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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 6, 2013

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 13:42:33
ARB Newsclips for September 6, 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.


Australian gov't faces carbon tax backlash at poll. The ruling
Labor Party's probable collapse in Australia's next election is
largely the consequence of its qualified success in the last one
three years ago. To form the coalition she needed to stay in
power, then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard reneged on a promise and
agreed to place a carbon tax on major polluters. Posted.


Shell to pay $1.1 million in fines for Arctic air-quality
violations. Shell has agreed to pay $1.1 million (703.5 thousand
pounds) for air-quality violations from the vessels it used to
drill two oil-exploration wells in Arctic waters off Alaska last
year, federal regulators said. Shell will pay the civil fines for
Clean Air Act violations that were discovered during inspections
of the Discoverer and Kulluk drillships, which operated in the
Chukchi and Beaufort seas, the Environmental Protection Agency
said late on Thursday. Posted.


http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059986816/print  BY
Arsenic emissions from Vernon firm Exide pose 'chronic hazard'.
Emissions from battery recycler Exide pose a 'chronic hazard' to
more than 250,000 people in surrounding areas, air district
officials say. Risks include neurological changes in children.
More than 250,000 people living in a broad swath of eastern Los
Angeles, Boyle Heights, Huntington Park and other southeast
cities face a "chronic hazard" from exposure to arsenic emissions
from a Vernon battery recycler, according to air district
officials. Posted.

November smog attack. Nov. 12, 1959: Smog clouds the view on
Broadway, looking south from 1st Street. Smog attacks were not
limited to hot summer months. On Nov. 12, 1959, the high in Los
Angeles was 74 degrees, but heavy smog covered the basin. This
photo by staff photographer Edward Gamer was published on Page
One of the Nov. 13, 1959, Los Angeles Times. The accompanying
story reported: Smog covered the Los Angeles Basin yesterday,
running from moderate to heavy, and more was predicted for today.

New Mexico regulators approve power plant proposal. State
environmental regulators on Thursday signed off on a proposal
that calls for shutting down part of a coal-fired power plant
that serves more than 2 million customers in the Southwest. The
proposal was negotiated earlier this year by Republican Gov.
Susana Martinez's administration, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and the state's largest electric utility, PNM,
as a way to curb pollution at the San Juan Generating Station in
northwestern New Mexico. Posted.

Policy and Enforcement: Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The
Environmental Defense Fund, the American Lung Association and
others have filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to revive the
EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The groups are saying that
to uphold a lower court’s nullification of the major 2011
pollution rule would prevent regulators from ever tackling
unhealthy power plant emissions that cross state lines, The Hill
said. Posted.

EPA Seeking Comments on Reconsideration Of Air Rule for Backup
Stationary Engines.  The Environmental Protection Agency will
accept public comments through Nov. 4 on its decision to
reconsider three issues in air pollution standards for backup
stationary engines that generate electricity, including the 2015
compliance date for requiring ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel,
according to a notice published Sept. 5 (78 Fed. Reg. 54,606). 
Posted.  http://www.bna.com/epa-seeking-comments-n17179876839/  


Economic woes may mute impact of U.N. report saying warming
manmade. The strongest scientific warning to date that global
warming is man-made may have a muted impact when it is released
later this month with many governments more focused on nursing
weak economies than on fixing the planet. Many are also still
smarting from a failure to agree a global pact to fight climate
change at a summit in Copenhagen in 2009 and wary of making bold
promises under a new timetable meant to agree a global U.N. deal
in 2015. Posted.

Climate change threatens Caribbean's water supply.  Experts are
sounding a new alarm about the effects of climate change for
parts of the Caribbean—the depletion of already strained drinking
water throughout much of the region.  Rising sea levels could
contaminate supplies of fresh water and changing climate patterns
could result in less rain to supply reservoirs in the coming
decades, scientists and officials warned at a conference in St.
Lucia this week.  Posted. 


DOT boosts funds for fuel cell buses to help spur green economy.
The Department of Transportation yesterday announced $13.6
million to advance the commercialization of American-made fuel
cell buses, in line with the Obama administration's goals to
reduce oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. Eight
projects were selected to receive funding under the Federal
Transit Administration's National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which
has dedicated nearly $90 million to the development of fuel cell
technology over the last six years. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059986805/print BY


White House reviewing U.S. 2014 biofuel targets. The
Environmental Protection Agency has sent its proposal for U.S.
biofuel use targets for 2014 to the White House for review, as
the agency races to avoid the delays that plagued the renewable
fuel program this year. Next year's targets are due to be
proposed this month and finalized in December. That timeline
could slip, however, depending on the how long the White House's
Office of Management and Budget takes to review the proposal it
received late last week. Posted.

China's Sinopec to produce cleaner gasoline from October. China's
Sinopec Corp will produce lower sulfur gasoline from October,
three months ahead of an official mandate, as part of a national
effort to clear up the smoggy air of Chinese cities. Except for
two subsidiary plants that are undergoing maintenance, the top
Asian refiner will cut sulfur in all its gasoline production from
150 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm from October 1, a company
official said. Posted.


2014 Honda Accord Hybrid EPA-rated at 50 mpg city.  Honda has
begun US production of the 2014 Accord Hybrid (earlier post),
which will carry an EPA fuel economy rating of 50 mpg (4.7 l/100
km) in city driving. The EPA rating is 1 mpg higher than Honda
had originally anticipated for the hybrid (49 mpg). The new
Accord Hybrid also carries an EPA-rated highway fuel economy of
45 mpg (5.2 l/100 km) and combined cycle fuel economy of 47 mpg
(5.0 l/100 km) as the company had earlier projected.  Posted. 


Pasadena, Sylmar firms to design, build first segment of
California high-speed rail line.  Two Southland firms will be
involved in the design and construction of the first leg of
California’s 800-mile, high-speed rail system.  Tutor Perini
Corp. of Sylmar and Parsons Corp. in Pasadena are part of the
Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons joint venture, which has secured a
$985 million contract with the California High-Speed Rail
Authority to build the initial 29-mile stretch running from
Madera to Fresno. Posted. 


Calif. gives utilities new financial incentives to push energy
efficiency. Utilities in California will be able to earn money
when they persuade residents and businesses to add building
upgrades that cut energy use, state regulators ruled yesterday.
The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday unanimously
approved up to $178 million for new incentives to promote energy
efficiency in 2013-2014. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059986807/print BY


Bill to streamline Sacramento arena environmental review
criticized. A last-minute bill to streamline environmental review
of a basketball arena proposed in Sacramento is drawing flak from
three high-profile groups that support strict scrutiny. The
gut-and-amend bill is a threat to the California Environmental
Quality Act (CEQA), according to Sierra Club California, the
Planning and Conservation League and the Center for Biological
Diversity. Posted.


COLUMN-Acidifying oceans add to list of CO2 dangers: Wynn. The
world's oceans will become dangerously acidic for corals and
shellfish this century if carbon dioxide (CO2) levels continue to
rise at current rates, adding to the urgency to reduce manmade
CO2 emissions, according to an emerging science. Evidence for
ocean acidity may also prove less controversial than the science
of global warming, as it seems likely there will be less doubt
surrounding the chemical and biological processes involved.

Buddiga: Time to plan for a healthier Fresno County.  Seeing up
to 30 patients per day, I know that many are dealing with the
consequences of their environment. Whether people are sick with
asthma or diabetes or other chronic diseases, it is clear to me
that where people live impacts health. We have built our way into
poor health for decades, and it needs to change.  Neighborhoods
designed for cars are not healthy neighborhoods. Unfortunately,
the way our communities have been designed increase traffic and
pollution while reducing opportunities to walk or bike for even
the shortest daily errands. Posted.


U.S., China strike new climate agreement at G-20 summit.  The
United States and China announced Friday they would seek to
eliminate some of the world’s most potent greenhouse gases
through the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the landmark treaty that
successfully phased out ozone-depleting substances decades ago. 
The move, announced at the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg,
is significant because it provides a clear path for curbing a
major contributor to global warming…  Posted. 

Assessing the Role of Global Warming in Extreme Weather of 2012. 
British and American climate agencies, drawing on work from
around the world, have produced the second in what is planned as
an annual roundup of studies seeking to characterize the
contribution of human-driven global warming to rare and
consequential weather and coastal events. The package,
“Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective,”
was published yesterday in the Bulletin of the American
Meteorological SocietyPosted. 

Fracking triggered more than 100 earthquakes in Ohio.  A single
fracking wastewater well triggered 167 earthquakes in and around
Youngstown, Ohio, during a single year of operation.  That’s
according to a study published in the Journal of Geophysical
Research by Won-Young Kim, a researcher at Columbia University.
Earthquakes had never been recorded at Youngstown before 2010.

August 2013: Everything's coming up green edition.  After
plateauing earlier this year, US green car sales are settling
into a steady pattern of chalking up year-over-year increases in
the 30 percent to 50 percent range. Last month, Toyota and Ford
both sold their hybrids to a broader range of customers. Plug-in
vehicle sales also received a boost after the Chevrolet Volt
extended-range plug-in, Nissan Leaf and Toyota RAV4 EV
battery-electrics and Toyota Prius…Posted. 

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