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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 15, 2014. Posted: 15 Jan 2014 12:15:37
ARB Newsclips for January 15, 2014. 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 Black carbon a powerful climate pollutant: international study. Black carbon, the soot produced by burning fossil fuels and biomass, is a more potent atmospheric pollutant than previously thought, according to a four-year international study released on Tuesday. Emitted by diesel engines, brick kilns and wood-fired cookstoves, black carbon is second only to carbon dioxide as the most powerful climate pollutant, according to the study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/15/us-climate-black-carbon-idUSBRE90E0XD20130115 http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/black-carbon-ranks-as-second-biggest-human-cause-of-global-warming/2013/01/15/6d4e542a-5f2d-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html China to Boost Renewable Energy to Curb Air Pollution, CCTV Says. China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, will quicken the development of solar and wind energy this year to help curb air pollution, state television said. The nation plans to install 14 gigawatts of solar capacity and 18 gigawatts of wind power as well as approve 20 gigawatts of hydroelectric plants, China Central Television reported, citing the National Energy Administration. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-01-15/china-to-boost-renewable-energy-to-curb-air-pollution-cctv-says.html Bay Area's winter hazard: pollution. In the long run, the Bay Area's unusually parched winter may portend a drought that could devastate the crops and water on which residents depend. But for now, the dry weather is creating a more immediate health hazard: hazy, grimy air pollution. More than halfway through what air regulators consider the Bay Area's winter season, the region has already seen an unprecedented number of Spare the Air days. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Bay-Area-s-winter-hazard-pollution-5143666.php Tanker cleaning company fined $1.2M in Texas. A tanker cleaning company and a manager have paid $1.2 million in fines to settle hazardous waste complaints at a facility in the Houston area. Prosecutors in Travis County on Monday announced the fines against Enterprise Logistic Services LLC, doing business as Enterprise Transportation Company, and facility manager John Schultz. The company has a tanker cleaning unit in Freeport. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Tanker-cleaning-company-fined-1-2M-in-Texas-5141184.php Suburban living linked to bigger carbon footprint. A city with a minimal carbon footprint looks a lot like San Francisco, where residents tend to commute by bus or train, live in apartments and walk to nearby shops and restaurants. Nationwide, those kinds of cities are keeping greenhouse gas emissions low - but their outlying suburbs essentially negate those climate benefits. In fact, suburbs account for 50 percent of the nation's household carbon footprint, even though they are home to less than half of the U.S. population, according to a new UC Berkeley study. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Suburban-living-linked-to-bigger-carbon-footprint-5143575.php Study shows air pollution may lead to more wildfires. Preliminary results from a study in the Santa Monica Mountains show air pollution may increase the risk of wildfires, the National Park Service reported. Researchers found that higher levels of nitrogen led to a decline in native shrub seedlings and an increase in nonnative grasses. Other studies have demonstrated a link between nonnative grasses and larger and more frequent wildfires, Park Service officials said. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/jan/14/study-shows-air-pollution-may-lead-to-more/#ixzz2qUXCao2H CLIMATE CHANGE REFILE-World may have to suck gases from air to meet climate goals-UN. Governments may have to extract vast amounts of greenhouse gases from the air by 2100 to achieve a target for limiting global warming, backed by trillion-dollar shifts towards clean energy, a draft U.N. report showed on Wednesday. A 29-page summary for policymakers, seen by Reuters, says most scenarios show that rising world emissions will have to plunge by 40 to 70 percent between 2010 and 2050 to give a good chance of restricting warming to U.N. targets. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/15/climate-solutions-idUSL5N0KP1OI20140115 Wanted: major investors to spend 'clean trillion' on climate. Major institutional investors will need to ratchet up their investment in clean energy to achieve the massive funding goals necessary to avert catastrophic climate change, according to a report released on Wednesday by investment group Ceres. Ceres, a non-profit organization which advocates for the adoption of "sustainable business practices," made seven recommendations for the private sector and three for governments on how to bridge the gap between today's clean energy investment levels...Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/15/usa-climate-investing-idUSL2N0KP0QN20140115 Danish pension funds invest in climate fund. Danish pension funds and the government will invest in a state fund to finance projects to fight climate change in developing countries, one of the investors said in a statement. PensionDanmark said it had committed 200 million Danish crowns ($37 million) to the fund, while a further 1 billion crowns will come from pension funds PKA and PBU, private investment fund Dansk Vækstkapital, the Investment Fund for Developing Countries and the Danish government. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/15/us-denmark-climate-fund-idUSBREA0E07Z20140115 Climate Agenda Intact With Limited Riders in Appropriations Bill, White House Says. Democrats beat back efforts from Republicans to include provisions in a fiscal year 2014 appropriations package that would have limited President Barack Obama's ability to implement his climate action plan, according to the White House. Matt Lehrich, an assistant press secretary at the White House, told Bloomberg BNA in a statement that all of the “many” riders to the $1.1 trillion appropriations package that would have “gutted” Obama's climate action plan were eliminated from the final bill. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-15/climate-agenda-intact-with-limited-riders-in-appropriations-bill-white-house-says.html Under Investor Pressure, Utility to Study Emissions. FirstEnergy, one of the country’s largest electric companies, has agreed to work toward reducing its carbon emissions in response to pressure from shareholders including New York State and Connecticut pension funds, New York Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said on Tuesday. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/business/energy-environment/power-company-to-study-emissions-after-pressure.html?_r=0 Carbon footprint maps reveal urban-suburban divide. Where you live in a metropolis — the city or the suburbs — can make a huge difference in how much you are contributing to climate change, according to a new study. People in the densely populated cores of big cities are responsible for less greenhouse gas emissions, but the more carbon-intensive lifestyle of their far-flung suburbs cancels out any of the benefits, researchers at UC Berkeley found. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-carbon-footprint-suburban-urban-20140114,0,687352.story#ixzz2qUQeYprE Persistent high pressure blamed for California drought. As California struggles through a run of historically dry weather, most residents are looking at falling reservoir levels, dusty air and thirsty lawns. But meteorologists have fixed their attention on the scientific phenomenon they say is to blame for the emerging drought: a vast zone of high pressure in the atmosphere off the West Coast, nearly four miles high and 2,000 miles long, so stubborn that one researcher has named it the "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge." Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/01/14/3714277/persistent-high-pressure-blamed.html#storylink=cpy Climate task force puts heat on deniers. Shrugging off potential political damage to vulnerable Southern and mountain-state Democrats, 18 Democratic senators led by Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., went on an election-year assault Tuesday against climate-change denial, accusing oil and coal interests of holding members of Congress captive on the issue. These ostensible captives are not just Republicans, but Democrats representing conservative-leaning states that are home to large fossil-fuel industries. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Climate-task-force-puts-heat-on-deniers-5143420.php Senators form new group to support climate action as administration stresses better preparedness. Eighteen senators opened a campaign yesterday to highlight the science of climate change and defend the president's actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. They also tried to help Republicans understand the movement of lobsters. The unveiling of the Senate Climate Action Task Force adds to the growing number of voices within Congress expressing concern about the absence of legislation to stem greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992944/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Winona frack sand monitors 1 of first in state. Winona will become the first city in Minnesota to monitor frack and and diesel emissions along a truck route. Two monitors have been installed on the roof of the local YMCA and are calibrating. The equipment should be tracking data sometime this week. The data will be collected for a year and will be used as a baseline of how much frack sand and diesel emissions are in the air along one of the busiest truck routes in the city. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Winona-frack-sand-monitors-1-of-first-in-state-5145183.php FUELS Ethanol Advances After Report Shows Record Production Decline. Ethanol gained for the first time in three days following a government report showing a record production decline last week. Futures jumped as much as 2.2 percent after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said output tumbled 5.6 percent to 868,000 barrels a day, the lowest level since Oct. 4 and the steepest drop in records going back to June 2010. An arctic blast last week delayed trains and cut terminal operations. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-01-15/ethanol-advances-after-report-shows-record-production-decline.html Boeing seeks regulatory approval for 'green diesel' as jet fuel. Aircraft-maker Boeing said Tuesday it was seeking regulatory approval to use renewable "green diesel" as jet fuel, which it says is a competitively priced way to curb emissions. The company said it would work with engine makers, airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration and other interested parties to present research to standard-setting groups and the government to boost the case for a blend of up to 50% renewable diesel and traditional jet fuel. Posted. http://www.platts.com/latest-news/oil/washington/boeing-seeks-regulatory-approval-for-green-diesel-21078453 http://www.traveldailymedia.com/202379/boeing-goes-green-with-new-aviation-fuel/ 50 groups press governor to ban fracking. A coalition of 50 environmental, public health and social justice groups yesterday urged California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to ban unconventional drilling for oil and natural gas, including the technique known as fracking. The groups sent a letter to Brown arguing that he needs to issue an executive order blocking the activity. The organizations both addressed what they see as the risks of fracking to water and land and appealed to the governor's commitment to limiting climate change. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059992949/print BY SUBCRIPTION ONLY HIGH-SPEED RAIL California bullet train project may soon face funding shortfall. California is required to match $180 million in federal grants, but officials say project's funding plans may violate law. California's bullet train project is facing a potential funding shortfall in April when funding agreements require the state to come up with $180 million to match federal grants, said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), the chairman of the House of Representatives' rail subcommittee. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0115-bullet-train-hearing-20140115,0,7544699.story#ixzz2qURcYSli High-speed rail agency rejects idea of bypassing downtown Bakersfield. A proposed high-speed rail route bypassing central Bakersfield to the west instead of crossing through downtown was quietly rejected late last year by project officials. The CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Jeff Morales, said in an interview Tuesday that the bypass alignment now is "not under active considerationPosted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1210656900/High-speed-rail-agency-rejects-idea-of-bypassing-downtown-Bakersfield?utm_source=widget_160&utm_medium=latest_entry_images_widget&utm_campaign=synapse GREEN ENERGY SolarCity's New $29,392,600,000,000 Enemy. Rooftop solar companies like SolarCity Corporation did well in 2013 -- too well. Massive utilities have the spooks, and they're pushing regulators to put the brakes on backyard power generation. Here's what you need to know. While solar currently supplies less than 1% of U.S. electricity generation, rooftop solar systems are soaring in popularity: 90,000 businesses and homeowners installed rooftop solar panel kits in 2012, 46% more than the previous year. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/SolarCity-s-New-29-392-600-000-000-Enemy-5145182.php Google invests $75M more in Texas wind farms. Google Inc. will invest $75 million more in Texas wind farms as the tech giant expands its renewable energy efforts. California-based Google on Tuesday announced an agreement has been finalized for the Panhandle 2 wind turbine site in Carson County, near Amarillo. A Google statement says the facility, developed by Pattern Energy Group LP, should have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power 56,000 U.S. homes. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Google-invests-75M-more-in-Texas-wind-farms-5144930.php Clean Energy Fuels shares rise on new stations. Shares of Clean Energy Fuels jumped in premarket trading Wednesday after the compressed natural gas provider announced the opening of liquefied natural gas fueling stations in Florida, Illinois and California. The opening of the station in Jacksonville, Fla., marks the company's first in that state. The other stations are located in Pontoon Beach, Ill., and Fontana, Calif. The stations will be used to fuel heavy duty natural gas trucks. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/15/clean-energy-fuels-shares-rise-on-new-stations/ Clean energy investment down, but not out. Global investment in clean energy and energy efficiency technologies dropped 12 percent in 2013, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It marks the second consecutive year of declines in clean energy investment, but there are reasons to be optimistic about wind and solar energy. To fund a global transition to a low-carbon economy, the clean-energy industry will need to attract hundreds of billions of dollars in new investment. For two straight years now, the opposite has happened. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/0115/Clean-energy-investment-down-but-not-out MISCELLANEOUS Asthma, allergy rates higher in extreme runners. LONG-DISTANCE RUNNERS Asthma, allergy and injury rates higher. Extreme runners - specifically, those who compete in races longer than the 26.2-mile marathon - are, to no one's surprise, healthier than the average American. But they have higher rates of allergies and asthma, and most of them have suffered exercise-related injuries, according to a new study out of UCSF and UC Davis. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Asthma-allergy-rates-higher-in-extreme-runners-5143576.php OPINIONS Why Shale Gas Won't Conquer Britain. With the announcement in December of its decision to award new shale drilling licenses in 2014, the British government has made plain its enthusiasm for shale gas. This zeal stems from the belief that an increased domestic gas supply will drive down national prices, at once enhancing export competitiveness while addressing growing public concern over rising domestic energy bills. But this strategy is misguided: Unlike in the United States, a shale gas revolution will not bring down prices in Britain. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/opinion/why-shale-gas-wont-conquer-britain.html?hpw&rref=opinion Letters: Air quality fight is ongoing. Re "L.A. sues to keep oil field near USC closed," Jan. 8. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is not at odds with the city of Los Angeles or any other agency over the Allenco Energy Inc. oil facility. Rather, we are on the same path, working to ensure that Allenco does not reopen until it meets all applicable environmental regulations and no longer poses any potential hazard or nuisance to nearby residents. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-le-0112-sunday-allenco-20140112,0,2726005.story#ixzz2qUQEovb4 California drought? We're not there yet. Too soon to use the 'D' word. For days now, Californians have looked skyward each morning, searching for the merest hint of rain. So far, they've mostly been unrewarded (although San Francisco did record 0.02 inches last week). Now the drumbeat to use the 'D' word is getting louder. It is much too early for the governor to declare a state drought emergency, despite what San Joaquin Valley growers and Democrats Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno have called for. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/California-drought-We-re-not-there-yet-Too-soon-5136945.php Benson cartoon ignores reality. After seeing Lisa Benson's political cartoon (Jan. 8) regarding climate change (not so-called "global warming"), I can't decide if The Bee is printing her stuff as a sop to know-nothing right-wingers or merely to demonstrate how deeply such people have their heads in the sand. Referencing the recent travails of a few ships off Antarctica, she portrays an ice-bound boat running up against a signpost marked "Reality." Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/01/13/3712561/benson-cartoon-ignores-reality.html#storylink=cpy Stop the polarization of climate change. Was it global warming that last week threatened to freeze-dry America? While most Americans were struggling just to stay warm, the political atmosphere turned superheated about whether human activity caused the global warming that caused the polar vortex that caused last week's bitter, record cold. The assertion that warmth causes cold struck many Americans as a bit ironic, if not amusing. Frigid fingers filled the social media ether with the seemingly reasonable question: "What happened to global warming?" Posted. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-14/opinion/ct-polar-vortex-global-warming-dennis-byrne-oped-0-20140114_1_climate-scientists-climate-change-warming BLOGS Black Carbon Second Only To CO2 In Heating The Planet. No discussion of climate change can get very far without focusing on greenhouse gases — pollutants including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and more, which are trapping heat and driving the planet’s temperature upward. But according to a report published Tuesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, the second most important heat-trapping pollutant isn’t a gas at all: it’s black carbon, more commonly known as plain old soot…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/black-carbon-co2_n_2482157.html?view=print&comm_ref=false Abrupt climate change in 1816. Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death. This fall and early winter has certainly brought plenty of crazy weather. Of course this ignites the ongoing debate about climate change or “global warming” as it was originally named. As confounding as recent weather has seemed, can you imagine how heated the debate would become if winter continued right on through summer? Posted. http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/abrupt-climate-change-in-1816/6042/ Toyota sold a million hybrids in last nine months, 6M since 1997. Toyota's first hybrid model – the Prius – went on sale in 1997 in Japan. It took 14 years for the company to see a cumulative total of three million hybrids (a mark reached in March 2011). Today, Toyota announced that its global sales figures of all of its gas-electric models (and there are a lot of them now, including ones we've barely heard of here in the US, like the Crown Majesta or the Harrier Hybrid) have reached six million. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/01/15/toyota-sold-million-hybrids-in-last-nine-months-6m-since-1997/