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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 9, 2012 Posted: 09 Apr 2012 11:32:19
ARB News Clips for April 9, 2012. 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. AIR POLLUTION Field to families: Tehama County neighbors worry about chemical drift. Pesticide drift from a commercial strawberry field in the Bend area has a group of residents actively concerned about how the chemicals used will affect their health. When Sam Sleezer, 37, and his father-in-law Manuel Silveira, 65, installed new scientific devices to measure air quality on their neighboring properties in the Bend area, they hoped that they would find their concerns were unwarranted. I'm not against farming, Silveira said. However, results came back that levels of a toxic chemical found were far above safe levels beyond the time frame that it was supposed to be in the air. Posted. http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/news/ci_20347244/field-families-tehama-county-neighbors-worry-about-chemical Houseplants can help clean the air in your home. Indoor air can be hazardous to your health. But you can breathe easier with the help of your green friends: houseplants. Common houseplants such as philodendron, peace lily, corn plant, Gerbera daisy, spider plant, golden pothos, English ivy, Marginata and others can pull chemicals from the air and break them down through their leaves, roots and soil. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/houseplants-can-help-clean-the-air-in-your-home/article_4afe8513-64e1-552d-bf8f-f1b37fd2b9fa.html CLIMATE CHANGE California Climate Change Study: Golden State Most Likely To Survive Global Warming. As if we needed another reason to love California, the Golden State has been named most likely to survive the tolls of climate change. A recent study done by the Natural Resources and Defense Council highlights the best and worst states equipped with plans to combat water shortage and other problems expected to occur from globally increasing temperatures due to climate change. One of only nine, California was given top awards for an integrated and comprehensive preparedness plan that addresses all relevant water sectors and state agencies. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/08/california-climate-change-study_n_1409312.html Windfall of cash could hit state treasury from global warming program. For the past 10 years, California has struggled with huge budget deficits and wrenching cuts. Suddenly, however, the state is poised to raise billions from an unusual new source: the proceeds from its landmark global warming law. The windfall could come as soon as this fall, when state officials are set to begin auctioning off pollution credits to oil refineries, power plants and other major polluters as part of a new "cap-and-trade" system. The amounts are potentially enormous: from $1 billion to $3 billion a year in 2012 and 2013, jumping to as high as $14 billion a year by 2015, according to the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst's Office. By comparison, the state's current budget deficit is $9 billion. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20348097/windfall-cash-could-hit-state-treasury-from-global?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20348097/windfall-cash-could-hit-state-treasury-from-global?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com It's already been a very record-breaking hot year. It's been so warm in the United States this year, especially in March, that national records weren't just broken, they were deep-fried. Temperatures in the lower 48 states were 8.6 degrees above normal for March and 6 degrees higher than average for the first three months of the year, according to calculations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That far exceeds the old records. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/04/09/2149830/its-already-been-a-very-record.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Berkeley researchers tackle California’s carbon footprint. A newly launched UC Berkeley-powered state program aims to shrink California’s bulging carbon footprint at the grassroots level by helping individuals make better energy-related choices in the home, on the road and at the store. Sponsored by the California Air Resources Board, the Cool California Challenge, which kicked off April 1, brings together 10 cities in a yearlong community-based competition to cut carbon emissions — with the winner crowned California’s Coolest City. “Most Californians believe that climate change is a problem and that we should take action to reduce our carbon impact,” says Christopher Jones, head researcher at Cool Climate Network, an applied-research consortium at Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab, or RAEL. Posted. http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/04/06/cool-california-challenge-launches/ FUELS Shale gas exploration raises hope, fear in Poland. A slender shale gas rig rising from the midst of plowed fields and farm houses in Poland has inspired both hope for a local community's prosperity and fears it will ruin bucolic and peaceful village life. The rig in the central Polish village of Szymkowo belongs to Canadian-based Talisman Energy Inc., one among some two dozen international companies across Poland exploring thousands of meters (yards) underground for hidden deposits of natural gas hailed as a vast new source of fuel. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hgsYXl3ctpY9u4vE4a49sf29Uikg?docId=56afeef34cf34fe5937962a92782a830 AP Newsbreak: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/09/2793124/shale-gas-exploration-raises-hope.html#storylink=misearch http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/09/4400183/shale-gas-exploration-raises-hope.html#storylink=misearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/09/shale-gas-exploration-raises-hope-fear-in-poland/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/shale-gas-exploration-raises-hope-fear-in-poland/article_82cdf222-d18d-54d7-b1c6-419dc35d3ca3.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/04/09/2149880/shale-gas-exploration-raises-hope.html Biofuel firms face uncertainty over future government help. As one of the Bay Area's hottest biofuel businesses, Solazyme exemplifies to many everything that is right -- or wrong -- with the federal government's efforts to wean the nation off foreign oil. The South San Francisco firm has deals with the likes of Chevron and Honeywell. Its algae-based fuel was used in October for an unprecedented commercial airline flight. And in December it won a piece of a $12 million contract to supply biofuel for the Navy. But critics contend the fuel costs the Navy too much, arguing that the contract amounts to at least three times what the military typically pays. And despite the subsidies Solazyme and other biofuel companies have received from the federal government, they argue, the nation appears nowhere close to meeting a congressional mandate to produce 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20342896/biofuel-firms-face-uncertainty-over-future-government-help?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com OPINION SHANNON GROVE: California legislature should keep an open mind on climate change policy. A few weeks ago I had the great privilege of hosting the Honorable Christopher Monckton, one of the world's leading man-made climate change skeptics, at a legislative hearing at the state Capitol as well as at community events in Sacramento and Bakersfield. Monckton is a former advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and was among the first to advise her about the issue of global warming caused by fossil-fuel related emissions. While Thatcher was originally outspoken in warning of the dangers of global warming, she eventually saw the flaws in climate change research and orthodoxy and came to question its main scientific assumptions due in part to Monckton's influence. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/politics/local/x1322082433/SHANNON-GROVE-California-legislature-should-keep-an-open-mind-on-climate-change-policy SKELTON: First, find the bucks for bullet train. The bullet train boondoggle is looking more like a bullet bull's-eye. But one big question lingers: Where are the bucks? And even if the state can find the bucks, should it spend them on building a high-speed rail line, a cool choo-choo? Especially when higher education in California is such a train wreck? Education — kindergarten through college — should be our No. 1 priority, for both moral and economic reasons. Producing an educated, skilled workforce for the increasingly competitive global economy is even more important than creating temporary track-laying jobs. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120408/WIRE/120409655 Contra Costa Times Your Turn: Hydrogen highway is a long way from reality. Your March 26 front-page story, "Hydrogen highway gets back on track" suggests that the only impediment to a brave new world of hydrogen-powered vehicles is a lack of refueling stations. To the contrary, the problem is in the production of hydrogen. There are basically two ways to produce hydrogen. One is a process called steam reforming of natural gas in which steam reacts with natural gas (methane) at an elevated temperature to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The other is by electrolysis of water. Only the second method of production will accomplish the California Air Resources Board's goal of reducing or eliminating carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20343492/contra-costa-times-your-turn-hydrogen-highway-is Thomas Elias: California consumers stiffed. There was applause from environmentalists when Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Public Utilities Commission late last month accepted a $120 million settlement from NRG Energy Inc. for the part it and the bankrupt former electric generator Dynegy Inc. played in the power crisis that afflicted California 11 years ago. To be paid over four years, that settlement will see NRG spend 80 percent of the money on a network of electric car charging stations along major highways and in the state's biggest cities. Only 20 percent will go to consumers in the form of very small rate reductions. Posted. http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/dynegy-115190-energy-electric.html BLOGS A Fresh Look at How Humans Are Loading Climate ‘Dice’. James E. Hansen, the longtime climate scientist who has turned increasingly to activism in recent years, has updated his analysis of how the buildup of human-generated greenhouse gases is loading the climate “dice” so that hotter extremes are ever more likely. I talked with him in 2008 about his use of this apt metaphor. Here’s the video of our chat, followed by the abstract of his latest draft paper, “Public Perception of Climate Change and the New Climate Dice”. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/a-fresh-look-at-how-humans-are-loading-climate-dice/?scp=2&sq=climate%20change&st=cse What happens to America’s coal if we don’t burn it? Coal is slowly receding as America’s top power source. Thanks to a flurry of new air-pollution rules and cheap natural gas, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that U.S. coal consumption will fall this year to its lowest level since 1996. But if the United States isn’t going to use its own coal, what’s going to happen to the stuff? Since coal-burning is a major contributor to global warming, this is a crucial question. One possibility is that the United States will simply export coal abroad, for other countries to consume. There are signs this is starting to happen: Gregor McDonald flags a chart from the EIA, noting that U.S. coal exports soared last year to their highest levels in two decades…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-happens-to-us-coal-if-we-dont-burn-it/2012/04/09/gIQAEuxw5S_blog.html