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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 23, 2013.

Posted: 23 Dec 2013 12:56:36
ARB Newsclips for December 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.


Analysis: Strong start for California carbon market, but
challenges loom. As the clock winds down on the first year of
California's carbon trading market for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, state officials say they have a lot to celebrate. The
state's cap-and-trade program, which could become a model for
other U.S. states, sets a limit on the amount of heat-trapping
gases businesses can emit and allows them to trade excess
permits. Regulators this year held a series of permit auctions,
with strong demand from buyers. Posted.


San Joaquin Valley officials fight with EPA over air quality.
Local officials say that ozone has been reduced and hope to end
fees they began three years ago to help pay for cleaning up the
air. But the U.S. is skeptical and asks for more data. After
spending decades and hundreds of millions of dollars cleaning up
stubbornly high levels of pollution, air quality officials in the
San Joaquin Valley are telling federal regulators that enough is
enough. Posted.

Calif. battery plant to reduce arsenic health risk. A Southern
California battery recycling plant has been told to reduce the
health risk from arsenic it's spewing into the air. A Nov. 22
inspection found that smokestack emissions of arsenic had
increased at Quemetco, Inc. The plant in the San Gabriel Valley
smelts lead from old batteries. Regulators felt that the arsenic
emissions might exceed the threshold level that could create a
10-in-a-million risk of cancer…Posted.

Research project eyes wood smoke effects in Keene. Calm, cold
nights are a cause for concern in Keene. Because the city sits in
a valley, it's prone to a meteorological phenomenon called an air
inversion, where a lid of warm air traps cold air and harmful
pollution close to the ground. Fireplaces and woodstoves can take
the chill off inside, but the smoke they produce is a big part of
the problem outside. Posted.

Greek Economic Crisis Leads to Air Pollution Crisis.  In the
midst of a winter cold snap, a study from researchers in the
United States and Greece reveals an overlooked side effect of
economic crisis – dangerous air quality caused by burning cheaper
fuel for warmth.  The researchers, led by Constantinos Sioutas of
the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, show that the
concentration of fine air particles in one of Greece’s…Posted. 

Another ‘Spare The Air’ Alert Issued for Monday.  The Bay Area
Air Quality Management District has issued a Winter Spare the Air
alert for Monday, Dec. 23, its 16th alert this season.  The Spare
the Air alert bans wood burning both indoors and outdoors due to
unhealthy pollution levels throughout the Bay Area.  "Dry weather
is forecast for the week and threatens to cause high levels of
pollution to build up through the Christmas holiday," air
district executive officer Jack Broadbent said.  Posted. 

States eye collaborative effort to meet emissions standards.
Faced with the persistent problem of air pollution drifting from
upwind areas, state officials in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic
are looking to open a dialogue with other states for a more
collaborative approach. More than 20 states have been involved in
early discussions on a technical and policy collaboration to
reduce ozone pollution that they say could be more nimble and
less contentious than the current U.S. EPA-driven process.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059992270/print

Project aims to reduce refrigeration emissions. On a warming
planet, it can be costly -- and dirty -- trying to keep things
cold. But now a team of researchers at the National Physical
Laboratory (NPL) and Imperial College London are in the early
stages of developing a new refrigeration technology that could
almost double its energy efficiency and eliminate the need for
highly pollutant gases. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992241/print BY


Poll: Americans see impact of global warming. Most Americans say
global warming is serious and want the United States to address
it, but their support for government regulations has fallen in
recent years, says a poll Friday conducted for USA TODAY.
Three of five say global warming is a very serious global
problem, and two of three say it will hurt future generations
either a lot or a great deal if nothing is done to reduce it,
according to the poll of 801 U.S. adults…Posted.

Calif. readies first statewide plan for sea-level rise.
California is dealing with the apocalyptic prophesies of
sea-level rise in a very real way. The state is preparing to
issue broad guidelines for developers and local governments to
use when approving development on 1,100 miles of coastline, which
is expected to retreat as ocean levels rise due to climate
change. Draft guidance released in October predicts up to 66
inches of rise by 2100 in some parts of the state. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992230/print BY

Australian government unveils plan to reduce emissions.
Australia's federal government will cut carbon emissions without
a carbon tax by finding the lowest-cost options, said Environment
Minister Greg Hunt. Hunt has unveiled the Emissions Reduction
Fund, the coalition government's plan for combating climate
change and cutting emissions 5 percent by 2020. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992238/print BY


To clean up coal, Obama pushes more oil production. America's
newest, most expensive coal-fired power plant is hailed as one of
the cleanest on the planet, thanks to government-backed
technology that removes carbon dioxide and keeps it out of the
atmosphere. But once the carbon is stripped away, it will be used
to do something that is not so green at all. It will extract oil.
When President Barack Obama first endorsed this "carbon-capture"



Retailers seek 'green' alternative to plastic gift cards. Whole
Foods and Starbucks are among the businesses offering more
sustainable options, although higher costs of alternative
materials remain an obstacle. Like millions of Americans, Jessica
Hamilton of Pasadena will buy her friends and family a handful of
gift cards this holiday season, drawn by their convenience. Yet
Hamilton, who carries reusable bags when she goes

Renewable energy projects help boost local cleantech economy.  In
recent months, construction has been booming on several large
renewable energy projects in the Imperial Valley just east of San
Diego. Workers are busy hammering stakes into the ground and then
fixing photovoltaic solar panels to these stakes, creating row
upon row of panels glinting in the near constant sunlight found
in this area. Posted.


Los Angeles plastic bag ban starts on Jan. 1. After Jan. 1, Los
Angeles shoppers will no longer be presented with that checkout
choice: Paper or plastic? Instead, they will be required to bring
in their own reusable bags or pay 10 cents for each paper bag
they need. The city’s plastic bag ban will start with stores of
more than 10,000 square feet or with annual sales of more than $2
million. Then, beginning on July 1, the ban will extend to
smaller stores such as mini-marts. Posted.


Why Green Energy May Not Be All Good. Green, clean, non-polluting
energy has been the holy grail of Western society for years. With
growing concern over pollution and global warming, more nations
look to renewable energy as part of their energy portfolios -- a
good idea in many regards, but green energy has some drawbacks.

What’s with these Spare the Air alerts?  During some of our
coldest weather, when a crackling fire is most needed to warm
body and spirit, the regional air district has been cranking out
bans on wood burning.  There have been 15 no-burn days since the
start of November, including 11 in a row — a record that will
live in holiday infamy — ending last week.  The way this is
going, I fear for Christmas and the Yule log.  These Spare the
Air alerts aren’t exactly new. Posted. 

An alternative to fossil fuels. An article by Jennifer Dlouhy in
the Houston Chronicle, "Oil giant expects fossil fuels have lots
of life left" (Page D1, Dec. 13), reports that prognosticators at
Exxon Mobil Corp. expect "the bulk of energy needed to fuel the
world by 2040" will be supplied by oil and natural gas. From one
standpoint, it is reassuring to know the resources of
hydrocarbons are sufficient to meet the world's present demand as
well as an expected 35 percent increase in the future. Posted.


Hardly very neighborly. Our opinion: The Northeast shouldn’t be
the dumping ground for the Midwest’s and South’s pollution. A war
of words is forming over the best way to clear the air we
breathe. The battle pits Northeast states against those in the
Midwest and South, which are taking an approach to clean air
that’s as welcome as a garage band starring your next-door
neighbors’ kids. Posted.

Obama gets clean coal by aiding oil industry. The technology
President Obama is touting for coal plants to cut back on
emissions is helping an unlikely source: the oil industry. The
carbon-capture technology is still locking in carbon dioxide to
cut back on emissions but it is now being sold to oil companies,
which pump it into oil fields as a means to force more crude to
the service, according to The Associated Press. Posted.

5 Big Energy Stories Of 2013.  The U.S. is awash in oil and
natural gas. China’s air pollution is so bad some cities were
nearly shut down. A massive typhoon wreaked havoc in the
Philippines. These are some of the top stories of the past 12
months.  Amid these developments, however, there are signs that
some businesses, consumers, and governments are moving toward a
growing understanding of the risks of climate change. The
question is whether we will shift course quickly enough to reduce
the incoming threats of more extreme weather events and other
climate impacts.  Posted. 

Energy-positive EV 'Skypump' opens at Whole Foods in Brooklyn. 
After reading about a new Whole Foods Market featuring two
super-green-friendly plug-in vehicle charging stations out in its
parking lot, one wonders if the IFC sketch comedy show should be
renamed "Brooklandia." Because it doesn't get much more crunchy
than this. The grocery retailer has worked with Urban Green
Energy (UGE) to develop all sorts of eco-friendly goodies at its
new Brooklyn store. Posted.

US predicts gas will still be king in 2040. A new report from the
Department of Energy predicts that gasoline will still be the
fuel of choice for a vast majority of the auto industry over 25
years from now, although it will be slightly less dominant than
it is today. The report, from the DoE's Energy Information
Agency, predicts that by 2040, the number of gas-powered vehicles
on the road will fall from today's 82 percent to 78 percent.

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