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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 30, 2013. Posted: 30 Sep 2013 15:01:17
ARB Newsclips for September 30, 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 Grant aids effort to reduce power-plant pollution. University of Kentucky researchers landed a $3 million federal grant on Monday to work on developing technology to sharply reduce the costs generated by preventing carbon pollution from spewing into the air from coal-burning power plants. UK researchers hope their work eventually yields commercial applications that boost coal-based electricity — benefiting miners, utility companies and ratepayers. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/30/5781186/grant-aids-effort-to-reduce-power.html#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/30/2950045/grant-aids-effort-to-reduce-power.html#storylink=cpy Valley avoids summer ozone spike for first time. For the first time on record, summer passed here without a dangerous peak in dirty air. Could it finally be time to celebrate a historic moment — the San Joaquin Valley no longer in violation of the federal one-hour ozone standard? It's not a done deal yet. Air-quality activists say the local air district still must explain a sudden improvement in the notorious smog trap of Arvin in Kern County after an air monitor was moved. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/29/2948055/valley-summer-ozone-spike-is-avoided.html Smog report card: Air quality improves. Southern Californians were breathing a little easier this year. There were 90 days the ozone standard was exceeded, the fewest in six years. AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood is looking ahead. “We are very close, and expect to hit our target for attaining a health standard for fine particulate pollution in the coming year.” Posted. http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/story.php?s=30561 NW Ohio refinery looks to $300M tar sands upgrade. A refinery in northwest Ohio is seeking state approval for a $300 million upgrade to refine tar sands from Alberta, Canada. Spokesman Mel Duvall with Canada-based Husky Energy Co. said the type of heavy crude most likely to be refined in Lima differs from the company's vast reserves of bitumen, although both are in Alberta. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/28/5776520/nw-ohio-refinery-looks-to-300m.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/sep/28/nw-ohio-refinery-looks-to-300m-tar-sands-02/#ixzz2gOTNO3Ag Neb. coal plant tests new pollution-control system. A new system to capture one of the main gases linked to global warming will be tested at a Nebraska coal plant over nearly four years. The U.S. Department of Energy chose a Nebraska Public Power District plant near Sutherland for the $19 million project that starts Oct. 1. The project will test a carbon dioxide-capturing system designed by Ion Engineering of Boulder, Colo. This is the first test of Ion's system outside of a laboratory setting. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/sep/29/neb-coal-plant-tests-new-pollution-control/#ixzz2gOTnk8eX CLIMATE CHANGE U.N. Climate Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions. The world’s top climate scientists on Friday formally embraced an upper limit on greenhouse gases for the first time, establishing a target level at which humanity must stop spewing them into the atmosphere or face irreversible climatic changes. They warned that the target is likely to be exceeded in a matter of decades unless steps are taken soon to reduce emissions. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/science/global-climate-change-report.html?pagewanted=all http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/09/30/un-climate-change-models-warming/ Experts set threshold for climate-change calamity. Researchers say an emissions tipping point for the planet may be 25 years away. The world's leading climate scientists have for the first time established a limit on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be released before the Earth reaches a tipping point and predicted that it will be surpassed within decades unless swift action is taken to curb the current pace of emissions. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0928-climate-change-20130928,0,2765027.story http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/29/5778222/experts-set-threshold-for-climate.html State agency seeks input on climate risks. The California Natural Resources Agency on Monday will host a meeting in Sacramento to get public input on how the state should prepare for climate risks. The 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. meeting will be in the Natural Resources Building auditorium at 1416 Ninth St. It’s one of a series of public meetings being held statewide. The agency is working with other state agencies to draft a Safeguarding California Plan, an update to the 2009 climate adaptation strategy. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/27/5774065/state-agency-seeks-input-on-climate.html#storylink=cpy FUELS U.S. gas prices could drop 30 cents by Christmas, AAA says. National gas prices fell 19 cents in September, the largest drop since October 2012, AAA said Monday, and if the downward trend continues, gas prices could drop an additional 30 cents by Christmas. The U.S. average gas price is now at $3.40 a gallon, the lowest price since January. “Most drivers are paying the lowest gas prices in more than eight months due to abundant gasoline supplies…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-aaa-gas-prices-20130930,0,5629201.story Fixing California: protect environment while sharing energy success. A21st-century oil and natural gas industry in Colorado is recognizing that more rigorous regulations translate into broader citizen acceptance. This evolution, and the joining of innovations like horizontal drilling with long-accepted practices like hydraulic fracturing, is moving America toward energy independence. In the process, we are improving the quality of the air, as well as beginning to fight back against climate change. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/29/tp-fixing-california-protect-environment-while/ VEHICLES Toyota Calls Hybrids 'Sturdy Bridge' to Automotive Future. Toyota Motor Corp. is committed to hybrid, gasoline-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to displace the use of gasoline, said Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of the world's largest auto maker. "The reason why Toyota doesn't introduce any major [all-electric product] is because we do not believe there is a market to accept it," Mr. Uchiyamada said in an interview following a speech on Monday at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303918804579107213728805086.html BY SUBSCRIPTION Gov. Brown extends use of carpool lanes for electric cars, others. Among the 20 pieces of legislation signed by the governor were those promoting the use of low- and zero-emission vehicles and expansion of access to fresh food. Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday approved a four-year extension of carpool lane access for electric cars and low-emission vehicles. But he vetoed a bill that would have allowed solo motorists in regular vehicles access to those lanes on two Los Angeles County freeways during non-peak hours. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0929-brown-bills-20130929,0,4207906.story http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Governor-approves-6-laws-encouraging-electric-cars-4853459.php http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/09/california-governor-signs-6-bills-to-support-burgeoning-ev-market-including-2b-ab-8.html Tesla is big draw at electric-vehicle event in Folsom. Ralph Lubick, 70, of Folsom was admiring a bright green Tesla Roadster on display Sunday in the parking lot of Folsom Premium Outlet Mall. “I’ll take two of those,” he joked to the owner, Dennis Pinion, 68, of Arnold. But Pinion wasn’t selling his rare 2011 Tesla Roadster, which has a personalized plate that reads 2PLUG IN. Instead, it was one of 10 Teslas on display for the Sacramento Plug-In Vehicle Day Ride and Drive Event at the mall. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/29/5779929/tesla-is-big-draw-at-electric.html#storylink=cpy Electric vehicles on display in Burlington. Dealers and supporters of electric vehicles gathered in Burlington on Saturday to raise awareness about the vehicles and announce new financing initiatives to support more of them in Vermont. The event was held on Church Street with electric vehicles from several local dealers on display. Officials also announced two new financing initiatives to support the vehicles' use. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/28/2946229/electric-vehicles-to-be-on-display.html#storylink=cpy State's clean-vehicle rebate program lands $44.5M. The California Air Resources Board said Thursday it has received an additional $72.5 million in funding through a variety of programs meant to improve air quality by getting more polluting vehicles off the road and replacing them with more clean-burning cars and trucks. The California Air Resources Board said Thursday it has an additional $72.5 million in funding through a variety of programs meant to improve air quality by cleaning up vehicles. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/09/27/states-clean-vehicle-rebate-program.html Electric Vehicles Speeding Toward 7% Of All Global Sales By 2020. Hybrid vehicles may have had pole position so far in the race to a sustainable transportation future, but electric-only vehicles are about to pull even – and they’re both becoming a significant part of global vehicle sales. Combined worldwide sales of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles will reach 6.6 million annual units by 2020 and become almost 7% of the total light-duty vehicle market, according to Navigant Research’s 2013-2020 Electric Vehicle Market Forecast. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2013/09/30/electric-vehicles-speeding-toward-7-global-sales-2020/#SjAYZWeIuSvcT3v2.99 HIGH-SPEED RAIL 52% want bullet train stopped, poll finds. California voters are showing signs of buyer's remorse over the $68-billion bullet train project, poll finds. A majority of voters want the California bullet train project stopped and consider it a waste of money, even as state political leaders have struggled to bolster public support and make key compromises to satisfy critics, a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found. Statewide, 52% of the respondents said the $68-billion project to link Los Angeles and San Francisco by trains traveling up to 220 mph should be halted. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-poll-high-speed-rail-20130928,0,5468230.story GREEN ENERGY IKEA Starts U.K. Solar Push. IKEA Corp., already a major purchaser of renewable energy kit to power its own facilities, on Monday begins selling solar panels to customers in U.K. stores and is studying additional markets as candidates for the initiative, as the Swedish furniture giant looks to meet a growing customer demand for sustainable products. IKEA, best known for flat-pack furniture and inexpensive home goods, said Monday it is the first mainstream retailer to offer solar panels to everyday customers. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303918804579106783723179724.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change BY SUBSCRIPTION Grid sets green energy record. Power production from renewable sources hit a record Thursday afternoon in San Diego Gas & Electric Co.’s service territory, utility spokeswoman Jennifer Ramp said Friday. About 1,000 megawatts were pumped into the grid from renewable sources such as wind and solar, she said. That was nearly a third of Thursday’s peak consumption of 2,924 megawatts. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/27/grid-sets-green-energy-record/ Clovis food-scrap recycling program off to a slow start. Setting it straight: This story originally misstated the term state "mandate" in a story about green waste collection. The state has a goal of 75% diversion of trash from 1990 levels by the year 2020, but it is not a mandate. Clovis sanitation worker Gregory Paminto peeks in trash bins all the time. It's part of his job. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/09/29/3527202/where-are-the-food-scraps.html#storylink=cpy Governor signs mattress recycle bill. California consumers soon will be paying for a new state mattress recycling program, funded by a fee on bedding purchases. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill by Sens. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), SB 254, aimed at taking an estimated 2 million used mattresses and box springs a year off city streets, vacant lots and rural lands. The bill backed is both by mattress manufacturers and retailers as well as environmentalists. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-governor-signs-mattress-bill-20130927,0,7541261.story OPINIONS Editorial: Air Force takes reasonable tack at McClellan. The U.S. Air Force, faced with the reality that low-level radioactive radium isn’t going to go away in anyone’s lifetime, is taking a responsible course by burying it on a 15-acre site at the old McClellan Air Force Base. The process began earlier this month and will continue for several years, a legacy of World War II and the Cold War. The radium-226 was painted on aircraft gauges to make them glow in the dark. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/28/5774958/air-force-takes-reasonable-tack.html#storylink=cpy Solar, fracking bills are flawed. Re "California once again a trailblazer on energy?" (Viewpoints, Sept. 22): Energy policy writer Peter Asmus gives a pass to two bad bills. Assembly Bill 327 adds $120 a year to all electric utility bills. But all ratepayers, including solar customers, already pay a surcharge for infrastructure, so AB327 just adds to that broad tax. It has nothing to do with improving fairness. Senate Bill 4 does not reveal the amounts of each fracking component. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/29/5762084/ab-327-sb-4.html#storylink=cpy Viewpoints: Expansion of fracking sends California in the wrong direction. By signing Senate Bill 4, a severely compromised fracking bill, Gov. Jerry Brown has shown a lack of optimism and confidence in California’s future at a time when the state has its greatest chance – and need – to move beyond oil and gas to clean energy. This is far less than we expect from a governor with the potential to be a visionary environmental leader. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/29/5775744/viewpoints-expansion-of-fracking.html Environment: California didn't do so badly this year. Despite some particularly unexplainable losses if you care about protecting the environment, the California Legislature made progress in 2013. The range of bills on the governor's desk awaiting his signature confirms that California remains the stalwart energy and climate leader in the country. This legislative session was a turning point: More than half of the members of the Assembly were freshmen…Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_24177112/environment-california-didnt-do-so-badly-this-year Free cars for energy hogs. In their zeal to save the planet, California’s leaders have tapped utility consumers to give free electric cars to energy hogs. I pay fairly close attention to public policy, so it’s no surprise that taxpayers subsidize a long list of green initiatives in the cause of fighting global warming, ranging from Warren Buffett’s latest solar power venture in Nevada to panel manufacturers controlled by China’s government. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/29/tp-free-cars-for-energy-hogs/ Tough fracking law applauded by oilman. With the exception of Gov. Jerry Brown, there may be no bigger fan of California's new law regulating fracking than the outspoken CEO of a Texas oil company who calls the bill Brown signed on Friday "the toughest in the states." Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Oil and Gas, is a cheerleader for the oil industry who told Opportunist magazine earlier this year that fracking is "100 percent safe" …Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/tough-fracking-law-applauded-by-oilman/Content?oid=2590986 DRIESSEN: A model for climate-change fraud. “Dangerous manmade global warming” has become the most systematic, massive, costly fraud ever perpetrated. This is a harsh judgment, but the mounting evidence is undeniable. As climate analyst Anthony Watts points out, after a very modest rise over 20 years, Earth’s average temperature hasn’t increased in 17 years, even as plant-fertilizing carbon-dioxide levels climbed to nearly 400 parts per million, still a minuscule 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/30/driessen-a-model-for-climate-change-fraud/#ixzz2gPDCCwKS BLOGS Why More Climate Science Hasn’t Led to More Climate Policy – Yet. It’s worth offering a bit more context on a point I raised in my morning post on the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Will the fresh assessment of global warming from the panel matter where it counts, in the realm of environmental and energy policy and diplomacy? In the short run, no. And this is not only because of disinformation campaigns, as some would assert. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/why-more-climate-science-hasnt-led-to-more-climate-policy-yet/?_r=0 CLIMATE CHANGE: Video explores sea-level rise. In light of the recent consensus by an international panel that climate change is caused by human activity, it’s worth watching a new video on sea-level rise, one of the consequences of global warming. The Center for American Progess, an independent non-partisan educational institute based in Washington, D.C., released a seven-minute piece that drives home the point that action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is needed. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/environment/2013/09/28/climate-change-video-explores-sea-level-rise/ BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY JURUPA VALLEY: Trying to get a handle on big rigs. The Jurupa Valley City Council is set to take the next step in trying to limit the impact big rigs have on the community. At the Oct. 3 meeting, council members will get a look at an action plan developed by city staff members. The aim is to manage truck traffic and parking. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/city-government/2013/09/28/jurupa-valley-trying-to-get-a-handle-on-big-rigs/ 5 Things California's Fracking Bill Will Do. Senate Bill 4, which imposes new regulation of fracking in the state of California, has come under fire from environmental groups and other opponents of the increasingly common practice of hydraulic fracturing of underground natural gas and oil deposits. Most of the criticism centers on changes made to the bill in the last hours before its final approval by the Assembly this month, and its signing by Governor Jerry Brown on September 20. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/government/five-things-the-pavley-fracking-bill-does.html The 5 Most Sobering Charts from the IPCC Climate Report. The first installment in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest scientific assessment on climate science came out on Friday, and it’s loaded with dense terminology, expressions of uncertainty, and nearly impenetrable graphics. But we'll make it simple for you. Here’s what you need to know, in number and chart form. Posted. http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/the-5-scariest-charts-from-the-ipcc-climate-report-16529 EPA Emissions Regulations Will Have Little Effect In Fight Against Climate Change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rolled out restrictive new greenhouse gas emissions standards for new power plants at the end of September, but they are unlikely to have much of an impact on the nation’s overall climate change-fueling carbon emissions. Part of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, the EPA's proposed new rules…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/epa-emissions-guidelines-climate-change_n_4017498.html Silence on Climate Change: A Global Crime? Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif recently spoke at the UN General Assembly on global issues, along with other world leaders. Some critical happenings prior to the UN gathering and their concurring political impacts which both Pakistan and the U.S. felt had significantly shaped the speech of Mr. Sharif at the UN desk. The incident of terror in the Pakistani church, drone attacks, on-going Syria crisis and a few other circumstances were the drivers for Sharif speech. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/asif-iqbal/silence-on-climate-change_b_4010010.html