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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 8, 2012.

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 14:28:58
ARB News Clips for June 8, 2012.  

This is a service of the California Air Resources Boardís Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


EPA proposes approving Texas' clean air plan. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency suggested Thursday it would
approve parts of Texas' clean air plan, a move that could help
ease some of the strains between the state and the federal
agency. The EPA said in a statement that it supported revisions
submitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality giving
operating flexibility to some of the biggest air polluters,
including the state's many refineries. The EPA indicated it would
approve the plan once a 30-day public comment period ends.


Weather center: 50 percent chance of El Nino later this year.
There is a 50 percent chance the feared El Nino weather pattern
which can trigger droughts in Southeast Asia and Australia and
floods in South America may strike later this year, the U.S.
Climate Prediction Center warned on Thursday. In its strongest
prediction so far that El Nino could emerge, the CPC said
conditions are still expected to be neutral between June and
August, but there is a 50 percent likelihood that El Nino will
develop in the remainder of the year. Posted.

Warmest U.S. spring on record Ė NOAA. So far, 2012 has been the
warmest year the United States has ever seen, with the warmest
spring and the second-warmest May since record-keeping began in
1895, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
reported on Thursday. Temperatures for the past 12 months and the
year-to-date have been the warmest on record for the contiguous
United States, NOAA said. Posted.

Japan May Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Up to 15%, Panel Says.
Japanís greenhouse gas emissions may drop as much as 15 percent
by 2020 from 1990 levels if the country increases the use of
energy saving measures and clean energy, an environment ministry
taskforce said. The taskforce debating Japanís low-carbon
policies and measures after 2013 plans to propose six different
scenarios for emission cuts to the government, according to a
draft report released today. Japanís existing pledge is to cut
greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels in 2020.
Earth may be near tipping point, scientists warn. A group of
scientists warns that population growth, climate change and
environmental damage are pushing Earth toward calamitous and
irreversible changes. A group of international scientists is
sounding a global alarm, warning that population growth, climate
change and environmental destruction are pushing Earth toward
calamitous ó and irreversible ó biological changes. Posted.

Mexico's president enacts climate change legislation. Mexican
President Felipe Calderon has signed a law introducing binding
targets on climate change. Mr Calderon said on Twitter that the
law would make Mexico the "first developing country with integral
legislation against climate change". The law, which sets targets
on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of
renewable energy, is only the second of its kind in the world.
The measures had been passed by the Senate in April by 78 votes
to nil. Posted.


News Summary: Airlines want govt biofuels support. NEED A LIFT:
Airlines need government support to lower the cost of biofuels
that could help to reduce pollution and carbon emissions, the
head of the global aviation industry group said Thursday. COSTLY
FLIGHTS: Airlines have flown some 1,500 commercial flights using
fuel made from plants, but supplies are limited and costly, said
Tony Tyler, chief executive of the International Air Transport
Association. Posted.

Shell Buys Jet Fuel in Europe; Diesel Barges Drop: Oil Products.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought a cargo of jet fuel in northwest for
the first time this month. Diesel barges fell as BP Plc sold six
lots. Gasoil on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London fell
for a second day, trading at the lowest in 16 months after Brent
crude plunged to less than $98 a barrel on concern that an
economic slowdown in the U.S. and Europe will worsen, curbing
fuel demand. Posted.

China to Cut Fuel Prices by the Most Since 2008, C1 Says. China
Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (600028) and PetroChina Co. (857), the
nationís biggest refiners, face more losses from processing crude
after the government cut fuel prices by the most since 2008 as
global crude costs tumbled. State-controlled retail gasoline
prices fall by 530 yuan ($83) a metric ton and diesel by 510 yuan
starting today, the National Development and Reform Commission,
the nationís top economic planner, said on its website yesterday.

Ethanol Advances on Concern China Rate Cuts to Lift Corn Demand.
Ethanol futures advanced in Chicago on concern that interest rate
cuts in China will boost demand for commodities such as corn. The
biofuel gained 1 percent after the Peopleís Bank of China said
the one-year lending rate will drop a quarter- percentage point
to 6.31 percent starting tomorrow, stoking speculation that the
country will boost corn imports. The grain is the primary
ingredient in ethanol in the U.S. ďPosted.


GM Boosts 2013 Volt Mileage Rating, Beating Toyota Prius. General
Motors Co. (GM)ís changes to the battery of the Chevrolet Volt
will extend the 2013 modelís range beyond Toyota Motor Corp.
(7203)ís plug-in Prius in miles-per-gallon equivalent. GM said
the all-electric range of the 2013 Chevrolet Volt will be 38
miles (61 kilometers) on a single charge after the company
increased battery storage capacity and changed the cellís
chemistry. Thatís an increase of three miles. The modelís
mpg-equivalent will rise to 98 miles from 94, the company said in
a statement on its website. Posted. 

Exclusive: Europe set to regulate for greener cars. The European
Commission is set to propose tighter carbon emissions standards
for new EU cars, according to a draft proposal that is likely to
divide the auto industry. The proposal, expected to be made
public next month, would make binding a 2020 goal to lower carbon
dioxide (CO2) emissions to an average of 95 grams per kilometer
(g/km). So far it is only a provisional, non-binding goal and
compares with an existing, binding target of 130 g/km. Some
industry representatives have said tougher binding standards
would be extremely challenging. Posted.

Cap-and-Trade for Electric Cars Gets Going in California. What a
terrific idea! California's zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) law
requires automakers to sell an increasing number of zero emission
vehicles in the state - and those that can't meet their targets
can buy "credits" from automakers who can. Automakers that can't
meet their targets or don't buy enough credits face thousands of
dollars in fines for each missed credit. The state can also ban
the automaker from selling cars there. That sets up a nice
incentive for producing ZEVs - an additional revenue stream. 

Cities learn the art of putting more cars on existing roads.
Cars, highways and intersections across the United States are
developing minds of their own. Indeed, the entire transportation
network is getting smarter and learning to communicate so that
people in increasingly congested cities can get where they need
to go faster. These expanding "intelligent transportation
systems" (ITS) encompass a new variety of technologies that boost
safety, productivity and environmental protection by marrying
communications-based hardware and software with transportation
infrastructure and vehicles. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/08/1 BY


China-U.S. Trade Tensions Rise as Renewable Energy Sags. When
solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC collapsed in September after
winning a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, President Barack
Obamaís administration blamed Chinaís even bigger aid for its
renewable-energy industry. The China Development Bank Corp. in
2010 provided Solyndraís Chinese competitors more than $30
billion in credit, dwarfing U.S. support for solar manufacturers
as the price of polysilicon, the main material in solar cells,
plummeted, Jonathan Silver, the Energy Departmentís
loan-guarantee chief at the time, told a House committee. Posted.


California Nuclear Plant to Stay Closed Through August. The San
Onofre nuclear plant will remain shut down at least through
August, Southern California Edison said, putting a big crimp in
electricity supplies in the San Diego area this summer. The
plant's two reactors remain idled while inspection teams
investigate the reasons for premature aging of vital plant
equipment. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent extra
inspectors to the plant but they haven't released their findings.

Scientist Is Reinstated After Deceit. A scientist who posed as a
board member of a conservative organization to gain access to its
confidential information has been reinstated as president of the
Pacific Institute, the environmental research organization that
he founded in California. The institute said Wednesday in a
statement that an independent inquiry had confirmed the account
offered by the scientist, Peter Gleick, of the false pretenses
under which he obtained documents of the Heartland Institute in
February. The documents contained details about the budget,
strategy and donors to the institute, which disputes that global
warming is under way. Posted.
South Sacramento County to get aerial spraying in West Nile virus
fight. Spells of warm weather in April and May coupled with
late-spring rains are blamed for the early arrival of West Nile
virus in Sacramento and Yolo counties this year. Citing high
infection rates of birds and mosquitoes, the Sacramento-Yolo
Mosquito & Vector Control District announced that it will conduct
aerial spraying of 30,000 acres in south Sacramento County over
two nights next week. Posted.

Calif. blackouts possible with nuke plant offline. Los Angeles --
Southern California utility officials are warning that blackouts
in the region are possible this summer as a result of the
sidelined San Onofre nuclear power plant. The damaged plant is
likely to remain sidelined until at least the end of August while
investigators probe excessive wear in tubing that carries
radioactive water, the plant's operator said Thursday. The
officials say that if a heat wave hits while the twin-reactor
plant is offline, rotating blackouts are a possibility. Posted.


Drill for income with energy stocks.  Whenever the threat of an
economic slowdown starts hulking around like a cranky bear, I
look to essentials that are important to me as a long-term
investor, like energy. Then I consider what investors need most
while they watch share prices dip, and that is steady dividends.
Although I have severe reservations about energy companies' role
in global warming - they can be doing much more to promote
clean/alternative energy - energy companies that pay healthy,
consistent dividends still make sense. Posted.

Editorial: California also land of pricey energy. Government
shares blame for costly gasoline and electric power. California,
as just about everyone already knows, is among the nation's
highest-taxed, most-regulated and most-expensive states to live
in. Now, a report from the Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Council, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group, shows California
also has the sixth-highest energy costs among the states in
2012.Energy costs, like taxes, regulations and the cost of
living, are direct consequences of meddlesome, overbearing
government intrusion. Posted.

If you remove traffic jams, will people drive more? Intelligent
transportation systems (ITS) are designed to relieve congestion
and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come with it. But
there are doubts circulating as to just how effectively ITS can
mitigate climate change. One of the problems with ITS is that by
alleviating traffic and lowering the cost of travel,
transportation technologies can actually attract more drivers to
the road. This "induced demand" phenomenon can undo any
environmental gains and force city planners to repair expensive,
crumbling roads even sooner. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/08/2  BY


Romneyís conflicting remarks on Solyndra-like investments. Mitt
Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom squared off Sunday with
President Obamaís deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, on
ABCís ďThis Week,Ē with the two operatives defending their
candidatesí records on clean-energy investments. Earlier in the
week, Romney held a news conference at Solyndra, describing the
collapse of that federally backed solar-panel maker as proof that
the Obama administration was misguided in trying to create jobs
with targeted government investments ó something the presidentís
critics have described as crony capitalism. Posted.

Peter Gleick Reinstated at Pacific Institute. The water and
climate expert Peter Gleick, a scientist who masqueraded as a
board member of a conservative organization to gain access to its
confidential financial information, has been reinstated as
president of the Pacific Institute, the environmentally minded
think tank that he founded. The institute posted a notice at its
Web site on Wednesday saying that an independent investigation
had confirmed Dr. Gleickís account of the false pretenses under
which he gained access to internal documents of the Chicago-based
Heartland Institute in February. Posted.

Are We Overestimating Biofuels' Benefits by Double Counting
Emission Reductions? Enter here all who be wonks. Others, you've
been warned. The popular argument goes that when calculating the
emissions from biofuel powered vehicles you can ignore the
emissions created by the vehicles burning them because the plants
used to create biofuels already had sucked carbon out of the air
and anything emitted by the car is just releasing it back into
the atmosphere. Posted.

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