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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 26, 2012

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 11:48:06
ARB Newsclips for December 25 - 26, 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 district recognizes clean-burning technology.  As everyone
who lives here knows, the Central Valley has been plagued with a
pollution problem that rears its ugly head every winter — air
pollution from wood smoke — and the San Joaquin Valley Air
District has been charged with the unbelievably difficult task of
cleaning it up. In their valiant efforts they have implemented
various measures to reach "attainment" — to meet the federal
standards as set forth by the Clean Air Act. One of the most
publicly recognized measure is wood-burning curtailments or, as
some like to call it, a "wood- burning ban." Though never
intended to be a total ban, these restrictions have been seen by
some as overly restrictive. Posted.

People Trying to Reduce Air Pollution Might Be Inhaling Even More
Pollution.  Well, how's this for a kick in the Pearl Izumi
thermal tights: Bicycling to work might help reduce your carbon
footprint, but may also be terrible for your heath.  That's the
frustrating word from a team of scientists at the University of
California, San Diego, who are testing out the crowdsourcing of
air-pollution monitoring. The researchers gave smartphones that
sense pollution to 30 study participants, and then tracked their
environmental data feeds for a month.  Posted. 


California Law Tests Company Responses to Carbon Costs.  The
Morning Star Company’s three plants in California emit roughly
200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each
year — about the same amount as the Pacific Island nation of
Palau — as they turn tomatoes into ketchup, spaghetti sauce and
juice used by millions of consumers around the world. Beginning
Jan. 1, under the terms of a groundbreaking California
environmental law known as AB 32, Morning Star and 350 other
companies statewide will begin paying for those emissions, which
trap heat and contribute to global warming. Posted.

Other related articles:

California Air Resource Board to auction about 22.5 million GHG
allowances.  The California Air Resources Board will offer about
22.5 million greenhouse gas allowances at its next auction, which
is scheduled for February 19, it said late Friday.  The board
will offer about 12.9 million vintage 2013 GHG allowances, as
well as about 9.6 million vintage 2016 allowances. One allowance
equals 1 metric ton of emissions.  The vintage refers to the
first year an entity can use the GHG allowance to comply with
California's GHG cap-and-trade program.  Posted. 


Drillers Shift to Use of Natural Gas.  Energy companies that want
Americans to embrace the use of inexpensive natural gas are
beginning to lead by example. The three biggest providers of
oil-field services in North America—Schlumberger Ltd.,
Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc.—are spending millions of
dollars to retrofit pumps and drilling-rig engines to run on
natural gas instead of diesel fuel. Posted.


Lawyers could profit from high-speed rail land battles.  Real
estate attorneys are seizing a monumental opportunity as
California lumbers ahead with its high-speed rail plans in the
central San Joaquin Valley.  With 1,100 or more pieces of
property in the path of the proposed route between Merced and
Bakersfield, lawyers who specialize in eminent domain cases could
see business spike over the coming months as the state's
High-Speed Rail Authority starts trying to buy land for rights of
way.  "I think there's going to be a lot of attorneys who have
never handled an eminent domain case who will suddenly be
experts," said C. William Brewer, an eminent domain specialist
with the Fresno law firm Motschiedler, Michaelides, Wishon,
Brewer & Ryan.  Posted. 


REGION: Plan to concentrate county solar revenue runs into
opposition.  Riverside County supervisors have adopted general
guidelines for handling revenue generated by solar power plants,
but have put off a decision on how to divide the money.
Supervisor John Benoit proposed allocating at least half and
potentially all of the cash to his desert district, where solar
generators are expected to consume more than 100,000 acres. "Most
of this is going to happen in the 4th Supervisorial District,"
Benoit said of the planned development. "And that's where most of
the impacts are going to be felt." Posted.


The Shale Revolution's Shifting Geopolitics.  The shale energy
revolution is likely to shift the tectonic plates of global power
in ways that are largely beneficial to the West and reinforce
U.S. power and influence during the first half of this century.
Yet most public discussion of shale’s potential either focuses on
the alleged environmental dangers of fracking or on how shale
will affect the market price of natural gas. Both discussions
blind policy makers to the true scale of the shale revolution.

Quicker fix for climate change.  The Doha climate change
conference this year was the most significant in nearly 20 years
of gatherings under the U.N. Framework Convention process aimed
at staving off future global warming disaster.  Since carbon
dioxide emission limits agreed to under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol
were to expire at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2012, it
was critical that the international community agreed to extend
those obligations and to continue talks about future emission
cuts.  Posted. 

A breath of stale air from GOP.  Mitt Romney, who opposed
government subsidies for clean power and thought all energy
production technologies should compete equally in the free
market, did not win the election. That's the good news. The bad
news is that his backward policies are still popular among many
congressional Republicans, posing a threat to a wind-energy tax
credit that is creating jobs and helping to wean the country off
fossil fuels.  Unless it is extended, the tax credit will expire
at the end of the year.  Posted. 

Natural cycle climate warming prevails.  A commenter to my letter
of Dec. 6 (“Another C02 warming diversion”) by the name of
“ProfBada” states, “Predictions of carbon dioxide increases and
global warming ... are based on hard science, the basis of which
has been around for over a century.” However the question
remains, how much does CO2 contribute to the warming shown in the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or NASA charts?
Apparently, his “hard science” doesn’t include the requirement to
validate/prove a theory, since he conveniently dodges the
question of validation that CO2 is the major warming cause.


2012 Climate Change News That Made Headlines This Year.  Global
warming was hot news this year, literally.  Perhaps the most
unavoidable climate story of 2012 was the warmth that gripped
much of the United States, and to a lesser degree, the planet,
throughout the entire year. Heat waves brought "spring in March"
to parts of the country, and broke all-time high-temperature
records in a number of places. This, inevitably, led to a
discussion of global warming and the degree to which it
contributes to some types of extreme weather, in this case heat
waves.  Posted. 

Earth Log: Red-faced moment for Valley air board.  For 15
embarrassing minutes, the local air board last week seemed as
confused as anyone about the federal government's new particle
pollution standard.  But the confusion did make a point. There
are so many different air-quality plans, updates and bureaucratic
hoops that even people who should know the score sometimes don't.
 Last week, several board members of the San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District were poised to purposely miss a
federal deadline for a plan to meet the 2006 standard for the
24-hour average.  Posted. 

Grim First: Air Pollution Makes Top 10 List Of Disease Risk
Factors.  According to the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases,
Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study published this month in
The Lancet, high blood pressure, tobacco smoke, and alcohol abuse
are the world's most dangerous risk factors for disease. Among
the other top-ten items on that grim list, we also find air
pollution -- largely ambient particulate matter from auto
emissions.  That's the first time that air pollution has made the
global top-ten list of disease risk factors. Its rise in
prominence seems linked to increased vehicle usage (as well as
construction and commerce) in emerging economies, since the study
notes that air pollution is especially bad in countries like
China and India.   Posted. 

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