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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 25, 2013.

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 14:27:46
ARB Newsclips for March 25, 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.


Battery recycling plant in Vernon ordered to cut emissions. The
order from the South Coast Air Quality Management District comes
after recent tests showed that Exide Technologies is posing a
health danger to as many as 110,000 people in neighboring cities.
A battery recycling plant in Vernon is being told to reduce its
emissions after recent tests showed it is posing a danger to as
many as 110,000 people living in an area that extends from Boyle
Heights to Maywood and Huntington Park. Posted.


PROMISES, PROMISES: Climate Change. The issue: Slowing the
buildup of greenhouse gases responsible for warming the planet is
one of the biggest challenges the United States and President
Barack Obama face. The effects of rising global temperatures are
widespread and costly: more severe storms, rising seas, species
extinctions, and changes in weather patterns that will alter food
production and the spread of disease. Politically, the stakes are
huge. Posted.




Reef-building corals lose out to softer cousins due warming.
Climate change is likely to make reef-building stony corals lose
out to softer cousins in a damaging shift for many types of fish
that use reefs as hideaways and nurseries for their young, a
study showed. Soft corals such as mushroom-shaped yellow leather
coral, which lack a hard outer skeleton, were far more abundant
than hard corals off Iwotorishima, an island off south Japan
where volcanic vents make the waters slightly acidic, it said. A
build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is turning the
oceans more acidic…Posted.

Senators back Keystone XL and EPA regs but oppose carbon tax. A
filibuster-proof majority of senators are now on record
supporting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline after a
nonbinding but symbolically important series of votes this
weekend that also demonstrated resistance to a carbon tax but
backing for U.S. EPA rules to limit greenhouse gases and toxic
pollutants from power plants. Those issues were among dozens the
Senate considered in an all-night "vote-a-rama" that started
Friday afternoon and wrapped up just before 5 a.m. EDT Saturday
when the Senate narrowly approved its first budget resolution in
four years, 50-49. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/25/2 BY

Most of the world's militaries recognize climate change as a
threat. A strong majority of militaries around the world, in
places as diverse as Kiribati and Canada, are in agreement that
climate change poses a serious national security threat,
according to new research by the American Security Project. The
index on defense and climate change released last week shows that
71 percent of nations -- or 110 of 155 countries for which
information was available -- definitively state that climate
change is a security issue. That includes the United States.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/25/7 BY


Calif. farmers team up to convert beets to ethanol. Amid the vast
almond orchards and grape fields that surround Five Points in
California's Central Valley, a once-dominant crop that has nearly
disappeared from the state's farms is making a comeback: sugar
beets. But these beets won't be processed into sugar. A dozen
farmers, supported by university experts and a $5 million state
grant, are set to start construction of a Fresno County
demonstration plant that will convert the beets into ethanol.


COLUMN-Better route planning cuts fuel use in freight sector:
Kemp. U.S. distributors and freight hauliers have held down
diesel consumption even as their business recovers from recession
by making thousands of small changes to their operations.
Improved driver training, restrictions on idling and careful
route planning to reduce deadheads (where vehicles travel empty)
are all reducing consumption of expensive diesel while helping
companies promote their green credentials. Posted.

Valero plans repairs for California refinery. Valero Energy Corp.
has notified California environmental officials that it will need
to flare gases at its Wilmington refinery for the next two days.
Valero is required to notify the South Coast Air Quality
Management District, an air pollution control agency, whenever it
needs to conduct flaring that would exceed daily limits. The
flaring will be necessary while repair work is being conducted on
a valve at a storage facility. Posted.

Sierra Club blasts new plan to improve fracking.  The Sierra Club
and some other environmental groups are harshly criticizing a new
partnership that aims to create tough new standards for fracking.
The criticism Thursday came a day after two of the nation's
biggest oil and gas companies made peace with some national and
regional environmental groups, agreeing to go through an
independent review of their shale oil and gas drilling operations
in the Northeast. Posted.

NYC slowly moves away from sooty fuel oil. Few sights capture
Manhattan's beauty like the grand, old apartment buildings that
ring Central Park. But for decades, many of these mansions for
the rich and famous have also been a literal source of urban
grit. Like other pre-war buildings throughout the city, scores of
the graceful towers around the park have long burned the dirtiest
heating fuel around: a nasty sludge called No. 6 oil that puts
more soot into the air annually than all the city's vehicles
combined. Posted. 


Car CO2 goals needed in EU to keep driving affordable. High oil
prices will make driving a car less and less affordable unless
the European Union vehicle industry has more stringent emissions
limits than those the European Commission is battling to enforce,
the body representing European consumers said. Debate on these
limits is intense in the European Parliament, which holds the
next of a series of committee votes on Tuesday on proposals for
2020 vehicle CO2 standards. These would curb greenhouse gas
emissions and also cut fuel use. Posted.

China's cities help companies launch electric vehicle rentals. A
car rental company here aims to help the public familiarize
itself with the quirks and advantages of electric vehicles (EVs)
by launching a rental service, but industry players say that
presents some challenges. EHi Auto Services Ltd., partly owned by
U.S.-based Enterprise Holdings Inc., the world's largest car
rental company by revenue, will lease more than 200 zero-emission
electric vehicles this year in Shanghai starting next month.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/25/5 BY

Bosch abandons solar energy. Bosch ROBG.UL said it will sell or
shut down its heavily loss-making solar energy operations, the
latest blow to the industry as Germany curbs green energy
subsidies and cheap Chinese imports flood the market. In a rare
reversal of strategy from the manufacturing conglomerate, Bosch
said on Friday it would end its photovoltaics, or solar panel
production early next year and put parts of the business up for
sale. Unlisted Bosch, one of the world's largest maker of car

Solar panels brighten Barstow Unified's budget outlook. Barstow
Unified's biggest energy hogs have a new source of food: the
abundant High Desert sunshine. Eight of the district's most
demanding buildings - seven schools and the district offices -
will have solar panels providing their power. The solar
installations are a chance to "go more green in our district and
a great opportunity for savings in tough financial times," said
Superintendent Jeff Malan, watching electricians wire up an array
of 1,736 modules outside Barstow Junior High School. Posted.

Green energy helps grow jobs. “Green” or “clean economy” jobs are
a growing segment of the Coachella Valley and overall employment
markets, driven by government incentives, legislative mandates
and a desire by companies to save money by cutting waste or
simply marketing their operations as socially beneficial. Posted.

Apple moves to cut emissions from 'cloud' storage and other
facilities. Apple took a large bite out of its carbon emissions
in 2012, relying more than ever on renewable energy and adopting
policies to ensure the company's carbon footprint grows smaller
even as it expands its physical and financial presence around the
globe. In a new report documenting the company's recent
environmental performance, Apple said it has increased renewable
energy consumption at its global corporate facilities from
roughly 35 percent of all energy used in 2009 to 75 percent last
year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/25/6 BY

Green tech shows progress but not prosperity. Is this a good time
to be John Woolard or not? By one standard, the CEO of
solar-technology company BrightSource Energy is nearing success.
BrightSource is planning to open its $2.2 billion electricity
plant, which it is building with partners NRG Energy and Google,
near Las Vegas. Known as Ivanpah, it's the world's biggest solar
facility of its kind, and its juice is presold to utilities for
20 to 25 years. But Woolard still scrambles for money to build
BrightSource. Posted.


Analysis: Obama's climate agenda may face setbacks in federal
court. President Barack Obama's plan to use federal agencies, and
the Environmental Protection Agency in particular, to drive his
second-term climate change agenda might be in peril if he cannot
fill vacant seats on the federal court that has jurisdiction over
major national regulations, legal experts say. Obama is the first
full-term president in more than a half century not to have
appointed a single judge to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit. Posted.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Wind power needs further evaluation. In his
letter to the editor titled “Wind power endorsed by private
sector” (Friday), John Feehery notes the $25 billion of private
investment, the 90-percent drop in “the cost of wind power” since
1980 and the 75,000 jobs that the wind industry has produced as a
way of lauding wind power’s achievements. There should be a
realistic evaluation period and analysis of several economic
factors applied to this “engine of growth” in the private sector.

Life After Oil and Gas. This mantra, repeated on TV ads and in
political debates, is punctuated with a tinge of inevitability
and regret. But, increasingly, scientific research and the
experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what
extent will we really “need” fossil fuel in the years to come? To
what extent is it a choice? Posted.

Green Desert: Energy's effect on economy studied. Left to my own
devices, I could spend a good deal of my time immersed in the
many new studies of renewable power and energy efficiency,
announcements for which land in my email box or turn up on my
Twitter feed almost daily. Two this week speak to the growing
role of green technology in our economy and a trend toward
quantifying its value in terms that make sense to financial
institutions, investors and policymakers. Posted.


Can Earth Hour Help Save the Planet? Camera, lights off, action!
Last Saturday night between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. local time —
at this time of year, an hour of darkness in most places —
hundreds of millions people switched off non-essential electric
lights for Earth Hour. Initiated by the WWF, the annual event is
aimed at raising awareness of the planet and climate change.

Our Carbon, Our Climate, Our Cash. We all buy stuff that
generates carbon dioxide emissions and threatens the stability of
our climate. We don’t directly pay the resulting costs, which are
postponed to a vague and indefinite future in which none of us
can be held individually accountable for a devastating increase
in the level and variability of average global temperatures. A
tax on carbon consumption could help solve the problem, bringing
the prices of carbon-intensive goods and services into closer
alignment with their true costs and discouraging us all from
buying more of them. Posted.

Another Look at Natural Gas. After my column on Wednesday about
how the nation’s natural gas boom is helping reduce emissions of
heat-trapping carbon, I received a bunch of e-mail arguing that
gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing could, on the contrary,
worsen climate change. The main reason is that fracking wells —
where water, chemicals and sand are pumped at high pressure into
horizontal shafts to fracture shale rock deep underground — leak.

Lawmakers ask EPA to look into gas price increase as ethanol
credits rise. A pair of US lawmakers told the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) that ethanol credits are leading to some
deficits. Attempting to stem what they say could be an additional
boost in gas prices prior to the busy summer-driving months,
David Vitter (R-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are raising
questions, Reuters reports. In a letter to the EPA, the two
senators say fuel suppliers are having a progressively harder
time buying enough credits, or RINs (Renewable Identification
Number), from renewable fuel producers to keep up with federal
mandates. Posted.

Translating renewables and energy efficiency into dollars and
good sense. The first, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and
funded by energy giant, BP, aims to set out a method for
comparing coal, oil and gas reserves with renewable reserves, an
effort emerging from an industry group called the Renewable
Reserves Initiative. BP is apparently a leading member. The study
points out that renewables constitute an increasing amount of the
world’s primary energy — that is the underlying energy sources
needed to generate the electricity required to power the world’s
economy. Posted.

Can we 3D print our way out of climate change? Tech optimists’
crush of the decade is surely 3D printing. It has been heralded
as disruptive, democratizing, and revolutionary for its
non-discriminatory ability to make almost anything: dresses,
guns, even houses. The process — also known as “additive
manufacturing” — is still expensive and slow, confined to
boutique objets d’art or lab-driven medical prototyping. But
scaled up, and put in the hands of ordinary consumers via
plummeting prices, 3D printing has the potential to slash energy
and material costs. Posted.
The worst way to measure energy efficiency. It is widely assumed
that over the coming decades, increased energy efficiency will
help the world meet its energy needs and reduce carbon emissions.
That may be true, but recent research suggests that energy
intensity — a widely used way of measuring efficiency — isn’t the
right metric. Posted.

Let’s count the ways Keystone approval helps us. So, why do we
want President Obama and Secretary John Kerry to approve
construction of the Keystone pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of
Mexico?  Because it will allow Canada to double and then triple
production of tar sands and send it to thirsty Asian consumers.
Because it will encourage Wall Street to increase investment in
tar-sands mining; they’re worried now that increased amounts of
tar sands can’t get out of Canada without more pipeline capacity.
All the other new pipeline routes are currently being blocked by
citizen campaigns in Canada and the U.S. Posted.

California ARB considering regulations for alternative diesel
fuels; focus on biodiesel. The staff of the California Air
Resources Board (ARB) is holding a public meeting on 23 April in
Sacramento to discuss regulatory concepts for establishing fuel
requirements for alternative diesel fuels (ADF), including
biodiesel, renewable diesel and other emerging diesel fuel
substitutes. Posted.

Difference Engine: End the ethanol tax. THE uneasy relationship
between America’s corn (maize) farmers and its oil refiners is
fraying at the edges. The source of the conflict is the amount of
corn-derived ethanol which has to be blended into petrol as an
oxygenator, to boost the fuel’s octane rating (while also
providing a generous off-budget subsidy for corn-growers). The
farmers want the amount of ethanol used in petrol to be increased
from 10% to 15% of each gallon sold at the pump. Posted.

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