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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.


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. 
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. 

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. 

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.


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. 

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. 

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

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.


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. 

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. 


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.

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. 


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.

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. 


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.

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. 


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. 

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. 

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.


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.

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. 

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.

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