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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 17, 2012.

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 12:33:02
ARB Newsclips for December 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.


New air pollution standards restrict soot particles.  The Obama
administration announced a new air pollution standard Friday that
would bring about a 20% reduction in microscopic particles of
soot emitted by coal-fired power plants and diesel vehicles that
contribute to haze and respiratory ailments.  The new limit,
fought by industry and welcomed by environmentalists, marks the
first time the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the soot
standard since it was established 15 years ago.  Posted. 


Coachella Valley air quality funding: Paving proposal cut.  The
$51 million in air quality improvement funds from a natural gas
peaker plant now under construction in North Palm Springs
continued to generate controversy Friday as Coachella Valley
residents called for further changes in the list of 26 projects
recommended to receive a slice of the funding.  Posted. 

Is EPA’s soot rule a sign for the second term? EPA’s critics say
they see ill omens for President Barack Obama’s second term in
Friday’s announcement of significantly tightened air pollution
limits on soot from exhaust pipes and smokestacks. The finished
rule that emerged from the agency Friday is mostly as stringent
as the one that EPA submitted for White House review in the
summer. Posted.

Air advocates applaud new soot standards, cautiously celebrate
effects on climate. Although proponents of U.S. EPA's newly
completed standards for particulate matter (PM 2.5) are confident
it will reduce the number of premature deaths and hospital visits
in the country, it's not clear how much it will do to control
climate change. EPA announced the final rule for the new national
ambient air quality standards for PM 2.5 on Friday, tightening
the restriction from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12
micrograms, averaged over a 12-month period. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/5  BY

City plans shift from sprawl to low-carbon, multifamily housing.
The City Council of Newark, a San Francisco Bay suburb, has voted
to convert 200 acres of land into a development that should set
the trend for a state bent on decarbonizing its economy. The
development, on land that is owned largely by chemical companies,
will have 2,500 new homes, mostly town houses and apartments,
built within walking distance of stores and schools and connected
by a new train to jobs in Silicon Valley across the Bay. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/10  BY

Some cleaner-burning cookstoves aren't clean enough – study.
Ceramic cookstoves in sub-Saharan Africa are proving effective at
easing some health symptoms associated with inhalation of smoke
and other pollutants from traditional cooking fires. But a key
metric of health in children -- pneumonia burden -- appears to be
unaffected by the stoves' deployment in one western Kenyan
district. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/3  BY


Sacramento nonprofit will screen projects for state cap and trade
market.  A Sacramento nonprofit will play a key role in
California's new "cap and trade" greenhouse gas market, designed
to reduce carbon emissions.  The American Carbon Registry was
approved as one of two "offset project registries" -
organizations that will screen projects aimed at reducing carbon
in the atmosphere. The other registry is Climate Action Reserve
of Los Angeles.  Posted. 

California appoints carbon watchdogs for cap-and-trade program. 
Two nonprofits, including one with operations in Sacramento, were
appointed to key roles Friday in California's new cap-and-trade
carbon market.  The American Carbon Registry and Climate Action
Reserve were named "offset project registries" – groups that
scrutinize projects designed to curb greenhouse gases.  Their
appointment was announced by the California Air Resources Board,
which runs the market and held its first auction a month ago for
carbon emissions allowances.  Posted. 

Amid climate change, a need to define and promote energy
innovation. Today’s energy technologies won’t be able to propel
the world to deep reductions in global carbon emissions, Stepp
writes, but improving energy innovation and developing new
designs can. The United States and the world face an urgent
imperative to transform its energy system by developing and
deploying low or zero-carbon technologies on a dramatic scale.

Offset companies cleared to enter Calif. Market. California
regulators last week gave their stamp of approval to companies
waiting to collect and sell carbon offsets for use in the state's
economywide cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases. With the
state's stamp of approval on several major links in the offset
supply chain, market participants expect a stream of offsets to
be available in the coming months for companies that have to
reduce their emissions under the state's landmark greenhouse gas
law, A.B. 32. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/7  BY


ARB issues solicitation for zero-emission off-road equipment
projects.  The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a
grant solicitation for demonstration projects on zero-emission
off-road equipment. ARB expects that up to $1 million will be
available for this solicitation, although funding could be
increased to a maximum of $5 million depending on the
availability of state funds. The potential number of projects
selected for funding is expected to be two, but up to five
projects may be selected, the agency said.  The solicitation was
issued under AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program’s


USDA awards $10M in grants to spur production of biofuels,
bioenergy and biobased products.  Agriculture Secretary Tom
Vilsack announced $10 million in research grants to spur
production of biofuels, bioenergy and biobased products that will
lead to the development of sustainable regional systems and help
create jobs. Vilsack highlighted the announcement with a visit to
Michigan State University, a grant awardee.  Posted. 

Plan for U.S. oil exports brings talk of economic boon, fears of
failure.  Not long ago, the U.S. was facing the prospect of
spending billions to import pricey natural gas from overseas to
heat our homes, fuel electrical generation and run our city
buses.  The industry was furiously building terminals to handle
what was sure to be enormous ship traffic from places like Qatar
and the United Arab Emirates. Posted.


Nissan shifts Leaf marketing strategy.  Nissan admits its launch
strategy on the Leaf miscalculated the short-term market
potential for the electric vehicle and says it will do a better
job of targeting potential buyers.  Al Castignetti, Nissan vice
president for sales, said sales momentum began slowing in
February when Nissan started supplying Leafs to dealers in all 50
states, regardless of whether their local markets had adequate EV
charging infrastructure.  Posted. 

Manteca rolls out hybrid garbage trucks.  Two new hybrid garbage
trucks will be put into commission in Manteca on Monday.  The San
Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District provided
grant funds for their purchase.  The two residential garbage
trucks are the first in California to feature Parker's RunWise
Advanced Series Hybrid Drive System, the city said in a news
release.  Posted.  

Texas project boosts hybrid automobile and smart metering use. A
Texas project is testing and analyzing the impacts of alternative
vehicles, renewable electricity generation and energy efficiency
technologies. The project -- Pecan Street Inc., a 1-square-mile
neighborhood in Austin -- has attracted support from General
Motors, utilities and high-tech firms, and the Department of
Energy, which has granted it $10.4 million. Private investors
have given $14 million. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/11 BY


Radioactive hot spots remain at former research facility's site.
A federal study shows hundreds of hot spots at the 2,850-acre
facility, overlooking the west San Fernando Valley, half a
century after a partial nuclear meltdown there. Half a century
after America's first partial nuclear meltdown, hundreds of
radioactive hot spots remain at a former research facility
overlooking the west San Fernando Valley, according to a recently
released federal study. Posted.

Fuel cell park in Bridgeport moves forward.  Dominion Energy has
agreed to buy a proposed fuel cell site in Bridgeport in a deal
that will allow the long-planned clean energy project to go
forward.  The deal announced Friday means a 15-megawatt fuel cell
park will be built in Bridgeport by the end of 2013. The park is
expected to generate enough power for 15,000 homes.  Posted. 

Eye on Environment: Ventura mission sets environmental example
with Christmas trees.  Who has the greenest Christmas tree in
Ventura County? The winner might be the San Buenaventura Mission,
which has two 120-foot Norfolk pines beautifully illuminated for
Christmas.  Earlier this year, crews took down a lighting system
that had been in the branches of the mission's trees for 30 years
and replaced it with strings of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

Sierra Club gives Capitol administrators lumps of coal for the
holidays. Sierra Club leaders and Capitol Hill-area residents
filled a stocking with coal this morning as a symbolic holiday
president for U.S. Capitol administrators, protesting what they
say is the ongoing burning of coal at the Capitol Power Plant.
Environmental advocates are urging residents to attend a public
hearing this evening over a proposed permit to develop a combined
heat and power system. They say it would effectively loosen air
pollution standards and allow the continued burning of coal.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/17/6 BY

Blue and red counties both voted to steer money to green energy.
When Californians in November approved a ballot measure expected
to generate as much as $2.75 billion for green energy, support
came from counties that politically are very different. Los
Angeles, San Diego, Orange and San Francisco counties are among
those that backed Proposition 39, which mandated that all
businesses operating in California pay taxes based on their
in-state sales and use half the new revenue to fund clean energy.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/17/5  BY

Cost-cutting is focus of latest DOE offshore wind power grant.
The wind blowing off the coasts and lakeshores of the United
States could power the country four times over, according to the
Department of Energy. Yet to date, not a single offshore wind
turbine has been built. The problem, in a word, is cost --
technology and installation costs remain prohibitively high, and
the bar is set to rise further with the expiration of the
production tax credit for wind energy at the end of this year.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/17/4 BY

Wyden and Murkowski: The Great Senate Hope for Energy Innovation
Policy in 2013. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin recently
proclaimed in reference to possible energy policy in 2013, “I
have never been more optimistic than I am right now with Ron
Wyden and Lisa Murkowski.” That’s a bold statement in an energy
policy debate known more for its political pitfalls like Solyndra
and a Senate known more for mind-numbing gridlock and inaction.


Santa Ana-based Edison Mission Energy files for bankruptcy.
Edison Mission Energy, an unregulated power-generating unit of
Rosemead-based Edison International, said Monday that it had
filed for bankruptcy and had agreed on a reorganization plan with
its parent company and holders of its $3.7 billion in debt.  “We
are pleased to have reached this agreement, which we believe
reflects the long-term value potential of our organization,”
Pedro Pizarro, president of Edison Mission Energy, said in a
statement. Posted.

Analysis: California refiners dreamin' of shale oil face hurdles.
Two years on, a gusher of U.S. shale oil production is finally
starting to seep into California, where refiners in the country's
most isolated fuel market are waging an increasingly desperate
battle to curb costs. It's far from certain, however, that
cut-priced light crude from eastern Texas or North Dakota will
arrive quickly enough or in sufficient volume to revitalize
California plants in the same way new domestic oil has rescued
East Coast refiners. The nation's toughest permitting rules,
complex new carbon emission limits and a lack of pipeline
infrastructure might delay the flow of large-scale shipments
until the end of next year or beyond. Posted.

EDITORIAL: We need these new rules on soot emissions. 
Fifth-grader Jaxin Woodward was diagnosed with severe asthma as
an infant. She takes medication daily to control her symptoms. 
But, as Woodward told U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
regulators who were in Sacramento last summer to gather testimony
about proposed new emission standards, asthma "is only part of
who I am. Posted. 

Our View: It's not just fireplaces.  Some local residents are
fuming over a proposal to further restrict fireplace use in the
San Joaquin Valley. They see it as another example of government
infringing on their freedoms and as an economic hardship.  Here's
what some of these fired-up opponents may not know:  • This is
only the latest of many steps to reduce ozone and particulate
pollution in the valley over the last two decades. The mandates
have come in five overlapping phases. Posted. 

Global Warming. I recently watched a benefit on TV for the
victims of Hurricane Sandy. The audience filled Madison Square
Garden. Just imagine - hurricane remnants stretching all the way
to New York and the Jersey Shore. I hear there will be more
relief campaigns for Bopha victims - stunned, reeling in their
need, far greater than their government’s expectation or their
own. Typhoons don’t usually come south that far. Posted.

What different climate hardiness zones mean.  Gale Brownell
writes: I often see reference in your column and others to
hardiness zones. Sunset magazine has one scale with which I am
familiar, but your column and others sometimes refer to a
different hardiness scale. Are there different zones in different
parts of the North Bay? What is the source of that scale and what
zone are we in?  Posted. 

Hedging Climate Bets: Hurricane Sandy and Climate Adaptation.
With environmental issues, crisis often spurs action.  Nuclear
safety was ramped up after Three Mile Island.  Hazardous waste
laws were strengthened after Love Canal.  And oil transport laws
were refined after the Exxon Valdez spill. Along the same lines,
Hurricane Sandy has generated renewed attention to the potential
effects of climate change and the issue of climate adaptation. 


Amid Global Trade Fight, a Bright Year for Solar Use in the U.S. 
The United States installed more solar panels in 2012 than in any
previous year, according to a new report, with residential use of
solar power up 70 percent over 2011.  By the end of this year,
homeowners, businesses and utility companies will have installed
enough photovoltaic cells to produce 3.2 gigawatts (or GW) of
electricity in the United States, up from 1.9 GW last year,
according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.  Posted. 

What’s Your Meme? Changing the Climate Change Conversation. Yes
we can! Ermahgerd. Occupy. I had a dream. Haters gonna hate. Tear
down this wall! Gangnam Style. Drill, baby, drill. We are
constantly bombarded by memes in our daily lives. Some
spontaneously flare up and then burn out as quickly as they
appeared, while others stick around for decades. We hardly
consider their presence, much less contemplate their possible
influence on our lives. Posted.

Climate Change Revisited: It Isn't Just For Natural Scientists
Anymore. Last week I shared an interview with Stephan
Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist and Winthrop Professor in
the Department of Psychology at the University of Western
Australia. Lewandowsky's recent research investigates why people
do or don't accept the lessons of contemporary climate science,
and in my post we discussed the provocative new finding that
rejecting anthropogenic climate change is associated with
conspiratorial thinking. Posted.

Global Toll of Air Pollution: Over 3 Million Deaths Each Year. 
We have long known that many people die from air pollution. What
is surprising is how high the public health toll is and that it
is largely preventable.  A new study in The Lancet, developed by
an international group of experts, finds that outdoor air
pollution, especially fine particulate matter (soot) contributes
to more than 3.2 million premature deaths around the world each
year. That’s a terribly high number – and much more people than
previously thought. Posted. 

Climate Change Revisited: It Isn't Just For Natural Scientists
Anymore.  Last week I shared an interview with Stephan
Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist and Winthrop Professor in
the Department of Psychology at the University of Western
Australia. Lewandowsky's recent research investigates why people
do or don't accept the lessons of contemporary climate science,
and in my post we discussed the provocative new finding that
rejecting anthropogenic climate change is associated with
conspiratorial thinking.  Posted. 

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