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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 14, 2013.

Posted: 14 Jan 2013 14:04:35
ARB Newsclips for January 14, 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.


Chinese media urges action on air pollution. Chinese media said
on Monday the government had to take urgent action to tackle air
pollution, which has blanketed parts of the country at dangerous
levels in recent days, and one newspaper called for a re-think of
a "fixation" on economic growth.  China's media are under tight
Communist Party control and usually steer clear of controversy,
but news organizations are more free to report on pollution,
partly because it can't be hidden from the public. Posted.



Report says warming is changing US daily life. Global warming is
already changing America from sea to rising sea and is affecting
how Americans live, a massive new federally commissioned report
says. A special panel of scientists convened by the government
issued Friday a 1,146-page draft report that details in dozens of
ways how climate change is already disrupting the health, homes
and other facets of daily American life. It warns that those
disruptions will increase in the future. Posted. 



Turning over new leaf in climate change. In a tidy white lab on
the southern edge of Berkeley, scientists are trying to duplicate
one of nature's greatest tricks, pulling energy out of thin air.
They're designing artificial leaves that can convert sunlight,
carbon dioxide and water into chemical fuel, much like the
photosynthesis of flowers and trees. The team has already built a
crude prototype from silicon, polymers and platinum that can
create a simple and clean hydrogen fuel. Posted.

UC Irvine fires latest salvo in war on emissions. It's a popular
recipe for reversing global warming: Break the problem into
manageable chunks, known as "wedges," and use technology we
already have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the decades
ahead. But a new study out of UC Irvine says that comforting
recipe is wrong. The original prescription of seven wedges – each
involving changes in our sources of energy, or the capturing and
storing of carbon dioxide, the most troublesome greenhouse gas –
must grow to at least 19, and perhaps as many as 31, the study
says. Posted.

GHG emissions fell in 2011 for third straight year. California's
greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2011 for the third straight
year, coming in below the cap that regulators have set for the
first year of emissions trading in 2013. Industrial emissions
have fallen steadily since businesses began reporting them to the
state in 2008, data released by the California Air Resources
Board (ARB) last week show. In-state emissions from electricity
generation, oil and gas refining and production…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/14/4 BY


High court to hear case on Port of L.A.'s Clean Truck Program.
The trucking industry is challenging rules that Los Angeles
adopted five years ago to reduce air pollution from trucks at the
nation's busiest port. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the
trucking industry's challenge to the Clean Truck Program at the
Port of Los Angeles in a case testing whether cities and states
have any authority to limit pollution from trucks that help move
long-haul cargo. The industry is fighting regulations that Los
Angeles adopted five years ago to reduce air pollution for trucks
that move in and out of the nation's busiest port. Similar rules
apply to the neighboring Port of Long Beach. Posted.


Biofuel created by explosive technology. Chemical engineers at UC
Berkeley have created a new, cleaner fuel out of an old
concoction that was once used to make explosives. The fuel, which
uses a century-old fermentation process to transform plant
material into a propellant, could eventually replace gasoline and
drastically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, according to
the team of Berkeley scientists. "It's a much more efficient way
of (creating renewable fuel) than many of the other products
being considered…Posted.

Drive seeks to ease gasoline price spikes. Jamie Court has what
he says is a simple way to prevent the gasoline price spikes that
have cursed California drivers for years: Require refineries to
keep at least three weeks' worth of gas in stock at all times. If
a refinery breaks down, the market will still have plenty of
fuel. "That's the one thing that's going to cushion the market
from price spikes of 25 cents overnight," said Court, president
of the Public Watchdog consumer group. Posted.

Stockton plant upgrade to increase yields. Pacific Ethanol Inc.
announced Friday it has contracted with Edeniq, a Visalia-based
sustainable fuels technology company, to install systems at its
Stockton plant designed to boost ethanol yields. Edeniq's
Cellunator technology grinds corn and other feedstocks to a
certain particle size, maximizing the amount of starch available
for conversion to ethanol. The Stockton plant was built in 2008
and can produce 60 million gallons of ethanol per year. Posted.

California could be next oil boom state. California is sitting on
a massive amount of shale oil and could become the next oil boom
state. But only if the industry can get the stuff out of the
ground without upsetting the state's powerful environmental
Running from Los Angeles to San Francisco, California's Monterey
Shale is thought to contain more oil than North Dakota's Bakken
and Texas's Eagle Ford -- both scenes of an oil boom that's
created thousands of jobs and boosted U.S. oil production to the
highest rate in over a decade. Posted.


Toyota keeps its sales momentum. The day after Christmas, Toyota
announced it would pay more than $1 billion, an all-time record
in the auto industry, to settle hundreds of lawsuits filed by
people saying the value of their vehicles plunged after recalls
involving unintended acceleration. That would seem to be more bad
news for the beleaguered automaker. Posted.



DWP will allow customers to sell back excess solar energy.  The
so-called feed-in-tariff program would pay customers 17 cents per
kilowatt hour for energy produced on their own equipment. Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power customers for the first
time will be able to sell back excess solar energy created on
rooftops and parking lots under a new program approved Friday by
the city utility's board of commissioners.  
Described as the largest urban rooftop solar program of its kind
in the nation, the so-called feed-in-tariff program would pay
customers 17 cents per kilowatt hour for energy produced on their
own equipment. Posted.

Scientist sees the light on solar energy. One day in the summer
of 1980, Heinz Frei was working on his postdoctoral project at UC
Berkeley, when his mentor walked up to his desk in Hildebrand
Hall. George Pimentel, the late scientist whose name now adorns
the chemistry lab, had just returned from a Department of Energy
solar research conference. He said he was surprised that one
presentation after another had focused on ultraviolet light,
which represents just a tiny fraction of the energy in sunlight.

The Public Eye: Environmental group opposes Placer biomass power
plant. An Arizona-based environmental group is challenging Placer
County's plans to build a small power plant near Truckee that
would burn forest waste wood, questioning whether such biomass
facilities warrant their reputation as producers of green energy.
As government regulators have mandated that more renewable energy
sources be used to help combat global warming, the biomass power
industry has pitched its power plants to communities as a
cleaner, reliable alternative to coal. Posted.


Should California make changes to landmark 1970 law?  Gov. Ronald
Reagan signed the California Environmental Quality Act in 1970, a
monumental year for the nation's environmental movement. That was
the year the nation first celebrated Earth Day and that President
Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act and the National
Environmental Policy Act. NEPA and the CEQA have some
similarities, but California's law is far broader and more
powerful. Posted.

Green Desert: Balance of nature and energy are plan's goal. I
spent a good chunk of my Wednesday this week listening in to a
daylong meeting on the “Description and Comparative Evaluation of
Draft DRECP Alternatives.” That’s the 2,000-page “informal
document” released in December outlining seven possible
alternatives for balancing renewable-energy development and
conservation on public and private land in six counties across
Southern California, aka, the Desert Renewable Energy
Conservation Plan, or DRECP. Posted.


Breathing in Beijing: Coping With China’s Smog. With Beijing’s
air pollution soaring to seemingly new, awful records this
weekend, the classic parenting dilemma of “What shall we do with
the kids?” had a grimly obvious answer: Slap on the antipollution
face masks and go shopping for another air purifier. That’s what
we did on Saturday, as the Air Quality Index run by the United
States Embassy in Beijing, which uses standards set by the United
States Environmental Protection Agency, hit a “jaw-dropping” 755
at 8 p.m., as my colleague Edward Wong wrote. “All of Beijing
looked like an airport smokers’ lounge,” Ed wrote. Posted.

2012: The Year of Extreme Weather. The weather reports are in.
2012 was the hottest and the most extreme year on record in many
places. While parts of China are enduring the harshest winter in
30 years, the Antarctic is warming at an alarming rate. In
Australia, out of control bushfires are partially the result of
record-breaking weather (new colors were added to weather
forecast maps, to account for the new kind of heat). Posted.

Climate change set to make America hotter, drier, and more
disaster-prone. Future generations of Americans can expect to
spend 25 days a year sweltering in temperatures above 100 degrees
F (38 degrees C), with climate change on course to turn the
country into a hotter, drier, and more disaster-prone place. The
National Climate Assessment, released in draft form on Friday,
provided the fullest picture to date of the real-time effects of
climate change on U.S. life, and the most likely consequences for
the future. Posted.

Shell’s Arctic drilling flunks even the lax air pollution
standards it weakened. In its semi-inexplicable eagerness to get
Shell the permits it needed to try to drill in the Arctic last
year, the government made an important and ironic concession: The
company would be allowed relaxed air pollution standards. The
quote the company gave in its effort to be allowed to exceed
pollution limits was pretty classic, pointing out that it
“demonstrated compliance with a vast majority of limits.” Posted.

Volkswagen unveils mid-size SUV plug-in diesel-electric hybrid
concept at Detroit Show. Volkswagen unveiled the CrossBlue SUV
concept at the North American International Auto Show. Developed
specifically for US and Canada, the six- to seven-seat midsize
crossover CrossBlue is targeted at the rapidly growing mid-size
SUV segment, and would sit in the Volkswagen SUV lineup above the
Tiguan and below the premium Touareg. Posted.

Brussels Auto Show 2013: Light-duty vehicles go electric too.
Held in the 100,000m2 of the Heysel exhibition hall, the Brussels
Auto Show is displaying diverse solutions for businesses to
efficiently renew their fleet, and alternative powertrains such
as electric vehicles are very well represented. Easy to
understand when a lot of businesses exactly know how much mileage
they need every day and therefore see if and which electrically
powered vehicle will fit to their needs. Posted.

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