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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 2, 2013. Posted: 02 May 2013 12:21:10
ARB Newsclips for May 2, 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. CAP-AND-TRADE Calif. adds more offsets to ease cap-and-trade supply crunch. Analysts are predicting lower prices in California's economywide cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases, thanks to regulators' plans to add more carbon offsets to the market. Projects that reduce emissions from coal mines and forests should help fill in a projected shortage, but supplies will still be short through 2020, according to the new analysis from carbon market analysis firm Thomson Reuters Point Carbon. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/02/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Can California Cap and Trade if Brussels Stumbles? Last week, the European Parliament rejected a proposal to reduce the quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions allowances in order to fix a supply-demand imbalance in the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Some view this as the beginning of the end of the European Union’s ten-year carbon cap-and-trade experiment. A high profile failure of the EU ETS is likely to provide ammunition to critics California’s cap-and-trade program. Posted. http://www.natlawreview.com/article/can-california-cap-and-trade-if-brussels-stumbles AIR POLLUTION Air quality from Banning fire potentially affects San Bernardino County residents. As hundreds of acres burned in a Banning wildfire and ash fell here from approximately 20 miles away Wednesday, officials warned of the smoke's negative health impacts. The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for the area, while the South Coast Air Quality Management District put out a smoke advisory warning. Posted. http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/news/ci_23151107/air-quality-from-banning-fire-potentially-affects-redlands#ixzz2S9WYSGrH Texas, La., community groups sue EPA for emissions. Community groups in Texas and Louisiana have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accusing it of using "outdated and inaccurate formulas" to report emissions from refineries and chemical plants. The Environmental Integrity Project in Texas, along with Air Alliance Houston, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and other groups filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Washington. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23155670/texas-la-community-groups-sue-epa-emissions#ixzz2S9YtFJGP First full cruise season under new EPA rules start. More than 1 million cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Alaska this year, but industry officials fear new fuel standards intended to limit pollution from large ships could drive vessels away and lower that number later. This will be the first full cruise season in Alaska under rules that require cargo carriers and cruise ships to use a low-sulfur fuel within 200 miles of U.S. and Canadian shores. The U.S. agreed to the standards as part of an international treaty. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23154742/first-full-cruise-season-under-new-epa-rules#ixzz2S9ZO5rv9 SM Energy project stalls on air quality for second time. Whether it is ever approved, one thing about Santa Maria Energy's plan to extract oil from the Careaga Lease in the Orcutt Hills field is certain — it will be one of the most discussed projects in county history. On Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission failed for a second time to pass a motion to approve three permits that would allow the company to produce oil from 136 wells using an enhanced steam injection process on the Careaga Lease south of Orcutt. Posted. http://www.lompocrecord.com/news/local/sm-energy-project-stalls-on-air-quality-for-second-time/article_144b8714-b2f0-11e2-bd10-0019bb2963f4.html?comment_form=true EU Factories Double Use of UN Carbon Credits Last Year in Survey. Power stations and factories in the European Union’s emissions market probably doubled their use of United Nations carbon offsets to meet their pollution limits last year, according to a survey of analysts. Companies have surrendered about 600 million Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units for 2012, compared with 254.6 million offsets in the previous year, according to the median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News in the past two days. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-05-02/eu-factories-double-use-of-un-carbon-credits-last-year-in-survey CLIMATE CHANGE Low-key U.S. plan for each nation to set climate goals wins ground. A U.S.-led plan to let all countries set their own goals for fighting climate change is gaining grudging support at U.N. talks, even though the current level of pledges is far too low to limit rising temperatures substantially. The approach, being discussed this week at 160-nation talks in Bonn, Germany, would mean abandoning the blueprint of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which set central goals for industrialized countries to cut emissions by 2012 and then let each work out national implementation. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/02/us-climate-talks-idUSBRE9410QA20130502 Most firms get greenhouse gas reports wrong: report. Most of the world's largest companies do not report their greenhouse gas emissions fully or correctly and do not have the data independently verified, a study by an environmental research body showed on Wednesday. Companies are under pressure worldwide from policymakers, and a public increasingly concerned with green issues, to report the environmental fallout of all activities related to their daily business - from plane journeys to office supplies. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/01/us-emissions-companies-idUSBRE93T18L20130501 UN Envoys Consider 2050 Carbon Target in Talks on Climate Deal. Envoys at United Nations global warming talks are considering whether to adopt a target for carbon emissions around 2050 as they struggle to work toward a deal to limit climate change that they aim to adopt in 2015. The delegates from about 190 nations meeting this week in Bonn are discussing whether they could boost ambition by adopting a worldwide goal for the middle of this century backed by interim measures proposed by national government…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-02/un-envoys-consider-2050-carbon-target-in-talks-on-climate-deal.html Preventing climate change is good for business, GM declares. General Motors officially acknowledged today that implementing policies to prevent climate change is “good business.” GM became the first automaker to sign the “Climate Declaration” pledge, which is promoted by nonprofit Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition. The decision to sign the pledge comes as GM has been pressuring the U.S. government to establish a national energy policy focused on promoting energy security with a diverse range of sources, including natural gas and renewables. Posted. http://www.freep.com/article/20130501/BUSINESS0101/305020037/GM-climate-change-global-warming Proposed desalination plants could breach Calif. carbon targets. Interest in ocean desalination has spiked in California in recent years, with 17 plants proposed along the state's coast. While desalination can be a reliable way to quench the state's growing water concerns, its high energy requirements -- and associated carbon emissions -- could make it much harder for the state to meet its 2020 reduction goals, a study showed. In a report released yesterday, researchers at the Pacific Institute looked at the implications of building and operating new desalination plants in the Golden State. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/02/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Diesel program cutting emissions, but funding to be slashed. More than 50,000 high-polluting diesel engines have been cleaned up or removed from U.S. roads in a federal program designed to reduce smog and greenhouse gases, according to a new Environmental Protection Agency report to Congress. While industry and environmental officials call the program a landmark success, it is now threatened with a 70 percent cut in funding under the Obama Administration’s new budget. About 230,000 tons of soot and smog-causing pollutants and more than two million tons of carbon dioxide were eliminated, according to the report. Posted. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2013/diesel-cleanup LOW CARBON FUELS The Importance of Feedstock Within California’s LCFS. California’s Global Warning Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) established the state’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The statute charged the California Air Resources Board with developing and implementing regulations in multiple sectors to achieve that goal. In January 2007, then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-01-07 calling on CARB to determine whether a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) could be adopted under AB 32…Posted. http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/9071/the-importance-of-feedstock-within-californiaundefineds-lcfs FUELS Shell Makes Big Bet on Boom in Natural Gas. As Big Oil increasingly becomes Big Gas, no major petroleum player may have more at stake in the shift than Royal Dutch Shell. More than any of its rivals, Royal Dutch Shell, which will report its quarterly results on Thursday, is betting its future on the business of bringing natural gas from remote locations like Qatar to energy-hungry destinations like China and Japan. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/business/energy-environment/02iht-shell02.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 New method finds shortcut to produce fuel from crop wastes. Cellulose is an appealing raw material for fuels. Several chemical processes can turn this long sugar chain into fuel precursors for cars, trucks and aircraft. It's abundant in crop waste, like leaves and stalks from corn, so it's cheap and won't raise food prices. But making it efficiently is tricky. Most of the common ways to break cellulose down involve finicky enzymes or microbes, which will only work with high-quality cellulose sources and require a strictly controlled environment. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/02/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Reports highlight ongoing advances in vehicle technology, consumer demand for fuel efficiency in US and Europe. Two separate reports highlight the ongoing improvement in vehicle technologies and the growing trend toward consumers purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles in the US and in Europe. In the US, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released an analysis—“On the Road to 54.5 MPG: A Progress Report on Achievability”—of the response of consumers and automakers as both begin to experience the effects of the newly adopted federal fuel economy standard. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/05/reports-20130502.html US Electric Vehicles sales report for April. The monthly EV sales report is provided by InsideEVs and is updated with latest information available. In April 2013, more than 6,000 EVs were sold in the US market, twice as many as in April 2012, for a total market share slightly below 0,5% of new light vehicles sales. The sales information currently includes sales of 11 car models. Data from Ford is currently missing, but as soon as the information is made available this article will be updated. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5364 GREEN ENERGY For Obama and Pena Nieto, a delicate 'first dance' around energy. When the conversation between President Barack Obama and his newly elected Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto turns to the controversial topic of energy during their meeting this week, both are apt to step carefully. The two countries have abruptly changed positions over the past decade: Mexico, once the growing energy power, is struggling to maintain production; the United States, once a guaranteed importer, is enjoying a lucrative energy boom. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/02/energy-usa-mexico-idUSL2N0DI21H20130502 Conn. renewable energy plan passes first test. New rules for renewable energy use in Connecticut passed their first big test Wednesday when the state Senate approved legislation proposed by the governor to boost hydropower from Canada. The 26-6 vote was a defeat for environmentalists who fought Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration, demanding a greater reliance on smaller-scale wind and solar energy. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/01/conn-renewable-energy-plan-passes-first-test/#ixzz2S9LpmUdH MISCELLANEOUS Cross-Country Solar Plane Expedition Set for Takeoff. When Bertrand Piccard was growing up in Switzerland, heady discussions about the boundless potential for human endeavor were standard fare. His grandfather, a physicist and friend of Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, had invented a special capsule so he and a partner could be first to reach the stratosphere in a balloon. His father, an engineer, helped design the submarine that made him and an American naval officer the first to plunge undersea to the earth’s crust. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/business/energy-environment/cross-country-solar-plane-expedition-set-for-takeoff.html?ref=global-home&_r=1&&pagewanted=print Lipstick's allure may come with heavy metal price. The quest for lusher, ruby-red lips may be exposing women to dangerous metals, including cadmium, a highly toxic element linked with renal failure, a UC Berkeley study suggests. Researchers found trace amounts of nine metals, some benign, some potentially dangerous, in 32 lipsticks and glosses used by Asian women in Oakland. None exceeded current public health exposure standards. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-lipstick-metals-20130501,0,6572023.story Panel approves Steinberg's CEQA bill, kills broader GOP version. A bill that would make some changes to California's landmark environmental review law moved forward in the state Senate on Wednesday, but Democrats rejected a GOP-backed proposal as "too broad and comprehensive a change." Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg defended his Senate Bill 731, which passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/02/5388224/panel-approves-steinbergs-ceqa.html#storylink=cpy Calif. sues: Lead in candied ginger, plum. The state of California is suing Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Target and other retailers and candy makers, claiming the companies have exposed consumers to illegal lead levels in their candied plum and ginger products. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court by the state attorney general's office, accuses the retailers of knowingly selling products that contain lead in violation of Proposition 65…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Calif-sues-Lead-in-candied-ginger-plum-4481357.php#ixzz2S9jSuhh8 Calif. governor names former reporter to state EPA post. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) yesterday named a former journalist to a high-ranking job at the state Environmental Protection Agency. Alex Barnum, 52, of Berkeley, Calif., has been tapped as deputy secretary for communications and external affairs. He has been a communications officer at the philanthropic San Francisco-based James Irvine Foundation since 2006. Prior to that, Barnum worked in a similar role at the nonprofit Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/05/02/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Valley doesn't need more air regulations. In response to "Air in San Joaquin Valley cities among nation's worst" (April 24): Oh, joy! Another story that wants government to put the screws to a region that's already being crushed by air quality regulations. Geography plays an important part when it comes to air quality. The San Joaquin Valley is an elongated bowl with one opening along its western ridge. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/05/01/2696171/please-give-us-more-government.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Air Apparent: L.A.'s Bright Skies Are Not As Clear As They Seem. The act of breathing is pretty straightforward, and, when everything is functioning properly, is an unconscious musculatory response. Yet the chemical composition of the air we are breathing is not so clear-cut, which means we need to be intensely aware of what we are inhaling (and at what time of day we are drawing this essential oxygen into our lungs). Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/the_back_forty/commentary/golden-green/airing-it-out.html Unintended Consequences of Green Chemistry Law. California has long set the trend for groundbreaking environmental regulations designed to protect consumers from hazardous chemicals and emissions. Because of this, California has seen its pollution levels drop over the last few decades. While we still have a ways to go, our progress is encouraging. Occasionally, however, a well-intended policy creates a host of unintended consequences. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2013/05/unintended-consequences-of-green-chemistry-law/ BLOGS Obama group misleadingly cites a vote on a climate change bill. President Obama’s new political group, Organizing for Action, last week released a new video that mocks Republican lawmakers for appearing to play down or dismiss concerns about climate change. Some of the clips are fairly interesting — or amusing, depending on your perspective. It has already been viewed more than 225,000 times on You Tube. We’ve written before about the growing consensus among climate researchers that climate change is the result of human activity; …Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obama-group-misleadingly-cites-a-vote-on-a-climate-change-bill/2013/05/01/4e4e5548-b2ac-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_blog.html Bill to change California's environmental review law advances. A bill that would make changes to California's landmark environmental review law moved forward in the state Senate Wednesday, as Democrats rejected a GOP-backed proposal as "too broad and comprehensive a change." Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg defended his Senate Bill 731, which passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee Wednesday…Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/05/ceqa.html?utm_source=feedly#storylink=cpy Natural Aerosols May Help Slow Climate Change By Small Amounts, New Study Shows. Could plants help to slow the march of global warming? It's possible, suggests a new study, which finds that as climates warm around the world, plants may respond by releasing more aerosol particles into the atmosphere. The research, published online April 28 in the journal Nature Geoscience, finds that these natural aerosols can fuel cloud formation, which may help cool a warming climate. [The Reality of Climate Change: 10 Myths Busted] Aerosols are fine particles of solid or liquid matter, suspended in air. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/01/natural-aerosols-global-warming_n_3193360.html