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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 23, 2013. Posted: 23 Oct 2013 16:25:04
ARB Newsclips for October 23, 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 Jane Goodall pushes regulators to include international forest protections in cap and trade. Famed primate researcher Jane Goodall is lobbying California to include carbon offsets from international forests in its cap-and-trade system. Under the rules of California's economywide carbon market, which went into effect this past January, businesses can use carbon offsets in place of state-issued allowances for up to 8 percent of their total greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989259/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION EPA hits the road to seek input on power plant rules. The U.S. states that already have a plan in place to cut carbon pollution from power plants are likely to make the case to regulators this week that their program offers a viable model for others to follow. The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday kicks off an 11-city "listening tour" as part of its effort to craft emissions rules for existing power plants. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/23/usa-climate-epa-idUSL1N0IC21I20131023 India Blocks Talks to Cut Greenhouse Gases Using Ozone Treaty. India is blocking an international plan to reduce the polluting gases used in air conditioners and refrigerators, saying negotiators are trying to use the wrong treaty to bring about changes. International envoys have sought to bypass log-jammed United Nations climate-treaty talks by handing responsibility for reducing hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, to the Montreal Protocol. That’s an instrument designed to protect the ozone layer rather than the climate. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-10-23/india-blocks-talks-to-cut-greenhouse-gases-using-ozone-treaty.html Beijing Air Worse Than Official Standard 62.5% of Last Quarter. Air quality in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Tianjin and the surrounding province of Hebei failed to meet government standards on 62.5 percent of days in the third quarter, the nation’s environmental ministry said. Seven of 10 Chinese cities with the worst air pollution during the three-month period ended in September were in Hebei, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement posted to its website yesterday. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-10-23/beijing-air-worse-than-official-standard-62-5-of-last-quarter.html Valero to pay fine for air quality violations. The Valero Refining Co. has agreed to pay more than $300,000 for repeated air quality violations, including gas leaks, over the past few years, regulators announced Tuesday. The company will pay $300,300 in civil penalties for 33 violations in 2011 and 2012 at its petroleum refinery in Benicia, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Valero-to-pay-fine-for-air-quality-violations-4917926.php DEQ fines ESCO because of air-quality violation. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined the ESCO Corp. $2,200 because of an air-quality permit violation at its Northwest Portland plant. The DEQ said Tuesday the company failed to operate an emissions control system at the steel foundry and casting facility on July 2, and that might have led to excess emissions of particulate matter. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/DEQ-fines-ESCO-because-of-air-quality-violation-4917228.php Intel hopes to keep bad air from hurting computers. In a windowless lab at its Hillsboro campus, Intel scientists are brewing foul air so they can study the effects of air pollution on the innards of computers — a step toward figuring out how to protect electronics in markets such as India and China that have big pollution problems and the potential for big sales growth. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Intel-hopes-to-keep-bad-air-from-hurting-computers-4916944.php EPA awards Okla. tribes grants for air quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded grants to four Oklahoma tribes to monitor air quality on tribal lands. The EPA says the grant money will help the tribes better protect their land from toxic air pollution. The Cherokee Nation has been awarded nearly $438,000, while the Quapaw Tribe has been awarded more than $270,000. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/EPA-awards-Okla-tribes-grants-for-air-quality-4916558.php Stagnant air to stay in central San Joaquin Valley. Local air officials have forecast air quality as unhealthy for sensitive groups for a second day in a row on Wednesday in Fresno and Madera counties. "The air isn't moving, nothing is dispersing whether it's ozone or particulates in Fresno County," said Ana Reyes, spokeswoman for San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Although air quality was moderate on Tuesday in many Valley counties…Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/10/22/3567353/stagnant-air-to-stay-in-central.html#storylink=cpy CLIMATE CHANGE Australia, U.N. spar over wildfires and climate change. Australia's prime minister accused the U.N.'s climate change chief on Wednesday of "talking through her hat" when she drew a link between wildfires raging in his country and global warming. Firefighters were battling about 60 fires burning across New South Wales state, with strong winds fanning blazes in the Blue Mountains, a major commuter area of small towns west of Sydney. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/23/us-climate-australia-wildfires-idUSBRE99M0U920131023 BHP Board Candidate Says Chairman Misunderstands Climate Change. A former Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) executive who is seeking election to the board of the world’s biggest mining company believes BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) is underestimating the future effects of climate change. Ian Dunlop, 71, once an advocate for the industry as chairman of the Australian Coal Association before turning to promoting climate change awareness, is standing for election to the board of Melbourne-based BHP at its annual general meeting today in London. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-23/bhp-board-candidate-says-chairman-misunderstands-climate-change.html Pollen Study Points to Drought as Culprit in Bronze Age Mystery. More than 3,200 years ago, life was abuzz in and around what is now this modern-day Israeli metropolis on the shimmering Mediterranean shore. To the north lay the mighty Hittite empire; to the south, Egypt was thriving under the reign of the great Pharaoh Ramses II. Cyprus was a copper emporium. Greece basked in the opulence of its elite Mycenaean culture, and Ugarit was a bustling port city on the Syrian coast. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/world/middleeast/pollen-study-points-to-culprit-in-bronze-era-mystery.html?pagewanted=print Americans Consumed Less Energy In 2012, And Pumped Out Less Carbon Dioxide To Do It. The United States emitted less carbon dioxide through energy consumption in 2012, and while this is not the whole picture of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, it is a welcome sign. On Monday, the Energy Information Administration released a report showing that the carbon dioxide pollution we emit as we use energy dropped 3.8 percent in 2012. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/23/americans-consumed-less-energy-2012-pumped-less-carbon-dioxide/#3vMdKbApiT8qiWDa.99 DIESEL EMISSIONS Calif. officials conduct smoke inspections of big rigs in Fresno. Inspectors from the California Air Resources Board and the California Highway Patrol conducted a heavy-duty truck inspection Tuesday along Jensen Avenue between highways 41 and 99. The inspections, which measure the smoke coming out of a truck's exhaust pipes and check for proper engine labeling, are part of efforts to enforce state air-pollution laws governing emissions from trucks. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/10/22/3567016/state-officials-conduct-smoke.html#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/22/2988410/state-officials-conduct-smoke.html Oakland truckers strike to protest pollution rules. The truckers' strike at the Port of Oakland stems from complaints over work conditions, but it also underscores a long-simmering tension between the trucking industry and environmental regulators. Dozens of nonunion truckers walked off the job this week in part to protest what they said were the high costs of retrofitting or replacing trucks to meet air quality standards in California, home to cities with some of the worst air pollution in the country. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Oakland-truckers-strike-to-protest-pollution-rules-4917925.php Lowe’s shifts dedicated fleet in Texas to natural gas. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s has shifted its entire dedicated fleet at its Mount Vernon, TX, distribution center to run on natural gas. The distribution center transports up to 68 truckloads per day to stores in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Lowe’s said it expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20% while controlling fuel costs at the facility. Posted. http://fleetowner.com/running-green/lowe-s-shifts-dedicated-fleet-texas-natural-gas FUELS Coal Industry Eyes Comeback as Efficient Plants Encourage Use. Coal use in the U.S. is set to grow this year and next from a two-decade low as more efficient coal plants that can withstand new environmental regulations supplant old ones, an industry group predicted. Hal Quinn, the president of the National Mining Association, said coal use is projected to be up 7.5 percent this year compared to 2012, and its use will continue unabated through 2020, despite the boost in production of natural gas and a deadline of 2015…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-10-21/coal-industry-eyes-comeback-as-efficient-plants-encourage-use.html Keystone Foes Pledge Sit-Ins If Pipeline Advances. Critics of the Keystone XL pipeline say they’re still optimistic President Barack Obama will block TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s planned $5.3 billion link between the oil sands in Alberta and refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Just to be sure, they’re organizing a nationwide civil-disobedience campaign to keep up the pressure should the U.S. State Department recommend Obama approve the project. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-10-23/keystone-foes-pledge-sit-ins-if-pipeline-advances.html In Canada's Alberta province, oil sands boom is a two-edged sword. In the Cree language, the word "athabasca" means "a place where grass is everywhere." Here in Alberta, the Athabasca River slices through forests of spruce and birch before spilling into a vast freshwater delta and Lake Athabasca. But 100 miles upstream, the boreal forest has been peeled back by enormous strip mines, where massive shovels pick up 100 tons of earth at a time and dump it into yellow trucks as big as houses. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-canada-oilsands-cancer-20131021,0,3944866.story#axzz2iZ5MLDOC http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/23/5844769/in-canadas-alberta-province-oil.html#storylink=cpy GREEN ENERGY Koch Brother Wages 12-Year Fight Over Wind Farm. If the vast wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound is ever built, William I. Koch will have a spectacular view of it. Of course, that is the last thing he wants. Mr. Koch, a billionaire industrialist who made his fortune in fossil fuels and whose better-known brothers underwrite conservative political causes, has been fighting the wind farm, called Cape Wind, for more than a decade, donating about $5 million and leading an adversarial group against it. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/us/koch-brother-wages-12-year-fight-over-wind-farm.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print Rush to deploy clean energy tech is costly recipe for failure – report. Environmentalists' push to rapidly deploy existing clean energy technology instead of focusing on innovation will be an expensive and possibly failed path for reducing heat-trapping carbon emissions, according to a report released today by a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation report calls for emphasizing five phases of innovation -- not just deployment…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059989299/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Mystery of the 'Missing' Global Warming. Have you heard the one about how global warming stopped in 1998? It’s been called a “pause,” a “hiatus,” a “slowdown” and a “siesta.” Above all, it’s a red herring, and it isn’t difficult to find where some of the ‘missing’ heat has gone. First, in case you haven’t been paying attention: 97 percent of climate scientists agree about global warming and its man-made causes, now with 95 percent certainty, according to a report this month by the IPCC, the world’s most authoritative body of climate scientists. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-23/mystery-of-the-missing-global-warming.html COLUMN-EU, U.S. carbon emissions on downward trend: Wynn. Both European Union and U.S. carbon emissions have fallen sharply over the past five years, but working out whether that will continue requires teasing out short-term and one-off factors, and pinpointing lasting efficiency gains. Some causes are temporary or one-off: clearly, over the last several years energy demand was lower as a result of the financial crisis; while the weather can have a large impact, including a mild 2011/2012 winter in the United States. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/23/column-wynn-co-idUSL5N0IC1RC20131023 Saving the Earth While Killing Some Protected Birds. Wind offers one the lowest-impact, most environmentally benign energy technology available to us today. Regarding Robert Bryce's "Fighting Climate Change by Killing Eagles" (op-ed, Oct. 11): While all forms of energy have some type of impact on the environment, wind offers the lowest-impact, most environmentally benign energy technology available to us today. Plus, wind attracted $25 billion in private investment last year…Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304402104579149492879773288#printMode One year after Sandy — ignoring climate change at our own peril. It’s been one year since Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the eastern coast of the United States, affecting 24 states and devastating parts of New Jersey and New York. Thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed. Millions were left without power. As many as 100 people died; most of whom drowned as the storm surged in Staten Island and Queens. At $65 billion, Sandy was the second costliest storm in U.S. history. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-one-year-after-sandy--ignoring-climate-change-at-our-own-peril/2013/10/22/5d34cd52-3a52-11e3-a94f-b58017bfee6c_story.html LOIS HENRY: Enforcing smog rules this way is bad for business. I've been saying for years, to no avail, that new rules requiring drastically reduced emissions from trucks, buses and heavy equipment were going to cost far more than they would ever benefit the public in terms of better health. Now, those rules are coming home to roost. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/local/x196574834/LOIS-HENRY-Enforcing-smog-rules-this-way-is-bad-for-business?utm_campaign=flyout&utm_medium=flyout&utm_source=columnists_lois_henry Editorial: Limit on greenhouse gases faces court challenge. This wasn't the dramatic news that opponents of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were hoping for: Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to consider a variety of challenges to the EPA's effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions. But the news wasn't a total victory for environmentalists. Posted. http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-opinion/ci_24368795/edit-epa Oil and gas development is key to US future. Don't ban it. Regulate it. Oil and gas production through 'fracking' and horizontal drilling will improve US energy security – and support US foreign policy. This development should be encouraged. The reasonable response to environmental and health concerns is sensible regulation, not wholesale bans. Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and horizontal drilling are allowing the United States to produce greater quantities of domestic oil and gas, bringing closer the once unthinkable prospect of America being a net energy exporter within the next decade. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2013/1023/Oil-and-gas-development-is-key-to-US-future.-Don-t-ban-it.-Regulate-it BLOGS Is China the last hope for carbon capture technology? Remember carbon capture and storage? Five years ago, the idea of grabbing the carbon dioxide from coal and gas power plants and burying it deep underground was considered an essential technology for curbing the world's greenhouse-gas emissions. But carbon capture hasn't fared well in the years since. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/22/is-china-the-last-hope-for-carbon-capture-technology/?print=1 Exploring Solar, Efficiency, Gas and More with Amory Lovins and Joel Makower. Last Thursday I spent a half hour onstage in San Francisco discussing energy trends and choices with the energy analyst Amory B. Lovins and green business maven Joel Makower. This was the capping event of Verge 2013, a conference on commerce and sustainability run by Makower’s GreenBiz Group. The talk (preceded by my performance of “Liberated Carbon”) is energetic, tight and, I think, well worth watching. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/exploring-solar-efficiency-gas-and-more-with-amory-lovins-and-joel-makower/?ref=earth A Climate and Energy Roundup. If you care about greenhouse-driven global warming and related energy policies, I encourage you to subscribe to the “Hot News” feed from Climate Nexus and/or the Daily Climate. To keep a full view of the debate over relevant policies, you’d also do well to track the flow of links from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a pro-fossil, anti-regulation group* in Great Britain. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/a-climate-and-energy-roundup/?ref=earth JURUPA VALLEY: School board backs solar farm plan. The Jurupa Unified School District board of education on Monday, Oct. 21, voted to expand its solar energy program to include two “solar farms” to be constructed on two school campuses. The vote was 5-0. Representatives of Chevron Energy Solutions — which will oversee the project for the district — told board members that when the solar panels at Mission Middle School and Nueva Vista Continuation School become operational…Posted. http://blog.pe.com/education/2013/10/22/jurupa-valley-school-board-backs-solar-farm-plan/ SCAQMD Moves To Shut Down Lead Smelter Exide. Exide Technologies is a lead-acid battery recycling company in Vernon, California, with a history of air pollution and soil pollution problems. Exide has been operating with an interim permit to dispose of its waste issued by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) since 1981 – over thirty years – with no environmental review. It is the only facility in California that DTSC has treated this way. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dpettit/scaqmd_moves_to_shut_down_lead.html