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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 24, 2014.

Posted: 24 Mar 2014 16:20:49
ARB Newsclips for March 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.


Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes.
 A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets
nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel.
The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from
tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings
and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic
cigarette industry. Posted.

EPA: La. must tighten Nucor air pollution permit.  The federal
Environmental Protection Agency is ordering the Louisiana
Department of Environmental Quality to tighten the air pollution
permit granted to Nucor Corp.'s St. James Parish plant. NOLA.com
' The Times-Picayune reports that the EPA concludes the pig iron
and direct reduced iron manufacturing plants violate parts of the
federal Clean Air Act. Posted.

Burning question: Will bonfires be a part of the beach scene this
summer?  Gregg Kellogg remembers nights gathered around the
warmth of a beach bonfire with his family.  The 57-year-old lives
in the home where he grew up, only steps from the fire rings at
Corona del Mar State Beach.  Posted. 

Advocates weigh in as White House work on methane guidance hits
home stretch. With U.S. EPA curbs on greenhouse gases dominating
debates on Capitol Hill, federal agencies have been quietly
writing a white paper that outlines plans to limit heat-trapping
methane emissions. Officials from six agencies have been working
since summer on the interagency methane strategy that President
Obama ordered up in his Climate Action Plan last year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996628/print BY


UN: 2013 extreme events due to warming Earth. The head of the
U.N. weather agency blamed extreme weather on human-induced
climate change Monday, citing key events that wreaked havoc in
Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Pacific region last year. Michel
Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological
Organization, said his agency's annual assessment of the global
climate shows how dramatically people and lands everywhere felt
the impacts of extreme weather such as droughts, heat waves,
floods and tropical cyclones. Posted.



Clinton wants 'mass movement' on climate change. Hillary Rodham
Clinton says young people understand the significant threat of
climate change and that she hopes there will be a mass movement
that demands political change. The potential 2016 presidential
candidate says at a Clinton Global Initiative University panel
that young people are much more committed to doing something to
address climate change. Posted.


Toilet tech fair tackles global sanitation woes. Who would have
expected a toilet to one day filter water, charge a cellphone or
create charcoal to combat climate change? These are lofty
ambitions beyond what most of the world's 2.5 billion people with
no access to modern sanitation would expect. Yet, scientists and
toilet innovators around the world say these are exactly the sort
of goals needed to improve global public health amid challenges
such as poverty... Posted.


As Listener and Saleswoman, E.P.A. Chief Takes to the Road for
Climate Rules.  Gina McCarthy was deep in enemy territory. Here
on this wind-whipped prairie pocked with strip mines, Ms.
McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection
Agency, faced 20 coal miners, union workers and local politicians
deeply suspicious of the new climate change regulations she had
come to pitch. Posted.

Va. groups plan campaign to cut carbon pollution.  A coalition of
Virginia environmental groups is planning a statewide campaign
calling for a reduction in carbon pollution.  The campaign,
Virginia Acts on Climate, will run through June. It will include
community events and other activities that showcase how local
governments, businesses and residents are working to reduce
carbon pollution.  Posted. 

Endangered desert species cling to existence. Facing drought and
climate change, animals such as the Amargosa vole are struggling
to survive in the Mojave Desert. Under a canopy of gleaming
stars, Janet Foley made her way across a dab of marshlands
surrounded by harsh Mojave Desert terrain, her headlamp fixed on
a live trap the size of a loaf of bread. Posted.

Redlands-based Esri has key role in White House climate change
plan.  Geographic information system pioneer Esri will play a
pivotal role in the development of a White House Climate Data
Initiative that will push out information about climate change so
that governments, businesses and other organizations can make
decisions based on the best available evidence. Posted.


California drought: Central Valley farmland on its last legs.
Even before the drought, the southern San Joaquin Valley was in
big trouble. Decades of irrigation have leached salts and toxic
minerals from the soil that have nowhere to go, threatening crops
and wildlife. Aquifers are being drained at an alarming pace.
More than 95 percent of the area's native habitat has been
destroyed by cultivation or urban expansion…Posted.

Roseville declares mandatory water cutbacks, but measures lack
teeth. Roseville city officials are expected to call for water
cutbacks today, but the announcement comes with little teeth. The
city will ask customers to reduce water use by 20 percent, but it
will not impose a surcharge or penalty on residents who do not
meet that target. Despite a lack of strict enforcement, the city
is calling the reduction “mandatory.” Posted.

California drought puts spotlight on water theft. It’s amazingly
easy to steal water from a California stream. Even in this epic
drought, the state has no way of monitoring exactly who is
tapping into its freshwater supplies and how much they take. And
those who do get caught taking water they have no right to often
are allowed to keep taking it for years just by promising to
obtain a permit. Posted.


Why smog-bound Chinese cities may have a long wait for their next
electric bus. China's clean vehicle promotion has progressed
slowly, even in a sector that has been getting the biggest
government push. Alternative-fuel buses, including electric
buses, hybrid ones and models that run on fuel cells, have been
viewed as China's best chance to push its transportation sector
into a cleaner path. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996556/print BY


Weaning Europe From Russian Gas. European Union leaders at a
summit meeting last week made a commitment to cut their
dependence on Russian gas. The Ukraine crisis has highlighted the
issue: About 30 percent of the gas the Union consumes comes from
Russia. Not that there is any immediate risk of the Kremlin
turning off the taps. Posted.

Outlook for Coal Darkens. Coal's Comeback Year Runs into Trouble.
China Moves Forward with New Nuclear Reactors. The coal market in
the United States continues to shrink, dimming the industry's
future prospects. New data from the Energy Information
Administration shows that planned retirements for coal-fired
power plants continue to pile up. The EIA projected last November
that 60 gigawatts of coal capacity would be closed down between
2012 and 2020. Posted.

New Chevron website covers Richmond news. Chevron's Richmond
refinery occasionally makes news for the wrong reasons:
pollution, taxes, fires. Now the company has launched its own
website to cover community news through its own lens. The
Richmond Standard offers a daily stream of local news, crime and
sports stories, with an emphasis on short, entertaining features.

Valero Energy Corporation Purchases Plant to Increase Its Ethanol
Capacity to 1.3 Billion Gallons. Valero announced today that it
has expanded its ethanol production through the purchase of its
11th corn ethanol plant. The plant purchased from Aventine
Renewable Energy Holdings is located in Mount Vernon, Ind., and
has an annual production capacity of 110 million gallons. Posted.

Can Fuel Cells Survive Without Subsidies? Plug Power has seen its
share of ups and downs lately, through little fault of its own.
Recent increases in market capitalization can be most likely
attributed to increasing fourth quarter revenue and decreasing
annual adjusted net losses year over year, combined with
announcements of new contracts to provide and service GenDrive
units. Posted.


Patterson tries to derail funds for high-speed train.  Fresno
Assembly Member Jim Patterson, who like many other Valley
Republicans is no particular fan of California's high-speed train
plans, is taking a swing at derailing money for the controversial
project with a bill to be heard Monday by the Assembly's
Transportation Committee.  Posted. 


U.S. energy boom may signal a new export era. The energy industry
is pushing to lift government curbs and tap newly accessible
reserves to create an unprecedented era of exports. But skeptics
point to the risk given shifts in supply and demand. In a
Louisiana swamp several miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico,
about 3,000 construction workers are building a massive
industrial facility to liquefy natural gas, preparing for a new
era when the U.S. will begin exporting energy around the globe.

Clean Energy Investment Is Falling, but That's Good News -- for
Solar Stocks. Clean energy was one of the hottest investments on
the market last year. Once-moribund solar stocks shone brightly,
wind energy whipped stagnant share prices into a roaring gale of
gains, and even formerly abandoned biofuel hopefuls began to look
like more than just a pipe dream: Posted.

Is Now the Time for Real Alternative Energy? Technology is
changing the power industry, with advances in solar power and
wind turbines helping to push the envelope on renewable energy.
But those sources of energy are becoming more and more
mainstream. If you want to be at the cutting edge, you need to
look at companies like Covanta , Solazyme , and FutureFuel.

Stamford firm creates trading platform for renewable energy
certs. Across the country, people are putting solar panels on
rooftops. Wind farms are getting erected. Geothermal energy is
being harnessed out West. To some, the future is increasingly
green. It could be doubly so for one Wall Street newcomer. "It's
a false distinction that things that are good for the environment
are bad for business," says Kapil Mohindra, seated in his sparse
Stamford office one morning. Posted.

Is SunPower Really Worth 2.5 Times First Solar? SunPower is
trading at a trailing P/E ratio around 50 while its competitor
First Solar trades at a trailing P/E ratio around 20. Such a big
difference in valuation could signal that SunPower is heavily
overvalued or that it is a far superior company. The situation is
complex, but taking into account changing margins and fundamental
product differences SunPower really is the superior growth stock
for long-term investors. Posted.

This Week's Winners and Losers in the Battle for Offshore Wind.
Did the ocean breezes blow in favor of advocates or opponents of
offshore wind this past week? Here are some of the most recent
developments: MEA Culpa The Maryland Energy Association, or MEA,
is guilty -- guilty of revealing its support for offshore wind
projects. It announced a $700,000 initiative to help state
businesses enter and compete in the global offshore wind market.

Companies Going Green is Bad for Utilities. New technologies are
allowing utility customers to reduce their energy consumption
and, thus, save money. But every penny they save is a penny that
doesn't go to the local utility. The trend toward "green" could
limit demand growth in the utility sector for years to come.

Airport may harness the sun for power.  The sweeping curves and
glass walls of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
Airport's planned new terminal building have defined that project
since the design was released last month, but the futuristic
architecture is not the only forward-looking aspect of the
project. Airport officials say they are also embarking on an
ambitious plan: harnessing enough solar energy to fully power the

Silurian Valley solar/wind project up for public discussion in
Barstow.  Members of the public can weigh in on a proposed
200-megawatt solar and wind facility in the Mojave Desert during
two public meetings, hosted by the Bureau of Land Management, on
Thursday. The Silurian Valley solar project would be on Highway
127, about 10 miles north of Baker, and consist of multiple
arrays of photovoltaic panels, 44 miles of service roads…Posted.

New report offers consistent metric to compare energy efficiency
programs. Compared to building a new generator, it's much cheaper
for a utility company to coax customers to swap old light bulbs
for ones that use less electricity. And it might cost less to
convince people to insulate their homes than it does to build new
gas pipelines. But energy efficiency measures have a long way to
go before power providers in the United States can count them as
just another resource, like a power plant. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996587/print BY


After the Exhibition, Finding New Uses for Displays.  MAKING what
is old new again with fresh displays has long been the province
of museums. But what happens to all the stuff left over when
shows end? Many museums are going beyond traditional recycling
efforts and giving second lives to exhibit materials. Posted.


Vernon's Exide battery plant: An environmental wake-up call. High
levels of lead found in the soil near the battery recycling
facility show that state regulators have failed to protect public
health. There's no clearer sign that state environmental
regulators have failed to protect public health than the warning
issued this month to parents living in the shadow of the Exide
battery recycling plant in Vernon: Don't let children play in the
dirt in your backyard. Posted.

Editorial: Drivers ought to control data collected by cars. Your
new car knows how long you've been driving, where you're going,
and how fast you're going to get there. Your automaker knows all
of this, too. Do you? This is not a rhetorical question. More and
more new cars are equipped with technology called telematics that
collects an astounding amount of data on drivers and their
families. Posted.

EDITORIAL: Flint Hills air quality fines show resolve. If you
think that U.S. companies can't afford to spend what is needed to
operate in an environmentally responsible manner, the Flint Hills
refinery in Port Arthur has 44 million reasons why you are wrong.
That is the staggering amount of money that plant officials
agreed to spend on upgrades to reduce air pollution. Oh, and the
company also will pay a $350,000 penalty for violating the Clean
Air Act. Posted.

Viewpoints: Fracking boom could increase California’s earthquake
risk. It destroyed more than a dozen homes, injured people and
damaged a key highway. But the earthquake that struck near
Prague, Okla., in 2011 didn’t just harm one community. This
magnitude 5.7 quake shook up people’s peace of mind across the
whole state, which was not known for seismic activity. That has
changed: Oklahoma is now earthquake country, thanks to the oil
and gas industry. Posted.

Dan Morain: Lining up for the cap and trade gusher.  Count ’em,
45 smart lobbyists and consultants sashayed to the microphone in
a Capitol committee room last week, each of them seeking millions
of dollars for very important programs that would cut greenhouse
gas emissions.  Posted. 

Viewpoints: A better direction for California’s climate change
policy.  California’s historic climate change legislation is at a
crossroads. Signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in
2006, AB 32 has been coming online in stages, with the law’s
centerpiece cap-and-trade program launching in late 2012. 

Diana Gomez: More freeways not the answer for Valley
transportation needs.  It is a fact that California is growing.
In the last 18 months or so alone, we welcomed over 350,000 new
residents to the state. These new residents, along with all the
people who live here, will have transportation needs that far
exceed the capacity of our infrastructure.  Posted. 

Time to clear the air and end Oceano dune disagreements. 
Off-road vehicle recreation is a mainstay of the South County
economy, and it would be political suicide for elected officials
to arbitrarily and abruptly move to shut it down.  Posted. 

Cold response to global warming. The latest Environment Ministry
report on estimated damage from global warming reminds us of the
urgency of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions — efforts that
do not appear to be high on the Abe administration’s policy
agenda. Last year, Japan came under severe international
criticism for its new greenhouse gas emissions target…Posted.


EarthTalk: Cap-and-trade may be future of emissions regulation. 
If “cap-and-trade” has worked so well in Europe for reducing
greenhouse gas emissions there, why haven’t we tried something
similar here in the U.S.?  Posted. 

Transportation Priorities Jostle for CA’s Cap-and-Trade Revenue. 
A series of hearings in Sacramento have been revisiting
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, Assembly Bill (A.B.)
32, which calls for a statewide reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions (GHGs) to 1990 levels by 2020.  Posted. 

California Climate Law on Track, State Officials Say. With the
energy sector and methane squarely in the sights of state
regulators, California is on track to meet its greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions reduction targets by 2020, and it is revising
plans to set more challenging reduction targets for 2030, state
officials said earlier this month. The goal is to reduce
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Posted.

IPCC draft: brake on food supply and economy. Global warming will
disrupt food supplies, slow world economic growth and may already
be causing irreversible damage to nature, according to a UN
report due this week that will put pressure on governments to
act. A 29-page draft by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change will also outline many ways to adapt to rising
temperatures, more heatwaves, floods and rising seas. Posted.

Making the best of methane: The latest look at methane abatement
in coal mining. In a climate of political turmoil, when we don’t
know which way the climate tax is going to go, one thing is for
sure: Investing in cleaner mining techniques is a safe way to go,
no matter the political outcome. The good news is the mining
industry in the Hunter Valley will soon be leading the way for
cleaner emissions thanks to a history-making grant, the biggest
ever seen by the University of Newcastle…Posted.

Global warming to hit Asia hardest, warns new report on climate
change. Flooding, famine and rising sea levels will put hundreds
of millions at risk in one of the world's most vulnerable
regions. People in coastal regions of Asia, particularly those
living in cities, could face some of the worst effects of global
warming, climate experts will warn this week. Hundreds of
millions of people are likely to lose their homes as flooding...

Derby, Shelton, West Haven to be honored for energy efficiency.
Derby, Shelton and West Haven will be among 23 state
municipalities honored today for their participation in statewide
clean energy programs. These city’s mayors will be joined by
their state senators and state representatives in receiving
grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for their work at a 10 a.m.
ceremony in the state capitol. The grants can be used in
community-based energy-saving projects. Posted.

BYD electric bus goes over 200 miles on one charge in Denmark.
BYD continues to have good news to share about its electric
buses. From huge orders (1,200 units!) in China to 30-hour run
times in New York City, things seem to be working well for the
maker of the EV people mover. The latest batch of good news comes
from Copenhagen, Denmark, where BYD says an ebus has managed to
drive over 200 miles on a single charge. Posted.

Jay Leno plugs himself into Porsche's 918 Spyder.  As one of the
greatest sports car manufacturers of all time, when Porsche puts
out a new, ultra-exclusive hypercar, enthusiasts tend to stand up
and take note. Jay Leno is no exception, and now, the funnyman is
finally getting his time with awesome 918 Spyder. With his 1963
Porsche 356 and his 2005 Carrera GT flanking a Liquid Silver 918,
Leno takes us through the basics of this plug-in hybrid roadster
alongside Daniel Eastman of Porsche North America. Posted.

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.

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