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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 10, 2013.

Posted: 10 May 2013 12:19:50
ARB Newsclips for May 10, 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 Raises Risk of Diabetes Precursor in Kids. Exposure
to air pollution raises the risk of resistance to insulin, a
typical warning sign of diabetes, according to a study of almost
400 German children. Insulin resistance climbed by 17 percent for
every 10.6 micrograms per cubic meter increase in ambient
nitrogen dioxide and by 19 percent for every 6 micrograms per
cubic meter increase in particulate matter in the study of
10-year-olds. The findings were published today in Diabetologia,
the journal of the European Association for the Study of
Diabetes. Posted. 

Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone. The level of
the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon
dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported
on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for
millions of years. Scientific monitors reported that the gas had
reached an average daily level that surpassed 400 parts per
million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a
sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced
emissions under control are faltering. Posted.

China struggles with choking air pollution. Early on in Beijing's
winter of pollution-wracked discontent, one of China's biggest
power companies, Huadian, turned off the coal scrubbers at its
Datong plants and let emissions of sulfur dioxide, a leading
cause of acid rain and respiratory illness, soar to more than
four times government standards.
Huadian saved money by turning off the scrubbers, which suck up
power. Twice. Posted. 

Ventura County air, while still polluted, starting to improve. 
Despite being one of the most smog-polluted counties in the
nation, Ventura County continues to make progress in improving
its air quality.  Last month, the American Lung Association
released its 2013 State of the Air report, which measures the
levels of ozone and particle pollution in counties throughout the
United States.  In a list of the most ozone-polluted counties,
where each region was graded based on the average number of
unhealthy days caused by smog, Ventura County ranks 20th in the
nation. Los Angeles County ranks No. 4 on the list.  Posted. 


Carbon Champions Undeterred by Kyoto Dead-End, EU Envoy Says. 
Carbon-market supporters from China to California will push for
emissions trading even as they prepare for the end of the United
Nations Kyoto Protocol in seven years, Europe’s top climate
negotiator said. Nations including China and New Zealand and some
U.S. states have formed an informal group, “kind of the champions
of the carbon market,” Artur Runge-Metzger said in a May 2
interview in Bonn, Germany. Posted.


Sonoma County power agency plan scrambles political allegiances. 
Plans for a public power agency and the renewable energy projects
that could sprout with it appear to have scrambled politics in
Sonoma County. Shifting alliances, particularly among
agricultural and environmental advocates, have emerged over a key
land-use question tangential to the power proposal: where to
allow energy projects on the county's croplands, ranches and
forested properties? Posted.


Cycling fans celebrate pedal power at Capitol. Evan Kersnar,
above, holds up a sign for friends taking his photo Thursday as
he works the bicycle valet parking area at the annual BikeFest at
the state Capitol. The event promotes cycling and other clean-air
transportation. Lorena Medina of Sacramento, left, rode 6 1/2
miles to the rally with her dog Itztli riding in a special
basket. Seth Koen arrived with his children Otto, 2, and Fern, 4,
on a long-wheelbase cargo cycle. Posted.

Senate Republicans Block Committee Vote on Obama’s Nominee to
Lead E.P.A. Senate Republicans continued a campaign to delay
confirmation of President Obama’s second-term cabinet nominees on
Thursday, blocking a committee vote on Gina McCarthy, the
president’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. The
action came a day after Republicans on the Health, Education,
Labor and Pensions Committee threw a wrench in the nomination of
Thomas E. Perez to be labor secretary, delaying it for at least a
week. Posted.

Stepping up to do right by the environment: More than 1,000 sign
up for 'Sustainability Challenge'.  If one Contra Costa County
home gardener fights "peach curl" with enviro-safe fungicide once
a year, a tree is saved. And if one Alameda County resident
chooses reusable beverage containers over throwaway plastic
bottles, cash piles up and garbage in landfills doesn't.  That's
the point of Sustainable Contra Costa's second annual
"Sustainability Challenge," a two-county community project
culminating in powerful earth-saving acts all happening close to
or completed by the weekend of May 18-19. Posted. 


Letters: No free money for Tesla. Re "Tesla drives state credits
to the bank," May 6 Tesla Motors is an example of an innovative,
homegrown California industry. It is building ultra-clean cars
and providing employment for 2,800 people in a formerly abandoned
car factory. This success is not being subsidized by other car
companies. Car manufacturers are not required to purchase credits
(which Tesla can sell to its competitors), nor does the state's
Air Resources Board establish a price. Posted.

Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Tesla Model S. It’s been a very good
week for Tesla Motors Inc., the little electric car company that
can -- with a little boost from the state of California and other
automakers, that is.  On Wednesday, Tesla reported a quarterly
profit, the first in its 10-year history. And on Thursday, The
Times reported that Consumer Reports magazine had given the
company’s Model S its highest score: 99 out of 100. In fact, the
staid folks at Consumer Reports went, for them, absolutely
bonkers in praising the car…Posted.

Solar Subsidy Recipient Suing Treasury for More. I didn’t see
this one coming. According to the Wall Street Journal, the
largest installer of residential solar panels, a company called
SolarCity, is suing the federal government for underpayment of
green-energy subsidies. A look at the Department of Treasury
Section 1603 data shows that SolarCity received 27 awards across
15 states amounting to $95.6 million in cash from a long-standing
tax credit for renewable-energy investment turned into a direct
grant in the stimulus bill. Posted.


The World Bank wants to fight climate change. Here are four ways
it can help.  World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says he is
determined to make a difference in the world’s response to global
warming. In a major report last year, the bank warned that the
globally agreed-upon goal of limiting the planet’s temperature
increase to 2 degrees Celsius was slipping away, and that the
more likely 4-degree rise would devastate some countries and
plunge more people into poverty.  But what can the bank do about
it?  Posted. 

SOLAR POWER: Photovoltaic panels beating other technologies.
Photovoltaic panels appears to be the winning technology among
large-scale solar energy developers. I came to that conclusion
last week after visiting the Genesis solar project being built 25
miles west of Blythe by NextEra Energy Resources using mirrored
troughs to collect thermal energy, and the Desert Sunlight
project, north of Desert Center, a photovoltaic development by
First Solar. Posted.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Cal State system, EPA team up. The
California State University system and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency are teaming up to increase environmental
opportunities, such as internships and service learning, for
college students. Under a recent agreement, students from the 23
Cal State campuses will be allowed to study independently to earn
credit for completion of EPA projects, lectures or curriculum;
and the EPA will help the university system develop environmental
curriculum. Posted.

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