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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 20, 2014.

Posted: 20 May 2014 15:41:28
ARB Newsclips for May 20, 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.


EPA carbon curbs to reach beyond power plant 'fence,' aiding
cap-and-trade.  President Barack Obama's landmark rules to cut
power plant emissions will likely give a fresh push to regional
U.S. carbon cap-and-trade systems by allowing for a holistic,
state-wide view of new pollution targets, sources familiar with
the process said.  Posted. 


African dust's link to flesh-eating bacteria in the Gulf.
Researchers at Texas A&M Corpus Christi have been awarded more
than $200,000 to study the link between Saharan dust clouds over
the Gulf and increases in dangerous bacteria. The dust is swept
up from the Saharan and Sahel deserts and carried across the
Atlantic, only to be dumped in the Gulf days later. Posted.


El Nino Alert Remains as Australia Sees Pattern by August. 
Australia remains on El Nino watch on expectations the weather
pattern that brings drought to the Asia-Pacific region and
heavier-than-usual rains to South America will probably develop
by August. The alert indicates at least a 70 percent chance of an
El Nino developing this year, the Bureau of Meteorology said on
its website today. Posted.

In California, Climate Issues Moved to Fore by Governor.
Portraying California as the front line of climate change, Gov.
Jerry Brown said Monday that the effects of man-made global
warming were devastating the state, drawing a direct link between
climate change and both the record-setting drought that has left
the state parched and the early-season wildfires that broke out
across California last week. Posted.



The Big Melt Accelerates. Centuries from now, a large swath of
the West Antarctic ice sheet is likely to be gone, its hundreds
of trillions of tons of ice melted, causing a four-foot rise in
already swollen seas. Scientists reported last week that the
scenario may be inevitable, with new research concluding that
some giant glaciers had passed the point of no return, possibly
setting off a chain reaction that could doom the rest of the ice
sheet. Posted.

How El Niño Might Alter the Political Climate. El Niño is coming.
Above-average sea surface temperatures have developed off the
west coast of South America and seem poised to grow into a
full-fledged El Niño event, in which unusually warm water
temperatures spread across the equatorial East Pacific. Models
indicate a 75 percent chance of El Niño this fall, which could
bring devastating droughts to Australia or heavy rains to the
southern United States. Posted.

Oxfam prods 10 largest food and drink firms on climate change.
Few companies are potentially more vulnerable to climate change
than the world's biggest food and beverage brands. Droughts are
diminishing agricultural yields, and severe cold snaps like the
one that crippled parts of the U.S. this year resulted in weeks
of lost production. Posted.

National landmarks threatened by climate change. Climate change
is putting historic and cultural landmarks around the USA at
risk, according to a report released Tuesday by the Union of
Concerned Scientists (UCS), a non-profit science advocacy
organization based in Washington, D.C. "Sea-level rise, coastal
erosion, increased flooding, heavy rains and more frequent large
wildfires are damaging archaeological resources…Posted.


Climate change brings short-term benefits, long-term fears to
California wine country. California's warmest winter on record is
now leading to an incredibly early wine season. While the warmer
weather could provide short-term benefits to the state's wine
industry, the gradual spike in temperatures could also have a
detrimental impact on winemaking throughout the famed Napa Valley
region. Posted.

Stanford research shows importance of European farmers adapting
to climate change. New Stanford research reveals that farmers in
Europe will see crop yields affected as global temperatures rise,
but that adaptation can help slow the decline for some crops. A
newly published Stanford study indicates European wheat yields
will drop more than 20 percent by 2040 due to global warming.

Reported 25% GHG cut from power plant rule not enough – enviros.
The Obama administration has a lot riding on next month's
proposal for existing power plants. U.S. EPA's much-anticipated
Clean Air Act rule would limit emissions from a sector
responsible for 40 percent of the nation's carbon dioxide
pollution and is President Obama's most significant tool for
achieving the economywide emissions reduction pledges he made in
Copenhagen, Denmark, nearly five years ago. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999904/print BY

Forest fires may spur Greenland melt – study. Large forest fires
may contribute to extensive ice melt on Greenland's surface,
indicating that a growth in fire frequency in the future may also
worsen widespread melt on the ice sheet, according to a new
study. The research, published online yesterday in Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences, finds that 2012's summer melt
event in Greenland…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059999865/print BY


Drought could cost Central Valley farms $1.7 billion and 14,500
jobs. The Central Valley’s 7 million acres of irrigated farmland
are best known as the richest food-producing region in the world.
But a new study by UC Davis researchers forecasts severe
socioeconomic impacts ahead in the area where many of the
nation’s fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables are grown.  The
drought could cost the region’s farm industry $1.7 billion in
2014 and cause more than 14,500 workers to lose their

Lawn water: A fix for the drought? It’s enough water to fill Lake
Oroville and more, and it’s flowing out on to lawns and
landscapes in cities and communities across the state each year,
according to the Department of Water Resources.  But with the
state deep in drought and water supplies dwindling, there’s a
movement underfoot that’s hoping to change that. Posted.


EPA mulls ethanol change as industry profits soar. Just as
ethanol producers have been seeing the industry's most profitable
months ever, the federal government is considering whether to
lower the amount of the corn-based fuel that must be blended into
gasoline. That could be a serious blow to a biofuels industry
that saw booms and busts connected to corn and petroleum prices
before a renewable fuel standard... Posted.

Shell Considers Retiring California Coker Amid Shale Boom.
Europe’s biggest oil company, is considering retiring one of two
coking units at its only refinery in California as the company
seeks to run lighter crude at the plant. The company has applied
to county regulators for a permit to shut the flexicoker at the
156,400-barrel-a-day Martinez refinery northeast of San

http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059999873/print BY

Gasoline Slips as Imports Seen Rising From 11-Month High.
Gasoline fell for a second day in New York on speculation imports
of the motor fuel will climb from an 11-month high and production
from U.S. refineries increases. Foreign shipments of motor fuel
to the U.S. East Coast rose to 861,000 barrels a day in the week
ended May 9, the most since June 21 and the highest seasonal
level since 2007, according to government data. Posted.

Stanford Says No to Coal, Pats Itself on the Back. Stanford
University's announcement that it won't invest directly in
coal-related companies will be watched closely by professional
and individual investors alike. Unfortunately, this decision
misses the point. Substantial social injury Stanford's investment
goal is to make money. Posted.

A Fracking Boom Where There Is No Fracking. On the Texas coast,
the state’s fracking boom has sparked an industrial surge and new
fears about pollution. For John LaRue, sand was the harbinger of
the change. Several years ago, LaRue, the Port of Corpus
Christi's executive director, began seeing the smooth quartz
grains arriving in bulk from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Posted.

Research envisions turning woody waste into asset for cellulosic
producers.  A pesky polymer that stands in the way of the sugars
needed to make plant-based fuels might yet become a valuable
asset for biofuels companies.  At issue is whether lignin, the
complex polymer that gives plants their structure, could be the
basis for carbon fiber, a lightweight but strong substance
growing in popularity as transportation industries seek greater
efficiencies. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999887/print BY


Is This Man Going to Be China’s Elon Musk?  The Chinese
billionaire who bought Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc. at a
bankruptcy auction is planning to build a new slate of
electric-drive cars in the U.S., challenging Tesla Motors Inc.
(TSLA) on its home turf. Lu Guanqiu, the chairman and founder of
China’s Wanxiang Group Corp., plans to manufacture electric cars
in the U.S. and ultimately in China, he said in his first
extensive interview since prevailing in a February bidding war
for Fisker’s assets. Posted.

Nissan Recalls About 200 Leaf E.V.s for a Faulty Weld.  Nissan is
recalling 211 Leaf electric vehicles from the 2014 model year for
a welding defect that requires the automaker to give owners a new
vehicle if necessary, the automaker said in a report posted on
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Nissan says that some of the structural welds in the front
section of the Leaf “may not have been welded to

GM reduced energy intensity and carbon intensity per vehicle in
2013.  In 2013, GM reduced the energy-intensity per vehicle
manufactured 3.5% from 2012, down to an average 2.22 MW/vehicle
from 2.30 MW, according to the company’s just released 2013
sustainability report. GM has set a target of 1.97 MW/vehicle for
2020, a reduction of 20% from the 2010 baseline of 2.47 MW. 

US DOE awarding $7M to 6 projects for advanced hydrogen storage
systems for vehicles.  The US Department of Energy (DOE) will
award a total of $7 million to six projects to develop
lightweight, compact, and inexpensive advanced hydrogen storage
systems that will enable longer driving ranges and help make fuel
cell systems competitive for different platforms and sizes of
vehicles.  Posted. 


Approps bill aims at Calif. bullet train, urges final safety
standards. House Republicans are poised to take another swipe at
California's high-speed rail endeavor in a spending bill likely
to be approved tomorrow by the House Appropriations Committee.
The bill, which would fund both the Transportation and Housing
and Urban Development departments in fiscal 2015, would bar the
Surface Transportation Board from approving any segment of the
planned 800-mile system unless it has…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999902/print BY


IEA to help countries improve management of 'hidden fuel' The
'hidden fuel' is the fuel you don't use, and it can be very hard
to keep track of. An inability to track use and data about energy
savings can be a significant obstacle for countries looking to
establish ambitious energy efficiency policies. Energy efficiency
can help cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve a country's
energy security…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059999872/print BY


Flood Danger Persists in Serbia, Threatening Power Plant.  The
rain has stopped, at last, but the danger persists in
flood-ravaged Serbia, where a lake of water is pushing its way
down the Sava River, toward the Danube, threatening the capital,
Belgrade, and the power plant southwest of the city that provides
half of the nation’s electricity. Posted.

Memo to Tesla Motors, Inc.: Use Our Batteries. While Tesla seems
to be traveling at a headstrong 100 miles per hour toward
building its Gigafactory, a factory with the capacity to build
more lithium-ion batteries under one roof than in the entire
world's production today, one small start-up in Japan says it has
the technology that would put lithium-ion to shame. Posted.


Stanford takes on coal, not tobacco. Professor Frank Wolak's
piece on Stanford University's decision to divest its endowment
fund from coal mining interests, and his alternative of an
on-campus "revenue-neutral carbon tax," are both to be commended,
as the Stanford community seeks no longer to profit from funds
from corporate interests that produce highly toxic clouds of
smoke that lead to deleterious health effects. ("Memo to
Stanford: Don't attack coal, attack carbon -- with a tax,"
Opinion, May 18) Posted.

EDITORIAL: New rules on air quality must strike fair balance. 
Air quality is not a theoretical issue in Southeast Texas. The
region has four major refineries and many other petrochemical
plants. No doubt about it, those facilities produce varying
levels of emissions that can be unhealthy. Yet Southeast Texans
also work at these plants and depend on their tax revenues.

You Want to Save the Environment? Forget the U.S. and Look at
China and India. The U.S. government is increasingly looking to
regulate emissions from pollution-heavy energy sources like coal
and gasoline. That's not a bad thing if new rules are judiciously
imposed, but it misses the point. In fact, the United States is
only a small part of the problem. Posted.

Memo to Stanford: Don't attack coal, attack carbon � with a
tax. Last week, Stanford's Board of Trustees announced that the
university would not directly invest funds from its endowment in
coal mining companies. Even the strongest advocates of this
action acknowledge that it is a symbolic gesture with little
direct effect on the coal industry or global greenhouse gas
emissions. Posted.


Steve Paul: Environmental law seems more divisive than ever. The
Endangered Species Act was established in 1973, during the
presidency of a Republican, Richard Nixon, and at a time of
increasing awareness of ecological degradation. Following
previous efforts at conservation policy, it clarified the concern
that human behavior and industrial activity could have harmful
effects on wildlife and wild lands. Posted.

UN climate change expert reveals bias in global warming report.
Three of the four installments of the Fifth Assessment Report
(AR5) of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC), which claims to show the state of the global
climate system under stress, are now available.  All three show
things are seriously amiss – although not necessarily with the
climate itself. Posted.


Of fire and ice “We as people see it as closing doors and
limiting our future choices. Most of us personally would like to
keep those choices open.” Richard Alley,  professor of
geosciences, Pennsylvania State University. As has been reported
hundreds of trillions of tons of ice is rapidly melting in the
West Antarctic Sheet. This will cause a 4 foot rise in the
world’s sea levels. Posted.

How Bridgeport will save the world. If recent news reports are to
be believed, it might be too late to stop catastrophic climate
change: “A rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be
unavoidable in coming centuries,” scientists say. And for anyone
still of the belief that this is all somehow a big hoax, the U.S.
military, for one, disagrees. Any hope of mitigating the worst
means a serious effort at cutting carbon emissions. Posted.

IEA Graphic Shows How to Radically Reduce CO2. Worldwide, nations
are going to have to slash their greenhouse gas emissions
drastically to prevent average global temperatures from warming
beyond the point of no return, which many scientists consider to
be 2°C warmer than average temperatures just before the
industrial age.

EPA's Power Plant Emissions Limits Will Likely Aid Existing
Cap-And-Trade Programs. President Barack Obama's landmark rules
to cut power plant emissions will likely give a fresh push to
regional U.S. carbon cap-and-trade systems by allowing for a
holistic, state-wide view of new pollution targets, sources
familiar with the process said.
The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to allow states
including California and Maryland to use existing
emission-cutting schemes to reach their goals…Posted.

What all our computers together can tell us about climate change.
As I type these very words, I’m helping scientists figure out the
future of climate change. I’m doing it by running a program that
I downloaded from Climateprediction.net (CPDN), a group that’s
using my laptop’s extra processing power to forecast how global
warming is going to impact heat waves in Australia. Posted.

EV Sociability Run returns to celebrate 100th anniversary.  This
year's Electric Vehicle "Sociability Run," will commemorate the
100th anniversary of the original EV rally, about 65 miles
northwest of the original site. This year, electric-vehicle
enthusiasts will meet up in Charles Town, WV – and not
Washington, DC – on June 7 to toast their slice of EV Nation and
take to the roads. Posted.

IHS: EVs sales are better than you might think.  Plug-in vehicles
are getting a lot more done during their proverbial senior year
than hybrids ever did. IHS Automotive is poking holes into the
theory that plug-in vehicles aren't selling as well by comparing
them to hybrids at the same stage the technology's evolution.
Turns out, the plug-ins come out substantially ahead. By the end
of 2013, the fourth year of sales for both the …Posted.

New Fisker owner ready to go broke building EVs, challenging
Tesla.  Now this is the kind of fighting spirit we like to see.
Lu Guanqiu is a Chinese billionaire who has visited the White
House alongside Chinese president Hu Jintao in 2011. He's worth
an estimated $3.1 billion. And he wants to take on Tesla Motors
and other EV makers with his newly purchased company, Fisker
Automotive. Posted.

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

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