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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 24, 2013. Posted: 24 Apr 2013 12:04:09
ARB Newsclips for April 24, 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 Central Valley fares poorly in new California pollution index. Central Valley communities are among the hardest hit in California under a unique new misery index that provides statewide mapping on community pollution, health and well-being. The state Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday unveiled a new environmental screening tool that reveals – by ZIP code – how neighborhoods are affected by pesticides, truck fumes, hazardous waste and other toxic factors. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/24/5366555/central-valley-fares-poorly-in.html S.J. Valley has some of state's worst pollution. Seven of California's 10 ZIP codes most burdened by pollution are in the San Joaquin Valley and three are in Los Angeles, according to a new tool developed by state environmental officials to target communities for cleanup. "People tend to think of more urban areas when they think of pollution effects," said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the California Environmental Protection Agency. "That isn't necessarily the case." Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130424/A_NEWS/304240328&cid=sitesearch http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/23/2683776/air-in-san-joaquin-valley-cities.html#storylink=misearch Bakersfield pollution again ranked nation's worst. American Lung Association executives delivered perennial bad news Tuesday but with a dose of encouragement: Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley still have some of the nation's worst air quality, but there are points of improvement. Bakersfield-Delano ranked first in the nation for short-term and annual particle pollution, and third in ozone pollution in the Lung Association's "State of the Air 2013" report. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/health/x411129616/Bakersfield-pollution-again-ranked-nations-worst Region's air improves, but still gets an F. The San Diego region again received failing marks for its air quality from the American Lung Association despite achieving steady declines in pollution, a paradox that illustrates the complex and evolving nature of environmental standards. Today, the group is scheduled to release its 14th annual “State of the Air” report, which grades air quality nationwide for the 2009-11 period. The greater San Diego area got another “F” based on the number of days it went above federal limits for ozone and particle pollution, and it again made the association’s list of the 25 most polluted cities in the country. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/24/air-quality-lung-association-san-diego/ http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/24/tp-regions-air-quality-improves-despite-failing/ New pollution study ranks Los Angeles areas in top 10 worst in state. A statewide snapshot measuring the cumulative impact of pollution on public health reported that of the top 10 percent most polluted ZIP codes in the state, half are in Southern California. Three Los Angeles County communities are especially burdened: East Los Angeles, Vernon and Baldwin Park, according to CalEnviroScreen 1.0, an interactive tool released Tuesday by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_23093119/new-pollution-study-ranks-los-angeles-areas-top#ixzz2ROuvaV1V Region makes strides but still among worst in ozone levels. The four-county Southern California region - which includes San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties - remains the most ozone-polluted region in the nation, but the number of unhealthy ozone days is the lowest in more than a decade, the American Lung Association, said a report released today. The region has seen a 36 percent reduction in annual unhealthy ozone days, between the lung association's year 2000 report and the report out today. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_23091528/region-makes-strides-but-still-among-worst-ozone?source=rss&utm_source=feedly http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_23093119/new-pollution-study-ranks-los-angeles-areas-top?source=rss&utm_source=feedly http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/american-lung-association-releases-annual-report-about-air-pollution Federal energy, safety agencies to study air emissions from gas drilling. Two federal agencies are embarking on a study of air emissions from natural gas drilling. Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the two departments will share data, quantify risks, develop emission control mechanisms and assess exposure. The research is part of a larger effort to address worker health and safety concerns in the burgeoning U.S. shale industry. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/04/24/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE UN Says Clean Energy Funding Too Low to Halt Climate Harm. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the funds flowing to renewable power and efficiency aren’t sufficient to avert environmental calamities and that investors must move more quickly to back new energy technologies. “Climate change is a threat to economies large and small and to the stability of the global financial system,” Ban said today in a speech at a Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York. “The climate clock is ticking. The longer we delay the greater the cost. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-24/un-says-clean-energy-funding-too-low-to-halt-climate-harm.html Climate changed discussed at United Nations Association event in Whittier. Climate change and other environmental issues were discussed in an Earth Day event Sunday held by the Whittier chapter of the United Nations Association. Jack Eidt, nationally known environmental activist, told a Whittier audience that urgent action is needed to slow climate change and preserve the natural environment, according to John Beynon, president of the chapter. Posted. http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_23090997/climate-changed-discussed-at-united-nations-association-event#ixzz2ROuDy57l UN climate chief hopeful 2015 talks will produce global warming accord, despite 2009 failure. Governments are more serious and the impact of climate change is more dramatic, improving chances of a groundbreaking global warming pact in 2015 in contrast with the failure of such an effort in 2009, the U.N. climate chief said Tuesday. The climate change talks in Copenhagen were a resounding failure, setting back the movement to control global warming. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/un-climate-chief-says-2015-global-warming-talks-wont-be-a-repeat-of-failed-summit-in-2009/2013/04/23/c323613c-ac40-11e2-9493-2ff3bf26c4b4_story.html http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/23/un-climate-chief-predicts-2015-talks-wont-fail/ NM grapples with tough choices as drought persists. In southern New Mexico, the mighty Rio Grande has gone dry - reduced to a sandy wash winding from this chile farming community to the nation's leading pecan-producing county. Only puddles remain, leaving gangs of carp to huddle together in a desperate effort to avoid the fate of thousands of freshwater clams, their shells empty and broken on the river bottom. Across the state's eastern plains, wells stand empty and ranchers are selling their cattle. In the north, urbanites face watering restrictions while rural residents see the levels of their springs dropping more every day. Posted.http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/24/3271801/nm-grapples-with-tough-choices.html#storylink=misearch U.S. and Calif. create bi-level climate diplomacy with China. Secretary of State John Kerry and California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) each went to China earlier this month to drum up enthusiasm for climate change policies, signing treaties on both the provincial and national levels. Brown made much of his mission in a talk at Tsinghua University in Beijing on April 11, comparing the Golden State positively to the federal government. "California's doing a lot," he said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/24/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Japan starting from scratch with GHG policies. At this month's U.N. meeting on climate change, Japan is expected to remain quiet because the nation has not yet formed a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without relying on nuclear power. As of April, Japan is no longer bound by the Kyoto Protocol and is freed from any earlier emissions reduction goals. After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/24/10 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Big rig emissions checked in Santa Maria. Big rig drivers were pulled over in Santa Maria today, not for the way they were driving, but for what they may be putting into the air. "Diesel exhaust is one of the largest contaminants here in California," said Eloy Flores of the Air Resources Board. According to the Air Resources Board, 70% of the cancer risk from air pollution comes from diesel exhaust. In order to put the brakes on high emissions, state inspectors spent the day on Tuesday performing numerous tests on heavy duty trucks traveling on Highway 166. Posted. http://www.ksby.com/news/big-rig-emissions-checked-in-santa-maria-252203/ http://www.keyt.com/news/Air-Resources-Board-cracks-down-on-polluters/-/17671600/19869210/-/uxyy40/-/index.html Officials hunt for air polluters. It wasn't the way Tuesday was supposed to go for Jose Mejia. One minute he was wheeling his Santa Maria-Bonita School District truck along Main Street, having just delivered food for school lunches at Bonita Elementary School — and the next he was stuck waiting at the side of the road, caught in a surprise roadside inspection by air resources authorities on the hunt for air polluters. “I’ve been here 25 minutes,” Mejia said, watching as workers for the state Air Resources Board peered into his engine. Posted. http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/officials-hunt-for-air-polluters/article_4f457556-ac9b-11e2-96f2-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true US diesel truck emissions fall 95% from 1993 levels. Exhaust emissions from US diesel trucks and heavy equipment have been cut by more than 95%, new research has claimed. According to the new Equipment World Infographic report, Greening the fleet, this reduction in emissions is one of the most successful environmental initiatives of our time. It has been achieved by a combination of engine technologies including improved diesel fuel injection, computerized engine controls and advanced engine air management. Posted. http://www.procurementleaders.com/news/news/us-diesel-truck-emissions-fall-95-from-1993-levels FUELS Rowdy Keystone pipeline hearing pits workers vs greens. U.S. construction workers, environmentalists and company executives squared off on Thursday at a raucous meeting on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but it was unclear the gathering changed any minds on the controversial project. U.S. State Department officials hosting the meeting repeatedly called for order at the hearing in Grand Island, Nebraska. It was the first since the department released a 2,000-page report on the environmental impacts of the pipeline in March and more than four years after the project was first floated. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/18/us-usa-energy-keystone-idUSBRE93H11520130418 L.A. City Council votes to move away from coal-fired energy. In a 12-0 vote, the panel clears the way to begin converting a coal-fired plant in Utah to natural gas. But a DWP watchdog warns that the move could cost more then $650 million. The Los Angeles City Council approved a plan Tuesday to begin moving away from coal-fired energy, despite warnings from a Department of Water and Power watchdog that the shift could cost more than $650 million. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dwp-coal-20130424,0,5270283.story New hopes for shale gas in green’s paradise. Germany has one of the most robust green movements in the world, but economic pressures are tempting it to try something critics say would harm the Earth: shale gas drilling. Motivated by a rapid-fire increase in natural gas production in the United States, German business leaders and some politicians say they need to act quickly to prevent the country’s industrial core from departing for places where energy is just a fraction of the price. They worry that the country’s ambitious environmental goals are far less meaningful if the economy withers in achieving them. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/new-hopes-for-shale-gas-in-greens-paradise/2013/04/23/64046428-a6a3-11e2-a8e2-5b98cb59187f_story.html Large coalition backs fracking moratorium in Calif. A coalition of more than 100 groups yesterday voiced support for California legislation that would ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas in the state. The alliance endorsed A.B. 1301 from Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D), a measure that would impose a moratorium on the process known as fracking until the Legislature enacted subsequent legislation specifying how it could be done safely. "Fracking endangers our climate, air, water, wildlife, public health, and private property," the coalition said in a letter to Bloom. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/04/24/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES How the Wheels Came Off for Fisker. Untested Electric-Car Firm Was Ripe for the Times; U.S. Loans Saddled It With Factory Never Used. For a few months in 2012, Bruce Simon, the chief executive of gourmet food retailer Omaha Steaks International Inc., drove a $100,000 plug-in hybrid electric car known as the Fisker Karma. No longer. Mr. Simon says his car broke down four times over the span of a few months. Each time, Fisker Automotive Inc. picked it up and sent it by trailer from his home in Omaha, Neb., to a dealer in Minneapolis. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324874204578440640183079794.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories Breaking Down on the Road to Electric Cars. No one answers the phones these days at Fisker Automotive. Its visionary founder has quit; its employees have been laid off or put on furlough without pay. Production of its sleek plug-in hybrid car, the Karma, ended months ago. Veering on the edge of bankruptcy, without a buyer in sight, Fisker has become — to lawmakers and others — the Solyndra of the electric car industry. Not only private backers but millions of dollars in government loans gave life to a company, some would argue, that was a shaky investment from the start. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/business/fisker-broke-down-on-the-road-to-electric-cars.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&utm_source=feedly&_r=1& Car website notes 'green' car searches. The Sacramento region made Cars.com's annual list of U.S. cities with the most eco-conscious car shoppers. The Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto region was No. 10 on the list, which was dominated by California metro areas. The top three on the list are San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Monterey-Salinas and San Diego, respectively. The list was compiled based on millions of Cars.com visitors searching for hybrids or other environmentally friendly cars. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/23/5363420/car-website-notes-green-car-searches.html#storylink=cpy GM says Chevy Spark EV can go 82 miles per charge. General Motors said Wednesday that the battery-powered version of its Chevrolet Spark mini-car can travel up to 82 miles on a single charge, putting it among the leaders in mass-market electric vehicles sold in the U.S. The Spark EV also gets the equivalent of 119 miles per gallon in testing monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. GM said that makes it the most efficient car available for sale to the public. The figure is for combined city and highway driving. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/24/2684963/gm-says-chevy-spark-ev-can-go.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY EU faces energy policy vacuum after 2020. EU ministers meeting in Dublin stood far apart on what energy and environment policy could follow a set of 2020 targets, with a binding legal deal unlikely before 2015. Energy firms, with long investment cycles, say there is an urgent need for a new EU policy framework. Debate has become much harder following economic crisis and the shale gas revolution, which has handed the United States the advantage of cheap energy. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/24/us-eu-energy-idUSBRE93N0RQ20130424 MISCELLANEOUS L.A. City Council jumps into San Onofre debate. Los Angeles became the latest -- and largest -- city to weigh in on the fate of the San Onofre nuclear plant Tuesday, with the City Council unanimously passing a resolution calling on federal regulators to hold off on deciding whether the plant can restart. The plant has been out of service for more than a year because of unusual wear on steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water. One tube leaked a small amount of radioactive steam last January, prompting the plant's shutdown. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-onofre-20130423,0,6476550.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29 Cal students want oil money for education, green energy, county governments and state parks. Tired of rising tuition at UC Berkeley, a group of students said Monday it would help gather signatures for a state ballot measure taxing oil and gas extraction $2 billion for education, green energy, county governments and state parks. The UC Berkeley group is joining 12 other student and environmental groups to get the California Modernization and Development Act on the November 2014 ballot. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_23082087/cal-students-want-oil-money-education?source=rss&utm_source=feedly NYC tobacco policy would most curb youngest teens: researcher. New York City officials, with the blessing of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced Monday that they will seek to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products in the city’s five boroughs from 18 to 21 years of age. Although the proposed rule might seem to target the older teenagers who will no longer be able to buy cigarettes, much of its effect would trickle down to high school students 14 to 17 years old, said John Billimek, a health policy researcher at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-tobacco-sales-21-new-york-20130423,0,898771.story OPINIONS Smoking and the right to dumb choices. New York's proposal to ban purchases by those under 21 is off-base. As thoroughly awful as everyone knows cigarettes to be — still the No. 1 cause of premature death in this country — public officials walk a blurry line when they try to reduce smoking's terrible toll. As long as they lack the will to ban tobacco altogether, they face all sorts of ethical, legal and political problems in regulating a product that is, after all, perfectly legal. High tobacco taxes, critics say, unfairly punish smokers, who are disproportionately low income. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-cigarettes-21-new-york-bloomberg-20130424,0,6186489.story BLOGS If Keystone XL gets blocked, can trains save Canada’s tar sands? There’s a key question at the center of the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline. If President Obama rejects the pipeline, will all of that Canadian heavy crude find another way to get to market? After all, the biggest environmental objection to Keystone is that oil from the tar sands of Alberta is far more carbon-intensive than other types of oil. And the proposed pipeline in question, which will transport up to 830,000 barrels per day down to the Gulf Coast for refining, would allow the tar sands industry to keep expanding. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/24/if-keystone-xl-gets-blocked-can-trains-save-canadas-tar-sands/ The White House’s “all of the above” energy strategy goes global. As President Obama’s national security adviser Tom Donilon speaks Wednesday at the launch of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, we thought it would be worth highlighting some of his speech’s key points: 1.The U.S. is in great shape because of its oil and natural gas production. “The International Energy Agency has projected that the United States could be the world’s largest oil producer by the end of the decade. Of course, we recognize that these are early days and prediction is a risky business”. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/04/24/the-white-houses-all-of-the-above-energy-strategy-goes-global/ Transformational Investment Plan Charts Course to Meet California's Clean Energy, Air Quality Goals. The California Air Resources Board will vote Thursday on a plan to invest the proceeds from the sale of carbon pollution allowances in transformational strategies and technologies to ensure the state meets its long-term climate and air quality goals and delivers those benefits to consumers. The Air Resources Board has held two auctions of pollution permits to date (see here and here) under the state’s cap-and-trade program, generating a combined $138 million to advance the goals of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ajackson/transformational_investment_pl.html