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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 3, 2013

Posted: 03 May 2013 11:15:02
ARB Newsclips for May 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.


Cap and trade law vs. agriculture focus of Assembly hearing.  A
joint informational hearing is being scheduled for next week on
how California agriculture can help the state meet its air
quality goals.  Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, chairwoman
of the Assembly Select Committee on Sustainable and Organic
Agriculture, and Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael,
chairwoman of the Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and
the Environment, will hold the hearing.  The hearing is scheduled
for Wednesday, May 8, beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the State
Capitol, room 126.  Posted. 


APNewsBreak: Judge Axes Federal Suit Over Lake.  A federal judge
has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Los Angeles against air quality
regulators who are requiring the city to do more to control dust
on a lake that was siphoned dry a century ago to provide water
for the booming metropolis.  U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii
granted a motion Wednesday to dismiss the lawsuit in the latest
chapter in a decades-old spat over water rights in the arid
region 200 miles north of Los Angeles. The lawsuit was filed last
year in U.S. District Court in Fresno.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:




Chemical pesticides burn in Calif. Wildfire.  Fire officials say
they will dispatch a hazardous materials team to deal with a
store of highly toxic pesticides that have caught fire in a
massive Southern California wildfire.  Cpt. Scott Dettorre tells
the Ventura County Star ( http://bit.ly/132NTEh ) the pesticides
were stored at the Laguna Farms property near the California
State University Channel Islands campus.  Dettorre says nearby
residents are being warned to stay out of the smoke.  Posted. 

Air quality advisory issued due to fire, dust.  Air quality will
be compromised today in Ventura County as a result of the
Camarillo Springs fire and dust kicked up by Santa Ana winds. 
The county Air Pollution Control District issued an advisory this
morning urging all residents in areas with blowing dust, smoke
and ash to use caution and avoid unnecessary outdoor activities. 
Meteorologist Kent Field said residents in those areas should
avoid vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion and that children,
elderly individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease
should stay indoors. Smoke and ash from the fire is considered
unhealthy in and downwind of the fire.  Posted. 

Santa Clara County receives 'F' for air pollution.  Despite Santa
Clara County getting an "F" grade for this year's state of the
air report released by the American Lung Association, the report
does show notable progress in efforts to reduce ozone and
particulate pollution in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  The
14th annual report ranks cities and counties most affected by air
pollution and details trends over the past decade. The grades are
based on the weighted average of days when air pollution levels
reach the higher ranges.  Posted. 


Companies spend millions to reduce air pollution.  Some companies
operating in Southern California are spending millions of dollars
to help reduce air pollution and it’s showing results.  Los
Angeles, Riverside and Long Beach still remain the worst place
for ozone pollution nationwide, but the number of unhealthy air
days has dropped over the last decade, according to a report by
the American Lung Association.  Posted. 


The year 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record.  The
United Nation’s weather agency has confirmed that 2012 was the
ninth warmest year since record keeping began in 1850, and the
27th consecutive year that global land and ocean temperatures
were above average.  Last year exceeded the global average
temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit despite the cooling
influence of a La Nina weather pattern, according to the World
Meteorological Organization’s annual climate report.  Posted. 


Rail authority defends bullet train bidding criteria.  The
California bullet train agency on Thursday defended its bidding
criteria for selecting the winner for its first construction
contract, saying that the process held down prices and was
handled properly.  The California High-Speed Rail Authority has
come under fire from critics who assert changes to the bidding
criteria could jeopardize the quality of the project. The
authority tentatively chose a team led by Sylmar-based Tutor
Perini to build a 29-mile segment of track through Fresno even
though it had the lowest technical score. The team had the
lowest-cost bid, at just under $1 billion.  Posted. 


Oil drilling technology leaps, clean energy lags.   Technology
created an energy revolution over the past decade - just not the
one we expected.  By now, cars were supposed to be running on
fuel made from plant waste or algae - or powered by hydrogen or
cheap batteries that burned nothing at all. Electricity would be
generated with solar panels and wind turbines. When the sun
didn't shine or the wind didn't blow, power would flow out of
batteries the size of tractor-trailers.  Posted. 

Other related articles

Is Waste Management Evolving Into an Energy Company?  Landfill
gas, as a by-product of microbial activity, forms from the
anaerobic decomposition of organic waste materials (trash), and
consists primarily of methane as well as carbon dioxide. The
biogas produced by landfills can be used as an energy source --
from fueling trucks to generating electricity.  Utilizing this
gas for electricity can also deliver a continuous, stable source
of electricity to power grids -- which is something other "green"
energy sources such as wind and solar often cannot. So, how to
invest?  Posted. 


Make plan to maximize the use of natural gas.  California has
numerous opportunities to achieve our state’s ambitious carbon
emission reduction goals, while at the same time fostering jobs
and supporting industries involved in clean energy.  One area of
opportunity is natural gas. There is a lot of it. It is lower
priced than alternatives. And it is a domestic resource.  Now is
the time for the state to determine a clear roadmap that
effectively guides our current use of natural gas to further
reduce emissions and move us toward a clean energy economy. 


Air Pollution’s Role in Heart Disease.  Air pollution has been
linked to cardiovascular disease, and now researchers may be
closer to understanding why: it increases atherosclerosis, or
hardening of the arteries, a known risk for heart attack and
stroke.  Researchers did ultrasound examinations on 5,362 men and
women over 45 in six metropolitan areas, measuring the thickness
of their right common carotid artery, one of two arteries that
carry oxygenated blood to the neck and head.  Posted. 

On ‘Unburnable Carbon’ and the Specter of a ‘Carbon Bubble’.  A
new buzz phrase in the push to limit greenhouse gas emissions is
“unburnable carbon” — an effort to define and then wall off the
portion of the world’s still-vast reserves of coal, oil or
natural gas that might, if combusted, cause unacceptably costly
or dangerous climate change. The effort builds, to a large
extent, on studies aiming to create a “carbon budget” for the
world’s nations — divvying up the amount of emissions (and thus
fuels) below that threshold. The most notable paper, published in
Nature, was ”Greenhouse-Gas Emission Targets for Limiting Global
Warming to 2 °C.” (2 °C being 2 degrees Celsius).
(Earlier this year, Katherine Bagley wrote a nice piece on the
influence of that paper.)  Posted. 

April 2013: Prius sales slow, competition grows edition. 
Year-over-year advanced-powertrain sales numbers in the US
continued to slow last month as Japanese automakers like Toyota
and Honda failed to hit the demand levels seen in 2012.  A surge
in Nissan Leaf sales, which helped push plug-in sales up 41
percent from a year earlier, and demand for newer Ford hybrids
helped offset the effect of falling Prius sales. Still,
advanced-powertrain sales rose just 6.5 percent to 52,671 units
in April. Through the first four months of the year, Americans
bought just over 200,000 advanced-powertrain vehicles, up 14
percent from a year earlier.  Posted. 

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