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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 4, 2012

Posted: 04 Jan 2013 12:49:21
ARB Newsclips for January 4, 2013. 

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.


Court orders EPA to try again on soot standards implementation. 
A federal appeals court ruled today that U.S. EPA must re-examine
how it implements standards for fine particulates emitted by
power plants, boilers and motor vehicles.  The three-judge panel
of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
rejected EPA's argument that it is required under the Clean Air
Act to use a less stringent implementation regime for fine
particulates than it is for more coarse -- and less dangerous --
particles.  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY.  Posted. 

Keeping a nose on the Salton Sea's smell.  The region’s air
quality board is poised to approve spending $200,000 Friday to
track the smell of dead fish and rotten eggs that often emanates
from the Salton Sea.  It would be the first time the South Coast
Air Quality Management District would have year-round sensors to
study the stink. The system would be installed at the shore and
in Mecca.  “The purpose is to monitor the levels of hydrogen
sulfide in the area on a continuous basis so that we have a
better idea of what these levels are,” said Sam Atwood, the
district’s spokesman. “Down the line, once we have a good sense
of the typical levels of sulfur coming from the lake, we can work
to establish an action plan, such that if these levels are high,
we can notify the public.”  Posted. 

Stage 2 ban means no burning – indoors or out.  It may be
tempting to start a fire in the fireplace with temperatures
lately dipping below freezing, but don't do it tonight.  The
Sacramento Air Quality Management District's "check before you
burn" program notes that weather conditions mandate that the
Sacramento region must be under a Stage 2 ban today.  Posted.


Calif. carbon trading takes off.  California's official carbon
market kicked off this week with an uptick in trading, as
businesses began accounting for their greenhouse gas emissions in
earnest.  No lawsuit against the program accompanied the official
start date of Jan. 1, as many had anticipated. Instead, appetite
for California's carbon allowances grew, reflecting confidence in
the burgeoning, first-in-the-nation economywide greenhouse gas
market, traders said.  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY.  Posted. 

Climate change may drastically alter region.  Lake Tahoe is "the
fairest picture the whole earth affords," Mark Twain once wrote.
Its crystal blue waters, surrounded by stunning snowy mountains,
define one of California's crown jewels as an American landmark.
It attracts 3 million skiers, boaters, campers, hikers and other
visitors each year.  But it could look very different in 100
years.  Climate change could profoundly affect the Tahoe area,
scientists say, taking the snow out of the mountains and the blue
out of the water.  Posted. 

Climate change threatens Tahoe's snow levels, lake clarity.  Lake
Tahoe is "the fairest picture the whole earth affords," Mark
Twain once wrote. Its crystal blue waters, surrounded by stunning
snowy mountains, define one of California's crown jewels as an
American landmark. It attracts 3 million skiers, boaters,
campers, hikers and other visitors each year.  But it could look
very different in 100 years.  Posted. 


U.S. natgas futures edge higher before EIA releases storage data.
 U.S. natural gas futures edged higher early on Friday, as
expectations for a large drawdown from winter inventories boosted
prices for the first time in four sessions. Prices remained above
Wednesday's three-month spot chart low, but most traders expect
the upside to be limited, with long-term weather outlooks still
calling for milder weather for consuming regions in the eastern
half of the United States. Posted. 

Other related articles:

DOE awards $10 million to 5 projects for advanced biofuels and
bio-based products.  The US Department of Energy announced more
than $10 million in funding to five new projects that will
develop new synthetic biological and chemical techniques to
convert biomass into advanced biofuels and bioproducts such as
plastics and chemical intermediates.  Two of these projects will
develop cost-effective ways to produce intermediates from the
deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass, while three projects
will propose new conversion techniques to transform biomass
intermediates into advanced biofuels and bioproducts. Posted. 

5 Biofuels Trends for 2013.  Despite a relatively down year with
respect to investment and production capacity expansion, the
biofuels industry grew modestly in 2012, continuing a shift from
first generation facilities to next generation, advanced
biorefineries.  Although it was a year of challenges for corn
starch ethanol production in particular, the industry proved its
mettle against persistent drought across the U.S. Midwest that
led the UN to call for a scale back of biofuel production
mandates.  Posted. 


Grant powers new electric charging station in Sunnyvale.  Thanks
to a Green Innovations Challenge Grant awarded by the state, the
city of Sunnyvale and the Foothill-De Anza Community College
District are now equipped with electric vehicle charging
stations.  The stations were awarded as a part of the Solar
Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor Project, aimed at developing
skills of unemployed electricians and to build more green energy
infrastructure for the public.  One of the solar-powered stations
was awarded to NOVA, a Sunnyvale-based job training consortium,
to benefit the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
for demonstration and training purposes.  Posted. 


Budget Deal Provides Tax Breaks For Green Energy.  Whether you're
a homeowner who bought an energy-saving refrigerator last year or
a company hoping to build a wind farm, the tax package Congress
just approved may give you a reason to cheer.  "It's got
something in there, a Christmas gift if you will, for almost
everyone — American homeowners, workers who commute via transit,
and manufacturers of efficient equipment like clothes washers,
dryers, refrigerators," says Kateri Callahan, president of the
Alliance to Save Energy.  Posted. 


Students' energy savings ideas can earn classes green cash.  West
Sacramento students are being challenged to think of energy
conservation projects that would benefit their community and earn
their classes cash prizes, thanks to a partnership between a
Sacramento heating and air conditioning company and the West
Sacramento Educational Foundation.  Posted. 


The best solution for climate change is a carbon tax.  With Lisa
Jackson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency,
stepping down, President Barack Obama is losing one of the few
people left in Washington who was willing to speak up about
global warming and to push for significant measures to curb its
impact. During her tenure, Ms. Jackson was frequently denounced
by GOP members of Congress and all too often reined in by Obama.
Despite his and Congress’ failure to pass legislation addressing
global warming, Ms. Jackson advanced a regulatory agenda to pick
up some of the slack.  Posted. 

Editorial: California’s Experiment; Golden State Tries Cap and
Trade.  On the first of the year, California began the nation’s
most ambitious experiment yet in fighting climate change, and it
will do it more or less alone. For environmentalists depressed by
years of the United States’ unproductive “debate” on global
warming, this moment is heady — and perilous.  The nation’s
largest state, the ninth-largest economy in the world, has put a
price on the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global
warming. California has established a cap-and-trade program, a
design similar to what Congress considered but failed to pass in
2010.  Posted. 


An Antidote for Climate Contrarianism.  I would guess a few Green
readers had the experience, over the holidays, of arguing yet
again about global warming with a parent or brother-in-law who
thinks it’s all a big hoax. Maybe there’s some undiscovered
substance in roast turkey that makes people want to pick fights
around the dinner table.  Posted. 

Global Temperature Goals Could Become Impossible With Climate
Inaction, Study Finds.  Delaying global action on climate change
by 20 more years will put the goal of keeping the world
relatively cool out of reach forever, no matter how much money
humanity later spends to try to solve the problem, a new study
finds.  Since the 1990s, scientists and international negotiators
have aimed to keep global temperatures from warming more than 2
degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), but little progress has
been made so far in concrete steps toward that goal. The most
recent climate talks, in Qatar in December, ended with only
modest steps that fail to address growing greenhouse gas
emissions, climate scientists said.  Posted. 

Avis-Zipcar Acquisition: Good for Smaller Car-Share Players? 
Avis said Monday that it agreed to buy car-sharing service Zipcar
for $500 million.  That might worry many of the startups also
vying for users seeking cars on demand, but not exactly, says
Jessica Scorpio, co-founder of Getaround.  There is a slight
difference between Getaround and Zipcar: Instead of controlling
the fleet of cars, Getaround gives car owners a way to rent their
cars to Getaround users for an hourly rate. The renters get paid
for doing so.  Posted. 

Fun times at Avis, after the Zipcar purchase.  In a week of
strange bedfellows announcing mergers, the news that Avis was
purchasing Zipcar hardly seemed out of place.  Many cried that
this was the equivalent of the Empire purchasing the Rebel
Alliance, and Steven Pearlstein said that this was exactly the
sort of anti-competitive merger that courts ought to discourage. 

Richmond, Calif., fights back against Chevron’s choke hold. 
Chevron has dominated the town of Richmond, Calif., for 110
years, but that dominance is finally being called into question.
Tensions have been escalating for decades, but came to a head
after a fire in August 2012 at the oil giant’s Richmond refinery
belched toxic smoke all over the Bay Area.  Posted. 

Stop Winter Indoor Air Pollution at Its Source.  You’ve got the
sniffles. Your eyes are watery and you have a sore throat, too.
But, hey, it’s winter; what else can you expect in the thick of
cold and flu season, right? Maybe. But while you’re downing
lozenges and soup broth, consider this: Eye, nose and throat
irritations, wheezing, coughing, skin rashes and severe allergic
reactions can result from extensive exposure to indoor air
pollution, which has also been linked to headaches, dizziness,
and fatigue.  Posted. 

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