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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 24, 2013.

Posted: 24 Dec 2013 11:20:34
ARB Newsclips for December 24, 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.


Heavy Pollution Enshrouds Northern China Including Capital. Heavy
pollution enveloped northern and central China today, prompting
warnings for people to stay indoors as smog levels in some areas
exceeded World Health Organization-recommended levels by 30
times. The concentration of PM2.5, fine air particulates that
pose the greatest health risk, was 421 micrograms per cubic meter
at 2 p.m. near Tiananmen Square in Beijing…Posted.

Lung cancer: A cloud on China's polluted horizon. China's doctors
are beginning to speak of a link between air pollution and lung
cancer. Children as young as 8 have been treated. he youngest
known lung cancer patient in eastern China is an 8-year-old girl
whose home is next to a dust-choked road in heavily
industrialized Jiangsu province.
Another patient was a 14-year-old girl from Shanghai, the
daughter of two nonsmokers with no family history of lung cancer.


Elon completes annual greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Elon
University's greenhouse gas emissions have increased over the
past six years with the growth of both the campus population and
its number of facilities, but on a per student and per square
foot measurement, emissions levels continue their steady decline,
according to the sixth annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
released this month by sustainability leaders at the university.
Posted. http://www.elon.edu/e-net/Article/84420 


Israel's new motor fuels strategy leans on gas. Israel plans to
cut oil use in transportation by 60 percent by 2025, an
aggressive target by world standards, and will tap into its
newfound natural gas deposits to make it happen. It is also
investing heavily to help start-ups developing battery and
biofuel technologies, and is offering an annual $1 million prize
to innovators in the field, almost on par with winning a Nobel.

Mo. hog farms to produce biogas. A Smithfield Foods subsidiary
has announced a joint venture to turn hog manure into energy at
its farms in northern Missouri. Murphy-Brown of Missouri is
providing the manure to produce biogas, a fuel similar to natural
gas. Roeslein Alternative Energy will manage the project and
secure financing for the $100-million project. Murphy-Brown, the
world's largest pork producer, was formerly called Premium
Standards Farm. Posted.

Md. study of gas drilling health effects outlined. The Maryland
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is announcing the scope
of a planned study of public health effects of natural gas
drilling in western Maryland. The agency said Tuesday that the
study will assess the possible impact of hydraulic fracturing on
water and air quality, noise and public safety. Posted.

Industry faces bleak 2014 with expired tax credit, low RFS
target. Even as they close out the year with record production
levels, biodiesel makers are facing an uncertain year at best in
2014. Producers will begin the year without their tax credit, a
$1-a-gallon production incentive that has spurred the expansion
of facilities and new participants entering the market. The
measure is set to expire along with a raft of other renewable
energy incentives Dec. 31. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059992281/print BY


High-speed charging for electric vehicles on its way, but not
quite there yet. Drivers may very well be aware of range
constraints on electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S or Nissan
Leaf, but the time it takes to charge might not be so clear.
Depending on an outlet's volts and amps, charging the battery on
a Tesla Model S could take anywhere from five to 100 hours, which
isn't the best news for those taking a longer trip. Posted.

Hyundai, Kia reach $400-million settlement over inflated MPG
claims. Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America, the U.S.
sales arms of the sibling South Korean automakers, said Monday
they have reached a settlement in class-action litigation over
inflating the fuel economy claims for their vehicles. Hyundai
will offer the owners of the models with the inflated ratings a
lump sum payment that will average $353. The payment varies
depending on whether the vehicle was purchased or leased. Kia’s
average payment will be $667. Posted.

Have Electric Cars Already Reached The Tipping Point? ABB Says
Yes. With wider choice and better cars, electric car ownership
seems to get more appealing by the month. But as yet, predicting
the future of the electric car industry has still been largely
guesswork--nobody quite knows how much batteries will come down
in price, how many electric cars automakers will sell, how low
the price needs to be for adoption to snowball. Posted.


Catching Rays in California, and Storing Them.  Solar power is
growing so fast in California — with installations by customers
increasing tenfold since 2006 — that it is turning the state’s
power system upside down.  In a twist that is being closely
watched by power companies around the country, California
utilities will install massive banks of batteries and other
devices to store the power surplus created by solar panels in the
afternoon, when the sun’s rays are strong. Posted.

DRI unveils solar array on Reno campus. Solar panels have been
installed on the rooftops and in the parking lot of the Desert
Research Institute in Reno. Officials say the solar array will
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 million pounds of carbon
annually, save the facility $80,000 a year in electrical costs
and create seven full-time jobs. Posted.

US To See Uncertainty In 2014 Wind Sector. The U.S. House of
Representatives has already gone on vacation back to their
districts and the Senate effectively adjourned for 2013 on
Friday, meaning that the one-year extension of the Wind
Production Tax Credit (PTC) will expire on January 1, 2014. The
PTC is a $0.022 per kilowatt-hour tax credit on the power that
new wind farms in the United States generate for the first ten
years of their operation. Posted.


Political Science at the EPA. The agency peer reviews itself on
its own coal ban. The Environmental Protection Agency pretends
that its mission is scientific, not political. But you sure
wouldn't know it from the campaign to cut out the EPA's
independent science advisers who exposed the junk science behind
the EPA ban on new coal power. The professors and Ph.D.s who sit
on the EPA Science Advisory Board, or SAB, review regulations
that involve novel scientific or technological fields, and
especially the credibility of the peer-reviewed research the EPA
is supposed to use. Posted.

Oil Industry Makes Use of Coal Carbon. America’s newest, most
expensive coal-fired power plant is hailed as one of the cleanest
on the planet, thanks to government-backed technology that
removes carbon dioxide and keeps it out of the atmosphere. But
once the carbon is stripped away, it will be used to do something
that is not so green at all. It will extract oil. When President
Obama first endorsed this “carbon-capture” technology, the idea
was that it would fight global warming by sparing the atmosphere
from more greenhouse gases. Posted.

Letter to the editor: We are kidding ourselves over this 'clean'
fuel. For decades, Americans believed that natural gas was a
clean-burning fuel. We worried little about its effect on the
environment. Nor did we worry about its effect on the lives of
people in rural areas who endure the pollution, noise and truck
traffic that goes with producing and processing natural gas. That
didn’t mean all was well. We’ve come to recognize that despite
all the hoopla over fracking for shale gas, it has its
down-sides. Posted.


Americans are buying less electricity. That’s a big problem for
utilities. Something very unusual has been happening to the U.S.
electricity sector over the past three years. The U.S. economy
keeps growing. People are buying bigger homes and plugging in
ever more electronic gadgets. And yet power companies have been
selling less and less electricity since 2011: Posted.

Arctic warming, jet stream coupling may mean another winter of
extreme storms and cold air outbreaks for eastern U.S.
Investigation of differences between northern hemisphere winters
from 2001-2013 and 1998-2000 leaves little doubt that a large and
consequential trend has occurred in the configuration of the
polar jet stream which is linked directly to pronounced warming
in high northern latitudes. Moreover, the overall trend has
remained largely unbroken and appears to have accelerated in the
last six winters. Posted.

Flood Grant Program To Let Communities Consider Rising Seas Due
To Climate Change. State and local leaders can now consider
expected sea level rise due to climate change when applying for
grants to help prevent property damage along coastlines, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Monday. Posted.

A new greenhouse gas. Now here’s something we needed like a hole
in the head: in a recent study a group of Canadian researchers
identified a new greenhouse gas (GHG). 
Perfluorotributylamine (let’s just call it PFTBA) is actually not
a new substance. It has been used in the electronics industry for
decades, but while scientists have suspected that its molecules
behave like tiny heat traps when they buzz around in the earth’s
atmosphere, they’ve never confirmed that suspicion until now.

In China, Dreaming of a Less Smoggy Christmas.  Christmas Eve,
marked by tens of millions of Christians in China and celebrated
in a secular fashion by millions more, saw heavy pollution
blanketing at least 78 cities with eight of them registering
beyond 500, the upper limit to the government’s air quality
index. And though for most Chinese Tuesday was an ordinary
working day, there was plenty of irritation about the smog, which
mostly affected the north of the country. Posted.

Used Better Place EVs sold at steep discount in Israel. Half-off
on electric vehicles that can go about three-quarters range on a
single charge? That's more or less what the new owner of Better
Place's battery-switching and EV-charging network in Israel is
proposing for a bunch of Renault Fluence Z.E. vehicles that it
has to get off of its hands. Posted.

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