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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 27, 2012

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 13:28:37
ARB Newsclips for December 27, 2012. 

This is a service of the California Air Resources Boardís Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


ĎUntamed Motorizationí Wraps an Indian City in Smog. When an
acrid blanket of gray smog settled over Indiaís capital last
month, environmentalists warned of health hazards, Indiaís
Supreme Court promised action and state officials struggled to
understand why the air had suddenly gone so bad. The heavy smog
has dissipated for the moment, but it has left behind a troubling
reality for one of Indiaís most important cities: Despite
measures to improve air quality, pollution is steadily worsening
here, without any simple solutions in sight. Posted. 

EPA: cleaner air in Ashland area.  The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency says the air quality has improved significantly
in the area around Ashland.  The federal agency this week has
re-designated Boyd County and a portion of Lawrence County to
"attainment" for fine particle pollution.  Posted.  

EPA Provides Additional Compliance Time For Boiler, Incinerator
Air Pollution Standards.  The Environmental Protection Agency has
adjusted air emissions limits for boilers and incinerators while
giving industry additional time to comply with the standards.  In
final rules signed Dec. 20, EPA aimed to provide industry with
flexible compliance options by revising March 2011 regulations
that were published under a tight court-ordered deadline (54 DEN
A-1, 3/21/11).  Of the three final rules EPA issued, the air
toxics standards for major source boilers are projected to be the
most expensive, costing industry as much as $1.6 billion per
year. Air toxics standards for area source boilers are expected
to cost $490 million annually, and related performance standards
for solid waste incinerators will cost up to $275 million per
year. Posted. 


Climate change could cut Western water runoff by 10%.  Another
climate change study is projecting declines in runoff in many
parts of the West, a scenario that would put more pressure on the
regionís water supplies.  Using new model simulations, scientists
at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
expanded on 2007 research that predicted a drier future for the
Southwest.  Posted.  

Britain suspends exploratory drilling of Antarctic lake.  In a
move that clears the way for U.S. and Russian teams to take the
lead, Professor Martin Siegert said technical problems and a lack
of fuel had forced the closure on Christmas Day of the
7-million-pound ($11 million) project, which was looking for life
forms and climate change clues in the lake-bed sediment.  Posted.

Climate Change Gets Real For Americans.  Something remarkable has
happened that may etch this year into history for centuries to
come. Twenty-twelve's importance comes not through elections,
economic shifts or the new movements in art. No, 2012 may well be
remembered for something far more elemental.  This was the year
that climate change got real for Americans.  The scientific
debate over climate change was settled years ago. The basic
conclusion that the planet is warming, through fossil fuel based
carbon dioxide release, is not in doubt. But that conclusion
relied on technical arguments about things like greenhouse gas
molecules and the interactions between the Earth's ocean, air and
glacial systems.  Posted. 


High-Speed Rail Land Use Will Become An Issue In The Central
Valley.  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.  Posted. 


Lebanon to seek pre-qualification gas exploration bids in Feb. 
Seismic surveys of Lebanon's waters suggest they contain several
trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Energy and Water Minister
Gebran Bassil said in September that one southern bloc alone
could hold 12 trillion cubic feet and this was enough gas to
produce electricity for Lebanon for 99 years.  Posted. 

US Jan natgas futures off 2 pct before expiry, forecasts milder. 
U.S. natural gas futures lost ground early Thursday, with the
front January contract pressured ahead of expiration by milder
extended weather forecasts. Still, the cold outlook for the next
week should stir decent demand for heating.  Traders noted that
heating demand picked up this week with falling temperatures,
first in the Midwest and then in the East. Posted. 

Ethanol Makers Get Creative With Corn.  Someday soon, your
breakfast muffin might include fiber from the same company that
makes ethanol fuel for your car.  U.S. ethanol producers are
finding creative ways to earn more money as demand for their
flagship product stagnates. These companies are using corn not
only to make ethanol but also ingredients for products ranging
from baked goods and nutrition bars to industrial coatings to
fish food.  Posted. 

Chevron's CEO: Affordable energy is crucial. Chevron CEO John
Watson notices something important as he visits his company's
operations around the globe: Governments everywhere find high
energy prices much scarier than the threat of global warming. And
that means the world will need a lot more oil and gas in the
years to come. To meet that demand, Chevron is in the midst of an
enormous cycle of investment aimed at extracting oil and gas from
wherever it hides in the earth's crust.



California Air Resources Board OKs 2014 Honda Plug-In Hybrid
Accord. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) says it has
approved the 2014 Honda Plug-In Hybrid Accord as the first car
for sale in California that meets the board's SULEV20 standard,
which is one-third cleaner (in terms of smog-forming pollution)
than the previous lowest state standard. According to CARB, the
2014 Honda Plug-In Hybrid Accord produces 20 mg of combined
smog-forming emissions per mile, and the model has lower
greenhouse gas emissions than the fleet average standard required
by all cars in 2025, the equivalent of a 50% reduction from
current required levels. Posted.


China's Hanwha SolarOne gets $475 mln credit line from Beijing
bank.  Hanwha SolarOne's total long-term debt of 2.76 billion
yuan ($442.3 million) is already more than five times its market
value, and the company, like many of its China-based rivals, has
reported losses for the last six quarters.  The Bank of Beijing
credit, which Hanwha SolarOne said will be used to manage and
grow its business, can be accessed over the next 12 months. 

Camarillo, Channel Islands high schools get solar panels.
Camarillo and Channel Islands high schools have flipped the
switch to their new solar panels, completing a green technology
project that benefits all six of Oxnard Union High School
District's campuses. The photovoltaic panels by SunPower Corp.
are located on the rooftops of both schools and as car ports in
the teacher parking lot of Channel Islands High School. Posted.

2012, The Year of New Practical Thermoelectric Power Generators. 
Power Practical, an alternative-energy company, is trying to
solve an increasingly age-old problem. Over the past decades
computers have gone from the size of a room to the size of a
Pop-Tart, and in the process have become both more powerful and
efficient. But now that our devices are portable, how do we keep
them charged? Sure itís usually easy at home or at work. Still,
there will always be those times when our battery dies and we
have to wait to do something important.  Posted. 


EPA head Jackson to resign post.  Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who pushed through the most
sweeping curbs on air pollution in two decades, announced
Thursday morning that she will resign her post.  Jackson, who
will step down shortly after President Obamaís State of the Union
address next month, has not accepted another job, according to
several individuals who have spoken with her. Many expected that
she would not remain for the administrationís second term;
Jackson herself joked about it recently.  Posted. 



China begins longest bullet-train line.  China began service
Wednesday morning on the world's longest high-speed rail line,
covering a distance in eight hours that is about equal to that
from New York to Key West, Fla., or from London across Europe to
Belgrade.  Bullet trains traveling 186 mph began regular service
between Beijing and Guangzhou, the main metropolis in
southeastern China about 1,428 miles away.  Posted. 
25 years later, VTA light rail among the nation's worst.  A
quarter of a century ago, Santa Clara County's first light-rail
train left the station as excited supporters heralded a new wave
of state-of-the-art transportation to match the region's
burgeoning high-tech industry.  But there was no grand
celebration this month as Silicon Valley marked 25 years of light
rail.  Posted. 


Capturing Climate Change Digitally. The changing palette of
colors in a forest signals more than the arrival of a new season.
For those who know how to look, the colors also reveal how much
carbon dioxide the trees are absorbing from the atmosphere during
photosynthesis, a new study suggests. By analyzing thousands of
photographs of a forest canopy less than 40 miles outside London,
the researchers were able to estimate carbon uptake over a
two-year period based on the leavesí hues. Posted.

Changing the Campus Climate on Climate Change.  Going green is
nothing new at Bethany College, we like to say. Our school colors
are green and white, and the splendor of our mountaintop campus,
especially in the greening season of spring, is unmistakable. 
But there's a more urgent reason that we have chosen a green
path. Along with some 700 colleges and universities throughout
the nation, Bethany has joined the American College and
University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). About 400 of
the signatories to the Climate Commitment have already filed
action plans signifying their institutions' goal of becoming
climate-neutral in two years.  Posted. 

State air pollution rules to change.  Efforts to craft new state
air pollution rules will begin in January following legislation
passed earlier this year aimed at reducing regulatory burdens on
industry, according to the Charlotte Observer.  The state's
air-quality division has been meeting with interested parties and
will begin formally preparing half a dozen new rules next month.
The rule changes are in response to state legislation that
exempted polluters from state oversight if they are covered by
federal regulations and don't pose an "unacceptable risk" to
human health.  Posted. 

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