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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 16, 2013.

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 12:53:06
ARB Newsclips for August 16, 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.


Australia Carbon to Survive Rudd-Abbott Standoff: Energy.
Electricity markets are showing Australia’s biggest polluters
will have to pay for their carbon emissions regardless of who
wins the Sept. 7 election. With Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seeking
to reduce the cost of CO2 permits to an estimated A$6 ($5.48) a
metric ton and his rival Tony Abbott vowing to scrap carbon
prices altogether, power futures signal the cost of emissions
will be about A$10 a ton by 2015…Posted. 


California board fines companies $653,250 for air-quality
violations. The California Air Resources Board said it has
collected another $653,250 in fines for violations of state air
quality laws. ARB fined three international shipping companies a
combined $440,250 for failure to switch from "bunker" fuel to
cleaner, low-sulfur marine distillate fuel upon entering
regulated California waters. Under California law, oceangoing
vessels must switch to cleaner fuel within 24 nautical miles of
the shoreline - a requirement designed to reduce diesel exhaust
emissions. Posted.

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Tehama County 2012-13 Grand Jury: Air Pollution District needs
more consistency.  The Tehama County Air Pollution Control
District and CalFire need to better communicate and the district
needs to be more consistent with its fine schedule, the 2012-13
Grand Jury recommends in its report.  The Grand Jury reviewed the
Air Pollution Control District focusing on the issuance of burn
permits, reports and complaints, investigations, enforcement and
documentation of illegal burns.  Posted. 

Lawmaker wants indoor air standards following therapy closure. 
Carlos Mixon shouldn’t be standing, much less able to talk. The
former pedicab driver ran a red light, got hit, and suffered a
traumatic brain injury Eight years ago.  "One of the nurses told
me, you probably want to just take him off the ventilator, and
everything, because he's not ever going to get out of a bed,"
Tony Rockwell explained about her son.  Posted. 


Climate research targets Western wildfire smoke.  Researchers are
flying over Western wildfires to sample the thick smoke they emit
and study its role in cloud formation and climate.  The
data-gathering campaign is intended to help scientists flesh out
one of the least understood areas of climate: the role of
aerosols, or particles given off by wildfires, and how they
evolve over time.  Posted. 



Experts surer of manmade global warming but local predictions
elusive. Climate scientists are surer than ever that human
activity is causing global warming, according to leaked drafts of
a major U.N. report, but they are finding it harder than expected
to predict the impact in specific regions in coming decades. The
uncertainty is frustrating for government planners: the report by
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the main
guide for states weighing multi-billion-dollar shifts to
renewable energy from fossil fuels…Posted.

New Zealand reduces carbon emissions target. New Zealand scaled
back its target for reducing carbon emissions on Friday, saying
the move was an interim step ahead of a new United Nations pact
from 2020. The government said it would commit to cutting
greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
It had previously indicated that it would look at a cut of 10
percent to 20 percent. Posted.

Businesses Back Greenhouse Gas Emissions Law. As Texas Republican
leaders continue their drumbeat against what they say is federal
overreach by the Obama administration, the Environmental
Protection Agency remains a primary target. Attorney General Greg
Abbott, a candidate for governor, trumpets the fact that the
state has multiple lawsuits targeting the agency, and other
candidates for statewide office are also pledging to protect
Texas from what they see as encroachment by the E.P.A. Posted.

Climate change has impact on carbon cycles. Forests in Earth's
northern latitudes have been thickened by migrating plant species
and younger growth, driving a stronger gyration in the amount of
carbon that cycles between land and the atmosphere each year, a
new study suggests. The net rise in seasonal exchange of carbon
between land and air cannot be explained solely by increased
burning of fossil fuels…Posted.

Democrats turn up heat on Republican climate-change skeptics.
Members of Congress have come to expect controversy sometimes
during their August break. Four years ago, it was health care.
This year many thought it would be immigration. But in
California, global warming has become an unexpectedly hot topic.
Thanks to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the White House and
environmental groups…Posted.

New Antarctic ice core reveals secrets of climate change.  A new
Antarctic ice core that's more than 10,000 feet long suggests
that West Antarctica may have begun melting more than 2,000 years
earlier than believed. The secret? Sea ice. Most ice we see melts
quickly, from ice cubes melting into a soda to icicles
disappearing on a sunny winter day. But in Antarctica, ice can
stick around for hundreds of thousands of years. Posted.


Low temperature combustion promises to clean up diesel engines. 
For decades, motorists have known that diesel engines offer a
trade-off between higher levels of efficiency in the credit
column and higher levels of air pollution in the debit column.
But now researchers in California think they might have made a
breakthrough that could help automotive engineers develop a
diesel engine that is both efficient and clean.  Posted. 


Calif. panel launches probe into offshore fracking. California
regulators have launched an investigation into offshore hydraulic
fracturing after revelations that the practice had quietly
occurred off the coast for the past two decades. The California
Coastal Commission promised to look into the extent of so-called
fracking in federal and state waters and any potential risks. "We
take our obligation to protect the marine environment very
seriously… Posted.


http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059986097/print  BY

Energy firm halts work in face of fracking protest.  Energy
company Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. said Friday it has temporarily
suspended drilling at an exploration site in southern England
amid protests from residents and environmentalists opposed to
shale gas extraction. The company said it had stopped work on
police advice, but would resume "as soon as it is safe to do so."
Demonstrators are planning to expand a protest camp Friday near
the village of Balcombe. Posted.


Diesel Futures Advance as Brent Surges Amid Supply Disruptions.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures advanced, following Brent crude
and gasoil higher amid supply disruptions in Africa and the
Middle East. Diesel rose as Brent gained 0.5 percent and gasoil
climbed 0.6 percent on the London ICE Futures exchange. Egypt’s
army-backed government declared a state of emergency in the
country. Posted.

Fracking bill under fire from environmentalists. State Sen. Fran
Pavley's bill to regulate fracking in California was always going
to face a fight from the oil industry. But now it's under attack
from some of Pavley's most ardent supporters -
Many want to ban fracking outright, not regulate it. They are
pressing Gov. Jerry Brown to halt the oil-production technique,
used in a growing number of wells across the state. And they fear
that Pavley's bill, if passed, would give politicians an excuse
to let fracking continue. Posted.


Ecuador's president abandons no-drilling plan. President Rafael
Correa said Thursday that he has abandoned a unique and ambitious
plan to persuade rich countries to pay Ecuador not to drill for
oil in a pristine Amazon rainforest preserve. Environmentalist
had hailed the initiative when Correa first proposed it in 2007,
saying he was setting a precedent in the fight against global
warming by lowering the high cost to poor countries of preserving
the environment. Posted.

A Novel Way to Cut the Cost of Advanced Biofuels.  A novel
genetic modification to plants could make advanced biofuels more
competitive with fossil fuels, according to a study published
this week in the journal Science. The modification could achieve
this by rendering an expensive step in making such biofuels
unnecessary.  Currently almost all ethanol production comes from
the sugar and starch in sugarcane and corn grain. Producing
biofuels from biomass remains too expensive to be

http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059986088/print  BY

Rechargeable membrane-less hydrogen bromine flow battery shows
high power density.  MIT researchers have engineered a new
rechargeable, membrane-less hydrogen bromine laminar flow battery
with high power density. The membrane-less design enables power
densities of 0.795 W cm−2 at room temperature
and atmospheric pressure, with a round-trip voltage efficiency of
92% at 25% of peak power. That is about three times as much power
per square centimeter as other membrane-less system…Posted. 


Whatever Happened to the Chevy Volt? Just Look at These Numbers.
Remember how much time and energy was spent focusing on Detroit
and the auto bailouts during the 2012 presidential election? More
specifically, do you remember all the attention that was paid to
the Chevy Volt, the hybrid electric vehicle that was supposed to
mark the rebirth of General Motors? Now think back. Have you
heard that much about it recently? No? Neither have we. So we
started looking into the issue to figure out what happened.


Sierra Club, KCP&L spar over 2007 agreement. The Sierra Club has
notified Kansas City Power & Light that the environmental group
believes the utility has failed to honor the agreement that ended
a dispute over construction of a coal-fired plant in northwest
Missouri. KCP&L, however, says it has fulfilled all the
requirements of the 2007 agreement, which stemmed from the
utility's Iatan 2 coal-fired plant in northern Platte County.

Duke Energy acquires San Francisco's largest solar facility. Duke
Energy has bought a San Francisco solar project from developer
Recurrent Energy. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal
between Recurrent Energy and Duke's commercial business division,
Duke Energy Renewables, is for the Sunset Reservoir solar power
project, the biggest solar generation facility in San Francisco.

Waste CO2 Could Be Source of Extra Power. Dutch scientists have a
use for all the carbon dioxide that pours from the chimneys of
fossil fuel-burning power stations: Harvest it for even more
electricity. A team of Dutch researchers have a way – in the
laboratory, at least – to wring power from everyday emissions of
such plants. Power-generating stations worldwide release 12
billion tons of carbon dioxide every year as they burn coal, oil
or natural gas…Posted.

Could suburbs become the future of renewable energy?
Environmentalists have a long-held contempt for the sprawl of
suburbia, where the low rooftops of tract housing sometimes seem
to stretch to the horizon and where commuters spend their days
spewing carbon dioxide into the air. But now some researchers are
viewing this differently, as an opportunity for an energy
revolution. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059986079/print BY

Researchers find a battery that meets DOE targets for large
energy storage. Flow batteries -- devices that generate
electricity by pumping a liquid electrolyte through a cell --
could be an option to store energy at power plant scales,
smoothing out peaks and valleys from intermittent renewable
energy or providing backup power to homes and offices. The design
lends itself to high power applications, produces no emissions
and can charge simply by replacing the electrolyte. But there are
some critical drawbacks. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059986092/print BY


Climate policy's twin challenges.  We need to slow incremental
damage while taking out an insurance policy against the growing
risk of catastrophic damage. Climate change presents two distinct
problems. The first is linear: A little more warming causes a
little more damage. The second is nonlinear: A little more
warming pushes some part of the climate system past a tipping
point and the damage becomes catastrophic. Posted.

Climate-change: rhetoric and reality. The first column in a
series about climate change acknowledged climate change as a fact
of life. But it also asked whether man’s activities are the cause
for potentially catastrophic climate change? There are people who
passionately believe and who want us to believe climate change
threatens our very existence, and man-made CO2 is the cause. Some
believe that, but have no agenda of any sort. They and their
beliefs must be respected. Posted.

COLUMN-Deep ocean to resolve human role in global warming: Wynn.
The world's oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of global
warming since the mid-20th century, making accurate measurements
of deep ocean temperatures vital to predicting how much global
temperatures and sea levels are going to rise. In 1999, a group
of 30 countries launched the Argo programme as the first global,
subsurface ocean observing system. Posted.


‘Liberated Carbon, It’ll Turn Your Night to Day’ Via Climate
Nexus and Daniel M.N. Turner, here’s video of my performance of
“Liberated Carbon,” my short musical history of humanity’s love
affair with fossil fuels, at the ScienceOnline Climate conference
in Washington, D.C., yesterday. Video of my full talk, “Is the
Internet Good for the Climate,” is now online. I think you’ll
find value in the full suite of sessions (the meeting continues
through today). The best way to track the flow is by following
the #ScioClimate tag on Twitter. Posted.

Climate Change And Wildfires: Research Explores Link Between
Blazes And The Environment. Researchers are flying over Western
wildfires to sample the thick smoke they emit and study its role
in cloud formation and climate. The data-gathering campaign is
intended to help scientists flesh out one of the least understood
areas of climate: the role of aerosols, or particles given off by
wildfires, and how they evolve over time. Biomass burning, such
as forest fires and agricultural fires when farmers burn off
their farm fields…Posted.

Could Outmoded Phone Booths Become E.V. Charging Stations?
Consider New York’s public pay telephones. They may be outdated
in the digital age, but they have telephone wiring and are often
supplied with electricity. More important, they already occupy
precious city real estate — and already have the permits
necessary to stay there. Is it possible to imagine some of them
seamlessly replaced with electric vehicle charging stations, with
vital dedicated parking spaces? Posted.

Defense contractor: Climate change could create “business
opportunities”. Of all the business opportunities presented by
global warming, Raytheon Company may have found one of the most
alarming. The Massachusetts-based defense contractor — which
makes everything from communications systems to Tomahawk missiles
— thinks that future “security concerns” caused by climate change
could mean expanded sales of its military products. Posted.

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