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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 7, 2014. Posted: 07 Feb 2014 12:45:19
ARB Newsclips for February 7, 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. CAP AND TRADE Redford: Alberta Won’t Play Emissions Chicken on Keystone. Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who has lobbied the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, says her oil-rich Canadian province won’t toughen rules to cut carbon emissions from crude producers until the U.S. takes similar steps. Redford’s government has considered different scenarios, including one that would raise its carbon tax for large emitters to C$40 ($36) a metric ton from C$15 now, she said in an interview yesterday in her office in Calgary. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-02-07/redford-alberta-won-t-play-emissions-chicken-on-keystone.html Handshakes and Body English Vex Corporate Carbon-Cutting Goals. Global companies are trying to shrink their carbon footprints by targeting business travel, and the early results are frustrating, even among companies with celebrated green credentials. Consider Nike, which flew several managers to Davos last month, and was proclaimed by Newsweek to be the greenest U.S. consumer products company back in 2010. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-05/handshakes-and-body-english-vex-corporate-carbon-cutting-goals.html U.S. Northeast carbon market emissions drop in 2013. Greenhouse gas emissions fell 6 percent in 2013 in the nine northeast U.S. states that participate in a trading scheme to cut carbon dioxide from power plants, helped by mild temperatures and some use of cleaner energy sources. Carbon emissions in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative region were down for a third straight year, to 86 million short tons from 92 million tons. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/05/usa-energy-carbon-idUSL2N0LA1YB20140205 European Lawmakers Try to Spur Market for Carbon-Emission Credits. European Union lawmakers moved on Thursday to support the bloc’s system for trading carbon-emission permits, hoping to revive Europe’s flagging effort to take a market-incentives approach to reducing greenhouse gases. The officials voted 306 to 276 to quickly put into effect a plan to stimulate the trading system by reducing the number of carbon allowances either sold in auctions or given to big carbon polluters. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/business/international/european-lawmakers-try-to-spur-market-for-carbon-emission-credits.html?_r=0 Carbon Emissions Fall for Third Straight Year. Greenhouse gas emissions fell in the nine states that participate in a northeast carbon trading market by 6 percent in 2013. The states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) were helped by mild temperatures and the greater use of natural gas for power generation. Carbon emissions in the region were down for a third straight year, to 86 million short tons from 92 million tons. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/02/07/carbon-emissions-fall-for-third-straight-year/ Calif. to urge need for 2030 goal in meeting longer-term GHG emissions cuts. California's air board next week will emphasize the need to set a greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030, a potential guidepost as the state eyes an ambitious 2050 emissions goal, a top executive said here. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) intends to release a revised draft of its Climate Change Scoping Plan, said Richard Corey, executive officer at the agency. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994221/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION Winter burn ban temporarily lifted. Cal Fire on Friday morning will temporarily lift the winter burn suspension it had ordered in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties. The suspension was imposed because of hazardous fire conditions brought on by this winter's unusually dry weather. But this week's rain eased those dry conditions. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140206/articles/140209691 Air quality advocates lobby schools to raise colored flags. Air quality in central Bakersfield was "moderate" Thursday, and parents with children at schools with a yellow flag out front knew it. The flag signaled to educators and parents that it was OK for students to play outside, information that is particularly important for campuses in Kern County, where one in five children has asthma. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/grade/x54082407/Air-quality-advocates-lobby-schools-to-raise-colored-flags Experts worry that China's trajectory points to a high-carbon future. Even as the United States is making a dramatic shift from coal to natural gas, China -- despite its own vast shale potential -- is in danger of locking itself into a high-carbon future, experts warned yesterday. Speaking at the Brookings Institution, analysts praised China's renewable production boom, which is expected to add an additional 1,583 gigawatts to the country's power generation capacity by 2030. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994223/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Chance of El Nino conditions seen after Northern Hemisphere spring: U.S. forecaster. U.S. weather forecaster Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said on Thursday there was an increasing chance of the El Nino weather pattern after expecting neutral conditions through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014. In its monthly report, the CPC maintained its outlook that El Nino was unlikely through the spring, but noted that a change in temperatures "portend warming in the coming months." Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/06/us-weather-usa-elnino-idUSBREA1517820140206 IMF chief calls for cutting fossil fuel subsidies, fighting climate change. Close cooperation among cities, countries and industry is needed to fight climate change because the world is "perilously close" to a tipping point, according to International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde. She told a London audience that cutting subsidies for fossil fuels and setting a price on carbon have to be top priorities for governments. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994196/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT State government wringing water from operations. This is California’s state government in drought mode: Drier grass around state grounds. Dirtier windows on state buildings. Grimier fire engines sent out to fight fires. Decorative fountains? Shut off. Landscaping projects? Largely canceled. Enter the restroom at the Capitol or any of the other 60 or so buildings the state owns and operates, and you’ll see this sign: “We’re in a drought. Help us out! Please conserve water.” Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/06/6135945/state-government-wringing-water.html#storylink=cpy FUELS U.S. cold snap prompts warning for Californians to conserve power. A shortage of natural gas triggered by the extreme cold weather across the nation prompted California’s power grid operator to issue a statewide flex alert Thursday, officials said. The cold snap in the rest of the country and Canada has affected fuel supplies to Southern California power plants and reduced electricity generation, according to a statement from Cal ISO. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-flex-alert-cold-20140206,0,6834200.story#ixzz2seriVL10 http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/06/6135054/californians-urged-to-conserve.html http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/06/california-power-shortage-alert-weather/ http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059994227/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Can Shark Liver Oil Boost Biofuels? Amyris announced today a new partnership with Dowell C&I Co., Ltd. to distribute its Neossance Squalane product in the Republic of Korea. Demand for the renewable squalane in Asia has been strong, but is a specialty chemical commonly extracted from the livers of sharks enough to help Amyris turn a profit? Shark liver oil? Really? Squalane is currently sourced from shark liver oil or refined olive oil, but Amyris is able to refine the chemical from sugarcane feedstocks. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Can-Shark-Liver-Oil-Boost-Biofuels-5213841.php As Drought Hits, Fracking Poses Threat to Water Supply. A new report finds that hydraulic fracturing is posing a growing risk to water supplies in several regions around the country. Only, instead of groundwater contamination that so often makes the headlines, it is from the massive consumption of fresh water in water-parched areas like Texas, Colorado, and California. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/As-Drought-Hits-Fracking-Poses-Threat-to-Water-5214217.php Gasoline-Like Biofuels From Plant Waste — Promising New Process Developed. A new process for the creation of gasoline-like fuels from cellulosic plant waste materials has been developed by researchers from the University of California, Davis. The process — essentially the first of its kind — means that the commercial production of plant-based biofuels may soon extend beyond biodiesel, and also encompass other important types of fuel. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/07/gasoline-like-biofuels-plant-waste-promising-new-process-developed/#yLIEhtPEu6hPk2bb.99 VEHICLES ARPA-E awarding $30M to 12 hybrid solar projects; conversion and storage. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) is awarding $30 million in funding to 12 projects through its Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program, which is aimed at developing new hybrid solar energy converters and hybrid energy storage systems that can deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy on demand. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/02/20140207-focus.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL GOP lawmakers want bullet train derailed. California Republicans, long opposed to the $68 billion high-speed rail plan backed by Gov. Brown, say it’s time to dump the bullet train and spend money instead on critical transportation infrastructure. “I think people are tired of the train and tired of waiting for the train,” Assembly GOP Leader Connie Conway of Tulare told reporters. “They’re standing at the train stop and the train is not coming.” Posted. http://capitolweekly.net/gop-lawmakers-want-bullet-train-derailed/ http://www.capradio.org/17874 GOP, Brian Nestande push for new California rail vote. Brian Nestande joined his Republican colleagues in the state Assembly on Thursday in seeking to give California voters a second say on high-speed rail and free up billions of dollars for other transportation projects. The Palm Desert Republican said that with infrastructure projects around the state on hold because of a lack of funding, it was foolish to spend money on a Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train with an uncertain future. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20140206/NEWS03/302060049/GOP-Brian-Nestande-push-new-California-rail-vote GREEN ENERGY Race to Beat Polish Subsidy Cuts Drives Wind-Project Push. Poland, where 90 percent of power comes from coal, may be an unlikely clean-energy hub. Yet wind capacity that almost doubled in two years is set to grow further as developers rush to start projects before subsidies change. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-02-07/race-to-beat-wind-power-subsidy-cuts-drives-poland-project-push.html Caribbean Islands Agree to Swap Diesel Power for Renewable Sources. Several Caribbean nations committed on Thursday to start replacing diesel generators, the most common means of producing electricity on islands, with renewable sources like wind, solar or the earth’s heat. The countries, which have already taken steps toward developing the new energy projects and include St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands, signed the pact at a multiday meeting organized by the Carbon War Room…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/business/energy-environment/caribbean-islands-agree-to-swap-diesel-power-for-renewable-sources.html Energy Role Is Lifting Democrat in Louisiana. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, is set to become chairwoman next week of the Senate Energy Committee, a powerful position that gives her jurisdiction over the oil and gas industry that fuels her state’s economy — and which will be a major source of contributions to Ms. Landrieu’s tough re-election campaign this fall. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/us/politics/energy-role-is-lifting-democrat-in-louisiana.html MISCELLANEOUS Coal Ash Declared Safe for Recycling by EPA. Coal ash from power plants is safe for use in cement and wallboard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today in a long-delayed decision that may boost recycling of a major source of industrial waste. The determination and an EPA court filing last month saying it doesn’t plan to regulate ash as a hazardous waste will boost utilities and companies such as Headwaters Inc. (HW) that use the product. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-07/coal-ash-declared-safe-for-recycling-by-epa.html Subway restaurants to remove foamed plastics ingredient from bread. The Subway sandwich restaurant chain said Thursday that it would remove an ingredient used in the production of foamed plastics such as yoga mats and rubber-soled shoes from its bread. "The complete conversion to have this product out the bread will be done soon," Subway said in its statement. The use of the ingredient -- azodicarbonamide -- was the subject of…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-subway-to-remove-foamed-plastics-ingredient-from-its-bread-20140206,0,4484922.story#ixzz2sf3UQaT6 Court rejects PUC's approval of Oakley PG&E plant. A state appeals court has overturned an approval by state regulators for a proposed Pacific Gas & Electric Co. natural gas plant in Oakley, saying the utility presented no reliable evidence that the plant is needed. The 586-megawatt plant in northeast Contra Costa County would provide electricity for PG&E's grid in Northern and Central California. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Court-rejects-PUC-s-approval-of-Oakley-PG-amp-E-5212289.php OPINIONS The End of Snow? Over the next two weeks, hundreds of millions of people will watch Americans like Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin ski for gold on the downhill alpine course. Television crews will pan across epic vistas of the rugged Caucasus Mountains, draped with brilliant white ski slopes. What viewers might not see is the 16 million cubic feet of snow that was stored under insulated blankets last year to make sure those slopes remained white…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-snow.html?hpw&rref=opinion Desalination could help California -- but only if it's done right. Making seawater or brackish groundwater drinkable could help stem the state's water crisis, but strict regulation is needed. Californians used to call it earthquake weather, the unseasonably warm, dry, blue-sky days that pushed deep into this year's rainy season. Now we just call it drought. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-helvarg-desalination-drought-california-20140207,0,1586369.story#ixzz2sf2Vsbiw Letters to the editor, Feb. 7. Drought remedies. As long as we are sharing water conservation tips, here is one for the ladies - dry shampoo. You will save not only gallons of water but also a ton of time. As an added bonus, you might like your hair better than if you had washed it. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/letterstoeditor/article/Letters-to-the-editor-Feb-7-5212426.php BLOGS Cross-Canada Pipeline Will Boost Emissions, Report Says. Much of U.S. environmentalists’ opposition to big pipeline projects has focused on Keystone XL. They say the pipeline would worsen climate change by leading to higher production in Alberta’s oil sands, which are exploited using an emissions-intensive process. But a new report says another planned pipeline — the Energy East project — would have an even more detrimental effect on climate change than Keystone XL. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/canadarealtime/2014/02/06/cross-canada-pipeline-will-boost-emissions-report-says/ A Conversation on Tobacco and Coal Exports and Moral Responsibility. I sent my recent post on exports of life-shortening tobacco and dirty fossil fuels to a variety of climate and energy scientists and analysts and the result was an interesting email conversation that is excerpted below. I clipped a question that was at the end of the post and brought it to the top: If we can’t get it right with tobacco, where there’s no benefit to weigh against the toll in lives and costs…Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/a-conversation-on-tobacco-and-coal-exports-and-moral-responsibility/ Desperate for Clean Air, Delhi Residents Experiment with Solutions. For some worried expatriates and Indians, the battle to keep pollution out of their homes and their lungs started well before renewed media coverage in the past weeks unofficially crowned New Delhi as the world’s most polluted city. One story by Gardiner Harris of The New York Times noted that for the first three weeks of this year, New Delhi’s average daily peak reading of fine particulate matter…Posted. http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/desperate-for-clean-air-delhi-residents-experiment-with-solutions/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 US electricity demand rose in 2013, boosting emissions. Total U.S. electricity demand increased 1.4 percent last year, the first gain since 2010 and reversing long-term trends in the energy industry, according to a new report. Coal produced 39 percent of U.S. electricity in 2013, up from 37 percent a year earlier, while power from natural gas slipped three points to 28 percent as prices climbed…Posted. http://fuelfix.com/blog/2014/02/06/us-electricity-demand-rose-in-2013-boosting-emissions/#14856-2 How much power do cities really have to combat climate change? C40 Cities, Michael Bloomberg’s coalition of global mayors trying to tackle climate change on their own, reported Wednesday that their progress is accelerating. Five-dozen of the world’s biggest cities (the group actually has more than 40 members) have nearly doubled the number of programs and initiatives they’re implementing to adapt to climate change or reduce emissions in the last two years. Posted. http://grist.org/cities/how-much-power-do-cities-really-have-to-combat-climate-change/ Toyota says freezing temps pose zero problems for fuel cell vehicles. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles are not afraid of one thing – freezing cold weather. That's the latest from two companies that have been driving the cars in frostbite temperatures in the Northeast recently. Proton Onsite runs a fleet of 10 Toyota FCHV-adv fuel cell vehicles out of its Connecticut headquarters and discovered that the snow and three-degree temperature didn't restrict range. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/06/toyota-says-freezing-temps-pose-zero-problems-for-fuel-cell-vehi/ January 2014: Happy blue year? Green-car enthusiasts are probably hoping that Toyota's Super Bowl ad with the Muppets will pay for some brand equity with the Japanese automaker because soft demand for the company's batch of hybrids continue to sink US green-car sales. American purchases of advanced-powertrain vehicles last month plunged almost 14 percent from a year earlier to 36,737…Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/07/january-2014-green-car-sales/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.