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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 17, 2014. Posted: 17 Jan 2014 11:49:19
ARB Newsclips for January 17, 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 North China Smog Prompts Second-Day Warnings to Stay Indoors. Smog hit hazardous levels in China’s steel-producing Hebei region for the second day as state-controlled media announced plans to fine local governments that don’t meet pollution-control targets. A concentration of PM2.5, the pollutants that pose the greatest risk to human health, reached 443 micrograms per cubic meter in Shijiazhuang and 758 in Xingtai as of 12 p.m., data from the China National Environment Monitoring Center showed. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-01-17/north-china-smog-prompts-second-day-warnings-to-stay-indoors.html Climate Aids in Study Face Big Obstacles. Some of the technologies cited in the latest draft report by United Nations climate experts face significant obstacles before they can be widely put in effect to limit the impact of climate change. The technologies, including a method of energy production that permanently removes carbon dioxide from the air, are still in their infancy, with few projects operating around the world. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/science/earth/climate-aids-in-study-face-big-obstacles.html?hpw&rref=world Sluggish Economy Prompts Europe to Reconsider Its Intentions on Climate Change. The European Union, which for years has sought to lead the world in addressing climate change, is tempering its ambitions and considering turning mandatory targets for renewable energy into just goals. The union’s policy-making body is also unlikely to restrict exploration for shale gas using the disputed technique known as hydraulic fracturing. A deep and lasting economic slowdown, persistently high prices for renewable energy sources…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/business/energy-environment/sluggish-economy-prompts-europe-to-reconsider-climate-goals.html?hpw&rref=business&_r=0 Air quality district sues battery recycler Exide for $40 million. Air district officials filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking up to $40 million from a Vernon battery recycler accused of posing a health risk for emitting too much lead and arsenic. The South Coast Air Quality Management District sued Exide Technologies in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing the company — one of the world's largest manufacturers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-exide-battery-recycler-sued-20140116,0,289807,print.story Colby fire: Plume of smoke, ash prompts air quality advisories. A rapidly growing fire in the foothills of Glendora showered a wide area of Los Angeles County with smoke and ash Thursday, prompting air quality alerts across the region. As hundreds of firefighters raced to the Angeles National Forest to battle the Colby fire, the South Coast Air Quality Management District warned that air quality was forecast to quickly plummet to unhealthy levels across the region. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-air-quality-colby-wildfire-los-angeles-20140116,0,7217942.story#ixzz2qg98ba3x Democrats, Republicans debate EPA plan. Senate Republicans attacked the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to slash carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants Thursday, saying it would damage the economy, as newly energized Democrats retorted that climate change is costing jobs in industries such as Northwest oyster beds and Utah ski resorts. Agency chief Gina McCarthy defended the EPA's proposed rules at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. She said power plants are the largest single U.S. source of carbon pollution…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Democrats-Republicans-debate-EPA-plan-5150918.php Dry, stagnant winter unraveling Valley air-quality efforts. A stagnant, dry winter has created near-historic soot levels in the San Joaquin Valley and around California, perhaps unraveling years of work on federal air standards, Valley air authorities said Thursday. The Valley was supposed to achieve a federal standard for such tiny particles, known as PM-2.5, by 2015. But the soot siege during the record-breaking drought probably ends any chance the Valley might have had, air officials said. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/01/16/3444634/dry-stagnant-winter-unraveling.html Study: Exposure to wildfire smoke damaging to infants and children. Exposure to wildfire smoke may be particularly damaging to infants and young children, according to a study of monkeys conducted at U.C. Davis. The study found that baby monkeys born during a spate of dense pollution from wildfire smoke in 2008 suffered lasting immune system impairment compared to adult monkeys or other babies born during times of cleaner air. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140116/A_NEWS/140119882 Study of vehicle emissions at U.S.-Mexico border to determine impact on Imperial Valley air quality. While it is well-known that emissions from idling vehicles waiting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border affect air quality in the Imperial Valley, the real impact has not yet been documented. The Imperial County Air Pollution Control District is getting ready to study those impacts after receiving a $98,800 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. Over a period of a year, the district will estimate particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions from northbound vehicles waiting to cross the border a the Calexico west and east ports of entry. Posted. http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/local/study-of-vehicle-emissions-at-u-s--mexico-border/article_5fe02d7a-7f40-11e3-9cdf-0019bb30f31a.html CLIMATE CHANGE UN warns against delayed action on global warming. Delaying action on global warming will only increase the costs and reduce the options for dealing with the worst effects of climate change, according to a draft report by U.N. experts. The final draft of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, says that global warming will continue to increase unless countries shift quickly to clean energy and cut emissions. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UN_UN_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Showtime climate change series travels globe. Producers of a Showtime series on global warming due this spring said Thursday it was crucial to get celebrities and Republicans involved to spread the stories beyond people who already believe it's an important issue. The series, "Years of Living Dangerously," begins April 13. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who was in Pasadena to promote the series, is among the celebrities who travel to different sites to illustrate the impact of climate change. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TV_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-tca-arnold-schwarzenegger-in-climate-control-doc-for-showtime-20140115,0,4662780.story#ixzz2qg9f44bb http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_24928104/schwarzeneggers-latest-foe-global-warming Environmentalists Citing Keystone Fault Obama on Energy. A coalition of environmental groups is calling on President Barack Obama to put greater emphasis on combating climate change in his energy policy, pressing the administration as it weighs approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The administration’s pursuit of increased domestic oil and gas production jeopardizes progress made toward lowering carbon pollution linked to climate change…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-17/environmentalists-citing-keystone-fault-obama-on-energy.html Climate Protection May Cut World GDP 4% by 2030, UN Says. The cost of holding rising temperatures to safe levels may reach 4 percent of economic output by 2030, according to a draft United Nations report designed to influence efforts to draft a global-warming treaty. Most scenarios that meet the 2-degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) cap on global warming endorsed by world leaders require a 40 percent to 70 percent…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-01-16/climate-protection-may-cost-4-of-world-gdp-by-2030.html BP forecasts rise in GHG levels over next 20 years. A new BP PLC report found global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase by almost a third in the next two decades, making ambitions to stave off perilous climate change unlikely to be realized. Despite international attempts to reduce carbon and major growth in shale gas use, the extreme rise in emissions will be inevitable, according to BP. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993091/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CALIFORNIA DROUGHT California governor proclaims state in a drought. Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed California in a drought Friday, saying the state is in the midst of perhaps its worst dry spell in a century and the conditions are putting residents and their property in "extreme peril." Brown made the announcement in San Francisco amid increasing pressure from lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and as firefighters chased flare-ups in a Southern California wildfire that has kept thousands of people from their homes. Posted. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/california-governor-proclaims-drought-emergency OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-drought-Jerry-Brown-declares-5152625.php http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/01/17/california-drought-emergency/4581761/ http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/16/6079657/gov-brown-to-declare-california.html#storylink=cpy As California drought looms, political division could slow solutions to a trickle. A California drought will soon test lawmakers’ ability to legislate. It’s a test they haven’t always passed. But as an official California drought declaration draws closer, members of the state’s often fractious congressional delegation are maneuvering once more. A freshman House Republican from the San Joaquin Valley has been quietly trying to write water legislation. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/16/6078663/as-california-drought-looms-political.html#mi_rss=Latest%20News#storylink=cpy California drought: Three more months of dry weather likely, National Weather Service announces. In a new dose of bad news for a state growing increasingly concerned about lack of rain, California's historically dry weather is expected to last for at least another three months, federal scientists said Thursday. The dire forecast for the rest of the state's winter rain season came as federal officials classified much of California as being in "extreme drought." Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24929977/california-drought-three-more-months-dry-weather-likely?source=rss FUELS California Energy Commission to award up to $24M for new biofuel projects. The California Energy Commission announced the availability of up to $24 million in grant funds for the development of new, or the modification of existing, California-based biofuel production facilities that can sustainably produce low-carbon transportation fuels. (PON-13-609) Eligible biofuels are diesel substitutes, gasoline substitutes, and biomethane as defined in the solicitation. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/01/20140117-cec.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL California guv scrambles to save bullet train, floats cap-and-trade scheme. California Gov. Jerry Brown is scrambling to keep a pricey high-speed train project from being derailed by raiding millions of dollars from the state's cap-and-trade program -- in what critics are calling a "desperate" ploy to save the beleaguered plan. The state's cap-and-trade program puts a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, but lets companies buy "allowances" to pollute more. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/17/california-guv-scrambles-to-save-bullet-train-floats-cap-and-trade-scheme/ Effort to halt bullet train and allow 'Hyperloop'-like options aims for Calif. Ballot. Two drives are underway to stop California's high-speed rail line through a November ballot initiative, including one that wants to speed development of a futuristic transport system like the "Hyperloop" described by Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk. Nicholas Garzilli wants voters to approve a measure that would bar the sale of more bonds to fund the Golden State's planned bullet train, which is estimated to cost $68 billion to link Los Angeles to San Francisco. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993099/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Green-energy funds for schools. State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson has announced that school districts can apply for part of $65 million that is available to those that wish to plan energy-efficiency projects under the California Clean Energy Jobs Act. The $65 million in available marks the second round of funding under the 2012 voter-approved initiative to create clean jobs and reduce school operating costs. The first round of funding totaled $105 million. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140116/A_NEWS/140119893/-1/A_NEWS04 Navy taps private financing for clean energy. Strapped for cash, the Department of Defense is harnessing private-sector financing tools to accelerate clean energy projects at military installations, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trust. Pew estimates that 80 percent of future Defense Department renewable energy projects will use power purchase agreements that rely on private developers to finance, build and maintain clean energy projects while saving the military money over the life of the contract. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/16/military-solar-strategy/ MISCELLANEOUS Internal disarray can lead to surprisingly good performance in lithium-ion batteries – study. Inside a lithium-ion battery, you might not want to keep everything neat and tidy; a little bit of disorder may improve its performance, according to new research. Engineers meticulously arrange materials in rigid patterns in typical lithium-ion cathodes and anodes, the idea being that a more structured arrangement yields a more efficient battery. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993114/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BLOGS Explosion in extreme drought in California. In just a week’s time, the percent of California in extreme drought skyrocketed from 28 to 63 percent, as the state deals with one of its driest stretches in recorded history. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports a dismal state of affairs for much of the state: Water-year precipitation in most of the [extreme drought] area was now less than 20 percent of normal, with locales from the southern San Joaquin Valley to the Pacific Coast reporting less than 10 percent of normal. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/01/16/explosion-in-extreme-drought-in-california/ Brown to declare California drought emergency as Western water woes intensify. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will use a morning news conference in San Francisco on Friday to declare a drought emergency amid one of the driest winters on record. The declaration comes a month after Brown appointed a panel to assess the situation and make recommendations. Several members of Congress, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), had pushed Brown to declare the emergency. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/01/17/brown-to-declare-california-drought-emergency-as-western-water-woes-intensify/ Real-Time Data Show Just How Bad China’s Industrial Pollution Is. The source of China’s air pollution has always been partly blamed on emissions from industrial facilities such as power plants and steel mills. Now there’s proof. A group of nongovernmental organizations and research institutes, led by the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, published a report showing that major power plants in Beijing…Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/01/17/real-time-data-show-just-how-bad-industrial-pollution-is/ Experts Skeptical of In-Car Air-Quality Claims. With China’s pollution in the news, a few auto makers are trying to appeal to consumers by touting the clean air inside their cars. Some experts are skeptical, saying the air-filtering system in most cars is different from those used in buildings and homes. The auto makers defend their air-quality findings, though they say drivers will have to replace the air filters in their cars frequently to enjoy pollution-removing benefits. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/01/17/experts-skeptical-of-in-car-air-quality-claims/ ‘Airpocalypse’ Smog Hits Beijing at Dangerous Levels. On Thursday, some residents of Beijing woke up with splitting headaches. A curtain of haze had fallen across the city of more than 20 million. It was the first “airpocalypse” of the year in the Chinese capital and nearby provinces, and it had come appropriately enough one year after a similar event had led to widespread anxiety. “How does the smog differ from the apocalypse?” Posted. http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/airpocalypse-smog-hits-beijing-at-dangerous-levels/ BMW i3 qualifies for both green and white HOV stickers in California. BMW buyers tend to have enough cash on hand to be buffered from the concept of "sticker shock," but the term may take on a different meaning when it comes to the German automaker's i3 plug-in vehicle and its classification by California clean-air regulators. The first i3 EVs are set to be sold in May, and some are questioning if the new car will be eligible for the state's white stickers or green High-Occupancy Vehicle lane stickers, both of which allow for solo-occupancy in HOV lanes. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/01/16/bmw-i3-green-white-hov-sticker-california/