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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 1, 2013 Posted: 01 Nov 2013 12:33:15
ARB Newsclips for November 1, 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 Wood-burning restrictions go into effect today. With crisper fall days in the forecast, San Joaquin Valley air quality officials say residents need to check before lighting up a fireplace blaze. The Valley Air Pollution Control District's annual wood-burning program begins today. On days with high levels of tiny particle pollution in the atmosphere, the district may prohibit residents from lighting a fire. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131101/A_NEWS/311010320/-1/A_NEWS14 Fireplace, wood burning restrictions effective Friday. The Valley's Check Before you burn program, which bans the use of home fireplaces and other wood fires on certain days, begins its 11th season on Nov. 1. Check Before You Burn, which has resulted in historically clean wintertime air quality in the Valley, continues through February. The Valley Air District calls this wood-burning curtailment program a critical tool in minimizing harmful particulate pollution. Posted. http://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/article/20131031/NEWS/131039889/-1/News No-burn rules hit Marin, fines up to $500 for repeat offenders. Marin residents beginning Friday will be required to check air quality conditions before they burn logs to brace themselves against the cool fall and winter air. As the winter "Spare the Air" season gets underway, burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, both indoors and outdoors, is illegal when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District calls an air alert. Posted. http://www.marinij.com/novato/ci_24430139/no-burn-rules-hit-marin-friday-fines-up Winter spare the air season starts today. Burning wood in the Bay Area will be illegal on certain days during the Winter Spare the Air season, which begins Friday, according to air quality officials. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District decides daily during the season, which runs through February, whether air quality in the region is healthy enough to allow the burning of wood, firelogs or other solid fuel. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_24433277/winter-spare-air-season-starts-today?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com CLIMATE CHANGE Obama signs order on response to climate change. A year after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Friday to make it easier for states and local governments to respond to weather disasters. The executive order establishes a task force of state and local officials to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other potential impacts of climate change. The task force includes governors of seven states — all Democrats — and the Republican governor of Guam, a U.S. territory. Fourteen mayors and two other local leaders also will serve on the task force. All but three are Democrats. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Other related articles: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/science/earth/white-house-will-focus-on-climate-shifts-while-trying-to-cut-greenhouse-gases.html http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Obama-signs-order-on-response-to-climate-change-4946522.php http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-signs-executive-order-to-improve-federal-response-to-climate-change/2013/11/01/c9d45da0-4309-11e3-b028-de922d7a3f47_story.html http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2013/11/01/obama-climate-change-task-force/3348083/ Gov. Brown, Mayor Johnson named to president's climate task force. Mayor Kevin Johnson and Gov. Jerry Brown were named Friday to President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The mayor and governor were two of 26 state, local and tribal leaders from around the country who were selected for the panel by the president. Obama formed the task force as part of his Climate Action Plan. Members of the panel “will provide recommendations to the President on removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools they need to prepare” for severe weather events and climate change, according to a White House press statement. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/11/01/3006189/gov-brown-mayor-johnson-named.html http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/01/5872852/gov-brown-mayor-johnson-named.html Water Action Plan created to help avoid statewide crisis. California officials on Thursday released a five-year “Water Action Plan” intended to avoid a statewide water supply crisis stemming from drought, population growth and climate change. John Laird, secretary of the state Natural Resources Agency, acknowledged that the plan does not include a lot of new ideas. Rather, the goal is to integrate existing ideas about water supply and conservation and get disparate state agencies working together. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/31/5871147/water-action-plan-created-to-help.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region http://www.modbee.com/2013/11/01/3006101/water-action-plan-created-to-help.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/01/3584302/water-action-plan-created-to-help.html Plans to Relax California Climate Regulations Upset Some Environmentalists. California regulators are weighing plans to make it easier and less expensive for oil refineries and other big industries to comply with the state’s new cap-and-trade system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and environmentalists are alarmed. At a hearing last week in Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board heard staff proposals to amend the year-old cap-and-trade program to extend “transition assistance” to industry through 2018. Posted. http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2013-10/plans-to-relax-california-climate-regulations-upset-some-environmentalists Pacific Climate Pact's Green Energy Goals No Easy Feat. From streamlined permitting of clean energy projects to electricity grid integration, the regional climate change action pact inked by California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia this week is an impressive wish list of renewable-friendly goals, but experts say bridging jurisdictional divides and turning those goals into concrete, cohesive energy policies won't be easy for lawmakers and regulators. Under the so-called Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, the U.S. states and Canadian province agreed to coordinate efforts to enact climate change policies such as carbon emission reduction targets, pricing mechanisms for carbon emissions and low-carbon fuel standards. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. http://www.law360.com/environmental/articles/485120?nl_pk=f73ac890-26a3-449e-837c-961a6627164d&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=environmental DIESEL EMISSSION CARB: More trucking emissions crackdowns to come. In the past five years, California enacted the most restrictive truck emissions requirements in the world, including the state’s most expensive regulation in history – the multibillion-dollar Truck and Bus regulation. Those trucking rules may pale in comparison to future California trucking regulations. The California Air Resources Board recently published a 123-page document the agency is calling a draft discussion of its Climate Change scoping plan. The plan is tied to California Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 law that directed CARB to draft and implement regulations to cut emissions from multiple state sectors, including transportation. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=26132#.UnPG7hDsDzA FUELS On roads and rails, natural gas threatens diesel's dominance: Kemp. Warren Buffett's Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad captured headlines earlier this year when it announced it would start trialling trains powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). But even a pilot programme is still some way off. BNSF must still convince U.S. rail regulators trains powered by highly combustible natural gas can be operated safely. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/01/lng-fuel-north-america-idUSL5N0IM1GM20131101 Local oil activity may spur reroute of high-speed rail. The new proposed alignment, set for a vote Thursday by the board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority in Sacramento, has won qualified support from the city of Shafter and tentative agreement from Wasco officials, though both cities generally oppose the project because of its expected disruptive effect on farming. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1997479492/Local-oil-activity-may-spur-reroute-of-high-speed-rail VEHICLES Ford Issues Recall for Focus E.V. and Ambulances. Following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford says it will recall about 2,500 of its 2012-14 Focus Electric because of a power-loss problem. Ford told the safety agency that a software issue in the powertrain control module could cause a loss of power to the front wheels. However, the automaker said the steering and brakes would work normally and that it was not aware of any accidents related to the defect. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/02/automobiles/ford-issues-recall-for-focus-ev-and-ambulances.html 'Cash for clunkers' was kind of a lemon, analysis says. When the Obama administration first proposed its “cash for clunkers” plan in 2009, the reaction was generally favorable. Congress would spend $2.85 billion to encourage drivers to swap their old gas-guzzlers for newer, more-fuel-efficient cars. The program had something for everyone: It would lend a hand to the ailing U.S. auto industry. It would tamp down oil consumption. And, once launched, the program proved so popular with consumers that it burned through $1 billion in its first five days. Sure, a few critics argued that the program wouldn't be very cost-effective, but no one was really listening. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_24433567/cash-clunkers-was-kind-lemon-analysis-says?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com MISCELLANEOUS Sonora school kids fight Rim fire fears with art. The flames are out. The air has cleared and evacuees have long since returned to their homes. But the Rim fire still burns fresh in the minds of children who feared for their homes and grieved for wild animals lost. At Curtis Creek Elementary, just six miles from one stand of blackened timber, students remember days spent worrying, waiting for evacuation orders and choking on smoke. Thirteen students took brushes in hand and poured their feelings into paintings and poetry that teacher Liz Miller had made into a 2014 calendar. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/31/3005267/sonora-school-kids-fight-fires.html BLOGS Bill would boost renewables to 25 percent by 2025, has no chance in hell of passing. Most states in the union require utilities to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. A new bill in Congress would take that strategy national. Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) — cousins, as it happens — introduced legislation this week that would require utilities across the country to generate a quarter of their electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources by 2025. Posted. http://grist.org/news/bill-would-boost-renewables-to-25-percent-by-2025-has-no-chance-in-hell-of-passing/ Cap-and-Trade Beat Acid Rain, It Can Beat Global Warming: Sandor. Arguments against cap-and-trade -- legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- generally boil down to a few key points: It won’t work, It will drive up power prices, It will hurt the economy, It will hurt our global competitiveness, It won’t help the environment. “It’s embarrassing because the same debates occurred with acid rain,” says Dr. Richard Sandor, CEO of Environmental Financial Products. “We got rid of acid rain in the U.S.” via a cap-and-trade program he says saved $123 billion in reduced health care costs associated with lung cancer since the late 1980s. Posted. http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/cap-trade-beat-acid-rain-beat-global-warming-172242043.html Hong Kong Finds Switch to Cleaner Fuels Has Flaws. The problem lies in the taxis’ and minibuses’ catalytic converters, said Christine Loh, the under secretary for the environment. Unless replaced every 18 months for cars and light buses that are driven nearly around the clock, the catalytic converters become fouled, and the vehicles begin emitting extremely high levels of pollution. http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/hong-kong-finds-switch-to-cleaner-fuels-has-flaws/?_r=0 Moms Protest Air Pollution In Colorado With 'Gas Patch Kids'. A group of Colorado moms took an eye-catching approach to protesting Colorado's current air quality regulations this week when they showed up at Gov. John Hickenlooper's (D) office with Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, which they've renamed "gas patch kids" to represent real children living in areas impacted by the surge of oil and gas drilling in the state. The Colorado Moms Know Best group showed up with a petition signed by over 8,000 Colorado moms. It called for Hickenloooper to implement "common sense yet innovative standards to control oil and gas emissions, which can harm kids’ health," according to a statement from the group. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/air-pollution-colorado_n_4184480.html?utm_hp_ref=green