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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 20, 2013. Posted: 20 Jun 2013 11:21:55
ARB Newsclips for June 20, 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 POLLUTION European parliament committee backs ban on planet-warming F-gases. The European Parliament's Environment Committee backed a sweeping ban on the use in fridges and air conditioners of fluorinated gases - greenhouse gases that are many thousands of times more damaging than carbon dioxide. The plan, which would have to be approved by a plenary session of the parliament and by EU countries before becoming law, goes much further than a proposal from the executive European Commission. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/19/eu-fgases-idUSL5N0EU33C20130619 Air quality near LAX within state standards, airport study says. The air pollution study is available online at lawa.org/airqualitystudy and also will soon be available at Councilman Bill Rosendahl's district office in Westchester and at public libraries in Westchester, Inglewood and El Segundo. Air quality near Los Angeles International Airport falls within national and California standards for pollutants, according to the results of a study released this week by the airport. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_23496929/air-quality-near-lax-within-state-standards-airport?source=rss&utm_source=feedly# CLIMATE CHANGE Obama commits to tough push on global warming. President Barack Obama is planning a major push using executive powers to tackle the pollution blamed for global warming in an effort to make good on promises he made at the start of his second term. "We know we have to do more — and we will do more," Obama said Wednesday in Berlin. Obama's senior energy and climate adviser, Heather Zichal, said the plan would boost energy efficiency of appliances and buildings, plus expand renewable energy. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Obama-commits-to-tough-push-on-global-warming-4611718.php Cutting Carbon Can Be a Company's Best Investment. Climate change activists and advocates for greener buildings and commerce haven’t had much luck pushing carbon-capping measures on Capitol Hill, so they are turning to the private sector. And the script is no longer “save the world”; it’s “save your income statement.” The World Wildlife Fund issued a report highlighting massive savings to be wrung out of carbon-reduction measures, from self-dimming lights to factories plastered with solar panels. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-20/cutting-carbon-can-be-a-companys-best-investment Tax code a wash when it comes to curbing carbon – report. Energy tax provisions have become a proxy battle in Washington, D.C.'s political war over climate change in recent years, but they have little real effect on greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new National Research Council study. The study, which was mandated by Congress, asked a team of experts to recommend ways the tax code could be changed to encourage reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059983212/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS BP Defends Renewable-Fuel Rule Other Oil Companies Oppose. As Congress considers scaling back or abolishing U.S. rules that mandate the use of renewable fuels, it has the full-throated support of the petroleum industry -- with one major exception. BP Plc (BP/), one of the world’s biggest oil companies by revenue, is part of a joint venture with DuPont Co. (DD) that is set to start producing a new alternative fuel by the end of the year. In order to preserve a market for that fuel…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-20/bp-defends-renewable-fuel-rule-other-oil-companies-oppose.html Norway opens Arctic border area to oil drilling. Norway's Parliament has opened up a new area on the fringe of the Arctic Ocean to offshore oil drilling despite protests from opponents who fear catastrophic oil spills in the remote and icy region. Most of the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea, which the Nordic country shares with Russia, is already open to petroleum activities. But environmentalists and some opposition lawmakers say the risk to Arctic sea ice is higher…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Norway-opens-Arctic-border-area-to-oil-drilling-4611578.php Ethanol’s Discount to Gasoline Swells as Imports Boost Supply. Ethanol’s discount to gasoline expanded to the widest differential in more than two months after a government report signaled that higher imports of the fuel are replenishing a record-low supply. The spread, or price difference, weakened 2.8 cents to 40.74 cents a gallon after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. imports of the biofuel jumped to 65,000 barrels a day last week from none a week earlier. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-06-19/ethanol-s-discount-to-gasoline-swells-as-imports-boost-supply U.S. boom fuels an energy trade that's 'a match made in heaven'. The North American unconventional oil and gas boom and Asia's energy-hungry future could form a "match made in heaven," according to an energy expert. Mikkal Herberg, research director of the Energy Security Program at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and a 20-year veteran of the oil industry, said trans-Pacific ties could usher in a new phase for Asian energy security and North American oil and gas development. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059983184/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY It's 'make-or-break day' for EPA's cross-state rule, E15 waiver. The Supreme Court will meet today to consider whether to review two U.S. EPA programs: regulations for air pollution that drifts across state lines and its approval of increased ethanol in gasoline. In their weekly conference, justices will weigh a request from EPA and environmentalists to examine a lower court ruling that threw out the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) as well as petitions from industry challenging EPA's approval of E15, gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059983206/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY House prepares natural gas bills, studies Senate work on efficiency – Upton. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will be rolling out a package of bills in the coming months aimed at expanding natural gas infrastructure to promote use of the abundant and inexpensive fuel in cars and trucks, Chairman Fred Upton said today. The Michigan Republican said the legislative package would build on the goals of a pipeline safety bill Congress passed last year and aid the expansion of filling stations for natural gas vehicles. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059983196/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Cow innards seen as key to more efficient, less expensive refining. Oklahoma State University researchers might have found the answer to more efficient biofuels production in an unlikely place: a cow's belly. At issue is a fungus of the genus Orpinomyces that thrives in the rumen and gut of herbivores and is capable of both breaking down and fermenting plant materials into biofuels. The fungus, the researchers say, could eliminate the need for expensive pretreatments and enzymes and lower the cost of ethanol production. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059983200/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Forget charging stations: Electric automaker Tesla plans to test battery swapping technology. Tesla Motors has announced plans to test battery swapping technology for its electric cars. The maker of the Model S electric sedan will test a system that removes empty electric car batteries and replaces them with full ones in much less time than it takes to recharge the car. Worried about waiting for that electric car to finish charging? Tesla Motors, maker of the Model S electric sedan, may be ready to make range anxiety a thing of the past. Posted. http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/forget-charging-electric-car-tesla-plans-test-battery-swapping-article-1.1377760#ixzz2WmFYwvVq Bosch unveils wireless electric car charging stations. Bosch will produce the first wireless electric vehicle charging system, the technology supplier announced this week. The Plugless L2 System resembles a small launch pad in the middle of the floor (see a photo here). Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf owners — the system isn't compatible with other EV models — would simply drive over the parking pad to start charging their cars. The system includes the parking pad, a vehicle adapter to be installed in the car’s undercarriage…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-wireless-car-charging-20130618,0,2343304.story UMTRI study concludes number of LDVs in the US likely has not yet peaked. A brief study by Dr. Michael Sivak, Director, Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) concludes that despite the absolute number of vehicles in the US having reached a maximum in 2008, it is highly likely that—from a long-term perspective—the absolute number of vehicles in the US has not yet peaked. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/06/sivak-20130620.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL GOP targets high-speed rail, transportation grants. House Republicans are pushing to eliminate money for high-speed rail and a popular grant program for transportation projects. The belt-tightening comes as the GOP-led House works on $44 billion measure covering transportation and housing programs. The legislation reflects the austere budget mandated by automatic cuts - fallout from Washington's failure to address the deficit this spring. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONGRESS_SPENDING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT GREEN ENERGY How To Become A Carbon Neutral Business. It seems like there are as many ways for a business to “go green” as there are businesses themselves. From sourcing organic products to electric delivery vehicles, one change can make a business green to a certain degree, but how can you ever know exactly how environmentally sustainable your business really is? When are you truly green? Striving to be carbon neutral is one way to measure your green efforts as a company. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ups/2013/06/18/how-to-become-a-carbon-neutral-business/ Silicon Valley City to be Carbon-Neutral by 2017. The Silicon Valley city of Palo Alto, home to Stanford University and a frillion startups, says it will be run on entirely carbon-neutral electrical power by 2017. The Northern California city's announcement, made by the Palo Alto City Council this week, came on the heels of an agreement to buy power from three utility-scale solar projects in California. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/palo-alto-to-be-carbon-neutral-by-2017.html MISCELLANEOUS Mosquito spraying slated for some S.J. County areas. To combat mosquitoes that might carry the West Nile virus, the San Joaquin Mosquito and Vector Control District plans ground spraying in a number of areas. Spraying for adult mosquitoes using Evergreen 60-6 is scheduled for 5 to 7:30 a.m. Friday (same time Monday if weather causes a delay) in south rural Manteca from the Stanislaus River to the east and south, Division Road to the north and Two Rivers Road to the west. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130620/A_NEWS/130619867/-1/a_news Teen's biofuel invention turns algae into fuel. For a fifth-grade science fair, Evie Sobczak found that the acid in fruit could power clocks; she connected a cut-up orange to a clock with wire and watched it tick. In seventh grade, she generated power by engineering paddles that could harness wind. And in eighth grade, she started a project that eventually would become her passion: She wanted to grow algae and turn it into biofuel. After four years of tinkering in her garage for about an hour each day, Sobczak (pronounced sob-chek) has finally figured it out. Posted. http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/budding-scientist-headed-on-a-summer-trip-to-nasa-lab/2126473 OPINIONS The Rationale for Wind Power Won't Fly. Physical limitations will keep this energy source a niche provider of U.S. electricity needs. To understand the folly that drives too much of the nation's energy policies, consider these basic facts about wind energy. After decades of federal subsidies—almost $24 billion according to a recent estimate by former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm—nowhere in the United States, or anywhere else, has an array of wind turbines replaced a single conventional power plant. Nowhere. But wind farms do take up space. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324310104578507242336481504.html?KEYWORDS=wind+power The time for climate action is now. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is among the few officials to recognize that decades of inaction on climate change are shaping the present, not just the future. Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, so it might seem crazy that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced a $20-billion proposal to construct levees and shore up hospitals to protect his city from storms and rising seas. All government leaders should be so crazy. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-climate-change-20130620,0,1379797,print.story Do we need nuclear power plants? No: Toxic waste too dangerous. The 1976 Nuclear Safeguards Act bars new nuclear plants in California until there is a solution to the high-level radioactive waste problem. Thirty-seven years later, there is still none. Two-thirds of a century after the first reactor waste was created, we still don’t know what to do with the toxic garbage. Thankfully, the atomic genie is getting put back in its bottle, and we are all safer for it. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/19/no-toxic-waste-too-dangerous/ Can Obama go post-partisan on climate and offer carbon power plant rules? President Obama will try "depoliticizing" the issue of climate change, his top aide on the issue said yesterday, raising questions about how that can be achieved as his administration appears poised to pursue embattled regulations on carbon. To some observers, the assertion yesterday by Heather Zichal, Obama's deputy assistant for energy and climate change, suggests the president might be planning to launch an appeal to the American people. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059983178/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY A Climate Change Compendium. I am on the mailing list for the Neighborhood Energy Network, based in New York City. They regularly send out updates, presentation and movie announcements, and activist opportunities, to a large mailing list. This one, their latest, lists many useful sites on Climate Change, including how to deal with deniers. It is presented here as an aid for those who want to be better informed and to answer critics. Climate change is here, but it is clear there's more to it than just rising CO2 levels…Posted. http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-Climate-Change-Compendiu-by-Scott-Baker-130620-688.html BLOGS Singapore Air Pollution Hits Record. Smog in Singapore worsened to a record “hazardous” level Thursday, as smoke from fires in neighboring Indonesia billowed into the island state’s worst-ever air-pollution crisis. According to Singapore’s National Environment Agency, the city’s three-hour Pollutant Standards Index rose to an all-time high of 371 at 1 p.m. local time (0500 GMT) Thursday, surpassing the official “hazardous” designation of 301 or higher. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/06/20/singapore-air-pollution-index-hits-record-high/ House transportation bill denies high-speed rail funding in 2014. Congressional skeptics of California's high-speed rail project make their feelings known in a draft transportation spending bill made public this week. The bill from by the transportation subcommittee of the powerful House Appropriations Committee declares that "none of the funds made available by this act may be used for the California High-Speed Rail Program of the California High-Speed Rail Authority." Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/06/house-transportation-bill-denies-hsr-funding.html#storylink=cpy We work on climate change every day. Everywhere I travel as secretary of state – in every meeting, here at home and across the more than 100,000 miles I’ve traveled since I raised my hand and took the oath to serve in this office – I raise the concern of climate change. I do so not because it’s a pet issue or a personal priority, but because it’s critical to the survival of our civilization, and that means it’s a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/we-work-on-climate-change-every-day/ The cap doesn’t fit. ON JUNE 18th, China became the latest and largest country to trade carbon emissions. The southern city of Shenzhen started a pilot emissions-trading scheme (ETS), the first of seven citywide and provincial carbon markets which, when all up and running, will constitute the second-largest in the world, after Europe’s. China needs to cut emissions. It also needs to shift from command-and-control limits on pollution to market-based ones, like an ETS. Posted. http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/06/carbon-emissions