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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips August 29, 2012. Posted: 29 Aug 2012 15:53:07
ARB Newsclips for August 29, 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 Earth Log: Valley air pollution could halt road funds. The next air-quality crisis in the San Joaquin Valley is brewing around a precious $500 million in federal funds for building freeways and roads. The money -- along with road-building jobs -- eventually could be frozen if the local air district cannot come up with a plan to clean up tiny bits of soot, diesel, moisture and chemicals called PM-2.5. The Valley's PM-2.5 problem is one of the worst in the country. This wintertime pollution is more dangerous than warm-weather ozone. It triggers asthma and heart problems. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/28/2968642/valley-air-pollution-could-halt.html#storylink=misearch CLIMATE CHANGE Trial run for cap and trade auction. Come November, California will open North America's first full-scale carbon market, in which companies buy and sell the right to emit greenhouse gases from their factories, power plants and oil refineries. It's a major undertaking involving hundreds of companies and - potentially - billions of dollars. Success or failure could have big implications for California's fight against climate change, not to mention the state's fragile economy. So on Thursday, California officials plan to stage a dress rehearsal. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Trial-run-for-cap-and-trade-auction-3822652.php#ixzz24xX9oO3v In Arctic, Greenpeace picks new fight with old foe. Global warming has ignited a rush to exploit Arctic resources - and Greenpeace is determined to thwart that stampede. Employing the same daredevil tactics it has used against nuclear testing or commercial whaling, the environmental group is now dead-set on preventing oil companies from profiting from global warming by drilling for oil near the Arctic's shrinking ice cap. The campaign took off in May 2010, when oil was still gushing from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/29/4768006/in-arctic-greenpeace-picks-new.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/In-Arctic-Greenpeace-picks-new-fight-with-old-foe-3824078.php http://www.nctimes.com/news/science/in-arctic-greenpeace-picks-new-fight-with-old-foe/article_d24ec368-c107-541f-847f-d77b43713e20.html http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21425478/arctic-greenpeace-picks-new-fight-old-foe?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/29/2348701/in-arctic-greenpeace-picks-new.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21425478/arctic-greenpeace-picks-new-fight-old-foe?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Economists urge Calif. governor to resist weakening CO2 scheme. A group of 56 economists have urged California's governor to resist industry pressure to hand out all carbon allowances for free in the state's carbon market, set to launch next year, claiming it would create windfall profits for big emitters while widening the state budget deficit. The economists, who hail from universities and green groups including the University of California at Berkeley and the Union of Concerned Scientists, urged Governor Jerry Brown to retain plans to sell 10 percent of permits to prevent big emitters profiting from the environmental law. Posted. http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.1967303 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Some GOP delegates want to curb emissions but without carbon taxes, new regs. Clean water for their kids, alternative energy sources, preservation of landscapes -- these are all concepts Republican activists say they support. But when it comes to climate change, many delegates at the Republican National Convention are conflicted. They say it would be good to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they fear that taking action would damage the economy and put more people out of work. Take Jeff Haste, a 53-year-old Pennsylvania delegate who considers himself a conservationist. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/29/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Israel to export gas, but domestic use comes first. Israel will allow a significant amount of its newly found natural gas to be exported, but first it must keep enough reserves to satisfy its own needs for 25 years, a government panel decided on Wednesday. Ending months of uncertainty that cast a shadow on the country's fast-developing energy sector, the committee set a cap of 500 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas that can be exported from the cluster of fields discovered off Israel's coast. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/29/israel-natgas-idUSL6E8JTBA920120829 Obama calls for cars to get almost 55 mpg. The Obama administration says automakers must almost double the average mileage by 2025, part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, oil consumption and dependence on foreign sources. The Obama administration announced fuel economy standards Tuesday that would require car makers to almost double the average gas mileage for passenger vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fuel-standards-20120829,0,6043250.story http://www.nctimes.com/business/new-mileage-standards-would-double-fuel-efficiency/article_a7921214-6eb6-53c2-8ae3-a644f5e7985f.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/28/2967503/new-mileage-standards-would-double.html#storylink=misearch http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21420643/questions-and-answers-about-gas-mileage-standards?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/28/2347768/questions-and-answers-about-gas.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21420643/questions-and-answers-about-gas-mileage-standards?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com EPA grants Louisiana 10-day clean gas waiver. The Obama administration is waiving clean gas requirements in Louisiana to make sure residents have enough supplies as Hurricane Isaac makes its way through the state. The Environmental Protection Agency says it's lifting some Clean Air Act standards for 10 days. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says extreme circumstances are likely to cause a gasoline shortage. The waiver covers 14 of Louisiana's 64 parishes and includes the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/epa-grants-louisiana--day-clean-gas-waiver/article_edb264d3-4904-5bfc-be9d-7bfec2c6de1c.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21425940/epa-grants-louisiana-10-day-clean-gas-waiver?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com NY Mayor Bloomberg: City needs more natural gas. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has released a study finding that more natural gas is critical for the city to improve air quality and public health. Bloomberg says Tuesday that more gas is needed. His comments came after he wrote a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post expressing support for expanded natural gas drilling. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to decide soon whether to allow shale gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - when an environmental review is completed. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/28/ny-mayor-bloomberg-city-needs-more-natural-gas/#ixzz24xRh1yBl Neste Oil complete first phase of its microbial oil pilot plant; feedstock for NExBTL renewable diesel. Neste Oil has completed the first phase of its project to build a pilot plant for producing microbial oil for use as a feedstock for NExBTL renewable diesel. Construction of the plant is on-schedule and on-budget. (Earlier post.) The first phase will enable the growth of oil-producing micro-organisms, and the following phases will concentrate on raw material pretreatment and oil recovery. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/08/neste-20120829.html New federal standard alone not enough -- Calif. air chief. The nation's new fuel economy standard, while laudable, won't be enough on its own to reduce carbon pollution to needed levels, the head of California's climate programs said yesterday. Because of that, California will continue its plan to require a growing number of plug-in electric and other zero-emissions vehicles. The Golden State's mandate will be binding only for cars sold there, but Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairwoman Mary Nichols believes it will have a wider impact. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/29/24 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY UC Riverside developing biofuel formulations for California. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) are working with the state of California to develop diesel formulations with higher levels of renewable biofuels. This research supports several California legislative measures and regulations that aim to increase the use of renewable fuels and reduce greenhouse gases. These include AB 32, which requires the state to develop regulations that will reduce carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and the California Air Resources Board's (CARB's) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Posted. http://phys.org/news/2012-08-uc-riverside-biofuel-california.html#jCp HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-Speed Rail Is Definitely Green. A recent UC Berkeley study shows that an efficient high-speed rail network in California will reduce pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions. Opponents of high-speed rail contend that it's a boondoggle because of its $68 billion pricetag. But a recent UC Berkeley study provides evidence that a California bullet train might be a good investment, particularly when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases and fighting climate change. Posted. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/high-speed-rail-is-definitely-green/Content?oid=3324388 GREEN ENERGY DOE questions Solyndra bankruptcy plan. Solyndra LLC should provide more information about tax breaks that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to private equity funds that control the failed solar power company, government lawyers said in a court filing. Attorneys for the Department of Energy and the Internal Revenue Service filed court papers last week objecting to a disclosure statement filed by Solyndra with its bankruptcy reorganization plan. Solyndra received a $528 million loan from the Obama administration before filing for bankruptcy protection last year. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21417759/doe-questions-solyndra-bankruptcy-plan?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Energy Department, IRS want more information on tax provisions of Solyndra bankruptcy plan. Solyndra LLC should provide more information about tax breaks that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to private equity funds that control the failed solar power company, government lawyers said in a court filing. Attorneys for the Department of Energy and the Internal Revenue Service filed court papers last week objecting to a disclosure statement filed by Solyndra with its bankruptcy reorganization plan. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-department-irs-want-more-information-on-tax-provisions-of-solyndra-bankruptcy-plan/2012/08/28/601b0c34-f133-11e1-b74c-84ed55e0300b_story.html MISCELLANEOUS L.A. opposes 710 Freeway extension above ground or by tunnel. The L.A. City Council unanimously votes to oppose the options presented by the MTA. It joins South Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge and Glendale. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday that joined a chorus of voices opposing plans to extend the 710 Freeway north either above ground or by tunnel. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday narrowed the 12 possible options down to five and decided to cease exploration of any above-ground extension. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-710-freeway-20120829,0,57309.story OPINIONS On the right road with federal fuel economy standards. The Obama administration's fuel economy standards will save oil and cut greenhouse emissions. Republican opposition is misguided. There's nothing really new about the federal fuel economy standards that were finalized Tuesday — they were announced more than a year ago and have changed little since — but now that we're on the verge of a presidential election, they're generating more political heat. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-fuel-20120829,0,5674141.story EDITORIAL: Coal-to-diesel plant fuels optimism. Muhlenberg County officials are breathing a sigh of relief with last week's announcement of a coal-to-diesel plant that will be built near Central City. More than four years ago, the Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court invested $625,000 of its single-county coal severance funds in an effort to secure what was originally a $400 million project. For a minute, it appeared as the funds -- appropriated to help the company with design and engineering costs -- were spent in vain. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-mct-editorial-coal-to-diesel-plant-fuels-optimism-20120829,0,7615733.story EDITORIAL: The Bell Tolls: Transportation. The Virginia Department of Transportation has ambitious plans for the revenue generated by tolls. On Tuesday, The Times-Dispatch's Peter Bacque reported: "Rebuilding the interchange of Interstate 95, Interstate 85 and U.S. 460 in Petersburg would be one of the state's top priorities if Virginia gets federal approval to put tolls on I-95." His story detailed other priorities. All of the projects rate as not only welcome but necessary. According to VDOT, current funding cannot meet the needs for maintenance and improvements associated with the I-95 corridor. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-mct-editorial-the-bell-tolls-transportation-20120829,0,6279046.story For trash pickup, L.A. would be better served by non-exclusive deal. The City Council is set to choose a plan for imposing franchise agreements on private trash haulers. An exclusive system would be a bad deal for Los Angeles. Residents of Los Angeles' single-family homes have their trash picked up weekly by the city's Bureau of Sanitation, but the vast majority of L.A.'s garbage is produced by multifamily residences and businesses, and their waste is collected and dumped by private contractors. State and city laws govern recycling, dumping and emissions and help to balance legitimate environmental and labor concerns against the efficiencies of the marketplace. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-trash-20120829,0,7114816.story News Summary: New government gas mileage rules. THE NEWS: The Obama administration on Tuesday finalized regulations that will force automakers to nearly double the average gas mileage of all the new cars and trucks they sell in 2025. All new vehicles would have to average 54.5 miles per gallon in 13 years. THE IMPACT: The change cuts in half the greenhouse gases produced by the vehicles, and the government says it will save consumers $8,000 in gasoline costs over the life of a vehicle purchased in 2025. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/28/4765765/news-summary-new-government-gas.html#storylink=cpy Sardul Singh Minhas: World must slash carbon dioxide emissions. Richard Muller, the physics professor at the University of California-Berkeley and the co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Project, was a long-standing skeptic of global warming. He recently concluded that global warming was real. Ironically, the Berkeley Project was heavily funded by Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, which has a long history of backing those denying climate change. Muller's conversion just puts him in line with the vast consensus of scientific opinion, notably expressed through the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_21419022/sardul-singh-minhas-world-must-slash-carbon-dioxide Carbon Emissions in U.S. Have Dropped. Could "Not Bad" Be Good? The U.S. Energy Information Agency recently reported that the United States -- the all-time career leader in greenhouse gas emissions -- has lost a step. And that's a good thing. America's carbon dioxide output for the first quarter of this year dropped to a rate not seen since 1992. While it would be great to think environmental policy-making was the cause of this good news that appears not to be the case. Market-driven factors, such as the affordability of natural gas, and a shift to fuel-efficient cars …Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/neil-wagner/carbon-emissions-in-us-ha_b_1836805.html?utm_hp_ref=green Natural Gas: Bridge or Dead End? Natural gas is often touted as a bridge fuel: an interim step between the heavily polluting fossil fuels we depend on today and the clean renewable energy systems we hope for tomorrow. But the infrastructure we deploy to increase natural gas may actually inhibit the transition to solar and wind power. Rather than a bridge, natural gas may be a dead end. The idea of natural gas as a bridge draws on three main points. First, natural gas produces significantly less carbon dioxide than coal or oil. Second, it releases fewer impurities like sulfur and mercury compared with other fossil fuels. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-f-jones/bridge-or-dead-end_b_1837015.html?utm_hp_ref=environment Pickens: Natural-gas vehicles will survive without Congress. T. Boone Pickens said natural gas vehicles can survive just fine without Congress approving his so-called Pickens Plan. "It's going to happen, and you don't have to have Washington do it, thank God," Pickens said at Wednesday’s energy luncheon hosted by POLITICO. Pickens has had to increasingly tailor his proposal to offer federal incentives for natural-gas vehicles in the face of Capitol Hill stagnation. He now says the low price of natural gas will serve the market for the vehicles well enough without the federal assistance. Posted. http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=8CBD3269-8A1B-4152-B568-6D4FF5EC12D2 BLOGS In California, Stickers for H.O.V. Lane Privileges Go Begging. The gridlocked freeways of California are the stuff of infamy, so when the state’s Air Resources Board began administering a sticker program granting drivers of plug-in hybrids a free pass into high-occupancy-vehicle lanes, a flood of applications was expected. The flood, however, has instead been a trickle. Since the program started in January, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued 4,092 of the green-colored stickers to drivers who own or lease the Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the only eligible vehicles. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/in-california-stickers-for-h-o-v-lane-privileges-go-begging/ Proposed Gas Pipeline, Endorsed by the City, Draws Criticism. New York City needs cleaner, cheaper energy. That’s the only thing everyone following a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Rockaways agrees upon. But the project — running pipeline from the Atlantic Ocean under the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay into southeast Brooklyn — has drawn concern and outright opposition since it became public earlier this year. Natural gas saves customers money, eases dependence on foreign oil and is cleaner than other fossil fuels (though extracting it by hydraulic fracturing raises other issues). Posted. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/proposed-gas-pipeline-endorsed-by-the-city-draws-criticism/?src=twr Australia and EU announce world's biggest carbon trading system. Australia and the European Union plan to link their "cap-and-trade" systems to create the biggest emissions trading market on the globe, energy and climate change officials announced Tuesday. Under a cap-and-trade system, countries cap the amount of pollution they are willing to allow, then issue permits for how much each business or entity can pollute. Businesses or entities that pollute more than their share can buy credits from others that pollute less than allowed. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/08/australia-and-eu-announce-worlds-biggest-carbon-trading-system.html Lawmakers approve bill to allow San Francisco-to-Solano-County trash hauling. The Assembly sent to the governor today a San Francisco lawmaker's bill meant to ensure that her city's trash can continue to be hauled to Solano County without restriction in years to come. The measure by Democratic Assemblywoman Fiona Ma would prohibit voters in a city or county from restricting or limiting the importation of solid waste into a privately owned landfill. Assembly Bill 845 passed the lower house by a vote of 46-15. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/08/san-francisco-trash-haul-to-solano-county-legislation-rejected.html#storylink=cpy