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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 11, 2013. Posted: 11 Feb 2013 13:01:39
ARB Newsclips for February 11, 2013. ARB Newsclips for February 11, 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 Toxic emissions rise in California. Toxic chemicals released into the environment by manufacturing plants and facilities in California rose in 2011 after steady annual declines since 2007, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's yearly Toxic Release Inventory report. The TRI report also found that releases decreased in Sacramento and Solano counties, but increased year over year in Placer and Yolo counties in 2011, the latest year for which the EPA has toxic release information. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/10/5178580/toxic-emissions-rise-in-state.html#storylink=cpy Fewer New Year fireworks in polluted Beijing. The annual Lunar New Year fireworks barrage in Beijing was notably muted Sunday following government appeals to reduce the smoky celebrations after air pollution rose to near catastrophic levels over recent weeks. The holiday was also being celebrated in Vietnamese and Korean communities, and in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, streams of residents offered flowers and bowed deeply before giant statues of national founder Kim Il Sung and his son and late leader Kim Jong Il. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/10/fewer-new-year-fireworks-in-polluted-beijing/#ixzz2Kbo77jj4 CLIMATE CHANGE New group seeks to save near-lawless oceans from over-fishing. The high seas that cover almost half the Earth's surface are a treasure trove with little legal protection from growing threats such as over-fishing and climate change, according to a new international group of politicians. "High levels of pillage are going on," David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, told Reuters. He will co-chair the Global Ocean Commission, which will start work this week and give advice to the United Nations on fixing the problems. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/11/us-oceans-idUSBRE91A00C20130211 Cool steps help fight global warming. When it comes to high-tech possibilities for counteracting climate change, the headlines tend to focus on the seemingly sci-fi stuff: brightening clouds, pumping particles into the stratosphere and launching giant mirrors into space. But there are down-to-earth versions of the same basic concept, approaches as simple as painting roofs white or using light-colored pavement to cast away more heat from the Earth. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/technology/dotcommentary/article/Cool-steps-help-fight-global-warming-4266070.php#ixzz2Kc4cozjB California Air Resources Board announces cap-and-trade workshops. The California Air Resources Board has announced three workshops to begin soliciting public comment on the development of an investment plan for the state portion of the AB 32 cap-and-trade auction proceeds. Two bills that were passed in 2012, AB 1532 (Perez) and SB 535 (De Leon), set the framework for the Department of Finance to develop an investment plan for projects and programs using cap-and-trade auction funds. Posted. http://www.tspntv.com/home/item/20027-california-air-resources-board-announces-cap-and-trade-workshops EPA Climate Change Adaptation Plan sees likely increase in tropospheric ozone, with more difficulty in attaining NAAQS in many areas. Among the many climate-related vulnerabilities that can impact its mission, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites a likely increase in tropospheric ozone pollution as potentially making it more difficult to attain National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in many areas with existing ozone problems. The analysis comes in a draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan that the agency has released for public comment. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/epa-20130210.html Obama admin releases first-ever climate adaptation plans. This year, the Commerce Department will investigate the feasibility of a bicycle share program. The Agriculture Department's Risk Management Agency will redraw planting zone maps for the purposes of insuring nursery-grown plants. And the Department of Defense will scale down its fleet of gas-guzzling Humvees. These are all examples of steps federal agencies will take in 2013 in an effort to deal with the risks of future climate change. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Climate change-related spending makes up 20% of new E.U. budget. European leaders agreed to a seven-year budget Friday worth €959 billion, or nearly $1.3 trillion, of which at least 20 percent is targeted for climate change-related spending. "This is a major step forward for our efforts to handle the climate crisis. Rather than being parked in a corner of the E.U. budget, climate action will now be integrated into all main spending areas -- cohesion, innovation, infrastructure, agriculture etc. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY After 800 years of isolation, warming opens a valley to fire. For close to a millennium, the sheltered valley of Fern Lake, 3 miles west of Estes Park, Colo., lay untouched by fire. Its remote location, high altitude and long, snow-blanketed winters made the valley something of an anomaly, a place where trees could age 800 years and never feel the decadal burns that moved through the rest of the Rocky Mountains. That changed last fall. For the first time in recorded history, lightning touched off a blaze around Fern Lake that smoldered for weeks, in what scientists call one of the clearest depictions to date that fire regimes are shifting under climate change. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS In-state oil fields don't all meet standard. Environmentalists often call oil from Canada's tar sands the dirtiest fuel on Earth, because the complex process of extracting it spews huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. But by that standard, some of the crude oil pumped in California is just as dirty. In a few cases, it's even worse. Several California oil fields produce just as much carbon dioxide per barrel of oil as the tar sands do, state data show. A handful of fields yield even more. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/In-state-oil-fields-don-t-all-meet-standard-4267131.php#ixzz2Kc464v6f Drought forces 20 ethanol plants to close. Twenty ethanol plants have ceased production as farmers struggle to produce corn during the ongoing drought. The Renewable Fuels Association said 191 plants remain operational. The shutdowns will likely last until fall, when 2013 corn is harvested. About 40 percent of the nation's corn crop is used in ethanol production. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/11/15 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Aging fields may not meet Calif. fuel standard. Several California oil fields produce the same amount of carbon dioxide per barrel of oil as the Canadian oil sands do, state data show. And a small number of fields produce even more, fueling debate over the state's low-carbon fuel standard. After years of use, some fields require injections of steam in order to produce more oil. Power plants create that steam, generating greenhouse gas emissions in the process. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/11/16 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Study finds European cars are less green than claimed. European car manufacturers are exploiting test loopholes to exaggerate their vehicles' green credentials, an official European Commission study has found. The report, which is likely to stoke already heated debate on carbon standards, found that cars are a lot less fuel-efficient and more polluting than their makers tell us. Simulations used to test new cars have never perfectly reflected actual emissions. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/08/us-eu-autos-testing-idUSBRE9170FM20130208 Plugging In, Dutch Put Electric Cars to the Test. When Patrick Langevoort’s company issued him an electric vehicle two years ago, the first months were filled with misadventure: he found himself far from Amsterdam, with only a 25 percent charge remaining, unable to find the charging point listed on a map. Though the car was supposed to travel 100 miles on a full battery, he discovered that cold weather and fast driving decreased that range. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/world/europe/dutch-put-electric-cars-to-the-test.html Ventura County paves smoother road for electric vehicles. Russell Sydney’s first electric vehicle was a scooter he used to zip around Santa Monica, propelled by a desire to ditch reliance on oil. A decade later, the founder of the Sustainable Transportation Club is still an electric vehicle advocate. The Santa Paula man owns three electric vehicles and is converting another vehicle from gasoline to electric. As a member of a close-knit community, Sydney has watched the ranks of electric vehicle owners grow over the past year as more carmakers roll out electric and electric hybrid models. He welcomes the change. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/09/ventura-county-paves-smoother-road-for-electric/#ixzz2Kbnn02Xo E.U. asks grid experts to plan for more electric cars. A group of Dutch, German and Danish specialist energy and software companies have been asked by the European Union to examine what an international smart energy grid might do to prod snail-paced electric vehicle sales. Project NEMO, which stands for Novel E-Mobility, has until April 2015 to come up with answers to the key questions of how an enlarged and redesigned grid could meet the charging demands resulting from major growth of electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/11/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Solar industry grapples with hazardous wastes. Homeowners on the hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words about the technology's benefits for the environment — and the wallet. What customers may not know is that there's a dirtier side. While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g5oj_04tZOywMJhUWMouEsS2URgw?docId=e14260f6af10436caf163a1e8cb8bfe9 Other related articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/solar-power-boom-fuels-increase-in-hazardous-waste-sent-to-dumps/2013/02/10/94ba36ac-73b2-11e2-9889-60bfcbb02149_story.html http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/10/5179221/solar-industry-grapples-with-hazardous.html http://www.ocregister.com/news/solar-495407-waste-industry.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/02/10/3168359/solar-industry-grapples-with-hazardous.html#storylink=misearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/10/solar-industry-grapples-hazardous-wastes/#ixzz2KbnXyCOZ Job Front: Sacramento area's clean-tech sector grows. Sacramento's still-evolving clean-tech sector is adding jobs even as it continues to grow in stature. The region's clean technology firms increased payrolls by more than 1,000 jobs in 2012, pushing job rolls to more than 3,200 – a 31 percent increase, according to a clean-technology incubator, the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance. The growth pushed revenue for the sector above $2 billion, up nearly a third from 2011. There are 99 clean-tech companies in the greater region. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/11/5180016/job-front-sacramento-areas-clean.html Wind power capacity grew 20% globally in 2012, figures show. Wind power expanded by almost 20% in 2012 around the world to reach a new peak of 282 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, while solar power reached more than 100GW, having more than doubled in two years. More than 45GW of new wind turbines arrived in 2012, with China and the US leading the way with 13GW each, while Germany, India and the UK were next with about 2GW apiece. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/11/wind-power-capacity-grew-2012?CMP=twt_fd&CMP=SOCxx2I2 MISCELLANEOUS Bay Area stuck with congestion like L.A.'s. The Bay Area's traffic congestion is as bad as Los Angeles', according to the latest version of a respected national transportation study. For Bay Area residents, this may seem unfathomable, unthinkable and an insult to regional pride. Anyone who's sat in one of the Southern California parking lots called a freeway knows that traffic there seems far more pervasive, persistent and painful than it does in the Bay Area. But according to the Texas Transportation Institute's Urban Mobility Report…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Area-stuck-with-congestion-like-L-A-s-4267480.php#ixzz2Kc12gyve OPINIONS It’s Not Easy Being Green. GREEN jobs have long had a whiff of exaggeration to them. The alternative-energy sector may ultimately employ millions of people. But raising the cost of the energy that households and businesses use every day — a necessary effect of helping the climate — is not exactly a recipe for an economic boom. The stronger argument for a major government response to climate change is the more obvious argument: climate change. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/sunday-review/its-not-easy-being-green.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Stuart Leavenworth: A CEQA advance environmentalists should explore. For environmentalists in the Golden State, few laws are more sacred than the California Environmental Quality Act. Enacted in 1970, the law gives citizens and interest groups the power to challenge the decisions of local governments and state regulators and block projects they find objectionable. Used at its best, CEQA has protected poor communities from toxic incinerators and landfills. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/10/5176707/stuart-leavenworth-a-ceqa-advance.html Paper, plastic or bacteria-filled reusables? I’ve always tried to observe the environmentally appropriate position when it came to the choice of paper or plastic, forgoing the latter because — as ecologists have so effectively pounded into us — it takes too much oil to make plastic bags and they pollute waterways and kill marine animals. But then I read that it takes 14 million trees to make paper bags and creates 70 percent more air pollution than the production of plastic bags. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/10/tp-paper-plastic-or-bacteria-filled-reusables/ BLOGS Scientists Explore Options as Polar Bears Face New Threats. The surge of hunting that depleted many polar bear populations in the 20th century is largely under control. But just as the species has been recovering from that threat, global warming is creating new pressures through the loss of summer sea ice and other impacts on the bears’ preferred maritime habitat. Recent DNA analysis has shown that polar bears are a far older species than was thought even a few years ago, and they clearly are adaptable and resilient. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/scientists-explore-options-as-polar-bears-face-new-threats/ Cap-and-trade is still alive in New England. Is it working? Remember cap-and-trade? Back in 2010, Democrats in Congress had a proposal to set a nationwide limit on U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions and let businesses trade pollution permits. But the climate bill died, and cap-and-trade mostly vanished from discussion. Except in the Northeast. For the past decade, ten states stretching from Maine to Maryland have been experimenting with their own modest cap on carbon pollution from electric power plants. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/09/cap-and-trade-is-still-alive-in-new-england-is-it-working/