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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 31, 2013

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 12:16:05
ARB Newsclips for December 31, 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.


California cap and trade cash rolls in for 2013–$$ to cover
deficit NOT help environment.  It was an important year for
California’s ambitious efforts to limit greenhouse gases, one
where the buying and trading of pollution credits brought in big
money but left lingering questions about how the money should be
spent.  2013 marked the first full year of the state’s cap and
trade program, the combination of a gradually lowering carbon
emissions cap combined with a clean-up-or-pay-up option for the
industries affected.  Posted. 


Pollution Rising, Chinese Fear for Soil and Food.  The
farm-to-table process in China starts in villages like this one
in the agricultural heartland. Food from the fields of Ge
Songqing and her neighbors ends up in their kitchens or in the
local market, and from there goes to other provinces. The foods
are Chinese staples: rice, cabbage, carrots, turnips and sweet
potatoes. Posted.

New Year’s Eve comes with Winter Spare the Air alert.  New Year’s
Eve will be another Winter Spare the Air day for the Bay Area, so
those planning to pop open a bottle of champagne next to a
roaring fire may have to settle for a few candles instead.  The
Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the season’s 23rd
Spare the Air alert – banning residential wood burning - because
of continuing dry, stagnant weather that has allowed unhealthy
particulate matter to accumulate close to the ground. Fireworks
will still be shot off over the Bay because the Winter Spare the
Air alert doesn’t apply to them.  Posted. 

No Fireplace Fires on New Year's Eve, Air Quality Management
District Says.  Local residents thinking of a fireplace fire on
New Year’s Eve are prohibited from doing so by the air pollution
control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los
Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.  The South Coast
Air Quality Management District on Monday issued a “no burn
alert” for the region, which includes Temecula, for Tuesday, Dec.
31 due to predicted elevated fine particulate levels.  Posted. 

Wood burning ban called for New Year’s Eve.  Saying that the high
pressure system in the Bay Area is strengthening, to the
detriment of air quality, the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District is issuing the season’s twenty-third Winter Spare the
Air Alert for Tuesday.  The alert bans the burning of wood,
manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and
outdoors for 24 hours.  “Wood smoke pollution is again building
up in the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of
the Air District. “While these conditions are in place, we
appreciate the public’s help in reducing air pollution by not
burning wood.”  Posted. 


How technology can halt climate change.  In the 1890s, New York
City was swamped — not by a storm but something smellier, horse
manure.  Horses, the primary mode of transportation, dropped more
than a million pounds each day, causing a sanitation crisis. No
one found a fix, and some estimated the streets would eventually
be buried several feet deep.  Then, "shift happened," says
Harvard chemist Daniel Nocera. The automobile arrived, and almost
overnight, it replaced horses and cleaned up the streets. Hailed
as an environmental savior, it solved a seemingly insurmountable
problem.  Posted. 

NY City greenhouse gas emissions drop 19 pct since 2005.  New
York City's greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 19 percent
since 2005, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday,
putting the city nearly two-thirds of the way to meeting the goal
that Bloomberg set five years ago.  Bloomberg announced the
progress report as he prepares to leave the mayor's office on
Wednesday after 12 years in office.  In the comprehensive climate
change blueprint he launched in 2007, called PlaNYC 2030,
Bloomberg set a goal to slash citywide emissions 30 percent by
2030 through a number of initiatives, such as requiring hybrid
taxi cabs and retrofitting municipal buildings to make them more
energy efficient.  Posted. 


Ports, vessels get ready for new statewide regulation to lower
emissions through shore power.  When the ports of Los Angeles and
Long Beach adopted a groundbreaking plan seven years ago to clear
the pollution spewed by operations at the nation’s busiest
seaports, the move sparked a sea of changes for the industry. 
Among those changes, inspired by the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean
Air Action Plan adopted in 2006, was one of the state’s most
aggressive mandates toward significantly lowering ship emissions.


UC Davis report finds LCFS compliance costs may rise rapidly;
recommends offsetting measures.  A recent report prepared by UC
Davis researchers for the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
found that compliance costs for the Low Carbon Fuels Standard
(LCFS) may increase rapidly in the future if there are large
differences in marginal costs between traditional fossil fuels
and alternative, low-carbon-intensity fuels; or if there are
capacity or technological constraints to deploying alternative
fuels, particularly those with low-carbon intensity.  In the
absence of readily available, low CI fuel alternatives, the fuel
market will adjust along two dimensions to maintain compliance
with the LCFS: (i) increase the use of cheaper fuels below the
Standard such as ethanol derived from corn starch and sugarcane;
or (ii) increase fuel prices and reduce fuel consumption to a
level where the Standard is technologically feasible.  Posted. 


Climate Change Worse Than We Thought, Likely To Be 'Catastrophic
Rather Than Simply Dangerous'.  Climate change may be far worse
than scientists thought, causing global temperatures to rise by
at least 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, or about 7.2 degrees
Fahrenheit, according to a new study.  The study, published in
the journal Nature, takes a fresh look at clouds' effect on the
planet, according to a report by The Guardian. The research found
that as the planet heats, fewer sunlight-reflecting clouds form,
causing temperatures to rise further in an upward spiral. 

ELF is a sun-powered, egg-shaped trike.  Ever hear of the ELF
sun-powered tricycle that offers both pedal power and a
solar-powered electric motor? We hadn't either (hat tip to
Phillip A.), but it's finally getting a bit of attention from the
likes of The Wall Street Journal, CNN and on A&E TV's Shipping
Wars, where "Cowgirl Jennifer" Brennan delivered two ELFs to Iowa
and Illinois. The photo gallery below shows off ELF details like
battery range specs, info on the 60-watt PV solar panel, dual
disc brakes and optional fiber carbon panels. Posted.

New findings suggest EVs lose value quicker than gas-only autos. 
Electric cars may be great for saving money on gas, but a new
report from Kelley Blue Book, commissioned by USA Today, shows
that EVs might not be a great value option for their first
owners. The study found that compared to gas-powered vehicles,
EVs tend to lose significantly more of their value in the first
five years of ownership, corroborating a study conducted in the
UK, which we reported on earlier this month. The new Chevrolet
Spark EV, for example, will only be worth 28-percent of its
$28,305 sticker price after it's been on the road for five years,
compared to its conventionally powered counterpart's 40 percent
value retention. Posted.

Spare-the-Air Days: How They Make the Call.  The Bay Area is on a
roll  — not one to brag about, however. With at least two streaks
in December, one lasting 11 days, this winter looks to shatter
the record for the number of Spare-the-Air days, the longstanding
campaign by regional air quality regulators to curb particulate
air pollution by restricting wood-burning. Twenty-two are already
in the books.  That’s about double the number of actual days so
far with unhealthy air. So how do they know when to “pull the
trigger” and ask us to “spare the air”? The process starts with
meteorologists at the the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District, who look daily at the weather forecast and from that,
try to handicap whether the nine-county Bay Area will exceed
federal air pollution standards the following day.  Posted. 

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