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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 19, 2013.

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 15:02:28
ARB Newsclips for February 19, 2013. ARB Newsclips for February
19, 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.


Fairbanks area, trying to stay warm, chokes on wood stove
pollution. Wood-burning stoves give the Fairbanks, Alaska, area
some of the worst winter air pollution in the country. In Krystal
Francesco's neighborhood, known here as the "rectangle of death,"
the air pollution recently was so thick she could hardly see
across the street. Wood stoves were cranking all over town — it
was 40 below zero — and she had to take her daughter to the
emergency room. "She's crying because she can't breathe, and I
can just see her stomach rapidly going in and out. Posted.

Distribution centers quietly add to Valley pollution.  Hazardous
waste, treated human sewage and farm chemicals are part of a
dumping ground culture surrounding the San Joaquin Valley, but
other deadly health risks slip under the radar.  Through a legal
loophole, a company with global sales of $4 billion opened its
West Coast distribution center in Visalia last year without
having to follow a rule that curbs air pollution, much of it
generated by traffic.  Critics, who sued over it, argue traffic
and diesel truck exhaust from the 500,000-square-foot
distribution center will create tons of air pollution. Posted. 

Scientists trace particulate air pollution to its source. 
Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have, for the
first time, developed a system that can determine which types of
air particles that pollute the atmosphere are the most prevalent
and most toxic.  Previous research has shown that air pollution
containing fine and ultrafine particles is associated with
asthma, heart disease and premature death. Posted. 

Researchers Link Air Pollution To Heart Attacks.  Air pollution
causes heart attacks and death. Especially when the pollutants
include ozone and particulate matter. And more often in the
summer time, when ozone levels are higher.  These are the
conclusions of researchers at Rice University who studied the
11,677 cases of cardiac arrest logged by emergency services
personnel in Houston, Tx. between 2004 and 2011. Posted. 

Four air pollution control agencies that impact Bakersfield and
Kern County.  One of the drawbacks to living in Bakersfield and
Kern County is that we have some of the worst air quality in the
nation. Whether talking about photochemical smog or particulate
air pollution, there aren't many places in the country that have
a worse air pollution problem than right here in the San Joaquin
Valley.  What a lot of people don't know or understand, unless
they spend their working days interacting with government…Posted.

Navajo Nation agrees to coal-power plant extension. The Navajo
Nation has reached an agreement in extending a lease for a
coal-power plant that would give the tribe a substantial boost in
annual payments. The proposed agreement, posted Friday on the
tribe's website for public comment, is for a 25-year lease that
will expire in 2044 and will increase lease payments from $3
million a year to $45 million a year to the tribe. Posted. 

EPA, N.M. haze deal requires coal-fired power plant's shift to
gas. New Mexico's largest electricity provider will shutter two
coal-fired units and burn natural gas at the San Juan Generating
Station in the Four Corners area under a tentative agreement
between the state and U.S. EPA over a long-disputed regional haze
cleanup plan.  Gov. Susana Martinez (R) and EPA announced Friday
that the state would proceed with an alternative to a federal
plan for cleaning up air in the Four Corners region. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/18/3 BY

'Very large amount of evidence' links ozone, disease -- EPA
science review. A U.S. EPA science review has reaffirmed that
exposure to ozone -- a precursor to smog -- is associated with
respiratory and cardiovascular disease and death. The 1,200-page
integrated science assessment, released Friday, is the first
update to EPA's ozone review since 2006 and is meant to guide the
writing of national air quality standards. The document reflects
evidence from studies released since the 2006 review. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/18/4 BY


EU parliament hesitates in drafting law for CO2 fix. European
lawmakers backed an emergency plan to save the world's biggest
market for carbon allowances from collapse on Tuesday, but put
off drafting the necessary legislation, sending prices down by as
much as 20 percent. The carbon market, a pillar of the European
Union's climate policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, has hit a
series of record low prices because of a huge surplus of
allowances, mostly caused by economic recession in the euro zone.

Climate change rally brings thousands to protest in Washington.
Climate activists descended on Washington, D.C., on Sunday in
what organizers boasted was the largest climate-change rally in
American history, claiming more than 35,000 attendees. The
Forward on Climate rally, as it was billed by environmental
groups Sierra Club and 350.org, called for President Obama to
take immediate action on climate change, with many calling for
the government to block the construction of the oil pipeline
known as Keystone XL. Posted.



EU lawmakers seek to beef up cap-and-trade system. European
lawmakers are proposing to tighten the bloc's cap-and-trade
system to make carbon dioxide pollution more expensive. The
European Parliament's environment committee voted in favor of a
change Tuesday that would allow the EU Commission, the bloc's
executive arm, to tighten the supply of pollution rights. The
price for the emission allowances has dropped significantly since
their introduction amid lower-than-expected demand as the
European debt crisis…Posted.

Poll reveals more Americans say they believe climate is changing.
The percentage of Americans who believe the climate is changing
has grown, and the majority of Americans support new regulations
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study from
Duke University. The survey found that 50 percent of Americans
"are convinced the climate is changing" and another 34 percent
believe it "is probably changing." Duke said this is the highest
level of belief in climate change since 2007. Posted.

Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards. With scant
snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and
Northeast the past couple of years, some scientists have pointed
to global warming as the culprit. Then, when a whopper of a
blizzard smacked the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in
some places earlier this month, some of the same people again
blamed global warming. How can that be? It's been a joke among
skeptics, pointing to what seems to be a brazen contradiction.

Influential climate science work remains under the radar. It is
probably the most influential paper on climate science today. But
few outside scientific circles even know it exists. Though just
six pages long, it's dense, technical writing makes it largely
incomprehensible to non-experts. And yet this paper is
transforming the climate change debate - prompting the financial
world to rethink the value of the world's fossil fuel reserves
and giving environmental activists a moral argument for action.

Islands want UN to see climate as security threat. The Marshall
Islands and other low-lying island nations appealed to the U.N.
Security Council to recognize climate change as an international
security threat that jeopardizes their very survival. Tony
deBrum, a minister and assistant to the Marshall Islands
president, said Friday the island nations are facing opposition
from Security Council permanent members Russia and China and a
group of more than 130 mainly developing nations, which argue
that the U.N.'s most powerful body is the wrong place to address
climate change. Posted. 

S.F. protest urges action on climate change. Environmentalists
are protesting in San Francisco as they urge President Barack
Obama to take action on climate change and reject a pipeline that
would carry oil from Canada to Texas. Organizers say the members
of 65 San Francisco Bay area groups including the Sierra Club,
Greenpeace and 350.org are taking part in the rally, which
coincides with a demonstration in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators
are holding the protest outside of a U.S. Department of State
office, where they demanding the State Department reject the
Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Posted.

Working Out Kinks in the Cap-and-Trade Market. California's
cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gases resumes with its
second auction of carbon allowances to industrial polluters. In
addition to the state's carbon footprint, billions of dollars are
at stake. But some questions remain from the first auction.
(AUDIO) Posted.

Tempered expectations ahead of Calif.'s second carbon credit
auction. California's second auction of greenhouse gas
allowances, taking place today, should offer a more accurate
picture of the Golden State's carbon market, observers said. The
lack of a serious legal challenge to the state's authority, as
well as the official start of the program itself, should increase
participation among the 600-odd businesses that are required to
submit allowances under the economywide carbon cap. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/19/7 BY

New alliance forms to challenge oil industry on Calif. climate
law. A battle is heating up between part of the oil industry and
supporters of California's climate law. A new group has come
together with the goal of fighting arguments made by Fueling
California, an organization that is targeting the Golden State's
low-carbon fuel standard. That rule aims to grow use of
alternatives to gasoline and diesel. The alliance, called Stop
Fooling California, launched last month and reached out Sunday to
local communities at Los Angeles events tied to the Keystone XL
pipeline protest in Washington, D.C. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/19/8 BY


Obama Faces Risks in Pipeline Decision. President Obama faces a
knotty decision in whether to approve the much-delayed Keystone
oil pipeline: a choice between alienating environmental advocates
who overwhelmingly supported his candidacy or causing a deep and
perhaps lasting rift with Canada. Canada, the United States’ most
important trading partner and a close ally on Iran and
Afghanistan, is counting on the pipeline to propel more growth in
its oil patch, a vital engine for its economy. Posted.

California ARB proposing amendments to Clean Fuels Outlet
regulation to ensure adequate hydrogen fueling infrastructure. 
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will conduct a public
hearing in June to consider adopting amendments to the Clean
Fuels Outlet (CFO) Regulation with the intention of ensuring an
adequate hydrogen refueling infrastructure to support the
introduction and growth of hydrogen-fueled vehicles.  Posted. 


Ford’s Fusion stands out. The redesigned-for-2013 Ford Fusion
midsize sedan is arguably one of the handsomest rides on the
road. It also comes close to being one of the most improved
models of the year, though a step or two in the wrong direction
detract from the car’s giant leaps forward. We recently had the
chance to take a Ford Fusion Hybrid for a week’s test drive, and
found it to be everything a family-minded midsize car should be:
responsive, roomy, quiet and fuel-efficient. Posted.

Lawmakers aim to clear way for medium-speed electric vehicles.
Two Riverside County lawmakers want to pave the way for more
environmentally friendly all-electric vehicles to cruise the
streets of California cities. Assembly members Brian Nestande,
R-Palm Desert, and Jose Medina, D-Riverside, have introduced a
bill that would open that door by creating a new vehicle
classification in California: medium-speed electric vehicles.

Inflated numbers prompt concerns over EPA mileage stickers. The
United States' reputation for tough fuel economy standards was
tarnished in November when U.S. EPA announced that Hyundai Motor
Group had embellished the fuel mileage for 900,000 Hyundai and
Kia vehicles sold in the United States by as much as 6 mpg. 
The parent company apologized and voluntarily decided to
compensate owners of the vehicles. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/18/18 BY


High-Speed Rail Buzz Overpowers Daily Chug Of Freight Trains. 
From the steam engine to visions of a national high-speed rail
system, railroads have made their mark on American culture.  In
his first term, President Obama promised to create a national
system of high-speed rail, though he was scarcely the first
politician to have done so. The January 2010 stimulus bill
allocated $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, but Congress
rejected federal funding for it.  Posted. 


UNLV team prepares to break ground on solar house. After a year
of perfecting their design, a team of students at the University
of Nevada, Las Vegas, is ready to break ground on a
super-energy-efficient house and pit it against similar creations
in a national competition. UNLV's Solar Decathlon team submitted
plans for approval and hopes to start building the
735-square-foot, solar-powered house dubbed "Desert Sol" later
this month. Posted.

Beer-powered beer. The Alaskan Brewing Co. is going green, but
instead of looking to solar and wind energy, it has turned to a
very familiar source: beer. The Juneau, Alaska-based beer maker
has installed a unique boiler system in order to cut its fuel
costs. It purchased a $1.8 million furnace that burns the
company’s spent grain — the waste accumulated from the brewing
process — into steam that powers the majority of the brewery’s
operations. Company officials joke that they are now serving
“beer-powered beer.” Posted.

Steve Scauzillo: Financiers turning green on energy savings.
Advances in energy haven't changed much in the last 40 years.
Solar power, wind power, battery-power - we had all these when
Sen. Gaylord Nelson launched the first Earth Day in 1970.
Frustrated futurists such as myself who grew up reading Asimov
and Bradbury and watching Lucas' and Roddenbery's visions
manifest on the small and big screens want more. If no starships,
then at least give us that blue food they ate on Tatooine. Well,
that's not a good example for us foodies. Posted.


Solar Power's Toxic Footprint. According to figures released by
the California Department of Toxic Substances Control DTSC, solar
manufacturers in the state produced over 46 million pounds of
hazardous waste between 2007 and 2011. 1.4 million pounds of that
waste, which included polluted water and heavy metals such as
cadmium, was shipped out of state -- meaning that calculations of
solar's climate benefit must account for fuel used to ship that
hazardous waste. Posted.


How Not to Fix Climate Change. After much back and forth, James
E. Hansen and I had agreed on a date to meet. Hansen, the
director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is the
scientist most closely associated with climate change activists
like Bill McKibben, who has led the charge against the Keystone
XL pipeline, and Michael Brune, the executive director of the
Sierra Club. In Hansen’s view, the country needs to start moving
away from fossil fuels now, before the damage becomes
irreversible. Posted.

Politics and energy policy. Obama urged a bipartisan,
market-based solution to climate change. What might that look
like, and is there any chance of it happening? Quick: Name one
thing mainstream Republicans and Democrats agree on when it comes
to energy policy. Other than that both sides would like it to be
cheaper, you're probably drawing a blank. That's why there was
something a little quixotic in President Obama's call last week,
during his State of the Union address, urging Congress to get
together and pursue "a bipartisan, market-based solution to
climate change." Posted.

Biking in L.A.? (Gulp) You bet! A transplanted Midwesterner
learns that, with a little care and a lot of luck, it can be
done. And it sure beats sitting in traffic. I step out the door
of my Los Feliz apartment and head to the parking lot where my
rust-colored bicycle awaits. Strap on the helmet. Key open the
bike lock. It's another sunny morning in L.A. The pavement rolls
by under my single-speed bicycle. Commonwealth Avenue. Talmadge
Street. And finally, Sunset Boulevard. Dodge, roll, brake, roll.
Shattered windshield glass. Posted.

Another View: CEQA reform should not only be for cities. The Bee
has always been Sacramento-centric, but in response to Stuart
Leavenworth's column, "A CEQA advance environmentalists should
explore" (Feb. 10), I can only respond: Seriously? Leavenworth
proposes "a CEQA exemption for housing, transit and certain
mixed-use projects within cities – and only cities. It would not
apply to developments that counties might want in their
unincorporated areas." Posted. 

Editorial: Plastic bag ban is not a simple issue. Proceed, but
make sure to get it right. That should be the mind-set of
Sacramento City Council members as they consider a possible ban
on plastic bags. It's certainly better for the environment if we
use fewer plastic bags, especially the thin ones favored by
grocery stores. They are not biodegradable and less than 5
percent are recycled, the state estimates. Sacramento is among
the minority of cities that try to recycle them, but bags
continually get caught in sorting equipment. Posted.

Coal plant a bad idea in a region with dirty air. I am bothered
to learn that the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District has issued a preliminary air permit to SCS Energy for a
coal power plant in Kern County near Button willow called
Hydrogen Energy California, or HECA. Having the dirtiest air
quality in the nation, it should be unthinkable to permit a plant
that will be using 300 trucks a day of coal to fuel it. The
emissions, including mercury, will only make our air quality
worse. Posted.


Holding Obama’s Feet to the Climate-Change Fire. At first glance,
it was hard to tell whether they had come to bury Obama or to
praise him. Thousands of activists from hundreds of
environmental, social justice and community groups marched on
Washington yesterday in the biggest climate rally ever held in
the U.S. capital. Activists both called on President Obama to
make good on his climate change policy promises and protested the
Keystone XL pipeline project. Posted.

Could Wind Power Cool New England’s Price Fever? As I reported in
Saturday’s paper, New England is experiencing a remarkable spike
in electricity prices brought on by high heating demand and
rising natural gas prices for electric generators. What role, if
any, could renewable energy play in solving this problem? At the
Union of Concerned Scientists, the senior energy analyst Michael
B. Jacobs, who has a blog called the Energy Roller Coaster, has
been sounding the alarm about over-reliance on natural gas in New
England and Texas. Posted.

California's second cap-and-trade auction set for Tuesday. 
California continues its efforts to combat global warming this
week, as the state Air Resources Board auctions off permits for
carbon pollution.  Large polluters, like power plants that burn
fossil fuels, send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In the
future, they’ll need permits to do that. The state held its first
auction for these permits in November.  Posted. 

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