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newsclips -- ARB Newclips for August 28, 2012. Posted: 28 Aug 2012 14:12:14
ARB Newsclips for August 28, 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 Groups to discuss dangers of soot air pollution. The dangers of soot air pollution will be discussed during a Detroit community meeting. Doctors, environmental groups, community advocates and city residents are expected to attend Tuesday night's event at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corp. The sponsors include Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Consortium of Hispanic Agencies, Sierra Club, the Green Door Initiative and other groups. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/28/groups-to-discuss-dangers-of-soot-air-pollution/#ixzz24rAcnCZQ Fire extinguished at Venezuela refinery. All fires have been extinguished at Venezuela's biggest oil refinery after raging for more than three days following a deadly explosion, officials said Tuesday. State television reported that the flames had been put out in the three fuel tanks that had been ablaze, and showed images of one tank smoldering. The smoke rising from the Amuay refinery had diminished markedly by dawn on Tuesday. An official of the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA said firefighters were working to cool down one of the tanks. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/28/fires-dying-down-after-venezuela-refinery-blast/#ixzz24rBA2jl8 Smog-Producing Hydrocarbons Leaking from Refinery. Smog-producing hydrocarbons are still leaking at unlawful levels at the Chevron oil refinery in the wake of the August 6 fire there, but pollution control officials said they expect to stop it by Tuesday. Chevron could face fines of $25,000 for each day per violation. "The leak has been isolated, and will stop as soon as tomorrow," said Dan Tillema, a chemical incident investigator for the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, during a public briefing about government inquiries into the refinery disaster Monday morning at the Richmond City Council Chambers. Posted. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/smog-producing-hydrocarbons-still-leaking-chevron-/nRLd7/ Only Yankee Hill/Concow has bad air quality today in Butte County. Air quality that's unhealthy for sensitive groups is forecast today in the Yankee Hill/Concow area, but moderate air pollution is expected elsewhere in Butte County. The Butte County Air Quality Management District says sensitive groups — the very young and old, and those with heart or lung problems — should reduce heavy or prolonged exertion. Smoke from the Chips Fire to the east is still impacting air quality. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_21415623/only-yankee-hill-concow-has-bad-air-quality CLIMATE CHANGE Australia to cut carbon floor price, link to EU scheme. Australia will scrap its planned floor price for carbon emissions and will link directly with the European Union's emissions trading scheme by 2018, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said on Tuesday. Australia, one of the world's highest per capita emitters of pollutants blamed for causing climate change, imposed a fixed A$23 ($23.88) per ton carbon tax on around 300 of its biggest polluting companies in July, covering around 60 percent of emissions. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/28/us-australia-carbon-floorprice-idUSBRE87R05L20120828 Satellites Show Sea Ice in Arctic Is at a Record Low. The amount of sea ice in the Arctic has fallen to the lowest level on record, a confirmation of the drastic warming in the region and a likely harbinger of larger changes to come. Satellites tracking the extent of the sea ice found over the weekend that it covered about 1.58 million square miles, or less than 30 percent of the Arctic Ocean’s surface, scientists said. That is only slightly below the previous record low, set in 2007, but with weeks still to go in the summer melting season, it is clear that the record will be beaten by a wide margin. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/science/earth/sea-ice-in-arctic-measured-at-record-low.html?_r=1 Flurry of last-minute bills vie for Calif.'s cap-and-trade proceeds. California lawmakers are wrangling over billions of dollars in carbon allowances as the state's first-in-the-nation, economywide cap-and-trade system nears its start date. There are at least six bills active in the waning days of the state's legislative session that would divvy up the revenue from the quarterly auction of greenhouse gas permits, set to begin this November. Some of the proposals target specific beneficiaries. One would require electric utilities to return the cost of their permits directly to customers, while another would direct some of it to public transit agencies. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/28/12 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY INSIGHT Delivers Supply Chain Solutions for Cap & Trade Restrictions. Similar to Capacity Constraints; Requires Modeling Supply Chain Energy Usage & Carbon Emissions. a top international provider of supply chain planning solutions for the world's foremost companies, believes that Cap & Trade Restrictions are growing in importance to the C-Suite due to recently adopted regulations in California. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) established a new "cap-and-trade" program that launches on January 1, 2013; it places a "cap" on the aggregate greenhouse gases (GHG…Posted. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48810746#.UD0N_tVeSW9 DIESEL EMISSIONS Small business truckers use loan assistance option to purchase cleaner equipment. The California Air Resources Board and the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, part of the State Treasurer’s Office, has hit the $100 million mark in financial assistance to small-business truckers. The funding is provided through a program that provides small businesses with financial assistance to obtain loans or lease-to-own arrangements so they can purchase newer, cleaner trucks ahead of schedule for state clean truck and bus regulations. Posted. http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2012/8/28/Smallbusinesstruckersuseloanassistanceoptiontopurchasecleanerequipment.aspx California state fleet reduces petroleum consumption 13% compared to 2003. The California state fleet has reduced its petroleum consumption by 13% compared to a 2003 baseline, according to a state progress report. Key to this reduction has been the development and implementation of a plan that has improved the State fleet’s overall use of alternative fuels, the reduction of unneeded fleet vehicles, and reducing unnecessary vehicle miles traveled. In 2003, the state fleet consumed 38,559,715 gallons of petroleum-based fuel (gasoline and diesel), according to the report. In 2010, the fleet consumed 33,509,180 gallons of petroleum fuel (-13%) as well as 3,793,904 gallon of alternative fuels, comprising…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/08/calfleet-20120828.html FUELS New mileage standards would double fuel efficiency. Washington -- The average gas mileage of new cars and trucks will have to nearly double by 2025 under regulations that were finalized Tuesday by the Obama administration. The new rules will require the fleet of new cars and trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon in 13 years, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year. The regulations will bring dramatic changes to the cars and trucks in U.S. showrooms and drive automakers to introduce new technology to make vehicles cleaner and more efficient. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/28/v-print/4764319/new-mileage-standards-would-double.html Military Spending on Biofuels Draws Fire. When the Navy put a Pacific fleet through maneuvers on a $12 million cocktail of biofuels this summer, it proved that warships could actually operate on diesel from algae or chicken fat. “It works in the engines that we have, it works in the aircraft that we have, it works in the ships that we have,” said Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy. “It is seamless.” The still-experimental fuels are also expensive — about $27 a gallon for the fuel used in the demonstration, compared with about $3.50 a gallon for conventional military fuels. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/business/military-spending-on-biofuels-draws-fire.html?pagewanted=all VEHICLES Autos must average 54.5 mpg by 2025, new EPA standards are expected to say. The Obama administration will finalize strict new fuel-efficiency vehicle standards Tuesday, requiring the U.S. auto fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, according to individuals briefed on the matter. The new rules, which expand on existing standards requiring American-made cars and light trucks to average 34.5 mpg by 2016, will significantly cut U.S. oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by the time they are fully implemented, the Environmental Protection Agency says. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/autos-must-average-545-mpg-by-2025-new-epa-standards-are-expected-to-say/2012/08/28/2c47924a-f117-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html EV market projections: Part I - OEM capacity production and vision. General Motors (GM) was planning to sell 60,000 Volt/Ampera in 2012, but the US market is not getting as much traction as the European market does for PHEVs, and GM had to stop for several weeks the production of the Volt to save costs. According to Automotive News, the company is again about to idle its plant for 4 weeks in September/October. In Europe the Opel Ampera has high demand and the Ampera sales should reach 15,000-20,000 in 2012 (Opel’s objective was 10,000). Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4888 GREEN ENERGY German minister mulls slower green revolution. Germany may have to slow down its planned transformation to green energy, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday in an effort to assuage worries that consumers will bear the brunt of the immense costs of the switch from nuclear. A year before an election, fears of rising energy bills in Europe's biggest economy have become a major concern for Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right government which has ambitious targets for renewables to replace atomic power. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/28/us-germany-nuclear-idUSBRE87R0JA20120828 Israel's solar power struggles against government. Israel has developed some of the world's most advanced solar energy equipment and enjoys a nearly endless supply of sunshine, but when it comes to deploying large-scale solar technology at home, the country remains in the dark ages. Solar power provides just a tiny percentage of Israel's energy needs, leaving it far behind colder, cloudier counterparts in Europe. Israeli solar companies, frustrated by government bureaucracy, have taken their expertise abroad. Fifty years ago, Israel was at the front of the pack, with simple solar water heaters on top of its apartment buildings. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-28/israels-solar-power-struggles-against-government http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/27/2967012/israels-solar-power-struggles.html#storylink=misearch OPINION Fracking is too important to foul up. In Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and even Texas, there is a fundamental debate over “fracking” — the hydraulic fracturing of shale rock that, together with horizontal drilling, unleashes abundant natural gas. Mostly, it’s the loud voices at the extremes who are dominating the debate: those who want either no fracking or no additional regulation of it. As usual, the voices in the sensible center are getting drowned out — with serious repercussions for our country’s future. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fracking-is-too-important-to-foul-up/2012/08/23/d320e6ee-ea0e-11e1-a80b-9f898562d010_story.html Anne Smart: Consumer protection needed in cap and trade. As a leader in environmental protection and climate- change policy, California has demonstrated a commitment to creating a clean energy future, while also supporting a strong and vibrant economy. Unfortunately, recent action by the state Legislature could run counter to these goals. The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as AB 32, mandates a market-based cap-and trade-program that is set to begin in November. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/28/4762435/consumer-protection-needed-in.html Romney's Dirtier, Deadlier Energy Future: Is There Another Way? The oil-dependent economy Romney supports is a step toward an unstable, costly future. Renewables and energy efficiency offer a stronger economy and a stable climate. Mitt Romney's new energy platform calls for more fossil fuel production and less regulation. It's a vision of an energy future that is dirtier and deadlier than an economy founded on a transition to renewable energy sources. And, despite the devastating droughts and massive wildfires of the last few months, it's a plan that ignores the climate dangers associated with a drill-and-burn policy. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-van-gelder/romneys-dirtier-deadlier-_b_1829536.html?utm_hp_ref=green BLOGS Could a carbon tax help the U.S. avert the fiscal cliff? With the United States facing the expiration of a slew of tax cuts in 2013—the dread “fiscal cliff”—there has been plenty of interest in offbeat tax-reform proposals. And one idea that a few economists keep knocking around is a fee on carbon emissions. After all, if we need to raise revenue, why not just tax global-warming pollution? A new paper from the MIT Global Change Institute lays out how a carbon tax might work in practice. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/27/how-a-carbon-tax-could-help-the-u-s-avert-the-fiscal-cliff/ Bullet train authority steps up hiring to fill long-vacant posts. Plugging long-standing vacancies in its management team, the agency that plans to build the state bullet train system announced Monday the hiring of a chief administrative officer and seven other individuals to fill a variety of top executive posts. The California High-Speed Rail Authority “is making major strides in putting in place an experienced management team to significantly improve its operations. Today marks a major milestone in achieving our staffing goals,” said Jeff Morales, the agency’s chief executive, who was hired in June. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/bullet-train-authority-hiring.html California Universities Support Cap and Trade for Us, Not for Them. It was announced last week that California’s UC and CSU systems will be hit with up to $28 million in new energy taxes if CARB’s cap and trade program moves forward as planned. This should have come as no surprise because citizen ratepayers and small business owners have been warning for years that the cap and trade auction will be a massive hidden tax with billions of dollars in higher energy costs impacting all Californians, including schools. However, what was surprising was the reaction of university officials. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/08/california-universities-support-cap-and-trade-for-us-not-for-them/