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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 23, 2013.

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 13:03:51
ARB Newsclips for January 23, 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.


Sickening fog settles over Salt Lake City area. A group of Utah
doctors is declaring a health emergency over the Salt Lake City
area's lingering air pollution problem. Utah Physicians for a
Healthy Environment planned to deliver a petition Wednesday
demanding immediate action by elected officials. The group wants
Gov. Gary Herbert and mayors of northern Utah cities to cut the
pollution. Posted.

Analysis: Obama's next climate steps apt to be temperate. The
Obama administration is likely to rely mostly on existing rules
and on flexing executive power to execute its second-term
environmental agenda, sidestepping Congress as it sets about
radically reducing greenhouse gases generated by major polluters.
Just a day after President Barack Obama said in his inaugural
address that for the United States not to respond to the threat
of climate change would "betray our children and future
generations," White House spokesman Jay Carney tamped down
expectations for bold new moves. Posted.

Air officials call season's first valleywide wood-burning ban. 
Bad air quality in eight counties, including the valley portion
of Kern County, has prompted the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution
Control District to implement the season's first valleywide
wood-burning ban. The ban is in effect beginning at midnight
Tuesday and continuing through midnight Wednesday, according to
an air district news release. It covers the counties of San
Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and
the valley portion of Kern (excluding Frazier Park). Posted. 

Spare the Air alert called for Wednesday. The Bay Area Air
Quality Management District issued the season’s eighth Winter
Spare the Air Alert for Wednesday. The order bans burning wood,
manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, both indoors and
outdoors for 24 hours. A persistent high pressure system
dominated the region and led to a succession of the Spare the Air
Days last week. Although the system weakened, particulate levels
increased Tuesday and threatened to reach unhealthy levels
Wednesday. Posted.

MidAmerican settles lawsuit, will curtail coal use. MidAmerican
Energy Co. said Tuesday it agreed to stop burning coal in seven
power plant boilers in Iowa and limit emissions from two others
as part of a settlement with an environmental group.The Sierra
Club filed a notice last July informing MidAmerican it was
violating the federal Clean Air Act and Iowa environmental
regulations by emitting more pollution than permits allowed at
power plants in Sergeant Bluff, Bettendorf and Council Bluffs.

Obama admin offers defense of EPA mercury rule. The Obama
administration has filed court papers outlining its legal
argument in defense of U.S. EPA's mercury and air toxics rule,
which is under attack from various states and industry groups.
The case, White Stallion v. EPA, concerns the so-called MATS
rule, which will require the nation's coal- and oil-burning power
plants to cut releases of mercury and other toxic chemicals over
the next several years. In a brief filed last night in the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit…. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/23/16 BY

Governors, state regulators urge Obama to finalize gasoline regs.
Several governors and local air agencies this week called on the
Obama administration to finalize regulations to slash the amount
of sulfur in gasoline this year, arguing that the resulting
reductions in air pollution are crucial for public health. In two
letters, the officials joined a growing chorus of public health
advocates who want the White House to propose…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/23/23 BY


Obama climate pledge faces test on oil pipeline. Environmental
groups say President Barack Obama's warning about climate change
will soon be tested as he decides whether to approve the Keystone
XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Obama pledged in
his inaugural speech Monday to respond to what he called the
threat of climate change, saying: "Failure to do so would betray
our children and future generations." By singling out climate
change, Obama indicated a willingness to take on an issue that he
acknowledges was often overlooked during his first term. Posted.

California Industry's Greenhouse Pollution Dropped Again in 2011.

California's industrial emissions of greenhouse gases dropped for
the third straight year in 2011, according to figures released
this month by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The
decline adds to a so-far unbroken trend since CARB started
tracking the emissions in 2008. The figures include emissions
from power plants, oil and gas production and refining, cement
manufacture and a few other industrial processes. Posted.

'Rising star' leads push to overhaul landmark Calif.
environmental law. A California state senator elected just two
years ago is becoming one of the biggest names in environmental
law and clean energy expansion. Michael Rubio, 35, this month
took over as chairman of the state Senate's Environmental Quality
Committee, which controls legislation tied to air, water and land
protections. A Democrat from a conservative, rural district in
the Central Valley, he supports some green causes but also takes
positions that make environmental groups anxious. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2013/01/23/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION


Plant used in pilot program for fuel made in Stockton. A seed
producer is recruiting area farmers to produce sorghum, a grain
crop also known as milo, for use in ethanol production, including
at the Pacific Ethanol Inc. plant in Stockton. Chromatin Inc.
will host a meeting Feb. 5 in Modesto, hoping to convince growers
to plant thousands of acres of grain sorghum this spring to
supply Aemetis in Keyes and Calgren in Pixley, as well as Pacific
Ethanol. Posted.

Final Keystone pipeline decision still months away.  Nebraska
Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a revised route for the Keystone
XL oil pipeline puts the long-delayed project back in the hands
of the federal government.  But don't look for a quick decision
on the $7 billion project, which would carry oil from Canada to
the Texas Gulf Coast if allowed to move forward.  State
Department officials said they do not expect to complete a review
of the project before the end of March.  Posted. 

UDRI and Air Force researchers ramping up production of new
renewable fuel formula for aviation.  University of Dayton
Research Institute (UDRI) and Air Force researchers at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have ramped up production of a
new research fuel formula and a fuel derived from seed oils, and
now have enough fuel to move from lab testing to testing in
engines and auxiliary power systems.  Posted. 


Beijing to slap tougher emission standards on vehicles –Xinhua.
Beijing plans to implement harsher emission standards for
vehicles starting next month, one of its latest emergency
measures to curb the city's air pollution, official Xinhua News
Agency reported on Wednesday. The new Beijing V emission
standard, similar to the Euro V standard in Europe, will be
adopted as of Feb. 1, Xinhua cited Fang Li, spokesman for the
Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, as saying. The
new rule applies to vehicles that have yet to receive license
plates and not those already in use. Sales and plate
registrations for diesel-powered vehicles that fail to meet the
new standards will be halted, and sales of gasoline cars that
cannot meet the standards will be banned from March. Posted.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid rated at 45 mpg.  Volkswagen’s
newest Jetta has the highest mileage rating ever — a combined 45
miles per gallon in city and highway travel.  But, it doesn’t use
diesel fuel, as previous high-mileage Jettas have.  The 2013
Jetta Hybrid’s four-cylinder engine sips gasoline and is mated to
an electric motor.  Posted. 

PSA Peugeot Citroën developing 48V mild hybrid solution for 2017.
 At its Innovation Day in Paris—at which the company described
its Air Hybrid technology and rollout plans (earlier post)—PSA
Peugeot Citroën aso showcased a next-generation mild-hybrid
technology that significantly reduces fuel consumption, by 10% to
15% for an equivalent engine, and CO2, by 15 g/km, compared with
its e-HDi technology.  Posted. 

Electric vehicle battery market to reach $22bn by 2020.  The
market for lithium ion batteries used in electric cars is set to
expand to almost $22bn by the end of the decade, according to new
analysis by Pike Research. The predicted growth to around 14
times the size of the $1.6bn market recorded in 2012 is likely to
be driven by technology improvements, advanced production
techniques, and greater investment in research and development by
auto manufacturers.  Posted. 

What do extreme cold temperatures mean for drivers of electric
cars like Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf?  We’re all used to warming
up our cars in the winter, but what can drivers of newer electric
cars expect as temperatures drop? It’s all about the battery. And
batteries don’t exactly love extreme temperatures - cold or hot.
If you work outside in the winter, you will notice that your cell
phone’s battery doesn’t always hold a charge as long as it does
in better weather. The same is true for electric vehicles and
hybrids.  Posted. 

New selection of large vehicles goes electric. Passenger cars
have been generating much of the buzz around electrified
transportation, but automakers are changing that with a suite of
new electrified trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles that
could soon hit the market. "Whether it's an advanced drive
vehicle of any sort -- a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or an electric
vehicle (EV) -- the manufacturers are taking it seriously, and
they understand it as a growing market," said Jeremy Acevedo,
analyst at the automotive research website Edmunds.com. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/23/6 BY

Natural gas cars could soon make up 20% of U.S. vehicles –
analysts. The United States could increase the number of natural
gas vehicles in use to 10 percent or 20 percent by the end of the
decade if it makes a concerted effort, partners at the McKinsey
and Co. consulting firm said. "The low-hanging fruit are no
longer there," firm partner Tom Inglesby said, referencing the
immediate benefits that came from the recent boom in domestic
natural gas production, while speaking yesterday at the World LNG
Fuels conference in Houston. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/23/21 BY


Tenn. Volkswagen plant powers up solar park. German automaker
Volkswagen on Wednesday flipped the on switch for a new solar
park at its Tennessee assembly plant.
The 33-acre installation next to the Chattanooga plant has a
capacity to produce more than 13 gigawatt hours of electricity
per year. That's the equivalent of the amount of energy used by
1,200 area homes each year, according to Volkswagen. Posted.


Governor of Nebraska Backs Route for Pipeline. The governor of
Nebraska on Tuesday approved a revised route through the state
for the Keystone XL pipeline, setting up a decision for President
Obama that pipeline opponents say will be a crucial test of his
intentions on climate change. Gov. Dave Heineman, reversing an
earlier position and brushing aside vocal opposition from some
citizen groups, said the pipeline could be built and operated
safely and would bring thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions
of dollars in new revenue to Nebraska. Posted.

Washington, D.C., tops LEED rankings. Washington, D.C., leads the
nation in green building certifications, according to rankings
released this week by the U.S. Green Building Council. The city
easily bested other states in Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design certifications through 2012. LEED is a
voluntary points-based system for certifying green buildings.
With a total of 22 million square feet of LEED-certified building
space, Washington, D.C., had 36.97 certified square feet per
resident through 2012. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/23/19 BY


Universities Team Up to Assess Health Impacts of Gas Drilling. A
coalition of academic researchers in the United States is
preparing to shine a rigorous scientific light on the polarized
and often emotional debate over whether using hydraulic
fracturing to drill for natural gas is hazardous to human health.
Some five years after the controversial combination of fracking
and horizontal drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale in
Pennsylvania and surrounding states got under way, a team of
toxicologists from the University of Pennsylvania is leading a
national effort to study the health effects of fracking. Posted.

Sierra Club to engage in civil disobedience for first time. How
hot is the controversial Keystone Pipeline controversy getting?
The Sierra Club is — for the first time in its history — going to
engage in civil disobedience on Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C.,
which is also a day that greenies predict will be “the largest
climate rally in history.” Posted.

How to respond to people who say the cold weather disproves
global warming.  Those of you on the East Coast or who have
access to the internet are likely aware that a severe cold snap
has hit the region. It is affecting me personally, both because
it is cold in my apartment and because my Twitter stream is now
doubling as a real-time thermometer (with cursing).  Posted. 

Will Germany banish fossil fuels before the U.S.?  What would it
take to transform the whole country’s electric grid -- to shut
down all of its old power plants, and move to a system that
generates electricity exclusively from renewable resources? Well,
that’s exactly what Germany’s trying to do -- not decades from
now ... but now. Correspondent Rick Karr reports on how German
political parties of every stripe are now backing a plan that is
expected to nearly end that country’s use of fossil fuels by
2050.  Posted. 

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