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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 29, 2013. Posted: 29 Jul 2013 12:49:34
ARB Newsclips for July 29, 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 Carbon Capture and Storage: Is There a Future? And is it all about the money? Carbon dioxide emission reduction is moving to the forefront of priorities in many jurisdictions to combat climate change and maintain environmental stability. In the European Union, the major goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% compared to the 1990 levels in all 28 Member States by 2050. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/07/29/carbon-capture-and-storage-is-there-a-future/ AIR POLLUTION Sacramento area passes federal standard on air particulates. The Sacramento region complies with the federal air quality standard for fine particle pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined this month. After the federal agency tightened its fine particle standard in 2006, Sacramento became one of the few areas in the country with dirty air under EPA rules. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/27/5600477/sacramento-area-passes-federal.html http://www.modbee.com/2013/07/27/2829184/sacramento-area-passes-federal.html#storylink=cpy Settlement reached in Fairbanks boiler dispute. The smoke has cleared in a court battle over two wood boilers across the street from a Fairbanks elementary school. Andrew and Gloria Straughn have agreed to a settlement with the state in which they will pay a $12,000 penalty and replace the wood boilers with oil-fired boilers, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Saturday (http://is.gd/aYIID7). Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Settlement-reached-in-Fairbanks-boiler-dispute-4690985.php CLIMATE CHANGE After Delayed Vote, E.P.A. Gains a Tough Leader to Tackle Climate Change. When Lisa P. Jackson announced at the end of last year that she was stepping down as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, President Obama faced a choice. He could play it safe by appointing her deputy or he could confront Congress head-on and signal a strong commitment to tackling climate change by appointing the agency’s head of air quality, Gina McCarthy. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/us/politics/after-delayed-vote-epa-gains-a-tough-leader-to-tackle-climate-change.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Al Gore training thousands of 'climate leaders' to fight global warming. The nation's leading climate change advocate, former Vice President Al Gore, is creating a mini army of "climate leaders" to push governments and companies around the world to adopt policies aimed at reducing global warming. On Wednesday in Chicago Gore will host his second "climate reality leadership corps training" this year where his Climate Reality Project will show supporters how to talk about the issue and push for solutions to carbon burning. Posted. http://washingtonexaminer.com/al-gore-training-thousands-of-climate-leaders-to-fight-global-warming/article/2533610 New EPA chief to speak at Harvard Law. The Environmental Protection Agency says its new administrator will be at Harvard Law School to make her first public remarks since the U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment. EPA Chief Gina McCarthy will speak at the school on Tuesday morning. She is expected to talk about her commitment to President Barack Obama's plan to reduce carbon pollution and address the impacts of climate change. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/New-EPA-chief-to-speak-at-Harvard-Law-4693083.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/29/5604880/new-epa-chief-to-speak-at-harvard.html Previous rapid sea-level rise may show 'tipping point' for accelerated ice shelf melt. A few hundred thousand years ago, scientists know that global temperatures were similar to today's -- maybe a bit warmer. While researchers understand a fair amount about global temperatures and carbon dioxide during that period, called the last interglacial period, they understand less about the higher sea levels that were present during that time. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985164/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Traditional climate models neglect important soil carbon factors – study. Imagine a bowl of candy in front of a house on Halloween night. It could be filled with tasty chocolate bars or stale candy corn. There could be 10 children trick-or-treating in the neighborhood or 100. And the weather may be a balmy 75 degrees, or it could be raining heavily. The speed at which the candy bowl empties depends on all of these factors. It's also an analogy for soil carbon pools…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985172/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Scientists puzzle over the changing rate of emission from thawing permafrost. The rate at which the Arctic region releases massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere may hinge on the amount of water within thawing permafrost, according to a new study. The repercussions of the findings are broad: The polar region is warming faster than the rest of the globe, allowing long-stored carbon in soil to reach the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. About 50 percent of estimated below-ground organic carbon sits in Northern Hemisphere permafrost. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985202/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS UPS rolls out 40 new zero-emissions delivery trucks in CA. The UPS San Bernardino Distribution Center unveiled one of the largest deployments of zero-emissions delivery trucks last week. A partnership that includes Electric Vehicles International, UPS and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, as well as representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, West Coast Collaborative, California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board, celebrated the arrival of the 40 new zero-emissions delivery trucks at the distribution center on July 16. Posted. http://fleetowner.com/running-green/ups-rolls-out-40-new-zero-emissions-delivery-trucks-ca FUELS Obama Says He’ll Evaluate Pipeline Project Depending on Pollution. President Obama said in an interview that he would evaluate construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on the basis of whether it would significantly contribute carbon to the atmosphere. But he mocked Republicans’ arguments that the approval of the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, would create many jobs in the United States. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/us/politics/obama-says-hell-evaluate-pipeline-project-depending-on-pollution.html?ref=earth Internal EPA report highlights disputes over fracking and well water. An EPA staff report suggests methane from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, contaminated wells near Dimock, Pa., but the agency says the water's safe to drink. One year ago, the Environmental Protection Agency finished testing drinking water in Dimock, Pa., after years of complaints by residents who suspected that nearby natural gas production had fouled their wells. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-epa-dimock-20130728,0,4847442.story Hydraulic fracturing proposal draws attention. A proposal to drill as many as 500 wells in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula by using hydraulic fracturing is attracting attention and criticism from environmentalists. Encana Corp., which has drilled about a dozen wells since 2009, has proposed the new wells, The Detroit News reported (http://bit.ly/1aSiZB5 ), and spokesman Doug Hock says the company is "in the early stages" of new drilling in Michigan. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Hydraulic-fracturing-proposal-draws-attention-4692992.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/29/5604556/hydraulic-fracturing-proposal.html http://www.modbee.com/2013/07/29/2832528/hydraulic-fracturing-proposal.html#storylink=cpy Some say industry arrogance fueled fracking anger. The boom in oil and gas fracking has led to jobs, billions in royalties and profits, and even some environmental gains. But some experts say arrogance, a lack of transparency and poor communication on the part of the drilling industry have helped fuel public anger over the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. "It's a big issue for the industry. I have called for greater transparency. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Some-say-industry-arrogance-fueled-fracking-anger-4691823.php China opens pipeline to bring gas from Myanmar. China has switched on a pipeline bringing natural gas from Myanmar, a state company said Monday, in a project that has raised concerns in Myanmar's nascent civil society about whether its giant neighbor's resource grabs will benefit local people. The 793-kilometer (493-mile) pipeline connects the Bay of Bengal with southwest China's Yunnan province and is expected to transfer 12 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China annually…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/China-opens-pipeline-to-bring-gas-from-Myanmar-4692797.php http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jul/28/china-opens-pipeline-to-bring-gas-from-myanmar/ Texas oilman, fracking pioneer Mitchell dies at 94. George P. Mitchell leveraged a penchant for hard work, an appetite for risk and dogged persistence in the face of futility into a technological breakthrough that reshaped the global energy industry and made the wildcat oilman a billionaire. Mitchell, the developer and philanthropist who also is considered the father of fracking, doggedly pursued natural gas he and others knew were trapped in wide, thin layers of rock deep underground. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Texas-oilman-fracking-pioneer-Mitchell-dies-at-94-4689483.php http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Mitchell-s-tenacity-led-to-US-energy-boom-4689944.php http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jul/28/tp-billionaire-oilman-from-texas-pioneered/ Pipeline plan through Pinelands draws opposition. A plan to build a natural gas pipeline through part of New Jersey's Pinelands is drawing some vocal opposition. A few dozen people voiced their anger at Friday's monthly meeting of the Pinelands Commission's policy and implementation committees. The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/18F7hc6) reports the proposed 22-mile pipeline would go from…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Pipeline-plan-through-Pinelands-draws-opposition-4690873.php Earthquakes: Another source of global-warming gas, scientists say. A team of scientists has linked a major earthquake in southwest Asia in 1945 to the ongoing release of methane gas from the Arabian seafloor. A devastating earthquake in 1945 sent millions of cubic feet of methane bubbling up to the earth’s surface, scientists have found, in new research that could add another source of the greenhouse gas to future climate models. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0729/Earthquakes-Another-source-of-global-warming-gas-scientists-say VEHICLES BMW Electric Offered With Spare SUV to Ease Range Anxiety. To avoid the fate of other slow-selling electric vehicles, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) will offer the new i3 -- a battery-powered compact car -- with a unique option: the use of a sport-utility vehicle. Customers of BMW’s first electric model can book a conventional auto like the full-sized X5 SUV for several weeks a year for family trips or as a backup. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-28/bmw-electric-offered-with-spare-suv-to-ease-range-anxiety.html http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/BMW-pulls-wraps-off-i3-electric-car-4693100.php Japan Automakers Team Up to Add Number of Electric Chargers. Japanese automakers led by Nissan Motor Co. (7201), the producer of the zero-emission Leaf car, said they’ll cooperate to increase the number of the charging stations in the country to speed up adoption of electric cars. Nissan, Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Honda Motor Co. (7267), and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211) agreed to share costs to help build an additional 12,000 charging stations…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-29/japan-carmakers-team-up-to-hasten-buildup-of-electric-chargers.html Tesla hopes to find electric car demand in China. Tesla Motors all-electric Model S sedan has been well received in the United States, and deliveries have just begun in Europe. Now Tesla is getting ready to take on the world's largest auto market: China, which CEO Elon Musk has described as a "wild card" in the company's future. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23749112/tesla-hopes-find-electric-car-demand-china#ixzz2aSFA8TdJ GREEN ENERGY Europe and China Agree to Settle Solar Panel Fight. The European Union’s trade chief said on Saturday that a deal had been reached with China to settle a dispute over exports of low-cost solar panels that had threatened to set off a wider trade war between two of the world’s largest economies. The settlement essentially involves setting a fairly high minimum price for sales of Chinese-made solar panels in the European Union to try to prevent them from undercutting European producers. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/business/global/european-union-and-china-settle-solar-panel-fight.html?ref=earth PSNH to end renewable energy rate program. After two years with low enrollment, New Hampshire's largest electric utility is phasing out a program that allows customers to pay more to support renewable energy. Utilities are required by law to offer customers the opportunity to support renewable energy by paying a higher rate — usually about 30 percent. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/07/29/2832921/psnh-to-end-renewable-energy-rate.html#storylink=cpy MISCELLANEOUS Trash talk and the real dirt on a 'toxic tour' of Los Angeles. A 'toxic tour' past rail yards, smokestacks and refineries aims to show officials the consequences of their decisions in low-income, predominantly Latino communities in southeast L.A. You won't find any homes of the stars on this tour bus as it shuttles rubber-necking sightseers through Los Angeles. You may not even see the Hollywood sign through the haze from the smokestacks, rail yards and refineries along this "toxic tour" through neighborhoods southeast of Los Angeles. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-toxic-tour-20130728,0,7429867,print.story Landmark California regulations under federal fire. Companies are going through Congress to fight California's stricter workplace, consumer and environmental laws. Gridlock and sympathetic Republicans in the House could work in their favor. California has a reputation for having some of the nation's most aggressive rules on workplace safety, consumer protection and environmental quality …Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-california-targeted-20130728,0,113871.story Scientists collect water near site of blown well. Scientists from several universities are working to learn whether a gas well that blew wild last week off the Louisiana coast is polluting the Gulf of Mexico. Joseph Montoya, a biology professor with Georgia Tech, was performing tests aboard a vessel near the site of the 2010 BP oil spill when the Hercules 265 well blew Tuesday and caught fire. All 44 people on the rig were evacuated and not hurt. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Scientists-collect-water-near-site-of-blown-well-4692887.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/29/5604392/scientists-collect-water-near.html Action on EPA head typical of U.S. Senate. The long overdue confirmation of Gina McCarthy to head the federal Environmental Protection Agency ends yet another discouraging example of dysfunction in the U.S. Senate. She was finally confirmed, 59-40, on July 18 after a record 136-day confirmation fight during which she became the personification of President Obama's position on climate change. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Action-on-EPA-head-typical-of-U-S-Senate-4690063.php San Carlos Airport fuel facility makes county an unlikely posterchild for air quality. San Mateo County supervisors opened Pandora's box when they decided to refresh the bidding process for a fuel facility and office suite outside the San Carlos Airport — a move made after critics decried its previous lease agreement with Mountain West Aviation. Because Mountain West had offered to be both a fuel vender and an office renter, public works officials lumped those two leases together without opening the fuel facility contract to the public. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/san-carlos-airport-fuel-facility-makes-county-an-unlikely-posterchild-for-air-quality/Content?oid=2522934 OPINIONS China: Getting Serious About Air Pollution? Sunday looked like a pretty clear day when I woke up yesterday in Beijing — one of the best we’ve had in a few weeks. However, when I checked my Air Quality Index (“AQI”) application, one that nearly all Beijingers have now installed on their cell phones, it stood at a decidedly “unhealthy” 145. So much for that leisurely al fresco lunch! Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jackperkowski/2013/07/29/china-getting-serious-about-air-pollution/ Rethinking the Role of Carbon Prices in Climate Change Policy. Why Carbon Revenues Might Be More Important Than Carbon Prices. I recently had an interesting conversation on Twitter and via email that got to the heart of why I hold what many consider an unorthodox view on the role of a carbon price in climate policy. While most academic economists and conventional climate policy analysts hold that addressing climate change is first and foremost about putting "the right price" on carbon pollution via a carbon tax or emissions cap and trade program…Posted. http://theenergycollective.com/jessejenkins/252106/rethinking-carbon-prices-climate-change-policy BLOGS The Insiders: The consequences of affordable green-energy options. Is the electricity industry next in line to be disrupted? And are the disruptors the next powerful political grass-roots movement? As the cost of green energy such as solar and geothermal has come down, in part due to government subsidies and in part due to technological advancement, traditional utilities are starting to cast a wary eye toward customers who are unplugging from their traditional energy sources. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/07/29/potential-consequences-of-affordable-green-energy-options/ UPS cuts emissions by 2.1% last year while shipments rose. UPS' gains on the emissions-reduction front may be more in the air than on the ground, but the massive shipping company does continue to make strides when it comes to reducing pollution with its vehicles. The company's sustainability report stated that UPS reduced its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2.1 percent last year, despite increased shipments. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/07/27/ups-cuts-emissions-2-1-last-year-while-shipments-rose/ Does Your Range Hood Suck? Cooking Spikes Indoor Air Pollution. The summer season often brings outdoor air pollution alerts, but it turns out the air inside your kitchen can sometimes be just as harmful. Several of the same pollutants found in smog come from cooking dinner. Range hoods are designed to capture these cooking fumes, but even some expensive models aren’t very effective. So researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are trying to fix that. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/does-your-range-hood-suck-cooking-spikes-indoor-air-pollution/ EPA and the Cost of Climate Change. To tackle climate change without the help of Congress, the Obama Administration will have to estimate how much it costs society -- in damaged crops, wildfires, floods, and a cascading list of other harms -- when a ton of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Obama's administrators estimate the cost to be $38 per ton. In a recent post on Slate, Professor Eric Posner argues that this number is based on a "dubious set of calculations. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-l-revesz-and-michael-a-livermore/epa-and-the-cost-of-climate_b_3668489.html?view=print&comm_ref=false Carbon Dioxide Power Plants: Could The Greenhouse Gas Be Used To Generate Electricity? Here's an interesting idea: What if the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by power plants while they generate electricity could be converted into a source of additional electricity? That's the idea behind a new paper published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/27/carbon-dioxide-power-plants_n_3660989.html California Plug-in Rebate Program Running Out of Money. The California Air Resources Board’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) is running out of money again. The program provides up to $2,500 toward the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles in the state and has been a big success—so big that it’s projected to run out of funds by October. In February, the California Energy Commission awarded $4.5 million to keep the program running, which was followed by an additional $6 million one month later. Posted. http://www.plugincars.com/california-plug-rebate-program-running-out-money-127831.html EV market threatened by spat over charger standards. It’s like a rerun of the 1980s clash between VHS and Betamax. The nascent electric-vehicle market is being served by two incompatible styles of rapid chargers. There’s the Japanese-developed CHAdeMO standard, favored by Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Toyota. And then there’s the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) International J1772 Combo standard, which is backed by GM, Ford, Volkswagen, and BMW. Posted. http://grist.org/news/ev-market-threatened-by-spat-over-charger-standards/ Reuters' climate-change coverage 'fell by nearly 50% with sceptic as editor' A former Reuters staffer has claimed that climate-change coverage declined under the influence of David Ingrassia. Reuters' climate-change coverage fell by nearly 50% after a climate sceptic joined the news agency as a senior editor, a study has found. The sharp decline in coverage since 2011, recorded by the Media Matters for America advocacy group, reinforces charges from a former staffer that Reuters cut back on climate stories under the influence of Paul Ingrassia, who is now the agency's managing editor. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/26/reuters-climate-change-scepticism-coverage