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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.


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.

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.


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.


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).

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.

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.

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

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


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.

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.

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


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. 

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. 


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.

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

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


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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

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

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


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.

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

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.

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.

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. 


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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

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