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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 3, 2012.

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 14:07:54
ARB Newsclips for December 2, 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.


Carbon pollution up to 2 million pounds a second. The amount of
heat-trapping pollution the world spewed rose again last year by
3 percent. So scientists say it's now unlikely that global
warming can be limited to a couple of degrees, which is an
international goal. The overwhelming majority of the increase was
from China, the world's biggest carbon dioxide polluter. Of the
planet's top 10 polluters, the United States and Germany were the
only countries that reduced their carbon dioxide emissions.








UC Davis research plane sniffs out gas leaks. To a casual
observer, it looks like someone barnstorming several hundred feet
above sparsely populated Central California terrain in a small
plane. But it’s UC Davis atmospheric researchers surveying
Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s 600 miles of natural gas pipelines
between Sonoma and Fresno in a single-engine Mooney TLS packed
with scientific instruments designed to sniff out leaks of
methane, a potent source of global warming. Posted.

Schools, offices closed over air pollution in Iran.  Iran's state
TV says Tehran's schools, universities and government offices
will be closed for two days because of high air pollution in the
capital.  The broadcast Monday quoted Tehran governor Morteza
Tamaddon as saying that banks and hospitals will remain open to
provide services to the residents of the smog-filled capital. 




Group sues over quarry. At 94, Fraser West refers to himself as
"an old cowboy."
Old enough that he's cut back. The Texas longhorns grazing
outside his home number in the dozens now, rather than the
hundreds he once ran. But he says he's not ready to cut back on
clean air, quiet or beauty. That's why he's part of the Ione
Valley Land, Air, and Water Defense Alliance, a group that's
suing to overturn Amador County's approval of a quarry that over
the next 50 years would mine and crush a 250-foot-tall ridge just
south of his ranch. Posted.

AIR QUALITY: Father and son on same South Coast governing board.
Overseeing regional air-pollution regulations and policies in the
nation's smoggiest metropolis will soon be somewhat of a family
affair. Wildomar Mayor Ben Benoit will replace retiring Riverside
Mayor Ron Loveridge on the board of the South Coast Air Quality
Management District. He will be the voice of Riverside County’s
cities on the board.
Benoit, owner of a computer networking business, will join his
father, Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, who represents
the county on the 13-member air district board. Posted.


US envoy hits China's stand in UN climate talks. The United
States on Monday challenged China's view of how to split the
burden of curbing carbon emissions, saying the rich-poor divide
in past climate agreements has no place in a future pact to fight
global warming. The U.S. envoy to international climate talks in
Qatar, Todd Stern, said that the next climate deal must be based
on "real-world" considerations, not "an ideology that says we're
going to draw a line down the middle of the world." Posted.






New Zealand: Forget Kyoto, write new climate deal. Highlighting a
rift between the rich countries and emerging economies like
China, New Zealand's climate minister staunchly defended his
government's decision to drop out of the emissions pact for
developed nations, saying it's an outdated and insufficient
response to global warming. Other key issues at the conference,
now starting its second week, include how to help emerging
nations switch to climate-friendly energy sources and charting
the course for a new treaty that would replace the Kyoto
Protocol, which covers only developed countries. Posted.



Plants and soils could accelerate climate's warming, study warns.
When climate scientists try to estimate how much the Earth will
warm due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere, a key consideration is the role of plants and soils.
The more carbon they absorb, the more they reduce the global
warming potential. But recent studies indicate that assumptions
about plants' and soils' capacity in the so-called "carbon cycle"
may be overly optimistic. Posted.

Dems pushing to reform of CEQA.  It's been 42 years since
then-Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the landmark California
Environmental Quality Act, an early victory for the nascent
environmental protection movement that since has become a very
powerful force in state and national politics.  Whether CEQA and
its legislative progeny, including the most recent anti-global
warming laws, have truly protected California's environment or
merely morphed into vehicles for those on the political left to
pursue other ideological goals remains a bitterly debated issue. 

In the West, GOP Governors, Skeptical of Cap-and-Trade, Will
Watch California. Utah Governor Gary Herbert is skeptical about
the viability of large-scale carbon trading in the United States,
but says he is “absolutely” watching as California continues
rolling out its unprecedented two-week-old cap-and-trade system.
Should California’s experiment work, states should take note, he
told Stateline Sunday (December 2). If it fails, “we’ll be able
to check that off the list.” Posted.


Diamonds Dug in Gusty Arctic Too Remote for Diesel Fuel: Energy. 
The four windmills dug into northern Canada’s tundra that power
Rio Tinto Group’s $5.2 billion Diavik diamond mine are the
world’s first designed to work in gusts as cold as 40 degrees
below zero. The mining company has sunk $30 million into wind
energy because roads are frozen and closed to diesel fuel
deliveries for 10 months a year. Posted.

Gas prices down 12 cents from last week. Michigan says gasoline
prices have fallen roughly 12 cents during the past week to a
statewide average of about $3.45 per gallon.
The auto club said Monday the average is about 15 cents per
gallon more than last year at this time. Of the Michigan cities
it surveys, AAA Michigan said the cheapest price for self-serve
unleaded fuel is in the Saginaw and Bay City areas, where it's
about $3.29 a gallon. Posted. 

Companies begin using waste gas to produce ethanol. Alternative
fuel company Lanzatech NZ Ltd. today announced that it has
successfully converted waste gases from a Chinese steel mill into
transportation fuels and chemicals. The success of the
demonstration project with Baosteel Group Corp., China's
second-largest steel company, along with recent approvals by a
national Chinese review panel, means LanzaTech is ready to begin
a commercial-scale plant next year using the technology, the
company said today. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/03/19  BY


New Lacks eVOLVE hybrid wheel technology shows 1.1 mpg highway
gain in fuel efficiency on Ford Focus.  Lacks Wheel Trim Systems
LLC, a business unit of Lacks Enterprises, Inc., a global
supplier of trim systems to the automotive industry, introduced
its new patented eVOLVE hybrid composite wheel technology, based
on Lacks’ Chromtec wheel technology, at the Los Angeles Auto
Show.  Posted. 


Obama pipeline decision may preview energy policy. It's a
decision President Barack Obama put off during the 2012 campaign,
but now that he's won a second term, his next move on a proposed
oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada may signal how he will
deal with climate and energy issues in the four years ahead.
Obama is facing increasing pressure to determine the fate of the
$7 billion Keystone XL project…Posted.



Severely Polluted Mongolia Tries a Cleaner Power Source. On a
desolate, wind-raked hilltop not far from the Mongolian capital,
white-helmeted workers were busily lifting, tugging and erecting
80-meter poles and fitting them with enormous pinwheel-like
turbines in Mongolia’s first foray into wind-generated power.
With 31 of these 260-foot, or 79-meter, turbines made by General
Electric, the Salkhit, or Windy, Wind Farm will be able to
produce 50 megawatts of power when it goes online in early 2013.

Plant to Convert Gas to Liquid Fuel Planned in U.S. In an
ambitious bet that the glut of cheap natural gas in the United
States will last for many years, a South African energy company
announced on Monday that it would build America’s first
commercial plant to convert natural gas to diesel and other
liquid fuels. The company, Sasol, which is based in Johannesburg,
has been a pioneer in a technology that has tantalized energy
scientists for decades over its potential to produce liquid fuels
without using oil, which has historically cost far more than
natural gas. Posted.

Indiana experiencing surge in wind power market. Willis Ladd
counts them through the little window above his kitchen sink.
One, two, three, four ... 31 wind turbines. Willis and his wife
Noramae have lived in their home on Indiana Highway 13 near
Elwood for over 40 years. And in that time, the view from their
kitchen has stayed almost the same — flat farmland, running from
the edge of their roughly 2-acre yard until it hits the horizon.

Tidal wave of money coming to make California schools greener. A
green classroom uses natural light to cut down on energy costs.
(Bill Lovejoy/MediaNews file) During the fall campaign,
California's attention was focused on the presidential race and
Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure. But in a historic, largely
overlooked environmental shift, the state's voters also triggered
a multibillion-dollar tidal wave of new green spending. By
overwhelmingly passing Proposition 39, voters closed a tax
loophole on out-of-state corporations that will generate $1.1
billion a year. Posted.

Desert wind farm jolts San Diego. A wind farm in the northern
Sonora desert will deliver its first jolt of electricity to San
Diego this week, opening up the flow of renewable energy across
the Sunrise Powerlink. The power plant at Ocotillo is one in a
long line of utility-scale wind and solar projects made possible
by the new 117-mile transmission line leading from Coastal
California into the Imperial Valley. Posted.


U.S. regulators grill Edison on bid to restart part of San
Onofre. The utility wants to fire up one of the two reactors at
70% power for five months, before taking it offline for
inspection. Edison says the procedure would be safe. Federal
regulators grilled Southern California Edison publicly for the
first time Friday on its proposal to restart part of the troubled
San Onofre nuclear power plant. San Onofre has been out of
service for 10 months because of unusual wear on steam generator
tubes. Posted.

California Air Resources Board Verifies First Diesel Particulate
Filter with Safety Device Manufactured by Boshart Engineering,
Inc. On September 10, 2012, the California Air Resources Board
(CARB) announced that Boshart Engineering, Inc. had achieved
verification of the BE Econix Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)
active metal system with the industry's first safety device for a
DPF. This verification has allowed Boshart to immediately market
and install systems with their safety device to support
California fleet regulations and air quality improvement efforts.


The war of words over climate change.  They say truth is the
first casualty of war. In the war of words over climate change,
that is plainly the case.  On Nov. 25, The Post ran a news
article by reporter Juliet Eilperin [“Climate skeptics target
energy law”] that falsely claimed my organization, the Heartland
Institute, received millions of dollars from ExxonMobil and
foundations affiliated with Charles G. and David H. Koch. 

Viewpoints: Clean Energy Jobs Act can ignite state comeback.
Californians wisely voted in November to close an egregious
corporate tax loophole that benefited only out-of-state
corporations at the expense of our taxpayers and California
businesses. However, the passage of this measure offers something
additional that is perhaps even more important – the opportunity
to restore faith in state government. Proposition 39 was born out
of the same dysfunction that gave rise to California voters'
disillusionment with their government. Posted.

The Conversation: Danger in magical wood fires. JOIN THE
CONVERSATION: Are air quality districts going too far by imposing
no-burn days and bans on wood-burning fireplaces in new
construction? Add your comment below. To write a letter, go to
sacbee.com/sendletter. About this time of year, as the holidays
and cold weather press in upon us, I invariably think of my
father, pine cones and fireplaces. Posted.

Time to revamp the Clean Air Act. Can you imagine banning all
vehicles in the San Joaquin Valley? Or how about an all out
prohibition on combustion of fossil fuels in the region? Is it
fair to require valley companies to pay millions in air pollution
penalties when their operations account for 20 percent of air
pollution but vehicles and other mobile sources pump out the
other 80 percent? What would happen if Los Angeles had to
prohibit a quarter of its population from driving each day?

Carbon tax: It's not coming soon.  A US carbon tax would raise
revenue for the federal government. But there are three reasons a
carbon tax won't be part of any budget compromise in the next few
weeks. As the US speeds towards the fiscal cliff, COP 18 has
commenced in Doha, add the lingering effects of Sandy with an
initial cost estimate of more than $70 billion and the result is
a lot of discussion and analysis of how a carbon tax could be
(should be) part of a budget compromise. Posted.


What the Doha Climate Talks Could Do for Sustainable Development.
While participants at last year’s climate meeting in Durban
agreed on an extension of the troubled Kyoto Protocol, it is at
this year’s meeting in Doha that policy makers have to agree on
the pesky details, including long-term emission reduction goals.
As my colleague John Broder reported last week, the outlook is
not entirely rosy. Posted.

While International Climate Negotiations Continue, the World’s
Ninth Largest Economy Takes an Important Step Forward. A little
more than two weeks ago, while some 195 nations prepared to meet
in Doha, Qatar, for the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties
(COP-18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) in an ongoing effort to hammer out a durable
scheme of effective international cooperation, the ninth largest
economy in the world took an important step forward to achieve
its own ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals.  Posted.

Climate Change Dialogue May Be Missing The Voice Of Islamic
Leaders. At Friday prayers in Qatar's most popular mosque, the
imam discussed the civil war in Syria, the unrest in Egypt and
the U.N. endorsement of an independent state of Palestine. Not a
word about climate change, even though the Middle Eastern nation
of Qatar is hosting a U.N. conference where nearly 200 countries
are trying to forge a joint plan to fight global warming, which
climate activists say is the greatest modern challenge to
mankind. Posted.

Renewable energy consumption is expected to keep rising in the
U.S. — sort of.  The Energy Information Administration has what
seems, at first blush, like bad news. Renewable energy
consumption in the U.S. is expected to drop 2.6 percent this
year. Here's a graph of the dip. (Note: Both 2012 and 2013 values
are estimates.) Click to embiggen. Buried in the data, however,
is the truth: The drop is only due to hydropower "[beginning] to
return to its long-term average."  Posted. 

Is it just us, or does it seem a little warm for December?  Well,
it is December, everyone. It's the time of year when you just
want to stay huddled up cozily inside, maybe with a roaring fire
to provide comfort given the … unseasonably warm temperatures
outside.  Posted. 

The world is producing 2.4 million pounds of CO2 a second.  We
have a correction to make. In an article last month we provided
some erroneous information that may have painted an inaccurate
picture of the state of the atmosphere. We stated that carbon
dioxide emissions rose 2.5 percent in 2011. That figure appears
to be incorrect.  Posted. 

Getting ready for climate change: How the West Coast can lead the
way.  In mid-November, I was in San Francisco for the Greenbuild
conference and a series of events related to clean economy
policies on the West Coast. One of the most significant was a
meeting of representatives from the leaders of California,
Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia -- scientists and
advocates addressing climate change risks and infrastructure

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