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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.


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. 

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


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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. 


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.


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.

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.


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


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. 

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. 

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