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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 20, 2013.

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 15:01:46
ARB Newsclips for February 20, 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.


Phil Serna to be sworn in to California Air Resources Board.
Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna will be sworn in as the
newest member of the California Air Resources Board tomorrow at 9
a.m. The swearing in will take place in the Joe Serna Jr. Cal/EPA
Headquarters Building, 1001 I St., named after Serna's late
father, who was once mayor of Sacramento. Serna was appointed by
Gov. Jerry Brown to fill a new seat created by recent legislation
to add representation for the region. The legislation was
authored by Assembly member Roger Dickinson, a former Sacramento
County supervisor. Posted.


China to Impose Limits on Six Industries to Tackle Air Pollution.
China will impose emission limits on six polluting industries
including coal-fired power plants and steel and petrochemical
factories as soon as March 1 to improve air quality in major
cities. China “must strictly impose” the limits to improve air
quality, according to a statement posted on the Ministry of
Environmental Protection website today that cited a meeting
headed by Minister Zhou Shengxian. Posted.

UC Davis study says it found source of air pollutants.
Researchers at UC Davis have established, for the first time, a
link between toxic substances that pollute the air and what
causes them. The research, announced Monday by the California Air
Resources Board and the Electric Power Research Institute, holds
the potential to better regulate sources of air pollution – an
issue of great import to the asthma-plagued Sacramento and San
Joaquin valleys. Posted.

Valley air officials give preliminary OK to hydrogen plant
emissions. Central Valley regulators have tentatively signed off
on the air pollution expected to be generated by the Hydrogen
Energy California power and chemical plant proposed near Tupman.
While a full project approval is at least several months away,
the preliminary determination of compliance issued last week by
the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District signals
that HECA appears to meet its various requirements. 

Think tank encourages EPA to apply rarely used legal move to cut
greenhouse gas emissions. A New York-based institute has asked
U.S. EPA to consider a little-used section of the Clean Air Act
to cut greenhouse gases, a move it says will give states more
control over how to curb climate change.  The Institute for
Policy Integrity at New York University sent a petition to acting
EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe yesterday, requesting that the
agency consider using Section 115 of the Clean Air Act to require
states to formulate plans to reduce emissions. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/2 BY

Clouds and pollution -- a climate change mystery solved. How does
pollution affect cloud formation and climate change? This
question has long been an unsolved mystery of climate science,
leading to uncertainty in climate modeling. Research published
this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
takes a big step toward answering that question and helping
scientists improve those models. For nearly half a century,
scientists speculated that air pollution from burning fossil
fuels causes clouds to form differently. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/4 BY


In European Union, Emissions Trade Is Sputtering. President
Barack Obama is trying to persuade the United States to adopt a
cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But the
European Union’s Emissions Trading System — the world’s flagship
effort — is sputtering. European carbon permits, which traded at
about €30 per ton a few years ago, are now hovering at about €5
per ton or less. The Union set up the E.T.S. in 2005 to send a
clear signal to electric utilities and other polluters that over
time they needed to switch to cleaner energy sources and adopt
innovative anti-pollution technology. Posted.

California holds second auction of carbon credits. California
held its second auction Tuesday for carbon-emissions allowances,
pursuing the next phase in its controversial mechanism to curtail
greenhouse gases. The Air Resources Board sold more than 22
million allowances, each one containing the right to emit a ton
of carbon into the air. The state agency will wait until Friday
to release prices and other results from the three-hour
electronic auction. The minimum bid price was $10.71 a ton.



TransCanada: Pipeline would not affect climate. In a shift in
strategy, the company that wants to build an oil pipeline from
western Canada to Texas said Tuesday that the project will have
no measurable effect on global warming. Alex Pourbaix,
TransCanada's president for energy and oil pipelines, said
opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have grossly
inflated its likely impact on emissions of greenhouse gases that
contribute to global warming. Posted.

Legislative watchdog questions legality of Brown plan for
spending climate fees. California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to
spend climate change fees on hiring at a housing agency could be
illegal, a state audit agency warned yesterday. Brown's proposal,
included in the 2013-2014 budget the Democrat unveiled last
month, would take $650,000 from fees that businesses pay for the
state climate programs and spend it on five new positions at a
housing agency. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/20/14 BY


Industry, environmentalists mull 'fracking' rules. Leases have
been signed on tens of thousands of acres in southern Illinois.
Studies have hinted at the potential economic payoff of drilling
for oil and gas deposits deep underground. But so far, oil and
gas companies have held off on high-volume hydraulic fracturing
in Illinois because the state lacks ground rules for the
industry. Posted.

Calif. walloped with criticisms on proposed fracking rules. A
group of California residents yesterday denounced the state's
proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas, saying
they are inadequate and wouldn't protect people or resources.
About 80 people who filled a hotel ballroom here rattled off what
they saw as flaws with the draft regulations, including that the
proposed rule fails to provide enough advance warning when
fracking will occur and would not force public disclosure of all
chemicals used. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/02/20/2 BY

Industry fights back on Keystone XL's climate impact. In the wake
of environmental protests at the White House, supporters of the
Keystone XL pipeline pushed back yesterday against the argument
that the planned oil conduit from Canada would be a climate
catastrophe. Canada constitutes about 2 percent of global
greenhouse gas emissions, with the oil sands constituting a small
percentage of that total, said Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's
president of oil pipelines and energy…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/5 BY


Home Solar Systems to Be an Option for Honda Customers.
Automakers have long resorted to incentives like zero-percent
financing, rewards points and rebates to inspire customer
loyalty. Now Honda is offering a different deal: inexpensive home
solar power systems for customers. Through a partnership with
SolarCity, a residential and commercial installer, Honda and
Acura will offer their customers home solar systems at little or
no upfront cost, the companies said on Tuesday. The automaker
will also offer its dealers preferential terms to lease or buy
systems from SolarCity on a case-by-case basis, executives said.

California wins ruling on 2000-2001 energy crisis. More than a
decade after the last rolling blackout, Californians could get
$1.6 billion in electricity refunds because of market
manipulation during the first few months of the energy crisis,
officials said Monday. A federal administrative law judge issued
a preliminary decision last Friday in California's favor against
several big energy wholesalers, including a U.S. government
agency that sells hydropower from the Pacific Northwest and the
government of British Columbia. Posted.

U.S. spent more on energy efficiency than on conventional energy
in 2010 – study. The United States spent $574 billion on energy
efficiency in 2010. That's 3.4 times the investment in
conventional energy technology, an indication that productivity
of the U.S. economy may be linked more to efficiency than
extracting energy resources. A report from the American Council
for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), following an analysis of
energy efficiency resources in the United States, estimates that
$170 billion was invested in conventional energy supply…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/6 BY

Emerging markets seen as 'next wave' in smart grid growth –
report. The global smart grid market could grow to be worth more
than $66 billion by the year 2023, with much of that growth
likely to occur in emerging economies in Africa, South America
and Southeast Asia, according to a new analysis by Washington,
D.C.-based research firm Northeast Group. "In North America and
Western Europe, they've been doing a lot of smart metering
already," said Ben Gardner, president and co-founder of Northeast
Group LLC. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/20/3 BY


Toxic nap mats draw suit in Oakland. An Oakland watchdog group
said Tuesday it is suing major manufacturers and retailers,
including Target and Amazon.com, for selling nap mats made with a
toxic flame retardant that is also a known carcinogen. The
lawsuit is the latest legal move for the group, which last year
put the companies on notice for selling or making similarly
contaminated changing pads, crib mattresses and other items.
While some of the manufacturers and retailers say they've started
to change their practices, the Center for Environmental Health
says it wants the courts to require swift action. Many foam nap
mats, which are widely used at places like day care centers, are
doused with flame retardants linked to obesity, hormone
disruption.  Posted.

Clean-air chief Gina McCarthy seen as likely pick to head EPA.
President Barack Obama is expected by environmental advocates to
name Gina McCarthy, the controversial chief of the Environmental
Protection Agency's air pollution arm, to head the agency. The
nomination of McCarthy, 58, who has served as the head of the
EPA's clean-air division since 2009, could come as early as next
week, according to officials of three environmental groups. Her
boss, Lisa Jackson, left the administrator's post Thursday.

Sacramento moves ahead on proposal to ban plastic grocery bags. A
Sacramento City Council subcommittee moved forward Tuesday with
drafting an ordinance to ban single-use plastic shopping bags at
large grocery stores in the city. The council's Law and
Legislation Committee directed city staff to begin working on the
ordinance, which will eventually return to the committee before
being voted on by the City Council. The process of adopting a ban
would likely take until June. Posted.


No, Greenland Does Not Belong to China. Greenland may well
develop into a large exporter of uranium. In the south of the
island, rare earth deposits are among the largest in the world.
Huge reserves of oil and gas are hidden off shore. And yes,
London Mining, a British mining company, and the Greenland
self-government authority are luring the Chinese to invest $2
billion in an iron-ore mine close to the Greenland ice sheet some
175 kilometers north of Nuuk, the capital. Posted.


Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About
Secrecy. California’s cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse
gases resumed this week with its second auction of carbon
allowances to industrial polluters. The market is being closely
watched around the world, and billions of dollars are at stake.
But some nagging questions are lingering from the first auction.
The state’s first-ever carbon auction last November was a very
exclusive online event, open only to bidders and regulators at
the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Posted.

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