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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 5, 2014. Posted: 05 May 2014 15:44:31
ARB Newsclips for May 5, 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 Beijing fines 652 firms for pollution in four months. Authorities in the Chinese capital fined 652 industrial facilities for breaching environmental regulations in the first four months of the year as it stepped up efforts to fight pollution. Beijing's air quality has come under intense scrutiny since January last year, when heavy smog settled over the city to the alarm of its residents. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/05/us-china-pollution-idUSKBN0DL09A20140505 Smog-Standard Ruling Stirs Debate.Judge's Ruling Reanimates Battle Between Businesses and Environmental Groups. A federal judge's ruling last week directing the Obama administration to issue a long-delayed smog standard is reanimating a battle between businesses and environmental groups that has been dormant for three years. The more stringent federal standard for ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog, was delayed by President Barack Obama in 2011. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304831304579541533406221584?KEYWORDS=climate+change&mg=reno64-wsj Sriracha sauce becomes a hot political issue with bipartisan backing. California’s latest political darling comes in a clear plastic bottle with a green top and tastes good on eggs. Sriracha hot sauce has won the eager endorsement of politicians from both sides of the aisle in recent weeks as the manufacturer has talked about leaving Irwindale amid a regulatory battle over whether the plant sends a spicy smell into nearby neighborhoods. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-sriracha-politics-20140503,0,2366189.story#ixzz30s9LGIOs Online environmental tool places Stanislaus and Merced counties among the worst areas in California. The latest rankings of neighborhood exposure to pollution continue to place much of Stanislaus and Merced counties at the bad end of the spectrum in California. That’s good if you’re looking for state money to help address longstanding problems such as unemployment, dirty water, asthma and lack of bus stops. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/02/3322038/online-environmental-tool-places.html?sp=/99/1623/#storylink=cpy Supreme Court's ruling expands air pollution control efforts, say Stanford scholars. Stanford experts analyze the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states must comply with regulations developed by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce coal-burning pollutants that float to downwind states. The U.S. Supreme Court has given the Environmental Protection Agency more power to establish and enforce air pollution standards for coal power plants. Posted. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/may/coal-pollution-ruling-050514.html Ozone levels will rise dramatically as climate warms – study. As the climate continues to warm and temperatures rise, concentrations of lung-irritating ground-level ozone could significantly increase over the next four decades, according to a new federal study. The study led by the Boulder, Colo.-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) forecasts this spike in ozone pollution levels by 2050 across the continental United States if current emissions of ozone-forming pollutants persist. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999012/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Final fed climate report will present dire picture. The Obama administration is more certain than ever that global warming is changing Americans' daily lives and will worsen - conclusions that scientists will detail in a massive federal report to be released Tuesday. Once people thought global warming was more in the future and more of an issue in other parts of the world…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_CLIMATE_REPORT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-president-obama-a-renewed-focus-on-climate/2014/05/04/6b81412c-d144-11e3-9e25-188ebe1fa93b_story.html?wprss=rss_campaigns UN chief calls for greater action on climate. The United Nations secretary-general on Sunday urged world policymakers to do more to address the threat of climate change as negotiators attempt to forge a new global warming pact next year. Speaking to hundreds of international delegates at the start of a climate gathering in Abu Dhabi, Ban Ki-moon warned that time is running out to reduce harmful emissions…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_EMIRATES_CLIMATE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/UN-chief-calls-for-greater-action-on-climate-5451805.php East Antarctica more at risk than thought to long-term thaw: study. Part of East Antarctica is more vulnerable than expected to a thaw that could trigger an unstoppable slide of ice into the ocean and raise world sea levels for thousands of years, a study showed on Sunday. The Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, stretching more than 1,000 km (600 miles) inland, has enough ice to raise sea levels by 3 to 4 meters…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/04/us-climatechange-antarctica-idUSKBN0DK0HM20140504 Ocean data points to strong El Nino: climate scientist. A spike in Pacific Ocean sea temperatures and the rapid movement of warm water eastwards have increased concerns that an El Nino weather pattern this year could be one of the strongest in several decades, an Australian climate scientist said. El Nino - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - affects wind patterns and can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the globe, curbing food supply. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/05/us-elnino-weather-scientist-idUSKBN0DL07A20140505 Investors in Coal-Burning Plants Brush Off Supreme Court Decision on EPA Air Rules. Investors in coal-burning utilities are brushing off a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court this week that gave federal regulators more power to control air pollution. Time, they say, is on their side. It will be years more before utilities feel any pain from new rules as companies, lawyers and regulators wrangle over how to apply restrictions…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-02/investors-in-coal-burning-plants-brush-off-supreme-court-decision-on-epa-air-rules.html Scientists race to develop farm animals to survive climate change. When a team of researchers from the University of Delaware traveled to Africa two years ago to search for exemplary chickens, they weren't looking for plump thighs or delicious eggs. They were seeking out birds that could survive a hotter planet. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-climate-chickens-20140504,0,2628316.story#ixzz30rIJr82G Remaining carbon capture projects in Europe continue with government support and tempered targets. Bruised from the collapse of the carbon price under the E.U. Emissions Trading System, surviving European carbon capture and sequestration projects are moving forward, albeit with reduced ambitions. Earlier this year, a pilot carbon capture initiative in Norway began scrubbing carbon dioxide from a nearby oil refinery and power plant…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998981/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Warming influence from human-emitted gases continues to rise – NOAA. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's annual index of greenhouse gases continues to tick upward, with a 1.5 percent increase from 2012 to 2013, the agency reported Friday. The index is meant to provide a straightforward way to understand the warming influence of greenhouse gases and how that changes year to year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998960/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT California city looks to sea for water in drought. This seaside city thought it had the perfect solution the last time California withered in a severe drought more than two decades ago: Tap the ocean to turn salty seawater to fresh water. The $34 million desalination plant was fired up for only three months and mothballed after a miracle soaking of rain. As the state again grapples with historic dryness…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_DROUGHT_DESALINATION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/05/6378242/california-city-looks-to-sea-for.html Cal Fire declares burn ban in Bay Area counties. State fire officials have announced a ban on outdoor burning in several Bay Area counties because of dry conditions and a jump in fires statewide. The ban went into effect Thursday and prohibits open burning in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito counties and parts of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, according to Cal Fire spokesman Officer Daniel Berlant. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25683439/cal-fire-declares-burn-ban-bay-area-counties?source=rss California drought: Tioga road in Yosemite opens on earliest date since 1988. In the latest sign of California's persistent drought, the Tioga Road, a historic route through Yosemite National Park and the highest-elevation highway in the state, opened Friday to motorists -- the earliest in more than two decades. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25685400/california-drought-tioga-road-yosemite-opens-earliest-date?source=rss Calls for groundwater regulation grow louder in parched Calif. California's drought is increasing the political pressure to bring the state's groundwater basins under regulation. The state relies on groundwater supplies for up to 40 percent of its water in a normal year. This year's drought conditions are pushing groundwater to contribute as much as 65 percent, as farmers facing surface water cutbacks turn to well water. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999004/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Drought in West, cold in East make a difficult spring for America's farmers. The landscape across the United States to date has led to a split experience among farmers, with some not able to plant because of the cold and others unable to grow because of the heat. Colder-than-normal soil temperatures in the Midwest, heavy rainfall in the East, and lingering drought in California, Texas and the Great Plains…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998980/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Costly upgrades still loom for local truckers. Even as California air quality officials ease diesel engine regulations intended to meet state emission standards, local trucker Michael Velez says he’s still in the same place as five months ago. http://www.vvdailypress.com/articles/loom-46554-truckers-upgrades.html High tech sail could one-day power ferry boats. San Francisco Bay is being used to test a one-of-a-kind wind sail that could end up powering ferry boats. The objective is to reduce fuel use and air pollution. The 40-foot sail is made of carbon fiber making it light. The design is sleek to help propel any vessel. One day it could be used on a ferry boat carrying hundreds of commuters. The boats would use both wind and diesel. Posted. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=resources/traffic&id=9524343 FUELS Survey: US gas prices jump 3 cents per gallon. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. rose 3 cents, to $3.72, during the past two weeks, marking the 12th straight week of price hikes at the pump. That's according to a survey released Sunday. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg says gas prices are about to tumble, however, as crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices have started falling due to…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GAS_PRICES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT US to build 2 gasoline reserves in Northeast. The federal government offered New Yorkers smarting from Superstorm Sandy some hope Friday that they won't see a repeat of chronic gasoline shortages, announcing plans to create gas reserves to ease future weather-related disruptions. The two reserves - one for the New York City area and one in New England - will total 42 million gallons gasoline and will be stored…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NORTHEAST_GASOLINE_RESERVES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Gov-t-to-build-2-gasoline-reserves-in-Northeast-5448253.php AP IMPACT: Deadly side effect to fracking boom. Booming production of oil and natural gas has exacted a little-known price on some of the nation's roads, contributing to a spike in traffic fatalities in states where many streets and highways are choked with large trucks and heavy drilling equipment. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DRILLING_TRAFFIC_DEATHS_ABRIDGED?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Lobbying Surges for Keystone Pipeline Before Senate Vote. Television ads sponsored by the oil industry’s main trade association are being broadcast in five states to pressure Democrats to back the Keystone XL pipeline, part of a flurry of last-minute lobbying before a Senate vote as soon as this week. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-05/lobbying-surges-for-keystone-pipeline-before-senate-vote.html Canada Finds China Option No Easy Answer to Keystone Snub. Stephen Harper was in need of a new friend with a big appetite for oil. The Americans just weren’t cutting it. It was February 2012, three months since President Barack Obama had phoned the Canadian prime minister to say the Keystone XL pipeline designed to carry vast volumes of Canadian crude to American markets would be delayed. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-02/how-canada-s-flirtation-with-a-china-oil-market-soured.html VEHICLES Toyota Joins California Hydrogen Push in Station Funding. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) is funding a startup led by General Motors Co.’s former marketing chief to speed up the opening of hydrogen-fuel stations in California needed for zero-emission cars. Toyota is backing FirstElement Fuel, led by Joel Ewanick, with at least $7.2 million, according to letters filed with the California Energy Commission…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-05-02/toyota-joins-california-hydrogen-push-in-station-funding.html Energy Commission will fund new hydrogen fueling stations in California. California’s long-talked-about “Hydrogen Highway” has received a major commitment to help it take shape. The Sacramento-based California Energy Commission says it will invest $46.6 million to accelerate the development of public hydrogen fueling stations throughout California to promote a consumer market for zero-emission fuel-cell vehicles... Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/02/6373512/energy-commission-will-fund-new.html#storylink=cpy HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-speed rail agency poised to approve Fresno-Bakersfield section. The California High-Speed Rail Authority board is poised to forge ahead with approval of its Fresno-Bakersfield bullet-train route when it meets Tuesday and Wednesday in Fresno. A 20,000-page report detailing the potential effects of construction and operation of the 114-mile segment will be up for public comment for at least four hours…Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/05/03/3908316/high-speed-rail-agency-poised.html#storylink=cpy Brown wants to raid Cap-and-Trade for HSR train. Will the Legislature let him? Lots have been written lately about the use of Cap-and-Trade dollars to fund the building of the high-speed rail project. There are two problems first of all; there is a huge capital gap and cap-and trade is merely a Band-Aid and it is most unlikely it will fill that gap even for the first 300 miles of construction. Governor Brown wants $250 million in this coming year’s budget for the High-speed rail project. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/brown-wants-to-raid-cap-and-trade-for-hsr-train-will-the-legislature-let-him OPINIONS COLUMN-Energy and climate as an optimisation problem: Kemp. Uncertainty about the commitment of politicians and the public to "stay the course" risks derailing Britain's plan to cut greenhouse emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050. "Recent statements from government ministers show that energy policy is once again in flux," according to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). "Climate change mitigation is subject to increasing trade-offs with other objectives within government," …Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/02/kemp-energy-climatechange-idUSL6N0NO19020140502 Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change. Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy. Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303380004579521791400395288#printMode Toyota Escapes to Texas. Governor Jerry Brown's California comeback tour was rudely interrupted this week by news that Torrance-based Toyota is moving to Plano, Texas. The runaway car maker shines a headlight on how the South is overtaking California as a commercial and industrial power. In addition to its sales headquarters, Toyota says it plans to move 3,000 professional jobs to the Dallas suburb to centralize operations and improve efficiency. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303678404579533794175451998?KEYWORDS=climate+change&mg=reno64-wsj Gardening for Climate Change. This past winter was a tough one in our backyard. Where we live, about a hundred miles inland from the South Carolina coast, winter is normally a good time to make changes, like the swath of turf I removed from our front yard this year and replaced with perennial flowers and small tufts of native grass. But what is normal now in the garden? Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/opinion/sunday/gardening-for-climate-change.html?_r=0 Get ready for a water war in the Valley. In the name of helping endangered fish, the state takes 40 percent of the water flowing down the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers and sends it to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving a third less for irrigation. Farmers start pumping more groundwater for their trees and vines. After a couple of droughts, there isn’t enough groundwater left, and the trees and vines begin dying. Everyone loses. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/03/3322782/mike-dunbar-get-ready-for-a-water.html?sp=/99/1641/#storylink=cpy When air becomes a public health hazard. A new report from the American Lung Association lists the cities that have the worst air pollution in the U.S. Places in Southern California and the Central Valley, including Los Angeles, Fresno, Visalia and Modesto, top the list. But Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and even Fairbanks are also offenders. Posted. http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/04/opinion/farber-air-pollution/index.html?sr=sharebar_facebook BLOGS Keystone emissions amount to a fraction of what U.S. cows release into the atmosphere. Frustrated with the Obama administration's foot-dragging over a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate this week is considering legislation that would approve the pipeline by making an end-run around the White House. Since we'll be hearing an awful lot about the issue this week, it's worth reviewing exactly what is — and isn't — at stake here. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/05/keystone-emissions-amount-to-a-tenth-of-what-u-s-cows-release-into-the-atmosphere/ National Climate Assessment roll-out Tuesday: With proper translation, rolling eyes not deserved. ‘Oh great, another climate report!…’ Admit it, some of you are rolling your eyes and saying this…. The National Climate Assessment (NCA) report , a comprehensive review of climate change and impacts on the United States, is being released Tuesday. This report, for Americans, is a bit closer to home and should generate a buzz. But, will it? Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/05/05/national-climate-assessment-roll-out-tuesday-with-proper-translation-rolling-eyes-not-deserved/ Sierra snowpack a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ moment for Obama. Satellite photos in February of the Sierra Nevada’s shrunken snowpack brought home the urgency of climate change to President Obama, according to a front-page story in Monday’s Washington Post: “‘It was a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ moment,’ recalled White House counselor John D. Podesta, one of two aides who briefed the president that February day. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2014/05/05/sierra-snowpack-a-houston-moment-for-obama/ CA, MD up EV incentives; US Rep wants tax credit increased to $10,000. Advanced-powertrain vehicle advocates in California and Maryland can rejoice over a chilled glass of Napa Valley's finest white wine and a heaping plate of Baltimore's best crab cakes. That's because both states will continue to make life a little financially sweeter for plug-in vehicle drivers. It's a short-term fix for California but potentially longer-term for Maryland. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/05/04/us-rep-wants-ev-tax-credit-increased-10000-dollars/ EPA's $9M clean diesel campaign could pay back $117M in health benefits. Diesel fumes are bad for people. But diesel power is good for a lot of heavy-duty work. So, for now, one answer to threading the needle of that little conundrum is to make diesel engines as clean as possible. To that end, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $9 million worth of grant funds from the DERA National Funding Assistance Program. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/05/05/epa-clean-diesel-campaign-offers-117-million-health/ A Small Victory in the 'War on Coal' While the main action in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gasses must be to focus on developing renewable energy, the elimination of coal as a source of energy remains an important environmental and economic goal. Although it is incorrect to say that the Obama administration is sponsoring a "war on coal," they should be. I recognize the importance of coal to the economies in Appalachia, but we need to begin the transition to a coal-free economy. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/a-small-victory-in-the-wa_b_5266388.html Climate change is clear and present danger, says landmark US report. National Climate Assessment, to be launched at White House on Tuesday, says effects of climate change are now being felt. Climate change has moved from distant threat to present-day danger and no American will be left unscathed, according to a landmark report due to be unveiled on Tuesday. Posted. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/04/climate-change-present-us-national-assessment 8 Incredibly Efficient Cars That Drive Thousands Of Miles On Just One Gallon--Designed By Kids In High School. If you're feeling down about the state of the environment, there are few things more heartening than to check out the winners of the annualShell Eco-Marathon Americas. The competition challenges teams of high-school and college students to build incredibly energy-efficient vehicles that are powered by everything from gasoline and fuel cells to electricity and solar power. Posted. http://www.fastcoexist.com/3030037/8-incredibly-efficient-cars-that-drive-thousands-of-miles-on-just-one-gallon-designed-by-kid California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.