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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 10, 2012 Posted: 10 Jan 2013 14:15:47
ARB Newsclips for January 10, 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. AIR POLLUTION UN finds rising mercury emissions, need for treaty. Mercury pollution in the top layer of the world's oceans has doubled in the past century, part of a man-made problem that will require international cooperation to fix, the U.N.'s environment agency said Thursday. The report by the U.N. Environment Program showed for the first time that hundreds of tons of mercury have leaked from the soil into rivers and lakes around the world. As a result of rising emissions, communities in developing countries face increasing health and environmental risks linked to exposure to mercury, the U.N. agency says. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g6PnOu6owlw7WPptjaX_WCCQyejA?docId=1fb8735f115d4176835fcb24ec4c7943 Other related articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/un-finds-rising-mercury-emissions-poses-health-threat-need-for-global-accord/2013/01/10/aee30f02-5b18-11e2-b8b2-0d18a64c8dfa_story.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/10/3128143/un-finds-rising-mercury-emissions.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22345681/un-finds-rising-mercury-emissions-need-treaty?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22345681/un-finds-rising-mercury-emissions-need-treaty?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/10/un-finds-rising-mercury-emissions-need-for/#ixzz2Hb2RAk6I CLIMATE CHANGE Cuomo Proposes Lower Carbon Cap for Northeast Cap-and-Trade Plan. New York Governor Andrew Cuomoproposed lowering the total amount of carbon dioxide that companies may emit under a regional cap-and-trade program to regulate air pollution. The nine states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative must “make a real difference on climate change by reducing the CO2 cap,” Cuomo said during his State of the State address in Albany today. The cap is currently 165 million tons a year and he didn’t say by how much it should be cut. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-09/cuomo-proposes-lower-carbon-cap-for-northeast-cap-and-trade-plan.html http://grist.org/news/n-y-gov-cuomo-lays-out-a-plan-to-fight-climate-change-increase-clean-energy/ Risk experts see climate change as one of the world's biggest business threats. Risk experts are concerned that the twin threats of economic upheaval and accelerating climate change could collide over the next decade, delaying crucial adaptation efforts while exposing nations to unpredictable financial loss from disasters. The World Economic Forum describes this "super storm" of risks as a top hazard to the global economy through 2022 as world and corporate leaders prepare for an annual summit in Switzerland later this month. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/10/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Confirmation hearing centers on oil fracking. In a legislative hearing that focused almost exclusively on fears about hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a former scientist rode the support of industry and environmental groups Wednesday to move a big step closer to becoming confirmed as the state's senior oil regulator. Mark A. Nechodom, a Gov. Jerry Brown appointee who took the oath of office almost a year ago but still requires confirmation by the state Senate, won a 5-0 vote of the Senate Rules Committee -- but not before being given a special homework assignment by the committee's chairman, Sen. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/x2088955317/Confirmation-hearing-centers-on-oil-fracking?utm_source=widget_63&utm_medium=latest_entries_widget&utm_campaign=synapse VEHICLES Honda will build hybrid Accord in Ohio. Honda will add about 50 new jobs at its central Ohio assembly plant as it starts building a new hybrid Accord sedan there this year, the company announced Thursday. The Japanese automaker said it will invest about $23 million in outfitting the plant in Marysville, near Columbus, to build the 2014 hybrid Accord. The third Honda hybrid to be built in the United States, the car will go on sale nationwide in the fall. Pricing has yet to be announced. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Honda-will-build-hybrid-Accord-in-Ohio-4182649.php#ixzz2HbCNQ4H4 Chevy Spark looks electric but runs on gasoline. Don't be surprised if some people assume the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is another newfangled electric car. Just 12 feet long and with an aerodynamic front end and abruptly chopped-off rear, the South Korean-built Spark could pass for an electric car. But there's no plug and no problem with fueling the 2013 version of this Chevrolet, because it comes with a gasoline-sipping, internal combustion, four-cylinder engine. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/09/chevy-spark-looks-electric-but-runs-on-gasoline/ California Energy Commission awards more than $1.8M additional funding to further UCSD microgrid project; energy storage, EV charging and V2G services are components. The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved funding to advance further the development of its pioneering 42 MWpeak microgrid and expand electric vehicle charging at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The Commission approved a $1.6-million award to increase its previously awarded funding of $1,394,298 for the university’s microgrid. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/cec-20130110.html Mercedes-Benz adds two more fuel-efficient models to new A-Class range; 5% improvement in both diesel and gasoline models. Just a few months after the launch of the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz is now adding two BlueEFFICIENCY Edition models to the range. The new A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Edition features a fuel consumption figure of 3.6 l/100 km (65 mpg US) according to the MVEG cycle and CO2 emissions of 92 g/km—making the new A 180 the most fuel-efficient combustion-engined Mercedes-Benz yet, according to the company. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/aclass-20130110.html GREEN ENERGY What Obama's Reelection Means For Green Energy. When Barack Obama was elected to the presidency in 2008, many assumed he had a mandate to pursue various alternative energy solutions against which previous administrations had hedged. Four years and a re-election later, the Obama administration’s aims remain very much the same, and its clean energy mandate is every bit as ambitious. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bmoharrisbank/2013/01/09/what-obamas-reelection-means-for-green-energy/ OPINIONS The Market and Mother Nature. Whenever I hear the word “cliff,” I am reminded of something that President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, used to say about how we need to respond to climate change because no one can predict when it might take a disruptive, nonlinear turn. “We are driving toward a cliff in a fog,” said Holdren about the climate, and that’s always a good time “to start tapping on the brakes.” Indeed, when you think about how much financial debt we’ve built up in the market and how much carbon debt we’ve built up in the atmosphere…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/opinion/friedman-the-market-and-mother-nature.html http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_22339862/thomas-l-friedman-market-and-mother-nature Letters: Climate danger. Re "Climate change won't wait," Opinion, Jan. 6 It is hard to understand President Obama's stand on climate change. His Energy secretary, Nobel laureate Steven Chu, said four years ago that, if we don't dramatically slow global warming, "we're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California." He went on to question the viability of California cities. Obama is not showing the type of resolve that Chu's statement would seem to demand. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0110-thursday-climate-change-20130110,0,956365,print.story Jim Harrington: New pollution rules mean less soot, healthier breathing. Following the advice of his scientific advisers, President Barack Obama has tightened the standard for particle pollution, which will soon prompt the cleanup of this deadly, widespread pollutant. This decision was badly needed. The nation's 15-year-old National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Particle Pollution has become misleading at best -- luring those who need accurate air quality forecasts most to believe the air is safe to breathe even when, in fact, it is not. Posted. http://www.freep.com/article/20130110/OPINION05/301100128/Jim-Harrington-New-pollution-rules-mean-less-soot-healthier-breathing Auditor: Congress could pay for road repairs via vehicle mileage-based tax. The government's auditor says Congress should institute a pilot program to test raising money for road repairs through a tax on vehicle miles traveled. Congress and the Obama administration have struggled to find new revenue to pay for maintaining the nation's roads, as gas tax revenue fails to keep up with repairs. Over the coming decade, the federal government faces a $110 billion shortfall for road repairs without new revenue, something that will get worse as government fuel efficiency mandates rise and reduce fuel use. Posted. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130110/AUTO01/301100344#ixzz2HbXyMpWW The beauty of a carbon tax – and its exemption for the poor. Taxing greenhouse gas pollution through a carbon tax lets the market, not government, pick the winners. Big polluters like electrical power plants would be encouraged to use cleaner energy. And a simple tax exemption could lower the costs passed on to poor Americans. A carbon tax is, remarkably, back in the political debate. Three years after President Obama in effect abandoned a “cap and trade” proposal after opponents effectively mocked it as “cap and tax,” his re-election has made it politically safe again to utter the word “tax.” Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2013/0110/The-beauty-of-a-carbon-tax-and-its-exemption-for-the-poor U.S. should put a price on carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Let's get one thing out of the way: No president, and no country, can stop global warming single-handedly. Even slowing it is tough. President Barack Obama isn't going to halt the rise of the oceans in his second term. And with Congress hostile to cap and trade and most other ideas for slowing, let alone rolling back, global warming, it will be difficult for him to do what's necessary. Posted. http://www.thehour.com/contributed_opinion/u-s-should-put-a-price-on-carbon-to-reduce/article_b17e816b-3fff-5a52-b006-ba35672c01da.html?mode=print Obama administration cuts hybrid, electric buys. Administration gets mostly Asian brands. President Barack Obama's administration, which set a goal of buying only alternative- technology vehicles for its fleet by 2015, cut purchases of hybrid and electric models by one-third last year and bought mostly Asian brands. About 54% of the 1,801 alternative-fuel vehicles purchased by U.S. government agencies last year were built by Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda…Posted. http://www.freep.com/article/20130110/BUSINESS01/301100142/U-S-cuts-hybrid-electric-buys BLOGS A Closer Look at a Shift in Britain’s Near-Term Global Warming Forecast. Quite a few professional climate skeptics have been crowing in the last few days about a 20-percent downward shift in the short-term forecast for global temperature (through 2017) from Britain’s weather and climate agency, best know as the Met Office. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/shift-in-british-climate-analysis-blunts-governments-short-term-warming-forecast/ In India, Solar Ambitions Are Suddenly Outsize. After years of lagging behind China and the West in the adoption of solar power, some states in India are proposing to build solar farms at a galloping pace that leaves them at risk of falling short of electricity (a familiar problem here) or of paying higher prices for it. In just the last five months, five Indian states have announced plans to bring giant amounts of solar power online within five years…Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/in-india-solar-ambitions-are-suddenly-outsize/?ref=earth California conservation chief faces grilling over fracking. Mark Nechodom, Gov. Jerry Brown's nominee for state conservation chief, won the support of a key Senate committee on Wednesday after a grilling from lawmakers over hydraulic fracturing -- and demands for more safeguards on the controversial drilling process before the upper house considers his final approval next week. Nechodom, a research scientist by training and former senior adviser on climate change in the U.S. Department of Agriculture…Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2013/01/california-conservation-chief-faces-grilling-over-fracking.html GE Adds Natural-Gas Vehicles To Its Electric And Alternate-Fuels Fleet. Back in 2010, General Electric promised it would replace over half its fleet with electric and plug-in vehicles. With planned orders for 25,000 plug-ins, it was quite some commitment--particularly at a time when only a handful of cars was available, and selling in very small numbers. Three years on, and it appears that GE has started to include natural gas and propane-powered vehicles to its green tally. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1081557_ge-adds-natural-gas-vehicles-to-its-electric-and-alternate-fuels-fleet