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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 29, 2013.

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 12:49:34
ARB Newsclips for July 29, 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 Capture and Storage: Is There a Future? And is it all
about the money? 
Carbon dioxide emission reduction is moving to the forefront of
priorities in many jurisdictions to combat climate change and
maintain environmental stability. In the European Union, the
major goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95%
compared to the 1990 levels in all 28 Member States by 2050.


Sacramento area passes federal standard on air particulates. The
Sacramento region complies with the federal air quality standard
for fine particle pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency determined this month. After the federal agency tightened
its fine particle standard in 2006, Sacramento became one of the
few areas in the country with dirty air under EPA rules. Posted.


Settlement reached in Fairbanks boiler dispute. The smoke has
cleared in a court battle over two wood boilers across the street
from a Fairbanks elementary school. Andrew and Gloria Straughn
have agreed to a settlement with the state in which they will pay
a $12,000 penalty and replace the wood boilers with oil-fired
boilers, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Saturday
(http://is.gd/aYIID7). Posted.


After Delayed Vote, E.P.A. Gains a Tough Leader to Tackle Climate
Change.  When Lisa P. Jackson announced at the end of last year
that she was stepping down as the administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency, President Obama faced a choice.
He could play it safe by appointing her deputy or he could
confront Congress head-on and signal a strong commitment to
tackling climate change by appointing the agency’s head of air
quality, Gina McCarthy. Posted.

Al Gore training thousands of 'climate leaders' to fight global
warming. The nation's leading climate change advocate, former
Vice President Al Gore, is creating a mini army of "climate
leaders" to push governments and companies around the world to
adopt policies aimed at reducing global warming. On Wednesday in
Chicago Gore will host his second "climate reality leadership
corps training" this year where his Climate Reality Project will
show supporters how to talk about the issue and push for
solutions to carbon burning. Posted.

New EPA chief to speak at Harvard Law. The Environmental
Protection Agency says its new administrator will be at Harvard
Law School to make her first public remarks since the U.S. Senate
confirmed her appointment. EPA Chief Gina McCarthy will speak at
the school on Tuesday morning. She is expected to talk about her
commitment to President Barack Obama's plan to reduce carbon
pollution and address the impacts of climate change. Posted.

Previous rapid sea-level rise may show 'tipping point' for
accelerated ice shelf melt. A few hundred thousand years ago,
scientists know that global temperatures were similar to today's
-- maybe a bit warmer. While researchers understand a fair amount
about global temperatures and carbon dioxide during that period,
called the last interglacial period, they understand less about
the higher sea levels that were present during that time. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985164/print BY

Traditional climate models neglect important soil carbon factors
– study. Imagine a bowl of candy in front of a house on Halloween
night. It could be filled with tasty chocolate bars or stale
candy corn. There could be 10 children trick-or-treating in the
neighborhood or 100. And the weather may be a balmy 75 degrees,
or it could be raining heavily. The speed at which the candy bowl
empties depends on all of these factors. It's also an analogy for
soil carbon pools…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985172/print BY

Scientists puzzle over the changing rate of emission from thawing
permafrost. The rate at which the Arctic region releases massive
amounts of carbon into the atmosphere may hinge on the amount of
water within thawing permafrost, according to a new study. The
repercussions of the findings are broad: The polar region is
warming faster than the rest of the globe, allowing long-stored
carbon in soil to reach the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. About
50 percent of estimated below-ground organic carbon sits in
Northern Hemisphere permafrost. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059985202/print BY


UPS rolls out 40 new zero-emissions delivery trucks in CA. The
UPS San Bernardino Distribution Center unveiled one of the
largest deployments of zero-emissions delivery trucks last week. 
A partnership that includes Electric Vehicles International, UPS
and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, as well as
representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, West
Coast Collaborative, California Energy Commission and the
California Air Resources Board, celebrated the arrival of the 40
new zero-emissions delivery trucks at the distribution center on
July 16. Posted.


Obama Says He’ll Evaluate Pipeline Project Depending on
Pollution.  President Obama said in an interview that he would
evaluate construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on the basis of
whether it would significantly contribute carbon to the
atmosphere. But he mocked Republicans’ arguments that the
approval of the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to
the Gulf Coast, would create many jobs in the United States.

Internal EPA report highlights disputes over fracking and well
water. An EPA staff report suggests methane from hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, contaminated wells near Dimock, Pa., but
the agency says the water's safe to drink. One year ago, the
Environmental Protection Agency finished testing drinking water
in Dimock, Pa., after years of complaints by residents who
suspected that nearby natural gas production had fouled their
wells. Posted.

Hydraulic fracturing proposal draws attention. A proposal to
drill as many as 500 wells in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula
by using hydraulic fracturing is attracting attention and
criticism from environmentalists. Encana Corp., which has drilled
about a dozen wells since 2009, has proposed the new wells, The
Detroit News reported (http://bit.ly/1aSiZB5 ), and spokesman
Doug Hock says the company is "in the early stages" of new
drilling in Michigan. Posted.



Some say industry arrogance fueled fracking anger. The boom in
oil and gas fracking has led to jobs, billions in royalties and
profits, and even some environmental gains.  But some experts say
arrogance, a lack of transparency and poor communication on the
part of the drilling industry have helped fuel public anger over
the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. "It's a big
issue for the industry. I have called for greater transparency.

China opens pipeline to bring gas from Myanmar. China has
switched on a pipeline bringing natural gas from Myanmar, a state
company said Monday, in a project that has raised concerns in
Myanmar's nascent civil society about whether its giant
neighbor's resource grabs will benefit local people. The
793-kilometer (493-mile) pipeline connects the Bay of Bengal with
southwest China's Yunnan province and is expected to transfer 12
billion cubic meters of natural gas to China annually…Posted.

Texas oilman, fracking pioneer Mitchell dies at 94. George P.
Mitchell leveraged a penchant for hard work, an appetite for risk
and dogged persistence in the face of futility into a
technological breakthrough that reshaped the global energy
industry and made the wildcat oilman a billionaire. Mitchell, the
developer and philanthropist who also is considered the father of
fracking, doggedly pursued natural gas he and others knew were
trapped in wide, thin layers of rock deep underground. Posted.



Pipeline plan through Pinelands draws opposition. A plan to build
a natural gas pipeline through part of New Jersey's Pinelands is
drawing some vocal opposition. A few dozen people voiced their
anger at Friday's monthly meeting of the Pinelands Commission's
policy and implementation committees. The Philadelphia Inquirer
(http://bit.ly/18F7hc6) reports the proposed 22-mile pipeline
would go from…Posted.

Earthquakes: Another source of global-warming gas, scientists
say. A team of scientists has linked a major earthquake in
southwest Asia in 1945 to the ongoing release of methane gas from
the Arabian seafloor. A devastating earthquake in 1945 sent
millions of cubic feet of methane bubbling up to the earth’s
surface, scientists have found, in new research that could add
another source of the greenhouse gas to future climate models.


BMW Electric Offered With Spare SUV to Ease Range Anxiety. To
avoid the fate of other slow-selling electric vehicles,
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) will offer the new i3 -- a
battery-powered compact car -- with a unique option: the use of a
sport-utility vehicle. Customers of BMW’s first electric model
can book a conventional auto like the full-sized X5 SUV for
several weeks a year for family trips or as a backup. Posted.


Japan Automakers Team Up to Add Number of Electric Chargers.
Japanese automakers led by Nissan Motor Co. (7201), the producer
of the zero-emission Leaf car, said they’ll cooperate to increase
the number of the charging stations in the country to speed up
adoption of electric cars. Nissan, Toyota Motor Corp. (7203),
Honda Motor Co. (7267), and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211) agreed
to share costs to help build an additional 12,000 charging

Tesla hopes to find electric car demand in China.  Tesla Motors
all-electric Model S sedan has been well received in the United
States, and deliveries have just begun in Europe. Now Tesla is
getting ready to take on the world's largest auto market: China,
which CEO Elon Musk has described as a "wild card" in the
company's future. Posted. 


Europe and China Agree to Settle Solar Panel Fight. The European
Union’s trade chief said on Saturday that a deal had been reached
with China to settle a dispute over exports of low-cost solar
panels that had threatened to set off a wider trade war between
two of the world’s largest economies. The settlement essentially
involves setting a fairly high minimum price for sales of
Chinese-made solar panels in the European Union to try to prevent
them from undercutting European producers. Posted.

PSNH to end renewable energy rate program.  After two years with
low enrollment, New Hampshire's largest electric utility is
phasing out a program that allows customers to pay more to
support renewable energy. Utilities are required by law to offer
customers the opportunity to support renewable energy by paying a
higher rate — usually about 30 percent. Posted.

Trash talk and the real dirt on a 'toxic tour' of Los Angeles. A
'toxic tour' past rail yards, smokestacks and refineries aims to
show officials the consequences of their decisions in low-income,
predominantly Latino communities in southeast L.A. You won't find
any homes of the stars on this tour bus as it shuttles
rubber-necking sightseers through Los Angeles. You may not even
see the Hollywood sign through the haze from the smokestacks,
rail yards and refineries along this "toxic tour" through
neighborhoods southeast of Los Angeles. Posted.

Landmark California regulations under federal fire. Companies are
going through Congress to fight California's stricter workplace,
consumer and environmental laws. Gridlock and sympathetic
Republicans in the House could work in their favor. California
has a reputation for having some of the nation's most aggressive
rules on workplace safety, consumer protection and environmental
quality …Posted.

Scientists collect water near site of blown well. Scientists from
several universities are working to learn whether a gas well that
blew wild last week off the Louisiana coast is polluting the Gulf
of Mexico. Joseph Montoya, a biology professor with Georgia Tech,
was performing tests aboard a vessel near the site of the 2010 BP
oil spill when the Hercules 265 well blew Tuesday and caught
fire. All 44 people on the rig were evacuated and not hurt.

Action on EPA head typical of U.S. Senate. The long overdue
confirmation of Gina McCarthy to head the federal Environmental
Protection Agency ends yet another discouraging example of
dysfunction in the U.S. Senate. She was finally confirmed, 59-40,
on July 18 after a record 136-day confirmation fight during which
she became the personification of President Obama's position on
climate change. Posted.

San Carlos Airport fuel facility makes county an unlikely
posterchild for air quality.  San Mateo County supervisors opened
Pandora's box when they decided to refresh the bidding process
for a fuel facility and office suite outside the San Carlos
Airport — a move made after critics decried its previous lease
agreement with Mountain West Aviation. Because Mountain West had
offered to be both a fuel vender and an office renter, public
works officials lumped those two leases together without opening
the fuel facility contract to the public. Posted.


China: Getting Serious About Air Pollution? Sunday looked like a
pretty clear day when I woke up yesterday in Beijing — one of the
best we’ve had in a few weeks. However, when I checked my Air
Quality Index (“AQI”) application, one that nearly all Beijingers
have now installed on their cell phones, it stood at a decidedly
“unhealthy” 145. So much for that leisurely al fresco lunch!

Rethinking the Role of Carbon Prices in Climate Change Policy.
Why Carbon Revenues Might Be More Important Than Carbon Prices. I
recently had an interesting conversation on Twitter and via email
that got to the heart of why I hold what many consider an
unorthodox view on the role of a carbon price in climate policy. 
While most academic economists and conventional climate policy
analysts hold that addressing climate change is first and
foremost about putting "the right price" on carbon pollution via
a carbon tax or emissions cap and trade program…Posted.


The Insiders: The consequences of affordable green-energy
options.  Is the electricity industry next in line to be
disrupted?  And are the disruptors the next powerful political
grass-roots movement?  As the cost of green energy such as solar
and geothermal has come down, in part due to government subsidies
and in part due to technological advancement, traditional
utilities are starting to cast a wary eye toward customers who
are unplugging from their traditional energy sources.  Posted. 

UPS cuts emissions by 2.1% last year while shipments rose. UPS'
gains on the emissions-reduction front may be more in the air
than on the ground, but the massive shipping company does
continue to make strides when it comes to reducing pollution with
its vehicles. The company's sustainability report stated that UPS
reduced its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2.1 percent last year,
despite increased shipments. Posted.

Does Your Range Hood Suck? Cooking Spikes Indoor Air Pollution.
The summer season often brings outdoor air pollution alerts, but
it turns out the air inside your kitchen can sometimes be just as
harmful. Several of the same pollutants found in smog come from
cooking dinner. Range hoods are designed to capture these cooking
fumes, but even some expensive models aren’t very effective. So
researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are trying to fix
that. Posted.

EPA and the Cost of Climate Change. To tackle climate change
without the help of Congress, the Obama Administration will have
to estimate how much it costs society -- in damaged crops,
wildfires, floods, and a cascading list of other harms -- when a
ton of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Obama's
administrators estimate the cost to be $38 per ton. In a recent
post on Slate, Professor Eric Posner argues that this number is
based on a "dubious set of calculations. Posted.

Carbon Dioxide Power Plants: Could The Greenhouse Gas Be Used To
Generate Electricity? Here's an interesting idea: What if the
carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by power plants while they generate
electricity could be converted into a source of additional
electricity?  That's the idea behind a new paper published this
week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

California Plug-in Rebate Program Running Out of Money. The
California Air Resources Board’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program
(CVRP) is running out of money again. The program provides up to
$2,500 toward the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles in the
state and has been a big success—so big that it’s projected to
run out of funds by October. In February, the California Energy
Commission awarded $4.5 million to keep the program running,
which was followed by an additional $6 million one month later.

EV market threatened by spat over charger standards.  It’s like a
rerun of the 1980s clash between VHS and Betamax.  The nascent
electric-vehicle market is being served by two incompatible
styles of rapid chargers. There’s the Japanese-developed CHAdeMO
standard, favored by Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Toyota. And then
there’s the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) International
J1772 Combo standard, which is backed by GM, Ford, Volkswagen,
and BMW.  Posted. 

Reuters' climate-change coverage 'fell by nearly 50% with sceptic
as editor' A former Reuters staffer has claimed that
climate-change coverage declined under the influence of David
Ingrassia. Reuters' climate-change coverage fell by nearly 50%
after a climate sceptic joined the news agency as a senior
editor, a study has found. The sharp decline in coverage since
2011, recorded by the Media Matters for America advocacy group,
reinforces charges from a former staffer that Reuters cut back on
climate stories under the influence of Paul Ingrassia, who is now
the agency's managing editor. Posted.

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