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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 14, 2013. Posted: 14 Mar 2013 13:16:32
ARB Newsclips for March 14, 2013. ARB Newsclips for March 14, 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 Study finds no rheumatoid arthritis, pollution link. Although previous research has suggested a connection between exposure to air pollution and the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, a large new study of nurses finds no link. "Overall, we did not observe any evidence that increases in pollution levels were associated with increases in the risk of rheumatoid arthritis," wrote study leader Jaime Hart, an instructor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, in an email. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/14/us-study-rheumatoid-idUSBRE92D0QG20130314 CAP AND TRADE Cap and trade system lauded. The head of the California Air Resources Board touted the state's controversial new carbon cap and trade program Wednesday at an annual green business and recycling exposition. James Goldstene said the program, which had its first auction in November, gives the 500 or 600 largest facilities in California the flexibility to reduce emissions while still doing business. Cap and trade is a key product of Assembly Bill 32, a 2006 law requiring the state to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130314/A_BIZ/303140314&cid=sitesearch FUELS California Fracking May Boost State Economy 14%, USC Says. Development of oil-shale deposits through Central California using fracking and other techniques may boost the state’s economic activity by as much as 14.3 percent, a University of Southern California study said. Such drilling in the Monterey Shale Formation, in addition to increasing per-capita gross domestic product, may add as much as $24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue …Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-14/california-fracking-may-boost-state-economy-14-usc-says.html UPDATE 1-U.S. refiners may boost gasoline exports on ethanol rule- Lyondell U.S. refiners may be forced to boost gasoline exports if the government does not revise the country's ethanol requirements, a refining executive said on Wednesday. Faced with a spike in ethanol credits that gasoline producers must purchase to stay in compliance with federal renewable fuels requirements, refiners could be forced to export more gasoline, shrinking the supply for domestic consumption. Gasoline prices at the pump last week hit the second highest level on record for this time of year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/13/gasoline-ethanol-lyondell-rins-idUSL1N0C58DK20130313 California governor Brown says state needs to look at "fracking". California Governor Jerry Brown, a prominent environmentalist, said on Wednesday the state should consider the use of "fracking" technology to develop its massive shale oil reserves and reduce reliance on imported oil. Brown, who led California's efforts to curb climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cautioned the state would develop rules to preserve the environment, and said many questions on the technology were still to be answered. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/14/us-california-brown-fracking-idUSBRE92D04320130314 http://www.sbsun.com/ci_22787155#ixzz2NWvtAPx3 Obama: Keystone XL pipeline not major jobs creator. obs numbers and other benefits touted by supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline are probably exaggerated, President Barack Obama told House Republicans on Wednesday, according to lawmakers who attended the closed-door meeting. But Obama did not rule out a decision to approve the $7 billion pipeline, according to participants. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/13/obama-keystone-xl-pipeline-not-major-jobs/#ixzz2NWpyIlWM VEHICLES Germany makes new offer over EU-Daimler coolant spat –sources. Germany has written to the EU executive with a new set of proposals aiming to break a deadlock over law requiring carmakers to stop using extremely potent greenhouse gases in air cooling systems, EU sources said. The problem for Germany is that luxury car giant Daimler AG says the new, less polluting fluid on the market is dangerously flammable and is refusing to use it. That has set it at odds not only with the European Commission, but with U.S. firm Honeywell International Inc., which developed the coolant in partnership with Dupont and says it is safe. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/13/eu-daimler-idUSL6N0C5AXI20130313 The road to electric vehicles should be paved with more creative incentives, business groups say. Creative approaches are needed to drive faster adoption of renewable energy technologies, a lead investor in the sector said here yesterday. SolarCity, for example, has suggested packaging leases of solar energy systems for homes with leases for electric vehicle charging stations, said Nancy Pfund, managing partner of DBL Investors, a venture capital firm. The move would shrink costs for installation of both, Pfund said, and also save consumers time. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/14/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Suntech, Owing Millions, Is Near Takeover by Chinese Holding Company. One of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels, Suntech Power, has nearly run out of cash and is poised to be taken over partly or entirely by the municipal government’s holding company in its hometown, Wuxi, China, solar industry executives and a Wuxi official said Wednesday. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/business/energy-environment/suntech-power-on-financial-brink.html?_r=0 Solar Trade Group Reports Surge in U.S. Installations. Partly driven by an oversupply of cheaper panels from China, the domestic solar market had its best year in 2012, with the growth in installations outpacing that of the global market, according to an annual report to be released Thursday. The report, from the Solar Energy Industries Association, the industry’s main trade group, and GTM Research, a renewable energy consulting firm, found that the amount of new solar electric capacity increased last year by 76 percent from 2011…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/business/energy-environment/solar-group-reports-surge-in-us-installations.html?ref=earth Vt utility starts work on energy innovation center. Vermont's largest electric utility says work is getting under way on an energy innovation center in an existing building in downtown Rutland. Officials with Green Mountain Power say the work began Thursday in the former Eastman building on Merchants Row when officials from the utility, the community and guests signed a 2-by-12 beam that was immediately incorporated into the framing. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Vt-utility-starts-work-on-energy-innovation-center-4355059.php#ixzz2NXfCjmEH California wants to lead America to a greener future. IN LOS ANGELES, California’s largest city, the natural world is both far away and close. You spend your days stalled in traffic, cursing your fellow motorists as your car spews out the noxious fumes that, trapped in the Los Angeles basin, blanket the city in smog. When you do get moving, you may find yourself driving through miles of low-rise urban sprawl. Yet, depending on which one of the metropolitan area’s 4,850 square miles (12,600 square kilometres) you are in…. Posted. http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21573547-california-wants-lead-america-greener-future-gold-and-green/print Simi Valley teen's invention earns him meeting with President Obama. Pavan Narain Mehrotra hopes the clean-energy device he built and tested will someday eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels to produce electricity. It already has earned him a few minutes with President Barack Obama. Mehrotra, 18, of Simi Valley, and other young inventors from across the country met with Obama at the White House on Tuesday and told him about their inventions. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/13/simi-teens-invention-earns-him-meeting-with/#ixzz2NWqqtH4x 3 West renewable energy projects get green light. Three large-scale renewable energy projects have been approved for construction on public lands in California and Nevada, federal and state officials announced on Wednesday. In a joint press conference in San Francisco, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the final regulatory approvals were given for two solar projects in Southern California and a wind farm in Nevada. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/13/3-west-renewable-energy-projects-get-green-light/ Calif. groups to provide loans for energy efficiency projects in buildings. Small businesses, schools, churches and nonprofits that could benefit from energy efficiency upgrades but lack the capital to pay for such work could receive up to $1 million in no-cost financing under a new lending mechanism announced this week by a California-based nonprofit and energy efficiency project developer. The newly created Efficiency Resource Fund, which aims to raise $10 million this year, will be jointly managed by Metrus Energy, an energy efficiency services firm…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/14/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Supervisor's 2nd try to change environmental appeals. In a city where land-use fights often take center stage, it's no surprise that any attempt to tweak the environmental appeals process for new projects would be scrutinized. When San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener went before the Planning Commission in November proposing to attach a deadline to some California Environmental Quality Act appeals, he was met by 90 minutes of strong opposition from public commenters and commissioners, who told him to come back with a better plan done with more public outreach. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Supervisor-s-2nd-try-to-change-environmental-4352827.php#ixzz2NXoxyp6A Patchwork of bills cover flame retardants. Couches or car seats free of toxic flame retardants may soon be available, but you might have to pay more for them. That's one possible outcome of an ongoing nationwide debate over how to reduce the chemicals, which for three decades have permeated the foam in furniture and children's products. In recent years, many of those chemical compounds, which are intended to slow down fires, have been linked to obesity, infertility, cancer and other health conditions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Patchwork-of-bills-cover-flame-retardants-4353348.php#ixzz2NXphnpga 3 former execs plead guilty in CA asbestos case. Three former executives of a now-defunct nonprofit have been convicted of violating federal asbestos laws when the former Castle Air Force Base in Atwater was cleaned up. The Merced Sun-Star reports (http://bit.ly/XGHDAm) Rudy Buendia, Patrick Bowman and Joseph Cuellar each pleaded guilty Monday to one count of breaking a federal law for hazardous air pollutants. Bowman and Cuellar will face 27 months in prison according to a plea agreement, while Buendia will face a two-year term. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/13/5258750/3-former-execs-plead-guilty-in.html#storylink=misearch http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/03/13/2875216/3-former-execs-plead-guilty-in.html##storylink=cpy OPINIONS Can California do without San Onofre? Southern California Edison, the majority owner of the nuclear plant on the San Diego County coast, says the answer is no. That's the response of the utility's president, Ronald Litzinger, to my column this week questioning why Edison ratepayers are still forking over $54 million a month in rates for a facility that hasn't generated a watt of electricity in 13 months -- and may never operate again. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-san-onofre-20130313,0,926769.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyCompany+%28Money+%26+Company%29 Immigration reform -- for the climate. Immigrants come to the U.S. determined to make a new life. So often they're more open to the kind of changes we'll need to deal with climate change. For environmentalists, population has long been a problem. Many of the things we do wouldn't cause so much trouble if there weren't so many of us. It's why I wrote a book some years ago called "Maybe One: An Argument for Smaller Families." Heck, it's why I had only one child. And many of us, I think, long viewed immigration through the lens of population…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mckibben-immigration-environment-20130314,0,1673842.story BLOGS Ari Asmi: Air pollution, another factor in global warming. There are several kinds of small particles, or aerosols, in the atmosphere. It can be dust, or maybe sea salt. When you see black smoke, this is small aerosol particles absorbing light. These can have a climate effect by blocking sunlight. We were looking at particles below one micron in size, so that's one-thousandth of a millimeter. Most of them are even smaller, below the wavelength of visible light, so you can't really observe them without a special instrument by simply looking at them. Posted. http://phys.org/news/2013-03-ari-asmi-air-pollution-factor.html