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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 11, 2012

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 11:52:14
ARB Newsclips for September 11, 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.


Officials: Mistakes made in warning public of fire.  Mistakes
were made by air quality officials in notifying the public about
potentially dangerous pollution created by a huge fire at a
Chevron Corp. refinery last month, regulators said Monday.  The
Bay Area Air Quality Management District held a public meeting in
San Francisco to discuss its response and the myriad
investigations into the Aug. 6 fire that started after a leak in
an old pipe at the Richmond facility.  Posted. 

Other related articles:




Chevron refinery fire aftermath: More air monitors to be added. 
The Bay Area air pollution board said Monday it will expand its
system of air monitors near oil refineries to detect smoke and
fumes that were largely missed in the Aug. 6 Chevron refinery
fire in Richmond.  "People have a right to know what's in the air
they breathe," said John Gioia, a Contra Costa County supervisor
and chairman of the nine-county air board.  The extra monitors
should be able to pick up routine long-term pollution as well as
toxic releases during emergencies, or during accidental releases,
members of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District board
said.  Posted. 



Air Quailty District hosts informative session on refinery fire. 
A dozen Richmond residents, most donning shirts that read ‘Clean
Air for All,’ rode a bus to the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District office this morning to hear from the various agencies
investigating the Aug. 6 Chevron refinery fire.  Spectators
filled the chairs and lined the wall of the quiet, wood-paneled
room as each organization — including representatives from
BAAQMD, the Environmental Protection Agency, Contra Costa Health
Services, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, and California Air
Resources Board — tried to define its role in the emergency
refinery incident.  The agencies also acknowledged shortcomings,
especially lack of communication, both with residents and within
the various agencies, and difficulties in monitoring air
pollutants.  Posted. 

Air district to improve refinery fire response.  Air regulators
say mistakes were made in communicating with the public during a
fire at Chevron Corp.'s Richmond refinery, and are working to
improve pollution monitoring during emergencies.  The Bay Area
Air Quality Management District on Monday held a public meeting
to discuss its response and the myriad investigations into the
Aug. 6 fire that started after a leak in an old pipe.  Jack
Broadbent, the district's executive officer, said the initial,
incorrect assertion that all air quality samples taken near the
refinery fire were safe "clearly fell short" since thousands
sought medical attention after the fire.  Posted. 


UN panel warns of climate credit market collapse.  A
U.N.-appointed expert panel says international efforts to
encourage 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.  The
CDM allows developing countries to earn credits from measures to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They can then sell the credits
to rich nations seeking to meet emissions reduction targets. 

Other related articles:

UN climate talks should stick with 2 degree goal: EU negotiator. 
United Nations' climate talks should continue pushing for more
ambitious action to ensure global warming is kept under 2
degrees, an EU climate negotiator said on Tuesday, a month after
the United States was accused of backtracking on the goal. 
Almost 200 nations agreed in 2010 to limit rising temperatures to
below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times to
avoid dangerous impacts from climate change like floods, droughts
and rising sea levels.  Posted. 

Airbus ministers seek suspension of EU emissions plan.  Aerospace
officials of the European countries where Airbus makes its planes
will push for a suspension of the European Union's Emission
Trading System (ETS) for airlines to avert retaliation from
China, officials said on Tuesday.  "Airbus has left us with no
doubt that the threat of retaliatory action is a clear and
present danger to its order list," Michael Fallon, new business
minister in Britain, said at the ILA Berlin Air Show on Tuesday. 

U.S. carbon emissions fell in three of last four years.  The
amount of carbon dioxide emitted from energy production declined
in the U.S. in 2011 -- the third time in four years and the
fourth time in the last six years that has happened, the Energy
Department said Tuesday.  As has been the case in previous years,
there wasn't necessarily a lot of good economic news behind the
positive result of reduced emissions.  The Energy Department, for
example, cited slower economic growth as one factor in the 2.4%
drop in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions last year. 

Only one-third of Americans think limiting climate change is a
very important goal.  Eleven years after 9/11 — if you can
believe it has been that long — the Chicago Council on Global
Affairs decided to gauge how Americans’ views on global security
have evolved.  First and foremost, concern over global terrorism
has dropped precipitously, with more significant declines evident
among younger populations. But we’re here to talk about the
changing climate. How do Americans feel climate change ranks as
an important foreign policy goal?  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. It’s 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. A recent survey from Yale [PDF] found that “a large
majority of registered voters (88%) support action to reduce
global warming, even if it has economic costs.” Big Democratic
donors are pressuring Obama to do more. There are even
Republicans sticking up their heads here and there.  Posted. 

West Nile virus may get worse as climate gets hotter, experts
say.  West Nile virus has caused symptoms in at least 1,993
Americans and killed 87 so far this year. And it’s unlikely that
this virus, which humans contract from infected mosquitoes, will
be getting any less dangerous in the near future.  Though the CDC
believes that this year’s caseload has probably peaked, a group
of public health officials writing in the new edition of Annals
of Internal Medicine explains why West Nile has been so deadly
this year. West Nile virus made its first appearance in the
United States in 1999, when the virus, which had previously
affected people in Uganda, Algeria and Romania, arrived in New
York City.  Posted. 

White roofs and unintended consequences.  Obama’s Energy
Secretary Steven Chu once pitched painting roofs white as a
solution to global warming. Maybe, but new research finds that
there are unintended consequences: reduction of rainfall in the
Southwest U.S.  Researchers from Arizona State University have
found that “warming resulting from megapolitan expansion is
seasonally dependent, with greatest warming occurring during
summer and least during winter. Among the most practical ways to
combat urbanization-induced warming – the painting of buildings’
roofs white – was found to disrupt regional hydroclimate,
highlighting the need for evaluation of tradeoffs associated with
combating urban heat islands (UHI).”  Posted. 


Exclusive: 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 will 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.  Posted. 

Ky. company aims to build fuel plant near Corbin.  A biofuel
company is planning to build a new plant in southern Kentucky
that would convert sugar beets into fuel over the next two years
if it can get approval from the state.  Patriot Bioenergy Corp.,
which has an office in Williamsburg, wants to locate the facility
in Whitley County if the infrastructure is built and the Kentucky
Economic Development or Energy Incentives boards approve of the
project.  Posted. 

Oil prices below $97 as traders await key events.  Oil prices
traded virtually flat below $97 a barrel Tuesday as traders
awaited a raft of news in Europe and the U.S. over the rest of
the week that could have a big bearing in financial markets.  As
well as a raft of scheduled events this week related to Europe's
debt crisis, traders are waiting to see if the Federal Reserve
will back another monetary stimulus on Thursday following a
two-day policy meeting. Speculation that the Obama administration
was preparing for a release of strategic oil reserves also kept
the buying in check.  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.  At stake, the paper argues, is the
future of the electric vehicle market.  Posted. 

EV market projections: Part II – Governments announcements.  OEMs
announced production capacities for PHEV/EVs, but market
projections are also made by governments that are including
PHEV/EV plans in their political campaigns. This second article
summarises government announcements for 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030
that are linked to investments of billions of euros in supporting
the industry and implementing temporary financial incentives for
consumers.  Posted.  http://cars21.com/news/view/4922 

Prototype drive: Audi's A3 e-tron electric car.  A small slice of
Audi's future recently began testing on U.S. roads around the
country, but if you look too hard for these prototypes, they'll
probably drive right under your nose.  That's because rather than
spend precious development dollars on a uniquely-designed body
that's more science experiment than it is a practical
application, Audi went and hid an all-electric drivetrain under
the skin of its well-known A3 hatchback.  Posted. 


Approved Construction Of The California High Speed Rail Paused. 
Construction on the first 25 miles of California's so-called
California High Speed Rail project has already been approved. But
its not a done deal.  Phil Shuman is in the newsroom with the
latest details on the project... And the opposition to it.  The
feds have yet to O.K. their own environmental impact report and
that could hold everything up...the eventual plan is to link San
Francsco and LA with high speed trains that travel 220 mph but
the train, as they say is a long way from leaving the station. 


Wind energy advocates push Senate for tax credit vote this week. 
Wind energy advocates call this week “Wind Week” as they push to
get the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy extended
before Congress takes another undeserved vacation before the
election. Wind Week shows the urgency with the upcoming
expiration of the PTC at year’s end.  Bob Keefe, a spokesman with
the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said in an
interview with “The Hill” Monday that there is an eight-day
window to get the incentive through the Senate. If the Senate
does not act before Congress departs in 8 days, another wave of
job losses might occur.  Posted. 


The Growing Might of Solar Power. From California to New Jersey,
the summer sun was hot this year — and so was the solar industry.
While the business of solar energy is still small enough and
young enough to record firsts at the fearsome pace that a toddler
does, the milestones are getting more substantial.  For instance,
in mid-August California’s utility-scale solar generating
stations combined to put out the same amount of energy — one
gigawatt — as a substantial nuclear or coal-fired power plant.
That moment occurred between 5 and 6 p.m., coinciding with peak
demand, associated with the need to cool indoor air.  Posted. 

Climate Change On 'The Point' By The Young Turks.  As the Senior
Science Correspondent for The Huffington Post, I'm occasionally
asked to appear on internet and television shows representing a
scientific point of view. This past week, I was invited to host a
special episode of "The Point," presented by "The Young Turks."
The focus of the episode was global climate change, and we wanted
to do something neither major political party seems willing or
able to do during this heated election season: talk frankly about
the science behind Earth's changing climate.  Posted. 

Need proof of September dirty air? Look in vacationland.  After a
long, smoggy summer, dirty air doesn't take a holiday in
September. Look no further than vacationland to see that trend. 
The Ash Mountain entrance station at Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks is leading this region in ozone violations this
summer with 70. And it already has five this month.  It's all
about dirty air drifting up the hills and baking into ozone.
Truth is, you would find cleaner air for a hike at Los Angeles
International Airport, where there hasn't been an ozone violation
for seven years.  In Southern California, the dirty air goes to a
vacation spot called Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountain.
Crestline leads the nation in ozone violations with 84 this year.
And counting in September.  Posted. 

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