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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 2, 2014

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 12:06:11
ARB Newsclips for January 2, 2014. 

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.

Value of global CO2 markets drops 38 pct in 2013.  Jan 2
(Reuters) - The value of global carbon markets dropped 38 percent
to 38.4 billion euros ($52.9 billion) in 2013, as prices slid in
the main EU and U.N. schemes and trade limited in new programmes,
analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said on Thursday.  The
value of carbon permits and credits traded was down from 62
billion euros in 2012 and 96 billion euros in 2011, a two-year
period in which benchmark EU carbon permit prices fell to 5 euros
per tonne from 18 euros, the analysts said in a report.  Posted. 

The world watches as California focuses on cap and trade.  It was
an important year for California’s ambitious efforts to limit
greenhouse gases, one in which the buying and trading of
pollution credits brought in big money but left lingering
questions about how the money should be spent.  This 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. 


Utah's sickening smog worsens. Northern Utah remains under a
week-long health alert from air pollution trapped inside mountain
valleys. Authorities say no relief is in sight after pollution
levels spiked Monday. New Year's Day opened with as many as 73
micrograms of fine soot per cubic meter in Weber County. That's
nearly three times the federal standard, according to air
monitors maintained by the Utah Division of Air Quality. Pockets
of air pollution can be found across western states. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency says) Salt Lake City, Phoenix,
Las Vegas and central California are suffering from the country's
worst air. Posted.

Residential No-Burn Area Includes Pass Residents Below 3,000
Feet.  Residents living below 3,000 feet in the San Gorgonio Pass
are not permitted to burn wood in their fireplaces today, New
Year's Eve, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management
District.  The residential no-burn alert was issued because of
elevated fine particulate levels predicted by district
forecasters.  Posted. 

Regional burn ban extends to Thursday.  The Bay Area Air Quality
Management District has extended its winter Spare the Air alert
for a 25th day to Thursday, asking that most of the region’s 1.4
million wood-burning fireplaces and stoves remain unlit.  The
alert bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any
other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours in Napa
and eight other counties, with the exception of homes where a
wood-burning stove is the only permanent heating source.  High
pressure over the region has continued to allow air pollution to
build up to unhealthy levels on New Year’s Day, the district said
in a news release.  Posted. 


Stationary Sources of Greenhouse Gases.  This spring, the U.S.
Supreme Court will consider whether the Clean Air Act is flexible
enough to allow the U.S. EPA to regulate greenhouse gases from
stationary sources, such as industrial facilities. But it has
refused to hear an appeal of the D.C. Circuit's ruling that
greenhouse gases, by contributing to climate change, present a
danger to the environment. Will the Court now allow the EPA to
control greenhouse gases that come from stationary sources?  On
October 15, the Court agreed to hear Texas v. EPA, No. 12-1269,
one of six consolidated appeals from the D.C. Circuit's decision
in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA. That decision
upheld EPA's endangerment finding for greenhouse gases and its
rules for emissions from mobile sources (cars and trucks) and
stationary sources (industrial facilities).  Posted. 

Behind the Scenes, Kerry Makes a Pact on Climate a Priority.  As
a young naval officer in Vietnam, John Kerry commanded a Swift
boat up the dangerous rivers of the Mekong Delta. But when he
returned there last month as secretary of state for the first
time since 1969, he spoke not of past firefights but of climate
change. “Decades ago, on these very waters, I was one of many who
witnessed the difficult period in our shared history,” Mr. Kerry
told students gathered on the banks of the Cai Nuoc River.


Calif. bullet train in limbo after legal setbacks. Officials
overseeing California's $68 billion high-speed rail project have
taken pains in recent weeks to assure the public that
construction plans are moving ahead, characterizing a series of
recent setbacks as "a bump in the road." That optimism comes
despite recent court rulings against the project, creating
confusion about the bullet train's prospects. A Sacramento County
judge invalidated the rail authority's business plan, forced it
to show how it will pay for the first 300 miles of construction
and rejected a request from the authority that would allow the
state treasurer to sell $8.6 billion in bonds. Posted.


Related Links:





Truck pollution deadline extended. Truckers will have more time
to comply with major new pollution rules, but they must prove by
the end of this month that they're making a good-faith effort to
do so. Wednesday was originally the deadline for many truckers -
including thousands in the San Joaquin Valley - to begin
upgrading their rigs to emit less harmful diesel pollution.
Officials have expressed concern, however, for the smallest
fleets, including businesses comprising just one, two or three
trucks. Owners typically lack the financial backing of a large
company to pay for new filters that could cost anywhere from
$15,000 to $20,000. Posted.

ARB: Deadline to register refrigeration systems is March 1. 
Owners and operators of facilities with non-residential
refrigeration systems must register their systems with the
California Air Resources Board by March 1. The deadline applies
to refrigeration systems using high global-warming-potential
refrigerants that have a full charge of at least 200 pounds but
less than 2,000 pounds. These are designated as “medium-sized”
systems under a California state regulation to minimize leaks of
environmentally harmful refrigerants. Posted.


Ford to unveil solar hybrid concept car at CES.  Ford plans to
unveil at this month's International CES gadget show a
solar-powered concept car that offers the same performance as a
plug-in hybrid but without the need for a plug. The C-MAX Solar
Energi Concept car uses a gasoline engine combined with a gizmo
that acts like a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's rays
on the vehicle's roof-mounted solar panels. The automaker says
the vehicle's estimated combined city-highway mileage is 100 mpg.


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. 


Greek Wind-Powered Electricity Capacity Grew 6.6 Percent in 2013.
 Installed wind-powered electricity capacity in Greece rose to
1,864.6 megawatts at the end of 2013 from 1,749.4 MW a year
earlier, the Hellenic Wind Energy Association said. Installed
capacity rose by 71.15 MW in the second half of 2013 compared
with an increase of 44.05 MW in the first half and 10.35 MW in
the second half of 2012, showing investment recovery amid adverse
economic conditions, the Athens-based association said today in
an e-mailed statement. Posted.

Bay Area Bike Share shifts into expansion mode.  Three months
after it pedaled to a long-awaited start, the regional Bay Area
Bike Share program is on a roll and planners are already working
to make it bigger. People took more than 80,000 rides in the
system's first three months, traveling more than 178,000 miles on
the bike sharing system's 700 sturdy bicycles, which are
scattered among five cities: San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo
Alto, Mountain View and San Jose. Posted.


Karen Bright remains Grover Beach's air board representative. 
Grover Beach Councilwoman Karen Bright remains the city’s
representative on San Luis Obispo County’s air board, despite
efforts by a group of off-road vehicle enthusiasts to reseat the
city’s mayor in the position. The Grover Beach City Council
didn’t give direction to change committee assignments during a
special meeting Monday, leaving Bright on the Air Pollution
Control District board and Mayor Debbie Peterson as the
alternate.  Posted. 

Cleaning the Mobile Germ Warehouse.  Take a look at your mobile
device. Do you see oily fingerprints and lint on the touch
screen? Dust and crumbs forming particulate frost in the corners?
Is that a hair stuck at the screen’s edge? Because our
electronics are constantly within our grubby grasp, they can get
pretty gross. They are taken into public restrooms, handed to
runny-nosed toddlers, passed around to share photos and pressed
against sweaty skin in gyms. Posted.


Automakers rushing to new HVAC refrigerant for EPA fuel economy
credits. We don't have any new supercars to show you today. No
new Teslas or SUVs. No new engines or technologies. No mergers,
acquisitions or big hires. What we have to tell you about is the
coolant automakers are putting into their vehicles. Which may not
sound so exciting, but it could mean a big difference for
automakers – and for the environment.
That coolant is called 1234yf. It has a higher cost than the
R134a commonly used in most vehicles, yet government regulators
and automakers are scrambling to adopt it. Why? Because it is
more environmentally friendly, and the EPA is offering automakers
valuable credits which can help them shore up against tightening
efficiency standards. Posted.

Plug In America predicts good EV sales in 2014 and beyond.  No
one here is surprised that Plug In America is confident in the
future of plug-in vehicles. This is a group that has fought for
years to increase their numbers in the US and was able to
celebrate, finally, the sale of the 100,000th EV (a Mitsubishi
i-MiEV) here earlier this year. In other words, PIA has reason to
see the upside. In a fundraising email, Richard Kelly, president
of Plug In America, took stock of what the group accomplished in
2013, including the third National Plug In Day (NPID, pictured),
and he said the year was a "pivotal" one for plug-in vehicles.

5 Things to Watch: China’s Energy and Environmental Policy.  An
overhaul of China’s energy and environmental policies will be in
focus next year as the country struggles to balance economic
growth with protecting the environment. In November, China’s
central government said in its landmark reform plan that it would
allow markets to take a more “decisive role” in the economy, a
signal that the era of cheap, tightly controlled energy prices
might be over. Here are some major energy and
environmental-policy reforms to look out for in 2014.  Posted. 

Some New Year's relief from California's anti-pollution Big
Brother.  Some Happy New Year sentiments from the California Air
Resources Board. For once, the bureaucrats and desk occupiers are
actually listening to the industry.  The shorepower at-berth
regulations are allowing some leeway (“good faith” in CARB terms)
for vessels and operators unable to comply with the rules, which
come into force from January 1, through no fault of their own.
"The overall goal of this action is to recognize good faith
compliance efforts while ensuring that emissions reductions
required by the Regulation are achieved in a timely manner to
provide critical public health benefits for communities near
ports."  Posted. 

California Releases Vehicle-Grid Roadmap.  Building better
batteries isn’t the only way that the cost of a plug-in-electric
vehicle can be lowered. Finding more uses for the batteries that
are already in the vehicles is another way to lower costs.
California just released a plan that explores one way to do that.
The “Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap” is a blueprint for
allowing electric vehicles to store energy for the grid and sell
it back when that electricity is needed.  Of course, the main
driver behind the Roadmap is to allow California’s electricity
network to handle the plug-in electric portion of the 1.5 million
zero-emission vehicles that will be on the road in California by
2025 if the state’s target is realized. Its purpose is to “lead
to EV charging behavior that is beneficial or at least not
adverse to grid reliability,” says the Roadmap.  Posted. 

California’s Pioneering Spirit Endures under Cap and Trade. 
California’s state motto is “Eureka,” (Greek  for “I found it”)
referring to the discovery of California gold in 1848. Shortly
thereafter, the Golden State quickly became the land of
opportunity, spurring new technologies and catapulting California
to the forefront of global innovation.  While California may no
longer be flush with gold, it remains a leader in emerging
industries, innovation, and technology.  In 2013, it stayed true
to its pioneering spirit with the successful launch of the
state’s ambitious cap-and-trade program, which is now attracting
international interest.  Posted. 

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