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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 11, 2013 Posted: 11 Mar 2013 14:44:36
ARB Newsclips for March 11, 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 Abuse pollutes state environmental law. The California Environmental Quality Act, signed into law by Gov. Ronald Reagan, is being used for unintended purposes and needs fixing. State Sen. Jerry Hill grew up in San Francisco and vividly remembers the rare suffocating days of late summer when the fog fled and people sweltered. The city's natural air conditioner clicked off, temperatures soared into the 90s and — back then — the skies boiled into a toxic soup. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-environment-20130311,0,910766,print.column Job-killing EPA regs? Not for manufacturer of emission controls. New U.S. EPA air regulations mean business for companies that make pollution-control technologies that other companies like -- at least, that's what execs at those firms are hoping. Consider Massachusetts-based Eco Power Solutions Inc. It hasn't had a customer since it officially opened in 2006 when its executives had visions of power companies lining up for help complying with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule and other new guidelines. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/11/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CAP AND TRADE California Considering 25 Projects for Carbon Offset Credits. California, the second-largest carbon-polluting state in the U.S. behind Texas, will decide whether to award its first carbon offset credits for 25 projects designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. The candidates for offset credits include a project to improve forest management practices to avoid emissions related to timber harvesting and several to destroy biogas at farms, according to a list posted on the state Air Resources Board’s website. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-03-08/california-considering-25-projects-for-carbon-offset-credits.html First Carbon Offset Projects To Be Reviewed By Air Resources Board. The California Air Resources Board says it's reviewing the first twenty five projects submitted that promised to offset greenhouse gas emissions. If approved, the businesses can earn credits under the state's Cap-and-Trade Program. Stanley Young with the Air Resources Board says certified inspectors will determine how much pollution each project eliminates. "We require that the project developer hire and accredited person- a third-person verifier…Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2013/03/08/first-carbon-offset-projects-to-be-reviewed-by-air-resources-board CLIMATE CHANGE Greenland adds nutrient to ocean in side-effect of thaw: study. A melt of Greenland's ice is washing large amounts of the nutrient iron into the Atlantic Ocean where it might aid marine life in a rare positive side-effect of climate change, a study showed on Sunday. Greenland's thaw, which is raising world sea levels, is also adding about 300,000 tonnes of iron a year to the North Atlantic, based on projections from the muddy melt water of three glaciers in the southwest, it said. That is similar to the amount of iron blown to the region in dust by winds. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/11/us-climate-greenland-idUSBRE9290DN20130311 Evidence grows of rainforest resilience to global warming. The world's tropical forests are less likely to lose biomass, or plant material, this century due to the effects of global warming than previously thought, scientists said in a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday. This adds to growing evidence that rainforests might be more resilient to the effects of climate change than feared. Tropical forests play an important role in the world's climate system because they soak up carbon dioxide and use it to grow leaves, branches and roots. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/10/rainforest-climate-idUSL6N0BZFJH20130310 FUELS Bills seek more disclosure, oversight of fracking. The growing concern over hydraulic fracturing, the technology that has led to an oil and gas boom in many parts of the country, has caught the attention of California lawmakers as companies seek to expand production in the San Joaquin Valley oil fields. At least eight bills proposing to regulate or tax the industry's expansion are under consideration in this year's legislative session. They include proposals that would require disclosure of the ingredients used in fracking…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/10/5251172/bills-seek-more-disclosure-oversight.html#storylink=cpy Fracking health study results likely years off. A health study cited by leading environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as pivotal in helping persuade Gov. Andrew Cuomo to hold off on plans for limited gas drilling is likely years away from conclusions about whether the technology involved is safe, according to the project's leaders. With New York entering the fifth year of review of the process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, growing calls to wait for the Geisinger Health System study to be finished could push a final decision back several more years…Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/09/fracking-health-study-results-likely-years-off/#ixzz2NFN9aEU9 Enerkem: committed to Pontotoc ethanol project. Four years after announcing plans for an ethanol plant in Pontotoc, a Canadian company has yet to begin construction. Enerkem Inc., of Montreal, remains committed to building the for Enerkem Mississippi Biofuels plant, spokeswoman Annie Pare tells The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. It's planned as a $100 million project with 70 employees, with a $150 million expansion to produce another 80 jobs.So far, a lot has been cleared for a power substation but the 35-acre site for the plant itself is still all woods. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/10/enerkem-committed-to-pontotoc-ethanol-project/#ixzz2NFPBKxV3 Flights from NY airport fueled by cooking oil. A Dutch airliner is flying from New York to Amsterdam on a fuel mix that includes leftover oil from frying Louisiana's Cajun food. The KLM flights from Kennedy Airport are powered by a combination of 25 percent recycled cooking oil and 75 percent jet fuel. After the first such flight Friday, the concept will be tested on 24 round-trip trans-Atlantic trips every Thursday for the next six months. KLM executive Camiel Eurlings jokingly told the New York Post that "it smelled like fries" while the plane was being fueled. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/09/flights-from-ny-airport-fueled-by-cooking-oil/ A more precise device emerges to assess methane leaks from gas sites. A number of studies recently have highlighted methane leakage from well pads as a significant climate concern. Behind some of these studies is a California-based startup and its instrument that allows scientists to detect greenhouse gases and pinpoint the source of the emissions. The instrument, by Picarro Inc., allows users to drive around a city and accurately detect methane leaks. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/03/11/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Nissan COO to Head Electric Car Unit as Leaf Sales Trail Target. Nissan Motor Co. (7201), Japan’s second- largest automaker, put its electric-vehicle business under the direct supervision of the chief operating officer after sales of the Leaf missed the company’s expectations. Toshiyuki Shiga will oversee zero emission vehicle strategy and the battery business starting April 1, Nissan said in an e- mail. Hideaki Watanabe, corporate vice president at the electric car division, was moved to supplier Calsonic Kansei Corp. (7248), where he will be senior vice president. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-03-11/nissan-coo-to-head-electric-car-unit-as-leaf-sales-trail-target.html Carmakers think outside the box as electric dreams shatter. Carmakers are going back to the drawing board in the hunt for fuel-saving technologies as hopes that electric vehicles will be the silver bullet for CO2 emissions look increasingly forlorn. There is a growing awareness that conventional hybrids and slow-selling battery cars simply won't be enough to meet rigid EU emissions limits. Among those showing off new ideas at the Geneva car show this week, Volkswagen presented its diesel-electric XL1 - a low-slung two-seater that burns less than a liter (0.26 U.S. gallons) of fuel per 100 kilometers (62 miles) - Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/08/us-autoshow-geneva-fuel-tech-idUSBRE9270S420130308 Off-road park near Livermore: Expansion opposed by low-impact advocates. Amid the lush green hills off Tesla Road, near the San Joaquin County line, is a serene area of sycamores and buckeyes with a secret past, and a controversial plan for its future. It once was home to the bustling coal-mining town of Tesla, its dusty roads filled with horse carriages. Now California is looking at a proposal to expand the off-road vehicle area next door into portions of the 3,500-acre Tesla parcel, which State Parks officials say can be done while respecting the area's history. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_22752680/tesla-land-near-carnegie-off-roaders-vs-preservationists?source=rss Scania and Siemens to develop heavy-duty hybrid vehicles with trolley-assist; enabling the eHighway. Scania and Siemens have entered into a partnership which involves the integration of Siemens’ trolley-assist technology with Scania’s expertise in the electrification of powertrains in trucks and buses. Scania has for a long time explored the possibilities of electrifying the powertrain in buses and trucks, while Siemens has developed trolley-assist systems for heavy duty trucks and is selling its SIMINE trolley-assist system for mining trucks to that industry. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/03/siemensscania-20130311.html Hybrid-electrics race for mainstream and high-end buyers. They may not be there just yet, but hybrid vehicles of all types and sizes are gunning for mainstream status. Traditional hybrids -- which run on petroleum but save fuel by capturing lost energy with an electric motor -- are still considered to be in a class of niche electrified vehicles, along with plug-in cars like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. But hybrids appear to be pulling away from that group. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/11/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Low demand, weak prices hit new CEE power plant projects. Central European utilities, facing weakening wholesale power prices and uncertainty about future demand in slumping economies, have scuppered or suspended coal and gas projects with total capacity over 5,000 megawatts. Over the long run, these decisions could lead to shortages in some nations when demand strengthens and as European Union environmental laws force the closure of old coal-burning plants. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/11/cee-power-plants-idUSL5N0BBBQC20130311 Thousand Oaks wants to bring solar energy to four of its parks. Four parks in Thousand Oaks may soon generate power from a mix of electric lines and solar if the Conejo Recreation & Park District gets the green light. Before Dec. 31, the district hopes to install carports with solar panels at four parks that use the most energy: Conejo Creek Park South, Thousand Oaks Community Park, Dos Vientos Community Park and Borchard Community Park. After its board of directors unanimously approved the plan in November, the district held a community meeting for neighbors of each park. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/10/thousand-oaks-wants-to-bring-solar-energy-to-of/#ixzz2NFNyUNhk MISCELLANEOUS Sun Valley recycling plant expansion faces neighborhood opposition. Neighbors complain of rats, debris and smells coming from the troubled Community Recycling & Resource Recovery, which has for years been receiving tons more waste than it's supposed to. Complaining about "rats the size of small dogs," debris that falls like thick snow and a pervasive, rancid odor, neighbors at a public hearing Friday protested a plan to expand a Sun Valley recycling operation into one of the largest waste-transfer facilities in the state. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-sun-valley-recycle-20130309,0,5315419.story OPINIONS When to Say No. The State Department’s latest environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline makes no recommendation about whether President Obama should approve it. Here is ours. He should say no, and for one overriding reason: A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/opinion/when-to-say-no-to-the-keystone-xl.html?_r=0 Air Board May Have It Right On Cap And Trade. From the moment AB 32 and its mandate for greenhouse gas reductions passed in 2006, conservative opponents and climate change deniers have vilified it as an economic suicide pact for California. But that may not be so, in part because of how the cap and trade system for lowering emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) is now working. What’s more, no one expected this to be a big state moneymaker back when current Democratic state Sen. Fran Pavley and then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were pushing it. Posted. http://www.smmirror.com/articles/Opinion/Air-Board-May-Have-It-Right-On-Cap-And-Trade/36973 http://www.sonomanews.com/News-2013/Air-Board-may-be-right-on-cap-and-trade/ BLOGS Head of US Pacific command: Climate change biggest threat. America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change. Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen…Posted. http://bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/03/09/admiral-samuel-locklear-commander-pacific-forces-warns-that-climate-change-top-threat/BHdPVCLrWEMxRe9IXJZcHL/story.html http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/287327-head-of-us-pacific-command-climate-change-biggest-threat http://washingtonexaminer.com/top-pacific-admiral-identifies-climate-change-as-greatest-security-threat/article/2523911 http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03/climate-change/ Air pollution drops in Alameda. Alamedans polluted less in 2010 than they did five years earlier, the results of a new study show. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants dropped 8 percent over that time, the 2010 Community-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory estimates, putting Alameda on track to meet the city’s reduction target of 25 percent by 2020. But some are questioning whether the numbers will hold as the nation emerges from a recession that likely reduced the car trips that are responsible for much of the pollution, and they say that much more needs to be done. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/inalameda/2013/03/11/air-pollution-drops-in-alameda/ Air quality in an app. Thanks to sensors installed on trams that send data live to mobile phones, people can check air pollution levels around the city with just one click and in real time. This new app developed by EPFL researchers was recently tested in Zurich. What if you could choose your commute based on the air quality en route? This is what a new smartphone app, "Mobile Observatory," developed by EPFL's Distributed Systems Laboratory, is proposing. Posted. http://phys.org/news/2013-03-air-quality-app.html