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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 5, 2013. Posted: 05 Nov 2013 13:15:13
ARB Newsclips for November 5, 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. CAP AND TRADE California Emissions Rise in 2012 on Gas-Fired Power Output. Greenhouse-gas emissions from power generators, oil refineries and other plants in California climbed in 2012 as a nuclear plant shutdown and low hydropower supplies increased the state’s reliance on natural gas. Power-plant releases rose 35 percent to 41.6 million metric tons last year, according to data posted today on the state Air Resources Board’s website. Total emissions were 437.8 million metric tons, up from 429.3 million in 2011. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-04/california-emissions-climb-in-2012-on-low-nuclear-hydro-supply.html AIR POLLUTION United Nations Group Warns on Emissions. Major polluters must immediately begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the rise in global temperatures is to be held in check, or else a higher price will have to be paid later, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Nations Environment Program. While a failure to act swiftly will not necessarily doom the effort to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/world/europe/united-nations-group-warns-on-emissions.html?_r=0 Bad air quality warning issued in Oceano Dunes, Nipomo Mesa area. The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District and County Public Health Department issued a bad air quality warning Monday for the Oceano Dunes, Nipomo Mesa area. There is a lot of wind in the area, and it's picking up a dust and sand. Forecasters predict high winds throughout the evening. The worst winds should calm down around 5 p.m., and all wind should die down by about 7 p.m. Posted. http://www.ksby.com/news/bad-air-quality-warning-issued-in-oceano-dunes-nipomo-mesa-area/ China's goals to cut air pollution have unintended benefit of substantial CO2 reductions. Targets set in China's latest five-year plan aimed at reducing harmful air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels will result in unintended reductions in carbon dioxide emissions that exceed the country's near-term CO2 reduction goals, according to a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. China's rapid economic development has led to a spike in pollution from power plants and the industrial sector. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989970/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Failure to Cut Carbon Seen Keeping Dirty Plants Operating. Failure to tackle excessive greenhouse-gas output threatens to keep polluting power stations and factories operating for decades to come, raising the costs of tackling climate change beyond 2020, the United Nations said. At best, greenhouse-gas output by the end of this decade will be about 18 percent above levels needed to contain warming to…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-11-05/failure-to-cut-carbon-seen-keeping-dirty-plants-operating.html Global action needed to close 8-12 bln tonne emissions gap –UNEP. Greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 will be 8 billion to 12 billion tonnes more than the level needed to keep global warming to only 2 degrees Celsius and avoid severe climate change, a United Nations report estimated on Tuesday. The annual U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) report analyzed countries' current pledges for emission cuts and whether they are enough. It found the gap between the pledges and emission cuts…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/05/unep-emissions-idUSL5N0IL34V20131105 California must adopt aggressive climate-change policies, report says. State will fall short of goal to slash greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury unless it adopts aggressive policies, report says. California will fall short of its goal to slash greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury unless it adopts aggressive policies to fight climate change, a new report says. The state is still on track to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels by 2020…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-1105-greenhouse-gases-20131105,0,4761079.story#axzz2jnFqcrxz Good news on global warming? Emissions going up, but more slowly. A new study suggests that carbon-dioxide emissions last year – while still a record high – grew more slowly than over the past 10 years on average. That could signal an important change. Despite a record-setting increase in the amount of carbon dioxide released from power plants, factories, and other human activities last year, there may have been a silver lining: emissions increased at a significantly slower rate than they have during the past 10 years on average, according to a new report. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2013/1104/Good-news-on-global-warming-Emissions-going-up-but-more-slowly Obama Task Force on Climate 'Resilience' Gets Icy GOP Welcome. President Obama’s newest effort to address climate change mainly calls for plotting strategies, but that didn’t stop Republicans from attacking it as an escalation of regulatory actions aimed at bypassing Congress. “The president continues to go around Congress because he knows the American people don’t support his climate-change policies that threaten economic growth and jobs,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told National Journal Daily on Monday. Posted. http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/obama-task-force-on-climate-resilience-gets-icy-gop-welcome-20131104 Calif. will meet greenhouse gas goals but miss on conventional pollutants – study. California will be able to meet its immediate greenhouse gas targets but is not on track to meet long-term goals or expected federal targets for conventional air pollutants, according to a new analysis by federal researchers. Modeling of California's emissions trajectory to 2050 shows that the state's suite of carbon-cutting policies will not be sufficient to meet its strict targets for that year…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989969/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY West Coast pact to cut, price carbon could have wider influence – analysts. When California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced a sweeping agreement last week among three West Coast states and a Canadian province on actions to fight climate change, he described the pact as likely to trigger a wave of similar activity. "Next year, and the year after, and the year after that, this will spread until finally we get a real handle and grasp on what is the world's greatest existential challenge," Brown said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989938/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Climate change to affect Pacific Northwest forests, water supply and coasts – report. Climate change in the Pacific Northwest will alter water availability and storage, threaten coastal areas, and increase forest fire and pest outbreaks, according to a report released yesterday. The Northwest Climate Assessment Report supports the National Climate Assessment and details the most recent science on impacts of current and future climate change on the region. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989956/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Gap between emissions cuts and dangerous climate change widens, report says. Keeping global temperatures below a dangerous threshold by 2020 risks becoming a distant dream, a new U.N. Environment Programme report finds. Greenhouse gas emissions levels are "considerably higher" than what will be needed to keep the global average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, making it increasingly likely that the world will have to rely on costlier technologies like carbon capture and sequestration in order to meet the threshold in the coming decades…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989968/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Carbon taxes, emissions trading are cheapest ways to reduce CO2 output – report. A new study on the economic impact of various international carbon-cutting policies found that despite recent woes surrounding the mechanisms, emission trading systems and carbon taxes are the cheapest policy-based methods to reduce a nation's carbon dioxide output. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report examined 15 countries and their carbon pricing policies as of 2010, including the United States, Germany, Japan and Australia. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989948/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS UPDATE 1-US ethanol plants reopen as record corn harvest boosts margins. U.S. ethanol plants that have been shut for as many as five years are now coming back online as a record U.S. harvest has pushed down corn prices and improved profit margins for makers of the biofuel. Agribusiness giant Cargill Inc on Monday said it restarted a plant in Fort Dodge, Iowa, that the company purchased in 2011 from corn processor Tate & Lyle. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/05/usa-ethanol-cargill-idUSL2N0IP1Z720131105?type=companyNews&feedType=RSS Ethanol’s Discount to Gasoline Expands Amid Ample Corn Supplies. Ethanol’s discount to gasoline widened as distillers accelerated production amid ample supplies of corn, the biofuel’s feedstock. The spread between the December contracts expanded 0.7 cent to 89.84 cents a gallon at 11:15 a.m. New York time. The corn harvest in the U.S. is 73 percent complete as of Oct. 27, compared with 59 percent a week ago, the Agriculture Department reported yesterday. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-11-05/ethanol-s-discount-to-gasoline-expands-amid-ample-corn-supplies.html Fuel-From-Soy Makers Mount Last-Ditch Lobby Push on EPA. Companies that make biofuels from corn husks, soy and other materials are mounting a last-ditch lobbying campaign to prevent a weakening of the U.S. renewable-fuel mandate, saying a lower requirement would set back an industry that is ready to blossom. The Environmental Protection Agency, responding to complaints from refiners and fossil-fuel oil producers…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-11-04/fuel-from-soy-makers-mount-last-ditch-lobby-push-on-epa.html Biofuel seed developer Ceres looks to cash in on 16 years of R&D. Ceres, which uses advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to make better seeds for biofuels, is working to commercialize its products. The road to a clean biofuels future is not easily traveled. Ceres Inc. in Thousand Oaks has some highly regarded science on its side as a producer of genetically modified seeds for crops used to make biofuels. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-stock-spotlight-ceres-20131101,0,4730157.story#axzz2jnFqcrxz Stable energy prices have saved the economy billions. Nationwide gas prices averaged $3.75 a gallon in June. Today, they average $3.29. That's a big drop. And Americans spend enough on gas that it means a real savings. Americans consume about 367 million gallons of gasoline per day. So a $0.45 drop saves $165 million a day, or about $60 billion per year. Sure, prices can (and will) rise again. A lot of the current drop is likely seasonal. But gas prices have been remarkably stable year to year lately. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/11/05/stable-energy-prices-have-saved-the-economy-billions/3442845/ Pacific Biodiesel-SeQuential Biofuels JV to add Seattle zoo, stadium to client roster. SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel, a joint venture between Oregon’s SeQuential Biofuels and Maui-based Pacific Biodiesel, said Monday that it will add the Woodland Park Zoo and Husky Stadium, both in Seattle, as cooking oil recycling customers by the end of this year. The longest-running commercial biodiesel producer in the Pacific Northwest…Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2013/11/04/pacific-biodiesel-sequential-biofuels.html Yet Another Green Fuel: Landfill Methane On Sale In California. If you're looking for an alternative fuel, why not try garbage? Or, rather, the methane produced by landfills. Clean Energy Fuels--a developer of natural gas refueling infrastructure--has now been selling a methane-based fuel at its network of filling stations in California for about a month, according to The New York Times. The fuel is available at more than 40 stations in the Golden State, and is mostly bought by large corporations and fleets. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1088175_yet-another-green-fuel-landfill-methane-on-sale-in-california Oil, green groups battle over changes to drilling mud disposal rule. Oil and natural gas companies and environmental groups are battling in California over whether the state should more tightly restrict the disposal of waste mud from drilling. Two petroleum trade groups and an alliance of 10 green groups, health organizations and citizen coalitions are lobbying the state's Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board on the issue. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059989974/print BY SUBSCRIPTIO ONLY Study suggests link between carbon injection and earthquakes. The large-scale injection of carbon dioxide into an oil field likely spurred earthquakes in northwest Texas between 2006 and 2011, a new study reports. The research, published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, constitutes the first time scientists have documented underground gas injections causing seismic activity greater than a magnitude of 3. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989955/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Toyota shows off new fuel cell car in advance of Tokyo Motor Show. Toyota Motor Corp. revealed a sneak peak of its FCV Concept hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Tuesday, an early version of the car it thinks will popularize fuel cell autos just as the Prius made hybrids mainstream. “It is a very intriguing proposition for us,” said Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota’s U.S. sales arm. “We think it could be the best zero emissions solution that hits the market.” Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-toyota-fcv-fuel-cell-vehicle-20131105,0,6387979.story#axzz2jnFqcrxz http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/11/20131105-tmc.html Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy Nominee: 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel. The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is a somewhat daring car, and one that diesel fans have been urging a U.S. maker to sell for years, if not decades. It's the first diesel-engined passenger vehicle sold by General Motors since 1986, and it's a fully modern car with the latest in emissions control systems. They're fitted to a 151-horsepower 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that's built in Germany. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1088181_green-car-reports-best-car-to-buy-nominee-2014-chevy-cruze-diesel Give millennials a non-internal-combustion engine, and they might drive it. Like all producers of consumer goods, auto manufacturers through the years have struggled to make products that can appeal to a wide range of generations -- and thus built cars to appeal to families, retirees, young drivers and so on. For decades, this specialized marketing approach proved to be a winning formula for car companies. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059989989/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Smaller batteries could boost hybrid sales. Johnson Controls Inc. has unveiled a new hybrid vehicle battery the size of a shoe box -- a significant breakthrough in micro-hybrid technology that could help automakers meet new fuel efficiency requirements. Micro-hybrid vehicles, which currently are sold primarily in Europe, use regenerative braking and engines that stop running when the vehicle is stopped to save fuel. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059989984/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY On-Site Power May Weaken Centrally-Generated Wind And Solar Energy. Two energy-related trends are converging and are potentially contradicting the goal of generating increasing levels of green power. Some utilities are expanding their transmission networks to accommodate more wind and solar power, but certain commercial and residential users are trying to break free from their local utilities by producing their own electricity. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2013/11/05/on-site-power-may-weaken-centrally-generated-wind-and-solar-energy/ MISCELLANEOUS Supercapacitors emerge as partner and competitor to batteries in clean tech. Where conventional batteries hit their performance limits, engineers are increasingly looking to supercapacitors to fill in the blanks in many clean technologies, from hybrid cars to wind turbines. These devices are gaining traction as a complement to batteries, but they also compete head to head. Unlike lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries, which store energy chemically, supercapacitors -- also called ultracapacitors -- store energy in electric fields. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059989975/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS EPA takes on power plant pollution. You need to know three things about climate disruption. First, some good news: We can do something about it. In fact, we've already made some progress in controlling the carbon pollution that threatens our climate and our planet. Last month's release of the 2012 greenhouse gas emissions report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows a 4.5 percent decrease in reported carbon pollution in the United States - to the lowest level seen in almost 20 years. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/EPA-takes-on-power-plant-pollution-4951948.php BLOGS Battling Pollution, Beijing to Cut New Car Quota By 90,000. China’s capital will slash the number of license plates it gives out to new cars, as Beijing and other Chinese cities look for ways to curb pollution and congestion in the world’s largest car market. The Beijing Daily, the mouthpiece of the municipal government of Beijing, said on Tuesday that the city will slash the quota of license plates that it gives out to 150,000 a year from 240,000 now, effective at the beginning of next year. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013/11/05/battling-pollution-beijing-to-cut-new-car-quota-by-90000/ Oil industry treated California legislators to $13K dinner as fracking bill loomed. As negotiations heated up at the end of the legislative session over a bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing in California, oil companies poured millions into lobbying the Legislature, quarterly reports released last week show. The three interest groups that spent the most money lobbying in California between July 1 and Sept. 30…Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/11/oil-industry-treated-legislators-to-13k-dinner-as-fracking-bill-loomed.html#storylink=cpy What's Behind the Increase in 2012 Power Sector Emissions in California? The California Air Resources Board released emissions reports today from the state’s largest carbon polluters in 2012. Contrary to national trends, the numbers show a sharp increase in emissions from the power sector relative to the year before. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ajackson/whats_behind_the_increase_in_2.html Despite Fukushima Nuclear Power Really Is The Only Way To Beat Climate Change. In fact, we might want to change that headline slightly: because of Fukushima nuclear power really is the only way to beat climate change. James Hansen and other reputable climate scientists have just released an open letter on the subject of nuclear power and climate change. Their basic point is that the only way we can generate enough power to have an advanced civilization…Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/11/04/despite-fukushima-nuclear-power-really-is-the-only-way-to-beat-climate-change/ Carbon emissions from power plants drop 10% due to gas conversion. The EPA released data recently with a bit of good news: carbon emissions from power plants have dropped 10 percent since 2010. The reason is many plants switched from coal to natural gas. Nevertheless, 1,600 power plants still emit 2.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) accounting for roughly 40 percent of total U.S. carbon pollution. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/carbon-emissions-from-power-plants-drop-10-due-to-gas-conversion Is It Too Late to Prepare for Climate Change? Late last week, a Web site that claims that there is no scientific consensus on global warming published a leaked draft report on the impacts of global warming. The leak was apparently intended to embarrass the authors of the report, which is the latest installment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, it seems mostly to have had the opposite effect: what the leaked document shows is just how dire the impacts are likely to be. Posted. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/11/is-it-too-late-to-prepare-for-climate-change.html Five charts that explain the great energy shift. The United States is undergoing the greatest revolution in energy production in decades thanks to the shale gas boom and the rise of renewable energy. The lure of cheap natural gas has led utilities to shutter aging and carbon-spewing coal-fired power plants in favor of much cleaner burning gas. Pending federal emissions regulations make it unlikely that any new coal plants will get built in the years ahead, while state renewable energy mandates and the declining cost of solar and wind technologies have triggered a boom in green power. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/five-charts-that-explain-the-great-energy-shift/ On the Chinese Internet, Big Interest in Smog’s Threat to Fertility. How do you get online readers to click on a story about a long, official report about climate change? One answer, grabbed by editors of Chinese news sites Tuesday, was to play up a single line about a link between air pollution and fertility rates. The subsequent headline — “Climate Change Green Paper: Smog Can Influence Reproductive Ability” — was a bit of a head-scratcher. Posted. http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/on-the-chinese-internet-big-interest-in-smogs-threat-to-fertility/