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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 27, 2013.

Posted: 27 Feb 2013 14:57:16
ARB Newsclips for February 27, 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.


As energy boom nears cities, a backlash grows.  Colorado
regulators grappling with a historic energy boom that's pushing
oil rigs to the very doorsteps of suburban schools and homes were
among the first in the nation to require companies to disclose
the chemicals they use in their new drilling techniques.  Now,
the regulators have issued what they tout as the country's
toughest energy drilling regulations, requiring rigs to be at
least 500 feet away from occupied buildings and take other steps
to limit pollution.  Posted. 




Emissions of NOx, SO2 from power plants lowest in 2 decades –
EIA. Thanks to pollution control equipment and the rise of
natural gas, emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from
power plants dropped to their lowest levels in more than two
decades, the Energy Information Administration reported today.
Levels of SO2 dropped to below 4 million short tons last year,
while NOx levels were below 2 million tons, continuing a steady
decline since 2010. Both chemicals contribute to acid rain.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/27/5 BY


RPT-FEATURE-Local warming: US cities in front line as sea levels
rise. The signs of rising water are everywhere in this seaport
city: yellow "Streets May Flood" notices are common at highway
underpasses, in low-lying neighborhoods and along the sprawling
waterfront. Built at sea level on reclaimed wetland, Norfolk has
faced floods throughout its 400-year history. But as the Atlantic
Ocean warms and expands, and parts of the city subside, higher
tides and fiercer storms seem to hit harder than they used to.

California starts year with record dry conditions. California is
poised to shatter an all-time weather record by notching the
driest January-February period in recorded history across the
northern Sierra Nevada. The northern Sierra is crucial to
statewide water supplies because it is where snowmelt accumulates
to fill Shasta and Oroville reservoirs. These are the largest
reservoirs in California and the primary storage points for state
and federal water supply systems. Posted.

Moving Forward, Looking Back / Simple ways we all can help curb
global warming. It's been a half century since our planet's
ecologic health became recognized not only as an area of
scientific study but a matter of increasing concern. The early
focus was on the status of our water, soil, and air -- major
issues that now seem almost quaint as we confront the mother of
all environmental ordeals: global warming. Here's the situation
in a very small nutshell. Posted.


Big rigs pulled over for inspection on Highway 99.  Some truck
drivers were pulled over Tuesday on a Valley highway, not for how
they drive but for the toxic emissions they may be putting into
the air. The Central Valley is no stranger to air pollution.
"California's air quality is the worst in the country and diesel
trucks are significant contributors not only to smog but increase
cancer risks," said Bruce Tuter with the California Air Resources
Board. In an effort to curb the high emission rates, state
inspectors spent the day conducting tests on heavy-duty trucks
traveling on Highway 99. Posted.


Herdt: Freaking out about 'fracking'. Although it has been used
in unregulated obscurity for decades in California, the drilling
practice of hydraulic fracturing — you know it as “fracking” —
has rather suddenly emerged as one of the top issues in
Sacramento this year. Posted.

Power producers accelerate switch from coal to gas. Coal remained
the No. 1 fuel for electric power generation in the United States
last year, but it lost substantial ground to both natural gas and
renewables as measured by growth in each of the major generation
sectors, according to newly published government data. According
to the Energy Information Administration's full-year data for
2012, coal consumption by both utilities and independent power
producers declined 12.5 percent over the previous year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/27/7  BY

Chinese team signs up to next year’s new Formula E championship,
featuring zero-emission cars.  Team China Racing is the second
team to sign up for next year’s environmentally friendly Formula
E championship, which will feature zero-emission cars racing in
10 cities around the world.  China Racing was officially proposed
to motor sport’s governing body as one of the 10 teams taking
part. British-based Drayson Racing was the first team to sign up,
while Rio de Janeiro and Rome are the first two cities to commit
to hosting a race.  Posted. 

Land Rover to demonstrate ZF 9-speed automatic transmission; up
to 16% fuel savings over standard 6-speed automatic.  At the
upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Land Rover will announce the first
9-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car; Land Rover is
the lead partner on the project, working together with ZF. The ZF
9HP transmission (earlier post) is specifically designed for
transverse applications and front or four-wheel drive and can
thus be installed in 75% of all cars produced worldwide, ZF


California Girds for Electricity Woes. Increased Reliance on
Wind, Solar Power Means Power Production Fluctuates. California
is weighing how to avoid a looming electricity crisis that could
be brought on by its growing reliance on wind and solar power.
Regulators and energy companies met Tuesday, hoping to hash out a
solution to the peculiar stresses placed on the state's network
by sharp increases in wind and solar energy. Power production
from renewable sources fluctuates wildly, depending on wind
speeds and weather.  Posted.

Imperial County betting its future on renewable energy. The
county, which has the state's highest jobless rate, needs the
construction boom to spur its economy. But some farmers and
Native Americans are crying foul. Situated in the southeastern
corner of California, bordering Arizona and Mexico, Imperial
County has long depended on agriculture and cash crops that grew
from the good earth. But lately the region — which carries the
dubious distinction of having the state's highest unemployment
rate at 25.5%...Posted.

Edison: San Onofre woes have cost $402 million. Edison has
proposed restarting the unit where the wear is less extensive, at
70 percent power; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said it
could decide whether to allow the restart as soon as late April.
The cost to inspect and repair faulty steam generators at the San
Onofre nuclear plant reached $102 million by the end of 2012,
while the cost to replace lost power hit $300 million, Edison
International said Tuesday in a report on company costs. Posted.

Sun to power Silver City sewage treatment plant.  Construction of
a 4,000-panel solar array to power Silver City's sewage treatment
plant is progressing, and city officials are already anticipating
savings.  Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar and a contractor
began work in December on the project, which is expected to be
finished this spring.  Posted. 




Why green isn't always the new black. In the knowledge that green
is apparently the new black, it was highly appropriate that South
Korea's Kexim last week tapped hungry SRI funds with its first
"green bond". The acronym stands for Socially Responsible
Investment, and Kexim will be investing the proceeds from the
US$500m foray in the eco-friendly projects it sponsors around the
world. Posted.

Limiting Carbon Dioxide Pollution by Power Plants. ELECTRIC power
plants spew about 40 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution in
the United States, but, amazingly, there are no federal limits on
utility emissions of this potent greenhouse gas. The Obama
administration plans to remedy this situation by drafting rules
that would curtail these discharges from existing plants. The
president should make sure they are tough. Nothing he can do will
cut greenhouse gases more. Posted.

ROBINSON: Obama has power to act on global warming. The test of
President Barack Obama's seriousness about addressing climate
change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone
XL pipeline. It's whether he effectively consigns coal-fired
power plants — one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions —
to the ashcan of history. Since his re-election, Obama has
signaled a new focus on climate change. “Some may still deny the
overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the
devastating impact of raging fires…Posted. 

Too early to thank Cuomo over fracking. New York missed a Feb. 13
procedural deadline, so it will be unable to issue regulations
for high-volume fracking by the end of this month. As a practical
matter, this means the Department of Environmental Conservation
will have to scrap the work it's done and restart the process.
There will have to be another round of public hearings, and
another opportunity for citizens to submit hundreds of thousands
of comments to the DEC…Posted.


A Fresh Look at China’s Long March on Energy and Emissions. The
Rhodium Group consulting firm has released a “report card” on
China’s energy trends and policies that describes the country’s
intensifying efforts to increase the proportion of renewable
sources like wind and hydroelectric dams and boost the efficiency
of coal use (essentially the metric called “greenhouse gas
intensity” by President George W. Bush). The blunting upward
trajectory in the graph above reflects progress, but a long path
ahead. Posted.

Nine reasons China won’t need enough coal to justify coal ports
in the Pacific Northwest.  U.S. coal companies claim that
exporting low-grade coal from the Powder River Basin through
ports in the Pacific Northwest to Asia is big business, a sure
thing, easily worth the pollution and disruption the new coal
infrastructure it would cause.  Posted. 

BP testifies: We knew about ‘big risk’ of explosion.  BP knew. BP
didn’t care. The company was aware that there was a “big risk” of
an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig before that very
disaster unfolded, an executive acknowledged Tuesday in court. 
Posted.  http://grist.org/news/bp-knew-of-deepwater-risk/ 

Inside the military’s clean-energy revolution.  I’m strapped into
my backward-facing seat on a COD, or “carrier onboard delivery”
plane, the U.S. Navy workhorse that ferries people, supplies, and
mail to and from its aircraft carriers at sea. I cinch the
four-point harness holding me in place. Then I cinch it some
more. When it’s as tight as it can go, an aircrewman walks by and
yanks it so hard it squeezes the breath out of me.  Posted. 

Senator Boxer to NRC: 'Careful' before restarting San Onofre.
Southern California Edison officials will meet with the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission Wednesday to press for permission to
restart one of San Onofre’s nuclear reactors at limited power.
California’s junior Senator says the NRC has to be “very careful”
before allowing San Onofre to start up again. As head of the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer has
been meeting every few weeks with the chairman of the NRC.

Do light-rail systems help cut down on traffic? Perhaps not.  If
you’re in charge of a city plagued by snarling traffic and
endless congestion, one idea is to build a light-rail system for
public transportation. More people will ride the trains, leaving
fewer cars on the road. Less congestion, less air pollution.
What’s not to like?  Posted. 

Los Angeles to end use of coal by 2025, says Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa. The city of Los Angeles, once mostly dependent on
coal-fired power plants, will end its use of coal energy entirely
within 12 years, according to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “In a
couple of weeks I will be signing agreements to get completely
out of coal by 2025,” Villaraigosa said at an event at UCLA. The
mayor was speaking at an event sponsored by UCLA’s Institute of
the Environment and Sustainability entitled, "What a mayor can do
to green a city." Posted.

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