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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 18, 2013.

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 13:35:00
ARB Newsclips for April 18, 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.


Freeway air pollution travels farther in early morning. Two years
ago researchers outfitted an electric Toyota RAV4 with a set of
test instruments and drove back and forth near four Los Angeles
County freeways between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., sampling the
air. The results confirmed that in the early morning,
concentrated plumes of air pollution from freeways can travel
more than a mile downwind, exposing more residents than
previously thought to harmful pollution levels. Posted.


Air quality across Southern California better, but challenges
remain. Air quality statewide has improved over the last 12
years, but the agency that works to control pollution in Southern
California wants tougher restrictions on wood burning in open
pits and fireplaces as well as cleaner ports and railroads,
according to a report released Wednesday. Areas monitored under
the South Coast Air Quality Management District, a region that
includes Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and
Orange counties…Posted.



Australia to Cut Carbon-Revenue Forecast as EU Price Plunges. 
Australia will lower its expected revenue from selling carbon
allowances after the European Union, its partner in a
cap-and-trade system set to start in 2015, failed to win support
for lifting record low prices. European carbon permits fell the
most on record following a vote yesterday in Strasbourg, France,
to reject an emergency measure to reduce surplus allowances.
Carbon for December fell 35 percent to 3.09 euros ($4.07) a
metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, the lowest-ever
settlement for the contract. Posted.

Carbon Falls Most Ever After EU Parliament Rejects Surplus Fix.
European carbon permits declined by the most on record to an
unprecedented low after lawmakers rejected a plan to address a
surplus of allowances. Carbon for December fell as much as 45
percent to 2.63 euros a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe
exchange in London. German power prices for next year fell to the
lowest in at least five years.
The rejection may render Europe’s 54 billion-euro ($71 billion)
cap-and-trade program “completely toothless,” Posted.

Woodland business challenges cap and trade auction regulation. 
Attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation, representing Woodland's
Morning Star and others, filed a lawsuit challenging California's
"cap and trade" auction regulation Tuesday.  The regulation
creates a quarterly auction program requiring many California
employers to bid significant amounts of money for the privilege
of continuing to emit carbon dioxide -- "or be faced with closing
their doors in California…Posted. 

U.N. official describes a 'dark night' for global carbon trading.
Depressed carbon markets in the European Union underscore the
need for a globally linked trading scheme, including California's
first-in-the-U.S. economywide cap-and-trade program, a top
international climate official said yesterday. The European
Parliament's rejection of a plan to fix a heavily oversupplied
emissions trading program has led to a "dark night" among
participants, said Christiana Figueres…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/18/5 BY

Green groups ask court to speed EPA's cement emission standards.
Environmental and community groups yesterday asked a federal
court to hold off revisions made by U.S. EPA earlier this year to
air standards for cement manufacturers that give industry two
extra years to comply. Earthjustice, representing several green
groups, argued that a series of amendments released in December
and published in February would delay emissions reductions and
weaken standards meant to reduce emissions of soot, mercury,
lead, benzene and other toxic pollutants. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/04/18/4 BY


Gorbachev sees global failure to address eco-risks. Former Soviet
leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Thursday painted a dim picture of the
world's environmental progress, two decades after he founded the
environmental group Green Cross International. Laying much of the
blame on a lack of leadership and vision, he railed against
governments for falling short on nuclear disarmament, waste,
development and climate change. Posted.




China Plan to Complete Climate Change Law Draft Within Two Years.
China plans to draw on the experience of seven regional carbon
markets as it drafts new national legislation in one or two
years, according to the country’s lead climate negotiator. The
nation, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases linked to global
warming, will “actively promote” the legislation, Xie Zhenhua,
vice chairman at the National Development and Reform Commission,
said yesterday in Beijing. “Shanghai and Shenzhen are trying to
set rules for carbon trading,” providing expertise for the
nation, he said. Posted.

More U.S. Oil Probably Won’t Destroy the Climate. A brief walk
with Jeff Mitton and Scott Ferrenberg through the pine forests of
Niwot Ridge, nearly a mile above the town of Boulder, Colorado,
makes it easy to understand why people are worried about climate
change. The world has been getting hotter, and so has Niwot
Ridge. Mitton, the model of a naturalist with his white beard and
big smile, studied evolutionary biology after getting his Ph.D.
in 1973. Posted.

States, cities, environmental groups demand EPA emission rules. 
A dozen states and cities and three major environmental groups
have notified the Environmental Protection Agency that they plan
to sue the regulator unless it issues final rules limiting
greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. On Monday, the
EPA confirmed that it had missed an April 13 deadline to issue
final rules curtailing emissions of carbon dioxide from power
plants, the country’s single biggest source of heat-trapping
gases that drive climate change. Posted.

Coastal cities ponder how to prepare for rising sea levels. 
Americans in coastal areas, particularly on the East and Gulf
coasts, will confront challenging questions in the coming years
as they determine how to protect millions of people in the face
of rising sea levels and more intense storms.  Should cities
rebuild the boardwalks in New Jersey shore towns? Should the
government discourage people from rebuilding in areas now more
vulnerable to flooding? How much would it cost to protect water
and sewer systems and subways and electrical substations from
being inundated in the next storm?  Posted. 

Climate Change in the San Joaquin Valley and Our Future Food
Supply. The San Joaquin Valley is North America's most valuable
farming region. The area's crops such as carrots and tomatoes are
part of large companies' supply chains. High-value crops such as
stone fruit, pistachios, almonds, table grapes and pomegranates
are shipped across the United States, Canada and overseas. And
while this basin between the Sierra Nevada mountains and Coastal
Ranges is a bastion of agribusiness…Posted.
http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/45868 .

Prolific Joshua Tree Bloom Could Signal Warming Climate. It’s
bloom time for Joshua trees, the spikey sentinels of the Mojave
Desert that stretches across the southwest. They’re among the
most bizarre-looking of desert flora. Though they’re technically
trees, these spikey towers look more like a cross between a palm
and a cactus. Each spring, many Joshua trees send out large
pineapple-shaped crowns of white-green flowers. This year, the
blooms are especially large, and widespread. Posted.

A tax, but not on carbon, is proposed to help with climate
change.  A small tax on financial trades is the newest focus of
some climate advocates who believe the revenue could pour
billions into adaptation efforts. A so-called financial
transaction tax of 0.5 percent applied to trades in stocks, bonds
and derivatives could raise $300 billion annually or more,
supporters say, opening a rich stream of cash that could help end
AIDS, expand health care and fund climate programs in the United
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/18/4 BY

Scientist works to puzzle out how tropical rainfall will change
with a warming planet.  For scientist Shang-Ping Xie, there is a
good reason to research how climate change will alter weather
patterns in the tropics, even if, to most of us, tropical regions
seem remote. "What happens in the tropics," Xie -- a professor at
the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of
California, San Diego, and the International Pacific Research
Center at the University of Hawaii, Manoa -- noted in a recent
interview, "is highly influential on midlatitude climate."
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/18/8 BY


Natural gas prices rise from historic lows. Wholesale natural gas
prices have doubled during the last year, and that's bringing
sighs of relief from an unusual variety of interests. Soaring
production and an unusually warm winter sent prices plunging to
under $2 per thousand cubic feet last spring, prompting some to
wonder whether the natural gas boom would kill demand for both
coal and new renewable energy. But natural gas is now just over
$4 per thousand cubic feet. Posted.

Chevron Defies California On Carbon Emissions. Chevron Corp.
(CVX) helped write the first-in-the-nation rule ordering reduced
carbon emissions from cars and trucks. Its biofuels chief spoke
at the ceremony where California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
signed the executive order in 2007, the same year the oil company
pledged to develop a gasoline replacement from wood. Now Chevron
is leading a lobbying and public relations campaign to undercut
the California mandate aimed at curbing global warming, two years
after the state started phasing it in. Posted.
 A regulation that might actually reduce California gasoline
prices. California's strict low-carbon fuel standard could help
reduce gasoline prices in the state, the opposite of what many
have predicted, by encouraging the use of a relatively cheap and
relatively clean U.S. crude oil, some experts now say. The
standard will require fuel producers -- like refineries -- to
lower the carbon intensity of the products they sell here by 10%
by 2010 in less than seven years. To comply, California
refineries might also have to stop using some of the crude oil
they use now. Posted.

GE rolls out 'LNG in a Box' for advanced gas stations. GE Oil &
Gas is rolling out a new small-scale natural gas liquefaction
unit in Europe, part of an effort to capture business in the
expanding use of gas as a vehicle fuel there. On the sides of a
major liquefied natural gas industry conference underway here
this week, officials with GE Oil and Gas and the Luxembourg
company Gasfin SA signed a memorandum of understanding for GE to
sell its new "LNG in a Box" systems to Gasfin, which will use
them as the centerpiece of an LNG-as-vehicle-fuel supply network.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/04/18/2 BY


GM says diesel Chevrolet Cruze gets 46 mpg. General Motors Co.
says the new diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze gets 46 miles
per gallon on the highway, making it more efficient than some
hybrids. GM announced the U.S. EPA's fuel economy numbers for the
diesel Cruze Wednesday.  At 46 mpg, the diesel Cruze matches the
highway fuel economy of the Toyota Prius C subcompact. But the
regular Prius hybrid still does better, at 48 mpg. Posted.

New battery design solves high energy/high power dilemma, charges
1,000 times faster.  Researchers at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign have developed a new lithium-ion battery, with
three-dimensional bicontinuous nanoporous electrodes, allowing
the battery to be 2,000 times more powerful and be recharged
1,000 times faster than comparable lithium-ion batteries. 
Posted.  http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5349 

Meeting zero-emission vehicle mandate harder than CAFE --
industry leader. Meeting the California-led mandate to put about
5 million zero-emission vehicles on U.S. roads by 2025 is an even
greater challenge than the new federal mandate to double overall
fuel efficiency by the same year, a leading auto industry
representative said yesterday. "We've got a real challenge in
front of us, and we're not going to be able to do it by
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/18/6 BY


'Wake-up call' sounded on stalled renewable energy initiatives.
The push to produce more energy from renewable sources has
stalled, and “the average unit of energy produced today is
basically as dirty as it was 20 years ago,” according to Maria
van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy
Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization that
researches the energy sector and holds reserves of oil in case of
supply disruptions. Posted.

Fossil fuel phaseout won't impede grid reliability – study. The
United States could end its dependence on coal and reduce
contributions of nuclear energy without negatively affecting the
reliability of the electric grid, according to a new report from
the Civil Society Institute. Prepared by the research firm
Synapse Energy Economics Inc., the report finds that a heavy
buildup of wind and solar could replace the U.S. coal fleet and
25 percent of nuclear power while still exceeding demand for
electricity during 99.4 percent of the hours in a year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/18/7  BY


The 2013 TIME 100 TIME presents its annual list of the 100 most
influential people in the world, from artists and leaders to
pioneers, titans and icons. Mary Nichols, Environmentalist, 68
If, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis claimed, states are
the laboratories of democracy, then Mary Nichols is the Thomas
Edison of environmentalism. Head of the California Air Resources
Board (CARB), she has been a fierce champion of cutting-edge
technology that is changing her state, a nation and the world.
This is actually Mary’s third turn at CARB. She served twice
under then governor Jerry Brown, who held office from 1975 to
1982. She came back to CARB in 2007, preceding Brown’s return to
the statehouse by four years. Prior to her most recent CARB
stint, Mary worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Property rights and pollution. Mike Fons brought up a good point
in his April 8 letter to the editor: If a landowner is to have
complete liberty over how his or her land is used, how do his
neighbors ensure they won’t suffer aggravated pollution from his
“capitalist greed?” First and foremost, the answer is that, with
liberty comes responsibility. Liberty means to exercise human
rights in any manner a person chooses, as long as it doesn’t
interfere with the exercise of the rights of others. No one is
allowed to initiate harm against his neighbor. Posted.


Bill to bar apartment smoking goes down in flames at Capitol.
Legislation to bar millions of Californians from smoking inside
their own homes was rejected today by an Assembly committee.
Assembly Bill 746 would have made California the first state to
venture into personal bedrooms and living rooms with smoking
restrictions. It targeted condominiums, duplexes and apartments.
Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, proposed the measure to
ensure that people who live in structures that share walls,
ceilings, floors or ventilation systems with neighboring units
are not subject to second-hand smoke. Posted.

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