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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 10, 2012.

Posted: 10 Sep 2012 16:14:49
ARB Newsclips for September 10, 2012. 

This is a service of the California Air Resources Boardís Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


Foul odor reported in Simi Valley may have originated in Salton
Sea.   A foul odor reported in Simi Valley and other areas of
Southern California might be coming from as far as the Salton
Sea, officials said.  Kevin Martin, a meteorologist with Southern
California Weather Authority said strong thunderstorms in Yuma,
Ariz. might have pushed the sulfuric smell through the Inland
Empire and parts of the San Fernando Valley.  Posted. 

UCR environment center celebrates 20th anniversary.  An
environmental research center at UC Riverside had its genesis in
the concern about air pollution a couple of decades ago.  State,
federal and regional regulators were writing rules to scrub the
smoggy skies that often obscured the region's mountain views. At
the same time, manufacturers and automakers were worried about
the financial impact on their industries.


Climate Scientists Face Organized Harassment in U.S. The
harassment faced by U.S.-based climate scientists has been well
documented in the mediaóbut not the harassment of scientists in
Europe, Canada or the rest of the world. That's because there
hasn't been much to report. While outspoken scientists of
human-caused climate change in the United States endure torrents
of freedom of information requests, hate mail and even death
threats from skeptics, their counterparts abroad have been free
to do their work without fear. Posted.

In U.S., 2012 so far is hottest year on record. The first eight
months of 2012 have been the warmest of any year on record in the
contiguous United States, and this has been the third-hottest
summer since record-keeping began in 1895, the U.S. National
Climate Data Center said on Monday. Each of the last 15 months
has seen above-average temperatures, something that has never
happened before in the 117 years of the U.S. record, said Jake
Crouch, a climate scientist at the data center. Posted.

Big banks weigh risks, rewards of California's new CO2 market.
Major banks are weighing whether to wade into the California
carbon market, which experts believe could grow into a $40
billion a year market by 2020, but one that is also loaded with
risk and uncertainty. Following last week's successful test of
the state's auction platform, the reality is starting to settle
in: California carbon trading has overcome legal and political
challenges to position itself a mere 10 weeks away from its first
official CO2 permit sale. Posted.

UN panel warns of climate credit market collapse.  A
U.N.-appointed expert panel says international efforts to boost
investment in green technologies could collapse if countries
don't boost the market for 'climate credits.'  The United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change says governments need to
restore investors' faith in so-called carbon markets, including
the U.N.'s Clean Development Mechanism.  Posted. 



Climate change challenges power plant operations.  Drought and
rising temperatures are forcing water managers across the country
to scramble for ways to produce the same amount of power from the
hydroelectric grid with less water, including from behemoths such
as the Hoover Dam.  Hydropower is not the only part of the
nationís energy system that appears increasingly vulnerable to
the impact of climate change, as low water levels affect
coal-fired and nuclear power plantsí operations and impede the
passage of coal barges along the Mississippi River.  Posted. 

Rising seas bring Pacific Rim leaders to UCSD. Climate
researchers, social scientists and policy experts from across the
Pacific Rim convened in La Jolla last week to get ahead of seas
projected to rise so dramatically that they could create some of
the most visible effects of global warming. Representatives from
about 20 leading research universities and nonprofit groups in
South Korea, Russia, Indonesia and elsewhere met at UC San Diego
to prepare for ďpotentially catastrophic effects on 200 million
people and trillions of dollars of coastal assets.Ē Posted.

Pacific Coast Producers worried about effects of global warming
legislation. Owners of one of Lodiís largest employers are
worried that state requirements geared toward reducing carbon
emissions and global warming could put a financial strain on
their business and eventually even lead to layoffs. Pacific Coast
Producers, which is based in Lodi, is concerned about having to
participate in the cap-and-trade portion of the California Global
Warming Solutions Act. Posted.

Passing the Baton on Climate Change. In his keynote to the
Democratic National Convention, Julian Castro likened progress
not to a sprint or a marathon, but a relay race going from one
generation to the next. As seen through environmentalist eyes,
you can't help but feel saddened. Future generations will be the
ones to suffer for our failure to address climate change. Surely
upcoming cohorts will be even more motivated than older
generations to act. But as a reader pointed out to me and as
study after study has shown, the reality is that the current
generation refuses to have much to do with "climate change."

Climate change causing forest die-off globally. Already facing an
onslaught of threats from logging and conversion for agriculture,
forests worldwide are increasingly impacted by the effects of
climate change, including drought, heightened fire risk, and
disease, putting the ecological services they afford in jeopardy,
warns a new paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
he study, authored by William Anderegg of Carnegie Institution
for Science at Stanford University and Jeffrey Kane and Leander
Anderegg of Northern Arizona University, reviews dozens of
scientific papers dealing with the ecological impacts of climate
change. Posted. http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/44922  


UPDATE 1-EU to limit use of crop-based biofuels -draft law. The
European Union will impose a limit on the use of crop-based
biofuels over fears they are less climate-friendly than initially
thought and compete with food production, draft EU legislation
seen by Reuters showed. The draft rules, which would need the
approval of EU governments and lawmakers, represent a major shift
in Europe's much-criticized biofuel policy and a tacit admission
by policymakers that the EU's 2020 biofuel target was flawed from
the outset. The plans also include a promise to end all public
subsidies for crop-based biofuels after the current legislation
expires in 2020. Posted.

U.S. to auction state shale for drilling. A nearly 18,000-acre
stretch of land extending from California's Central Coast to the
San Joaquin Valley is the setting for a brewing debate over an
oil-extraction method that has little governmental oversight. 
The land, which spans Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties,
rests on a large chunk of the Monterey Shale, a formation of
underground minerals long eyed by the energy industry for its
potential to yield billions of barrels of oil. Posted.

Sacramento gas prices locked in above $4. For a third straight
week, Sacramento-area gas prices stayed pretty much locked in
place. The average price of gas in the area rose 0.7 to $4.08 a
gallon over the past week, according to the today's weekly report
by SactoGasPrices.com, a GasBuddy.com website. The previous week,
prices were unchanged, and at-the-pump costs fell only 0.4 cents
the week before that. Posted. 


2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Preview.  Diesel passenger cars have
long been the domain of German carmakers, but that will change
early next year with the launch of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze
diesel four-door compact sedan.  The eagerly awaited model, the
first GM (NYSE:GM) passenger-car diesel since the early 1980s,
was confirmed more than a year ago by CEO Dan Akerson.  Posted. 

UPDATE 1-INSIGHT-GM's Volt: The ugly math of low sales, high
costs. General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt
sedans in August - but that probably isn't a good thing for the
automaker's bottom line. Nearly two years after the introduction
of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much
as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates
provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing
experts. GM on Monday issued a statement disputing the estimates.
Cheap Volt lease offers meant to drive more customers to Chevy
showrooms this summer may have pushed that loss even higher.

GM disputes claim it loses $49,000 per Volt sale. Is General
Motors losing $49,000 on every Chevrolet Volt electric car it
sells? If so, it could be bad news for taxpayers who helped bail
out GM and now own a third of an automaker that has seen its
shares plunge 30% since it went public in 2010. A Reuters report
Monday said GM's plug-in hybrid was a big money-loser.  GM,
though, disputed the contention, saying Reuters' research "is
grossly wrong" and accusing the news agency of bad math. Posted.

August Plug-In Electric Car Sales: Volt Surges, Leaf Static.
While car sales often lag during August, when family vacations
take priority, the Chevrolet Volt proved an exception to the rule
last month. During August, 2,831 of Chevy's range-extended
electric car found buyers--along with 685 Nissan Leaf battery
electric cars. The third high-volume plug-in car on sale in the
U.S. is the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, for which sales will be
reported later today. Following a grim year of adverse press, the
Volt seems to be finding its stride. Posted.

Peugeot adding battery-electric version of Partner van.  Peugeot
is expanding its Partner vehicle range o include a
battery-electric version. Equipped with an electric drive train
fitted under the hood, the Partner Electric operates on two
high-energy lithium-ion battery packs with a capacity of 22.5
kW/h. Fitted to the under body of the vehicle, either side of the
rear axle, they preserve Partnerís road handling behavior as well
as the useable dimensions of the load space.  Posted. 


Pa. to release Marcellus Shale impact fee data . Pennsylvania
state officials will announce how much money drillers paid to
offset the impact of natural gas wells sunk in 2011.  A state law
signed in February imposes a so-called "impact fee" on energy
companies exploring the Marcellus Shale gas field. Drillers must
pay $50,000 for each horizontally drilled well and $10,000 for
each vertical well. The money was due Sept. 1.  Posted. 

Russia and energy-scarce Japan agree to move ahead on liquefied
natural gas project.  Russia and Japan are putting energy
cooperation ahead of a longstanding territorial dispute as they
move ahead with a long-awaited liquefied natural gas project in
this far eastern seaport.  Russian President Vladimir Putin and
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda oversaw the signing of a
memorandum for the $13 billion project with Japanís Agency for
Natural Resources and Energy on Saturday, on the sidelines of a
Pacific Rim summit, Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom said. 


Santa Monica Ramps Up Its Bike Share Program. Bike share programs
are becoming increasingly popular in Southern California, and our
legs and hearts thank those cities implementing them. On the
heels of Anaheim, Long Beach and Santa Monica, the city of L.A.
will welcome 4,000 bikes to its new program. Today, the city of
Santa Monica and Global Green USA announced that the city's
future bike share program will include a few more pedals and bike
kiosks than originally outlined. Posted.

Calif. to form scrap metal oversight task force.  California
state officials are planning to launch a task force to crack down
on the scrap metal recycling industry, which has been linked to
environmental pollution and worker injuries.  The state
Department of Toxic Substances Control will form the panel with
representatives of various regulatory agencies, including air,
water and hazardous materials, as well as fire authorities, the
Los Angeles Times reported Friday.  Posted. 

EPA fines Calif. landfill for failure to check for PCBs. U.S. EPA
has fined a Central Valley hazardous waste disposal facility for
failing to analyze potentially PCB-contaminated material before
its disposal, the agency said last week. The $9,375 fine is for a
Chemical Waste Management Inc. employee's failure to check for
polychlorinated biphenyls before disposing of liquid leaching
from a company landfill on May 9, EPA said. PCBs have been linked
to health problems, including cancer. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/09/10/18  BY


INLAND: Pollution challenge. The Inland regionís future depends
on ensuring an attractive place to live and work. So a new state
attempt to identify pollutionís impact on communities is not a
threat to the area, but a way to promote better understanding of
some the regionís serious challenges. Knowledge can help focus
public efforts; willful ignorance is a strategy for failure. The
state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is
creating a new program to rank areas by the cumulative effects of
pollution on residents. Posted.

A presidential race low on energy.  IN THE PAST two weeks, both
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney claimed to
possess farsighted plans for powering Americaís economy. At their
partiesí nominating conventions, the candidates and their
surrogates described a future in which the country is more
energy-independent, nearly everyone in the energy business
succeeds and the energy-dependent economy hums along.  Posted. 

TV Forecasters: Connect Climate and Extreme Weather! This summer,
as the melting Arctic turned into an hourglass marking the time
we have left to address climate change, it became obvious we have
reached that "Pearl Harbor moment" on global warming. Actually,
it's been more of a "Pearl Harbor year" -- unusually warm winter,
destructive wildfires out West, corn-killing drought in the
Midwest, record-breaking high temperatures, flooding from
Hurricane Isaac. World Resources International has compiled a
mind-blowing timeline on this year's extreme weather and climate
events (below). Posted.


Is there enough wind to meet the worldís energy needs?  At the
moment, wind power supplies about 4.1 percent of electric power
in the United States. Thatís not nothing, but itís still fairly
minor. Yet thereís still a whole lot of untapped wind in the
world. Wind whipping through the Great Plains. Wind gusting off
the shores. Wind way up high in the sky. So what would happen if
we tried to harvest all of that wind?  Posted. 

When Heat Kills: Global Warming As Public Health Threat. The
current poster child for global warming is a polar bear, sitting
on a melting iceberg. Some health officials argue the symbol
should, instead, be a child. That's because emerging science
shows that people respond more favorably to warnings about
climate change when it's portrayed as a health issue, rather than
an environmental problem. Epidemiologist George Luber at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the most obvious
risk from a warming world is killer heat. Posted.

Hometown heroes: Three ways to win climate fights at the local
level.  These seem like truly dismal times for those seeking
aggressive political action on the climate change crisis. As
historic droughts sweep the U.S. and Arctic sea ice melt hits
record extremes, governments across the globe still seem frozen
in their tracks. The U.S. election features one political party
in denial that there is a crisis and another seemingly unable to
win support for even minor action.  Posted. 

Shell starts drilling, hasnít ruined the Arctic yet.  On Sunday,
Shell began drilling in the Arctic, after the EPA granted a
waiver to the company allowing it to exceed regulated
air-pollution levels. As of this writing (Sept. 10, 2012, about
1:00 p.m. Eastern), the company has not yet experienced a massive
accident spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil on the
Alaskan coastline.  Posted. 

A simple, useful guide to communicating climate change.  There
seems to be a subtle shift underway in the cultural valence of
climate change. If the pendulum swung toward hyper-polarization
and looney-tunery in 2009-2011, it seems to have reached its
apogee and begun swinging back. Itís not just that a few
politicians, including Obama, are daring to say the word, but
that the public seems to have grown impatient with the squabbling
and delay.  Posted. 

UCLA/UC Berkeley law schools release policy paper on actions
required to stimulate long-term, mass-adoption of electric
vehicles; leveraging California. The environmental law centers at
UCLA and UC Berkeley Schools of Law today released a new policy
paper on industry actions and federal, state, and local policies
needed to ensure that California catalyzes mass adoption of
electric vehicles by 2025, with the goal of building a long-term
market in the US.  Posted. 

Berkeley Lab seeking licensees or research partners for
microbial-electrocatalytic system for hydrocarbon fuels
production.  A Berkeley Lab team led by Steven Singer and funded
by ARPA-E is developing a method to blend hydrogen-producing
electrocatalytic materials with genetically modified Ralstonia
eutropha, a common soil bacterium, to produce hydrocarbons in a
reactorórequiring only CO2 and electricity.  Posted. 

Study projects net cooling of climate from ship emissions through
2050.  A recent study by an international team calculated that
shipping causes a net cooling of climate across all
parametrizations of the indirect aerosol effect (IAE) and
scenarios throughout the period 1900−2050. This continued
shorter-term cooling response caused by certain emissions does
not negate the necessity for reductions in CO2 emissions, which
are crucial to limiting the long-term warming impact of the
sector, the researchers cautioned.  Posted. 

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