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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 4, 2012.

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 12:26:29
ARB Newsclips for October 4, 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.


High court asked to throw out oil refinery permit. Opponents of a
proposed $10 billion oil refinery in southeastern South Dakota on
Wednesday asked the state Supreme Court to strike down a state
permit that would let a Texas company to begin construction.
Gabrielle Sigel, an attorney for three groups fighting the
Hyperion Energy Center, said the Board of Minerals and
Environment erred when it approved an air quality permit last
year because its study did not include a full-blown environmental
impact statement. Posted. 


UPDATE 1-El Niño seen weak into Northern Hemisphere winter – CPC.
The U.S. national weather forecaster still expects the
much-feared El Niño phenomenon, which can wreak havoc on global
weather, to remain weak into the Northern Hemisphere winter, even
after its development slowed last month. In its monthly
assessment, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said on Thursday
it is still not clear whether a fully-fledged El Niño would
emerge, although there is a "possibility" it will strengthen over
the next few months. Posted.

Romans, Han Dynasty were greenhouse gas emitters: study. A
200-year period covering the heyday of both the Roman Empire and
China's Han dynasty saw a big rise in greenhouse gases, according
to a study that challenges the U.N. view that man-made climate
change only began around 1800.  A record of the atmosphere
trapped in Greenland's ice found the level of heat-trapping
methane rose about 2,000 years ago and stayed at that higher
level for about two centuries. Posted.


Tehama County Board rallies against tractor emission plan. The
Tehama County Board of Supervisors voiced its disapproval Tuesday
regarding proposed emission reductions from the California Air
Resources Board targeting agricultural tractors across the state.
The Air Resources Board will be holing a public workshop at the
Shasta County Supervisors Building 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss the
in-use off-road mobile agricultural equipment rule that is still
in the concept stage, but may be adopted as early as December
2013. Posted.

Cummins Westport begins development on new mid-range natural gas
engine; production by 2015.  Cummins Westport Inc. has begun
development on the ISB 6.7G, a mid-range 6.7-liter natural gas
engine designed to meet the increasing demand for on-highway
vehicles powered by natural gas. The ISB6.7 G engine will be
based on the Cummins ISB6.7 diesel engine and will use Cummins
Westport’s proven spark-ignited, stoichiometric cooled exhaust
gas recirculation (SEGR) technology.  Exhaust aftertreatment will
be provided by a simple, maintenance-free three-way catalyst
(TWC). Posted. 


OPIS: California Low-Carbon Fuel Will Mean Higher Pump Prices. 
Californians could face even higher gasoline and diesel costs
when new low carbon fuel regulations gain traction Jan. 1, warn
fuel experts at the Oil Price Information Service, which says
studies show price hikes of as much as $1 per gallon for gasoline
and $2 per gallon for diesel could be on the way.  The California
Low Carbon Fuel Standard aims to cut greenhouse-gas producing
emissions from motor fuel by 10% between now and 2020. It was
part of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), the Global Warming Solutions
Act.  Posted. 


Lawsuits seek injunction to halt rail work.  High-speed rail
opponents that include Madera County filed a motion Wednesday in
Sacramento asking a judge to order work on California's proposed
bullet train to stop until their lawsuits over the Merced-Fresno
stretch are decided.  A hearing will be held Nov. 16 by
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley on the motion for
a preliminary injunction. The court is combining three different
lawsuits that challenge the California High-Speed Rail
Authority's approval in May of an environmental-impact report and
selection of a route between Merced and Fresno.  Posted. 


NRC needs months to review San Onofre reactor restart. U.S.
nuclear regulators said Thursday they would take months to review
Southern California Edison's (SCE) plan to restart a reactor at
the long idled San Onofre nuclear power plant in California. 
"Our primary focus now must be on analyzing SCE's response ...
before addressing the restart question. The agency will not
permit a restart unless and until we can conclude the reactor can
be operated safely," U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Chairman Allison Macfarlane said in a release. Posted.


Deepwater to build first U.S. offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind
is racing to build the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Rhode
Island and hopes to parlay that into a string of East Coast
farms, the company's chief executive told Reuters. The privately
held U.S. wind power developer plans to begin construction of the
$250 million, 30-megawatt (MW) Block Island project by early
2014, ahead of a farm proposed by Cape Wind long expected to be
the nation's first offshore facility. "The Block Island project
is on target to become the nation's first offshore wind project,"
Deepwater CEO William Moore said. Posted.

Warren Buffett Buys California Wind Facility. MidAmerican Wind, a
division of natural gas tycoon Warren Buffett's MidAmerican
Renewables, has bought 300 megawatts-worth of wind turbines in
the Tehachapi mountains. The company announced late last week
that it would buy the Alta Wind VII and IX projects from
developer California Highwind Power, a subsidiary of Terra-Gen
Power. The two components of the massive Alta Wind Energy Center
(AWEC) began construction in April 2012. Posted.


Milpitas sues San Jose over landfill expansion. City of Milpitas
filed a lawsuit against City of San Jose last week for "critical
errors" in the environmental impact report related to odor
impacts governing the planned expansion of Newby Island Landfill
and Resource Recovery Park on the Milpitas-San Jose border. Filed
in Santa Clara County Superior Court Sept. 27, the lawsuit
follows San Jose City Council's denial of Milpitas' appeal in
August to thwart plans to raise the height of Newby Island
Landfill by about 95 feet. Posted.

Oildale joins the green scene with fair. A group dedicated to
improving life in Oildale is holding a green fair -- its
first-ever event -- on Saturday. Suzanne Lange, an Oildale
Leadership Alliance board member, spoke with The Californian last
week about the resurgence of the north-of-the river community,
which is getting a facelift along North Chester Avenue as well as
a morale boost from a series of community events like the one
this weekend. Posted.

New computer shutdown rules designed to save energy, money. To
help save energy — and money — new rules are now in place that
require everyone who uses a military computer to shut down the
system at the end of each day and to turn off power strips before
leaving for the weekend. Doing this is expected to save Naval
Base Ventura County (NBVC) a substantial sum, according to Tom
Santoianni, installation energy manager. “A conservative estimate
puts roughly 10,000 NMCI computers in operation at NBVC,” he
said. Posted. 

State lawmakers, industry call for delay of Calif. consumer
protection program. Industry officials and some state legislators
this week ramped up opposition to a landmark California program
aimed at protecting consumers from harmful chemicals, arguing
that regulators have yet to study the economic impact of the
plan. At issue are California's "Safer Consumer Products"
regulations, which the Department of Toxic Substances Control, or
DTSC, rolled out over the summer after years of drafts and
revisions. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/04/27  BY


Climate-change denial getting harder to defend.  It was a long
hot summer.  The United States experienced the warmest July in
its history, with more than 3,000 heat records broken across the
country. Overall, the summer was the nation's third warmest on
record and comes in a year that is turning out to be the hottest
ever. High temperatures along with low precipitation generated
drought conditions across 60% of the Lower 48 states, which
affected 70% of the corn and soybean crop and rendered part of
the Mississippi River nonnavigable. Posted. 

Air pollution health risks not as dire as claimed.  Contrary to
what some may think, AB 32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act of
2006,” has nothing to do with air pollution as it has been
classically defined. AB 32 is the California Legislature’s
attempt to deal with the worldwide problem of global warming by
using regulations and market mechanisms (“cap-and-trade”) to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California to 1990 levels by
2020.  A recent U-T San Diego commentary, “Clean air and AB 32
help to keep us healthy,” presents a highly inaccurate view of
air pollution health effects in San Diego County and California. 

The World According to CARB: Not Clobbering Businesses with a
Huge Hidden Energy Tax is a ‘Windfall?’.  The recent statement by
a California Air Resources Board (CARB) spokesman that not
charging major California employers a billion dollars a year or
more for emissions allowances would be a “windfall” for the
businesses was breathtaking in its audacity.  Business leaders
held a news conference Tuesday reiterating their support for the
goals of AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act) and a well-designed
cap-and-trade carbon program as a tool to get there. Posted. 

The World According to CARB: Not Clobbering Businesses with a
Huge Hidden Energy. The recent statement by a California Air
Resources Board (CARB) spokesman that not charging major
California employers a billion dollars a year or more for
emissions allowances would be a “windfall” for the businesses was
breathtaking in its audacity. Business leaders held a news
conference Tuesday reiterating their support for the goals of AB
32 (Global Warming Solutions Act) and a well-designed
cap-and-trade carbon program as a tool to get there. Posted.

Voters may care about climate change — but not nearly enough to
make a difference.  Our partners at Climate Desk have an overview
of a series of recent polls that lead to one conclusion: People
are increasingly concerned about climate change. And “people”
obviously means “undecided voters” — since those are the people
who count for the next 34 days.  The findings, in summary: [I]t
is not that any type of climate communication is a guaranteed
win—just that it is far from a guaranteed loser. Posted. 


Debating the Facts on ‘Green Energy’. The first debate between
Mitt Romney and President Obama only passingly touched on issues
that are a focus of this blog, in several references by the
candidates to energy independence (an unattained goal of
presidents since the Nixon era) and Romney’s assertion about
billions spent propping up “green energy” startups. The Times has
produced a very helpful fact checking tool in which passages in
the debate (video and transcript) are linked to assessments by
reporters on relevant beats. Posted.
A Tug of War Over Solar Tariffs. The United States trade case
against Chinese manufacturers of solar panels took a step toward
completion Wednesday with a final hearing before the
International Trade Commission on whether cheap Chinese imports
have injured or threatened to injure the domestic solar industry.
The Commerce Department found earlier this year that Chinese
companies, which dominate the global panel business, were
benefiting from unfair government subsidies and were selling
their products below the cost of production on the American
market. Posted.

Inquiry Finds No Proof That Federal Biologist Falsified Data. An
internal investigation of allegations that a government biologist
omitted critical data to “advance a global warming agenda” has
yielded no evidence that he did so. The scientist, Charles
Monnett of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, is known for
four 2004 sightings of dead polar bears in the Beaufort Sea that
helped turn the bear into a symbol of the impacts of climate
change. Posted.

A Thousand Words on Global Warming. Luis Prado has created what
he hopes will become an international symbol for global warming.
“When I searched for a global warming icon, nothing appeared,”
said Luis Prado, a graphic designer who illustrates publications
and creates interpretive signs at his job at the Washington State
Department of Natural Resources. “So I made one.” Posted.

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