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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 3, 2012.

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 11:59:03
ARB Newsclips for October 3, 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.


Voters ban borough home heating device oversight.  Voters in the
Fairbanks North Star Borough have approved an initiative that
bans borough officials from regulating air pollution from home
heating devices, including hydronic heaters that burn wood.  The
decision strips the borough of enforcement powers connected to
air quality and wood-burning devices.  The Fairbanks Daily
News-Miner (http://bit.ly/VgxjOt) reports the decision comes a
few months before state and local officials must submit a plan
telling the Environmental Protection Agency how the area will
correct its perennially polluted air.  Posted. 

Plan calls for shuttering part of NM power plant.  Months of
wrangling over the best way to curb pollution from a coal-fired
power plant that serves more than 2 million customers in the
Southwest have given way to a proposal that could see New Mexico
transition to cleaner sources of energy to meet its electricity
demands.  Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration on
Tuesday unveiled details of a proposed settlement involving
pollution controls at the San Juan Generating Station in
northwestern New Mexico.  Posted.

Air pollution agency investigating possible violation at Thousand
Oaks plant. The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District is
investigating gas venting from an anaerobic digester at the
Thousand Oaks Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant. City
officials reported four incidents last month in which raw
digester gas was released into the air. The venting violates the
plant's air pollution control district permit, which could result
in fines. Kerby Zozula, engineering manager with the district,
said the agency will look into whether the venting was
unintentional or negligent. Posted.

Plan calls for shuttering part of NM power plant. Months of
wrangling over the best way to curb pollution from a coal-fired
power plant that serves more than 2 million customers in the
Southwest have given way to a proposal that could see New Mexico
transition to cleaner sources of energy to meet its electricity
demands. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration on
Tuesday unveiled details of a proposed settlement involving
pollution controls at the San Juan Generating Station in
northwestern New Mexico. Posted.

Plan calls for shuttering part of PNM power plant. Months of
wrangling over the best way to curb pollution from a PNM
Resources Inc. coal-fired power plant that serves more than 2
million customers in the Southwest have given way to a proposal
that could see New Mexico transition to cleaner sources of energy
to meet its electricity demands. Republican Gov. Susana
Martinez's administration on Tuesday unveiled details of a
proposed settlement involving pollution controls at the San Juan
Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico. Posted.


Candidates ignore climate change debate. When President Obama and
Mitt Romney square off Wednesday in their first debate, global
warming may be the biggest topic that neither wants to touch.
Obama devoted all of four sentences to climate change in his
speech at the Democratic National Convention last month. Romney
rarely mentions it at all. It's a stark change from the 2008
presidential race, when both Obama and his Republican opponent,
John McCain, preached the need to reduce greenhouse gases. And
environmentalists are furious. Posted.

Water forecast mixed following dry year. The new “water year” for
California started Monday with officials hoping 2012-13 provides
more wetness than the past 12 months. But the forecast is mixed,
and the state Department of Water Resources said precipitation
patterns over the rainy season remain “anyone’s guess.” That
lines up with recent statements by the National Weather Service,
which said to expect “near normal” weather in coming months as a
weak El Niño weather phenomenon influences Southern California.

Business Groups Oppose Cap and Trade Auction. California business
leaders say they are being mischaracterized as opposing the
state’s pending cap and trade program. They say they simply want
the California Air Resources Board to cancel the planned auction
part of the program. Under cap and trade, a company that pollutes
must buy one "allowance" for every ton of carbon dioxide it
emits. The Air Resources Board plans to sell those allowances at
an auction with part of the proceeds going to clean air programs.


Lithuania hits Gazprom with $1.9 billion claim.  Lithuania's
government said Wednesday it planned to file a (EURO)1.45 billion
($1.9 billion) claim against Russia's Gazprom, alleging that the
world's largest natural gas company has hiked prices unfairly. 
Government ministers said the size of the claim covers what the
country has overpaid for natural gas since 2004, when Gazprom
obtained a major stake in Lietuvos Dujos, the country's largest
gas importer, and changed the formula for determining the gas
price.  Posted. 

Penn State stops work on Marcellus gas report.  Penn State
University won't participate this year in an industry-funded
Marcellus Shale natural gas study that has been criticized in the
past.  Previous reports on the economic impacts of the gas boom
had appeared under the Penn State logo, though they were funded
by the Marcellus Shale Coalition.  Posted. 

Albania sells state oil company to Vetro Energy.  Albania has
sold its state-owned Albpetrol oil company for (EURO)850 million
($1.1 billion) to the U.S.- and Singapore-based Vetro Energy
consortium.  Prime Minister Sali Berisha says the deal will also
allow Vetro Energy to explore and exploit offshore oil and gas
fields, build a refinery, and transport and distribute natural
gas in Albania for 25 years.  Posted. 


Tracy company building, outfitting natural gas trucks for PG&E. 
American Truck & Trailer Body Co. Inc. is on a roll as it builds
and outfits a full range of work trucks and vehicles for Northern
California's largest utility. That includes the Pacific Gas and
Electric Co.'s first newly designed natural gas crew truck in 30
years, which was delivered Tuesday to the utility's maintenance
workers in Stockton. Posted.

Pike report ranks Chevrolet as current leader in the plug-in
vehicle market.  A new report by Pike Research assessing the
plug-in vehicle (PEV) strategy and execution of 16 leading
vendors ranks Chevrolet as the current leader in the PEV market,
due to its high ratings in both strategy and execution, closely
followed by Renault. Pike rates Toyota and Nissan as very close
contenders for leadership, though both have either product
portfolio or pricing issues that limited their scoring in Pike’s
evaluation.  Posted. 

Domestic automobile manufacturers take centre stage in China’s EV
market - ELECTRIC CHINA WEEKLY No14.  On September 26, 11 Chinese
ministries and agencies of the central government initiated a
project to test-drive China-made electric cars among government
departments in Beijing. Staff of the 11 ministries and agencies
will drive a fleet of 23 electric cars from two domestic
automobile manufacturers BYD and Anhui JAC Motors as their
official vehicles in a one-year trial.  Posted. 


Exclusive: AT&T becomes Bloom Energy's largest corporate
customer. AT&T became Bloom Energy's largest corporate customer
Tuesday when it announced plans to more than double its existing
contract with the Sunnyvale-based fuel cell startup. Last year,
AT&T signed an initial contract with Bloom for 7.5 megawatts. On
Tuesday, the telecommunications giant added an additional 9.6
megawatts. Bloom Energy's fuel cells will power 28 AT&T
facilities in California and Connecticut, including two
facilities in San Jose. Posted.


Assemblymember Dickinson and Supporters Celebrate Sacramento
Area’s New Seat on the California Air Resources Board. At a press
conference today at the California State Railroad Museum,
Assemblymember Roger Dickinson’s (D-Sacramento) along with a
large group of supporters celebrated the signing of AB 146. The
bill, signed into law on September 25, will add an additional
member to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) representing
the Sacramento region. “The Sacramento region is the largest
major metropolitan area in the state currently without designated
representation on the Air Resources Board. Posted.

REGION: Final green light given for fast-track mines. As
expected, a narrow majority of the Riverside County Board of
Supervisors gave final approval Tuesday for a measure that makes
surface mines eligible for fast-track review. For the second week
in a row, a bitterly divided board voted 3-2 to extend that
privilege to quarries, as well as solar and wind power plants.

California Agency Seeks Enforcement Assistance for Recycling
Legislation & Regulations, Metallics. Departments plan to
cooperate to ensure scrap metal recyclers meet state
environmental regulations. The California Department of Toxic
Substance Control (DTSC) is seeking to improve intra-agency
coordination when it comes to the inspection of scrap recycling
facility operations in the state. While recognizing the value of
the scrap metal industry for the state, the DTSC notes that some
scrap metal operations can create significant environmental and
public health threats. In many cases the problems are beyond the
regulatory authority of a single state agency. Posted.


Editorial: UP must step up on toxic legacy of the railyard. Union
Pacific's theme this year is "Building America for 150 years,"
marking President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Pacific
Railway Act and creation of the company in 1862. Evidence of this
iconic company's role in building the nation was on display in
Old Sacramento this past weekend – from the last steam locomotive
built for Union Pacific (No. 844) to the latest advanced,
experimental, low-emissions locomotive (No. 9900). Posted.

LOIS HENRY: So you want better air? Avoid those drive-thrus. Do
you really want cleaner air? Really and truly? Then make your
dang coffee at home and take it to work! In case you haven't
heard we are under an AIR ALERT. The weather is so hot, stagnant
and downright crappy that there's nothing more businesses can do
(short of shutting down) to reduce emissions. Posted.

Forrest Shearer: Snowpack a victim of climate change.  AS a
professional snowboarder lucky enough to ride mountains around
the world, I have seen the impacts of climate change firsthand.
I've seen once-famous slopes now with zero snow, ski resorts that
have shut down, and glaciers that are disappearing.  Posted. 

Clean energy showdown in Arizona.  National politics, with all
its sturm und gaffe, tends to suck up all the attention. But
there are several state fights going on that could have huge
effects on the future of clean energy. A while back I highlighted
the impending vote over Michigan's renewable energy standard. Now
let's have a look at Arizona.  Posted. 

Why We Need to Fight for Cape Wind. Now.  11 years. That's how
long we've been waiting for the promise of Cape Wind: clean,
renewable energy; new, green jobs; reduced air emissions and
carbon pollution; energy at a predictable price over the
long-term; and energy security. At a time when the evidence of
global warming is overwhelming, and the need for jobs critical,
unleashing the potential of this home-grown offshore wind project
can only be a good thing.  Posted. 


Why the new U.S. battery industry is still struggling.  One of
the more intriguing—and controversial—parts of the 2009 stimulus
bill was a $2.4 billion provision to kick-start a domestic
battery industry in the United States. As Michael Grunwald
described in his book, “The New New Deal,” the Obama
administration was hoping that these battery funds could help
make the widespread adoption of electric cars a reality:  Posted.

Drop in Emissions Not a Trend Set in Stone, Study Says. A report
released today by Climate Central asks a provocative question:
Can United States carbon emissions keep falling? This comes with
the year 2050 in mind, by which time climate scientists have said
there needs to be a major reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
if the worst impacts of climate change are to be avoided. The
report by Eric D. Larson from the Energy Systems Analysis Group
at Princeton shows that American carbon emissions have dropped by
nearly 9 percent since 2005. Posted.

Championing Solar Power, on Land and Sea. He recently
circumnavigated the globe in his solar-powered boat, but Raphaël
Domjan’s mission is far from over. “The goal was not to go around
the world, but to spread the message that we can change, that it
is not too late,” he said in an interview in Barcelona, where he
participated in the Global Clean Energy Forum. During the
585-day, 60,000-kilometer journey, described by my colleague
Bettina Wassener in May, Mr. Domjan and his crew were subjected
to all the rigors of an around-the-world sailing trip, except
that lack of sun was the most daunting problem — not lack of
wind. Posted.

Feeling The Economic Impact Of Climate Change. Everyone knows
that the weather this summer in the United States was a disaster.
Temperature records fell faster than knickknacks off a broken
bookshelf across much of the country. Vast swaths of the nation
were facing "extreme" or "exceptional" drought conditions. And
while it is impossible to say with certainty if any particular
weather event is caused by climate change, the events of the
summer are pretty much exactly what climate scientists have been
predicting for decades. Posted.

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