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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-soot-air-pollution-epa-ruling-20140509-story.html 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/10/6395057/officials-peg-west-sacramento.html 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_25745301/bay-area-air-quality-alert-issued-first-this 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-09/cleanest-fossil-fuel-is-wall-street-bet-on-climate-change.html 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/09/us-climatechange-antarctic-idUSKBN0DP04C20140509 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/us/brothers-work-different-angles-in-taking-on-climate-change.html?_r=0 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. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-environment-20140510-story.html DROUGHT 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/This-Trio-Is-Taking-the-West-Coast-Drought-in-5471751.php DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Google-buses-a-clear-need-for-environmental-5470040.php FUELS 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/12/oil-ethanol-lobby-idUSL2N0NG2D220140512 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/12/us-oil-ethanol-lobby-timeline-idUSBREA4B01T20140512 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. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/fed-govt-failed-to-inspect-higher-risk-oil-wells/2014/05/12/9753d402-d9ac-11e3-a837-8835df6c12c4_story.html http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/11/6395665/fed-govt-failed-to-inspect-higher.html#storylink=cpy 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304431104579549721309416240?mg=reno64-wsj 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Charge-your-electric-car-in-New-Milford-5468227.php GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-09/solar-seen-bailing-california-out-of-summer-hydro-shortage.html 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. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/09/6392876/solar-panels-finally-arrive-atop.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.utsandiego.com/sponsored/2014/may/11/sdge-sustainability-workplace-employees/ OPINIONS 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Editorial-Climate-change-is-here-now-5468375.php 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Letters-to-Insight-May-11-5466802.php 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/No-need-for-faster-buses-5470038.php 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. http://helenair.com/news/opinion/climate-change-we-have-no-solution/article_9c725ad4-d994-11e3-920b-0019bb2963f4.html 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. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/12/3336074/climate-change-a-cure-worse-than.html#storylink=cpy http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/05/12/3644514/climate-change-a-cure-worse-than.html 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. http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/12/3336129/doyle-mcmanus-the-gop-does-the.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bjornlomborg/2014/05/12/the-worlds-biggest-environmental-killer/ BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/05/08/the-insiders-five-reasons-voters-dont-believe-the-white-house-about-global-warming/ 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. Posted. http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/chinas-coal-dependency-threatens-efforts-to-curb-warming/?_php=true&_type=blogs&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults&mabReward=relbias%3Ar&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry157%23%2Fair%2Bpollution%2F24hours%2F&_r=0 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. http://blog.timesunion.com/lawrencewhite/new-york-facing-extreme-weather-future/1323/ 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. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/05/12/tesla-battery-deal-ends-toyota-rav4-ev/ 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. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/05/11/epa-challenged-by-third-party-fuel-economy-test/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.