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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.


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.

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

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. 

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. 


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. 

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
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. 


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. 

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


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.


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.

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


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.

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.


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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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