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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 18, 2012.. Posted: 18 Sep 2012 14:30:07
ARB Newsclips for September 18, 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. CLIMATE CHANGE Study: Sea otters' role in kelp forest health could aid in global warming prevention. Santa Cruz -- Monterey Bay's main mascot may turn out to be a secret agent in the fight against climate change. It has long been known that sea otters, nursed back from brink of extinction in the past several decades, provide huge benefits for the vitality of undersea kelp forests. But a pair of UCSC scientists recently found that those benefits extend into the atmosphere, finding a strong connection between otters, kelp and global warming. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21528927/study-sea-otters-role-kelp-forest-health-could Offsets slow to heat up in Calif. despite threat of shortage. Carbon offset providers are wary of investing in California's nascent emissions trading market, despite repeated warnings that the landmark cap-and-trade system will be short of the credits it may need. Offsets hold the potential to bring down the cost of complying with the state's economywide emissions market, set to begin with an inaugural auction of carbon allowances in November. But, analysts say, those who might develop forestry, agricultural methane and other projects approved for offsets appear hesitant to enter the market. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/18/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY The Arctic could be ice-free by 2016. Cambridge professor Peter Wadhams has a prediction. Wadhams has spent many years collecting ice thickness data from submarines passing below the Arctic Ocean. He predicted the imminent break-up of sea ice in summer months in 2007, when the previous lowest extent of 4.17 million square kilometres was set. This year, it has unexpectedly plunged a further 500,000 sq km to less than 3.5m sq km. “I have been predicting [the collapse of sea ice in summer months] for many years. The main cause is simply global warming: as the climate has warmed there has been less ice growth during the winter and more ice melt during the summer. Posted. http://grist.org/news/the-arctic-could-be-ice-free-by-2016/ Good news: 123 of the last 133 years have been cooler than 2012. Earlier today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its monthly assessment of our rapidly degrading climate. We’ll start with the good news: 2012 is on pace to be only the ninth-warmest year in recorded history! This is good news in the sense that, over the 133 years records have been kept, 2012 has so far been warmer than only 123 of them. Posted. http://grist.org/news/good-news-123-of-the-last-133-years-have-been-cooler-than-2012/ DIESEL EMISSIONS Thermo King 25-plus-hp engines for 2013 receive EPA, CARB certification. Thermo King is the first transport refrigeration manufacturer to receive US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification for 2013 model year engines greater than 25 horsepower and has done so without the use of a diesel particulate filter. Customers of Thermo King, a manufacturer of transport temperature control systems for various mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, will now benefit from more sustainable systems, gain indefinite engine life in California, and achieve greater flexibility in trade cycles. Posted. http://refrigeratedtrans.com/fleet/engines/thermo_king_engines_receive_epa_carb_certification_0918/ Diesel prices rise only slightly. Once again this week, the price of diesel per gallon has gone up only marginally over last week. Prices rose only 0.3 cents per gallon on average to $4.14, which is an increase of approximately 30 cents over prices last year. The West Coast, typically the site of the nation's highest fuel prices, experienced a slight decline in diesel prices this week as well. Prices there fell an average 2.4 cents per gallon to land at $4.40. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=78053&news_category_id=42 FUELS New eBay for recyclable oils makes it way easier to power your biodiesel car. Recyclable oils are abundant — they naturally occur anywhere there are French fries, for example, or used motor oil, two things which, strangely enough, often exist side-by-side. The challenge is not that we are an economy with a dearth of disgusting grease; the problem is getting said disgusting grease from people who would otherwise throw it out to people who would like to put it into their old Mercedes diesels and drive around listening to the Decemberists. Posted. http://grist.org/list/new-ebay-for-recyclable-oils/ Diesel and other profitable midrange products could get squeezed as new crude rushes into market – report. Houston -- Engineering consultants to the oil and gas industry are worried that a rush of new crude oil from shale oil production and Canadian oil sands may harm the refining business in unexpected ways. New supplies of light, sweet crude from the Eagle Ford and Bakken shale formations are flooding the market at rates faster than even some of the most optimistic analysts had projected. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/09/18/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Electric motor market expected to flourish in the next decade. Developments in the electric vehicle market are expected to boost growth in the electric motor market according to consulting and research organisations IDTechEX and Frost & Sullivan. As electric vehicles head towards mass production, the model of electric motor supply also require changes in the future. In its 2012 market forecast with a 10 year horizon, IDTechEX, a consulting and research organisation, argues that: “Any Motor manufacturer without a compelling line up of electric vehicles by 2025 is signing its death warrant.” Analysis by another research institute, Frost & Sullivan, also concludes that the booming EV market will bring business opportunities for suppliers of electric motors. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4934 Zipcar Adds Honda Fit EV To Car-Sharing Fleet In San Francisco. California residents who want to get behind the wheel of an electric car now have another option: Zipcar has added the Honda Fit EV to its car-sharing fleets in San Francisco. Like most other Zipcar vehicles, the Fit EV can be rented for $8 per hour. In April, Honda signed an agreement to provide Zipcar with new cars, including the Insight hybrid and CR-V crossover. Adding the Honda Fit EV in San Francisco expands on the two companies’ goal of adding more low-emission vehicles to the car sharing fleet. Posted. http://rumors.automobilemag.com/zipcar-adds-honda-fit-ev-to-car-sharing-fleet-in-san-francisco-170269.html GREEN ENERGY Lee wants more talk on clean power plan. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Monday asked city supervisors to rework a renewable power option for residents before a potential vote Tuesday. The mayor considers the plan financially risky, despite eight years spent getting the city to this point. "I'm going to ask them to spend time with me to see if we can find this alternative," Lee said. "If it ends up being an extension of time, we ought to give ourselves enough time to do that." Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Lee-wants-more-talk-on-clean-power-plan-3872841.php#ixzz26q0rzDxf Soaring demand for natural gas in Middle East and North Africa may push prices higher – study. Soaring energy demand in North Africa and the Middle East will require an estimated $1.1 trillion in new natural gas facilities and electricity generation and distribution networks, according to a new research report from IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. The report, titled "Thirst for Growth," projects that natural gas demand in the 18-country region will rise from 750 billion cubic meters in 2011 to 1,140 billion cubic meters by 2030, and that rising electricity demand will require an additional 310 gigawatts of capacity over the same period. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/18/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS World’s Top Environmental Success Stories. It's no wonder so many environmentalists sound like downers. Forests are being wiped out at the rate of one Costa Rica-size parcel a year. Cities such as Beijing and New Delhi choke on smog. Global temperatures and tides continue an unrelenting climb. Don't despair! Forty years after the environmental movement peaked, the world has some historic success stories that reduce pollution and save lives every day. This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, a model international agreement that reduced pollution-inflicted damage to the Earth's protective ozone layer. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2012-09-18/world-s-top-environmental-success-stories.html#slide1 Former EPA Administrator Russell Train dies. Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Russell Train, a leading American conservationist who helped craft some of the nation's enduring environmental laws, died Monday at age 92. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said late Monday that as a leader with the federal agency at the time it was just starting under the Nixon administration, Train helped set the path for the ongoing work of the agency. Posted. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/former-epa-administrator-russell-train-dies OPINIONS Environmental Protection Up in Smoke. Dead wood fuels wildfires. Too bad lawsuits keep the Forest Service from thinning out the trees. When the wildfires that are burning millions of acres in the West are finally smothered by winter snows, environmentalists undoubtedly will blame climate change. They might look in the mirror instead. Environmental laws since the 1970s require public input into federal land-use decisions including logging on national forests. This has led to lawsuits challenging efforts by the U.S. Forest Service to prevent forest fires by thinning out trees (most of which are dead or diseased) and brush by machines and carefully controlled burns. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443884104577647903145409924.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion Econ 101: What you need to know about carbon taxes and cap-and-trade. I didn’t think it was possible for the climate change policy debate to drift even further from reality than it already had. But a series of posts by Maclean’s Aaron Wherry—most recently here and summarised here—has proven me wrong. The politics of climate change has always required a certain suspension of disbelief. But the Conservatives’ attempt to portray the NDP’s climate change policy as the equivalent of a carbon tax and the NDP’s indignant rebuttal to the effect that their policy is in fact a cap-and-trade model have advanced the transformation of the file into a form of kabuki. Posted. http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/09/17/why-the-difference-between-carbon-taxes-and-cap-and-trade-isnt-as-important-as-you-think/ Why Is San Francisco Trying to Outsource Green Investment to the "Dirtiest" Texas Corporation? The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote today on a contract with Shell Energy of Houston, Texas that would nearly double electricity costs for San Franciscans. Say what? Why would a city that prides itself on being on the forefront of energy policy sign a contract with a company that has been called one of the "dirtiest" in the world? The answer is that Shell Energy is falsely promising that the energy delivered to San Franciscans will be "100 percent green." Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-dalzell/san-francisco-shell-agreement_b_1892014.html BLOGS Climate change and extreme weather weren't the only reason to oppose Keystone XL and tar sands expansion this summer. This summer has shown that public opposition to tar sands pipelines and expansion projects continues to grow – and for good reason. As climate change caused damaging extreme weather events across the country, environmental groups submitted comments to the State Department presenting a strong case for a broad and rigorous review of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, including the impacts on climate change of the expansion of tar sands oil extraction that Keystone XL will drive. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/climate_change_and_extreme_wea.html