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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 13, 2013. Posted: 13 Sep 2013 14:29:17
ARB Newsclips for September 13, 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 Carbon Rises as Industry Concerned Allowances Will ‘Skyrocket’ European Union carbon permits are poised for their fourth consecutive weekly rise as a chemicals industry lobby group in Brussels said factories in the region were concerned prices will surge. “Prices will skyrocket when demand exceeds supply of allowances,” Peter Botschek, director of energy, health, safety and environment at the European Chemical Industry Council, said yesterday by phone. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-13/carbon-rises-as-industry-concerned-permits-will-skyrocket-.html Carbon tax, threatened Down Under, warms up U.S. climate debate. The promise to rescind Australia's carbon tax is causing some conservatives to throw bouquets, but climate advocates are downplaying the impact that the federal election Down Under might have on American efforts to price emissions. Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott, of the conservative Liberal Party, made the nation's 1-year-old carbon tax a key theme in his campaign against incumbent Kevin Rudd, whose Labor Party elevated climate change to the peak…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987191/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION For cleaner air, set car vents to 'recirculate,' study says. Consider this next time you’re sitting in traffic on the freeway: You’re in a zone where air pollution can be five to 10 times higher than in surrounding areas. Even inside your vehicle, you’re probably breathing in pollutants through the windows or the air vents. After an hour-long commute, you’ve likely doubled your daily exposure to the harmful particles in vehicle exhaust. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-recirculate-car-air-pollution-traffic-20130912,0,3076267.story Exide plant will pay for blood tests for residents. Los Angeles County health agency offers residents of areas near Vernon battery recycler free checks for lead contamination. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will offer free blood testing on a massive scale for lead poisoning to address worries that a Vernon battery recycler has jeopardized the health of hundreds of thousands of residents in southeast Los Angeles, officials said Thursday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-blood-lead-20130913,0,7293744.story http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/12/la-county-free-lead-tests-for-people-near-plant/ Coal Industry Cries Foul Over Obama Rules Restricting Carbon. Representatives of coal-intensive utilities and coal-producing regions said that President Barack Obama would effectively outlaw construction of new power plants using the fuel with pending environmental rules. The Environmental Protection Agency is revising proposed rules from last year in response to opposition by utilities and mining companies. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-09-11/obama-said-to-ban-new-coal-plants-without-costly-carbon-controls World’s Top 50 Emitters Threaten Global Climate Effort, CDP Says. Growing pollution at 50 of the world’s biggest-emitting companies threatens to undermine global efforts to contain rising temperatures, according to a report by CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. Carbon emissions from the 50 top emitters in the FT Global 500, including ArcelorMittal (MT), RWE AG, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT:US) and Exxon Mobil Corp. ..Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-09-12/world-s-top-50-emitters-threaten-global-climate-effort-cdp-says CLIMATE CHANGE New color purple depicts worsening climate risks in U.N. draft report. Some parts of nature and human society are more vulnerable than expected to climate change, according to a draft of a U.N. report that adds a new purple color to a key diagram to show worsening risks beyond the red used so far. It says "unique and threatened systems" like coral reefs, endangered animals and plants, Arctic indigenous communities, tropical glaciers or small island states seem be less able to adapt to warming than believed in a last report in 2007. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/13/us-climate-impacts-idUSBRE98C0AV20130913 Diageo Sips Savings in Whisky Carbon Emissions Footprint. What’s in a bottle of Scotch? A large carbon footprint, as it turns out. While London-based Diageo Plc (DGE) won’t say exactly how much, the world’s largest distiller last year produced 701,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, equal to about 0.6 pounds for each bottle sold, or what comes out of your car’s tailpipe over three-fourths of a mile. The owner of the Johnnie Walker brand is working to voluntarily reduce emissions to help sustainability and boost the corporate bottom line. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-11/diageo-sips-savings-in-whisky-carbon-emissions-footprint.html Oil and gas production is driving Arctic ice melt – study. The flaring of natural gas is contributing more than 40 percent of the sooty black carbon in the Arctic, a level that raises new concerns about the link between energy production and ice melt, according to a new study. The findings in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics underscore the importance of environmental regulations in the remote region as oil and gas production continues, according to analysts. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987189/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Biodiesel Might Be Fleets’ Best Clean Diesel Option. A recent article on TruckingInfo.com looked at several options truckers have when considering alternative fuels. While there are advantages and disadvantages for natural gas, hybrid, electric and even hydrogen fuel cells-powered medium and heavy duty trucks, the article indicates clean diesel (and what’s a cleaner diesel than biodiesel) might be the best choice for fleets: Posted. http://domesticfuel.com/2013/09/13/biodiesel-might-be-fleets-best-clean-diesel-option/ FUELS Why environmentalists turned against fracking bill. Late Wednesday night, when California's state Senate approved a hotly contested bill to regulate fracking and sent it to Gov. Jerry Brown for approval, it did so without the endorsement of some normally supportive environmentalist groups. The bill from State Sen. Fran Pavley had provoked intense opposition not just from the oil industry but from fracking opponents, who had been urging Brown to ban the practice outright. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Why-environmentalists-turned-against-fracking-bill-4810368.php VEHICLES Race Cars Go Electric. The world's fastest cars are becoming eco-friendly. Charge up with these sleek, new rides from Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari. LISTEN CAREFULLY TO the newest, costliest, most technologically out-there supercars and you'll hear the new timbre of automotive supremacy: the whirr of electricity. Over the coming months, dealerships from Shanghai to Silicon Valley will receive a trio of exotic hybrid models from manufacturers Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324591204579038801019838712.html#ixzz2enKXbpVu Going electric? Hybrid and electric cars set sales records in August. Inch by inch, hybrids and electric cars are gaining ground in the U.S. auto market. Automakers sold 54,855 hybrids in August, reports Autodata Corp., a sales tracking firm. That is a 32% gain from the same month a year earlier and an industry record for any prior month. Sales of rechargeable cars, which include plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and electric-only vehicles such as the Tesla Model S…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-electric-hybrid-car-sales-record-20130909,0,2202835.story Electric vehicle ownership on the rise thanks to unique subsidy program, energy savings. Daniel Phan had the world on a string. He drove a Mercedes Benz to his job at Fannie Mae, where he churned out housing loans until the bubble burst. Now, he sits behind a desk for a Los Angeles city and county joint agency finding housing for the homeless, the very people the housing boon left on the curb. “I was on the profit-making side of housing and urban development with Fannie Mae,” Phan, 50, explained. “Now I am doing the opposite. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/environment-and-nature/20130913/electric-vehicle-ownership-on-the-rise-thanks-to-unique-subsidy-program-energy-savings 2014 Mazda 6 diesel sales postponed for emissions testing. Mazda has postponed the U.S. launch of its diesel-powered Mazda 6 midsized sedan until April because of delays in emissions testing, the company said today. Instead of hitting showrooms before year end as planned, Mazda 6 sedans powered by the automaker's Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter turbodiesel will arrive in late April, Robert Davis, senior vice president of U.S. operations for Mazda North American Operations, disclosed to Mazda employees today in a letter obtained by Automotive News. Posted. http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130913/carnews/130919919#ixzz2enI2l7NC Reducing Emissions, One NYC Street-Vendor Cart At A Time. Almost anything can be run on electricity these days. Add to the list, now, even New York City's numerous food carts. In a new pilot program, street vendors are testing out "grid-powered" electrical connections as an alternative to the noisy, polluting generators they typically use to run their carts, Gothamist reports. The hardware is being supplied by Simply Grid, a company specializing in "on demand" services involving public access to electricity. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1086931_reducing-emissions-one-nyc-street-vendor-cart-at-a-time Coal Makes Electric Cars Bad? No, Plug-Ins Show Coal As Bad. Every so often, electric-car skeptics will attack the idea of using grid electricity to power a car by bringing up coal. "Yeah," the argument goes, "but you're just burning coal instead of gasoline in your electric car--so how's that any better?" There is, of course, a fair amount of science that shows it actually is better when measured by wells-to-wheels carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1086927_coal-makes-electric-cars-bad-no-plug-ins-show-coal-as-worse GREEN ENERGY Carbon-coated spider silk wires could lead to 'green' electronics. Here are two things you might not expect to see together: spider silk coated in carbon nanotubes. This hybrid material is stretchy, super strong and can shrink and grow with humidity, making it potentially very useful for sensors and flexible electronics – and scientists made it by rubbing it between their fingers. This nanotube-coated spider silk, described in the journal Nature Communications, could be useful for devices such as heart monitors inside the body…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-carbon-nanotube-silk-spider-web-electronics-20130910,0,2917379.story Solar panels could prove to be a favorable investment. San Diego homeowners are finding the investment in a new solar system profitable. With rate increases up to 30 percent for using energy over and above lower tier brackets, solar has become a highly attractive alternative to soaring utility costs. Many are not aware the utility kilowatt rate is increased by the more energy used in a given month. That’s correct; there is no discount for volume, but rather a substantial penalty. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/sponsored/2013/sep/12/asi-hastings-heating-air-solar-cost-investment/ Wind prospectors delve into Mexico. A wind energy company with ties to San Diego has brokered a deal to supply electricity at two Volkswagen auto plants in Mexico, highlighting opportunities for renewable energy prospectors there. Baja California-headquartered Mexico Power Group, which spun off from San Diego-based Cannon Power Group in 2011, signed an agreement this month to supply wind-generated electricity to Volkwagen's decades-old assembly plant in Puebla and and a VW engine manufacturing facility in Guanajuato state. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/12/wind-prospectors-delve-Mexico/ Solar industry has second-best quarter ever. Bolstered by strong utility investment, the U.S. solar industry recorded its second-largest quarterly growth in the second quarter of 2013, adding 832 megawatts of photovoltaic (PV) capacity, or 15 percent more than in the first quarter of the year. More than half of that new capacity came in the utility sector, which completed 38 projects totaling 452 MW, a 42 percent increase over first-quarter 2013…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987168/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Lawmakers act on wages, environment, in last hours. State lawmakers ended their final session of the year after raising California's minimum wage to one of the highest in the nation, as they also addressed issues including environmental protection, immigrant driver's licenses and teacher misconduct. The Legislature adjourned early Friday after a final rush of debates and negotiations. They aren't scheduled to return until January. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Lawmakers-act-on-wages-environment-in-last-hours-4810943.php OPINIONS Even Green Cars Need Mined Metals. The administration can easily provide a fair assist to makers of advanced autos by removing regulatory barriers to the minerals vital to hybrid and electric vehicles. The administration can easily provide a fair assist to makers of advanced autos without meddling with the market ("Electric Losers, Round Two," Review & Outlook, Sept. 3) by removing regulatory barriers to the minerals vital to hybrid and electric vehicles. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323595004579069032783722674.html#printMode?KEYWORDS=green+energy How We Learned Not to Guzzle. FOR as long as most of us can remember, the nation’s energy news has trended from bad to worse, starting with the oil crises of the 1970s. But today, the good news is that our energy productivity and security are better than they have been in decades. You’d never know it by listening to those who say our energy security requires construction of the massive Keystone XL pipeline, or a new surge of oil and gas drilling, or a nuclear power renaissance, or all of the above. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/opinion/how-we-learned-not-to-guzzle.html?_r=0 Bill to tighten oversight of fracking a good step. Poised on the edge of an oil boom, California now has at least a modest set of new rules to control a promising but uncertain technology that taps one of the country's biggest pools of underground energy. A bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing - which injects a brew of sand, water and chemicals to break up rock formations to extract oil and gas - cleared the Legislature and will go to Gov. Jerry Brown, who signaled his eagerness to sign the measure, SB4. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Bill-to-tighten-oversight-of-fracking-a-good-step-4810408.php BLOGS After Betting $5 Billion on Electric Cars, Nissan Wants More Competition. RNO.FR +1.85% and its partner Nissan Motor Co.7201.TO +0.20%, finding it tough to convince drivers to buy their electric cars, at least have the satisfaction of knowing that they aren’t the only auto makers throwing billions of dollars at the technology. Their German rivals took the wraps off a wide range of new hybrid-drive and electric cars at the Frankfurt motor show this week with even super-luxury auto maker Rolls-Royce talking of future hybrid versions of its limousines. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/09/12/after-betting-5-billion-on-electric-cars-nissan-wants-more-competition/ Average new car fuel economy hits record 24.9 mpg. With more stringent federal fuel economy standards coming, it should be no surprise that the average new-vehicle fuel economy is on the rise. Automotive News cites a study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (Go Blue!), that shows that the 24.9-mile-per-gallon average for August of 2013 is nearly five miles per gallon better than when UMTRI started keeping track in October 2007. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/09/12/average-new-car-fuel-economy-record-24-9-mpg/ Explained in 90 seconds: Your fridge is accelerating climate change — but it doesn’t have to. The outward statecraft of the recent G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, was dominated by disagreements over Syria. But behind the scenes, leaders were busy agreeing on something they rarely find common ground on: climate change. Thirty-five nations and the European Union decided to curb hydrofluorocarbons, a set of powerful heat-trapping gases used in refrigeration, air conditioning, heat pumps, and insulation. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/explained-in-90-seconds-your-fridge-is-accelerating-climate-change-but-it-doesnt-have-to/ California Set to Enact Laws To Improve Access for Electric Car Charging. A pair of laws currently on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk could greatly improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the state. California AB1092 require changes in the building code so that new multi-family dwellings are required to wire for electric car charging infrastructure, and SB454, the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act, would simplify access to EV charging stations. Posted. http://www.plugincars.com/california-enacts-sweeping-charging-station-infrastructure-128249.html