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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TOXIC_FOG_UTAH?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/23/us-climate-change-obama-idUSBRE90M05520130123 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. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x2088956342/Air-officials-call-seasons-first-valleywide-wood-burning-ban BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.modbee.com/2013/01/22/2544548/wood-burning-ban-now-in-effect.html#storylink=misearch 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. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130123/COMMUNITY/130129847 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22427884/another-wood-burning-ban-issued-wednesday http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22427884/another-wood-burning-ban-issued-wednesday 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. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/22/midamerican-settles-lawsuit-will-curtail-coal/#ixzz2IooglAc8 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/climate-change/california-industrys-greenhouse-pollution-dropped-again-in-2011.html '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 ONLY FUELS 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. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130123/A_BIZ/301230314&cid=sitesearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/23/3144044/final-keystone-pipeline-decision.html#storylink=misearch 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/udri-20130123.html VEHICLES 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/23/beijing-emission-idUSL4N0AS6AT20130123 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/2013-volkswagen-jetta-hybrid-rated-at-45-mpg/2013/01/23/3ca08f4c-6576-11e2-889b-f23c246aa446_story.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/psa-20130123.html 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. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2238212/electric-vehicle-battery-market-to-reach-usd22bn-by-2020 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. http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/money/auto_news/what-do-extreme-cold-temperatures-mean-for-drivers-of-electric-cars-like-chevy-volt-and-nissan-leaf 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Tenn-Volkswagen-plant-powers-up-solar-park-4217308.php#ixzz2IpJK3R9q MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/science/earth/keystone-pipeline-route-approved-by-nebraska-governor.html?ref=earth 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BLOGS 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. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/universities-teaming-up-to-assess-health-impacts-of-fracking/?ref=earth 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. http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2013/01/22/sierra-club-to-engage-in-civil-disobedience-for-first-time/ 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. http://grist.org/news/how-to-respond-to-people-who-say-the-cold-weather-disproves-global-warming/ 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. http://grist.org/climate-energy/will-germany-banish-fossil-fuels-before-the-u-s/