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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 23, 2013. Posted: 23 Jul 2013 16:13:37
ARB Newsclips for July 23, 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 Chiapas State Government Says REDD. Is Alive And Well And Far From 'Cancelled'| Amigos de la Tierra México, the Mexican affiliate of Friends of the Earth, sent a ripple of confusion through the environmental community on Thursday when its Chiapas office posted an error-riddled story that implied the Mexican state had “cancelled” its plans to develop a statewide regulatory regime for generating carbon credits by saving endangered rainforest. Posted. http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=9848§ion=news_articles&eod=1 Mexican state cancels forest offset project as Calif. mulls linkage. A controversial model for forest protection is raising concerns among environmentalists about its potential inclusion in California's cap-and-trade program. Carbon offsets, which businesses can use in place of state-issued allowances under California's economywide, first-in-the-nation trading system for greenhouse gases, are seen as a way to lower the cost of compliance by expanding the pool of potential emissions reductions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059984871/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION Federal court upholds Bush-era smog standard. A federal court has upheld a 2008 air pollution standard the Obama administration vowed to strengthen, but later reversed itself and kept in place. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Tuesday rejected arguments that the ozone standard for public health set by former President George W. Bush was either too weak or too strong. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EPA_SMOG_STANDARD?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/23/us-usa-courts-environment-idUSBRE96M0LF20130723 Battles won, but war on smog is far from over. Most everyone who lived here in the 1950s and 1960s has teary-eyed smog stories. Ed Camarena remembers how upset his 5-year-old daughter was when she ran inside one smoggy day in 1964. They had just moved to Orange several weeks before. "She yelled, 'Who put those hills there?' pointing to some hills, only 1½ miles away," he said. They had been hidden in a veil of smog for all the time they had lived there. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ourpast/ci_23709874/battles-won-but-war-smog-is-far-from?source=rss CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change could mean extinction for Iberian lynx in 50 years. The world’s most endangered feline species may become extinct in the wild within 50 years, researchers say, a victim of climate change. A new report projects that Iberian lynx could become the first cat species in at least 2,000 years to become extinct, researchers found, largely because of the decline of the European rabbit, which makes up 80% of the cat’s diet. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-lynx-extinction-climate-change-20130722,0,7785805.story Alaska Looks for Answers in Glacier’s Summer Flood Surges. The idea that glaciers change at a glacial speed is increasingly false. They are melting and retreating rapidly all over the world. But the unpredictable flood surges at the Mendenhall Glacier, about 14 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital, are turning a jog into a sprint as global temperatures and climate variability increase. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/us/alaska-looks-for-answers-in-glaciers-summer-flood-surges.html?_r=0 Alaska's boreal forests burning more with climate change. The largest U.S. wildfires in the last decade of record-breaking blazes have been in the wilds of Alaska, where fires have blackened more than a half-million acres at a time. A new study predicts more of the same for North America’s boreal forests, the Far North belt of spruce and fir trees that extends from interior Alaska across Canada. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-alaska-boreal-forests-wildfire-20130722,0,383693.story Analysis shows heat lingering into nighttime more common in US Northwest. Most Northwest heat waves are bearable, thanks to the cool breezes that blow in at night. But according to a new analysis from the University of Washington, hot spells that linger after dark are becoming more common across the region. According to more than a century's worth of data from 39 stations across western Washington and Oregon…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/20/5582566/analysis-shows-heat-lingering.html#storylink=cpy Climate change 10,000 times faster than evolution rate. A new study finds that many vertebrate species will have to speed up their ability to evolve by 10,000 times to adapt to global warming. The scientists observed when species split into new species based on genetic data, which is a measure of their rate of evolution. John Wiens, an ecology and evolutionary biology professor at the University of Arizona, and Ignacio Quintero…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059984845/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Poison ivy growing bigger and faster due to climate change. Higher temperatures and greater carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are causing poison ivy to grow faster and bigger. The plant's shiny green leaves, a staple food source for deer, bears and other animals, are becoming increasingly threatening to humans. The leaves' lacquerlike oil, called urushiol, can cause scratching and agony at the slightest contact. Poison ivy's potency has doubled since the 1960s. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059984842/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Port Power Project to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions. The Port of Hueneme reached a milestone in its Shoreside Power Project when the Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a key funding agreement to help vessels plug into electrical power at berth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “This is a model of strong public policy working for the betterment of our community and region. The execution of the contract ensures the success of the project and will keep commerce moving while improving our air and quality of life…Posted. http://www.marinelink.com/news/greenhouse-project-reduce356872.aspx FUELS John Swire Buys U.K. Maker of Diesel from Used Cooking Oil. John Swire & Sons Ltd., a company that provides storage to industries including aviation and agribusiness, bought Argent Energy Group Ltd., a Scottish producer of clean diesel from used cooking oil and waste. The deal will enable Argent to replicate its business in other parts of the world, according to an e-mailed statement today from Motherwell-based Argent. The company declined to disclose the value of the purchase. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-23/john-swire-buys-u-k-maker-of-diesel-from-used-cooking-oil.html Ethanol Plummets Versus Gasoline as Returns Boost Production. Ethanol declined versus gasoline on speculation higher returns to make the fuel from a bushel of corn in the U.S. will boost production. The spread, or price difference, expanded 3.39 cents to 65.9 cents a gallon as the December corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade touched the lowest level for a most-active contract since October 2010. One bushel of the grain makes at least 2.75 gallons of ethanol. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-07-23/ethanol-plummets-versus-gasoline-as-returns-boost-production.html Chevron to Spend $844 Million on Remote Projects. Chevron said on Tuesday that it had awarded contracts worth more than £550 million, or more than $844 million, on its planned Rosebank and Alder oil and gas development projects in British waters. If the company decides to proceed with the projects to produce oil and gas from the fields, it would wind up spending billions of pounds on platforms, drilling equipment and undersea systems. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/business/energy-environment/chevron-to-spend-770-million-on-remote-projects.html?pagewanted=print Mike Collins was raised in oil country but dreamed of living at the beach. As a young boy in Bakersfield, he accompanied his father to dusty fields dotted with derricks where he repaired the motors on oil rigs. On his bedroom wall hung a poster of a house perched atop a cliff, overlooking the ocean waves. "Justification for higher education," his mother called it. Now a psychologist, Collins bought his dream house four blocks from the seashore in tiny Hermosa Beach nearly five years ago. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hermosa-beach-oil-20130722,0,812909.story Calif. coal project has 'significant' environmental impacts – report. A proposed project in California that would capture up to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions from a coal generator has "significant" and "unresolved" issues with water use, waste management, protected species and other environmental issues, according to a document announced yesterday from the Department of Energy. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059984869/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Burning all fossil fuels spells doom for humans -- Hansen report. Burning all available deposits of fossil fuels, including coal and unconventional oil and gas, will make the world unsuitable for humans, according to a new study released by James Hansen, formerly with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University Earth Institute, New York. "Burning all fossil fuels, we conclude, would make much of the planet uninhabitable by humans…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059984827/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Costa Rica slashes tax rate on hybrid vehicles. Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla signed a bill on Monday to slash taxes on hybrid cars by 20 percentage points, in a bid to cut fuel emissions in the Central American nation. The 2006 tax will be cut to 10 percent, well below the 30 to 53 percent tax rates levied on vehicles fueled exclusively by gasoline and diesel but still higher than the zero-tax status enjoyed by electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/23/costarica-autos-idUSL1N0FT01X20130723 Renault-Nissan sells its 100,000th electric car. The Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold its 100,000th electric car globally. Renault-Nissan has sold more zero-emission cars than all other major automakers combined, the automakers noted. More than 71,000 people worldwide have bought Nissan LEAF, which made its debut in 2010; LEAF makes up more than half of all global sales of pure electric cars. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/07/ennissan-20130723.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL Calif. seeks firms to scout high-speed rail route. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has put out a call for firms to handle engineering and surveying for its prospective route from Fresno to Bakersfield. The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/15EKPxr ) the agency issued a request last week for companies to submit their qualifications in anticipation of awarding a contract of up to $1.5 million. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/5588196/calif-seeks-firms-to-scout-high.html RAILYARD Sacramento's downtown railyard nears sale to local developer. Sacramento's dormant downtown railyard is on the verge of changing hands again – this time to a local developer who said he intends to finally realize the city's longtime vision of turning the former industrial hub into a major extension of downtown. The investment company that owns the yard revealed Monday it is in final talks to sell the property to a group led by Larry Kelley…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/v-print/5587390/sacramentos-downtown-railyard.html GREEN ENERGY US announces September auction date for 8 energy companies to bid on offshore wind farms. Eight energy companies will bid Sept. 4 on a lease for a vast expanse of ocean off Virginia’s coast set aside for the development of wind farms.The Bureau of Ocean Management on Monday announced the scheduled auction of 112,800 acres on the Outer Continental Shelf, 23.5 miles east of Virginia Beach. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/us-announces-september-auction-date-for-8-energy-companies-to-bid-on-offshore-va-wind-farms/2013/07/22/369fa590-f2db-11e2-8464-57e57af86290_story.html 2 wind farm projects announced in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is adding two new wind farms that will provide a combined 250 megawatts of wind energy to utilities in Arkansas and Nebraska, developers said. Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. said it's reached an agreement to sell 150 megawatts of wind energy to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., which is part of a cooperative that provides electricity for more than 500,000 customers. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/5588181/2-wind-farm-projects-announced.html#storylink=cpy EDC board OKs grant for hydropower project study. Rhode Island's economic development agency has approved a $200,000 grant for a North Kingstown company developing a hydropower project. The board of directors of the Economic Development Corp. on Monday approved the grant for JAL Hydro LLC through the agency's Renewable Energy Fund. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/5588473/edc-board-oks-grant-for-hydropower.html#storylink=cpy Board approves Port land acquisition. The board of commissioners of the Port of Lake Charles has approved the acquisition of nearly 19 acres of land near the Industrial Canal and west of the proposed G2X Energy lease site. The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/cseYHv ) the acreage was purchased from St. Luke Simpson Methodist Church for $300,000. The property is close enough to the ship channel for possible expansions by Houston-based G2X. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/5588180/board-approves-port-land-acquisition.html#storylink=cpy Researchers propose harvesting CO2 mixing energy to generate electricity. Researchers in The Netherlands are proposing a new method for harvesting electricity from CO2 emissions. In a paper in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) newly launched journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, they describe an approach to harvesting the mixing energy from combining the CO2 in combustion gases with air in contact with an aqueous electrolyte. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/07/haemlers-20130723.html Biofuels could draw $69B in investment over decade. Production of biofuels around the world is growing more slowly than anticipated, due to delays in development of some types of fuels and a fossil fuel boom in key markets, according to a new report from Navigant Research. Still, Navigant sees major growth ahead for biofuels, projecting that they will attract $69 billion in capital investment over the next 10 years. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2013/07/biofuels-could-draw-69b-in-investment.html MISCELLANEOUS Shuttle diplomacy under way on global aviation emissions deal. Diplomatic talks on a deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the global aviation industry have intensified recently as EU and U.S. officials try to stave off the threat of a trade war, lawmakers and observers said. Peter Liese, a member of the European Parliament from the conservative German Christian-Democratic Union, led a delegation to meet with Obama administration officials in Washington last week to discuss the issue. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/22/eu-aviation-emissions-idUSL1N0FS11620130722 FDA: Menthol cigarettes likely pose health risk. A Food and Drug Administration review concludes that menthol cigarettes likely pose a greater public health risk than regular cigarettes but does not make a recommendation on whether to limit or ban the minty smokes — one of the few growth sectors of the shrinking cigarette business. The federal agency released the independent review on Tuesday and is seeking input from the health community…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/5588641/fda-menthol-cigarettes-likely.html#storylink=cpy OPINIONS RPT-COLUMN-Technology vanquishes the peak-oilers, again. The decision to shutter "The Oil Drum", the leading website devoted to peak oil, has come to symbolise the end of an era - and sparked a furious debate about whether the theory was all along based on a fundamental mistake. The site's authors and editors blamed the decision to archive it on the "scarcity of new content caused by a dwindling number of contributors," according to a statement on July 3. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/23/column-kemp-peak-oil-idUSL4N0FS39120130723 Putting more wind power on the grid. The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, July 22: Wind turbines tend to be overshadowed by solar power projects, which get most of the attention from the public and policymakers. That's the case again in a new government plan for renewable energy projects in the California desert. Though the wind industry shouldn't get all the land it wants, the desert master plan should provide more and better space for wind farms. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/07/23/3401056/putting-more-wind-power-on-the.html Obama's Climate Change Math Doesn't Add Up. The president's plan is about wealth distribution from red to blue states, not about carbon dioxide. All we need to know about the president's speech on climate change is revealed by what's missing: Nowhere did he tell us what effects on future temperatures or climate can be expected from his policy proposals on greenhouse gases (GHG). So let's do that math. U.S. GHG emissions are about 17 percent of global emissions. Posted. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/07/22/obamas-climate-change-plan-doesnt-add-up A Necessary Plan for Climate Action. The president understands the country can't afford to delay. Like thick smog hanging stubbornly overhead, many of the arguments against President Obama's climate change policy are stagnant, potentially dangerous and pose a serious, long-term threat to America's future. The naysayers have called the president's plan everything from "sheer fantasy" to "massive sacrifice," but they are tethered to antiquated, 20th century mindsets. Posted. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/07/22/president-obamas-climate-change-plan-is-necessary-and-timely Fireworks Causing Pollution and Bad Air. If you found yourself coughing and wheezing your way through this month, there's good reason. Our state sees some of its worst air days during the month of July and even though air managers know exactly what's causing the bad air spikes, there is no effort to stop it. Air quality managers say fireworks take a big toll on our air quality, but everything they dump into the air is protected by law. Posted. http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_5950.shtml BLOGS Jim Hansen Presses the Climate Case for Nuclear Energy. I encourage you to watch this short video interview with climate scientist and campaigner James E. Hansen, posted by the folks who brought you “Pandora’s Promise,” the flawed but valuable film arguing for a substantial role for nuclear energy in sustaining human progress without disrupting the climate. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/jim-hansen-presses-the-climate-case-for-nuclear-energy/ The Kitchen as a Pollution Hazard. By midmorning, the smell of hot peanut oil dissipated and inside the tightly sealed laboratory known as Building 51F, a pink hamburger sizzled in a pan over a raging gas flame. Overhead, fans whirred, whisking caustic smoke up through a metallic esophagus of ductwork. Woody Delp, 49, a longhaired engineer in glasses — the Willie Nelson of HVAC — supervised the green bean and hamburger experiments. Posted. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/the-kitchen-as-a-pollution-hazard/ Australian Carbon Tax to Go – What Lessons Can Be Learned? There are three things governments can do in order to address carbon emissions. Firstly, they can do nothing, which is the position the U.S. Federal government has taken, since the U.S. Congress has no appetite for pricing carbon. Secondly, governments can create a carbon marketplace, such as the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), and California’s cap and trade program…Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/07/australian-carbon-tax-abandoned/ Solar and wind surge, but dirty energy still dominates, as this nifty chart shows. Solar energy production in the U.S. jumped by 49 percent last year, and wind energy by 16 percent. But these clean sources of energy are still just thin lines on this cool flowchart that shows how America’s energy was produced in 2012, reminding us how much work lies ahead in shifting to a renewable and clean economy…Posted. http://grist.org/news/solar-and-wind-surge-but-dirty-energy-still-dominates-as-this-nifty-chart-shows/