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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 8, 2013.

Posted: 08 Jan 2013 12:03:56
ARB Newsclips for January 8, 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.


Spare the Air alert called for Tuesday.  Citing cold, still
conditions conducive to a buildup of wood smoke pollution, air
regulators declared the season's third "Spare the Air" alert for
Tuesday.  That means it's illegal for Bay Area residents and
businesses to burn wood, fire logs or pellets for 24 hours, and
violators face remedial classes for a first offense followed by
fines of $500 and more, according to the Bay Area Air Quality
Management District.  The winter Spare the Air season runs from
November to the end of February, but there were no alerts until
Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 because of heavy rain and winds that dominated
weather patterns in the last several weeks of 2012.  Posted. 


Some corals are 'always prepared' to take the heat. As the tide
drops, seawater in Ofu Lagoon gets cut off from the ocean
swirling around American Samoa. Under the intense South Pacific
sun, these shallow waters can reach 93 degrees -- temperatures
that typically would make corals overheated, cause them to bleach
bone white and die. Yet the corals in these hot waters seem to be
thriving. A team of researchers at Stanford University has
figured out why: These corals leave a set of 60 genes in the “on”
position to help them resist heat shock and then recover and
repair. Posted.

Cap and trade may draw individual investors. The participants in
California's new program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
through the buying and selling of pollution permits have so far
been large industrial interests, but there's another large group
that can join in: any resident of the United States. The program,
known as cap and trade, was created as part of the state's
landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, AB32 that was passed in
2006. Posted.

Greenhouse gas emissions to keep rising amid slow policy
responses – study. Global greenhouse gas emissions will continue
to rise this year, putting the world on track for long-term
warming approaching 4 degrees Celsius, far above the 2-degree
target, analysts at British bank HSBC said in a new report. "The
year ahead will be dominated by growing tension between
ever-stronger evidence of climate change and the inadequate
policy response," …Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/08/5 BY


Internet Truckstop Helps Members Navigate New CARB Regulation. 
Internet Truckstop has rolled out a new decision support tool to
help Truckstop.com members transition into new regulations, now
in effect, from the California Air Resources Board.  
The new CARB regulation just went into effect on Jan. 1, and
requires every carrier driving on California roads to comply with
the rules, or face hefty fines. While the weight of the
regulations primarily fall on carriers, brokers and shippers will
face penalties if they fail to ensure they are contracting with
compliant carriers.  Posted. 

Transit district penalized $35K. Bus emissions not properly
tested, recorded. The San Joaquin Regional Transit District will
pay a $35,250 penalty for failing to adequately monitor emissions
from its diesel buses, according to a settlement agreement. That
agreement, announced recently by the California Air Resources
Board, is the result of confidential negotiations that will allow
the district and the state to avoid costly litigation, the air
board said. According to the agreement, the district failed to
test and keep records of smoke emissions from its fleet in 2009,
2010 and 2011. Posted.


Biofuels cause pollution, not as green as thought – study. Green
schemes to fight climate change by producing more bio-fuels could
actually worsen a little-known type of air pollution and cause
almost 1,400 premature deaths a year in Europe by 2020, a study
showed on Sunday. The report said trees grown to produce wood
fuel - seen as a cleaner alternative to oil and coal - released a
chemical into the air that, when mixed with other pollutants,
could also reduce farmers' crop yields. Posted.

Methane leaking from fracking wells in Colorado and Utah raising
concerns. A new study of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) wells in
Colorado and Utah confirms an earlier study that methane is
leaking from the wells at alarming rates. The study indicates as
much as 9% of the methane gas is leaking into the air at those
wells. The study raises concerns about the environmental benefits
of natural gas. A boom in gas production is transforming the US
energy system and the economies of many communities. Posted.

Major coal-burning utility retires more plants, converts others.
Georgia Power, one of the nation's largest coal-fired electric
utilities, said yesterday it would seek permission to close more
than 2,000 megawatts of coal- and oil-fired generation as part of
its revised integrated resource plan to be submitted to the state
Public Service Commission later this month. The planned closures,
including 10 coal-fired units at three large power plants, come
as utilities such as Georgia Power and its parent…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/08/2  BY


Proposal for Noisier Electric Cars at Low Speed. A government
safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more
noise when traveling at low speeds, so pedestrians can hear them
coming. The cars and trucks, which are much quieter than
conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles, do not make enough
noise at low speeds to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually
impaired, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said
on Monday in a statement. Posted.

Study finds that aluminum reduces electric vehicle cost against
steel counterpart for same targeted range.  A recent study found
that an aluminum electric vehicle can cost up to €635 (US$829)
less than that its steel counterpart despite the higher cost of
aluminum, given equivalent range targets. The study, conducted by
Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka) for the
European Aluminium Association (EAA) and the International
Aluminum Institute (IAI), found that any additional cost of
building a car with aluminum is more than offset by the cost
savings that can be made on the battery pack, since a lighter car
needs less battery capacity to drive the same distance.  Posted. 


$135 million federal grant keeps Sacramento region's rail
expansion rolling. One hundred and fifty years ago, Sacramento
launched the transcontinental railroad. Today, city leaders are
seeking to become rail pioneers once again. They're tapping the
transit-friendly Obama administration for hundreds of millions of
dollars to help them build what they say will be a seamless,
21st-century regional rail network, on which passengers will move
easily from streetcars to light-rail trains to Amtrak and –
someday – to high-speed rail.


Climate change won't wait. Obama appears unwilling or unable to
take the tough steps to deal with global warming. In Washington
over Presidents Day weekend, the largest environmental
demonstration in years will try to prod him. Societal change
usually happens slowly, even once it's clear there's a problem.
That's because, in a country as big as the United States, public
opinion moves in leisurely currents. Change often requires going
up against powerful, established interests, and it can take
decades for those currents to erode the foundations of our
special-interest fortresses. Posted.

Smog testing changes are step in right direction. Two changes are
coming to how drivers need to get their vehicles smog checked in
2013 and one should be a very welcomed change. Officials with the
Bureau of Automotive Repair said by early fall a significant
change will be put into effect that will hopefully make it much
easier for owners of newer vehicles to not only get their vehicle
smog tested, but hopefully will reduce the cost involved. The new
program will no longer require the more extensive tailpipe
emissions testing…Posted.

 Avoiding a climate-change apocalypse.  As you may have noticed,
the end of the year was all about the end of the world. Mayan
doomsday prophesies. Rogue planets on a collision course with
Earth. Fear-mongering about an artificial “fiscal cliff.” House
Republicans doing, well, what they usually do.  Fortunately, for
now, life as we know it continues. And scary as all of this
sounds, the real horror show, the true existential threat, is yet
another crisis of our own making: the catastrophic effects of
climate change.  Posted. 

Restrict air pollution from Moreno Valley warehouses.  Moreno
Valley needs to take a more stringent approach to air pollution
from warehouse traffic than the city now proposes. A city
contemplating a vast expansion of warehouse space should take
every possible step to curb diesel emissions — for the good of
city residents and the region.  The South Coast Air Quality
Management District says that Moreno Valley is pushing ahead with
warehouse projects without doing enough to protect air quality.

Natural gas: It’s a hedge, not a bridge.  Boosters of natural gas
frequently argue that it can serve as a “bridge fuel,” spanning
the chasm between our current global electricity systems,
dominated by coal, and systems mostly or completely comprised of
low-carbon sources like wind and solar. The idea is, we ramp up
natural gas, the least dirty of the fossil fuels, to displace
coal, thereby giving ourselves a few more decades to develop
renewable energy, which will then replace natural gas. Natgas
gets us from here to there.  Posted. 

Opinion: A green energy loss in perspective. As Congress resumes
work on the budget, energy subsidies – and the Solyndra fiasco –
will again play a part in the debate. Let's put the failed solar
tech company’s losses in context with other energy investments.
How do you measure whether an energy investment is wise or
unwise? Honest or scandalous? With budget work consuming our new
Congress, the only policy discussion on climate change likely
from the Capitol near term will consist of debate over energy tax
breaks and subsidies. Posted.

A look at the future of biofuels. Jan Koninckx, global director
of biofuels for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, discusses 2nd
generation biofuels with Robert Rapier of Consumer Energy Report.
During the recent Total Energy USA Conference in Houston, I had a
chance to interview Mr. Jan Koninckx. Mr. Koninckx is the global
director of biofuels for DuPont Industrial Biosciences – an arm
of DuPont that has a strong focus on biofuels. Also present was
Wendy Rosen, DuPont’s PR director. 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.

Will 2013 Be the Year of the Electric Car? The Hague —Last year
was a good one for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, according to
2012 sales figures and experts. For example, sales of the
Chevrolet Volt, one of North America’s most popular plug-in
hybrid cars, tripled in the United States, according to year-end
figures. The 23,461 Volts sold last year represented only about a
third of a percent of all new passenger cars sold in the United
States, but such sales might be the harbingers of an automobile
market shift toward green vehicles. Posted.

Ideas to Watch in 2013: Traceable Gas-Drilling Fluids. For
several years now, I’ve been assessing policies and technologies
that might allow the United States and other countries with vast
shale deposits of natural gas to harvest this resource with the
fewest regrets. Below you can learn about one nascent technology
to watch in 2013: harmless chemical I.D. tags that could make the
fluids used in drilling every single gas well individually
identifiable, potentially ending fights over the source of any
subsequent contamination of water supplies in a drilling area.

Brown's budget expected to aid schools' energy efficiency. When
Gov. Jerry Brown releases his budget proposal Thursday, he will
include his plans for $500 million in new spending on energy
efficiency and related programs. Much of that money is expected
to be earmarked for retrofitting schools to help lower utility
bills, according to Capitol staffers. They say Brown's plan will
largely mirror a proposal put forward by Sen. Kevin de Leon
(D-Los Angeles) to improve schools' energy efficiency with better
insulation, lighting and ventilation systems. Posted.

A Kickstarter for green energy.  By Internet standards,
crowdfunding has been around forever. The idea to tap into online
communities to raise money first became popular in 1997, when
fans of the British rock group Marillion raised $60,000 to fund a
U.S. tour for the band. Since then crowdfunding sites such as
Kickstarter have been used to raise money for everything from
blogs to clothing design companies and independent films. Now
investment firms are getting into the act.  Posted. 

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