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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/10/simi-valley-residents-report-foul-smell-to-los/ 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. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/region-ucr-environment-center-celebrates-th-anniversary/article_3c28972e-1d38-569e-a853-97a05e236dae.html CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-10/climate-scientists-face-organized-harassment-in-u-s-.html 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/usa-heat-idUSL1E8KACAR20120910 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/07/us-california-carbon-idUSBRE88600S20120907 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21508886/un-panel-warns-climate-credit-market-collapse?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21508886/un-panel-warns-climate-credit-market-collapse?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/10/2986170/un-panel-warns-of-climate-credit.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/un-panel-warns-climate-credit-market-could-collapse-amid-uncertainty-over-emissions-targets/2012/09/10/4ed9f91a-fb76-11e1-98c6-ec0a0a93f8eb_story.html 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/climate-change-challenges-power-plant-operations/2012/09/09/42b26b8e-f6a5-11e1-8b93-c4f4ab1c8d13_story.html 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. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/08/pacific-rim-climate-experts-converge-ucsd/ 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. http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_a174ae76-d0fc-5d0b-b258-56bf701cc5d7.html 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." Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-pierson-holding/passing-the-baton-on-clim_b_1862952.html?utm_hp_ref=green 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 FUELS 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/eu-biofuels-idUSL5E8KAIV820120910 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. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/U-S-to-auction-state-shale-for-drilling-3850852.php#ixzz2663qUcjt 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/10/4805869/sacramento-gas-prices-locked-in.html#storylink=cpy VEHICLES 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/2014-chevrolet-cruze-diesel-preview/2012/09/06/dce67168-f85e-11e1-a93b-7185e3f88849_story.html 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. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/generalmotors-autos-volt-upd-idUSL1E8KA9GM20120910 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-auto-chevrolet-volt-losses-20120910,0,3613718.story 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. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1078919_august-plug-in-electric-car-sales-volt-surges-leaf-static 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/partner-20120910.html GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21507756/pa-release-marcellus-shale-impact-fee-data?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com 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. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/russia-and-energy-scarce-japan-agree-to-move-ahead-on-liquefied-natural-gas-project/2012/09/08/31488234-fa1a-11e1-a0a1-b07778c66e04_story.html MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://laist.com/2012/09/10/santa_monica_ramps_up_its_bike_share_program.php 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/07/calif-to-form-scrap-metal-oversight-task-force/ 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS 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. http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20120909-inland-pollution-challenge.ece 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-presidential-race-low-on-energy/2012/09/09/3ca305dc-f90c-11e1-8b93-c4f4ab1c8d13_story.html 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-valk/climate-change_b_1865683.html?utm_hp_ref=green BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/10/is-there-enough-wind-energy-to-meet-the-worlds-needs/ 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. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/09/10/160761974/when-heat-kills-global-warming-as-public-health-threat 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. http://grist.org/article/hometown-heroes-three-ways-to-win-climate-fights-at-the-local-level/ 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. http://grist.org/business-technology/shell-starts-drilling-hasnt-ruined-the-arctic-yet/ 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. http://grist.org/politics/a-simple-useful-guide-to-communicating-climate-change/ 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/ucla-20120910.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/mec-20120910.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/lund-20120909.html