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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 5, 2013. Posted: 05 Dec 2013 15:12:06
ARB Newsclips for December 5, 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. CAP AND TRADE Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon. More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming. The development is a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/business/energy-environment/large-companies-prepared-to-pay-price-on-carbon.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print AIR POLLUTION Air pollution tied to slight reduction in birth weight. Women who were exposed to air pollution during pregnancy tended to give birth to slightly lighter babies, in a new study from New York City. A series of studies has suggested air pollution may be harmful during pregnancy, but the issue remains unresolved. "We had an opportunity to use a unique data resource in New York City that was designed to estimate exposure throughout the city, which allowed us to improve on past studies…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-air-pollution-idUSBRE9B40Z020131205 Hong Kong Central Roadside Pollution Surges to Toxic Levels. Nitrogen dioxide readings jumped in Hong Kong at two roadside pollution monitoring stations, reaching concentrations at which it becomes a toxic gas. The reading in the downtown district of Central was 231.8 micrograms per cubic meter at 3 p.m. local time, data from the Environmental Protection Department show. The gas can cause significant inflammation of the airways once concentration levels exceed 200 micrograms, according to the Geneva-based World Health Organization. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/hong-kong-roadside-pollution-spikes-to-toxic-levels-in-central.html Group divided over how to cut Washington emissions. Gov. Jay Inslee stood with the governors of California and Oregon and a Canadian province official several weeks ago and agreed to put a price on greenhouse gas pollution and mandate the use of cleaner-burning fuels. Environmental groups cheered the news, and the climate deal got wide media attention. But the governor faces a tougher sell in Olympia as he tries in coming months to persuade lawmakers to back some of his more ambitious carbon-reducing ideas. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Group-divided-over-how-to-cut-Washington-emissions-5034843.php Coastal areas once seen as CO2 sources are now carbon sinks – study. Scientists have identified the ocean as a crucial part of balancing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but it may provide more potential than previously thought as a place to store the greenhouse gas. A study published yesterday in the journal Nature shows that coastal portions of the ocean are now absorbing CO2, instead of emitting the gas as previously calculated. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991365/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Temperature limit too high to avoid climate change: study. An internationally agreed target to limit rises in global average temperatures to within 2 degrees Celsius is around double the threshold that would avoid catastrophic climate change, a study by 18 eminent scientists said. Governments decided in 2009 that such temperature increases needed to be no more than 2 degrees C (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels to avoid effects such as more extreme weather, higher sea levels and ocean acidification. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/04/us-climate-temperature-idUSBRE9B218020131204 Diseases on the move because of climate change. Software engineer Andres Chavez is used to doing things quickly, efficiently and correctly. So he knew something was seriously wrong when, on a business trip in 2009, he was so confused he could barely sign a stack of paperwork. "I felt like I was living a quarter-second in the past," he says of the onset of Valley Fever, a disease caused by a soil fungus. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/04/climate-change-disease/2623863/ Weak RFS will lead to massive emissions spike -- trade group. U.S. EPA's controversial proposed revisions to the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) could pump up to 35 million additional tons of carbon dioxide into the air from the transportation sector, according to a biotechnology trade group that will testify at a public hearing today. Using estimates for next year's fuel consumption and greenhouse gas models from EPA and Argonne National Laboratory…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991327/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Public lands emit far more carbon than they absorb – analysis. Public lands emit nearly five times more greenhouse gases than they absorb, according to a new analysis from a left-leaning think tank. That's because there's far more carbon dioxide released from burning coal, oil and natural gas taken from public lands than is absorbed by national forests, grasslands and coastal ecosystems, the Center for American Progress said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991348/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Dozens of Solano farmers, business owners object to air rules. Air quality regulations handed down from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) are quite the contentious topic in Solano County. More than 30 people, mostly small-business owners and farmers, attended a town hall meeting Wednesday evening hosted by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Solano, to express their concerns about costly regulations to the state and to Mary Nichols, who chairs the air board. Posted. http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_24659191/dozens-solano-farmers-business-owners-object-air-rules Emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines plummet – study. Emissions of nitrogen dioxide, fine particulate matter and other air pollutants from heavy-duty diesel engines are down significantly, even surpassing the targets required by U.S. EPA and the state of California, according to a new study. Emissions testing of heavy-duty diesel engines from three major manufacturers found that overall emissions of nitrogen dioxide -- which contributes to the formation of smog -- were down 99 percent compared with 2004 engines and were 61 percent below a 2010 EPA standard. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991362/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Oil refineries, environmentalists clash over plans. To oil company Valero, adding rail lines to its Benicia refinery represents a way to tap cheap, domestic crude by train, cutting costs and tanker traffic on the bay. To environmentalists mobilizing to stop the project, it's a potential entry point for low-grade oil from Canada's tar sands, and a possible health threat. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Oil-refineries-environmentalists-clash-over-plans-5035759.php Environmentalists to NY: Scrap liquefied gas plans. Environmental groups Wednesday delivered thousands of comments critical of New York's proposed liquefied natural gas regulations and demanded the state withdraw the proposals and start over. The regulations would allow LNG fueling and storage facilities in New York for the first time since 1973, when the state imposed a moratorium following an LNG facility explosion on Staten Island that killed 40 workers. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/04/5970580/environmentalists-to-ny-scrap.html#storylink=cpy HIGH-SPEED RAIL California bullet train project handed another setback. Federal regulators refuse to exempt a segment of proposed track from review, likely delaying the project and driving up costs. In another key setback to the California bullet train project, federal regulators have rejected the state's request to exempt a large Central Valley segment of proposed track from a lengthy planning review. The action affects part of a 29-mile rail section to be built near Fresno, where state officials have already awarded a construction contract. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-feds-20131205,4290748,7717219,print.story GREEN ENERGY Obama to feds: Boost renewable power 20 percent. Saying the government should lead by example, President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020. Obama says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_RENEWABLE_ENERGY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Obama-to-feds-Boost-renewable-power-20-percent-5036791.php Top 10 Green Stories. See the rest of TIME’s Top 10 of Everything 2013 lists here. Posted. http://science.time.com/2013/12/04/science-and-space/slide/top-10-green-stories/#ixzz2mdE0JSB3 MISCELLANEOUS Recycling success threatens funding for San Jose school. One of 14 conservation corps programs in the state, the San Jose Conservation Corps Charter School is a product of the 1986 "bottle bill" that launched statewide recycling efforts. But funds from the deposit shoppers pay on cans and on soda and water bottles are at risk of drying up in June, the school's Executive Director Bob Hennessy said. While conservation corps schools receive attendance-based funding handed out to all public schools, they also has get CalRecycle revenue. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_24654134/recycling-success-threatens-funding-san-jose-school OPINIONS Another View: Court rulings create insurmountable barrier to high-speed rail project. The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s contention that the court rulings on California’s high-speed rail project don’t effectively kill it (“Rail ruling is a setback, but it’s not a golden spike,” Nov. 27) reminds me of the scene in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” where the knight who has just had all four of his limbs severed says, “Just a flesh wound.” Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/05/5971157/another-view-court-rulings-create.html#storylink=cpy Viewpoints: Beyond the stench of ‘rooster sauce’ Last week, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered the Irwindale plant that produces the highly popular “rooster sauce” Sriracha to cease operations that could be emitting odors that are “extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses, warranting consideration as a public nuisance.” Too bad the judge didn’t apply the same logic to the city government of Irwindale and shut it down, too. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/05/5971161/viewpoints-beyond-the-stench-of.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS China Chases Renewable Energy as Coast Chokes on Air. New figures in China show the country adding clean, renewable electricity generation faster than it is expanding capacity of more polluting sources. But change can’t happen fast enough for residents in eastern China, who are now choking on soupy air associated with coal-burning plants more often associated with the country’s north. Led by hydropower, renewable energy sources made up 57% of newly installed electricity-generating capacity during the first 10 months of 2013…Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013/12/06/china-chases-renewable-energy-as-coast-chokes-on-air/ What surprises could climate change have in store for us? There are a few different ways that global warming could unfold in the decades ahead. The world might heat up steadily and predictably, giving humans and other species time to adjust. Or we could see large, abrupt changes that are extremely difficult to adapt to. It's that latter prospect in particular that worries many climate experts. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/12/04/what-surprises-could-climate-change-have-in-store-for-us/ Study: Pollution and certain genes increases chance of autism in children. The risk for autism is heightened when children who have a certain gene mutation connected with the disorder are exposed to high pollution, according to a new study by scientists at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. Previous studies by USC researchers Heather Volk and Daniel Campbell found links between autism and air pollution exposure for pregnant women and infants. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2013/12/05/15312/study-pollution-and-certain-genes-increases-chance/ Climate Change Consequences Are Just Around the Corner. Climate change is evolving rapidly from a risk to be avoided to a reality to be mitigated. Despite a coordinated global campaign to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. and other countries, too little progress has been made. The measures that have been passed – like higher auto fuel efficiency standards and tighter emissions rules for new power plants – will slow the rise of carbon…Posted. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/12/05/a-new-report-details-the-near-term-consequences-of-global-warming