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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 11, 2013.

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 14:21:10
ARB Newsclips for September 11, 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.


BP Faces Claims Over Refinery's Pollutants. A Texas jury on
Wednesday will begin hearing arguments in a lawsuit in which
neighbors of a former BP PLC refinery allege the oil giant's
release of toxic gases exposed residents to potential health
The suit is the latest BP has faced over the refinery it used to
own in Texas City, where a 2005 explosion killed 15 workers,
injured scores of others and cost the London-based oil company
$2.1 billion in legal settlements. Posted.

A third of food is wasted, making it third-biggest carbon
emitter, U.N. says. The food the world wastes accounts for more
greenhouse gas emissions than any country except for China and
the United States, the United Nations said in a report on
Wednesday. Every year about a third of all food for human
consumption, around 1.3 billion tons, is wasted, along with all
the energy, water and chemicals needed to produce it and dispose
of it. Posted.


Calif. air board collects nearly $400,000 in fines. California's
clean air agency says so far this year it has settled 26 cases
involving violations by firms making or selling products that
exceeded standards for gases known as volatile organic compounds.
The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/16jNWgV) Wednesday that
since January the California Air Resources Board has collected
fines totaling $377,950. Posted.

Air pollution linked to heart-disease deaths. Link shown to heart
disease death. It's common knowledge that chronic exposure to air
pollution is linked to respiratory problems, but a new UC
Berkeley-led study of California adults now links it to deaths
from heart disease. The analysis, which was funded by the
California Air Resources Board, estimated the individual
air-pollution exposures of more than 73,700 California residents.

Maine gets feedback on anti-smog rules proposal. Maine's
environmental department heard from supporters and opponents
Tuesday of its proposal to weaken some air-quality restrictions.
The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking federal
approval to allow new or newly upgraded industrial polluters to
be exempt from federal Clean Air Act measures designed to reduce
ground-level ozone. Posted.

Study: People drive more on bad air alert days. Lured by crisp,
clean mountain air only a short drive away, northern Utah
residents seem to be escaping the murky valley air by driving up
the canyons on days when bad air alerts are issued — even though
the system was created to limit use of cars, a new study from the
University of Utah found. Ten years of traffic counter data from
the Utah Department of Transportation reveals traffic remained
steady in the city center…Posted.

Court denies Ariz. bid to delay pollution controls. A federal
appeals court has rejected a bid to postpone pollution control
upgrades at three Arizona coal-fired power plants. The state and
four utility companies had asked the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of
Appeals for the delay while the court reviews the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's rule. The court denied the
request in a brief order this week. Posted.

San Joaquin County issues air quality alert. Increasing ozone
levels and possible smoke from lingering wildfires have prompted
air officials to declare the air basin’s second air alert of 2013
through today from Lodi to Bakersfield. Steps residents can take
to reduce ozone levels include carpooling, vanpooling, refraining
from idling when dropping off/picking up students…Posted.


Arctic Ice Grows Again in August After Record 2012 Melt. The area
of Arctic sea ice was nearly 30% greater in August than a year
ago, according to recent satellite data, though projections based
on longer-term trends suggest the sea ice will continue its
decline over time. Arctic sea ice covered 2.35 million square
miles in August, up from 1.82 million square miles a year
earlier, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, or
NSIDC, in Boulder, Colo. The level recorded last year was a
record low. Posted.

Obama Said to Ban New Coal Plants Without Carbon Controls. New
coal plants would need to install expensive equipment to limit
climate-change emissions under a proposal the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency is close to issuing, according to people
familiar with the plan. The EPA agreed to revise a similar
proposal from last year in response to opposition by utilities
and coal producers who said it would effectively kill coal as a
power source. Posted.

Regulations worry Yolo County farmers more than climate change
itself. Some farmers are saying that climate change regulations
don t look at how farmers can help the environment. (Deo Ferrer/
Democrat) California farmers feel more threatened by climate
policy than they do by climate change itself, according to a new
study from UC Davis. The study, published in the journal Global
Environmental Change, found that the greatest climate risk Yolo
County farmers believe...Posted.

Climate Change in the Californian Mind. Highlights:  • Most
Californians (79%) believe global warming is happening, while
only 11% believe it is not.  • Over half (58%) believe that if
global warming is happening, it is mostly due to human
activities. • A majority (55%) also believes that most scientists
think global warming is happening. Of those who believe global
warming is happening, large majorities say that: Posted.


CARB fines two waste haulers $77,875 for diesel violations. The
California Air Resources Board has fined two waste disposal
companies $77,875 for violating state air quality regulations.
CARB levied administrative fines of $39,250 to Burlingame,
Calif.-based Redwood Debris Box Service and $38,625 to
Bakersfield, Calif.-based Mountainside Disposal Inc./Price
Disposal Inc., according to a CARB news release.
Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=25691

Judges seem skeptical of truck makers' arguments against EPA
penalty rule. Three of the nation's biggest long-haul truck
manufacturers argued in court today that U.S. EPA should have
voided air compliance certificates granted to a competitor in
light of a court ruling last year. The manufacturers -- Daimler
Trucks North America LLC, Mack Trucks Inc. and Volvo Group North
America -- are challenging "certificates of conformity" EPA
issued to Navistar International Corp. to manufacture trucks in
compliance with EPA's 2001 nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits for
heavy-duty truck engines. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059987075/print BY


EU lawmakers reduce use of food-based biofuel. The European
Parliament voted Wednesday to significantly reduce the amount of
biofuels made from food crops by 2020 to counter concerns over
the energy source's environmental and ethical sustainability.
Environmentalists argue biofuels made from sugar, corn or
soybeans add as much or even more to greenhouse gas emissions as
the fossil fuels they are meant to replace. Posted.



Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Reaches a High, Nearing Goal for 2016.
Automakers are making slow but steady progress improving fuel
efficiency, as the industry hit a high for the average miles per
gallon of new vehicles sold in August in the United States. A
study released by the University of Michigan on Tuesday said that
the average fuel economy on the window stickers of cars and
trucks sold last month was 24.9 miles per gallon. Posted.

EPA proposes changes to oil and gas emissions reporting. The oil
and gas industry would have to reveal to U.S. EPA and the public
the data it uses to compute its greenhouse gas emissions, under a
new proposed rule. The proposal was released in a Federal
Register notice published yesterday. The move is meant to improve
transparency of the greenhouse gas reporting program, a key EPA
initiative mandating that companies report the amount of
greenhouse gases…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059987016/print BY


Automakers bet on alternative-fuel cars for future. Judging by
the slew of electric and hybrid vehicles being rolled out at the
Frankfurt Auto Show, it might seem carmakers are tapping a large
and eager market. But in fact almost no one buys such cars — yet.
More and more automakers are coming out with electric versions of
existing vehicles — such as Volkswagen's all-electric versions of
its Up! city car and Golf compact — or ones they have designed as
electrics from the ground up, like small BMW's electric city car
i3. Posted.



VW may sell CNG cars in U.S. Volkswagen Group says it is
considering selling compressed-natural gas cars in the United
States and has talked to the Environmental Protection
Administration, urging the government to do more to support CNG
refueling. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, head of powertrain development at
VW, said the company is considering selling CNG vehicles in the
United States. Currently, only Honda Motor Co. sells a CNG
passenger car — and it has sold only about 2,000 vehicles.

Plug-in electric vehicle sales expected to grow by 18% annually –
report. Plug-in electric vehicle sales have failed to meet the
expectations of automakers and political leaders, but the
vehicles are quickly becoming more available across North
America, with coastal states showing the highest adoption rates,
according to a new report by Navigant Research. The report finds
that California, New York, Washington and Florida will lead the
way in plug-in vehicle (PEV) sales through 2022. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987025/print BY

Battery maker to unveil micro hybrid system. The world's largest
automotive battery supplier today will unveil a two-battery micro
hybrid system for automobiles. The production-ready system, which
will be debuted by Johnson Controls Inc. at the International
Motor Show in Germany, would boost a car's fuel economy by 15
percent. The company released the prototype in January, and it
plans to have the first generation of the battery to automakers
by December. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059987062/print BY


Far-reaching energy bill a step closer to reality. A bill that
could raise California's already lofty goals for renewable power,
encourage more homeowners to go solar and change the way most
state residents pay for electricity appears to be headed for Gov.
Jerry Brown's desk. The legislation from Assemblyman Henry Perea,
D-Fresno, had been the subject of a bitter, months-long fight
between electricity utilities and solar companies…Posted.

Supervisors OK zoning rules for renewable energy development. 
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday approved zoning rules that they
said would ensure a “conservative” and “cautious” approach to
renewable energy development on the county's farms, ranches and
remote forested lands and hillsides. The regulations for
commercial projects on agricultural property cover more than
three-quarters of the county, or more than 700,000 acres. Posted.


California Takes Steps to Ease Landmark Law Protecting
Environment. A landmark law that has been a symbol of
California’s tough environmental philosophy for more than 40
years is facing an unlikely challenge from Democrats, including
Gov. Jerry Brown, who contend that regulations protecting the
environment have been abused and are thwarting legitimate
development. Posted.

Study: Wind farms killed 67 eagles in 5 years. A new study by
government scientists says wind energy facilities have killed at
least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the
number could be much higher. The research represents one of the
first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation's growing
wind energy industry. A total of 85 eagles were killed at wind
farms since 1997, the study concludes, but most of those occurred
in 2008-2012. Most deaths — 79 — were golden eagles. Posted.

Valley fever hospitalizations increase in Calif. The annual rate
of hospitalizations for valley fever, a potentially lethal but
often misdiagnosed disease, has doubled over the past 12 years in
California, according to a study published on Wednesday by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fever — which is
caused by a fungus found in soil and can be contracted by simply
breathing in the spores from dust disturbed by wind or other

Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District re-branding
contest open to Monterey Bay area college students. The Monterey
Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District is holding a
re-branding contest to accept submissions for a new name. The
contest is open to college students in Monterey, Santa Cruz and
San Benito counties. The entry deadline is Sept. 30. Posted.

Oakley council pursues apartment complex smoking law. In an
effort to protect the public's health, the city will be pursuing
an ordinance that regulates where smokers in apartments can
indulge their habit. The City Council on Tuesday directed its
attorney to draft an ordinance that, if it follows staff
recommendations, would apply to complexes with 10 or more units
and not only to tobacco users but those who smoke marijuana for
medicinal purposes. Posted.


COLUMN-Australia is another nail in cap and trade: Wynn.
Australia's proposal to ditch cap and trade market in favour of a
weakened scheme follows reduced or abandoned carbon markets in
Europe and the United States and does not bode well for planned
schemes around the world. One advantage of cap and trade was
always supposed to be the fact that it is not a tax. As a
complicated policy instrument, it was something that the public
would struggle to understand or care about. Posted.

More on Fracking and the Poor. The U.S. oil and gas boom added
$1,200 to disposable income in 2012. Last week we reported on a
study showing that the U.S. oil and natural gas revolution may be
the country's best antipoverty program, and the evidence keeps
coming. A new report from IHS Global Insight estimates that
fracking added the equivalent of a cool $1,200 to real household
disposable income on average in 2012. Posted.

The dangerous effects of global warming. DID GLOBAL warming
contribute to the punishing heat wave much of the country endured
during the summer of 2012? How about Superstorm Sandy? A group of
78 scientists led by experts from the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week gave their
preliminary answers, releasing a series of peer-reviewed analyses
on those and other major weather events from last year. Posted.

Counting the Cost of Fixing the Future. What would you pay to
protect the world in which your great-great-grandchildren will
live from hurricanes, drought and the like?  In May, to little
fanfare, the Obama administration published new estimates of the
“social cost of carbon,” a dollars-and-cents measure of the
future damage — from floods, pandemics, depressed agricultural
productivity — that releasing each additional ton of
heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would cost.

Another View: CEQA streamlining needed for Sacramento arena.
Sacramento is set to embark on possibly the most significant
civic project in the history of the city. The downtown sports and
entertainment complex is a necessary component to keeping the
Kings in California. But more than that, it’s a vital civic
amenity that will renew our city center, create jobs and
stimulate our region’s economy. That’s why the passage of SB 743
is critical to Sacramento’s future. Posted.

Viewpoints: CEQA reform is no longer stuck in traffic. State
Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is finally putting some sense
back into the California Environmental Quality Act, at least when
it comes to how the law treats traffic impacts. His bill to
modernize CEQA is now taking overdue aim at the law’s misguided
way of dealing with traffic. Nobody likes sitting in traffic. But
the way CEQA currently handles the issue creates more
environmental problems than it solves. Posted.


From the Fire Hose: Warming Slowdown, Deep-Ocean Waves, Canadian
Crude.  Zeke Hausfather, a data analyst at the Berkeley Earth
project, has filed “Examining the Recent Slowdown in Global
Warming” at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. It’s
a superb examination of what’s known, and unknown, about what
James Hansen, Susan Solomon and other climate scientists have
described as a pause or hiatus in warming. Posted.

RIVERSIDE: Forum focus is air pollution and growth.  I hope those
of you interested in air pollution can attend  a community forum
on the topic on Thursday, Sept. 12, sponsored  by The
Press-Enterprise. It will be an opportunity to discuss the health
effects, economics and policy questions surrounding Inland air
quality, which fails to meet federal health standards. The event
is free and open to everyone. Posted.

Grid Storage Cost-Effective for Solar, Not So Much for Wind.
Renewables like solar and wind aren't on call 24/7. If we expect
to count on power from those two intermittent resources 24/7, we
need to find a way to store that power, so that we can flick a
switch on on a windless night and have the lights go on. This
isn't news: we've covered the storage issue frequently here at
ReWire. But a study published recently is news: it suggests that
on a cost-effectiveness basis alone, storage may make a lot more
sense for solar energy than it does for wind. Posted.

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