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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 17, 2012.

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 14:11:00
ARB Newsclips for October 17, 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.


EPA funds asthma management in San Diego schools. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded $39,327 to the
American Lung Association of California to improve air quality,
as well as student asthma self-management skills in low-income
schools in San Diego. With this funding, indoor environmental
asthma trigger training will be provided for more than 300
children with asthma in 20 schools that bear the greatest asthma
burden in San Diego. Posted.

Speakers criticize air pollution rules at local oil conference.
Consumers may end up paying the price when pending state and
federal air regulations hit California's energy industry, a pair
of speakers warned at Tuesday's 2012 Oil & Gas Conference in
Bakersfield. The two speakers -- one a leading West Coast oil
industry representative, the other the Central Valley's top air
quality regulator -- said there is little chance that refiners
and industry in general will be able to comply with rules pending
at the state and federal levels.


Court weighs challenge to soot standards implementation. Federal
appeals court judges appeared skeptical today about U.S. EPA's
argument that it is required under the Clean Air Act to use a
less stringent implementation regime for fine particulates than
it is for more coarse -- and less dangerous -- particles. The
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is
considering the legality of EPA's rules for implementation limits
on air pollution from power plants, boilers and car tailpipes.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/17/4  BY


Scientists increasingly linking climate change to weather
phenomena.  Somewhere, someone is sitting in a dimly lit room,
looking anxiously at a calendar and thinking, "Which of the last
20 days of this campaign will be the one in which the candidates
address climate change?" Bad news, straw man. It ain't going to
happen.  Part of the reason it's not going to happen is that
voters don't prioritize the issue. Another large part is that
climate scientists aren't usually in the business of making
climate science a political issue.  Posted. 


Court hears arguments in Calif. clean fuels case. In a case
seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate
requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
federal justices on Tuesday focused their questions on whether
the law discriminates against out-of-state businesses. A
three-justice panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of California's
"Low Carbon Fuel Standard," a piece of the state's landmark
global warming law, AB 32. Posted.




California defends greenhouse gas regulation for fuels.
California attorneys advocating for a program to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions from fuels came under stern questioning
from a three-judge panel on Tuesday, in a case that threatens a
key component of the state's ambitious effort to combat climate
change.  A packed courtroom at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
on Tuesday heard arguments from attorneys on both sides of the
debate over California's low carbon fuel standard which…Posted. 





Environment: California greenhouse gas rules on shaky ground in
appeals court. California greenhouse gas rules face major court
test. California's unprecedented regulations to reduce the carbon
footprint of transportation fuels appears to face a smoggy future
in the courts. During nearly an hour of arguments here Tuesday,
the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expressed concerns that
California's aggressive approach to curtailing greenhouse gas
emissions goes too far, conflicting with federal law by reaching
into the business practices of other states. Posted.

California Asks Court to Reinstate Carbon Fuel Standard.
California’s low-carbon fuel standard, which complements the
state’s first-in-the-nation economy-wide cap and trade program,
appears to favor in-state fuel producers over Midwest ethanol
makers, two U.S. appeals court judges said. Two members of a
three-judge panel questioned state lawyers today about why the
standard is tougher on ethanol produced in the Midwest and
whether California’s method of assessing a higher
“carbon-intensity” for Midwest ethanol because of the energy
expended to make and then transport it to California was unfair
to out of state producers. Posted.

Appeals court focuses on whether clean fuels law discriminates
against non-Calif. Businesses. Court hears arguments in Calif.
clean fuels case. A three-justice panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about the constitutionality
of California's "Low Carbon Fuel Standard," a piece of the
state's landmark global warming law, AB 32. The California Air
Resources Board, the agency in charge of implementing the law,
said the standard will cut California's dependence on petroleum
by 20 percent…Posted.

Judges ask whether Calif. low-carbon fuels rule hurts other
states' businesses. Federal judges probed California's low-carbon
fuel standard yesterday, focusing on whether the rule clearly
protects the state's economic interests at the expense of
Midwestern and other fuel producers. Judge Mary Murguia -- at 52,
the youngest of the three judges by at least 30 years -- led the
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' questioning in yesterday's
hearing, in a closely watched case that 14 other states have
joined (ClimateWire, June 20). Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/17/16  BY


Diesel price spikes may be the new norm. Diesel and heating oil
users in Europe and the United States may wonder why they are
paying near record prices when recession has cut fuel demand and
the price of crude is well below record highs. But while the
world has enough crude, shrinking refinery capacity in Europe and
on the U.S. East Coast means consumers will need to get used to
regular price spikes as increasing dependence on imports reduces
supply security. Posted.

US East Coast distillate imports at record low, winter looms.
Imports of diesel and heating oil into the East Coast of the
United States have fallen to the lowest level since records began
eight years ago, prompting concerns about the state of fuel
supplies ahead of the coldest winter months. Figures from the
U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed
distillate imports averaged 49,000 barrels per day over the past
four weeks, well below the norm for the time of year. Posted.

Halliburton 3Q profit falls on drilling slowdown.  Halliburton
Co. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income fell 12 percent
as drilling activity declined and costs rose in its core North
American business.  The Houston energy services company earned
$602 million, or 65 cents per share, down from $683 million, or
74 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 9 percent to $7.11
billion.  Posted. 

Richmond may look to Chevron for compensation for Aug. 6 refinery
fire. Chevron's refinery showered the city in black soot when a
crude unit burst into flames on Aug. 6. At least one city leader
thinks it should shower the city in some cash as compensation.
"The fire set us back," said Councilman Jeff Ritterman, who may
propose a resolution at Tuesday's City Council meeting urging the
global energy giant to volunteer a community compensation
package. " Posted.

Beckett company sues over endangered ocelot.  A company owned by
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett is suing a pipeline
builder on claims that habitat for the endangered ocelot was
destroyed on a South Texas ranch.  The lawsuit filed Tuesday in
Laredo says Eagle Ford Midstream LP violated the federal
Endangered Species Act by clearing land to build a natural gas
pipeline.  Posted. 

EU mulls ways to reduce use of food-based biofuel.  As a U.S.
drought pushes up food prices worldwide, the European Union is
considering limiting the amount of food-based biofuels that can
count toward its mandatory renewable fuel targets.  The bloc
previously decided that 10 percent of fuel used by its transport
sector must come from renewable sources by 2020.  Posted.  

Texas landowners take a rare stand against Big Oil. Oil has long
lived in harmony with farmland and cattle across the Texas
landscape, a symbiosis nurtured by generations and built on an
unspoken honor code that allowed agriculture to thrive while oil
was extracted. Proud Texans have long welcomed the industry
because of the cash it brings to sustain agriculture, but also
see its presence as part of their patriotic duty to help wean the
United States off "foreign" oil. So the answer to companies that
wanted to build pipelines has usually been simple: Yes. Posted.

Solyndra sues Chinese competitors for $1.5 billion.  When
Solyndra declared bankruptcy last year, the company identified a
few reasons why the action was necessary: oversupply, regulatory
issues, problems raising capital. But the main culprit, it said,
was China, which it argued had undercut $1.2 billion in
contracts.  Last week, the company filed a lawsuit against three
U.S.-based, Chinese-owned solar companies.   Posted. 

Green groups sue to block new permits for oil and gas wells.
Environmental groups yesterday filed a lawsuit seeking to bar
California from issuing any more permits for oil and gas drilling
until it toughens state oversight. The Center for Biological
Diversity, Earthworks, the Environmental Working Group and Sierra
Club California charged that California too often exempts new
wells from environmental review or issues a declaration finding
no significant negative effects. Both practices violate the
state's environmental protection law, the suit claims. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/10/17/4  BY


Battery maker A123 files for bankruptcy protection. After years
of struggling with weak sales and mounting losses, electric-car
battery maker A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy protection and
reached a deal to sell its automotive assets Tuesday. Auto parts
maker Johnson Controls will pay $125 million for A123's auto
business, which includes two Michigan factories and the
lithium-ion battery technology used in cars like the Fisker Karma
and upcoming Chevrolet Spark. A123's demise as an independent
business reflects the problems of the electric-car industry.

Nissan shows safety features, electronic steering. Electronically
managed steering that completely bypasses the mechanical link of
a clutch is among the new safety technology from Japanese
automaker Nissan. Other vehicles are smart enough to park
themselves. And some swerve automatically to avoid pedestrians.
Nissan Motor Co. Executive Vice President Mitsuhiko Yamashita
said the latest safety advancements are proactive, unlike
air-bags and other "passive" features that are triggered by a
crash. Posted.

Study finds households manage charging of PHEVs without help from
online tools.  Households with plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs)
and smart meters actively managed how, when and where they
charged their cars based on electricity rates but rarely took
advantage of online feedback, according to a two-year study by a
team at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Renewable and
Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI).  Posted. 

Harvard team finds that the phase of atmospheric secondary
organic material affects chemical aging; may require revision of
regional and global climate models.  Atmospheric chemists at the
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have
found that the phase of secondary organic materials (SOM) in the
atmosphere—solid, semisolid, or liquid—can effect their chemical
reactivity (chemical aging) in the atmosphere.  Posted. 

Nissan introducing independent control electric steering
technology; to be deployed on select Infiniti models within a
year.  Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the first steering
technology that allows independent control of a vehicle’s tire
angle and steering inputs. This next-generation steering
technology was developed by Nissan and will be deployed on select
Infiniti models on sale within one year.  Posted. 

LanzaTech exploring lipids production as part of its CO2 to
acetic acid plans; pathways to renewable fuels.  Earlier this
week, LanzaTech announced a partnership with Malaysia’s Petronas
to extend the core LanzaTech proprietary CO gas fermentation
process to include CO2-containing gases from a variety of
sources—including refinery off-gases and natural gas wells—to
produce acetic acid, a high-value chemical with applications in
the polymers and plastics markets— as well as a possible
intermediate for the formation of lipids.  Posted. 

Cadillac ELR due in late 2013. General Motors plans to build the
all-new Cadillac ELR extended-range electric vehicle at its
Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant. The automaker expects to start
production of the luxury coupe in late 2013, GM North America
President Mark Reuss announced Tuesday at the Society of
Automotive Engineers' Convergence conference in Detroit. The ELR
will vault Cadillac into direct competition with other luxury
electric vehicles such as Fisker Automotive's Karma and Tesla
Motors' Model S. Posted.


Energy Price Increases Pose Challenge for Merkel. In the
aftermath of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan last year,
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced perhaps her most sweeping
domestic ambition, a plan to shutter Germany’s 17 nuclear
reactors and switch to 80 percent reliance on wind, solar and
other renewable sources by 2050. Posted.

NORCO: Officials could shelve controversial manure project. Norco
may again delay its decade-long study of a manure-to-energy
project. For more than 15 years, the city has been exploring what
to do with tons of horse manure produced daily in its boundaries.
 “I was on the animal-keeping ad hoc committee that first floated
this,” in the late 1990s, Norco Mayor Kevin Bash said. “People
were just leaving the manure on their property and the runoff was
going into the street.” Posted.

S.J. supes OK solar facility.  The San Joaquin County Board of
Supervisors on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to a plan to build a
20-acre solar power facility in an eastern, rural area of the
county, overturning a decision by the county Planning Commission
to deny the project. The 1.5-megawatt facility is small compared
to solar farms on hundreds of acres found elsewhere in the state,
but it's on a larger scale than any other solar project in the
county, according to planning staff. Posted.


CPUC readies probe of San Onofre, its costs. State utility
regulators are preparing a possible investigation in to whether
Southern California utilities can continue to bill customers for
a nuclear plant that has not produced electricity for nearly nine
The San Francisco-based California Public Utilities Commission on
Tuesday published a draft investigation order regarding the idled
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. It will take up the matter
at a public meeting Oct. 25 in Irvine. Posted.


Letters: The Golden State's pricey gas. Re "Refueling
California," Opinion, Oct. 12. Jamie Court's idea for oil
refiners to keep a reserve of gasoline on hand is probably a good
idea, but it's a stopgap. What we really need is ample energy
availability that isn't subject to gaming by suppliers and
speculators and that can't be exported to the highest bidder.
That's why wind and solar are so vital — not only because the
energy stays local but also because the utility companies are
more directly accountable to the consumer. Posted.

Fuel Industry Incites Fear of CA's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. You
think 50 cents in one week is bad - wait till the state adopts
the Low Carbon Fuel Standard", warns one critic, predicting
increases three times as much. The regulation was devised by the
CA Air Resources Board to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy
reporter David Baker writes on the business opposition facing
California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) "which is designed
to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that come from making and
burning fuel.  Posted. http://www.planetizen.com/node/58846 


Obama-Backed Battery Maker Files for Bankruptcy.  An electric car
battery maker that President Obama touted as part of a vanguard
of a new American electric car industry has filed for bankruptcy
and is selling its major assets, the company announced on
Tuesday. A123 Systems, which produces lithium ion batteries for
the electric car maker Fisker and the truck manufacturer
Navistar, received a $249 million Department of Energy grant that
was financed by Mr. Obama’s stimulus program. Posted.

Environmentalists sue California oil regulators over fracking. A
coalition of environmental advocates has filed suit against
California oil regulators over the controversial method of oil
extraction called hydraulic fracturing, accusing state officials
of illegally "rubber-stamping" drilling permits without
performing key environmental reviews. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday,
environmentalists allege that regulators are breaking state law
by routinely exempting oil projects from the California
Environmental Quality Act…Posted.

Fighting Climate Change and Air Pollution With One Swat. I've
just arrived in Moscow for a meeting -- the subject will be soot.
You may hear it called black carbon or even elemental carbon.
Scientists getting technical will call it the "light-absorbing
part of particles suspended in the atmosphere." Let's just keep
it simple and call it soot.* (More on black carbon.) Soot:
pollution that is prehistoric, pollution that sits. It's almost
certainly the most visible air pollutant. You have seen it in the
black smoke of old diesel engines or a smoldering campfire.

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