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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 4, 2014. Posted: 04 Apr 2014 12:28:15
ARB Newsclips for April 4, 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 Colorado’s new drilling rules seen as making an impact in Texas. Colorado’s tough, new air pollution rules for the oil and gas industry were approved only a month ago, but they’re already making an impact in Texas, where lawmakers and energy companies have long-resisted tightening air standards. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/03/6293924/colorados-new-drilling-rules-seen.html#storylink=cpy Report: EPA fails to disclose risks in human tests. An internal investigation issued Wednesday found that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to disclose long-term cancer risks and a small chance of death to 81 human test subjects who consented to breathe in diesel exhaust and other pollutants during experiments. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/04/02/3856543/report-epa-fails-to-disclose-risks.html That will leave a mark: CARB fines wipe fluid maker $418,500. The California Air Resources Board has proven it isn’t afraid of fining companies for violating emissions standards in any capacity. In the past, CARB has fined – besides among trucking companies and public utilities that violate California air quality regulations – makers of gas-powered tailgate beverage blenders, mini-scooter manufacturers and others,. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=26810#.Uz7QYhByx4w CLIMATE CHANGE ESA launching satellite for new monitoring system. The European Space Agency is launching the first of six satellites for a new system designed to better monitor climate change, environmental disasters and catastrophes like floods, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. The Sentinel 1A satellite is due to be launched from French Guiana later Thursday. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/03/6292381/esa-launching-satellite-for-new.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/ESA-successfully-launches-new-monitoring-satellite-5375678.php US helps rice growers reduce greenhouse gases. The federal government is helping rice growers in Arkansas and elsewhere to use new production methods that would decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The Agriculture Department said Thursday its Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing more than $1 million to develop new conservation methods. Methane and nitrous oxide, gases that help trap heat in the earth's atmosphere…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/03/6294108/us-helps-rice-growers-reduce-greenhouse.html#storylink=cpy Researchers project higher disease risk from ticks under changing climate. Moving farther north each year, ticks are spreading in North America as the climate changes, bringing dangerous diseases with them. Health officials are drawing on the past to forecast where the illnesses might go, but new trends keep emerging, forcing researchers to adapt and revise their models. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997348/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Sea ice hits fifth-lowest level on record. Arctic sea ice cover is falling to its fifth lowest on the satellite record, National Snow and Ice Data Center scientists said Wednesday. They revealed that Arctic sea ice coverage averaged 14.8 million square kilometers for the month of March, putting it at 730,000 square kilometers below the 1981-2010 satellite average. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997319/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Assembly slaps HOAs on water. San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s legislation to grant residents of common-interest developments the unbridled right to plant drought resistant landscaping is on its way to the state Senate. The Democrat’s measure easily cleared the Assembly Thursday, 74-1. “Homeowners who want to act responsibly in these times of water insecurity should be rewarded — not penalized, sued or fined by their HOAs,” Gonzalez said. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/apr/03/assembly-slaps-hoas-on-water-use/ California is poised to take over groundwater management if locals don't step up. Message to local water managers: pick up the pace on handling groundwater management, or expect the state to do it for you. That's the word in a new state action plan on Sustainable Groundwater Management," available here: http://bit.ly/1gSNwDZ Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_25491165/california-is-poised-take-over-groundwater-management-if Water transfer proposal ruffles some locals in ag. Farmers with surface water rights are scrambling to decide if they will pump groundwater to make up for cutbacks from the state water supplies along the Feather and Sacramento rivers. In the meantime, a "relatively quiet" proposal to transfer water from Biggs-West Gridley Water District to south of the delta a has some farmers in the Sacramento Valley upset. http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_25480363/water-transfer-proposal-ruffles-some-locals-ag-community Feinstein applauds decision to pump more water in Central Valley, seeks more. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday applauded a decision by federal and state officials to release more water in the Central Valley, and pushed for much more supplies to be made available to the parched farming region. Posted. http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20140403/NEWS06/304030019/Feinstein-applauds-decision-pump-more-water-Central-Valley-seeks-more DIESEL EMISSIONS $2.2M hydrogen-fueled zero-emissions bus rolls through Marin. Marin residents now have the opportunity ride a $2.25 million, environmentally-friendly bus around the county. The zero-emissions bus, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, is rolling through the county's streets and on Highway 101, part of a state plan to cut the amount of diesel pollutants standard buses spew into the air. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/News/ci_23198062/22M-hydrogenfueled-zeroemissions-bus-rolls-through Port of Oakland goes electric to reduce diesel pollution. The Port of Oakland celebrated a clean air milestone Friday with the completion of a power system that will allow vessels docked at berths to power up on electricity instead of diesel fuel. The $70 million project is expected to eliminate 11 tons of diesel particulate and further improve air quality in West Oakland where prior studies have shown higher-than-average levels of asthma and cancer. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/News/ci_24486229/Port-of-Oakland-goes-electric-to FUELS U.N. climate chief urges radical clean-up of oil, gas industry. The U.N.'s climate chief called on the oil and gas industry on Thursday to make a drastic shift to a clean, low-carbon future or risk having to leave three-quarters of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. "The time for experimentation, for marginal changes and for conditional response is now over," Christiana Figueres told the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) in a speech in London. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/03/us-climate-oil-idUSBREA320T220140403 Will the White House's New Rules on Methane Hurt These Companies? There are cost-effective technologies and best management practices to capture methane from venting and leaks across the entire oil and natural gas value chain. These range from equipment upgrades or replacements, to process or operational changes. -- White House Climate Action Plan (opens PDF) Natural gas production in the U.S. …Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Will-the-White-House-s-New-Rules-on-Methane-Hurt-5373598.php Gas prices may jump from California emissions law. California's greenhouse gas reduction law already has shaken up the state's industrial sector, costing it more than $1.5 billion in pollution permit fees. It's now poised to hit the pocketbooks of everyday Californians. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/AP%20Content/ci_25307349/Gas-prices-may-jump-from-California More truck fleet owners convert to natural gas, but will it stay cheap? For companies to shift their vehicle fleets off conventional petroleum products to cleaner fuels and efficient technologies, managers must have confidence that they will be able to recover their sunk costs. Natural gas is currently one of the most attractive alternative fuels for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997347/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Genetically engineered poplar trees make a better biofuel feedstock – study. Scientists have genetically engineered poplar trees to break down more easily, yielding about 25 percent more sugars to make biofuels, according to a study in Science today. Lignocellulosic biofuels are made from grasses, agricultural residues, trees, forestry waste and even household trash. They have low carbon emissions, don't compete with food crops and make use of waste…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997349/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA, oil industry to square off in court over 2013 RFS. U.S. EPA will defend its 2013 targets for renewable fuels in court Monday against oil industry trade groups and a refinery owned by Delta Air Lines Inc. At issue in the case that combines all the oil industry challenges: Did EPA overshoot the targets, requiring refiners to breach the "blend wall"? The challenge also accuses EPA of breaking the law by releasing a final 2013 renewable fuel standard (RFS) more than eight months after its statutory deadline. Posted.http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2014/04/04/stories/1059997374 FRACKING Exxon Mobil agrees to share more data on fracking's risks. Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, has agreed to disclose more information about the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, the process known as fracking. In an agreement with New York City's pension funds, which control Exxon shares worth roughly $1.02 billion, the company agreed to report on risks surrounding disposal of fracking waste water…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USL1N0MV23020140403 There's a War Going on in the Supreme Court No Energy Company is Safe From. Murray Energy has followed through on its threat to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over what the company calls a "war on coal." Arch Coal , however, just lost a pivotal case against the EPA. That could make Murray's move a long shot with more downside risk than upside opportunity for the coal industry, with serious implications that reach across the energy space. Oil industry creates groups to battle fracking moratoriums, severance tax. Oil industry groups and their allies have launched parallel campaigns in California to battle a proposed oil extraction tax and efforts to block unconventional oil drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059997355/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES VW to build plug-in hybrid cars in China as pollution reforms open the market – sources. Volkswagen plans to make plug-in cars in China, company sources say, seeing a big potential market as the country's leaders fight hazardous levels of air pollution with measures that include boosting green power. VW will announce its plans at the Beijing auto show on April 19-20 and will build the plug-in hybrids …Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/03/vw-china-idUSL5N0MV2MI20140403 Many 'green' cars carry greenhouse gas. America's electric cars are better for the environment, but they share a dirty little secret. The Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster all use a super greenhouse gas known as HFC 134a as the refrigerant for their air conditioners. The liquid coolant is so potent that when it leaks into the atmosphere, it traps 1,400 times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 100-year time horizon. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/04/6295256/many-green-cars-carry-greenhouse.html#storylink=cpy China Plans More Electric Vehicle Support. China announced plans to support greater adoption of electric vehicles by exempting buyers of EV's from paying a sales tax. Vice Premier Ma Kai said that past incentives have not worked with sufficient speed, so the government will exempt "new-energy vehicles" from the 10% auto tax that buyers must pay. That includes plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and fuel-cell vehicles. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/China-Plans-More-Electric-Vehicle-Support-5376342.php GREEN ENERGY General Electric Company Unveils Wind Turbine for India. General Electric Company introduced its 1.7 MW wind turbine to India's energy market today, creating new opportunity to pull power from the country's low-wind-speed conditions. The 1.7 MW wind turbine's 103-meter rotor is specifically designed by General Electric Company to deal with the South Asia nation's low wind speeds, allowing it to generate electricity efficiently and economically. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/General-Electric-Company-Unveils-Wind-Turbine-for-5376472.php MISCELLANEOUS Nest disables feature on smoke alarms. The high-tech home monitoring device company Nest Labs is disabling a feature on its smoke alarms due to the risk that owners could unintentionally turn off the device with the wave of a hand. Nest was acquired this year by Google Inc. for $3.2 billion. Nest developed technology which it calls the Nest Wave that allows owners to turn off the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm at a distance, among other things. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GOOGLE_NEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OPINIONS Viewpoints: Green Bank would create more clean energy innovation. As a venture capitalist, I spend much of my time on the unvarnished edge of capitalism. It’s a place where some level of failure is inevitable, survival of the fittest is an understatement, and success is usually the result of a combination of merit, relentless hard work and a little luck thrown in for good measure. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/03/6290647/viewpoints-green-bank-would-create.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articles#storylink=cpy BLOGS Stanford economists say social cost of carbon too low. An an article published Friday in the journal Nature, Nobel laureate economist Kenneth Arrow and Lawrence Goulder, both of Stanford, along with six other law and economics scholars, said the controversial “social cost of carbon” calculations developed by the federal government are too low, not too high, as conservatives argue. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2014/04/04/stanford-economists-say-social-cost-of-carbon-too-low/ Wind Power Has Cut U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 4.4 Percent: Report. The growth of wind power in the United States is putting a significant dent in emissions, according to a forthcoming report from the American Wind Energy Association. Wind generation avoided 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, which is equivalent to taking 16.9 million cars off the road. That's a 4.4 percent cut to power sector emissions, when compared to the level of emissions that would have been generated if that power had come from fossil fuels. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/wind-power-emissions_n_5087308.html Republicans join Democrats in trying to revive wind energy incentives. The political winds in the nation’s capitol shifted on Thursday in favor of wind energy. A Senate committee passed a bill that would restore two key tax credits for the wind industry. Both credits have helped spur the sector’s rapid growth in recent years, but Congress allowed them to expire at the end of last year. Posted. http://grist.org/news/senators-move-to-revive-wind-energy-incentives-2/ CA Electric-Car Incentive Update: Funds Run Out, Green Stickers Gone. Access to carpool lanes on California's legendarily crowded freeways is a big perk. So is getting a check in the mail that cuts the purchase cost. These incentives were successful in spurring sales of hybrids years ago, and they've helped sales of modern battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars since the first ones were sold in 2010. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1091271_ca-electric-car-incentive-update-funds-run-out-green-stickers-gone California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.