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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 15, 2013.

Posted: 15 Nov 2013 12:13:08
ARB Newsclips for November 15, 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.


California court upholds state's right to sell carbon permits.
California's environmental regulator can sell carbon emission
permits at quarterly auctions as part of the state's
cap-and-trade program, a state court said on Thursday, in a
setback to businesses that argued that the sales constitute an
illegal tax. The California Chamber of Commerce and tomato
processor Morning Star sued to stop the sales last year, arguing
that the permits should be given out freely to companies covered
by the program. Posted.



http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059990529/print  BY

California Marks First Anniversary of Cap-and-Trade. In the year
since California launched the nation’s largest greenhouse gas
cap-and-trade program, the state has proven that climate change
action can be led by states and can even spread across national
borders. Under a cap-and-trade system, companies must hold enough
emission allowances to cover their emissions, and are free to buy
and sell allowances on the open market. Posted.


Coal-friendly lawmakers move to shield industry from EPA rules.
Coal state lawmakers are attempting to block the Obama
administration from limiting the planet-warming emissions of
power plants. Kentucky Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield and West
Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin are pushing a measure that
would require congressional approval of President Barack Obama’s
signature move to combat climate change. Posted.

Project seeks to better understand airborne toxins. Researchers
at Michigan Technological University are working on a three-year
project to better understand how airborne toxins spread. The work
is funded by a $1.45 million grant from the National Science
Foundation and is led by professor Judith Perlinger, according to
the Houghton school. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, the Desert Research Institute and Boston
University are among the others involved. Posted.

Air-quality 'milestone' could save valley residents money. Valley
communities avoided a key air-pollution violation for the first
time in recorded history, and that could mean a $29 million
savings for residents if the federal government lifts a penalty.
The Valley Air District said Thursday that its eight-county
region registered no violations of the one-hour ozone standard
during the official ozone season, which runs from March through
October. Posted.


Japan dials back climate change emissions target. Japan's
decision to drastically scale back its target for reducing
greenhouse gas emissions could hurt efforts to craft a global
deal to fight climate change, delegates at U.N. talks said
Friday. The new target approved by the Japanese Cabinet calls for
reducing emissions by 3.8 percent from their 2005 level by 2020.
The revision was necessary because the earlier goal of a 25
percent reduction from the 1990 level was unrealistic…Posted. 







Weak rules threaten UN climate plan for forests. Investments in a
U.N. plan to halt deforestation could suffer as U.N. climate
talks in Warsaw have failed to agree rules to guarantee the
rights of indigenous peoples and to protect local biodiversity,
observers said. The programme, called REDD (Reducing Emissions
from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), help slow climate
change since deforestation accounts for nearly a fifth of the
world's greenhouse gas emissions. Posted.

UCLA project to study shifting L.A. to local resources. A
research project seeks to unite UCLA faculty members in finding
ways to respond to climate change without harming biodiversity.
Could Los Angeles prosper without electricity from fossil fuels?
Could the city shun water imported from the Sierra Nevada, even
as a changing climate brings hotter days and a declining
snowpack? Those are some of the questions being tackled by a new
research initiative at UCLA that seeks to confront and adapt to
climate change at the local level. Posted.

Scientists improve methods for measuring ice cover. Federal
scientists say they've developed a method of using satellites to
take highly accurate measurements of ice cover on the Great
Lakes. Good information about ice is important to shippers,
anglers and others who use the lakes during winter. At times,
previously used techniques for analyzing satellite data have
produced errors in distinguishing between ice and open water.


U.S. EPA to announce key biofuels rule Friday. The Environmental
Protection Agency will propose, later on Friday, a new federal
target for U.S. biofuel use in 2014, attempting to prevent a
projected fuel-blending crunch next year. Market watchers will
likely scan the proposal to see if it contains as deep a cut in
the amount of ethanol that must be blended into U.S. gasoline
next year as seen in an agency document leaked last month and
seen by Reuters. Posted.
Natural Gas Futures Rise in Survey as Cold Weather Spurs Demand.
Natural gas futures may climb next week as a blast of cold air
spurs demand for the heating fuel, a Bloomberg News survey
showed. Eight of 11 analysts, or 73 percent, forecast that gas
futures will rise on the New York Mercantile Exchange through
Nov. 22. Two, or 18 percent, said futures will decline and one
predicted that prices will stay the same. Last week, 50 percent
of participants said gas prices would advance. Posted.


Ethanol Futures Rise After Output Gain Fails to Replenish Stocks.
Ethanol gained for a sixth straight session after a government
report showed that rising U.S. output wasn’t enough to boost
supplies. Ethanol increased 0.5 percent as inventories declined
12,000 barrels to 15.2 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 8,
the Energy Information Administration said today. Production
jumped 2.8 percent to 927,000 barrels a day, the highest level
since Feb. 10, 2012…Posted.

Improving U.S. oil production reaches milestone in October,
agency says. The United States produced more crude oil in October
than it imported for the first time since early 1995, as domestic
shale oil output continued to surge and U.S. consumption of
petroleum products remained relatively flat, the Energy
Information Administration said Wednesday. The figures mark a
milestone in the rebound of U.S. oil production since drillers
started using a combination of horizontal drilling…Posted.

A Push Away From Burning Coal as an Energy Source. The Tennessee
Valley Authority sharply accelerated a shift away from coal as an
energy source on Thursday, saying it would shut down eight
electricity-generating units that together will burn nearly a
fifth of its coal this year. The closings are part of a long-term
strategy, also announced Thursday, for the authority to generate
20 percent of its electricity from coal, instead of the current
38 percent. Posted.

Group challenges plan to burn coal underground. A state review
panel opened a hearing Thursday on an environmental group's
challenge of an application from an Australian company that wants
to turn coal into gas at an underground site in northeastern
Wyoming. The Wyoming Environmental Quality Council hearing is
considering an application from Linc Energy to allow it to open a
test facility at a site about 8 miles northwest of the town of
Wright. Posted.

Court orders $235M payment for nuke waste storage. A federal
court has awarded $235.4 million in damages to the owners of
three decommissioned nuclear power plants in New England to
reimburse them for the costs of storing spent nuclear fuel. The
Court of Federal Claims in Washington issued the ruling Thursday
in favor of Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Co., Maine Yankee
Atomic Power Co. and Yankee Atomic Electric Co. in Rowe, Mass.

Oil drilling wastes, long buried under Canada's permafrost, leak
into the environment. For decades, companies exploring for oil
and gas in the Arctic's remote southern reaches have disposed of
their drilling waste in the cheapest and most convenient way
possible: by digging massive pits to hold the waste and then
capping them with frozen permafrost. And for decades, the waste
harmlessly sat in the frozen tombs. Then climate change, which
scientists say is caused by burning fossil fuels, set in, causing
the permafrost to begin melting. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059990495/print BY

Green group reveals offshore fracking chemicals, says many pose
hazards. Unconventional oil drilling in the waters off Southern
California uses several chemicals considered hazardous, including
at least one that a federal agency connects to increased cancer
risk, an environmental group said yesterday. The Center for
Biological Diversity (CBD) in a 28-page letter asked the
California Coastal Commission to block offshore hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, and cited a list of potential perils.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059990535/print


Mitsubishi Motors cuts Japan electric car price by up to $9,100.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp has slashed the price of its i-MiEV
electric minicar in Japan by up to $9,100, aiming to boost
sluggish sales as makers of electric vehicles face
slower-than-expected acceptance of the technology. Japan's
sixth-biggest carmaker, which started selling the i-MiEV in 2009,
said on Thursday it was dropping the price of its top of the
range i-MiEV by around 25 percent, or 900,000 yen ($9,100), to
2.9 million yen. Posted. 

Subsidies boost market for electric vehicles. Even after Juris
Shibayama's Tesla Model S plug-in electric car became the third
to catch fire in six weeks, his confidence in the car didn't
waver. "I would buy another one a heartbeat," Shibayama, who
described the advance warnings the vehicle's emergency system
sounded before it went ablaze in Smyrna, Tenn., wrote on Tesla's
blog. Shibayama is one of an increasing number of electric
vehicle drivers, as the industry outperforms expectations with
the help of state and federal government subsidies. Posted.


China to welcome private, foreign investment in green energy.
China will open its energy conservation and environment
protection industries to foreign and private investment, state
media reported Friday, quoting comments by premier Li Keqiang
made at a meeting in Beijing. Li's remarks may signal a change in
China's approach to the clean energy sector, which has used
government subsidies to create national champions and been
criticized as protectionist in nature. Posted.

Newport Beach firm builds 'natural gas highway' Clean Energy has
set up 440 stations nationwide for a fuel touted as an
alternative to diesel. On the third floor of a sleek Newport
Beach high-rise, Andrew J. Littlefair can hardly contain his
excitement. Tall and broad-shouldered, with a shock of red hair,
the 52-year-old president and CEO of Clean Energy Fuels charges
into his operations room to show off a wall of brightly lit
screens. Posted.


Berkeley's next smoking ban may hit home. Berkeley, where
residents take pride in exercising their personal freedoms and
resisting government intrusion, is the site these days of a much
different kind of movement - one to ban cigarette smoking from
single-family homes. A City Council member says a proposal to ban
cigarette smoking in apartments and condos, where smoke can waft
through ventilation systems, is not tough enough or fair. Posted.


Beijing’s Car Problem. Beijing has a new plan to tackle its air
pollution: require fewer conventional cars and more hybrid and
electric vehicles. The effort is an admirable attempt to deal
with a major problem in the Chinese capital, but it will not make
a big difference without other, more significant interventions.
The local government says it will reduce the number of license
plates it issues over the next four years by 40 percent, to
150,000 a year by 2017. Posted.

Monitoring a climate epidemic. When is a super typhoon more than
just a super typhoon? At the U.N. climate negotiations in Warsaw
on Monday, the lead Philippine delegate, Yeb Sano, made an
emotional plea: "Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts
represent a sobering reminder to the international community that
we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action." But was
Sano's statement consistent with the science? Posted.

Group views climate change as an economic opportunity. The
following is from a New York Times editorial: In an effort to
compensate for the failure of central governments to address the
dangers of climate change with comprehensive national policies,
cities, states and regions have developed their own strategies.
California's ambitious plan aims to reduce emissions 80 percent
by 2050 by requiring cleaner cars, more energy-efficient
buildings and renewable fuels. Nine states have joined together
to cut power-plant emissions. Posted.


Could the EPA push a carbon tax on its own? Maybe—with this weird
trick. Next year, the Obama administration will unveil its
biggest climate-change policy to date — new rules to limit
carbon-dioxide emissions from thousands of existing coal- and
gas-fired power plants. That's nearly one-third of the nation's
greenhouse gases. And some experts have argued that the
administration should try to get creative with those rules. One
possibility: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could
allow states to impose carbon taxes as a way of complying with
the new regulations. Posted.

An Airborne Heart Threat. Bit by bit over the past few decades,
scientists have been building a new understanding of the ways
that air pollution threatens human health. Much of their
attention has been focused on lung diseases, including cancers.
With good reason, it turns out: just last month, the World Health
Organization declared air pollution to be one of the planet’s
most dangerous environmental carcinogens.  Posted.

Google invests another $80m in solar. Google will sink another
$80 million into big solar power projects in California and
Arizona, the Internet search giant reported Thursday. The Victor
Phelan solar power project in San Bernardino, CA is one of six
projects in which Google will invest. The Victor Phelan solar
power project in San Bernardino, CA is one of six projects in
which Google will invest. Posted.

Electric Cars Drive Demand For Cheaper, More Powerful Batteries.
If there's one person you'd expect to have an electric car, it's
Venkat Srinivasan. He's in charge of battery research at the
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. "I'm
actually in the market for a new car and would love to buy an
electric car," he says. "But there are practical problems."
Srinivasan is driving around the lab's campus in a mini-electric
car, sort of like a golf cart. Posted.

Climate change is more dramatic than thought. When the recent UN
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a recent
report, there was a lot of focus on how there seems to be to be a
“pause” in the accelerating rate of global warming . However the
website Real Climate _ which I think is one of best climate
change sites out there – has a report that shows that climate
change may have been seriously underestimated since 1997 and that
there really hasn’t been a pause at all. Posted.

Global Climate Change: A Blow to the Head. As evidence mounts
that global climate change is dramatically impacting our lives,
resistance hardens. What will cause Americans to address this
grave danger? Perhaps the answer lies in the campaign to reduce
traumatic head injuries in American football. Both global climate
change and football head injuries are controversial. Despite
overwhelming scientific evidence, there are many climate change
deniers. Posted.

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