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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 11, 2013.

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 15:10:11
ARB Newsclips for October 11, 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.


Chinese mock official for blaming cooking fumes for pollution.  A
Chinese official's remarks that cooking fumes must share the
blame for Beijing's choking pollution drew ridicule from many
microbloggers, who mocked the government for not addressing the
root causes of smog that can blanket the city for days on end.
The government has announced a series of plans over the years to
tackle pollution in its cities that has been blamed for a series
of health crises, generating widespread public anger, but none
has worked. Posted.

Burning of debris, winds cause smoky air quality. The burning of
debris from a rice field in south Sutter County and uncooperative
winds were blamed for the smoky air on Thursday in the Edgewater,
Linda and Olivehurst areas, an official with the Feather River
Air Quality Management District told the Appeal-Democrat. "It's
rice (field) burning season and every day, it's part art and part
science," said Chris Brown, an air pollution control officer with
the district. Posted.


New Jersey Reconsiders Carbon Trading a Year After Sandy. What a
difference a year makes. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,
which blew ashore last Oct. 29, New Jersey residents have warmed
up to the threat that climate change poses to their beach-loving
state and want politicians to address it more boldly. That’s one
reason state lawmakers are holding a hearing today about
rejoining Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc.’s
carbon-trading program…Posted.

Corn harvest above expectations due to weather. Harvest is in
full swing across the country, and farmers in many states are
surprised at the abundance of corn they're getting from their
fields. Dairy farmer Ben Steffen, who also grows corn, soybeans
and wheat on 1,900 acres near the southeastern Nebraska town of
Humboldt, said his first corn field brought in 168 bushels an
acre, above the average of 140. Posted.

Despite Climate Concern, Global Study Finds Fewer Carbon Capture
Projects. The number of large-scale projects to capture and bury
carbon dioxide has fallen to 65 from 75 over the last year, a
worldwide survey has found, despite a consensus among scientists
and engineers that such projects are essential to meet
international goals for slowing the buildup of climate-changing
gases. Posted.


Oil near $102 as US nears short-term budget fix. Oil retreated to
below $102 a barrel Friday as political leaders in Washington
neared an agreement that would allow a short-term extension to
the U.S. borrowing limit and as global oil supplies were seen
rising next year. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude
for November delivery was down $1.25 to $101.76 a barrel in
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Posted.

France upholds ban on hydraulic fracturing. France's
constitutional council upheld a ban on the energy extraction
process known as fracking on Friday, two days after the European
Parliament voted to require full environmental reports from
companies that want to establish hydraulic fracturing sites. The
decision comes the same day the International Energy Agency
predicted the United States would overtake Russia next year to
become the world's largest oil producer outside OPEC…Posted.




Analysis: Lawsuits likely as EPA declares US ethanol blend wall a
'reality' With two words, the U.S. environment regulator may be
handing oil refiners the biggest win of a long battle to beat
back the seemingly inexorable rise of ethanol fuel. In a leaked
proposal that would significantly scale back biofuel blending
requirements next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) says the blend wall - the 10 percent threshold of
ethanol-mixed gasoline that is at the crux of the lobbying war -
is an "important reality". Posted.

U.S. soon to overtake Russia as top oil producer. The United
States will become the world's largest oil producer next year -
overtaking Russia - thanks to its shale oil boom which has
transformed the global energy landscape, the West's energy
watchdog said on Friday. The prediction comes only days after
estimates by the U.S. government showed the United States, the
world's largest oil consumer, has ceded its ranking as top global
oil importer to China, thanks to the shale revolution cutting
import needs. Posted.

Corn Futures Fall to Three-Year Low on U.S. Crop Outlook. Corn
futures fell to a three-year low and soybeans dropped the most
this month on signs of increasing supplies in the U.S., the
world’s biggest producer. Wheat rose, heading for the fourth
straight weekly gain. Beneficial rain in September helped fill
pods with bigger soybeans, while allowing corn to mature late in
the season, improving yields, Macquarie Bank said in a report.

EPA Considers U.S. Ethanol Mandate Cut Amid Complaints. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency is considering scaling back legal
requirements on the use of ethanol next year amid complaints from
refiners that statutory mandates would exceed their ability to
blend it into fuels without putting engines at risk. A proposal
from the agency would cut the mandate to 15.21 billion gallons
for renewable fuels in 2014 instead of the 18.15 billion gallons
established by a 2007 law…Posted.

Middle East Oil Fuels Fresh China-U.S. Tensions. Beijing Depends
on U.S. Military to Secure Middle East Imports. China is
overtaking the U.S. as a buyer of Middle East oil, adding fuel to
diplomatic tension between the nations over security in the
region. China surpassed the U.S. as importer of Persian Gulf
crude several years ago, by some measures. Now it is on track to
overtake the U.S. this year as the world's No. 1 buyer of oil
from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the
largely Middle Eastern energy-exporting bloc. Posted.

Next-Generation Biofuels Are Inching Towards Reality, Gallon by
Gallon. Advanced biofuels have been on the cusp of
commercialization for years, but high prices and technological
challenges have held them back. Is that starting to change?
Whatever happened to next-generation biofuels? Made from sources
like corn stalks or what straw that don’t compete with food,
unlike current biofuels, next-generation biofuels were going to
be greener and more efficient than corn-based ethanol, which is
still the dominant source of biofuel in the U.S. Posted.


Toyota says slashes fuel cell costs by nearly $1 million for new
hydrogen car. Toyota Motor Corp said it has slashed the cost of
the fuel cell system in its next hydrogen-powered car by almost
$1 million, putting it on course to launch a mid-sized sedan in
2015 with a price ticket below $100,000. The world's best-selling
auto manufacturer and maker of the Prius gas-electric hybrid car
says the fuel cell system will cost about 5 million yen ($51,000)
compared with prototype costs of over $1 million. Posted.

Utah-based WAVE nabs $1.4M to bring wireless electric buses to a
dozen cities (exclusive) If batteries weren’t so expensive, most
cities would have invested in electric buses by now. Batteries
are also notoriously heavy, and slow to recharge. But a new
startup called WAVE has developed a wireless transfer system that
can be used by by bus manufacturers to operate electric buses
with vastly reduced battery sizes. WAVE, which is one of Utah’s
hottest startups, is powering the state’s first wireless electric
bus. Posted.

Continue subsidies to shore up industry, economy. It would be
very unwise to "pull the plug" on electric-car subsidies at this
time. Without the subsidies, the auto industry would be forced by
unavoidable regulation to sell electric vehicles at huge
financial losses. One of the few bright spots in the current
American economy, a thriving auto industry, would be thrown into
turmoil. That regulation presents a huge challenge to

Study finds biodiesel blend reduces total particle mass in
emissions but may have greater adverse health effect per mass
than diesel. Findings from a study by researchers from the
Department of Medicine and the School of Engineering at the
University of Vermont suggest that the addition of biodiesel to
diesel fuels will reduce the total particle mass of PM
emissions—but that the biodiesel blend particles may contribute
to greater biological effects per mass than B0, leading to
potentially greater health risks. Posted.


How to blunt effect of higher heating bills. After two years of
flat or lower fuel prices, many residents will pay sharply more
to heat their homes this winter, according to government
forecasts out this week. There are a number of ways residents can
blunt the expected rise in heating bills - beyond putting on a
turtleneck. Staying warm is expected to cost more because fuel
prices are rising and forecasts call for cooler weather in some
areas than the last two relatively warm winters. Posted.



REFILE-European utilities CEOs urge end to renewables subsidies.
The CEOs of 10 utilities companies, which together own half of
Europe's electricity generating capacity, are calling for an end
to subsidies for wind and solar energy, which they say add too
much power to a market already struggling with overcapacity. The
CEOs in the so-called Magritte Group also call for a Europe-wide
capacity mechanism that would pay utilities for keeping electric
power generating…Posted.

Gulf Coast Beckons Wind Farms When West Texas Gusts Fade. Fickle
West Texas breezes are pushing wind power generators to the
state’s 367-mile coast. Texas pulled ahead last decade in the
U.S. race to develop wind power thanks to the hardy gusts
sweeping across its vast prairies and energy-friendly landowners.
Now it’s seizing the lead in building turbines along its
shoreline as developers find the slower but steadier air currents
there translate to bigger profits. Posted.

Green energy entrepreneurs vie for awards, connections at
'Cleantech Open' in Fremont. Gordon Kingsley stood next to his
exhibit in the Fremont Marriott grand ballroom on Thursday,
explaining his brainchild that uses blimps and kites to harness
wind energy that would produce electricity less expensively than
coal-fired power plants or traditional wind turbines. Posted.

DOE releases draft of $8B loan guarantee solicitation for
advanced fossil energy projects. The US Department of Energy
(DOE) released a draft for comment of an $8-billion loan
guarantee solicitation for innovative and advanced fossil energy
projects and facilities that substantially reduce greenhouse gas
and other air pollution. The program is part of President Obama’s
climate action plan. (Earlier post). Posted.

Government incentives begin to boost Canada's wind power.
Canada's wind power industry is poised to add 4,500 megawatts of
new generation -- the equivalent of building four large nuclear
power plants -- over the next three years. Most of the new
turbines will come online in four provinces: Alberta, British
Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, Canadian industry officials said
this week. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988698/print BY

Rumors continue to swirl about 2014 renewable fuel targets. The
rumor mill is swirling around a set of numbers that appear to
show U.S. EPA's plans for next year's renewable fuel targets.
Some in the biofuels industry have speculated that the numbers
originated from members of the oil industry in an attempt to
discredit ethanol. One biofuels industry representative said that
in a meeting about a month ago, an EPA official indicated that
the agency was not considering putting a cap on the conventional
ethanol target next year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988744/print BY

DOE lab finds no issues with E15. Gasoline containing 15 percent
ethanol will not harm car engines or cause vehicles to become
stranded on the side of the road, a Department of Energy
laboratory has concluded after an exhaustive review of existing
research on the fuel. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
report released yesterday found no significant difference between
using E15 and using gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988740/print

2 Cree LED bulbs receive Energy Star rating. Two household
light-emitting diode bulbs produced by Cree Inc. have received
Energy Star certification, the company said. As a result, the
lamps, which are carried exclusively by Home Depot, qualify for
as much as a $5 rebate from some utilities. Such a rebate would
put the price of the Cree 6-watt household LED at $4.97 and the
9.5-watt bulb at $7.97. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988726/print BY


FERC asks court to enforce energy fine after Barclays misses
deadline. Barclays has failed to pay $488 million in fines and
disgorgement demanded by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission over allegations it rigged California electricity
prices, the agency said in a court petition seeking to enforce
the July order. The agency asked a federal judge in Sacramento to
affirm the penalties after Barclays missed the deadline to pay.

Do Jupiter and Saturn have diamond 'rain'?  Diamonds are forever,
unless you’re on Saturn or Jupiter. Loads of the super-hard
precious stones may be floating among the gas giants’ fluid
layers and melted into liquid further into their depths, say a
pair of planetary scientists. The research, being presented at
the Division for Planetary Sciences conference this week in
Denver, sprang from very humble beginnings — soot in Saturn’s

Toxic flame retardants under fire in California. Shortly after
taking steps to phase out toxic flame retardants from furniture
and other consumer goods, California officials are looking at
removing the chemicals from building insulation as well. This
month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB127, which directs the
California State Fire Marshal to consider whether builders can
meet fire safety standards without adding flame retardants to
insulation. Posted.


A Chemistry Breakthrough That Could Fuel a Revolution. Now
methanol can be made from natural gas and captured carbon
dioxide. In the three weeks since the Obama administration issued
its long-promised proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, it
has become clear the plan is far from perfect. By placing the
burden of expensive new carbon capture and sequestration
technology on the U.S. alone, and potentially requiring steep
cuts in domestic energy to conform to carbon caps…Posted.

Fighting Climate Change by Killing Eagles. Why isn't the wind
industry subject to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act? For
some environmentalists, the threat of climate change is so great
that we must allow wind turbines to kill bald and golden eagles.
The argument I've heard is that renewables, including wind
energy, will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. Less carbon dioxide reduces the threat posed by
climate change, which benefits eagles and other wildlife. Posted.

Inconvenient Uncertainties. THE headline in The New York Times
yesterday was succinct. “By 2047, Coldest Years May Be Warmer
Than Hottest in Past, Scientists Say.” Not, say, “around 2050” or
“within our lifetime.” The specificity makes the crisis feel
real, imminent and terrible. Call it a convenient truth. The
story was about a new study published this week in the journal
Nature that calculated that by 2047, the average temperature will
be hotter across most parts…Posted.

Michael Gerson: Our polarized warming debate. The fifth report of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has provided
undeniable proof of a remarkable phenomenon: a public debate even
more bitter and polarized than the budget showdown. The
intersection of science and policy, of climate and politics, has
become a bloody crossroads. Blog-based arguments over ocean
temperatures and the thickness of the Greenland ice sheet are as
shrill and personal as any tea party primary challenge. Posted.



Fracking Projects Approved Off Santa Barbara Coast, Opposition
Swells. After a media investigation revealed that federal
regulators quietly approved at least four fracking projects off
the Santa Barbara coast without environmental review, a national
environmental group is calling for an immediate end to the
practice. "Oil companies are fracking California's beautiful
coastal waters with dangerous chemicals, and federal officials
seem barely aware of the dangers…Posted.

The Deficit and Climate Change: Two Problems That Won't Go Away.
Amid the dysfunction now paralyzing the federal government,
here's some great news: The federal deficit has been falling
dramatically. The most recent report shows that our current
deficit is $200 billion dollars less than the Obama
administration predicted just three months ago. In fact, since
2009, the deficit has been reduced more in percentage terms than
in any four year period since the end of World War II. Posted.

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