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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 10, 2013. Posted: 10 Oct 2013 15:20:19
ARB Newsclips for October 10, 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 International REDD Faces. Uphill Battle in California in 2014. California once seemed all but certain to become the first compliance market to welcome offsets from projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), but efforts to include international offsets still face political opposition. Here’s a quick status report. California’s cap-and-trade program has been seen as a beacon of hope by those who support the inclusion of projects that save endangered forest and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Posted. http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=9988§ion=news_articles&eod=1 AIR POLLUTION World must eliminate fossil fuel emissions, OECD chief says. The world must eliminate emissions from burning fossil fuels in the second half of this century to lower the economic cost of climate change, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said on Wednesday. Leading economist and climate change expert Nicholas Stern has said that investment equivalent to 2 percent of global gross domestic product a year is needed to limit and adapt to climate change. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/09/oecd-climate-idUSL6N0HZ1ZJ20131009 Southeast Asia agrees to adopt haze monitoring system. Southeast Asian nations agreed on Wednesday to adopt a new system to improve monitoring of smog caused by fires, an attempt to make plantation companies more accountable following the region's worst air pollution crisis in 16 years. Thick haze, mostly from land-clearing fires in Indonesia, blanketed Singapore and swathes of neighboring Malaysia earlier this year, stoking diplomatic tensions as air pollution climbed to the most hazardous levels since a similar crisis in 1997. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/09/us-asia-summit-haze-idUSBRE99807920131009 Jakarta's Air-Quality Conundrum JAKARTA—As Indonesia posts near-record rates of economic growth, its mega-city capital faces an unsavory side effect: worsening air quality. Long among the most-polluted cities in the world, Jakarta had in recent years shown some signs of improvement, as periods of weaker economic growth and new environmental policies led to a slowdown in some activities that create the worst pollutants. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444897304578046713405298742.html BY SUBCRIPTION ONLY Worth noting in business: Small Business University set, more. Featuring discussions on a wide variety of issues of interest to small business owners, the free event is being presented by the Business & Entrepreneurship Center of Ken Community College District, UC Merced Regional SBDC Network and the Central Valley Business Incubator. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/x1250041907/Worth-noting-in-business-Small-Business-University-set-more BY SUCSCRIPTION ONLY China vows to improve "lagging" urban transport system. The move aims to relieve worsening traffic congestion and air pollution in cities, the State Council, or China's cabinet, said at the meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, according to a statement published on the government's website. China has announced a number of new infrastructure spending plans to help shore up a slowing economy, but has provided little detail on how they will be funded. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/china-economy-transport-idUSL3E8LA3EP20121010 CLIMATE CHANGE Carbon capture development has slowed since 2012 –study. The number of projects that capture carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities - seen as a crucial tool for coal-reliant countries shifting toward a lower-emitting economy - is losing momentum, dropping from 75 to 65 worldwide since 2012, according to a new study released Thursday. The Global CCS Institute, an Australian-funded research group supporting the deployment of carbon capture and storage technology worldwide…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/10/carbon-technology-idUSL1N0I00G020131010 http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988644/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988677/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Political storms threaten Europe's offshore wind goals. Political wavering in Britain, the world's biggest offshore wind market, is casting doubt on European ambitions to build a fleet of gigantic turbines out at sea, desperately needed to meet legally binding climate change targets. The increasing scale of offshore wind means it is the one green energy source able to make up for the phase-out of nuclear generation - especially in the EU's largest economy Germany…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/eu-power-offshore-idUSL6E8L8M1R20121010 Most Americans link weather to global warming: survey. Conducted by Yale and George Mason universities, the survey found 74 percent of Americans believe that global warming is affecting weather, up 5 percentage points since March 2012, the last time the two organizations asked these questions. Seventy-three percent of Americans said global warming made the record-high temperatures of summer 2012 worse, and 61 percent said weather in the United States has been worsening over the past several years, an increase of 9 percentage points since March. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/us-weather-usa-idUSBRE89910Q20121010 Tropics will be the first region to be hit hard by global warming. Scientists have determined when the climates of numerous locations around the world will shift to a new, hotter normal as a result of higher greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released Wednesday in the journal Nature. The tropics appear most likely to be the first to shift to an unprecedented new climate, perhaps as early as the next decade, the analysis shows. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-climate-change-tropics-nature-20131009,0,6429248.story?track=rss http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-sci-climate-change-tropics-20131010,0,482935.story http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988640/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS South Africa proposes rules for fracking shale gas. South Africa's cabinet on Thursday proposed new regulations to govern exploration for shale gas, an important step in opening up an industry that could provide new energy supplies for Africa's largest economy. South Africa last year lifted a moratorium on shale gas exploration in its Karoo region, where fracking might tap what is believed to be some of the world's biggest reserves of the energy source. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/10/safrica-fracking-idUSL6N0I02BI20131010 U.S. home heating oil cost to rise 19 percent this winter: EIA. The roughly 6 percent of U.S. homes that rely on the fuel will pay an average of $407 more this winter, according to the government agency's Winter Fuels Outlook. About 80 percent of all U.S. homes that use heating oil are in the Northeast. The report said low inventories in the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast, as well as new low-sulfur diesel regulations for New York State, would tighten the market for distillates. Such fuels include heating oil and diesel. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/us-eia-outlook-winter-usa-idUSBRE8990XM20121010 U.S. regulators struggle to police shale energy boom: report Legal limitations and a lack of key data have hampered the Environmental Protection Agency's oversight of shale production, said the report from the Government Accountability Office, Congress' non-partisan investigative arm. "Officials at EPA reported that conducting inspection and enforcement activities for oil and gas development from unconventional reservoirs is challenging due to limited information, as well as the dispersed nature of the industry and the rapid pace of development," the report said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/us-usa-shale-regulation-idUSBRE8981CU20121010 California gas prices ease fractionally LOS ANGELES. California gas prices eased fractionally Wednesday after five days of staggering increases that saw prices closing in on $5 a gallon, but a Chevron refinery closure through the rest of the year might put a crimp in plans to reduce pump pain. During the five-day price surges, gas went up about 50 cents a gallon. The average price of regular Wednesday was less than $4.67 a gallon, down a half-cent from Tuesday, but it's still the highest price in the nation, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/10/calif-gas-prices-finally-begin-to-fall/ Quest for cheap, nonfood biofuel starts with a brewery. In a slick, glass-clad office building just blocks from the San Francisco Bay, researchers are running what amounts to a high-tech craft brewery. But instead of making exotic beers, they are cooking up what they hope will become America's top biofuel, one made from wastes that can dethrone the current champion, corn-based ethanol. Though it stemmed from good intentions, ethanol, the process that makes it and the policies around it are showing their seams and wrinkles. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988623/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Scientists retool yeast to make more cellulosic biofuel. A bioengineered strain of yeast can make use of a waste material, greatly increasing cellulosic biofuel yields at the laboratory level, a study finds. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a strain of yeast that consumes acetic acid -- normally a toxic substance for the microbe -- and published the results in the latest issue of Nature Communications. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988629/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CALIFORNIA GAS PRICES No easy answer to fixing California's record gas prices. As Californians fume over the latest record-setting spike in gas prices, there's a big question at the pumps: Is there any way out? Not really, say industry officials, environmentalists and state regulators. Skyrocketing gas prices over the past week have been blamed on two key issues: outages at California refineries and the fact that the state requires a unique type of clean-burning summer gasoline that can't be easily replaced or imported from other places during shortages. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21735517/no-easy-answer-fixing-californias-record-gas-prices GAS PRICES: Costs plateau, but that brings little relief. Drivers around the Inland area were trying to eke out a few more miles on dwindling gasoline tanks as area prices stabilized, with many commuters banking on costs falling later this week. The average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gas in the Riverside-San Bernardino area fell to $4.687 on Tuesday, Oct. 9, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. That’s a drop from Monday’s all-time record of $4.688.Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/transportation-headlines/20121009-gas-prices-costs-plateau-but-that-brings-little-relief.ece VEHICLES Toyota cuts price of 2014 Prius plug-in to boost interest. If you’ve been eyeing the new plug-in version of Toyota’s popular Prius hybrid, it’s a good thing you waited. The automaker announced Wednesday it would be slashing the price of the 2014 plug-in Prius by at least $2,000 in an effort to lure more people to the greenest member of the Prius family. The 2014 plug-in model will now start at $29,990, a 6% drop from 2013, despite no changes to the car. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-toyota-prius-plugin-price-cut-20131010,0,6824730.story GREEN ENERGY Battery-Stored Solar Power Sparks Backlash From Utilities. California’s three biggest utilities are sparring with their own customers about systems that store energy from the sun, opening another front in the battle that’s redefining the mission of electricity generators. Edison International (EIX), PG&E Corp. and Sempra Energy (SRE) said they’re putting up hurdles to some battery backups wired to solar panels because they can’t be certain the power flowing back to the grid from the units is actually clean energy. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-10-07/battery-stored-solar-power-sparks-backlash-from-utilities.html German renewable surcharge to rise by 47 percent: source The 47 percent increase reflects the fact that renewable sources are providing increasing amounts of electricity, which is bought from producers at guaranteed prices above market rates. Coming a year ahead of a federal election in which Chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a third term, the sharp rise in the surcharge is politically charged. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/us-germany-energy-renewables-idUSBRE8990PC20121010 Australia's largest solar farm opens amid renewable target debate. Australia switched on its first utility-scale solar farm on Wednesday, bringing the country a small step closer to achieving ambitious renewable energy use targets that traditional coal and gas power producers are now fighting to soften. The Greenough River Solar project, just outside the small town of Walkaway in Western Australia state, is a joint-venture between Western Australian state-owned Verve Energy and U.S. conglomerate General Electric. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/australia-solar-idUSL3E8L994R20121010 Midtown Developer Accuses Con Ed of Overcharging. It is not easy being green and trying to keep the electric company from raising your rates. The owner of the Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan is learning that lesson. For the second time in less than a year, it has accused Consolidated Edison of trying to overcharge for the sophisticated power plant in the building, which it has heralded as the most environmentally advanced skyscraper in the country. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/nyregion/con-ed-is-accused-of-overcharging-in-midtown-skyscraper.html MISCELLANEOUS Protesters blast state toxics department's handling of hazardous waste. About 100 demonstrators from across the state rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday to protest the state Department of Toxic Substances Control’s handling of hazardous waste in their communities. Complaining that California was “in bed with polluters,” protesters set up an air mattress in front of the department's headquarters and decorated it with pictures of Gov. Jerry Brown and department chief Debbie Raphael…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-toxics-protest-20131009,0,1762664.story SAN ONOFRE: Environmentalists demand stronger review of nuke plant. Environmentalists accused federal regulators Tuesday of conducting a bogus review of a proposal to restart the damaged San Onofre nuclear power plant on the California coast. Just days after Southern California Edison asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for permission to repair and start the Unit 2 reactor…Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/san-onofre-environmentalists-demand-stronger-review-of-nuke-plant/article_7ef506bf-c5d1-515f-a29f-14674ebeb253.html Pacifica Environmental Family candidates' forum focuses on environmental issues. In a well-attended forum designed to air candidates' views about environmentally sensitive issues that affect Pacifica, City Council candidates showed they stood united about key issues. They all support a ban on fireworks on the beach. They would all ban the use of plastic bags in Pacifica. They all support maintaining Sharp Park Golf Course as a golf course, but by adding an ongoing habitat management plan. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21735295/pacifica-environmental-family-candidates-forum-focuses-environmental-issues OPINIONS Antisocial genesis of the social cost of carbon. The day after his 2009 inauguration, President Barack Obama committed to "creating an unprecedented level of openness in government." He vowed to build on "transparency promotes accountability by providing the public with information about what the government is doing," "participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise," and "collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their government." Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/10/us-antisocial-genesis-idUSBRE9990QN20131010 COLUMN-Time for governments to end energy subsidies: Wynn Governments are failing to deal with rising fossil fuel prices, preferring price caps to win votes and shield industry over efficiency measures which energy agencies say are better value for money. Energy subsidies have risen year on year since 2008, to $480 billion annually in 2011, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures. (See Chart 1) That trend will probably continue so long as energy prices continue to rise, and in particular oil. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/10/column-wynn-energy-subsidies-idUSL6N0HZ3A320131010 Chemistry Driving Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicle Developments (Op-Ed). Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition. This event provided an opportunity for chemists to collectively geek out about non-oxidative conversions, triazollium-based ionic liquids and rhodium catalysts — for example — and for chemical supply companies to showcase contraptions that jostled, stirred, shook, rotated, inverted, injected and swirled chemical compounds. Posted. http://news.yahoo.com/chemistry-driving-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicle-developments-op-164056225.html BLOGS Honda Offers $3,000 Incentive To Natural-Gas Civic Buyers. Honda Motor Co., in a bid to juice sales of its compressed natural gas powered Civic, today said they are offering a credit card loaded with $3,000 toward refueling at Clean Energy Fuels Corp. stations around the country. Honda is the only car company currently selling a car that runs on CNG. The special Civic is almost the same as a standard Civic, save the limited trunk that is taken up by the large tank. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/10/09/honda-offers-3000-incentive-to-natural-gas-civic-buyers/?KEYWORDS=fuels U.S. Car Makers Benefit from Fuel-Efficient Fleet. A move toward more fuel-efficient vehicles has helped American car manufacturers navigate the latest surge in fuel prices with relative strength. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, in a new report, consider three recent periods of surging gasoline prices occurring in the summer of 2008, the spring of 2011, and from February until April of this year. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/10/10/u-s-car-makers-benefit-from-fuel-efficient-fleet/?KEYWORDS=vehicles Map: These are the cities that climate change will hit first. Climate scientists sometimes talk about something called "climate departure" as a way of measuring when climate change has really changed things. It's the moment when average temperatures, either in a specific location or worldwide, become so impacted by climate change that the old climate is left behind. It's a sort of tipping point. And a lot of cities are scheduled to hit one very soon. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/09/map-these-are-the-cities-that-climate-change-will-hit-first/?print=1 A Coffee Seller Seeks to Cut Hunger Among Coffee Growers. There’s perhaps no habit that more firmly illustrates the global nature of the modern human enterprise than drinking coffee. For centuries, trade in beans came with scant concern at the consumer end for the conditions on the plantations or small farms where coffee is harvested. That’s changing, of course, with growing, and sometimes controversial, efforts to certify good labor or environmental standards in coffee regions. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/a-coffee-seller-seeks-to-cut-hunger-among-coffee-growers/?ref=earth Is Online Communication an Asset or Liability in Sustaining the Human Journey I’m overdue to post this video of a lecture I delivered while teaching a weeklong course on climate and communication at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It’s one variant on my stump speech on the power of the emerging “Knowosphere” — the fast-expanding menu of ways to share and shape ideas — to smooth the human journey. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/is-online-communication-an-asset-or-liability-in-sustaining-the-human-journey/?ref=earth Those Snowy Slopes, Sprayed With Wastewater. As I wrote in The Times recently, a ski resort in northern Arizona will become the first in the world to make artificial snow totally out of sewage effluent this winter. Last February, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the resort, Arizona Snowbowl, ending a 10-year legal battle waged by environmental and Native American groups that warned that the wastewater snow would damage wildlife, human health and a mountain considered sacred by 13 Indian tribes. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/do-not-publish-on-the-slopes-gliding-on-wastewater/?ref=earth 39 San Diego Schools Sit in the Traffic Pollution Danger Zone. Along major roadways that connect the sprawling limits of San Diego County, 39 schools lie within 500 feet of smog-filled traffic corridors, a distance that air-pollution researchers believe significantly increases the risk of pediatric asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Below I-5, where cars, trucks and buses queue on their way north to the Gaslamp District, there’s a Catholic school. Off I-15 in City Heights, a health-sciences charter high. Posted. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/10/10/39-san-diego-schools-sit-in-the-traffic-pollution-danger-zone/ Climate Change Will Bring Conditions Outside Historical Variability In Coming Decade. From Climate Central's Andrew Freedman: The mean annual climate of the average location on Earth will slip past the most extreme conditions experienced during the past 150 years and into new territory by between 2047 and 2069, depending on the amount of climate-warming greenhouse gases that are emitted during the next few decades, a new study found. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/09/climate-change-study_n_4072672.html?view=print&comm_ref=false