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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 3, 2014. Posted: 03 Mar 2014 12:31:43
ARB Newsclips for March 3, 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 China May Build Biggest Smog Lab to Control Pollution, News Says. The Chinese Academy of Sciences has proposed spending 500 million yuan ($81 million) to build the world’s biggest smog-research facility in Beijing to address air pollution, the Beijing News said. The center will allow researchers to simulate smoggy conditions and study what causes pollution to stay over the city, the Beijing News reported yesterday, citing He Hong, the researcher in charge of the project. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-03-03/china-may-build-biggest-smog-lab-to-control-pollution-news-says.html E.P.A. Set to Reveal Tough New Sulfur Emissions Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to unveil a major new regulation on Monday that forces oil refiners to strip out sulfur, a smog-forming pollutant linked to respiratory disease, from American gasoline blends, according to people familiar with the agency’s plans. When burned in gasoline, sulfur blocks pollution-control equipment in vehicle engines, which increases tailpipe emissions linked to lung disease, asthma, emphysema…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/us/epa-set-to-reveal-tough-new-sulfur-emissions-rule.html?_r=0 http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/03/03/feds-tighten-fuel-and-car-emissions-standards?s_cid=rss:feds-tighten-fuel-and-car-emissions-standards http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/03/epa-will-reportedly-announce-new-sulfur-emissions-rule/ http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059995437/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Looking ahead after sooty season for Valley air. A nasty, smoky fireplace season ended last week with double the number of wood-burning prohibitions compared to the previous winter. The nearly 400 bans in the San Joaquin Valley's eight counties might be the face of future winters. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/03/03/3801161/looking-ahead-after-a-sooty-valley.html Dry winter brought about more wood-burning curtailments for county residents. The number of burn prohibitions in Stanislaus County almost doubled this past season as the abnormally dry winter kept air pollution levels high. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District reported a dramatic increase in wood-burning curtailments this season as part of the annual Check Before You Burn program, which closed its eleventh year Friday. Posted. http://www.turlockjournal.com/section/12/article/24468/ DROUGHT California farmers hire dowsers to find water. With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/california-farmers-hire-dowsers-to-find-water/2014/03/02/950347f4-a262-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html Use less water than your neighbors? You get a smiley face. Drought or no drought, utilities across California are campaigning to get homeowners to reduce outdoor water use, which often constitutes at least half of a household’s water consumption. One of the largest urban retail water agencies in the state is pursuing a new strategy in that effort: “Behavioral water efficiency.” Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-behavioral-water-efficiency-20140303,0,2306355.story El Niño may return late this year, experts say. Scientists say their observations and computer models show signs of El Niño's return, which could mean more rain for California. Or not. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-adv-el-nino-20140303,0,5817547.story Farms threatened, basic water principles violated. Drought-stressed farmers on the west side of California’s Central Valley have received a lot of congressional and presidential attention lately. Because we farm and ranch on the west side of the Valley, this attention means a lot to us, but not in the way one might think. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/02/6195613/farms-threatened-basic-water-principles.html Drought threatens wildlife, ecosystems. California’s persistent drought threatens to take a heavy toll on the environment as well as the economy. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/mar/02/drought-threatens-wildlife-ecosystems/ Precious water starts heading down canals. Today, irrigation canals will start flowing toward Oakdale, Escalon and Ripon. In the weeks to come, the Modesto, Turlock and Merced areas will follow. In most years, the canals are strong with water that gets the crops through the heat of summer, much like blood carrying oxygen to a marathon runner’s muscles. This year, in many parts of the Northern San Joaquin Valley, they will struggle to the finish line. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/03/02/3525591/precious-water-starts-heading.html California’s wet February encourages farmers. February brought much-needed rain to California's farms and ranches, and March may bring more. But officials caution the water content in snowpack is still far below what will be needed this summer. Posted. http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20140228/ARTICLE/140229883 Drought-stricken state gets drenched, but not enough to ease historic shortfall. California got some much-needed precipitation over the weekend, but not nearly enough to ameliorate the state's persistent drought, weather and water experts said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2014/03/03/stories/1059995406 BY SUBSCRIPITON ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Will EPA Maritime Fuel Regulation Increase Onshore Air Pollution? The Maritime Industrial Transportation Alliance believes that a new maritime fuel regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to crowd roads and increase onshore air pollution. The rule requires the use of ultra-low sulfur fuels in ships operating within the 200 nautical mile (nm) boundary of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA). Posted. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/Will-EPA-Maritime-Fuel-Regulation-Increase-Onshore-Air-Pollution-2014-03-03/ FUELS Budget priorities will adjust to technology -- DOE official. Expect the Department of Energy's budget priorities for coal and fossil energy research to change based on new technologies, said DOE clean coal chief Julio Friedmann last week in advance of tomorrow's fiscal White House 2015 budget release. Friedmann, who did not go into specifics, said Obama administration budget proposals for the coming years would reflect a focus on changing priorities…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059995435/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Los Angeles moves toward ban on fracking, other oil and gas drilling. The Los Angeles City Council today took a major step toward blocking hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation activities within the city. The council voted 10-0 to direct staff to develop an ordinance that would "prohibit activity associated with well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing in the City of Los Angeles until safety and reliability of Los Angeles water supplies are assured." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/stories/1059995363/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Ferrari returns to turbo as supercar makers face up to emissions rules. Italy's Ferrari has mounted a turbocharged engine on its latest supercar for the first time in more than two decades, as even luxury automakers are forced to seek ways to cut emissions without sacrificing performance. The California T, which will debut at the Geneva auto show this week, will be equipped with an eight-cylinder engine that Ferrari says will consume 15 percent less fuel than its naturally-aspirated predecessor, reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 250 grams per kilometer (g/km) from 299. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/us-autoshow-geneva-ferrari-californiat-idUSBREA220K220140303 GREEN ENERGY Nanotechnology could help solar, wind compete with fossil fuels. Renewable energy could have a small future -- even smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper. Recent advancements in nanotechnology could hold the key to making the renewable energy sector commercially competitive with fossil fuels by doubling the efficiency of solar and wind power and making batteries powerful enough to store electricity around the clock, scientists say. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059995431/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Water conservation's other benefit: It's a power saver. The energy needed to move agricultural water exceeds the electricity used by everyone in San Diego. California's drought has everyone talking about ways to save water. Gov. Jerry Brown has implored residents to reduce their consumption by 20%. One writer suggested Angelenos share showers. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-wolfram-conserving-water-energy-20140303,0,343758.story#ixzz2uvcpdTXR Valley Voice: Our air quality is not improving. The Desert Sun Feb. 9 Opinion page amounted to a full-page whitewash of South Coast Air Quality Management District’s handling of the CPV Sentinel gas peaker plant. Even the title “Despite L.A. smog, our air quality’s improving” is misleading. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20140227/OPINION04/302270010/Valley-Voice-Our-air-quality-is-not-improving Would Keystone pipeline unload "carbon bomb" or job boom? Environmental opponents don't mince words on the Keystone XL pipeline. Some call it the "fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet" because of the carbon emissions from the oil it will carry. If the pipeline is approved and the fuse lit, climate scientist James Hansen says it's: "Game over for climate." Hyperbole? Backers say the Canada-to-U.S. pipeline could lower U.S. dependence on unstable foreign sources of oil and create thousands of jobs. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/01/keystonexls-myths-debunked/5651099/ BLOGS Brown signs drought relief package. With drought conditions still challenging California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a $687 million relief package Saturday, including money for infrastructure improvements, emergency water shortages and aid to farmworkers. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/03/jerry-brown-signs-drought-relief-package-in-dry-california.html VIDEO: Jerry Brown expanding plan for high-speed rail. Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday defended his plan to use carbon-reduction funds for years ahead to prop up California's high-speed rail project, saying uncertainty about the project's long-term financing is "one of the greatest questions of the critics" and that fees paid by carbon producers are an appropriate source of funds. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/02/video-jerry-brown-defends-long-term-plan-to-use-carbon-fees-for-high-speed.html Are Carbon Credits an Excuse for Companies to Pollute? This natural gas plant produces carbon dioxide and releases it into the atmosphere. Carbon credits are an attempt to offset the emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, by inducing companies or individuals who produce emissions to give money to projects that act as carbon sinks, which reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Posted. http://science.opposingviews.com/carbon-credits-excuse-companies-pollute-23378.html Obama admin drives ahead with new cleaner gas rule. The Obama administration is driving ahead with a dramatic reduction in sulfur in gasoline and tailpipe emissions, declaring that cleaner air will save thousands of lives per year at little cost to consumers. Public health groups and automakers cheered the new rules, finalized Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency, with some insisting they could prove to be President Barack Obama's signature environmental accomplishment in his second term. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20140303/us--epa-cleaner-gasoline/ Most big countries have climate laws. It’s easy to get depressed about the lack of global progress in fighting climate change. But most large nations are at least taking some action. Posted. http://grist.org/news/most-countries-have-climate-change-laws/ Survey: More workplace options for charging electric cars. Driver satisfaction with public facilities to charge electric cars is improving according to a recent survey from California's Center for Sustainable Energy. Within two or three months, there will be more than 200,000 plug-in electric cars on U.S. roads--and we're learning more about who buys them, and why. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2014/0228/Survey-More-workplace-options-for-charging-electric-cars California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.