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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 3, 2013. Posted: 03 Apr 2013 11:59:58
ARB Newsclips for April 3, 2013. ARB Newsclips for April 3, 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 Oregon: Groups Give Notice of Suit Over Coal Dust. An environmental coalition on Monday charged that coal and coal dust spilled from railroad hoppers is polluting the scenic Columbia River Gorge, and pledged to sue mining companies and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad if they do not halt the spills. Representatives of the Sierra Club and other conservation groups said they were invoking a clause in the Clean Water Act that permits lawsuits if those accused of polluting do not remedy environmental problems within 60 days. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/science/earth/oregon-groups-give-notice-of-suit-over-coal-dust.html?src=recg Two Major Air Pollutants Increase in China. In the first three months of this year, two major air pollutants increased by almost 30 percent here in Beijing, the Chinese capital, over the same period in 2012, according to a report Wednesday by a Chinese news organization. Levels of the pollutants — nitrous dioxide and particulate matter that is between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter, called PM 10 —… Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/world/asia/two-major-air-pollutants-increase-in-china.html CLIMATE CHANGE Wash. state climate change bill signed into law. Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Tuesday a bill he championed that would study the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the measure, an independent consultant would review efforts to cut carbon emissions in Washington state and elsewhere. A newly created work group of legislators and other leaders would use that evaluation to recommend actions to reduce pollution associated with climate change. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WA_XGR_CLIMATE_CHANGE_WAOL-?SITE=ILROR&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Wash-state-climate-change-bill-signed-into-law-4404021.php#ixzz2PPzgUv3d FUELS Analysis: Spills flame Canadian oil debate, but won't curb flows to U.S. Two high-profile oil spills won't stem the now-record flow of Canadian oil into the United States, despite the frenzy that the spills triggered among friends and foes of the Keystone XL pipeline to the main U.S. refineries. The fate of Keystone remains undecided, yet Canadian crude will become an increasing part of the U.S. energy mix, despite growing competition from new U.S. production. U.S. thirst for Canadian crude has shot up nearly 30 percent over the past five years as refiners opt to buy from the north instead of bringing in more expensive OPEC oil, thanks to a boom in production from the vast Alberta oil sands. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/02/us-exxon-pipeline-spill-canada-idUSBRE9310WZ20130402 Emissions Rules Put Alternative-Fuel Vehicles in a Bind. THE Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposed tightening of limits on sulfur in gasoline, and its previous rules, will most likely have the perverse consequence of retarding the development of cars running on batteries, advanced biofuels or hydrogen — all promising but expensive technologies that have not become mass-market products. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/business/energy-environment/emissions-rules-put-alternative-fuel-vehicles-in-a-bind.html?ref=science&_r=0 Groups seek probe into low-grade crude shipments to L.A. refineries. A coalition of environmental groups wants air-quality officials to determine if the refining of heavy Canadian crude has an effect on local health and safety. A coalition of environmental groups says it has discovered that large-scale shipments of low-quality heavy crude oil from Canada's tar sands are being delivered by rail for processing by Southern California refineries. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0403-dirty-oil-20130403,0,3618334,print.story Financial troubles cut work at Ore. biofuels plant. A few weeks after announcing that it made ethanol from sawdust at a demonstration plant in Eastern Oregon, a Colorado company has curtailed work while it tries to raise capital for a project that already has big federal dollars behind it. ZeaChem Inc., of Lakewood, Colo., is trying to build a $400 million refinery to create biofuels in Boardman, along the Columbia River. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Financial-troubles-cut-work-at-Ore-biofuels-plant-4404035.php#ixzz2PQC74h00 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/apr/02/financial-troubles-cut-work-at-ore-biofuels/#ixzz2PPriwrEz Last partner drops out of Coos Bay coal port. The last partner has dropped out of a proposal to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia through Oregon's Port of Coos Bay, port officials announced Monday. Metropolitan Stevedore Company of Wilmington, Calif., known as Metro Ports, did not renew the exclusive negotiating agreement that expired Sunday, the port said. Two other partners dropped out earlier. Port CEO David Koch said the port was continuing to develop new shipping facilities, but did not say if that would include coal. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Last-partner-drops-out-of-Coos-Bay-coal-port-4401299.php#ixzz2PQ0fKn8e VEHICLES UPDATE 1-Tesla launches financing product for electric sedan. Tesla Motors Inc on Tuesday said it was partnering with Wells Fargo & Co and U.S. Bank on a financing product that it says will make its pricey electric sedan accessible to more people. Tesla, producer of the first fully electric sports car, said earlier this week it had its first profitable quarter ever in the first quarter thanks to stronger-than-expected sales of its Model S sedan, its second car model which is substantially cheaper than the first. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/02/tesla-financing-idUSL2N0CP1VN20130402 http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-autos-tesla-profit-20130402,0,1962678.story http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-purchase-deal-20130402,0,1033702.story?track=rss HIGH-SPEED RAIL California high-speed rail costs soar again -- this time just for planning. While much of the squabbling over California's high-speed rail project has focused on its huge construction price tag, the cost to taxpayers just to plan the bullet train is also soaring. California rail leaders said Tuesday it will cost an extra $97 million in office and field work to design the rail line, which has famously seen its construction cost double to $69 billion since voters approved it five years ago. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/california-high-speed-rail/ci_22929875/california-high-speed-rail-costs-soar-again-this?source=rss GREEN ENERGY JinkoSolar to supply 115 MW of panels to South Africa. Chinese solar company JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd said it would supply 115 megawatts (MW) of solar panels to two projects in South Africa as it makes inroads into emerging solar markets like many of its peers amid overcapacity and waning demand. JinkoSolar, which sells panels that convert sunlight into electricity, said it would supply 75 MW to the first project and 40 MW to the second. The company supplied 81 MW of equipment to South Africa in December. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/03/jinkosolar-supply-idUSL3N0CQ3QT20130403 BP exits U.S. wind business. Oil and gas giant BP PLC has put its wind power operations in the United States up for sale, abandoning most of its renewable energy efforts. The company is one of the largest to generate wind power in the country, operating facilities that can produce 2,600 megawatts. BP was the only large fossil fuel company with a wind operation, but now it will focus on oil and gas. When the company first got involved in wind power…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/04/03/24 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Calif. may label BPA as 'toxicant'. California may soon require the widely used chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, to carry a label calling it a "toxicant" and impose restrictions on it. "There's a ton of new science that has come out that further supports BPA's being a reproductive and developmental toxicant," said Sarah Janssen, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The group petitioned California's Environmental Protection Agency to include BPA on Proposition 65, which is the state's annual list of toxic and suspect chemicals. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/04/03/29 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY NASCAR launches initiatives to impact environment. NASCAR is launching a month-long green initiative leading up to Earth Day and Arbor Day designed to drive more sustainable behavior within the sport. The "NASCAR Race to Green" program is designed to galvanize teams, tracks, drivers, official NASCAR partners, and fans, around the theme of protecting and preserving our environment. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/02/nascar-launches-initiatives-to-impact-environment/ Top 10 College Women 2013: Otana Jakpor. Her mission: to help 38 million people breathe easier. Otana Jakpor, 19 University of Southern California, Los Angeles; global health and biological sciences double major. As a kid, Jakpor watched her mom suffer from asthma so severe it required frequent hospitalizations. So when Jakpor learned that her hometown of Riverside, California, had some of the nastiest pollution in the country, she took action, testifying at the California Air Resources Board and conducting her own air-quality experiments. Posted. http://www.glamour.com/inspired/2013/04/otana-jakpor-top-10-college-women-2013 OPINIONS Invitation to a Dialogue: Action on the Climate. President Obama has put climate change back on the national agenda, but actually doing something about it is famously difficult. This time will be no different if policy makers let the best become the enemy of the good. Hoping for the best gets us in trouble in two ways. First, while science can make a strong case for starting now to control carbon dioxide and other gases that lead to climate change, it can’t yet say exactly how much to do when. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-action-on-the-climate.html Letters: Worry vs. action on global warming. Re "Most in U.S. worried about sea level rise," March 30. Building sea walls and other measures to protect coastal developments address the symptoms of climate change, not the cause. We need to support legislation to counteract global warming, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) Climate Protection Act of 2013. Insurance companies should think twice about offering storm insurance for coastal areas; or if they do…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0403-wednesday-climate-change-20130403,0,7711151,print.story EarthTalk: How climate change is impacting health of rivers. Dear EarthTalk: How is it that climate change is negatively affecting the health of rivers and, by extension, the quality and availability of fresh water? - Robert Elman, St. Louis, Mo. Global warming is no doubt going to cause many kinds of problems (and, indeed, already is), and rivers may well be some of the hardest hit geographical features, given the likelihood of increased droughts, floods and the associated spread of waterborne diseases. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/02/5310930/earthtalk-how-climate-change-is.html#storylink=misearch The new deniers on climate change. There are few things sadder than the “climate denier.” He ignores the data and neglects the latest science. His rhetoric and policy proposals are dangerously disconnected from reality. He can’t recalibrate to take account of the latest evidence because, well, he’s a denier. The new climate deniers are the liberals who, despite their obsession with climate change, have managed to miss the biggest story in climate science, which is that there hasn’t been any global warming for about a decade and a half. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/03/tp-the-new-deniers-on-climate-change/ Global warming mystery: Are North and South really polar opposites? Two studies, one about plants covering previously frozen landscapes in the Arctic, the other about expanding winter sea ice in Antarctica, appear to say different things about global warming. The amount of land in the high Arctic covered by trees and upright shrubs could increase by as much as 52 percent by midcentury, warming the region to levels climate scientists had previously not expected to see there until 2100. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0401/Global-warming-mystery-Are-North-and-South-really-polar-opposites Global Warming: Was It Just A Beautiful Dream After All? Like most of you, I yearn for shorter winters, more shirt-sleeve weather, less lashing from frigid winds. As a confirmed New Yorker, I’m not willing to do what millions have done: move to the sunbelt. I want warmer weather here in the Big City. But I’ve grown old waiting for the promised global warming. I was 35 when predictions of a looming ice age were supplanted by warmmongering. Now I’m 68, and there’s still no sign of warmer weather. It’s enough to make one doubt the “settled science” of the government-funded doom-sayers. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/harrybinswanger/2013/04/03/global-warming-was-it-just-a-beautiful-dream-after-all/ Tailpipe Politics: The Lessons (So Far) of 2013. The EPA unveiled its new anti-smog rules on Friday, prompting the usual Republican complaints about President Obama’s war on free enterprise, along with the usual dire warnings of higher prices at the pump. The rules will raise gas prices, but less than a cent a gallon. Meanwhile, by 2030, they’ll avoid an estimated 2,400 annual premature deaths, prevent 23,000 respiratory illnesses in children, and reduce tailpipe emissions by the equivalent of taking 33 million cars off the road. Posted. http://swampland.time.com/2013/04/02/obama-clears-away-smog-advances-climate-agenda/#ixzz2PQ7T1KXF California Focus: Fracking - Potential miracle and big challenge. Starting with the day in January 1848 when gold flakes and nuggets first turned up at Sutter’s Mill northeast of Sacramento, California has seen plenty of economic miracles, each focused in a different part of the state. The Gold Rush brought more than 300,000 people to the state, previously a sleepy outpost. The movie industry was the next big miracle, bringing international attention to Southern California for the first time. The dot.com phenomenon of the 1990s put the spotlight on Silicon Valley south of San Francisco. Posted. http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/opinion/todays_opinions/california-focus-fracking---potential-miracle-and-big-challenge/article_c90b2c32-9bca-11e2-b26e-001a4bcf887a.html Letters: Global warming reality. I share Tom Harris' sadness over the death of coal miner Elam Jones, but I am dismayed that he used Jones' death to advance his propaganda about the cause of climate change ("Coal is crucial," March 28). He asserted that carbon dioxide emissions from coal are not a major contributor to dangerous climate change. This statement could not be further from the truth. Former college president and National Science Board member James Powell recently completed a study of peer-reviewed publications on global warming. Posted. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765625951/Global-warming-reality.html?pg=all BLOGS The public’s interest in climate change is waning. The global warming conundrum has been on full display over the past 24 hours. Even as one of the nation’s most prominent climate scientists has decided to retire in order to become a full-time activist, a new Pew Research poll suggests public interest and intensity with the issue is waning. James E. Hansen, who directs the Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York City, has been warning policymakers about the threat of climate change since 1988. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/04/02/polls-suggest-publics-interest-in-climate-change-is-waning/ President Obama should talk about climate change. A lot. Media Matters has noticed something important: Climate was almost completely absent on the national broadcast network news last year. Only twelve stories, combined, on the CBS, ABC, and NBC news shows, were devoted to the topic — which certainly has a legitimate claim as the single most important policy problem facing the United States right now. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/04/02/president-obama-should-talk-about-climate-change-a-lot/ Has Tesla made electric cars affordable? Not exactly. On Tuesday, Tesla Motors unveiled what it called a “revolutionary new finance product” that, the company said, would allow people to get a mid-range Model S electric car for less than $500 per month. So does that mean Tesla has found a way to make its pricey electric cars affordable? Well, not exactly. A closer look at the fine print suggests that mid-range Model S will more realistically cost around $1,000 per month — not nearly as cheap. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/03/has-tesla-made-electric-cars-affordable-not-exactly/ The Keystone XL Pipeline and its politics, explained. With the controversy over the Keystone XL pipeline extension surfacing yet again — opponents will hold a rally Wednesday night in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, outside a fundraiser President Obama is headlining–we thought we’d clarify a few points about the contentious project. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/04/03/the-keystone-xl-pipeline-and-its-politics-explained/ Survey Finds Most Republicans Seek Action on Climate Change. It’s time for that national “listening tour” on energy and climate, President Obama. Some evidence comes in a new survey from the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University (seen via Tom Yulsman on Facebook). Here’s an excerpt from the news release: In a recent survey of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents conducted by the Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) at George Mason University…Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/survey-finds-most-republicans-seek-action-on-climate-change/?src=twrhp How to get a Tesla without spending $70k. Tesla Motors unveiled its long-awaited leasing program Tuesday, although it’s not quite a lease. Rather, it’s a way to get an all-electric Model S sedan for 10 percent down and five-year financing from Wells Fargo and US Bank. And after three years, you can sell the car back to Tesla for about the same amount of money you’d get for a Mercedes S Class sedan of comparable age. That’s about $45,000. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/04/03/how-to-buy-a-tesla-without-spending-70k/ If You Can't Stand the Heat: Why Washington Is Stuck on Climate Change (Part 1). There is no point in being coy about this: The issue of climate change is polarized along partisan and ideological lines. Democrats and progressives think it is a dangerous threat to the world. Most Republicans and conservatives think the threat is exaggerated, or doesn't exist at all. The divide among politicians is even more striking -- less than a third of Republicans in Congress responding to a 2011 National Journal survey said climate change is causing the Earth to warm. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keith-gaby/washington-climate-change_b_2975044.html This town was almost blown off the map — now it’s back, and super green. If I were to tell you this is a story about a tornado in Kansas, it would probably bring to mind a certain doe-eyed girl and her little dog. Well, sometimes tornadoes transport girls and their adorable pets to magical lands. Other times they level entire towns. That is what happened the night of May 4, 2007, when an EF-5 tornado (for non-Kansans, that’s a really freaking big — the biggest, in fact) nearly two miles wide hit the town of Greensburg, a farming community in south-central Kansas. Posted. http://grist.org/cities/this-town-was-almost-blown-off-the-map-now-its-back-and-super-green/ Americans want more renewable energy and more climate-change prep. This is how the typical American thinks in 2013, according to a couple of new polls: “More solar power, please. No more nuclear, thanks though. And let’s get ready for this crazy climate-change thing.” A Gallup poll of 1,022 people revealed that a whopping 76 percent of Americans think the U.S. should put more emphasis on developing solar power. Even Republicans are into it, with 68 percent of them calling for more solar. Wind is also popular. Posted. http://grist.org/news/americans-want-more-renewable-energy-and-more-climate-change-prep/ Porsche introducing first plug-in hybrid with second generation of the Panamera. Porsche is introducing its first plug-in hybrid and two new extended wheelbase variants with the second generation of the Panamera. The new Panamera S E-Hybrid produces 416 total system horsepower (310 kW) and is joined by Panamera 4S Executive and Panamera Turbo Executive models in the revised Panamera lineup. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/04/panamera-20130403.html Monthly EV sales reach all-time high in the US. Starting in March 2013, cars21.com will publish a monthly report about EV sales in the US that includes information provided by InsideEVs. In March 2013, more than 7,000 EVs were sold in the US market, twice as many as in March 2012, for a total market share of 0,5% of new light vehicles sales. The sales information currently includes sales of 11 car models. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5324