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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 21, 2014 Posted: 21 Mar 2014 14:14:01
ARB Newsclips for March 21, 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 Australia's Senate rejects carbon tax repeal bill. The Australian government's efforts to scrap the country's carbon tax were defeated in a Senate vote on Thursday, though the bill is likely to return after July when more Liberal senators take their seats. Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to repeal the tax, which forces companies to pay to emit carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for causing climate change. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/20/australia-carbon-idUSL3N0MH2SG20140320 AIR POLLUTION Angry residents confront state officials over Exide plant. Neighbors of the Vernon battery recycler urge the state to shut it down after the discovery of high lead levels in nearby homes. Furious residents confronted state officials at a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss the high levels of lead found in the backyards of homes near a Vernon battery recycling plant. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-exide-meeting-20140320,0,3823920.story#ixzz2wcKtNoTE Air quality district OKs Exide's plan — with misgivings. New plan aims to curb health risks from Vernon plant with a history of lead and arsenic emissions, but key official expresses doubts about company's commitment to the goal. One year after the South Coast Air Quality Management District found that arsenic emissions from a Vernon battery plant posed a cancer risk to more than 100,000 people, the agency has approved Exide Technologies Inc.'s plan to reduce health risks. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-exide-20140321,0,6899279.story#ixzz2wcdusYWc Richmond report concludes Chevron refinery project won't increase pollution, output. As Chevron looks to restart a long-delayed refinery overhaul, a draft environmental report released this week concludes that the $1 billion project would allow the company to process dirtier oil without increasing air pollution. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/west-county-times/ci_25387387/richmond-report-concludes-chevron-refinery-project-wont-increase Toxic plan for Vernon battery plant approved. Southern California regulators have approved a final plan to reduce toxic pollution at a battery recycling plant that neighbors have blamed for health problems. The South Coast Air Quality Management District says it approved the plan for Exide Technologies on Wednesday. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Toxic-plan-for-Vernon-battery-plant-approved-5335570.php Air Pollution May Cause Genetic Harm in Kids, China Study Finds. Air pollution led to genetic changes that may have sapped learning skills in children whose mothers were exposed to a Chinese coal-fired power plant before it was shuttered a decade ago, researchers found. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Air-Pollution-May-Cause-Genetic-Harm-in-Kids-5333249.php CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change fuelled storms, rising seas cost China $2.6 bln in 2013. Climate change fuelled storm waves and rising sea levels cost China 16.3 billion yuan ($2.6 bln) and killed 121 people in 2013, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said. China is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases which scientists say is driving climate change. Southern Guangdong province was hit hardest, recording 7.4 billion yuan worth of damage…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/20/china-environment-idUSL3N0MH0VZ20140320 Thirsty California pins hopes on El Niño's return. The arrival of spring Thursday ushered out the third-driest winter in Northern California history, leaving behind parched hills, shallow reservoirs and a higher-than-usual threat of fire. But even as hope dims for a March miracle storm, climatologists say weather conditions could change this year if an El Niño takes shape. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño watch this month…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Thirsty-California-pins-hopes-on-El-Ni-o-s-return-5336354.php UH Hilo wins $5M grant to study climate change. The University of Hawaii at Hilo has received a second $5 million grant to study how plants, animals and microbes respond to climate change. The school's Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Program received the original $5 million National Science Foundation grant in 2009. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/UH-Hilo-wins-5M-grant-to-study-climate-change-5337482.php What chickadees can tell us about climate change. About 15 years ago, Villanova University biology professor Robert Curry was looking for a project that would allow his students to investigate something interesting without much travel. He found it in a cheeky little bird with a black cap, familiar to anyone with a backyard feeder: the chickadee. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/21/6256016/what-chickadees-can-tell-us-about.html#storylink=cpy EPA budget proposal signals major changes ahead for state regulators. President Obama has packed cash for state air regulators in his U.S. EPA budget proposal, pointing to a leading role for states in shaping rules for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The fiscal 2015 proposal would provide $24.3 million to help states prepare for the climate rule -- offering $19.8 million in Clean Air Act grants for writing implementation plans and $4.5 million for greenhouse gas permitting…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996457/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Exxon Mobil agrees to report its climate change risks. Apparently giving in to shareholder pressure, massive U.S. energy company Exxon Mobil Corp. has agreed to publish a report for the first time about the risks to the company's assets from climate change. Two environmentally minded shareholders, Arjuna Capital and As You Sow…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996495/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2014/03/21/stories/1059996502 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY U.N. report draft sees many impacts from warming. The United Nations is warning in a new report that climate change may displace hundreds of millions of people by 2100, which could heighten the risk of armed conflict and cost the world economy trillions of dollars. The second of three reports by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is seen as the most in-depth investigation of climate impacts the world has seen. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996497/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY E.U. leaders begin climate and energy talks aimed at deeper emission cuts. The two-day spring E.U. summit meeting in Brussels moved today to consider a proposed 2030 framework for climate and energy objectives, which the European Commission presented in January. Much of the result, expected later today, will depend on whether the situation in Ukraine reconciles recent arguments among member states, encouraging greater cooperation…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996504/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT California drought dilemma: Drain Anderson Reservoir to make dam safe in earthquakes? As California's historic drought worsens by the day, Silicon Valley's main water provider faces a difficult choice: Risk catastrophic flooding if a major earthquake strikes its largest dam -- or drain billions of gallons of water from the reservoir behind it to make repairs. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25385558/california-drought-dilemma-drain-anderson-reservoir-make-dam?source=email California drought: Ray of hope in fish-vs.-farms dispute. Tens of thousands of squiggling salmon fattening up on bugs and other nutrients on flooded cropland in the Sacramento Valley could soon provide a solution to the long-running dispute over who should get the bulk of California's diminishing supply of water: farms or fish. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-drought-Ray-of-hope-in-fish-vs-farms-5336353.php?cmpid=twitter-mobile&utm_content=buffer6f048&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer House Republicans harangue federal, Calif. officials on response to crisis. House Republicans hammered California and federal water managers yesterday on their response to the Golden State's continuing drought, charging that they haven't done enough to ensure water supplies for farmers. At a field hearing in Fresno, Calif., House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Republican members of California's House delegation called for legislative intervention in the state's water situation…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996451/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS The Democratic Civil War Over Energy. Green demands to stop drilling for natural gas come at an awkward time for Obama and his party. The environmental left is seeing Democrats the Keystone XL pipeline, and raising them natural-gas exports. The question of who folds on this issue will play big in this midterm election year. A split is growing in the Democratic Party, one that ought to rival the divisions on the right that the headlines trumpet. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303802104579451693067746208#printMode In Shift, Exxon Mobil to Report on Risks to Its Fossil Fuel Assets. Energy companies have been under increasing pressure from shareholder activists in recent years to warn investors of the risks that stricter limits on carbon emissions would place on their business. On Thursday, a shareholder group said that it had won its biggest prize yet, when Exxon Mobil became the first oil and gas producer to agree to publish that information by the end of the month. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/business/in-a-shift-exxon-agrees-to-report-on-carbon-asset-risk.html?action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26contentCollection%3DEnergy%2520%2526%2520Environment%2520%26region%3DTopBar%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26pgtype%3Darticle%23%2Fclimate%2Bchange%2Fsince1851%2Fallresults%2F1%2Fallauthors%2Fnewest%2F Carson imposes moratorium on oil drilling over fear of fracking. The decision makes Carson the first city in California to ban all oil drilling, even temporarily, officials say. The oil-rich city of Carson has imposed an emergency moratorium on all new drilling, halting efforts by a petroleum company to bore more than 200 wells near homes and a state university. The drilling ban, which runs for 45 days but could be extended up to two years…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0320-carson-drilling-20140320,0,554095.story#ixzz2wcAh5Oz4 Ethanol Groups Seek Supreme Court Review Of California's Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. Ethanol industry groups have asked the Supreme Court to determine whether California's low-carbon fuel standard violates the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution (Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, U.S., docket number unavailable, 3/20/14). Posted. http://www.bna.com/ethanol-groups-seek-n17179888987/ http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996501/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BLM royalty reforms will follow fracking, methane regs – official. The Bureau of Land Management's reform of nearly century-old oil and gas royalty rates will likely have to wait until the agency finalizes rules on hydraulic fracturing and methane emissions, a top official said here yesterday. Linda Lance, BLM's deputy director, said that the royalty overhaul is still in BLM's regulatory queue but that agency personnel are working at capacity to finish the fracking rule…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996449/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY World ethylene market casts U.S. as leader, but interests depend on producer's role. A worldwide shift from oil to natural gas as a feedstock for plastics production will reshape the global market, pushing low-cost producers in the United States and the Middle East to the front of the industry while forcing longtime leaders in Europe and East Asia to shut down or retool production for niche markets, according to a new report. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059996503/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Five ways Tesla Motors pushes technology change in auto industry. Although Tesla Motors sold fewer than 23,000 cars last year, an almost immeasurable amount of the 15.6 million vehicles Americans purchased last year, the electric car company is pushing technological change throughout the auto industry, according to Barclays Capital. In a report to investors, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson identified five ways Tesla’s Model S luxury sports sedan is transforming…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-how-tesla-pushes-auto-technology-20140321,0,3106502,print.story AAA finds electric vehicles lose range at colder temperatures. AAA, one of the largest membership organizations in the United States, released findings from an electric vehicle drive test yesterday that found the cars lose, on average, 57 percent of their range depending on the temperature. At 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the average electric vehicle (EV) battery range in AAA's test was 105 miles. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996498/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Wind Industry’s New Technologies Are Helping It Compete on Price. Tens of thousands of squiggling salmon fattening up on bugs and other nutrients on flooded cropland in the Sacramento Valley could soon provide a solution to the long-running dispute over who should get the bulk of California's diminishing supply of water: farms or fish. There appears to be a way to satisfy both. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/business/energy-environment/wind-industrys-new-technologies-are-helping-it-compete-on-price.html?_r=0 Wind and solar power can sustain themselves and support the addition of storage – study. To be cost-effective, any source of power has to produce more energy than it consumes. Oil companies would hardly turn a profit, for example, if extracting a barrel of oil required the energy output of a second barrel of oil. The same holds true of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996493/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS What makes this a drought? Q: Why are we considered to be in a drought, at least in the Sierra foothills, when our rainfall totals are at nearly 50 percent of “normal” for the precipitation year? – Phil Zink, Colfax, CA A: The state Department of Water Resources doesn’t list a series of thresholds that, once crossed, mean we are in a drought. Instead, state officials consider drought a gradual phenomenon that affects different people in different locations in different ways. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/water-questions/#storylink=cpy Rising energy demand a threat to strained water supplies – UN. Rising demand for energy, from biofuels to shale gas, is a threat to freshwater supplies that are already under strain from climate change, the United Nations said in a report on Friday. It urged energy companies to do more to limit use of water in everything from cooling coal-fired power plants to irrigation for crops grown to produce biofuels. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/21/environment-water-idUSL6N0MH4HC20140321 BLOGS How Concerned Are You About Climate Change? This week the world’s largest general scientific society released a stark report on global warming that shows how dire, and how urgent, the problem is. How worried are you about climate change? What have you learned about it in school? What do you think should be done to address it? Posted. http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/how-concerned-are-you-about-climate-change-2/?partner=rss&emc=rss Study finds lubricating oil the dominant source of primary organic aerosol from both diesel and gasoline vehicles. Findings from a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Berkeley National Laboratory suggest that lubricating oil is the dominant source of primary organic aerosol (POA) from both gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. Unburned diesel fuel makes an additional smaller contribution, with an additional smaller contribution from unburned gasoline. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/03/20140320-poa.html Why cabs and car-sharing are good for the environment. The urbanist fixation with new car services such as Uber and Lyft can seem paradoxical. Why is it good for the environment and for cities to increase the number of cars for hire on our roads? The same could be asked about regular old taxis, and car-sharing services like Zipcar. Aren’t cars bad for the environment? For the rare person who already lives car-free in a city such as San Francisco, a cab ride or car rental might actually increase their carbon footprint. Posted. http://grist.org/article/why-cabs-and-car-sharing-are-good-for-the-environment/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.