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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 24, 2014 Posted: 24 Feb 2014 14:48:02
ARB Newsclips for February 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. CAP AND TRADE Supreme Court seems divided in climate case. The Supreme Court appeared divided on Monday over the sole Obama administration program already in place to limit power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SUPREME_COURT_GREENHOUSE_GASES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court. The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities. The case focuses on a 3-year-old that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2014/02/24/280944702/industry-challenges-epas-greenhouse-gas-rules-in-high-court EPA's greenhouse-gas rule heats up at Supreme Court. The Supreme Court's hottest environmental case of the year pits Texas against California on Monday, and that's just for starters. More than half of the nation's states have taken sides in a dispute over federal authority to regulate stationary greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/EPA-s-greenhouse-gas-rule-heats-up-at-Supreme-5259484.php Justices question Obama climate change regulations. The Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Monday over whether the administration of President Barack Obama exceeded its authority in trying to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Justice Anthony Kennedy would seem to hold the swing vote on the nine-member high court, with conservative justices skeptical of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approach and liberal justices generally supportive. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/24/us-usa-court-climate-idUSBREA1N06Q20140224 High court climate case looks at EPA's power. Industry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. As President Barack Obama pledges to act on environmental and other matters when Congress doesn't, or won't, opponents of regulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases cast the rule as a power grab of historic proportions. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/feb/23/high-court-climate-case-looks-at-epas-power/ AIR POLLUTION China Strengthens Monitoring as Beijing’s Air Pollution Persists. Beijing’s air pollution reached eight times World Health Organization-recommended levels as smog in the city persisted for a fourth day, prompting China’s environmental protection regulator to send inspection teams to the capital and surrounding areas. The concentration of PM2.5, fine particulates that pose the greatest risk to human health, was 198 micrograms per cubic meter near the Tiananmen Square in China’s capital at 11 a.m, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center said on its website. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-22/beijing-air-pollution-reaches-11-times-who-recommended-levels.html China dispatches pollution inspectors amid bad air. China's environment ministry said Sunday that it had sent inspectors to Beijing and other areas of the country to inspect polluting industries and check construction sites amid a spell of severe air pollution. Twelve teams will inspect factories, including those producing steel, coal, glass and cement, in Beijing, nearby Tianjin city and neighboring Hebei province, as well as their surrounding areas, the ministry said. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/feb/23/china-dispatches-pollution-inspectors-amid-bad/#ixzz2uGE36HMB Truck rules spark debate. Jurupa Valley leaders on Thursday night, Feb. 20, got a taste of what lies ahead as they continue efforts to get a handle on the flood of trucks that rumble into the city every day. City Council members gave preliminary approval to an ordinance establishing truck routes in Jurupa Valley, but only after assuring residents that more study is needed before actual routes are finalized. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20140221-jurupa-valley-truck-rules-spark-debate.ece Federal wood burning rule prompts rural backlash. A federal proposal to clean up the smoke wafting from wood-burning stoves has sparked a backlash from some rural residents, lawmakers and manufacturers who fear it could close the damper on one of the oldest ways of warming homes on cold winter days. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_WOOD_STOVE_REGULATIONS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT CLIMATE CHANGE Obama to Propose Shift in Wildfire Funding. President Obama’s annual budget request to Congress will propose a significant change in how the government pays to fight wildfires, administration officials said, a move that they say reflects the ways in which climate change is increasing the risk for and cost of those fires. The wildfire funding shift is one in a series of recent White House actions related to climate change as Mr. Obama tries to highlight the issue and build political support for his administration’s more muscular policies, like curbing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/us/obama-to-propose-shift-in-wildfire-funding.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0 DROUGHT California Farmers Told Not to Expect U.S. Water. Without a lot more rain and snow, many farmers caught in California’s drought can expect to receive no irrigation water this year from a vast federally controlled system of rivers, canals and reservoirs interlacing the state, federal officials say. The federal Bureau of Reclamation released its first outlook of the year on Friday, saying the agency would continue to monitor rain and snowfall, but current levels confirmed that the state was in one of its driest periods in recorded history. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/us/california-farmers-told-not-to-expect-us-water.html?ref=earth Severe drought? California has been here before. The skinny rings of ancient giant sequoias and foxtail pines hold a lesson that Californians are learning once again this winter: It can get very dry, sometimes for a single parched year, sometimes for withering decades. Drought has settled over the state like a dusty blanket, leaving much of the landscape a dreary brown. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-drought-weakness-20140223,0,6503044.story#ixzz2uGgap1yJ DIESEL EMISSIONS Shore power station unveiled Monday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for Monday for a four-million-dollar shore power station at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. The equipment will allow ships to plug in to get power so they won't have to run their air-polluting diesel engines while docked. Posted. http://www.10news.com/news/shore-power-station-unveiled-monday FUELS Climate policy veers toward the gas pump. California’s faith-based experiment in combating climate change is heading straight for the wallets of gasoline consumers in 2015. That’s when a “cap-and-trade” market system designed to limit greenhouse-gas emissions is scheduled to expand from big industrial companies into the state’s vast gasoline market. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/22/climate-policy-veers-toward-gas-pump/ GREEN ENERGY SOLAR POWER: Toll on birds needs scrutiny, state says. As three major solar plants in Southern California begin to provide homes with carbon-free electricity, state energy officials face escalating concerns about the toll on birds. "A wide variety of birds, from hummingbirds to pelicans, have been injured or killed at renewable energy projects in the desert. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20140221-solar-power-toll-on-birds-needs-scrutiny-state-says.ece REGION: Water agencies turning to small hydropower. A Fontana utility that once had to tamp down water pressure in its pipeline system is now harnessing the force to produce electricity and run its treatment plant. Excess power is sold to Southern California Edison. The operation at Fontana Water Co.’s Sandhill plant in Rialto is a renewable technology with a smaller footprint and lower cost than solar and wind operations, officials said Friday, Feb. 21. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20140221-region-water-agencies-turning-to-small-hydropower.ece The Truth Behind the Solar Tariff Debate. The potential U.S.-China trade war over solar panels picked up steam again last week when Slate's article titled "The World's Dumbest Trade War" got play from outlets like Marketwatch and others across the Internet. It's easy to say that slapping additional tariffs on imported Chinese solar panels would be terrible for the U.S., making it more costly to install solar, raising costs for the likes of SolarCity , while helping manufacturers like SunPower and First Solar. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/The-Truth-Behind-the-Solar-Tariff-Debate-5262653.php Environmentalists say solar projects will endanger desert tortoises. Federal officials announced the approval of two solar energy plants on public lands in California and Nevada, angering environmentalists who say the facilities will endanger desert tortoises. The plants were expected to supply 550 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 170,000 homes, Secretary of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a release Wednesday. More than 700 jobs will be created through construction and operations, she said. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/viewart/20140223/BUSINESS/302230014/Solar-projects-endanger-desert-tortoises VEHICLES CA Bill Aims to Accelerate Number Of Electric Vehicles. One million electric vehicles in 10 years is the goal of a new bill introduced in Sacramento. The "Charge Ahead California" bill is geared toward improving air quality, especially in low-income communities most impacted by pollution. Posted. http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-02-24/climate-change-air-quality/ca-bill-aims-to-accelerate-number-of-electric-vehicles/a37735-1 Update on Honda/GM fuel cell partnership; “It’s about cost reduction”. In July 2013, General Motors and Honda announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame. At the SAE 2014 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium, Mark Mathias, Director, Fuel Cell R&D for GM, provided an update on the collaboration, as well as a brief dive into the technical drivers behind the ongoing automotive efforts on fuel cell propulsion related to the scaling properties of batteries and fuel cells. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/02/20140221-mathias.html MISCELLANEOUS Volunteers plant 80 redwoods at Chabot Elementary to fight pollution. Armed with pickaxes, shovels and rakes, three dozen volunteers showed up early this past Saturday morning at Chabot Elementary School to plant 80 redwood trees along the school's perimeter, where it abuts Highway 24. The tree planting is part of the Lorax Project, which aims to protect schoolchildren from pollution from freeway traffic by planting a protective screen of trees. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25184359 OPINION Let the E.P.A. Do Its Job. On Monday, for the third time in seven years, the Supreme Court will consider the scope of the federal government’s power to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases, which are a major contributor to global climate change. In two earlier cases, the court held that under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency could regulate such emissions, from both motor vehicles and stationary sources like power plants. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/opinion/let-the-epa-do-its-job.html?_r=0 Cap-and-trade or a carbon tax: Which pain at the pump do you prefer? State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is in his last year as a legislator, so it's now or never for the carbon tax bill he outlined Thursday. Yet the proposal may have arrived one year too early. Steinberg, the Senate president pro tem, wants to change the state's approach to reducing carbon emissions from fuel. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-steinberg-carbon-tax-cap-and-trade-20140221,0,7828382.story#ixzz2uGgxeQwM Can car-happy L.A. learn to share the road? September brought sweet victory to the growing community of California cycling advocates: Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will prohibit the driver of any motor vehicle from passing a bike rider on the road unless there is 36 inches of space between them. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-roadshare-20140224,0,1719000.story#ixzz2uGhBSKg1 Why are we still debating climate change? There is no debate. Climate change is real. And, yes, we are, in part, to blame. There is a 97% consensus among scientific experts that humans are causing global warming. Ninety-seven percent! Yet some very vocal Americans continue to debate what is surely fact. Posted. http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/24/opinion/costello-debate-climate-change/ Joel Kotkin: Energy running out of California. The recent decision by Occidental Petroleum to move its headquarters to Houston from Los Angeles, where it was founded over a half-century ago, confirms the futility and delusion embodied in California's ultragreen energy policies. By embracing solar and wind as preferred sources of generating power, the state promotes an ever-widening gap between its declining middle- and working-class populations and a smaller, self-satisfied group of environmental campaigners and their corporate backers. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/california-602741-energy-state.html BLOGS Elio high-mpg trike hits 10,000 reservations. Our math says that there must be 71 people a day signing up for the Elio Motors super-fuel-efficient three-wheeled vehicle. Michigan-based Elio says it's surpassed the 10,000-reservation threshold for its car, which is slated to start production next year. About 6,300 had signed up as of the end of last year. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/22/elio-high-mpg-trike-hits-10-000-reservations/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.