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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 14, 2013.

Posted: 14 Oct 2013 14:49:25
ARB Newsclips for October 14, 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.


China offers rewards to six regions to fight air pollution. China
said on Monday it would give rewards amounting to 5 billion yuan
($816.91 million) for curbing air pollution in six regions where
the problem is serious, underscoring government concern about a
source of public anger. The Finance Ministry said the regions
eligible for the rewards were Beijing and its neighboring city of
Tianjin, the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong, as well as
the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Posted.

China Earmarks $818 Million to Curb Air Pollution. China’s
central government has allocated 5 billion yuan ($818 million) to
curb air pollution in six regions including Beijing.  Tianjin
city and the provinces of Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi and
Shandong also will get access to the funds, according to a
statement posted on the Ministry of Finance’s website today in
Beijing.  The money will be distributed to projects based on the
reduction in pollution and concentration of fine particulates
they intend to make. Posted.

Study: Parts of particle pollution may contribute to heart
disease. Some components of the miniscule particles found in air
pollution may be linked to the progression of heart disease, the
leading cause of death in the U.S., according to a study released
Friday by the California Air Resources Board. Funded by the
California Air Resources Board and led by Michael Kleinman of the
University of California, Irvine, the study used a novel approach
to look at health impacts associated with exposure to particles,
0.18 microns in diameter or smaller. Posted.


Oil hovers near $102 as US deadline looms. Oil hovered near $102
a barrel Monday amid alternating hope and uncertainty about the
looming deadline for U.S. lawmakers to reach an agreement over
the government's borrowing limit and shutdown. Benchmark crude
for November delivery was up 35 cents to $102.37 a barrel in
midday trading in New York. The contract traded below $102 for
much of the morning but rose along with the U.S. stock market
around midday. Posted.

UPDATE 1-Coal to surpass oil as top global fuel by 2020 –Woodmac.
Coal will surpass oil as the key fuel for the global economy by
2020 despite government efforts to reduce carbon emissions,
energy consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie said on Monday. Rising
demand in China and India will push coal past oil as the two
Asian powerhouses will need to rely on the comparatively cheaper
fuel to power their economies. Coal demand in the United States,
Europe and the rest of Asia will hold steady. Posted.

Mississippi Plant Shows the Cost of 'Clean Coal' For decades, the
federal government has touted a bright future for nonpolluting
power plants fueled by coal. But in this rural corner of eastern
Mississippi, the reality of so-called clean coal isn't pretty. 
Mississippi Power Co.'s Kemper County plant here, meant to
showcase technology for generating clean electricity from
low-quality coal, ranks as one of the most-expensive U.S.
fossil-fuel projects ever—at $4.7 billion and rising. Mississippi
Power's 186,000 customers…Posted.

Sacramento-area gas prices continue to fall. Sacramento-area gas
prices continue to slide downward, drawing ever-nearer to the
$3.50 threshold. The average retail price of gasoline in the
Sacramento area fell 5.5 cents, to $3.67 a gallon, over the past
week, according to the latest report by national price tracker
GasBuddy.com, which surveys 720 area stations. The latest decline
comes on top of a drop of more than 15 cents the previous two
weeks. Posted.

Mass. approves building of gas-fired power plant. The Patrick
administration has signed off on construction of a new
692-megawatt gas-fired power plant to be located the site of the
existing Salem Harbor Station. The facility is expected to be one
of the most efficient and lowest-emitting large gas-fired power
plants in New England, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental
Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said Thursday. Posted.


Germany dodges tougher EU car emission limits. Germany has
managed to delay tougher European Union car emission rules amid
fears they could harm its automotive industry. The 28-nation
bloc's environment ministers on Monday agreed amid strong
lobbying from Berlin to further tweak the proposed rules. EU
Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard deplored the delay and
stressed the scope to change the rules "is very limited." Posted.



Ford, University of Michigan open new battery lab. Ford Motor Co.
and the University of Michigan are opening a new battery research
and manufacturing lab that they hope will speed the development
of batteries for electric and hybrid cars. The center, on the
university's campus in Ann Arbor, will bring together battery
makers, car companies and researchers who will test new batteries
for prototype vehicles. Posted.


California's struggling 'hydrogen highway' plan gets new life --
and drivers will pay.  In what may be California's last chance to
build a "hydrogen highway" lined with thousands of high-tech
vehicles emitting nothing but water vapor from their tailpipes,
Gov. Jerry Brown has approved a plan to construct 100 hydrogen
fueling stations across the state by 2024.  However, it comes
with a catch. Motorists -- not oil companies -- will pay for it. 
Only a year ago, the California Air Resources Board required Big
Oil to pay for the new stations. Posted. 


California's alternative-energy program under scrutiny. Billions
spent on wind, hydrogen, cow manure projects are questioned after
some investments go bust, but the program is expected to grow. It
could surpass current state support for the UC system. California
is spending nearly $15 million to build 10 hydrogen fueling
stations, even though just 227 hydrogen-powered vehicles exist in
the state todayPosted.


Rentech shifts from green energy to a more fertile field. The
L.A. company started out developing alternative power
technologies but is now focused on the more profitable nitrogen
fertilizer business. For most of its 33-year history, Rentech
Inc. tried to make money on green fuel development. But like its
plans to sell synthetic diesel to major airlines in 2009, those
efforts never really left the ground. Now, the Los Angeles
company is on a different course. Posted.

Huron County at tip of Thumb doubling wind power. Huron County at
the tip of Michigan's rural Thumb region is becoming a wind power
mecca, with an expected doubling of the number of turbines by
2014. The largely agricultural county is about 100 miles north of
Detroit. It has Lake Huron to the west, north and east, which
gives it some of Michigan's best wind power potential. The county
had 160 turbines at the end of 2012, according to county building
Director Jeff Smith in Bad Axe. Posted.

New biomass unit helps lower school's energy costs.  Wood chips
are helping Northern Michigan University keep energy costs down.
The Upper Peninsula school trucks in four loads of the chips to
help produce electricity in a new biomass unit on its Marquette
campus, according to WLUC-TV (http://bit.ly/GHZxgq). When the
unit at the Ripley Heating Plant begins running fulltime, six to
seven truckloads of wood chips will be hauled in. Posted. 


New study finds smoking even more deadly than thought. It didn’t
seem possible for there to be any more bad news about the health
effects of smoking. There is. An Australian study suggests that
smoking is even more dangerous than previously thought, with
cigarettes linked to the cause of death of more than 60% of
smokers and shortening the life of an average smoker by 10 years.


California's Green Trade War. Sacramento uses carbon mandates to
punish out-of-state businesses. Environmental policies are often
economic protectionism in green clothing. A case in point is
California's low-carbon fuel standard, whose constitutionality is
being challenged in federal court. It's also a case study of the
incredible contortions of green policy-making today. California's
low-carbon fuel mandate requires the state, by 2020, to reduce
the "carbon intensity" of its transportation fuels by 10%.

The Bay of Bengal, in Peril From Climate Change.  NEARLY one in
four people on earth live in the countries that border the Bay of
Bengal. The region is strategically vital to Asia’s rising
powers. Its low-lying littoral — including coastal regions of
eastern India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia
and Sumatra — is home to over half a billion people who are now
acutely vulnerable to rising sea levels. Posted. 

New law aims to brighten solar power's future. Gov. Jerry Brown
has just signed a complex bill that will change the way that
residential electricity rates are figured in California - and
hopefully pave the way for more people to get access to solar
energy. The bill, AB327, won't make everyone happy. But the
measure tackles a complicated issue, and it's the end result of
months of negotiations and revisions. Posted.


Global electric vehicle sales will jump 48% each year through
2020.  If ABI Research is correct, our monthly math fest that is
the green car sales report will soon take longer to add up.
That's because ABI's recent report says that almost 2.4 million
battery-electric vehicles will be sold worldwide in 2020,
estimating that EV sales (excluding plug-in hybrids and
extended-range plug-ins) will jump 48 percent a year through the
end of the decade. Posted. 

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