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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 30, 2013 Posted: 30 May 2013 11:36:09
ARB Newsclips for May 30, 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 Pollution Concerns Could Douse California Beach Fires. For generations, California’s beaches have been an international symbol of free living and youthful exuberance, where Gidget met Moondoggie and the Beach Boys had fun, fun, fun. But these days, a blizzard of restrictions — on everything from dogs to playing horseshoes — is being imposed on beach activities up and down the coast, turning beaches into sanitized zones that longtime beachgoers say barely resemble the freewheeling places they once knew. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/us/pollution-concerns-could-douse-california-beach-fires.html?ref=earth UN Urges Deeper Pollution Cuts in Biggest Challenge for Humanity. Governments worldwide must step up efforts to save the planet from global warming in the biggest challenge humanity has ever undertaken, according to United Nations’ climate chief Christiana Figueres. Developing and industrialized nations aren’t doing enough to prevent the global temperature rising 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial times, Figueres said in an interview during the Carbon Expo conference in Barcelona yesterday. The global average has already risen by about 0.8 of a degree in the past century, according to the National Research Council in Washington. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-30/un-urges-deeper-pollution-cuts-in-biggest-challenge-for-humanity.html CLIMATE CHANGE Chris Christie: Climate change a ‘distraction’. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was soaking up the revelry around the Jersey Shore’s post-Hurricane Sandy reopening this Memorial Day, ceremoniously cutting a monstrous ribbon and leading President Obama and packs of cameras around the boardwalk. Christie’s handling of the superstorm earned him bipartisan praise and record-high popularity, but now almost eight months out since Sandy struck New Jersey’s coast, Christie’s response to the storm is taking shape on political sides. Posted. http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/05/29/chris-christie-climate-change-a-distraction/ REGIONAL: Program to focus on desert climate change. On June 4, the San Gorgonio chapter of the Sierra Club will hold its monthly meeting at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands at 7:30 p.m. This month’s program is titled: “Climate Change and Effective Conservation in the California Desert,” an illustrated presentation by Cameron Barrows of UC Riverside’s Palm Desert campus. Barrows developed this talk for presentation to the Sierra Club National Board of Directors and the Trustees of the Sierra Club Foundation at their joint meeting in Palm Springs in March. His presentation emphasizes the value and uniqueness of the California desert landscape, its wildlife and plant life. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/san-bernardino-county/san-bernardino-county-headlines-index/20130528-regional-program-to-focus-on-desert-climate-change.ece http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_23348235/cameron-barrows-will-give-program-climate-change-conservation Climate change to impact B.C. agriculture: study. British Columbia needs to produce more food while contending with rising seas, diminishing water resources and changing patterns of rain and drought, according to a new report by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. The idea that climate change will expand agricultural opportunities for B.C. farmers is false, says Erica Crawford, lead author of the report Strengthening BC’s Agriculture Sector in the Face of Climate Change. Posted. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Climate+change+impact+agriculture+study/8455586/story.html FUELS Poet LLC Asks Court to Overturn California Low-Carbon Fuel Rule. Poet LLC, the second-biggest U.S. ethanol producer, will try to persuade a California appeals court the state’s low-carbon fuel standard should be thrown out because its environmental effects weren't adequately studied. Poet, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, lost its lower-court challenge to the California Air Resources Board’s requirement that companies selling transportation fuel in the state reduce their product’s “carbon intensity” by 10 percent in the next seven years. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-05-30/poet-llc-asks-court-to-overturn-california-low-carbon-fuel-rule VEHICLES Automakers cut electric car lease prices, add goodies to boost sales of new technology. Auto companies are lowering lease prices for electric cars as they try to jump-start slow sales in a competitive market. Honda announced Thursday that it’s slashing the monthly lease cost of its tiny Fit EV by one-third to $259 a month. Honda also is throwing in other goodies such as a free home charging station and unlimited mileage. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/automakers-cut-electric-car-lease-prices-add-goodies-to-boost-sales-of-new-technology/2013/05/30/ed782ae0-c945-11e2-9cd9-3b9a22a4000a_story.html Tesla soars as green startups not backed by Elon Musk flounder. Tesla stock hits a new high, but seems to be a green-energy outlier. Tesla Motors continued its incredible May on Tuesday, as investors pushed the Palo Alto electric car maker's stock higher than $100 for the first time amid even more optimism for the company's future. Failures from other companies attempting to function in the clean-energy space continues, however, which could leave Tesla and Elon Musk's other Silicon Valley venture alone as green success stories. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23343675/tesla-soars-green-startups-not-backed-by-elon#ixzz2UnFxTBDW Google’s Self-Driving Cars Get Boost From U.S. Agency. Self-driving cars being developed by Google Inc. (GOOG) and some automakers are getting a lift from U.S. auto-safety regulators eager to accelerate automation that they predict could prevent many crashes. Transportation Department regulators today released a policy intended to advance testing of self-driving cars and to encourage development of precursor technologies, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems and brakes that apply themselves when a crash is sensed to be imminent. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-30/google-s-self-driving-cars-get-boost-from-u-s-agency.html Tesla Motors to dramatically expand network of Superchargers. Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric-car company is expanding its network of "Supercharging" stations across the country, so that Model S owners can drive from Los Angeles to New York just using Tesla's network of fast charging stations. More details will be provided Thursday, but Musk let the cat out of the bag during an on-stage interview at the influential All Things D tech conference Wednesday. "There's going to be a dramatic acceleration of the Supercharging network," said Musk. "By the end of next month, we'll triple the Supercharger coverage area." Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_23351510/elon-musk-lets-cat-out-bag-tesla-motors Honda joins electric car pricing battle with $259 lease on Fit EV. Honda Motor Co. is lobbing a grenade into the ongoing electric car price war, dropping the lease payment on its compact Fit EV from $389 to $259. The 36-month lease deal requires no down payment and comes with unlimited mileage, along with free collision coverage, maintenance, roadside assistance and a 240-volt home charging station. Honda’s move, announced this morning, comes after Nissan’s Leaf, Chevrolet’s Spark EV and Fiat’s 500e recently announced lease deals of $199 a month in an effort to entice more customers into all-electric cars. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-honda-fit-ev-pricing-20130530,0,4539192.story Beijing invests heavily in electric vehicles. In May, Beijing launched its first EV rental demonstration base in the Tsinghua University Science Park. The city plans to have 50,000 electric cars, which will include 30,000 private vehicles, and 8,000 public buses by 2015. In order to alleviate the capital city’s infamous congestion and pollution problems, Beijing is investing heavily in the expanding the use of of electric vehicles among its citizens. The city now is launching series of initiatives to promote the use of electric cars. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5412 Cheap leases offered to spur electric car sales. Auto companies are hoping lower lease prices can put a charge into sluggish sales of electric cars. Honda announced Thursday that it's slashing the monthly lease cost of its tiny Fit EV by one third, following similar moves by other automakers. Honda also is throwing in other goodies, such as a free home charging station and unlimited mileage. Electric vehicles once were billed as the answer to high gas prices and dependence on foreign oil. But U.S. oil production is rising, gas supplies are abundant and pump prices have remained relatively stable the past three years, making consumers reluctant to switch from internal combustion engines. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Cheap-leases-offered-to-spur-electric-car-sales-4561827.php HIGH-SPEED RAIL Step One for High Speed Rail: Avoid More Controversy. If California is ever going to make it to the finish line on the state’s mammoth high speed rail project, it might want to cut down on all the snags along the way. With many residents already skeptical about the government’s ability to raise the money needed to complete the project by the turn of the century, new questions now arise about how the High Speed Rail Authority is awarding contracts. The contractor with the lowest technical grade of all bidders, a consortium led by the firm Tutor Perini, won the right to build the first leg of track from Madera to Fresno. Posted. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/california/Step-One-for-High-Speed-Rail-Avoid-More-Controversy-209450501.html GREEN ENERGY Google Backs First Africa Renewable Power and May Invest in More. Google Inc. (GOOG), which has invested more than $1 billion in renewable-energy projects, is considering spending more on clean power in Africa after announcing its first solar investment on the continent. Google, based in Mountain View, California, has put $12 million in the $260 million Jasper solar project in South Africa that will have 96 megawatts of generating capacity, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. A group led by SolarReserve LLC, a closely held U.S. developer, is building the plant near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape province. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-30/google-backs-first-africa-renewable-power-and-may-invest-in-more.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_23353264/google-invests-12-million-south-african-solar-farm?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Energy-smart, 'green' practices the new must-haves in commercial buildings. When a company is looking to buy or lease space in a commercial building in the region, location remains a key feature, but factors like energy savings and sustainability are moving up the list. Building owners are retrofitting their properties, installing new technology to reduce energy bills and incorporating equipment that has a smaller impact on the environment. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Energy-smart-green-practices-the-new-4559378.php OPINION Time to change the politics and energy mix. Politics and energy have not been a good mix. Following the Yom Kippur War in the early ‘70s, the Arab members of OPEC initiated an oil embargo in retaliation for the West resupplying Israel with weapons. Once the embargo was lifted, oil quadrupled in price, resulting in one of the largest transfers of wealth in history from the developed world to the oil-producing nations. Some of this oil wealth even fueled terrorism as Saudi Arabia used it to finance the spread of Wahhabist Islam, a fundamentalist orthodoxy that has been used to legitimize violence against the West. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/29/energy-politics-fracking/