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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 30, 2013 Posted: 30 Dec 2013 12:32:34
ARB Newsclips for December 30, 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 California cap and trade cash rolls in for 2013. It was an important year for California's ambitious efforts to limit greenhouse gases, one where the buying and trading of pollution credits brought in big money but left lingering questions about how the money should be spent. 2013 marked the first full year of the state's cap and trade program, the combination of a gradually lowering carbon emissions cap combined with a clean-up-or-pay-up option for the industries affected. Posted. http://www.news10.net/news/article/267187/2/California-cap-and-trade-cash-rolls-in-for-2013 The Year in Forest Carbon: Supply-Side Success, Demand-Side Dilemmas. This year began with an underappreciated tailwind from the 2012 climate talks in Doha, which provided a clear set of forest-carbon issues for UN negotiators to work through in 2013. The result was a series of productive meetings that culminated with agreement on sticky issues that had long been hindering the creation of financing mechanisms that Reduce greenhouse gas Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Posted. http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=10131§ion=news_articles&eod=1 AIR POLLUTION SF Bay area air agency issues new wood-burning ban. San Francisco Bay Area air quality officials are prohibiting the use of wood-burning fireplaces for another day after determining the region's air is unhealthy. For the 7th day straight, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued an alert for Sunday, which makes use of fire pits, woodstoves or manufactured fire logs illegal. Homes where woodstoves or fireplaces are the only heat source are exempt. Jack Broadbent, the district's executive director, says particulates from burning wood create unhealthy air. Air quality has suffered recently due to a prolonged dry spell that has allowed pollution to remain in the area. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/12/28/3108905/sf-bay-area-air-agency-issues.html#storylink=cpy Breast milk harbors environmental pollutants. It's advice that doctors impart to mothers over and over: Breast milk is the most nutritious, fortifying food they can feed their babies. But women may not be aware of the strong possibility that their milk is also less than pure, an unintended consequence of living in a developed nation. That's because their bodies are exposed to chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, additives and other chemicals from household products, air, water and food. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Breast-milk-harbors-environmental-pollutants-5100672.php Special meeting to discuss dunes letter. Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson has called a special council meeting for 6:30 p.m. Monday to discuss a letter protesting her removal from the Air Pollution Control District. The meeting will take place in the council chambers of City Hall, 154 S. Eighth St., and will include a closed session to discuss potentially initiating litigation. City Council members recently voted to remove Peterson as the city’s representative on the APCD after she spoke out about her opposition to a new rule regarding monitoring and mitigating dust pollution from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Posted. http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/special-meeting-to-discuss-dunes-letter/article_f8dec876-7057-11e3-b58f-0019bb2963f4.html FUELS UC Davis report addresses compliance costs of California's LCFS. A recent report authored by two University of California, Davis researchers examines the economics of the California low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program. According to information released by the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, the report found that compliance costs for the LCFS could increase rapidly in the future if there are large differences in marginal costs between traditional fuels and low-carbon fuels. Compliance costs could also increase rapidly due to capacity or technology constraints associated with deploying low-carbon fuels. Posted. http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/9475/uc-davis-report-addresses-compliance-costs-of-californias-lcfs VEHICLES Plug In, Turn On, Pass Gas Station. When the final figures for 2013 are tabulated, sales of battery-electric and plug-in vehicles in the United States are expected to nearly double 2012’s totals, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a trade group based in Washington. Even so, that is fewer than 100,000 vehicles, in a year when the industry is on track to comfortably top 15 million sales. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/29/automobiles/plug-in-turn-on-pass-gas-station.html Electric cars may hold solution for power storage. The thick blue cables and white boxes alongside an industrial garage here look like those in any electric-car charging station. But they work in a way that could upend the relationship Americans have with energy. The retrofitted Mini Coopers and other vehicles plugged into sockets where a Chrysler plant once stood do more than suck energy out of the multi-state electricity grid. They also send power back into it. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-electric-cars-20131229,0,5640652.story#ixzz2oz2ReWre Warming to the idea. A customer checking out the new Jeep Cherokee might be more intrigued by the novel nine-speed transmission than by what's inside the air conditioner compressor. But the refrigerant flowing through the veins of the Cherokee's air conditioner, a formulation called 1234yf, might be just as crucial as the gearbox to Chrysler's strategy for satisfying strict new environmental rules in the United States and Europe. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/article/20131230/OEM01/312309996/warming-to-the-idea#ixzz2oz7wDm4Z California ISO Rolls Out Roadmap On Vehicle-Grid Integration. The California Independent System Operator Corp. (ISO) has released a blueprint for integrating electric vehicles (EVs) into the grid. The ISO says the roadmap builds upon efforts already underway in both the private and public sectors to enable EV aggregations. According to the ISO, the report - "The Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap: Enabling Vehicle-based Grid Services" - outlines three interdependent tracks to assess how consumer use of electric vehicles could benefit electric reliability and determine policies and technologies necessary to elicit that value through appropriate market signals for a more reliable, sustainable electric grid. Posted. http://www.renewgridmag.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.10661 http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/12/20131228-caiso.html GREEN ENERGY New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets. To stave off climate change, sources of electricity that do not emit carbon will have to replace the ones that do. But at the moment, two of those largest sources, nuclear and wind power, are trying to kill each other off. In the electricity market, both are squeezed by pressure from natural gas, which provides some carbon reductions compared with coal but will not bring the country anywhere near its goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas has a carbon footprint that is at least three times as large as that goal. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/us/new-energy-struggles-on-its-way-to-markets.html?_r=0 Trina to Build 1-Gigawatt Solar Project in Western China. Trina Solar Ltd., China’s second-largest solar-panel maker, agreed to build a plant in the western Xinjiang region to produce 1 gigawatt of power, about the same amount as a new nuclear reactor. Trina signed a framework agreement with the local authority in Turpan Prefecture to develop the ground-mounted project, it said today in a statement. The company also plans a factory in the area to make the photovoltaic modules used in solar panels. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-30/trina-to-build-1-gigawatt-solar-project-in-western-china.html California energy-rebate program draws few takers. California's 3-year-old effort to improve the energy efficiency of 100,000 homes has fallen far short of its initial goals, upgrading about 12,200 so far, state data show. Originally funded through President Obama's stimulus package, Energy Upgrade California offers rebates worth up to $4,500 for homeowners who swap out their old furnaces and duct work, install insulation, seal leaky window frames or take other steps to make their houses more efficient. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/California-energy-rebate-program-draws-few-takers-5097225.php MISCELLANEOUS Shafter farmer helps bring focus to Valley environmental issues. Last year, almond farmer Tom Frantz shot a video of an oil company illegally spilling fracking fluid laced with chemicals into an open pit at the edge of town. Within months, his video had inspired stories from the New York Times to the British Broadcasting Corp. The open pit -- next to another farmer's almond orchard -- has since been covered with dirt. A fence now blocks the public's view. But state water authorities saw enough. They issued a notice of violation. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/28/3687815/shafter-farmer-helps-bring-focus.html OPINION Save the Shark, Save the World. In 1971, an unexpected series of interactions between international table tennis players turned out to be the first indication of China’s willingness to engage with the United States after decades of estrangement. It presaged President Richard M. Nixon’s watershed visit to the country. This unlikely set of events later came to be known as Ping-Pong diplomacy. Now we could be witnessing the equivalent — call it shark-fin diplomacy — by which China signifies to the world that it is ready to step forward into new arenas of environmental protection. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/opinion/save-the-shark-save-the-world.html?hpw&rref=opinion BLOGS AIR POLLUTION: Damning science raises new concerns about foul air. Mexico City seems to be an unlikely place to discover ominous evidence about air pollution that’s a part daily of life in Inland Southern California. But that’s where a neurologist, worried about the children living in the metropolis’ notoriously dirty air, set out more than 10 years ago to discover how all that pollution affected people’s brains. She started by dissecting the brains of euthanized dogs. Her findings were remarkable and disturbing: Dogs exposed to the city’s most polluted neighborhoods had soot in their brains. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/air-quality/2013/12/27/air-pollution-damning-science-raises-new-concerns-about-foul-air/ Progress, But Long Road Ahead to California Climate Goals. 2013 was a pivotal year for California’s efforts to confront the increasingly ominous threats from climate change. The nation’s broadest cap-and-trade program for carbon pollution kicked in, and Governor Jerry Brown joined in two new multi-state pacts aimed at curbing emissions. But seven years after passing its landmark climate law, California’s journey toward attaining its climate goals has just begun. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/2013-progress-but-long-road-ahead-to-calif-climate-goals/ Zoox promotes its Star-Trek-like self-driving vehicle. With drivers theoretically relieved from the duty of actually having to drive the car, they can now spend time figuring out what "Zoox" actually means. The start-up unveiled its concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November and is now ready to reveal a few more details about its utopian mission of autonomous vehicles on its website. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/30/zoox-promotes-self-driving-vehicle/ 13 major clean energy breakthroughs of 2013. While the news about climate change seems to get worse every day, the rapidly improving technology, declining costs, and increasing accessibility of clean energy is the true bright spot in the march toward a zero-carbon future. 2013 had more clean energy milestones than we could fit on one page, but here are 13 of the key breakthroughs that happened this year. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/13-major-clean-energy-breakthroughs-of-2013/