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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 25, 2012.

Posted: 25 Sep 2012 12:16:18
ARB Newsclips September 25, 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 regulators probe Phillips 66 refinery in
Wilmington. The Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington had a flare
Saturday afternoon that produced a header that could be seen all
over the Los Angeles basin. State air quality regulators are
investigating whether a daylong burn-off at the Phillips 66 oil
refinery in Wilmington could have been avoided, officials said
Monday. The Sept. 15 burnoff of petroleum products lasted for
about six hours after a power outage caused a sudden shutdown of
all refinery operations at about 2 p.m. Black smoke billowing out
of the refinery's flare could be seen for miles. Posted.



Chevron: Failed pipe had unknown weakness. A corroded pipe that
failed and triggered a leak and massive fire at Chevron Corp.'s
Richmond refinery had a low silicon content that went undetected
during the company's tests and therefore was unaddressed, the
manager in charge of the facility said Monday. Nigel Hearne,
general manager of Chevron Richmond, described the chemical
composition of the decades-old, eight-inch pipe section as a
contributing factor to the Aug. 6 blaze that sent thousands of
people to the hospital with smoke-related complaints and knocked
offline one of the nation's largest refineries. Posted.

Other Related Stories




Stratospheric winds influence ocean currents, scientists say.
Changes in wind direction 15 to 30 miles above Earth's surface
can affect mile-deep currents in the North Atlantic by striking
an oceanic "Achilles' heel," according to atmospheric scientists.
The discovery, published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience,
carries implications for the study of Earth's climate and how we
predict its change. Scientists have long understood that events
in Earth's stratosphere -- Posted.

NRCC uses Solyndra, cap and trade in attack ads. The National
Republican Congressional Committee has rolled out a trio of ads
seizing on two of the GOPís favorite attack points: Solyndra and
cap and trade. The nearly $1 million ad buy against Democratic
Reps. Jerry McNerney of California, Nick Rahall of West Virginia
and Bruce Braley of Iowa goes after votes the three lawmakers
took in previous Congresses when House Democrats were in control.

Meeting Calif. goal of 80% GHG reduction possible, but difficult
Ė study. California cannot reach its goal of slashing greenhouse
gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 without major advancements in
technologies, a new report says. "Existing technologies, off the
shelf technologies" and ones likely to be available in the near
future are insufficient to power the Golden State to the finish
line on reductions mandated by its climate law, A.B. 32, an
analysis from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released
yesterday says. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/25/2  BY


Coal exports make U.S. cleaner, EU more polluted. Shale gas has
jolted traditional roles in the planet's climate drama, giving
cleaner fuel to the United States, whose displaced coal has
headed to Europe to pollute the old continent. It is an ironic
twist for the European Union, whose energy policy is largely
based on promoting renewables and a target to cut emissions by 20
percent by 2020. The U.S. did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol to
combat global emissions and its national goals are far less
ambitious than Europe's. Posted.


Tesla unveils faster electric car charging station. Tesla Motors
Inc. unveiled a solar-powered charging station on Monday that it
said will make refueling electric vehicles on long trips about as
fast as stopping for gas and a bathroom break in a conventional
car. CEO Elon Musk said at a news conference at the company's
design studio that the company's roadside Supercharger has been
installed at six highway rest stops in California. Posted.


Honda pledges to double global sales in five years. Honda is
aiming to double down. It plans to produce twice as many vehicles
as it does today. That will take it to more than 6 million
vehicles over the next five years as the Japanese automaker gears
up for ambitious growth after bouncing back from last year's
disasters. "We have now reached the stage of going on the
offensive," Honda President Takanobu Ito told reporters Friday,
as he announced his worldwide target for the fiscal year ending
March 2017. Posted.

Calif. governor to sign bill to OK driverless cars. Gov. Jerry
Brown plans to sign legislation that will pave the way for
driverless cars in California. The bill by Democratic Sen. Alex
Padilla, of Los Angeles, would establish safety and performance
regulations for autonomous vehicles. Representatives for Brown
say the governor is expected to sign the legislation on Tuesday
at the Mountain View headquarters of Google, which has been
developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the
California legislation. Posted.


 U.S. poised to hand over $197 million to San Jose solar panel
startup.  A tiny San Jose solar company named SoloPower will flip
the switch on production at a U.S. factory Thursday, a major step
toward allowing it to tap a $197 million government loan
guarantee awarded under the same controversial program that
supported failed panel maker Solyndra.  SoloPower has initiated a
strategy to differentiate it from struggling commodity players in
the solar panel industry. Posted. 


Longtime activists worry California government is softening on
Santa Susana Field Lab cleanup. A community group that has fought
for 20 years to get the Santa Susana Field Laboratory cleaned up,
blasted California's Department of Toxic Substances Control on
Monday for appearing to soften its stance on decontamination
efforts of the former rocket engine testing site. In a strongly
worded letter sent to the DTSC on MondayÖPosted.

SAN ONOFRE: Regulators had questions about dome repairs at nuke
plant. Nuclear regulators a year ago questioned the strength of
concrete used to repair San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's
two containment domes, but still haven't said whether those
repairs were up to snuff. A nuclear watchdog group, the Alliance
for Nuclear Responsibility, says it has been trying to get more
information on the matter since October, but the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission hasn't released a final report on the
concrete that plugged a 28-foot hole in each of San Onofre's two
iconic domes. Posted.


Fracking lessons from Beverly Hills High: John Kemp. Both
supporters and critics of horizontal drilling and hydraulic
fracturing (together usually known as "fracking") usually portray
the technique as novel, with unknown but potentially large risks,
and certainly disruptive for surface communities. It might be
possible in far-away places like the north plains of the Dakotas
and Montana, they say, but is not appropriate in populated areas,
especially ones with sensitive geology and prone to earthquakes.

Letters: Inaction on climate change will be costly. I was stunned
to read the article "Midwest drought belt: A changed world
emerges" and not see a single mention of climate change. The
question to be posed is, "If Republicans got it wrong about
climate change, who will pay for the clean up?" Answer: You and I
will, with higher taxes and higher commodities prices. It is
irresponsible to print this article without mention of the likely
causation of the possible "third-costliest natural disaster in
U.S. history." Instead, it ends with a rosy idea: What goes
around comes around. Ridiculous. Posted.

Pushing the Green Button. Knowledge is power, they say, but when
it comes to knowing how much electricity their home is using,
most consumers are in the dark. In fact, consumers, on average,
spend about 6 minutes per year interacting with their electric
utility. Because of that, they're missing out on opportunities to
save some power -- and money. That's beginning to change. A year
ago, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
launched the Green Button initiative. The premise was to make it
easy and fun for consumers to learn how much electricity their
home was using. So far, it's working according to plan. Posted.


Are the U.S. and Europe headed for a trade war over airline
carbon fees?  Are the United States and Europe poised for a trade
war over airline fees? Suddenly, thatís not such a ludicrous
question. Late last Friday night, the Senate unanimously passed a
bill to try to block a European Union plan to cap carbon
emissions on all flights in and out of Europe. The bill sets the
stage for a cross-Atlantic showdown that could get unruly.  The
tempest started back in January, when a new E.U. law went into
effect requiring all flights that take off from or land in Europe
to buy allowances for their carbon emissions. Posted. 

How California is planning growth for a prosperous economy and
clean environment.  A thorough new report developed by my
colleagues at the Natural Resources Defense Council, together
with Move LA, a transportation and smart development partnership
in southern California, documents the impressive progress made
over the last four years to ensure that our nationís most
populous state will absorb future growth in a sensible way.
Called Bold Plans for California Communities, the report traces
the history and implementation of the stateís landmark planning
framework, adopted by the state legislature and signed by
then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008.  Posted. 

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