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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 23, 2013. Posted: 23 Sep 2013 16:04:09
ARB Newsclips for September 23, 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. AIR POLLUTION Global Warming Slowdown Hinders Climate Treaty Effort. More than ever, scientists say they’re convinced the Earth’s climate is warming. Yet lawmakers are struggling to do anything about it because the pace of change has unexpectedly slowed. The data has caused a United Nations panel to lower predictions of the pace of global temperature increases by 2100, according to draft documents obtained by Bloomberg ahead of publication due on Sept. 27. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-22/global-warming-slowdown-hinders-climate-treaty-effort.html EPA Won’t Require Carbon Capture at Existing Coal Plants. Existing coal-fired power plants won’t be required to install equipment to capture and store the carbon dioxide they emit under new Environmental Protection Agency rules, the regulator’s top EPA official said. Gina McCarthy, the agency’s administrator, told a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington today that EPA will issue guidelines for states that allow the use of energy efficiency, clean-energy installations or demand cuts to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-23/epa-won-t-require-carbon-capture-at-existing-coal-plants.html Chemical odor, kids' nosebleeds, few answers in South L.A. neighborhood. An oil pumping operation in South L.A., newly ramped up after years of dormancy, has neighbors worried despite officials' assurances. Monic Uriarte says she began having headaches and bouts of dizziness three years ago, about the time she and her neighbors began smelling a chemical odor on the streets and in their homes. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0922-oil-20130922,0,5218288.story . New laws have cleaned up air at Port of Oakland. From the ships that glide into harbor to the trucks that rumble in and out carrying goods, the Port of Oakland is a place known for noise, motion - and air pollution. The port is one of the nation's busiest, and the vessels, vehicles and other machines that operate there are infamous for spewing noxious emissions that endanger the health of thousands of residents in nearby West Oakland. Studies have linked pollution from the port to asthma and other respiratory ailments. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/New-laws-have-cleaned-up-air-at-Port-of-Oakland-4831313.php Gusty winds prompt air alert in Valley. Gusty winds and blowing dust in the San Joaquin Valley have prompted local air officials to issue a health cautionary statement through Saturday. The health caution is in effect for Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties. Blowing dust can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller, or PM10. Exposure to particle pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis and increase risk of respiratory infections, officials said. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/09/20/3509249/gusty-winds-prompt-air-alert-in.html New Fairbanks air-quality regulations find critics. The state released a package of proposed regulations intended to help curb some of Alaska's worst pollution in the Fairbanks area. The regulations, released by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Air Quality include tougher standards for new wood stoves installed in areas of the Fairbanks North Star Borough that fall short of federal air quality standards, more flexible measures to deal with air pollution hot spots and rules to allow local government to issue air quality alerts and take action. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/21/2933296/new-fairbanks-air-quality-regulations.html Air district to award emission-cutting agencies. The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District will recognize at its Monday board meeting the City of Barstow and Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company for emission-cutting projects. The air district is hosting the awards ceremony 10 a.m. Monday at the beginning of its governing board meeting to present this year’s recipients of the Exemplar Award in association with National Pollution Prevention Week. Posted. http://www.vvdailypress.com/articles/air-42392-award-cutting.html CLIMATE CHANGE UN climate experts stress solidity of new report. Seeking to dispel any doubts over the credibility of their work, U.N. climate experts called their latest report an unbiased and reliable assessment of global warming as they presented it Monday to officials from 110 governments for a final review. The landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to state with more confidence than its previous four assessments that global warming is mostly man-made. Posted. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/un-climate-experts-stress-solidity-new-report OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USL5N0HJ1AF20130923 http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/22/us-climate-ipcc-idUSBRE98L0KD20130922 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-22/hunger-seen-worsening-by-oxfam-as-climate-change-heats-up-world.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/un-climate-panel-stresses-solidity-of-new-report-on-global-warming/2013/09/23/4aa064ca-2446-11e3-9372-92606241ae9c_story.html http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-climate-change-uncertainty-20130923,0,791164.story Despite weekend rains, so far, 2013 is driest year in Bay Area history. The storm that dampened the Bay Area over the weekend was like an old friend who doesn't visit much anymore. And with good reason. Despite Saturday's healthy soaking, when it comes to 2013, it's been dry. Record dry. Even including Saturday's showers, the Bay Area has received less rain this year from Jan. 1 to mid-September than during any year in recorded history, back to the Gold Rush. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24144997/so-far-2013-is-driest-year-bay-area?source=rss FUELS Current U.S. coal plants excluded from new carbon capture rules -EPA Chief. Power plants already in operation in the United States will not be required to be retrofitted with equipment to capture carbon emissions, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday. Agency chief Gina McCarthy addressed concerns raised after the EPA on Friday announced the first regulations setting strict limits on the amount of carbon pollution that can be generated by any newly built plant. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/23/usa-coal-epa-idUSL2N0HJ17F20130923 China to raise prices for cleaner fuel to boost production. China will raise prices for higher quality fuels starting from year-end, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Monday, a move aimed at encouraging oil firms to boost production of cleaner fuels to tackle air pollution. Beijing has urged domestic refiners led by Sinopec Corp (0386.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to speed up with the upgrade of their plants to produce cleaner fuels. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/23/us-china-fuel-idUSBRE98M0ER20130923 Brown signs bill on fracking, upsetting both sides of oil issue. Oil industry says the rules go further than needed for safe drilling. Environmentalists contend there aren't enough protections. The nation's toughest restrictions on a controversial oil drilling technique known as fracking were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday. Hotly opposed by the oil industry, the measure "establishes strong environmental protections and transparency requirements," the governor said in a statement. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-brown-bills-fracking-20130921,0,5029067.story Calif. governor's signature on fracking bill comes with a twist. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed into law a closely watched measure mandating oversight of hydraulic fracturing and other emerging oil drilling techniques. Brown quietly announced through an email message late Friday that he had signed S.B. 4, a bill sponsored by Sen. Fran Pavley (D) that establishes regulatory standards governing unconventional drilling. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059987668/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA touts carbon capture models, but some warn they are cautionary tales. The U.S. EPA greenhouse gas rule is putting four "clean" coal plants sharply in the spotlight, but analysts are divided over whether the proposed facilities are national models of the viability of capturing carbon dioxide from power stacks. One of the proposals, Southern Co.'s Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi, is not an example for the rest of the country, according to company officials overseeing the initiative. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987663/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Scientists still working to get a handle on global methane sources. Scientists know levels of methane have skyrocketed since the 1850s, as the impacts of the Industrial Revolution rippled through the atmosphere. Even today, though, it's difficult to determine how much of those emissions increases are coming from wetlands or from wellheads. A study released yesterday in the journal Nature Geoscience takes aim at this problem, pointing out progress in quantifying emissions and areas that still need improvement. Since methane is a potent, if short-lived, greenhouse gas…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987654/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Self-Driving Vehicles Progress Faster Than Rules of Road. The world has moved quickly from wonder at the idea of driverless cars to impatient expectation. The Cadillac SRX zipping around a test track in suburban Detroit is flashing a sign: Not so fast. The car can pilot itself at highway speed while the person in the driver’s seat eats a hamburger. Yet the first versions of General Motors Co. (GM) autonomous vehicles, due out by 2020, will drive themselves only on controlled-access highways, such as an interstate. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-23/self-driving-vehicles-progress-faster-than-rules-of-road.html PG&E Joins with EVI to unveil utility industry’s first electric hybrid bucket trucks. Electric Vehicles International (EVI), joined by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), unveiled the utility industry’s first electric hybrid drivetrain Class 5 trucks today at an event at the manufacturer’s facility in Stockton. The Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) utility trucks, developed by EVI in partnership with PG&E and the California Energy Commission (CEC), were designed, built and tested in the heart of California at EVI’s manufacturing plant in Stockton. Posted. http://www.tspntv.com/component/k2/item/21117-pge-joins-with-evi-to-unveil-utility-industry%E2%80%99s-first-electric-hybrid-bucket-trucks GREEN ENERGY Six Myths About Renewable Energy. Old ideas die hard. The country has been debating renewable energy for decades—how much we should support it, what place it should have in our energy policy, how big an impact it actually has. Yet many of the things we think we know about renewable energy go back to the earliest arguments. Many of the debating points we hear today are based on outdated facts and assumptions that don't hold up anymore. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432404579052900100464562.html Malaysia launches $100 mln clean energy fund. Malaysia and Japan-based Asian Energy Investments Pte Ltd. have launched a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in clean energy projects in South East Asia. Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the launch of the fund on Monday at a meeting of sustainable development experts in San Francisco in the United States. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/23/energy-malaysia-fund-idUSL5N0HJ14220130923 Mass. utilities seek more wind power. The largest utilities in Massachusetts have signed long-term contracts to buy wind-generated electricity at prices below the cost of most other sources, including coal and nuclear, administration officials announced Monday. The contracts filed jointly with state utilities regulators by National Grid, Northeast Utilities — which owns NStar and Western Massachusetts Electric Co…Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/23/2936627/mass-utilities-seek-more-wind.html#storylink=cpy BioMason brick wins Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. CO2-free brick ‘grown’ from bacteria nets €500,000m prize with second award in the offing. BioMason’s CO2-free brick production process, which uses bacteria to ‘grow’ bricks, has been named winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013. The sustainable innovation contest, which is organised by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, awarded its €500,000m first prize to Ginger Dosier, the US innovator behind BioMason. The company is also in the running to win the $250,000 top prize in the US Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge. Posted. http://www.building4change.com/page.jsp?id=1995 MISCELLANEOUS Paint Makers Try to Hold Off Lead-Hazard Court Ruling. Lawyers for makers of house paint are due to make their final arguments Monday in an effort to avoid a court ruling requiring them to spend as much as $2.5 billion to remove lead paint from hundreds of thousands of homes in California. While makers of cigarettes and products containing asbestos have been required to pay billions of dollars in damages to people hurt by those items, paint companies so far have been successful in fending off lawsuits blaming them for the health problems of people exposed to lead. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323980604579030900569507582.html Industry sees new EPA rule as legally unstable. U.S. EPA's new proposal for regulating future power plant carbon dioxide is based on a shaky legal foundation, opponents of the rule charged today. In a call with reporters after the rule's release this morning, the National Association of Manufacturers' vice president for energy and resources policy, Ross Eisenberg, said he had hoped EPA would rewrite the new source performance standard (NSPS) to correct some of the legal mistakes he said it made in its now-defunct 2012 version. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/stories/1059987639/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS COLUMN-Courts should toss EPA's flawed power-plant rule: Kemp. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon pollution standard for new coal-fired power plants, published on Friday, is "arbitrary, capricious (and) an abuse of discretion," under the Administrative Procedure Act. The federal courts should toss it out if the agency persists in adopting the rule in its current form. On the basis of the evidence presented in the proposed rule, no rational decision-maker could conclude that partial implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/23/us-power-epa-rule-idUSL5N0HJ24220130923 COLUMN-Merkel must find balance on gas vs. renewable power: Wynn. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after her re-election, must now come up with an energy reform that balances support for renewable power against the need to keep gas-fired plants in operation to ensure reliable supply. Gas-fired power is vital to ensure that Germany has enough power on a still and cloudy day, but utilities are losing money on gas plants and have been closing them down. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/23/column-wynn-german-power-idUSL5N0HG12R20130923 An Important Step on Global Warming. On Friday, in a move that has already caused dismay in industry and among Congressional Republicans, the Obama administration proposed the first-ever federal limits on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, which account for nearly 40 percent of the greenhouse gases America contributes to a gradually warming climate. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/opinion/an-important-step-on-global-warming.html Clearing the air. As carbon dioxide made news for its role in climate change, Veerabhadran Ramanathan made a striking discovery: Soot and other climate pollutants are 30 to 3,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide and cause millions of deaths per year. The silver lining to that dark cloud is that the compounds last just weeks or months in the atmosphere, compared to the decades that carbon dioxide persists. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/23/tp-clearing-the-air/ To fight climate change, we must trust scientific truth and collective action. It is make your mind up time. This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, set up by the UN in 1988, will publish a paper that will form a crucial part of its fifth assessment report. It will reaffirm that climate change is happening, is manmade and that the balance of evidence is that it is accelerating dangerously. It is the work of 259 scientists from 39 countries who have to submit their work to detailed and open scrutiny before the panel will publish. Posted. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/21/climate-change-scientific-truth-collective BLOGS Green Parking: Not Just a Concept Anymore. Parking, whether in lots or garages, is benefiting from some fresh thinking these days, thanks to new technology and creative ideas that can both save operators money and reduce carbon footprints. Parking operators are also addressing the need for publicly available electric vehicle charging in New York and other cities, though it’s not widely installed yet. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/green-parking-not-just-a-concept-anymore/ California establishes ridesharing rules, including background checks. It is a time for new rules. On top of the EPA's proposed regulations for coal power plants, there are reports out of California that the ridesharing industry will need to sit down and digest a new 76-page rule document. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved ridesharing regulations that will codify the emerging peer-to-peer transportation networks in the state, Techcrunch reports. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/09/20/california-establishes-ridesharing-rules-including-background-c/