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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 5, 2013. Posted: 05 Mar 2013 12:23:40
ARB Newsclips for March 5, 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 Complaints recycled as much as waste at Sun Valley facility. Sun Valley neighbors of a huge recycling center say little has been done about years of stench and rodents — and the company plans to expand. Complaints about the massive open-air recycling facility in Sun Valley flow in each month in minute, sometimes stomach-turning detail. Rats have skittered off the property of Community Recycling & Resource Recovery and into a nearby business, according to calls logged by the city. Churning dust is said to be "making everyone's eyes burn," …Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-sun-valley-recycle-20130305,0,5053271.story CAP AND TRADE Legislature concerned about cap-and-trade links with other states, provinces. California lawmakers approved a new member of the state's key climate change agency yesterday after delaying a vote in order to air concerns with the state's plans to link its cap-and-trade market to other governments. The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to approve Alexander Sheriffs, who has been serving on the Air Resources Board (ARB) without Senate confirmation since his appointment more than a year ago by Gov. Jerry Brown (D). His term was set to expire March 13. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/05/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Report Blames Climate Change for Extremes in Australia. Climate change was a major driving force behind a string of extreme weather events that alternately scorched and soaked large sections of Australia in recent months, according to a report issued Monday by the government’s Climate Commission. A four-month heat wave during the Australian summer culminated in January in bush fires that tore through the eastern and southeastern coasts of the country, where most Australians live. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/world/asia/australian-government-blames-climate-change-for-angry-summer.html?_r=0 Cabinet Picks Could Take On Climate Policy. President Obama on Monday named two people to his cabinet who will be charged with making good on his threat to use the powers of the executive branch to tackle climate change and energy policy if Congress does not act quickly. Mr. Obama nominated Gina McCarthy, a tough-talking native of Boston and an experienced clean air regulator, to take charge at the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ernest J. Moniz, a physicist and strong advocate of natural gas and nuclear power as cleaner alternatives to coal, to run the Department of Energy. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/us/politics/obama-names-2-to-fill-epa-and-energy-posts.html Ice melt to expand Arctic shipping by midcentury. Loss of sea ice due to global warming could open new seasonal shipping lanes through the Arctic Ocean by midcentury, sharply reducing transit times and opening a Pandora's box of safety, environmental and legal issues, according to scientists. In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Plus, researchers estimated that new shipping lanes linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are likely to open between 2040 and 2059. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-arctic-shipping-lanes-20130304,0,358666.story?track=rss Climate change is melting open the North Pole. It’s time once again for your regular update on the melting ice in the Arctic, where temperatures are rising faster than anywhere else on earth! By 2040, the melt will be so intense that some ships could be able to navigate straight across the North Pole during the summer months, according to new research out of UCLA, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s bad news for people who care about a livable climate, but good news for shipping companies that want to spread cheap goods far and wide. Posted. http://grist.org/news/climate-change-is-melting-open-the-north-pole/ FUELS Obama energy choice backs natural gas as ‘bridge fuel’ to reach clean energy. President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Energy Department advocates an all-of-the-above approach to energy and favors natural gas as a “bridge fuel” to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming. Ernest Moniz, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, leads the MIT Energy Initiative, a research group that gets funding from BP, Chevron and other oil industry heavyweights for academic work aimed at reducing greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-energy-choice-backs-natural-gas-as-bridge-fuel-to-reach-clean-energy/2013/03/05/de74fd8e-856b-11e2-a80b-3edc779b676f_story.html ExxonMobil begins its defense in gas additive case. Lawyers for ExxonMobil have begun presenting their defense against the state of New Hampshire's claims that the oil giant should pay hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up groundwater contamination from the gasoline additive MTBE. Jurors returned Monday following a weeklong break after spending six weeks hearing the state's witnesses. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/04/exxonmobil-begins-its-defense-in-gas-additive/#ixzz2MgXJWg1h VEHICLES Bringing green vehicle technology to auto racing. As a research engineer at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, Forrest Jehlik is focused on improving the technology for vehicles such as plug-in hybrids and electric cars, and increasing the use of alternative fuels that range from compressed natural gas to biofuels. “The goal of the Department of Energy is to reduce reliance on foreign oil,” said Jehlik. “In our research on new vehicle systems and alternative fuels, we are impartial arbiters. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/bringing-green-vehicle-technology-to-auto-racing/2013/03/04/cf02e7a8-84da-11e2-999e-5f8e0410cb9d_story.html McLaren unveils sleek hybrid supercar at Geneva. Hybrids aren't just for fuel economy any more. McLaren on Tuesday unveiled a sleek hybrid supercar at the Geneva Motor Show. Sculpted from carbon fiber, in a glittery racing yellow set off by hash-marked slate gray, the McLaren P1 cuts a racetrack figure while boasting superior - for its class - emissions under 200 grams per kilometer. That compares with over 300 grams/kilometer for a super car without hybrid. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/04/mclaren-unveils-sleek-hybrid-supercar-at-geneva/ MIT team outlines path to low-cost solar-to-fuels devices; the artificial leaf. A team of researchers at MIT has described a framework for efficiently coupling the power output of a series-connected string of single-band-gap solar cells to an electrochemical process that produces storable fuels. The open access paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), offers a roadmap for direct solar-to-fuels devices. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/03/winkler-20130305.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL New CA rail plan to make major improvements in valley Amtrak. While many are chattering about high-speed rail these days, state transportation leaders are quietly planning to drop more than $15 billion into California's existing Amtrak train service -- including a big chunk here in the valley. Improvements for Amtrak's San Joaquin line are forecast in a draft of a new statewide rail plan that the California Department of Transportation is circulating for public comment through March 11. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/special-sections/rail/x738926920/New-CA-rail-plan-to-make-major-improvements-in-valley-Amtrak California High-Speed Rail Authority appoints Fong as CF. The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently named Russell Fong chief financial officer. The authority now has filled all of its senior management positions, according to a press release. Fong most recently was acting CFO and acting deputy executive officer of operations for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). Prior to that, he was a division chief for CalPERS' Fiscal Services Division. Fong also served a stint as deputy director of the California Department of Technology Services' Administrative Services Branch. Posted. http://www.progressiverailroading.com/high_speed_rail/news/California-HighSpeed-Rail-Authority-appoints-Fong-as-CFO--35404# GREEN ENERGY Energy nominee favors all-of the-above approach. President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Energy Department advocates an all-of-the-above approach to energy and favors natural gas as a "bridge fuel" to help the country develop clean energy. Ernest Moniz, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, leads the MIT Energy Initiative, a research group that gets funding from BP, Chevron and other oil industry heavyweights for academic work aimed at reducing greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Energy-nominee-favors-all-of-the-above-approach-4328170.php#ixzz2Mgu54P7S http://www.sbsun.com/ci_22719862/energy-secretary-nominee-supports-fracking-nuclear-energy#ixzz2MggwMEKB MISCELLANEOUS McCarthy's 'straight shooter' reputation gets her the EPA nomination. It was, in the words of one environmentalist, the worst-kept secret in Washington of the past month. After weeks of rumors, President Obama nominated Gina McCarthy yesterday to head U.S. EPA, a move that has garnered broad support. Since her arrival at EPA in 2009, McCarthy has been characterized as a tough but fair regulator. She is direct and no-nonsense when it comes to improving public health, but also willing to participate in discussions with those who pay a hefty price to comply with environmental regulations, say individuals who have worked with her on the state and federal level. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/05/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Bruce Maiman: In climate debate, what are costs of being wrong? I just don't get our debate over climate change. This one says it's a hoax, that one's a denier, somebody manipulated data, blame it on Al Gore … oy! I'm not a climatologist, geologist, geochronologist or any other kind of -ologist, but the scientific community – the national science academies of all major industrialized nations – consistently and overwhelmingly recognizes that our planet is warming, and the primary cause is the exponential increase of greenhouse gases produced by human activity. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/05/5236160/bruce-maiman-in-climate-debate.html#storylink=cpy Editorial: Should ex-cons get dibs on rail project? The first leg of California's High-Speed Rail project goes through the Central Valley, one of the most economically depressed areas of the state. Given that, a hiring policy that seeks to give preferences to "disadvantaged workers," including unemployed veterans, homeless people, single parents on government assistance and high school dropouts, is a laudable goal. That it also includes preferences for the unemployed who have "a criminal record or involvement with the criminal justice system" goes too far. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/05/5236133/should-ex-cons-get-dibs-on-rail.html EDITORIAL: Put the brakes on high-speed rail plan. Legislative oversight means little if it cannot address the most basic question about the state’s high-speed rail plans: Where might California find the money to build this project? Yet hearings last week showed that the state still lacks a credible answer to that question. That prospect alone should be enough for legislators to put the brakes on a public project that is neither necessary nor affordable. Both the Senate and Assembly last week held “oversight” hearings on the rail project. Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20130304-editorial-put-the-brakes-on-high-speed-rail-plan.ece BLOGS Study Finds Climate Change To Open Arctic Sea Routes By 2050. Climate change will make commercial shipping possible from North America to Russia or Asia over the North Pole by the middle of the century, a new study says. Two researchers at the University of California ran seven different climate models simulating two classes of vessels to see if they could make a relatively ice-free passage through the Arctic Ocean. In each case, the sea routes are sufficiently clear after 2049, they say. Posted. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/05/173519090/study-finds-climate-change-to-open-arctic-sea-routes-by-2050