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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 24, 2014 Posted: 24 Jan 2014 13:26:41
ARB Newsclips for January 24, 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 China to Cut Dependence on Coal for Energy as Smog Chokes Cities. China plans to cut its dependence on coal as the world’s biggest carbon emitter seeks to clear smog in cities from Beijing to Shanghai. The nation is aiming to get less than 65 percent of its energy from coal this year, according to a government plan released today. Energy use per unit of gross domestic product will decline 3.9 percent from last year, compared with 2013’s target for a 3.7 percent decrease. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-01-24/china-to-cut-dependence-on-coal-for-energy-as-smog-chokes-cities One-third in state still live where air does not meet U.S. standards. Overall, California has seen a big improvement in air quality in the last decade, according to a state evaluation of smog and soot levels. Air pollution in California has dropped significantly over the last decade, yet about one-third of the population lives in communities where the air does not meet federal health standards, state officials reported Thursday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-0124-california-air-20140124,0,2523617.story#axzz2rIAG4oTK Power company Tri-State pitches $10M CO2 X Prize. A power company is raising money for a $10 million X Prize to spur technology to capture and use carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power plants. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead proposed Thursday that his state get involved in the competition by helping build a facility where teams could test out their technology. The prize winner would have to be able to show they could economically capture carbon emissions at a working power plant. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/23/6097083/power-company-tri-state-pitches.html#storylink=cpy Warm, dry weather triggers pollution. So much for a winter reprieve from air pollution. The unusually dry and warm weather that has made us the envy of the frigid East has a toxic downside. Southern California is in the midst of an unusual smog event — an elevation of soot and other harmful tiny particles at a time of year when our air should be at its cleanest. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20140123-air-quality-warm-dry-weather-triggers-pollution.ece http://www.ocregister.com/articles/air-598755-particles-pollution.html BY SUBSCRIPTION Air Quality Watch for Santa Barbara County. Air Quality Watch Issued for Santa Barbara County In Effect through the Weekend; Elevated Particle Levels in Several Areas. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Watch for Santa Barbara County to be in effect through the weekend. Posted. http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=128049 Gusty winds prompt air officials to issue dust caution. Gusty winds have prompted local air-pollution officials to issue a health cautionary statement through Friday for the western and southern portions of the San Joaquin Valley due to kicked-up dust. “Winds may add to the burden of particulate matter already in the air basin and produce areas of localized blowing dust, which can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller (PM10),” Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/24/3151245/gusty-winds-prompt-air-officials.html Pittsburg: Opponents of proposed oil transfer facility cite poor air quality samples. Opponents of the proposed WesPac oil storage and transfer facility say four out of five air samples collected within a couple miles of the project site show that the area already exceeds standards for particulate pollution set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/contra-costa-times/ci_24979392/pittsburg-opponents-proposed-oil-transfer-facility-cite-poor . CLIMATE CHANGE Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change. Coca-Cola has always been more focused on its economic bottom line than on global warming, but when the company lost a lucrative operating license in India because of a serious water shortage there in 2004, things began to change. Today, after a decade of increasing damage to Coke’s balance sheet as global droughts dried up the water needed to produce its soda, the company has embraced the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/science/earth/threat-to-bottom-line-spurs-action-on-climate.html?_r=0 More work needed to understand aerosols' effects on clouds and climate, scientists say. In the world of climate change research, one particular issue has been challenging scientists for years: clouds. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding how clouds will respond to climate change and how big of an effect their response will have on the climate as the globe warms. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993395/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Browner defends Obama's record on global warming. President Obama's first climate change "czar" defended his 2013 climate record today, telling reporters that the administration is "doing the work" on policies to address emissions. Speaking on a call hosted by the League of Conservation Voters -- one of 18 environmental groups that last week blasted Obama in a letter for his message of an "all of the above" energy policy…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059993433/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Sacramento breaks 130-year-old record for low rainfall. In the annals of weather records, this is one nobody wanted to break. On Thursday, downtown Sacramento recorded its 47th continuous winter day without measurable rainfall, breaking a record that has stood since 1884, according to the National Weather Service. It appears likely the city will go on to shatter the record, as there is no sign of rain for at least another week. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/23/6097443/sacramento-breaks-130-year-old.html#storylink=cpy FUELS Vitol to Trafigura Chasing U.S. NGLs as Traders Cash In: Energy. Add another profession to the beneficiaries of the U.S. oil boom: traders of long-neglected drilling byproducts such as propane and butane. Traders typically earning less than $400,000 a year will start making as much or more than the average $750,000 earned by traders in larger, more established oil markets, according to Webber Chase Ltd. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-01-24/vitol-to-trafigura-chasing-u-s-ngls-as-traders-cash-in-energy.html Natural gas soars as cold grips homes, drillers. The frigid winter of 2014 is setting the price of natural gas on fire. Record amounts of natural gas are being burned for heat and electricity — and it's so cold that drillers are struggling to produce enough to keep up with the high demand. Friday, the price rose within a whisper of $5 per 1,000 cubic feet, the highest level since June 2010. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/24/3151332/natural-gas-soars-as-cold-grips.html Midwestern lawmakers want meeting with Obama on ethanol mandate. Democratic House members from the Midwest today called for a meeting with President Obama on a recent U.S. EPA proposal that would lower this year's ethanol and advanced biofuel mandates. The members, all of whom are strong supporters of the ethanol industry, said they want the opportunity to express concerns with the proposal…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059993424/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY When will consumers realize the 60-cent light bulb wasn't a bargain? The deadline is approaching slowly, stealthily. You may not even realize it until the shelves of your local hardware store are void of 40-, 60-, 75- and 100-watt standard incandescent light bulbs. Congress ordered them phased out in 2007, and manufacturers stopped making them as of Dec. 31, so when they run out depends on your store's inventory and the continuing allure of Thomas Edison's 135-year-old invention. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993391/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Good intentions are not enough to effectively employ renewable energy. From the solar arrays in North Africa to the geothermal fissures of Iceland, renewable energy is coming online around the globe. To date, there is more than 480 gigawatts of installed renewable power capacity with projects in 138 countries as of the end of 2012. But for all the success and growth renewable resources have seen, there have also been many failures and setbacks. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993401/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Why Jerry Brown skirted high-speed rail and water plan in California State of the State address. Gov. Jerry Brown has pursued two multibillion-dollar water and high-speed rail projects so aggressively in recent months that it loomed conspicuously how carefully he stepped to avoid the projects in his biggest speech of the year. Brown mentioned the $68 billion rail program only once in his State of the State address this week, saying “we’re building the nation’s only high-speed rail.” Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/24/6097229/why-jerry-brown-skirted-high-speed.html#storylink=cpy Proposed permit law on Vernon battery recycler passes state Senate. A proposed law requiring a Vernon battery recycler to get a final permit to operate by 2015 or shut down was approved Thursday morning by the California Senate. The bill by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) targets Exide Technologies, one of the world's largest makers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-exide-20140123,0,7941195.story#ixzz2rL19GXvp http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/23/6096125/bill-targets-permit-process-for.html#storylink=cpy Lawmakers unveil new plan to ban plastic grocery bags in California. Disposable plastic bags would be banned from grocery checkout stands in California and consumers would pay at least a dime for a paper or a sturdier, reusable plastic bag a under a compromise proposal negotiated by key legislators. An attempt to pass a bill banning the bags failed last year amid opposition from plastic bag manufacturers and concerns that the move would eliminate jobs. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/24/6097566/lawmakers-unveil-new-plan-to-ban.html#storylink=cpy http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-agreement-reached-on-banning-plastic-carryout-grocery-bags-20140123,0,3607652.story#axzz2rIAG4oTK http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/23/environment-california-plastic-bag-ban/ First year's wood stove swap-out money was gone in two days. More than 100 Butte County residents received vouchers this month to help them replace their wood stoves, and a few dozen more might also be getting aid soon. However the Butte County Air Quality Management District is no longer taking applications for the first year of the program, as more people are already signed up than can be accommodated. Posted. http://www.orovillemr.com/breakingnews/ci_24979503/first-years-wood-stove-swap-out-money-was OPINIONS Back-seat Driver: The drought, and your car. Gov. Jerry Brown this week in his State of the State speech made a pointed connection between the drought and the cars we drive. It’s pretty clear human action is affecting the climate, and that means more droughts, he said. California needs to continue leading the way in limiting climate change by using renewable technology, including more electric vehicles instead of gas-powered cars. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/23/6097202/the-drought-and-your-car.html#storylink=cpy Charles Krauthammer: Canada deserves an answer on the Keystone XL pipeline. Fixated as we Americans are on Canada’s three most attention-getting exports – polar vortexes, Alberta clippers and the antics of Toronto’s addled mayor – we’ve somewhat overlooked a major feature of Canada’s current relations with the United States: extreme annoyance. Last week, speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/24/6096740/charles-krauthammer-canada-deserves.html#storylink=cpy Action to curb economic inequality and climate change must top the list. The U.S. economy is still weak, with 7 percent unemployment, many millions more underemployed and fewer people employed in November than there were six years ago. At the same time — and not unrelated — we are still devolving along a path toward increasingly ugly inequality…Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/viewart/20140123/OPINION01/301230048/Action-curb-economic-inequality-climate-change-must-top-list BLOGS Tesla: China could be biggest market for electric car. Luxury electric car maker Tesla sees China as potentially the company's biggest market for its vehicles, despite a hefty $121,000 sticker price. But that six-figure cost might make the vehicles more attractive to Chinese buyers, according to Tesla's CEO. $121,000 sounds like a lot of money for the Tesla Model S, considering you can pick up the 85 kWh car in the U.S. from $80,000 or so, before incentives. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2014/0124/Tesla-China-could-be-biggest-market-for-electric-car California Gov. Brown remains ready for one million electric vehicles. California Governor Jerry Brown is drafting behind President Barack Obama's drive for one million electric vehicles in the US. In his "State of the State" speech on January 22 in Sacramento, Brown made mention that, "We're on our way to a million electric vehicles." Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/01/24/california-gov-brown-remains-ready-one-million-ev/ Key enviro law suspended in California under drought emergency. When California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a drought emergency last week, his administration slipped a bit of legalese into the declaration that has some environmentalists worried. It states that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) will not apply to efforts by state agencies to “make water immediately available.” Posted. http://grist.org/news/key-enviro-law-suspended-in-california-under-drought-emergency/ Can clean energy replace a shuttered nuke plant in California? Last year’s decision to close the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California has created a challenge for utilities and utility regulators: How best to replace the facility’s 2,200 megawatts of generating capacity? Posted. http://grist.org/news/can-clean-energy-replace-a-shuttered-nuke-plant-in-california/