest success stories, has changed lives by offering an environmentally responsible option for long-term commuters, and a significant number of its riders come from Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/local-views-headlines/20130609-opinion-end-obstruction-support-metrolink-extension-to-perris.ece BLOGS Air polluters like to send their emissions across state lines. If you near a state line, you might be getting an unusually heavy dose of pollution from your neighbors across the border. That’s the conclusion of a working paper by political scientists James Monogan, David Konisky and Neal Woods. They report that air polluting facilities in the United States are disproportionately likely to be located near downwind borders. When the breeze picks up, noxious emissions are hustled out of state and become someone else’s problem. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/09/air-polluters-like-to-send-their-emissions-across-state-lines/ With CO2 Cuts Tough, U.S. and China Pledge a Push on Another Greenhouse Gas. As some environmental analysts had hoped, President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China found room to maneuver on global warming in their California desert retreat. They sidestepped the super wicked issues impeding restrictions of the greenhouse gas of greatest concern, carbon dioxide, and staff released a joint statement on plans to cut releases of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a potent group of heat-trapping gases. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/with-co2-cuts-tough-u-s-and-china-pledge-a-push-on-another-greenhouse-gas/?pagewanted=print Energy Agency Makes Case for Climate-Wise Energy Steps. The International Energy Agency today released a helpful report that charts four climate-wise (if fairly familiar) actions countries can pursue to make a difference in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020. There’s a low bar to entry, the agency noted, saying these steps “can deliver significant emissions reductions by 2020, rely only on existing technologies and have already been adopted successfully in several countries.” Here are the four core points, followed by a slide show and related links. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/energy-agency-makes-case-for-climate-wise-energy-steps/ Airlines Push for Global Measures to Control Carbon Emissions. Despite the unpopularity of a European aviation carbon emission tax, the world’s airlines are ready to discuss global measures. Last week, airlines called on the aviation authorities to find a way to curb emissions after 2020. The announcement, which calls on the International Civil Aviation Organization, the civilian sky’s U.N. regulating body, to adopt an across-the-board, market-based mechanism to offset emissions…Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/airlines-push-for-global-measures-to-control-carbon-emissions/ How fracking companies exploit Amish farmers. It’s no secret that fracking companies engage in some shady behavior. But a report in The New Republic reveals just how low they’ll sink in the rush to exploit natural gas: Energy companies in eastern Ohio — home to the world’s largest Amish population and billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves — have been convincing Amish farmers to sign away drilling rights to their land for far less than they’re worth…Posted. http://grist.org/news/how-fracking-companies-exploit-amish-farmers/ A drunk person, a child, and a blind man get into a car. Who’s driving? Cars that drive themselves seemed like science fiction just a few years ago, but recent demonstration projects have shown that the technology is already here. Self-driving car technology, pioneered by Google, has advanced so quickly that its ubiquitous presence on city streets is now simply a matter of time. Boosters say that mass-market autonomous cars are only three to five years away; others estimate at least 10 years. No one doubts they are coming. Posted. http://grist.org/article/a-drunk-person-a-child-and-a-blind-man-get-into-a-car-whos-driving/