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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 15, 2013. Posted: 15 Mar 2013 11:50:29
ARB Newsclips for March 15, 2013. ARB Newsclips for March 15, 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. CLIMATE CHANGE Global warming may have fueled Somali drought. Global warming may have contributed to low rain levels in Somalia in 2011 where tens of thousands died in a famine, research by British climate scientists suggests. Scientists with Britain's weather service studied weather patterns in East Africa in 2010 and 2011 and found that yearly precipitation known as the short rains failed in late 2010 because of the natural effects of the weather pattern La Nina. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Global-warming-may-have-fueled-Somali-drought-4357097.php#ixzz2Nd20DGv2 Calif.'s cap-and-trade link with Quebec may be delayed. The clock could run out for California to link its carbon cap-and-trade market with Quebec's anytime in the near future, officials and legal experts said here yesterday. The Golden State and Quebec had hoped they might be ready by August to hold a joint auction of greenhouse gas allowances. If the markets were linked, permits sold in one jurisdiction could be used in the other to cover carbon emissions. But a California Air Resources Board official said that combined August auction might not be possible. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/10 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Scientists say extreme Arctic melting 'stacked the deck in favor' of Superstorm Sandy. A number of unusual atmospheric phenomena combined to form the massive "Frankenstorm" that was Superstorm Sandy. While many have said global warming fueled the storm's strength, it is unclear exactly how it played a role. But scientists are starting to see evidence that warm weather in the Arctic led to conditions that made the hurricane so incredibly powerful. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY China’s Carbon Emissions: Global Consumer Dilemma. It's easy to see the economic growth of China as evidence that it should be responsible for fixing its own emissions. However, that growth is fueled by exports to Western nations so don't they have a part to play in reducing their scope 3 carbon emissions? According to a 2011 poll by the Economist, 64% of people in Western nations think that China should be achieving its growth and industrialization in a cleaner way than its Western counterparts. Posted. http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/paulraybould/175181/china-s-carbon-emissions-global-dilemma FUELS Obama wants research to wean vehicles off oil. President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to authorize $200 million a year for research into clean energy technologies that can wean automobiles off oil. Obama proposed the idea of an energy security trust last month in his State of the Union address, but he was putting a price tag on the idea during a trip Friday to the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago — $2 billion over 10 years. The White House said the research would be paid for with revenue from federal oil and gas leases on offshore drilling and would not add to the deficit. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Obama-wants-research-to-wean-vehicles-off-oil-4356794.php#ixzz2Nd2tsEhg Fracking could boost California economy. Oil seen lifting state's economy. Development of oil-shale deposits in Central California using fracking and other techniques may boost the state's economic activity by as much as 14.3 percent, a University of Southern California study said. Such drilling in the Monterey Shale Formation, in addition to increasing per-capita gross domestic product, may add as much as $24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue and as many as 2.8 million jobs by 2020, according to the report released Wednesday. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Fracking-could-boost-California-economy-4356448.php#ixzz2Nd439zsC Shell criticized in report for poor oversight of drilling in the Arctic last year. SEATTLE-Interior Department officials, in a report released Thursday, faulted Shell Oil for poor oversight of contractors during a troubled season of exploration in the Arctic last year off Alaska. The problems included an oil-spill-containment system that initially failed to pass a Coast Guard inspection, an oil drill ship cited for safety and environmental violations and a drill rig that broke loose from a tow line in a December storm and went aground off Kodiak Island. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/14/5264526/shell-criticized-in-report-for.html#storylink=cpy Oil industry sits back at fracking workshop. For a while it looked like the oil industry was just going to sit there and take it from the environmentalists. And for several hours in Bakersfield Wednesday, that's exactly what happened. Representatives of the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity hammered away at the state's proposed rules for regulating the oil field technique known hydraulic fracturing. They called for additional safeguards, tougher penalties for violations and closer state oversight. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/x738927652/Oil-industry-sits-back-at-fracking-workshop BY SUBSCRIPTION Calif. lawmaker's low-carbon fuel standard bill has tea party backing. A bill in the California Legislature to revamp the state's low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) has support from a group that was involved in a previous effort to stop the state's climate policies. A bill by state Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D) is aiming to eliminate food-based ethanol from the state's fuel mix. His bill, A.B. 278, concerns environmentalists because its sole backer so far is a tea party-affiliated group that has supported abolishing the…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Canada nears a clean energy facelift on an old, coal-fired power plant. On a grassy plot in Saskatchewan, developers are about to test a technology that some think could be the savior of the global coal industry. There, Canadian utility SaskPower is rebuilding a 43-year-old coal plant at its Boundary Dam Power Station to capture roughly 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions and store the gas deep underground. The 110-megawatt project may be a game changer in two ways -- it could become the world's first commercial demonstration of carbon capture technology on a power plant at large scale. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/15/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 2012 U.S. fleet cleanest, most efficient ever – EPA. The fuel economy of cars and trucks sold in the United States hit its highest recorded level last year as automakers cranked up production of efficient vehicles ahead of stringent federal standards, U.S. EPA said today. In its annual report on the fuel economy of vehicles, EPA reported a fleetwide increase in fuel economy of 1.4 mpg over the previous year. That translates to a reduction in emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide of 374 grams per mile. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/15/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 2012 cars will set new mpg record, but some say U.S. must do more. The Environmental Protection Agency says that model year 2012 cars and trucks will have the highest ever real-world average fuel economy at about 23.8 miles per gallon. That would be 1.2 mpg higher than the previous peak set in 2010. In 2011, when U.S. gasoline prices averaged a then-record $3.53 for a gallon of regular, the mpg numbers fell. The EPA says that mileage fell by 0.2 mpg in 2011, in part because of the effects of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power disasters in Japan. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fi-hy-model-2012-cars-will-set-new-mpg-record-but-some-say-us-drags-20130315,0,3197510,print.story GREEN ENERGY California utilities' renewable energy spending up. California utilities spent more than $2.53 billion in 2011 buying electricity from solar, wind and geothermal plants to satisfy the state's ambitious renewable power goals, according to a report issued Thursday. That figure represented a 16 percent increase from 2010, when California's three big investor-owned utilities spent $2.18 billion. California law requires utility companies to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2020. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/California-utilities-renewable-energy-spending-up-4356450.php#ixzz2Nd4Odb7J Report: CEQA Helping, Not Hindering Renewable Development. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California's landmark environmental law, has taken a lot of heat lately with accusations that special interests have used the law to obstruct necessary projects, including those devoted to renewable energy. But a new report released this month says that far from hindering the development of a new, greener infrastructure for the state…Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/government/report-ceqa-helping-not-hindering-renewable-development.html MISCELLANEOUS Suit accuses EPA of ignoring harmful pesticides. Arguments are expected Friday in a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allowed the use of hundreds of pesticides despite evidence of harmful effects on more than 200 endangered and threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America claim the EPA has allowed pesticide use without required consultations with federal agencies to study the impacts. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Suit-accuses-EPA-of-ignoring-harmful-pesticides-4357609.php#ixzz2Nd2XzqD6 Santa Monica Businesses Recognized At Sustainable Quality Awards. 12 Local Businesses Recognized At Santa Monica's 2013 Sustainable Quality Awards Environmental activist and actor Ed Begley Jr. received an Individual Stewardship Award at the Sustainable Quality Awards held Wednesday. He is pictured with grand prize winner Catherine An of Tiato restaurant. Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the 12 local businesses that won this year’s Sustainable Quality Awards at the 18th annual Sustainable Quality Awards luncheon, held Wednesday at the Sheraton Delfina hotel. Posted. http://www.smmirror.com/articles/News/Santa-Monica-Businesses-Recognized-At-Sustainable-Quality-Awards/37024 OPINIONS Sunny times for solar power, except in L.A. Still skeptical about solar power -- and especially about the wisdom of installing panels on your own rooftop? One can hardly be blamed, given horror stories about the difficulties in getting assistance from local utilities such as the L.A. Department of Water and Power. Yet more and more Californians are doing it anyway -- because it's paying off. The California Public Utilities Commission, which tracks solar installations statewide …Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-solar-rootops-20130314,0,7700040.story Another View: Chevron supports low-carbon fuels. It was with great surprise that I recently read Vinod Khosla's op-ed criticizing energy companies, including Chevron, for not doing enough to invest in low-carbon fuel technologies ("Investment needed in new low-carbon fuel," March 7). Khosla highlights one of his own companies, KiOR, as an example of the kind of technology that will help fuel producers meet California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. We agree. That's why our joint venture with Weyerhaeuser, one of the largest U.S. forest management companies…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/14/5261113/another-view-chevron-supports.html#storylink=cpy Low carbon fuel standard: California's new regulations are infeasible for gasoline and diesel. For close to a year, the companies that provide California with gasoline and diesel have warned that the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard is infeasible. A failure to recognize the implications of this warning risks potential fuel shortages and market disruptions in a few short years. In response to these concerns, supporters of the standard argue the only thing making this regulation infeasible is the refusal of oil companies to invest sufficient dollars in the emerging fuels and technologies needed to make it work. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_22791351/low-carbon-fuel-standard-californias-new-regulations-are Letters to the editor: Keep tabs on air quality. Spring is just around the corner and with people spending more time outdoors, it is important to remember that with higher temperatures often comes increased levels of air pollution. Pollution in the air is hazardous to all who come in contact and even more so for those with lung disease, including children with asthma. Despite continued improvements in air quality, unhealthy levels of air pollution still exist in communities across the country. Posted. http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Letters-to-the-editor-4355796.php#ixzz2Nd5Y23lo So I asked the Vatican about global warming... Special Report. In the United States, the issue of anthropogenic global warming, defined as an unnatural and rapid rise in the Earth's overall average temperature caused by human activities, is strongly associated with left-leaning political ideology. Publicly championed by liberal celebrities such as former Vice President Al Gore, conservatives often scoff at the claim. At one time, I confess even I scoffed at the claims, for it also happens that many American Catholics also tend to be conservative since American political conservatism fits most closely with Catholic teaching on many subjects. Posted. http://www.catholic.org/green/story.php?id=50128 BLOGS Renewables add up, but so do costs. California installed enough solar systems last year to generate as much electricity as a nuclear reactor, largely due to a state law that orders utilities to use more renewable power. It’s an idea that many people — including, as it turns out, U.S. Interior Sec. Ken Salazar — would love to take nationwide. It certainly gets results. But it’s important to remember that such mandates have costs, as a trio of new reports illustrates. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/03/15/renewables-add-up-but-so-do-costs/ How the White House thinks about climate change, in 7 charts. The latest Economic Report of the President (pdf) has a whole chapter on energy and climate change that’s worth reading as a window into how the White House thinks about the topic. Here’s the basic story in chart form: 1) If the world doesn’t tackle global warming soon, the United States will get uncomfortably hot. “For example, according to the USGCRP estimates, under a high-emissions scenario, areas of the Southeast and…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/15/how-the-white-house-thinks-about-climate-change-in-7-charts/?print=1 Sequester Dirties the Air. The sequester is here. As I outlined in a previous article exactly what we had to look forward to, indiscriminate cuts are being unleashed upon the public straight across the board, delivered with a hatchet as opposed to a scalpel. I reached out to Sen. Tom Carper, who serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee, for a comment on the current situation. He responded by e-mail stating: "Programs in every corner of the federal government are taking a hit because of sequestration. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-g-yerman/sequester-dirties-the-air_b_2877708.html?view=print&comm_ref=false