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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 9, 2013.

Posted: 09 May 2013 11:46:50
ARB Newsclips for May 9, 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.


Carbon champions steadfast despite Kyoto’s dead end: UN. Informal
group makes inroads, such as California allowing companies to
trade pollution rights in Quebec. Carbon-market supporters from
China to California will push for emissions trading even as they
prepare for the end of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol in seven
years, Europe’s top climate negotiator said. Nations including
China and New Zealand and some U.S. states have formed an
informal group, “kind of the champions of the carbon


Agriculture, Livestock Remain Major GHG Sources. Global
greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector totaled
4.69 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2010, the most
recent year for which data are available — an increase of 13
percent over 1990 emissions, according to Worldwatch Institute
says. By comparison, global CO2 emissions from transport totaled
6.76 billion tons in 2010, and emissions from electricity and
heat production reached 12.48 billion tons, the Vital Signs
report says. Posted.

Tilting at Windmills: Arguments for and Against Climate Change.
Whether they call it global warming, climate change or even
global cooling, more and more Americans are taking a stand on one
side or the other of this hotly debated issue. According to a
survey published last year by the Yale Project on Climate Change
Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate
Change Communication, 66 percent of Americans believe that global
warming is happening, with 42 percent concerned that it will harm
people in the United States between now and the next 10 years.


A Fossil Fuel Saves Lives, Money and CO2 in Darfur. Fossil fuels
typically don’t leap to mind as carbon-cutting alternative energy
sources. Yet in Sudan's North Darfur region, liquefied petroleum
gas, or LPG, is helping reduce carbon emissions, plus saving
lives and money. A project started in 2007 by Practical Action, a
British non-governmental group, and Carbon Clear, a company that
sells emission offsets, aims to halve household emissions
generated by wood- or charcoal-fired stoves. Posted.

Ethanol’s Discount to Gasoline Narrows on Low Seasonal Output.
Ethanol’s discount to gasoline narrowed on concern that tight
corn supplies before this year’s harvest will curtail production
of the biofuel. The spread, or price difference, shrank by 2.89
cents to 24.19 cents a gallon at 11:55 a.m. New York time a day
after the Energy Information Administration said ethanol output
last week fell 1.6 percent to 843,000 barrels a day. Posted.
Foes Suggest a Tradeoff if Pipeline Is Approved.  President
Obama’s first major environmental decision of his second term
could be to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, profoundly
disappointing environmental advocates who have made the project a
symbolic test of the president’s seriousness on climate change.
But could some kind of deal be in the offing — a major climate
policy announcement on, for example, power plant regulation or
renewable energy incentives — to ease the sting of the pipeline
approval? Posted.

Jackson’s Fracking Bill Clears Committee. A fracking regulation
measure authored by State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson made it out of
the Environmental Quality Committee this week with a 6-3 vote.
The bill, SB 395, would give oversight authority to the
Department of Toxic Substances Control, which would be able to
regulate surface fluids left by the oil and gas extraction method
known as fracking. Posted.

Automakers warn new ethanol mandate could damage vehicles.
Detroit says it will ruin your engine. The EPA says it's safe.
Farmers say it's better than foreign oil. Oil companies say it's
more expensive than gasoline. But as Washington looks to compel
refiners to blend more and more ethanol into gasoline, consumers
are still left with the basic and critical question -- how much
ethanol is safe to put in their cars? Automakers warn the
government's ethanol mandate could damage vehicles if it
continues to grow.

UC-Davis publishes Calif. low carbon fuel standard status update.
The University of California-Davis Institute of Transportation
Studies has published a new status review of the state’s low
carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The review is the second in a series
of periodic status reports. According to information published by
the ITS, the status reports review data, analyze trends and
identify potential challenges associated with the program.
However, the status reports do not make predictions. Posted.


Richmond taking hard line on Chevron in aftermath of fire. City
officials made it clear Tuesday night: While the investigation
into last summer's fire at the Chevron refinery here is near an
end, the legal and policy implications will reach far into the
future. Though it postponed making a formal decision Tuesday, the
City Council is poised to contract with a high-profile San
Francisco law firm to secure damages from Chevron stemming from
the massive Aug. 6 fire, which sent more than 15,000 residents to
area hospitals. Posted.




Tesla Model S gets Consumer Reports' top score. The Tesla Motors
Inc. Model S electric car has tied an older Lexus for the highest
score ever recorded in Consumer Reports magazine's automotive
testing. The Model S, which starts at $62,400 after a federal tax
credit, scored 99 points on a scale of 100 in the magazine's
battery of tests. "It accelerates handles and brakes like a
sports car. It has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is
far more energy-efficient than the best hybrid cars,"…Posted.




Tesla Motors posts first quarterly profit in its 10-year history.
For the first time in its 10 year history, electric car maker
Tesla Motors Inc. turned a quarterly profit, beating analysts
expectations for sales of its pricey luxury sedans. The Palo Alto
automaker on Wednesday reported net income of $11.2 million, or
12 cents a share, in the three month period that ended March 31.
That's up from a loss of $89.9 million, or 76 cents a share, a
year earlier. Analysts, on average, had predicted a profit of 4
cents a share. Posted.


Best Used Diesel 2013: The Car Connection's Picks. Diesel
vehicles have always had their fans; but in recent years,
new-generation clean-diesel models have elevated the technology
above that crowd. For the most part, the overbearing diesel
clatter is gone; so is the exhaust soot and odor. And diesels
simply make a good sense for Americans, who spend a lot of their
drive time on the highway, or on long commutes, where the
technology really shines--often returning better mileage in the
real world than EPA ratings suggest. Posted.

Industry subsidizing electric cars, adding 32 charging ports to
Metrolink station. The four-county, clean-air plan whacks air
emissions in hundreds of ways, from controls on factories and
refineries, to newfangled formulas for paint to a greenhouse gas
reduction scheme that involves cap-and-trade auctions. Some call
for a more direct approach. What if cities and the South Coast
Air Quality Management District simply gave away cash to people
who buy electric cars? That's exactly what the city of Industry
and the SCAQMD are doing. Posted.

Automakers hawk electric 'compliance cars' to meet rules.
Automakers are in the uncomfortable position of building mostly
at a loss a class of small electric cars that garner a lot of
attention but few sales just to satisfy rules imposed by one
state, California. As a result, they've acquired the name
"compliance cars." They include electric versions of such
familiar models as the Chevrolet Spark, Honda Fit and Toyota
RAV4. Posted.

New taxes make electric vehicle owners pay their share. Electric
vehicles use the same roads, the same bridges and the same
infrastructure as the rest of us. But because they don't burn
gasoline, they're immune from paying taxes at the pump to fund
that infrastructure. That's going to change. EV buyers have long
received a federal tax credit of $7,500, but with the passage of
Washington state's House Bill 2660 last year, what one hand
giveth, the other taketh away. Eager to recoup some of the money
lost to those opting for zero-emissions motoring…Posted.


Patent filing claims solar energy ‘breakthrough’ In a U.S. patent
application, a little-known Maryland inventor claims a stunning
solar energy breakthrough that promises to end the planet’s
reliance on fossil fuels at a fraction of the current cost – a
transformation that also could blunt global warming. Inventor
Ronald Ace said that his flat-panel “Solar Traps,” which can be
mounted on rooftops or used in electric power plants, will
shatter decades-old scientific and technological barriers that
have stymied efforts to make solar energy a cheap, clean and
reliable alternative. Posted.


California's New Energy Plants To Be More Sunny, Less Gassy. Of
new energy generating capacity slated to come online in the
second half of 2013 in California, the overwhelming majority is
solar. That's 1,581 megawatts -- or 97 percent -- of the 1,633
planned for the last two quarters of the year. (And these solar
figures don't include "behind the meter" rooftop solar.) The
remaining will made up by another renewable source: biomass.

Research center to create custom forecasts to help utilities use
renewable power. In the world of renewable power generation,
weather forecasts are key. Xcel Energy Inc., the largest utility
provider of wind energy in the country, knows this all too well.
And as the utility anticipates an increase in solar power,
primarily from distributed rooftop panels feeding back into the
grid, accurate sunlight predictions will also become an important
part of how it balances its energy demand. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/05/09/6 BY


Council OKs port rail yard but lawsuit is threatened. The Los
Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a controversial rail
yard near the Port of Los Angeles, setting the stage for possible
court challenges, alleging violations of environmental and civil
rights laws. The proposal to build a staging center for trains
hauling freight from the largest harbor complex in the nation has
raised questions about environmental justice, particularly for
nearby minority and working-class neighborhoods of west Long
Beach, which could be affected by the project. Posted.


Don't dilute CEQA, improve it.  The Environmental Quality Act
plays an important role in protecting Californians. I remember
life before the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. I
grew up in Altadena and Pasadena during the late 1930s and '40s.
All too often I awoke to thick smog and air quality warnings. I
watched as segments of the San Gabriel Valley shifted from orange
groves to miles upon miles of housing, and communities were cut
in half by an ever-expanding network of freeways. Posted.

Another View: Oil tax would hurt state's economy. Dan Morain got
it wrong on the oil severance tax ("Calculating the profits,
pitfalls of an oil tax, May 1). Like other Capitol insiders, he
is laboring under the notion that an oil severance tax is a free
lunch. It's not. It's a huge tax increase on energy production
and it will result in a decline in oil production here and an
increase in the oil we import from foreign countries. It will
result in the loss of thousands of California jobs and put upward
pressure on the prices we pay for gasoline and diesel. Posted.

It will cause air problems. There's no doubt. Fresno's new
General Plan will be tough to implement, especially since it will
reverse decades of poor planning. The proposed Granville Health
Sciences project will serve as an anchor for a new town in the
Sierra foothills. From a public health perspective, Central
Fresno is the answer. Locating a new town in the foothills will
only contribute to our air quality problems and increase air
pollution-related diseases like asthma, heart disease, obesity,
cancer, etc. Posted.

Global Warming: Ah Baloney! You still see these folks spewing out
the magic term global climate change every chance they get, but
just like Obama's economy, no matter how you look at the numbers,
there are more people without jobs each month then the previous
month. View slideshow: Global Warming: Ah Baloney! This year has
been the coldest 5 months on record. At least in my area it has
been the coolest spring. The forsythias have kept their yellow
blossoms longer than any time I can remember. Posted.


Fresh Analysis of the Pace of Warming and Sea-Level Rise.  Here
are two useful articles assessing the latest thinking on the pace
at which Greenland ice loss could raise sea levels and the
implications of the recent plateau in global temperatures (one
acknowledged by climate scientists including Susan Solomon and
James Hansen): Michael Lemonick at Climate Central writes on new
research finding it’s unlikely that the recent surge of ice
flowing into the sea from Greenland’s glaciers is the new normal.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Carbon-storing trees have economic benefits. 
This is the time of year to be thinking about trees, what with
Arbor Day being the last Friday in April and Riverside Public
Utilities offering free trees to residents through its Shade Tree
Rebate Program that ends June 30. So it’s timely that the U.S.
Forest Service recently released a study on the benefits of trees
in storing carbon in their trunks. Trees capture carbon dioxide –
the primary greenhouse gas emission contributing to climate
change – release oxygen and store the carbon. Posted.
This scientist needs your help to study air pollution from coal
trains “Do coal and diesel trains make for unhealthy air?” Dan
Jaffe, an atmospheric sciences professor at the University of
Washington-Bothell, thinks that’s a fair question to consider as
Washington state grapples with whether to allow the construction
of coal-export terminals that could triple the amount of daily
coal-train traffic chugging through the state. But Jaffe, whose
lab has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on air

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