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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 16, 2013.

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 14:21:19
ARB Newsclips for October 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.


EU Offers Changes to Air Emissions Plan. The European Union
Wednesday proposed modifications to its program to control
airplane pollution, but the new approach still faces opposition
from some foreign governments and environmentalists. Earlier this
month, EU states agreed to scale back plans to include airlines
in their cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide emissions while
the International Civil Aviation Organization develops a global
pollution-control mechanism. Posted.

Despite better air quality, Europeans' health still suffering. A
report from the European Environmental Agency concludes that even
with the region’s reduced emissions, human health is still being
affected by air pollution. The agency found that between 2009 and
2011, 96% of city residents were exposed to concentrations of
fine particulate matter that were above the guidelines of the
World Health Organization. Damage to ecosystems was also noted in
the report, citing pollutants that add excessive nitrogen to the
air, a threat to biodiversity. Posted.

States, counties launch legal challenge to EPA's ozone authority.
The Supreme Court's 2012 health care ruling could soon make a
cameo in a Clean Air Act case thanks to a challenge from a group
of state and county governments to U.S. EPA's authority to
override state decisions on compliance with federal ozone
standards. At issue are several pending petitions over EPA
decisions that certain counties and regions violated ozone
pollution limits. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988924/print BY


Climate change will affect almost every corner of ocean, study
says. Seawater is heating up and becoming more acidic, but those
are only the first in a cascade of changes the world's oceans are
expected to go through by the end of the century as they respond
to greenhouse gas emissions, a new study says. "The entire
world's ocean surface" will undergo huge changes in ocean
chemistry, habitat and biodiversity by 2100 as a result of
climate change…Posted.


World Food Prize takes on biotech, global warming. The World Food
Prize Foundation is confronting both opposition to genetically
modified crops and the divisive issue of global warming as it
gathers hundreds of experts and national leaders to talk this
week about how to feed a growing global population. By awarding
this year's prize to three biotechnology pioneers, the nonprofit
foundation infuriated environmental groups and others opposed to
large-scale farming. Posted.

Supreme Court to review EPA greenhouse gas emissions permitting.
The Supreme Court today decided to review whether U.S. EPA's
greenhouse gas regulations for motor vehicles should have
triggered permitting requirements for stationary sources of
carbon pollution. Justices granted six of nine petitions asking
the court to review a June 2012 appellate court ruling that
upheld a suite of EPA greenhouse gas regulations. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988851/print BY
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988899/print BY

Wash. governor supports hard cap on carbon emissions. Washington
Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday that he supports an absolute cap on
carbon-fuel emissions in the state as one of several ideas he
thinks can get it closer to reaching goals set in 2008 for
cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The cap was one of a half-dozen
ideas Inslee floated during a meeting of the Climate Legislative
Executive Workgroup, which the Legislature created in response to
his request this year to bring greenhouse gas emissions…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988857/print BY

Tricky permit issue seen splitting challengers to EPA climate
rules. Dozens of industry groups and several states are
applauding the Supreme Court for taking up their challenge to a
slice of U.S. EPA's greenhouse gas program, but a significant
issue lurking below the surface could split them when justices
hear arguments early next year. The court granted review
yesterday of a portion of EPA's greenhouse gas rules: whether the
agency "permissibly determined"…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988921/print BY


Truckers report competitors who break emission rules.  As many
truckers face a Jan. 1 deadline to retrofit their engines with
pollution controls, some big rig operators are anonymously
turning in their competitors for driving vehicles that fail to
comply with California’s tougher emission rules, the Los Angeles
Times reports.  Posted. 

Otherwise compliant driver learns day-pass a must at L.A. ports. 
Carl Benson first began working on trucks in the mid-1960s as a
swamper connecting oil trucks to rigs in Kodiak, Alaska. He has
driven loads into Prudhoe Bay, hauling freight down the same
treacherous paths made famous in the reality television show “Ice
Road Truckers.”  Benson, 67, an owner-operator and OOIDA life
member from San Dimas, Calif., has seen it all.  Posted. 


California Embraces Hydrogen Stations.  California is backing up
its plan to have more publicly available hydrogen fueling
stations with a $20 million annual commitment, Petrol Plaza News
reports. The state’s plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions by a
whopping 80% from 1990 levels by the half century mark has not
gotten off to a great start, considering only nine such fuel-cell
stations are up and running.  Posted. 

Security group calls for broader competition between alternative
fuels and oil. The U.S. Energy Security Council yesterday
released a report advocating for reducing regulatory barriers
that stymie competition between oil and alternative fuels like
compressed natural gas, methanol and electricity. The council's
aim is to spur competition in the transportation fuel market and
therefore reduce the strategic importance of petroleum. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988880/print BY

Delta's refinery challenges EPA over renewable fuel targets. A
refinery owned by a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines Inc. is
challenging U.S. EPA's renewable fuel mandate for this year,
warning that the levels set by the agency will continue to force
it to purchase costly ethanol credits. In a lawsuit filed with
the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Monroe
Energy LLC said it anticipates spending "tens of millions of
dollars" over the next several months in acquiring the credits
because it does not blend its own ethanol into gasoline.  Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059988919/print BY


Toyota shows a sneak peek of its upcoming hydrogen car. Toyota
has given a small selection of journalists their first taste of
prototypes of its long-awaited hydrogen fuel-cell production
car–and driving impressions are beginning to surface. The
Japanese automaker has shown off hydrogen concepts for some time,
most prominent of which is the FCV-R concept (shown above),
expected to inspire the eventual production vehicle debuting in
2015. Posted.


U.S. Remains Vulnerable Despite Potential Energy Independence.
Forty years ago this week, when big oil producers in the Middle
East slapped an embargo on oil exports to the U.S., the shock was
severe: Crude-oil prices spiked, fuel lines snaked behind gas
stations and years of stagflation followed. Starting with Richard
Nixon, eight presidents have urged the country to strive for
energy independence as a way to forestall a repeat of 1973.

California poised to adopt first-in-nation energy storage
mandate. A California law that requires utilities to get 33
percent of their electricity from renewable sources like solar
and wind is widely credited with accelerating the state's
cleantech economy. Now state regulators are poised to compel
utilities to invest in "energy storage," which could jump-start
technology long considered the holy grail of the electricity
industry. Posted.

Richmond slashes permit fee for solar panel installations. permit
price to outfit your home with solar panels just plunged in
Richmond. The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to slash
permit prices for residential solar panel installations from $615
to $100, a move city leaders said was an effort to jump start
solar investments in local neighborhoods. "We are trying to make
a statement," said Councilman Tom Butt. At $100, Richmond's price
becomes the lowest in the Bay Area, tied with neighboring El
Cerrito. Richmond is one of the leading cities to promote and
implement green initiatives in recent years, including moves to
halt the use of pesticides…Posted.

Calif.'s famous 'duck chart' is outdated, experts say. A
two-dimensional duck has been haunting California policymakers
charged with balancing increasing amounts of renewable energy on
the state's electricity grid. The "duck chart" emerged several
years ago as grid operators were contemplating the rise of
renewable energy, as mandated by state law. It illustrates the
drop in daytime demand for conventional power that can be
expected as renewables increase their share. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059988898/print BY


Methanol May Be Part of the Answer, but Not for Now. It is far
from clear that methanol could compete as a transportation fuel.
In "A Chemistry Breakthrough That Could Fuel a Revolution"
(op-ed, Oct. 11) extolling the virtues of methanol as a
transportation fuel, George A. Olah and Chris Cox fail to mention
one central fact: Methanol has about half the energy content of
gasoline. (Ethanol has about two-thirds.) It is far from clear
that methanol could compete as a transportation fuel even if
federal policy reforms were to create a level playing field.

COLUMN-Falling solar costs allow a new approach to subsidies:
Wynn. Falling costs for European roof-top solar power combined
with rising utility tariffs allow a new approach to lower
subsidies - where households and business no longer need to be
paid for the solar power they consume themselves. Until recently,
it has always been more profitable to sell one's own solar energy
back into the system overall, thanks to the premium, subsidized
prices set for such energy to make investment in solar panels
worthwhile. Posted.

Cold spell near? Geologist digs deeper on climate change. On the
climate-change front the forecast would seem to be increasing
cloudiness. At least that's the impression a rational observer
would get from the latest report from the United Nations'
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. True, the report does
declare that "there is very high confidence that models reproduce
the general features of the global and…Posted.


So Much For Jobs? Startup Builds Solar Robot Workers. A key
argument developers have used in favor of large desert solar
projects has been that such projects will bring jobs to remote,
underemployed communities. That argument might just fall out of
favor if a Bay Area startup has its way. Richmond-based Alion
Energy is proposing to automate both construction and maintenance
of large solar facilities, using robots instead of skilled
workers to put solar panels in place and keep them clean. Posted.

Dramatic charts reveal climate change’s effects on oceans. 
Climate change is scrambling the oceans. It’s raising water
temperatures, lowering pH levels, reducing oxygen availability,
and driving down the size of wildlife populations the oceans can
sustain.  A study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology
painstakingly chronicles many of the consequences of marine
changes that the researchers describe as “unprecedented” during
the last 20 million years…Posted. 

A leading newspaper didn’t get the news about California’s
gasoline change.  The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page
checked in recently with its view on the California Low Carbon
Fuel Standard. Not surprisingly, it’s against it.  But in making
its case, it also committed a significant error.  When the LCFS
was created, there was a baseline basket of crudes that
constituted all crudes that had accounted for at least 2% of
California consumption over a previous several-year period. 
Posted.  http://blogs.platts.com/2013/10/15/lcfs-wsj/   

Demand for electric car rentals unplugged by range anxiety.  It's
the hurdle that electric vehicles must clear to be launched into
the mainstream: range anxiety. But this time it isn't prospective
customers who worry about running out of juice, Bloomberg
reports, but renters who return to car rental agencies before
their lease is up and trade their EVs in for more traditional
gasoline-powered autos and gas-electric hybrids.  Posted. 

Congress Passed A Climate Change Law ... And Then Nothing
Happened. Congress did something unusual last year. It passed a
bill that acknowledged that sea levels are rising — i.e., that
climate change is happening. The measure in question, buried near
the end of a 584-page transportation funding bill, also required
some modest action: That the Federal Emergency Management Agency
use “the best available climate science” to figure out how the
flood insurance program it administers should handle rising seas.

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