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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 21, 2014. Posted: 21 Jan 2014 15:00:49
ARB Newsclips for January 21, 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. CAP AND TRADE California's Cap-and-Trade Awakening. Democrats in California needed to pass cap and trade to find out what's in it. At least that's the take-away from state Senate president Darrell Steinberg's epiphany in the Los Angeles Times this week. Cap and trade is "asking the trading market to enter directly into the energy segment again and that brings back bad memories," Mr. Steinberg said, harking back to the state electricity crisis in 2001. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304549504579320970298575870 Obama's draft budget projects cap-and-trade revenue. President Obama's proposed budget laid out his assumptions that a new cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions would begin to generate billions of dollars in revenue as companies are forced to comply with a market-based program. Obama's budget includes several principles on what the administration wants to see out of a cap-and-trade program, including emission targets that cut U.S. greenhouse gas levels 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Posted. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cap-and-trade-obama-budget/ AIR POLLUTION China pollution wafting across Pacific to blanket U.S. – study. Pollution from China travels in large quantities across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, a new study has found, making environmental and health problems unexpected side effects of U.S. demand for cheap China-manufactured goods. On some days, acid rain-inducing sulphate from burning of fossil fuels in China can account for as much as a quarter of sulphate pollution in the western United States…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/21/china-usa-pollution-idUSL3N0KV2KU20140121 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/world/asia/china-also-exports-pollution-to-western-us-study-finds.html?_r=0 http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-china-exports-air-pollution-united-states-20140120,0,1142263.story#ixzz2r3ccYRcG Exceptional dryness brings the hazy days of winter. California's exceptionally dry winter is having a visible consequence: bad air. A high-pressure zone off the West Coast that has been warding off rain for months has worsened air pollution across California and the Southwest. The stagnant conditions have trapped fine particles close to the ground, leaving a buildup of sooty haze that poses a threat to people's health. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-winter-air-20140120,0,6110749.story#ixzz2r3dL7XMY Wildfire smoke may pose lasting risk to young, study finds. Exposure to wildfire smoke may be particularly damaging to infants and young children, according to a study conducted at the University of California, Davis. But authorities say it is unclear whether that means that infants should be evacuated from areas that suffer prolonged periods of dense smoke, as happened in a broad swath of the Sierra and Mother Lode during this past summer's Rim Fire. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140119/A_NEWS/401190325 Utahns back tougher air pollution standards. According to a statewide poll, Utahns favor stricter air pollution standards on industry by a 3-to-1 margin. The survey, commissioned by The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/1jgrPPS), found 67 percent of those surveyed supported the stricter standards and 23 percent opposed them. Ten percent were unsure. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/19/3143341/poll-utahns-back-tougher-air-pollution.html#storylink=cpy Study: Pollution from Chinese factories is harming air quality on U.S. West Coast. Bad air from China is blowing across the Pacific Ocean and contributing to smog in the United States, according to new scientific research. And much of that air pollution is being caused by the manufacturing of goods inside China for export to the United States and Europe. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/study-pollution-from-chinese-factories-is-harming-air-quality-on-us-west-coast/2014/01/21/225e9b1e-8281-11e3-bbe5-6a2a3141e3a9_story.html Study suggests air pollution in SM Mountains harming plants, increasing fire risk. Initial results from experiments conducted in the Santa Monica Mountains indicate that high levels of nitrogen may adversely impact native plants and, by extension, increase the risk of wildfire, federal officials said this week. “No one will be surprised to learn that our data shows increased air pollution on the eastern end of the mountains, closer to Los Angeles,” said Dr. Irina Irvine…Posted. http://smdp.com/study-suggests-air-pollution-in-sm-mountains-harming-plants-increasing-fire-risk/131290 Bad Air Quality Increases Risk Of Allergies & Asthma. No rain for the Valley means more bad air. "Well it's some of the worst air quality we have seen in at least 10 years, and without any wind or rain, it just continues to pile upon us, and gets worse and worse," according to Physicians Assistant, Michael Ginsberg. According to Doctors at the "Baz Allergy, Asthma, and Sinus Center," the worse the air gets, the harder it is for people to breathe. Posted. http://www.kmph.com/story/24503082/bad-air-quality-increases-risks-of-allergies-asthma Scientists find U.S. footprint in China's climate-related emissions. Whenever smog that formed in China has affected its neighbors and countries far away, it has prompted international criticism. But a new study points out that China should not be the only one blamed. Chinese air pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean is often caused by the manufacturing of goods for export to the United States and elsewhere…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993201/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Changes for Obama climate goals do not need congressional OK –report. A group of business leaders, energy experts and former government leaders believes that the Obama administration could tackle climate change by taking measures that do not require congressional approval, according to a report released on Tuesday. The 207-page report contained about 200 recommendations on how President Barack Obama can use executive authority to advance the climate change action plan he announced in June. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/21/usa-climate-obama-idUSL2N0KV13Q20140121 Extreme El Niños to become more frequent with climate change – study. "El Niño hits California hard," read the CBS News headline. "Mudslides and floods block roads, cut rail lines and power across valley and Ventura County," the Los Angeles Times reported. The year was 1998, the last time the world experienced what scientists call an extreme El Niño. From late 1997 into early 1998, in addition to massive flooding in California and parts of South America, Southeast Asia recorded severe drought…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993185/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Rich countries 'outsourcing' CO2 emissions to rising economies. According to a draft U.N. report, the world's richest countries are increasingly outsourcing their carbon pollution to China and other rising economies. Cheap clothes, electronic devices and other goods manufactured in China and other rising economies but consumed in the United States and Europe are the source of the emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993203/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT California drought brings risk of 'explosive' wildfires. Record dry conditions across California could create explosive wildfires at a time when the state should be rehydrating itself, experts warn. Across California, vegetation that typically rehydrates with rain between December and April continues to get dryer and more dangerous, worrying officials who fear that wildfires will get worse as the fuel gets even dryer. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-wildfires-drought-20140120,0,6209864.story#ixzz2r3b7x8mc California drought: Tips for conserving water. Like big earthquakes and budget deficits, droughts are a part of life in California that seem to come back around every decade or so. Remember not flushing the toilet? Putting a bucket in the shower? It's time to dust off those tips, as California finds itself in a brutally dry spell. On Friday, following the lowest rainfall year in the state's 153-year history…Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24952670/california-drought-tips-conserving-water?source=email Drought: The behemoths combine. The heavy hitters are stepping up to the plate. California’s two behemoth water deliverers — the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project, perhaps the best known water purveyors in the world – are poised to join together to move water quickly around the state in the face of an unprecedented drought. Gov. Brown’s decision to ask Californians to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent received support, especially among those with long memories…Posted. http://capitolweekly.net/water-drought-california-cvp-swp-consolidate/ DIESEL EMISSIONS ExxonMobil starts producing ultra-low sulphur diesel in Singapore. Exxon Mobil Corp said on Tuesday its new hydrotreater has started operations and is producing ultra-low sulphur diesel at its 592,000 barrels per day (bpd) Singapore refinery. The new unit will increase the facility's daily low-sulphur diesel capacity to 25 million litres or about 157,000 barrels. Of that, about 36 percent or 57,000 bpd will meet ultra-low sulphur diesel specifications, the company said in a statement. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/21/singapore-exxon-idUSL3N0KV2DL20140121 Owner-operators show business optimism for 2014. As January got rolling in earnest, owner-operators back from holiday breaks or just continuing on their way through record-low temps and reports of yearend rate increases in the spot freight market reflected a majority view that their businesses would fare better in 2014 than the prior year. “Outlook is profitable,” wrote reader Richard Young on Overdrive’s Facebook page. Owner-operator Tilden Curl concurred. Posted. http://www.etrucker.com/ovd/owner-operators-show-business-optimism-for-2014 FUELS New attempt on fracking standards launches. A hotly debated partnership between major oil and gas companies and some environmental groups moved forward Tuesday, almost a year after it was first announced. The Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale said in a release that it is now accepting applications for a program that aims to enforce tough but voluntary new standards for fracking and other related activities in the Northeast. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/21/3145423/new-attempt-on-fracking-standards.html#storylink=cpy DOE, biotech firm join effort to capture and use fugitive methane from drilling. A partnership between Energy Department scientists and a private bioengineering firm could lead to the commercialization of a technology capable of converting fugitive methane from oil and gas fields into liquid biofuels at a scale that could be broadly applied to U.S. oil and gas operations. The process being developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Calysta Energy of Menlo Park, Calif. …Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993200/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Silicon Valley sees shortage of EV charge stations. An increasing number of electric-vehicle driving employees at Silicon Valley companies are finding it hard to access car-charging stations at work, creating incidents of “charge rage” among drivers. Installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand, creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace, the San Jose Mercury News reported (http://bit.ly/1joxwJ6). Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/silicon-valley-sees-shortage-of-ev-charge-stations/2014/01/20/a61eec2e-81ff-11e3-a273-6ffd9cf9f4ba_story.html A faster and efficient electronic car on way. Your small electric car may soon become faster and more efficient thanks to 'super capacitors' that are capable of storing far greater charge in a much smaller package. The energy storing devices can be made from a material called calcium-copper-titanate (CCTO) which, the researchers - including Indian-origin lead author Raghvendra Pandey - have identified as a practical energy-storage material. Posted. http://www.smetimes.in/smetimes/news/industry/2014/Jan/20/a-faster-and-efficient-electronic-car-on-way703575.html GREEN ENERGY Solar energy and the 'poisoned chalice'. After resigning for health reasons, a member of the California Public Utilities Commission has warned of intense pressure by utilities to protect against the incursion of rooftop solar energy. Commissioner Mark Ferron announced Wednesday that he could no longer perform his duties as commissioner after two years of treatment for prostate cancer. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/18/utilities-poisoned-chalice/ Senate spending bill withholds funds for bulb enforcement. Besides funding major programs, the federal spending bill that the Senate passed Thursday contains a provision that has gained little notice yet affects consumers nationwide. The legislation, which now heads to President Barack Obama, withholds federal funding for enforcement of rules that effectively prohibit the manufacturing, import and distribution of 40- to 100-watt incandescent light bulbs in the United States. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/17/senate-spending-bill-lightbulb/ Soaring financing costs slow use of clean energy in developing countries – report. The costs of debts are crippling developing countries' efforts to develop clean energy, a new study from the Climate Policy Initiative finds. Despite advantages like cheaper labor and land costs, the price of financing renewable energy projects is significantly higher in developing countries than in wealthy ones, according to the report. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993183/print BY SUBCRIPTION ONLY Germany plans to speed up cutting subsidies for wind and solar energy farms. The new German government is pushing forward with plans to cut aid for new onshore wind and solar projects amid protests from green energy groups and politicians and cheers from traditional utilities. Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel wants to limit subsidies for onshore wind to 9 euro cents per kilowatt-hour in 2015, or by 10 percent to 20 percent versus 2013 levels, and cap new wind installations at about 2,500 megawatts per year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2014/01/21/stories/1059993179 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS New redemption law puts squeeze on bottle and can recyclers. Francisco Morataya drives a vanload of empty bottles and cans to Victar Recycling Center in Echo Park every week or so to supplement his wages as an office janitor. The 61-year-old Eagle Rock resident had been making $200 per load, enough to pay his daughter's cellphone bill. But that was before a new state law tightened the redemption rules, making it harder for people at the economic fringes to scrape by. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-homeless-recycle-20140119,0,3584896.story#ixzz2r3f0MLnV http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/New-Calif-law-squeezes-recyclable-collectors-5157768.php OPINIONS COLUMN-Nuclear power is set to disappoint, again: Kemp. Nuclear power is the energy dream that refuses to die, despite serious accidents at Windscale (1957), Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011). Many of the arguments that were employed in favour of nuclear in the 1950s and 1960s as a solution to oil supplies running out are now being resurrected in favour of nuclear as a solution to climate change. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/21/nuclear-power-climate-change-idUSL5N0KV1V620140121 Costs of Climate Change. Re “The Flood Next Time” (By Degrees, Jan. 14): Justin Gillis’s excellent article makes clear the threat climate change poses to personal, business and civic property. Sea level rise is only one of many impacts expected to worsen greatly in the next several decades. It is time we accept that we already pay a “carbon tax” in the actual costs of greenhouse gas pollution. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/science/costs-of-climate-change.html?_r=0 Backsliding on the Climate. Pay now to reduce carbon emissions and make the transition to clean energy or pay much more dearly later. That’s the message from a draft United Nations report on climate change issued last month. It’s a message the European Commission, which is debating whether to temper its clean energy goals, would do well to heed. The commission is considering making renewable-energy targets nonbinding on individual nations, opting for less-onerous Europe-wide targets. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/opinion/backsliding-on-the-climate.html Stop the foot-dragging on climate change. A U.N. panel says the world has perhaps just 15 years to make serious inroads on the problem. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress disagree. The world has very little time — perhaps 15 years — to make serious inroads on climate change, according to a leaked report from a United Nations panel. Current efforts, even among the most committed nations, fall short, and at the current rate of carbon emissions, the problem might grow too large to overcome with existing technology. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-climate-change-20140121,0,6383495.story#ixzz2r3gRqURp Put high-speed rail money to better use. The Monday editorial, "Shifting funds won't save train," is right on. The high-speed rail line proposed for travel between Northern and Southern California is expected to have an installation cost of $68 billion. Unlike urban public transit, which is needed by people going to work, school and shopping, much of long distance travel is optional. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/letters/ci_24944053/letter-put-high-speed-rail-money-better-use No cap-and-trade money for high-speed rail. Gov. Jerry Brown has warned lawmakers that an upturn in state revenues should not serve as an excuse for a new state spending spree. He's right. Unfortunately, he undermines his credibility by proposing that California use funds from the state's greenhouse gas reduction program for his high-speed rail boondoggle. Posted. http://santamariatimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/no-cap-and-trade-money-for-high-speed-rail/article_25a6ad42-819c-11e3-8d74-001a4bcf887a.html BLOGS Fresh Views on Climate Scientists as Advocates. “If You See Something, Say Something,” is the headline on a Sunday Op-Ed article by Michael E. Mann, the Penn State climate scientist who, after years of attacks from groups fighting restrictions on greenhouse gases, has become a prominent climate and political campaigner, as well. The piece appropriately defends the right of scientists to be citizens, fighting disinformation and pressing for action… Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/fresh-views-on-climate-scientists-as-advocates/ Moving Forward: A Modern Freight System for California that can cut pollution and lower impacts in freight-side communities. What if parents of asthmatic kids in freight impacted communities like West Oakland, Wilmington and Riverside could breathe a little easier knowing that they no longer have to endure hundreds of dirty diesel trucks in their communities? Measures detailing how we could accomplish that were released in a new report today, Moving California Forward: Zero and Low-Emission Freight Pathways. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbailey/moving_forward_a_modern_freigh.html Solar wins: How sunshine will save the planet (really!). We’ve had some bad news this year, like wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, floods, exploding oil trains, imploding governments, and an international consensus of climate scientists affirming that the end is probably nigh: Any enviro can see these are dark times for the climate. But if you squint hard enough through the gloom, a literal and figurative ray of sunshine emerges! Because you know what, guys, solar energy may just save us all. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/solar-ftw-how-sunshine-will-save-the-planet-really-we-have-hope/ Nissan sells 100,000 Leaf EVs worldwide. Nissan sold 22,610 Leaf electric vehicles in the US last year, but the bigger story (literally) is how the company is selling the EV around the world. After selling the 99,999th Leaf to a woman in Virginia, Nissan sold the 100,000th Leaf to a man named Brett Garner in the UK. For the record, it took Nissan just about three years and one month to reach that mark, since the first Leafs were sold in December 2010. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/01/21/nissan-sells-100000-leaf-evs-worldwide/