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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.


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.


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


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.

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.

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.

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. 


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. 

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.


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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.


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


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.

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.

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. 


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. 

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