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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.


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.


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.

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. 

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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


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.

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.

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

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


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.


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


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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