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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 27, 2012 Posted: 27 Jul 2012 11:40:36
ARB News Clips for July 27, 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. AIR POLLUTION Years into grant to reduce emissions in Santa Cruz, meager returns realized. In 2008, a regional agency aimed at reducing air pollution awarded a $120,000 grant to get Santa Cruzans to team up during commutes, reducing traffic and helping the environment. The award had lofty goals - cut vehicle emissions by 16 tons over the five-year life of the grant by getting 1,900 carpoolers to sign up through the Regional Transportation Commission, an agency comprised of local elected officials that plays a big role in local transportation issues. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21168663/years-into-grant-reduce-emissions-meager-returns-realized?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com EPA expands comment period on power plants rule. Federal officials considering new air-quality requirements for three Arizona power plants are giving the public more time to comment and more places to do so. At issue are proposals to require additional pollution controls at the Apache Generating Station near Cochise, the Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns and the Cholla Power Plant near Holbrook. The Environmental Protection Agency extended the public comment period by about two weeks to Sept. 18. And it's adding public hearings in August in Holbrook and Benson to one already scheduled in Phoenix. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jul/27/epa-expands-comment-period-on-power-plants-rule/#ixzz21qLgyOIJ CLIMATE CHANGE Strong storms threaten ozone layer over U.S., study says. Strong summer storms that pump water high into the upper atmosphere pose a threat to the protective ozone layer over the United States, researchers said Thursday, adding that the risk of damage may increase as the climate warms. In a study published online by the journal Science, Harvard University scientists reported that some storms send water vapor well into the stratosphere -- which is normally drier than a desert -- and showed how such events could rapidly set off ozone-destroying reactions with chemicals that remain in the atmosphere from CFCs, the now-banned refrigerant gases. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21169115/strong-storms-threaten-ozone-layer-over-u-s?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21169115?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21173302/3-obstacles-remain-shells-offshore-plans?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com FUELS Ethanol Makers' Long Hot Summer. Record corn prices and sluggish gasoline demand are squeezing profits for U.S. ethanol companies, prompting some producers to idle plants or slow production. Valero Energy Corp., VLO +0.98% Abengoa Bioenergy US Holding Inc. ABG.MC +4.30% and Nedak Ethanol LLC have idled plants since mid-June, citing poor market conditions for the corn-based fuel additive. And Archer Daniels Midland Co., ADM +0.74% the biggest U.S. ethanol producer by capacity, said that its ethanol margins had eroded to a loss of well over 20 cents a gallon. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577522962336134368.html?KEYWORDS=fuels 3 obstacles remain for Shell's offshore plans. With the clock ticking on a short season for Arctic drilling, Shell Oil Co. is facing a triple threat of complications in its quest to explore for oil this year off Alaska's northern coast. Sea ice is lingering a bit longer than usual. A problem with a permit regulating air pollution on one of its drill ships remains unresolved. And an oil spill containment barge still isn't ready. Shell remains confident it will be able to work in its Arctic drilling sites this year, said Pete Slaiby, the Shell vice president who oversees Alaska. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21173302?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21173302?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21173302/3-obstacles-remain-shells-offshore-plans?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com VEHICLES July auto sales look strong despite economic jitters. The economic news remains mixed, but that hasnít slowed car buyers down in July. With another weekend to go, industry analysts say sales remain comparatively strong and it is consumers who are fueling the industry. No, this isnít the roaring market of decade ago, but it is healthy by post-recession, sluggish-growth standards. Market research firm J.D. Power & Associates estimates that new-vehicle retail sales will reach about 969,200 units this month. While thatís a slight dip from June it still represents an 18% gain from a year ago. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-july-auto-sales-forecast-20120726,0,266765.story GREEN ENERGY China-Europe Relations Tested in Solar Dispute. Chinese solar panel manufacturers Thursday called on Beijing to begin talks with the European Union to prevent what they said would be the largest trade dispute in the history of China-Europe relations. Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co., Suntech Power Holdings Co., STP +2.56% Trina Solar Ltd. TSL +3.65% and Canadian Solar Inc. CSIQ -3.73% said in a joint statement that an investigation into dumping allegations could trigger a trade war between China and the EU, "which would cause huge losses for both parties." Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443343704577550163622130158.html?KEYWORDS=green+energy China solar panel makers say dispute with EU risks trade war, urge Beijing to pursue talks. Chinese solar panel makers are urging Beijing to seek talks with the European Union over a dispute they say threatens to escalate into a trade war. Four big solar panel manufacturers issued a joint statement Thursday appealing for both sides to resolve the disagreement over allegations they receive illegal subsidies and dump their products in the European market. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/china-solar-panel-makers-say-dispute-with-eu-risks-trade-war-urge-beijing-to-pursue-talks/2012/07/26/gJQAZoLlAX_story.html Christie vetoes clean energy bill again. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed legislation again that would have kept the state in a multistate clean air program. The bill required New Jersey to remain a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional pact to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fund clean energy projects. The veto came as no surprise since Christie pulled New Jersey from the 10-state pact in December and vetoed a similar bill last August. The governor says the program amounted to a tax on electricity use without reducing carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Christie-vetoes-clean-energy-bill-again-3738684.php 5 High-Tech Summer Energy-Efficiency Boosts for Your Home. "Green" technology can turn the hot weather baking much of America this summer from a drag on your home's air-conditioning bill to a source of free solar energy -- if you know what improvements to make. "Green upgrades can give you a good return on investment, a lifestyle that's more pleasant and let you feel good about what you're doing to help the environment," says Harvey Sachs, senior fellow at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Posted. http://business-news.thestreet.com/mercury-news/story/5-high-tech-summer-energy-efficiency-boosts-for-your-home/11641417 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21172412?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21172402/5-high-tech-summer-energy-efficiency-boosts-your?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com&IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com MISCELLANEOUS Marine Highway opening. Barge M580-A lay quietly at her new home Thursday, tied up at the east end of the mile-long dock on Rough and Ready Island. Capable of carrying up to 9,000 tons of cargo, the massive, rust-colored hulk, whose life work until now had been hauling logs along Northwest waterways, is the last major piece of the Port of Stockton's Marine Highway project, arriving Wednesday night. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120727/A_BIZ/207270310&cid=sitesearch LIBERTY QUARRY: Supervisors feuding over revised plan. A rift has developed between two Riverside County supervisors over re-submitted plans for the Liberty Quarry. Supervisor John Benoit, who represents desert cities, is supporting efforts to fast track plans for the Temecula-area open pit gravel mine. But Supervisor Jeff Stone, who represents Temecula and has been one of the boardís leading quarry opponents, said Benoit should not try to fast-track projects in his district. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/politics/politics-headlines-index/20120726-liberty-quarry-supervisors-feuding-over-revised-plan.ece OPINIONS China's Canadian Energy Play. President Obama may not want to exploit the energy buried in Canada's Alberta oil sands, but China sure does. Think of Monday's $15.1 billion offer by China's state-owned Cnooc to buy Canadian energy giant Nexen as a post-Keystone XL Pipeline bid to replace the U.S. as Canada's biggest energy investor and market. Nexen offers Cnooc a sweeping North American energy footprint, with assets from heavy oil and shale gas in Alberta to offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444025204577547074156244672.html?KEYWORDS=green+energy Dirty but essential -- that's coal. Standing in the dispatch office of the North Antelope Rochelle Mine near Gillette, Wyo., Scott Durgin pointed at a flat-panel display. The regional vice president for Peabody Energy smiled. The most productive coal mine in the world was on target. Since midnight, about one train an hour had been loaded, each carrying about 16,000 tons of coal. I asked Durgin how long Peabody could continue mining in the region. Easily for five more decades, he replied. "There's no end to the coal here." Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-adv-bryce-coal-epa-climate-20120727,0,3827413.story Today in coal: Americans hate it, India hates it, Siberia hates it. Three updates on the coal industry. If you canít be bothered to read the whole thing, hereís a summary. Coal: Ugh. Americans see more future in renewables. A poll from Rasmussen Reports indicates that Americans see investment in renewables as a better plan than investment in fossil fuels like coal. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% say investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind is a better long-term investment for the United States than investing in fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil. Posted. http://grist.org/news/today-in-coal-americans-hate-it-india-hates-it-siberia-hates-it/ BLOGS Court Rejects a Ban on Local Fracking Limits. A Pennsylvania court on Thursday struck down a provision of a state law that forbade municipalities to limit where natural gas drilling can take place within their boundaries. The law, known as Act 13 and approved in February, required that drilling be allowed in all zoning districts, even residential areas, although with certain buffers. The law had been sought by drillers who have been fracking in the Marcellus Shale and wanted uniformity in rules on where they could drill. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/court-rejects-a-ban-on-local-fracking-limits/ Hydrogen fuel cells may get a shot at batteries after all. He'll never use the word "fracking," but thanks to that new drilling technique, the U.S. Secretary of Energy now admits he's changed his mind about hydrogen fuel cells. That's because the abundance of natural gas now being retrieved from shale also provides an enormous source of hydrogen that, when coupled with new reforming technology, produces energy with a low carbon footprint. When Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, was named Secretary of the Department of Energy in the Obama Administration, he quickly redirected much of the Department's automotive research efforts into battery electric vehicles. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/07/27/hydrogen-fuel-cells-may-get-a-shot-at-batteries-after-all/