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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 9, 2013. Posted: 09 Dec 2013 15:31:06
ARB Newsclips for December 9, 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 Economist champions carbon credits. An agricultural economist advocates for farmers and ranchers to receive credits with a monetary value for the carbon their acres absorb. The dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences sees a financial opportunity for farmers and ranchers in future federal climate change bills. Lowell Catlett encourages the agricultural community to participate…Posted. http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131209/ARTICLE/131209907/1169#sthash.z62tIXAL.dpuf AIR POLLUTION U.S. Northeast states ask EPA to crack down on Midwest pollution. Eight Northeastern and mid-Atlantic governors on Monday petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require "upwind" states in the Midwest and South to curb ozone-forming pollution from their power plants, which they say travels downwind and poses health risks to their citizens. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/us-usa-air-pollution-idUSBRE9B80M520131209 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/us/politics/eastern-states-press-midwest-to-improve-air.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Northeast-Mid-Atlantic-seek-anti-pollution-action-5048304.php http://www.freep.com/article/20131209/NEWS06/312090069/michigan-air-pollution-clean-petition-blown-prevailing-winds Obama’s Pollution-Control Agenda Goes to Court Tomorrow. Two of President Barack Obama’s top pollution-control measures face courtroom tests tomorrow as coal-dependent utilities, miners and some states challenge what they call overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency. Efforts to regulate pollutants that cause smog and soot, as well as mercury from coal plants, have moved in fits and starts for more than a decade. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-09/obama-s-pollution-control-agenda-goes-to-court-tomorrow.html Air district moves ahead on Newport Beach plan for fire pits. Air quality officials on Friday approved $600,000 for contractors to design and install gas fire rings on public beaches, taking a new step in the fight over hundreds of wood-burning fire pits on Los Angeles and Orange County coast. The South Coast Air Quality Management District will pay two companies about $24,000 per unit to build more than two dozen gas or propane-burning fire pits. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-adv-fire-rings-20131207,0,2582257.story#axzz2n02PojN2 2014 World Cup as polluting as 560,000 cars. The World Cup may be great for planet football, but it isn't so good for planet Earth. FIFA says the 2014 tournament, which will require huge amounts of air travel to venues across Brazil, will produce the equivalent of 2.72 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/12/09/3078607/2014-world-cup-as-polluting-as.html#storylink=cpy Sixth 'Spare the Air' alert of winter season issued for Bay Area on Monday. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued its sixth Winter Spare the Air alert for today, banning all wood burning throughout the region. The air alert was issued due to a cold, stagnant weather pattern that has allowed air pollution to rise to a level that is expected to be unhealthy on Monday. "Because still weather and high pollution levels have persisted in the region…Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_24685234/sixth-spare-air-alert-winter-season-issued-bay Wood-burning boilers could save businesses money, but remain a tougher sell for homes. Companies in the eastern United States could save money by switching to biomass boilers for heating and industrial steam, according to a recent study. Using wood-based fuel to boil water could curb energy expenses and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal or oil. In a study published earlier this year in the Renewable Energy Journal, researchers ranked states based on their potential for converting boilers to run on woody biomass. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991486/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Shanghai Warns Kids to Stay Indoors for Seventh Day on Smog. Shanghai warned children and the elderly to stay indoors for at least a seventh day out of the first nine this month, intensifying pressure on local authorities to control the worst smog since government monitoring began last year. The city’s air quality index was at 238, or “heavily polluted” at 5 p.m., according to the local monitoring center. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Shanghai-Warns-Kids-to-Stay-Indoors-for-Seventh-5048236.php Supreme Court weighs issue of cross-state air pollution. Inside an unmarked trailer at the end of an unmarked dirt road about 15 miles north of the nation's capital, a high-tech radar monitor beeps every 10 minutes in an effort to find out who is polluting Maryland's air. Aided at times by weather balloons and aircraft carrying ozone monitors, the "radar wind profiler" — one of three in the state — measures wind speed and direction up to 4 kilometers above ground. The findings often reveal that air pollution capable of inducing heart attacks…Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/08/supreme-court-clean-air-pollution-states/3896299/ CLIMATE CHANGE As Keystone ruling nears, Canada short on time for climate plan. Canada is running out of time to offer U.S. President Barack Obama a climate change concession that might clinch the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, as the country's energy industry continues to resist costly curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. Two years of negotiations between the Canadian government and the energy sector to curtail carbon pollution have not produced an agreement. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/usa-energy-keystone-idUSL2N0JN01P20131209 Arctic thaw tied to European, U.S. heatwaves and downpours – study. A thaw of Arctic ice and snow is linked to worsening summer heatwaves and downpours thousands of miles south in Europe, the United States and other areas, underlying the scale of the threat posed by global warming, scientists said on Sunday. Their report, which was dismissed as inconclusive by some other experts, warned of increasingly extreme weather across "much of North America and Eurasia where billions of people will be affected". Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/08/climate-arctic-idUSL5N0JL2O720131208 EU to Approve Change to Emissions Program. European Union lawmakers are set Tuesday to approve a long-sought fix to the bloc's struggling system for trading carbon-emission rights as Germany and other nations have recently indicated support for the plan to make it more expensive to pollute. The Emissions Trading System was designed to put a price on greenhouse-gas pollution by utilities as the bloc seeks to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020 versus 1990. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303330204579248122693932120 Inconvenient truth: China, developing world now biggest source of greenhouse gases. China's greenhouse gas emissions have escalated in the past decade even as U.S. emissions have dropped, and that has fundamentally changed the balance of power in international negotiations over blame for climate change and who bears the most responsibility for trying to stop it. When President Obama took office, the U.S. and other major emitters faced calls to…Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/8/china-and-other-heavy-polluters-contribute-little-/#ixzz2n0R5NiIn Spotlight on oceans. The ocean is getting hot, sour and breathless, a group of UC San Diego science students warned officials at an international climate conference last month. She was one of ten UC San Diego graduate students who travelled to Poland for the 19th session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw. “We went as a group to present science and why it matters and why there’s scientific evidence that humans are creating global ocean change…Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/06/environment-climate-ocean-acidification/ Abandoned mine may offer novel solution for global warming. Researchers from Stanford University may have found a way to permanently bury greenhouse gas emissions inside the Earth after having set their lab at an abandoned mine, located about 110 km east of the campus. The team, which will present its findings this week at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, worked for two years at Red Mountain mine, which contains some of the world's largest veins of pure magnesium carbonate, or magnesite. Posted. http://www.mining.com/abandoned-mine-may-offer-novel-solution-for-global-warming-45557/ DIESEL EMISSIONS OOIDA Files Lawsuit Over California Truck Regulations. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against the California Air Resources Board on Friday, in connection with the Truck and Bus Regulation. It is asking for an injunction saying the regulation is unconstitutional and discriminates against out-of-state truckers. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/12/ooida-files-lawsuit-over-california-truck-regulations.aspx CARB proposes more exemptions, hears public comment on impact on trucking. The California Air Resources board has proposed another exemption to its slate of Jan. 1 regulatory changes, which would allow truck owners to run in certain “NOx-exempt” counties without retrofitting their trucks with diesel particulate filters or buying new equipment. If the proposed extension is approved, owners of 2006 and older engines running in these counties…Posted. http://www.ccjdigital.com/carb-proposes-more-exemptions-hears-public-comment-on-impact-on-trucking/ Valley air district urges truckers to attend truck-rule workshop. With the Jan. 1, 2014 compliance deadline of the California Air Resources Board’s truck rule fast approaching, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has a workshop December 12 to explain the changes. “We are very pleased that the Air Resources Board sees the importance of allowing additional time for these small trucking operations to receive critical funding that allows them to go beyond what is required by this regulation,” says Seyed Sadredin, the Valley Air District’s executive director and air pollution control officer. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=24758 Workshop to explain truck emissions deadline. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will hold a workshop for truckers on Dec. 12 explaining next year's compliance deadline with the state's Truck and Bus rule. By the Jan. 1 deadline, all heavy duty trucks with 2005 model year engines or newer must be equipped with a device to filter out particulate emissions. Trucks with 2010 model year engines are already compliant with the rule…Posted. http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/energy-and-environment/9914-workshop-to-explain-truck-emissions-deadline California Ports Ready for At-Berth Regulation. Years of work have gone into constructing the shore power infrastructure needed to comply with the California Air Resources Board’s "Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Auxiliary Diesel Engines Operated on Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth in a California Port," known as the At-Berth Regulation, which requires that at least half of all container ships berthed at the ports to shut down their diesel engines and run on shore-side electricity beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Posted. http://eponline.com/articles/2013/12/09/california-ports-ready-for-at-berth-regulation.aspx Heavy trucks up for auction; part of national sale of 500. Truck and heavy equipment auctioneer J.J. Kane will be auctioning off more than 235 pieces of heavy equipment from California, bucket trucks and dump trucks, some of which will not be legal to operate in California over the next few years without soot filters or upgrades. Truck and heavy equipment auctioneer J.J. Kane will be auctioning off more than 235 pieces of heavy equipment from California, bucket trucks and dump trucks…Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/12/04/auction-selling-heavy-equipment.html FUELS Short-cut to produce hydrogen seen as step to cleaner fuel. Scientists have produced hydrogen by accelerating a natural process found in rocks deep below the Earth's surface, a short-cut that may herald the wider use of what is a clean fuel, a study showed on Sunday. Used in rockets and in battery-like fuel cells, hydrogen is being widely researched as a non-polluting fuel, but its use is so far hampered by high costs. A few hydrogen vehicles are already on the roads, such as the Honda FXC Clarity and Mercedes-Benz F-Cell, and more are planned. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/08/environment-hydrogen-idUSL5N0JK1OT20131208 Canadian government clears Shell to expand Jackpine project. The Canadian government has granted approval for Royal Dutch Shell Plc to expand its Jackpine oil sands project in northern Alberta, a move that could boost production at the site by up to 100,000 barrels a day. Canada's environment minister said in a statement late on Friday that after a review by a federal-provincial panel, the government concluded that the project was likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/07/shell-jackpine-idUSL2N0JM0IP20131207 VEHICLES Are Zero electric motorcycles coming to LAPD? Are electric motorcycles going to be part of the Los Angeles Police Department fleet? Zero Motorcycles hope so. The electric motorcycle company based in Scotts Valley, Calif., has placed a couple of its Zero DS Police models with the LAPD, which is currently testing them for practicality on the force. From the company's booth at this weekend's Progressive International Motorcycle. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-mo-autos-are-electric-motorcycles-coming-to-lapd-20131207,0,5606739.story#ixzz2n06WqEZI US Electric Vehicles sales report for November. The monthly US EV sales report is provided by InsideEVs and is updated with the latest available information. Inventory problems for last month’s biggest three selling models (Toyota Prius PHEV, Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan LEAF) have limited sales numbers in November despite high demand. November ended with about 8,700 plug-ins sold. Despite a relatively muted first half of the year, electric vehicle sales have been surging since August – a record month when over 11,000 plug-ins were sold. Posted. Http://cars21.com/news/view/5673 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Californians deserve to know how a bullet train will be financed. The rail authority's chairman has some ideas, but we haven't heard from Gov. Brown. Let's stipulate that a bullet train zipping between Los Angeles and San Francisco would be grand and groovy. But to quote a great movie line, "Show me the money!" That's what the pro football wide receiver (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) tells the sports agent (Tom Cruise) in the flick "Jerry Maguire." And it's what a judge, former bullet backers and many citizens have been trying to tell an obstinate Gov. Jerry Brown. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-cap-bullet-train-20131209,0,4623084.column#ixzz2n026ByFE GREEN ENERGY Wave-energy plan revived at San Onofre. Retired electrical engineer Chong Kim of Fountain Valley is reviving a bid to generate electricity from the force of the waves off the coast at San Onofre, filing a preliminary permit with Washington officials and hanging out a shingle for willing investors. An earlier permit application for the offshore power plant, filed in 2010, was abandoned because of insufficient funding for environmental studies that can run into the millions of dollars. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/09/wave-energy-revival/ Low natural gas prices, energy efficiency to play key roles in EPA's existing power plant rules. Economists and regulators are beginning to see preliminary results from the potential scenarios under future regulations to reduce carbon emissions from the nation's fleet of power plants. In his Climate Action Plan released in June, President Obama directed U.S. EPA to craft a regulation that would set maximum carbon emissions standards from existing power plants by July 2014. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991488/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Agency plans to drastically scale back enforcement. U.S. EPA plans to conduct fewer in-person inspections and bring fewer cases against industrial rule-breakers over the next five years, the agency said in a recent document outlining its goals. The agency aims to carry out 30 percent fewer inspections and evaluations than the past five years. It will seek to initiate 40 percent fewer civil cases, and it will keep criminal goals mostly static with 2012. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991523/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Letters: Act now to save the Earth, or else. Re "Studies raise urgent climate alarms," Dec. 4. It's senseless to argue that burning fossil fuels isn't driving the rise of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to levels that scientific core samples show have not been seen in millions of years. Clearly the Earth's internal system of environmental balances can be pushed out of whack by human actions. Foolish farming practices caused the Dust Bowl, and it didn't take centuries. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-le-1207-saturday-climate-change-20131207,0,2919344,print.story How to make a global climate change deal. By Editorial Board, Published: December 6 IN THE Warsaw climate change conference last month, world representatives negotiated an agenda for further negotiations. That they did not manage to mess that up, we are told, is an achievement. The United Nations climate change proceedings are in their 22nd year. Until participants embrace some realities, they are unlikely to produce useful agreements. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-to-make-a-global-climate-change-deal/2013/12/06/119efca6-5ba3-11e3-a66d-156b463c78aa_story.html Pace of global warming adds to urgency to change. President Obama made another modest attempt to do something about climate change last week by ordering federal agencies to more than double their use of renewable energy by 2020. The operative word is modest. There is no hope of doing something truly transformational to meet the No. 1 challenge of our times in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where deference to consumer fear, dubious science and the clout of Big Oil continues to rule the day. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/diaz/article/Pace-of-global-warming-adds-to-urgency-to-change-5042485.php Proposed law needs remodel. If you are going through a hair-pulling home remodel now, you probably noted Stockton's proposed green building ordinance. It would add $2,500 to $5,000 to your costs. On the front end. Tweaking your house to guzzle less energy saves money long-term. That said, there is a difference between recognizing the financial and ecological benefits of this approach and being forced to adopt it. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131208/A_NEWS0803/312080323&cid=sitesearch BLOGS A new look at climate change. The annual United Nations climate change talks, which concluded last month in Warsaw, unfortunately found little common ground on carbon. The talks broke down over the world’s richest nations’ inability to agree with the poorest on how to address the financial costs of global climate change. While disappointing, it’s not surprising. Developed countries like the United States and the nations of the European Union, which have wielded the largest carbon footprints over the past decades, are not as often the victims of climate-related disasters. Posted. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/12/09/a-new-look-at-climate-change/ China Admits It's Poorly Prepared To Tackle Climate Change Impacts. China is poorly prepared to tackle the impact of climate change that presents a serious threat to the country, thanks to a lack of planning and public awareness, the government said on Monday. The world's most populous country already faces challenges from weather extremes, with 2,000 people dying on average each year since the 1990s in natural disasters that are set to get worse, China's powerful economic planning agency said. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/china-climate-change_n_4410704.html Climate Change This Week: The Real Climate Tax, Methane Mess, and More! US Taxpayers Footing Big Bill For Climate Change Inaction says a new analysis, reports Kieran Cooke at RTCC. Hurricane Sandy, enhanced by rising sea levels and temperatures, and drought that hit 70% of the US cost $100+ Billion; in 2012 alone, relief payouts amounted to $300+ per US person. Meanwhile US weather-related catastrophes have risen from about 50 annually in the 1980s, to about 200 annually in recent years. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-ellen-harte/climate-change-this-week_b_4405753.html?view=print&comm_ref=false Three steps back? California's climate, clean air and consumer cost issues. The Sierra Club has launched an online petition and video urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Governor Jerry Brown to reject a plan that it says would add new air pollution to Southern California and move California's climate goals backward. The Sierra Club contends that the CPUC, the California Independent System Operator and the California Air Resources Board (CARB)…Posted. http://www.fierceenergy.com/story/three-steps-back-californias-climate-clean-air-and-consumer-cost-issues/2013-12-09 Why Congress needs to extend the wind energy tax credit. The wind energy production tax credit is a tougher issue than you might imagine for some good liberal wonks. On the one hand, wind power is great. On the other hand, tax credits are a market-distorting, inefficient way of making policy. They are basically spending disguised as tax cuts. Most tax credits that affect the environment …Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/why-congress-needs-to-extend-the-wind-energy-tax-credit/ Diesel exhaust causes 6% of all lung cancer deaths. If there were ever a reason for automakers like Audi and Volkswagen to get their "clean diesel" technology – or something even cleaner, i.e., zero-emission vehicles – on the road, this is it. Researchers at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands say up to six percent of lung-cancer deaths in the US and UK could be caused by diesel exhaust. The researchers published a study in the Environmental Health Perspectives …Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/09/diesel-exhaust-causes-6-percent-lung-cancer-deaths/ Looking on the Bright Side of Bad Air. The heavy air pollution that shrouded much of eastern China over the past week has generated intense coverage in Chinese media, including a few efforts to find silver linings in the haze. Aided by the expansion of real-time air quality monitoring to many cities, along with official websites that report pollution data, Chinese residents have a far better idea now of what they are breathing than they did just a few years ago…Posted. http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/looking-on-the-bright-side-of-bad-air/ A Follow-up on the NYT's Environmental Coverage. Last March, the New York Times killed its Green blog and disassembled its environment desk, distributing the staff into other units. Jayni noted the possible concern that this change might result in diminished resources for environmental coverage at the Times; she also noted the positive spin that some Times people put on the change, that it would “mainstream” environmental coverage into the Times overall news reporting. Posted. http://legal-planet.org/2013/12/08/a-follow-up-on-the-nyts-environmental-coverage/