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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 9, 2013. Posted: 09 Oct 2013 12:01:44
ARB Newsclips for October 9, 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 Pa. citizens group targets gas drilling pollution. A community group in northeastern Pennsylvania aims to reduce Marcellus Shale gas drilling air pollution by seeking dialogue with the industry. Breathe Easy Susquehanna County says in a release that they aim to protect regional air quality and health, and will promote respectful dialogue with the industry to seek the lowest possible levels of air pollution. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/AP0efa24ed34e24c918afec0317e569030.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Pa-citizens-group-targets-gas-drilling-pollution-4880636.php Crowd voices anger over Vernon battery recycler. At a meeting called by lawmakers, the crowd calls for officials to shut down Exide Technologies over dangerously high emissions of lead and arsenic. he speaker of California's Assembly and two state senators took environmental regulators to task before an angry crowd Tuesday over their failure to regulate a battery recycler in Vernon whose emissions have been deemed a health risk to hundreds of thousands of people. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-dtsc-permits-20131009,0,6124572.story Reports of strong gas odor in Richmond. Fire crews were responding to an influx of calls about a strong gas odor throughout west Richmond on Tuesday afternoon, fire officials said. Around 2 p.m., the Richmond Fire Department started hearing from callers, mostly from northwest Richmond, reporting a gas-like odor, Fire Chief Michael Banks said. "We're sending engine companies all over the place trying to deal with patients who had some breathing difficulties," he said. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Reports-of-strong-gas-odor-in-Richmond-4879641.php Salt plant taints air. The state has ordered a rock salt processing plant in the Port of Coeymans to shut down because of air pollution violations, including running the plant without a state pollution permit. Scotwood Industries must cease plant operations by Nov. 30 and pay a $4,500 fine, $3,000 of which will be dropped if the Kansas-based company stops processing salt at the port, under an agreement Monday with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Salt-plant-taints-air-4879483.php Michigan may reduce number of regulated chemicals. Michigan officials may reduce significantly the number of chemicals subject to air pollution limits. The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/1fZKxug ) reports Wednesday that an advisory committee has recommended cutting the number of regulated chemicals from more than 1,200 to 756. That's a 37 percent reduction. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Michigan-may-reduce-number-of-regulated-chemicals-4881500.php CLIMATE CHANGE AP Interview: Warsaw to lay climate deal basics. Poland's environment minister says his challenge at next month's climate conference will be to lay foundations for a new global emission cuts deal. Marcin Korolec told The Associated Press that the United Nations' COP19 conference in Warsaw will require "huge work" in making some 200 participating nations agree on conditions for a deal to be signed in 2015 in Paris. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/AP-Interview-Warsaw-to-lay-climate-deal-basics-4880769.php Climate change solutions offer trillions in growth opportunities, clean-tech guru Jigar Shah argues. Jigar Shah fundamentally believes that the United States can innovate its way out of the worst effects of climate change and unlock trillions of dollars in the process by adopting new financial models in the clean technology sector.At this time of fiscal austerity, the world needs a new growth plan now more than ever, according to Shah, the outspoken founder and former CEO of solar SunEdison...Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988575/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY More than 400 Dems press White House against greenhouse gas rules. More than 400 Democrats from around the country are urging the White House to reconsider U.S. EPA's proposal for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. The current and former politicians wrote President Obama a letter today as part of the CoalBlue Project, a group meant to boost and highlight Democratic support for the coal industry. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988597/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS U.S. Refiners Export More Fuel Than Ever. U.S. refiners are selling more fuel abroad than ever before, effectively exporting the American energy boom to the four corners of the world. As crude production soars in places like the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas, U.S. refiners along the Gulf Coast are increasingly using local oil, which is less expensive than the North Sea crude that European refiners use. That often means diesel and other fuels made in the U.S. are a bargain abroad even after adding the shipping costs. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441404579123604287854862?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection BY SUBSCRIPTION Year after Gaspocalypse, Californians saving $32 million a day on gas. On the one-year anniversary of the Gaspocalypse — the day California gasoline prices set a record for the lower 48 states — fuel here has fallen by 86 cents a gallon. A year ago, retail gasoline prices in California averaged $4.67 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. Only Alaska has had a higher average price, briefly topping $4.68 in late July 2008, according to the gas price information website. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-california-gas-prices-20131008,0,4196696.story EPA considers scaling back renewable fuel targets for 2014. U.S. EPA would roll back both corn ethanol and advanced biofuel targets for next year under draft proposals circulating among stakeholders in the oil and biofuels industries. The agency is considering a proposal that would require refiners to blend 13 billion gallons of conventional corn ethanol and 2.21 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of advanced biofuel into petroleum-based gasoline next year, industry sources said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988606/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Tulsa's green fleet recognized in competition. Tulsa's green fleet has placed among the top 50 cities in the country in a government competition. Oklahoma's second-largest city came in at No. 29 at the Green Fleet Conference in Phoenix. The competition judged about 25 criteria, including the number of dedicated alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, the amount of alternative fuels used each year and emissions reductions, among other factors. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Tulsa-s-green-fleet-recognized-in-competition-4880587.php LAPD tests out new electric motorcycles. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck made a surprising entrance at the Los Angeles Police Museum last month when he stealthily zipped into the parking lot on a souped-up, racing-style, all-electric motorcycle. An avid motocross racer, Beck parked the bike just yards away from where retired police cars from the 1930s to 1950s now rest. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/oct/09/lapd-tests-out-new-electric-motorcycles/#ixzz2hF2u2SLs UPS Adding to Natural Gas Fueling Network, Adding More Tractors. UPS plans to invest approximately $50 million to build an additional nine liquefied natural gas fueling stations, bringing the total number of stations to 13. Four were announced in April, and all should be operational by the end of 2014. The enhanced LNG fueling infrastructure will support the operation of approximately 1,000 UPS LNG tractors that will displace more than 24 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/10/ups-adding-to-natural-gas-fueling-network-adding-more-tractors.aspx GREEN ENERGY India Increases Effort to Harness Biomass Energy. The hulking power plant set against the green countryside of Punjab state in northwest India does not look like a source of renewable energy. Yet filling its stockyard, instead of mounds of coal, are bales of rice straw. Machines break up the heavy straw cubes as men with pitchforks hoist fibrous mounds onto a conveyor belt leading to the power plant. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/business/energy-environment/india-increases-effort-to-harness-biomass-energy.html Bypassing the Power Grid. For nearly a century, wealthy countries have relied on just one model of power distribution: sending electricity over huge transmission grids from big generating plants to customers in their homes, offices and factories. That may be starting to change. Renewable-energy technologies like solar and wind power, which in many countries have begun to shake up the mix of energy sources, are now also challenging the traditional distribution system. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/business/energy-environment/bypassing-the-power-grid.html Tweaks coming for solar subsidies. A new law will eventually overhaul how Californians pay for electricity and the state’s expensive push into green energy sources such as wind and solar. We won’t know any details for a year or so, after the California Public Utilities Commission decides on a new rate design. My guess is that regulators will tread carefully, so I don’t expect any drastic changes. But there will be winners and losers. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/09/tp-tweaks-coming-for-solar-subsidies/ MISCELLANEOUS In a Hot, Thirsty Energy Business, Water Is Prized. WITH so much focus on carbon emitted from the nation’s power plants, another environmental challenge related to electricity generation is sometimes overlooked: the enormous amount of water needed to cool the power-producing equipment. In the United States almost all electric power plants, 90 percent, are thermoelectric plants, which essentially create steam to generate electricity. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/business/energy-environment/in-a-hot-thirsty-energy-business-water-is-prized.html?ref=earth Nest hopes to reinvent smoke alarms like it did the thermostat. The Silicon Valley start-up has announced the availability of Nest Protect, its Internet-connected smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. When a group of former Apple Inc. employees announced that they had created a company called Nest to reinvent the thermostat, Silicon Valley did a double take. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-smart-smoke-alarm-20131009,0,6916974.story Yolo wins share of Rite Aid settlement. Rite Aid will pay Yolo County $420,000 as part of a multimillion-dollar settlement over claims that the drugstore chain illegally dumped pesticides, bleach and other toxics that came from hundreds of its California locations. The judgment, filed Sept. 24 in San Joaquin Superior Court, settled a lawsuit filed in September by district attorneys in San Joaquin, Los Angeles and Riverside counties. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/09/5805642/yolo-wins-share-of-rite-aid-settlement.html#storylink=cpy Climate change is focus of workshop at UC Merced. The California Natural Resources Agency plans to discuss climate risks and updates to state strategies during a meeting at UC Merced on Thursday. The forum on CNRA’s proposed updates to the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy is scheduled for 10a.m. to 3p.m. in the California Room at UC Merced, 5200 N. Lake Road. The meeting is an open forum and is open to the public, according to a press release. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/08/2965222/climate-change-is-focus-of-workshop.html OPINIONS On letters from climate-change deniers. A piece this weekend debunking the claim that Congress and the president are exempted from Obamacare has drawn a harsh reaction from some readers and conservative bloggers. But their umbrage wasn't with the piece's explanation of why letters making this claim do not get published. Rather, they were upset by the statement that letters "[saying] there's no sign humans have caused climate change" do not get printed. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-climate-change-letters-20131008,0,871615.story Letter: Pipeline project will energize jobs. In response to Rebecca Tell's letter ("Pipeline that leads to global disaster," Sept. 27) regarding Keystone XL, a number of comprehensive environmental studies issued by the U.S. Department of State and many prominent climate scientists agree that Keystone XL would have virtually no impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. The latest State Department environmental impact statement states…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Letter-Pipeline-project-will-energize-jobs-4876244.php Earth Log: Take deep breath now: Soot season starts soon. People are getting a breather between dirty-air seasons right now in the San Joaquin Valley — ozone is almost gone and soot hasn't quite arrived. Breathe deep, exhale. Repeat. Now consider what's to come if we don't have at least several stormy weeks this winter. Soot, chemicals and other microscopic debris account for the majority of premature deaths related to dirty air in the Valley. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/10/08/3543077/take-deep-breath-soot-season-starts.html Just past the hottest decade ever, it's clear the globe is still warming. What is it about the hottest decade in recorded history that's so hard to understand? The first decade of this millennium - 2001 to 2010 - was the warmest since measurements began 160 years ago. The earlier hottest decade was during the 1990s. And the record-breaker before that? The 1980s. These are undisputed facts. Nothing about this steady rise suggests our planet is doing anything but warming. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/09/2965731/just-past-the-hottest-decade-ever.html#storylink=cpy Climate Change: Uncertainty Is Not A Call For Inaction. It is possible that some climate models have overestimated short-term climate change, but this is hardly an argument in favor of the skeptics’ position. Skepticism and uncertainty surrounding the recent conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should not be a call for policy inaction. Like its previous installments this report is supposed to summarize the findings of the literature on climate change. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/insead/2013/10/09/climate-change-uncertainty-is-not-a-call-for-inaction/ BLOGS G.E.’s ‘Industrial Internet’ Goes Big. The more General Electric gets into its plan for an “Industrial Internet,” the bigger it seems. On Wednesday, the company announced 14 more products that combine industrial equipment, Internet-linked sensors and software to monitor performance and analyze big streams of data. G.E. had previously announced 10 similar industrial products. Posted. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/g-e-s-industrial-internet-goes-big/?_r=0