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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 21, 2013. Posted: 21 Feb 2013 11:57:21
ARB Newsclips for February 21, 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 China to push compulsory insurance for polluting industries. China will force heavily polluting industries to participate in a compulsory insurance program to ensure they can adequately provide compensation for damage, the government said on Thursday. Pollution has become a core concern for the stability-obsessed ruling Communist Party because of the public anger and protests it generates and because the issue cannot easily be hidden from view. Companies that must participate in the scheme include mining and smelting industries…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/21/us-china-environment-idUSBRE91K0L120130221 Ozone levels linked to cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrests are more likely when levels of air pollution - especially soot-like particles and ozone - have been high in recent days or even hours, according to a large study from Texas. Evidence already links airborne particles with heart disease and lung problems but the new findings are the first to show that high ozone may immediately raise the risk that a person’s heart will stop beating. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/us-ozone-levels-idUSBRE91J13920130220 http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2013/02/21/news/doc5125c7b884e9a285533220.txt http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22629034/air-pollution-linked-cardiac-arrest?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com CLIMATE CHANGE Activist investors put climate-change issue up for vote at bank. PNC Financial Services Group shareholders will consider the resolution at the April 23 annual meeting. It seeks a review of how its loans lead to greenhouse gas. Activist investors have succeeded for the first time in placing a shareholder resolution on the risks of greenhouse-gas emissions up for a vote at a major bank, a step toward making climate change an important consideration for corporations. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-banks-climate-change-20130221,0,6987137.story Don’t believe in climate change? Talk to a clam digger. Behind the counter at Seattle’s Taylor Shellfish Market, a brawny guy with a goatee pries open kumamoto, virginica, and shigoku oysters as easily as other men pop beer cans. David Leck is a national oyster shucking champion who opened and plated a dozen of them in just over a minute (time is added for broken shells or mangled meat) at the 2012 Boston International Oyster Shucking Competition. You have to be quick, these days, to keep up with demand. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/dont-believe-in-climate-change-talk-to-a-clam-digger/ DIESEL EMISSIONS California ARB to hold public workshop on new GHG and emissions standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold a public workshop on 11 March to discuss proposals for several regulations and regulation amendments related to on-road heavy-duty vehicles. At this workshop, staff will be soliciting input on proposals multiple proposals: a new regulation to harmonize with GHG emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles that US EPA adopted in 2011; amendments to ARB’s existing Heavy-Duty Vehicle GHG Emission Reduction Regulation to align with the proposed new GHG regulation; a new set of optional oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/arb-20130221.html FUELS Scientists explore new ways to make isobutanol. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a more efficient method for making isobutanol, a promising advanced biofuel and chemical ingredient, from yeast. Traditionally, yeast cells can produce isobutanol in the cytosol, the gel-like fluid inside the cell. But MIT chemical engineering professor Gregory Stephanopoulos and his team of researchers found a way to engineer yeast to process the isobutanol in the mitochondria -- the "power plant" that generates most of the cell's energy. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/21/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Tesla CEO expects profitable quarter. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk predicted Wednesday that the maker of luxury electric cars would reach profitability in the current quarter, a milestone for a startup that just began mass production last year. Musk made the prediction while reporting a $396.2 million loss for 2012, up from $254.4 million in 2011. Tesla spent heavily last year as it refurbished a closed auto factory in Fremont to make the company's new Model S sedan and opened stores across North America to sell it. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Tesla-CEO-expects-profitable-quarter-4295652.php#ixzz2LYZZ1Qve GREEN ENERGY Rebates for California electricity ratepayers clear hurdle. A judge rules in favor of a complaint filed with federal regulators that power wholesalers allegedly manipulated the market during the energy crisis of 2000. California electricity ratepayers could get rebates of as much as $1.6 billion from more than a dozen power wholesalers that allegedly manipulated the market during the energy crisis of 2000, the state Public Utilities Commission announced. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-power-suppliers-gamed-system-20130221,0,38093,print.story County looks to recharge rooftop solar. County supervisors are hoping to remove some of the cloud over residential solar energy financing, starting with looking at what’s working up and down the Golden State. Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Dave Roberts are pushing for a study of residential and commercial funding plans to help decide how best to expand the county’s public-private solar financing. From the county perspective, the home piece is what’s missing, thanks to a ruling by the Federal Housing Financing Agency four years ago. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/20/county-looks-to-recharge-rooftop-solar/ Calif. consortium forms to push battery research. The eternal quest to get battery costs down and efficiency up is gaining a new champion. Enter CalCharge, a quasi-governmental effort aimed at the Golden State's 40-odd energy storage startups. The partnership between the U.S. Energy Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a nonprofit investment fund created after the 1999-2000 California energy crisis, is designed to help companies network, develop their technologies and hone their business strategies. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/21/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS HECA plant, air district need to supply details. California's Central Valley has struggled with some of the worst air quality in the United States for years, and yet the regulatory agency charged with monitoring and improving that air quality, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, is on the verge of giving an OK that would make the air we breathe substantially dirtier. District regulators have tentatively signed off on the proposed Hydrogen Energy California power and chemical plant near Tupman in western Kern County. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/our-view/x738926004/HECA-plant-air-district-need-to-supply-details How Philosophy Explains High-Speed Rail. I didn’t understand Gov. Jerry Brown’s state of the state speech, but my fellow members of the press let me know it was brilliant. All those quotes – from philosopher to the Bible to the Little Engine That Could – explained everything, I’m told. So I’ve decided to learn, to turn over a new leaf, and use philosophy and the sharp quote to answer questions that haven’t been answered. Posted. www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2013/02/how-philosophy-explains-high-speed-rail/ Air quality and the county’s economy. Last week was the first column in what will be a series addressing the ill effects that extreme environmentalism has on our community. Last week, this column addressed the Precautionary Principle, a precept that posits regulation is required if the possibility of risk to the environment is perceived, even if evidence of risk does not exist and damage to the economy will result. Posted. http://santamariatimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/commentary/improving-north-county/air-quality-and-the-county-s-economy/article_180fba5a-7be6-11e2-8f7e-0019bb2963f4.html BLOGS China is getting a carbon tax. But how effective will it be? China may soon get its very own tax on carbon emissions. That’s the latest scuttlebutt from state-owned news service Xinhua, which noted that the levy would be part of a broader effort to improve the country’s environment. Carbon tax, you say? It’s easy to see why this move is attracting so much attention. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Yet the country has earned a reputation for bogging down international efforts to tackle climate change. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/21/china-may-soon-get-a-carbon-tax-but-will-it-make-any-difference/ http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/taxing-carbon/ Unlocking the Conspiracy Mind-Set. When I first met the NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt a few years ago, we discussed the proliferation of material on the Internet attacking mainstream climate science. I asked him whether he thought climate contrarians were flirting with conspiracy theory in their views. “Flirting?” he said. “No. They’ve already had conspiracy theory out on a hot date, and now it’s the morning after and they’re sitting up in bed, having coffee.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/unlocking-the-conspiracy-mindset/?ref=earth Electric Cars Going Out of Style? Not in China. What is China seeing in electric vehicles that the rest of the world is missing? Chinese car companies are behaving like they really know something. If history is any guide, the answer could reside with Xi Jinping and a future master plan for cars and energy in China. This week, Geely Automobile, Dongfeng Motors and other Chinese automotive firms are bidding to take over Fisker, maker of the Karma premium electric sedan. And Buffett-owned BYD plans to launch the Denza — a brand new electric car developed in a joint venture with Daimler – later this year. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013/02/21/electric-vehicles-going-out-of-style-not-in-china/?mod=chinablog Biofuel rush wiping out America’s grasslands at fastest pace since the 1930s. America’s prairies are shrinking. Spurred on by the rush for biofuels, farmers are digging up grasslands in the northern Plains to plant crops at the quickest pace since the 1930s. While that’s been a boon for farmers, the upheaval could create unexpected problems. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/20/biofuel-craze-wiping-out-americas-grasslands-at-fastest-rate-since-the-dust-bowl/ Buy An Electric Vehicle, Get Cheap Solar Power (Honda & SolarCity Team Up). Now that the dust has settled on the Tesla vs. New York Times battlefield, weren’t we just saying that electric vehicles are selling quite well? That’s partly because car manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to get a foothold in the EV market before the competition really heats up. In the latest maneuver, Honda has teamed with solar energy leader SolarCity to offer cheap solar power to eligible customers. They promise a utility bill for solar power that is less than the rate for grid-supplied energy, and that applies to Acura customers, too. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/21/buy-an-electric-vehicle-get-cheap-solar-power/ Top oil lobbyist: New climate bill will never reach Senate floor. The head of a powerful oil industry trade group predicts the Senate will shy away from debate on new Democratic legislation that imposes fees on carbon emissions from coal and petroleum. American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard said he did not expect the Senate to vote on the bill sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Posted. htt`p://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/284203-top-oil-lobbyist-new-climate-bill-will-never-reach-senate-floor http://grist.org/news/head-of-american-petroleum-institute-doesnt-see-a-need-to-regulate-carbon-anymore/