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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 1, 2013. Posted: 01 May 2013 14:22:47
ARB Newsclips for May 1, 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. AIR POLLUTION Burn permits now required. Starting at 8 a.m. today, residents within the boundaries of the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will be required to obtain permits before burning piles of brush, leaves and other yard debris. The unit includes most of the occupied areas of Tuolumne and Calaveras counties as well as the eastern edges of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130501/A_NEWS/130439984&cid=sitesearch Wind prompts health warning in Northern San Joaquin Valley. Yet another windy Tuesday in the Northern San Joaquin Valley prompted local air pollution officials to issue a health cautionary statement through this morning in several counties, including Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin. Blowing dust can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller, which in turn can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and bronchitis…Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/30/2694880/wind-prompts-health-warning-in.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy CLIMATE CHANGE Up, Up and Away! Scientists Anxious as CO2 Levels to Cross 400 PPM. For the first time in human history, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are expected to pass 400 parts per million across much of the Northern Hemisphere in May, according to scientists who study data from the Mauna Loa Observatory, the world's longest-running CO2 monitoring station. While crossing the 400 ppm mark isn't a "tipping point" that signals climate catastrophe, scientists told InsideClimate News, it is an important symbolic milestone that underscores government inaction on global warming. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-30/up-up-and-away-scientists-anxious-as-co2-levels-to-cross-400-ppm.html FUELS Biofuel Pioneer Forsakes Renewables to Make Gas-Fed Fuels. Alan Shaw, the chemist and executive who led a six-year effort to turn inedible crops into fuels to displace gasoline, has renounced the industry he helped pioneer and decided the future instead lies with natural gas. Formerly chief executive officer of Codexis Inc. (CDXS), the first advanced biofuel technology company to trade on a U.S. exchange, Shaw now says it’s impossible to economically turn crop waste, wood and plants like switchgrass into fuel. He’s trying to do it instead with gas, in his new post as CEO of Calysta Energy LLC. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-04-30/biofuel-pioneer-forsakes-renewables-to-make-gas-fed-fuels.html California Regulator Eyes Tracking of Fracking Chemicals. California may set up its own system for tracking chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing by oil and natural gas producers, rather than depend on the current voluntary registry, the state’s energy industry regulator said. California’s formal rule proposal may also extend the time required for prior notification of fracking, said Mark Nechodom, director of the state Conservation Department. He said the plan may be released in weeks. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-01/california-regulator-eyes-tracking-of-fracking-chemicals.html One month after Arkansas oil spill, still no answers to basic questions. One month after a 65-year-old ExxonMobil pipeline burst without warning and dumped Canadian tar sands oil in the town of Mayflower, Ark., government investigators and residents are still looking for answers to basic questions about the spill. When did the pipeline begin leaking? When and how did the oil company find out about it? How quickly did the company act? How much oil spilled from the pipeline's 22-foot-long gash? And what condition was the line in before it ruptured? Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/01/5385803/one-month-after-arkansas-oil-spill.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy California Assembly panel OKs three measures to halt fracking for more study. In the latest sign of Democrats' determination to rein in the disputed extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a California Assembly committee has advanced three bills that would halt the practice in the state for the foreseeable future. They were not the first fracking bills to make it out of committee this year, but they go further than other fracking legislation by calling for a moratorium to allow more time to study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting a mix of chemicals and water deep underground. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/30/5383425/capitol-alert-trio-of-california.html#storylink=cpy The U.S. Has Much, Much More Gas and Oil Than We Thought. The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought, stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday. In announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing…Posted. http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/the-u-s-has-much-much-more-gas-and-oil-than-we-thought-20130430?utm_source=feedly Saudi official cheers 'renewed faith' in fossil fuels in U.S. Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi yesterday welcomed U.S. shale oil on the world market but said American talk of energy independence is "naive" and "rather simplistic." In an address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Al-Naimi called the U.S.-Saudi relationship "enduring, like oil itself," and said the two countries should continue to work together to ensure oil market stability. "I welcome these new supplies into the global oil market," … Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/05/01/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA moves up deadline for oil companies' greenhouse gas monitoring requests. U.S. EPA has moved up its deadline for oil and gas companies to submit requests to use alternative monitoring methods to comply with a sectorwide greenhouse gas reporting requirement, according to a final rule published today in the Federal Register. The agency originally proposed a Sept. 30 deadline for oil and gas producers to submit their requests…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/05/01/18 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Electric-Car Maker Coda Files for Bankruptcy to Seek Sale. Coda Holdings Inc., parent of the electric-car maker backed by billionaire Philip Falcone, filed for bankruptcy and will seek to sell its assets to a group led by a Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG) unit. Coda will focus on its energy-storage business, Chief Executive Officer Phil Murtaugh said in a statement. The Los Angeles-based company’s Coda Automotive unit listed assets of as much as $50 million and debt of as much as $100 million in the Chapter 11 filing in Wilmington, Delaware, today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-05-01/electric-car-maker-coda-files-for-bankruptcy-to-seek-sale-1-.html http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/business/global/02iht-coda02.html?_r=0 China automaker to open electric bus plant in CA. A Chinese company whose mantra is Build Your Dreams plans to build all-electric buses in California's Mojave Desert. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and officials of BYD Automotive scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce plans to open the first Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States in the wind-swept high-desert city 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/01/china-automaker-to-open-electric-bus-plant-in-ca/#ixzz2S3hakg8S GREEN ENERGY Calif. reactors might be retired if restart nixed. Costs tied to the long-running shutdown of California's San Onofre nuclear power plant have soared to $553 million, while the majority owner raised the possibility Tuesday of retiring the plant if it can't get one reactor running later this year. The twin-domed plant between San Diego and Los Angeles has not produced electricity since January 2012, when a tiny radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NUCLEAR_PLANT_PROBLEMS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/30/nuke-plant-future-uncertain/?utm_source=feedly http://news.yahoo.com/calif-reactors-might-retired-restart-nixed-005557067.html Energy Makes Up Half of Desalination Plant Costs: Study. Energy is the largest single expense for desalination plants, accounting for as much as half of the costs to make drinking water from the sea, according to a report. Desalination plants on average use about 15,000 kilowatt- hours of power for every million gallons of fresh water that’s produced, the Pacific Institute said today in a report. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-05-01/energy-makes-up-half-of-desalination-plant-costs-study.html Solar power expansion urged in Los Angeles. A number of environmental groups joined forces on Tuesday in a call for the city of Los Angeles to increase the amount of rooftop solar installations in the city, aiming for 20 percent of all energy by the year 2020. With their report, "Go Solar L.A.," members of the Los Angeles Business Council, Sierra Club and others said the time to expand solar is coming as the city seeks to end its reliance on coal power by 2025. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23142268/solar-power-expansion-urged-los-angeles U.S.-designed no-emission power plant will debut off China's coast. Forty years of research and development by Lockheed Martin into harnessing energy from steep differentials in ocean temperatures will see its first commercial deployment in China. There, a resort developer has partnered with the U.S. defense and aerospace giant to build a 10-megawatt power plant using ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) technology. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/01/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. MISCELLANEOUS Bay Area College Offers Master's in Batteries. The school says there is a need for the degree because California's alternative fuel cell industry can't find enough qualified people to fill available positions. Jeff Anderson is with the battery storage trade association Cal Charge. He says students who earn a master's degree will need more than science, "You need to understand the markets and the business factors that influence how technology's developed. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2013/04/23/bay-area-college-offers-master's-in-batteries Agency to change the way it handles environmental justice complaints. U.S. EPA plans to change the way it investigates environmental justice complaints, recently releasing two policy papers that address long-standing criticism of the agency's Office of Civil Rights. The papers target so-called Title VI complaints, which are named after a provision in the Civil Rights Act that prohibits recipients of federal funding from using the money in a discriminatory way. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/05/01/19 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Dan Morain: Calculating the profits, pitfalls of an oil tax. At least some of those grease spots on the Assembly and Senate floors are what's left of grand legislation to raise taxes on the oil industry. Emboldened legislators have proposed 12 versions of an oil tax since 1994. They sought billions of dollars to fund all sorts of good causes. An Assembly speaker tried. So did a Senate president pro tem. Oil industry lobbyists crushed them all. Sen. Noreen Evans is carrying the latest bill to tax oil at the wellhead. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/01/5384671/calculating-the-profits-pitfalls.html#mi_rss=Opinion?utm_source=feedly Temecula vintners get climate lesson. As Temecula Valley Wine Country vintners assess the impact of climate change on their grapes (“Winemaking would suffer under climate change, study reveals,” April 20), they can feel comforted that conservative politicians and media figures believe the greenhouse effect is a liberal hoax. The denialists also believe decades of careful climate research are irrelevant because scientists are only interested in money. Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor-headlines/20130430-letter-temecula-vintners-get-climate-lesson.ece BLOGS Extreme Weather in a Warming World, and the American Mind. To see the relationship between extreme weather and public attitudes on human-driven climate change, check out the latest report from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication — “Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind April 2013.” To see where attitudes are in and out of sync with climate science, look back through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report titled…Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/extreme-weather-in-a-warming-world-and-the-american-mind/ SALTON SEA: One bill passes, one bill fails Tuesday. Assembly committees considered a pair of measures Tuesday that aim to help remedy what ails the Salton Sea. The sea, which straddles Riverside and Imperial counties, is shrinking. The decline in agricultural runoff will increasingly expose the sea’s selenium-laden floor, officials say, releasing clouds of toxic dust across the Coachella Valley and points further west. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/political-empire/2013/04/30/salton-sea-one-bill-passes-one-bill-fails-tuesday/ 20 Percent of L.A. Power from Rooftop Solar By 2020? That's The Goal! Now this is an audacious campaign! On the heels of the announcement by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) that it's weaning itself from coal as an energy source by 2025, a coalition of environmental and business groups wants the municipal utility to get 20 percent of its power from L.A. rooftop solar panels by 2020. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/20-percent-rooftop-solar-in-la-by-2020.html?utm_source=feedly