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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 17, 2012. Posted: 17 Aug 2012 14:46:55
ARB Newsclips for August 17, 2012. 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. AIR POLLUTION EPA signs rule to cut haze in Big Sky Country. Federal regulators have approved a new measure meant to help turn Montana's Big Sky Country into Clear Sky Country by forcing industrial plants to cut pollutants that make hazy skies over national parks and wilderness areas. The Environmental Protection Agency rule has been criticized by industry as too costly and by conservationists and other federal agencies as not tough enough. The goal is to restore visibility to natural conditions in national parks and wilderness areas from Idaho to North Dakota. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EPA_MONTANA_HAZE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED ARTICLES http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/16/epa-signs-rule-to-cut-haze-in-big-sky-02/#ixzz23p32RaDk http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/16/2332382/epa-signs-rule-to-cut-haze-in.html#storylink=misearch Air pollution expected to be unhealthy today in foothills. Bad air pollution is being forecast in three locations today by the Butte County Air Quality Management District. The pollution will be very unhealthy in Concow/Yankee Hill, unhealthy in Paradise, and unhealthy for sensitive groups in Forest Ranch. Sensitive groups are children and older adults and those with heart or lung problems. They should reduce exertion in Forest Ranch, avoid it in Paradise, and avoid all outside physical activity in Concow/Yankee Hill. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_21334853/air-pollution-expected-be-unhealthy-today-foothills Hot air makes hard breathing. A heat wave finally broke Wednesday, Aug. 15, when daytime high temperatures in Tracy dipped below the 100-degree mark for the first time since Aug. 9. But the effects of the high temperatures are likely to linger. According to Anthony Presto, spokesman for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the heat wave created the perfect crucible for poor air in the Central Valley, combining stagnant, hot conditions with emissions from tailpipes, fires and other organic compounds. Ozone, “a corrosive gas that damages lung tissue…Posted. http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/19837238/article-Hot-air-makes-hard-breathing?instance=home_news_bullets CLIMATE CHANGE AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low. In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal. Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GAS_DRILLING_CO2_DROP?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-08-16-22-39-40 OTHER RELATED ARTICLES http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/16/4732022/ap-impact-co2-emissions-in-us.html http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_21331721/natural-gas-cuts-coal-use-and-reduces-co2 http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ap-impact-co2-emissions-in-us-drop-to-20-year-low-some-experts-optimistic-on-global-warming/2012/08/16/e2b11a80-e814-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21327959/ap-impact-co2-emissions-us-drop-20-year?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21336230/ap-impact-co2-emissions-us-drop-20-year?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/ap-impact-co-emissions-in-us-drop-to--year/article_596317f1-86b4-5201-a4d5-d14c08e199f9.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/16/2332274/ap-impact-co2-emissions-in-us.html#storylink=misearch http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/08/in-a-surprise-co2-emissions-hit-20-year-low/1#.UC6C6tVeSW8 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018937839_apusgasdrillingco2drop.html http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/17/co2-emissions-in-us-drop-to-20-year-low-some-experts-optimistic-on-global/ Forecast: US drought lingering but leveling off. The worst drought in the U.S. in decades may be leveling off or even be easing ever so slightly in some lucky locales, federal weather forecasters announced Thursday in a report of little comfort for farmers and ranchers who already have begun tallying this year's losses. While the latest forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center calls for the drought to linger in the nation's breadbasket …Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DROUGHT_SEVERITY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Climate change driving Australian fish south. Australian scientists said Friday there was now "striking evidence" of extensive southward migration of tropical fish and declines in other species due to climate change, in a major ocean report card. Compiled by more than 80 of Australia's leading marine experts for the government science body CSIRO, the snapshot of global warming's effects on the island continent's oceans warned of "significant impacts". "Climate change is already happening; widespread physical changes include rapid warming of the southeast and increasing flow of the east Australia current," the report said. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gnPGPIvsE5J-rO0F71ja9zRpIUPg?docId=CNG.b448ea5b6d75e7807182aac9eeed6898.341 Impact of U.S. drought on crops may be peaking, Vilsack says. The severity of the worst U.S. drought in 56 years may be peaking, while its effects on corn and soybeans, the nation’s two biggest crops, may not be known until the harvests, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. The steadying of weather conditions may limit food inflation next year, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted last month would be 3 percent to 4 percent, Vilsack said yesterday in an interview at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. It may also ease pressure to relax federal requirements for the use of corn to make ethanol, he said. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/impact-of-us-drought-on-crops-may-be-peaking-vilsack-says/2012/08/17/a23c52f8-e823-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html How climate change is changing forests in the Northeast – report. The northeastern United States could be a much different place by the end of the 21st century, with insects, animals and even trees shifting to accommodate higher temperatures and increasingly conflicting weather patterns, according to a new report by U.S. and Canadian scientists. The report, titled "Changing Climate, Changing Forests: The Impacts of Climate Change on Forests of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada," is a cross-disciplinary synthesis of existing research, drawing on the expertise of 38 scientists to give a holistic picture of forest health under a changing climate. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/08/17/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Canada's greenbelt stores vast amounts of carbon, report says. A report by the David Suzuki Foundation released Wednesday aims to quantify the role of Canada's greenbelt in mitigating the effects of climate change. "It's a massive carbon storehouse," said Faisal Moola, the Suzuki Foundation's director of science. The forests, farms and wetlands of the greenbelt span from Rice Lake to the Niagara River, covering 1.8 million acres. All that vegetation pulls carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and stores it in its biomass. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/08/17/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Shipping terminals to reduce diesel emissions. The Yang Ming and Yusen shipping terminals will be equipped with electrical power generators as part of an ongoing effort to reduce diesel emissions from cargo ships docking at the Port of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners on Thursday awarded a $31.2 million contract to Santa Fe Springs-based Cupertino Electric to install the Alternative Maritime Power equipment at Berths 121-126 and 212-216.AMP technology allows container ships to "plug in" to a generator and operate on electrical power while docked, rather than idling on its diesel engine. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_21330132/shipping-terminals-reduce-diesel-emissions RB advises reefer unit owners to purchase their compliance options soon. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recommends taking immediate action to plan and order compliance options to ensure model year 2005 transport refrigeration units (TRUs or reefer units) comply by the end of 2012. Purchase orders must be placed soon for in-use TRU compliance technology to qualify for a compliance extension. The TRU Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) allows compliance extensions if delivery or installation is delayed. Posted. http://refrigeratedtrans.com/2010-emissions/carb_reminds_reefer_owners_of_compliance_technology_deadlines_0816/ FUELS UPDATE 1-U.S. Automakers, refiners lose challenge to new ethanol mix. Trade associations for automakers, refiners and other industries may not challenge new rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approving the introduction of an ethanol blend known as E15, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday. The 2-1 ruling from the court in Washington, D.C., dismissed challenges brought by the trade associations because the court said they do not have standing. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/17/ethanol-court-idUSL2E8JH6FN20120817 http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-automakers-refiners-lose-challenge-to-new-ethanol-mix-20120817,0,5028011.story?track=rss In Drought, a Debate Over Quota for Ethanol. Washington — Three big intertwined but rival agribusinesses — corn farmers, meat and poultry producers, and biofuel refineries — are in a political fight to protect their interests as a drought ravages corn producers and industrial consumers alike. At issue is whether to suspend a five-year-old federal mandate requiring more ethanol in gasoline each year, a policy that has diverted almost half of the domestic corn supply from animal feedlots to ethanol refineries, driven up corn prices and plantings and created a desperate competition for corn as drought grips the nation’s farm belt. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/business/energy-environment/ethanol-quota-debated-by-corn-farmers-and-meat-industry.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print California gas prices may have peaked. Last week's refinery fire sent fuel prices soaring, but 'Southern California gas prices have actually only risen by about 2 cents since Sunday,' an Auto Club spokesman says. The rapid rise in gasoline prices, sparked by a refinery fire last week, has slowed and may have peaked, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. Since the fire at Chevron Corp.'s Richmond Refinery in the Bay Area on Aug. 6, the average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California has shot up 25.8 cents. At one point, it jumped 5 cents overnight. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gas-prices-20120817,0,6244417,print.story Duck farm taps waste product to create methane. There's solar power and wind power. Now Culver Duck Farms is taking the move toward use of renewable energy resources a step further — it plans to use the duck parts that don't make it to the dinner plate to help power the facility. Duck offal would be put into what's called an anaerobic digester to produce methane, making Culver Duck one of a select group of ag operations nationwide using such technology. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Duck-farm-taps-waste-product-to-create-methane-3795859.php#ixzz23pINfwf7 Novozymes cuts prediction of U.S. ethanol production because of drought. Novozymes, the world's biggest supplier of enzymes used in biofuels, cut its forecast for U.S. ethanol production because of the ongoing drought's impact on corn prices and availability. The Danish company, which commands more than 60 percent of the biofuels enzyme market in the United States, forecast yesterday full-year ethanol production of 13.4 billion gallons, down 6 percent from its previous forecast of 14.2 billion gallons. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/08/17/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Appeals court tosses E15 lawsuit on lack of standing. A federal appeals court today dismissed a lawsuit brought by oil, auto and food industries against U.S. EPA for its approval of E15, or gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol. In its decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that none of the petitioners has standing to bring the action against EPA. "Because we hold that no petitioner has standing to bring this action, we dismiss all petitions for lack of jurisdiction," Chief Judge David Sentelle wrote in his opinion. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/17/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Fracking bills derailed in committee. Legislation designed to regulate hydraulic fracturing in California died in committee yesterday, leaving the Golden State one of the most unregulated fracking hot spots in the country for now. The two bills -- a moratorium and a chemical disclosure requirement -- did not make it past the Senate Appropriations Committee. The moratorium, from state Rep. Betsy Butler (D), would ban the issuance of permits for new wells using the process that shoots chemical-laced water and sand underground to release trapped oil and gas. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/08/17/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Anti-smog device. May 22, 1960: UCLA researchers Richard D. Hopa, left, and Hiroshi Kimura demonstrate a new anti-smog device developed for automobiles. This image accompanied a May 23, 1960, L.A. Times story that reported: The Board of Supervisors was told yesterday of the development of a new device which sponsors aver will prevent up to 80% of nitrogen oxides, major ingredients of smog, from entering the air when attached to automobiles. Posted. http://framework.latimes.com/2012/08/17/anti-smog-device/ Success of Japanese EVs at the hill climb race. Applications for clean energy vehicle subsidies (CEV) registered after February 2012 can be submitted to the Japanese Next Generation Vehicle Promotion Centre until 7 March 2013. Buyers of electric cars benefit from tax exemptions as well as from the clean energy vehicle subsidies, for which a budget of Ą3.7 billion (~€38 million) remained as of 20 July 2012. Also eligible for the subsidies are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and clean diesels. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4859 GREEN ENERGY Top executives say no thanks to U.S. cleantech jobs. U.S. solar and biofuel companies are struggling to find new top executives after a string of departures over the past year, demonstrating a lack of faith among executives that the sector can recover from a supply glut that has hammered share prices. Almost all the top U.S.-listed solar companies, including First Solar Inc., SunPower Corp, Canadian Solar Inc. and JA Solar Holdings Co, have seen either their CEO or CFO leave over the past year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/us-cleantech-executives-idUSBRE87F12620120816 Mass. clean energy economy growing, report says. The growth of Massachusetts' renewable energy economy is outpacing the overall economy nearly tenfold, according to a new report that measures clean energy sector employment and the number of businesses that use clean energy practices. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center announced Thursday that its annual report found an 11.2 percent growth in the sector's economy from July 2011 to July 2012. Renewable energy leaders say they expect the growth to continue, and industry employers who were surveyed said they expect to hire more workers in the coming year. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/16/mass-clean-energy-economy-growing-report-says/ GE 'Skypump' charges electric cars with wind power. Almost a year after they officially announced it, GE and vertical axis wind turbine company Urban Green Energy have announced the installationsource of the Sanya Skypump, a wind-powered charging station capable of recharging an electric car on wind energy. Last year, GE and vertical axis wind turbine company Urban Green Energy announced the launch of the Sanya Skypump, a wind-powered charging station capable of recharging an electric car on wind energy alone. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2012/0816/GE-Skypump-charges-electric-cars-with-wind-power MISCELLANEOUS Free Workshop on California High Speed Rail. Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) will host a free educational and informational workshop concerning the proposed Fresno-Bakersfield section of the California High-Speed Rail at First Baptist Church of Hanford from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 25th. The church is located in Hanford, California. This is the second Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) workshop the Kings County-based nonpartisan advocacy group has hosted. Posted. http://hanford.kmph.com/news/92097-free-workshop-california-high-speed-rail OPINION End the Ethanol Mandate. Record-high corn prices should be sending a clear message to policy makers in Washington: Requiring people to put corn-based fuel in their gas tanks is a bad idea. Since 2005, the U.S. government has mandated that gasoline contain ethanol, almost all of it derived from corn. The policy, ostensibly aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil and at improving the environment, has been a bonanza for farmers. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/ethanol-in-gas-tanks-makes-food-on-your-table-cost-more.html Urban growth means hotter summers; white paint can help. It’s hot out there. Hotter than it would be if instead of what I see outside my sliver of window -- roads, buildings -- there was grass and vegetation. Hotter, too, than it would be if the buildings were all covered with white paint, a la a Greek island. This is the “heat island effect,” and it happens because the materials used to make roads and structures absorb a lot more heat from the sun than does vegetation. They slowly release that heat through the night, keeping everything not-so-nicely cooking. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-sizzling-summers-from-urban-growth-20120816,0,2620928.story Letters: Who pays for cleaner trucks? Re "Cracking down on diesel," Opinion, Aug. 14 Carl Pope makes a good case for retrofitting trucks with diesel filters, which costs about $10,000 a truck, to reduce deadly air pollution. But the benefit is to the public. Why should the truck owner bear the burden while getting no direct benefit? I suggest that the retrofit be subsidized by taxpayers because they receive the benefit. Among the advantages of this approach is that the retrofits will be done sooner and the savings from costly enforcement programs can be used to actually get the job done. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0816-thursday-diesel-trucks-20120816,0,128611,print.story OPINION: Texas claims a victory over the EPA. Monday was "I told you so" day for some top Texas officials. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the state in a legal battle with the federal Environmental Protection Agency. "This decision is a big win for jobs and a big win for Texas," said Gov. Rick Perry in a statement released after the ruling. He said the appeals court finding "affirms that states have the right to develop permitting processes that balance the priorities of protecting the environment and allowing our industries to thrive." Texas brought the case after the EPA, in 2010, disallowed the Texas Flexible Permit Program, the state's plan for air quality control at industrial plants. State officials had a right to gloat about the ruling. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-mct-opinion-texas-claims-a-victory-over-the-epa-20120817,0,2482128.story EDITORIAL: We will ship some coal and growth to India. As Vice President Joe Biden told a supporter in the 2008 campaign, "No coal plants here in America. Build them, if they're going to build them, over there." Biden was referring to China, but India's economy is growing, too. And so it has come to pass. Officials in Kentucky and West Virginia announced Wednesday a $7 billion deal with the Abhijeet Group that will result in the shipment of 9 million tons of Appalachian coal a year to India for 25 years. The abundant, affordable domestic energy source the Obama administration has so recklessly devalued will benefit India instead. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-mct-editorial-we-will-ship-some-coal-and-growth-to-20120817,0,7306000,print.story EDITORIAL: A methane mess of Ada County's making. Strange but true: Methane gas is now such a coveted commodity that a company is preparing to take Ada County to court over it. But from the looks of it, Ada County commissioners brought this methane mess on themselves -- all in the process of trying to cut a dubious deal with Dynamis Energy, the latest company to seek to turn county landfill trash into clean energy. Hidden Hollow Energy faces a bind, resulting in part from the Dynamis dealings. Hidden Hollow, which has produced energy from landfill methane gas since 2006…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-mct-editorial-a-methane-mess-of-ada-countys-making-20120817,0,1235627.story Don't let polluters weasel out California environmental law. Re "Clean energy law drives innovation, creates jobs, attracts investments" (Viewpoints, Aug. 16): Predictably, polluters are attempting to weasel out of abiding by California's groundbreaking clean energy law. Cries of an economic slowdown are mere fear-mongering on the part of industry. Assembly Bill will promote innovation by bringing even more clean-energy investment to the state, simply shifting jobs from dirty energy to clean. It's a win-win situation for Californians: cleaner air and more jobs. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/16/4732644/dont-let-polluters-squirm-out.html#storylink=cpy California's cap and trade system spells economic doom. Re ""Air board may ease carbon credits" (Page A1, Aug. 13): If people wonder what the California economy will look like in 2015 and beyond, they should consult the ominous warnings described by this article. As the article mentions, the California Air Resources Board will soon begin operating a cap and tradeť system, estimated to cost California industry $1 billion in new operating expenses in 2013, but up to $6 billion in 2015. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/16/4731592/carb-greenhouse-gas-regulations.html#storylink=cpy California Resources Board Amnesia. A rouge agency runs amok with unchecked powers and a dubious agenda. Inquiries about are met with political dodges or an outright refusal to disclose. Secrecy and obfuscation are used by the agency to thwart further investigation. Undaunted, the hero presses on against the unsettling conspiratorial silence and what it conceals. It sounds like a plot taken from a political thriller, like the Manchurian Candidate or the Bourne Identity movie franchise. Instead, it is life imitating art. This is what has been happening at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/08/california-resources-board-amnesia/ BLOGS The Physics of Tidal Energy. As my colleague Jess Bidgood reported in Friday’s paper, a tidal energy project is moving ahead in Maine, with high costs but high hopes too. But the 180-kilowatt unit that the Ocean Renewable Power Company hopes to put under water next week is really just a first step. The big question is, how well will it withstand the force of the rushing water? The region, the Bay of Fundy, is famous for strong tides, but the company has picked a spot called Cobscook Bay, where the current is relatively slow, an average of 5.8 knots, or 6.7 miles an hour. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/10/the-physics-of-tidal-energy/ Trucks Continue to Idle in West Oakland. Diesel truck idling persists at the Port of Oakland posing a health hazard to workers and the surrounding community. With California’s strict idling limits long in place and a positive recent enforcement report from the state Air Resources Board, you would think that truck idling is no longer a problem. Yet Webcam views at the port reveal repeated long lines at one port terminal, leaving drivers to wait for hours exposed to the fumes and contributing to hazy conditions for everyone. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbailey/post_1.html 2013 Nissan Leaf will go 25% further, could cost a lot less. Months ago, we heard that the U.S. version of the 2013 Nissan Leaf would go farther per charge in cold weather thanks to a better heater. This was about the Leaf that will be made in Smyrna, TN starting later this year. A new report on Inside EVs (based on the Japanese language Sankei Biz site) says that the new Leaf, at least the version destined for sale in Japan, will have its range extended to over 250 kilometers (155 miles) in any weather. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/08/16/2013-nissan-leaf-will-go-25-further-could-cost-a-lot-less/