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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 21, 2013.

Posted: 21 Mar 2013 12:55:12
ARB Newsclips for March 21, 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.


Warm spring, continued drought predicted for US. Government
forecasters say much of the United States can expect a warm
spring and persistent drought. The National Weather Service said
Thursday above-normal temperatures are predicted across most of
the Lower 48 states and northern Alaska. The forecast also calls
for little relief for the drought-stricken Midwest and Southwest.
Currently, half the country is experiencing moderate to
exceptional drought. Posted.

Will California's Cap and Trade Be Fair?  Even when she was a
kid, Melissa Cervantes knew something was wrong with the air in
Wilmington, a neighborhood next to the ports of Los Angeles and
Long Beach where she has lived most of her life. The streets here
are verdant with mango, guava and avocado trees. But a brownish
haze hangs above the houses. “I kind of figured the refinery was
making people sick,” she says. “But when you’re just a little
kid, you don’t put it together as a puzzle.”  Posted. 


Heating Oil Companies Face Inquiry on Purity of Fuel. State and
federal authorities are investigating whether several New York
heating oil businesses cheated tens of thousands of customers for
years, selling fuel diluted with recycled or waste oil, according
to law enforcement and city officials. In addition, two related
civil lawsuits make accusations against two other companies that
in recent years have sold tens of millions of gallons of oil

Tough fracking standards part of deal. Some of the nation's
biggest oil and gas companies have made peace with
environmentalists, agreeing to a set of tough standards for
fracking in the Northeast that could lead to a major expansion of
drilling. The program announced Wednesday will work a lot like
Underwriters Laboratories, which puts its familiar UL seal of
approval on electrical appliances that meet its standards. In
this case, drilling and pipeline companies will be encouraged to
submit to an independent review of their operations. Posted.

California bills could delay fracking. Fracking for oil and
natural gas in California could slam to a halt, at least
temporarily, under legislation circulating in Sacramento. One
bill calls for a moratorium on the practice until the state
conducts a sweeping study of fracking's benefits and risks,
including the potential for groundwater contamination. Another
piece of legislation would allow fracking while the state
conducts such a study. But the same bill, from Sen. Fran Pavley,
would slap a moratorium on fracking if the study isn't finished
by 2015. Posted.

Tribe: Nevada coal plant falsified pollution data.
Representatives of an Indian tribe fighting to force the closure
of a coal-fired power plant outside Las Vegas said Wednesday they
uncovered evidence that from 2006 to 2011, the state's dominant
electric utility submitted "phony" reports to the state about
pollution levels near the plant, and avoided any penalty when the
problem was discovered. Posted.

California ARB considering four new low-carbon fuel pathways;
Neste renewable diesel and sugarcane molasses ethanol. 
California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted four new
Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) pathways to the LCFS web site.
(Earlier post.) Among the new pathways to be considered is the
production of renewable diesel from Australian tallow at Neste
Oil’s Singapore plant. Others are sugarcane molasses ethanol from
Guatemala; mixed feedstock to biodiesel from Texas; and a new
ARB-staff-developed pathway for North American landfill gas. 


EVs are good for jobs.  On 19 March 2013, RICARDO-AEA presented
the key findings of the technical and macro-economic study “An
economic assessment of low carbon vehicles”. Focusing on
light-duty vehicles – cars and vans, the study shows that a shift
to low-carbon cars generates positive direct and indirect
employment impacts.  The report, published by Cambridge
Econometrics and Ricardo-AEA is based on a research project
convened by the European Climate Foundation.  Posted. 


New poll says economic worries crowding out big issues in
California. The still-stagnant economy is weighing so heavily on
Californians' minds that it's crowding out other top issues such
as immigration, gun control and climate change -- and is stifling
support for major statewide initiatives such as high-speed rail
and a Central Valley water project. In a survey released
Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, nearly
three-quarters of likely voters -- 71 percent -- said taming the
federal deficit should be an essential priority for Congress this
year. Posted.




Chinese Solar Panel Giant Is Tainted by Bankruptcy. It was the
Icarus of the solar power industry. And, on Wednesday, it fell to
earth. The main subsidiary of Suntech Power, one of the world’s
largest makers of solar panels, collapsed into bankruptcy in a
remarkable reversal for what had been part of a huge Chinese
government effort to dominate renewable energy industries. The
bankruptcy is a sign of the worldwide consolidation of the solar

Illinois recycles 39M pounds of electronics. Nearly 39 million
pounds of old televisions, computers and other electronics have
been recycled during the first year of a statewide ban on
throwing away the materials in Illinois landfills. The ban is
part of a law that took effect in 2008 requiring manufacturers to
start recycling programs for discarded and unwanted electric
products. A new phase of the law took effect Jan. 1, 2012, that
applies to consumers. Illinois residents are required to take
electronic devices to a registered recycler. Posted.

California Energy Commission awards more than $5.5M for green
transportation projects and $1.8M for 20 energy research
projects.  The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved
$5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects including
biodiesel production, power control electronics for medium-and
heavy-duty battery electric vehicles, and buydowns for propane
vehicles. The awards were made through the Commission’s
Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. 


Book industry getting greener, study says. Thanks to conservation
efforts and the rise of e-books, the publishing industry is
creating a leaner and cleaner paper trail. According to a new
report by two environmental groups - the Book Industry
Environmental Council and Green Press Initiative - paper
suppliers use around 25 percent recycled fiber for book
materials, compared with an estimated 5 percent in 2004. Posted.


Key climate agency exec moving to consumer post. California Gov.
Jerry Brown (D) has named a top official at the state's key
climate change agency to a post overseeing consumer protection.
James Goldstene, executive officer of the state Air Resources
Board (ARB) since 2007, will become undersecretary at the
California State and Consumer Services Agency, Brown announced
yesterday. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/21/7  BY

California Utility Commissioners Deliberate In Public And Private
Meetings In San Diego. The Public Utilities Commission has
promised to hold a public meeting in San Diego soon about whether
rate payers should continue to pay for the shuttered San Onofre
nuclear power plant. But today the agency is holding a private,
invitation-only meeting in La Jolla, one day before a public
meeting where Commissioners will decide about three new gas
powered plants in San Diego. Posted.


Green power will cost you some green. San Francisco is about to
find out how much it costs to be clean and green. After years of
study and initial approvals, city residents will learn the price
of a new energy diet, one that promises electricity from only
renewable sources. The plan, known as CleanPowerSF, won support
from city supervisors and appears on track to win backing from
the city Public Utilities Commission, which will oversee it. Then
it will be time to test bigger questions. Posted.


Scientists Propose a New Architecture for Sustainable
Development. As a United Nations working group negotiates a set
of “sustainable development goals,” 10 scientists and development
analysts, in a commentary published today in Nature, have
proposed a fundamentally different way to frame this concept.
(Click here for relevant Dot Earth posts.) Over the last several
decades, sustainable human development has been conceived largely
as the outcome of balanced work on three “pillars” — economic and
social development and environmental protection. Posted.

Fund Green Infrastructure, but Not With Cap-and-Trade.  A dollar
is a dollar, right? But when it comes to government policy, some
dollars draw a lot of attention, while other funds fly under the
public's radar. All dollars have the same purchasing power, but
highly visible dollars have magnified political repercussions,
and must be handled with care. For example, the 2009 Federal
Stimulus Bill's price tag was visible to taxpayers, but the
"infrastructure" it funded was mostly not…Posted. 

How Global Warming Went Cold in America. Even before liftoff, the
fight against global warming has become grounded in America.
Whenever a potential breakthrough appears on the horizon, either
the left or the right throws a challenge to stall the solution.
Consider shale gas. Newly-nominated energy secretary, Ernest
Moniz, has backed it as a bridge to a carbon-free future. Shale
gas emits less than half the carbon dioxide in power generation
as coal does. Posted.

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