What's New List Serve Post Display

What's New List Serve Post Display

Below is the List Serve Post you selected to display.
newsclips -- Newsclips for December 19, 2011.

Posted: 19 Dec 2011 14:52:12
California Air Resources Board Newsclips for December 19, 2011. 
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.


AP IMPACT: EPA rules threaten older power plants.  More than 32
mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced
to shut down and an additional 36 might have to close because of
new federal air pollution regulations, according to an Associated
Press survey.  Together, those plants—some of the oldest and
dirtiest in the country—produce enough electricity for more than
22 million households, the AP survey found. But their demise
probably won't cause homes to go dark.  The fallout will be most
acute for the towns where power plant smokestacks long have cast
a shadow.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:

Cement plant near Mojave to pay EPA fine. The CalPortland
facility will pay a $1.4 million fine and $1.3 million on
equipment needed to reduce emissions of pollutants. The penalties
were part of a settlement of an EPA and Department of Justice
probe. A CalPortland cement plant near the high desert community
of Mojave has agreed to pay a fine of $1.4 million and spend $1.3
million on equipment needed to reduce emissions of pollutants
that cause asthma and generate smog, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency announced Thursday. Posted.

Bay Area's seventh Winter Spare the Air Alert issued for Monday. 
Keep those fireplaces dark Monday because the Bay Area Air
Quality Management District has issued another Winter Spare the
Air Alert.  It is the second spare the air day in a row, and the
seventh since the first spare the air day of the season Dec. 7. 
During a Winter Spare the Air Alert, it is illegal for Bay Area
residents and businesses to use fireplaces, woodstoves and
inserts, pellet stoves and any other wood-burning devices.
Burning wood, manufactured logs and other sold fuel indoors and
out has also been banned for 24 hours.  Posted. 


Projects to improve San Joaquin Valley air get $3 million. The
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's governing
board has awarded $2,947,694 to 11 projects targeted at reducing
the valley's air quality emissions through new technology. The
board also authorized an additional $3 million to bring more
technology-advancement entrepreneurs in the valley. The latest
request for proposals to the Technology Advancement Program
resulted in submissions ranging from an all-electric agricultural
sprayer to a natural gas conversion kit for locomotive engines,
an emission-reducing raisin tray burning system to a cleaner
composting system. Posted. 


The Battle Over Aviation Emissions. Brussels — One of the most
contested global environmental initiatives ever undertaken is
scheduled to get under way on New Year’s Day, when the European
Union plans to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions from
airlines. Much is at stake for Europe, which has sought to
burnish its identity as a significant international actor partly
by leading the world on climate protection. Posted.

As Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks. A bubble rose
through a hole in the surface of a frozen lake. It popped,
followed by another, and another, as if a pot were somehow
boiling in the icy depths. Every bursting bubble sent up a puff
of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas generated beneath the lake
from the decay of plant debris. These plants last saw the light
of day 30,000 years ago and have been locked in a deep freeze —
until now.  “That’s a hot spot,” declared Katey M. Walter
Anthony, a leading scientist in studying the escape of methane.

La Nina keeps Sierra snowless. After a big snowfall year in 2010,
snowboarders and skiers are still waiting for big storms this
year. National Weather Service forecasters say don't give up on
the snow season yet. Snow could come anytime, but probably not
this week. Forecaster Brooke Bingaman, with the National Weather
Service's Sacramento office, explained that a La Nina weather
pattern is influencing the north state's weather. A La Nina event
pushes the polar jet stream far north of the west coast while the
Pacific jet stream, although it can vary, usually is aimed for
the Pacific Northwest. Posted.

REGION: State should brace for greater disasters, rising costs
from climate change, experts say. California should prepare for
massive storms, frequent and severe wildfires, and dwindling
snowmelt, scientists at a climate conference at Scripps
Institution of Oceanography said last week. The conference
showcased new research on the practical consequences of a warming
planet. Although similar events have often presented climate
research, the conference last week highlighted the implications
of warming on wildfires, water supply, energy policy and
biological diversity. Posted. 


California Approves Rules Restricting Use of High-Carbon Crude.
California passed rules discouraging the state’s refiners,
including Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Tesoro Corp. (TSO), from
processing types of crude that release more carbon when produced
and delivered, such as output from Canada’s oil sands. The
regulation, approved as a change to the state’s low- carbon fuel
standard, assigns “carbon-intensity” values to about 250 types of
crude oil, favoring those that take less energy to produce and
transport. Posted.


Breakthrough could double solar energy output. A new discovery
from a chemist at the University of Texas at Austin may allow
photovoltaic solar cells to double their efficiency, thus
providing loads more electrical power from regular sunlight. Not
only that, but it’s way cheap. Chemistry professor Xiaoyang Zhu
and his team discovered that an organic plastic semiconductor
could double the number of electrons harvested out of one photon
of sunlight. Yep, plastic. Posted.

The U.S. electricity mix in 20 years: A prediction.  What will
the U.S. power mix look like in 10 to 20 years?  It's impossible
to predict for certain, of course, because there's no way to know
what regulators will do. Given the heavily regulated nature of
the electric sector, even in so-called "deregulated" markets,
surprises tend to come from regulatory reform, not innovation.
(The U.S. electric grid has shown itself capable of rapid,
large-scale transformation in response to regulations.)  Posted. 

Harnessing the sun’s energy for water and space heating.  The
pace of solar energy development is accelerating as the
installation of rooftop solar water heaters takes off. Unlike
solar photovoltaic panels that convert solar radiation into
electricity, these "solar thermal collectors" use the sun's
energy to heat water, space, or both.  Posted. 


How to find greener tech products.  So you're a holiday shopper
-- or just an electronics lover -- who cares about treading
lightly on the planet. How do you know if that shiny new gadget
was made with hazardous materials, or whether the manufacturing
process created tons of carbon emissions?  Several organizations
are offering tips and detailed guides on how to buy green
electronics this year.  Posted. 


Beyond Durban. Startling new evidence that global carbon dioxide
emissions are rising faster than ever did little to increase the
urgency of the climate talks in Durban, South Africa, which
concluded earlier this week. Once again, the world’s negotiators
kicked the can down the road. Even as delegates from nearly 200
countries were meeting, the Global Carbon Project, an
international collaboration of scientists, reported that
emissions from carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, the main
greenhouse gas, had jumped 5.9 percent in 2010, the sharpest
one-year rise on record. Posted. 

Back to the electric future for cars. One day in 1948, Caltech
chemistry professor Arie Haagen-Smit took a break from trying to
decipher the mystery of the flavor of the pineapple. He stepped
outside his lab for a breath of fresh air but instead found
himself enveloped in what he called “that stinking cloud” of
smog. At the time, there was a bitter debate as to what caused
smog. So Haagen-Smit decided to put aside his pineapples (he had
already worked out the taste chemistry of onions, garlic and wine
and had identified the active agent in marijuana) to try to solve
the source of smog. Posted.

Brian Calle: North Dakota's energy lessons for California. 
California's economic slide is one of choice and consequence, not
of necessity. The state still possesses the resources for
prosperity, even today, but policies advanced by ideologues and
political zealots in the state capital have tarnished the Golden
State.  North Dakota, by contrast, illustrates, as it rapidly
becomes the economic envy of the nation, how a different approach
to public policy bolsters economic activity and job creation. 

CARR: Where there's smoke ... there just might be a fine. Hop in,
buckle up. Quite a few readers have asked me if it's true that
Temecula, Murietta, and other northern backcountry communities in
or abutting Riverside County are to be restricted on certain days
from lighting their fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. The short
answer: Yes. The longer answer: Probably. There's been something
of a mini-blitz of public service announcements, billboards, and
TV/radio/newspaper coverage aimed at educating residents that
they will now be required to take a more active role in reducing
fine-particulate pollution on days deemed to be of unhealthy air
quality. Posted. 

Global climate forecast still calls for haze. Are big
international climate conferences useless? Cheerleaders say the
agreement from the climate talks in Durban, South Africa, is a
great achievement: It foresees a system that binds all big
polluters — not just developed countries — to reduce their
emissions. Some environmentalists counter that the system is
still unforgivably weak — emissions cuts could easily be too
small and won’t kick in for another decade, and that’s if the
agreement holds. Posted. 

Why the WCI still matters. There has been renewed interest in the
fate of the Western Climate Initiative following a November press
release from Arizona stating that it was formally withdrawing
from the WCI. Other Western Climate Initiative states, including
Oregon and Washington, made no similar formal announcement, but
the result is the same. Only California remains a partner in the
WCI, along with the participating Canadian Provinces — British
Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Posted.

Rethink renewable energy mandates. It’s been a rough two years
for global warming alarmists. Cap and trade failed in 2009,
despite the fact that Democrats controlled the House, Senate and
White House. The recent United Nations summit produced an
agreement that means little — with countries like Canada dropping
off an extension of the Kyoto Protocol. Meanwhile, high
unemployment and economic woes are drawing public attention from
environmental issues. Posted.

Mild hybrids deliver. General Motors' decision to introduce its
mild hybrid system, eAssist, in a big way proves that automakers
can use a variety of technologies in the quest to achieve a
corporate average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model
year.  Not every advance has to be a moonshot like the Chevy
Volt.  What's key is that a mild hybrid system costs about a
quarter of what a conventional full hybrid system costs but can
deliver about half the added fuel savings. Posted. 

California Dreams and Low Carbon Fuels. Last month the Obama
Administration announced it would delay a decision on whether to
permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline – a 1,700
mile long proposed pipeline that will connect the Alberta oil
sands and Bakken crude oil reserves to Gulf Coast refineries –
until after the 2012 election. The decision was no doubt
influenced by the boisterous protests led by environmental groups
like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC), and Tar Sands Action among others. Posted.


For Green Groups, a Shift in Tactics. In The Times’s Sunday
Review section, I wrote about the generational leadership change
that big environmental groups are undergoing and how it is
affecting their strategies. Several leaders and observers I
interviewed noted that in an Occupy Wall Street era, some people
have little patience for the notion of courting corporations and
policy makers to seek their cooperation. They want to apply
direct pressure. Posted. 

California Moves Forward with Strong Low Carbon Fuel Standard. 
Just moments ago, the California Air Resources Board voted
unanimously to move forward with a Low Carbon Fuel Standard in
California. The ARB decision is a victory for California and its
residents, but the benefits of the LCFS will be felt across the
nation and around the world.  By re-asserting California’s
commitment to the world’s first Low Carbon Fuel Standard and
turning back the oil industry’s attempts to weaken it, the Board
sent a clear signal that this state is charging forward with the
transition from dirty fuels to clean fuels – and is on track to
meet commitments to reduce carbon emissions.  Posted. 

California Air Resources Board amends the Low Carbon Fuel
Standard.  The California Air Resources Board voted Friday to
amend the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to streamline
procedures and clarify language. (Earlier post.) The LCFS intends
to reduce, on a full-fuel lifecycle basis, the carbon intensity
(CI) of transportation fuels (measured in gCO2e/MJ) used in
California by an average of 10% by the year 2020. (Earlier post.)
 One key amendment will improve how the regulation accounts for
the carbon intensity of crude oils. Posted. 

ARB What's New