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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 4, 2014. Posted: 04 Feb 2014 15:07:07
ARB Newsclips for February 4, 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 Tunnels critic says project violates air pollution laws. Digging two massive 35-mile-long water tunnels to siphon Sacramento River water into the state and federal irrigation systems will violate air pollution standards, says tunnels critic Burt Wilson of Sacramento. And, says Mr. Wilson, the real reason for the water tunnels has nothing to do with saving farmers from the drought. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=25126 Oil sands pollution two to three times higher than thought. The amount of harmful pollutants released in the process of recovering oil from tar sands in western Canada is likely far higher than corporate interests say, university researchers said Monday. Actual levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions into the air may be two to three times higher than estimated…Posted. http://news.yahoo.com/oil-sands-pollution-two-three-times-higher-thought-210153802.html CLIMATE CHANGE A Hard Climate for Penguins and Butterflies. Adaptation can be tricky. Extreme weather is challenging the survival of certain penguins and butterflies, yet DNA from Neanderthals lives on in modern humans 30,000 years after they went extinct. It’s enough to turn a cave man’s eyes blue. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/science/a-hard-climate-for-penguins-and-butterflies.html?_r=0 How the U.S. Exports Global Warming. The greening of American energy is both real and profound. Since President Obama took office, the nation's solar capacity has increased more than tenfold. Wind power has more than doubled, to 60,000 megawatts – enough to power nearly 20 million homes. Thanks to aggressive new fuel-efficiency standards, the nation's drivers are burning nearly 5 billion fewer gallons of gasoline a year than in 2008. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/How-the-U-S-Exports-Global-Warming-5199969.php No point in stopping climate change because 'we are not God' Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said climate change is mainly due to the Earth's natural cycles and so society should concentrate on adaptation instead of mitigation. While sitting in the Swiss mountain ski resort of Davos, after having listened to the Tanzanian president talk about global warming's devastating impact on his people…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993952/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT California governor pans Republican water plan in face of drought. California Governor Jerry Brown, whose state is facing its worst drought in decades, harshly criticized on Monday an effort by Congressional Republicans to roll back environmental rules limiting how much water agencies can pump out of the fragile San Joaquin-Sacramento River delta in dry years. The emergency legislation would allow state and federal water managers to send water to farms and communities... Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/04/us-usa-california-drought-idUSBREA1302920140204 Jerry Brown wants Republicans to back off drought proposal. When it comes to California's drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has a message for Republicans in Washington, D.C. -- thanks but no thanks. The governor, in a letter sent Monday, said a proposal from House Republicans to alleviate the situation is “an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California’s efforts to manage this severe crisis.” Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-california-drought-jerry-brown-20140203,0,1453259.story#ixzz2sNL7Za7H Drought cuts into state’s hydro power supplies. Never mind the restrictions on watering your lawn. The drought is drying up California’s supply of hydroelectricity, prompting SMUD and other utilities around the state to scramble. With summer’s peak electricity demand season looming, officials who oversee California’s power supply say they don’t expect blackouts but are getting nervous about the meager snowpack. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/04/6125877/drought-cuts-into-states-hydro.html#storylink=cpy San Joaquin River restoration flow stopped early to save water. Federal authorities are shutting down water releases for the San Joaquin River restoration, making the water available for 30,000 people in small communities who face the possibility of summer with dry taps. The restoration releases, which began in 2009, won't resume until at least March 2015, according to the federal Bureau of Reclamation, owner and operator of Friant Dam at Millerton Lake. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/03/3749022/san-joaquin-river-restoration.html#storylink=cpy FUELS UPDATE 1-Obama says Kerry to 'give me a recommendation' on Keystone project. President Barack Obama made clear he would make the ultimate call on whether to approve the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada, and played down the number of jobs the project could create in a Fox News interview to air on Monday. In recent days, officials from the White House and State Department have emphasized Secretary of State John Kerry's role in determining whether the $5.4 billion project…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/03/usa-obama-keystone-idUSL2N0L81L420140203 Natural gas plant poised for approval. Time may have run out for San Diego to find a clean alternative to constructing a new natural gas power plant at Otay Mesa. The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to authorize the 300 megawatt Pio Pico plant southeast of San Diego in unincorporated Otay Mesa. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/04/pio-pico-poised/ Study finds more coal plants threatened by gas and renewables. Persistent low natural gas prices, the tightening of government controls on power plant pollutants and sharply dropping costs for renewable energy have rendered more than 300 coal-fired generators uneconomical and ripe for retirement, according to a recent analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993943/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Green Automotive's e-Patriot Electric Shuttle Bus Benefits from Attractive Government Incentives. Green Automotive Company (OTCQB: GACR) announced last week the launch of its all American built 100% electric shuttle bus, the e-Patriot, at the upcoming February 16-18th International LCT Show at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas (www.lctshow.com), one of the largest shuttle and charter events. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140204-908514.html DOE to award up to $12M for technologies to produce renewable carbon fiber from biomass. The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award (DE-FOA-0000996) up to $12 million in funding to advance the development of a cost-competitive pathway to produce high-performance carbon fiber for vehicle lightweighting from renewable non-food biomass. Reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10% can improve fuel economy by 6% to 8%. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/02/20140204-doecarbon.html HIGH SPEED RAIL City again seeks payback for high-speed rail work. The city of Bakersfield wants the state high speed rail authority to do for it what it did for Kern County and the city of Fresno -- repay it for work done on the controversial "bullet train" project. The question is when that will happen. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x54081502/City-again-seeks-payback-for-high-speed-rail-work GREEN ENERGY Branson hosts renewable energy summit in Caribbean. In an effort to spur small island nations to slash their dependence on fossil fuels, Caribbean politicians and renewable power experts are discussing clean energy on British billionaire Richard Branson's private isle. The CEO of the Virgin Group of companies is hosting a three-day meeting of political and business leaders at Necker Island, Branson's home in the British Virgin Islands. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/04/3169602/branson-hosts-renewable-energy.html BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Why Renewable Energy Won't Save Us from Climate Change. The growth rates of solar and wind energy may have taken to the sky, but renewables alone won't stop climate change. Source: NASA. Renewable energy installations have soared in recent years. Wind energy has grown at an average rate of 30% since 2007 and now supplies 3.4% of the nation's electricity. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Why-Renewable-Energy-Won-t-Save-Us-from-Climate-5198295.php MISCELLANEOUS Los Gatos joins 23 other cities in Santa Clara, San Mateo counties to ban single-use plastic bags. A ban on single-use plastic bags at retail stores in Los Gatos went into effect Monday and patrons will have to either bring a reusable bag or pay 10 cents for a recyclable paper bag, a city official said. The Los Gatos Town Council adopted the ordinance on Sept. 3 to encourage a shift to reusable bags to reduce litter and the impact that plastic bags have on waterways and marine life…Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_25058600/los-gatos-joins-23-other-cities-santa-clara OPINIONS Drought: Let's make tequila Re "Drought is not an emergency" (Letters, Feb. 2): Letter writer Bill Kopper stated that the drought caused by global warming should demand a change in crop growth here to conserve water. I would suggest that the new crop would be Agave Cacti for making Tequila so we won't have to import it from Mexico. The new normal dry climate would be ideal for this cash crop. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6122267/feb-22014-letter-from-davis-reader.html#storylink=cpy Dan Walters: Drought complicates already dicey water politics. A crisis, it’s been said, is a terrible thing to waste. Economist Paul Romer originated the aphorism a decade ago, but it’s since entered the political lexicon. California is facing a water crisis, the third – and by far the worst – year of drought, with the all-important Sierra snowpack just 12 percent of normal and man-made reservoirs drawn down to historically low levels. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/04/6125710/dan-walters-drought-complicates.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters#storylink=cpy Is Obama's "All of the Above" Energy Policy Flawed? If we are looking at the "all of the above" energy stance the U.S. has more publicly taken in recent years, a debate can be made that the move has created thousands of jobs despite displacing many in the coal sector. Another view could also fuel a strong argument that the move has contributed to climate change, which has magnified domestic droughts, cold spells…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Is-Obama-s-All-of-the-Above-Energy-Policy-5198376.php Keystone XL, a sorry symbol of a continued reliance on fossil fuels. The State Department is probably right to conclude, as it did Friday, that the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project would have a negligible effect on climate change. Even though the extraction of the oil would certainly cause significant pollution, Keystone XL would be only one of many dirty oil operations around the world. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/04/3169308/keystone-xl-a-sorry-symbol-of.html BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BLOGS NASA: 2013 was 7th-hottest year in modern times. NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh-warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record. Posted. http://blog.ctnews.com/connecticutpostings/2014/02/04/nasa-2013-was-7th-hottest-year-ever/ U.S. Push to Export Dirty Fossil Fuels Parallels Past Action on Tobacco. I encourage you to read “How the U.S. Exports Global Warming,” a fine feature by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone showing how the United States, flush with coal, oil and the dirty tar sands byproduct petroleum coke, is working hard, from the White House down, to become a big exporter of carbon. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/u-s-push-to-export-dirty-fossil-fuels-parallels-past-action-on-tobacco/ Hollywood stars drink hydrogen B-Class F-Cell emission water in Death Valley. A plug-in electric vehicle can be used to power a house during a winter storm, but if you're more worried about the heat of, say, Death Valley, then maybe you'll want a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell along. That's the message of a new video from Daimler and starring Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) and Joshua Jackson (Fringe) that promotes the company's hydrogen-powered car. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/04/hollywood-stars-drink-hydrogen-b-class-f-cell-emission-water/ Future near perfect: How humans can still save the day by 2050. Though scientists and environmentalists often feel obligated to hawk the apocalyptic view of the world-to-come, there is a neglected version of the future well worth considering: the one where we win. British environmentalist Jonathon Porritt is in the optimism business. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/future-near-perfect-how-humans-can-still-save-the-day-by-2050/ Grid Capacity For Electric Vehicles Is Actually Not A Problem, Studies Find. Somehow, Americans have trouble grasping the idea that our current utilities can support a high number of electric cars without building hundreds of new power plants. However, a new study from the global clean technology consultants at Navigant Research emphatically puts the notion of utility and grid insufficiency to rest. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/03/grid-capacity-electric-vehicles-actually-problem-studies-find/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.