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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 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Cap-and-trade-may-be-hurt-as-emissions-drop-off-4800021.php 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/us/california-fires-prompt-air-quality-warning.html http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/10/5722220/air-alert-in-effect-for-san-joaquin.html#storylink=cpy http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130910/A_NEWS/309100309&cid=sitesearch http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/10/2912127/smoke-from-two-wildfires-worsens.html 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/science/improving-respirator-masks-to-put-fresh-air-in-reach.html?ref=science 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Report-Pa-power-plants-3rd-in-carbon-emissions-4802020.php 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. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=24159 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/science/a-climate-alarm-too-muted-for-some.html 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/science/global-warmings-impact-and-germs-that-induce-thinness.html 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. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-aerosols-climate-san-diego-20130909,0,3836661.story FUELS 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/10/5723637/oil-falls-near-107-a-barrel-on.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/business/energy-environment/fuel-economy-hits-six-year-high.html 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. http://www.sbsun.com/government-and-politics/20130910/oil-developers-want-to-use-controversial-fracking-method-to-tap-californias-oil-supply 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. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/news/ci_24053990/santa-cruz-county-board-supes-lower-boom-fracking 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-09/porsche-845-000-hybrid-beats-prius-as-hot-rods-go-green.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/09/20130910-zev.html 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. http://www.plugincars.com/2014-electric-cars-could-move-ev-market-or-not-128214.html GREEN ENERGY 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. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FOOD_AND_FARM_GREENER_DAIRIES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/09/scientists-help-farmers-create-greener-dairies/ 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. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/09/utility-charges-will-change/ 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. Posted. http://www.natlawreview.com/article/california-approves-final-green-chemistry-regulations-disapproves-key-trade-secret-p 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-electric-rates-bill-20130910,0,786513.story?track=rss 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Solar-boat-reaches-Paris-after-crossing-Atlantic-4801204.php 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Group-Reviewers-want-creation-science-textbooks-4799337.php 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. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-exide-20130910,0,7554642.story 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. http://lbbusinessjournal.com/long-beach-business-journal-newswatch/1784-long-beach-transit-board-unaware-staff-added-20-bus-option-to-contract-for-low-emission-buses.html OPINIONS 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 metals…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/pollution-transformed-from-health-concern-to-art-piece/2013/09/09/c9cbd55c-10c5-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/09/5713213/sb-4-would-help-regulate-fracking.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/09/5721639/dan-walters-once-again-cronyism.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/09/2911839/our-view-hazy-sky-isnt-the-only.html 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbradley/2013/09/10/stop-the-hating-and-learn-to-love-fossil-fuels/ 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2013/09/10/how-utilities-use-solar-energy-to-woo-customers/ BLOGS 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. http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/09/09/cas-greenhouse-gas-emissions-fall-bad-news-for-cap-and-trade/ 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/09/09/an-attempt-to-escape-perpetual-failure-on-climate-change-at-the-g20/ 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. http://voices.mydesert.com/2013/09/09/renewables-efficiency-or-natural-gas-to-replace-san-onofre/ 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. http://www.npr.org/2013/09/08/220188619/climate-change-leaves-hares-wearing-the-wrong-colors 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. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/the-grid/controversial-rooftop-solar-bill-passes-state-senate.html