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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 27, 2014. Posted: 27 Mar 2014 14:05:42
ARB Newsclips for March 27, 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 Enforcement seen key to success of China's new environmental markets. China's plan for a market in air pollution permits promises to help clean up its air cheaply, but the move could prove just as useless as previous environmental policies unless the government stamps out lax enforcement and spotty data. Smog regularly blankets the country's major urban centers and kills half a million people each year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-china-environment-idUSBREA2Q0B220140327 China to move some facilities out of polluted capital to ease congestion. China plans to move some administrative, research and healthcare facilities out of its capital to a nearby city to ease the burden on Beijing, which is often wreathed in heavy smog and choked with traffic jams, state media reported on Thursday. The environment has emerged as one of Beijing's key priorities amid growing public disquiet about urban smog…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-china-beijing-idUSBREA2Q0L420140327 Beijing Tells Residents to Stay Inside to Avoid Smog. Beijing warned its 20 million residents to avoid going outside for a fourth day because of unhealthy smog. The concentration of PM2.5 -- the small particles that pose the greatest risk to human health -- was 90 micrograms per cubic meter in the capital as of 3 p.m., according to a U.S. Embassy monitor. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-27/beijing-tells-residents-to-stay-inside-to-avoid-smog.html Air board, State Parks agree to settle lawsuit over dust rule. The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District and California State Parks have reached a tentative agreement to settle lawsuits over an air district rule intended to reduce dust blowing onto the Nipomo Mesa from Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. At its meeting Wednesday, the air district board voted unanimously to accept the settlement agreement, called a consent decree. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/03/26/2991498/slo-county-air-board-state-parks.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy ‘Environmental Poisoning’ of Iraq Is Claimed. An advocacy group representing American military veterans and Iraqi civilians arrived here on Wednesday armed with a message for the United States government: Washington must do something for the thousands of people suffering from what the group called the “environmental poisoning” of Iraq during the war. The group, Right to Heal, says that veterans and civilians continue to feel the effects of the burn pits…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/world/middleeast/environmental-poisoning-of-iraq-is-claimed.html?ref=earth Wood burning in Valley to be discussed at air district meeting. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will hold a public meeting this evening to present and receive comments on strategies to further reduce emissions from wood burning in the Valley.The workshop will take place at 5:30 p.m today in the Valley air district office in Fresno and will be video-teleconferenced at the Bakersfield and Modesto district offices. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/03/26/3261072/wood-burning-to-be-discussed-at.html#storylink=cpy Oilseed in Livestock Feed Can Cut Emissions Up to 13%, Study Finds. Using oilseed plant in livestock feed can cut methane and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 13 percent, according to preliminary findings of a study. The environmental monitoring study, carried out by the Life-Seed Capital project and co-founded by the European Commission’s Life+programme, found that introducing rapeseed cake cuts methane emissions between 6 percent and 13…Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/03/27/oilseed-in-livestock-feed-can-cut-emissions-up-to-13-study-finds/ Vehicle and engine importer fined $630K for Clean Air Act violations. California vehicle and engine importing company American Lifan Industry Inc. has agreed to pay $630,000 in civil penalties after U.S. EPA said it imported and sold thousands of vehicles and engines made in China that did not meet clean air standards. The company sells motorcycles, recreational vehicles and engines…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996850/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE CORRECTED-Britain's greenhouse gas emissions down 1.9 pct in 2013: govt. Britain's greenhouse gas emissions fell 1.9 percent in 2013 due to a decline in fossil-fuel power generation, preliminary government data showed on Thursday. Output of the heat-trapping gases in Europe's second-largest emitter dipped to 569.9 million tonnes compared to 581.1 million tonnes in 2012, data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/britain-carbon-idUSL5N0MO2G120140327 Climate changes put the freeze on elephant seal births. More ice means fewer elephant seal pups, according to Australian scientists studying breeding colonies on Macquarie Island near Antarctica and atmospheric changes in the region that have affected the feeding grounds. "When there's more sea ice the population is likely to go down and in years when there's less sea ice the population is likely to go up,"…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-antarctic-seals-idUSBREA2Q0CQ20140327 Extracting carbon from nature can aid climate but will be costly: U.N. A little-known technology that may be able to take the equivalent of China's greenhouse gas emissions out of the carbon cycle could be the radical policy shift needed to slow climate change this century, a draft U.N. report shows. Using the technology, power plants would burn biomass - wood, wood pellets, or plant waste like from sugar cane - to generate electricity while the carbon dioxide in the biomass is extracted…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/26/us-climatechange-ccs-idUSBREA2P1LK20140326 Carbon Falls to 2-Month Low as U.K. Emissions Drop Cools Demand. Carbon fell to a two-month low as a bigger-than-expected drop in greenhouse-gas emissions from U.K. power stations signaled demand for pollution permits may decline across Europe. European Union carbon permits fell as much as 11 percent to their lowest since Jan. 25, according to the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. Trading volume for the December 2014 benchmark contract more than tripled to a record. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-27/carbon-falls-to-2-month-low-as-u-k-emissions-drop-cools-demand.html The Emerging Investor Language of “Carbon Asset Risk” Last Thursday, ExxonMobil agreed to publish its plans to assess the risks climate change pose to its business model, making it the first oil and gas producer to do so. In exchange, a group of shareholders led by Arjuna Capital, a sustainable wealth management fund, and the advocacy organization As You Sow agreed to withdraw a shareholder proposal on the issue. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/The-Emerging-Investor-Language-of-Carbon-Asset-5350514.php RFS Proposal Would Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Cuts in biofuels this year would increase emissions of greenhouse gases next year, according to a new white paper from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). The Obama administration’s proposal to reduce the 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) could reverse progress on reducing climate-changing emissions from the US transportation sector, according to the BIO. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/03/27/rfs-proposal-would-increase-greenhouse-gas-emissions/ Bioenergy from Forest Litter Could ‘Negate’ Emissions Savings. Bioenergy production from forest harvest residues can reduce the carbon stock of forests and as such the process may negate greenhouse gas savings obtained by using bioenergy, according to research published in the journal GCB Bioenergy. As harvesting from forest residues increases it decreases the amount of forest litter – the detritus shed from plants…Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/03/27/bioenergy-from-forest-litter-could-negate-emissions-savings/ Climate change acidifying tropical Pacific Ocean more than expected – study. The amount of carbon dioxide in the tropical Pacific Ocean has increased surprisingly quickly over the past 14 years, according to new research from scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington. The reason for the rapid increase in carbon dioxide concentrations is a combination of natural variability and human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996806/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Faced with drought and climate change, desert animals cling to existence. 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. She peered inside, smiled and said, "Hi there, cutie." The creature staring back at her was a federally endangered Amargosa vole, one of the rarest mammals in North America. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/26/6269207/faced-with-drought-and-climate.html#storylink=cpy Drought battle focuses on homeowner rules, meters. With California in the grips of a prolonged dry spell, state lawmakers are looking to grant members of homeowner associations the freedom to plant drought-resistant landscaping without the fear of fines. Moreover, the Legislature is moving closer toward forcing developers to install meters in individual units when building a new apartment complex or other multifamily housing projects… Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/mar/26/drought-battle-focuses-on-homeowner-rules-meters/ California drought spurs surge of neo-49ers as low Sierra water levels bring gold hopes. There's gold in them dry hills! Or gold seekers anyway. And they see a historic opportunity in California's historic drought. Low water levels have led to a mini gold rush in the same Sierra Nevada foothills that drew legions of fortune seekers from around the world in the mid-1800s, as amateur prospectors dig for riverbed riches in spots that have been out of reach for decades. Posted. http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2014/03/27/california-drought-spurs-mini-gold-rush-in-sierra Growers of thirsty pot are under fire in drought-struck California. In drought-hit California, marijuana growers are feeling the heat, accused of using too much water for their thirsty plants and of polluting streams and rivers with their pesticides and fertilizers. State officials say a pot plant sucks up an average of 6 gallons of water per day, worsening a shortage caused by one of the biggest droughts on record. Posted. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/26/222487/growers-of-thirsty-pot-are-under.html#storylink=cpy DIESEL EMISSIONS Proposed changes to diesel standards would give truckers more time. State air officials would give truckers more flexibility and time to comply with new rules under proposed changes to controversial diesel emission standards. The proposed amendments, announced this month, come after a series of meetings the California Air Resources Board had with stakeholders across the state late last year, including one in Redding in December. Posted. http://insurancenewsnet.com/print.aspx?id=480338 Kenworth and Peterbilt introduce more fuel-efficient Class 8 trucks. At the Mid-America Trucking show, PACCAR companies Kenworth and Peterbilt introduced more fuel efficient version of their heavy-duty models: the Kenworth T680 Advantage and the Peterbilt Model 579 with EPIQ package. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/03/20140327-paccar.html FUELS Special Report: A Canadian family's 'Plan B' to pump tar sands oil. Keystone XL, a pipeline proposal to pump Canadian oil sands through the heart of America, has alarmed environmentalists and become one of the most contentious issues of the Obama presidency. But there is a "Plan B" to cut the United States out of the picture, and it is championed by one of Canada's wealthiest business dynasties. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-pipeline-irvings-special-report-idUSBREA2Q10A20140327 Greens debate impacts of LNG exports on global warming. Environmentalists wary of plans to open the gates for U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) might be missing an opportunity to advance their primary goal, fighting global warming. So say some advocates for climate change action who see the wider distribution of natural gas leading to reduced emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases as coal-burning power plants are switched to gas. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996847/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Earthquake risks pushed as reason for frack moratorium. Environmentalists behind a recent report on shale drilling and seismic risks in earthquake-prone California are working to jolt the political debate over whether to block unconventional oil extraction. Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks and Clean Water Action advocates are underscoring their analysis, titled "On Shaky Ground," as they push for a hydraulic fracturing moratorium. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059996825/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY HIGH-SPEED RAIL AM Alert: High-speed rail's 'potential for success' evaluated. California's drought has pushed high-speed rail out of the headlines in recent months, but the controversial project isn't forgotten. Republican legislators continue to introduce bills to defund the project and, in February, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom pulled his support, suggesting the state should instead reallocate voter-approved rail bonds. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/03/27/2992518/am-alert-high-speed-rails-potential.html GREEN ENERGY UPDATE 1-EU to probe French green tax caps for large energy users. European Union antitrust regulators are investigating whether green tax reductions granted by French authorities to energy-intensive users give the companies an unfair advantage. France, the world's most nuclear-reliant country, wants to boost the share of renewable energy to 23 percent of its energy mix by 2020 from the current 15 percent. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/eu-france-energyprobe-idUSL5N0MO2RG20140327 Ukraine spotlights German priority: energy switch. The crisis in Ukraine has added an extra dose of uncertainty to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's biggest domestic project: shifting the country from nuclear to renewable energy sources. Merkel launched the drive to transition the country away from nuclear after Japan's 2011 Fukushima disaster. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/mar/26/ukraine-spotlights-german-priority-energy-switch/ Wyo. wind could help Calif. meet goals at lower cost -- NREL study. A new federal study estimates that ratepayers in California could save as much as $1 billion a year in power generation costs to meet renewable energy goals if transmission lines are built that allow the Golden State to access wind-generated electricity from Wyoming. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/stories/1059996790/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY German scientists bundle renewable energy sources to form a 'virtual' power plant. With the relaunch of its "Energiewende" program earlier this year, the German government renewed its commitment to the near phaseout of fossil fuels -- including a transition to 80 percent renewable energy -- by 2050. Many Germans, meanwhile, remain optimistic that a complete transition to renewables could be possible by midcentury. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996824/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Solar installations top wind for first time in 2013 – report. Solar power is poised to overtake wind energy as the renewable energy source with the most financing and installation, according to a new report. Clean Edge Inc., a research advisory firm, said more solar photovoltaic generating capacity than wind power was installed worldwide for the first time last year. "This was the crossover year," said Ron Pernick, the firm's managing director. Pernick said that although wind generation still makes up a market 2 ½ times the size of the solar market, trends are favoring solar generation. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996834/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS No longer blowing smoke? E-cigarettes could surpass traditional brands, experts say. When change has come for the tobacco industry during its long history, it usually has arrived at a leisurely pace. Not this time. The crop and products made from it face something that has gutted or transformed many other industries in recent years: a disruptive technology. Electronic cigarettes are winning over smokers so quickly that some analysts predict the battery-powered newcomer…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/26/6269209/no-longer-blowing-smoke-e-cigarettes.html#storylink=cpy OPINIONS Climate change: While we fiddle, the world burns ... and floods and parches. Here’s a statistic for you. Out of 10,855 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals last year that dealt with some aspect of global warming, all but two accepted human behavior as the primary cause. Oddly, that represents a bit of backsliding. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-global-warming-neil-de-grasse-tyron-cosmos-england-zadie-smith-20140326,0,3874109.story#ixzz2xB15kR00 BLOGS Report: In Cutting Emissions, CAHSR Expensive Compared to Local Upgrades. UCLA’s Lewis Center published a report yesterday finding that California’s High-Speed Rail project is a relatively expensive way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the near-term, compared to upgrading local transit and bicycle infrastructure. Comparing CAHSR to Los Angeles Metro’s Gold Line light-rail and Orange Line bus rapid transit route and bikeway…Posted. http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/03/25/report-in-cutting-emissions-cahsr-expensive-compared-to-local-upgrades/ Here’s why B.C.’s carbon tax is super popular — and effective. Suppose that you live in Vancouver and you drive a car to work. Naturally, you have to get gas regularly. When you stop at the pump, you may see a notice like the one above, explaining that part of the price you’re paying is, in effect, due to the cost of carbon. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/heres-why-b-c-s-carbon-tax-is-super-popular-and-effective/ Honda Smart Home, NJ dealer show the power of solar. Car dealerships are not usually thought of as "green" enterprises. They sell, after all, the fossil fuel-powered vehicles that account for about 18 percent of the CO2 emissions created in the US each year. As demonstrated by Rossi Honda in Vineland, NJ though, it doesn't have to be that way. Sure, the franchise still sells cars - lots of them - but they power the entire operation with sunlight in a way that provides ancillary benefits. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/03/27/honda-smart-home-nj-dealer-show-the-power-of-solar/ WWF app paints China’s polluted sky blue. WWF China and OgilvyOne Beijing have joined hands again this year to support Earth Hour by creating a new “Blue Sky” iPhone app that allows users to turn their photos of polluted gray skies into clear blue skies with a simple finger wipe. Users can share the before and after pictures on their WeChat Moments and Sina Weibo (Chinese microblog). In addition, the app invites users to pledge against air pollution by signing their phone screens and sending their signatures…Posted. http://www.marketing-interactive.com/wwf-new-app-tries-wipe-polluted-grey-sky-china/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.