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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 13, 2013.

Posted: 13 Mar 2013 12:34:31
ARB Newsclips for March 13, 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.


Inversions trapping unhealthy air in Fairbanks. The Fairbanks
area is continuing to be plagued by air pollution despite
relatively mild temperatures. Inversions occur when a layer of
cold air is trapped below a layer of warm air. They normally
occur in the Tanana Valley when it is colder, but inversions are
continuing to be a problem in Fairbanks even this far into
winter. Posted.

State regulators weigh in on power plant upgrades. he Arizona
Corporation Commission is criticizing recent actions by the U.S.
Environmental Protection agency to clean up the state's power
plants. The commission voted Tuesday to file an amicus brief in
federal appeals court supporting the state's challenge to
pollution control upgrades at three coal-fired power plants. The
EPA partially approved Arizona's air quality plan for the Cholla,
Coronado and Apache generating stations. But the agency set its
own limits for nitrogen oxide emissions and gave the plants'
operators five years to comply. Posted.

News Summary: China weighs economy vs environment.  OUTRAGE,
PRESSURE: Facing public outrage over smog-choked cities and
filthy rivers, China's leaders are promising to clean up the
country's neglected environment — a pledge that sets up a clash
with political pressures to keep economic growth strong.
INITIATIVES FLOATED: Possible initiatives have discussed by
officials and state media ahead of this week's meeting of China's
legislature include tightening water standards and taxing carbon
emissions. Posted.


Environmental group to appeal planned rail yard near Port of L.A.
The Natural Resources Defense Council says the cargo complex
would be near schools and residents who already breathe some of
the foulest air in the region. A $500-million proposed rail yard
near the Port of Los Angeles will face a challenge Wednesday from
an environmental group that says the plans are a threat to civil
rights and public health. Posted.


COLUMN-EU 2030 carbon cap could restore emissions trade: Wynn.
The European Union has begun the process of agreeing a new carbon
cap for 2030, with early signs that it could reinvigorate the
emissions market and simplify low-carbon policy. The outcome will
depend on horse-trading with skeptical carbon-intensive countries
such as Poland and the eventual parceling of the cap between
industry sectors. The target preferred by the European Commission
would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990
levels. Posted.

Nestle sets social, environmental targets for 2020. Nestle, the
world's biggest food company, published on Wednesday a raft of
social and environmental targets it aims to meet by 2020,
including better labeling of its products, only using sustainable
palm oil and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Nestle said the 30
goals it was setting included making sure all of its palm oil was
responsibly sourced by the end of 2013, two years ahead of an
initial commitment made in 2010 after campaigners Greenpeace
targeted its KitKat chocolate brand. Posted.

Court rejects Iowa girl's plea for climate action. An appeals
court declined Wednesday to order the Iowa Department of Natural
Resources to adopt rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions,
saying the agency does not have a legal duty to protect the
atmosphere for future generations. The Iowa Court of Appeals
declined to extend Iowa's public trust doctrine, which requires
the state to protect lakes, rivers and nearby lands for public
use, to include the air in the atmosphere. Posted.


Diesel plant opens today at Port of Stockton. Victory Blue, a
Keller, Texas-based producer of diesel exhaust fluid used to
reduce pollution from diesel engines, today will formally
inaugurate its newest production and packaging facility, at the
Port of Stockton.
Tom Paquin, president of Victory Blue, said Tuesday in Stockton
that the new, 40,000-square-foot facility will "have the capacity
of producing millions of gallons of product each year." Posted.


UPDATE 1-Exxon sees N.American oil and gas output up 45 pct by
2040. Exxon Mobil Corp expects oil and natural gas production in
North America to rise 45 percent over the three decades to 2040,
boosted by output from U.S. shale formations, Canadian oil sands
projects and the Gulf of Mexico. Exxon and other global oil
companies are increasing investment in North America, where
reserves are easier to access and production is often cheaper.

US crude oil supplies grew by 2.6 million barrels. The nation's
crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said
Wednesday.Crude supplies rose by 2.6 million barrels, or 0.7
percent, to 384 million barrels, which is 10.5 percent above
year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information
Administration said in its weekly report. Posted. 

Higher oil prices drive up US import costs. Prices paid by U.S.
importers rose in February for the second straight month, pushed
up by higher oil prices. The Labor Department says import prices
rose 1.1 percent in February after a 0.6 percent gain the
previous month. Fuel imports jumped 4.9 percent. Excluding fuel,
import prices were flat. Low import costs have helped hold down
U.S. inflation. Even with the last two months of increases in oil
costs, import prices have fallen 0.3 percent in the 12 months
ending in February. They haven't recorded a year-over-year
increase since last April. Posted.


Norway shows the way with electric cars, but at what cost?
Norway's buzzing little market for pure electric cars has in its
very success shown the severe drawbacks to a model that relies on
public subsidies worth as much as $8,200 per car, every year. Car
makers like Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot Citroen and Tesla Motors
see Norway and its 10,000 battery-powered vehicles as a reason
for optimism in otherwise gloomy terrain.
Pure electric cars made up 3.0 percent of February car sales in
Norway, with a population of 5 million, compared to fractions of
one percent in most nations. Posted.

UPDATE 1-BMW investor Klatten to head SGL supervisory board.
Susanne Klatten, Germany's richest woman and a major investor in
carmaker BMW, is set to become head of the supervisory board at
SGL Carbon, giving her more influence over the carbon fibre firm
in which both BMW and rival VW have stakes. SGL said on Wednesday
the supervisory board would ask shareholders at their April 30
annual meeting to approve Klatten as chairwoman. SGL was the
subject of a headline-grabbing tussle between BMW and Volkswagen
(VW) in 2011. Posted.


UPDATE 2-European Commission outlines 2030 green energy goals.
The European Commission has outlined new targets for cutting
greenhouse gas emissions and using more green energy by 2030,
according to a policy paper seen by Reuters. The paper reflects
industry demands that climate goals have to take account of the
economic crisis but still presses for an economy that produces
less carbon and is less dependent on expensive fossil fuel
imports. Posted.

An Energy Coup for Japan: ‘Flammable Ice’ Japan said Tuesday that
it had extracted gas from offshore deposits of methane hydrate —
sometimes called “flammable ice” — a breakthrough that officials
and experts said could be a step toward tapping a promising but
still little-understood energy source. The gas, whose extraction
from the undersea hydrate reservoir was thought to be a world
first, could provide an alternative source of energy to known oil
and gas reserves. Posted.

Is General Electric Burning Bright or Burning Out? General
Electric, founded by Thomas Edison, is the oldest company in the
Dow. In the century since its first public listing, GE has
evolved into one of the largest companies in the world, operating
in over 100 countries with a widely diversified portfolio
invested in aviation, healthcare, energy and home & business
solutions - making it a bellwether of the global economy. Posted.

Review: 'Smart' LED bulbs controlled by iPhones. LED bulbs seem
to be the future of home lighting: They save electricity, they're
durable and they don't contain mercury like compact fluorescents.
But having them produce white light like any old light bulb is
like using a computer as a doorstop. That's because each LED, or
light-emitting diode, is a small chip, the product of the same
sort of manufacturing process that spawned the digital
revolution. The chips are backed up by more electronics in the
stem of the bulb. Posted.

Hawaii House committee OKs environmental bills. Members of the
state House energy committee are moving forward several of Gov.
Neil Abercrombie's environmental initiatives. The committee on
Tuesday approved a bill to provide low-cost loans to help people
afford solar panels and other equipment the bill calls "green
infrastructure." Abercrombie says this will help the state reach
its clean energy goals. The committee also approved Abercrombie's
proposal to amend and expand the Electronic Waste and Television
Recycling program. Posted.

Emission-free fusion could become commercial with $30B in U.S.
funding – report. The United States could achieve
commercialization of fusion energy 10 to 15 years early if the
government commits $30 billion over the next decade to current
research, according to a new white paper from the American
Security Project. Fusion offers the hope of a nearly
inexhaustible source of power with no emissions, threat of a
nuclear meltdown or long-term radioactive waste. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/13/7 BY


Labor, environmental groups protest changes to CEQA. Labor and
environmental groups rallied Tuesday on the steps of the Capitol
to protest efforts to overhaul California's landmark
environmental law. Representatives from unions and environmental
organizations -- backed by dozens of supporters -- described the
California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, as an
"environmental bill of rights" that allows the public to weigh in
on proposed development in their communities. Posted.

http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2013/03/13/11  BY SUBSCRIPTION

Management fight pushes Henrik Fisker from car company he
founded. Henrik Fisker, the founder of Fisker Automotive Inc.,
resigned from the troubled maker of expensive hybrid vehicles
Wednesday. Fisker, the executive chairman of the Anaheim company,
said he left after disagreeing with the management team on the
direction of the company. The automaker, which makes the $110,000
Karma plug-in hybrid sports car, has said it needs about $500
million to launch a second, less expensive model that would be
made at a factory in Wilmington, Del. Posted.

How NASA Scientists Are Turning L.A. Into One Big Climate-Change
Lab. Southern California’s Mount Wilson is a lonesome, hostile
peak — prone to sudden rock falls, sometimes ringed by wildfire —
that nevertheless has attracted some of the greatest minds in
modern science. George Ellery Hale, one of the godfathers of
astrophysics, founded the Mount Wilson Observatory in 1904 and
divined that sunspots were magnetic. Posted.


COLUMN-Flammable ice: last hope or gravest threat? John Kemp.
There is enough gas locked in ice-like crystals buried beneath
the permafrost and trapped under the oceans to guarantee the
world will not run out of fossil energy for centuries. This
potential energy source will be irrelevant, however, to almost
everyone for many decades to come, except perhaps Japan. For
decades, scientists have been trying to figure out whether there
is a commercial way to extract the gas from methane hydrates,
nicknamed flammable ice. Posted.

The Facts on Fracking. OPPOSITION to fracking has been
considerable, if not unanimous, in the global green community,
and in Europe in particular. France and Bulgaria, countries with
the largest shale-gas reserves in Europe, have already banned
fracking. Protesters are blocking potential drilling sites in
Poland and England. Opposition to fracking has entered popular
culture with the release of “The Promised Land,” starring Matt
Damon. Posted.

Ratepayers get the shaft in San Onofre fiasco. Nearly $1 billion
was charged to ratepayers of Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric
Co. over the last year, and the charges continue to mount as the
nuclear plant sits idle. There are train wrecks, and there are
train wrecks. Then there's San Onofre. You probably know San
Onofre as the full-figured fiasco overlooking the Pacific Ocean
near the Orange/San Diego county line. Posted.

Climate-minded shareholders ask how coal fares if regulation
tightens. Two advocacy groups have come up with a new tactic to
show how climate change - and laws to deal with it - could make
investments in fossil fuel companies riskier and rock financial
markets.  In a pair of first-of-their-kind shareholder
resolutions, the groups have asked two of the nation's largest
coal producers to report to investors how much of their coal
assets would be left "stranded" in the ground if the United
States were to pass sweeping greenhouse gas regulations. Posted.


Air quality and tilting at windmills. I had a laugh at a recent
commentary that tried to convince readers the United Nations was
out to get us, in a conspiracy with local Air Pollution Control
Districts and the Environmental Defense Center. This paranoid
view reminds me of Don Quixote charging around the countryside
challenging windmills, believing they were imaginary dragons. I
was forced to close our small school in 1984 in Casmalia, where I
worked as principal/superintendent, when cyanide fumes inundated
the school from a toxic waste dump within a mile of the school.


What’s the best way to design a carbon tax? Lawmakers ask for
suggestions. On Tuesday, four Democrats in Congress unveiled a
brand-new proposal for a carbon tax. The set-up is simple: The
U.S. government would slap a fee on fossil-fuel emissions and
refund the revenue back to the public. But there’s a twist: The
precise details of the carbon tax have yet to be thrashed out.
The four lawmakers are soliciting public comments for how big the
tax should be and how best to rebate the money. Posted.


Can Wind, Water and Sunlight Power New York by 2050? A group of
scientists and energy analysts has laid out a path under which
New York State could, in theory, eliminate its use of fossil
fuels and nuclear power — including for transportation — by 2050.
The graph above charts the contributions played by improved
efficiency and adoption of renewable electricity sources as well
as hydrogen fuel cells (with the hydrogen generated with
renewable energy). Posted.

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