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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.


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government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's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://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2014/07/17/stories/1060003054  BY


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.

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. 


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.



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.

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.

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.

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.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003036/print  BY
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.


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.

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.

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.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003049/print  BY

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


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


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.

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.

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. 


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.

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


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.

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. 


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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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

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