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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 10, 2014. Posted: 10 Feb 2014 13:17:45
ARB Newsclips for February 10, 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 Senator says Dems erred in promoting cap and trade ahead of renewable standard. Congressional Democrats should have pushed renewable energy legislation instead of a cap-and-trade bill when they controlled Capitol Hill in President Obama's first term, a Democratic senator told a Washington, D.C., ballroom packed with labor and environmental advocates today. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059994330/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION EPA agrees to May deadline for review of refinery emissions. U.S. EPA has agreed to review its emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants from petroleum refineries by May after community groups said the agency had neglected its duties by failing to update the standards for 16 years. The agency will have to either propose revisions to its petroleum refinery National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) or determine that none are necessary by May 15, 2014. A final rule would be due by April 17, 2015. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/stories/1059994270/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Exxon Mobil division heads to court over refinery emissions. Exxon Mobil Chemical Co. goes on trial this morning to defend itself against accusations that it repeatedly violated the federal Clean Air Act at a complex southeast of here and got away with it. The suit against the company was brought by environmental groups and alleges that the massive refining complex in Baytown released excess air pollution into neighboring communities more than 4,000 times since 2005. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059994272/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE UC Davis part of nationwide USDA research hub on climate change. The Obama administration has tapped UC Davis as one of 10 sites around the country to be part of a research push on the potential effects of climate change on farms and forests. Seven “hubs” will represent major regions around the country. UC Davis will serve as a “subsidiary hub,” one of three nationwide, under the larger Southwest hub. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/09/3179837/uc-davis-part-of-nationwide-usda.html BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Scientists further link warming 'pause' to heat stored in the Pacific Ocean, spurred by stronger winds. About 15 years ago, the Earth's temperature was rising fast. Most climate models predicted that trend would continue, as humans continued to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Instead, the Earth's surface temperature over the past 13 years has been mostly stable. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994303/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Steyer's secret weapon emerges as power in climate debate. High-profile billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer held center stage at an event here, speaking about energy and politics to an audience of business power players. There were few surprises -- until the end. In his final minutes, Steyer announced that he planned to launch an effort to quantify what inaction on climate change could cost the country. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059994329/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Arctic may warm 13 C by end of the century – study. The Arctic could warm as much as 13 degrees Celsius, or 23.4 degrees Fahrenheit, by the end of the century if efforts are not undertaken to cut greenhouse gases, according to new research from federal scientists. The findings published in Earth's Future and led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers use the most recent climate models to try to pinpoint the future of the Arctic. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994287/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Drought blocking passages to sea for California coho salmon. The drought has obstructed the migratory journeys of many coho salmon on California's North and Central Coast, putting them in immediate danger. By now, water would typically be ripping down Scott Creek, and months ago it should have burst through a berm of sand to provide fish passage between freshwater and the ocean. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-salmon-drought-20140210,0,1605020.story#ixzz2swuyJwk7 California drought a 'train wreck' for Central Valley farms. California's great Central Valley aquifer and the rivers that feed it, already losing water in the changing climate, are now being drained because of the drought, leaving water levels at their lowest in nearly a decade. Water experts say many farmers who depend on the huge water source beneath the valley for irrigation will have to resort to pumping water from ever deeper levels at greater costs…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-drought-a-train-wreck-for-Central-5217669.php Sacramento rainfall record for date set; Folsom Lake rises over 6 feet. Folsom Lake has risen 6 feet but state water officials say the storm hitting Northern California has done little to ease a severe drought. “It has gone up a bit, but it’s certainly not anything to dance in the rain about,” said Doug Carlson, spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. “We still have a long ways to go before we’re anywhere close to normal.” As of one week ago Sunday, Folsom Lake had only 17 percent of its total capacity. The recent rains pushed it to just 19 percent of capacity – still barely one-third of what it should be for this time of year, Carlson said. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/10/6142061/sacramento-sees-record-rainfall.html#storylink=cpy California Drought: Database shows big difference between water guzzlers and sippers. The historic drought is making average residents think twice every time they turn on the tap, despite the weekend rain. But there is nothing average about the way Californians consume water: A little-known state database that measures water use in every community shows huge -- sometimes shocking -- differences between California's water sippers and guzzlers. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25090363/california-drought-water-use-varies-widely-around-state Drought crisis to bring Obama to Fresno. The White House announced Friday that President Obama will come to Fresno on Feb. 14 to discuss the drought and federal efforts to deal with it. A White House official said further details about the president's trip to the central San Joaquin Valley will be made public in coming days. The trip will mark Obama's first visit to the Fresno area. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/politics/local/x1089319645/Drought-crisis-to-bring-Obama-to-Fresno BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Calif. senator asks FERC to ease hydropower rules because of drought. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Friday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite any requests for low water flows at hydropower plants and dams given California's historic drought. "The State of California is facing a crisis that demands the Federal government's maximum flexibility and assistance," Feinstein said in a letter to acting FERC Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059994271/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS New pollution control device eyed for ships in the Port of Long Beach. Harbor officials on Monday could approve a $2-million contract for testing the latest technology for capturing pollution spewing from vessels in the Port of Long Beach. The contract with South Coast Air Quality Management District would demonstrate Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc.’s Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System, which is a version of Advanced Cleanup’s previously demonstrated “sock on a stack” exhaust capturing system…Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/environment-and-nature/20140208/new-pollution-control-device-eyed-for-ships-in-the-port-of-long-beach FUELS UPDATE 1-Kuwait approves $12 bln bids for clean fuels project. Kuwait has approved bids worth a total of $12 billion for major upgrades at two oil refineries, the state-run oil company said on Monday, in a sign it is moving ahead with large infrastructure projects. The Clean Fuels Project is a specification upgrade and expansion of Kuwait's largest refineries as part of the Gulf state's economic development plan, which has faced delays partly due to political instability. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/10/kuwait-refineries-idUSL5N0LF2D620140210 Biofuels Still Face Challenges. Navigant Research forecasts that global biofuels consumption in the road transportation sector will grow from more than 32.4 billion gallons per year (BGPY) in 2013 to more than 51.1 BGPY in 2022. Navigant Research examines the challenges faced by this fuel source in a new report. In the last 10 years, an increase in ethanol production capacity in the United States and Brazil, and biodiesel in Europe…Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/02/10/biofuels-still-face-challenges/ The Oil Industry's Fight to Kill Renewable Fuels—and Why It May Win. For all its faults, the Renewable Fuels Standard is the only federal policy that is steadily eroding the oil industry's de facto monopoly on motor fuels. he American oil industry could be on the verge of winning its war on the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), as the Obama administration weighs changes that could severely undermine the nation's most successful—and most divisive—effort to cut crude oil consumption in the nation's cars. Posted. http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140210/oil-industrys-fight-kill-renewable-fuels%E2%80%94and-why-it-may-win VEHICLES China Extends Electric-Car Subsidies to Fight Air Pollution. China will give more subsidies for electric vehicles than previously announced as part of government plans to tackle pollution. Shares of BYD Co. (1211) rose. Subsidies for 2014 will be cut by 5 percent, instead of the previously announced 10 percent, and decreased by 10 percent in 2015, instead of 20 percent…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-02-10/china-extends-electric-car-subsidies-to-fight-air-pollution-2-.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL Bullet train revenue estimates down, ridership up in new business plan. New estimates for the California bullet train show lower revenue and construction costs, and higher ridership and operating costs. Construction costs and revenue estimates for the California bullet train are headed downward while operating costs and ridership for the proposed statewide system are expected to increase above earlier forecasts, according to the project's latest business plan unveiled Friday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-train-plan-20140208,0,4757640.story#ixzz2swXPAyu0 GREEN ENERGY Firm seeks to harness Wyoming's wind energy for California. Anschutz Corp., known for the Staples Center, looks to set up the largest wind generation facility in the nation — in a state that wouldn't use a kilowatt of it. A relentless wind howls day after day across this high desert, pouring through a low gap on the Continental Divide. "This is one of the windiest places in the nation," screams Bill Miller above the din of gusting air. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-wyoming-wind-20140209,0,3366359.story#ixzz2swYM6kRt States explore green banks to reduce risk of clean energy projects. After funding fiascos like Solyndra and facing constant political attacks on government clean energy investments, renewable energy advocates are now zeroing in on so-called green banks to finance clean energy projects and to get states to cut fossil fuel use. To that end, the Coalition for Green Capital has launched the Green Bank Academy to begin teaching interested states how to move toward a green bank model pioneered by Connecticut and more recently New York. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994277/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Sharp disagreement over effects of North Carolina coal ash spill. Duke Energy has downplayed any danger to the public or wildlife. But environmentalists say tests found levels of arsenic, lead, chromium and other heavy metals far exceeding safety standards. Pete Harrison dipped his kayak paddle into a gray stain on the bank of the murky Dan River. He pulled out a sticky gob 4 inches thick. "That's pure coal ash," he said. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-coal-ash-spill-20140209,0,3515834.story#ixzz2swZjUnXf BEAUMONT: Green grant money to spur infrastructure development. Beaumont is in a green mood. After receiving a $100,000 grant from Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company, the city held a Climate Action Planning Workshop Friday, Feb. 7, to discuss how to best use the funds. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/the-pass/the-pass-headlines-index/20140208-beaumont-green-grant-money-to-spur-infrastructure-development.ece OPINIONS House Republicans muddy California’s water crisis. CALIFORNIA SAW a bit of relief from its extreme drought this past weekend, when big storms dumped rain on the parched state. But it appears that California won’t be spared from another threat — Washington politicians talking foolishly about the water crisis or, worse, meddling in the state’s efforts to cope. A week ago, Denis McDonough, President Obama’s chief of staff, sought to connect the drought to global warming. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/house-republicans-muddy-californias-water-crisis/2014/02/09/f1479380-8fb6-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html India's Particulate Problem. Two years ago, China seemed oblivious to the extraordinary levels of air pollution in many of its cities and the health consequences. But over the past six months, there has been an explosion of information on pollution concentrations, warnings from the media and new policies from the government. It took a long time, but change is happening. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/opinion/indias-particulate-problem.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140210&tntemail0=y&_r=0 The Dust Bowl Returns. EVERY Saturday in late December and January, as reports of brutal temperatures and historic snowfalls streamed in from family in Vermont, New York and even southern Louisiana, we made weekly pilgrimages to our local beer garden to enjoy craft brews and unseasonably warm afternoons. Normal winters here in Fresno, in the heart of California’s Central Valley, bring average highs in the 50s…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/opinion/the-dust-bowl-returns.html?_r=0 Letters: Climate change and Keystone XL. Re "Free the pipeline, Obama," Opinion, Feb. 4 Those who oppose Keystone XL aren't doing so primarily to make the pipeline a "litmus test issue for climate seriousness," as Jonah Goldberg writes. Rather, they're taking a principled stand. We must stop the juggernaut of business-as-usual that is leading inexorably to climate disruption. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-le-0208-saturday-keystone-xl-20140208,0,6353688,print.story Despite L.A. smog, our air quality's improving. From the heights of San Jacinto Peak to the depths of its desert canyons, clean air is vital to maintaining the physical health of Coachella Valley residents as well as the economic health of its tourist-based economy. But the valley isn’t immune to air pollution and its health impacts. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20140208/OPINION01/302080027/Despite-L-smog-our-air-quality-s-improving Power alert exposes green shortcomings. Mother Nature delivered a potent reminder last week to green-energy zealots of just how far California remains from nirvana. Soon the high cost of small progress will be more apparent, too. Thursday state officials issued a “flex alert” and called for conservation after some power plants — including an unidentified one in San Diego County — ran out of natural gas to fuel their generators. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/08/power-alert-exposes-green-shortcomings/ BLOGS Toyota unofficially teases TE-S800 plug-in hybrid roadster. We really want to party with the Toyota Engineering Society. With the mothership company showing a bunch of modifications at the Tokyo Auto Salon last month, that nutty engineering group used the event to unofficially show off its TE-S800 PHEV roadster, as you can see in the two-minute video below. The car is a plug-in hybrid that pairs the 115-horsepower gas engine that's standard issue on the Toyota Prius hybrid with a 102-horsepower electric motor. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/10/toyota-unofficially-teases-te-s800-plug-in-hybrid-roadster/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.