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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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. 

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. 

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


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.

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


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.


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.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059994227/print BY

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.

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.

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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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.

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

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.


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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.

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