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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. CAP AND TRADE 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/20/usa-carbon-idUSL1N0O50CD20140520 AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/African-dust-s-link-to-flesh-eating-bacteria-in-5489562.php CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-05-20/el-nino-alert-remains-as-australia-predicts-pattern-by-august.html 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/us/politics/in-california-climate-issues-moved-to-fore-by-governor.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1 http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-jerry-brown-california-climate-change-20140519-story.html?track=rss http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25794198/governor-jerry-brown-calls-action-climate-change-irks?source=rss http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2014/05/20/gov-jerry-brown-climate-change/9314643/ http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/05/19/3933673/brown-california-at-epicenter.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/News/ci_25794198/Governor-Jerry-Brown-calls-for-action 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/science/the-melting-isnt-glacial.html?ref=science?src=dayp&_r=0 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/upshot/how-el-nino-might-alter-the-political-climate.html 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/19/6416920/oxfam-prods-10-largest-food-and.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/05/20/national-landmarks-climate-change/9281341/ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140520-threatened-historic-landmarks-climate-change/ 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. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-brings-short-term-benefits-long-term-fears-to-california-wine-country/ 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. Posted. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/may/climate-europe-farming-052014.html 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT 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 jobs…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-drought-economic-impacts-20140519-story.html 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. http://capitolweekly.net/lawn-water-answer-drought/ FUELS 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ETHANOL_PROFITABILITY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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 Francisco…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-05-19/shell-considers-retiring-california-coker-amid-shale-boom.html http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059999873/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-05-20/gasoline-slips-as-imports-seen-rising-from-11-month-high.html 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Stanford-Says-No-to-Coal-Pats-Itself-on-the-Back-5489443.php 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. http://www.nationaljournal.com/new-energy-paradigm/a-fracking-boom-where-there-is-no-fracking-20140519 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-19/fisker-s-billionare-owner-eyes-u-s-revival-china.html 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 specification”…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/automobiles/nissan-recalls-about-200-leaf-evs-for-a-faulty-weld.html?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%3Dqry429%23%2Fvehicles%2F24hours%2F 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. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/05/gm-reduced-energy-intensity-and-carbon-intensity-per-vehicle-in-2013.html 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/05/20140520-doeh2.html HIGH-SPEED 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/world/europe/flood-danger-persists-in-serbia-threatening-power-plant.html?ref=earth 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Memo-to-Tesla-Motors-Inc-Use-Our-Batteries-5487652.php OPINIONS 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. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-le-0520-tuesday-stanford-coal-20140520-story.html 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/EDITORIAL-New-rules-on-air-quality-must-strike-5484757.php 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/You-Want-to-Save-the-Environment-Forget-the-U-S-5491823.php Memo to Stanford: Don't attack coal, attack carbon ï¿½ 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. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wolak-stanford-divestment-carbon-20140516-story.html http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/19/6414813/memo-to-stanford-dont-attack-coal.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/20/6417639/steve-paul-environmental-law-seems.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/05/20/un-climate-change-expert-reveals-bias-in-global-warming-report/ BLOGS 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. http://blog.timesunion.com/lawrencewhite/of-fire-and-ice/1453/ 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. http://blog.ctnews.com/bailey/2014/05/20/how-bridgeport-will-save-the-world/ 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. Posted. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/iea-co2-emissions-data-17459 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/epa-power-plant_n_5356784.html 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. http://grist.org/business-technology/what-all-our-computers-together-can-tell-us-about-climate-change/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/05/20/ev-sociability-run-returns-to-celebrate-100th-anniversary/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/05/19/ihs-evs-sales-are-better-than-you-might-think/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/05/19/new-fisker-owner-go-broke-building-evs-challenging-tesla/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.