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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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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


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.

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.

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. 


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.


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.

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.


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.

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. 


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
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.

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.

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.

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

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. 


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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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