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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 15, 2014

Posted: 15 Jul 2014 13:38:40
ARB Newsclips for July 15, 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.


Democratic bill would slow California's effort to curb climate
change. Political-economic fights at the Capitol never really
end. They just morph into new incarnations. Take, for example,
the eight-year battle among industry, environmentalists and the
administrations of Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and successor
Jerry Brown over how to deal with threats of global warming. Now,
the conflict again is heating up. Just before their July

Ain't no such thing as a free regulation.  Robert Heinlein’s 1966
sci-fi novel about a lunar colony that breaks away from its
earthly rulers, “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress,” popularized a
term that should be understood by everyone who works in the
Capitol. Called TANSTAAFL, it translates as follows: “There Ain’t
No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” Decades ago, bars would offer
free food to patrons that ordered drinks. But as the novel’s
characters discussed, a “free lunch” isn’t free. Posted.


Coal Plant Carbon Pollution Injects Life in Old Oil Wells.  In
one of the first projects to harness the C02 waste of a coal
plant for oil drilling, power generator NRG Energy Inc. (NRG)
announced today that it’s beginning construction on a $1 billion
retrofit of its East Texas coal plant. NRG will pump carbon
dioxide pollution from the plant deep into a nearby oil field
that it partially owns. Posted.


Richmond council set to weigh competing proposals for Chevron
modernization project.  Chevron Corp.'s quest to begin
construction on a $1 billion upgrade to its refinery is set for
another showdown July 22, when the City Council will weigh
competing visions for the project proposed by the energy giant
and the city's Planning Commission.  The commission last week
unanimously approved the project's environmental impact report,
written by an outside consulting firm, but added more than a
dozen safety and pollution-reduction amendments, which the
company said Monday it will formally appeal.  Posted. 

Drive to clean up S.F. freeway, construction air pollution. 
Freeway-adjacent neighborhoods such as the Bayview and South of
Market have the unfortunate distinction of being the most
polluted in San Francisco.  These neighborhoods, on the eastern
side of San Francisco, are also seeing the most new construction.

States ask Supreme Court to take up EPA mercury, toxics
standards. Twenty-one states have asked the Supreme Court to
review U.S. EPA's landmark air standards for mercury and other
hazardous air pollutants from power plants. They are seeking
review of a divided April ruling from a federal appeals court
that upheld EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, one
of the most significant EPA rules issued during President Obama's
first term. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060002884/print BY


Mary Robinson named UN envoy for climate change.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish
president Mary Robinson as his special envoy for climate change.
She has a mandate to mobilize world leaders to take action at the
climate summit the U.N. chief is hosting in September. U.N.
deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday the Sept. 23 summit will
be "an important milestone" to mobilize political commitment for
a global climate agreement by 2015…Posted.


Court KOs New Jersey bid to block ocean blasting. A federal
appeals court on Monday cleared the path for seismic testing off
the coast of New Jersey that will blast the floor of the Atlantic
Ocean with loud noises as part of a climate change research
project. The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected New
Jersey's request to block the testing off Long Beach Island,
which aims to use acoustic research to examine sediment dating
back tens of millions of years. Posted.

Inslee, UK minister further climate change work. Gov. Jay Inslee
and officials in the United Kingdom are expanding their work
together on climate change. Inslee and Gregory Barker, the UK's
minister of energy and climate change, signed a "phase two"
agreement on Monday to continue their work. Last fall, Inslee and
Barker, formally entered into a partnership, agreeing to work
together to find market-based solutions, such as a cap and trade
program, to tackle climate change. Posted.

Taking to the pulpit against climate change. Rabbi Moti Rieber
travels the politically red state of Kansas armed with the book
of Genesis, a Psalm and even the words of Jesus to lecture church
audiences, or sermonize if they'll let him, about the threat of
global warming. "My feeling is that I'm the only person these
people are ever going to see who's going to look them in the eye
and say, 'There's such a thing as climate change,'" Rieber says.

EPA Followed States' Lead in Developing Power Plant Proposal,
Officials Say.  The Environmental Protection Agency built off of
successful state initiatives when it proposed carbon dioxide
emissions standards for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants,
agency officials and environmental advocates said.  The various
components of the proposed carbon dioxide standards are already
being implemented by the states and have proven to be achievable
and cost effective…Posted. 

President set to roll out help for climate-affected communities.
President Obama will personally roll out a series of new climate
change adaptation actions tomorrow when he meets with members of
his State, Local and Tribal Leaders Climate Task Force on
Preparedness and Resilience. A White House official said the
announcement will focus on ways the administration can "support
state, local, and tribal leaders in preparing their communities,
including electricity systems and infrastructure, for the impacts
of climate change." Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/eedaily/stories/1060002843/ BY SUBSCRIPTION

China lures companies into carbon footprint labeling. First, it
was energy efficiency labeling. Then it was carbon emissions
trading. Now, China is finding another way to limit climate
impacts of its domestic production. A group of Chinese companies
recently earned a certification from their government for
producing goods with a significantly smaller carbon footprint
than the market average, marking the start of a carbon labeling
system in the country that is the world's largest greenhouse gas
polluter. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002822/print BY

Precipitation may affect long-term survival of bird species under
climate change – study. In a climate-changed world, wetness or
dryness could be a matter of life or death for some bird species,
according to a recent study published in the journal Global
Change Biology. Funded by the National Science Foundation with
support from the U.S. Geological Survey and others, the analysis
found that precipitation is more likely than temperature to
influence the long-term population trends of birds. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002856/print BY


California Expected to Set Mandatory Water Curbs. Reservoirs'
Water Levels Have Fallen to Less Than Half Their Capacities.
California is poised to institute mandatory statewide water
restrictions for the first time, as the impact of a three-year
drought continues to spread across the Golden State. The
emergency measure expected to be approved Tuesday by the State
Water Resources Control Board comes as reservoirs in California
and elsewhere in the West have shriveled amid one of the worst
droughts on record to hit the region. Posted.



Airport, parks not cutting water use by 10 percent goal. The
grass is browner, fountains are shut off, trucks and equipment
haven't been cleaned since February, and water use in city parks
is down by almost 20 percent from 2009 numbers. And yet the
Recreation and Park Department is still using too much water.

Little oversight as Nestle taps Morongo reservation water.The
plant, located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians'
reservation, has been drawing water from wells alongside a spring
in Millard Canyon for more than a decade. But as California's
drought deepens, some people in the area question how much water
the plant is bottling and whether it's right to sell water for
profit in a desert region where springs are rare and underground
aquifers have been declining.


New program aims to reduce log truck pollution.  In an effort to
help loggers reduce their air pollution, a new program called
Truck Improvement/Modernization Benefitting Emission Reductions
Program – also known as the TIMBER program – is being offered in
Calaveras County to California log truck owners.  Posted. 


LNG larger threat than fracking. Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves
credit for so far resisting the powerful gas lobby's push to
frack New York. But where does the governor stand on tying our
future to fracked gas? We may soon see by how his Department of
Environmental Conservation responds to 50,000 comments from New
Yorkers concerned about proposed rules for liquefied natural gas.
LNG, essentially liquid methane, is a dangerous…Posted.

Green, consumer groups demand fair and accurate fuel economy ads.
A consortium of environmental, safety and consumer groups
submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission last week
calling for an end to the deceptive use of fuel economy
information in vehicle advertisements. Properly disclosing fuel
economy ratings in car advertisements is a significant consumer
issue, the group said in its comment letter. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002858/print BY


Why Toyota Delayed the All-New 2016 Prius. The Prius hybrid may
not be Toyota's  best-selling model -- that would be the Corolla
-- but it's arguably the company's most important. It's not just
that the Prius is the world's best-selling hybrid car,
hands-down. In many ways, the Prius is a perfect example of
everything Toyota does right: Cutting-edge green technology made
accessible, easy to use, and reliable -- at a mass-market price.

Carmakers Are Central Voice in U.S.-Europe Trade Talks. It’s a
task that makes sense only by the logic of international trade
strictures — which is why negotiators for the European Union and
the United States are eager to change the rule book. Here, in a
corrugated metal warehouse next to a barge terminal, crews toil
two shifts a day on brand-new Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner
cargo vans, fresh from assembly lines a few miles away. Posted.


Companies Don't Care Anymore That You Don't Care Anymore About
This Sustainability Thing.  It kind of doesn't matter to serious
companies that some people still dismiss corporate sustainability
as empty green PR. “It kind of doesn't matter," Sprint CEO Dan
Hesse said in an interview last month. "We do it because it's the
right thing to do." Posted.

For Energy Startups, Valuation Comes Harder These Days. The way
we value energy start-ups will dramatically change in the very
near future since there are a host of new ways economic energy
disruption can impact capital expenditures (capex) and therefore
valuation. One necessary area for meeting corporate needs is
connecting with consumers like never before to deliver data and
savings. This is something that has driven the recent IPO of
OPOWER to reach over 32 million households already. Posted.


The Green Gypsie celebrates two eco-friendly years. “Going Green”
has become a popular phrase that — at the very least — has many
separating their paper, plastic, aluminum and glass for
recycling. But Amanda Reifel and Angela Rossi have made the
eco-conscious habits not only their way of life, but their
livelihood. Posted.

Battle lines form -- farms vs. solar vs. high-speed rail. Tension
is mounting in California over shrinking farmland as solar
developers, oil companies and the state's planned bullet train
fight for open space. An alliance that includes farm groups and
environmental advocates painted the situation with farmland
conversion as dire in a report last week. The Golden State grows
about half of the nation's fruits and vegetables, it said, and
the crops help power California's economy. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060002882/print BY


Editorial: How California can best fight climate change.
California's landmark climate change law, AB 32, has created a
promising cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases that has put
the state on track to meet its emissions goals for 2020,
kick-started the state's green technology industry and generated
hundreds of millions of dollars for mass transit and other
projects that will further reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

The 80 percent should stop wasting water. Re "Hefty overwatering
fines would make it clear California is in a drought"
(Editorials, July 14): Yes, everyone should do their part to
reduce overall water consumption and eliminate wasteful watering
habits. Not just during the drought but going forward. So when do
the folks of California see the end of gravity irrigation,
flooding fields and orchards, planting water intensive crops and
other wasteful practices? Posted.


China Clarifies its Plans on Setting a CO2 Emissions Peak. With
climate treaty negotiations expected to intensify next year,
China is signaling that it may soon set the timetable for hitting
an eventual peak in its emissions of carbon dioxide, the most
important human-generated greenhouse gas. The signals came on
Monday from Xie Zhenhua, China’s lead climate treaty negotiator,
speaking at a German climate conference. Posted.

Oklahoma hit by eight earthquakes in two days. Is the fracking
industry to blame?  The eight earthquakes that occurred in
Oklahoma over the past couple of days may be yet another side
effect the U.S.’s insidious fracking boom.  The quakes hit
between Saturday morning and early Monday morning, most of them
small enough that people didn’t realize the ground was shaking
beneath them (they ranged from 2.6 to 4.3 on the Richter scale). 

Innovation: Key to Reducing Carbon Emissions. Recently, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a proposal to
reduce carbon emissions aggressively -- by 30 percent below 2005
levels by 2030. It will create economic opportunities, improve
public health especially among children and seniors, and curb the
harmful impact of dirty power plants on the environment. It also
avoids a potentially clumsy federal "one-size-fits-all" approach,
by requiring and empowering each state to craft its own pollution
reduction strategy. Posted.

U.S. Military May Be the Strongest Force in Battle Against
Climate Change. Fear is a potent force in American politics. It
is the force that sustains the War on Terror, the latest calls
for further military interventions in Iraqi and Syrian civil
wars, and Obama's use of drones on multiple continents. At the
same time, fear about the threat of climate change has proven
sharply divisive. Posted.

Red States Are Way Ahead of Congress on Global Warming. Congress
is more deeply divided today than it has been in the last two
decades on a wide range of issues, including global warming. In
the Senate, for example, Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe
routinely fulminates that it's a hoax, while Rhode Island
Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse understands the science and is
leading the charge for a carbon tax. Conventional wisdom says the
schism between Inhofe and Whitehouse shouldn't come as a shocker.

States With Fracking See Surge In Earthquake Activity. States
where hydraulic fracturing is taking place have seen a surge in
earthquake activity, raising suspicions that the unconventional
drilling method could be to blame, especially the wells where the
industry disposes of its wastewater. Posted.

Daimler, BMW partnering up on wireless charging.  Plug-in vehicle
advocates can get all warm and fuzzy about two Germany
heavyweight automakers getting together for the sake of wireless
charging. That's because Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and BMW
will work together to speed up development of a wireless charging
system. While not a ton of details were divulged, we can still
rejoice. Posted.

EPA ready to go virtual with ANSYS to create cleaner engines. 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is turning to a company
whose home base is as old-school Rust Belt as one can get, but
the company's specialty's undeniably new-school technology. The
EPA has struck a deal with Pittsburgh-based ANSYS to model
simulations of internal combustion engines. And while the models
will be theoretical, the EPA is shooting for some very real
results. Posted.

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

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