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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 19, 2013 Posted: 19 Jun 2013 14:19:39
ARB Newsclips for June 19, 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 China Carbon Permits Trade 22% Below Europe on Market Debut. China traded its first carbon dioxide permits for 22% less than today’s price in Europe as the nation inaugurated the Shenzhen Emissions Exchange. The permits were priced from 28 yuan to 30 yuan ($4.90) a metric ton, according to Chen Hai’ou, chief executive officer and president of the exchange. That compares with 4.70 euros a ton ($6.30) today for European Union permits on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange, the world’s biggest carbon market by traded volume. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-06-18/china-carbon-permits-trade-22-below-europe-s-on-market-debut.html http://www.manmonthly.com.au/news/china-commences-its-first-carbon-trading-scheme Carbon Rescue Plan Wins Support of EU Parliamentary Panel. A panel of European Union lawmakers approved a watered-down rescue plan for the world’s biggest carbon market, after a record surplus of emission permits pushed prices to an all-time low. Carbon allowances for December fell after the European Parliament’s environment committee voted for a change to EU law that would allow delaying the sale of some carbon permits in an effort to support prices. Posted http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-19/carbon-market-rescue-plan-wins-support-of-eu-parliamentary-panel.html . US firms could save $780bn by cutting carbon emissions. Businesses in the US could save as much as $780 billion (£500bn) in the next 10 years or $190 billion (£121.6bn) in 2020 alone if they act now to cut carbon emissions. A new report released by the WWF and Carbon Disclosure Project (CPD) claims firms need to reduce emissions by an average of 3% every year until 2020 – equivalent to cutting total annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 gigatonnes compared to 1990 levels – to unlock the billions of dollars in cost savings. Posted. http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/06/19/us-firms-could-save-780bn-by-cutting-carbon-emissions/ Cleaning Up Diesel Trucks and Cooking Stoves Could Reduce Climate Change. Zeroing in on black carbon may slow the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions. Cutting our overall use of fossil fuels has proved a daunting challenge, but it might be possible to get some relief from the effects of climate change by selectively reducing the particulate pollution we produce. Recent research suggests that if we can clean up diesel engines and primitive cookstoves in India and China, for example that could delay the effects of greenhouse-gas buildup even if pollution from coal-fired power plants persists. Posted. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/515961/cleaning-up-diesel-trucks-and-cooking-stoves-could-reduce-climate-change/ California Air Board partners with China province to share cap-and-trade strategies. The agency that runs California's carbon cap-and-trade program will team with a Chinese province on strategies to fight climate change. California Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairwoman Mary Nichols yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Xu Anliang, director of the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission. The two agreed to share information on their carbon market trading programs. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983101/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Calif.-approved budget borrows from cap-and-trade recipients. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) may have brought California back from the brink of financial instability, but environmental groups are criticizing his use of revenue from the state's first year of carbon trading to help accomplish the feat. The $96.4 billion budget, which Brown and state lawmakers struck a deal last week, contains $500 million in loans from the cap-and-trade program, which is supposed to be used for emissions-reducing activities, particularly in low-income communities. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983095/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION New Effort to Quantify ‘Social Cost’ of Pollution. The Obama administration is making a second attempt to systematically account for the dollar damage from greenhouse gas pollution, even with no consensus on how to forestall global warming or whether to do so. Supporters of the idea acknowledge the tremendous difficulties of trying to translate slippery estimates into a single mathematical factor, difficulties that perhaps help explain why there is little hope of consensus now on climate policy. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/us/politics/new-effort-to-quantify-social-cost-of-pollution.html?_r=0 Study shows LAX does not exceed air pollution standards. Los Angeles International Airport is a focal point of air pollution in Los Angeles County, but the emissions from aircraft and motor vehicles do not exceed state and federal standards, according to a groundbreaking study released Tuesday. The $5.1-million effort -- the first of its kind done at a major commercial airport -- also called attention to the release of ultrafine particles in jet exhaust. The material is a potentially harmful pollutant that could be the next frontier in regulation. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-airport-pollution-study-20130618,0,3344806.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29 http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/18/study-lax-does-not-exceed-air-pollution-standards/ Battery recycler closed over pollution can reopen. A Southern California battery recycler has been allowed to reopen weeks after it was ordered to shut down because of concerns that toxic pollution was placing thousands of local residents at risk.Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin on Monday granted a restraining order permitting Exide Technologies to resume operations at its Vernon plant until a July 2 hearing on whether they should be halted again, City News Service reported. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/18/battery-recycler-closed-over-pollution-can-reopen/ Capital of Chinese Province With Worst Smog Restricts Car Sales. One of China’s most polluted cities will limit vehicle ownership through a lottery, becoming the latest locality to do so in the world’s largest auto market as air quality and traffic congestion worsen. Shijiazhuang, the capital of steel-producing Hebei province surrounding Beijing, will restrict the number of new vehicles to 100,000 this year and limit households to owning two cars, according to a Shijiazhuang Daily report posted on the local government’s website. That quota will be cut to 90,000 in 2015, with a lottery being used to determine who can buy cars, the report said. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-19/capital-of-chinese-province-with-worst-smog-restricts-car-sales.html First-class ticket: more legroom, more emissions. First-class air passengers have a carbon footprint as much as seven times larger than the average passenger’s; according to a new study from the World Bank. The study comes as airliners push the envelope of luxurious accommodations, while simultaneously aiming to 'green' their operations. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0617/First-class-ticket-more-legroom-more-emissions Germany leans on EU states to weaken car CO2 law. Senior members of the German government have warned EU member states that Germany's automakers could scale back or scrap production plans in their countries unless they support weakened carbon emissions rules, according to diplomatic sources. With EU governments and lawmakers aiming to finalize the rules next week, which most of the 27 member states back…Posted. http://europe.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130619/ANE/306189980/germany-leans-on-eu-states-to-weaken-car-emissions-law#axzz2WgSyNUMb How companies can bridge the 'gigaton gap' and make money – study. U.S. businesses that commit to cutting carbon emissions by 3 percent annually through 2020 could reap as much as $190 billion from reduced energy bills, increased productivity and innovation, and the tapping of new clean energy sources such as solar, a new report from the World Wildlife Fund and CDP has found. But the window of opportunity is closing fast, and failure to begin curbing emissions of carbon dioxide…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983075/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Time to stop arguing about climate change, World Bank says. The world should stop arguing about whether humans are causing climate change and start taking action to stop dangerous temperature rises, the president of the World Bank said on Wednesday. Jim Yong Kim said there was 97 to 98 percent agreement among scientists that global warming was real and caused by human activity. "If you disagree with the science of human-caused climate change you are not disagreeing that there is anthropogenic climate change. What you are disagreeing with is science itself," Kim told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in London. Posted. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/06/19/uk-worldbank-climate-idUKBRE95I0BN20130619 Obama to Outline Climate-Change Steps in Weeks, Aide Says. President Barack Obama will outline “commonsense” steps to tackle climate change in the weeks ahead, White House energy adviser Heather Zichal said, confirming what the president is telling donors privately. The administration plans include measures that don’t require congressional action, such as pushing energy efficiency standards for appliances, clean-energy production on public lands and regulations to curb carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-19/obama-to-outline-climate-change-steps-in-weeks-aide-says.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/19/obama-to-reveal-plan-to-combat-climate-change-aide-says/ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/science/earth/obama-preparing-big-effort-to-curb-climate-change.html?pagewanted=print Carbon rules for current power plants likely in White House rollout, aide hints. The top White House climate change adviser today stopped just short of saying that carbon dioxide regulations for existing power plants would be included when President Obama rolls out his second-term climate change strategy next month. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059983133/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS California senators want more information on oil well 'acid jobs'. California state legislators on Tuesday told regulators and oil industry lobbyists they wanted more information about the use of acid to increase flows in wells in a technique that is used more often in the state than the controversial fracking method. California's century-old oil sector has come in for greater scrutiny as companies make early attempts to tap the Monterey shale, a deep formation that holds an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil - twice that of North Dakota's widely publicized Bakken shale. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/19/us-california-oil-acidjobs-idUSBRE95I04320130619?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews Utilities Switch Off Investment in Fossil Fuel Plants. On the outskirts of Scunthorpe in northern England, workers at the large power station known as Keadby 1 are preparing to shut it down at the end of the summer, with the loss of about 40 jobs. Its owner, the British utility Scottish & Southern Energy, says fluctuations in global energy markets have made the natural gas power plant unprofitable despite a multi-million pound renovation, as demand for electricity has plummeted since the financial crisis. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/business/energy-environment/utilities-switch-off-investment-in-fossil-fuel-plants.html?pagewanted=all Gas Prices Moving Away From Link to Oil. Last month, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, of Japan, and GDF Suez of France said they would join with Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, California, to build a $10 billion liquefied natural gas plant in Hackberry, Louisiana. They joined several other non-U.S. companies, including Korea Gas and GAIL, a large Indian utility, in trying to lock up prospective U.S. exports of abundant, low-cost shale gas. Current low prices may not be the only attraction. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/business/energy-environment/gas-prices-moving-away-from-link-to-oil.html?ref=earth Study raises questions about producing ethanol from natural gas. As natural gas has become more abundant and cheap in the United States, several companies have looked to it, instead of corn and other plant-based materials, to produce ethanol. But a new study by an oil and gas industry-funded research group suggests that converting natural gas to ethanol may not offer any benefits over other feedstocks. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059983103/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Corn-based isobutanol maker defeats bugs, resumes commercial production. A major biofuel manufacturer has restarted production at its Luverne, Minn., corn isobutanol plant, having finally tamed the bug that forced an overhaul of the facility's operations. Denver-based Gevo Inc., one of two of the biggest bio-based isobutanol companies in the United States, had to shut down its 18-million-gallon-per-year plant in November to take care of an ongoing bacteria contamination problem. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983076/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Shale's long-term success in the U.S. poses challenges in the interim. By 2016 or 2017, surplus natural gas from U.S. shale plays should be headed away from new export terminals, retirements of older coal-fired generators should accelerate and new billion-dollar cracker installations will begin turning more gas liquids into petrochemical feedstocks, speakers at an energy forum predicted yesterday. The problem for much of the shale gas industry is how to stay healthy until then…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059983100/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES All of a Sudden, There Aren’t Enough Electric Cars to Keep Up with Demand. Electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Honda Fit EV used to languish on dealership lots for months. A pricing war with aggressive incentives and cheap lease deals has changed all that. Last year, Nissan sold about half the number of Leafs it had anticipated, marking two years in a row of disappointing sales for the electric car pioneer. One of the factors holding the Leaf back from appealing to the masses has been the upfront price premium drivers have had to pay for the cars, when compared with similar vehicles that run on plain old gas. Posted. http://business.time.com/2013/06/18/all-of-a-sudden-there-arent-enough-electric-cars-to-keep-up-with-demand/#ixzz2WgvBQHsz GREEN ENERGY Free Solar Electricity Service Could Unplug Electron Thievery. Coffee shops and retail stores still tolerate one of the last forms of socially acceptable stealing, to the relief of mobile users everywhere: electricity theft. More than half of Americans have smartphones, and many are as dependent on them as Caitlin MacCrate, 24, a student in New York. "I use it for everything, from my alarm clock, to my calendar, social connectivity, assignment tracking, to my to-do list. It's my all-encompassing tool," she said. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-19/free-solar-electricity-service-could-unplug-electron-thievery.html Making Energy Efficiency Attractive for Owners of Older Seattle Buildings. Switching to less power-hungry light bulbs is relatively easy, and the payoff relatively swift. But replacing furnaces or boilers or reconfiguring the building’s shell involves sinking millions of dollars into an asset that the owner may want to get rid of long before the investment has paid off. In a new twist, some investors, a technology company, a municipal utility and an environmentally oriented foundation have joined forces to show that major energy-efficiency improvements in commercial buildings may provide alluring new revenue to all involved. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/realestate/commercial/making-energy-efficiency-attractive-for-owners-of-older-seattle-buildings.html?ref=earth Palm Springs eyes $18M 'green' upgrade. An $18 million project to replace the city’s aging energy plant, replace incandescent lighting with LED bulbs and install a new irrigation system that can remotely monitor water usage will help the city become much greener and less wasteful, according to a staff report prepared for the City Council. The energy conservation measures will initially save the city an estimated $1 million in utility costs and grow to $2 million a year in savings after 20 years, if the city’s projections prove true. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013306180034 Batteries could trigger next solar boom, experts say. Solar energy storage solutions are primed for exponential growth and will help increase the amount of renewable power used by consumers, experts and industry executives said. And the boom, once again, is set to begin in Germany. Solar is already cost competitive at a residential level in many countries, and it takes demand away from previously installed traditional generation at the most valuable part of the day, the peak time. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983096/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Solar-powered boat basks at the foot of Broadway. Solar planes might be all the rage in the Washington, D.C., area this week, but at the foot of Broadway, in New York City's harbor, a solar boat is getting the limelight. For those behind the world's largest solar-powered ship, the MS Turanor PlanetSolar, last year was a good one. In 2012, the hulking Swiss boat successfully completed an around-the-world journey on nothing but sun power, making it the first solar vehicle to do so. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983068/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS L.A. approves ban on plastic grocery bags. The City Council votes 11 to 1 for the ordinance, which would go into effect in 2014. Shoppers can bring reusable bags or pay stores 10 cents per paper bag. Attention Los Angeles shoppers: The plastic bag is disappearing from more than just the supermarket. L.A. on Tuesday became the newest and by far the largest city to back a ban on plastic grocery bags, approving an ordinance that applies not just to food stores and mini marts but also big retail chains with their own line of groceries, such as Target and Wal-Mart. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-plastic-bags-20130619,0,7487365,print.story Police bust ring of alleged catalytic converter thieves. A speeding-car investigation Monday evening led police to a north Stockton home where they discovered 37 stolen, high-value catalytic converters and a loaded handgun. The result was five arrests that could possibly put a crimp in the explosion of such thefts Stockton has experienced in the past year. The Police Department's Community Response Team was patrolling a northeast neighborhood around 8:10 p.m. Monday when officers saw a Mercedes speed by on Fox Creek Drive. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130619/A_NEWS/306190320&cid=sitesearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Edison urges conservation as warm summer months near. As Southern Californians prepare for summer, Southern California Edison is asking customers to be especially conservation-minded to help keep the electric grid stable and reliable during hot weather when energy use spikes, particularly without the power generated from the San Onofre nuclear plant. Last summer, SCE customers saved 300 megawatts through conservation measures -- enough to power about 200,000 homes. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_23486501/edison-urges-conservation-warm-summer-months-near?source=rss&utm_source=feedly OPINIONS My life without plastic bags. The reality is that life without plastic grocery bags is entirely doable and a lot better for the environment. But it does require some adjusting. Now that the Los Angeles City Council has tentatively approved a ban on plastic carry-out bags, I'd like to report to you that it'll be easy to live without them. I'd like to say that after a similar ban took effect in my city this year, I had no problem getting my groceries to the car, no problem lining my garbage cans and no moments of annoyance. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-out-here-los-angeles-bans-plastic-bags-20130619,0,1640094.story BLOGS And the Weatherman Says There’s More to Come. If you’re planning a summer break in Europe anytime in the next 10 years, bring an umbrella. Scientists studying unusual weather patterns in recent years have concluded that the pattern of cold springs and wet summers could persist for a decade or longer. The warning came after parts of Europe shivered through one of the coldest springs on record and floods swept across Central Europe, prompting a state of emergency to be declared in the Czech Republic. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/and-the-weatherman-says-theres-more-to-come/ China Adds Another Tool to Curb Pollution, Launching First Cap and Trade Program. China launched its first cap and trade program to reduce carbon pollution today, a landmark advance toward fighting climate change. As the world’s largest source of carbon dioxide, China is a notable new player joining California and eight other countries and jurisdictions around the world with such programs. China produces one quarter of the world’s carbon pollution…Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/stanenhaus/china_adds_another_tool_to_cur.html Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse On Climate Change: 'The Eyes Of The World Are On Us'. The effects of climate change, driven by carbon pollution, hit Americans harder each year. Extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires and droughts are growing ever more frequent and severe. Beyond our borders, these changes are hitting developing nations. Since our nation's founding, America has stood as an example for the world. Now, we owe it to ourselves and to other nations, who look to Washington, to lead the way on climate change by putting a price on carbon pollution…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/sheldon-whitehouse-climate-change_n_3466596.html Heartland Institute - the Keystone Cops Of Climate Science Denial - Strike Again. THERE’S a section on the Heartland Institute’s website  pointing readers to “Stuff We Wish We Wrote”. After events over the last year or so, the chaps at the fossil fuel-funded “think tank” might want to add a new section with the title “Stuff We Wish We Hadn’t Wrote”. The Heartland Institute , for those who don’t know, is a Chicago-based group promoting any view or position that argues we shouldn’t do anything about human-caused climate change. Posted. http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/06/18/heartland-institute-keystone-cops-climate-science-denial-strike-again