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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 16, 2013 Posted: 16 Dec 2013 15:02:33
ARB Newsclips for December 16, 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 EU Adopts Emergency Carbon Fix Law to Curb Permit Glut. The European Union adopted an emergency law change to alleviate a record glut of emission permits in the region’s carbon market and help prices recover from near all-time lows. EU agriculture ministers approved an amendment to authorize the European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, to postpone sales of as many as 900 million carbon allowances despite opposition from Poland. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-16/eu-adopts-emergency-carbon-fix-law-to-curb-permit-glut.html EU Climate and Energy Squeeze on Industry Backfiring, Dow Says. Europe’s “backfiring” climate and energy policies are adding to high natural gas costs and holding back Dow Chemical Co.’s investment in the region, said the company’s director of global climate change policy. European Union proposals to limit the amount of free emission permits in its cap-and-trade program boost industry costs, and are one reason Dow and other chemical makers limited refining capacity expansion in the region for the past 12 years…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-16/eu-climate-and-energy-squeeze-on-industry-backfiring-dow-says.html CARB Approves Another Round of Cap and Trade Amendments. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has held its most important meetings related to the Cap and Trade Regulation (Regulation) annually in October over the last few years, and 2013 was no exception. On October 25, CARB staff presented to the Board both retroactive and proactive “tweaks” to the program in anticipation of its next major milestone—the broadening of the compliance market in 2015 when transportation fuels are included. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/12/16/carb-approves-another-round-of-cap-and-trade-amendments/ Initiative: Carbon-credit dollars for timber lots. For most of Oregon’s history, the forests like the ones near Paul Nys’ house were places where a landowner could get wealthy. Cultivated from seed, rows of trees were grown to a healthy middle age and then chopped down, buzzed into lumber at sawmills and shipped out. Over the years, the retired schoolteacher has had many offers to buy his property…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/initiative-carbon-credit-dollars-for-timber-lots/2013/12/16/f7b51ecc-666c-11e3-997b-9213b17dac97_story.html http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6004983/initiative-carbon-credit-dollars.html#storylink=cpy http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/16/3670149/initiative-carbon-credit-dollars.html A forced auction sheds light on China's experiments with carbon trading. Good sales usually signal a strong market demand, but that might not always be the case in the Chinese carbon market. Guangdong province, host to China's fourth regionwide emissions trading pilot, today launched an auction for 3 million tons of carbon permits. While the government has yet to unveil the result, the Guangzhou-based China Emissions Exchange, which hosts the auction, said that it has been going quite well. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991889/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION Air quality officials say South L.A. oil field modifying operations. Air quality regulators say that an urban oil field blamed for chronic respiratory illnesses and nosebleeds in a South Los Angeles neighborhood is modifying its operations to prevent leaks and upgrade air pollution controls. Allenco Energy Co., which voluntarily suspended operations Nov. 22 at the request of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), plans to inspect and repair tanks, remove an open-air drain and sump from service…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-1213-fumes-20131216,0,832064.story#ixzz2nf2TfWtD Big disparities in air pollution detected in L.A. neighborhoods. Smog is an irritation for anyone living in Los Angeles, but exactly where in the city you live can make a huge difference in your in your exposure to the tiniest air pollutants, a new study has found. The study by UCLA researchers compared four Los Angeles neighborhoods and found striking disparities in levels of air pollutants known as ultrafine particles, even over short distances. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-air-pollution-neighborhood-ultrafine-particles-20131213,0,7983027.story#ixzz2nf31qUKB http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/news/california-news/6428-los-angeles-neighborhoods-show-striking-differences-in-transit-related-air-pollution.html Residents urge closure of Exide battery recycling plant. The company says it has reduced emissions. One by one, hour after hour Saturday in a ballroom at Cal State Los Angeles, residents, elected officials and activists from southeast Los Angeles pleaded with an air district hearing board to shut down a Vernon battery recycler accused of endangering hundreds of thousands of people because of unsafe arsenic and lead emissions. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-1215-exide-20131215,0,6472756.story#ixzz2nf3tZSA9 Lawsuit aimed at FutureGen pollution standards. The Sierra Club has filed a federal lawsuit aimed at tightening the pollution controls planned for the FutureGen clean-coal project. The environmental group argues In the lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Springfield that the project needs to meet tougher standards for preventing the release of pollutants into the air. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6005170/lawsuit-aimed-at-futuregen-pollution.html#storylink=cpy http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/16/3670229/lawsuit-aimed-at-futuregen-pollution.html Air agency announces Chico wood smoke ban today. An indoor wood-burning ban for Chico has been issued for today by the Butte County Air Quality Management District. In a press release, the agency said residents inside Chico's city limits are being asked not to use woodstoves or fireplaces today because of expected poor air quality. Burning EPA-approved woodstoves or manufactured logs is OK. The ban continues today to midnight. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/breakingnews/ci_24732986/air-agency-announces-chico-wood-smoke-ban-today Unhealthy air conditions expected across the Valley. The worst type of advisory from the San Joaquin Valley Air District is air deemed, "Very Unhealthy." Air is not expected to be that bad Monday, but schools and doctors are watching the air quality conditions very closely. Schools say they could be limiting outdoor actives for their kids. And allergy doctors say they are preparing for a busy day. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District expects the air from San Joaquin to Kern Counties to be unhealthy. Posted. http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=9361824 Spare the Air alert issued for Monday. Monday is a Spare the Air day around the Bay Area, so burning of wood logs and other solid fuels is prohibited unless there is no alternate heating source. Lingering cold weather had created stagnant atmosperic conditions expected to trap air pollution at human levels, including soot and microscopic particulates resulting from fires, air quality officials say. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20131216/articles/131219682 Pollution cuts at the port promise a breath of fresher air for West Oakland. The Port of Oakland said that diesel pollution from its maritime operations has plunged 70 percent from 2005 levels, even as the port is handling 3 percent more cargo. The port is in the midst of a larger push to reduce its diesel pollution in West Oakland 85 percent by 2020. Tim Leong, an environmental scientist at the port, said the agency is on track to meet that goal. “The community can breathe easier,” Leong said. Posted. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/dec/12/pollution-cuts-at-the-port-promise-a-breath-of/#ixzz2nfKM15XJ CLIMATE CHANGE EU reaches deal to cap super-warming F-gases. The European Union on Monday reached a tentative deal on limiting the use in fridges and air conditioners of fluorinated gases that have a global warming potential thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide. Two decades after international action led to the phasing out of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the European Commission last year proposed a law to eliminate the climate-harming "F-gases" that replaced CFCs. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/16/eu-fgases-idUSL6N0JV42A20131216 U.S. states urge regulator to adopt their emissions strategies. Fifteen U.S. states have urged the top environmental regulator to adopt their carbon-cutting policies as a template for future federal rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the country's largest source of pollution. Officials from states such as Colorado, Illinois and Minnesota told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) their states had cut a fifth from carbon emissions by power plants in the past seven years, using policies other states could follow. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/16/us-coal-carbon-idUSL3N0JV0UQ20131216 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-16/fifteen-states-press-obama-for-tough-flexible-epa-rules.html http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991919/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY A burning question: Why don't climate scientists sound more worried? If the threats posed by climate change are so grave, then why don't scientists discussing those risks sound more worried? This was the question addressed by science historian Naomi Oreskes, of Harvard University, in a provocative session at the American Geophysical Union conference. The session was titled "400ppm CO2: Communicating Climate Science Effectively." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991886/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Opposition emerges to San Diego's Climate Action Plan. Last week, San Diego officials released the working draft of the city's Climate Action Plan, a 74-page proposal for slashing greenhouse gas emissions. "Climate adaptation will not be inexpensive," according to the plan. "It is a case where the cost will come before the benefits." Such open-ended verbiage has sparked concern, especially from industries that say they will feel the brunt of the new rules. The climate plan calls for major cutbacks in each household's waste production…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/12/16/stories/1059991863 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS EPA offers funding to cut down pollution from diesel engines. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made available $2 million in funding for rebates to help public and private construction equipment owners replace or retrofit older diesel construction engines. The rebates will reduce harmful pollution and improve air quality in local areas. “Exhaust from diesel construction equipment affects children, senior citizens and others in neighborhoods across the country…Posted. http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=1&newsID=152336 Hydrogen-powered buses having ups and downs. The ski resort town of Whistler, British Columbia, is ending its hydrogen fuel-cell bus program, the world's largest demonstration of its kind, and switching back to diesel. The 20-bus project was launched ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics to showcase the technology before an international audience in a location with challenging terrain and climatic conditions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991884/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS California Plans Tighter Control of Fracking, but Not Enough for Some. California drillers eager to use hydraulic fracturing to tap the nation’s largest oil shale formation will face comprehensive regulation for the first time next year under rules issued this week. The rules take effect on Jan. 1, though they will be replaced a year later by permanent regulations that are still being developed but are expected to be similar. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/business/energy-environment/california-plans-tighter-control-of-fracking-but-not-enough-for-some.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print Gasoline prices dropping in Charlotte area, nation. The price of gasoline in the Charlotte area and nationwide continues to dip after fluctuating throughout November, according to AAA Carolinas. The average local price today is $3.22 per gallon for regular unleaded, down from $3.26 a week ago. The Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill market’s average was $3.19 a month ago. The statewide average price in North Carolina is $3.28 per gallon, down from the week-ago average of $3.32 but still up from the month-ago average of $3.20. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2013/12/16/gasoline-prices-dropping-in-charlotte-area-nation.html Natural gas seen passing coal as U.S. power source by 2040. The U.S. Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency issued slight downward revisions for future coal use in separate reports released today. EIA's "Annual Energy Outlook" early release, which makes predictions largely based on a regulatory status quo, said natural gas will overtake coal in U.S. power production by 2040. The agency said gas will fuel 35 percent of the nation's electricity by 2040 compared with 32 percent for coal. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2013/12/16/stories/1059991921 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Democratic House bill would extend tax incentives. A House bill introduced by Democrats as members left for recess last week would extend two biofuels tax credits that are slated to expire at the end of this month. The bill introduced by Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), who leads the Congressional Algae Caucus, would provide a one-year extension of the second-generation biofuel producer credit worth $1.01 a gallon of fuel and the special allowance for second-generation biofuel plant property. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991907/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Oil prices drive ethanol, corn prices -- U.N. study. Oil prices are the long-run drivers of ethanol and corn prices, according to a new study by economists from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. FAO economists Natalia Merkushev and George Rapsomanikis found that in the long run, ethanol prices move with oil prices -- though their relationship is affected by federal policies like the renewable fuel standard. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991910/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Tesla Motors plans to debut cheaper car in early 2015. Tesla Motors plans to unveil an electric car in early 2015 that could sell in the $40,000 range, a mainstream offering that could be key to the automaker's future growth. Tesla's only current offering is the Model S, a premium sport sedan that starts at $71,070 before any state or federal tax incentives, and can cost far more with options. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-tesla-model-e-debut-2015-20131213,0,37648.story#ixzz2nfQm44AR http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991903/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Converting glycerol from biodiesel production into bio-gasoline. A team at the University of Idaho has demonstrated that glycerol, a byproduct from biodiesel production, could be used as a substrate for producing drop-in gasoline-range biofuel. In a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, Guanqun Luo and Armando G. McDonald describe their study of converting methanol (MTG) and a mixture of methanol and glycerol (MGTG) into gasoline-range hydrocarbons using a bench-top, fixed-bed microreactor. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/12/20131216-mgtg.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL Foes of bullet train are gaining momentum. The state's strategy of tapping $3.2 billion in federal money to begin construction of an ambitious bullet train project may be legally flawed and could put the state in financial jeopardy, key lawmakers say. After recent legal rulings that bar the use of state money for the project, legislators from both political parties say that even the use of federal funds is questionable and the entire project needs to be reassessed. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-future-20131214,0,7798656.story#ixzz2nfDc6AZS GREEN ENERGY Regulators pose threat to EU green energy and industry. A formal enquiry by EU regulators into German energy subsidies, expected this week, threatens to hand heavy industry a multi-billion euro bill and jeopardises Europe's shift to green energy, campaigners and lawyers say. Across the European Union, subsidies to help achieve an overall 2020 target to get 20 percent of energy used from renewable sources have been blamed for pushing up fuel costs. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/16/stateaid-idUSL6N0JT0FE20131216 Valley builders prepare for new state energy-efficiency codes next year. California is raising the bar next year on energy efficiency in new homes and commercial buildings. Developers will have to ensure roofs can support solar panels, install windows that let in sunlight while reducing heat gain, and add whole-house fans under the more stringent building codes. The improvements could add a couple thousand dollars to the cost of a home…Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/13/3666510/valley-builders-prepare-for-new.html#storylink=cpy MISCELLANEOUS Corning Inc. gets $30 million tax credit. Corning Inc. is getting a $30 million tax credit from the federal government. The 48-C Tax Credit is part of a $150 million package that will go toward investments in manufacturing facilities by 12 firms. The benefit will allow Corning to expand the manufacturing capacity of its diesel emissions control products facility in Erwin, N.Y. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says this new investment will allow continued growth as countries around the world toughen emission standards. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/AP07e3fad28af14db591ffc6d4cd4c1b3d.html?KEYWORDS=emissions Beach Mining in Monterey Bay Causes a Dustup. Officials in California Weigh Limits on a Decades-Old Facility That Dredges Sand. California's Monterey Bay boasts one of the nation's most protected coastlines, situated within a federal sanctuary that imposes bans on everything from Jet Skis to offshore drilling. Yet most days, hundreds of tons of sand are harvested from one of its most picturesque beaches, in a mining operation now coming under increased state and local scrutiny. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304202204579254312563952176?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5 Residents living near Expo Line stations reduce car use, study shows. After the light-rail line opened, Angelenos who lived within half-mile of a station tripled their rail ridership, USC study finds. he Metro Expo Line was already under construction when Ryan Vincent started house-hunting. His goal: to live within walking distance of a light-rail station. "Every house I looked at, I was doing the mental calculus," Vincent, 39, said. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-expo-study-20131216,0,6863796.story#ixzz2nf28tunE OPINIONS A Fight Over Cross-State Pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency is charged by the Clean Air Act with setting air-quality standards and issuing regulations to limit pollutants like life-threatening particulate matter and ozone. Because bad air often travels far from its source — 93 percent of the air pollution in New Haven, Conn., for example, comes from other states — the act’s “good neighbor” policy requires that every state work to assure that the pollution from its power plants does not “contribute significantly” to the pollution in other states. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/opinion/a-fight-over-cross-state-pollution.html?_r=0 Kern almond trees very close to illegal fracking discharge. I took a windshield tour last week to see hydraulic fracturing operations around Shafter, just northwest of Bakersfield. Oil and ag are side by side here -- right on top of a city of 17,000 people.I saw the site where Vintage Production California LLC discharged chemicals and water into an open pit. The fluid, containing boron, salts and other chemicals, had been injected into shale thousands of feet below to free up oil. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/16/3670127/kern-almond-trees-very-close-to.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS Air regulators seek public comment on Vernon battery recycler. More than a hundred people turned out for the South Coast Air Quality Management District's hearing about the Vernon-based Exide battery recycling plant. AQMD is asking for the district’s independent quasi-judicial board for an abatement order that would force Exide to halt all lead smelting operations until it comes into compliance with rules to control emissions of arsenic metals from its blast furnace. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/environment/2013/12/14/15408/air-regulators-seek-public-comment-on-vernon-batte/ Warmer days, potentially more pollution in store for Valley. We just got through a cold snap. Where I live, the overnight temperatures dipped down into the mid-to-upper 20s. Daytime highs, meanwhile, were in the 50s and, on some days, the 60s even. Next week, however, it’s a different story: daytime temps are expected to reach 70 degrees and this is for mid-December?! As temperatures rise, this could spell trouble for Central Valley air. Posted. http://alankandel.scienceblog.com/2013/12/14/warmer-days-potentially-more-pollution-in-store-for-valley/ The Neverending Story: Spare the Air Again on Monday. Another Winter Spare the Air alert has been issued, this one for Monday. Wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors for the full 24 hours. It's the ninth consecutive Winter Spare the Air day, setting yet another record. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District made the announcement on Sunday afternoon, saying the prolonged cold weather is trapping pollutants close the ground and causing unhealthy air. Posted. http://piedmont.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/the-neverending-story-spare-the-air-again-on-monday-piedmont China Can Clean Its Air. On December 14, 2013, China became the first nation in 37 years to make a soft landing of a spacecraft on the moon. Its unmanned Jade Rabbit lunar rover is now very busy exploring the surface of the moon. At the very same time this great scientific achievement was taking place, events nearer to the ground were less inspiring. Last week, eastern China sat under a massive gray cloud of air pollution that was among the most widespread smog incidents the planet has ever seen. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/china-can-clean-its-air_b_4453342.html?view=print&comm_ref=false Global Warming Explained, In About A Minute. On a pleasant day in 2011, researchers roamed San Diego's public parks in search of volunteers to fill out anonymous surveys about global warming. In the end about 270 responses were collected from a mix of park visitors and nearby community college students. The researchers wanted to know how well the average American understands the basic processes responsible for global warming…Posted. http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2013/12/16/251437395/global-warming-explained-in-about-a-minute