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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.


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.


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

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.

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.

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.


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


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983096/print BY

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


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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

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

Heartland Institute - the Keystone Cops Of Climate Science Denial
- Strike Again. THERE’S a section on the Heartland Institute’s
website [1] 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
[2], 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.

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