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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.


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.


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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 


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.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988644/print  BY
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988677/print   BY

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.

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. 

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.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988640/print BY


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.

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.

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. 

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.

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

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


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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