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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 12, 2013. Posted: 12 Jul 2013 12:25:06
ARB Newsclips for July 12, 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 Salinas growers asked to oppose AB 32. Salinas was the stop Wednesday for an activist’s road show against California’s “cap and trade” emissions regulation. The Pacific Legal Foundation, a national nonprofit that advocates for limited government, made a stopover in Salinas to brief mostly agricultural interests on its lawsuit to halt implementation of Assembly Bill 32, the state law that established so-called carbon credits for emitters of greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20130711/BUSINESS/307110014/Salinas-growers-asked-oppose-AB-32?nclick_check=1 AIR POLLUTION Hong Kong Pollution Kills 1,600 Prematurely: Study Finds. Hong Kong’s air pollution caused more than 1,600 premature deaths in the first half of the year, almost 40 times the number of fatalities attributed to the H7N9 avian flu virus, according to a study by the Clean Air Network. The air pollution also cost HK$18.7 billion ($2.4 billion) in the six months ended June 30…Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-07-11/emissions-a-concern-after-nuclear-plant-shutdown Study: Air pollution causes over 2 million deaths a year. Global air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of more than 2 million adults each year, according to new research. In a study published Friday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, scientists used a number of mathematical models to estimate the effects of fine particulate matter -- tiny particles, or soot, that penetrate deep into the lungs -- and ozone, the main component of smog. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-air-pollution-causes-more-than-2-million-deaths-a-year-20130711,0,3387516.story# Emissions a concern after nuclear plant shutdown. The first legislative hearing on the permanent closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant focused on the shutdown's impact on California's greenhouse gas emissions, leaving discussion on how the plant will be safely decommissioned for future meetings. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-07-11/emissions-a-concern-after-nuclear-plant-shutdown S. Cal smog agency to consider fire pit regs. Sparks may fly Friday as Southern California's regulators decide whether to restrict beach fire pits. The South Coast Air Quality Management District board is scheduled to consider a staff proposal to prohibit fire rings within 700 feet of homes. That would force relocation or removal of dozens of rings but it's an alternative to completely banning them. The proposal also would include a pilot program to fuel the rings with gas instead of wood. There are more than 750 beach fire pits in Los Angeles and Orange County. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/07/12/3384590/s-cal-smog-agency-to-consider.html#storylink=cpy http://www.voiceofoc.org/countywide/this_just_in/article_e0528086-e9f7-11e2-96ec-0019bb2963f4.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jul/12/s-cal-smog-agency-to-consider-fire-pit-regs/ CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change report: Weather, rising seas imperil power plants. Power plants across the country are at increased risk of temporary shutdown and reduced power generation as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise and water becomes less available, the Energy Department said Thursday. By 2030, there will be nearly $1 trillion in energy assets in the Gulf Coast region alone at risk from increasingly costly extreme hurricanes and sea level rises, according to an Energy Department report on the effects of climate change on energy infrastructure. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-pn-climate-change-weather-energy-20130711,0,3279077.story Climate change will disrupt energy supplies, DOE warns. How does climate change affect energy supplies? A new government report says rising temperatures make it more difficult for some power plants to operate and sea level rise threatens others. U.S. energy supplies will likely face more severe disruptions because of climate change and extreme weather, which have already caused blackouts and lowered production at power plants, a government report warned Thursday. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/11/climate-change-energy-disruptions/2508789/ Prominent Dem prepares climate bill as others seek business support for carbon tax. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is crafting a climate bill that would cap greenhouse gases on upstream emitters while providing payments to the U.S. public, a design that's meant to deflate attacks about its effect on rising energy prices. The cap-and-dividend bill will be similar to a measure that Van Hollen introduced at the height of climate action in 2009…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059984277/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Past is prologue for climate threats to energy – report. Energy and climate change are intertwined, a fact that the Obama administration recently acknowledged with plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from generators. Experts note, however, that shifting rainfall, heat waves and storms have severe consequences for the energy sector, as well. The Department of Energy issued a report yesterday definitively linking certain energy infrastructure…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059984293/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS EPA Delay on Greenhouse Gas Biofuel Rules Tossed by Court. A decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to delay for three years making rules to curb carbon dioxide emissions from biofuels was thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. The EPA failed to spell out what the delay, known as the deferral rule, would accomplish, according to a 2-1 ruling by a three-judge panel. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-12/epa-delay-on-greenhouse-gas-rules-for-biofuels-tossed-by-court.html Natural Gas Gains in Survey on Outlook for Hotter U.S. Weather. Natural gas futures may climb next week as hotter weather boosts demand for the power-plant fuel, a Bloomberg survey showed. Seven of 14 analysts, or 50 percent, predicted that futures will advance on the New York Mercantile Exchange through July 19. Six, or 43 percent, said gas will decline and one predicted prices will stay the same. Last week, 42 percent of participants said gas would fall. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-12/natural-gas-gains-in-survey-on-outlook-for-hotter-u-s-weather.html Brazil Ethanol Producers Get $167 Million Aid to Combat Drought. Brazil is preparing to disburse 380 million reais ($167 million) of subsidies to ethanol mills in the northeast by 2014 to renew sugar-cane crops and help growers recover from the worst drought in five decades. Companies in the region will be eligible for 20 centavos of government funds for every liter of fuel they sold in the domestic market during the 2011-12 harvest season…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-12/brazil-ethanol-producers-get-167-million-aid-to-combat-drought.html Ethanol Strengthens Against Gasoline on Higher Production Costs. Ethanol strengthened against gasoline on concern that higher pre-harvest corn prices are boosting production costs for producers of the biofuel. The spread, or price difference, narrowed 2.15 cents to 55.24 cents a gallon as corn for July delivery rose to the highest level since February. The grain is the primary ingredient used to make ethanol in the U.S., with one bushel making at least 2.75 gallons of the fuel. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-11/ethanol-strengthens-against-gasoline-on-higher-production-costs.html State regulator says oil industry's use of acids to unlock shale reserves is safe. The state’s top oil regulator told lawmakers Tuesday that Californians have nothing to fear about an oil production stimulation practice known as acidization that is expected to become much more broadly used as producers seek to extract billions of barrels of previously unrecoverable shale oil reserves. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jun/18/state-regulator-says-oil-industrys-use-of-acids/?print=1 California considers tighter safety standards for oil refineries. California might tighten regulations on how oil refineries are run if the state follows through on a 257-page report prompted by the August 2012 explosion and fire at Chevron Corp’s refinery in Richmond, east of San Francisco. The fire created a vaporized plume that spread to surrounding communities. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/templates/print.cfm?ID=23796 Fracking and energy exploration connected to earthquakes, say studies. The rivers of water pumped into and out of the ground during the production of natural gas, oil and geothermal energy are causing the Earth to shake more frequently in areas where these industrial activities are soaring, according to a series of studies published today. While the gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking") causes some small quakes…Posted. http://www.nbcnews.com/science/fracking-energy-exploration-connected-earthquakes-say-studies-6C10604071 Texas regulators take to the skies to monitor oil and gas emissions. Environmental regulators in Texas are conducting flyovers across 22 counties in a summer sweep of oil and gas producers. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is deploying helicopters laden with infrared video equipment designed to detect volatile organic compounds and other hydrocarbons. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059984256/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES GM promises higher-mileage vehicles, emissions cuts. General Motors pledged Thursday to double its number of models that get at least 40 miles per gallon on the highway by 2017 and said it would cut the emissions its U.S. vehicles produce 15% by 2016. The efforts are part of GM's broader push to become a more environmentally sustainable company. The company surprised environmental groups earlier this year when it became the first automaker to sign a declaration asserting that going green is good for business. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/07/11/gm-higher-mileage-lower-emissions/2510145/ GREEN ENERGY House Passes $30.4 Billion Energy-Water Spending Measure. Government spending on renewables and other green energy programs would be halved and incandescent light bulbs dropped from federal regulation under the fiscal 2014 Energy-Water Development appropriations bill passed today in the House. The 227-198 vote on H.R. 2609 was largely along party lines. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-11/house-passes-30-4-billion-energy-water-spending-measure.html States Defend Clean-Energy Mandates Targeted by Conservatives. State legislatures from North Carolina to Kansas rejected efforts to repeal or reduce renewable-energy mandates sought by conservative groups funded by oil companies and utilities. None of the 26 bills to roll back requirements passed before most state legislature sessions ended, according to a July 9 report from Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-11/house-passes-30-4-billion-energy-water-spending-measure.html EU Offshore Wind Installation Rate Doubles as Siemens Leads Way. The installation rate of offshore wind turbines in Europe doubled in the first half of the year, with Siemens AG (SIE) machines taking the bulk of the market. A total of 1,045 megawatts of capacity of wind turbines were connected at sea, compared with 523.2 megawatts in the year-earlier period, the European Wind Energy Association said today in an e-mailed report. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-12/eu-offshore-wind-installation-rate-doubles-as-siemens-leads-way.html OPINIONS Do Unto Exxon as You Would Do Unto Yourself. Last week’s resolution on climate change by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ has garnered mostly admiring attention from the news media. But I must admit to a degree of perplexity and sorrow over the document, which seems to place the blame for our heavy use of fossil fuels on the companies that produce them -- not the consumers who demand them. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-11/do-unto-exxon-as-you-would-do-unto-yourself.html The E.P.A. May Get a Boss After all. Earlier this week, Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, said that he would drop his threat of a filibuster and allow an up-or-down vote on Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. This is welcome news, not just for the agency but for the planet. More than any other federal official, Ms. McCarthy will be responsible for carrying out Mr. Obama’s promise to confront the threat of climate change. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/opinion/the-epa-may-get-a-boss-after-all.html?pagewanted=print California state government fixes the heat wave! Having just recently concluded my first stretch of 100 degree plus weather in Sacramento (today it's only 99), people have asked me how I've been holding up. Being from Portland, Oregon most recently, this kind of heat is a rumor. In fact, I would say that the typical summer temperature in Portland is 66, a number that is just warm enough to make you sweat in a fleece, but makes you cold if you don't have a fleece. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/09/5555751/california-state-government-fixes.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS How climate change makes it harder to keep the lights on. Coal plants are shutting down because of a lack of cooling water. Hydropower dams are struggling to generate electricity because reservoir levels are dropping. Western wildfires are damaging power lines, causing blackouts in cities like San Diego. A recreational boat cruises Lake Mead, the reservoir created by the Hoover Dam. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/11/heres-how-climate-change-will-make-it-harder-to-keep-the-lights-on/ Worldwide Air Pollution Deaths Per Year Number Over 2 Million, New Study Claims. Air pollution may be responsible for more than 2 million deaths around the world each year, according to a new study. The study estimated that 2.1 million deaths each year are linked with fine particulate matter, tiny particles that can get deep into the lungs and cause health problems. Exposure to particle pollution has been linked with early death from heart and lung diseases, including lung cancer, the researchers said; meanwhile…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/outdoor-air-pollution-deaths-yearly-annually_n_3586153.html