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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 11, 2012

Posted: 11 Oct 2012 13:32:06
ARB Newsclips for October 11, 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.


Researchers describe the “where” and “when” of life cycle
emissions from gasoline and ethanol in the US.  Researchers from
the University of Minnesota have produced a spatially and
temporally explicit life cycle inventory (LCI) of air pollutants
from gasoline, ethanol derived from corn grain, and ethanol from
corn stover for the contiguous US (the lower 48 states). A paper
on their work is published in the ACS journal Environmental
Science & Technology.  Life cycle inventories have typically been
presented at global, national, or regional levels…Posted. 


Experts: Global warming means more Antarctic ice.  The ice goes
on seemingly forever in a white pancake-flat landscape,
stretching farther than ever before. And yet in this confounding
region of the world, that spreading ice may be a cockeyed signal
of man-made climate change, scientists say.  This is Antarctica,
the polar opposite of the Arctic.  While the North Pole has been
losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole
has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 7.51 million
square miles in September. That happened just days after reports
of the biggest loss of Arctic sea ice on record.  Posted. 

Other related articles:


China’s Emissions Trading May Spur Global Accord, Report Says.
China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases linked to
climate change, may create the impetus for a global carbon market
as it begins pilot trading programs, according to the Climate
Institute. “China’s emerging schemes can dovetail with other
global schemes as a stepping stone towards a global climate
change agreement by 2015,” John Connor, chief executive officer
of the Sydney-based institute that commissioned a report released
today, said in an e-mailed statement. Posted.

Climate-Proofing The Insurance Industry. The world’s largest
reinsurer has examined the recent rise in the number and severity
of natural disasters worldwide, and finds the trend bears the
unmistakable fingerprints of climate change. What’s more, America
is bearing the brunt of that change. “North America is the
continent with the largest increases in disasters,” Munich Re’s
Peter Hoppe told USA Today yesterday. Take a look at the map of
the most costly extreme weather events in 2011 and so far in 2012
for a snapshot that begins to show what he’s talking about.

Majority of Americans believe Climate Change is worsening extreme
weather. According to a new poll, 74 percent of Americans agree
that climate change is impacting weather in the U.S., including
73 percent who agreed, strongly or somewhat, that climate change
had exacerbated record high temperatures over the summer. The
findings mean that a large majority of Americans agree with
climatologists who in recent years have found increasingly strong
evidence that climate change has both increased and worsened
extreme weather events. Posted. 

Greenhouse gas emissions mapped to street level for U.S. cities.
An ASU study released on October 9, 2012, utilizes extensive
public databases and combines these with traffic simulation and
building-by-building energy consumption modeling to estimate
greenhouse gas emissions from urban landscapes. Scientists have
until now quantified carbon dioxide emissions at a much broader
level. Posted.


Obama allies and opponents stage crossfire over climate change
issues.  Mitt Romney attacked the president yesterday for
threatening to revive carbon-capping legislation. Meanwhile,
climate advocates pressed the White House to take a stronger, and
smarter, role in confronting rising temperatures. The Romney
campaign is increasingly pointing to President Obama's past
support for limiting emissions at large utilities and industrial
plants, what Republicans successfully branded as "cap and tax" in
the 2010 midterm elections. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/11/3  BY


California gasoline prices declining in slow motion. Gasoline
prices barely moved overnight. AAA put the statewide average
price of unleaded regular this morning at $4.659, down a tiny bit
from $4.666 on Wednesday and just a short hop from Tuesday's
all-time record of $4.671. National gas price tracker
GasBuddy.com had the average price of a gallon of gas in
California at $4.63, down a penny from Wednesday. In Sacramento,
AAA said the average for unleaded regular today is $4.53 a
gallon, also down a penny from Wednesday. Posted.

No easy answer to fixing California's record gas prices. Not
really, say industry officials, environmentalists and state
regulators. Skyrocketing gas prices over the past week have been
blamed on two key issues: outages at California refineries and
the fact that the state requires a unique type of clean-burning
summer gasoline that can't be easily replaced or imported from
other places during shortages. As a result, California is a "fuel
island," vulnerable to disruptions and price spikes. Even
temporary solutions pose problems. Posted.

STATE: Gas prices drop by a half-penny. California gas prices
dipped a half-penny Wednesday, the first drop after a week that
saw prices surge a record 50 cents. The statewide average for
regular unleaded was just under $4.67 a gallon, still the highest
in the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

California gasoline prices down for 2nd day.  California's reign
of pump pain is easing as prices drop for the second day in a
row.  The AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report for Thursday says the
average price of regular is just under $4.66 a gallon—down more
than a penny in two days.  However, it's still the highest price
in the nation.  The highest state price is $4.75 a gallon in the
San Luis Obispo area. San Francisco has $4.73, with Los Angeles
and San Diego reporting around $4.70.  Posted. 

California gas prices drop by a half-penny.  California gas
prices dipped a half-penny Wednesday, the first drop after a week
that saw prices surge a record 50 cents.  The statewide average
for regular unleaded was just under $4.67 a gallon, still the
highest in the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge
Report.  Gas prices rose more than 50 cents a gallon between Oct.
1 and Oct. 8, from $4.168 to a record $4.671, the largest
one-week price spike in California history, AAA spokesman Avery
Ash said. The previous record was 26.2 cents a gallon in
February.  Posted. 

Chevron’s damaged Crude Unit 4 to remain shut through the winter
as gas prices soar.  The stoppage of operations at Chevron’s
damaged Crude Distillation Unit, which supplied units at the
Richmond refinery responsible for 38 percent of the Bay Area’s
total refining capacity, has been partially blamed for soaring
gas prices across the state.  California’s Air Resources Board,
which granted refineries a waiver to start refining crude with
higher emission this week in an effort to reduce the impact of
declining refinery output on fuel prices…Posted. 

Democrats ask for probe into high Calif. gas prices. Top
California Democrats this week are asking federal investigators
to examine what is behind record-high gasoline prices in the
Golden State. Although national averages are also high for this
time of year, the average price in California was $4.67 per
gallon of regular gasoline as of this morning, compared with
$3.81 nationally, according to data compiled by AAA. Rep. Henry
Waxman and Sen. Dianne Feinstein are asking the Federal Trade
Commission for an investigation, while Sen. Barbara Boxer is
targeting the Justice Department's Oil and Gas Price Fraud
Working Group. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/10/6  BY


Inglewood Oil Field fracking study finds no harm from the method.
Yearlong study, conducted by firms chosen by the oil field owner
and L.A. County, was meant to address fears about potential
groundwater contamination, air pollution and increased seismic
activity. A long-awaited study released Wednesday says the
controversial oil extraction method known as hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, would not harm the environment if used
at the Inglewood Oil Field in the Baldwin Hills area. Posted.

Roadshow: California's clean-burning gas has supporters. Q Does
the current special blend of gas really significantly help
pollution? Or is this just another liberal feel-good thing that
costs the taxpayers a lot of money but has only a minimal or even
a negative benefit? Arlen StoneMorgan Hill A Well, some folks
think the benefit is huge, despite the fact that gas is
uncomfortably close to $5 a gallon. Read on. Posted.

California Advanced Energy Coalition calls for E15 accommodation.
 The California Advanced Energy Coalition has proposed immediate
action by the California Air Resources Board to adjust its fuel
regulations to accommodate increased amounts of low cost clean
burning fuels on the market. By implementing a recent ruling by
the U.S. EPA allowing E15 into the market place, CARB could
reduce California gasoline prices immediately as wholesale
ethanol is selling at more than $1.00 per gallon below the price
of gasoline.  An emergency update of the CARB compliance model to
include levels of ethanol up to 15 percent will mitigate the need
for such waivers in the future, while increasing the supply of
the lowest cost fuel in the market, and enhancing California's
air quality.  Posted. 

Fracking oversight: With regulators hobbled, good Samaritans step
in.  Friends (allies? sweethearts? paramours? hot erotic lovers?)
of the fossil fuel industry have done a hell of a good job
shutting down official government observation of what it is
they’re up to. Not as good as the industry would like, mind you,
but a very, very good job in the eyes of those skeptical that
their stewardship of the Earth is sincere. We’ve been sucking oil
out of the ground for a century, so the two sides…Posted. 

Discovering the keys to improved biofuel catalysts.  Nanospheres,
tiny spheres of silica with a honeycomb of tunnels, or pores,
throughout their structure and embedded with catalytic groups,
were developed in the last decade as a solution to finding a
reusable catalyst for converting biomass into fuel. While
scientists are now able to produce these nanospheres in ways that
control the size of the pores and the type and position of the
catalytic groups, understanding precisely how these chemical
reactions take place will allow further fine-tuning and
predictable control of catalytic processes.  Posted. 


For Some Drivers, an Electric Motorcycle Could Be the Best of
Both Worlds. Zipping around on a motorcycle can be fun, but being
in a downpour or an accident on one is not. Driving a car is
safer and more comfortable, but traffic and parking can be
annoying. What if you got rid of the bad parts of both? You might
end up with something like the C-1, an electric motorcycle that
looks as if it came out of the movie “Tron.” For protection, the
bike is encased in a metal shell, and it is controlled like a
car, with a steering wheel and foot pedals. Posted.

California Grants Tesla $10 Million To Build The Model X Electric
SUV.  California regulators on Wednesday approved a $10 million
grant to Tesla Motors to help manufacture its next electric car,
the Model X sport utility vehicle.  Tesla will pony up $50
million to match the California Energy Commission grant, which
will be used to expand manufacturing capacity at its factory in
Fremont, Calif., and to purchase equipment to make components for
the Model X.  It was something of a love fest for Tesla at the
energy commission meeting in Sacramento as commissioners and
other regulators praised Tesla as an innovator that has brought
automotive manufacturing back to California while creating clean
cars and more than 1,500 jobs.  Posted. 

California Energy Commission approves more than $20M for clean
transportation projects; Tesla, Quallion, other EV, battery and
alt-fuel vehicles projects.  The California Energy Commission
approved funding of more than $20 million to support low carbon
transportation projects; about half went to Tesla Motors. These
awards, totaling $20,093,718, are made through the Commission’s
Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program,
created by Assembly Bill 118. The investments of public money
through this program require matching-funds from awardees, and by
making payments on a reimbursement basis.  Posted. 


China rejects US solar tariffs as protectionism.  China demanded
Thursday that Washington repeal steep tariffs on solar panels
that Chinese producers fear will shut their equipment out of the
American market.  The tariffs upheld Wednesday by the U.S.
Commerce Department add to financial pressure on struggling
Chinese solar panel manufacturers that are suffering heavy losses
due to weak demand and a price-cutting war.  Posted. 

Other related articles:


California's renewable-energy plans may hinge on presidential
race. Players big and small in the state's rapidly growing
industry worry a Romney win will strip them of federal subsidies
they say are key to clean energy's future. On 7,300 isolated
acres in eastern Kern County, a plan for dozens of wind turbines
20 stories high to generate enough electricity for tens of
thousands of homes may hinge on who is elected president.
Millions of dollars have been spent laying the groundwork.
Permits are in order, contractors are lined up, government
planners are on board. Posted.

In Fighting Coal Pollution, Nevada Tribe Will Sell Solar Power to
L.A. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has
agreed to buy all the power produced by a 250-megawatt solar
facility on the Moapa River Paiute Reservation northeast of Las
Vegas, Nevada. The Moapa Solar Energy Center, being built by K
Road Power, will place photovoltaic arrays and a concentrating
solar power tower on about 1,000 acres of tribal land about 35
miles northeast of Las Vegas. Posted.


Chevron stock plummets on weak forecast, disclosure of Richmond
refinery unit outage for rest of 2012. Shares of San Ramon-based
Chevron plunged on Wednesday, the first trading day after the oil
company said its third quarter would be weaker than the second
quarter. Chevron's shares sank 4.2 percent, or $4.91, and
finished at $112.45. The energy giant was hobbled by the Richmond
refinery fire, which slashed the company's refining capacity by
92,000 barrels a day. The fuel factory has a capacity of 245,000
barrels a day. Posted.

Noisy crowd gathers at San Onofre nuclear plant meeting. More
than 850 people crowded into a public meeting on the San Onofre
nuclear power plant Tuesday night, the sometimes-boisterous crowd
cheering or jeering as panelists spoke of problems that have kept
the plant's two reactors offline for nearly nine months. The
meeting in Dana Point was organized by the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, but speakers also included plant operator Southern
California Edison, anti-nuclear activists, a union representative
for San Onofre workers and state utility and energy regulators.


In California, High Gas Prices and Incentives for Fuel-Efficient
Cars Go Hand in Hand.  With a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline
flirting with $5 through much of California, many people might
expect a reprise of 2008, when the state joined much of the
country in turning away from gas guzzlers and toward compact cars
and hybrids. But according to some dealers around the Bay Area,
though gas prices are pushing consumers toward the greener
sections of their showrooms, a number of incentives are doing
their part, too. Posted.

Director lauds short-term bullet train benefits.  With
unemployment still above 12 percent in the Inland area, local
officials are turning to any and all options for job creation —
including a planned statewide bullet train system that won’t link
Los Angeles and the Bay Area for a decade.  And it’ll probably be
even longer for fast trains to reach Riverside County or San
Bernardino County.  Posted. 

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