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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 29, 2013

Posted: 29 Apr 2013 14:58:22
ARB Newsclips for April 29, 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.


State air board affirms cap-and-trade investment plan. 
California’s cap-and-trade system may have two pending lawsuits
against it, but state officials are considering a plan to invest
proceeds from carbon allowance auctions.  The California Air
Resources Board, which is responsible for implementing the cap
and trade program, affirmed a three-year draft proposal for
investing the proceeds at a public hearing Thursday.  Posted. 


Chevron refinery fire spurs SJVAPCD, ARB, and other state air
agencies to action.  The California Air Resources Board (ARB)
today announced a new plan to develop better air monitoring and
emergency response procedures around California's major oil
refineries. Utilizing a collaborative approach between the
state's major local air districts where refineries are located
and the ARB, the new effort is a response to last year's major
fire at Chevron's refinery in Richmond, CA.  Posted. 

Valley air officials helping define best ways to monitor refinery
accidents.  Executives of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution
Control District plus the state’s other major local air districts
where refineries are located are working with the California Air
Resources Board on ways to better assess the status of air
pollution around major oil refineries.  There are three oil
refineries in the Central Valley, all in Bakersfield near the
massive Kern County oil fields.  The first step in the evaluation
is to assess the best practices and procedures used by local air
districts and emergency response officials throughout the state.

New study links childhood asthma to living near traffic.  Another
study has found a connection between childhood asthma rates and
traffic pollution. The latest study, published in the European
Respiratory Journal, looked at asthma levels in 10 European
cities and found that people living near high-traffic roads
accounted for 14 percent of all asthma cases.  Posted.

Planned warehouse complex would be major polluter.  The World
Logistics Center mega warehouse complex planned in eastern Moreno
Valley would produce more air pollution than any other modern
project east of the ports Los Angeles and Long Beach, regional
air quality officials say.  The cargo hub would provide warehouse
space equivalent to 700 football fields. Trips from thousands of
big-rig trucks and the operation of other cargo-moving machinery
would produce more than 3,000 pounds a day of smog-forming
nitrogen oxides…Posted. 


Industrialized nations' greenhouse gas emissions dipped in 2011.
Industrialized nations' greenhouse gas emissions dipped 0.7
percent in 2011, helped by a U.S. shift from high-polluting coal
in power plants and by Europe's economic slowdown, data compiled
by Reuters showed on Friday. For many years it has been a mantra
that rich nations, historically the top polluters, should make
the biggest cuts in emissions while emerging economies could burn
more energy to help lift them from poverty. Posted.

Plants slow climate change by forming cloud sunshade: study.
Plants help to slow climate change by emitting gases as
temperatures rise that lead to the formation of a sunshade of
clouds over the planet, scientists said on Sunday. The tiny
sun-dimming effect could offset about one percent of warming
worldwide and up to 30 percent locally such as over vast northern
forests in Siberia, Canada or the Nordic nations, they wrote in
the journal Nature Geoscience. Posted.


CARB offers how-to class for California emissions regs.  It may
not earn you a degree you can hang on the wall, but the
California Air Resources Board is offering a free class to help
truck owners comply with California’s ever-changing emissions
regulations.  CARB has begun a new round of the three-hour class
520 “How to Comply with CARB Diesel Regulations.” The course
reviews the inspection process, gives consequences of
non-compliance, and explains how to comply with CARB’s
regulations for most diesel vehicles and equipment operating in
California.  Posted. 


EPA methane report further divides fracking camps. The
Environmental Protection Agency has dramatically lowered its
estimate of how much of a potent heat-trapping gas leaks during
natural gas production, in a shift with major implications for a
debate that has divided environmentalists: Does the recent boom
in fracking help or hurt the fight against climate change? Oil
and gas drilling companies had pushed for the change…Posted.





The EPA Just Shook Up the Debate Over Fracking. New estimates
from the EPA indicate that methane leakage from natural gas
production is substantially lower than previously believed. Or,
translated to English: Natural gas may be a better solution to
rampant global warming than anyone believed. The recent boom in
natural gas production — largely a function of improvements in
the process of hydrofracturing, or fracking — has been seen as a
mixed blessing by environmentalists focused on curbing the
atmospheric warming created by greenhouse gases. Posted.

News Summary: EPA lowers methane leak estimate. THE CHANGE: The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently dramatically
lowered its estimates of how much of a potent greenhouse gas
leaks during gas drilling operations, from 214 million metric
tons for 2010 to 144 million metric tons, a change of more than
30 percent. THE DISPUTE: There's a split between leading
environmental groups over whether the boom in natural gas
drilling, or fracking, will help or hurt efforts to fight climate
change. Posted.

There's a lot more than farming going on in California's vast
Central Valley. The Valley may be the richest farm belt in the
world, but from Kern to Stanislaus counties it's also Ground Zero
for the debate over "fracking" Nearly a dozen new pieces of
legislation are under study in the Capitol to place stricter
environmental controls on "fracking," or high-pressure hydraulic
fracturing, in which streams of water, sand and chemicals are
shot into underground rock formations to pry loose petroleum
deposits. a process that has been used for decades. Posted.


Electric vehicles provide electricity to the U.S. power grid.
U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc. said on Friday a technology it
developed with the University of Delaware has sold power from
electric vehicles to the power grid for the first time. The
University and NRG said in a statement that they began work on
the so-called eV2g program in September 2011 to provide a two-way
interface between electric vehicles and the power grid that
enables vehicle owners to sell electricity back to the grid while
they are charging their cars. Posted.

Tesla Model S Tops GM Volt in North American Plug-In Race. Tesla
Motors Inc. (TSLA), the luxury battery-car company run by
billionaire Elon Musk, is North America’s rechargeable auto sales
leader so far this year as its Model S sedan passed General
Motors Co. (GM)’s Chevrolet Volt. Tesla expects to report at
least 4,750 deliveries of the electric Model S in the U.S. and
Canada when it releases first- quarter results on May 8, said
Shanna Hendriks, a company spokeswoman, reiterating a March 31
estimate. Posted.

Dispelling myths of electric cars. The troubles of
electric-car-maker Fisker Automotive have fueled another round of
debate about whether plug-ins can live up to their promises. The
California start-up, which had already halted production and laid
off most of its employees, missed a federal loan payment Monday
and told a congressional hearing on Wednesday that it may not be
able to avoid bankruptcy. Posted. 

Ford's in-wheel electric motors could lead to sideways parking.
Talk about a lateral move. Ford is developing a new electric car
technology that is not just efficient with fuel, but potentially
space, as well. Designed in partnership with auto industry
supplier Schaeffler, the eWheelDrive Fiesta prototype is
propelled by electric motors located entirely within the wheels
of the car, eliminating the need for the drive wheels to be
connected to a common drivetrain. The main advantage of the
layout is packaging. Posted. 

States make up for reduced gas consumption with new tax on
Hybrids.  John Kraus has a new Toyota Prius V hybrid wagon that
he's very fond of. He's also got a new Virginia tax on it that
he's none too happy about. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a
Republican, signed a new law last month that lowers the gas tax
for everyone, but slaps a $64-per-year fee on hybrid and electric
car owners to help make up for what those drivers aren't paying
at the pump. Posted.

Consortium sells power from electric cars to grid and turns
profit. Correction appended. If not for the orange power cords
trailing from their sides, the 15 Mini Coopers lined up in the
northwest corner of the University of Delaware's science and
technology campus might have been a scene from a BMW dealership.
No other outward clues hinted that in their stationary form,
these cars were driving a new business. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/29/1 BY

Electric car maker offers no-fault battery warranty for its
luxury sedan. Tesla Motors Inc. wants to take all uncertainty out
of owning one of its electric vehicles with a new high-quality
service and warranty program. CEO Elon Musk announced Friday that
the company will now offer a no-fault battery warranty for its
Model S luxury electric sedan. If the battery is left for a long
time at a low state of charge or receives improper maintenance
and fails, Tesla will replace it with a battery pack that's as
good or better. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/29/8 BY


Sacramento plans solar-powered 'smart' parking meters. Seven
years after introducing parking kiosks downtown, Sacramento
officials say it's time for an even more expansive upgrade of
downtown parking – starting with solar-powered parking meters
that drivers can pay via cellphone. The plan to purchase and
install nearly 6,000 "smart" meters later this year is part of an
ambitious effort to catch up with fast-evolving parking

Slowing rush to invest in clean tech could hurt major Sacramento
area industry. Sacramento's leaders are counting on clean
technology – the business of solar and wind energy, "smart"
buildings and more – to help lift the region out of the economic
doldrums. Investors have become more skeptical. They're pouring
less money into clean-tech ventures these days following some
spectacular flops. One of the nation's most influential investors
– Sacramento's own California Public Employees' Retirement System
– calls clean-tech flat-out unprofitable. Posted.

Nuclear authority generates controversy. Virginia is creating a
new agency to support development of nuclear power - a move that
has upset environmentalists and open-government advocates,
because the entity won't have to comply with the state's Freedom
of Information Act and other laws.  For the past year or so,
companies that work with nuclear energy have been speaking with
experts at Virginia universities with nuclear engineering
programs and at industry-related nonprofit groups. Posted.


Kaiser Roseville takes environmental honor. Kaiser Permanente's
Roseville Medical Center is one of only three U.S. facilities
named to the "Environmental Leadership Circle" by Practice
Greenhealth, a national organization that promotes green
practices in health care. The leadership circle is considered the
highest honor among the Reston, Va.-based group's 2013
Environmental Excellence Awards. To qualify, health facilities
must meet high standards in various segments, including waste
recycling, medical waste management and eradication of mercury
use. Posted.

Tips for greener living during Earth Month.  Many people will
argue that the greatest barrier to living a greener lifestyle -
one that involves more organic or environmentally friendly food
or home and personal care products - is the prohibitive cost. 
Experts acknowledge that manufacturers and consumers do pay more
for natural products, but they hope, as the market shifts toward
more nontoxic alternatives, prices will become more affordable.

Fremont teen wins green awards, on mission to help the
environment.  For as long as he can remember, Pavan Raj Gowda has
understood the critical danger of living on a polluted planet and
the importance of nursing it back to health.  "When I was really
little, I would see garbage on the highway and wonder why it was
there," the Fremont 13-year-old said. "I've always been
passionate about the planet. I'm not sure why."  Pavan has been
on a mission to educate people about pollution and his efforts
now have been noticed. Posted. 


Pollution reports can guide improvements. San Joaquin County has
again flunked a test of its air quality despite an acknowledgment
by those administering it that we are "making progress every
year." The American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air"
report gave the county, lumped in with south Valley counties with
dirtier air, a grade of "F." That grade, by the way, is the most
common one given by the association, leaving some to question the
validity of the rather narrowly drawn test. Posted.

Can we stop climate change? As a farmer in the San Joaquin
Valley, the article "Climate change threatens wineries, study
shows" (April 12, Page A-1) struck a chord with me. I have no
doubt that climate change is happening. What I do doubt is
whether we have the political will and collective courage to take
decisive action in the face of uncertainty. Farmers are used to
variability in weather, crop yields, prices, labor availability,
you name it. Posted. 

Catch my drift? Locals believe clouds of pesticides made them
ill, but the accused are all saying there's The Arreola family
smelled something bad, like rotten eggs. Since they lived in
Santa Maria’s St. Marie Mobile Home Park near strawberry and
broccoli fields—literally feet away, in fact—they worried about
chemicals, like pesticides, being applied to fruits and
vegetables growing so close to their home. They noticed odd
smells at odd times. Alejandra Arreola later told investigators
that her family suffered from irritated eyes, sore throats,
headaches, nausea, runny noses, and other respiratory issues
after the smells materialized. Posted.


An Earth Scientist Explores the Biggest Climate Threat: Fear.
Here’s a “Your Dot” contribution pushing back against apocalyptic
depictions of the collision between humans and the climate system
— written by Peter B. Kelemen, the Arthur D. Storke Professor and
vice chair in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
at Columbia University. Keleman has done a lot of interesting
work on possible ways to capture carbon dioxide from air. Posted.

Now you can track the inexorable progress of climate change on
Twitter.  In 1958, Charles Keeling began measuring the the
concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Decades later,
scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory are still measuring,
creating “the world’s longest unbroken record” of that data.
They’re the ones responsible for the upkeep of this famous

Air Pollution Lurks Inside Your Home.  How would you like a job
that involves shopping at the grocery store with the company
credit card and cooking dishes like stir-fry? This describes Tosh
Hotchi’s job, but he isn’t a chef. He is part of a research team
that studies how to build healthy, efficient homes, including how
to improve the quality of air inside a home through better
ventilation. Hotchi is helping to study a major source of indoor
pollutant: cooking.  Posted. 

Why California’s Cap and Trade Program Matters to Community
Health Advocates.  Several years ago, I worked as a community
advocate in the South Bronx. I partnered with community members,
agencies, and local elected officials to push for bike lanes,
sidewalks, parks and open space in a community that had suffered
from years of disinvestment, poor health and environmental
injustices. Neighborhood residents wanted clean air to breathe;
parents were calling for safe places for their children to play
and be active…Posted.

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