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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 10, 2013

Posted: 10 Jan 2014 13:08:01
ARB Newsclips for January 10, 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.


Inslee hints he may impose cap-and-trade by executive order. Gov.
Jay Inslee on Thursday ignored pleas from leaders of both parties
and both houses of the Washington State Legislature to deny
rumors he intends to impose by executive fiat a cap-and-trade
plan that could raise gasoline prices by an estimated $1 to $1.20
a gallon. “I find that very surprising,” he said when told of the
lawmakers’ concerns. Posted.


Central Hong Kong Sees Record Roadside Pollution Levels in 2013.
Roadside pollution worsened in Hong Kong’s Central district last
year as vehicular emissions helped send nitrogen dioxide
concentrations to record levels. Citywide levels of the
pollutant, which is linked to damaged lung function, were the
second highest on record, according to Clean Air Network Ltd. an
environmental advocacy group. Particulate matter levels at all
monitoring stations exceeded…Posted.

Exide recycling plant exceeds lead limits again, officials say. 
A Vernon battery recycler has once again exceeded South Coast Air
Quality Management District lead limits, officials said Thursday.
 Officials at Exide Technologies, one of the world's leading
makers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries, told air district
officials Wednesday evening that an air monitor had picked up
elevated lead readings late last week. The plant cut production
starting Thursday morning.  Posted. 

Bad air quality not going away.  For the past two weeks, the air
quality in the Valley has been unfavorable — either for sensitive
groups or for everyone.  “From January 1 to January 7, this has
been an unhealthy area,” said Anton Simanov, outreach community
representative for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District, talking about the Porterville area.  It is all due to a
ridge of high pressure that has refused to leave, resulting in
stagnated air conditions, he said. Posted. 

Natural gas plants emit 56% less CO2 than coal plants – study.
Combined-cycle natural gas plants produce less than half the
emissions of coal plants, says a new study. Scientists from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Cooperative
Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the
University of Colorado, Boulder, sifted through publicly
available data from U.S. EPA's Air Markets Program to measure how
much carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides has been
released from the nation's fleet of power plants. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992706/print BY


Scientists: Americans are becoming weather wimps. We've become
weather wimps. As the world warms, the United States is getting
fewer bitter cold spells like the one that gripped much of the
nation this week. So when a deep freeze strikes, scientists say,
it seems more unprecedented than it really is. An Associated
Press analysis of the daily national winter temperature shows
that cold extremes have happened about once every four years
since 1900. Posted.


No deep freeze: Australia swelters in heat wave. Bats are
dropping from trees, kangaroos are collapsing in the Outback and
gardens are turning brown. While North America freezes under
record polar temperatures, the southern hemisphere is
experiencing the opposite extreme as heat records are being set
in Australia after the hottest year ever. Weather forecasters in
Australia said some parts of the sparsely populated Pilbara
region along the rugged northwest coast…Posted.

Reid Unveils New Task Force to Defend Obama's Climate Agenda.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is setting aside time
at his party's weekly caucus lunch in the Capitol to focus solely
on climate change, a senior Senate aide said Jan. 9, in hopes of
one day reviving a bill to cut carbon dioxide emissions and
better defend President Barack Obama's climate efforts from
Republican attacks. Posted.

Group aims to slap global warming labels on Calif. gas pumps. If
a group of Bay Area environmentalists gets its way, California
drivers pumping gas may soon be warned about the harmful effects
of climate change. The group is trying to get global warming
warning labels placed on gasoline pumps to remind consumers of
the link between climate change and driving. "Human beings are
not really wired for seeing the cause and effect of climate
change," said Jamie Brooks, with the Bay Area chapter of 350.org.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992684/print BY

USC Releases Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Report. The City of Los
Angeles has initiated research to support planning for the
impacts of climate change. The Sea Level Rise Vulnerability
Report for the City of Los Angeles was released on January 7th;
it is a summary of initial research on the potential impacts of
sea level rise and associated flooding from storms for coastal
communities in the City of L.A. Posted.


Study: Big Savings from Emissions Monitoring.  Advanced emissions
monitoring of large ships calling at EU ports could help save
owners and operators of large ships up to €9 million/year,
according to a new study published by sustainable transport group
T&E. These savings would come from lower operational costs of
using automated systems such as fuel flow meters or continuous
emissions monitoring, which are already used by many of the
world’s largest shipping companies.  Posted. 


As Calif. develops regulations, opponents re-strategize how to
win fracking moratorium. Emergency rules policing unconventional
drilling for oil and natural gas took effect Jan. 1 in
California, and the state is crafting permanent restrictions that
become law next year. The developments arrived after a multiyear
battle over the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in
which companies blast chemical-laced water some 8,000 feet
underground at high pressure to break apart rock formations and
release petroleum. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2014/01/10/stories/1059992670 BY


Alternative energy powered cars on a roll at CES. While
autonomous driving is a major theme at the International CES
gadget show, cars that use futuristic sources of energy are
potentially much closer on the horizon. Ford Motor Co. showed off
a prototype solar hybrid car called the C-MAX Solar Energi, which
has a gas engine along with rooftop solar panels that also power
the engine. Posted.


High-speed rail funding to be key budget issue, Senate leader
says. A proposal to use money from the state’s cap-and-trade
system of pollution credits to help fund the proposed high-speed
rail system “is going to be one of the central issues in the
budget,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
(D-Sacramento) predicted Thursday. 
“I’m open to the issue,” Steinberg said, but he added that Gov.
Jerry Brown will have to provide a “credible plan to fund the
next extension” of the rail system…Posted.

Brown's Budget Proposal Spends Cap and Trade Money.  California
Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal includes some major
investments in the environment. As Amy Quinton reports from
Sacramento, it lays out how he wants to spend $850 million in
revenue from the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program known
as cap-and-trade.  As expected, Governor Brown wants to invest a
large portion of money raised from carbon auctions on High Speed
Rail. Posted. 


Obama orders quadrennial study of energy strategy. President
Barack Obama is setting up a panel to study the United States'
energy strategy and then report to the president every four
years. In a presidential memorandum, Obama says the U.S. needs a
comprehensive, coordinated strategy to improve economic
productivity and quality of life, and to protect the environment
and the nation's security. Posted.


California seeks wave-energy facility. California will likely be
in contention to host a national wave energy test facility,
thanks to a federal grant awarded to Cal Poly's upstart Institute
for Advanced Technology and Public Research. The institute has
been awarded up to $750,000 by the Department of Energy to
explore the feasibility of tethering a rig miles off the
California coast for research into generating electricity from
the rise and fall of ocean waves. Posted.


Poll: O.C., San Diego area residents don't want gas-fired power
plants. A majority of electricity consumers in Orange and San
Diego counties would prefer that energy needed to replace the
output of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant come from
renewable, non-polluting sources, according to a new poll. The
survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, N.C., for
the Sierra Club, concludes that 56% of ratepayers in the two
counties want new power to come from wind, solar…Posted.

APCD study to be reviewed at meeting.  Over the last year,
implementation has been under way of the San Luis Obispo County
Air Pollution Control District’s Rule 1001 that requires the
Off-Highway Vehicle Division of State the California Department
of Parks and Recreation to mitigate the silica dust coming from
its park on the Dunes.  Recently, APCD director Larry Allen told
the board of directors the State Parks Department has not been
complying with Rule 1001.  Posted. 


Brown says cap-and-trade money for high-speed rail 'very
appropriate' Calling his high-speed rail project consistent with
California's history as "a generator of dreams and great
initiatives," Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday defended his decision
to shore up the project's shaky finances with money from the
state's cap-and-trade fund. "The alternative would be not to
spend the money, and you do need that money, and we're going to
spend it," Brown said. Posted.

Green is good, as Governor Brown's budget proposal boosts money
for environment issues. Surging revenue returned a wave of
funding to environmental issues in California, as Governor Jerry
Brown released his budget Thursday. It’s a good news kind of
year. Maintenance for state parks deferred in lean budget years
gets a $40 billion boost this time around. And Brown’s budget
anticipates a lean water year, upping investments in water
storage, like groundwater aquifers and reservoirs, and regional
water self-sufficiency. Posted.

The Climate Post: Carbon Markets Show Glimmers of Recovery in
2014.  A year after the launch of its cap-and-trade program,
California formally linked its emissions trading scheme with
Quebec's -- enabling carbon allowances and offset credits to be
exchanged between participants in the two jurisdictions. The
linkage, which marks the first agreement in North America that
allows for the trading of greenhouse gas emissions across
borders, is designed to escalate the price on the amount of
carbon businesses can emit.  Posted. 

Chinese Vehicle Sales Soar Past 20 Million, Smog Worse Than Ever.
 The number of vehicles on China's roads continues to grow--and
so does the severity of the country's air pollution.  China
became the first nation to surpass 20 million new-car sales last
year, Bloomberg reports. That represents a 14 percent increase
over 2012, and continues its reign as the world's largest car
market.  Posted. 

Time to seriously rethink mass market EV incentives.  Even though
plug-in electric vehicle (EV) sales were much higher in 2013 than
the previous year, arguments are being made that government
policies are failing. An opinion piece in Energy Policy, for
example, opposes federal policies incentivizing EVs and calls
them inefficient and ineffective. The main thrust of the argument
is that the incentives are too focused on the mainstream and
could be better targeted at niche markets and early adopters. In
other words, the $7,500 federal tax credit is the wrong way to
promote EVs.  Posted. 

Battery Development May Extend Range of Electric Cars.  It's
known that electric vehicles could travel longer distances before
needing to charge and more renewable energy could be saved for a
rainy day if lithium-sulfur batteries can just overcome a few
technical hurdles. Now, a novel design for a critical part of the
battery has been shown to significantly extend the technology's
lifespan, bringing it closer to commercial use.  Posted. 

2014 BMW i3 with range-extender won’t get California HOV lane
“White Sticker”.  For green-car drivers, the California
High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane sticker is like a badge of
honor. The sticker – green for plug-in hybrids, white for
electric cars – allows solo drivers access to the carpool lanes. 
However, the 2014 BMW i3 with range extender doesn’t qualify for
an electric-car white sticker, according to The Street (via
InsideEVs). Cue dramatic music.  Posted. 

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