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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. CAP AND TRADE 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/us-california-carbon-market-analysis-idUSBRE9BJ17U20131220 AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-valley-air-20131223,0,586097.story#ixzz2oKOdXidZ 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Calif-battery-plant-to-reduce-arsenic-health-risk-5084608.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/21/6019472/s-cal-battery-plant-to-reduce.html http://www.sgvtribune.com/environment-and-nature/20131220/second-battery-recycling-plant-emitting-more-arsenic 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Research-project-eyes-wood-smoke-effects-in-Keene-5084215.php 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. http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/news/world/6521-greek-economic-crisis-leads-to-air-pollution-crisis.html 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. http://losgatos.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/another-spare-the-air-alert-issued-for-monday 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 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/19/americans-global-warming/4127803/ 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS 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" technology…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/To-clean-up-coal-Obama-pushes-more-oil-production-5086067.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/22/6017649/to-clean-up-coal-obama-pushes.html GREEN ENERGY 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 shopping…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gift-card-pollution-20131223,0,2368606.story#ixzz2oKPrJVSI 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. http://www.utsandiego.com/sponsored/2013/dec/22/renewable-energy-cleantech/ MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.dailynews.com/government-and-politics/20131222/los-angeles-plastic-bag-ban-starts-on-jan-1 OPINIONS 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Why-Green-Energy-May-Not-Be-All-Good-5086500.php 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. http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/real-napa/columnists/kevin-courtney/what-s-with-these-spare-the-air-alerts/article_78dd936e-6a03-11e3-9657-0019bb2963f4.html 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. http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/An-alternative-to-fossil-fuels-5083301.php?cmpid=opedhprr BLOGS 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. http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/hardly-very-neighborly/27026/ 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. http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/193864-obama-gets-clean-coal-by-aiding-oil-industry 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/manishbapna/2013/12/23/5-big-energy-stories-of-2013/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/21/energy-positive-ev-skypump-opens-at-whole-foods-in-brooklyn/ 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. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/22/us-predicts-gas-still-dominant-in-2040/