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newsclips -- ARB Newswclips for October 18, 2012.

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 14:14:03
ARB Newsclips for October 18, 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.


Chevron fire spurs air board to increase toxic pollution
monitoring after releases from refineries. A strategy for
increasing toxic air pollution monitoring after refinery releases
like the Aug. 6 Chevron fire in Richmond was approved Wednesday
by the Bay Area's air pollution board. The plan sets out an
18-month schedule for the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District to complete a series of reports and actions and adopt a
new rule to track pollution from refineries. Posted.


The worst everyday air pollutants -- and what they do to our
bodies.  The Clean Air Act of 1970 has gone a long way toward
improving the air we consume, but we still have a long way to go.
According to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air
2012 report, 127 million people — or 47 percent of the nation —
live with air pollution levels that are too dangerous to breathe
at various times. As the Clean Air Act celebrates another
benchmark, let’s take a look at some of the worst air pollutants
continuing to make their mark on our atmosphere — and our lungs. 


Business group asks Gov. Brown to delay cap and trade. A business
coalition has appealed to California's governor to delay the
state's pending cap-and-trade program, arguing that without
adjustments it will hobble the economy. The A.B. 32
Implementation Group -- which represents nearly 200 companies and
trade associations -- on Monday sent Gov. Jerry Brown (D) a
letter urging intervention. It arrived as the California Air
Resources Board (ARB) finalizes plans for cap and trade. The
agency meets today in Sacramento, its last planned session before
the Golden State holds its inaugural auction of carbon allowances
on Nov. 14. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/18/14  BY

Cutting Carbon Emissions the Cap-and-Trade Way.  Speaking of
climate change, one of the best ways of reducing carbon emissions
is to implement a cap-and-trade scheme. Basically, the government
sets a nationwide cap for carbon emissions and then auctions off
permits on a quarterly basis. Companies can buy permits at
auction, and they can later trade them on the open market as
their needs vary. The government caps and companies trade. It's a
pretty elegant solution to reining in carbon pollution.  Of
course, the whole point of these permits is that they raise the
cost of energy…Posted. 

China's carbon trading debut defies doubters. China’s first steps
to build what is destined to be the world’s second-biggest
emissions market are boosting the prospects for fledgling
programs from Australia to California. Four cement makers in
China, the world’s biggest emitter, bought 1.3 million pollution
permits for 60 yuan ($9) a metric ton last month in Guangdong.
The province plans the largest of seven pilot programs for a
proposed national market within three years. Posted.


Port of Los Angeles: Authorities conduct surprise pollution
inspections of heavy trucks. Authorities Wednesday conducted
surprise inspections of heavy-duty trucks traveling in and around
the Port of Los Angeles to check for compliance with state air
pollution laws. The operation took place at New Dock Street and
Pier S Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to noon, according to the
California Air Resources Board. "The measures aimed at cleaning
up diesel vehicles include requirements to report fleet
information to the ARB…Posted.


CARB Says "Gear Up for Clean Truck Month" a Success. The
California Air Resources Board announced that its month-long
multi-agency campaign to ensure that trucks traveling on
California's roadways are obeying state air pollution laws was a
huge success. With assistance from the California Highway Patrol,
Caltrans and the California Department of Food and Agriculture,
CARB staff inspected 4,053 trucks at roughly 40 locations
throughout the state during August, noting an overall compliance
rate of more than 80%. Posted.

CSA Scrutiny Intensifies. Scrutiny of the CSA truck safety
program went up a notch this week with a congressional request
for an audit and the launch of a review by a Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration advisory group. Rep. Peter DeFazio,
D-Ore., asked Calvin Scovel, the Inspector General of the
Department of Transportation, to audit CSA concerning issues
raised in a recent congressional hearing. DeFazio wants the
Inspector General to look into the accuracy, reliability and
significance of CSA scores, in light of testimony that the system
does not accurately rate carrier performance. Posted.

Johnson Matthey CRT Particulate Filter wins CARB extension 17th
October 2012. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has
extended its verification of the Johnson Matthey CRT Particulate
Filter system to include 13-inch diameter systems. These will
work on large bore, high horsepower 1994 to 2006 model year
on-road engines. Johnson Matthey's CRT filter has revolutionized
modern diesel emissions reduction since it became the first
filter verified by the US Environmental Protection Agency and
CARB. Posted.


California Will Regulate Fracking After All. State's Top Oil and
Gas Administrator says regulation and oversight coming to
industry after decades of no fracking rules. Despite inaction in
the state legislature this year, California will proceed with
tighter regulation and oversight of hydraulic fracturing,
commonly known as ‘fracking,’ to recover oil deposits throughout
the state. Posted.

Taking a stand against oil pipeline. 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.
Texans have long welcomed the industry because of the cash it
brings to sustain agriculture, but they 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.

California Energy Commission selects 7 biofuel companies for
almost $27M in funding.  The California Energy Commission (CEC)
has selected seven companies as proposed recipients for
$26,896,373 in Round 2 of awards from a solicitation released
under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology
Program (ARFVTP) to provide funding for the development of new,
California-based biofuel production facilities that can
sustainably produce low-carbon transportation fuels.  Posted. 


Toyota Prius is best selling car in California; domestics lag.
When it comes to auto brands, Californians like their passenger
cars from Japan, their luxury cars from Germany and their muscle
cars from Detroit. The Toyota Prius beat out all other cars,
trucks and sport-utility vehicles to be the best selling
passenger vehicle of any type in California through the first
nine months of this year. Toyota sold 46,380 of the hybrids in
the Golden State, according to a report from AutoCount, the car
data division of Experian Co., and the California New Car Dealers
Assn. Posted.

Tesla starts Roadster buyback program. Say you're one of those
lucky, well-compensated few who owns a Tesla Roadster. The
$109,000 electric sports car may turn plenty of heads, but it has
its limitations. No trunk, no backseat, no power steering. And
let's face it - after production ended last year, the Roadster is
no longer the newest, coolest thing. Tesla's latest car, the
Model S sedan, has a better claim on that title. So Tesla has
created a buyback program for Roadster owners who want to trade
in their old ride for a Model S. Posted.

California ZEV Mandate — Would a Gas Tax Be Better? California's
zero-emissions vehicle mandate, law since 1998 and generally
thought responsible for the introduction of hybrids and electric
vehicles in the U.S., is ratcheting up the stakes as it enters
its third phase. The requirements are aimed at slashing petroleum
use and the resulting pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions
from passenger cars and trucks, and if unaltered would require
automakers doing business in California to achieve sales of 1.5
million hydrogen fuel-cell and battery-electric vehicles in the
state by 2025. Posted.


Bakersfield battle looms over high-speed rail.  The Bakersfield
City Council voted Wednesday to hire an outside attorney to file
a lawsuit against the California High Speed Rail Authority. The
city would argue the authority's environmental impact reports
don't meet the standards of state law.  City officials say
they've tried to get the Authority to provide details about
potential impacts, but they're not getting answers. Posted. 

High Speed Rail - to sue or not to sue?  To sue or not to sue,
that's the decision the Bakersfield City Council will have to
make Wednesday night regarding the High Speed Rail project. City
officials say the High Speed Rail Authority glossed over
California Environmental Quality Act standards and that could
cost the city millions and create problems for residents. 
Residents who live near 16th Street, right next to one of the
proposed high speed rail lines, have many concerns. "More worried
about the noise, more worried about the demolition. Posted. 


DOE invests in a fuel cell technology to help remove CO2 from
power plant emissions. Armed with new Department of Energy money,
a Connecticut company announced this week it is moving forward
with a carbon capture project that it thinks could revolutionize
the technology. FuelCell Energy is one of a handful of companies
investigating how to address one of the biggest barriers in
trying to capture carbon dioxide from coal plants for later
storage underground, an unproved concept. The problem is called
parasitic load. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/18/4  BY

Americans remain confused and misinformed on energy and climate –
poll. Americans hold contradictory views about the power of the
president to bring down the cost of energy and are ill-informed
about the drivers of global warming, according to a new opinion
survey. The University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll was
conducted between Sept. 6 and 17. Weighted to reflect U.S. Census
Bureau demographics, 2,092 people responded to the online survey,
which focused on energy policy and the elections. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/10/18/6 BY


Presidential debate: What climate crisis? A lot of hot air on
energy. Watch news clips of Tuesday night's presidential debate
and chances are that the back-and-forth between President Obama
and GOP challenger Mitt Romney on energy policy will loom large
-- not because of the policies under discussion, which were a
rehash of old talking points, but because of the playground-style
sniping ("Did not reduce drilling on federal lands!" "Did so!")
that might have marked a new low point in the history of such
debates. Posted.

Ethanol relief vital to state's cows. Attempts to clean up our
air and to ensure that the nation has enough milk to drink are on
a collision course. As a result, the future of California's dairy
industry looks sour. Around 100 farms are expected to go bankrupt
this year alone, and the trend seems likely to continue if
nothing is done. Because of the demand for grain to produce the
gasoline additive ethanol - which was supposed to reduce air
pollution - plus a nationwide drought, many of the state's
cash-strapped farmers are selling their cows for slaughter
because they can't afford to feed them. Posted.

Victor Davis Hanson: Obama's vision is already present in
California, and it's not working. I thought of my fellow
Californian, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, last week, when I paid
$4.89 a gallon in Gilroy for regular gas -- and had to wait in
line to get it. The customers were in near revolt, but I wondered
against what and whom. I mentioned to one exasperated motorist
that there are estimated to be more than 20 billion barrels of
oil a few miles away, in newly found reserves off the California
coast. He thought I was from Mars. California may face the
nation's largest budget deficit at $16 billion. Posted.

Relief at the pump? A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals was heard arguments Wednesday in San Francisco
in a legal challenge to a California regulation that imposes a
low-carbon standard for transportation fuels within the state.
The first-in-the-nation regulation, an offshoot of Assembly Bill
32, the state’s 2006 global warming law, was ruled
unconstitutional last year by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence
O’Neill, in a case brought by farming, oil and transportation
industry groups against the California Air Resources Board.

The EPA Is Moving The Goalposts, Even After The Game Has Started.
 Football fans would be outraged if every time one team was
preparing to kick a field goal the officials moved the goalposts
further back, making it harder to score. And yet the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) frequently moves the
goalposts further away for companies and industries trying to
abide by countless federal regulations.  One of President Obama’s
top agenda items was to pass cap-and-trade legislation intended
to limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. 


For Hybrid Drivers, a Gas Pump Allergy? Although electric
vehicles have not taken off as some had hoped, there are now
enough of them on the road that some behavioral differences
between drivers of all-electric models and plug-in hybrids have
become evident, in addition to those between E.V. users and
owners of conventional models. Data on drivers’ habits has been
harvested by href=”http://www.ecotality.com/”>ECOtality, a
start-up that is struggling to help build up the nation’s
charging infrastructure. Many say that a core apparatus is needed
to spur mass demand for electric vehicles. Posted.

Another Debate Postscript: Voters and Gasoline Prices. Gasoline
prices are as predictable a political issue in a presidential
election campaign as taxes or unemployment, even though
presidents have little if any control over them. So it’s hardly
news that Mitt Romney noted in Tuesday night’s debate that gas
prices are roughly twice as high as they were when President
Obama came to office. Posted.

One Last Energy Fact From the Presidential Debate. One assertion
by President Obama about energy achievements in Tuesday night’s
campaign debate drew little notice. Refuting Mr. Romney’s charge
that he had jeopardized American energy security by vetoing the
Keystone XL pipeline for carrying crude oil from Canada, the
president said: “And with respect to this pipeline that Governor
Romney keeps on talking about, we’ve — we’ve built enough
pipeline to wrap around the entire earth once. So I’m all for
pipelines; I’m all for oil production.” Posted.

Obama and Romney, Oil and Science. It’s not surprising that the
first substantive energy exchange between the two candidates
dealt with gas prices, given — as a national poll by the
University of Texas just found — that this is by far the most
pressing energy issue on voters’ minds (to the consternation of
climate hawks). Posted.

What we can learn from Europe’s cap-and-trade system.  We know,
we know. No one in Washington wants to talk about climate change.
Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney mentioned the subject in the
second presidential debate on Tuesday. And there’s a widespread
belief that a cap-and-trade program to cut carbon emissions won’t
resurface in Congress anytime soon.  Still, that hasn’t stopped
our friends on the other side of the Atlantic from tackling the
issue. And there’s a new report (pdf) out today from the analysts
at the Environmental Defense Fund, looking at the track record of
Europe’s cap-and-trade system over the past seven years. Posted. 

How climate change disappeared from the debates.  Over at the New
Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert laments the fact that neither President
Obama nor Mitt Romney had anything to say about climate change
during the second presidential debate Tuesday. Oh, sure, they
talked about energy — about oil leases, about coal, a few quick
nods toward renewable energy. But nothing about this warming
planet of ours. Nothing about the summer’s droughts or wildfires
or the rapidly melting Arctic.  Posted. 

Natural Disaster Trends Report Cites Link To Climate Change
'Footprint'.  North America has seen the world’s sharpest
increase in the number of natural catastrophes during the past 32
years, a trend that in some respects is linked to manmade global
warming, according to a report released Wednesday from the global
reinsurance giant Munich Re. The study, which has not undergone
scientific peer review, examined natural disaster losses between
1980 and 2011…Posted. 

EPA invests $30 million to reduce diesel pollution.  Last week
EPA awarded $30 million in funding to diesel clean-up projects
across the nation through the Diesel Emission Reduction Act
(DERA). The program has invested in more than 500 diesel clean-up
projects since it began in 2008, reducing hundreds of thousands
of tons of air pollution and saving millions of gallons of fuel.
It is especially exciting to see these smart investments continue
since DERA has seen threats to its funding in these lean economic
times.  Posted.

Californians: Here Are Your Clean Vehicle Choices!  Few states in
the U.S. can match California’s generosity when it comes to clean
vehicle rebate programs.  In fact, back in September, the
California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection
Agency awarded the state’s 10,000th Clean Vehicle Rebate to a
Nissan Leaf owner from Meadow Vista, California.  But which cars
are eligible, and how much rebates can you claim if you live in
California?  Thanks to a comprehensive web page from the Center
for Sustainable Energy in California, the answers are just a
click away.  Posted. 

Five Turbocharged Green Cars You Need To Drive.  There was a time
when a turbocharger under the hood meant one thing and one thing
only: that the car you were driving was a performance-oriented,
sporty beast with that oh-so-addictive turbo whine.  Today, the
turbocharger has become the biggest thing in green car technology
since the hybrid drivetrain, with everything from minicars to
luxury sedans switching to smaller, turbocharged engines in the
pursuit of higher gas mileage.  But with so many cars to choose
from, which turbocharged green cars are the best?  Posted. 

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