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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 12, 2013.

Posted: 12 Dec 2013 14:05:31
ARB Newsclips for December 12, 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.


UPDATE 1-Guangdong may withhold free permits in China's 4th
emissions scheme: sources. China's Guangdong province has warned
emitters that unless they bid for carbon permits in government
auctions at a regulated minimum price, they will not receive any
free permits under the nation's fourth emissions trading scheme,
sources said. China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse
gases, is launching seven pilot carbon markets ahead of a
nationwide scheme later this decade…Posted.

Groups Call for Repayment of Loan From Cap-and-Trade Auction
Proceeds.  Lawmakers approved a one-time loan from the auction
proceeds to the general fund last fiscal year.  The Governor is
now preparing to release his 2014-2015 budget proposal in
January.  The coalition says the Governor has a legal obligation
to repay the loan and invest in programs that reduce carbon
pollution. Posted. 


Beijing to buy new buses to clear city smog –media. China's
capital Beijing, regularly shrouded in hazardous air pollution,
plans to replace its oil-burning buses with greener models by
2017 to help clear the smog, state news agency Xinhua said.
Nearly 14,000 new buses powered by electricity or natural gas
will be bought to replace two-thirds of Beijing's bus fleet and
halve carbon emissions, Xinhua said on Thursday, citing the
city's environment and transportation authorities. Posted.

Toxins from burning bodies bad for Oakland, lawsuit says. Oakland
approved a large crematorium in an East Oakland industrial area
without first considering the health impacts of burning some
3,000 bodies a year, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by an
East Oakland environmental group. The suit, announced Wednesday
by Communities for a Better Environment, alleges that Oakland's
city planners wrongly considered the crematorium a "general
manufacturing facility" that could be approved without a public
hearing. Posted.

High court likely to allow Obama’s clean-air rules.  The fate of
key clean-air regulations — central to the President Obama’s
larger environmental agenda — now rests with the Supreme Court,
which on Tuesday hinted it may throw the administration a
lifeline and allow controversial pollution rules to be
reinstated.  The high court heard arguments Tuesday in a case
that’s pitted the administration against states and the energy
industry and one that centers on the Environmental Protection
Agency’s so-called good neighbor rule, which was struck down by a
lower court last year.  Posted. 

Thursday will be record fifth straight Spare the Air day.  The
Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the season’s
ninth winter Spare the Air alert for Thursday, which bans the
burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel
both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.  Extremely cold, stagnant
weather persists in the Bay Area, causing the air district to
call a record fifth consecutive alert.  Posted. 


Will city warm to a costly climate plan? Many scientists and
environmental activists have declared the debate over man-made
global warming to be over. Even climate-change skeptics seem to
admit as much, at least in terms of public-policy. Like it or
not, officials at every level of government view climate change
as a given and are crafting regulations to combat it. It may be
pointless to get into scientific scuffles at this point, but
there is another global-warming debate that is emerging. Posted.


CARB gives conditional OK to emissions reduction system.  Carrier
Transicold announced that its optional engine emissions system
(EES) has received conditional verification from the California
Air Resources Board (CARB). The EES reduces diesel particulates
from trailer refrigeration units by more than 98%, Carrier
Transicold said.  According to Carrier Transicold, the EES is the
first OEM-developed CARB level 3+ verified diesel emissions
control (VDEC) device for trailer refrigeration units…Posted. 


U.S. Senators introduce bill to eliminate corn ethanol mandate. A
group of 10 U.S. Senators introduced a bipartisan bill on
Thursday to eliminate the corn ethanol mandate, arguing that
current law raises the cost of food and animal feed and damages
the environment. The bill, introduced by Dianne Feinstein, a
California Democrat; Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican; and
eight cosponsors, faces an uphill battle as many lawmakers from
agricultural states support the Renewable Fuel Standard

UPDATE 1-Governments fail to agree EU limit on food-based
biofuels. EU energy ministers on Thursday failed to agree on a
compromise deal to limit the use of transport fuels made from
food crops, which critics say pushes up food prices and can do
more harm than good to the environment. The European Union's
Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the delay would
damage its efforts to reduce dependence on gas and oil

In Podesta, a Keystone skeptic returns to White House. John
Podesta's return to the White House could dim prospects for the
Keystone XL pipeline's approval, environmentalists said
Wednesday, as the Democratic Party elder and Keystone critic
crafts policies to curb climate change. Podesta, who was chief of
staff under President Bill Clinton, will have the title
"counselor to the president" and chiefly advise President Barack
Obama on energy and climate change issues, the White House said
this week. Posted.

As U.S. gov't cuts back on biofuel, some rue 'collateral damage'
Ben Wootton was just getting ready to bring his company out of
bankruptcy last month when word from Washington stopped him in
his tracks. Instead of an expected pick-up in sales for the
biofuel-based diesel that he makes from recycled cooking oil at a
suburban Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, plant, demand is likely to
drop due to a proposed freeze on U.S. consumption mandates. "I
won't be alive, for sure," said Wootton, who runs the 1.5 million
gallon per year Keystone Biofuels plant. Posted.

More refinery closures on the cards for 2014 –IEA. An increase in
new oil refining capacity and a rise in production of fuel not
processed at refineries will lead to more plant closures in 2014,
the International Energy Agency said in its latest monthly
Crude distillation capacity will increase by a net 1.1 million
barrels per day (bpd) in 2013 and a further 1.2 million bpd in
2014, IEA forecast in its December Oil Market Report. Refineries
in Europe, in particular, have been hit hard by competition from
plants in the United States and Asia…Posted.

How Shale Helped Frack Mexico's Energy Impasse. After decades of
inertia, the energy-reform proposal given general approval by the
Mexican Senate late Tuesday goes even further than many had
expected. The country's rapidly changing energy relationship with
its northern neighbor helps explain why. Mexico's dismal decline
in oil production, to 2.94 million barrels per day last year from
3.85 million in 2004, is the obvious impetus for trying to coax
in more foreign money and expertise. Posted.

Exxon: Rising living standards propel energy needs. Exxon Mobil
says the drive for higher living standards around the world will
keep demand for electricity and transportation fuels growing even
as economies get more efficient and governments put a price on
pollution. The company's annual long-term energy outlook,
released Thursday, predicts world energy demand will grow 35
percent by 2040 as electricity and modern fuels …Posted.


Sides go back to court in high-speed train lawsuit. The
combatants in a lawsuit over California's high-speed project head
back to court Friday afternoon in Sacramento. Lawyers with the
California Attorney General's Office and attorneys for high-speed
rail opponents in Kings County will meet in a case management
conference that is expected to set a spring trial date over
allegations that current plans for the proposed bullet-train
violate Proposition 1A…Posted.


Muni trolley wire 'visual pollution' electrifies debate. San
Francisco's 78-year-old system of electric trolley buses sounds
like a model of green transportation: low-noise, no-emission,
high-capacity vehicles that serve the city's busiest Muni routes.
At least until you look up. The wires that supply power to the
buses run above miles of city streets, putting caps of electric
lines over some of San Francisco's most traveled intersections
before disappearing into rats' nests of overhead wires strung by
a motley list of public utilities. Posted.


Calif. Assembly Democrats urge $8B budget reserve. Assembly
Speaker John Perez pledged Wednesday to cautiously begin
restoring funding to some social programs that were slashed
during the recession and said lawmakers will ask voters to
approve a revised rainy day fund on the November 2014 ballot.
Having a voter-mandated savings plan and building an $8 billion
budget reserve by 2017 would protect the state from future
"slashes and cuts" like those that devastated state programs in
recent years, said Perez, D-Los Angeles. Posted.


China’s Rust Belt Cities Hit With New Air Pollution Fines. A
province in the heart of China’s rust belt has levied air
pollution fines on city governments for the first time, in a sign
that pressure to improve air quality in the world’s
second-largest economy is trickling down to the local level.
Liaoning, one of the nation’s largest industrial hubs, has so far
collected a total of 54.2 million yuan ($8.9 million) from eight
of its cities after it passed tougher air-pollution regulations
last year, the official Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

Toyota wants to sell 5k-10k fuel cell vehicles a year, to start.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) powered by hydrogen were
taken more seriously at the LA Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show
last month than ever before, but their presence in the market is
still shrouded in fog. Soichiro Okudaira, chief officer of
research and development at Toyota, is confident fuel cell costs
will come down enough to make FCEVs "just one alternative of the
eco cars," but that probably won't happen for another 10-15
years. Posted.

SolarCity using Tesla battery tech for DemandLogic grid energy
storage.  Grid energy storage is becoming a tangible business
opportunity for cleantech companies and automakers these days –
it's all that's left of Coda, for example, and Toyota is open to
the opportunities. Sun-power provider SolarCity has entered the
market with DemandLogic, a smart energy storage system designed
to deal with what it calls two major pain points for businesses:
rising utility demand charges and increasing grid outages.

2014 World Cup to nearly double carbon emissions over 2010.  The
2014 World Cup in Brazil will dump 2.72 million tons of carbon
dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere, according to the International
Federation of Association Football (FIFA). To put that number
into perspective, it’s equivalent to the CO2 produced by 560,000
cars in a year, or 136,000 American homes. And that’s over 1
million tons more CO2 than was emitted by the previous World Cup
in 2010. Posted. 

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