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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 26, 2013 Posted: 26 Dec 2013 13:24:02
ARB Newsclips for December 26, 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 Tianjin launches China's latest carbon market. The Chinese city of Tianjin on Thursday launched the country's fifth emissions trading scheme as the world's biggest-emitting nation took another step towards reining in its impact on the environment. The newest of China's carbon markets caps CO2 emissions from iron and steel producers, chemical facilities, power and heat generators, and oil and gas exploitation. Five initial trades at 26 and 28 yuan ($4.28 and $4.61) for a total of 45,000 permits were announced by the government at Thursday's opening ceremony. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/26/china-tianjin-carbon-idUSL3N0K50AS20131226 Court to hear arguments on Christie's removal of state from greenhouse gas program. An appellate panel will soon grapple with whether Governor Christie illegally removed New Jersey from a multistate program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Oral arguments are expected to be heard before a three-judge panel in Trenton on Jan. 8, nearly 20 months after two environmental groups sued Christie. They claim the governor violated state law by not seeking any public comment before pulling New Jersey out of the program in 2011. Posted. http://www.northjersey.com/news/237215101_Court_to_hear_arguments_on_Christie_s_removal_of_state_from_greenhouse_gas_program.html#sthash.oCl3Faz4.dpuf AIR POLLUTION Beijing Pollution Prompts Second Day of Warnings to Stay Indoors. Beijing residents were warned to stay indoors for a second day due to “severe” pollution as northern China remained cloaked in smog. Air quality indexes in the cities of Shijiazhuang, Handan, Xingtai and Hengshui in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, and Xi’an in Shaanxi province, had reached the maximum of 500 at 11:00 a.m., data from the China National Environment Monitoring Center showed. At this “severe” level, the worst of six on the government’s scale, the young, elderly and ill should stay inside, and others should avoid outdoor activities. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-25/beijing-pollution-prompts-second-day-of-warnings-to-stay-indoors.html Worries in the Path of China's Air. When China’s skies darken with pollution, it is not the only nation to suffer. Soot, ozone-forming compounds and other pollutants from China can blow east to Korea and Japan. Ultimately, some even reach the west coast of the United States, scientists say. Other nations generate pollution too, of course, so the wafting of bad air from China adds to local problems. China’s emissions worry countries in the path of the plumes, but in a region where political tensions often run high, international solutions are largely elusive. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/business/energy-environment/worries-in-the-path-of-chinas-air.html?_r=0 Shanghai Warns Children to Stay Indoors on Haze, PM2.5 Surge. Shanghai warned children and the elderly to stay indoors as smog enveloped China’s commercial hub, sending levels of the worst pollutants surging to more than 15 times World Health Organization guidelines. The level of PM2.5 pollutants reached 395.7 micrograms per cubic meter at 3 p.m., the city’s environmental monitoring center said. The WHO recommends exposure of no more than 25 over a 24-hour period for particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that are more dangerous than other particulate matter. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-26/shanghai-issues-air-pollution-warning-as-pm2-5-surges-overnight.html Washoe health officials lift burn ban. The Washoe County Health District has downgraded the area's burn code from red to yellow. Officials say the air quality in the Truckee Meadows has improved slightly. That means it's OK to use fireplaces, wood stoves and pellet stoves. But officials are urging residents to curtail burning on a voluntary basis. Reducing burning now can help prevent air pollution from reaching unhealthy levels. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Washoe-health-officials-lift-burn-ban-5094022.php China gets tough on environmental targets. China Wednesday promised to adopt "the strictest" environment and energy policies as it has lagged behind in terms of four binding environmental targets set for 2015. The four targets are for energy intensity, carbon dioxide emissions, rationalization of energy consumption and nitrogen oxide emissions, according to a mid-term evaluation report on the implementation of the 12th five-year development plan (2011-2015).The report was submitted to the bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC). Posted. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-12/25/c_132996338.htm Home gas ranges produce toxic gases, Lawrence Berkeley Lab study says. Air pollution isn't just an outdoor problem. Unhealthy fumes may be emitted inside your own home if you're cooking over an unvented gas stove. Almost two-thirds of California households using gas burners in the winter without venting range hoods are exposed to gases that can cause breathing problems, according to a new study by a team at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. "Homes are exceeding air quality standards, exposing people to toxins who shouldn't be," said scientist Brett Singer, who contributed to the study. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24793108/berkeley-study-home-gas-ranges-produce-toxic-gases http://www.insidebayarea.com/science/ci_24793108/berkeley-study-home-gas-ranges-produce-toxic-gases?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24793108/berkeley-study-home-gas-ranges-produce-toxic-gases?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com Bay Area Restaurants Exempt From Spare The Air Days. The stagnant weather in the Bay Area has prompted a string of Winter Spare the Air days for the region, but not everyone has to abide by the rules. During Winter Spare the Air days, it is illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuels, indoors or outdoors. But it’s a different story for Bay Area restaurant owners. Posted. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/12/25/bay-area-restaurants-exempt-from-spare-the-air-days/ Spare the Air, No. 18, today. Put away those logs you were planning to burn today while sitting by a Christmas fire sipping hot cocoa. Once again the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air Alert for today. The alert is the 18th of the season. Due to forecasts of unhealthy levels of pollution, a ban has been placed on the indoor and outdoor burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel. Homes without permanently installed heating with wood stoves or fireplaces as their only source of heat are exempt, according to a press release. Posted. http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_24792200/spare-air-no-18-today http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_24793356/spare-air-alerts-keep-coming-no-burning-wood CLIMATE CHANGE Rethinking How to Split the Costs of Carbon. It is probably a safe bet that very few Americans unwrapping a brand-new iPhone left under their Christmas tree are thinking about its impact on the global climate. I have some good news for them, and some bad. No, Apple hasn’t managed to produce the device without adding heat-trapping carbon to the air. The company expects an iPhone 5s to inject 70 kilograms — about 154 pounds — of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere over its lifetime, 11 pounds less than the iPhone 5 that Apple introduced last year. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/business/economy/what-if-consumers-not-producers-paid-for-emissions.html NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory Gets Simulated Taste of Space. A NASA observatory that will make the most precise, highest-resolution and most complete, space-based measurements of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere to date has marked a key milestone in preparation for its planned July 2014 launch. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 spacecraft was moved into a thermal vacuum chamber at Orbital Science Corporation’s Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, Ariz., southeast of Phoenix, in late November, where it underwent a series of environmental tests that were completed last week. Posted. http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2013/12/26/nasas-orbiting-carbon-observatory-gets-simulated-taste-space/ Cold Weather Extremes Are the New Climate Change Reality Yet the Focus on Global Warming Means Society Is Unprepared Says Friends of Science. Recent extreme storms and ice storms in eastern Canada reflect climate trends under reported in the media, say Friends of Science. Peer-reviewed studies by solar scientists indicate a 'solar hibernation' may be imminent according to a recent report by Dr. Mahdav Khandekar. Over the past six years, extreme cold weather in central and eastern Europe, India and South America has led to the deaths of hundreds of people, Khandekar reports debunking the claims of global warming causing extreme weather like Typhoon Haiyan, in a report published Nov. 27, 2013 by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Sadly, the IPCC scientists have not even mentioned this trend in their recent reports. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Cold-Weather-Extremes-Are-the-New-Climate-Change-5093484.php FUELS Universities receive $10M to study biofuels. If 1 ton of woody debris can produce 50 gallons of fuel, how many gallons of fuel could 42 million acres of dead and dying forests produce? Funded by a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a consortium of five universities, joined by research labs across the Northern Rockies, is looking for ways to turn that mass of dead timber into a carbon-neutral fuel source. Known as the Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies, the upstart group includes researchers at Montana's two flagship universities, and those at Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado State. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/12/25/3105505/universities-receive-10m-to-study.html California's Low-Carbon Fuel Rule Is Working, Study Says, but Threats Loom. California is replacing oil with cleaner-burning fuels in cars and trucks, thanks to a landmark low-carbon fuel rule, according to a recent report. But the rule's fate is uncertain amid legal chaos and a shortfall in the production of clean biofuels. The report, conducted by researchers at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, said California drivers saved more than two billion gallons of gasoline in the two years since the launch of the rule—about as much gas as the state uses in two months. The carbon emissions reduction is equal to taking half a million vehicles off the road. Posted. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/dec/25/californias-low-carbon-fuel-rule-is-working-says/#ixzz2obMB92k9 VEHICLES Volkswagen's 2013 diesel-vehicle sales to top 100,000: Why it matters. Volkswagen Group of America will easily clear sales of 100,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. this year, marking a milestone for both the German carmaker and the auto industry. Although diesel engines date back to the dawn of the automotive age, it’s a technology that American consumers have never taken to. Credit their memory of an older generation of smelly, smoky and hesitant diesel cars. But by building a generation of fuel-efficient, clean and quiet turbo diesels with lots of zip, and making a diesel an engine option in almost every vehicle VW and its luxury Audi brand sell here, the German company has become a pioneer for the technology. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-vw-diesel-car-sales-20131224,0,1276279.story#axzz2obhr7BTX GREEN ENERGY Wind Power Developers Race Clock to Secure Subsidy. As the rest of the world prepares to toast the new year, the wind industry is hard at work on its own year-end tradition, rushing to make sure projects qualify for an important subsidy before it is set to vanish at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday. Developers are signing deals, ordering equipment and lurching ahead with construction starts to qualify for a tax credit that is worth 2.3 cents a kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of production. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/business/energy-environment/wind-power-developers-race-clock-to-secure-subsidy.html Palm Springs residents warming up to solar program. The solar panels installed on the Palm Springs home of Steven Rockwell and Michael Glenner on Friday are the first to be financed through the Coachella Valley’s long-awaited regional energy loan program. The property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing program — officially Clean Energy CV Upgrade — started pulling the trigger on energy-efficiency and solar home improvements on Dec. 16, said Mike Lemyre, director of program development for the Ygrene Energy Fund, the Santa Rosa company rolling out the privately funded program. Rockwell and Glenner’s 13-kilowatt solar installation leads a list of seven fully approved projects, with more than 30 additional projects in the pipeline, he said. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013312250013 OPINION EarthTalk: How to explain global warming to kids. Dear EarthTalk: Do you have any tips for explaining global warming and other complex environmental problems to my kids? -- Peter Buckley, Pittsburgh. Kids today may be more eco-savvy than we were at their age, but complex topics like global warming may still mystify them. Luckily there are many resources available to help parents teach their kids how to understand the issues and become better stewards for the planet. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/EarthTalk-How-to-explain-global-warming-to-kids-5094011.php BLOGS VW says it has sold over 100,000 TDI diesels in America this year. Volkswagen Group of America has lit oil-burning fireworks to celebrate the sales of more than 100,000 TDI Clean Diesel vehicles in the US between its VW and Audi brands this year. According to VW, that means it is responsible for more than 75 percent of diesel-engined cars and SUVs sold here – perhaps not surprising when the two brands offer a total of 12 diesel models. What might be surprising is that the number of diesels isn't far off the estimated sales of 90,000 battery electric vehicles and PHEVs, with 15,000 of those accounted for by the Tesla Model S, another 12,000 or so being the Toyota Prius PHEV. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/26/vw-audi-100000-tdi-sales-us/ Environmental Group Predicts 2014 Will be Big for Climate, Energy. The leaders of the Natural Resources Defense Council are predicting that 2014 will be an important year for environmental policy. The NRDC is optimistic about prospects for environmental policies and legislation in 2014. In a conference call to highlight the group’s priorities, Climate and Clean Air Campaign Director Pete Altman notes a continuing trend toward increased political acceptance of climate change science. Posted. http://wfpl.org/post/environmental-group-predicts-2014-will-be-big-climate-energy