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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 22, 2013.

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 14:30:15
ARB Newsclips for October 22, 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.


Long Beach Gas and Oil Actively Tracking AB 32 Impacts. A
partnership between the Long Beach Gas & Oil Department (LBGO)
and other utilities across the state provides a unified voice
advocating for natural gas customer rate protections under the
regulations of AB 32 – the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act.
Over the past year, LBGO has been working with a Gas Utility
Group – comprised of Southern California Gas Company, Pacific Gas
and Electric Company…Posted.


US carbon dioxide pollution down 3.8 percent. The United States
cut its energy-related carbon dioxide pollution by 3.8 percent
last year, the second biggest drop since 1990, the Department of
Energy said Monday. The only recent year with a bigger percentage
drop was in 2009, when America was in a large recession. American
cars and factories spewed 5.83 billion tons of carbon dioxide in
2012, down from 6.06 billion in 2011. It is the lowest level for
U.S. emissions since 1994. Carbon dioxide is the chief man-made
global warming gas. Posted.



Beijing adopts new smog emergency measures. Beijing is seeking to
tame the spikes in its infamous smog by preparing emergency
measures such as factory shutdowns and traffic limits to kick in
when air pollution levels are especially heavy. The city
government said Tuesday the strictest emergency measures will
take effect when the pollution index for fine particulate matter,
PM2.5, is forecast to exceed 300 micrograms per cubic meter for
three days running. Posted.


Beautiful China tourism pitch misfires amid smog. Forget all the
headlines about eye-watering pollution in Beijing and Shanghai -
the Middle Kingdom's latest tourism slogan invites visitors to
"Beautiful China." Adorning buses and trains in cities such as
London, the international marketing effort has been derided as
particularly inept at a time when record-busting smog has drawn
attention to the environmental and health costs of China's
unfettered industrialization. Posted.


Prodding China to confront its urban air pollution problems.
Noxious, choking air pollution has smothered Beijing and other
major Chinese cities for years, making it difficult for people to
breathe and causing an estimated 1.2 million premature deaths in
2010 alone. But until recently, the Chinese government routinely
dismissed the public health risk. Posted.

'Airpocalypse': Severe pollution cripples northeastern China. A
large swath of northeastern China has been virtually paralyzed
for two days by severe air pollution that forced airports and
schools to close and drivers to turn on their headlights in the
middle of the day. The “airpocalypse” was blamed on the start of
the winter heating season Sunday in a region that still uses
coal-powered plants and the burning of fields at the end of the
harvest. Posted.


CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-Global climate spending falling further
behind target. The amounts refer to investment received by
countries, not investments made) Global spending to combat
climate change fell last year and remains far below the level
needed to prevent its most dangerous effects, a report by the
Climate Policy Initiative said on Tuesday. Investment in
renewable energy, energy efficiency and adaptation to climate
change totaled $359 billion, $5 billion less than in 2011, as an
economic slowdown hit state and private-sector budgets. Posted.


UPDATE 1-United States urges flexibility in new global climate
deal. The United States called on Tuesday for a more flexible
approach to a new United Nations' climate deal which balances the
needs of all countries and has a better chance of success. Two
years ago, some 190 countries agreed to develop a pact to succeed
the Kyoto Protocol which would force all nations to cut their
greenhouse gas emissions. The deal is to be signed by 2015 and
come into force in 2020. Posted.

U.S. Rejects Rigid Rules as ‘Roadblock’ to Climate Treaty. Rigid
rules and emissions targets may hinder efforts to draft a new
climate treaty by 2015, the lead U.S. envoy said, calling for a
more flexible approach for nations to set individual goals.
“Rigidity is a potential roadblock,” U.S. Special Envoy on
Climate Change Todd Stern said today in a speech at the
policy-analysis group Chatham House in London. While a “system of
strict rules and compliance might sound good on paper…Posted.

Warm winter helped U.S. carbon emissions drop to lowest level
since 1994 -- EIA U.S. carbon dioxide emissions declined last
year to their lowest level since 1994 and more than 12 percent
below the recent 2007 peak, according to data released yesterday
by the Energy Information Administration. Since 1990, only 2009
saw a larger percentage decrease in emissions than 2012, the EIA
said. The decline occurred in tandem with an increase in gross
domestic product and an increase in energy output. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989176/print BY

U.S. climate envoy calls inflexibility the 'enemy' of a 2015
global deal. U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern is
calling for a "creative and flexible" global warming deal in 2015
that allows countries to declare their own emissions targets and
attempts to bridge a 20-year-old division between rich and poor
nations. Speaking in London today to the Chatham House think
tank, Stern will warn that "rigidity is a potential roadblock"
when it comes to a new global warming agreement. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989181/print BY


CARB Fines KS Industries $230,000 for Diesel Fleet Violations. 
The California Air Resources Board has fined Bakersfield-based KS
Industries, an engineering and construction firm, $230,250 for
failing to update its diesel trucks to clean up harmful emissions
as required by state anti-pollution laws.  CARB investigators
cited the company for missing two key compliance deadlines.


Oakland port truckers shut down terminal to protest work
conditions, rising costs.  A group of truck drivers halted
commerce at one of the Port of Oakland's biggest terminals Monday
to protest work conditions and the rising costs of hauling cargo
out of the busy seaport.  Truckers and their supporters picketed
outside three entrances to the SSA Marine terminal and
effectively shut down cargo traffic because crane operators and
other terminal workers refused to cross the protest line. Posted.

Do Hybrid Construction Machines Pollute More?  Scientists at the
University of California, Riverside, have found that while hybrid
construction machines reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas
emissions, they pollute more smog-forming gases than their
nonhybrid counterparts.  The school's two-year, $2-million study,
funded by California Air Resources Board, evaluated the
Caterpillar D7E dozer and Komatsu HB215LC-1 hydraulic excavator
in various field trials. Posted. 


Ann Arbor asks for sale of fossil fuel holdings. The Ann Arbor
City Council has approved a proposal asking a board to sell off
fossil fuel-linked investments in its $429 million municipal
pension plan. The Michigan Daily reports (http://bit.ly/16sOf6n )
the resolution that passed Monday was softened from a previously
discussed one, using the word "request" instead of "urge." The
city's Energy Commission had wanted the council to pass a
resolution directing the pension board to sell holdings in the
top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. Posted.

Fracking California’s Future: Balancing. In September, Gov. Jerry
Brown signed Senate Bill 4 (SB 4), legislation creating
notification and reporting requirements for oil and gas well
operators utilizing well stimulation treatments to increase rock
formation permeability – specifically hydraulic fracturing and
acid well stimulation. Hydraulic fracturing is a process by which
water, sand and other chemicals are pumped at high pressure into
rock to create cracks. Posted.


Calif. high-speed rail begins search for artifacts. Backhoes
began digging up a parking lot in downtown Fresno on Monday in
search of underground tunnels and artifacts from an 1880s-era
Chinatown neighborhood that lies in the path of California's
planned high-speed rail network. An archaeological report
prepared by the High-Speed Rail Authority indicates crews could
find decades-old artifacts on several properties in the area.


British lawmakers to quiz energy bosses over price hikes. British
lawmakers plan to quiz energy company bosses next week over big
increases to household gas and electricity prices, in the midst
of a political row over rising energy costs. The Energy and
Climate Change Committee said on Tuesday it wanted bosses from
the country's big six energy firms, as well as other smaller
suppliers, to explain and justify the rises and had invited them
to appear before lawmakers on Oct. 29. Posted.

NRG Energy agrees to buy most of Edison Mission for $2.64
billion. NRG Energy Inc., the largest independent U.S.
electricity producer, agreed to buy most of the assets of Edison
International's bankrupt Edison Mission Energy for $2.64 billion
to expand its coal and wind holdings. The purchase price consists
of about 12.7 million NRG shares, with the balance to be paid in
cash on hand, NRG said. About $1.06 billion is expected to be on
hand at Edison Mission on closing. Posted.

A French Blueprint to Achieve Energy Indepence. Energy
independence is a "straw man" in this country, with political and
financial pundits tossing the term around despite the fact that
there are no real plans to get there. However, we could get there
if we start to rethink our energy dependencies. And, in this
regard, France is a model citizen. Just say no. France has
decided that it wants nothing to do with fracking, a drilling
method that has materially increased the amount of recoverable
oil and natural gas in the United States. Posted.

Environmental group launches crowd-funding campaign to put solar
power in schools. One of the nation's largest environmental
advocacy groups is throwing its organizational and fundraising
muscle behind an effort to bring more solar power to America's
schools. The launch of a $54,000 crowd-funding campaign, which
seeks donations made online via indiegogo.com, is a first for the
New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council …Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989157/print BY

Ikea on track to use 100% renewable energy by 2020, CEO says.
Ikea is on track to fulfill all its electricity needs with
self-produced renewable power by 2020, CEO Peter Agnefjäll said
at the Global Green Growth conference here. "We have to do a lot
more than just sell furniture and make profit for our owners," he
said. "We want to create a better everyday life. Our vision is to
grow Ikea in sync with society and the limits of our planet."
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989158/print BY


Hydrogen highway coming to California.  Governor Jerry Brown has
approved a plan to construct 100 hydrogen fueling stations in
California in the next 10 years. [SB Sun]  Currently, there are
about 300 hydrogen-powered cars in operation in California with
only nine fuel stations statewide. But, major automakers, like
Toyota, have announced plans to begin selling hydrogen cars in
California showrooms beginning in 2015.  Posted. 


Danny Cullenward: Don't let accounting tricks dominate the carbon
market. As the anniversary of California's first carbon market
auction approaches, the Air Resources Board has a lot to
celebrate. In just a few short years, the board has developed
California's comprehensive climate policy system (know as AB 32)
into the most important carbon market in the world. With all eyes
on California, every step the board takes sets a crucial
precedent for how forward-thinking governments can address the
climate crisis. That's why it is critical that the board's next
step not undo its early success. Thursday, the board will vote to
amend the carbon market regulations. Posted.


The shale-gas boom won’t do much for climate change. But it will
make us richer. The shale-gas boom in the United States won't
keep pushing U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions down in the decades
ahead. That's because, in addition to killing off coal-fired
plants, cheap gas will also crowd out cleaner energy sources like
wind, solar, and nuclear. Posted.

7 reasons to consider indoor air-quality testing.  Air isn't as
light as it seems. It's pushing on your skin right now with up to
15 pounds of pressure per square inch, a weight so familiar you
can't feel it. Your lungs feel it, though, especially when it's
bogged down with toxins. And while we tend to think of air
pollution as an outdoor threat, it can be even worse inside the
buildings where we live and work.  The causes of indoor air
pollution vary from region to region, house to house and even
room to room. Posted. 

Clean-water laws: The second front in the war on greenhouse
gases.  Necessity being the mother of invention, congressional
inaction on climate change has forced environmentalists to be
creative. Since Congress won’t pass a cap-and-trade bill to
control atmospheric emissions, activists are trying to apply
existing laws to the problem. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruling
in Massachusetts v. EPA forced the Environmental Protection
Agency to examine whether greenhouse gases harm the public.

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