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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 28, 2014. Posted: 28 Mar 2014 12:12:13
ARB Newsclips for March 28, 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 Most Chinese Cities Fail Minimum Air Quality Standards, Study Says. Only three of the 74 Chinese cities monitored by the central government managed to meet official minimum standards for air quality last year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced this week, underscoring the country’s severe pollution problems. The dirtiest cities were in northern China, where coal-powered industries are concentrated, including electricity generation and steel manufacturing. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/asia/most-chinese-cities-fail-pollution-standard-china-says.html?action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dscience%26t%3Dqry501%23%2Fair%2Bpollution%2F24hours%2F White House eyes new regulations to cut methane from oil, gas sector. The White House said on Friday it will take a hard look at whether new regulations are needed to cut emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry, part of President Barack Obama's plan to address climate change. Regulators will start by proposing new rules later this year to reduce venting and flaring from oil and gas wells on public lands, Posted. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-climatechange-obama-20140328,0,1486700.story http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-03-28/obama-s-climate-plan-said-to-include-study-of-methane-gas-leaks Iowa company faces record $1.5M environmental fine. An Iowa company accused of major pollution violations will pay a record $1.5 million penalty and convert its coal-fired boilers to natural gas to settle a state lawsuit. Attorney General Tom Miller said Thursday the penalty for Grain Processing Corporation of Muscatine will be the largest ever in Iowa for environmental violations. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/mar/27/iowa-company-faces-record-15m-environmental-fine/#ixzz2xH1mNDU3 CLIMATE CHANGE California Climate Policies Continue To Survive Legal Challenges. Lawsuits challenging California's climate policies have yet to delay implementation of the programs, attorneys involved in the various cases said March 26. “The California Air Resources Board is batting about 1,000,’’ Tom McHenry, a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher in Los Angeles, said during a presentation on the status of legal actions the state still faces eight years after enacting the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32). Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-03-28/california-climate-policies-continue-to-survive-legal-challenges.html Borrowed Time on Disappearing Land. When a powerful storm destroyed her riverside home in 2009, Jahanara Khatun lost more than the modest roof over her head. In the aftermath, her husband died and she became so destitute that she sold her son and daughter into bonded servitude. And she may lose yet more. Ms. Khatun now lives in a bamboo shack that sits below sea level about 50 yards from a sagging berm. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/world/asia/facing-rising-seas-bangladesh-confronts-the-consequences-of-climate-change.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0 Rising Seas. The low-lying islands of Kiribati, just a few feet above sea level, are on the front lines of climate change. Globally, sea levels have risen eight to 10 inches since 1880, but several studies show that trend accelerating as Arctic sea ice melts. If carbon emissions continue unchecked, a recent survey of experts concluded, sea levels may rise about three feet by 2100. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/03/27/world/climate-rising-seas.html?action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dscience%26t%3Dqry501%23%2Fclimate%2Bchange%2F24hours%2F Heartland, rejecting climate change harm, says more CO2 is good for the planet. The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based libertarian group, is raising its rhetoric a notch by claiming that rising greenhouse gas levels will actually help the world more than harm it. The group points to increased plant and forest growth, bigger crop yields and longer growing seasons as benefits derived from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996902/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY U.S. pressure groups conflict over impacts of pending trade talks on emission reduction efforts. As the United States and European Union step up trade talks aimed at boosting economic growth and strengthening their geopolitical standing, some activist groups say the developing trade agreement threatens to undermine existing climate and clean energy laws. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996911/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT California Drought Creating Toxic Clams In San Francisco Bay. California’s ongoing drought is affecting much more than just drinking water supplies as scientists are looking into how declining rainfall may be increasing the toxicity of the San Francisco Bay. With less water flowing into the bay during the drought, there is an increase in naturally occurring toxins—materials which are then ingested by all kinds of creatures, including the overbite clams, which are non-native to the ecosystem, and then move up the food chain. Posted. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/03/27/california-drought-creating-toxic-clams-in-san-francisco-bay/ Drought pushing ag to the 'tipping point'. San Joaquin Valley agriculture needs to link up with Silicon Valley — and will do so as the food-production industry accelerates into a higher-tech era to deal with water shortages, an environmentally-friendly regulatory environment and groundwater pumping issues. Welcome to the new normal. Posted. http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/in_focus/california_drought/drought-pushing-ag-to-the-tipping-point/article_2616c2fc-b690-11e3-91eb-001a4bcf887a.html Feinstein leads bipartisan call for more deliveries to Calif. Farmers. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), Rep. Devin Nunes (R) and other members of California's delegation asked the Obama administration yesterday to make more water available for farmers struggling with the state's ongoing drought. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eedaily/stories/1059996898/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Daimler Execs Upbeat About Truck Sales, Concerned About CARB. Truck orders at Daimler Trucks North America over the past four months are up 30% over the previous year, so the company has been gradually ramping up production and expects a strong 2014. However, the involvement of the California Air Resources Board in writing the next round of federal emissions regulations has them concerned. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2014/03/daimler-trucks-upbeat-about-truck-sales-concerned-about-carb.aspx Carrier Transicold displays complete line of refrigeration solutions. Carrier Transicold is using the Mid-America Trucking Show this week to highlight its new line of ultra-high performance transport refrigeration units (TRUs), all of which are compliant with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 emissions standard. Posted. http://fleetowner.com/equipment/carrier-transicold-displays-complete-line-refrigeration-solutions FUELS Average gasoline price in California hits nearly $4 a gallon. Most in the state are paying more than the $3.99 average per gallon, including $4.06 in Los Angeles. Prices could rise during the summer. For the first time in months, most Californians are shelling out more than $4 for a gallon of regular gasoline. And with the busy summer driving season ahead, prices are likely to move even higher, fuel analysts said. It's a rite of spring as predictable as warmer weather or blooming flowers: Gasoline prices are edging up. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gasoline-prices-20140328,0,7661042,print.story Pacific carbon alliance has momentum but faces legislative hurdles. A West Coast alliance of states and British Colombia to coordinate carbon and fuels policies is moving ahead slowly, with Oregon and Washington state banking on upcoming elections to create a more hospitable climate for action. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is planning to move ahead with a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), perhaps sometime this year…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996906/print BY SUBSCRIPITON ONLY Methane guidance shows EPA mulling sweeping new petroleum regulations. The entire natural gas system could be subject to new U.S. EPA regulations under the White House interagency guidance on methane released today. The 15-page document, which was called for under the president's Climate Action Plan last year, instructs the agency to consider regulating the potent short-lived greenhouse gas at each of five stops along the natural gas supply chain. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996941/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES In Worcester, Patrick unveils electric vehicle rebate program. In hopes of furthering the state's emissions goals, Gov. Deval Patrick announced a new rebate program Thursday to encourage sales of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. The rebates, worth up to $2,500, are funded through $2 million raised in an auction for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. "Anything that makes a purchase less expensive helps," said John O'Dell, senior editor and green car guru at Edmunds.com…Posted. http://www.telegram.com/article/20140327/NEWS/303279703/1116 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Bullet train won't meet target travel time, lawmakers told. Regularly scheduled service on California's bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-train-hearing-20140328,0,3123925.story#axzz2xGwCPkhy GREEN ENERGY Net-zero-energy: Step into California's future. Like many other Bay Area homeowners during last December's record cold snap, Bill and Michelle Wong didn't hold back on heating up their San Jose residence. But unlike a lot of the others, they weren't stunned when the energy bill arrived. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_25394981/step-into-californias-future?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25394982/netzeroenergy:-step-into-californias-future California says current solar owners can cash in off their excess power for 20 years. The California Public Utilities Commission finalized a decision on Thursday to guarantee that homeowners with solar systems will be allowed to continue in the current net metering program for 20 years from the date of installation. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/03/27/43095/california-says-current-solar-owners-can-cash-in-o/ http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/government/state-regulators-protect-rooftop-solar-from-utilities.html Southern Co. agrees to disclose near-term moves to reduce CO2 emissions. Southern Co., the Atlanta-based utility holding company that operates one of the nation's largest fossil power plant fleets, has agreed to produce a comprehensive report on its future integration of renewable and distributed energy resources such as wind and solar power. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996905/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY McCarthy vows to be 'a friend' to clean energy industry. U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy today promised renewable energy advocates that the Obama administration's climate rules would help grow the clean energy industry. "Know that you have a friend at this podium," McCarthy told a meeting of the American Council on Renewable Energy on Capitol Hill. "The energy issues and the environmental issues are really two sides of the same coin," she said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996937/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Cree sets new LED record. Light-emitting diode manufacturer Cree Inc. this week said it has reached a new lighting efficiency record, producing 303 lumens per watt from a white high-power LED at room temperature. Those levels are about 10 percent higher than the previous record of 276 lumens per watt, which Cree set last year. By comparison…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996915/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS The Two Numbers Climate Economists Can’t Stand to See Together. Okay, fine. You're persuaded that climate change is a problem. So if we can work out the costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions, we'll be able to decide on the cheapest course of action, right? Not so fast. The two numbers that you'd need to do that apparently shouldn't be compared, under penalty of lectures from either climate scientists or economists. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-03-28/the-two-numbers-climate-economists-can-t-stand-to-see-together.html Climate Forecast: Muting the Alarm. Even while it exaggerates the amount of warming, the IPCC is becoming more cautious about its effects. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will shortly publish the second part of its latest report, on the likely impact of climate change. Government representatives are meeting with scientists in Japan to sex up—sorry, rewrite—a summary of the scientists' accounts of storms…Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303725404579460973643962840?url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303725404579460973643962840.html China’s War on Pollution. Only three of the 74 Chinese cities monitored by the central government met the national standard for “fine air” — meaning healthy air — in 2013, according to a report this week from the Environmental Protection Ministry. The three cities are in remote areas, including Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/opinion/chinas-war-on-pollution.html?hp&rref=opinion&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dscience%26t%3Dqry501%23%2Fair%2Bpollution%2F24hours%2F The water revolution California needs. The state must follow Australia's example and fundamentally change the way water and water rights are managed. This year's drought has thrown California into a sudden tizzy, a crisis of snowpack measurements, fish-versus-people arguments and controversial cuts in water deliveries. But in reality, crisis is the permanent state of water affairs in the Golden State — by design, because our institutions keep it that way. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0325-graham-drought-australia--water-market-20140328,0,4118870,print.story Transit bucks for commuters coming to Bay Area workers by Sept. 30. Thousands of Bay Area workers will become eligible by Sept. 30 for a new commuter benefit that could save them hundreds of dollars a year if they take public transit or van pools to work. Employers of 50 of more full-time workers within the nine Bay Area counties must start offering employees at least one of four kinds of assistance for commute alternatives to driving alone. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25425893/transit-bucks-for-commuters-coming-to-bay-area-workers-by-sept-30 BLOGS The bill for climate change is coming due. Americans have just endured one of the coldest winters in memory, so global warming may not be on their radar. But a new U.N. panel report has just refocused the public debate on a problem some scientists call the greatest threat facing the world. There is trouble ahead for global agriculture, warns the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if measures are not taken quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/03/27/the-bill-for-climate-change-is-coming-due/ Radical vision of personal carbon allowances could be the answer to greenhouse gas glut. What if carbon trading – where companies must bid for limited permits to emit pollutants, and so pay a price in order to do so – could be applied on an individual level? Personal carbon trading is a policy idea that aims to reduce a nation’s overall carbon emissions by handing to individuals rights and responsibilities for their own emissions. Posted. http://theconversation.com/radical-vision-of-personal-carbon-allowances-could-be-the-answer-to-greenhouse-gas-glut-23288/ Toyota turning landfill gas into hybrid vehicles, indirectly. Chamillionaire certainly wasn't referring to the Toyota Avalon or Camry when he rapped about "ridin' dirty" but maybe he'll change his tune soon. That's because some of the future energy sources for the Kentucky factory that makes those two models will come from gas created from the breakdown of solid waste. So the power behind some of the production at Toyota's largest North American factory will indeed be funky. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/03/28/toyota-turning-landfill-gas-into-hybrid-vehicles-indirectly/ EVs, plug-ins already saving 45 million gallons of gasoline per year in US. Plug-in vehicles, battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids are cutting US gasoline use by 45 million gallons a year, which means Americans are already saving $100 million a year in refueling costs thanks to EVs. Now, imagine how those savings might look if startups like Aptera, Coda Automotive and Fisker Automotive had created hits instead of flops. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/03/27/evs-plug-ins-saving-45-million-gallons-of-gas-per-year/ Congress successfully took the wind out of wind energy’s sails last year. America’s fossil fuel-smitten Congress helped China blow the U.S. out of the water last year when it came to installing new wind energy farms. A little more than 16 gigawatts of new wind capacity came online in China in 2013 — nearly half of the 36 gigawatts installed around the world. Posted. http://grist.org/news/congress-successfully-took-the-wind-out-of-wind-energys-sails-last-year/ States struggling to understand frackquakes. Frackers have been triggering earthquakes across the country by injecting their wastewater at high pressure into disposal wells. That much is certain. The U.S. Geological Survey has linked the practice to a sixfold increase in earthquakes in the central U.S. from 2001 to 2011. It’s also possible that the very act of fracking has been causing some temblors. Posted. http://grist.org/news/states-struggling-to-understand-frackquakes/ Calif Green House Comes Ready For EV And CNG Vehicles. Are you ready to buy a new green house with a garage ready for your EV or CNG-powered vehicle? KB Home unveiled its first ZeroHouse 2.0 in Los Angeles County yesterday, a house that comes ready for green vehicles with an EV charging station and a CNG hoockup in the garage. Posted. http://www.hybridcars.com/calif-green-house-comes-ready-for-ev-and-cng-vehicles/ Buying a Car in 2014? Consider These Eco-Friendly Options. More hybrid vehicles are produced now than ever before, primarily due to consumer demand. Some drivers simply want to save money on gas. Others are interested in helping the planet stay healthy for future generations. Regardless of the motivation behind driving these vehicles, two things are clear…Posted. http://www.greenerideal.com/vehicles/0322-buying-car-2014-consider-eco-friendly-options/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.