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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 12, 2013 Posted: 12 Apr 2013 11:56:16
ARB Newsclips for April 12, 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. HIGH SPEED RAIL Brown wants China aboard California's high-speed rail project. Gov. Jerry Brown's trade mission to China this week is intersecting with one of the most controversial issues of his governorship: California's $68-billion bullet train. The governor has staked part of his legacy on the rail network, a centerpiece of his vision for California. He is hoping that China, which is enjoying an economic boom and spent $77.6 billion on overseas investments last year, according to official figures, will pump some of its cash into the troubled project. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-brown-china-train-20130412,0,1126817.story AIR POLLUTION A Busy California Port Seeks to Grow, but a Neighbor Objects. It was a provocative statement from the mayor of this city of nearly half a million people, where the port, one of the busiest in the nation, has long driven the economy. For years, Mayor Bob Foster said, he has favored development projects in the region, looking for ways for the port to bring in more business. But the $500 million project by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway would increase traffic and pollution and have a devastating effect on residents in adjacent working-class neighborhoods, he said. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/us/rail-project-for-port-of-los-angeles-sparks-anger-in-long-beach.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 CLIMATE CHANGE Gina McCarthy, nominee to head EPA, pledges common-sense approach to climate change. Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Thursday pledged a “common-sense” approach to battling climate change and touted a career that included working for five Republican governors in an effort to counter GOP criticism of the agency she hopes to lead. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/gina-mccarthy-nominee-to-head-epa-pledges-common-sense-approach-to-climate-change/2013/04/11/798812ae-a2de-11e2-9c03-6952ff305f35_story.html http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/us/politics/environmental-questions-take-back-seat-at-confirmation-hearing-for-epa-nominee.html?ref=earth Climate change threatens wineries, study shows; how would valley adjust? Wine-grape growers in California and around the world will be forced to move their vineyards north to cooler environments within the next few decades as climate change causes temperatures to rise, conservation biologists say in a study published this week. Think Yellowstone pinot noir or Chateau Yukon cabernet. Not that those are likely new venues for high-end premium grapes, but a new analysis warns that the world's warming climate will put new strains on water supplies for vineyard irrigation. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/11/2665446/climate-change-threatens-wineries.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Report: Global warming didn't cause big US drought. Last year's huge drought was a freak of nature that wasn't caused by man-made global warming, a new federal science study finds. Scientists say the lack of moisture usually pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico was the main reason for the drought in the nation's midsection. Thursday's report by dozens of scientists from five different federal agencies looked into why forecasters didn't see the drought coming. The researchers concluded that it was so unusual and unpredictable that it couldn't have been forecast. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/11/2664850/report-global-warming-didnt-cause.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Greenhouse gases make high temps hotter in China. China, the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide, is directly feeling the man-made heat of global warming, scientists conclude in the first study to link the burning of fossil fuels to one country's rise in its daily temperature spikes. China emits more of the greenhouse gas than the next two biggest carbon polluters - the U.S. and India - combined. And its emissions keep soaring by about 10 percent per year. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/12/2665834/greenhouse-gases-make-high-temps.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY North Coast grape growers optimistic on climate. North Coast grape growers say they take climate change seriously, but they remain optimistic about finding ways to produce premium crops should temperatures rise as much as a new study suggests. The study, the latest in a decade of such research, predicts parts of the Rocky Mountain region could become suitable for growing wine grapes by 2050, even as large swaths of California vineyards decline in productivity. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130411/ARTICLES/130419872/1350?Title=North-Coast-grape-growers-optimistic-on-climate FUELS Russia Skips Hybrids in Push for Cars Using Natural Gas. gor A. Samarsky of the southern Russian city of Krasnodar gets fuel economy on his 1998 Lada sedan that would make a Prius owner green with environmental envy. For all of 120 rubles — about $3.80, or a little more than a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in the United States — he can drive 140 miles. The Toyota hybrid would need three gallons of gas to drive that distance. The only drawback in Mr. Samarsky’s mind is his wife’s lingering fear that the car, which runs on methane gas, will explode on the way to the grocery store. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/business/energy-environment/russia-skips-hybrids-in-push-for-natural-gas-cars.html How fracking transforms remote ranchland to hubs for energy production. Three hours west of Denver, across the Continental Divide, the Rocky Mountains begin the long transition into high desert plateaus. This sparsely-populated land is dotted with ranches and small towns that were once local hubs for mining the rich minerals found under the earth. But over the past few years, this town and others have become increasingly a local center for the natural gas industry. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/a-closer-look-at-hydraulic-fracturing-in-the-west/2013/04/11/af30a52a-a2c9-11e2-bd52-614156372695_story.html Coal to stay important in U.S. energy mix -environment agency pick. Gina McCarthy, EPA's assistant administrator for air and radiation, was questioned by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the agency's plans to roll out regulations soon to curb carbon emissions from power plants, blamed for contributing to global warming. The Boston native is seeking confirmation by the Senate to replace Lisa Jackson, who resigned as EPA chief in February. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/11/us-usa-climate-epa-idUSBRE93A0YU20130411 GREEN ENERGY Solar panel projects at Thousand Oaks parks move forward. A plan to install carports with solar panels at two parks in Thousand Oaks was approved at an administrative hearing Wednesday at City Hall. The hearing was triggered after the city received objections from residents about the project planned for Dos Vientos Community Park and one objection to the Thousand Oaks Community Park project. The plan calls for four rows of carports in the parking lot next to the Thousand Oaks Community Center, near Thousand Oaks High School, and two rows of carports in front of the community center at Dos Vientos Community Park. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/apr/11/solar-panel-projects-at-thousand-oaks-parks-move/#ixzz2QGQKN5ge PG&E Announces Enhanced Green Energy Program To Give Electric Customers More Renewable Options. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said today that it has reached an agreement with a diverse group of consumer and other organizations to enhance its proposed "Green Option" to give electric customers an opportunity to support 100 percent renewable energy. The revised proposal, which has been submitted for approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, would provide participating customers with energy from new small- and mid-sized solar projects located in PG&E's service area. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/12/5337231/pge-announces-enhanced-green-energy.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy OPINION California's environmental laws: Job creators, not job killers. Who knew that being a smoggy place might be good for business? Gov. Jerry Brown is in China, and one of the things he’s pitching is California’s expertise in dealing with smog. Because if there’s one thing we have in common with the Chinese, it’s air pollution. Now, some of what Brown is doing is, well, kind of squishy. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-california-helps-china-on-air-pollution-20130411,0,6195419.story BLOGS The Insiders: Democrats’ lost momentum on climate change. As I said last week, fewer Americans view global warming as a “very serious problem” today than just six months ago. In October, 39 percent of Americans viewed global warming as a very serious problem, compared with 33 percent who believe that to be true today. Carter is the pollster, but by my back-of-the-envelope math, if you exclude partisan Democrats who will follow President Obama on everything, you’re left with about 25 percent of Americans who think that global warming is a very serious problem. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/04/11/the-insiders-democrats-lost-momentum-on-climate-change/ Climate change and Mitch McConnell. I can’t decide what to write about today: Ed Rogers and climate change, or why Mitch McConnell must be the model for Kevin Spacey’s character in “House of Cards.” Maybe both. First, Ed and I have had a little back and forth on climate change. It’s probably tedious to some of you; I believe it is a massive threat worthy of a massive response. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/04/12/the-insiders-climate-change-and-mitch-mcconnell/ Solar Grows Up – Now What? Almost a decade ago, I was part of a group that lost a standby rate case with a Massachusetts utility, when the utility convinced the commission to approve a rate that would incentivize solar at the expense of combined heat and power, (CHP). The package fractured the green coalition we’d assembled and the utility got to greenwash their new, terrible rate. Yes, I’m still bitter. Posted. http://grist.org/article/solar-grows-up-now-what/ Moapa to Lead Powerful, Symbolic Walk from Coal to Clean Energy. Southern Nevada’s Moapa Band of Paiutes are organizing a 16-mile “Walk from Coal to Clean Energy” on April 20, 2013 in concert with Earth Day. This walk will celebrate the tribe’s efforts to retire the polluting Reid Gardner coal plant that adjoins their tribal lands, and also their success in developing the largest solar project on tribal lands in the nation, which will begin construction later this year. Posted. http://grist.org/article/moapa-to-lead-powerful-symbolic-walk-from-coal-to-clean-energy/ California’s China trade office open for business; more deals signed. Positioning California to attract a growing share of China’s massive foreign investment pool and bolstering California-China trade, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., the Bay Area Council and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) opened the California-China Office of Trade and Investment today. It is the state’s first foreign trade office in a decade. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/bottomline/2013/04/12/californias-china-trade-office-open-for-business-more-deals-signed/ Aston Martin to Race Hydrogen-Powered Rapide. British sports-car maker Aston Martin said it will enter a hydrogen-powered version of its Rapide S in next month’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race in Germany. While the company is focusing on the novelty of a hydrogen-fueled racing car, fans may find the idea of competing with a big, four-door passenger car is even stranger. However, Aston said the race is an opportunity to show off its hydrogen technology and turn the first lap in an international motorsport competition without emitting carbon dioxide. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2013/04/12/aston-martin-to-race-hydrogen-powered-rapide-in-germany/?KEYWORDS=fuels