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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 13, 2014.

Posted: 13 Jan 2014 12:39:11
ARB Newsclips for January 13, 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.


Top voluntary carbon market program to ban HFC-23 projects.
Verified Carbon Standards (VCS), the world's leading voluntary
program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said its rules for
carbon offset projects will no longer allow projects that destroy
potent greenhouse gas HFC-23 to earn carbon credits, betting that
international efforts to regulate the gases will be successful.
The refrigerant industry introduced HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons,
to replace CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons…Posted.

California's Carbon Market a Success in its First Year, Report
Finds.  Despite earlier gloomy prognostications that California's
greenhouse gas cap and trade system would violate the law and
tank the state's economy, the program's first year has been a
remarkable success. That's according to a report on the program
released this week by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
According to the report, entitled California Carbon Market Watch:
A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State's Cap-and-Trade
Program, Year One…Posted.


US carbon pollution up 2 percent in 2013. A new government report
says energy-related carbon dioxide pollution increased slightly
last year after declining for several years in a row. The 2
percent increase was largely due to a small increase in coal
consumption in the electric power sector. Coal, long the dominant
source for U.S. electricity, has regained some market share in
recent months as natural gas prices have increased following
historic lows in 2012. Posted.

Chinese Drivers Pollute Without Guilt. During Beijing’s
gridlocked rush hours, do the city’s car-owning multitudes ponder
who is responsible for the gray skies choking their city and
lungs? With 5.4 million cars on the capital's roads today, and
another 1 million expected by 2016, it would seem like a natural
question to ask. Yet despite traffic that appears to worsen by
the week, and pollution that certifiably worsens by the year,
Chinese drivers don’t seem to be taking much interest in what
their role might be in causing -- and abating -- air pollution.

Europe Seen Facing More Droughts This Century on Climate Change.
Europe is poised to suffer more droughts as the 21st century
progresses because of climate change, according to a study by the
European Union’s Joint Research Centre and Germany’s University
of Kassel. Many river basins, particularly in southern Europe,
will probably become more prone to periods of reduced water
supply as average global temperatures rise…Posted.

China mulls national pollution permit trading system. China will
look into establishing a nation-wide trading system for pollution
permits as part of efforts to use market mechanisms to help clean
up its environment, the country's top environment official said.
In remarks published on the website of the Ministry of
Environmental Protection (www.mep.gov.cn) on Friday, Minister
Zhou Shengxian said China was working on new regulations for
pollution permits…Posted.

Air quality officials OK strict new rules for battery plant
emissions. The rules for arsenic and other chemicals apply to two
battery recyclers, Exide Technologies in Vernon and Quemetco in
the city of Industry. After an emotional hearing that had
residents of southeast Los Angeles County talking about family
members who have died of cancer, air quality officials voted
unanimously Friday to adopt strict new rules on emissions of
arsenic, benzene and other toxic chemicals from lead-acid battery
facilities. Posted.

Ailments diminish, air improvements are notable after oil field
closes. Residents close to the Allenco oil field ordered shut
down in November say they are breathing easier, and hoping it
stays closed. By Louis Sahagun and Francine Orr. Maria de la Cruz
is doing something these days she says she hasn't done in years.
She lets her grandchildren play in the living room — and even
opens the windows to let air circulate. 

Smoke from wildfires adversely affects immune system, UC Davis
study says.  A novel UC Davis study with possible implications
for human health has found that exposure to wildfire smoke makes
young rhesus monkeys more vulnerable to disease.  The research,
conducted by UC Davis and the California Air Resources Board,
found that rhesus macaque monkeys born at the university’s
Primate Research Center in the summer of 2008 – an unusually
intense fire season – had depressed immune systems compared with
those born a year later.  Posted. 


Central Hong Kong Sees Near-Record Pollution Levels in 2013. 
Roadside pollution worsened in Hong Kong’s Central district last
year as vehicular emissions helped send nitrogen dioxide
concentrations to near-record levels, an environmental advocacy
group said. Citywide levels of the pollutant, linked to damaged
lung function, were the second-highest on record, according to
Clean Air Network Ltd. …Posted.

Air quality officials declare Saturday a no-burn day for Los
Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside Counties.  The
South Coast Air Quality Management District has declared a
no-burn day for Saturday, starting at midnight. Residents of the
four counties within the L.A. air basin — Los Angeles, Orange,
San Bernardino and Riverside — are prohibited from burning wood
in their fireplaces during the no-burn period. Posted.

Rain Shortage Brings Sooty Air and Health Problems.  Some parts
of the state saw a little rain over the weekend, but it's been a
bone-dry winter in California, and the story's not expected to
change much as the season wears on. That has consequences for air
quality, because rain helps clear the air of pollution. San
Joaquin Valley doctors in particular have seen a growing number
of people in recent weeks come in complaining of wheezing and
shortness of breath.  Posted. 

Blame it on coal: Carbon emissions up again in U.S. Coal made a
slight comeback last year, and carbon emissions went up in the
U.S. as a result. After two years of decreases, energy-related
carbon emissions ticked up 2 percent in 2013 thanks to an
increase in coal consumption by electric utilities. That's the
preliminary estimate from the Energy Industry Administration,
which projects another slight increase in carbon emissions this
year. Posted.


Rift over new EU energy, climate policy deepens. European
Commissioners clashed on Friday over what the European Union's
climate and energy policy goals for 2030 should be, with time for
agreement running short ahead of their planned publication this
month, EU sources said. The European Union has sought to lead the
global fight against climate change, but the economic crisis has
sapped the appetite of business and some member states for
decisive action because of concerns over competitiveness and
cost. Posted.

Carbon programs to refuse controversial GHG destruction projects.
The world's largest greenhouse gas program for the voluntary
market said Thursday that it will no longer certify
hydrofluorocarbon-23 (HFC-23) destruction projects, a move that
drew cheers from organizations that have sought to remove
incentives for such systems. The move by the Verified Carbon
Standard responded to a greater global demand for the regulation
of HFCs through the Montreal Protocol…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992778/print BY

Immediate weather appears to drive beliefs about climate change –
study. Previous studies have documented that weather and warm
days can influence people's beliefs about climate change, even if
researchers had only a thin grasp as to why. Is it that people
are not educated enough about the difference between weather and
climate? Or that pollsters are using phrasing that can bias
responses? Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992779/print BY

Global Warming 'Pause' Isn't What Climate Change Skeptics Say It
Is.  Scientists who study climate change and skeptics of
human-caused global warming can agree on at least this: Global
temperatures haven't risen nearly as much this century as model
projections say they should have.  At least, that's the way it
looks today. But according to a recently published study in the
scientific journal Earth's Future, the greenhouse gas-fueled
heating of the planet hasn't stopped at all during the global
warming …Posted. 


U.S. Gasoline Rises to 12-Week High, Lundberg Survey Shows. The
average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps climbed 8.41
cents in the past three weeks to $3.3459 a gallon, the highest
level since October 17, according to Lundberg Survey Inc. The
survey covers the period ended Jan. 10 and is based on
information obtained from about 2,500 filling stations by the
Camarillo, California-based company. The Jan. 10 retail price is
2.12 cents higher than a year ago, Lundberg said. Posted.

Gasoline Slips as Rising Supplies Reduce Value Versus Diesel.
Gasoline futures declined as rising supplies and lower demand
reduced their value versus ultra-low sulfur diesel. U.S. gasoline
inventories jumped to a 10-month high and demand slid 7 percent
in the week ended Jan. 3, according to Energy Information
Administration data. The motor fuel’s discount to diesel, based
on February contracts, widened 1.21 cents to 28.37 cents a
gallon. Posted.

California expects more crude oil by rail, seeks to beef up spill
response. Wary of a series of fiery train derailments elsewhere
in North America, California officials are bracing for a huge
increase in the amount of crude oil transported by rail into the
state and the dangers it brings with it. The state budget plan
Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled this week bolsters the state Office of
Oil Spill Prevention and Response, increasing its budget by $6.7
million and adding 38 staff members, "to address the increased
risk of inland oil spills." Posted.


Sexy performance meets 'green' ethic at Detroit auto show. To
look over the roster of racy new and future vehicles at the 2014
North American International Auto Show here, the initial
impression is that U.S., European and Asian automakers want to
turn back the clock to a time when performance and speed trumped
concerns about energy and the environment. So-called green cars —
electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells — are being
heavily overshadowed at the Detroit show by sports cars…Posted.


Brown needs pollution bucks for bullet train. The governor
proposes a controversial plan to use $250 million in
cap-and-trade funds to pay for his high-speed rail project. Gov.
Jerry Brown finally is showing us the money he hopes to parlay
into paying for his bullet train. Basically, it's the cash from
selling licenses to pollute. It's not called pollution licensing,
of course. Officially, it's a cap-and-trade program, a polite
government name for allowing industries to pollute for a fee.

Critics unite against Brown's bullet train funding. Gov. Jerry
Brown's proposal to redirect $250 million from California's
landmark effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spend it
instead on his beleaguered bullet train has renewed debate about
the future of the contentious project. In defending that part of
the budget proposal he released this week, Brown pitched the $68
billion rail line as the perfect way to unite a fractured state
and help California "pull together to form a greater community."


Aluminum industry makes deep cuts in energy use, greenhouse
gases. The production of primary aluminum in the United States
and Canada has seen a marked decline in energy use and greenhouse
gas emissions in recent years, according to a peer-reviewed
report released last week by the Aluminum Association. The
life-cycle analysis found that the energy needed to produce 1
metric ton of primary or new aluminum, from extraction to shape
fabrication, has fallen 11 percent since 2005 and 26 percent
since 1995. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992761/print  BY


West Coast radiation from Fukushima disaster poses no risk,
experts say. Scientists trying to quell an outburst of concern
say radiation from the 2011 tsunami that hit the Japanese nuclear
power plant has dropped. Radiation detected off the U.S. West
Coast from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has
declined since the 2011 tsunami disaster and never approached
levels that could pose a risk to human health, seafood or
wildlife, scientists say. Posted.

Benefits of going gas.  Bob and Mary Lou Schaeneman grew weary of
lugging firewood into the house.  So they upgraded from an
open-hearth fireplace to a pellet stove - only to discover that
air quality restrictions would often forbid them from using it. 
So the Schaenemans went one step further: Earlier this month,
they took advantage of a rebate program to help pay for a new gas
insert where their fireplace used to be.  Posted. 

California biodiesel show echoes 'strong' theme of nat'l event. 
The third annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel
Conference will be held Jan. 20 at the San Diego Convention
Center. Co-presented by the California Biodiesel Alliance and the
National Biodiesel Board, it echoes the “strong” theme of the
co-located National Biodiesel Conference & Expo.  California's
biodiesel industry has grown in size, strength and

LB City Council close to finalizing billboard ordinance, but “cap
and trade” proposal gets more scrutiny.  The Long Beach City
Council is close to fully adopting an ordinance that would
regulate static billboards and allow construction of electronic
advertising signs on a limited basis. Although the Council voted
to approve the initial ordinance at their Jan. 7 meeting in a
first-reading vote, representatives of a billboard company
strongly opposed details in the ordinance language that
specifically deal with a “cap and trade” program intended to
limit the number of billboards in the city.  Posted. 


COLUMN-Is nuclear power the answer on climate change? James
Hansen's latest press conference was positively scary. NASA's
former chief climate scientist (he recently left government to
pursue a more activist role) met with environmental journalists
last month at Columbia University to release a new study with the
ominous title, "Assessing Dangerous Climate Change: Required
Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future
Generations and Nature." Posted.

Shortchanging the science of changes in our climate. Debra J.
Saunders appears to be unclear on the meaning of the word
"science" ("Global warming's Antarctic icebreaker," Dec. 31).
Scientific data reveal that carbon dioxide levels in the
atmosphere have risen and fallen gradually over the last 400,000
years. The data also show that the CO{-2} concentration has shot
up in the past 200 years to twice the highest level ever seen
before. A lot of CO{-2} in the atmosphere suggests global
warming; insanely rapid changes in the CO{-2} cause chaotic
climate change. Posted.

Editorial: Use cap and trade auction proceeds wisely. In
budgetary flimflam last year, Gov. Jerry Brown raided the first
$500 million of cap-and-trade auction proceeds. That money was
supposed to go to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to reduce
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 – and by 2050, to 80 percent of
1990 levels. Now, with his 2014-15 budget proposal, he is trying
to make amends. Good. He proposes to repay $100 million this
year, and the rest within the next few years. He should commit to
no more raids. Posted.

Thumbs up, thumbs down.  Thumbs down to the San Joaquin Valley
Air Pollution Control District's governing board for not taking
more aggressive action to rid our region of sooty air that is
causing premature deaths and other health concerns. Soot levels
this winter have been very unhealthy — even for people with no
lung problems. Governing board members appear in radio and TV
commercials imploring residents to do "one thing" to help clean
the air. Posted. 

Stop polluting the air with wood fires.  Recently, my wife and I
returned to Napa Valley after a day visiting with our daughter,
son-in-law and grandsons in Green Valley. As we turned north on
Highway 29 from Highway 12, I was struck by the pungent odor of
burning wood.  Inasmuch as this was a Spare the Air day and
responsible residents of Napa Valley would therefore not be
stoking their fireplaces with toxic and pollution-causing fires,
I glanced around to see if I could detect the location of the
raging forest fire that must be producing such an odor.  Posted. 

PD Editorial: A cold-fueled climate debate.  Brrrrr. It's cold,
unusually cold, even for January. Frozen citrus in Florida.
Trains stuck in snowdrifts in Illinois. Ice choking the
Mississippi River. If they aren't tossing boiling water into icy
air, TV weathercasters are explaining the “polar vortex” — that
ridge of Arctic air responsible for plunging temperatures and
frosty winds from the Rockies to the Atlantic. And, right on cue,
the cold snap has produced a windy chorus of climate-change
skeptics. Posted.


After years of decline, U.S. carbon emissions rose 2 percent in
2013. The United States has been one of the few bright spots for
climate-change policy in recent years. Thanks to the recession,
improved efficiency measures and the shale-gas boom, the nation's
carbon-dioxide emissions from energy fell 12 percent between 2005
and 2012. But the party's now officially ending, at least for
those worried about global warming. In an early estimate…Posted.

TRANSPORTATION: DMV rolls out self-driving-car rules.  “Look,
Mom, no hands!”
Perhaps many of us remember saying something like that during our
childhoods, as we were about to launch a no-hands demonstration
of riding a bicycle or performing a stunt on the playground. Now,
imagine driving down the freeway and glancing at the car in the
next lane over — and noticing no hands on the steering wheel. It
could happen sooner than you might think. Or maybe not. Posted.

Meet Urban Tabby, the DIY EV you can build in 60 minutes or less.
 Earlier this month, EZ EV founder Gary Krysztopik told Plug In
Cars that his DIY electric vehicle kit could be built in a week.
Who knew that we'd be able to think of this as a near eternity so
soon? That's because we've got another company that says its
do-it-yourself EV can be built in an hour. Times are changing,
rapidly. OSVehicle (the OS stands for Open Source)…Posted.

Energy disruption: Will fracking end Big Oil? The US shale gas
and oil revolution has shown that hydrocarbons are almost
everywhere, Grealy writes, and we no longer need to go to the
ends of the earth or spend or spend a ton of capital to find
them. The new energy paradigm is a world where the most
attractive projects are those closest to markets.
Internationally, 2013 was the year when any doubts about shale
energy potential evaporated in the face of production of both
natural gas and oil in the US achieved levels that were simply
prodigious. Posted.

Low-Income People to Get Vouchers for Green Cars.  Transportation
is one of the most significant expenses for many people, and has
a huge impact on their household budgets. The average household
spends at least $9,000 – $10,000 a year on transportation, but
these costs may vary greatly depending on where you live and
whether you own a car and drive to work each day, or use the
public transportation system, instead. Posted. 

Carbon Pollution Funds Poised to Deliver on Advancing Clean
Energy in California.  Governor Brown’s administration made
public yesterday details of the first expenditure plan for
revenues generated from the sale of carbon pollution allowances
under California’s cap-and-trade program. The plan, set to be
released as part of the Governor’s budget on Friday, proposes to
spend $850 million in carbon pollution funds next fiscal year

Will the BMW i3 get the Green or White Sticker in California?  As
trivial as this question might sound, it might have serious
consequences for future buyers of the i3. Wait, what I am talking
about? As you might have heard already, the range-extended
version of the BMW i3, which is slated to arrive in the US
sometime in April, is apparently at risk of not qualifying for
all the incentives in California, which is the largest market for
plug-in vehicles as of this writing.  Posted. 

California More Than Doubles Solar Energy In 2013. California
installed more megawatts of solar energy in 2013 than it did in
the last 30 years combined, the California Solar Energy
Industries Association reported. "It took California over 30
years to build 1,000 MW of rooftop solar, hitting that landmark
in early 2013. Today, California is closing out the year with
more than 2,000 MW of rooftop solar systems installed statewide,"
CALSEIA executive director Bernadette Del Chiaro said. Posted.

Here’s another reason why renewables are at an unfair
disadvantage.  Recently, a new pipeline started pumping fracked
natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to Manhattan. It’s a
critical reminder of the importance of infrastructure in
determining our energy future — and of how lopsided our
infrastructure policy is.  Burdensome regulations governing
infrastructure are hampering renewable energy expansion, while
natural gas is facing no such obstacles. If renewable energy is
going to make up any significant portion of our nation’s
electricity needs…Posted. 

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