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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 7, 2013.

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 12:31:24
ARB Newsclips for February 7, 2013. ARB Newsclips for February 7,

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.


MORENO VALLEY: Mega warehouse would have wide impact. The draft
environmental impact report released this week for the 41.6
million-square-foot warehouse center that Moreno Valley officials
want to develop on the city’s east side states what critics have
suspected – that the project probably will create more traffic,
affect air quality and pose long-term health care risks. Posted.

Utah regulators target hamburger-grill emissions. A powerful
state board charged with cleaning Utah's air approved new
emissions controls Wednesday that will affect Burger King and
other hamburger joints that use conveyor-driven flame broilers to
cook their beef. The regulation is among dozens the Utah Air
Quality Board is adopting to curb smog across the greater Salt
Lake region, which is experiencing another severe pollution
episode. Posted.


U.S. Northeast Cap-and-Trade Program Said to Lower Cap.  The U.S.
Northeast’s cap-and-trade program, which was been hampered by
pollution limits that exceed carbon emissions, is expected to
reduce its cap by as much as 45 percent tomorrow, according to
the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Companies in the nine
states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
will be permitted to emit a total of about 91 million tons of
carbon dioxide a year under the new policies, Dale Bryk, a
director and attorney at the New York-based environmental group,
said today in an interview.  Posted. 

http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/5  BY

Utilities prepare for carbon rules on operating power plants.
Imposing greenhouse gas regulations on the nation's existing
power plants is the main climate priority sought by environmental
groups as President Obama begins a second term. But that move has
been anticipated in the utility sector, and many of its members
are prepared for it, according to industry officials. The present
fleet of coal-fired generating plants is getting smaller as cheap
natural gas replaces coal and as older facilities close because
of age and the high costs of installing new equipment to meet
earlier regulations, including limits on mercury and sulfur
emissions. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/1  BY

U.S. may not meet its pledge to cut CO2 by 17% without more
action – study. The United States is not on track to meet its
Copenhagen climate change target, according to a new major study
that could undermine the Obama administration's claims to the
international community that it is headed in the right direction.
The findings from the World Resources Institute show the United
States could still achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade
even if Congress won't pass legislation. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/3 BY

New analytic methods reduce uncertainty in forest-carbon
relationship. Tropical forests are less vulnerable to climate
change than scientists had previously thought, a new study
concludes. The study, published this week in Nature, placed the
amount of carbon released naturally from tropical ecosystems at
about 53 billion metric tons per degree Celsius of warming. This
is about one-quarter of some previous estimates, which reached up
to 200 billion metric tons of CO2. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/8 BY

Ariz. senator challenges global warming with new bill. Arizona
Sen. Judy Burges (R) has set out to "free" teachers to share
their doubts about global warming with their students. Burges
submitted a bill saying state schools cannot prohibit teachers
from discussing the "strengths and weaknesses of existing
scientific theories" about "controversial" topics such as global
warming and climate change. Furthermore, the bill opens the door
for teachers to argue for scientific validity of "intelligent
design" as an alternative to evolution. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/13 BU

Debate resolved -- earthworms do contribute to global warming.
Earthworms increase the global warming potential of soils by 16
percent, a new study shows. In the study, published in Nature,
scientists from the Netherlands, the United States and Colombia
looked into 237 experiments from other studies on earthworms'
role in global warming and deduced their net contribution to the
greenhouse effect. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/14 BY


Advocates gear up to defend renewable fuel standard. Advocates
for the biofuel industry are sharpening their swords and ginning
up support for the federal mandate on biofuel blending in
anticipation of a new round of attacks from the oil and gas
industry. Under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), refiners are
required to mix 36 billion gallons of biofuel with traditional
transportation fuel by 2022. Of that amount, 21 billion gallons
is to come from advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/4 BY


Automakers hope to rev up sales of diesel vehicles.
Diesel-powered vehicles account for only 3% of U.S. auto sales,
but GM, Volkswagen, Mazda and other brands are rolling out new
models in a bid to raise that figure. Drivers in the U.S. are
discovering what Europeans have known for years: Diesel engines
are powerful and still get eye-popping fuel economy, especially
at highway speeds. Automakers are rolling out new diesels in the
U.S. market, including a diesel version of General Motors Co.'s
Chevrolet Cruze, which debuts Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show.

California Governor’s Office releases 2013 ZEV action plan; 1.5M
ZEVs on CA roadways by 2025.  California Governor Jerry Brown’s
Office and state agencies issued a 2013 Zero-emission Vehicle
(ZEV) Action Plan. The Action Plan follows on Governor Brown’s
Executive Order (B-16-2012) released March 2012, which set
required milestones for state government to enable 1.5 million
zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025. (Earlier
post.) The Action Plan details concrete actions that state
agencies are taking to help accelerate the market for plug-in
electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles.   Posted. 


REGION: Contractor chosen for Metrolink project. Transportation
officials have accepted a $132 million build to build a Metrolink
line to Perris that is the target of a lawsuit from an
environmental group. The Riverside County Transportation
Commission on Friday, Feb. 1, chose to award the $132,202,749
contract to Ames Construction, Inc. – contingent on if a judge’s
ruling lets the Perris Valley Line project move forward. Friends
of Riverside’s Hills is suing the commission for approving the

New high-speed rail map stirs debate.  A conceptual map from a
California artist has lots of people talking about the future of
high-speed rail in the United States.  Artist Alfred Twu created
this map showing high-speed rail plans right through Denver. 
Yet, the concept is just that, right now.  Government officials,
planners, and think tanks have created dozens of maps in the past
few years on the feasibility and usefulness on the future of
high-speed rail.  Posted. 


Edison ignored safety risks at San Onofre, Sen. Boxer says.
Southern California Edison and the maker of steam generators at
San Onofre nuclear plant knew about problems with the generators
even before they were installed, Boxer and a congressman assert.
Southern California Edison was aware of problems with replacement
steam generators at its San Onofre nuclear power plant but chose
not to make fixes, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer charged Wednesday.

It looks as though California has broken another solar power
record, and it's done so in one of the least-sunny times of year
possible. According to preliminary figures provided by the
California Independent System Operator, the state's grid received
more than 1,300 megawatts of power from solar arrays for a few
hours on Wednesday, likely an all-time record -- in a month when
the sun shines with less intensity than at most other times of
year. Keep in mind that California only passed the 1,000-megawatt
mark in its solar generating output on August 20, 2012…Posted.

New York Times' new building cuts net energy by 24% -- study.
California researchers this week called The New York Times' new
high-tech building on the West Side of Manhattan one of the best
examples around of how well-designed building components can save
energy. In a study supported by the Energy Department and the
California Energy Commission, researchers found that buildings
like the newspapers can keep occupants cool or warm and save
money by employing time-triggered window shades and better
airflow, among other measures. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/6 BY

Wind projects dominated new power production last year – study.
Electric utilities and independent power producers completed 430
new power plants accounting for 29,335 megawatts of new
generation projects in 2012, a whopping 43 percent increase over
the previous year, according to figures released yesterday by SNL
Financial. Six of the 10 largest projects were natural gas- and
coal-fired generators in the Southeast and Midwest, while wind
power accounted for the lion's share of new generation
nationally, with 12,953 MW of added capacity, or 44 percent of
the total. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/07/7 BY


Environmentalists and unions band together to fight CEQA changes.
Environmentalists and labor unions are banding together to fight
efforts to overhaul California's landmark environmental law.
Organizers said the new coalition, made up of dozens of advocacy
groups and dubbed "CEQA Works," was formed to counter an
aggressive campaign by business groups to make changes to the
California Environmental Quality Act. Posted.

Northeast pact to dramatically lower greenhouse emissions for
power plants. Massachusetts and eight other Northeast states are
nearly halving the amount of carbon dioxide power plants are
allowed to emit –- a dramatic reduction that is expected to bring
in hundreds of millions of dollars to the state while combating
global warming. The revision of the Regional Greenhouse Gas
Initiative agreement comes four years after the nine-state
program first put in place a cap aimed at curbing emissions of
the key heat-trapping gas in order to slow manmade climate
change.  Posted.

Hong Kong Taking Major Steps to Address Air Pollution.  While the
air in Beijing and throughout much of China has been notoriously
polluted in recent weeks, Hong Kong (where I currently live) does
not fare much better. The poor air quality in Hong Kong has been
a source of concern and protest here for many years. Both
residents and environmental groups have long demanded that the
government do more to tackle the problem, as air pollutants
consistently exceed World Health Organization limits as well as
levels set by the Hong Kong government itself.   Posted. 

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