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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 11, 2014 Posted: 11 Jul 2014 14:56:19
ARB Newsclips for July 11, 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 Petition gatherers: Come for one measure, stay for another. Michael Arno, whose company is collecting signatures to qualify Draper’s initiative for the November 2016 ballot, has offered signature gatherers an unrelated “expression of support” that people can sign urging the Legislature to hold off expanding California’s controversial cap-and-trade program to vehicle fuels in 2015. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/10/6547239/petition-gatherers-come-for-one.html AIR POLLUTION Vernon battery recycler is allowed to reopen, with conditions. Air quality officials are giving a battery recycling plant in Vernon another chance to prove it can operate without putting nearby residents at risk. Despite demands from community groups calling for permanent closure of the Exide Technologies plant, the region's air quality hearing board approved an agreement Thursday that would allow the idled facility to reopen…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-0711-exide-20140711-story.html http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/07/10/45248/orders-clear-the-air-in-exide-pollution-fight/ CLIMATE CHANGE Why Some Cities Get Way Hotter Than Others During The Summer. Summer in the city can be brutal, but just how bad it gets depends on the city itself. Most cities are hotter than their surroundings, but some are more susceptible to this "heat island" effect than others. A new study, released July 9 in the journal Nature, has pinpointed why — and which cities are the most at risk. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Why-Some-Cities-Get-Way-Hotter-Than-Others-During-5612637.php Teaming up on clean power. California’s role as a lonely pioneer on climate change is coming to a close. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants gives states wide latitude on how to achieve reductions. The 2030 emission targets — set to become part of the U.S. Clean Air Act next year, with many adjustments…Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/11/tp-teaming-up-on-clean-power/ Climate change solution: Scrap subsidies, fund innovation. Mark your calendars. November 30, 2015 is international climate D-Day. Representatives from 196 countries will meet in Paris for the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to complete negotiations on a new international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2020. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/0710/Climate-change-solution-Scrap-subsidies-fund-innovation Soot from wildfires discovered with 90% greater warming potential – study. Scientists have learned something new about the nasty, dark smoke that rises from wildfires that might have important implications on the climate. As the U.S. wildfire season is well underway, researchers have detected a new, bigger kind of soot particle emitted by fires that, when released into the atmosphere, has a 90 percent greater warming effect than the particles assumed in current climate models. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002708/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Global warming education proponents strengthen efforts against 'anti-science forces' The fight over whether states should include man-made climate change in K-12 science education heated up yesterday with the "Climate Science Students Bill of Rights," a new campaign launched by advocacy groups with the aim of garnering national support for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002704/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Changing southern winds could exacerbate sea-level rise – study. Fragile ice sheets in Antarctica could come under even more pressure from climate change as shifting westerly winds in the region drive warm water under the continent's protruding glaciers. After running almost two dozen ocean simulations from the data-poor Antarctic -- at a higher resolution than ever before -- an international team of researchers now believes that projected changes in winds circling the continent may help accelerate global sea-level rise. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002703/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY USGS scientists use satellites to see how polar bears adapt to warmer conditions. Scientists traditionally track animals by capturing and tagging them, then releasing them back into the wild. Or researchers might have access to GPS systems or be able to count members of a population from the window of a low-flying plane. But now, a handful of scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey are using some exceptionally expensive machinery in order to study animals in the Arctic: satellites. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002710/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT California drought: El Niño not likely to bring much rain. Professional weather watchers are losing hope that the expected arrival of an El Niño in coming months will wash away California's drought. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center, which issued its monthly report on Pacific Ocean weather patterns Thursday, is still projecting that sea surface temperatures will rise, a phenomenon known as El Niño. But the El Niño that's in the forecast will likely be "weak to moderate," the report says. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Report-El-Ni-o-not-likely-to-end-California-5613442.php http://www.dailynews.com/article/20140710/NEWS/140719965 California’s Deepening Drought Shrinking Reservoirs. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves 19 million people from Ventura to the Mexico border, is anticipating drawing down 40 percent of its water storage this year to meet demand. Southern California’s reservoirs were in good shape going into last winter. Now, seven months later, “Posted. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/jul/11/californias-deepening-drought-shrinking-reservoirs/ FUELS A Lesson in Diplomacy for Pipeline Companies. Big energy projects often bring out opposition groups. Investors often think of such groups as intractable opponents and as obstacles to overcome. But a proposed project in Canada shows that this isn't always the case. Opposition groups have blocked Canada's efforts to bring its oil and gas to international markets at every turn. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/A-Lesson-in-Diplomacy-for-Pipeline-Companies-5615189.php VEHICLES China to Exempt Electric Cars From 10% Purchase Tax. China will waive a 10 percent purchase tax on electric cars as part of expanded measures to combat pollution and cut energy dependence. New-energy autos -- China’s term for electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles -- will be excluded from the levy from Sept. 1 to the end of 2017…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-07-09/china-to-exclude-electric-cars-from-purchase-tax-amid-smog-fight.html Betting on Diesel Cars, Exxon Is Set to Expand Belgium Refinery. Exxon Mobil to Invest in Diesel in Belgium. At Dimitris Poliviou’s car repair shop, customers are increasingly turning up with diesel-powered vehicles. “There are loads and loads of them,” Mr. Poliviou said as his crew in the Belsize Park neighborhood here worked on a diesel Volkswagen Passat. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/business/international/exxon-mobil-to-invest-in-diesel-in-belgium.html ENERGY: Grant to pay for electric vehicle charging stations. The Riverside County Economic Development Agency has moved into the fast lane when it comes to charging-station installations for electric vehicles. A $497,357 grant has been awarded to the EDA by the California Energy Commission to install 45 charging stations with 87 ports at workplaces, destinations and travel corridors over a three-year period. Posted. http://www.pe.com/articles/riverside-697383-stations-electric.html GREEN ENERGY Inventor pushes solar panels for roads, highways. The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways. Brusaw, an electrical engineer, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear and tear that comes from inclement weather and vehicles, big and small, to generate electricity. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SOLAR_ROADWAYS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Inventor-pushes-solar-panels-for-roads-highways-5614287.php Solar subsidy extended to farms, campuses. Some utility customers will be able to link multiple electricity meters to a single solar energy system, making renewable energy more feasible for farms and campus-style office complexes, under state rules adopted Thursday. The new guidelines adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission extend a generous credit system for renewable energy…Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/10/solar-rules-help-farms-campuses/ Calif. to award $26M for microgrid- and grid-connected EV projects. California doesn't have to contend with the intense hurricanes and snowstorms that have battered the Northeast in recent years, causing widespread and prolonged blackouts. But the Golden State faces other threats to its power system that have prompted a new $26.5 million investment in resilient microgrid projects from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002705/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Taking a Bite Out of Climate: 4 World Cup Snacks. But bugs aren't just a personal health issue. Raising them produces far fewer greenhouse gases than current agriculture operations, which account for about 20 percent of global emissions. Raising insects is less water- and energy-intensive than traditional agriculture operations. In the U.S., relentless drought in California and Oklahoma is having an impact on cattle and grain prices, but bugs would likely be better able to weather the storm. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/state/taking-a-bite-out-of-climate-4-world-cup-snacks_34726487 OPINIONS BBC told that science fringies belong in the audience, not on the air. The BBC is getting some grief, and some plaudits, for pledging to do what it’s supposed to do: evaluate the quality of what it puts on the air before it airs it. A deeply researched report from its governing body, the BBC Trust, says the BBC programmers should stop falling into the faux-equal-time trap, bringing in fringe figures to discuss substantive matters of science, such as climate change. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-bbc-eschews-science-fringies-20140711-story.html Opinion: Who you gonna call: 'Drought Busters' or 'Water Conservation Response Unit'? Dear Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Please bring back the “Drought Busters.” We’re in the midst of what could be the worst drought in California history, and despite calls for residents throughout the state to cut their water consumption by 20%, some communities actually have used more water. Angelenos need reminding. The “Drought Busters” could help. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-drought-busters-20140710-story.html Smooth surfaces help make cities into sizzling urban heat islands. Nineteen years ago this month, Chicago experienced one of the worst heat waves in its history. Nearly 500 people, mostly poor and elderly residents of the city’s dense urban core, perished in sweltering temperatures and oppressive humidity. The National Weather Service later determined that Chicago itself was partly to blame…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-urban-heat-island-20140710-story.html Water conservation in California can no longer be voluntary. Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown urged Californians to voluntarily cut their water usage by 20% to help preserve the state's already limited supply during this severe drought. But sometimes, asking nicely doesn't work. Between January and May, water use was reduced by a measly 5%. Clearly, the voluntary approach isn't enough — water use is even up in some communities — and the state needs to take a harder line. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-water-conservation-20140711-story.html Water rules and fines will help, but attitudes must change. We hope the State Water Resources Control Board affirms all the staff recommendations for emergency urban water cutbacks outlined Wednesday – restrictions and fines on excessive landscape watering, running hoses and rinsing off sidewalks. Such rules are reasonable and doable. They’re also debatable in how much good they’ll do. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/07/10/3433914/our-view-water-rules-and-fines.html Water limits should apply to all users. The California Water Resources Control Board will decide next week whether to impose mandatory limits on urban water use and slap violators with fines of up to $500 a day. This raises two questions: 1) What took it so long? 2) Why aren't agricultural water users, who gulp 80 percent of California's usable supply, getting the same attention? http://www.contracostatimes.com/editorial/ci_26126057/contra-costa-times-editorial-water-limits-should-apply Carbon producers can meet EPA's limits as they have in the past. Past is prologue, and as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency moves forward with new limits on carbon pollution from the nation's electric power plants, familiar alarms are sounding that the limits will drive up electric bills, threaten the reliability of our electric power system, and harm our economy. Nonsense. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/10/6546368/carbon-producers-can-meet-epas.html#storylink=cpy The Truth Behind the Government's "Clean Power Plan". The EPA's Clean Power Plan is part of Barack Obama's larger agenda to battle climate change caused by the burning of coal and other fossil fuels. It aims to cut carbon emissions 30% by 2030. The proposal would enforce more stringent environmental standards, requiring states to reduce their carbon footprints. States have until 2016 to comply with the new regulations. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/The-Truth-Behind-the-Government-s-Clean-Power-5612324.php BLOGS China, U.S. Agree to Take Baby Steps on Climate Change. The world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases agreed on Wednesday to do more to fight climate change, but the specific steps they settled on were far from ambitious. Chinese and U.S. officials, including heavy hitters such as Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, are meeting in Beijing for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue…Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/07/10/china-u-s-agree-to-take-baby-steps-on-climate-change/ West Nile Virus is alarming example of climate change’s effects. The message gets to the Santa Clara County Mosquito and Vector Control District that a dead bird was found in Sunnyvale. If it’s a crow or a jay, the district sends out a team to collect the bird and bring it back to their in-house lab to test it for West Nile Virus. If the bird tests positive, a team of five technicians in white pick-up trucks goes out and sets 40 mosquito traps in a one-mile radius of the site. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/inthepeninsula/2014/07/11/west-nile-virus/ Richmond planners OK Chevron refinery upgrade. Chevron Corp.’s long-delayed effort to upgrade its Richmond refinery won the blessings of the city’s planning commission late Thursday, moving the controversial project closer to construction. The commission unanimously certified the upgrade’s latest environmental impact report, adopting several measures related to safety and pollution controls sought by the project’s opponents. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2014/07/11/richmond-planners-ok-chevron-refinery-upgrade/ Dell’s magic trick: pulling carbon out of the air. Carbon-negative packaging reverses carbon emissions. Just when you thought carbon-neutral was amazing … carbon negative comes along. Oliver Campbell, Worldwide Procurement Director, Packaging, for Dell, launches plastic packaging products made from carbon in the air. Dell, which has already advanced the use of organic materials to ensconce its computer and other electronic products in (see “Dell’s Campbell: The whole package,”) has taken the carbon reduction fight to the next elevation–carbon negativity. Posted. http://sustainablemfr.com/air-emissions/dells-magic-trick-pulling-carbon-air Opinion: California's Low On Water? Time to Fine the Water Resources Board Not Its Citizens. California is in the midst of one of its many droughts. To combat the current drought, the otherwise do-nothings of the California Water Resources Board are proposing to fine citizens they call “water hogs” $500 per day. Instead of fining helpless consumers, California’s government should do its job for once and seriously increase water supplies. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2014/07/10/californias-low-on-water-time-to-fine-the-water-resources-board-not-its-citizens/ Why We Need a Carbon Tax. The scientific community is clear: Global warming is real and it is caused by human activity. In terms of droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires, disease, rising sea levels and extreme weather disturbances, global warming is already causing devastating problems. The simple truth is that if we do not act boldly and quickly these problems will only get much worse in the years to come. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/why-we-need-a-carbon-tax_b_5571408.html?page_version=legacy&view=print&comm_ref=false Oil Refineries Have a Moral Imperative to Fix the Air Pollution Problem They're Causing. When I moved with my family from California to Utah nine years ago, I was stunned by the horrible air quality in this otherwise gorgeous mountain state. Day after day, during that first winter, we were smothered in breath-taking blanket of smog. Back then, I knew little about how air pollution impacted our health…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cherise-udell/oil-refineries-have-a-mor_b_5577858.html?page_version=legacy&view=print&comm_ref=false Bad idea: change the Wilderness Act to respond to climate change. The Wilderness Act is one of the iconic pieces of environmental legislation, and it is 50 years old this year. It created a process and management standard by which millions of acres of relatively undeveloped federal land were protected from development and most forms of active human management. Posted. http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2014/07/10/bad-idea-change-the-wilderness-act-to-respond-to-climate-change/ There are now more than 500,000 EVs on the planet. In the three years since automakers started selling mass-produced plug-ins such as the Nissan Leaf battery-electric and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in, global customers have acquired a half-million plug-ins, according to a UC Davis report. That adoption rate is faster than how quickly people bought hybrid-electric vehicles during the first three years of gas-electric vehicle commercial availability more than a decade ago. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/07/11/there-are-now-more-than-500000-evs-on-the-planet/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.