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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 25, 2014. Posted: 25 Apr 2014 14:39:33
ARB Newsclips for April 25, 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 China demands more transparency from polluters. China has changed its environment law for the first time in 25 years, instituting public oversight of companies and allowing unlimited fines against persistent polluters, a response to the country's environmental challenges and demands from the public for action. The amendments passed by China's legislature Thursday, which go into effect Jan. 1, took three years to come about and went through four readings and two rounds of public consultation. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_ENVIRONMENT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT CLIMATE CHANGE Australia climate plan leaves emission cuts with government. China has changed its environment law for the first time in 25 years, instituting public oversight of companies and allowing unlimited fines against persistent polluters, a response to the country's environmental challenges and demands from the public for action. The amendments passed by China's legislature Thursday…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_ENVIRONMENT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT El Nino Risk Increases as Pacific Gets Warmer: Carbon & Climate. The odds are increasing that an El Nino weather system will form this year, portending drought for Australia and Asia and a warmer winter in the U.S. Northeast. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center now says there’s a 65 percent chance the Pacific Ocean warming pattern will develop after August. It put the odds at 52 percent last month. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-24/el-nino-risk-increases-as-pacific-gets-warmer-carbon-climate.html Climate Change Onstage: Singing of the Extinction of Fauna. The drumbeat of dire reports about climate change has grown so rhythmically regular over the past few years that it’s almost surprising that someone hasn’t set it to song, at least within the confines of a musical. That day has now come. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/theater/the-great-immensity-gives-environmentalism-its-own-lyrics.html?_r=1 China: Legislature Toughens Environmental Law. The Chinese legislature decided Thursday to revise the country’s environmental protection law to allow for stricter punishments against companies or individuals caught polluting the environment, according to a report by Xinhua, the state news agency. Under the new law, expected to take effect next year, fines against companies would be increased, and company executives deemed responsible for pollution could be detained for up to 15 days. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/world/asia/china-legislature-toughens-environmental-law.html?ref=earth 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.contracostatimes.com/News/ci_25636808/Study-links-California-drought-to-global Calif. cuts part of its greenhouse gas emissions by exporting them. A California economist says that the state's landmark, economywide cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse gases has a fatal flaw that is now emerging. Utilities, and even a state agency, are ending contracts for electricity from coal-fired power plants, which have high levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998444/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Researchers prove they can turn CO2 into rock. After initial experiments, researchers have demonstrated that they can permanently sequester carbon dioxide in basalt formations underground. Basalt reacts with carbon dioxide to form carbonate minerals, turning the greenhouse gas into immobile rock. The approach avoids risks of gas leakage, and basalt formations occur all over the world, making this an attractive option for controlling emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998442/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Water picture improves for some California towns. While much of California remains in the grips of extreme drought, spring storms have eased pressure slightly and reduced the number of rural communities considered at risk of running dry. In February, the California Department of Public Health listed 17 mostly rural water systems as having less than two months water supply in storage. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_DROUGHT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT For first time in 15 years, drought hits 100% of California. For the first time in 15 years, the entire state of California is experiencing drought, ranging in severity from moderate to exceptional. That’s the analysis from the National Climatic Data Center’s most recent drought monitor released this week, which found that nearly 39% of the country was in drought. That figure rose by 1% from the previous week. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-california-drought--20140424,0,1853402.story Santa Cruz Approves Mandatory 25 Percent Water Rationing. The Santa Cruz City Council has unanimously approved strict new water rationing rules, calling for 25 percent mandatory cutbacks for residents, due to the continued statewide drought. Toby Goddard with the Santa Cruz Water Department said these are the first mandatory cuts for the city in nearly 25 years. Posted. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/04/24/santa-cruz-approves-mandatory-25-percent-water-rationing/ Link seen between drought, 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. The Utah State University scientists involved in the study say they hope what they found can help them predict the next big weird winter. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/apr/25/tp-link-seen-between-drought-global-warming/ U.S. Drought Monitor sees more records broken in Calif., Texas. The drought records just keep on coming. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, released yesterday, shows less than a 1 percent change in drought area for the contiguous United States. Dry conditions remain entrenched on more than 38 percent of the United States with California, Nevada, North Texas and parts of Oklahoma bearing the worst of the bad conditions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998439/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS CARB approves compliance extensions of emissions regs for small fleets, owner-operators. The California Air Resources Board voted April 25 to amend some of its emissions regulations deadlines, giving owner-operators and small fleets who financially were unable to comply with the rule some compliance alternatives. The amendments passed 11-1, though with some changes requested by the Board, and final versions of the amendments will be produced within the next few months. Posted. http://www.ccjdigital.com/carb-approves-compliance-extensions-of-emissions-regs-for-small-fleets-owner-operators/ CARB hears hours of emotional testimony from fleets, owner-operators on compliance extensions. Note: CARB voted April 25 to approve the amendments it heard testimony on the day prior. Click here to read the story on the approved changes. Proposed amendments to delay some emissions regulations deadlines and allow alternate compliance options for small fleet owners were presented to the California Air Resources Board April 24 to consider and adopt. Posted. http://www.ccjdigital.com/carb-to-vote-today-on-compliance-extensions-after-hours-of-trucking-testimony-april-24/ Owner-operators speak passionately for and against CARB extensions in hearing. California’s Air Resources Board this week officially unveiled some proposed changes to its Truck & Bus Rule emissions regulations, which required truck owners with pre-2007 model trucks to either update their equipment or install particulate matter filters by Jan. 1. Posted. http://www.overdriveonline.com/owner-operators-speak-for-and-against-carb-extensions-board-to-vote-today/ CARB Approves Full Verification of Carrier Engine Emissions System. The California Air Resources Board has granted full verification status to the Carrier Transicold Engine Emissions System for certain transport refrigeration units (TRU or reefer) and TRU generator sets (gen sets) with no limits on hours of accrued operation at time of installation. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/product/detail/2014/04/carb-approves-full-verification-of-carrier-ees-dpf.aspx California May Ease DPF Rule. California regulators may relax rules that currently require smaller fleets to install diesel particulate filters on older diesel-powered trucks, the Los Angeles Times reported. The changes, being considered this week by the California Air Resources Board, come in response to pressure from small fleets and tractor-trailer owner-operators…Posted. http://www.ttnews.com/articles/lmtbase.aspx?storyid=2795&t=California-May-Ease-DPF-Rule- FUELS Keystone XL pipeline part of larger Senate fight. Alison Lundergan Grimes is the latest Democratic Senate candidate to call for building the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but the Kentucky secretary of state's move doesn't seem to have cost her support among environmental groups who want to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. It's evidence that campaign wrangling over Keystone XL is about more than the project itself. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DEMOCRATS_ENERGY_POLITICS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Major oil and gas firm to list fracking chemicals. A major supplier to the oil and gas industry says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for trade secrets. The move by Baker Hughes of Houston is a shift for a major firm; it's unclear if others will follow suit. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_25630943/major-oil-amp-gas-firm-list-drilling-chemicals MIT study: higher octane standard fuel in US could lower fleet fuel consumption & GHG an extra 4.5-6% by 2040. Offering a higher-octane gasoline to the consumer market in the US as the standard grade could deliver an incremental 4.5% to 6% reduction in fleet fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, on top of a projected 26.8% reduction by then in the baseline case (i.e., without higher octane fuel, but with other projected vehicle and powertrain technology improvements)…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/04/20140424-chow.html Making jet fuel out of garbage -- a first. Come 2017, British Airways could be able to fuel flights from London's City Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on trash. The airline has partnered with Washington, D.C.-based Solena Fuels to make 50,000 metric tons of jet fuel from municipal solid waste per year. It is the first project in the world to attempt to convert trash into a drop-in fuel for airplanes. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998443/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Enzyme giant forecasts bigger U.S. ethanol production using less corn. Denmark's Novozymes, the world's biggest maker of industrial enzymes used in the production of biofuels, forecast yesterday that U.S. ethanol production will rise slightly this year to 13.5 billion gallons after a strong start to the year. The company said its enzyme sales to the bioenergy industry grew by 34 percent in local currencies in the first quarter of the year, when ethanol production increased by…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998425/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Elon Musk Inc. Having friends in Sacramento comes with rich benefits, especially if you're Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk. The California state Assembly on Thursday approved legislation to exempt Mr. Musk's SpaceX, a company that manufactures rockets, from the state's personal property tax, saving the enterprise $2 million in back taxes and more going forward. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304518704579522132810457734 Automakers comply quickly with EPA tailpipe rule, but some greens aren't celebrating. Automakers on average have reduced the greenhouse gas footprint of their model year 2012 passenger vehicles even below the levels required by U.S. EPA's new tailpipe emissions rules, according to a new report released today by the agency. The report found that in the first year of the Obama administration's new fuel economy standards, cars and light trucks averaged 286 grams of greenhouse gas emissions per mile…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059998486/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY America’s Energy Boom: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. America's energy production and reserves are soaring and emissions are falling. The boom is fueling tremendous job creation as hundreds of billions of dollars are spent to keep production growing and to use cheaper American energy in manufacturing. This is fueling additional tax revenue for governments, while making millions of Americans rich and saving the rest of us a lot of money on our energy bills. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/America-s-Energy-Boom-The-Good-the-Bad-and-5429402.php Lighting the way. A state environmental award received this week by Ethan Allen is the latest achievement for a company with a continued focus on reducing its carbon footprint while helping its bottom line. The Danbury-based furniture company recently received a platinum award through the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Summer Saver program for saving more than 45 percent of its electricity…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Lighting-the-way-5428414.php The Search for Excellence in Wind Power Development. Despite political wrangling over the extension of tax credits to encourage renewable energy project development -- namely wind -- the United States recognized 1,032 MW of wind capacity additions in 2013. This pales in comparison to the 12,885 MW of wind capacity which was added in 2012, but there has been recent talk in Congress of renewing the expired tax credits. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/The-Search-for-Excellence-in-Wind-Power-5427092.php SOLAR POWER: Second big project dedicated. A vast landscape of trough-shaped, interconnected mirrors west of Blythe has started feeding clean energy into the electrical grid after three years of construction, an event celebrated Thursday in a dedication ceremony under bright sunshine. The Genesis Solar Energy System was the second commercial-scale solar plant to go online in the California desert in the past few months…Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20140424-solar-power-second-big-project-dedicated.ece The future of the green economy lies with the states. This election cycle, environmentalists will pour over one hundred million dollars into Red States like Montana in a valiant attempt to maintain Democratic control in the Senate. This money is being spent so that, in the best of circumstances, we will have another two years of bitter, partisan trench warfare in Congress without any progress. Posted. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/climate-change-green-economy-future-lies-with-states BLOGS 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.