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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 17, 2014. Posted: 17 Jul 2014 15:57:54
ARB Newsclips for July 17, 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 Australia repeals maligned 2-year-old carbon tax. Australia's government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters on Thursday, ending years of contention over a measure that became political poison for the lawmakers who imposed it. The Senate voted 39 to 32 to axe the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.60) tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide that was introduced by the center-left Labor government in July 2012. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_AUSTRALIA_CARBON_TAX?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-17/australia-scraps-carbon-price-as-abbott-meets-election-pledge.html http://online.wsj.com/articles/australia-repeals-carbon-tax-1405560964?mod=pls_whats_news_us_business_f http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/07/17/carbon-trading-idINL4N0PP5JH20140717 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/world/asia/environmentalists-decry-repeal-of-australias-carbon-tax.html?_r=0 http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/16/australia-repeals-controversial-carbon-tax/ http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2014/0717/Australia-repeals-controversial-carbon-tax.-Will-others-follow http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2014/07/17/stories/1060003054 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION California hearing addresses oil refinery rules. Residents of modest neighborhoods near three of the largest oil refineries in California called on the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to crack down on plant emissions, saying the pollution is choking their children and endangering their health. Residents of the oil-rich Wilmington area of Los Angeles were among 15 speakers to address the morning session of an EPA hearing about a proposed rule requiring stricter emission controls and monitoring standards. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OIL_REFINERIES_AIR_POLLUTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-07-16-18-37-04 EPA says proposed regulation will do more than clean air. The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to reduce carbon pollution nationwide means a goal of reducing carbon emissions in New York state by more than 40 percent. Judith Enck, the area's EPA regional administrator, was in Syracuse to discuss how the plan will allow the nation to keep producing energy, while reducing pollution. Posted. http://wrvo.org/post/epa-says-proposed-regulation-will-do-more-clean-air CLIMATE CHANGE Obama: Climate change a direct threat to US cities. Harsher storms, worsening flooding and rising seas threaten the public's safety and health across the country, President Barack Obama warned Wednesday as he urged local communities to prepare for the effects of climate change. Joined by top federal officials and local, state and tribal leaders at the White House, Obama said communities experiencing negative effects firsthand know that climate change is already upon us. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-16/extreme-weather-is-target-of-obama-climate-change-actions.html http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/16/obama-to-meet-with-local-leaders-on-climate-change/ International Study Finds 2013 One of Hottest Years Ever. Last year was one of the world’s 10 hottest in records going back to the 19th century as concentrations of climate-changing greenhouses gases rose, according to a study. Four international agencies reported the global average temperature was 0.2 to 0.21 Celsius (0.36 to 0.38 Fahrenheit) above the 1981 to 2010 average, making 2013 the second- to sixth-warmest year ever…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-07-17/international-study-finds-2013-one-of-hottest-years-ever.html Germany Pledges $1 Billion to UN Green Climate Fund. German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised 750 million euros ($1 billion) to the United Nations Green Climate Fund, the first major pledge it has received. The fund, designed to channel climate aid to poor nations, has so far only had seed capital to help set itself up. In May, it opened up for big donations after completing rules on how it will collect and disburse money. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-07-16/germany-pledges-1-billion-to-un-green-climate-fund.html White House Announces Climate Change Initiatives. President Obama announced a series of climate change initiatives on Wednesday aimed at guarding the electricity supply; improving local planning for flooding, coastal erosion and storm surges; and better predicting landslide risks as sea levels rise and storms and droughts intensify. The actions, involving a variety of federal agencies, were among the recommendations of the president’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, a group of 26 officials who have worked since November to develop the proposals. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/us/politics/white-house-unveils-climate-change-initiatives.html?_r=0 Obama's second-in-command at EPA resigns. The No. 2 environmental official under President Barack Obama is resigning to head a nonprofit group dedicated to energy and climate change. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Thursday announced the resignation of Bob Perciasepe (pur-cha-SEP'-ee). He was appointed deputy administrator in 2009 as the Obama administration tapped the EPA to tackle pollution blamed for global warming. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/17/obamas-second-in-command-at-epa-resigns/ http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003036/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Obama suggests states may have to make plans to adapt to climate change risks to receive federal disaster aid.Tucked into President Obama's announcement on climate change yesterday was a detail that disaster experts say could spark widespread changes in coastal development. The understated measure had no dollar figure attached to it, and it seems to sidestep an explicit reference to climate change. Obama never bothered to mention it. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2014/07/17/stories/1060003033 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Sunny California Could Still Use a Lot of Rain. How bad is the 2014 California drought? Well, Governor Jerry Brown called it “an unprecedented, very serious situation.” That was Jan. 17. Soon after that he started talking up a plan for two interstate-highway-size water tunnels that for $15 billion would help bring water from northern to southern California. “This isn’t a coming crisis,” the state Water Resources Department director said in February. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-16/sunny-california-could-still-use-a-lot-of-rain.html Drought-plagued California gets tough on water wasters: Will it help? California water officials on Tuesday approved a $500 fine to be imposed on water wasters and other measure to improve water conservation during the drought. Here are some answers to questions about Tuesday's action: So how is California doing in terms of water conservation? Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-drought-california-water-wasters-20140716-story.html?track=rss With water conservation lagging, Lady Gaga urges California to do more. Lady Gaga has joined the effort to get Californians to conserve water during the drought. The move comes amid new numbers that show Californian are not conserving as much as officials hoped they would. In a video for the Save Our Water campaign, above, Lady Gaga talked about a trip she took to California, where she learned about the importance of conservation. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lady-gaga-california-water-drought-20140716-story.html http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003049/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Sacramento agencies: Our water waste rules are tough enough. Large water agencies throughout the Sacramento region have no intention of imposing criminal penalties for water waste, despite a new state regulation that allows them to do so. The State Water Resources Control Board adopted the unprecedented measure on Tuesday in response to the ongoing statewide drought. Starting Aug. 1, it means water agencies can cite residents and businesses with…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/16/6561418/in-sacramento-area-no-plans-for.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region#storylink=cpy Drought buster patrols the streets of Los Angeles. A day after state water regulators voted to get tougher on water restrictions, the Los Angeles water police Wednesday were out in force — with a full-time water cop of one. But until he gets three more water enforcement deputies next month, Rick Silva has the herculean task of patrolling 500 square miles of illegally watered lawns, driveways and restaurant water glasses by himself. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20140716/drought-buster-patrols-the-streets-of-los-angeles California drought: Blame L.A.? Not so fast, Southern California water officials say. If whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over, as the adage goes, the Bay Area might feel like knocking back a shot and aiming its rhetorical pistols at Southern California. California's north-south water rivalry revved up Wednesday, a day after a state survey showed that while most of the drought-ravaged state modestly reduced its water consumption…Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_26162697/california-drought-blame-la-not-so-fast-socal?source=rss California drought: San Jose's new high-tech water purification plant to expand recycled water use. When the San Francisco 49ers' stadium opens next month in Santa Clara, almost all of it will be new except for one thing: the water used to irrigate the field and flush the toilets. Like hundreds of other places around Silicon Valley -- golf courses, power plants, San Jose's airport -- Levi's Stadium will use recycled water, which is essentially sewage that has been filtered, cleaned and disinfected. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_26160300/california-drought-san-joses-new-high-tech-water Officials: Complacency Drives Hike in Water Use. Some Southern California water districts became so good at saving water and building their own water storage facilities in recent decades that residents are not feeling the effects of the worst drought to hit the state in a generation. That's a problem. Thinking plenty of water was available at the start of summer, residents along a coastal area doused their lawns and filled their pools, while elsewhere in the state farmers fallowed hundreds of thousands of acres. Posted. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/california-seeks-send-message-water-wasters-24578015 Biggest water saving, guzzling districts. Despite the governor's call for conservation amid a historic drought, California water agencies across the state collectively reported a 1 percent increase in water use in May 2014 compared to the same month over the previous three years. The State Water Resources Control Board says changes in water use varied drastically across the state, with the south coast region, which includes Los Angeles…Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/16/biggest-water-saving-guzzling-districts/all/?print Drought takes aim at farms. California farmers are taking a huge economic hit as the drought’s impact deepens, with crop and livestock losses estimated at $1 billion this year alone, and an additional out-of-pocket cost of some $454 million to pump groundwater to partially replace surface supplies, according to a new study. The report by the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis put the total economic…Posted. http://capitolweekly.net/water-drought-farms-california/ FUELS Fewer gas leaks found in cities with new pipes. Cities such as Indianapolis that regularly replace old natural gas lines have significantly fewer leaks than older urban areas where they don't, like Boston and New York City's Staten Island, according to a new study by Google and an environmental group. Using a gas-sniffing device attached to Google's city-mapping cars and new statistical calculations that determine rough leak rates…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_GAS_LEAKS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT VEHICLES Tesla's Musk abandons SEX plan; will name new lower-cost car Model 3. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk once thought the electric car company’s lineup would spell out SEX. There would be the Model S sedan, the upcoming Model X sport-utility vehicle and later, the Model E, a smaller, less expensive vehicle for the masses. Stymied by Ford Motor Co. – it has the rights to E – Musk is now going for Model 3 for the third car, he told the British automotive news website Auto Express. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-model-3-20140716-story.html After hybrid success, Toyota gambles on fuel cell. Rocket science long dismissed as too impractical and expensive for everyday cars is getting a push into the mainstream by Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker. Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology that runs on the energy created by an electrochemical reaction when oxygen in the air combines with hydrogen stored as fuel. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/16/after-hybrid-success-toyota-gambles-on-fuel-cell/ OpEneR: improving EV range by optimizing energy management. At its final review, the European research project OpEneR (“optimal energy consumption and recovery based on a system network”) presented collaboratively developed driving strategies and driver assistance systems to improve significantly the efficiency (and hence range) and safety of electric vehicles by optimizing energy management. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/07/20140717-opener.html GREEN ENERGY China Three Years Late on Installing Offshore Wind Farms. China is three years behind schedule on a plan that would make it the world’s biggest market for offshore wind, a setback for the $15 billion industry that’s seeking to produce affordable electricity from the one of nature’s most reliable energy sources. China set out an ambitious plan in 2011 to build 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines in four years, enough to power 5.4 million homes. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-16/china-three-years-late-on-installing-offshore-wind-farms.html Calif. crushes competition for clean energy – survey. Many states are striving to become the nation's clean technology hot spot but California remains the undisputed leader, according to an annual survey from research firm Clean Edge Inc. The report ranked states and cities based on several dozen indicators in the categories of technology, policy and capital. The technology criteria considered low carbon emission generation, transportation and buildings. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/stories/1060002992/ BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Editorial: Overwatering is a crime – except for state’s biggest water user. Use a hose, go to jail. It’s an unpleasant but necessary measure. As a study by UC Davis makes clear, the ongoing drought hurts the state’s economy. It’s a pain that trickles down to all of us, even those already doing their part to cut back. But it is frustrating that agriculture has been let off the hook. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/17/6561607/editorial-overwatering-is-a-crime.html Editorial: A clunker of a program. California is well-known for imposing environmental regulations and programs that have questionable benefits, environmental or otherwise. The cap-and-trade program and high-speed rail project come to mind. We can add to this list the state’s “cash-for-clunkers” program. According to the California Air Resources Board website, “voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement” programs have been in place in California since the 1990s. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/program-629068-vehicle-owners.html BLOGS This Desperate Chinese Tesla Owner Built His Own National Charging Network. China wants its car market to go green, but so far, that dream is a long way off. For example, when Zong Yi, a Chinese businessman with asthma and worries about his country’s pollution problems, bought an electric Tesla Model S sedan in May, he faced a problem: how to get it home. As the WSJ’s Rose Yu and Colum Murphy report: Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/07/17/this-desperate-chinese-tesla-owner-built-his-own-national-charging-network/ The Warming State of the Climate in 2013. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released State of the Climate, 2013 — a useful compendium of trends and climate events last year. Visit climate.gov to click for the data on Arctic conditions, sea level change, severe storms and more. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/the-warming-state-of-the-climate-in-2013/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Climate%20Change&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs®ion=Body Strategic Growth Council affirms its role as lead agency implementing cap and trade revenues for sustainable communities. From the standing room only turnout at last week’s Strategic Growth Council (SGC) meeting, you would never have guessed we were smack in the middle of summer vacation season. The meeting was convened to discuss the new Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC), a recently designated recipient of some of the proceeds from California’s cap and trade program. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aeaken/strategic_growth_council_clari.html Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — have pushed for a statewide moratorium on the controversial oil production technique. With those efforts stalled in the state legislature, activists are taking the fight to the county level. Copying tactics that have worked in Colorado and New York, activists have qualified November ballot measures that would ban fracking in two counties…Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/science/2014/07/14/anti-fracking-activists-in-california-take-fight-to-county-ballots/ Are Ants the Answer to CO2 Sequestration? A 25-year-long study published in GEOLOGY on 14 July provides the first quantitative measurement of in situ calcium-magnesium silicate mineral dissolution by ants, termites, tree roots, and bare ground. This study reveals that ants are one of the most powerful biological agents of mineral decay yet observed. Posted. http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/2014/14-47.htm Study says states are prepared to limit carbon emissions from power plants. States are well positioned to implement the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed rule to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil-fueled power plants, according to a new report by the Analysis Group. Reducing CO2 emissions "will tend to increase the cost of doing business for many owners of affected plants," the report said. Posted. http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41869#sthash.WT9kP67N.dpufhttp://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41869#sthash.WT9kP67N.dpuf Tool From USGS Lets You Assess Sea-Level Rise, Storm Overwash, Coastline Changes At Your Favorite National Seashore. With hurricane season upon us, what are the odds that your favorite national seashore might be impacted by a Category I storm? How might sea-level rise in the years ahead affect your favorite beach? The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a tool that can give you some insights to those questions. The tool -- the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal…Posted. http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2014/07/tool-usgs-lets-you-assess-sea-level-rise-storm-overwash-coastline-changes-your-favorite-national-sea25375 'A Perfect Storm of Stupidity': Scientists React To News The Carbon Tax Is Gone. The Abbott Government delivered on its election promise to repeal the carbon tax today, 10 months after taking office, thanks to a new Senate line-up and the support of Clive Palmer’s party and some other crossbenchers. While Clive Palmer appeared with Nobel Prize winner and climate campaigner Al Gore three weeks ago to detail his views on addressing the issue, scrapping the tax was first and foremost on the mining magnate’s agenda. Posted. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-perfect-storm-of-stupidity-scientists-react-to-news-the-carbon-tax-is-gone-2014-7 Global warming culprit-nations likely to change by 2030. While developed countries and regions have long been culprits for Earth’s rising greenhouse gas emissions, Cornell researchers – balancing the role of aerosols along with carbons in the equation – now predict a time when developing countries will contribute more to climate change than advanced societies: 2030. Posted. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2014/07/global-warming-culprit-nations-likely-change-2030 Oil regulators add 95 wells to review. State regulators responsible for last week’s emergency shutdown of 11 Kern County oil field injection wells are scrutinizing 95 other fully permitted wells they say may have contaminated protected groundwater. Although the wells appear to have been exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act decades ago, state Department of Conservation official Jason Marshall said by email Friday his agency is working with federal and state regulators “to determine whether those wells should be injecting into their target zones.” Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/kern-gusher/x634492505/Oil-regulators-focus-on-95-injection-wells FBI fears autonomous cars will make great weapons. Let's face it, autonomous cars aren't coming; they're already here. From Google's continual testing to promises from Nissan and Mercedes-Benz that the tech is on the way, the only direction that driverless vehicles are moving is forward. Although, we're already seeing the first joking jabs about the potential misuse of the cutting-edge systems like in Conan O'Brien's recent parody, and even the FBI is taking the possibility for abuse seriously. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/07/17/fbi-fears-autonomous-car-weapons/ Nissan tests 'self-cleaning' paint on Leaf models in Europe. Once upon a time, self-cleaning ovens were all the rage. Now, Nissan thinks the concept may apply to its vehicles. And the Japanese vehicle maker is testing it out on some of its Leaf battery-electric vehicles Europe, no less. Nissan says its trying out what's called a "superhydrophobic and oleophobic" paint on Leaf battery-electric vehicles for testing and demonstration purposes. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/07/16/nissan-leaf-self-cleaning-paint/ No steering wheels, pedals or horns in cars by 2035, survey says. At what point does a car cease to be a car and start becoming a people-mover? One survey hints that we're less than two decades away from that eventuality. Whether auto enthusiasts think that's a good thing is another matter altogether. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, polled about 200 people within academia, research and government agencies about the concept of self-driving vehicles and future automotive design, and got a sense of what people thought would become superfluous during the upcoming decades. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/07/16/steering-pedals-horns-gone-by-2035-survey/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.