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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 10, 2012

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 14:15:47
ARB Newsclips for January 10, 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.


UN finds rising mercury emissions, need for treaty.  Mercury
pollution in the top layer of the world's oceans has doubled in
the past century, part of a man-made problem that will require
international cooperation to fix, the U.N.'s environment agency
said Thursday.  The report by the U.N. Environment Program showed
for the first time that hundreds of tons of mercury have leaked
from the soil into rivers and lakes around the world.  As a
result of rising emissions, communities in developing countries
face increasing health and environmental risks linked to exposure
to mercury, the U.N. agency says.  Posted. 

Other related articles:



Cuomo Proposes Lower Carbon Cap for Northeast Cap-and-Trade Plan.
 New York Governor Andrew Cuomoproposed lowering the total amount
of carbon dioxide that companies may emit under a regional
cap-and-trade program to regulate air pollution.  The nine states
participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative must
“make a real difference on climate change by reducing the CO2
cap,” Cuomo said during his State of the State address in Albany
today. The cap is currently 165 million tons a year and he didn’t
say by how much it should be cut.  Posted. 

Risk experts see climate change as one of the world's biggest
business threats. Risk experts are concerned that the twin
threats of economic upheaval and accelerating climate change
could collide over the next decade, delaying crucial adaptation
efforts while exposing nations to unpredictable financial loss
from disasters. The World Economic Forum describes this "super
storm" of risks as a top hazard to the global economy through
2022 as world and corporate leaders prepare for an annual summit
in Switzerland later this month. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/10/1 BY


Confirmation hearing centers on oil fracking. In a legislative
hearing that focused almost exclusively on fears about hydraulic
fracturing, or "fracking," a former scientist rode the support of
industry and environmental groups Wednesday to move a big step
closer to becoming confirmed as the state's senior oil regulator.
Mark A. Nechodom, a Gov. Jerry Brown appointee who took the oath
of office almost a year ago but still requires confirmation by
the state Senate, won a 5-0 vote of the Senate Rules Committee --
but not before being given a special homework assignment by the
committee's chairman, Sen. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Posted.


Honda will build hybrid Accord in Ohio. Honda will add about 50
new jobs at its central Ohio assembly plant as it starts building
a new hybrid Accord sedan there this year, the company announced
Thursday. The Japanese automaker said it will invest about $23
million in outfitting the plant in Marysville, near Columbus, to
build the 2014 hybrid Accord. The third Honda hybrid to be built
in the United States, the car will go on sale nationwide in the
fall. Pricing has yet to be announced. Posted.

Chevy Spark looks electric but runs on gasoline. Don't be
surprised if some people assume the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is
another newfangled electric car. Just 12 feet long and with an
aerodynamic front end and abruptly chopped-off rear, the South
Korean-built Spark could pass for an electric car. But there's no
plug and no problem with fueling the 2013 version of this
Chevrolet, because it comes with a gasoline-sipping, internal
combustion, four-cylinder engine. Posted.

California Energy Commission awards more than $1.8M additional
funding to further UCSD microgrid project; energy storage, EV
charging and V2G services are components.  The California Energy
Commission (CEC) approved funding to advance further the
development of its pioneering 42 MWpeak microgrid and expand
electric vehicle charging at the University of California, San
Diego (UCSD).  The Commission approved a $1.6-million award to
increase its previously awarded funding of $1,394,298 for the
university’s microgrid. Posted. 

Mercedes-Benz adds two more fuel-efficient models to new A-Class
range; 5% improvement in both diesel and gasoline models.  Just a
few months after the launch of the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz is
now adding two BlueEFFICIENCY Edition models to the range. The
new A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Edition features a fuel consumption
figure of 3.6 l/100 km (65 mpg US) according to the MVEG cycle
and CO2 emissions of 92 g/km—making the new A 180 the most
fuel-efficient combustion-engined Mercedes-Benz yet, according to
the company.  Posted.


What Obama's Reelection Means For Green Energy.  When Barack
Obama was elected to the presidency in 2008, many assumed he had
a mandate to pursue various alternative energy solutions against
which previous administrations had hedged. Four years and a
re-election later, the Obama administration’s aims remain very
much the same, and its clean energy mandate is every bit as
ambitious.  Posted. 


The Market and Mother Nature. Whenever I hear the word “cliff,” I
am reminded of something that President Obama’s science adviser,
John Holdren, used to say about how we need to respond to climate
change because no one can predict when it might take a
disruptive, nonlinear turn. “We are driving toward a cliff in a
fog,” said Holdren about the climate, and that’s always a good
time “to start tapping on the brakes.” Indeed, when you think
about how much financial debt we’ve built up in the market and
how much carbon debt we’ve built up in the atmosphere…Posted.


Letters: Climate danger. Re "Climate change won't wait," Opinion,
Jan. 6 It is hard to understand President Obama's stand on
climate change. His Energy secretary, Nobel laureate Steven Chu,
said four years ago that, if we don't dramatically slow global
warming, "we're looking at a scenario where there's no more
agriculture in California." He went on to question the viability
of California cities. Obama is not showing the type of resolve
that Chu's statement would seem to demand. Posted.

Jim Harrington: New pollution rules mean less soot, healthier
breathing. Following the advice of his scientific advisers,
President Barack Obama has tightened the standard for particle
pollution, which will soon prompt the cleanup of this deadly,
widespread pollutant. This decision was badly needed. The
nation's 15-year-old National Ambient Air Quality Standard for
Particle Pollution has become misleading at best -- luring those
who need accurate air quality forecasts most to believe the air
is safe to breathe even when, in fact, it is not. Posted.

Auditor: Congress could pay for road repairs via vehicle
mileage-based tax. The government's auditor says Congress should
institute a pilot program to test raising money for road repairs
through a tax on vehicle miles traveled. Congress and the Obama
administration have struggled to find new revenue to pay for
maintaining the nation's roads, as gas tax revenue fails to keep
up with repairs. Over the coming decade, the federal government
faces a $110 billion shortfall for road repairs without new
revenue, something that will get worse as government fuel
efficiency mandates rise and reduce fuel use. Posted.

The beauty of a carbon tax – and its exemption for the poor.
Taxing greenhouse gas pollution through a carbon tax lets the
market, not government, pick the winners. Big polluters like
electrical power plants would be encouraged to use cleaner
energy. And a simple tax exemption could lower the costs passed
on to poor Americans. A carbon tax is, remarkably, back in the
political debate. Three years after President Obama in effect
abandoned a “cap and trade” proposal after opponents effectively
mocked it as “cap and tax,” his re-election has made it
politically safe again to utter the word “tax.” Posted.

U.S. should put a price on carbon to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Let's get one thing out of the way: No president, and
no country, can stop global warming single-handedly. Even slowing
it is tough. President Barack Obama isn't going to halt the rise
of the oceans in his second term. And with Congress hostile to
cap and trade and most other ideas for slowing, let alone rolling
back, global warming, it will be difficult for him to do what's
necessary. Posted.

Obama administration cuts hybrid, electric buys. Administration
gets mostly Asian brands. President Barack Obama's
administration, which set a goal of buying only alternative-
technology vehicles for its fleet by 2015, cut purchases of
hybrid and electric models by one-third last year and bought
mostly Asian brands. About 54% of the 1,801 alternative-fuel
vehicles purchased by U.S. government agencies last year were
built by Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda…Posted.


A Closer Look at a Shift in Britain’s Near-Term Global Warming
Forecast. Quite a few professional climate skeptics have been
crowing in the last few days about a 20-percent downward shift in
the short-term forecast for global temperature (through 2017)
from Britain’s weather and climate agency, best know as the Met
Office. Posted.

In India, Solar Ambitions Are Suddenly Outsize. After years of
lagging behind China and the West in the adoption of solar power,
some states in India are proposing to build solar farms at a
galloping pace that leaves them at risk of falling short of
electricity (a familiar problem here) or of paying higher prices
for it. In just the last five months, five Indian states have
announced plans to bring giant amounts of solar power online
within five years…Posted.

California conservation chief faces grilling over fracking. Mark
Nechodom, Gov. Jerry Brown's nominee for state conservation
chief, won the support of a key Senate committee on Wednesday
after a grilling from lawmakers over hydraulic fracturing -- and
demands for more safeguards on the controversial drilling process
before the upper house considers his final approval next week.
Nechodom, a research scientist by training and former senior
adviser on climate change in the U.S. Department of

GE Adds Natural-Gas Vehicles To Its Electric And Alternate-Fuels
Fleet.  Back in 2010, General Electric promised it would replace
over half its fleet with electric and plug-in vehicles.  With
planned orders for 25,000 plug-ins, it was quite some
commitment--particularly at a time when only a handful of cars
was available, and selling in very small numbers.  Three years
on, and it appears that GE has started to include natural gas and
propane-powered vehicles to its green tally.  Posted. 

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