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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 30, 2012.

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:32:06
ARB Newsclips for October 30, 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.


Niland air quality reaches unhealthy level for some.  Air quality
levels in the Niland area have reached unhealthy levels for
sensitive groups, according to an alert from the Imperial County
Air Pollution Control District.  People with respiratory or heart
disease, the elderly and children are the groups most at risk,
especially when they are physically active, according to the
alert. It is because levels of particulate matter 10 reached
levels of 101 on the air quality index.  Posted. 

Clearing the air: What an HVAC cleaner should really do in your
home. Those statistics about indoor air pollution and it’s
relation to respiratory problems convinced you it was time to get
your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC)
cleaned. You were even looking forward to the increased energy
efficiency that a clean system can provide. But $49 and one very
noisy service call later, you’re still sneezing and you haven’t
seen any dip in your energy bill. What happened? Posted. 


South Korea to Accelerate HCFC Emissions Phase Out by 10 Years.
South Korea plans to phase out emissions of
hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, by 2030, 10 years faster than
agreed to under the Montreal Protocol on the reduction of
ozone-depleting substances. The Korean government, adhering to
the ozone-protection rules of the Montreal Protocol, will next
year start imposing ceilings on the production and consumption of
HCFCs, gases that gained favor in the early 1990s as an
alternative to chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, the Ministry of
Knowledge Economy said in an e-mailed statement. Posted.

Rule Tweaks May Dissuade California Carbon Bidders, RBC Says. 
Tweaks to the rules governing the California carbon market may
dissuade bidders in the state’s first auction next month, said a
trader at RBC Capital Markets.  California’s air resources board
on Aug. 17 suspended a rule requiring companies to pledge
annually that they haven’t engaged in “shuffling” electricity
resources to comply with state emissions limits. The board may
propose regulatory amendments by the middle of next year to
change supply of free allowances to factories at risk of shifting
their emissions to regions outside the state, according to a
Sept. 20 statement on the board’s website. Posted. 

If New York’s carbon emissions were solid, they’d bury the Empire
State Building within a day.  It’s pretty hard to visualize air
pollution. Smog at least was smoggy, but carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases are invisible to the naked eye. Carbon Visuals
took a crack at showing people exactly how much carbon dioxide
New York City dumped in the atmosphere in 2010, and their concept
— in which a blue ball 33 feet across represents the metric ton
of carbon dioxide gas released by the city every 0.58 seconds —
actually does a great job of bringing home the gigantic amounts
of waste we’re creating.  Posted. 

Countdown to California's "Cap and Trade" Carbon Credit Auction.
After a series of setbacks, the California Air Resources Board
(ARB) now seems poised to host its historic initial auction for
California carbon emission credits on November 14. The auction is
a key part of the greenhouse gas (GHG) cap and trade regulation,
which, in turn, is a central component of the Global Warming
Solutions Act of 2006 (also known as Assembly Bill 32), signed
into law by former California Governor Schwarzenegger. AB 32
requires California to reduce its GHG emissions to 1990 levels by
the end of 2020. Posted.

US actions on climate change in the next administration. For over
two decades the EU has established a track record in global
leadership on climate change. While producing mixed results, the
EU remains committed to regional and global policies and actions
advancing energy sustainability. Although sovereign debt,
financial and other economic distresses have rocked the EU since
2008, these difficulties have not lessened the prominence of
climate change on the EU’s political agenda. Posted.

Climate change powers "Frankenstorm" Sandy. A record-smashing
superstorm is expected to slam into the eastern seaboard of the
United States today. After rampaging though the Caribbean
islands, hurricane Sandy has swelled into a massive storm system
as it plows along the east coast. Tropical force winds span over
1,500 km -- making it the "largest hurricane in Atlantic
history." An expanse of open ocean more than 2,500km across is
frothing with waves greater than 12 feet high. Posted.


Pike Research US consumer survey finds decreasing fundamental
interest in plug-in electric vehicles.  A new Pike Research
survey assessing US consumer demand, preferences, and price
sensitivity for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and electric
vehicle charging equipment (EVCE) has found a decline in the
fundamental interest in PEVs among survey participants between
2011 and 2012.  In 2012, 35% of respondents stated that they
would be extremely or very interested in purchasing a plug-in
hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or battery electric vehicle (BEV)
with a range of 40 to 100 miles and an electricity cost
equivalent to $0.75 per gallon. Posted. 

Japan, US, France, Germany and China are top 5 markets in EV
readiness.  In an EV market report by McKinsey, Japan, the United
States, France, Germany and China are ranked as the top 5
countries in terms of EV market maturity level in 2012. Sales
numbers in the five countries indicate that the EV market is
taking off in US and Europe, while in China and Japan the market
is shrinking.  The sales of electric vehicles witnessed positive
growth in the United States and Europe in the second quarter of
2012. The sales of electric vehicles amounted to 7,931, a 28%
growth compared to the first quarter. Posted. 


Microgrids could bring big green changes to power systems.  Sandy
may look bad now, but could it (and the other Frankenstorms
before it) actually inspire change? If enough power goes down, if
enough damage is done, if enough people demand it — well, maybe.
But that change would be small. Micro, in fact.  Millions of East
Coasters have already lost power this week and millions more
stand to lose it in the coming days. Our reliance on central
power plants and large grids has a lot to do with this. Posted. 


At polluted Santa Susana lab site, sacred cave attracts tribe's
bid. The Chumash are seeking a parcel that includes Burro Flats
Painted Cave, which has some of the best preserved pictographs in
the state. The Chumash tribe has expressed interest in buying a
450-acre slice of a contaminated nuclear research facility in the
hills between the Simi and San Fernando valleys, hoping to
preserve a cave that its members consider sacred. Posted.


Ethanol suit hints at climate split between states.  SINCE THE
SENATE failed to pass a climate bill in 2010, environmentalists
have looked to the states to cut the country’s greenhouse-gas
emissions, and their gaze has been fixed most firmly on
California. Continuing its tradition of pioneering green policies
that others copy, the Golden State is implementing a landmark
greenhouse-gas law that would do what Congress didn’t — put a
price on carbon-dioxide emissions through a cap-and-trade
program, at least in California.  Posted. 

Herhold: A San Jose gas station corner is ground zero in
environmental fight. When the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
wants to show legislators the flaws of California's 42-year-old
environmental quality act (CEQA), the bus halts at Moe's Stop gas
station at 33rd and McKee streets in San Jose. Four years ago,
Moe's began a laborious attempt to add three pumps under a canopy
on the east side of its property. No big deal, right? Wrong. It
took Moe's more than three years and a blizzard of legal and
consultant bills before it got permission. What held it up?

Was Hurricane Sandy Caused by Global Warming? As widespread power
outages and flooding affect millions on the East Coast,
speculation continues as to whether or not climate change caused
the storm. Millions were paralyzed by Hurricane Sandy as the
storm swept up the East Coast Monday night into Tuesday. The
storm made landfall in New Jersey but shut down federal
government offices, public transportation systems, and schools in
Washington, D.C. and New York City. Posted.


Yes, Hurricane Sandy is a good reason to worry about climate
change.  Every time a major natural disaster barrels along,
people want to know whether it has anything to do with global
warming. Is climate change causing this storm? That drought? Will
we see more disasters like it if the planet keeps warming?  When
it comes to tropical cyclones like Hurricane Sandy, the climate
links can be somewhat difficult to pin down. On the one hand,
humans have warmed the planet about 0.8°C since the Industrial
Revolution. As Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for
Atmospheric Research likes to say…Posted. 

A year of extreme weather — and little climate change talk.  So
far this year we’ve seen: The first nine months of 2012 have been
the hottest in the United States on record. (Globally, this has
been the eighth-warmest year on record.)  — The wildfire season
this year was the second-largest by area since records began in
the 1960s, topped only by 2006. In Colorado, 600 homes were
destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire.  — The biggest drought in
half a century parched the Midwest, sent food prices climbing and
knocked 0.4 percentage points off third quarter GDP growth. 

Gettin' down with cap 'n trade. Next month, California will hold
the first auction as part of its carbon cap and trade program.
The program, which will be the second largest CO2 emissions
trading system in the world, has been in the works since 2006,
when the Golden State passed the Global Warming Solutions Act, a
piece of legislation that mandated chiseling down greenhouse gas
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. A cap and trade system puts a
limit on the total amount of carbon dioxide polluters can emit –
that’s the cap. For its initial cap, the California Air Resources
Board (CARB) set a CO2 limit of 162 million tons. Posted.

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