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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.


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.

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.
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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 


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.




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.


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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


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.

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. 


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. 

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.

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.

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.


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.

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


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

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.

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.

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.

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. 


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.

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.

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