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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 24, 2013

Posted: 24 Jul 2013 14:13:20
ARB Newsclips for July 24, 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 fines firms for gas report violations.  Nine companies have
been fined nearly $300,000 by the California Air Resources Board
for violations of the state's mandatory greenhouse gas reporting
rule. The rule requires facilities, including those covered by
California's cap-and-trade regulation, to report greenhouse gas
emissions. Facilities that emit more than 10,000 metric tons of
carbon dioxide annually must report. Posted. 


Watchdog questions ethics of Valadao's opposition to high-speed
rail. A Washington watchdog organization wants the Office of
Congressional Ethics to investigate Hanford Republican David
Valadao over his moves to oppose California's high-speed rail
project. Posted.


State fines firms for gas report violations. Nine companies have
been fined nearly $300,000 by the California Air Resources Board
for violations of the state's mandatory greenhouse gas reporting
rule. The rule requires facilities, including those covered by
California's cap-and-trade regulation, to report greenhouse gas
emissions. Facilities that emit more than 10,000 metric tons of
carbon dioxide annually must report. ARB said the reporting
compliance rate for 2012 was 97 percent. Posted.

Bakersfield pollution again ranked nation's worst. American Lung
Association executives delivered perennial bad news Tuesday but
with a dose of encouragement: Bakersfield and the San Joaquin
Valley still have some of the nation's worst air quality, but
there are points of improvement. Bakersfield-Delano ranked first
in the nation for short-term and annual particle pollution, and
third in ozone pollution in the Lung Association's "State of the
Air 2013" report. Posted.

Indonesia Prepares Cloud Seeding as Haze Returns. Indonesia has
prepared planes to artificially induce rain as neighboring
Singapore and Malaysia raised concern that a resurgence in
Sumatran forest fires has begun engulfing parts of Southeast Asia
with haze again. Satellite images showed the number of fire
hotspots in the Sumatran province of Riau rose to 185 today from
165 yesterday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s
disaster management agency, said by text message. Posted.


Cleaner air, but Lafarge kiln project put off until 2017.
Lafarge, which operates a large cement factory in Ravena, will be
allowed to delay the construction of new pollution control
systems in exchange for agreeing to cut emissions even more than
it had previously promised. More than two years ago, Lafarge
reached a legal settlement with both state and federal officials
to dramatically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur
dioxide at its plants in Ravena and elsewhere in the state.


Arctic Ice-Melt Cost Seen Equal to Year of World Economic Output.
The cost to the world from melting Arctic ice is equal to almost
a year of global economic output as releasing methane trapped in
the frozen continent leads to extreme weather, flooding and
droughts, scientists said. The methane emissions are an “economic
time-bomb” that may cost $60 trillion from effects on the
climate, according to research published today by the University
of Cambridge and the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus
University. Posted.

'Don't Fund Evil': Google HQ Targeted for Climate Change Protest.
In the wake of recent revelations that Google, the Bay Area-based
search engine giant, is supporting one of the most stubborn
climate change denialists in the Senate, climate activists plan
are planning a demonstration Wednesday at Google's headquarters
in Mountain View. Their message will be a poke at Google's
much-vaunted informal corporate credo: "Don't Fund Evil." Posted.

China Weighs Environmental Costs.  China is rethinking how it
manages its economy, as mounting evidence reveals the heavy toll
that unbridled growth has had on the environment and on
health.The government said recently it would name and shame
China's dirtiest cities as well as force factories to disclose
environmental standards publicly, in an attempt to bring them
into line. It also set a target of cutting emissions intensity in
key industries by 30% by 2017's end. Posted.


U.S. Natural Gas Futures Decline the Third Time in Four Days. 
Natural gas futures declined for the third time in four days in
New York. Gas for August delivery fell as much as 0.7 percent to
$3.717 per million British thermal units in electronic trading on
the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $3.720 at 11:31 a.m.
Singapore time. The contract rose 1.8 percent yesterday to $3.743
on speculation that a heat wave last week reduced U.S. stockpile
gains. Posted.

Chevron Draws Europe Toward Natural Gas Independence: Energy. 
Chevron Corp. (CVX) is betting it can win over eastern Europeans
with the idea of energy independence even after dry wells and
government delays led Exxon Mobil Corp. and Talisman Energy Inc.
(TLM) to scrap efforts to tap natural gas deposits in Polish
Bringing shale drilling to Europe from North America promises to
help the region ease years of dependence on Russian fuel and
hurts the Kremlin’s ambition to secure the country’s future as an
energy superpower. Posted.


Ford plans own truck hybrid system after split with Toyota. Ford
Motor Co., gaining on hybrid car sales leader Toyota Motor Corp.,
said Tuesday it will end a partnership with Japan's largest
automaker to develop gasoline- electric systems for pickups and
sport-utility vehicles. Posted.


Renewable Energy Systems Wins Approval for U.K. Biomass Plant.
Renewable Energy Systems Ltd., a power plant developer, won
approval from the U.K. government to build a 99.9 megawatt
biomass facility at Blyth Harbor in Northumberland. The
Department of Energy and Climate Change said the unit developed
by the company’s subsidiary North Blythe Energy Ltd. will
generate enough electricity for 170,000 homes a year, the
equivalent of all the homes in Northumberland. Posted.

Navy's Clean-Energy Push to Get Focus at Hearing.  The Navy's
efforts to wean itself off oil, boost renewable energy and deal
with climate change will come under sharp scrutiny Thursday as
the nominee to be in charge of Navy energy affairs goes before
the Senate Armed Services Committee. Retired Vice Adm. Dennis
McGinn was tapped in early July to become the Navy's assistant
secretary of energy, installations and the environment. Posted.

Houses of the rising sun: Developers build homes that make more
energy than they take. These “zero-net energy” homes will feature
thick walls, solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling
systems, meaning families should be able to generate more energy
over a year than they consume. These homes under construction 70
miles north of New York City have costly green features. But the
builders believe they are in tune with consumers increasingly
concerned about the environment and fuel costs. Posted.

O’Malley expected to propose aggressive new standards for
renewable energy use. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) will
propose more-ambitious targets for renewable-energy use in a
speech on climate change Thursday, according to people who have
seen drafts of his plan. O’Malley is expected to propose boosting
the state’s renewable portfolio standard, requiring utilities to
make renewables 25 percent of their mix of electricity generation
by 2020, up from the current target of 20 percent by 2022.


Louisiana Agency to Sue Energy Companies for Wetland Damage.
Louisiana officials will file a lawsuit on Wednesday against
dozens of energy companies, hoping that the courts will force
them to pay for decades of damage to fragile coastal wetlands
that help buffer the effects of hurricanes on the region. “This
protective buffer took 6,000 years to form,” the state board that
oversees flood-protection efforts for much of the New Orleans
area argued in court filings, adding that “it has been brought to
the brink of destruction over the course of a single human
lifetime.” Posted.


A Carbon Tax by Any Other Name. The headlines last week were
dramatic: Australia abandons its carbon tax. The move seemed to
confirm suspicions that putting a price on carbon dioxide
emissions is politically toxic. The reality, experts say, is more
nuanced. Australia has not abandoned its commitment to reducing
climate-warming emissions. And carbon tax systems, while rare and
rife with controversy, retain a firm foothold in a number of
advanced economies. Posted. 


Jim Hansen Presses the Climate Case for Nuclear Energy. I
encourage you to watch this short video interview with climate
scientist and campaigner James E. Hansen, posted by the folks who
brought you “Pandora’s Promise,” the flawed but valuable film
arguing for a substantial role for nuclear energy in sustaining
human progress without disrupting the climate. Posted.

SOLAR POWER: Local projects recognized. Western Municipal Water
District unveiled 4,000 solar panels at its operations facility
off El Sobrante Road in Riverside earlier this month. The system,
which will produce almost 1 megawatt of electricity, is expected
to save about $4.6 million over 20 years and eliminate annual
carbon dioxide emissions equal to 3,560 cars. Posted.

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