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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 24, 2013. Posted: 24 Dec 2013 11:20:34
ARB Newsclips for December 24, 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. AIR POLLUTION Heavy Pollution Enshrouds Northern China Including Capital. Heavy pollution enveloped northern and central China today, prompting warnings for people to stay indoors as smog levels in some areas exceeded World Health Organization-recommended levels by 30 times. The concentration of PM2.5, fine air particulates that pose the greatest health risk, was 421 micrograms per cubic meter at 2 p.m. near Tiananmen Square in Beijing…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-12-24/beijing-warns-against-outdoor-activities-on-heavily-polluted-air.html Lung cancer: A cloud on China's polluted horizon. China's doctors are beginning to speak of a link between air pollution and lung cancer. Children as young as 8 have been treated. he youngest known lung cancer patient in eastern China is an 8-year-old girl whose home is next to a dust-choked road in heavily industrialized Jiangsu province. Another patient was a 14-year-old girl from Shanghai, the daughter of two nonsmokers with no family history of lung cancer. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-china-lung-cancer-20131224,0,3058283.story#ixzz2oPbIcMVg CLIMATE CHANGE Elon completes annual greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Elon University's greenhouse gas emissions have increased over the past six years with the growth of both the campus population and its number of facilities, but on a per student and per square foot measurement, emissions levels continue their steady decline, according to the sixth annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory released this month by sustainability leaders at the university. Posted. http://www.elon.edu/e-net/Article/84420 FUELS Israel's new motor fuels strategy leans on gas. Israel plans to cut oil use in transportation by 60 percent by 2025, an aggressive target by world standards, and will tap into its newfound natural gas deposits to make it happen. It is also investing heavily to help start-ups developing battery and biofuel technologies, and is offering an annual $1 million prize to innovators in the field, almost on par with winning a Nobel. Posted. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/24/us-israel-cars-fuels-idUKBRE9BN0BC20131224 Mo. hog farms to produce biogas. A Smithfield Foods subsidiary has announced a joint venture to turn hog manure into energy at its farms in northern Missouri. Murphy-Brown of Missouri is providing the manure to produce biogas, a fuel similar to natural gas. Roeslein Alternative Energy will manage the project and secure financing for the $100-million project. Murphy-Brown, the world's largest pork producer, was formerly called Premium Standards Farm. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Mo-hog-farms-to-produce-biogas-5090631.php Md. study of gas drilling health effects outlined. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is announcing the scope of a planned study of public health effects of natural gas drilling in western Maryland. The agency said Tuesday that the study will assess the possible impact of hydraulic fracturing on water and air quality, noise and public safety. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Md-study-of-gas-drilling-health-effects-outlined-5090779.php Industry faces bleak 2014 with expired tax credit, low RFS target. Even as they close out the year with record production levels, biodiesel makers are facing an uncertain year at best in 2014. Producers will begin the year without their tax credit, a $1-a-gallon production incentive that has spurred the expansion of facilities and new participants entering the market. The measure is set to expire along with a raft of other renewable energy incentives Dec. 31. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059992281/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES High-speed charging for electric vehicles on its way, but not quite there yet. Drivers may very well be aware of range constraints on electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S or Nissan Leaf, but the time it takes to charge might not be so clear. Depending on an outlet's volts and amps, charging the battery on a Tesla Model S could take anywhere from five to 100 hours, which isn't the best news for those taking a longer trip. Posted. http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/high-speed-charging-electric-vehicles-article-1.1552047#ixzz2oPjwSqoO Hyundai, Kia reach $400-million settlement over inflated MPG claims. Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America, the U.S. sales arms of the sibling South Korean automakers, said Monday they have reached a settlement in class-action litigation over inflating the fuel economy claims for their vehicles. Hyundai will offer the owners of the models with the inflated ratings a lump sum payment that will average $353. The payment varies depending on whether the vehicle was purchased or leased. Kia’s average payment will be $667. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-hyundai-kia-settle-mpg-lawsuit-20131223,0,2442041.story#ixzz2oPc5E1kQ Have Electric Cars Already Reached The Tipping Point? ABB Says Yes. With wider choice and better cars, electric car ownership seems to get more appealing by the month. But as yet, predicting the future of the electric car industry has still been largely guesswork--nobody quite knows how much batteries will come down in price, how many electric cars automakers will sell, how low the price needs to be for adoption to snowball. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089310_have-electric-cars-already-reached-the-tipping-point-abb-says-yes GREEN ENERGY Catching Rays in California, and Storing Them. Solar power is growing so fast in California — with installations by customers increasing tenfold since 2006 — that it is turning the state’s power system upside down. In a twist that is being closely watched by power companies around the country, California utilities will install massive banks of batteries and other devices to store the power surplus created by solar panels in the afternoon, when the sun’s rays are strong. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/business/energy-environment/catching-some-rays-in-california-and-storing-them.html?ref=earth DRI unveils solar array on Reno campus. Solar panels have been installed on the rooftops and in the parking lot of the Desert Research Institute in Reno. Officials say the solar array will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 million pounds of carbon annually, save the facility $80,000 a year in electrical costs and create seven full-time jobs. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/DRI-unveils-solar-array-on-Reno-campus-5090660.php US To See Uncertainty In 2014 Wind Sector. The U.S. House of Representatives has already gone on vacation back to their districts and the Senate effectively adjourned for 2013 on Friday, meaning that the one-year extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) will expire on January 1, 2014. The PTC is a $0.022 per kilowatt-hour tax credit on the power that new wind farms in the United States generate for the first ten years of their operation. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/24/us-see-uncertainty-2014-wind-sector/#pE8qCiZxloq9OOXA.99 OPINIONS Political Science at the EPA. The agency peer reviews itself on its own coal ban. The Environmental Protection Agency pretends that its mission is scientific, not political. But you sure wouldn't know it from the campaign to cut out the EPA's independent science advisers who exposed the junk science behind the EPA ban on new coal power. The professors and Ph.D.s who sit on the EPA Science Advisory Board, or SAB, review regulations that involve novel scientific or technological fields, and especially the credibility of the peer-reviewed research the EPA is supposed to use. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303560204579250382687716124?KEYWORDS=carbon BY SUBSCRIPTION Oil Industry Makes Use of Coal Carbon. 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 Obama first endorsed this “carbon-capture” technology, the idea was that it would fight global warming by sparing the atmosphere from more greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.vnews.com/news/nation/world/9919673-95/oil-industry-makes-use-of-coal-carbon Letter to the editor: We are kidding ourselves over this 'clean' fuel. For decades, Americans believed that natural gas was a clean-burning fuel. We worried little about its effect on the environment. Nor did we worry about its effect on the lives of people in rural areas who endure the pollution, noise and truck traffic that goes with producing and processing natural gas. That didn’t mean all was well. We’ve come to recognize that despite all the hoopla over fracking for shale gas, it has its down-sides. Posted. http://www.citizen-times.com/article/D2/20131224/OPINION04/312240059/Letter-editor-We-kidding-ourselves-over-clean-fuel BLOGS Americans are buying less electricity. That’s a big problem for utilities. Something very unusual has been happening to the U.S. electricity sector over the past three years. The U.S. economy keeps growing. People are buying bigger homes and plugging in ever more electronic gadgets. And yet power companies have been selling less and less electricity since 2011: Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/12/23/americans-keep-buying-less-electricity-thats-a-big-problem-for-utilities/?wprss=rss_national&clsrd Arctic warming, jet stream coupling may mean another winter of extreme storms and cold air outbreaks for eastern U.S. Investigation of differences between northern hemisphere winters from 2001-2013 and 1998-2000 leaves little doubt that a large and consequential trend has occurred in the configuration of the polar jet stream which is linked directly to pronounced warming in high northern latitudes. Moreover, the overall trend has remained largely unbroken and appears to have accelerated in the last six winters. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/12/24/arctic-warming-jet-stream-coupling-may-portend-another-winter-of-extreme-storms-and-cold-air-outbreaks/ Flood Grant Program To Let Communities Consider Rising Seas Due To Climate Change. State and local leaders can now consider expected sea level rise due to climate change when applying for grants to help prevent property damage along coastlines, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Monday. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/23/fema-flood-program_n_4495117.html A new greenhouse gas. Now here’s something we needed like a hole in the head: in a recent study a group of Canadian researchers identified a new greenhouse gas (GHG). Perfluorotributylamine (let’s just call it PFTBA) is actually not a new substance. It has been used in the electronics industry for decades, but while scientists have suspected that its molecules behave like tiny heat traps when they buzz around in the earth’s atmosphere, they’ve never confirmed that suspicion until now. Posted. http://www.news24.com/Columnists/AndreasSpath/A-new-greenhouse-gas-20131224 In China, Dreaming of a Less Smoggy Christmas. Christmas Eve, marked by tens of millions of Christians in China and celebrated in a secular fashion by millions more, saw heavy pollution blanketing at least 78 cities with eight of them registering beyond 500, the upper limit to the government’s air quality index. And though for most Chinese Tuesday was an ordinary working day, there was plenty of irritation about the smog, which mostly affected the north of the country. Posted. http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/in-china-dreaming-of-a-less-smoggy-christmas/ Used Better Place EVs sold at steep discount in Israel. Half-off on electric vehicles that can go about three-quarters range on a single charge? That's more or less what the new owner of Better Place's battery-switching and EV-charging network in Israel is proposing for a bunch of Renault Fluence Z.E. vehicles that it has to get off of its hands. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/24/used-better-place-evs-sold-steep-discount-israel/