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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 17, 2012.

Posted: 17 Sep 2012 14:15:53
ARB Newsclips for September 17, 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.


Ventura County's air meets federal 1997 smog standards. Ventura
County has met its deadline for cleaning up smog per 1997
standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently
announced. It is one of nine areas in the state to do so, federal
officials said. The county, however, still falls short of current
smog standards, set in 2008. "It's a huge step in a positive
direction. It's a big milestone," said Niloufar Glosson, policy
analyst with the EPA. Posted.




Carbon Trading Heating Up. With California on Track to Implement
Cap-Trade Laws, the Market Gets Active. After a series of false
starts, the market for trading carbon-emission credits is showing
new signs of life in California. Trading volumes for these carbon
credits—which allow holders to emit as many greenhouse-gas
emissions as they want, provided they acquire enough of them—are
at a nine-month high. Prices are up 1% since the start of this
year, even as prices on carbon allowances elsewhere in the world
are plumbing lows. Posted.

Droughts latest wrinkle in climate debate. Climate change is
here. Even those who differ over its cause agree that it’s
happening. In the United States alone, 28,570 high-heat records
have been set so far this year, more than ever before, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported this
month. As if that weren’t problem enough, the world is also
plunging into another major food crisis. And what most people
don’t know is that the two issues are directly related. Posted.


Drilling boom means compromises for eager oil companies. High
petroleum prices are prompting a drilling boom in California,
which in recent years has struggled with an oil production drop.
But in July, about 53 rigs were searching for oil and gas in the
Golden State -- that's the highest number per month in the past
22 years, industry data show. Oil companies find themselves
having to negotiate difficult and complicated deals with
residents who live near oil zones and local officials on how to
tap the oil with little disruption. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/09/17/8  BY


Car2go rates rise $1 an hour.  San Diego's car2go network of
anytime electric rental cars is increasing its rates by $1 an
hour starting Sept. 17. In an email to customers, car2go cited
rising operating costs for insurance and parking, as well as
investments in electric charging infrastructure. Per minute rates
will increase 9 percent to 38 cents a minute from 35 cents.
Lengthier rentals will increase to $13.99 an hour, or $72.99 a
day. Posted.


Japan Sets Policy to Phase Out Nuclear Power Plants by 2040.
TOKYO — Japan said Friday that it would seek to phase out nuclear
power by 2040 — a historic shift for a country that has long
staked its future on such energy, but one that falls far short of
the decisive steps the government had promised in the wake of the
world’s second-largest nuclear plant disaster last year. Although
the long-awaited energy policy was named the “Revolutionary
Energy and Environment Strategy” by its authors, it extended the
expected transition away from nuclear power by at least a decade
and includes caveats that appear to allow some plants to operate
for decades past even the new deadline. Posted.

Solar companies look to East Bay. Alameda County -- Even at the
eastern edge of the Bay Area, where power lines crisscross a
sprawl of nearby waterways and browning rural land, location is a
hot commodity. Spurred by California's mandate that all utilities
produce 33 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020,
solar companies hoping to harness the sun's energy have eyes on
flat land just west of Mountain House near the San Joaquin County
line. It is a prime location next to transmission lines and
substations. At least four applicants showed interest in that
area of Alameda County last year. Posted.

'Bio-digester' seen as answer to problems from Ojai Valley
manure. Bill O'Brien hears two questions most often: How much
will it cost, and how bad will it smell? For several years, the
Meiners Oaks man has championed an idea to develop a
"bio-digester" that could turn horse manure into electricity.
Sparked by concerns about pollutants in the Ventura River, the
plans call for a facility to process horse and cattle manure,
restaurant discards and other green waste into methane gas,
fertilizer and compost. Posted.


San Francisco officials to vote on public power.   San Francisco
officials on Tuesday are set to decide whether to fund an energy
plan that will give city residents the option of getting 100
percent of their power from renewable sources. The city's Board
of Supervisors will consider whether to approve $19.5 million for
the contract with Shell Energy North America, the San Francisco
Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/S2xA52). Posted.


Sharp joins composting program. San Diego ---- Sharp HealthCare
will become first health care organization to join city of San
Diego's Food Waste Composting Program. Two hospitals within Sharp
HealthCare will divert more than 336,000 pounds of food waste
from local landfills each year as part of the city of San Diego's
Food Waste Composting Program. Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for
Women and Newborns and Sharp Memorial Hospital expect to send
about 7,000 pounds of food waste each week to the Miramar
Greenery composting facility, located at the Miramar Landfill.

Century-old toxins complicate hotel project. A major component of
a planned expansion of a downtown hotel will be delayed because
of buried 19th century toxins. On Aug. 21, the Napa City Council
approved plans for a 26-room expansion of the Napa River Inn,
including a pool, fitness center and other amenities. The
addition of a third floor to the inn’s Embarcadero building at
the south end of the property can go ahead, but the construction
of a new building in the parking lot of the Historic Napa Mill
complex will be delayed, developer Harry Price said last week.

CORONA: Apartments planned for former toxic site. Owners of a
former toxic dump site in west Corona say they plan to build
apartments and an industrial park on 38 acres. The project could
be considered by the Corona Planning Commission in November, but
a date has not yet been set, said Sandra Yang, associate planner
for Corona. Developer Rusty Turner, of Turner Real Estate
Investments in Newport Beach, said his company is working to get
entitlements to build 288 apartments and an industrial park on
the site known as Thomas Ranch. Revisions to the project still
are being made. Posted.


Building a Green Consumer. Energy users need financial
incentives. But money alone isn't enough. When it comes to saving
energy, people aren't irrational. They just seem that way
sometimes. Policy makers and executives sometimes think that if
they just make it cost-effective for people to save energy, it
will happen. But it hasn't—at least not in a big enough way.
Households and businesses remain far less energy-efficient than
they would be if their decisions followed standard economic
principles. So why aren't more people making those investments?

The Presidential Politics of Climate and Energy. I know it
shouldn't surprise me anymore, but the amount of disinformation
about climate and energy that is blasted at us all the time still
manages to inspire shock and awe. I'm old enough to have first
read Orwell's 1984 when it was still a date in the future, and I
find today's barrage of propaganda bringing to mind Orwell's
protagonist, Winston Smith, and his struggle to distinguish fact
from propaganda. The idea that climate science is continuing to
be challenged by the fossil-fuel industry and its political
beneficiaries is no longer news, but the credence given to these
fringe views is scary. Posted.

Climate Change: 'Hoax' Or Crime Of The Century? Well, we had a
warm summer here in the United States, and that brought some of
the climate change alarmists out again. Looks like it’s time for
another rebuttal! John Coleman, the founder of The Weather
Channel, and various other critics have called the theory that
human use of carbon-based fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic
global warming or climate change a “hoax.” It is, but it’s more
than that, it’s criminal. Posted.

A global warming duel blows into town. Newport Beach, Mark
Tabbert: As the Arctic hourglass of melting sea ice marks the
time we have left to address global warming, the Register sticks
its head in the thawed-out permafrost [“Alarmism, not climate,
grows more extreme,” Editorial, Sept. 12]. Ninety-eight percent
of climate scientists – the people who do the peer-reviewed
research – dispute Register’s contention on climate change. If 98
out of 100 doctors told you that you have cancer, you’d start the
chemo treatment. If 98 out of 100 airplane mechanics said that a
plane was unsafe to fly, you wouldn’t board it. Posted.

Farm bill a climate disaster in the making. FARMERS went to
Washington last week. Members of a coalition representing more
than 80 agricultural organizations rallied on Capitol Hill to
demand passage of a new farm bill that has been stalled in
Congress. The Democratic-led Senate has already passed its
version of the bill; the Republican-controlled House is
squabbling over a competing approach (one that sharply cuts food
aid to the poor). Irate farmers want both sides to shut up and
pass something that can replace the current farm bill, which
expires Sept. 30. All of the parties, though, are focused on the
wrong thing. The farm bill is not only the centerpiece of United
States food and agriculture policy, it is also a de facto climate
bill. And in this respect, both the Senate and House versions of
the legislation are a disaster waiting to happen. Posted. 


Shell Stymied in 2012 Arctic Oil Quest. Saying that a spill
response dome aboard a vessel has been damaged, Shell announced
Monday that it would defer its plan to drill for oil in the
Arctic off the Alaskan coast this year. In seeking approval to
drill, the company fought a long battle against environmentalists
and others who say that drilling in the icy region is too risky.
In a statement, Greenpeace claimed vindication and called Shell’s
high-stakes program a “monumentally reckless gamble.” But the
company says it will press on and seek a safety permit for the
vessel next year. Posted.

L.A.’s Transit Revolution. How a ballot initiative, a visionary
mayor, and a quest for growth are turning Los Angeles into
America’s next great mass-transit city. On a recent visit to
Southern California, I began my day in Claremont, where I’d
spoken the previous evening at a Pomona College event. I walked
from a hotel near campus to the Claremont Metrolink station,
where I grabbed a commuter rail train to Union Station in
downtown Los Angeles. From there I transferred to the L.A.
Metro’s Red Line and rode up to the Vermont/Santa Monica station
and checked into a new hotel. Posted.

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