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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. CAP AND TRADE 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.reuters.com/article/2013/11/14/us-california-carbon-lawsuit-idUSBRE9AD1EV20131114 http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Judge-rejects-challenges-to-greenhouse-gas-system-4984044.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/14/5912277/court-rejects-challenge-to-californias.html#storylink=cpy http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059990529/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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. http://theenergycollective.com/lucas-bifera/304301/california-marks-first-anniversary-cap-and-trade AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/14/5912368/coal-friendly-lawmakers-move-to.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Project-seeks-to-better-understand-airborne-toxins-4982497.php 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. http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/health/Air-quality-milestone-could-save-valley-residents-money-231953971.html CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_JAPAN_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-15/japan-sets-new-emissions-target-in-setback-to-un-treaty-talks.html http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/11/15/us-climate-japan-idUKBRE9AE00P20131115 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/japan-dials-back-from-emissions-cut-target-in-move-likely-to-slow-new-climate-change-pact/2013/11/14/c93b482a-4da6-11e3-97f6-ed8e3053083b_story.html http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/world/asia/japan-shelves-plan-to-slash-emissions-citing-fukushima.html http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/15/5914182/japan-dials-back-climate-change.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Japan-dials-back-climate-change-emissions-target-4985104.php http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/15/3610443/japan-dials-back-climate-change.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_24528957/japan-dials-back-climate-change-emissions-target?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/15/climate-talks-forests-idUSL5N0J03C920131115 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. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-1115-ucla-climate-20131115,0,4673549.story#axzz2kSjSjncy 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Scientists-improve-methods-for-measuring-ice-cover-4984820.php FUELS 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. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USBRE9AE0VM20131115 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-15/natural-gas-futures-rise-in-survey-as-cold-weather-spurs-demand.html http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20131114-713130.html 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-11-14/ethanol-snaps-five-day-gain-after-output-jumps-to-21-month-high.html 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/improving-us-oil-production-reaches-milestone-in-october-agency-says/2013/11/13/dd01db86-4c97-11e3-9890-a1e0997fb0c0_story.html 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/us/a-push-away-from-burning-coal-as-an-energy-source.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Group-challenges-plan-to-burn-coal-underground-4984062.php 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Court-orders-235M-payment-for-nuke-waste-storage-4985225.php 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/14/mitsubishimotors-electric-idUSL4N0IZ4AQ20131114 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. http://washingtonexaminer.com/subsidies-boost-market-for-electric-vehicles/article/2538973 GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/15/china-energy-idUSL4N0J002220131115 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. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/gas-534846-natural-diesel.html MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Berkeley-s-next-smoking-ban-may-hit-home-4984302.php OPINIONS 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/opinion/beijings-car-problem.html?pagewanted=print 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. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-oreskes-typhoon-climate-change-20131115,0,5815422.story#axzz2kSjSjncy 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Group-views-climate-change-as-an-economic-4983449.php BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/15/could-the-epa-push-a-carbon-tax-on-its-own-maybe-with-this-weird-trick/ 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. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/an-airborne-heart-threat/?hpw&rref=health 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. http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/11/14/google-invests-another-80m-in-solar/ 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. http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/11/14/245060918/electric-cars-drive-demand-for-cheaper-more-powerful-batteries 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. http://blog.ctnews.com/offbeat/2013/11/14/climate-change-is-more-dramatic-than-thought/ 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-burnett/global-climate-change-a-b_b_4281420.html