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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 28, 2013

Posted: 28 May 2013 13:14:50
ARB Newsclips for May 28, 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.


Can We Solve Climate Change Through Carbon Capture and Storage? 
In Sunday’s Mail climate scientist Myles Allen tells us that our
current climate policies are not going to solve the problem. All
those wind farms, carbon taxes and cap and trade policies just
won’t get the job done. On this I am happy to agree with him,
existing policies are an incoherent contradictory mess. However
his solution does not seem to offer much more hope than our
existing and failing policies. In essence he is arguing that we
just capture and store most of the carbon dioxide we emit. 


Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles in search of clean air
technology information.  Officials at the nation's busiest
seaport complex are in search of ways to significantly curb the
largest source of port-related air pollution.  Port of Long Beach
and Los Angeles officials are requesting information from
developers and manufacturers of marine exhaust gas scrubbing
systems, alternative fuels and other industry-related firms about
technology that could help lessen air pollution generated by the
main engines of ships arriving at and leaving the twin ports. 

Breathing auto emissions turns HDL cholesterol from 'good' to
'bad'.  Academic researchers have found that breathing motor
vehicle emissions triggers a change in high-density lipoprotein
(HDL) cholesterol, altering its cardiovascular protective
qualities so that it actually contributes to clogged arteries. 
In addition to changing HDL from "good" to "bad," the inhalation
of emissions activates other components of oxidation, the early
cell and tissue damage that causes inflammation, leading to
hardening of the arteries, according to the research team, which
included scientists from UCLA and other institutions.  Posted. 


EU seeks 2014 deadline for nations' greenhouse gas plans. All
countries should outline their long-term plans for curbing
greenhouse gases next year, earlier than favored by Washington,
to revive the stalled fight against climate change, the European
Union proposed on Tuesday. After past failures, almost 200
countries agreed in 2011 to work out by the end of 2015 a U.N.
pact to slow global warming with curbs taking effect from 2020.
They have still to figure out what each nation will do. Preparing
for a climate meeting of government delegates next week in Bonn,
Germany, the EU said all countries should sketch out national
commitments for limiting rising world greenhouse gases beyond
2020 by the end of 2014. Posted.

World Could Cut Emissions by 19.8 Billion Tons by 2020, UN Says.
The world could cut emissions by as much as 19.8 billion tons of
carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, according to a technical paper
published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change. Potential for cuts include agriculture, where as much as
4.3 billion tons could be cut, and land use including forestry,
where as much as 4.2 billion tons be reduced, the secretariat of
the UN unit said in the report, published on its website today.

Extreme weather patterns and the possible role of climate change.
 WFOR's Chief Meteorologist David Bernard, Climate Central's
Chief Climatologist Heidi Cullen, TIME Magazine's Jeffrey Kluger
and American Meteorological Society President Marshall Shepherd
discuss recent extreme weather events, the upcoming hurricane
season, and the role of climate change in recent disruptive
events. Posted. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50147675n

Report: Plan Bay Area would reduce Bay Area's greenhouse gas
emissions, but alternative would cut even more.  THE BAY AREA
will be spewing an additional 1.6 million metric tons of carbon
dioxide annually by 2040 if opponents of a new long-range
land-use blueprint for the Bay Area get their way. That estimate
— the equivalent of burning 20,456 tanker trucks of gasoline or
6,664 rail cars of coal — comes from the environmental impact
report for Plan Bay Area, a long-range housing blueprint that has
ignited controversy in Marin. Posted.


Builder of 1st phase of California's bullet train faces scrutiny.
 The state bullet train agency is pushing full throttle to start
construction of the important first phase of the California
high-speed rail system in as little as six weeks, prompting
scrutiny of the state's selection of a construction company with
the worst technical scores among bidders.  Tutor Perini Corp. won
the competition to build the first 29 miles of the high-speed
rail route on a low bid of $985 million, even though its design
quality, safety plan and engineering, among other factors, ranked
at the bottom of five teams seeking the work.  Posted. 

Congressman to review High-Speed Rail progress.  Saying
California’s High-Speed Rail system project, which is supposed to
start construction in July in the Central Valley, has “fluctuated
in its costs, completion dates, and its goals since 2008,” a
Congressional subcommittee will hold a field hearing in Madera on
Tuesday to see what’s up.  Chaired by Rep. Jeff Denham,
R-Turlock, an outspoken critic of the project, the Subcommittee
on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials has “invited” at
least six witnesses.  Posted. 

High speed rail may be stopping at Shafter, for now.  A proposal
by Bakersfield officials for a "time-out" on California's high
speed train through town may be gaining traction.  The California
High Speed Rail Authority will consider a recommendation by staff
members at its June 6 monthly meeting to approve a rail alignment
and station locations between Fresno and Shafter -- not all the
way through Bakersfield.  Bakersfield officials and the Kern
Council of Governments had suggested in December that the
authority only certify an environmental document outlining the
rail's path from south of Fresno to somewhere north of
Bakersfield, such as Shafter.  Posted. 


Reality gap widens on EU car fuel efficiency claims –study. 
The gap has widened between the fuel-efficiency that carmakers
declare for their models and the reality for drivers, with luxury
German vehicles showing the biggest divergence, a study has
found. Research by the non-profit International Council on Clean
Transportation (ICCT) found "real-world" carbon emissions for new
cars based on fuel consumption are about 25 percent higher on
average than carmakers say, compared to 10 percent a decade ago.
The findings will add to pressure to reform vehicle testing
procedures at international level and stoke ongoing EU debate on
how to enforce 2020 car emissions goals for the 27-member bloc.

On the Horizon, Five Reasons to Smile. We appear to be at the
start of a new era of cheap energy. Through advances in both oil
and natural gas production, the United States is again becoming a
leading exporter of fossil fuels. Many of the nation’s economic
troubles, like slow productivity and  income growth, began about
the same time that America’s first age of cheap energy came to a
sudden end, in the early 1970s. The effect of today’s energy boom
on broader productivity remains to be seen, but it could prove a
source of further gains. Posted.

Industry giant GE aims to improve fracking. One of America's
corporate giants is investing billions of dollars in the new boom
of oil and gas drilling, or fracking. General Electric Co. is
opening a new laboratory in Oklahoma, buying up related
companies, and placing a big bet that cutting-edge science will
improve profits for clients and reduce the environmental and
health effects of the boom. "We like the oil and gas base because
we see the need for resources for a long time to come," said Mark
Little, a senior vice president. He said GE did "almost nothing"
in oil and gas just over a decade ago but has invested more than
$15 billion in the past few years. Posted.


California environmentalists fear frack fight a distraction. As
California sets the ground rules for drilling in the Monterey oil
formation, a hard-to-reach shale reserve that is the largest in
the United States, some environmentalists worry that politicians,
regulators and fellow activists are fighting the wrong battle.
The state regulator is hammering out rules for hydraulic
fracturing, while the legislature is debating 10 bills on the
practice. The drilling technique known as "fracking" has caused
so much concern about environmental problems that it is the
subject of a Hollywood movie. But most Monterey drillers employ
another technique using acid, and only one bill under
consideration would regulate that method. Posted.


France to Push Local Electric-Car Charging Network Plans.
France’s government would prefer that municipalities take the
lead in developing electric-car charging stations, Industry
Minister Arnaud Montebourg said. A national operator could
“intervene” should locally backed charging networks be slow to
develop, “but it would best for it to intervene eventually, not
now,” Montebourg said today at a conference in Paris of French
mayors. France, responding to public concern about rising fuel
prices and climate change, already backs the segment, offering
drivers a rebate of 7,000 euros ($9,000) on the purchase of a
battery-powered vehicle and 4,000 euros for a hybrid
electric-gasoline model. Posted.


Europe's Green-Fuel Search Turns to America's Forests. Loggers
here are clear-cutting a wetland forest with decades-old trees.
Behind the move: an environmental push. The push isn't in North
Carolina but in Europe, where governments are trying to reduce
fossil-fuel use and carbon-dioxide emissions. Under pressure,
some of the Continent's coal-burning power plants are switching
to wood. But Europe doesn't have enough forests to chop for fuel,
and in those it does have, many restrictions apply. So Europe's
power plants are devouring wood from the U.S., where forests are
bigger and restrictions fewer. Posted.


ROBINSON: Time for Obama to act on global warming. President
Barack Obama should spend his remaining years in office making
the United States part of the solution to climate change, not
part of the problem. If Congress sticks to its policy of
obstruction and willful ignorance, Obama should use his executive
powers to the fullest extent. We are out of time. With each
breath, every person alive today experiences something unique in
human history: an atmosphere containing more than 400 parts per
million of carbon dioxide. This makes us special, I suppose, but
not in a good way. Posted.


Seoul Rolls Out Electric Cars.  If Seoul’s government has its
way, electric cars will soon be tooling around the city. In an
innovative step to alleviate traffic jams and improve air
quality, the metropolitan government is making electric cars
available for rent throughout Seoul under its “Electric Vehicle
Sharing” program, which started May 9. Registered drivers can
book a Kia Ray EV online for 6,000 won ($5) an hour. Drivers can
pick up their rental car at any of the unmanned parking lots
across the city. Charging is free and the rental expenses include
insurance costs. Posted.

The Hybrid Supercar. The problem when writing about the McLaren
P1, the latest supercar from the British racing stable, is where
to start? Do you talk about the fact that the £866,000 ($1.3
million) supercar–designed and built in the race company’s Norman
Foster-designed headquarters in England–produces 903 brake
horsepower, making it more powerful than a 60-ton Chieftain tank?
Do you mention the fact that only 375 of the cars are ever going
to be made–about one a day? Or that each one is assembled by hand
from more than 15,000 components and takes three days just to
paint? Or that it goes through 362 different quality checks,
including a deluge of 16,000 liters of deionized (it doesn’t
leave marks) water in a six-minute “monsoon test” designed to
test every seal. Posted.

Solid climate change science as requested. I understand someone
requested some "solid science" that supports human-caused climate
change. Funny how over 1,400 blogs of "solid science" over the
last four years isn't enough for some people. And equally funny
how they do not require any science, solid or otherwise, to
support their denial. But, oh well, we can't expect too much from
them. Posted.

Insurance and Climate Change... It's Complicated.  As an
insurance guy who has been on both sides of the climate change
debate--I've worked for organizations full of climate change
skeptics and now head one that believes it's an important public
policy issue--I've heard just about every claim about what
"insurers say" about climate change.  Plenty of people who want
to minimize the risks (or even existence) of human-caused climate
change, will say that insurers are trying to line their pockets
by fomenting fear of natural disasters. Plenty of
environmentalists, on the other hand, will make broad statements
about the insurance industry's deep concern about the issue as a
way of demonstrating that at least one big business supports
their preferred policy solutions.  Posted. 

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