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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 4, 2012

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 13:01:55
ARB Newsclips for September 4, 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.

APNewsBreak: EPA OKs use of Shell Oil drill ship.  Royal Dutch
Shell PLC has received permission to operate its drill ship in
the Chukchi Sea under a temporary revision to its air permit,
clearing another hurdle in its quest to drill exploratory oil
wells in the Arctic Ocean this year.  A spokesman for the
Environmental Protection Agency told The Associated Press on
Friday that it will issue a one-year air permit compliance order
for Shell’s activities off Alaska’s northwest coast.  Posted. 



No early Australian link to Californian carbon market.  After
announcing this week it will link its future carbon market to the
EU's, Australia may look to California next as a potential
emissions-trading partner, but the US state may be less keen to
cement a trans-continental link, analysts said.  On Tuesday,
Australia announced it will link its emissions trading scheme to
Europe's in 2015, a move hailed as the first union of two major
emission markets.Posted. 

Court overturns border-crossing pollution rule.  A divided
federal appeals court Tuesday overturned a regulation clamping
down on power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air
in neighboring states.  In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the
Environmental Protection Agency's cross-state air pollution rule
exceeded the agency's statutory authority. The court faulted the
EPA for imposing "massive emissions reduction requirements" on
upwind states without regard to limits imposed by law.  Posted. 

San Diego flunks air quality, again.  San Diego’s air quality has
improved steadily over the last decade, but it still deserves an
F grade for pollution levels that pose a health risk to
residents, according to a new American Lung Association study. 
The region ranks seventh for worst ozone pollution among
metropolitan areas nationwide and 15th worst for short-term
particle pollution in the 13th annual “State of the Air” report
released Wednesday. The study uses data from 2008 to 2010. 


California kicks off carbon cap-and-trade trial.  Californian
officials have completed a successful trial of its much
anticipated carbon trading scheme, which will be launched in
November in an attempt to put a price on emissions from
industrial facilities and power plants.  Posted. 

California Tests Cap And Trade System. California officials held
a trial auction to test the state's new system for selling carbon
credits today. Starting this November some companies will be
required to pay for their pollution emissions as part of
California’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.  Many of those
companies took part in the test of the auction software. Stanley
Young is with the California Air Resources Board, which is
running the auction. Posted. 


California Ramps up Policy That's Taboo on Campaign Trail.  Amid
a presidential campaign that's studiously avoiding the whole
topic, Californians are launching the world's second largest
"cap-and-trade" program for ratcheting down industrial greenhouse
gas emissions from large emitters. It's a development worth
chewing over before next week's Global Climate Change Forum, a
Carbon Disclosure Project event that will be moderated by Diane
Brady of Bloomberg Businessweek and broadcast on Bloomberg.com. 


Obama to college students: ‘Denying climate change won’t make it
stop’.  Recently, climate change has been the Voldemort of the
Obama administration: the “threat-that-must-not-be-named.”  In
January, the president omitted any discussion of climate change
from his State of the Union address, since what really does the
gravest threat to Americans — and indeed, all homo sapiens — have
to do with the state of the union? Then the White House edited
climate change from Obama’s Earth Day 2012 proclamation.  Posted.

Climate change breaks the ice: 3-man sailboat makes record
voyage.  Warming global temperatures and melting polar ice caps
have helped a trio of explorers go where few men have gone
before.  In an account of their voyage posted Monday, the crew of
the 31-foot Belzebub II — a fiberglass sailboat with a living
space the size of a bathroom — described how they crossed through
the M’Clure Strait in northern Canada, a decreasingly ice-packed
route through the famed Northwest Passage.  Posted. 

Report blames climate change for summer's heat-related maladies. 
The wildfires, extreme heat, fish kills and wilted crops that
plagued the summer of 2012 were the products of climate change,
according to a report released by the National Wildlife
Federation.  "Unfortunately, hot summers like this will occur
much more frequently in years ahead," the report states. "If we
don't enact the solutions we have on hand to reduce carbon
pollution, wildlife, people and our summers will suffer." 
Posted.  http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/09/04/13

Viewpoints: Risk from climate change linked with social factors. 
Summer brings enjoyment of warm weather, long days, a refreshing
swim and barbecues. But it also brings natural hazards.
Temperatures in many parts of California are near or exceed 100
degrees. Many cities are also experiencing record high nighttime
temperatures, and so the evenings bring little relief from the
sweltering daytime heat.  These hot, dry conditions mean
wildfires. More than 4,200 fires have already burned parts of
California, 20 percent more than the average over the past five
years.  Posted. 


New rules spur sales of big-rigs in North Bay.  North Bay
trucking companies are spending millions of dollars on new trucks
this year in order to meet tough air quality rules aimed at
getting older, smoke-belching cabs off the road.  The state has
provided grants to help pay for new, high-tech diesels that emit
a 10th of the air pollution that the 2006 models produce. The
latest grants provide up to $60,000 toward a big-rig that can
easily cost $130,000 or more.  Posted. 

Cleaire to Offer Heavy Duty Emissions Testing Services.  Cleaire
Advanced Emission Controls® announced the opening of their
Heavy-Duty Chassis Dynamometer Emissions Laboratory for outside
contract services. Cleaire Advanced Technology Testing Services,
“CATTS,” is located in Richmond, California on the campus of the
Chevron Technology Center. As one of only a handful of
CFR-compliant heavy-duty chassis dynamometers, the laboratory is
capable of testing a variety of medium and heavy-duty power train
technologies including diesel emission control systems, hybrid
power trains, and alternative fuels.  Posted. 

Natural Gas Trucks and Buses.  Medium and heavy duty trucks and
buses typically use large amounts of fuel due to the combination
of low fuel economy, heavy gross vehicle weight, and, in some
cases, long distances traveled. The high fuel consumption of
these vehicles is motivating fleet managers to find strategies to
reduce both the fuel costs and the environmental impact of their
fleets. Owing to substantial and rising supplies of low-cost
natural gas (NG), and the substantially lower greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions of natural gas vehicles, natural gas has become
an increasingly attractive choice for a transportation fuel. 

Truckers at Oakland's port undergo pollution inspections. 
Truckers at the Port of Oakland were met this week by inspectors
from the state Air Resources Board conducting spot checks of
diesel emissions on rigs traveling to and from the docks.  The
inspections, which began Tuesday and will be conducted at the
port through Thursday, are part of a month long statewide effort
meant to ensure owners of trucks using state roadways are in
compliance with air pollution regulations designed to reduce the
amount of cancer-causing emissions that spew from big rigs.


Researchers develop efficient fuel cell PROX catalyst with help
of advanced imaging technologies.  Researchers at Singapore’s
A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) have
developed an efficient catalyst for the preferential oxidation
(PROX) of CO in hydrogen gas for PEM fuel cells, such as those
applied in fuel cell vehicles.  In their work, they used advanced
imaging technologies—high-resolution transmission electron
microscopy (HR-TEM) and three-dimensional electron tomography—to
identifysubtle, atomic-scale structural transformations that can
activate and de-activate gold nanoparticle catalysts, a finding
that may lead to longer-lasting hydrogen fuel cells. A paper on
the work was published in the journal ACS Catalysis.  Posted. 

Air Force insists it has Albuquerque fuel issue under control. 
As environmental disaster sites go, it doesn't look like much. A
scattering of rusting wellhead covers and a machine noisily
sucking hydrocarbon vapors from the earth scarcely hint at what
has grown into a $50-million headache.

Wind industry's survival could depend on tax credit.  In the
Philadelphia region, the rebirth of the defunct U.S. Steel site
in Bucks County makes the best case for winning the high-stakes
gamble being played out in Congress over extending vital,
government incentives for developing wind-energy systems.

Obama Gets Fossil-Fuels Boost After Green-Jobs Revolution Fades. 
Four years ago, Barack Obama pledged to promote a green
revolution, saying the government would back alternative-energy
technologies that could create 5 million jobs and free the U.S.
from a dependence on overseas oil tyrants.  Posted. 


Direct Energy Launches New Leaf Energy to Offer Texans 100%
Renewable Energy.  Direct Energy has launched New Leaf Energy, a
new Texas brand that offers 100 percent renewable,
air-pollution-free energy, 100 percent from Texas wind turbines.
New Leaf Energy brings expanded product choice in Texas' green
energy market and a variety of plan options that ease the way for
residential customers in Greater Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth,
Corpus Christi and beyond to help support long-term
sustainability of the region and the planet.  "New Leaf Energy is
committed to renewing the future, one household at a time," said
Rob Comstock, senior vice president at Direct Energy and general
manager for the company's Texas residential business.  Posted. 

Gas pipeline operators set sights on NY.  With a decision
expected soon on whether to allow natural gas drilling in New
York state, pipeline operators are already looking at setting up
shop, and opponents are predicting environmental damage, safety
problems and land seizures through eminent domain.  There's
already a proposal for a pipeline to carry low-cost natural gas
from Pennsylvania to major Northeast markets, such as New York
City and Boston.  Posted. 

New project in Oregon could make wave power a reality.  For more
than a century, people have tried to figure out how to turn the
endless, repetitive motion of the waves into a source of energy.
AtWired, author Alexis Madrigal outlined some of the bizarre
contraptions intended to serve that purpose, metal and wood
constructions depicted in complex diagrams that evoke alchemy
more than science. As Madrigal notes, more than a thousand
patents for converting waves into electricity exist, which
“generally didn’t work at all or only worked for a short period
of time.”  Posted. 

Habitat for Humanity building a model of efficiency.  Nakeia and
Ramell Dismond are like most working-class families: After the
rent is paid, they have no money left in the budget for their
kids' activities or vacations.  That will change in a couple of
months when they purchase a new home on the west edge of River
Falls, Wis. Crews there are building a housing development that
will produce all its own power, saving homeowners hundreds of
dollars each month.  Posted.

Green energy slow going for Imperial Valley utility. Drenched in
sunshine, the Imperial Valley has become a staging ground for the
greening of San Diego's energy supply.  The valley's local
customer-owned utility, however, has been playing catch-up when
it comes to providing more electricity from sources other than
fossil fuels and nuclear reactors, according to a report
published Tuesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Posted. 

Penny-pinched schools -- huge market seeks energy efficiency. 
Anthony Wright knows well how summer heat in Memphis, Tenn., can
zap life out of even the hardiest souls, including the roughly
107,000 students and faculty who begin filling the city's roughly
7,200 classrooms each year in early August.  As Memphis City
Schools' coordinator for energy management and conservation,
Wright also knows what the heat does to his district's bottom
line, sucking tens of millions of dollars annually to keep
buildings cool for up to 250 days a year.  Posted. 


New 2013 Nissan Sentra delivers 34 mpg combined fuel economy, up
to 40 mpg highway.  Nissan’s all-new 2013 Sentra, featuring a new
1.8-liter engine and next-generation Xtronic CVT with
sub-planetary gear, offers combined fuel economy of 34 mpg (6.9
L/100km).  The new Sentra is 150 pounds (68 kg)—5%—lighter than
the outgoing model, yet has slightly larger overall dimensions
and more interior room. The lighter and more aerodynamic new
Sentra allows Nissan to use the more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter
engine, which along with the Xtronic CVT with sub-planetary gear
helps deliver a 13% improvement in EPA combined fuel economy.
With the FE+ models, Sentra achieves up to 40 mpg (5.88 L/100km)
on the highway. Other CVT-equipped models are rated at 39 mpg
(6.03 L/100km) on the highway. All CVT models achieve a
best-in-class EPA rated 34 mpg combined (City and Highway). 

EVs to replace Diesel taxis at Amsterdam Airport ?  “We are
grateful for the support of the European Commission, the Dutch
and Danish governments, Schiphol, Renault, and all of our
partners in making this project happen in less than 18 months.
We’re determined to demonstrate to Europe that electric cars can
drive any distance in any country and aren’t just limited to
short-distance driving” said Shai Agassi, Founder and Chief
Executive Officer, Better Place.  Awarded last year, the project
consortium, “Greening European Transportation Infrastructure for
Electric Vehicles,” is the first-ever de-carbonization
infrastructure project co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T
program. The Battery Switch Station was built in partnership with
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and will initially serve 10 Renault
Fluence Z.E. taxis operated by three leading Dutch taxi companies
– Connexxion, Bios and TCA. The Schiphol station is exclusively
dedicated for the use of the Renault Fluence Z.E. electric taxis
at this time.  Posted.  http://cars21.com/news/view/4899

Electric cars now primary vehicles.  The majority of plug-in
electrical vehicles in California are identified as a primary car
by their owners, according to a statewide survey by the
California Center for Sustainable Energy.  Nine out of 10 owners
said plug-in vehicles represent their primary ride -- though
almost all had a second, conventional car, according to a survey
with more than 1,400 respondents released this month.  Posted. 


A conservative assemblyman gets in his right jabs.  Republican
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly was thundering on the chamber floor
against a proposal to make drivers stay 3 feet from cyclists, a
regulation he said would chip away at Californians' liberty. As
his voice rose, a Democratic colleague stepped in. Posted.


The melting Arctic shouldn’t be on the backburner.  THE ARCTIC IS
GETTING warmer faster than almost anywhere else on Earth. The
latest evidence came in an announcement from the University of
Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center saying that, as of
Aug. 26, the Arctic sea ice cover shrunk to 1.58 million square
miles this summer, the smallest area since satellite measurements
began in 1979. The trend is expected to continue in the next few
weeks.  Over the past three decades, the average extent of the
Arctic sea ice has declined by 25 to 30 percent, and the rate of
decline is accelerating. In the past, older, thicker ice would
drift away and be replaced by seasonal ice. But now more of the
older ice is melting in the Arctic, a phenomenon that had been
relatively rare. Also, less seasonal ice is replacing it. 

You've lost that lovin' feelin'?  He serves as the chief judge at
the world's most prestigious classic car show, the Pebble Beach
Concours d'Elegance. He's a widely respected automotive
journalist and author, and he has a garage full of hot rods and
other cool cars. But when it comes to his two teen children,
"They haven't shown the slightest interest" in what's in that
garage, Ken Gross laments.  Posted. 

Forbes: “Germany — Insane Or Just Plain Stupid?”  If you want a
good snapshot of the energy insanity that has swept Germany of
its feet over the last years, James Conca has it at Forbes here.
Short and to-the-point!  Coal power plant Werdohl-Elverlingsen,
Germany.  How many German readers here at NTZ will disagree? Not
many I suspect. Hat-tip Science Skeptical.  Posted. 

Cap and trade will give California edge.  The closer you get to a
goal, the tougher the going can get.  As California prepares to
launch America's latest cap-and-trade program for greenhouse
gases, opponents are making a goal-line stand. They're trying to
persuade Californians that a carbon market will somehow hurt the
state's recovering economy.  As a California investor, I know the
opposite is true. The new carbon market is one element in a broad
suite of business-friendly clean energy and efficiency policies
that California has carefully crafted over decades.  Posted. 

Cap and trade is a good thing.  Re "Will jobs be lost with cap
and trade?" (Dan Morain, Aug. 19): As a local businessman with
strong community ties, I support California's efforts to
implement AB 32, specifically the cap and trade program. Instead
of buying into the opposition's sky-is-falling argument, let's
focus on the facts. California's clean energy policies are
attracting clean technology investments, creating jobs and
reducing our reliance on imported energy. By putting a cap on
carbon, we can reduce air pollution and other threats attributed
to climate change including forest fires and sea level rise. The
system is fair, flexible and is not a new or untested concept.

Cracking down on diesel.  California can, and should, lead the
world in ending the menace of soot and black carbon pollution
from diesel engines.  We've all choked on black smoke billowing
from diesel trucks and buses. It's obviously polluting, but
what's not obvious is much worse. Diesel emissions are a major
health hazard… Posted.


Dems back global climate deal in platform.  The Democrats’
official platform expected to be approved at the party's national
convention on Tuesday calls for an international deal to limit
greenhouse gas emissions.  The platform says Democrats will
pursue efforts to combat climate change through regulations and
market solutions, setting up a continued battle with Republicans
who argue such steps could hold back the economy.  Posted. 

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