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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 6, 2014. Posted: 06 Feb 2014 13:32:32
ARB Newsclips for February 6, 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 Chinese Factories Are Ordered to Release Data on Real-Time Emissions Levels. In a surprising sign of progress for both the environment and information transparency in China, the central government in January ordered 15,000 large and small factories to make real-time data about air and water pollution public. While the data on urban air pollution levels–such as that provided by the U.S. Embassy’s @BeijingAir Twitter (TWTR) feed–is helpful for city residents to decide whether to wear face masks or keep children indoors…Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/182359-chinese-factories-are-ordered-to-release-data-on-real-time-emissions-levels CLIMATE CHANGE Banks Feel Heat on Climate-Change Issue. Socially minded investors are taking on a new target in their fight against climate change: big banks. Some banks, including Bank of America Corp. BAC +1.49% and J.P. Morgan Chase JPM +1.87% & Co., are being pressed to disclose more about lending to firms that contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions. These investors have filed nonbinding shareholder resolutions urging at least four banks to shed more light on loans they make to oil, gas, coal and other companies whose practices create carbon emissions. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304851104579363201070023722 BY SUBSCRIPTION Ballona Wetlands prepares for climate change with help from Obama administration mandates. Preparing for climate change is an important priority for the Obama administration and, to demonstrate the point, a federal environmental official on Wednesday toured the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve to learn, first-hand, how it will be protected from rising seas. Nancy Stoner, the EPA’s assistant administrator for water…Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/environment-and-nature/20140205/ballona-wetlands-prepares-for-climate-change-with-help-from-obama-administration-mandates In drought years, Amazon emits more carbon than it stores -- study Long considered one of the most important carbon sinks in the world, the Amazon rainforest can become a net source of carbon -- emitting more than it absorbs -- in dry years, according to a study published yesterday in Nature. With the aid of small taxi planes, the researchers took measurements of three gases -- carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur hexafluoride -- between 2010 and 2012. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994136/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Water shortage in California town stokes fears. In this small logging town in Northern California's redwood country, small blue signs urging water conservation are almost everywhere you look. Just south of Willits, in one of the state's most verdant corners, crows and other birds peck at dry ground that should be covered in water at the city's Centennial Reservoir, which is less than a third full. The creek that feeds it has slowed to a trickle. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_DROUGHT_COMMUNITIES_IN_CRISIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/05/6132752/calif-towns-water-shortage-stokes.html#mi_rss=Latest%20News#storylink=cpy Feds announce another $14M for California drought. Federal officials on Wednesday pledged more money to help California cope with its severe drought as state fishing regulators shut down recreational angling on portions of two water-starved rivers because of concerns about the survival of salmon and steelhead trout. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Natural Resources Conservation Service announced another $14 million for water management improvements in the state…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CA_CALIFORNIA_DROUGHT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT California drought: House Republicans take aim at water rules. The Republican-controlled House passed legislation Wednesday billed as a response to the California drought, but the measure is unlikely to go further in the face of a White House veto threat and opposition from the state’s Democratic senators. Still, the action highlights the growing interest on Capitol Hill in trying to do something about the water shortage, a potentially hot issue in this year’s elections. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-california-drought-house-gop-20140205,0,3778106.story#ixzz2sZ4goFKY Drought: House passes divisive bill; SD mayor takes steps. California’s historic drought continued to draw responses on several fronts Wednesday, including in the House of Representatives where the Republican majority pushed through contentious legislation that would weaken environmental protections so that more water can flow to thirsty farms and cities in the Central Valley. That measure, however, appears to have little chance of becoming law. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/05/drought-house-passes-divisive-bill-sd-mayor-takes/ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bill-600562-california-delta.html http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2014/02/05/house-passes-gop-waterdrought-bill/ Emergency fishing closure approved on American, Russian rivers. The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to prohibit fishing on stretches of the American and Russian rivers due to the state’s worsening drought. Commission members approved the closures unanimously at their meeting Wednesday morning in Sacramento. The action also extends closures on hundreds of smaller coastal streams. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/05/6130927/emergency-fishing-closure-approved.html#storylink=cpy California drought: Big rain headed toward Bay Area could double dismal rainfall totals. The driest winter on record will finally get a downpour of relief this weekend with a series of storms expected to deliver in four days double the amount of rainfall the Bay Area has seen all season. In a state beset by drought, poor air quality and winter wildfires, the welcome weather forecast calls for 2 inches of rain on the valley floor and 4 to 5 inches in the mountains by Monday. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25072649/california-drought-big-rain-headed-toward-bay-area Los Angeles prepared for drought, DWP officials say. Department of Water and Power officials said Wednesday the utility is in better shape than other water agencies in coping with the drought thanks to several years of a second-level water conservation effort. Interim General Manager Jim McDaniel said there are no immediate plans to go beyond the current Phase 2 of the city’s water conservation plan, which has resulted in a 17 percent drop in water use since 2007. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/article/20140205/NEWS/140209667 FUELS Oil, natural gas extend gains on US winter storm. The prices of oil extended gains to near $98 a barrel on Thursday as a winter storm that slammed the U.S. raised expectations for higher energy demand and amid signs of weak supply growth. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 44 cents to $97.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract added 19 cents to close at $97.38. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OIL_PRICES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT California drought sets up fracking face-off. More than half of the oil and gas wells fracked across America since 2011 lie in places suffering through drought - including California. That's one of the more eye-catching results of a hydraulic fracturing study released Wednesday by Ceres, a nonprofit group that works with investors and businesses to encourage sustainability. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/California-drought-sets-up-fracking-face-off-5208483.php How to use less fossil fuel at home. Putting solar panels on your roof will only take you so far. The trick is finding ways to use more of the electricity in your home and send less of it to the grid where you will likely be charged per kilowatt-hour for your share of upkeep. It makes little sense to be anti-solar energy in this day and age, although it does make sense to do it right. Even solar can be done wrong. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/0206/How-to-use-less-fossil-fuel-at-home VEHICLES CORRECTED-Kia debuts its first electric vehicle for US market. Kia Motors Corp rolled out an electric version of its Soul compact car on Thursday that the Korean automaker plans to begin selling in some U.S. markets later this year. The 2015 Soul EV, unveiled at the media kick-off for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, is Kia's first all-electric, zero-emissions car in the United States and its second "green" car for the U.S. market, joining a hybrid version of the company's best-selling Optima sedan that has been available here since 2011. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/06/usa-kia-electric-vehicle-idUSL2N0LA1BS20140206 Tesla hopes for expansion of Georgia electric vehicles loophole. Tesla is backing a bill that could boost sales of its all-electric Model S vehicle in Georgia. A proposed law in Georgia could allow Tesla Motors Inc. to boost sales of its electric vehicles in the state by 10 fold. The Palo Alto-based electric car company has sold its cars, including the nearly $70,000 Model S sedans, in Georgia for the last year under a zero-emissions vehicles exemption that allows it to bypass franchised dealer networks and sell 150 cars per year directly to customers…Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2014/02/06/tesla-backing-georgia-bill-that-could.html A Future History Of Hydrogen Vehicle Development. In 2012, California passed a mandate requiring the development and sale of hydrogen vehicles, ordering that zero emission vehicles be available to customers by 2020. However, progress to date has been slow. Here is a timeline of what the state may do next to achieve its goals: In May 2014, recognizing that the impetus for technological progress that the mandate provided was insufficient to develop a vehicle that would be sold in any quantity…Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2014/02/06/a-future-history-of-hydrogen-vehicle-development/ GREEN ENERGY Oregon offshore wind energy farm project announced. A Seattle company is being given the green light to develop plans to build the West Coast's first offshore wind energy farm - five floating turbines off Oregon's Coos Bay, federal and state officials said Wednesday. The 30-megawatt pilot project was announced at a press conference by Gov. John Kitzhaber, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FLOATING_WIND_FARM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT LEDs Change Thinking About the Light Bulb. Lights are no longer just for lighting. With the development of LED lamp technology, the lowly light bulb is doing more than turning on and off. A lamp can be the centerpiece of an environment meant to improve health, moods and even food. LEDs can create light in multiple colors, generate less heat and use a fraction of the energy of older types of bulbs. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/technology/personaltech/leds-change-thinking-about-the-light-bulb.html Winds of change: Floating power turbines envisioned off Oregon coast. A Seattle energy company received initial regulatory approval Wednesday to build five massive wind turbines floating 16 miles off the Oregon coast. The pilot project off Coos Bay would be the first offshore wind facility on the West Coast. It also would be the biggest demonstration of technology that places floating turbines on platforms in deep water, according to federal officials and executives at Principle Power, the developer. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-wind-farm-oregon-20140205,0,4409492,print.story MISCELLANEOUS Proposed Marina del Rey copper cleanup provokes boater revolt. Marina del Rey boat owners oppose plan to strip polluting paint from hulls and fear they'll have to pay for removing copper from water. Plans for the first extensive pollution cleanup in Marina del Rey history have sparked a revolt by boat owners at the tony harbor that could echo along the length of the California coast. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-marina-copper-20140206,0,5130051.story#ixzz2sZ02tBqj Alkali Flat’s La Valentina building wins national EPA award. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Sacramento’s La Valentina building, a $25 million mixed-use housing complex in Alkali Flat, a 2013 Smart Growth Achievement award, the EPA announced Tuesday. One of seven projects selected for a national EPA award, the La Valentina building opened in 2012 at the corner of 12th and E streets. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/04/6128900/alkali-flats-la-valentina-building.html#storylink=cpy Capitman appointed to air pollution board. Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Dr. John Capitman, executive director for the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Governing Board. The position will have Capitman joining 14 other members on the board making decisions that work to reduce air pollution in the eight-county San Joaquin Valley region. Posted. http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/energy-and-environment/10660-capitman-appointed-to-air-pollution-board http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/02/05/3479278/fresno-state-professor-named-to.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/05/3752417/fresno-state-professor-named-to.html CARB to hold several free classes including webinars. The California Air Resources Board will present several classes to help truck owners and others in the industry navigate the state’s multiple truck emission regulations. Two of the courses will be broadcast online. Course 520 – “How to Comply with CARB Diesel Regulations” – will review the inspection process and consequences of non-compliance. The course also explains how to comply with CARB diesel regulations. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=26539#.UvO_1hByx4x OPINIONS There's No End In Sight For California's Extreme Water Drought. Water is in increasingly short supply in many parts of the United States. Here in California, where most of the state is experiencing “extreme” drought, 2013 was the driest year on record, and we have had no relief during what should be the height of the rainy season. Moreover, there’s no end in sight: The Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service forecasts that the drought will “persist or intensify” at least through April. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2014/02/05/a-thirst-for-a-technology-to-mitigate-californias-drought/ BLOGS Drought: Mendocino targets water-stealing pot farmers. As California residents and businesses face the new reality of dwindling reservoirs and water restrictions, police in one California county are getting serious about water thieves — especially those who need the sweet stuff to feed illegal marijuana growing operations. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman told KPIX-5 that water thieves could be making off with up to 5 million gallons of water a day to irrigate thirsty pot plants. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/crime/2014/02/05/drought-mendocino-targets-water-stealing-pot-farmers/ Climate change is a global security threat. Severe drought. Record heat waves. Extreme storms. Food and water shortages. Mass migrations. These are but a few of the dangerous effects of climate change, and they have very real implications for those whose primary mission it is to protect our national security. As a former Navy gunnery officer who served in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War, I was trained to act in the face of a threat. Posted. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/197547-climate-change-is-a-global-security-threat#ixzz2sZAROLjk A Great New Tool That Makes Global Climate Change Local. Global leaders seriously worried about climate change are having trouble getting more people to share that concern. One big reason is that climate change just doesn't have the psychological characteristics that make risks particularly scary. It's off in the future, and we worry more about risks that are 'today' than those that only threaten us tomorrow. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-ropeik/a-great-new-tool-that-mak_b_4726034.html?utm_hp_ref=green With Climate Change, What's Better For The Farm Is Better For The Planet. Climate change is no longer a doomsday theory about our distant future – it’s here. Farmers around the world are already dealing with more variable climates and dramatic weather events, like the drought in California and gigantic typhoons in Asia. So what can be done? In light of the fact that today so few of the planet’s residents seem willing or able to reform old habits, farmers…Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2014/02/06/with-climate-change-whats-better-for-the-farm-is-better-for-the-planet/ Will Obama do the right thing on ozone and smog this time around? Barack Obama has been just as bad as George W. Bush when it comes to curbing ground-level ozone pollution. But soon he’ll have another chance to get ozone regulations right. Ozone rocks when it’s up in the stratosphere, protecting us from UV rays and skin cancer. But when it’s at ground level, where it’s the main component of smog, it can cause respiratory infections, asthma, and other ailments. Posted. http://grist.org/news/will-obama-do-the-right-thing-on-ozone-and-smog-this-time-around/ Obama's call for greener trucks could save every household $250 annually. In his State Of The Union speech last week, President Obama made mention of higher fuel economy standards for big trucks. We all know (or should, at least), that picking up the low-mpg stragglers in our vehicle fleet is where we can make big efficiency gains, but what would greener trucks mean for the average American - besides some cleaner air, hopefully? Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/05/obamas-greener-trucks-could-save-every-household-250-dollars/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.