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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 13, 2013. Posted: 13 Dec 2013 16:21:16
ARB Newsclips for December 13, 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 EU Maritime Carbon Rules Must Avoid Global Row, Governments Say. The European Union’s planned rules to monitor greenhouse gases from ships must be in line with international law to avoid conflicts with other nations, according to member states including Italy and Ireland. Draft rules to introduce monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide from ships starting in 2018 were discussed by EU environment ministers at a quarterly meeting in Brussels today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-12-13/eu-maritime-carbon-rules-must-avoid-global-row-governments-say.html UN Carbon Plan Won’t Reverse 99% Price Decline, New Energy Says. Support for voluntary retirement of United Nations carbon credits at last month’s global climate talks is unlikely to dent a surplus that drove prices to record lows, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Envoys at the UN Conference of the Parties in Warsaw encouraged canceling Certified Emission Reductions, or CERs, while stopped short of simplifying the retirement process. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-12-12/un-carbon-plan-won-t-reverse-99-percent-price-decline-new-energy-says Wetlands Carbon Credits. Could Swim Into California Market. Carbon finance could soon play a critical role in the restoration of California’s wetlands, with a coalition of stakeholders developing a methodology that would allow wetlands restoration projects in the state to generate credits for both the voluntary carbon market and California’s cap-and-trade program. The new methodology would scientifically quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from the restoration of California deltaic and coastal wetlands. Posted. http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=10109§ion=news_articles&eod=1 AIR POLLUTION Shanghai Air Pollution ‘Moderate’ at 7 Times PM2.5 Guidelines. Shanghai warned children and the elderly to avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor activities as PM2.5 readings hit seven times the World Health Organization’s recommended level of daily exposure. The air quality index was 183 as of 9 a.m., signaling “moderate pollution,” the third worst in a six-tier warning system, according to the website of the city’s environmental monitoring center. The level of PM2.5 pollutants was 186.4 micrograms per cubic meter. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-12-13/shanghai-air-pollution-moderate-at-7-times-pm2-5-guidelines.html Air pollution taking hold over N. Utah. Much of northern Utah was under a health alert Thursday as lung-busting soot counts signaled the arrival of another air pollution season that coincides with cold and stagnant air, which can trap industrial and tailpipe emission close to the ground. Salt Lake City had the nation's dirtiest air Thursday, far exceeding health standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Air-pollution-taking-hold-over-N-Utah-5059124.php Sierra Club threatens suit over Ameren air quality. An environmental group says it plans to soon sue utility provider Ameren over what it calls repeated violations of federal air pollution standards. The Sierra Club told Ameren Corp. it plans legal action in the next 60 days over what the group says are nearly 10,000 violations of the Clean Air Act since 2008 at coal-fired power plants in St. Louis, Jefferson and Franklin counties. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Sierra-Club-threatens-suit-over-Ameren-air-quality-5058960.php AQMD issues ‘no burn' warning today for L.A., Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Due to an unhealthful air quality forecast, today will be a no-burn day for residents living in the South Coast Air Basin. Residents living in the basin, which includes all of Orange County and the non-desert areas of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in their fireplaces for the 24-hour period that began at midnight…Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/general-news/20131213/aqmd-issues-no-burn-warning-today-for-la-orange-san-bernardino-and-riverside-counties Homeowner power products maker agrees to $1 million California air board fine. Husqvarna Professional Products has agreed to pay a fine of $1,038,000 for violations of air quality laws related to the sale of uncertified small engines in California, according to the state Air Resources Board. Husqvarna is an international company whose outdoor products include chain saws, lawn mowers, trimmers, blowers, brush cutters and snow blowers. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/12/12/3389350/homeowner-power-products-maker.html http://www.examiner.com/article/husqvarna-professional-products-fined-more-than-1-million-by-arb Judges skeptical of industry challenge to EPA nonroad regs. Federal judges appeared reluctant today to back a challenge from the makers of nonroad engines to U.S. EPA's air regulations. The case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit represents yet another attempt by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) to undermine EPA's 1994 regulations and California's later attempt to implement more stringent standards. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991851/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Mild 2013 cuts Arctic a break, warming woes remain. The rapid melting in the Arctic eased up this year. But the government says global warming is still dramatically altering the top of the world, reducing the number of reindeer and shrinking snow and ice, while increasing certain fish and extending the growing season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its report card for the Arctic on Thursday, portraying 2013 as moderate compared with the roasting 2012. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Mild-2013-cuts-Arctic-a-break-warming-woes-remain-5058592.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/12/5996161/noaa-arctic-sea-ice-melt-linked.html FUELS Keystone XL's true effect on emissions is Obama's main issue. The oil industry says the pipeline can pass the test, but critics say it will lead to more oil sands extraction, and thus, more greenhouse gases. Can the Keystone XL pipeline be built without significantly worsening greenhouse gas emissions and climate change? For President Obama, that is the main criterion for granting a federal permit to allow the pipeline to cross from southern Alberta into the United States. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-canada-tarsands-20131213,0,3099649.story#ixzz2nNX0Do9S State issues emergency fracking regulations. The California Department of Conservation on Thursday announced it has come up emergency regulations on oil and gas well stimulation that will go into effect Jan. 1. The department is working on developing rules that will regulate hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, that will go into effect at the start of 2015. Posted. http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/state-issues-emergency-fracking-regulations/article_c38e64d0-63cb-11e3-9133-0019bb2963f4.html Developing plant-based plastics and other materials could help cut greenhouse gases. Encouraging the development of plant-based feedstocks could help achieve the administration's goals in addressing climate change, a panel of experts said yesterday. Speaking at a briefing organized by the American Chemical Society, the panelists discussed the benefits of replacing petroleum-based fuels, plastics and chemicals with ones made from soybeans, coconuts, wood and various other potential materials. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/12/13/stories/1059991811 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Calif. agency deepens probe into authority over offshore fracking. The agency in charge of protecting California's coastline is scrutinizing whether it has the authority to police the use of hydraulic fracturing for offshore deposits of oil and natural gas. The California Coastal Commission oversees use of land and water along the 1,100-mile coast but until now hasn't weighed in on the unconventional drilling that's happening offshore. Revelations that fracking is happening there could change that. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059991821/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Ford to make start-stop technology available on 70% of its N. America lineup by 2017. Auto Start-Stop technology will be available on 70% of Ford’s North American vehicle lineup by 2017, the company said. Ford Auto Start-Stop can increase fuel efficiency by up to 10% in city driving. A major part of the company’s Blueprint for Sustainability, the expansion of Auto Start-Stop comes as the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine (earlier post) is set to go on sale in the 2014 Ford Fiesta. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/12/20131213-fordss.html Electric car sales have a banner year, but overall volumes remain low. In a sign of the strengthening economy, more than 15 million new cars and light trucks will be sold in the United States this year, up from 14.4 million in 2012. Among them will be a record number of electric vehicles, though overall volumes remain low as consumers slowly grow comfortable with the new technology. "There was an expectation that electric vehicles would take off very quickly, but this is a process," said auto industry analyst Alan Baum. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_24714434/electric-car-sales-have-banner-year-but-overall?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com New US Survey Finds Lots of Americans Are 'EV-Ready'. When it comes to electric cars, most people are worried about their limited range and potential repair costs. Instead, they should be concerned about where to plug the cars in. That’s the conclusion of a new study by Consumers Union and the Union of Concerned Scientists, which surveyed 914 adults who own cars in a nationally representative telephone sample. Posted. http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=31927 GREEN ENERGY Mexico Congress Passes Historic Energy Bill. Mexico's Congress voted amid fistfights and shouts of "treason" to end the 75-year monopoly of the state-owned oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos. The landmark bill aims to open the door for foreign oil giants to return to one of the world's biggest energy markets for the first time since 1938. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303932504579254013051981266 Earth Friendly Products is on a mission to make cleaning green. The firm manufactures dozens of natural cleaning products at its Garden Grove plant that it says are biodegradable and free of toxic chemical substances. At a Garden Grove manufacturing plant, chemists confer over batches of lavender, parsley and other natural ingredients, testing them for strength and quality. Other tests ensure that the products are pure and pour well. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-made-in-californa-green-cleaners-20131213,0,2326034.story#ixzz2nNnijNTr Homes equipped with rooftop solar sell at a premium in Calif. It's common knowledge in the real estate world that homes with special amenities -- like oversized garages or backyard swimming pools -- fetch a higher price on the resale market. But what if the home is equipped with rooftop solar panels, an amenity that is a material asset but can also reduce the homeowner's energy costs? Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991810/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Solar installations to grow 20% globally in 2014, Citigroup says. Solar power demand will grow 20 percent worldwide next year, led by booming activity in the United States, China and Japan, Citigroup analysts said in a report. Worldwide new solar installations will rise to 42 gigawatts next year from an estimated 35 GW this year, the report forecast. Installations in the United States will rise to 5.4 GW from 4 GW, in China to 10 GW from 8 GW, and in Japan to 9 GW from 7 GW. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991777/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS San Francisco bicycle boom follows bike-friendly upgrades. It will come as little surprise to anyone who's seen the river of riders flowing along Market Street during commute hours that an annual census shows bicycling continues to boom in San Francisco. The number of people riding bikes has increased 14 percent since 2011 and 96 percent since 2006. That's the conclusion of the 2013 bicycle count taken by the Municipal Transportation Agency in September and released Thursday. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-bicycle-boom-follows-bike-friendly-5060338.php OPINIONS Energy Needs of the World’s Poor. Re “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels” (Op-Ed, Dec. 4): While Bjorn Lomborg is correct in that the challenge of bringing energy access to the 1.2 billion people who lack it and the challenge of combating global climate change are entwined, I disagree with his notion that governments could and should unlink these challenges to tackle them sequentially. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/opinion/energy-needs-of-the-worlds-poor.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print BLOGS Pollution cuts at the port promise a breath of fresher air for West Oakland. The Port of Oakland said that diesel pollution from its maritime operations has plunged 70 percent from 2005 levels, even as the port is handling 3 percent more cargo. The port is in the midst of a larger push to reduce its diesel pollution in West Oakland 85 percent by 2020. Tim Leong, an environmental scientist at the port, said the agency is on track to meet that goal. “The community can breathe easier,” Leong said. “The port is doing its part.” Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/inoakland/2013/12/12/pollution-cuts-at-the-port-promise-a-breath-of-fresher-air-for-west-oakland/ Clean Air Has Its Day In Court. Two of the most important health standards ever adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce harmful air pollution from power plants had their day in court this week. Actually two courts: the Supreme Court heard arguments on EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which targets smog and soot pollution emitted from power plants in upwind states that travels across state boundaries to foul the air in downwind states. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jwalke/clean_air_has_its_day_in_court.html What Does Climate Change Have to Do with Health? Plenty. When people think of climate change, they tend to think of it as a science and environmental issue. But climbing levels of greenhouse gases, particulate matter, and rising seas hurts more than the environment. It harms people’s health, too. “Climate change is one of greatest public health threats of our time,” said Anne Kelsey Lamb of Oakland’s Public Health Institute. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2013/12/12/what-does-climate-change-have-to-do-with-health-plenty/ Pacific Coast Action Plan on climate and energy. On Monday, October 28, 2013, the governors of California, Oregon, Washington, and the premier of British Columbia signed a landmark climate change agreement, known as the Action Plan, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy incentives along the Pacific Coast. In a novel process that bypassed the federal legislative processes in the United States and Canada…Posted. http://watchlist.vermontlaw.edu/pacific-coast-action-plan-on-climate-and-energy/ Cap-and-trade generates $3.3 million for energy efficiency this year. Vermont’s efficiency utility received $3.3 million this year through the Northeast carbon cap-and-trade initiative. The money will be used to fund the state’s thermal efficiency program. Vermont participates in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade “market” among nine Northeastern states designed to cap regional greenhouse gas emissions and encourage states to invest in renewable energy and efficiency projects. Posted. http://vtdigger.org/2013/12/12/cap-trade-generates-3-3-million-energy-efficiency-this-year/ States look to alternative fuel vehicles for efficiencies. States interested in squeezing every last efficiency out of their budgets are increasingly turning to vehicles that run on alternative fuels or use less gas, initiatives officials say could end up saving millions of dollars over the long run — while helping to spur an emerging industry. Vehicles make up a significant percentage of a state’s budget. States, counties and municipalities owned more than 3.7 million vehicles in 2011…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/13/states-look-to-alternative-fuel-vehicles-for-efficiencies/ The Remarkable Energy Efficiency of Electric Cars. A Belgium research group called Laborelec, with support from Brussels' Vrije University, set out two years ago to collect extensive data on the energy use of electric cars. Funded by Electrabel, the Belgian utility, they acquired five Peugeot Ion EVs, essentially clones of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, some 30,000 of which have been sold worldwide. Posted. http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=31928 40% of American households could easily drive EVs without changing habits. It's a solution that would please just about everyone, save Exxon. Find every American household that could theoretically get by with a plug-in vehicle, and make them buy 'em. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Consumers Union says about 45 million households – about 42 percent of all the households in the US - could drive plug-in vehicles with "little or no change" in their driving habits. And more than half of those could go on just as they are today if they drove battery-electric vehicles. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/12/40-of-american-households-could-easily-drive-evs/ Bosch has big plans for better, cheaper li-ion batteries in 2020. Robert Bosch GmbH and GS Yuasa Corp. think they can solve the cost and range limitation quandaries faced by lithium ion batteries and the electric vehicles they go into. By 2020, German automotive supplier Bosch and Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa plan to deliver a li-ion battery that costs half as much to produce and offers twice the energy density of today's batteries. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/12/bosch-has-big-plans-for-better-cheaper-li-ion-batteries-in-2020/ So if the carbon tax is not working, then what is? We are told by the government the carbon tax is a huge waste of money. Emissions, they say, are not coming down. Despite throwing billions of dollars at it, there has been no appreciable result, they claim. It’s time to face the reality, and try a new approach – Direct Action. Meanwhile, we are told the carbon tax is a dead weight on the economy and, at least as part consequence, industrial output is declining alarmingly. Posted. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/so-if-the-carbon-tax-is-not-working-then-what-is-93123 The Climate Post: Clean Air Rules Face Scrutiny as World's Largest Emitter Develops Climate Plan. Oral arguments were held Tuesday to determine the legality of a rule that regulates air pollution crossing state lines. Before the U.S. Supreme Court was the issue of whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority by designing state limits for air pollution when it developed the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which was intended to take effect in January 2012. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-profeta/the-climate-post-clean-ai_b_4439806.html?view=print&comm_ref=false Secondhand smoke: Why East Coast cities are still choking on Midwest pollution. When pollution drifts by wind into other states, landing in people’s lungs and endangering their lives, it seems sensible to require the state where the pollution originated to put in controls so its industry stops harming its neighbors. It’s like a family of smokers in which a child has asthma: The onus is on the adults to limit their smoking so it doesn’t reach the crib or the playroom. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/secondhand-smoke-why-east-coast-cities-are-still-choking-on-midwestern-pollution/