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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 26, 2014 Posted: 26 Feb 2014 12:49:58
ARB Newsclips for February 26, 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 State Senator's Proposal Moves from Cap & Trade to Fee & Rebate. On February 20, 2014, California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D - Sacramento) proposed removing transportation fuels from the state's Cap & Trade program under AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Steinberg said the State should instead add a 15 cent per gallon gasoline tax that would increase over time, return two-thirds of the revenues to low and middle-income families through an Earned Income Tax Credit, and spend the rest on mass transit and similar projects. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-sandler/state-senators-proposal-m_b_4851163.html South Africa Delays Carbon Tax, Plans Levies on Acid Mine Water. South Africa’s government delayed the implementation of a planned carbon tax to 2016, while saying it may impose new levies on mining companies to help fund the treatment of acid water seeping from disused gold mines. The National Treasury two years ago said it planned to charge 120 rand ($11) on every metric ton of carbon emitted above a 60 percent threshold from 2014 and raise the rate by 10 percent a year for the following six years. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-26/south-africa-delays-carbon-tax-plans-levies-on-acid-mine-water.html AIR POLLUTION Majority of complaints about Sriracha factory came from 4 households. More than two-thirds of the complaints reported to the air quality control board about odors believed to be from the Sriracha hot sauce factory came from four households. Data provided to this newspaper by the South Coast Air Quality Management District shows that since October four addresses generated 41 of the 61 complaints about Huy Fong Foods on North Azusa Canyon Road. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/business/20140225/majority-of-complaints-about-sriracha-factory-came-from-4-households Hayward power plant pollution probed. A hotly debated power plant may be violating its pollution limits and needs to fix the problem as soon as possible, air quality regulators say. Russell City Energy Center's cooling tower is putting out almost 10 times the allowed amount of water droplets that could contain particulate matter, its operator's own tests show, according to a complaint filed by the staff of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_25225502/hayward-power-plant-shut-down-sought China vows 'harsh punishment' for toxic smog culprits. China's environment ministry has vowed to 'harshly punish' factories and power plants that contributed to a hazardous smog which enveloped much of Northern China, official state media reported on Wednesday. Investigations had found that some thermal power plants, cement and steel makers in the northern province of Hebei had failed to halt or curtail production during severely smoggy days despite government orders, state news agency Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Environmental Protection as saying. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/26/us-china-smog-idUSBREA1P1GL20140226 CLIMATE CHANGE Study Links Temperature to a Peruvian Glacier’s Growth and Retreat. Sitting on a flat volcanic plain 18,000 feet above sea level, the great Quelccaya ice cap of Peru is the largest piece of ice in the tropics. In recent decades, as scientists have watched it melt at an accelerating pace, it has also become a powerful symbol of global warming. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/science/study-links-melting-peruvian-ice-cap-to-higher-temperatures.html?ref=earth New index confirms it: This winter is miserable. A new winter misery index confirms what many Americans in the Midwest and East know in their all-too-chilled bones: This has been one of the harshest winters of our lifetimes. And nowhere has been hit harder, relatively, than Detroit. Sure Chicago, Indianapolis and Philadelphia and Moline, Ill., are in the midst of their third most extreme winters in more than 60 years. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/feb/25/new-index-confirms-it-this-winter-is-miserable/#ixzz2uRmUggbz Climate conference explores water and power. The link between water and energy is a key facet of climate change, government and business experts said at the Climate Leadership Conference in San Diego Tuesday. The conference, held Monday through Wednesday, convened officials from business, government, universities and nonprofits to discuss energy and climate. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/25/environment-water-power-climate-conference/ Volcanoes May Be Slowing Down Climate Change. Small volcanic eruptions might be part of the reason why the pace of global warming hasn’t kept up with previous predictions, a new study published in Nature Nature Geoscience suggests. Eruptions of at least 17 volcanoes since 2000, including Kasatochi in Alaska and Merapi in Indonesia, seem to have had a cooling influence on the temperature of the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere. Posted. http://science.time.com/2014/02/25/volcanoes-slow-climate-change/ Heat extremes increase despite global warming hiatus – scientists. Hot weather extremes have increased around the world in the past 15 years despite a slowdown in the overall pace of global warming, a study showed on Wednesday. Heat extremes are among the damaging impacts of climate change as they can raise death rates, especially among the elderly, damage food crops and strain everything from water to energy supplies. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/26/climate-heat-idUSL6N0LV2HK20140226 DROUGHT California: NASA Aids Drought War. NASA scientists have begun deploying satellites and other technology to help California water officials assess the state’s record drought and better manage it, officials said Tuesday. The space agency’s resources are being used to better measure the snowpack and groundwater levels and predict storms. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/us/california-nasa-aids-drought-war.html?action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26contentCollection%3DU.S.%26region%3DTopBar%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26pgtype%3Darticle%23%2FCalifornia%3A+NASA+Aids+Drought+War California analyst suggests drought solutions. Saying Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal "includes little to address the effects of the current drought," a new report by the Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal analyst suggests anti-drought and conservation steps that lawmakers could take. Friday's review of the resources portion of Brown's January spending plan came two days after Brown and legislative unveiled a $687.4 million package of drought relief measures, some of which seem to mirror parts of what the LAO suggests. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/02/california-analyst-suggests-drought-solutions.html#storylink=cpy EBMUD pursues second emergency water source in drought year. The East Bay Municipal Utility District is lining up a second emergency water supply in the drought. The water board agreed Tuesday to exercise an option to buy up to 20,000 acre feet of water from the Placer County Water Agency. The East Bay district would spend up to $8 million if it takes the full amount: $1.5 million to buy the water and another $6.5 million in pumping costs to pipe in the water from near Sacramento. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25227635/ebmud-pursues-second-emergency-water-source-drought-year?source=rss FUELS Oil and natural gas fall on weather forecasts. Oil and natural gas fell Tuesday as weather forecasts backed off previous predictions of unusually cold temperatures in March and April. Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery dropped 99 cents to close at $101.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas futures fell 35 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $5.10 per 1,000 cubic feet. Natural gas plunged 11 percent Monday. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/feb/25/oil-and-natural-gas-fall-on-weather-forecasts/#ixzz2uRqKDYuv GREEN ENERGY Solar Industry Jump-Starts a Revival in California. Back in 2009, when Danny Kennedy was looking for office space for the fast-growing solar services company he had co-founded, his venture capital investors recommended setting up shop in one of the “Twitterville kinds of areas” south of Market Street in San Francisco. There, social media and peer-to-peer pioneers like Foursquare, Yelp, Airbnb and, indeed, Twitter had created a technology zone where innovative ideas could fly free and cross-pollinate among young workers meeting casually over food and drink. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/realestate/commercial/solar-services-company-jump-starts-revival-in-california.html?hpw&rref=business&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry641%23%2Fgreen%2Benergy%2F24hours%2F Some solar rebates ending in San Diego. Solar rebates are coming to an end in San Diego for solar home energy systems and some solar hot water heating systems for single-family residences, the administrator of the programs confirmed Tuesday. An array of other solar rebates remain available. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/26/solar-rebates-waning/ VEHICLES Tesla ranked as top pick. The Tesla Model S electric sedan is Consumer Reports’ top pick in this year’s automotive rankings, beating the Audi A6, Toyota Prius and BMW 328i and becoming the first U.S. car to receive a “best overall” pick. The independent product-testing magazine cited the Model S’s sporty performance and technological innovations, including its 225-mile range. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/26/tp-tesla-ranked-as-top-pick/ Tesla Model S wins 'best overall' car by Consumer Reports. The story of Tesla is a bit like that of "The Little Engine That Could." It's a smaller company, which makes a product different than the rest, that's been working to stay afloat in a world of giant car companies. Well, it appears Tesla has just made it over the mountain. The company's all-electric Model S sedan was selected by Consumer Reports as 2014's "best overall" car. Posted. http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57619539-76/tesla-model-s-wins-best-overall-car-by-consumer-reports/ Va. governor signs repeal of hybrid vehicle tax. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has added his signature to legislation to repeal the state's $64 annual fee on hybrid vehicles. McAuliffe signed the legislation Wednesday during a one-hour appearance on WTOP radio in Washington. He said the repeal is effective July 1 and will affect the 75,000 hybrid vehicles in Virginia. The tax was part of a massive transportation funding bill passed last year. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/26/3210857/va-governor-signs-repeal-of-hybrid.html#storylink=cpy http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-governor-signs-repeal-of-hybrid-vehicle-tax/2014/02/26/8b831756-9f04-11e3-878c-65222df220eb_story.html Beijing Auto-License Lottery Sees Few Electric-Car Takers. Beijing’s aspiring car owners would rather brave the long odds of winning a license plate in the lottery than opt for an electric vehicle. While the city received more than 90 bids for each available permit for conventional gasoline autos in the latest draw held today, only 1,428 people applied for the 1,666 new-energy vehicle plates offered, according to a statement on the municipal government’s website. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-26/beijing-license-plate-lottery-sees-few-takers-for-electric-cars.html MISCELLANEOUS California Endangered Species: Plastic Bags. On a recent drizzly day, Esha Moya found herself standing outside a grocery store in South Los Angeles, her half-dozen paper bags falling apart in the rain, wishing she had a few small items that had been free and plentiful her entire life but are now banned in this city: plastic shopping bags. “I hate this,” said Ms. Moya, a telemarketer and a mother of two. She has begun stockpiling plastic bags at home because paper bags “are always breaking,” she said. “It’s stupid, and it makes it really hard for us.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/us/plastic-bags-come-under-siege-in-california.html?partner=rss&emc=rss OPINION Dana Milbank: Justices skeptical of carbon rules. It has the makings of a royal mess for “King Barack.” Monday morning’s Supreme Court argument about the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases went badly for the Obama administration – so much so that the real question before the justices seemed to be how severe the EPA’s loss would be. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/26/6189202/dana-milbank-justices-skeptical.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS Look Before You Pump warnings popping up at ethanol stations. Some of the largest retailers in the US are trying to inject either a little good sense or paranoia into part of their customer base. Lowe's, Walmart and True Value are putting out written warnings about the dangers of filling up non-light-duty-vehicle engines with fuel that contains a higher ethanol blend. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/25/ethanol-warnings-popping-up-in-us/ Honda pulling plug on slow-selling Insight hybrid. It's been a rough ride for the Honda Insight, and now its journey appears to be at an end – word is that the five-door hybrid hatchback is going out of production. The Insight nameplate was first introduced as a two-seat, three-door gas-electric hatchback just before the turn of the millennium, beating the Toyota Prius to market as America's first hybrid by over half a year. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/02/26/honda-insight-hybrid-dead/ L.A. and California lawmakers move to impose fracking moratoriums. Leaders in Los Angeles seem to have been paying attention to Hollywood. A little more than a year after the release of Promised Land, a movie about the dangers of fracking starring Matt Damon, members of L.A. City Council are trying to ban hydraulic fracturing. Posted. http://grist.org/news/l-a-and-california-lawmakers-move-to-impose-fracking-moratoriums/ Carbon dioxide pollution just killed 10 million scallops. Scallops go well with loads of chili and an after-dinner dose of antacid. It’s just too bad we can’t share our post-gluttony medicine with the oceans that produce our mollusk feasts. A scallops producer on Vancouver Island in British Columbia just lost three years’ worth of product to high acidity levels. Posted. http://grist.org/news/carbon-dioxide-pollution-just-killed-10-million-scallops/ Beijing Pollution: How Bad Does It Have to Get for a Red Alert? Beijing authorities have maintained an orange alert—the second-highest warning—for six days amid a stretch of bad air pollution. That has a number of residents wondering: Just how bad does it have to get before the local government raises its warnings into the red? A red alert is issued only when authorities forecast an air-quality index of above 300 for at least three consecutive days. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/02/26/beijing-pollution-how-bad-does-it-have-to-get-for-a-red-alert/?KEYWORDS=air+pollution California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.