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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 29, 2013. Posted: 29 Aug 2013 14:39:48
ARB Newsclips for August 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 Sacramento judge tentatively says state can auction air quality credits in California. California’s cap-and-trade carbon auctions are within the authority of the state Air Resources Board under a 7-year-old law aimed at addressing global warming, a Sacramento judge has tentatively ruled. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley ruled Assembly Bill 32 gave the Air Resources Board discretion to decide whether to adopt a cap-and-trade program and design the method for distributing pollution allowances. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/29/5690290/sacramento-judge-tentatively-says.html#mi_rss=Business#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2013/08/29/2890418/sacramento-judge-tentatively-says.html#storylink=cpy AIR POLLUTION China Environmental Watchdog Suspends Approvals for New Refining Projects. China's environmental watchdog took the unusual step Thursday of halting new projects at the country's two largest refining companies after they missed pollution targets, a sign Beijing is stepping up environmental scrutiny of state-owned enterprises amid growing public discontent over pollution. The temporary ban on new construction at China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec Group...Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323324904579041990240338768.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution Fracking health project puts numbers to debate, suggests air pollution may be bigger concern. A project examining the local health impacts from natural gas drilling is providing some of the first preliminary numbers about people who may be affected, and the results challenge the industry position that no one suffers but also suggest the problems may not be as widespread as some critics claim. Posted. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-25/business/41446844_1_gas-drilling-water-pollution-processing Air pollution to be monitored near Houston freeway. State environmental officials will start measuring air pollution levels near a Houston freeway as part of a federal requirement to monitor health risks near major roadways. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in January will begin measuring levels along U.S. Route 59. The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/14GYqqn) reports the monitors will provide the state with its first data on pollution near congested freeways. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/29/5691665/air-pollution-to-be-monitored.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Air-pollution-to-be-monitored-near-Houston-freeway-4771455.php Doctors ask Texas to cut coal plant air pollution. A Dallas-based medical group has asked the Texas environmental agency to cut air pollution from coal-fired power plants by strengthening rules and requiring equipment upgrades in older facilities. The Dallas County Medical Society filed a petition Wednesday with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality asking for a rule change. The agency will have 60 days to respond. The society says research shows that three old coal-fired power plants contribute to air pollution in North and East Texas. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/28/5688363/doctors-ask-texas-to-cut-coal.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Doctors-ask-Texas-to-cut-coal-plant-air-pollution-4768113.php http://www.modbee.com/2013/08/28/2889169/doctors-ask-texas-to-cut-coal.html#storylink=cpy MIT study says combustion emissions cause ~200,000 premature deaths/year in US; vehicles and power generation top sources. Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have concluded that ground-level PM2.5 emissions from combustion sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States cause about 200,000 (90% CI: 90,000–362,000) premature deaths each year, with another 10,000 (90% CI: −1,000 to 21,000) deaths due to changes in ozone concentrations. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/08/20130829-mit.html Tehama County protests air quality rule. Tehama County officials are worried a California Air Resources rule set to take effect Jan. 1, 2014 could be devastating for small business owners who operate heavy duty diesel-fueled equipment in Tehama County. Provisions for the Truck and Bus Rule are set to start next year requiring particulate matter filters or even new engines for nearly all diesel-fueled trucks and buses with gross vehicle weight ratings of more than 14,000 pounds. Posted. http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/business/ci_23972130/tehama-county-protests-air-quality-rule Calif. firms agree to pay $3.5M over imported vehicles. Two California-based consulting firms will pay more than $3.5 million in a settlement with U.S. EPA, the Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board after the government accused the firms of not properly certifying emissions compliance on recreational all-terrain vehicles imported from China.The Obama administration and the state of California charge that MotorScience Inc. and MotorScience Enterprise Inc. imported nearly 25,000 all-terrain vehicles…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059986560/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Vehicles are the leading cause of early deaths from emissions in the U.S. – study. A new study found that emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles are the No. 1 cause of early deaths due to air pollution in the United States. In an upcoming paper in the journal Atmospheric Environment, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined that increases in fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, due to road transportation cause 53,000 early deaths per year from ailments like cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059986561/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Three shippers were fined for violating a clean fuel regulation. Three international shipping firms were fined by the California Air Resources Board after failing to shift from dirty “bunker” fuel to cleaner burning fuel when they entered into state waters. Oslo-based Hoegh Autoliners Shipping AS Co., NCN Corp. Panama and Singapore-based Twin Phoenix Shipping S.A. received a total of $440,250 in fines after the board investigated their visits to the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Stockton. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20130828/three-shippers-were-fined-for-violating-a-clean-fuel-regulation FUELS Coalition asks Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking in California. More than 100 environmental and political activist groups denounce oil fracking legislation as too weak and call on Gov. Brown to order a halt to the practice. A coalition of more than 100 environmental and political activist groups is denouncing oil fracking legislation as too weak and calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to order an immediate halt to the controversial drilling practice. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-brown-fracking-20130829,0,3888475.story http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/28/5689777/coalition-asks-gov-jerry-brown.html#storylink=cpy Ethanol producers urge EPA to reject oil industry request to lower mandate. Ethanol producers are urging U.S. EPA to reject calls by oil industry trade groups to lower next year's biofuels mandate. Earlier this month, the American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers formally requested that EPA lower its renewable fuels targets next year to below 10 percent of the nation's total gasoline supply. In a letter yesterday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059986548/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES A hybrid Corvette Stingray? 'Don't laugh,' GM president says. With the ink barely dry on our review of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe, GM President Mark Reuss swung by the L.A. Times office in a gleaming new Cyber Gray Metallic Stingray Convertible. On his mind were consumers’ changing buying habits, the strength of the auto market in the coming years and GM’s plans for diesel and hybrid powertrains in its vehicles. How about a hybrid Corvette? Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-hybrid-corvette-stingray-reuss-20130828,0,3899803.story Toyota says new Prius, fuel cell car due in 2015. Toyota has two important vehicles coming in 2015: the next-generation Prius hybrid and the company's first hydrogen fuel cell car. Satoshi Ogiso, a top Toyota engineer who helped develop the original Prius 20 years ago, said Wednesday that the new Prius will get significantly better fuel economy than its current 50 miles per gallon. It will have an advanced battery, motor and gas engine combination that is smaller, lighter and cheaper than the current version. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/28/5689167/toyota-says-new-prius-fuel-cell.html#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2013/08/28/2889587/toyota-says-new-prius-fuel-cell.html#storylink=cpy http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/08/20130828-ogiso.html Advancing electric mobility through electric car-sharing – Part II. Electric vehicle (EV) car-sharing schemes are gaining popularity in cities around the world. Several initiatives across Europe are providing the consumer with the opportunity to get the EV experience without the risks usually associated with buying one. In the second part of the article devoted to e-mobility, cars21.com looks at EV-rental schemes in Italy and Scandinavia, as well as EV-sharing initiatives provided by automakers. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5577 EV fast charger installation to soar, study says. Rapid development of fast-charging technologies for electric vehicles will lead to the installation of 199,000 fast-charging stations worldwide by the end of the decade -- more than 100 times the number of the stations in 2012, a study by IHS Automotive says. The number of the stations worldwide is expected to rise to 5,900 this year and to 15,200 in 2014, the study released Tuesday said. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130828/OEM05/130829910/ev-fast-charger-installation-to-soar-study-says#axzz2dLPUrSQd GREEN ENERGY UC Merced Connect: Building gets green certification. The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded platinum LEED certification to UC Merced's Social Sciences and Management Building. Every building project on campus has already or is expected to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, meaning it meets or exceeds standards for sustainability. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/28/5686818/uc-merced-connect-building-gets.html#storylink=cpy MISCELLANEOUS Americans driving less as car culture wanes. Driving in America has stalled, leading researchers to ask: Is the national love affair with the automobile over? After rising for decades, total vehicle use in the U.S. - the collective miles people drive - peaked in August 2007. It then dropped sharply during the Great Recession and has largely plateaued since, even though the economy is recovering and the population growing. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DRIVING_IN_AMERICA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Ohio college students ditch cars, get free bikes. The University of Dayton is giving 100 students free bicycles in exchange for their promise not to bring cars to the southwest Ohio campus for two years. The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/15izkk4) reports the giveaway is part of the university's efforts to shrink its carbon footprint and form a bike friendly campus. It also builds on a bike-sharing program created at the school two years ago. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/29/5691004/ohio-college-students-ditch-cars.html#storylink=cpy OPINIONS Letters: A pollution reality check. Re "Gauging roads' pollution," Aug. 26 It's good news that regulators will soon begin monitoring air quality near major roads. While this effort may be long overdue, it's critical that we get this air pollution data so policy can be directed toward accelerating the transition to electricity produced by renewable sources to power our cars. There are thousands of Americans, many here in Southern California…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/letters/la-le-0829-thursday-pollution-20130829,0,5851185.story To heal the Earth, put plastic in its place. People still discard far more plastic than they recycle. Tens of thousands of volunteers in California gather regularly at local beach and coastal cleanups in an effort to reduce trash flows that contribute to the rising amount of marine debris. These efforts make a difference and help heighten civic awareness about keeping our beaches clean and healthy. But they cannot stem the tide of plastic pollution. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-garrison-plastic-pollution-california-20130829,0,1876188.story California needs controls on fracking. California may be floating atop the nation's biggest pool of oil, over 15 billion barrels that are best tapped by a technique that comes with serious risks. This state can't ignore this energy mother lode, but it needs strong rules to curb potential harm and ease public worries. The risks and rewards of this potential oil boom are why the Legislature should pass SB4…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/California-needs-controls-on-fracking-4769637.php High-speed rail will starve local transit funding. Re "Denham's ploy backfires on high-speed rail" (Dan Morain, Aug. 21): Regardless of how the California Environmental Quality Act affects the progress of high-speed rail in California, or the politics involved, the real result of the project is likely to be crowding out funding for local transit, desperately needed to cut carbon footprints and boost productivity along with delays in upgrades needed now…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/29/5688493/ceqahsr-kerfluffle-blinds-us-to.html#storylink=cpy New warning on global warming. Next month, the international arbiter of the scientific consensus on global warming will release its latest evaluation of the state of the research. A few will dismiss the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings as overwrought alarmism. But a draft leaked to reporters last week indicates that, for most people, the report will serve as another stern warning about the risks of continuing to pump carbon dioxide into the air. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130829/wire/130829529?title=New-warning-on-global-warming Letter: Climate change/global warming. Whatever you want to call it, it's happening, and folks are still talking about it. Climate change has been happening for hundreds of thousands of years. Think about it. A million years ago, where the great plains are today, was a tropical swamp. This has been proven. Then the Earth started to cool. After a few hundred thousand years, the ice age started. It lasted for thousands and thousands of years before the Earth finally started to warm up again. As the ice melted, the ocean levels rose and land was covered by water. Posted. http://www.newbernsj.com/opinion/letters/letter-climate-change-global-warming-1.194653 BLOGS Glenn Beck will fire you over lightbulbs. Glenn Beck is not down with climate change. He calls global warming “a load of socialist, communist crap.” And in the video he orders up a studio memo that says as much and threatens to fire employees who do something in the name of global warming. Like what? Buying recyclable spoons is out, though it’s not clear you are sacked over a spoon or spork. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/hottopics/2013/08/28/glenn-beck-will-fire-you-over-lightbulbs/ RENEWABLE ENERGY: Meeting set for planning desert development, conservation. State and federal officials will hold a long-awaited local meeting on the siting of renewable energy projects on Sept. 6-7, and desert residents are ready to voice their concerns. At issue is the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, known as DRECP, a blueprint for protecting natural resources while allowing for development of solar, wind, geothermal and transmission projects within 22 1/2 million acres of California Desert. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/2013/08/27/renewable-energy-meeting-set-for-planning-desert-development-conservation/ Chevy helps install EV chargers in California state parks. In addition to hanging ten, there's one more really cool thing you can do for free in the coastside California city of Malibu. General Motors' Chevrolet division, looking to gain some positive exposure among the surfer set, installed two free electric-vehicle charging stations at a couple of local state parks last week, Malibu Creek and Leo Carrillo State Beach. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/08/28/chevy-helps-install-ev-chargers-in-california-state-parks/ Energy Department Releases New Clean Energy Finance Guide. Increasing the efficiency of our buildings and accelerating the deployment of renewable energy technologies will strengthen local economies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is why President Obama’s Climate Action Plan calls for federal agencies to work closely with states and municipalities to reduce barriers to investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. As part of the Energy Department’s continued efforts to support state, local and tribal leaders…Posted. http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-releases-new-clean-energy-finance-guide