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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 13, 2013 Posted: 13 May 2013 13:40:03
ARB Newsclips for May 13, 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 Airline industry leans toward global carbon offset scheme. The global airline industry favors offsetting carbon emissions by buying carbon credits rather than participating in an industry-wide cap-and-trade system, the head of the trade association for global airlines said Monday. Tony Tyler, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said a global carbon offsetting system…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/13/us-un-aviation-climate-change-idUSBRE94C0U220130513 ARB fines Sears $285,000 for selling scooters. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced yesterday that it had levied a fine of $285,000 against Sears Holdings Management Corporation for offering to sell certain gasoline powered scooters in 2011. The engines that powered the scooters at the time were not certified to meet California emission standards for small, off-road engines. Residents in Bakersfield's suburbs and urban areas may have seen the scooters whizzing down streets and other areas as an alternative form of transportation or recreation for many people. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/arb-fines-sears-285-000-for-selling-scooters Nations ponder how to handle busier, more polluted Arctic. As scientists warn that climate change is driving the Arctic into a dangerous and unprecedented state, Arctic leaders head to Sweden this week to hash out how to govern and protect the rapidly warming region. At the ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council on Wednesday in Kiruna, Sweden, leaders will be grappling with everything from whether to accept applications from countries like China to how to improve Arctic infrastructure. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059981040/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Project aims to track carbon footprint of LA and other big cities. Every time Los Angeles exhales, odd-looking gadgets anchored in the mountains above the city trace the invisible puffs of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases that waft skyward. Halfway around the globe, similar contraptions atop the Eiffel Tower and elsewhere around Paris keep a pulse on emissions from smokestacks and automobile tailpipes. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_MEGACITIES_CARBON_FOOTPRINT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/12/5414293/project-aims-to-track-big-city.html http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Project-aims-to-track-big-city-carbon-footprints-4509162.php http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/05/12/3296111/project-aims-to-track-big-city.html#storylink=misearc http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/05/12/37237/project-aims-to-track-carbon-footprint-of-la-and-o/?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+893KpccSouthernCaliforniaNews+%28KPCC%3A+News%29 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/13/project-aims-to-track-big-city-carbon-footprints/#ixzz2TBiZgOMt Experts: CO2 record illustrates 'scary' trend. The old saying that "what goes up must come down" doesn't apply to carbon dioxide pollution in the air, which just hit an unnerving milestone. The chief greenhouse gas was measured Thursday at 400 parts per million in Hawaii, a monitoring site that sets the world's benchmark. It's a symbolic mark that scientists and environmentalists have been anticipating for years. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_GLOBAL_WARMING_RECORD?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/11/5413320/experts-co2-record-illustrates.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Experts-CO2-record-illustrates-scary-trend-4508335.php http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/11/experts-co2-record-illustrates-scary-trend/#ixzz2TBivdz8d U.S. Revises CO2 Reading That Showed Key Threshold Passed. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revised down readings that showed the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed a threshold not seen for 3 million years. Preliminary data published May 10 showed the gas reached a concentration of 400.03 parts per million, or ppm, at NOAA’s Mauna Loa monitoring station in Hawaii the day before. The figure for May 9 has now been revised down to 399.89 ppm, and is still deemed preliminary. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-13/u-s-revises-co2-reading-that-showed-key-threshold-passed.html Climate change forecast to shrink habitat of common plants, animals. The habitats of many common plants and animals will shrink dramatically this century unless governments act quickly to cut rising greenhouse gas emissions, scientists said on Sunday after studying 50,000 species around the world. The scientists from Britain, Australia and Colombia said plants, amphibians and reptiles were most vulnerable as global temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/12/us-climate-species-idUSBRE94B09P20130512?feedType=RSS& http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-common-plants-animals-threatened-by-climate-change-20130512,0,2326233,print.story http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2013/05/12/climate-habitat-cut/2153843/ Greenhouse gas milestone; CO2 levels set record. Worldwide levels of the chief greenhouse gas that causes global warming have hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans, federal scientists said Friday. Carbon dioxide was measured at 400 parts per million at the oldest monitoring station which is in Hawaii sets the global benchmark. The last time the worldwide carbon level was probably that high was about 2 million years ago, said Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/10/5411271/greenhouse-gas-milestone-co2-levels.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Greenhouse-gas-milestone-CO2-levels-set-record-4506369.php http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130510/A_NEWS/130519991&cid=sitesearch Carbon dioxide at 3 million-year high. The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on Earth for millions of years. Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million - just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Carbon-dioxide-at-3-million-year-high-4507347.php#ixzz2TC4ziopf http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Carbon-dioxide-at-3-million-year-high-4507347.php http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/12/tp-carbon-dioxide-levels-hit-worrisome-milestone/ FUELS Airbus to Work With Air Canada to Study Renewable Jet Fuel. Airbus SAS, Air Canada (AC/A) and BioFuelNet Canada agreed to work together to study clean jet fuel with the aim of eventually supplying the Canadian carrier as the aviation industry seeks to cut emissions in half. The companies signed the agreement in Montreal today, Blagnac, France-based Airbus said in an e-mailed statement. They will do an initial study, to be finished this year, of the different processes and raw materials available for biofuel production. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-13/airbus-to-work-with-air-canada-to-study-renewable-jet-fuel.html Clock is ticking, slowly, on rules for coal-fired power plants. The fate of many coal-fired power plants may rest on how boldly Obama tries to fulfill his pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions. On a curve of the Potomac River 37 miles northwest of Washington, the Dickerson power plant has stood sentry over small villages, crop fields and horse farms for more than half a century. Burning mostly coal and some natural gas, Dickerson emitted about 1.5 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2011, akin to the pollution of about 275,000 cars. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-power-plants-20130513,0,5750061.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedly http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/13/5415756/clock-is-ticking-slowly-on-rules.html Natural gas export plans stir debate. A domestic natural gas boom already has lowered U.S. energy prices while stoking fears of environmental disaster. Now U.S. producers are poised to ship vast quantities of gas overseas as energy companies seek permits for proposed export projects that could set off a renewed frenzy of fracking. Expanded drilling is unlocking enormous reserves of crude oil and natural gas, offering the potential of moving the country closer to its decades-long quest for energy independence. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Natural-gas-export-plans-stir-debate-4510156.php#ixzz2TC4BD2eR Clean Mobility stations selling locally-sourced biofuels on West Coast. A new wave of gas stations is hitting the West Coast. Propel Fuels is launching its Clean Mobility Centers in Fresno. The stations will offer both E85 and biodiesels ranging from B5 to B99 that will be locally-sourced from producers in Central California. "We think the Clean Mobility Center represents the gas station of the future. We recognize that America's needs are changing when it comes to gas stations. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/05/13/clean-mobility-stations-selling-locally-sourced-biofuels-on-west-coast/#ixzz2TCOUfQ5U New Fracking Rules Have Environmental Groups Worried. The Obama administration is set to unveil major new regulations on hydraulic fracturing, the controversial method of extracting oil and gas, possibly as soon as Tuesday. The proposed regulation is expected to be more lenient to the oil and gas industry than a draft rule issued last year by the Interior Department, reflecting heavy lobbying by fossil fuel companies, as well as President Obama’s desire to support the nation’s recent boom in natural gas development—and the jobs that come with it. Posted. http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/new-fracking-rules-have-environmental-groups-worried-20130512?utm_source=feedly E.U. plows ahead with dirty designation for Canada's crude. The European Union is pushing for a fuel-quality directive that would target oil sands crude as the most damaging to the world's climate, despite Canadian threats to contest the measure with the World Trade Organization. The controversial directive, which is still in draft form, would effectively levy an import tax on oil sands crude brought to European refiners by piling on extra costs. The European Union has mandated that refiners must cut carbon content in fuels by 6 percent or pay a fine. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059981004/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BASF to Commence Renewable Butanediol Production Using Genomatica’s Patented Process. BASF plans to begin production of 1, 4-butanediol based on renewable feedstock (renewable BDO) using the patented process of Genomatica, San Diego, California. The one-step fermentation process is based on sugars as a renewable feedstock. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the agreement. The license agreement allows BASF to build a world-scale production facility that will use the Genomatica process to manufacture BDO based on renewable feedstock. Posted. http://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=36711 Converting wastepaper to biocrude and hydrogen. A pair of researchers at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology have demonstrated homogeneously catalyzed subcritical aqueous phase reforming (APR) of wastepaper to produce biocrude and hydrogen. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels. Wastepaper can be a combination of newspaper—a lignocellulosic biomass containing cellulose (62%)…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/05/tungal-20130512.html VEHICLES Tesla Profit Aided by Sales of California, U.S. Emission Credits. Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)’s first quarterly profit, led by a surge in deliveries of the electric-car maker’s Model S, got an added bump from sales of California and U.S. environmental credits that generated 15 percent of revenue. Such sales totaled $85 million, the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a May 10 filing. That included California zero-emission vehicle credits of $67.9 million and “other regulatory credits” of $17.1 million, Tesla said. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-13/tesla-profit-aided-by-sales-of-california-u-s-emission-credits.html GREEN ENERGY New power plant in Industry will prevent brownouts. Eight years and $500 million in the making, the San Gabriel Valley has a new electricity-producing plant that can supply up to 479 megawatts of power for the state's energy grid at the flip of a switch. Called "a peaker" in energy parlance, the steel-and-aluminum plant built on a dusty industrial parcel east of Azusa Avenue uses clean-burning natural gas to power five General Electric turbines and send electricity crackling through nearby Edison high-tension lines. Posted. http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_23219911/new-power-plant-industry-will-prevent-brownouts MISCELLANEOUS Amtrak unveils locomotives to replace aging fleet. When Amtrak unveils the first of 70 new locomotives Monday at a plant in California, it will mark what the national passenger railroad service hopes will be a new era of better reliability, streamlined maintenance and better energy efficiency. On a broader scale, the new engines could well be viewed as emblematic of the improving financial health of Amtrak, which has long been dependent on subsidies from an often reluctant Congress. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Amtrak-unveils-locomotives-to-replace-aging-fleet-4509373.php#ixzz2TC3YZw8C Hundreds Turn Out To ‘Mow Down Pollution’. The 7,000th gasoline-powered lawn mower in the 14 years of Supervisor Ron Roberts’ Mowing Down Pollution campaign was exchanged today as 587 Black & Decker 36 Volt mowers were handed out at Qualcomm Stadium. County residents began lining up at 3 a.m. for the chance to both clean local air and trade-in their old, gas powered lawn mowers for new, zero-emission models. Posted. http://scoopsandiego.com/mission_valley_news/local_news/hundreds-turn-out-to-mow-down-pollution/article_96abcd9a-bbe2-11e2-b9ce-0019bb30f31a.html OPINIONS In the Spotlight: China leaves U.S. behind in pursuit of clean energy. China is an environmental mess. Smog in Beijing is so bad it's literally broken the air-quality index. In Shanghai, it's at times turned the city into a scene from "Blade Runner." Meanwhile, thousands of dead pigs – cause of death not yet known – have been floating down a river that cuts through Shanghai and provides part of the region's drinking water. More than half of China's water is so polluted that even treatment plants can't make it safe to drink. And China is now responsible for almost half the world's coal consumption. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/12/5411938/china-leaves-us-behind-in-pursuit.html#storylink=cpy Viewpoints: Bid to halt fracking in state builds momentum. The risks are sinking in. For months, discussions about fracking in California have focused mostly on public disclosure. Should people living near fracked oil and gas wells, for example, be notified about this controversial procedure, which involves blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals underground? But being informed of fracking doesn't mean you'll be protected from its dangers. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/12/5411944/bid-to-halt-fracking-in-state.html#storylink=cpy Do Your Part: Pick non-polluting lawn equipment. The sounds of spring are most definitely here. You know, the loud buzz of the lawn mowers, the piercing sound of leaf blowers, the incessant whir of the trimmers. Not only is there the noise pollution to contend with, there is also the air, land, and water pollution that comes with gas powered lawn equipment. This summer, Do Your Part to pick smarter equipment that will not only cut down pollution but will cut down on your lawn maintenance costs. Let's start with what really gets under my skin. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/13/5415722/do-your-part-pick-non-polluting.html#storylink=cpy Question of the week: Can we tax away climate change? The overwhelming opinion of informed scientists is if we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, we are posing dangerous and significant threats to the well-being of our children and grandchildren. Shrinking polar ice caps and the fact that most of the hottest years on record have occurred in the past decade provide ample proof of these threats. A carbon tax would be an important step in continuing a critically important battle to control global warming and climate change. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/opinions/ci_23219892/question-week-can-we-tax-away-climate-change California cap and trade's dirty secret. It is too bad that this otherwise insightful article overlooked a key flaw and dirty secret embodied in the California Air Resources Board's cap-and-trade law ("A better cap-and-trade?" HCN, 4/15/13). As part of the carbon-trading scheme the ARB launched, the board adopted forest carbon protocols that allow timber companies in California and elsewhere to market carbon offsets by replanting trees in destructively clear-cut forests. This was done to pander to corporate timber giants like Sierra Pacific Industries, the largest private landowner in California. Posted. http://www.hcn.org/issues/45.8/california-cap-and-trades-dirty-secret The gas tax system is broken. Are electric cars to blame? Both state and federal gas-tax revenues are plummeting, and electric cars are emerging as a culprit. Is that fair? In the face of plummeting gas-tax revenues, both state and Federal, electric cars seem to be emerging as a culprit and a target. Before we discuss how to fix this ... first, a little Gas Tax 101. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/Business/In-Gear/2013/0511/The-gas-tax-system-is-broken.-Are-electric-cars-to-blame SJ Valley air is cleaner but . . . There’s something in the air. That’s a given since the San Joaquin Valley is among the worst polluted air basins in the nation often coming in at either the worst or runner-up spot depending upon the particulate being measured. However, the valley’s notorious air quality reputation often masks the good news. Posted. http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/73888/ Adding an Electric Car Cut the Payback Point of Our Solar Panel Investment in Half. When we discussed our home solar panel project in mid-2011 with friends, one of the first questions everyone asked was, “What’s the payback period before you break even?” The second question, unsurprisingly, was, “How much is it costing you?” but the focus always ended up on the payback. After all, if you’re going to invest in green technology, you’re hoping that at some point in the near future, you get ahead of the game. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/115930-adding-an-electric-car-cut-the-payback-point-of-our-solar-panel-investment-in-half BLOGS Is Canada’s Oil Too Dirty for Europe? As the debate over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline continues in the United States, a Canadian trade delegation is insisting that Canadian oil extracted from tar sands — the product that would be transported by an expanded pipeline — should not be classified as being dirtier than other types of oil. Last week Canada’s natural resource minster, Joe Oliver, threatened to take the European Union to the World Trade Organization over its plans to classify oil harvested from tar sands as “highly polluting.” Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/is-canadas-oil-too-dirty-for-europe/ It’s not all about CO2: A plan to help reduce short-term climate pollutants. People are always lamenting the lack of small-scale, practical legislation that can address climate change without getting mired in polarized culture wars. Problem is, when legislators introduce bills like that, they’re often completely ignored. It’s the sexy, controversial stuff that gets attention. So, in the name of bucking that trend, let me call out a bill just introduced by California Rep. Scott Peters (D). It’s called the Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction Act, or SUPER Act. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/a-modest-practical-plan-for-immediate-climate-action/