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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 31, 2012. Posted: 31 Oct 2012 16:21:56
ARB Newsclips for October 31, 2012. ARB Newsclips for October 31, 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. AIR POLLUTION Wood-burning rules to aid air quality start Thursday in Sacramento County. Rules that limit wood burning in Sacramento County start Thursday to protect air quality. This is the sixth year for the rules, which have helped the region meet federal particulate standards. Imposed by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, the rules restrict heating with wood in homes and businesses from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, when fine particulate pollution is high. The rules apply to fireplaces, wood stoves, outdoor firepits and chimneys whether they burn firewood, pellets, manufactured logs or any other solid fuel. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/31/v-print/4950301/wood-burning-rules-to-aid-air.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/10/31/2435914/wood-burning-rules-to-aid-air.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Earth Log: Lawsuit challenges Valley's dirty-air penalty. Environmental watchdogs filed suit this month to stop that $12 dirty-air fee now attached to your vehicle registration. Keep your eye on this one, folks. It's all about the $30 million ozone fine that the San Joaquin Valley pays each year for missing a cleanup deadline in 2010. You are paying most of that fine, and the lawsuit says that's wrong. This is also about who pollutes and who pays in the Valley -- where there have been more ozone violations in the past 12 years than any other place in the country. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/30/3049000/earth-log-lawsuit-challenges-valleys.html#storylink=cpy Yuba-Sutter meets clean air standard. Much of Yuba-Sutter is in compliance with federal standards for how much fine particulate matter is in the air. In a notice published Tuesday in the Federal Register, the Environmental Protection Agency said the region had, on average from 2009-11, particulate matter at or below the federal standard adopted in 2006. Dave Valler, air pollution control officer for the Feather River Air Quality Management District, said the finding means the district and its residents won't be subject to more stringent requirements to improve air quality. Posted. http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/air-120661-attainment-quality.html#ixzz2Au9KG9Ka L.A. utility feuds with local official over Owens Lake dust. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is suing the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District over what it considers unreasonable and unlawful orders related to the management of the dry bed of Owens Lake. Los Angeles drained the lake in central California to meet the water needs of its residents, and subsequently, its customers have had to pay $1.2 billion for vegetation, gravel and flooding at Owens Lake. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/31/28 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE EU Nations Said to Vote on Carbon Registry Rules in December. European Union member states will vote in December on a draft proposal to revise the bloc’s carbon registry rules, in which the EU regulator seeks to include a provision to limit the use of certain international credits. The agenda for the next meeting of the EU Climate Change Committee on Nov. 15, composed of representatives of national governments, includes a “state of play” point on the registry regulation, without a vote on the draft measure, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-31/eu-nations-said-to-vote-on-carbon-registry-rules-in-december-1-.html UN May Supply Record Number of Carbon Offsets in November. Supply of United Nations carbon offsets, known as Certified Emission Reductions or CERs, may jump 95 percent in November to the highest total since the mechanism began, according to UN data compiled by Bloomberg. The executive board of the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, the body responsible for regulating CERs, is scheduled to deliver more than 52 million metric tons of credits from Nov. 1 through Nov. 29, the UN data show. The schedule for the month isn’t yet complete. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-31/un-may-supply-record-number-of-carbon-offsets-in-november-1-.html Climate change, or crap shoot? Experts weigh Sandy's causes. A huge storm barrels down on the United States, wreaking havoc with punishing winds, record flooding, heavy snowfall and massive blackouts. Is the main culprit climate change or a freak set of coincidences? Sandy wiped out homes along the New Jersey shore, submerged parts of New York City, and dumped snow as far south as the Carolinas. At least 50 people were reported killed in the United States, on top of 69 in the Caribbean, while millions of people were left without power. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/31/storm-sandy-climate-idUSL1E8LUCF320121031 Scientists see extent of storm's damage linked to climate change. For many, reports of Hurricane Sandy's massive reach and destructive potential raised a simple question with a complex answer: Is this climate change? The answer, experts say, is a qualified "yes." Late-season hurricanes like Sandy aren't unusual. That the hurricane melded with a blast of Arctic air as it moved ashore, transforming into a powerful "post-tropical" nor'easter, is rare but not unprecedented. And scientists are quick to point out that they cannot yet definitively link an individual storm, like Sandy, to climate change. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/31/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Tehama County Supes balk at tractor emissions. The Tehama County Board of Supervisors continued its opposition Tuesday to a proposed rule that targets agricultural equipment for emission reductions across the state. The board authorized Chairman Bob Williams to sign a letter crafted by Air Pollution Control Officer Alan Abs that formally lists the concerns with the proposed regulations. Although still in the concept stage, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has been preparing regulations for off-road mobile agricultural equipment it hopes to have in place by December 2013. Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/california/ci_21895352/tehama-county-supes-balk-at-tractor-emissions FUELS RIVERSIDE: City’s fleet wins award. Riverside’s fleet was named best in North America at the fifth annual Government Green Fleet Awards & Expo in Chicago. The Government Green Fleet Awards is sponsored by Government Green Fleet Magazine in partnership with Tom Johnson, author of the 100 Best Fleets program. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20121030-riverside-citys-fleet-wins-award.ece Backers of 30-year gas-purchase deal to press on. The Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification LLC said Tuesday that they plan to amend their 30-year contract in which the state agency is buying the company's synthetic natural gas to satisfy an appeals court ruling that reversed regulators' approval of the deal. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/30/ind-appeals-court-throws-out-30-year-gas-buy/#ixzz2AtWZiyA8 Glut of natural gas buffers the blow from refinery closures. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita slammed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, the storms destroyed hundreds of oil and natural gas rigs and pipelines along the Gulf Coast. It triggered the nation's first major price shock in decades. As it turns out, Hurricane Sandy isn't Katrina, but there's also this: The vast U.S. energy system is better equipped today to handle a natural disaster stretching the length of a coastline. Oil, gasoline and natural gas prices will see some effect...Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/31/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Enzyme maker says it can get more ethanol out of corn. Enzyme maker Novozymes A/S yesterday said it has found a way to eke more ethanol out of corn. The Denmark-based company unveiled its Avantec enzyme, a molecule that it says can help produce ethanol using 2.5 percent less corn and 2.5 percent less energy. The enzyme could save the typical U.S. ethanol plant 22,500 tons of corn a year, Novozymes said. Avantec is a "vitamin shot" for the industry, said Peder Nielsen, Novozymes' executive vice president. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/31/23 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY First jet flies on 100% biofuel. The aviation biofuels industry hit a major landmark Monday with the flight of the first civilian plane powered completely by biofuels. The jet, a Falcon 20, was developed by Canada's National Research Council and flew over Ottawa on the fuel derived from oilseed crops. It was followed by a second plane that collected emissions data that will later be analyzed by the Canadian NRC. While there have been commercial test flights on biofuel blends, including a United flight last year that flew on an algae-derived fuel blend, this is the first civilian flight to run 100 percent on plant oil, according to the NRC. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/10/31/24 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY REGION: Landfill offers tips for an eco-friendly Halloween. This Halloween, after all of the little ghosts and goblins have tricked for their last treat, compost jack-o-lanterns instead of throwing them out in the garbage. Composting is just one of the ways Waste Management El Sobrante Landfill wants to remind customers to Think Green by adopting eco-friendly habits this holiday season. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20121030-region-landfill-offers-tips-for-an-eco-friendly-halloween.ece Scientists Build the First All-Carbon Solar Cell. Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today. The results are published in the Oct. 31 online edition of the journal ACS Nano. "Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at a low cost," said study senior author Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a working solar cell that has all of the components made of carbon. Posted. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031125037.htm MISCELLANEOUS Romney Seen Scuttling EPA Proposals, Letting Rules Stand. On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has pledged to halt environmental regulations such as auto-mileage standards, mercury pollution limits for power plants and mandated cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. But the reality is that repealing a rule already in place would require help from lawmakers or the courts, or years of bureaucratic effort, former officials and lawyers say. Posted. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-10-31/romney-seen-scuttling-epa-proposals-letting-rules-stand.html Utah high court turns back coal mine challenge. The Utah Supreme Court rejected arguments Tuesday that state regulators failed to assess the full environmental impacts of a coal mine outside Bruce Canyon National Park. The high court turned back a challenge brought by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups that asserted the state ignored a host of drawbacks from a strip mine operating a dozen miles from a corner of the national park. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/30/utah-high-court-turns-back-coal-mine-challenge/#ixzz2AtX2VUda OPINIONS Editorial: Sandy vs. climate change politics. Put the perfect storm atop the nation's most populous region, and the result is the human misery and havoc that Sandy wrought in the Northeast: Nearly 40 people dead so far, and more than 7 million without power. An estimated $20 billion in property damage. Record flooding in New York City that shut down the stock exchange and the subway. Devastation along the New Jersey coast. And, to boot, a blizzard along the spine of the Appalachian mountains. EDITORIAL: Superstorm forecasting feat, with a catch. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2012/10/30/sandy-climate-change-politics/1670073/ ROGER HEDGECOCK: THE BANANA MIND. I’m confused by today’s environmental movement, although in the past it made some sense. Popular appreciation for the need to conserve and protect the natural environment became a mass movement and therefore a popular political movement after Earth Day 1970. Led by membership and volunteer groups like the Sierra Club, sensitivity to the environmental effects of human activity was incorporated into law at the local, state and federal level. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/30/tp-roger-hedgecock-the-banana-mind/ BLOGS Climate change predictions foresaw Hurricane Sandy scenario for New York City. Hurricane Sandy’s stunning storm surge practically marooned the Big Apple. But for years, forecasters saw this as a possibility in both the present and more distant future. In my somewhat whimsical post of February 9, 2011, I speculated about what life would be like during the year 2076, our tercentennial, both weatherwise and otherwise. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/climate-change-predictions-foresaw-hurricane-sandy-scenario-for-new-york-city/2012/10/31/b78de428-2374-11e2-ac85-e669876c6a24_blog.html Sandy shows the U.S. is unprepared for climate disasters. There are two main strategies involved in tackling climate change. First, we could try to slow or stop the pace of global warming by curbing our greenhouse-gas emissions. And second, there’s adaptation — we can try to revamp our existing infrastructure to protect ourselves against some of the effects of a warmer planet. Many experts say we’ll need to do both. Even if the world could zero out its emissions tomorrow, scientists have found…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/31/why-the-united-states-is-so-unprepared-for-climate-disasters/?Post+generic= Two Views of a Superstorm in Climate Context. In the hours before Hurricane Sandy thundered ashore, igniting power stations and Queens neighborhoods and darkening urban and rural communities alike, I filed two pieces for Dot Earth. The first, “The #Frankenstorm in Climate Context,” was on the storm in the context of climate history and the science pointing to greenhouse-driven climate change. The second was on the impact of our tribal nature on climate communication, including my own. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/two-views-of-a-superstorm-in-climate-context/ Sandy Dominates European Headlines. Four thousand miles away — and more — in Europe, the winds from Hurricane Sandy were strong enough to blow most other news off front pages and news bulletins on Tuesday. Newspapers that closed their print runs before the storm struck the eastern seaboard of the United States in the early hours of the European day provided live updates on their Web sites to bring news of casualties, flooding and blackouts. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/sandy-dominates-european-headlines/?partner=rss&emc=rss Climate Change And Natural Disasters Related, Most Americans Say: Poll. Climate scientists have warned that more frequent hurricanes may be related to climate change, and a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that half of Americans think that climate change is indeed related to more frequent and severe natural disasters, although they are more divided on whether Hurricane Sandy specifically was related to global warming. According to the new survey, conducted Oct. 29-30, 51 percent of Americans say climate change is related to more frequent and severe natural disasters, while 23 percent say it is not. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/climate-change-natural-disasters-poll_n_2049236.html?utm_hp_ref=green Fleets and consumers now see practical alternative-fuel vehicle options. Automakers and fans of alternative fuel vehicles have been waiting for years for consumers to start rolling off dealer lots driving green cars. It is slowly starting to happen, with the number of vehicles that don't run exclusively on standard gasoline nearly doubling from 534,000 on US roads in 2003 to almost 940,000 in 2010, according to US Energy Information Administration. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/10/31/fleets-and-consumers-now-see-practical-alternative-fuel-vehicle/ Honda uses hydro power because "Every Drop Counts". A little water power can pull about seven gas-powered cars off the road. That's the gist of an effort by Honda to cut emissions by equipping a plant with a little hydro-electric power plant. The Japanese automaker outlined its recent efforts in a two-minute video with the tagline "every drop counts." In the video, Honda engineers talk about how capturing falling waste water using a turbine-type device can produce electricity for the vehicle factory. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/10/31/honda-uses-hydro-power-because-every-drop-counts/ What changes might green car policies see under a Romney presidency? A downward-revised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard and a push away from electric-drive vehicles and towards alt-fuel types such as natural gas may be some of the transportation measures in store if Mitt Romney beats Barack Obama in the US presidential election next month, Automotive News reports. A removal of tax credits for electric-vehicle buyers could also be on the table, says Hybrid Cars. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/10/30/changes-green-car-policies-romney-presidency/