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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 24, 2014. Posted: 24 Apr 2014 14:19:48
ARB Newsclips for April 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. AIR POLLUTION UPDATE 1-China to impose tougher penalties on polluters under new law. China on Thursday passed amendments to an environmental protection law imposing tougher penalties on polluters in the most sweeping revisions to the law in 25 years amid mounting public anger over pollution. The much-anticipated amendments follow a two-year debate among scholars, the government and state-owned enterprises over changes to the environmental protection law. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/24/china-environment-idUSL3N0NG35Q20140424 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-24/china-enacts-biggest-pollution-curbs-in-25-years.html http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304788404579521274114447440?KEYWORDS=air+pollution&mg=reno64-wsj Fresno ranks No. 1 on California pollution list. New Cal/EPA maps show that Fresno contains eight of the 10 areas most heavily burdened by pollution. But the data tell just part of the story. The state's new effort to map the areas most at risk from pollution features hot spots up and down California. But nowhere are there more of the worst-afflicted areas than in Fresno…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-fresno-pollution-20140424,0,5860295.story#ixzz2zoz0Oohd New map could refocus California's pollution battles. The California Environmental Protection Agency has released a statewide list of census tracts most burdened by pollution, providing a first-of-its-kind ranking certain to pressure regulators to clean up neighborhoods with long-standing health risks. Many of the worst pollution pockets identified and mapped by state officials are in the San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/24/6349324/new-map-could-refocus-californias.html#storylink=cpy Feds asked to beef up planned state air pollution tests at Albany port. An environmental group working with Albany South End residents is urging the federal government to step in over concerns that a proposed state air-testing plan for the Port of Albany is too weak. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is planning tests next month for potential air pollution from an influx of crude oil trains discharging oil at the port…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Feds-asked-to-beef-up-planned-state-air-pollution-5425980.php Economic freedom leads to cleaner air – study. Greater economic freedom leads to lower levels of air pollution, according to a new study that says such freedom helps support property rights and legal remedies for pollution victims. In 2010, the study found that the 20 highest-ranked economically free countries, such as Singapore, New Zealand and Canada, had fine particulate matter concentrations (PM10) almost 40 percent lower than the 20 lowest-ranked countries, which include Syria, Nigeria and China. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059998396/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Australia climate plan leaves emission cuts with government. Australia on Thursday released a draft climate plan that would leave the government responsible for funding the nation's emission cuts while the nation's biggest carbon emitters would only be liable if they exceed historically high levels. The A$2.55 billion ($2.37 bln) Emissions Reduction Fund is the Liberal government's main weapon to meet its target of cutting Australia's climate-changing emissions to 5 percent below 2000 levels by 2020. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/24/australia-carbon-idUSL3N0NG2EZ20140424 UPDATE 2-South Asia monsoon seen below-average to average in 2014 –WMO. India and its South Asian neighbors are expected to see below-average to average rains this year if the El Nino weather pattern gains strength during the four-month monsoon season, a forum of weather experts said on Wednesday. Poor monsoons could dent crop output in India - the world's No.2 rice and sugar producer, while less rains in soybean areas could make the country…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/india-monsoon-idUSL3N0NF2U120140423 Springing Forward, and Its Consequences. This is a busy time of year for Richard B. Primack, a biologist at Boston University. He and his colleagues survey the plants growing around Concord, Mass., recording the first day they send up flowers and leaves. Compared to the last five springs, things are pretty slow right now around Concord, in large part because of the relatively cold winter and chilly March. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/science/springing-forward-and-its-consequences.html Study Finds Less Green in the Congo Rain Forest. Years of drier conditions in the Congo River basin in central Africa appear to be affecting trees in the region’s vast rain forests, scientists reported on Wednesday. Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers said the capacity of the trees to photosynthesize had declined. If this trend continues, they suggested, a long-term result could be changes in the structure and composition of the region’s forests…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/science/earth/study-finds-less-green-in-the-congo-rain-forest.html?hpw&rref=science Climate change threatens California's air quality, report says. Climate change and extreme weather could set back decades of improvement in California’s air quality, a new report by the state’s pollution control officers says. A higher number of extreme heat days from global warming will boost smog formation and increase severe wildfires that release harmful smoke into the air…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-climate-change-california-air-pollution-officers-20140423,0,2814744.story Forum: Climate change impacts everyone. The debate on climate change is over. Global warming is happening and humans are responsible for it. This was the message delivered by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy on Wednesday at a climate change forum at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Forum-Climate-change-impacts-everyone-5425994.php Study links California drought to global warming. While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it’s not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought and the polar vortex blamed for a harsh winter that mercifully has just ended in many places. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/study-links-california-drought-to-global-warming/2014/04/24/d8d2a5e6-cbda-11e3-b81a-6fff56bc591e_story.html http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/04/24/study-links-california-drought-to-global-climate-change/ http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/study-links-california-drought-global-warming-23457909 DROUGHT Cal State University playing a critical role in water conservation. As water agencies wrestle with California’s drought emergency, and lawmakers pass bills seeking relief from a third consecutive dry year in the state, another institution, the public university system, is continuing to play a critical role in water conservation. Among its 23 campuses, California State University has 12 water research institutes, with more than 250 faculty studying the issue, from drought patterns…Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/article/20140423/NEWS/140429774 DIESEL EMISSIONS In reversal of roles, eyes of trucking will be on CARB this week. Truck drivers throughout North America know they are watched for incompliant trucks, reefer trailers and other diesel engines every time they cross into the state of California. This week, however, many throughout the trucking industry will be watching the California Air Resources Board as it examines exemptions and timelines for administering its Truck and Bus Regulation. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=26909#.U1lRMIXxAXU FUELS Lufthansa says helping to test new aviation biofuel. Lufthansa is testing a new type of biofuel for use in aircraft, the German carrier said on Wednesday, as the airline industry steps up efforts to cut its carbon dioxide emissions. Lufthansa was the first airline worldwide to use biofuels in commercial flights in 2011, when it used a 50:50 mix of biofuel - gained from plant oils and animal fats - and regular kerosene to power one engine per plane on daily flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/lufthansa-biofuels-idUSL6N0NF2O920140423 Jury awards Texas family nearly $3 million in fracking case. A family says fracking and other drilling by Aruba Petroleum near their ranch created severe health problems. The civil jury verdict may be the first of its kind in a fracking case. In a landmark legal victory that centered on fracking, a middle-class north Texas ranching family won nearly $3 million from a big natural gas company whose drilling, they contend, caused years of sickness, killed pets and livestock…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-fracking-lawsuit-20140424,0,508199.story#ixzz2zp0UCAO4 http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/23/6348941/wise-county-texas-couple-win-29.html Cruder than Alberta tar sands. According to experts and the New York Times, President Obama's eventual decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline - last week, the administration once again postponed a decision - "will have a marginal impact on global warming emissions." The global economy releases lots of greenhouse gas - 32.6 billion metric tons of carbon in 2011. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Cruder-than-Alberta-tar-sands-5425705.php Keystone XL's Latest Delay Is Great News for This Company. The U.S. State Department is once again extending the approval process for TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. That's bad news for the pipeline company, but good news for Canadian National Railway , which is shipping Canadian crude by rail all the way down to the U.S. Gulf Coast—exactly the path TransCanada's Keystone is supposed to traverse. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Keystone-XL-s-Latest-Delay-Is-Great-News-for-This-5426854.php Keystone XL Pipeline Delayed Again: What Companies Will Suffer? The U.S. government has again held off making a decision on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The State Department announced recently that litigation currently pending in the Nebraska courts is one reason for the delay. It's likely that the issue will not be settled until after national, state, and local elections later this year. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Keystone-XL-Pipeline-Delayed-Again-What-5424143.php Obama admin mulls regulating mine methane releases. The Bureau of Land Management is moving forward with a potential rulemaking to control methane releases from mining operations on public land. Environmental advocates have for years pressed regulators to require the capture, destruction or sale of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from mining operations. Companies have generally resisted new requirements, calling them uneconomic and potentially dangerous. Methane venting is needed to protect miners underground and prevent explosions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059998411/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 3 Reasons Why Tesla Motors Inc.'s Sales in China Will Accelerate When It Starts Manufacturing In-Cou. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who's in China to kick off the initial deliveries of the company's Model S sedan in the country, said on Monday: "At some point in the next three or four years we'll be establishing local manufacturing in China." This "local manufacturing" will likely be in the form of a joint venture with a Chinese company, which is required of Tesla…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/3-Reasons-Why-Tesla-Motors-Inc-s-Sales-in-China-5424428.php GREEN ENERGY Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India. Environmental groups urged the United States on Wednesday to drop a challenge to India's massive solar program and said the World Trade Organization case would only hurt the growth of renewable energy resources. The United States is taking action at the WTO over the domestic content requirements in India's program, which aims to ease chronic energy shortages in Asia's third-largest economy. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/usa-trade-india-idUSL2N0NF1J520140423 Britain's Conservatives to end onshore wind farm subsidies. British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party pledged to end government subsidies for onshore wind farms if it wins a national election next year, increasing uncertainty for investors in renewable energy. Michael Fallon, a Conservative energy minister, said that onshore wind still had a role to play in helping Britain meet its energy needs and renewable energy targets…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/24/us-britain-energy-windfarms-idUSBREA3N1BR20140424 Subtle surprises fuel today's green business tactics. Born of the hippie, flower-child culture of the 1960s, the modern environmentalist movement in business today is in many ways about dollars and cents. The green economy has gone mainstream, whether that means traditional businesses adopting environmental principles, or environmentally friendly businesses becoming the norm. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/24/6349921/subtle-surprises-fuel-todays-green.html#storylink=cpy SunPower and Google invest $250 million in residential solar panel leases. Google and SunPower are planning to invest up to $250 million to lease solar panels to homeowners, the companies said on Wednesday. Google is investing up to $100 million, while solar panel maker SunPower is committing the other $150 million. Some 20,000 people in the U.S. already lease solar panels from San Jose-based SunPower, the companies said. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_25621400/sunpower-and-google-invest-250-million-residential-solar OPINIONS Koch brothers vs. the solar industry. Re "The right takes aim at the solar industry," April 20. The vast sums of money used by the Koch brothers and their ilk originated from average Americans fueling their vehicles and powering their homes. Billions of dollars are sucked out of our economy by those who want us to keep using carbon-based energy. The use of oil, coal and natural gas has massive external costs that are not paid by the end user. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-le-0424-thursday-koch-bros-solar-20140424,0,7389485.story#ixzz2zp04OXEs Viewpoints: Cleaning up coal emissions through cap and trade. This week, the California Air Resources Board is planning to vote on whether to adopt changes to its cap-and-trade program, including how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines. Some may wonder why ARB is doing this with almost no active coal mines or coal-fired power plants in California. The answer lies outside our state’s borders. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/24/6348555/viewpoints-cleaning-up-coal-emissions.html#storylink=cpy Profits from cap and trade. Re "Cleaning up coal emissions through cap and trade" (Viewpoints, April 24): Coal is evil and Greg Arnold profiting from Cap and Trade Taxation is good. I'm surprised that you printed an op-ed from someone who stands to gain financially from the manmade global warming myth. To believe taxing California's business will have any effects on the Earth's temperature is to believe Leland Yee was a great Legislator. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/24/6350359/profits-from-cap-and-trade.html#storylink=cpy Berkeley Voice letters to the editor: Public health funding is critical; monopoly on free speech. Climate change liars are wrong. On April 17, I attended an excellently filmed movie at the Rialto Cinema Cerrito about losing ice from the Arctic Circle, "Chasing Ice." Only 8 percent of the world's ice is in the Arctic Circle. Two percent of the ice is on the world's mountain caps and 91 percent of the world's ice is in Antarctica, which has not lost 1 pound of ice. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/News/ci_25623159/Berkeley-Voice-letters-to-the-editor: Fracking moratorium could hurt state's economy. California is blessed with two-thirds of the nation’s estimated shale oil reserves — 15.4 billion barrels of clean energy — so with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent and chronic budget deficits, the state should be doing all it can to encourage new business development to create jobs and raise revenue. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/apr/23/fracking-california-moratorium/ BLOGS A Deeper Look at a Study Finding High Leak Rates From Gas Drilling. Most efforts to slow the natural gas drilling boom in the United States have focused on questions about the environmental impacts of the process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which occurs deep underground after a well is drilled. That’s why a great deal of attention was paid last week to the results of a two-day aerial survey over gas fields…Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/a-deeper-look-at-a-study-finding-high-leak-rates-from-gas-drilling/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 When it comes to climate change, not all forests are created equal. Any gardener can tell you that plants need nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus to grow. The gardener who feeds homemade compost or fertilizer pellets to her plants can expect bountiful harvests and lush landscapes — while failing to do so could yield a much scrubbier planter box. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/inthepeninsula/2014/04/23/climate-change-forests/ Congress’ power plays. Our opinion: Congress needs to support wind power, not keep leaving the industry dangling while it doles out billions for fossil fuels. A savvy shopper with an eye on the household budget knows that items need to be both nice and necessary before going in the cart. Congress sure gets the nice part of that equation, raking in millions in political giving from the oil and gas industry while doling out billions to it annually in tax breaks. Posted. http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/congress-power-plays/28778/ Diesel Truck Pollution: The Truth is Lost in the Fumes. A couple things about diesel truck pollution: there’s still a lot of it in California, truck drivers are suffering from it, and most truck owners oppose rolling back the statewide truck clean-up rule. These facts have been obscured by all the fumes emanating from a tiny but vocal minority of trucktivists who want to do away with the Air Resources Board measure curbing diesel pollution from trucks. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbailey/diesel_truck_pollution_the_tru.html California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.