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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 10, 2013.

Posted: 10 Sep 2013 12:51:35
ARB Newsclips for September 10, 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 may be hurt as emissions drop off. California's new
cap-and-trade system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions may
soon face a paradoxical problem - emissions that are falling
faster than expected. A report issued Monday argues that
California's emissions are already dropping, undercut by a
sluggish economy and the state's growing use of renewable power.
That may sound like cause for celebration. Posted.

Analyst sharply downgrades price forecast for Calif. Allowances.
California's carbon trading system will likely be less expensive
for businesses in the Golden State than previously expected,
according to a new analysis based on updated greenhouse gas
emissions data. Prices for allowances in California's landmark
economywide cap-and-trade system should be at or near the minimum
floor established by the state through 2020, thanks to other
carbon-cutting policies that are working as expected…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059986960/print BY


California: Fires Prompt Air Quality Warning.  Air quality
officials are warning San Joaquin Valley residents of potential
health hazards because of increasing ozone levels and smoke from
lingering wildfires. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District issued an air alert, the second this year, on Monday for
San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings and Tulare
Counties and parts of Kern County. Posted.



Improving Respirator Masks to Put Fresh Air in Reach. Now the
government and the hazardous-equipment industry are trying to do
better. They are working on a new generation of respirator masks,
not just for rescue and cleanup workers but to prepare for
outbreaks of disease and for still another emerging threat: the
accidental releases of nanoparticles, the microscopic, engineered
fibers that are starting to be used in electronics, food,
medicine and more. Posted.

Report: Pa. power plants 3rd in carbon emissions. An
environmental group says Pennsylvania's power plants rank third
in emissions of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that's
heavily blamed for global warming. PennEnvironment also said in a
report Tuesday that seven power plants in Pennsylvania rank among
the nation's 100 biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. Posted.

Bakersfield company fined for violating air quality regulations. 
Mountainside Disposal Inc./Price Disposal Inc. of Bakersfield is
being fined by the California Air Resources Board for violating
air quality regulations related to diesel trucks they operate. 
Mountainside Disposal/Price Disposal has paid $38,625 in
penalties for its violations.  Investigation showed that the
company failed to install legally required diesel particulate
filters on its trucks by applicable compliance dates, CARB says.

Penalties for smog violations collected.  The Air Resources Board
announced that it has settled 26 cases involving violations by
companies manufacturing or selling consumer products that
exceeded California's standards for smog.  The violations
involved gases known as volatile organic compounds. The excess in
emissions of VOCs from these settlements amounted to over 24
tons.  Posted.  http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/story.php?s=30353

50 U.S. coal plants emit more CO2 than all but 6 countries –
report. Fifty of the dirtiest coal-fired U.S. power plants
together emit more carbon dioxide than all but six countries,
according to a report released today by Environment America. The
top five emitters, the report says: Georgia Power Co.'s Plant
Scherer in Georgia, Alabama Power Co.'s James H. Miller Jr. plant
in Alabama, Luminant's Martin Lake in Texas, Ameren Corp.'s
Labadie plant in Missouri and NRG Energy Inc.'s W.A. Parish plant
in Texas. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059987001/print BY


A Climate Alarm, Too Muted for Some.  This month, the world will
get a new report from a United Nations panel about the science of
climate change. Scientists will soon meet in Stockholm to put the
finishing touches on the document, and behind the scenes, two big
fights are brewing. In one case, we have a lot of mainstream
science that says if human society keeps burning fossil fuels
with abandon, considerable land ice could melt and the ocean
could rise as much as three feet by the year 2100. Posted.

Global Warming’s Impact and Germs That Induce Thinness. Though
many think the Moon does not have an atmosphere that is not quite
true. There is an atmosphere, but it is extremely thin — and NASA
is spending more than a quarter of a billion dollars to study it
with a spacecraft launched on Friday. Back on Earth, scientists
reported that global warming was changing not just the climate
but the weather, intensifying at least some of last year’s
extreme weather events. Posted.

UC San Diego center awarded $20 million for climate research. A
UC San Diego chemistry center has won $20 million from the
National Science Foundation to continue pioneering research on
the effects of tiny atmospheric particles on climate. The award,
announced Monday, follows a much smaller NSF grant that helped
establish the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the
Environment at the university three years ago. Posted.


Oil falls near $107 a barrel on Syria proposal. Oil dropped 2
percent Tuesday as support grew behind a plan for Syria to cede
possession of its chemical weapons and avoid a military strike by
the U.S. By midday, benchmark oil for October delivery was down
$2.44, or 2.2 percent, to $107.08 a barrel on the New York
Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, oil fell $1.01. Oil prices have
been at elevated levels for two weeks following President Barack
Obama's call for military action…Posted.

Fuel Economy Hits Six-Year High.  The average fuel economy of new
vehicles sold in the United States hit a new high of 24.9 miles
per gallon in August, according to a University of Michigan study
released Tuesday. The results indicate that automakers are
producing more fuel-efficient models and consumers are continuing
a trend of buying vehicles that use less gasoline. Posted.

Oil developers want to use controversial fracking method to tap
California’s oil supply.  A different kind of gold rush is coming
to California and like the one that began at Sutter’s Mill, this
one also involves gold, only black gold, as in crude oil. The
vast, untapped oil reserves of the Monterey Shale formation
stretching from Salinas to the Los Angeles Basin contain as much
as 15.1 billion barrels of oil. Oil developers plan on claiming
that treasure by injecting water…Posted.

Santa Cruz County Board of Supes to lower boom on fracking. The
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday seems set to
enact a moratorium on new oil exploration throughout the county,
a vote driven by fears about hydraulic fracturing's environmental
impacts. If approved, the vote would make Santa Cruz County the
first to temporarily ban fracking, and comes as a raging debate
over new state fracking regulations plays out in the state
Legislature. Posted.

Obama admin stands by ethanol as RFS debate heats up. The Obama
administration today vowed to continue supporting renewable fuels
against attacks from the oil industry as Congress returns to
debate the federal biofuel mandate. In a speech to ethanol
producers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said President Obama
was strongly behind the industry and would oppose congressional
action to change the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059986982/print BY


Porsche $845,000 Hybrid Beats Prius as Hot Rods Go Green.  Speedy
new models from Porsche AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)
can beat Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Prius not just off the line
but also at the fuel pump as efficiency becomes a key standard
even for elite racers. Porsche’s $845,000 918 Spyder hybrid,
unveiled at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt, can reach
100 kilometers (62 miles)…Posted.

ARB hosting public hearing on ZEV modifications; battery swapping
out for fast refueling of ZEVs.  The California Air Resources
Board (ARB) will conduct a public hearing on 24 October in
Sacramento to consider minor proposed amendments to the
California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation being put
forward by ARB staff. (Earlier post)  In January 2012, the ARB
approved the Advanced Clean Cars program, which included
increased ZEV requirements through 2025 model year…Posted. 

2014 Electric Cars That Could Move the EV Market, Or Not.  August
2013 was an impressive month for electric car sales, with the
Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF racking up new records. As has been
the case since those first two plug-in models hit the market in
late 2010, the Volt and LEAF continue to own the lion’s share of
sales. In August, their combined sales were 5,771, more than half
the total 11,363 purchases. The plug-in Prius and Model S each
contributed about 1,700 sales. Posted. 


Scientists help farmers create greener dairies. Cows stand
patiently in a tent-like chamber at a research farm in western
Wisconsin, waiting for their breath to be tested. Outside,
corrals have been set up with equipment to measure gas wafting
from the ground. A nearby corn field contains tools that allow
researchers to assess the effects of manure spread as fertilizer.


Big changes coming for utility customers.  California will
overhaul the way most utility customers are billed for home
electricity and lift current caps on the amount of renewable
energy and rooftop solar installations, under legislation that
cleared its last major hurdle on Monday. Approval of Assembly
Bill 327 by the state Senate opens the way for the California
Public Utilities Commission to rewrite landmark consumer
protections and energy conservation measures enacted during the
state’s 2000-01 energy crisis. Posted.

California Approves Final Green Chemistry Regulations,
Disapproves Key Trade Secret Provisions. On August 28, 2013 the
California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) partially
approved and partially disapproved the California Department of
Toxic Substances Control’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations,
also known as California’s Green Chemistry regulations. The
approved regulations will go into effect on October 1, 2013.

Calif. vows to replace failed nuclear plant with 50% green power.
California must act swiftly to find long-term sources of
electricity capable of filling the gap left by the closure of a
San Diego nuclear plant, state leaders said yesterday. The Golden
State needs to plan for the next decade, keeping in mind the need
to prevent the kinds of energy shortages that plagued it in
2000-2002, said Robert Weisenmiller, the California Energy
Commission's chairman. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059986976/print BY


Energy bill could alter electricity rates for millions in
California. Under new rules, residential customers in hotter
inland cities would probably get a break while those along the
coast would likely pay more. California lawmakers are poised to
pass legislation that could dramatically affect bills for
millions of residential customers of Southern California Edison
Co. and other state-regulated utilities. Posted.

Solar boat reaches Paris after crossing Atlantic. The world's
largest solar-powered boat has docked on the banks of the Seine
River, its final port of call after a three-month voyage across
the Atlantic Ocean to study how the Gulf Stream and climate
change could influence each other. The 102-foot-long
(31-meter-long) Turanor PlanetSolar catamaran looks like one of
Darth Vader's TIE Fighters turned on its side. Posted.

Group: Reviewers want 'creation science' textbooks. Publishers
producing high school biology textbooks that could be used in
classrooms across Texas are being pressured to water down lessons
on evolution and climate change, a progressive watchdog group
said Monday. The State Board of Education is considering new
science books which, if adopted, could be used by some Texas
public school students for a decade. Posted.

Elected leaders pledge to fight Vernon battery recycler.
Officials say they plan to unite in a bid to sway regulators to
close a Vernon battery recycler that residents in surrounding
areas say is harming their health. Elected officials from cities
across southeast Los Angeles County pledged Monday evening to
marshal their political power to sway regulators to shut down a
Vernon battery recycler that residents fear is harming their
health because of arsenic and lead emissions. Posted.

Long Beach Transit Board Unaware Staff Added 20-Bus Option To
Contract For Low-Emission Buses. An option for purchasing 20 more
zero emission buses was added to Long Beach Transit’s contract
with BYD Motors without the board of directors’ knowledge,
Boardmember Maricela De Rivera pointed out at their meeting on
August 27. Rolando Cruz, executive director and vice president of
maintenance and facilities at Long Beach Transit (LBT), admitted
that including the option without board approval was a “mistake”
and that staff oversight was to blame. Posted.


Pollution transformed from health concern to art piece.  It’s
hard to think of coal runoff as anything but toxic. Filled with
iron ore and other heavy metals, the sludge acidifies waterways,
kills fish and aquatic plants, and, if ingested, can be dangerous
or fatal for humans. But where most people see destruction and
sickness, one man sees art.  Artist John Sabraw partnered with
Ohio University engineer Guy Riefler to extract the toxic heavy

California must strengthen fracking regulations. Re "Lawmakers
need to lead on fracking regulation" (Editorials, Sept. 8):
Senate Bill 4 would provide some transparency and accountability
around the potentially dangerous practice of fracking. We should
not allow oil and gas companies to have unregulated carte blanche
to inject unspecified chemicals into the ground without public
notice. Posted.

Dan Walters: Once again, cronyism rears head in California. When
Ronald Reagan signed the California Environmental Quality Act
four decades ago, it was portrayed as a process that would
encourage managers of public and private projects to pay
attention to and mitigate potentially adverse effects. Over time,
however, complying with CEQA became not only a torturous slog
through very expensive red tape – one that elevated complex
process over final product …Posted.

Hazy sky isn’t the only air quality problem in valley.  The
massive Rim fire in the Sierra and a much smaller fire at Mount
Diablo get the blame for the hazy sky over the Northern San
Joaquin Valley this week, and coupled with a sudden hot streak,
it’s enough to make people want to stay inside.  They also need
to use their cars as little as possible because the other issue –
not readily visible – is a high ozone level that is a health
hazard for people with asthma and other health problems…Posted. 

Stop The Hating, And Learn To Love Fossil Fuels. Next month, the
United States will mark a major energy milestone. For the first
time in nearly two decades, we will produce more oil domestically
than we import. After decades of talk about how America was
losing its energy edge, new drilling technologies are making the
United States the energy production capital of the world. The
domestic resurgence means less reliance on politicized imports,
more domestic jobs, and greater economic prosperity. Posted.

How Utilities Use Solar Energy To Woo Customers. SolarCity said
Tuesday it has teamed up with Direct Energy to offer solar power
to the utility’s business customers, a move that provides yet
another example of a growing interest by utilities to make money
from rooftop solar projects. SolarCity and Direct Energy have set
up a $124 million fund to finance rooftop solar panel
installations for Direct Energy’s commercial and industrial
customers. Posted.


CA’s greenhouse gas emissions fall — bad news for cap-and-trade? 
California’s new cap-and-trade system for cutting greenhouse gas
emissions may soon face a paradoxical problem — emissions that
are falling faster than expected.  A report issued Monday argues
that California’s emissions are already dropping, undercut by a
sluggish economy and the state’s growing use of renewable power.
Between 2008 and 2011, emissions fell about 15 percent.  Posted. 

An attempt to escape perpetual failure on climate change at the
G20.  Our expectations were all out of whack on climate change.
For years, environmentalists and world leaders promised a “big
bang” international agreement, a comprehensive, world-wide plan
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to which pretty much every
nation on the planet would be a willing party. A global problem,
after all, requires a global solution.  Posted. 

Renewables, efficiency or natural gas to replace San Onofre?  A
fight could be brewing over how Southern California will replace
the 2,200 megawatts of power the now-closed San Onofre nuclear
power plant provided to the grid, and especially to the
kilowatt-hungry cities of Los Angeles and San Diego.  A
multiagency plan now taking shape to fill the gap in power
supplies is based on an assumption that at least half the power
can be replaced cleanly…Posted. 

Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors.  The
effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like
drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula,
Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something
very small: the snowshoe hare.  Life as snowshoe hare is pretty
stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat
you.  Posted. 

Controversial Rooftop Solar Bill Passes State Senate. A bill to
revamp the state's laws regulating how utilities treat rooftop
solar that had been a target of pointed criticism by pro-solar
groups passed a voice vote on the Senate Floor Monday. Its
amendments have some solar advocates singing cautious praise.
Fresno-area Assemblyperson Henry Perea's Assembly Bill 327, which
has attracted criticism for its enabling of a fixed monthly
service fee payable to utilities…Posted.

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