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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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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


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.



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.

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.

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.

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


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. 

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. 

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. 


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.

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.

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

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


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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