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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 5, 2013. Posted: 05 Aug 2013 15:03:13
ARB Newsclips for August 5, 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 Australian opposition pledges carbon tax will go. Australia's conservative opposition party is casting the looming election as a referendum over a contentious carbon tax, pledging on Monday that scrapping the tax would be its first priority if it regains power. The major political parties as well as the public are bitterly divided over whether Australian industrial polluters should be forced to pay for the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they produce. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_AUSTRALIA_ELECTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.modbee.com/2013/08/03/2844561/ap-news-alert.html#storylink=cpy Judge denies national business group's bid to intervene in Calif. Lawsuit. A business group trying to participate in a lawsuit against California's cap-and-trade program was rebuffed by a state judge. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) had tried to intervene in Morning Star v. California Air Resources Board, a suit seeking to invalidate the state's quarterly auctions on the grounds that they amount to an illegal tax. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985598/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY House Republicans pass ban on carbon tax with help from some Democrats. The House delivered a message of caution to lawmakers interested in pursuing climate change legislation by adopting a measure Friday that prevents U.S. EPA from taxing carbon emissions. The amendment's supporters described the measure as a clear statement that Congress is not interested in curbing greenhouse gases if it raises energy prices and threatens blue-collar jobs in coal mines and factories. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985597/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION Wildfire smoke fouls Valley air. Smoke from distant wildfires could remain a problem in the north San Joaquin Valley through the weekend, air quality officials said Friday. The Aspen Fire near Huntington Lake is spewing smoke primarily into the south Valley, but fires in far Northern California and Oregon have the potential to send smoke to San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130803/A_NEWS/130809966/-1/NEWSMAP Motorcycle parts suppliers Tucker Rocky and Biker's Choice fined $500,000 by ARB. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced Friday that it has fined Ed Tucker Distributor, Inc., $500,000 for violating California air pollution control laws. The fines involved the sale of illegal aftermarket "emissions critical" parts in California. The fines arose after ARB investigators learned that two Tucker companies, Tucker Rocky Distributing and Biker's Choice, were selling parts that replaced original emissions-critical components, such as catalytic converters, on highway motorcycles. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/motorcycle-parts-suppliers-tucker-rocky-and-biker-s-choice-fined-500-000-by-arb Fee won’t be applied to all dust monitors. A $4,080 fee for oversight of two permanent air pollution monitors will not be applied to 22 temporary monitors that track dust from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. An article about the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District’s proposed Rule 302 published recently incorrectly indicated the $4,080 fee would be assessed on the temporary monitors. Posted. http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/fee-won-t-be-applied-to-all-dust-monitors/article_d22f55e6-fb3c-11e2-afb9-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true How a company found a business in measuring leaking methane. A few weeks ago, a strange-looking vehicle could be seen meandering through the natural gas wells and compressor stations in Bakersfield, Calif. The car, a Toyota SUV outfitted with instruments by the Santa Clara, Calif., company Picarro Inc., looked a bit odd. It had a 12-foot rod attached to its front that stuck straight into the air and another smaller rod mounted on its top. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985507/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Californians want more done about global warming, fail to do things themselves. A new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California is encouraging. It points out that state residents are concerned about global warming and want the government to do more to cut air pollution. But the same survey is discouraging when it comes to residents' actions that could lead to change. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/californians-want-more-done-about-global-warming-fail-to-do-things-themselves/Content?oid=2535196 Australia's Climate Change Authority to raise emissions reduction target to 15% A leaked report from Australia's Climate Change Authority calls for the nation to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent from 2000 levels by 2020. The advisory board said the target should escalate to a 40 percent reduction by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985583/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Arctic ice close to record lows, with major ripple effects. The dramatic retreat of Arctic sea ice in recent years is changing disease patterns, altering the local food web and lowering the region's ability to reflect sunlight, according to two new studies. The research in Science and Nature Climate Change, although on two different topics, fits into a growing body of knowledge about the side effects of ice loss. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985599/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CHEVRON REFINERY 210 arrested at Chevron refinery protest. More than 200 people were arrested Saturday outside Chevron's Richmond refinery during a protest over safety issues at the plant and the company's global environmental practices. The arrests came hours into a protest that began with a rally Saturday morning outside the Richmond BART Station and a march west to Chevron's gates. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/210-arrested-at-Chevron-refinery-protest-4705509.php http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_23790772/big-protest-at-chevron-richmond-refinery-is-latest http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Richmond-sues-Chevron-over-refinery-fire-4703370.php http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_23790772/big-protest-at-chevron-richmond-refinery-is-latest?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com FUELS Analysis: TransCanada's East Coast oil pipeline to change trade dynamics. TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plan to build one of the world's longest oil pipelines has reverberations far beyond Canadian shores. The planned 2,700 mile pipeline, which will bring crude from Canada's energy capital of Alberta to refineries and ports on the East Coast, has the potential to upturn the dynamics of the North Atlantic oil trade squeezing out some imported crude to North America and revitalizing once-ailing refineries. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-transcanada-pipeline-east-analysis-idUSBRE97403H20130805 Natural Gas Fluctuates Near Five-Month Low on Mild U.S. Weather. Natural gas fluctuated in New York after dropping to a five-month low as the outlook for unusually mild weather signaled reduced demand for the power-plant fuel. The swung between gains and losses on forecasts that the Northeast and Midwest will see below-normal temperatures from Aug. 10 through Aug. 19, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-05/natural-gas-drops-for-third-day-as-mild-weather-cuts-demand.html Violence will rise as climate changes, scientists predict. UC Berkeley researchers pull together data on ancient wars, road rage and more, and conclude that violence may increase between now and 2050 because of higher temperatures and extreme rainfall patterns. Long before scientists began to study global warming, author Raymond Chandler described the violent effects of dry, "oven-hot" Santa Ana winds gusting through the city of Los Angeles. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-climate-change-conflict-20130802,0,3466600.story Oil companies frack in coastal waters off Calif. Companies prospecting for oil off California's coast have used hydraulic fracturing on at least a dozen occasions to force open cracks beneath the seabed, and now regulators are investigating whether the practice should require a separate permit and be subject to stricter environmental review. While debate has raged over fracking on land, prompting efforts to ban or severely restrict it…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Oil-companies-frack-in-coastal-waters-off-Calif-4704820.php http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/BLM-launches-assessment-of-Calif-oil-gas-leasing-4703487.php http://www.bna.com/workers-silica-exposure-n17179875594/ Sacramento gas prices take a mid-August dip. Sacramento-area gasoline prices, which have been declining ever-so-slowly of late, fell another 3.1 cents over the past week. The average retail price of gas in the Sacramento area is $3.79 a gallon, according to today's weekly report by national price tracker GasBuddy.com, which surveys 720 stations in the area. Area prices are now 5.3 cents higher than one year ago but 0.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/05/5624714/sacramento-gas-prices-take-a-mid.html#storylink=cpy The Buzz: Californians narrowly oppose fracking, support Keystone XL pipeline, poll finds. Climate change represents a concrete threat for a majority of Californians, according to a recent poll, but those surveyed were less certain about issues at the intersection of energy and the environment. Residents narrowly oppose hydraulic fracturing, and they narrowly support construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/08/05/2845749/the-buzz-californians-narrowly.html#storylink=cpy VEHICLES Buffett-Backed BYD Seeks to Boost U.S. Electric-Bus Sales. BYD Co. , the Warren Buffett-backed Chinese auto-and-battery maker, is seeking to increase overseas sales of its electric bus as billionaire founder Wang Chuanfu predicts a “second takeoff” for the company this year. Shenzhen-based BYD has signed contracts this year to supply a total of 35 K9 electric buses to Long Beach and Los Angeles for use in public transportation. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-04/buffett-backed-byd-seeks-u-s-electric-bus-sales-as-shares-surge.html Number of hybrid vehicles in California triples in five years. With gas prices hovering near $4 a gallon for the past several years, the appetite for hybrid vehicles in California has grown. About 585,000 hybrid vehicles were registered in the state on the first day of 2013, according to the latest figures from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. That's up from 218,000 hybrid vehicles registered on the first day of 2008. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/02/5619882/number-of-hybrid-vehicles-in-california.html#storylink=cpy Convention on electric cars set in Cape Girardeau. A convention designed to help people convert cars to run on electricity is scheduled this week in Cape Girardeau. About 150 people are expected to attend the Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention, which runs Tuesday through Sunday. Organizers say educational sessions and hands-on work will be held at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/08/05/2846048/convention-on-electric-cars-set.html#storylink=cpy Tesla profits could be challenged by Calif. credit-rule change. A pending rule change by the California Air Resources Board could limit Tesla Motors' ability to earn money by selling zero-emissions credits -- a key factor in the company's first-quarter profit. The agency is evaluating whether to eliminate the "fast-refueling" rule that allows electric vehicles with quick-swap batteries to gain bonus credits under CARB's regulations. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/article/20130805/OEM11/308059945#ixzz2b8DuxY2k HIGH-SPEED RAIL Economist: In the Appalachia of the West, the same old problems. Away from the California of the popular imagination, far from the beaches and glamour of Los Angeles and the technological innovations of Silicon Valley, sits the Central Valley, a 450-mile stretch of mainly agricultural flatlands enclosed by mountains to the east and west. The valley's geographical seclusion has bred other forms of disconnect. Here you encounter habits, such as listening to country music and voting Republican, that are virtually extinct in the rest of the state. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130804/wire/130809882?title=Economist:-In-the-Appalachia-of-the-West,-the-same-old-problems#page=0 GREEN ENERGY Review: Texas leads the way in wind energy. Millions of people are asking how or if the country can transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy—and ironically Texas is leading the way in actually doing it. In "The Great Texas Wind Rush," Kate Galbraith and Asher Price tell the strange, inspiring and at times funny story of how a culture known for Big Oil came to embrace Big Wind. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BOOK_REVIEW_WIND_RUSH?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Other related articles: http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_23797030/review-texas-leads-way-wind-energy?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/review-ironically-texas-embraces-renewable-energy-in-the-great-texas-wind-rush/2013/08/05/e5499c72-fdcb-11e2-8294-0ee5075b840d_story.html European Commission Approves Chinese Solar-Panel Pact. The European Commission approved trade chief Karel De Gucht’s plan for curbs on Chinese solar panels, allowing import tariffs to be removed in three days in Europe’s largest dumping dispute. The commission, the European Union’s executive arm, yesterday endorsed a negotiated settlement with China that sets a minimum price and a volume limit on EU imports of Chinese solar panels until the end of 2015. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-02/eu-solar-panel-accord-with-china-approved-by-european-commission.html Newly available wind power often has no place to go. The windswept prairies of the Midwest are undergoing an energy transformation the electric grid can’t handle. Wind turbines tower over rural vistas in the heartland, where the clean energy source is becoming increasingly popular with utility companies that face state-mandated renewable energy standards. Unfortunately, the nation’s aging power grid is hampering those efforts. Posted. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/08/05/v-print/198428/newly-available-wind-power-often.html MISCELLANEOUS Scientists serve up lab-made burger from cow cells. For a hamburger that cost more than $300,000, you might expect it to come with fries and a shake. But this is no ordinary burger. At a public tasting in London on Monday, scientists will serve up the first-ever hamburger grown in a laboratory from stem cells of cattle. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/aug/05/scientists-serve-up-lab-made-burger-from-cow-cells/ OPINIONS Life in a Toxic Country. I RECENTLY found myself hauling a bag filled with 12 boxes of milk powder and a cardboard container with two sets of air filters through San Francisco International Airport. I was heading to my home in Beijing at the end of a work trip, bringing back what have become two of the most sought-after items among parents here, and which were desperately needed in my own household. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/sunday-review/life-in-a-toxic-country.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 A Republican Case for Climate Action. EACH of us took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency. We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally. There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/opinion/a-republican-case-for-climate-action.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=1&&pagewanted=print Letters: Raymond Chandler and climate change Re "Violence linked to climate change," Aug. 2 Who needs data when we have the truthiness of Raymond Chandler's beautiful writing from his novel "Red Wind": "There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0804-sunday-climate-change-violence-20130804,0,602112.story Editorial: Senate should leave California's laws as they are. We Californians should overhaul our initiative system. We should update and perhaps scrap some initiatives California voters approved years ago. Additionally, we Californians should take second looks at some of the environmental laws approved by past legislatures to make certain they make sense in 2013. The operative words are "we Californians" – definitely not some United States senator from, of all places, Louisiana. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/05/5624029/senate-should-leave-californias.html#storylink=cpy Scientists assert there is less weather variability, globally, than most people believe. Climate change is a broad and complicated topic, often too complicated for the average person. Instead, most of us get our grasp of climate change by looking out the window or stepping out the front door. It explains why many people in North America and Europe -- recent victims of sweltering heat waves, droughts, floods and other extreme weather events -- believe climate change is causing ever more drastic weather extremes (ClimateWire, July 24). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985592/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BLOGS CLIMATE CHANGE: Timeline highlights extreme weather events. Weather extremes go far beyond last month’s record temperature in Death Valley of 129 degrees. The folks at World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank based in Washington, D.C., have laid out the year’s extreme events that the group says points to climate change. Extreme Weather & Climate Events 2013. http://blog.pe.com/2013/08/03/climate-change-timeline-highlights-extreme-weather-events/ Greenhouse gas emissions explained, in seven balloons. In 2010, human activity caused 50 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent in emissions. The emissions were 76 percent carbon dioxide, 16 percent methane, 8 percent nitrous oxide, and 2 percent F-gases. The biggest emitters were China (23 percent), the U.S. (14 percent), Europe (10 percent), India (5 percent), and Russia (5 percent). Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/greenhouse-gas-emissions-explained-in-seven-balloons/