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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 15, 2013.

Posted: 15 Mar 2013 11:50:29
ARB Newsclips for March 15, 2013. ARB Newsclips for March 15,

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.


Global warming may have fueled Somali drought. Global warming may
have contributed to low rain levels in Somalia in 2011 where tens
of thousands died in a famine, research by British climate
scientists suggests. Scientists with Britain's weather service
studied weather patterns in East Africa in 2010 and 2011 and
found that yearly precipitation known as the short rains failed
in late 2010 because of the natural effects of the weather
pattern La Nina. Posted.

Calif.'s cap-and-trade link with Quebec may be delayed. The clock
could run out for California to link its carbon cap-and-trade
market with Quebec's anytime in the near future, officials and
legal experts said here yesterday. The Golden State and Quebec
had hoped they might be ready by August to hold a joint auction
of greenhouse gas allowances. If the markets were linked, permits
sold in one jurisdiction could be used in the other to cover
carbon emissions. But a California Air Resources Board official
said that combined August auction might not be possible. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/10 BY

Scientists say extreme Arctic melting 'stacked the deck in favor'
of Superstorm Sandy. A number of unusual atmospheric phenomena
combined to form the massive "Frankenstorm" that was Superstorm
Sandy. While many have said global warming fueled the storm's
strength, it is unclear exactly how it played a role. But
scientists are starting to see evidence that warm weather in the
Arctic led to conditions that made the hurricane so incredibly
powerful. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/3 BY

China’s Carbon Emissions: Global Consumer Dilemma. It's easy to
see the economic growth of China as evidence that it should be
responsible for fixing its own emissions. However, that growth is
fueled by exports to Western nations so don't they have a part to
play in reducing their scope 3 carbon emissions? According to a
2011 poll by the Economist, 64% of people in Western nations
think that China should be achieving its growth and
industrialization in a cleaner way than its Western counterparts.


Obama wants research to wean vehicles off oil. President Barack
Obama is pushing Congress to authorize $200 million a year for
research into clean energy technologies that can wean automobiles
off oil. Obama proposed the idea of an energy security trust last
month in his State of the Union address, but he was putting a
price tag on the idea during a trip Friday to the Argonne
National Laboratory outside Chicago — $2 billion over 10 years.
The White House said the research would be paid for with revenue
from federal oil and gas leases on offshore drilling and would
not add to the deficit. Posted.

Fracking could boost California economy. Oil seen lifting state's
economy. Development of oil-shale deposits in 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 and as many as 2.8 million jobs by 2020,
according to the report released Wednesday. Posted.

Shell criticized in report for poor oversight of drilling in the
Arctic last year. SEATTLE-Interior Department officials, in a
report released Thursday, faulted Shell Oil for poor oversight of
contractors during a troubled season of exploration in the Arctic
last year off Alaska. The problems included an
oil-spill-containment system that initially failed to pass a
Coast Guard inspection, an oil drill ship cited for safety and
environmental violations and a drill rig that broke loose from a
tow line in a December storm and went aground off Kodiak Island.

Oil industry sits back at fracking workshop. For a while it
looked like the oil industry was just going to sit there and take
it from the environmentalists. And for several hours in
Bakersfield Wednesday, that's exactly what happened.
Representatives of the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological
Diversity hammered away at the state's proposed rules for
regulating the oil field technique known hydraulic fracturing.
They called for additional safeguards, tougher penalties for
violations and closer state oversight. Posted.

Calif. lawmaker's low-carbon fuel standard bill has tea party
backing. A bill in the California Legislature to revamp the
state's low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) has support from a group
that was involved in a previous effort to stop the state's
climate policies. A bill by state Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D) is
aiming to eliminate food-based ethanol from the state's fuel mix.
His bill, A.B. 278, concerns environmentalists because its sole
backer so far is a tea party-affiliated group that has supported
abolishing the…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/8 BY

Canada nears a clean energy facelift on an old, coal-fired power
plant. On a grassy plot in Saskatchewan, developers are about to
test a technology that some think could be the savior of the
global coal industry. There, Canadian utility SaskPower is
rebuilding a 43-year-old coal plant at its Boundary Dam Power
Station to capture roughly 90 percent of its carbon dioxide
emissions and store the gas deep underground. The 110-megawatt
project may be a game changer in two ways -- it could become the
world's first commercial demonstration of carbon capture
technology on a power plant at large scale. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/2 BY

2012 U.S. fleet cleanest, most efficient ever – EPA. The fuel
economy of cars and trucks sold in the United States hit its
highest recorded level last year as automakers cranked up
production of efficient vehicles ahead of stringent federal
standards, U.S. EPA said today. In its annual report on the fuel
economy of vehicles, EPA reported a fleetwide increase in fuel
economy of 1.4 mpg over the previous year. That translates to a
reduction in emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide of 374
grams per mile. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/15/3 BY


2012 cars will set new mpg record, but some say U.S. must do
more. The Environmental Protection Agency says that model year
2012 cars and trucks will have the highest ever real-world
average fuel economy at about 23.8 miles per gallon. That would
be 1.2 mpg higher than the previous peak set in 2010. In 2011,
when U.S. gasoline prices averaged a then-record $3.53 for a
gallon of regular, the mpg numbers fell. The EPA says that
mileage fell by 0.2 mpg in 2011, in part because of the effects
of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power disasters
in Japan. Posted.


California utilities' renewable energy spending up. California
utilities spent more than $2.53 billion in 2011 buying
electricity from solar, wind and geothermal plants to satisfy the
state's ambitious renewable power goals, according to a report
issued Thursday. That figure represented a 16 percent increase
from 2010, when California's three big investor-owned utilities
spent $2.18 billion. California law requires utility companies to
get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the
end of 2020. Posted.

Report: CEQA Helping, Not Hindering Renewable Development. The
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California's
landmark environmental law, has taken a lot of heat lately with
accusations that special interests have used the law to obstruct
necessary projects, including those devoted to renewable energy.
But a new report released this month says that far from hindering
the development of a new, greener infrastructure for the


Suit accuses EPA of ignoring harmful pesticides. Arguments are
expected Friday in a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has allowed the use of hundreds of pesticides
despite evidence of harmful effects on more than 200 endangered
and threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and
Pesticide Action Network North America claim the EPA has allowed
pesticide use without required consultations with federal
agencies to study the impacts. Posted.

Santa Monica Businesses Recognized At Sustainable Quality Awards.
12 Local Businesses Recognized At Santa Monica's 2013 Sustainable
Quality Awards
Environmental activist and actor Ed Begley Jr. received an
Individual Stewardship Award at the Sustainable Quality Awards
held Wednesday. He is pictured with grand prize winner Catherine
An of Tiato restaurant. Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate
the 12 local businesses that won this year’s Sustainable Quality
Awards at the 18th annual Sustainable Quality Awards luncheon,
held Wednesday at the Sheraton Delfina hotel. Posted.


Sunny times for solar power, except in L.A. Still skeptical about
solar power -- and especially about the wisdom of installing
panels on your own rooftop? One can hardly be blamed, given
horror stories about the difficulties in getting assistance from
local utilities such as the L.A. Department of Water and Power.
Yet more and more Californians are doing it anyway -- because
it's paying off. The California Public Utilities Commission,
which tracks solar installations statewide …Posted.

Another View: Chevron supports low-carbon fuels. It was with
great surprise that I recently read Vinod Khosla's op-ed
criticizing energy companies, including Chevron, for not doing
enough to invest in low-carbon fuel technologies ("Investment
needed in new low-carbon fuel," March 7). Khosla highlights one
of his own companies, KiOR, as an example of the kind of
technology that will help fuel producers meet California's Low
Carbon Fuel Standard. We agree. That's why our joint venture with
Weyerhaeuser, one of the largest U.S. forest management

Low carbon fuel standard: California's new regulations are
infeasible for gasoline and diesel. For close to a year, the
companies that provide California with gasoline and diesel have
warned that the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard is infeasible. A
failure to recognize the implications of this warning risks
potential fuel shortages and market disruptions in a few short
years. In response to these concerns, supporters of the standard
argue the only thing making this regulation infeasible is the
refusal of oil companies to invest sufficient dollars in the
emerging fuels and technologies needed to make it work. Posted.

Letters to the editor: Keep tabs on air quality. Spring is just
around the corner and with people spending more time outdoors, it
is important to remember that with higher temperatures often
comes increased levels of air pollution. Pollution in the air is
hazardous to all who come in contact and even more so for those
with lung disease, including children with asthma. Despite
continued improvements in air quality, unhealthy levels of air
pollution still exist in communities across the country. Posted.

So I asked the Vatican about global warming... Special Report. In
the United States, the issue of anthropogenic global warming,
defined as an unnatural and rapid rise in the Earth's overall
average temperature caused by human activities, is strongly
associated with left-leaning political ideology. Publicly
championed by liberal celebrities such as former Vice President
Al Gore, conservatives often scoff at the claim. At one time, I
confess even I scoffed at the claims, for it also happens that
many American Catholics also tend to be conservative since
American political conservatism fits most closely with Catholic
teaching on many subjects. Posted.


Renewables add up, but so do costs. California installed enough
solar systems last year to generate as much electricity as a
nuclear reactor, largely due to a state law that orders utilities
to use more renewable power. It’s an idea that many people —
including, as it turns out, U.S. Interior Sec. Ken Salazar —
would love to take nationwide. It certainly gets results. But
it’s important to remember that such mandates have costs, as a
trio of new reports illustrates. Posted.

How the White House thinks about climate change, in 7 charts. The
latest Economic Report of the President (pdf) has a whole chapter
on energy and climate change that’s worth reading as a window
into how the White House thinks about the topic. Here’s the basic
story in chart form: 1) If the world doesn’t tackle global
warming soon, the United States will get uncomfortably hot. “For
example, according to the USGCRP estimates, under a
high-emissions scenario, areas of the Southeast and…Posted.

Sequester Dirties the Air. The sequester is here. As I outlined
in a previous article exactly what we had to look forward to,
indiscriminate cuts are being unleashed upon the public straight
across the board, delivered with a hatchet as opposed to a
scalpel. I reached out to Sen. Tom Carper, who serves on the
Environment and Public Works Committee, for a comment on the
current situation. He responded by e-mail stating:     "Programs
in every corner of the federal government are taking a hit
because of sequestration. Posted.

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