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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 28, 2013. Posted: 28 Oct 2013 14:33:48
ARB Newsclips for October 28, 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. ZERO EMISSION VEHICLES Tenn. officials steer clear of zero-emissions plan. the Nissan plant in Tennessee that makes the all-electric Leaf stands to benefit from an announcement this week that eight states will work together to dramatically increase the number of zero-emission cars on the nation's roads. But Tennessee isn't among the states signing the agreement, and Republican leaders say they have no plans to do so. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Tenn-officials-steer-clear-of-zero-emissions-plan-4931641.php CAP AND TRADE State hears objections to business-friendly cap-and-trade changes. California is readying a controversial suite of changes to its cap-and-trade program that are drawing heated opposition from environmentalists who say they could weaken its environmental integrity. The changes, intended to make the state's greenhouse gas market friendlier to businesses that have to participate, include more free allowances for industry, adjustments to market rules and the ability to buy carbon offsets from coal mines. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989487/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION China to monitor link between smog and health. China's Health Ministry will set up a national network within five years to provide a way of monitoring the long-term impact of chronic air pollution on human health, state media said on Monday. The network will gather data on PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers, in different locations around the country, the report said, citing a ministry statement. "The document noted that the absence of a long-term, systematic monitoring system has…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/28/us-china-environment-idUSBRE99R0L320131028 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-28/china-to-start-monitoring-pollution-effects-in-worst-hit-cities.html Study to look at causes of surging ozone pollution in Texas. When ozone pollution skyrocketed in the tiny town of Boulder, Wyo., in 2008, it was relatively easy to identify the culprit as oil and gas drilling, the only major industry in the rural area. Today, a similar situation in San Antonio, Texas, will be more difficult to resolve. The city has violated federal ozone standards dozens of times since 2008, but with so much industrial activity in and around the city…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/27/5856227/study-to-look-at-causes-of-surging.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/27/5856227/study-to-look-at-causes-of-surging.html China's Smog Is So Bad You Can See It From Space. NOAA just published this satellite picture of China, which shows just how bad its smog problem really is. This week the smog was so bad it shut down Harbin, a city of 11 million people. Small particulate matter (with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers) reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of Harbin. More than 300 is considered "hazardous," and the city has been forced to shut down schools, airports, and buses because of the air. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/China-s-Smog-Is-So-Bad-You-Can-See-It-From-Space-4926903.php Blustery day in S.J. topples trees, cuts power; air quality worsens. Gusting winds that reached highs of 44 mph caused a flurry of downed tree limbs and power lines, and at least one large power outage in Stockton on Sunday night. Air quality was also downgraded to a status of "unhealthy for sensitive groups." Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman Jana Morris said downed power lines caused an outage for 117 customers…Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131028/A_NEWS/310280317&cid=sitesearch SALTON SEA: Air district to track foul gas. Next time, residents might get some warning before a belch of foul-smelling gas from the Salton Sea hits the Inland area. Air quality officials this week installed two monitors in the Coachella Valley near the sea to track the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like rotten eggs. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20131025-salton-sea-air-district-to-track-foul-gas.ece Imperial Valley residents advised to monitor air quality as temperatures cool off. With the temperatures cooling off in the Imperial Valley, residents are advised to monitor the air quality in their area. Typically this time of year brings more unhealthy air quality, especially in Calexico because of idling vehicles at the border crossing and burning that happens at night in Mexicali, said Imperial County Air Pollution Control Officer Brad Poirez. Posted. http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/local/imperial-valley-residents-advised-to-monitor-air-quality-as-temperatures/article_d36b2584-3e12-11e3-9c32-0019bb30f31a.html Imperial Valley students to speak on health impacts of poor air quality. Community, local leaders and decision makers are invited to “STOP AND LISTEN” to local high school students to discuss the negative health impacts of poor air quality in the Imperial Valley. Students from three high schools around Imperial County will base their presentations on the recently released white paper “Health Impacts of Border Crossing Emissions,” written by Dr. Penelope Quintana of San Diego State University, according to a press release from the Imperial Valley Child Asthma Program. Posted. http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/local/imperial-valley-students-to-speak-on-health-impacts-of-poor/article_3c30bddc-3edf-11e3-891d-0019bb30f31a.html Court sets oral argument date for EPA mercury rule case. Federal judges Friday scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 10 in a major challenge to U.S. EPA's landmark mercury and air toxics standards. States and industry groups are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to strike down one of the highest-profile environmental accomplishments of President Obama's first term. EPA finalized its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule in December 2011. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059989513/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Coalition of 13 EU Ministers Urges Action on Climate Policies. Environment and energy ministers from 13 European Union countries joined forces to call on the bloc to agree on ambitious emission-reduction rules for the next decade and strengthen the EU’s carbon market. The ministers, who believe tackling climate change will help foster economic growth in the 28-nation bloc, urged the EU at a conference in Brussels today to provide regulatory certainty to investors. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-10-28/coalition-of-13-eu-ministers-urges-action-on-climate-policies.html http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/28/us-climate-eu-idUSBRE99R0G320131028 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/business/energy-environment/consol-energy-to-sell-5-coal-mines.html?_r=0 West Coast states and BC to link climate policies. The governors of Western U.S. states and a Canadian province will announce a partnership to collectively combat climate change and promote clean energy. Governors of California, Oregon, Washington and the premier of British Columbia on Monday will announce the partnership at an event in San Francisco. Few specifics were available. Gov. Jerry Brown's office said the states and Canada will formally align climate policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and industrial sources. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/28/west-coast-states-and-bc-to-link-climate-policies/ http://www.siliconbeat.com/2013/10/27/west-coast-climate-agreement-coming-monday/ Capitol Alert: AM Alert: Jerry Brown, other governors to sign climate accord. Fresh off his trip to Washington, D.C., Gov. Jerry Brown will join his West Coast gubernatorial brethren and Canadian officials today to ink a climate change accord. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and environmental officials from British Columbia will join Brown in San Francisco to sign the pact. Stay tuned for more details. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/10/28/3576652/capitol-alert-am-alert-jerry-brown.html Scripps scientist seeks soot solution for India. In the late 1990’s Scripps professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan led an international team of researchers that identified the brown cloud of soot wafting from India, and warned of its contribution to climate change. This year he released a report showing that diesel emissions reductions aimed at cutting pollution deaths in California have the serendipitous effect of curbing climate change. Now Ramanathan, an Indian-born researcher for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is bringing his expertise home. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/25/environment-scripps-oceanography-soot-ramanathan/ Climate change expert says Earth is having its 'Independence Day' moment (Q&A). According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Earth's climate system is a “complex, interactive system consisting of the atmosphere, land surface, snow and ice, oceans and other bodies of water and living things.” And, yes, the scientific community pores over all kinds of data related to this system every day. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_24402089/climate-change-expert-says-earth-is-having-its http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_24402089/climate-change-expert-says-earth-is-having-its?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Greenhouse gas levels rose 11% over 1 year in Calif. Green California led the country in greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2012, according to an analysis of U.S. EPA's recently released data. A wet year in 2011 ramped up hydropower generation in the state, which led to a relative drop in that renewable energy in 2012. The decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station also raised emissions...Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989488/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Scientists discover clue to longer-range heat wave prediction – study Heat waves are the deadliest weather threat in the United States, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. They're also expected to become more frequent and more severe with climate change. One way to minimize the negative effects of heat waves is to predict them earlier. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989465/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Calif.’s reefer unit compliance extension deadline is Thursday. Just a few days are left for owners of 2006 transport refrigeration units to apply for a compliance extension of California TRU regulation. Owners of reefers and TRU generator sets must comply with the rule’s in-use performance standards by Dec. 31. Orders for verified diesel emissions control strategies, such as Level 3 diesel particulate filters, must be placed by Oct. 31. The state Air Resources Board stipulates if emissions control equipment is ordered before the deadline, but delivery or installation is delayed, the buyer can apply for an extension. Posted. http://www.ccjdigital.com/calif-s-reefer-unit-compliance-extension-deadline-is-thursday/ FUELS CONSOL to sell 5 mines for at least $850M in cash. CONSOL Energy Inc. said Monday it is selling all five of its longwall coal mines in West Virginia to a subsidiary of Ohio-based Murray Energy for a deal that includes $850 million in cash. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J. Brett Harvey said the sale of the Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary was a difficult decision but is good for the company's long-term growth and allows CONSOL to focus more on natural gas exploration and development. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONSOL_MINE_SALE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/28/consolenergy-minesale-idUSL1N0II0HO20131028 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303471004579163321890573890?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection BY SUBSCRIPTION http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/consol-energy-reaches-deal-to-sell-group-of-5-mines-for-at-least-850m-in-cash/2013/10/28/e3b68ebe-3fd0-11e3-b028-de922d7a3f47_story.html In Response to Storm, New York Will Create a Gas Reserve. New York is creating a gasoline reserve to prevent shortages during disasters, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced in a news release on Saturday.The reserve is expected to hold three million gallons of fuel, Mr. Cuomo’s office said, and it would be the first state gasoline reserve in the nation. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/nyregion/in-response-to-storm-new-york-will-create-a-gas-reserve.html?ref=earth Asheville, NC, asks Duke to cut its coal reliance. When the city launched an ambitious plan to slash its carbon footprint, a major obstacle stood in its way: A massive coal-fired plant on the edge of town. After some progress, Ashville decided to take another step — passing a resolution calling on Duke Energy to reduce its reliance on coal, a move designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions at the company's Asheville Plant. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/26/2994726/asheville-nc-asks-duke-to-cut.html#storylink=cpy Midwestern Ethanol Producers Challenge California Global-Warming Regulations. A federal appeals court in California is mulling whether to reconsider a September ruling that upheld state global-warming regulations on ethanol producers. Critics say the decision gives the Golden State carte blanche to regulate virtually anything it doesn’t like, regardless of the impact on interstate commerce. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, upheld California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, which grades ethanol based on the “lifecycle” greenhouse gas emissions associated with its production. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/10/25/midwestern-ethanol-producers-challenge-california-law-that-penalizes-them/ VEHICLES Charging electric vehicles disrupts power grids less than expected. As electric vehicle sales rev up, there are concerns that more battery-powered and plug-in hybrid cars might disrupt the nation's power grids. If a large number of electric vehicles (EVs) in close proximity plug in at peak times -- like after work on a hot summer's day -- it could prompt a power surge and overwhelm the local transformer. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989466/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Scientists use 'actuators' to manipulate air flow and raise fuel efficiency of vehicles using plasma. To squeeze out a few more miles per gallon, it may make sense not to go with the flow but to channel it. As vehicles get larger and faster, the air moving around them becomes a bigger energy drain. Semi-trailers and airliners have to contend with turbulent eddies pulling on their expansive surface areas, forcing engines to work harder. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989490/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY IU building is gold standard for energy efficiency. There are no dividers between employees at the Cyberinfrastructure Building. Work stations face the building's glass exterior, large windows offering a view into the real world, an alternative from computer backgrounds with beaches and palm trees. It's a view, but it's also a necessary feature for the greenest building at Indiana University. In becoming only IU's second LEED Gold building — accumulating a university best 74 points from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design scale…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/IU-building-is-gold-standard-for-energy-efficiency-4932286.php Solar switch forces utilities to shift priorities. Sitting on a rooftop, soaking up sun, the humble solar panel may not look like a threat to a multibillion-dollar industry. But some electric utility executives say it is. They even have a name for the nightmare scenario solar could create - the "death spiral." They fear solar's rapid spread across homes and businesses, combined with the increasing efficiency of modern buildings and appliances, could slowly erode the utilities' ability to grow. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Solar-switch-forces-utilities-to-shift-priorities-4929363.php Polls show energy doesn’t spark Americans’ interest. The U.S. is a rising energy power with soaring oil and gas production and lots of big decisions to make about pipelines, fracking, the future of wind and solar power, and how to tackle climate change. But the public may not be paying much attention. Recent polls show that Americans are largely disengaged from the fierce energy debates that embroil the capital and that many people know few details…Posted. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/polls-show-energy-doesnt-spark-americans-interest-98904.html#ixzz2j2yWXh6F MISCELLANEOUS Village Commons Collection invites homebuyers to tour solar powered town homes in Camarillo. Visit the Village Commons Collection today to learn about the many environmental benefits of living in this beautiful community as well as how a new home puts money back in your wallet. And while you’re there, be a part of the FOOD Share drive happening at the sales office. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/oct/26/village-commons-collection-invites-homebuyers-tour/#ixzz2j2HHWtXu OPINIONS Column - Sandy +1: Preparing for the storms ahead One year ago Tuesday, Hurricane Sandy, perhaps the largest Atlantic storm ever, began its path of destruction in New York City. It ultimately killed almost 300 people across seven countries. In the United States alone, the fierce storm left an estimated $70 billion in damage in its wake, the second-costliest storm in U.S. history. Substantial money and effort has now gone into rebuilding the areas most devastated by the storm. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/28/us-column-great-debate-idUSBRE99R05420131028 Editorial: Long Story Short It took less than a week to be reminded of the flaw in the Department of Environmental Conservation's new "police yourselves" policy, courtesy of a tour of the Norlite hazardous waste incinerator. In the mid-2000s, the Cohoes company was so squirrely with its monitoring and reporting that the DEC in a 2010 settlement fined Norlite and its former owners $90,000, ordered repairs of its kilns and other equipment…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Editorial-Long-Story-Short-4929503.php Is Biofuel the Oil Killer? Oil and gasoline heat our homes and power our vehicles, with industry giants like ExxonMobil quickly coming to mind. However, there are alternatives to oil that are increasingly becoming viable options. More of the same. There's good reason to like ExxonMobil beyond the fact that over 19,000 of its gas stations dot the globe. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Is-Biofuel-the-Oil-Killer-4932014.php Letter: 'Green brand' would help area The Owens Corning factory in Bethlehem has the largest solar power project under the state's renewable energy subsidy program ("State plugs solar farms," Oct. 18). Funded by Constellation New Energy and NYSERDA, this 2.7-mega-watt facility will provide 6 percent of the electricity consumed at the factory. This is just one of many projects going on, or proposed, that promise to make the Bethlehem a model of sustainable development and resource efficiency. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Letter-Green-brand-would-help-area-4930809.php Time to discard state's recycling law? "Seinfeld" fans might remember that 1996 episode when Kramer and Newman came up with a scheme to exploit Michigan's 10-cent deposit on beverage containers. They decided to load a mail truck with bottles and cans from New York - where the deposit was merely 5 cents - to redeem for double the value. Their plan was disrupted when Jerry's car was stolen by a psychotic auto mechanic, but not before a succession of guffaws. In California, interstate shipment of recyclables is no laughing matter. It's a thriving business, albeit an illegal one. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/diaz/article/Time-to-discard-state-s-recycling-law-4926892.php Fixing California: Regulation gone wild. On March 12, 2009, officials from the California Air Resources Board met with representatives of U.S. automakers and auto-supply firms to discuss vehicle-paint standards that state regulators were moving to implement. Soon afterward, the auto-industry insiders’ WardsAuto website detailed how the meeting had left some attendees stunned — and major paint suppliers “tearing their hair out.” The air board wanted to require heat-reflecting paint on vehicles as part of its effort to improve fuel efficiency. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/26/regulators-gone-wild/ Our air may get help from afar. Our view: Butte County has learned that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose with the government's uneven air laws. The business of regulating air quality is more than a little bit strange, as evidenced recently by the fact that a pollution violation by a trio of businesses in Mississippi is very likely to help clean the air in Butte County, roughly 2,220 miles away. The three companies imported and sold more than 80,000 engines that didn't meet the United States' pollution standards. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/editorials/ci_24396208/editorial-our-air-may-get-help-from-afar Shopping for cleaner environment. In theory, it seems like a solid concept - ban plastic shopping bags, putting an end to a lot of visual and environmental pollution. In a practical sense, it's far more complicated, even as the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors considers just such a ban. Dozen of public agencies across California have banned the use of plastic bags, including the city of Santa Barbara. Hawaii last year became the first to impose a statewide ban. Posted. http://www.lompocrecord.com/news/opinion/editorial/shopping-for-cleaner-environment/article_d0759412-3e9f-11e3-a7a9-0019bb2963f4.html?print=true&cid=print California's Crude Attack On Oil Imports Makes Other States Green With Enmity. A federal court must clear the air regarding whether California’s new low-carbon fuel standard mandate is in violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The fact that the policy violates common sense in terms of any purported environmental or climate benefit is another matter entirely. After all, we’re dealing with California’s very unique brand of green logic here. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/10/27/californias-crude-attack-on-oil-imports-makes-other-states-green-with-enmity/ BLOGS Why world can't agree over climate change. China has brought us a new English word: "Airpocalypse." The northeastern city of Harbin was paralyzed last week by terrible smog and air pollution. Visibility was down to just a few meters. Highways and schools were closed, the airport was shut down. Pedestrians could barely get around. The images are a vivid reminder of the impacts of industrial growth, especially when powered by dirty fuels like coal, which accelerates not only pollution but also climate change. Posted. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/26/why-world-cant-agree-over-climate-change/ Update: CARB Defers Action on Coal Mine Methane Offsets. Late today, the California Air Resources Board directed staff to conduct additional analysis and respond to concerns raised about a proposal to allow the state’s major polluters to use reductions from methane emissions from coal mines as a way to comply with California’s AB 32 clean energy law, which could become a significant source of new revenue for the coal industry. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/pmiller/update_carb_defers_action_on_c.html Yes, CO2 emissions are down, but they have much further to go. Last week, environmentalists got a rare bit of good news: U.S. CO2 emissions dropped 3.8 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That brings emissions to their lowest level since 1994, and represents the fifth drop in seven years. And unlike some previous years, the drop was not the silver lining to a shrinking economy: The economy grew by 2.8 percent in 2012. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/yes-co2-emissions-are-down-but-they-have-much-further-to-go/ Health Effects Of Air Pollution To Be Monitored In China As Smog Raises Safety Concerns. China's Health Ministry will set up a national network within five years to provide a way of monitoring the long-term impact of chronic air pollution on human health, state media said on Monday. The network will gather data on PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers, in different locations around the country, the report said, citing a ministry statement. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/health-effects-of-air-pollution-china_n_4169696.html The Climate Change Disconnect. Recently, "good" news about energy has been gushing out of North America, where a cheering crowd of pundits, energy experts, and government officials has been plugging the U.S. as the "Saudi Arabia" of the twenty-first century. You know, all that fracking and those luscious deposits of oil shale and gas shale just waiting to be pounded into shape to fill global gas tanks for an energy-rich future. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-engelhardt/north-america-fossil-fuels_b_4169841.html