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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 22, 2013.

Posted: 22 Apr 2013 11:55:53
ARB Newsclips for April 22, 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.


Cap-and-trade programs in California and Quebec to merge. The
California Air Resources Board has linked its cap-and-trade
program for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and curbing climate
change with one in Quebec. California's air quality officials
soon may be adding a new phrase to their bureaucratic vocabulary:
"le rechauffement climatique." That's French for global warming.



Why the U.S. Is Cutting Carbon Faster Than Europe.  This week,
European Parliament put a dagger in the Continent’s carbon
cap-and-trade system.  Rather than choosing to reduce the number
of emission credits in the system to better reflect the economic
slowdown, Parliament voted to keep carbon cheap—real cheap. As a
result, the price of carbon in recent days traded for as little
as €3 ($3.92) per metric ton, compared with €25 in 2008. Posted. 



District says Yolo County's air quality is getting better.  The
Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District says a report
released Wednesday shows the efforts made by it and similar
agencies statewide are resulting in cleaner air.  The report,
titled "California's Progress Toward Clean Air," is released
annually by the California Air Pollution Control Officers
Association, a statewide consortium of air quality regulators
including Yolo-Solano.  Posted. 

San Diego’s environmental checkup shows good health. Most of the
progress comes from cleaning up pollution on the road and at the
gas pump, said Bill Brick, senior meteorologist for the San Diego
County Air Pollution Control District. Future efforts to further
boost air quality will take aim at diesel exhaust from heavy
trucks, buses and tugboats, he said. Bonnie Holmes-Zen, senior
director of policy and advocacy for the American Lung
Association, said San Diegans still need to drive less and drive
cleaner. Posted.


Supreme Court asked to hear EPA greenhouse gas challenge. Top
industry groups and a dozen states have asked the Supreme Court
to review a lower court decision upholding the Obama
administration's plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions generated
by power plants and vehicles. The parties, which had until Friday
to submit petitions to the high court, are challenging a 2012
decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld rules
issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Posted.

Long-term global cooling ended in 19th century: study. A global
long-term cooling trend ended late in the 19th century and was
followed decades later by the warmest temperatures in nearly
1,400 years, a sweeping study of temperature change showed. The
study, by a consortium of 78 authors in 24 countries, said its
2,000 years of data made it harder to discount the impact on
higher temperatures of increased greenhouse gases due to human
activity. Posted.

Climate change toll felt on businesses, wildlife. Ryan Richardson
knows all too well how global climate change can affect local
lives. Richardson is vice president of operations at Hobart's
County Line Orchard, which lost its entire crop of apples last
season due to extreme weather. That reduced revenue and delayed
expansion plans. "Whether you call it global warming or climate
change, the intense weather really does have an impact,"
Richardson told The Times in Munster (http://bit.ly/13LBIOH).

Winemaking would suffer under climate change, study reveals.
Grape growing in the Temecula Valley Wine Country and other prime
wine-producing regions of California would wither by mid-century
if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and farmers don’t
make significant adjustments to their crops, say the authors of a
new climate change study. Posted.

Clarity on climate change causes. ‘‘Humanity is sitting on a time
bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right,
we have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could
send our entire planet’s climate system into a tail-spin of epic
destruction . . .” This quote, spoken by Al Gore in his movie,
“An Inconvenient Truth,” embodies the fear that is driving the
modern environmental movement. Producers and consumers search
endlessly for “green” items, such as reusable bags, energy
efficient cars, and sustainable foods, all in the hope of
protecting the planet from the harmful byproducts of
civilization. Posted. 

Leaders mull direction, significance of state's energy and
climate policies. Hailing California as the nation's pace-setter
in climate and energy policy, state experts are looking around to
see who else is following. At a conference on "California's
Energy Future," a top energy policy thought leader cautioned that
state officials should think about what they are trying to
achieve with their landmark greenhouse gas regulations and
trading program. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/22/8 BY

The more we warm, the faster climate zones will shift.  Plants,
animals and agricultural systems have adapted to thrive in
certain climates, be they arid or wet, tropical or temperate. At
the globe warms, those climates will shift, potentially
disrupting ecosystems and agriculture. A study published
yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change shows for the
first time that the shift will happen faster the more the globe
warms. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/22/4 BY

Canada's emissions decline, despite spike from oil sands.
Canada's greenhouse gas emissions have declined since 2000, even
as emissions from production in its oil sands region increased
120 percent over the same time frame, according to a new report
submitted by the country to the United Nations. The national
greenhouse gas inventory offers a snapshot of the country's
profile at a time of intense attention to TransCanada Corp.'s
proposed Keystone XL pipeline and its potential climate impact.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/22/7 BY

Swipes at fossil fuel industry could destabilize markets.
Entrenched links between the fossil fuels industry and global
financiers could destabilize markets as governments enact tougher
laws to fight climate change, a British think tank warned in a
study released late last week. Climate experts at London-based
Carbon Tracker have determined that coal, oil and gas companies'
carbon assets may be left "stranded" by technological advances or
more exacting regulations. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/04/22/5 BY


Improving automobile fuel efficiency - with plastics. While most
Americans know that drastically improving automobile fuel
efficiency will reduce gasoline consumption and tailpipe
emissions, it may be less clear how today’s cars and trucks are
evolving to make that happen. The U.S. government recently
announced stringent new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
standards: the nation’s cars and light trucks must average a
whopping 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Posted.

Alaska gambles with major oil tax cut. Call it Alaska's great
gamble. The state will forgo billions of dollars in tax revenue
in hopes of reversing sour economic fortunes. Alaska, whose
economy runs almost solely on oil, has fallen from its perch as
the nation's oil king at a time when energy production is surging
across the Lower 48 states, fueling budget surpluses in North
Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. This new boom puts the U.S.
on track to become the world's largest oil producer and a net
exporter of natural gas by 2020. Posted.

No good will come from Keystone pipeline. President Obama is
facing a critical opportunity to take the country beyond its
century-and-a-half reliance on oil. Earth Day on Monday, and this
weekend's third anniversary of the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster,
offer stark reminders of the stakes and mistakes inherent in
crude. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, the president made the best
of decisions last summer when he dramatically improved
mileage-and-emissions standards for U.S. cars and light trucks.

California is new fracking battleground. The home of the
Hollywood liberals is the nation’s newest battleground on
fracking.  California is the latest state to embark on a fierce
debate over whether and how to regulate the oil- and
gas-extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing — a
controversy already roiling politics in rural Pennsylvania and
inspiring an endless soap opera in New York State. But California
could provide an even bigger stage for the drama: Posted.


RPT-Paris scheme showcases tycoon's battery car gamble. A fleet
of little silver cars in Paris is showcasing France's gamble on
electric vehicle technology in a project that backers say is even
helping to narrow the capital's social divide. Modelled on the
"Velib" bike-sharing programme, "Autolib" has won 70,000 clients
since its launch in late 2011. Drivers pick up one of the
electric cars at a recharging bay, make their journey and leave
it at another for other Parisians to use. Posted.

UPDATE 1-Chinese car makers turn to hybrids, hope for Beijing
backing. China is warming to gasoline-electric hybrid cars as it
tackles an addiction to fossil fuels, and local car makers are
finally heeding the call and entering a niche 'green' market
dominated by Japanese rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp. Some
automakers like state-owned SAIC Motor Corp and Brilliance Auto
are developing the fuel-saving technology pioneered by Toyota on
its Prius model two decades ago…Posted.

Motorcycle mpg: 10 very fuel-efficient bikes. Gaso prices are
high at the pump and rising higher, and prospective motorcycle
buyers -- especially first-time buyers -- often cite fuel
efficiency as their No. 1 reason for wanting to swap four wheels
for two. It's always a good swap, as far as mileage goes. Even
the thirstiest gas-guzzling motorcycles get more miles per gallon
than the most economical cars. Honda's road racing CBR100RR gets
a reported 41 mpg, for example, while a big beast like BMW's
R1200GS gets close to 50 mpg. Posted.

6 electric taxis are hitting the NYC streets. Six electric taxis
are hitting New York City's streets. The environmentally
efficient vehicle is called the LEAF. Nissan is donating the
taxis as part of a year-long pilot program. The city plans to
make one-third of its taxi fleet electric by the year 2020. The
fleet has 13,237 medallion taxicabs. The Taxi and Limousine
Commission says electric taxis could reduce gas emissions by
nearly 90,000 tons annually. Posted. 


High-speed rail training grant boosts Valley's job hopes.  Fresno
leaders said Friday that a $1.5 million grant to train people for
jobs building the first stage of California's high-speed rail
line has the potential to "transform lives" of local residents. 
The grant, funded by the state Workforce Investment Act, will
underwrite skills training by the Fresno Regional Workforce
Investment Board for at least 325 people.  Posted.  



Wind energy continues to grow on the list of greentech choices. 
Chances are you’ve heard that we’re using a lot of energy every
day and need to, you know, slow our roll. We’ve done an excellent
job figuring out how to use fossil fuels, but what about our
other natural resources? Wind, some say, is our next best thing. 
An infographic created by QuinStreet street below shows that in
the last 62 years alone, our energy consumption has increased by
46 percent. Posted. 

Electric-Taxi Experiment Asks if City’s Cabbies Can Spare the
Time to Plug In. The taxis are not entirely yellow. Their drivers
are allowed to refuse certain fares. Even the smell is different,
with no oil-rich odor greeting riders at the door. Months before
the city’s Taxi of Tomorrow is scheduled to reach the road,
officials have already turned their attention to the type of
vehicle that might replace it. This week, the city will introduce
six fully electric taxis into the fleet as part of a pilot
program intended primarily to answer a single question: Posted.

China's Clean Energy Investment Puts America to Shame. In the
U.S., when the topic of clean energy comes up, we like to debate
concepts like climate change or global warming, turning it into a
political debate more than a strategic one. Subsidies to
industries such as wind or solar, no matter how small, take
criticism from politicians and the media while the government
continues to subsidizes oil, gas, coal, and nuclear production to
the tune of billions of dollars each year. Posted.

Energy measures save Green Bay schools $10 million. The Green Bay
School District said it has saved millions of dollars over the
past decade by conserving energy in its buildings. District
officials said using energy-efficient light bulbs, turning off or
dimming lights, maintaining heating and cooling systems in good
condition and avoiding heavy energy use during peak times saved
them about $10 million. Posted.

A Good Investment in the Utility Sector. Duke Energy is an energy
company owning nuclear, natural gas, coal-fired and hydroelectric
generation. Headquartered in Charlotte, Duke operates in the
United States providing nearly 20000 megawatts of owned electric
capacity to over 2 million customers. It is a Fortune 250 company
having a diverse fuel mix. Although utility companies are
unlikely to experience substantial capital appreciation, this one
is a worthwhile investment. Posted.

Solar power shopping? Here are some tips. With solar panel prices
plunging and generous tax credits and incentives still available,
now may be as good a time as any to go solar. But shopping for a
solar power system can be a tough task. Consumers face a
bewildering array of options. There are thousands of different
solar panel models from dozens of manufacturers. In regions like
the Bay Area, consumers can choose from among hundreds of
different panel installers. Posted.


Tens of thousands of Angelenos hop on their bikes for CicLAvia.
Tens of thousands of Angelenos abandoned their cars Sunday and
hopped on their bikes, strapped on their rollerblades or pulled
on their walking shoes and took to the streets to rediscover
their city as part of the sixth CicLavia. Starting near City
Hall, the cyclists, skateboarders, dog-walkers, runners and
pedestrians slowly began making their way along the 15-mile,
car-free route that will take them from downtown to Venice Beach.

Rash of catalytic converter thefts in Las Cruces. Thieves in Las
Cruces apparently are setting their sights on catalytic
converters. Several automobile muffler shops in the southern New
Mexico city report seeing a rash of vehicles brought in because
of thefts of the emission control devices. Bob Mocerino says
vehicle owners who are victims of converter thefts typically walk
into his muffler shop describing how their vehicle is "really
loud right now." Posted.

Unhealthy mercury levels persist in fish. Despite efforts by the
state to curb mercury in the air and water, unhealthy levels of
the element in most fish persist, resulting in restrictions on
local fish consumption. “Mercury is a really big issue,” said
Gary Rose, director of engineering and enforcement at the Bureau
of Air Management the Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection. “It’s local. It’s national. It’s international.”
Exposure to mercury, through the air or by eating mercury-laden
fish, is toxic to humans. Posted.


The End of the EU's Cap-and-Trade Affair. This could turn out to
be very good news for the world's climate. For some time, a
divorce has been on the horizon. For years these sweethearts have
soaked up the limelight on the international stage, but the
sordid reality has sunk in. On Tuesday, a vote in the European
Parliament confirmed that the love affair between the European
Union and its climate policy may be well and truly over. This
could turn out to be very good news for the world's climate.

Cap and Trade Collapses. Even the European Parliament rejects
carbon price-fixing. One of the great policy bubbles of our times
has been cap and trade for carbon emissions, and on Tuesday it
may have popped for good. The European Parliament refused to save
the EU's failing program, which is the true-believer equivalent
of the pope renouncing celibacy. The Parliament in Strasbourg
voted 334-315 (with 63 abstentions) against propping up the price
of carbon credits in the EU Emissions Trading System. Posted.

Life After Oil and Gas. This mantra, repeated on TV ads and in
political debates, is punctuated with a tinge of inevitability
and regret. But, increasingly, scientific research and the
experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what
extent will we really “need” fossil fuel in the years to come? To
what extent is it a choice? As renewable energy gets cheaper and
machines and buildings become more energy efficient…Posted. 

McManus: A tax everyone can love. Once we get used to the idea,
taxing carbon makes sense. The chairmen of Congress' primary tax
committees, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Rep. Dave Camp
(R-Mich.), have launched a bipartisan effort to reform our messy,
inefficient federal tax law. They've agreed to look for ways to
lower tax rates on both individuals and corporations and at the
same time "close loopholes." But Baucus and Camp are going to run
into a big problem: One taxpayer's "loophole" is another's sacred
birthright. Posted.

Dan Morain: State pushes 'green chemistry'  What's a chemical
company to do? Buckle up. Once again, California is heading off
on its own, this time decreeing that manufacturers of consumer
products find alternatives to ingredients that are linked to
cancer, are reproductive toxins or otherwise despoil the planet. 
"Chemicals are not going away, but they need to change," said
Department of Toxic Substances Control director Debbie Rafael,
who is overseeing California's "green chemistry" program. Posted.

McClintock doesn't represent local environment issues well. Re
"McClintock hardly matches Muir in pantheon of Yosemite
protectors" (Forum, April 14): The late Speaker of the House Tip
O'Neill once said that "all politics is local." My representative
Tom McClintock has turned this once basic truism and a
fundamental cornerstone of our Constitution on its head. On
environmental issues, the Congressman has opposed the San Joaquin
River restoration, opposed the Klamath River restoration and
opposed improving levee improvements in the Sacramento Valley.

Viewpoints: Should plastic bags be banned in California? No
Growing up in the shadow of the '60s, a remarkable event occurred
in my otherwise unremarkable hometown of Modesto – a little group
called Ecology Action created the nation's first-ever curbside
recycling program. National coverage in Look magazine stoked town
pride. The year was 1971, and I was 11 years old. I remember the
excitement helping mom drag recyclables to the curb and watching
primitive trucks pull into the cul-de-sac to haul everything
away. Posted.

Home, turbulent home.  Unfortunately: Earth Day 2013 finds the
world with new warnings of a dramatically changing climate.
FORTUNATELY: There are positive signs, too, if we follow them. It
was 43 years ago today, on the first Earth Day in 1970, that a
government scientist delivered this ominous warning: "Pollution
and over-pollution unless checked could so warm the earth in 200
years as to create a greenhouse effect melting the arctic ice cap
and flooding vast areas of the world," said Jay Murray Mitchell,
a climatologist with what is today known as the National Weather
Service. Posted.

10 Companies Pioneering Green Energy Usage. There aren't many
people who will suggest that Kohl's Department Stores is a
subversive threat to our existence as we know it. Lucky for you,
dear reader, I am one of them. As our elected officials and
fossil fuel lobbyists engage in never-ending battles to ensure we
maintain our energy status quo, many corporations are quietly
making big investments to brighten our energy future. Posted.

Editorial: Lawsuit could bring changes.  Our view: If successful,
the lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board could
force a different attitude on state agencies.  Less than a month
ago, staff from the California Air Resources Board sat in the
Chico City Council chambers, invited by Assemblyman Dan Logue, to
talk about the state's diesel regulations.  Posted. 

Idling vehicles raise risks, get you nowhere. Recent reports show
that people exposed to higher levels of air pollution have an
increased risk of low birth weight, stroke, heart attack,
respiratory infections, lung cancer, cognitive deterioration and
decreased life expectancy. These health risks exist even at
pollution levels that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
currently considers to be safe. Since moving vehicles generate
approximately 12 percent of all air pollutants…Posted.


Poll Suggests Energy Independence Trumps Environmental Concerns.
U.S. and Canadian policymakers in favor of TransCanada Corp.
TRP.T -0.18%’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline got a bit more
ammunition for their cause Monday. A new poll of American and
Canadian residents suggests a majority in both countries–74% of
Americans, 68% of Canadians–either support or “somewhat” support
the controversial pipeline, which has been the target of intense
opposition by environmentalist groups and key Democratic
lawmakers. Posted.

Europe’s cap-and-trade program is in trouble. Can it be fixed?
The European Union has long prided itself on taking the lead in
tackling climate change. But, this week, the continent’s flagship
program — a cap-and-trade program for carbon-dioxide emissions —
ran into serious trouble after a big reform effort failed. So can
it be fixed? Let’s start with some background. The E.U.’s
Emissions Trading Scheme works by setting an overall cap on
carbon emissions for about half of Europe’s industries. Posted.

An Earth Day Debate: Is There a ‘Carbon Bubble’? On Monday many
people are celebrating Earth Day by admiring the beauty of our
planet and by calling attention to the environmental dangers it
faces. While the focus is on the planet, economists are warning
that carbon emissions could cause grave damage to something else
green and dear. The value of carbon-based investments — many
traded publicly — could implode once governments start seriously
curbing emissions, bursting what some have dubbed “the carbon
bubble.” Posted.

Reducing Black Carbon and Other Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
Could Reduce Sea Level Rise by a Third.  Recently we learned that
nearly 3.5 million people are killed each year by indoor air
pollution, much of it caused by black carbon soot. It's a health
problem for sure, and it's a climate change problem, both of
significant size—despite the general lack of media attention
focused on either aspect.  Posted. 

Earth Day Is a Reminder to Move Forward on Combating Climate
Change. One of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day is to
continue working to combat climate change and protect our planet
for future generations. With 2012 being the hottest year on
record in the continental United States and climate change
fueling deadly and costly floods, droughts, wildfires, and
Superstorm Sandy, it's clear that the time to act is now.
President Obama has the chance to do just that while building on
his environmental legacy. Posted.

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