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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 2, 2014 Posted: 02 Jan 2014 12:06:11
ARB Newsclips for January 2, 2014. 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 Value of global CO2 markets drops 38 pct in 2013. Jan 2 (Reuters) - The value of global carbon markets dropped 38 percent to 38.4 billion euros ($52.9 billion) in 2013, as prices slid in the main EU and U.N. schemes and trade limited in new programmes, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said on Thursday. The value of carbon permits and credits traded was down from 62 billion euros in 2012 and 96 billion euros in 2011, a two-year period in which benchmark EU carbon permit prices fell to 5 euros per tonne from 18 euros, the analysts said in a report. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/02/co2-market-global-idUSL6N0KC1UY20140102 The world watches as California focuses on cap and trade. It was an important year for California’s ambitious efforts to limit greenhouse gases, one in which the buying and trading of pollution credits brought in big money but left lingering questions about how the money should be spent. This marked the first full year of the state’s cap and trade program, the combination of a gradually lowering carbon emissions cap combined with a clean-up-or-pay-up option for the industries affected. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20140101/NEWS10/301010029/The-world-watches-California-focuses-cap-trade AIR POLLUTION Utah's sickening smog worsens. Northern Utah remains under a week-long health alert from air pollution trapped inside mountain valleys. Authorities say no relief is in sight after pollution levels spiked Monday. New Year's Day opened with as many as 73 micrograms of fine soot per cubic meter in Weber County. That's nearly three times the federal standard, according to air monitors maintained by the Utah Division of Air Quality. Pockets of air pollution can be found across western states. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says) Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas and central California are suffering from the country's worst air. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Utah-s-sickening-smog-worsens-5106667.php Residential No-Burn Area Includes Pass Residents Below 3,000 Feet. Residents living below 3,000 feet in the San Gorgonio Pass are not permitted to burn wood in their fireplaces today, New Year's Eve, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The residential no-burn alert was issued because of elevated fine particulate levels predicted by district forecasters. Posted. http://banning-beaumont.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/residential-noburn-area-does-not-include-the-coachella-valley Regional burn ban extends to Thursday. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has extended its winter Spare the Air alert for a 25th day to Thursday, asking that most of the region’s 1.4 million wood-burning fireplaces and stoves remain unlit. The alert bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours in Napa and eight other counties, with the exception of homes where a wood-burning stove is the only permanent heating source. High pressure over the region has continued to allow air pollution to build up to unhealthy levels on New Year’s Day, the district said in a news release. Posted. http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/regional-burn-ban-extends-to-thursday/article_2f33e4ba-7332-11e3-9143-0019bb2963f4.html CLIMATE CHANGE Stationary Sources of Greenhouse Gases. This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the Clean Air Act is flexible enough to allow the U.S. EPA to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources, such as industrial facilities. But it has refused to hear an appeal of the D.C. Circuit's ruling that greenhouse gases, by contributing to climate change, present a danger to the environment. Will the Court now allow the EPA to control greenhouse gases that come from stationary sources? On October 15, the Court agreed to hear Texas v. EPA, No. 12-1269, one of six consolidated appeals from the D.C. Circuit's decision in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA. That decision upheld EPA's endangerment finding for greenhouse gases and its rules for emissions from mobile sources (cars and trucks) and stationary sources (industrial facilities). Posted. http://eponline.com/articles/2014/01/01/stationary-sources-of-greenhouse-gases.aspx Behind the Scenes, Kerry Makes a Pact on Climate a Priority. As a young naval officer in Vietnam, John Kerry commanded a Swift boat up the dangerous rivers of the Mekong Delta. But when he returned there last month as secretary of state for the first time since 1969, he spoke not of past firefights but of climate change. “Decades ago, on these very waters, I was one of many who witnessed the difficult period in our shared history,” Mr. Kerry told students gathered on the banks of the Cai Nuoc River. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/world/asia/kerry-shifts-state-department-focus-to-environment.html?hpw&rref=us HIGH SPEED RAIL Calif. bullet train in limbo after legal setbacks. Officials overseeing California's $68 billion high-speed rail project have taken pains in recent weeks to assure the public that construction plans are moving ahead, characterizing a series of recent setbacks as "a bump in the road." That optimism comes despite recent court rulings against the project, creating confusion about the bullet train's prospects. A Sacramento County judge invalidated the rail authority's business plan, forced it to show how it will pay for the first 300 miles of construction and rejected a request from the authority that would allow the state treasurer to sell $8.6 billion in bonds. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/02/calif-bullet-train-in-limbo-after-legal-setbacks/ http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/02/3115310/calif-bullet-train-in-limbo-after.html Related Links: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/01/02/3694275/calif-bullet-train-in-limbo-after.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_24832660/calif-bullet-train-limbo-after-legal-setbacks?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com www.insidebayarea.com/ci_24832660/calif-bullet-train-limbo-after-legal-setbacks?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com DIESEL EMISSIONS Truck pollution deadline extended. Truckers will have more time to comply with major new pollution rules, but they must prove by the end of this month that they're making a good-faith effort to do so. Wednesday was originally the deadline for many truckers - including thousands in the San Joaquin Valley - to begin upgrading their rigs to emit less harmful diesel pollution. Officials have expressed concern, however, for the smallest fleets, including businesses comprising just one, two or three trucks. Owners typically lack the financial backing of a large company to pay for new filters that could cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140102/A_NEWS/401020317 ARB: Deadline to register refrigeration systems is March 1. Owners and operators of facilities with non-residential refrigeration systems must register their systems with the California Air Resources Board by March 1. The deadline applies to refrigeration systems using high global-warming-potential refrigerants that have a full charge of at least 200 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds. These are designated as “medium-sized” systems under a California state regulation to minimize leaks of environmentally harmful refrigerants. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/31/6038658/arb-deadline-to-register-refrigeration.html#storylink=cpy VEHICLES Ford to unveil solar hybrid concept car at CES. Ford plans to unveil at this month's International CES gadget show a solar-powered concept car that offers the same performance as a plug-in hybrid but without the need for a plug. The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car uses a gasoline engine combined with a gizmo that acts like a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's rays on the vehicle's roof-mounted solar panels. The automaker says the vehicle's estimated combined city-highway mileage is 100 mpg. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/01/ford-to-unveil-solar-hybrid-concept-car-at-ces/ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-02/ford-adds-solar-cells-to-recharge-electric-concept-car.html Electric cars may hold solution for power storage. The thick blue cables and white boxes alongside an industrial garage here look like those in any electric-car charging station. But they work in a way that could upend the relationship Americans have with energy. The retrofitted Mini Coopers and other vehicles plugged into sockets where a Chrysler plant once stood do more than suck energy out of the multi-state electricity grid. They also send power back into it. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-electric-cars-20131229,0,5640652.story#axzz2pEPyz2jO GREEN ENERGY Greek Wind-Powered Electricity Capacity Grew 6.6 Percent in 2013. Installed wind-powered electricity capacity in Greece rose to 1,864.6 megawatts at the end of 2013 from 1,749.4 MW a year earlier, the Hellenic Wind Energy Association said. Installed capacity rose by 71.15 MW in the second half of 2013 compared with an increase of 44.05 MW in the first half and 10.35 MW in the second half of 2012, showing investment recovery amid adverse economic conditions, the Athens-based association said today in an e-mailed statement. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-02/greek-wind-powered-electricity-capacity-grew-6-6-percent-in-2013.html Bay Area Bike Share shifts into expansion mode. Three months after it pedaled to a long-awaited start, the regional Bay Area Bike Share program is on a roll and planners are already working to make it bigger. People took more than 80,000 rides in the system's first three months, traveling more than 178,000 miles on the bike sharing system's 700 sturdy bicycles, which are scattered among five cities: San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Area-Bike-Share-shifts-into-expansion-mode-5107275.php MISCELLANEOUS Karen Bright remains Grover Beach's air board representative. Grover Beach Councilwoman Karen Bright remains the city’s representative on San Luis Obispo County’s air board, despite efforts by a group of off-road vehicle enthusiasts to reseat the city’s mayor in the position. The Grover Beach City Council didn’t give direction to change committee assignments during a special meeting Monday, leaving Bright on the Air Pollution Control District board and Mayor Debbie Peterson as the alternate. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/12/31/2857305/grover-beach-city-council-air.html Cleaning the Mobile Germ Warehouse. Take a look at your mobile device. Do you see oily fingerprints and lint on the touch screen? Dust and crumbs forming particulate frost in the corners? Is that a hair stuck at the screen’s edge? Because our electronics are constantly within our grubby grasp, they can get pretty gross. They are taken into public restrooms, handed to runny-nosed toddlers, passed around to share photos and pressed against sweaty skin in gyms. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/02/technology/personaltech/cleaning-the-mobile-germ-warehouse.html?ref=science&_r=0 BLOGS Automakers rushing to new HVAC refrigerant for EPA fuel economy credits. We don't have any new supercars to show you today. No new Teslas or SUVs. No new engines or technologies. No mergers, acquisitions or big hires. What we have to tell you about is the coolant automakers are putting into their vehicles. Which may not sound so exciting, but it could mean a big difference for automakers – and for the environment. That coolant is called 1234yf. It has a higher cost than the R134a commonly used in most vehicles, yet government regulators and automakers are scrambling to adopt it. Why? Because it is more environmentally friendly, and the EPA is offering automakers valuable credits which can help them shore up against tightening efficiency standards. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/01/02/1234yf-coolant-refrigerant-epa-credit-report/ Plug In America predicts good EV sales in 2014 and beyond. No one here is surprised that Plug In America is confident in the future of plug-in vehicles. This is a group that has fought for years to increase their numbers in the US and was able to celebrate, finally, the sale of the 100,000th EV (a Mitsubishi i-MiEV) here earlier this year. In other words, PIA has reason to see the upside. In a fundraising email, Richard Kelly, president of Plug In America, took stock of what the group accomplished in 2013, including the third National Plug In Day (NPID, pictured), and he said the year was a "pivotal" one for plug-in vehicles. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/31/plug-in-america-predicts-good-ev-sales-in-2014-and-beyond/ 5 Things to Watch: China’s Energy and Environmental Policy. An overhaul of China’s energy and environmental policies will be in focus next year as the country struggles to balance economic growth with protecting the environment. In November, China’s central government said in its landmark reform plan that it would allow markets to take a more “decisive role” in the economy, a signal that the era of cheap, tightly controlled energy prices might be over. Here are some major energy and environmental-policy reforms to look out for in 2014. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/five-things/2013/12/31/5-things-to-watch-chinas-energy-and-environmental-policy/ Some New Year's relief from California's anti-pollution Big Brother. Some Happy New Year sentiments from the California Air Resources Board. For once, the bureaucrats and desk occupiers are actually listening to the industry. The shorepower at-berth regulations are allowing some leeway (“good faith” in CARB terms) for vessels and operators unable to comply with the rules, which come into force from January 1, through no fault of their own. "The overall goal of this action is to recognize good faith compliance efforts while ensuring that emissions reductions required by the Regulation are achieved in a timely manner to provide critical public health benefits for communities near ports." Posted. http://www.maritimeprofessional.com/Blogs/Martin-Rushmere/December-2013/Some-New-Year-s-relief-from--California-s-anti-pol.aspx California Releases Vehicle-Grid Roadmap. Building better batteries isn’t the only way that the cost of a plug-in-electric vehicle can be lowered. Finding more uses for the batteries that are already in the vehicles is another way to lower costs. California just released a plan that explores one way to do that. The “Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap” is a blueprint for allowing electric vehicles to store energy for the grid and sell it back when that electricity is needed. Of course, the main driver behind the Roadmap is to allow California’s electricity network to handle the plug-in electric portion of the 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles that will be on the road in California by 2025 if the state’s target is realized. Its purpose is to “lead to EV charging behavior that is beneficial or at least not adverse to grid reliability,” says the Roadmap. Posted. http://www.plugincars.com/california-releases-vehicle-grid-roadmap-129173.html California’s Pioneering Spirit Endures under Cap and Trade. California’s state motto is “Eureka,” (Greek for “I found it”) referring to the discovery of California gold in 1848. Shortly thereafter, the Golden State quickly became the land of opportunity, spurring new technologies and catapulting California to the forefront of global innovation. While California may no longer be flush with gold, it remains a leader in emerging industries, innovation, and technology. In 2013, it stayed true to its pioneering spirit with the successful launch of the state’s ambitious cap-and-trade program, which is now attracting international interest. Posted. http://blogs.edf.org/californiadream/2014/01/02/californias-pioneering-spirit-endures-under-cap-and-trade/