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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 7, 2012.

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 12:16:10
ARB Newsclips for September 7, 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.


El Niño is coming, but weakly - sort of Thanks to a tiny but
consistent warming of the Pacific Ocean half a world away, the
Bay Area will experience an El Niño season this year, beginning
this month. If that idea conjures up images of fearsome storms
and tumultuous winds - as one infamous El Niño pattern caused in
the late 1990s - fear not. At least, possibly not. The National
Weather Service has identified a "weak" El Niño this year, as
opposed to the "moderate" or "strong" varieties, suggesting that
the weather pattern caused by El Niño won't last the entire
winter. Posted.

Court asks for EPA response on whether to rehear GHG regulations
case. A federal appeals court has asked U.S. EPA to explain why
it should not reconsider a recent ruling upholding the Obama
administration's greenhouse gas regulations. The order issued
yesterday indicates that at least one judge on the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is interested in the
possibility of the entire eight-judge court reconsidering the
case, a process known as rehearing en banc. It still appears
unlikely the court will rehear the case. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/09/07/14 BY

Obama blasts Republicans for calling climate change a 'hoax'
President Obama sharply criticized Republican intransigence on
climate change last night, rebuking those who disbelieve in
man-made carbon effects in an effort to cast a clear choice
between him and his opponent, Mitt Romney. His comments mark some
of the strongest assertions on climate in the presidential race,
coming as the campaigns sprint into the straightaway before
November's election. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/07/1  BY


Too few state oil refinery-safety checks. California regulators
have not been conducting the intensive workplace-safety
inspections of Chevron's Richmond plant and the state's 14 other
oil refineries that federal standards call for, a Chronicle
investigation shows. The limited checks that California
inspectors have performed over the last decade have not led to a
single fine collected from a major oil company, according to
inspection records. Posted.

SRS scientists find bacteria on spent nuke fuel. Scientists at
the Savannah River Site near Aiken have identified a bacteria
growing on old nuclear fuel. The Augusta Chronicle reports
(http://bit.ly/Q3igo8) the material looks like a cobweb. The
senior technical adviser for the Savannah River National
Laboratory, Christopher Berry, says genetic analysis shows it's
mostly bacteria although some of the DNA strains are unknown. It
was first observed about a year ago among old fuel assemblies
submerged in a basin where nuclear materials from research
reactors are stored. Posted.

Bill Bars Corn Ethanol From State Alt Fuels Program. Among the
flurry of action -- or inaction -- on renewable energy bills in
the last days of the state's legislative session comes a striking
but largely unheralded statement of policy from the state of
California. Last week, Governor Brown signed into law a bill that
excludes corn-derived ethanol fuel from the state's Alternative
and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
Assembly Bill 523, authored by Republican assembly member David
Valadao, excludes ethanol made from the edible parts of corn from
any loans, grants or incentives included as part of the
alternative fuel program. Posted.


Electric cargo truck developers have to be ready for a long haul.
The CEO of a Poway company says there is still much work to do to
make electric trucks a viable alternative to those that run on
gasoline or natural gas. Building an electric car is one thing.
But move too fast in developing a heavy-duty electric cargo truck
and bad things happen, according to the head of Southern
California company that is trying to succeed where others have
failed before. In the past, electric trucks ran out of juice less
than halfway through an eight-hour shift at the Los Angeles and
Long Beach ports. Posted.


Asia-Pacific Forum to Cut Import Duties for Green Technologies.
Asia-Pacific nations have made a breakthrough in promoting trade
in green technologies, and the United States is pressing ahead
with efforts to carve out a regional free-trade zone, a senior
U.S. official said Friday. Speaking before a summit of leaders of
the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Demetrios
Marantis, the deputy U.S. trade representative, said the group
had agreed to cut import duties on technologies that can promote
economic growth without endangering the environment. Posted.

California to launch task force on scrap metal recycling
problems. Scrap metal operations have been loosely regulated and
linked to environmental contamination and fires and explosions.
The task force will coordinate oversight. State officials said
Thursday that they will start a task force to target problems
posed by scrap metal recycling operations across California,
which have been loosely regulated and linked to environmental
contamination and numerous fires and explosions in recent years.

California's solar energy passes a milestone. California
surpassed a major milestone during a recent heat wave, hitting
more than 1,000 megawatts of solar power generation. That's equal
to the production of two large gas-fired power plants. The
threshold was surpassed several times, according to the
Folsom-based California Independent System Operator Corp., which
operates the state's wholesale transmission grid. California
energy officials celebrated the solar-generation milestone this
week at ISO's annual Stakeholder Symposium at the Sacramento
Convention Center. Posted. 

East Bay town hoping to save $4.4 million by going solar. Town
officials are hoping for big savings from four solar power arrays
that will be going up around town this fall. On Tuesday, the town
council approved a $1.2 million energy prepayment to San
Mateo-based SolarCity, which now has the go-ahead to build the
arrays on town-owned properties. Town Manager Joe Calabrigo told
the council the solar arrays are expected to save the town $4.4
million in energy costs over their 25-year lifetime. In addition
to the savings, the arrays will also reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, he said. Posted.

LEDs most environmentally friendly bulbs – study. LED light bulbs
do the least environmental harm when compared with compact
fluorescent lights (CFLs) and traditional incandescent bulbs, a
study from a Department of Energy lab has found. In an in-depth
study, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory examined the
environmental effects of the three bulb types, taking into
account mining of raw minerals, disposal, manufacturing and
degree of electricity use. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/09/07/18 BY


Tests show no water pollution after oil breach. Officials say
preliminary tests show no pollution to water near the Holly
refinery in Woods Cross where a break in a fuel tank sent oil
spraying onto buildings, cars, and streets. The Salt Lake Tribune
reports (bit.ly/QpB0hh) the Utah Division of Water Quality found
no detectable levels of dangerous chemicals in a first round of
tests. However, John Whitehead, the agency's assistant director,
says more detailed results have yet to come in. Posted.

Contest to depict clean air strategies. Young artists have a
chance to showcase their artistic talents and help improve the
Central Valley’s air through an annual calendar contest. Students
from kindergarten through high school can enter the Healthy Air
Living Kids’ Calendar contest, sponsored by the San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution Control District. Fourteen student
illustrations will be selected to promote healthy air in the
eight-county air basin the district covers. Posted.

in aircraft hangar in Coronado. The Navy has been cited for
safety violations that exposed up to 350 employees at an aircraft
hangar in Coronado to the toxic chemicals lead, cadmium and
beryllium, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and
Health Administration said Thursday. OSHA inspectors found
widespread contamination in one hangar at the North Island Naval
Air Station aircraft maintenance facility, including in areas
where employees worked on jets and stored and ate meals. Posted.


Editorial: State must nail down off-road vehicle funds.
California lawmakers and the governor need to immediately get to
the bottom of funding within the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund.
If they don't, it will only further the public's doubts about the
ability of state leaders to manage and track public funds. And
that won't help Gov. Jerry Brown as he tries to persuade voters
to approve the tax increase he seeks, Proposition 30 on the Nov.
6 ballot. At issue are the "hidden assets" that the Brown
administration discovered within the state Department of Parks
and Recreation. Posted.

Eric Lauritzen: Salinas study to clear the air. As the state
Department of Pesticide Regulation prepared to launch the
nation’s first long-term, pesticide air monitoring project last
year, DPR explained its plan this way: “The aim is to document
pesticide levels in ambient air collected from communities with
higher populations of children, persons over 65, persons who work
on farms and close proximity to agricultural areas with high use
of pesticides.” In my view, that description fit Monterey County
perfectly. Posted.


Obama Counterpunches on Climate Change. Mitt Romney, the
Republican presidential nominee, took a not-too-subtle jab at
President Obama in his convention speech last week, mocking Mr.
Obama’s soaring 2008 campaign language about rolling back the
rising seas and healing the planet. Mr. Romney’s gibe drew
thunderous applause from the Republican delegates, many of whom
express doubt about the existence of climate change. Posted.

Cooling a Computer Server With Mineral Oil. When they’re using
their smartphones or tapping away on laptops, few people pause to
think about the enormous amount of energy needed to power the
data centers that store and deliver the information in all those
e-mails and on Web sites and Facebook pages. But maybe we should.
A recent study by Pike Research estimated that about 1.5 percent
of all electricity generated worldwide goes to power data
centers. The attendant greenhouse gas emissions, some 188 million
tons of carbon dioxide per year, match the emissions of about 33
million passenger vehicles. Posted.

California hopes practice makes perfect for cap-and-trade; real
carbon auction set for November. Just months away from the start
of California's first effort to cap, trade, and reduce carbon,
the stakes are high for state regulators to get it right.
Hundreds of companies are involved, not to mention billions of
dollars. Last week the California Air Resources Board ran a
practice for November's big day: the auction that will set in
motion a market for carbon emissions in California. (I was on
vacation, failing to draft a useful wide receiver in the fantasy
draft.) Posted.

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