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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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.


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.

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.

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


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


Asthma, allergy rates higher in extreme runners. LONG-DISTANCE
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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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