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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 12, 2014

Posted: 12 May 2014 13:43:26
ARB Newsclips for May 12, 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.


Obama administration limits on soot pollution upheld by appeals
court. The Obama administration on Friday scored its third major
legal victory on air pollution in less than month when a federal
appeals court rejected an industry challenge to its latest health
standards for fine particulate matter, or soot. Posted.

Officials peg West Sacramento neighborhood as region’s most
vulnerable to pollution. Rocio Martinez lives with the effects of
what the maps show every day. Two of her four boys have asthma,
and after 15 years in her West Sacramento neighborhood, she’s
developing it, too. It’s worst in the afternoon, when traffic is
heavy with trucks rumbling through to the interstate or the port,
but inhalers help. Posted.

Bay Area air quality alert issued, first this year. The Bay Area
Quality Management District is issuing a Spare the Air Alert for
today. The alert, which is the district's first of 2014, advises
air quality is expected to be unhealthy today due to high
temperatures, low winds and motor vehicle exhaust. These factors
are expected to cause unhealthy ozone accumulation in the Bay
Area. Posted.

China may begin to reduce coal consumption by 2020 – report.
China could make its coal consumption peak by 2020, putting the
world's largest greenhouse gas polluter on a fast track to
reducing climate change-causing emissions, British economist Lord
Nicholas Stern argues today in a new report. The study of China's
plans to address climate change finds that it would be
advantageous as well as possible for the energy giant to phase
out coal in the medium term. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059999380/print BY

Draft letter from EPA advisors urges tougher ozone standard. A
draft letter from a U.S. EPA science advisory committee
recommends a tight standard for how much ozone pollution can be
in the air, recommending that the lower bound of the standard
should be 60 parts per billion, much lower than the current
standard. But the letter notes that committee members haven't
made a decision on the upper bound of the ozone standard. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999409/print BY

Major utility trims CO2 footprint 21% with energy efficiency,
coal plant closures. American Electric Power Corp. is proving
that large, coal-fired electric utilities can make significant
reductions in their carbon footprints. The Ohio-based utility, in
its 2014 corporate accountability report issued last week, said
it had reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 21 percent over
the last eight years, from 145.1 million metric tons in 2005 to
115 million metric tons last year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059999376/print BY


Cleanest Fossil Fuel Is Wall Street's Bet on Climate Change. 
Wall Street’s idea of investing in climate change means investors
are piling into natural gas, the least polluting fossil fuel.
Energy accounted for almost two-thirds of the $8 billion of
inflows into sector-based exchange-traded funds this year,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the absence of
federal mandates for renewables such as wind and solar, much of
that money is going into funds that invest in natural gas
drillers. Posted.

Scientists hope 2,000-year-old ice holds clues to climate change.
Polar scientists who retrieved ice samples from the Antarctic say
they are on the verge of unlocking 2,000 years of climate records
offering clues to how global warming will affect our future. An
international team traveled to Antarctica's Aurora Basin in a
five-week project that began last December, to drill for ice
samples needed to bridge a gap in knowledge of temperature
changes over the last 20 centuries. Posted.

Brothers Battle Climate Change on Two Fronts.  In the New Mexico
of the 1950s, the two brothers grew up steeped in the beauty of
the landscape, the economics of energy and the power of science.
They skied, fly-fished, explored on the family’s 50,000-acre
sheep ranch, watched oil towns go boom and bust, and talked of
the nuclear weapons up the road at Los Alamos. Posted.

Obama hopes to win over voters with renewed focus on climate
change. President Obama capped a weeklong focus on climate change
with a push for greater energy efficiency, a pitch particularly
attuned to reaching two groups: big-dollar donors in the green
movement and activists once inspired by his 2008 ambition to heal
the planet. Posted.


This Trio Is Taking the West Coast Drought in Stride. Water is a
key component of life, and the West Coast drought has caused its
fair share of disruption. However, companies from Edison
International to Chipotle Mexican Grill have managed to handle
the strain without missing a beat. Still a troubled region. The
West Coast isn't out from under the shadow of the drought.


Google buses - a clear need for environmental review. San
Francisco officeholders have been quick to give public assets to
private industry in exchange for specious "community benefits."
The most recent exchange is the San Francisco Municipal
Transportation Agency's Google bus plan. The plan purports to
collect data on, regulate and charge private commuter shuttles
for stopping in Muni bus zones. Posted.


How 'Big Corn' lost the ethanol battle to Philadelphia refiners.
Six months ago the U.S. oil industry scored a surprise win
against farm groups when the Obama administration proposed
slashing the amount of ethanol refiners must blend into gasoline,
a move that could save them billions of dollars. Stunned by the
reversal, producers of the corn-based biofuel and their
supporters are now fighting back ahead of a June deadline for the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a final decision on
the cut. Posted.

Timeline: Delta Air Lines' and Carlyle's efforts to ease U.S.
ethanol rules. In 2013, Delta Air Lines and The Carlyle Group
joined the refining industry in lobbying to lower federal
mandates on how much ethanol and other biofuels have to be
blended into U.S. fuel supplies. A surge in the price in
renewable identification numbers (RINs), credits used to track
the production and blending of ethanol and other biofuels into
motor fuel, saddled their investments in ageing Philadelphia-area
refineries with hundreds of millions of dollars of additional
costs. Posted.

Fed govt failed to inspect higher risk oil wells. The government
has failed to inspect thousands of oil and gas wells it considers
potentially high risks for water contamination and other
environmental damage, congressional investigators say. The
report, obtained by The Associated Press before its public
release, highlights substantial gaps in oversight by the agency
that manages oil and gas development on federal and Indian lands.


Fossil fuels may dominate sector through 2040. There are a
growing number of ways to power cars and trucks with low-carbon
fuels, such as electricity, hydrogen and advanced biofuels. But
according to experts at an alternative fuel summit here last
week, fossil fuels are likely to dominate the transportation
sector well into the future. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059999381/print BY

Oil and gas companies ask EPA to exempt cogeneration from power
plant rule. Coal isn't the only fossil fuel industry vying for a
stake in U.S. EPA's greenhouse gas standards for new power
plants. The oil and gas industry is mounting an effort to exempt
cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), from
regulations on new power plants. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059999379/print BY

Spills up 18 percent in U.S. in 2013. The number of spills
reported at oil and gas production sites shot up nearly 18
percent last year, even as the rate of drilling activity leveled
off. There were at least 7,662 spills, blowouts, leaks and other
mishaps in 2013 in 15 top states for onshore oil and gas
activity, according to an EnergyWire analysis of state records.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059999364/print


Mercedes B-Class Hits the A-List of Electric Cars. And over here
in the Appliance Department you'll now find the Mercedes-Benz
B-Class Electric Drive, the firm's first proper,
volume-production electric car: Five-seats, five doors,
front-wheel drive, 85 miles of range, 42 grand or so before tax
credits at the state and federal level. In all respects, just
another ship in Mercedes' fleet. Posted. 

Charge your electric car in New Milford. New Milford is embracing
21st century driving changes. An electric vehicle charging port
will be installed on Main Street. It will be set up across from
New Milford Library, by the first parking spot near the
electrical kiosk on the Village Green. The EV charging port
should be installed and operational within six weeks, according
to Mayor Pat Murphy's office. It is being purchased from
California-based ChargePoint. Posted.


Solar Seen Bailing California Out of Summer Hydro Shortage
California, facing a record drought that’s dried up hydropower
supplies and spurred wildfires, has enough electricity to supply
peak demand this summer thanks to a jump in solar and gas-fired
generation, according to the state’s grid manager. Posted.

Solar panels finally arrive atop the White House. The White House
is finally on the solar grid, in response to prodding by
environmentalists and nearly four years after then-Energy
Secretary Steven Chu pledged that solar panels and a solar water
heater would be installed on the historic building’s roof.

Local sustainability innovation.  As the energy provider in a
region known for sustainability and innovation, San Diego Gas &
Electric (SDG&E) is doing its part to take the lead in
environmental stewardship. San Diegans might be most familiar
with SDG&E’s collaborative efforts with customers to promote
energy efficiency or extensive initiatives to foster renewable
energy. Posted.


Editorial: Climate change is here now. THE ISSUE: Another
national report on climate change warns of imminent danger.  THE
STAKES: Americans cannot afford to ignore it or even move slowly
in our response. Even as one credible report after another
describes with scary detail how we, our children and our
grandchildren will be affected by climate change, it remains
frustratingly difficult to make the substantive changes needed
now to deal with the negative effects of our planet's rising
temperatures. Posted.

Tax carbon emissions to curb climate change. Climate change is
here and now, according to the National Climate Assessment report
cited in "Dire warnings about climate in federal study" (May 6).
Climate change is costing Americans billions in infrastructure
damage from ever-worsening storms, food-crop losses from
droughts, and more and more stress on human health every day.
President Obama is finally stepping up loud and clear to take
aggressive action. Posted.

No need for faster buses. "Why bus rapid transit isn't picking up
speed" (May 8): The high-speed BRT buses are too long, take away
parking spaces, protrude into intersections and are dangerous
when their drivers deliberately crowd their lanes, often driving
at well above legal speed limits, intimidating vehicles in front
or alongside. We do not need "high speed" street transport to
duplicate our fine BART system. Posted.

Climate change: We have no solution. It would be healthy — in the
sense of promoting honesty — if every report warning of global
warming and climate change (the two terms are interchangeable)
came with the following disclaimer: Despite our belief that
global warming poses catastrophic threats to many of the world’s
7 billion inhabitants, we acknowledge that we now lack the
technologies to stop it. Posted.

Climate change: A cure worse than the disease.  Man-made
greenhouse gas emissions already are causing gloom and doom and
adversely affecting our way of life. That's the conclusion of the
National Climate Assessment just released by the Obama
administration. But before we trade our Buicks for bikes, it's
important to highlight the climate realities and show that the
administration's proposed policy solutions will drive up the cost
of energy for Americans and have no meaningful impact on climate.

Doyle McManus: The GOP does the climate change dance.  Last week,
the White House issued a new and alarming edition of its national
report on climate change. How did leading Republicans respond?
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the GOP's leader in the Senate,
scoffed at President Obama for "talking about the weather,"
dismissing the issue as a hobbyhorse of "liberal elites ... who
leave a giant carbon footprint and then lecture everybody else
about low-flow toilets." Posted.

The World's Biggest Environmental Killer: Indoor Air Pollution.
Political heavyweights such as Secretary of State John Kerry and
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon name climate change the
“defining issue of our times” and “perhaps the world’s most
fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Yet, the biggest
environmental killer we face is actually indoor air pollution.
More than one third of the world’s population – 2.9 billion
people – still burns wood, charcoal and dung indoors to keep warm
and cook food. Posted.


The Insiders: Five reasons voters don’t believe the White House
about global warming. The White House released a third iteration
of the “U.S. National Climate Assessment,” claiming it is “the
most comprehensive scientific assessment ever generated of
climate change and its impacts across every region of America and
major sectors of the U.S. economy.” The report emphasizes the
need for “urgent action to combat the threats from climate
change.” Posted.

China’s Coal Dependency Threatens Efforts to Curb Warming.
Projected increases in China’s coal consumption may render it
“almost impossible” for the world to limit global temperature
increases from greenhouse gases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees
Fahrenheit) unless the country acts quickly to cap and then
reduce its dependency on the fossil fuel, a new study has found.

New York facing extreme weather future. The national climate
report that was released last week provides Americans with an
alarming view of the upcoming and current impact of climate
change on the United States, New York included. The study shows
evidence of climate change in every region with visible impacts
in each state. Around the nation, extreme weather events have
become more frequent and intense. Posted.

Tesla pulling plug on Toyota RAV4 EV battery deal.  The future of
the Toyota RAV4 EV appears to be in doubt. Tesla supplies the EVs
battery packs, and it says that production ends later this year.
"Toyota is expected to end the current RAV4 EV model this year,"
Tesla said in its quarterly financial filing obtained by
Bloomberg. Posted.

EPA challenged by third-party fuel economy test. Fuel economy
figures from the Environmental Protection Agency have been
criticized in recent years for being, in some cases, wildly
inaccurate, and after enduring public controversies about some
automakers' mile-per-gallon claims. In 2012, Hyundai and Kia
admitted that some of their economy numbers were exaggerated, and
Ford had to re-rate the C-Max because its original stats were too
high. Posted.

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

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