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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 20, 2012

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 16:06:08
ARB Newsclips for December 20, 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.


Oil and gas sites a source of ozone pollution, say U.S. EPA
petitioners. U.S. EPA should step up air quality monitoring for
ozone near oil and gas sites to protect public health, a
coalition of 30 green groups said in a formal petition filed with
the agency yesterday. The groups also asked the agency to issue
guidelines to industry on control technologies that reduce
emissions. The petition was filed by the Environmental Defense
Fund, the Clean Air Task Force, the Natural Resources Defense
Council and others. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/12/20/2  BY


California utilities are benefiting from cap-and-trade program.
Most businesses say California's new cap-and-trade program,
designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions, is a job killer that
will suck billions of dollars out of the economy. But you won't
hear too many protests from some of the biggest businesses of
all: California's electric utilities. From SMUD to Southern
California Edison, the state's utilities have been placed in a
special class that effectively cushions companies and their
ratepayers from the cost of reducing carbon emissions. Posted.


UK's Met Office sees 2013 likely to be one of warmest on record.
Global temperatures are forecast to be 0.57 degrees above the
long-term average next year, making 2013 one of the warmest years
on record, Britain's Met Office said on Thursday. "It is very
likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest 10 years in the
record which goes back to 1850, and it is likely to be warmer
than 2012," the Met Office said in its annual forecast for the
coming year. Posted.

Genetically Enhanced Seeds to Get Carbon Credits. The United
Nations-overseen emissions-market regulator has approved a system
of rules that will allow farmers using genetically improved seeds
to claim carbon offset credits, according to Arcadia Biosciences
Inc. Nitrogen-efficient seed allows farmers to maintain high crop
yields while using less fertilizer, the Davis, California- based
agricultural-technology company said today in a statement.
Nitrogen is a large source of agricultural emissions because less
than half the volume applied to fields globally is used by

FERC will track impact of Calif. cap and trade on power prices.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has begun monitoring
California's cap-and-trade system after a Republican commissioner
warned the program could have a chilling effect on larger Western
power markets. FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller said today the
state program has the potential to be a "wealth transfer from
other states to California" and must be carefully monitored to
avoid a repeat of the 2001 energy crisis that rocked California.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/12 BY

Rising San Francisco Bay threatens the Silicon Valley high-tech
mecca. The headquarters of Facebook sits on a sprawling campus
beside San Francisco Bay, a scenic location with water bordering
three sides. The 57-acre site features two- and three-story
office buildings in shades of red and orange, outdoor basketball
hoops, and sofa-sized benches on large lawns. Just outside the
property, however, is a reminder that this location has a major
drawback. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/20/1  BY

U.S. can store 2,400B metric tons of CO2 – report. The United
States holds several centuries' worth of space underground for
storage of carbon dioxide in rock formations, oil and gas
reservoirs, and unminable coal seams, the Department of Energy
said in a report yesterday. The new numbers came as part of an
update of the department's carbon utilization and storage atlas,
a broad analysis of the locations of the nation's power plants
and industrial emitters, and the options for capturing and
storing their greenhouse gases. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/20/5  BY


Jerry Brown proposes new California 'fracking' regulations. The
Brown administration on Tuesday released draft regulations that
would require oil companies for the first time to disclose where
in California they use hydraulic fracturing, a controversial but
little regulated method of oil extraction. The proposed rules,
issued by the state Department of Conservation, were immediately
criticized by environmentalists as too lenient. Posted.



Chevron pipe choice found to meet codes. Chevron's choice of
metal pipe to replace fire-damaged sections of its Richmond
refinery meets industry standards and fire codes, according to
two experts advising city officials who must decide whether to
approve the company's reconstruction plans. Both experts,
however, stopped short of endorsing Chevron's decision to use a
type of metal known as 9 Chrome, which the company says will
resist the corrosion that destroyed a section of pipe at its
refinery and led to the huge Aug. 6 blaze.  Posted.

Power Company Loses Some of Its Appetite for Coal. American
Electric Power, or A.E.P., the nation’s biggest consumer of coal,
announced that it would shut its coal-burning boilers at the Big
Sandy electric power plant near Louisa, Ky., a 1,100-megawatt
facility that since the early 1960s has been burning coal that
was mined locally. Big Sandy this year became a symbol of the
plight of the coal industry nationwide. Posted.

Navajo Nation moves to buy reservation coal mine. The Navajo
Nation is moving toward taking over a coal mine that supplies one
of two power plants on the reservation, in an effort to preserve
jobs and protect one of its top revenue sources. The tribe and
BHP Billiton announced Wednesday they've outlined terms that
would put the Navajo Mine in the hands of the tribe in June. BHP
would run the mine in northwestern New Mexico until 2016, when
its agreement to supply coal to the Four Corners Power Plant is
set to expire. Posted.

E.U. panel endorses proposed anti-dumping tariff on U.S. ethanol.
A proposal to set a nearly 10 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol
imports is making its way through the European Commission.
Yesterday, the commission's Antidumping Advisory Committee
endorsed the 9.6 percent duty, which was proposed earlier this
month as part of an ongoing investigation into accusations that
the U.S. ethanol industry was dumping its product into the
European market. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/6  BY

Eco-friendly Calif. poised to be top U.S. oil producer in 10
years. Even as it seeks to be an environmental leader, California
is a top contender for the title of the largest oil-producing
state in the next 10 years, laying the foundation for the country
to reach its once lofty goal of energy independence. The
potential for booming production comes from the Bureau of Land
Management's sale last week of 15 leases covering about 18,000
acres of Southern California's Monterey Shale.  Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/12/20/10 BY


Idling ambulances wearing out their stay. Ambulances and the wail
of sirens are commonplace near the California Pacific Medical
Center campus in San Francisco's Pacific Heights, where there is
plenty of goodwill for first-response crews. But some local
shopkeepers and restaurateurs say the friendliness sometimes gets
taxed when ambulances sit idling in loading zones and prevent
delivery truck drivers from dropping off their loads...Posted.


China to overhaul struggling solar panel industry. China's
government says it will encourage mergers among producers of
solar panels to strengthen an industry that has suffered huge
losses due to excess production capacity and price-cutting wars.
The announcement, which analysts have expected for months, comes
as Beijing faces trade sanctions by the United States and
possibly Europe over complaints its support for solar panel
producers violates trade rules. Posted.

BLM moving forward with world's largest solar power plant. The
Obama administration is nearing final approval of what would
become the world's largest solar power project on a strip of
Southern California desert near the McCoy Mountains that could
eventually power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected today to announce that
the Bureau of Land Management has completed a final environmental
impact statement (EIS)…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/3 BY

Can Calif. panel maker prosper in dark times for U.S. industry? 
A solar panel maker opened a new factory here yesterday,
expanding at a time when others in the industry are struggling to
survive. Soitec, a France-based maker of semiconductor materials,
formally inaugurated its 176,000-square-foot facility that will
make concentrated photovoltaic, or CPV, panels. When it is
running at full speed next year, the plant will employ 450
people. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/12/20/16 BY


Reducing waste: Relegate food scraps to green waste -- not
garbage.  With the holidays fast approaching, friends and
families are making plans to get together and celebrate. An
important part of most festivities is food; whether you're
serving up a traditional turkey or a vegan feast, what you do
after the meal is consumed is just as important as what is
prepared.  I recently read that in the U.S., about 40 percent of
food is tossed in the garbage. Posted. 


Fewer Americans Say Their Actions Can Slow Climate Change. 
Americans may be buying more compact fluorescent light bulbs
these days, but they are less likely to set their thermostats low
during the winter than they were four years ago and have less
confidence that their actions will help to curb global warming,
according to a new survey. The Yale Project on Climate Change
Communication and George Mason University's Center for Climate
Change Communication found that the proportion of people who say
their own energy-saving actions…Posted.

Exploring a Proposed Carbon Diet for American Power Plants.
Earlier this week, Daniel Lashof of the Natural Resources Defense
Council blogged about the group’s new proposal for cutting carbon
dioxide emissions from American power plants — not just at the
plant itself but by creating incentives for end users to conserve
electricity. That means you, me and the businesses that we rely
on. Posted.

Battle expected over disclosure of 'fracking' chemicals. Under
pressure from state lawmakers and environmentalists, Gov. Jerry
Brown's administration released draft regulations for hydraulic
fracturing, or "fracking," the controversial drilling process
driving the nation's oil and gas boom. As The Times reported
Wednesday, the proposed rules would require energy companies to
disclose for the first time the chemicals they inject deep into
the ground to break apart rock and release oil. Posted.

Air pollution now kills more people than high cholesterol.  The
Lancet recently unveiled a major overview of global health risks
— and one of the most eye-catching papers highlighted just how
deadly air pollution has become over the past two decades.  In
2010, 3.2 million people died prematurely from outdoor air
pollution, mainly in Asia, and mainly from soot and other
pollutants from diesel cars and trucks. That means outdoor air
pollution is now a bigger health risk than high cholesterol —
and, along with obesity, one of the fastest-growing health risks
in the world.  Posted. 

How air pollution impacts worker productivity.  Of course, air
pollution has negative impacts on human health, but does it also
lead to an unproductive workforce? It seems that way:
[R]esearchers found that a 10 ppb (parts per billion) change in
average ozone exposure results in a significant 5.5 percent
change in agricultural worker productivity. “These estimates are
particularly noteworthy as the U.S. EPA is currently moving in
the direction of reducing federal ground-level ozone standards,”
said Dr. [Matthew] Neidell, PhD. Posted. 

U.S. Taxis Get Greener; Hybrid & Electric Cabs Increasing.  For
decades, the stalwart of the taxi ranks has been the full-size
sedan.  Sturdy, simple and cheap to buy, cars like Ford's Crown
Victoria have become part of the landscape in cities like New
York. But with rising gas prices and concerns over emissions,
things are really changing.  While not yet a dominant force in
taxi fleets, hybrid and electric vehicles are increasingly
popular as a way of cleaning up city fleets.  Posted. 

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