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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 22, 2014.

Posted: 22 Jul 2014 12:57:08
ARB Newsclips for July 22, 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.


Corralling Carbon Before It Belches From Stack. So much soot
belched from the old power plant here that Mike Zeleny would
personally warn the neighbors. “If the wind was blowing in a
certain direction,” Mr. Zeleny said, “we’d call Mrs. Robinson
down the street and tell her not to put out her laundry.” That
coal plant is long gone, replaced by a much larger and cleaner
one along the vast Saskatchewan prairie. Sooty shirts and socks
are a thing of the past. Posted.

Groups sue over steel plant’s air emissions permit. A state
agency’s decision to revise a Detroit-area steel plant’s air
quality permit will allow the facility to continue emitting too
much pollution, environmental organizations said Monday in a
lawsuit. The Sierra Club and several other groups are challenging
the May ruling by the Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality, which changed the permit for a Dearborn plant owned by
Severstal. Posted.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan sent waste to open burn pits, report
finds.  Although the U.S. has spent millions to build
incinerators in Afghanistan to avoid exposing anyone to toxic
smoke from open burning, American troops sent waste to an
Afghan-operated open pit for five months last year, according to
an inspector general’s report issued late Monday. The Afghans
continued to burn their own dangerous waste -- including
batteries, tires and plastic…Posted.

CO2 Emissions Regulations from EPA Narrowed by Supreme Court.
Since the US Supreme Court affirmed in 2007 that the Clean Air
Act (CAA) provides the EPA with authority to regulate CO2 and
other greenhouse gases, EPA has pursued a growing set of
regulatory initiatives. In each, EPA has attempted to fit GHGs
into statutory and regulatory programs originally designed for
more conventional pollutants…Posted.

Oil company agrees to pay fine for super greenhouse gas
emissions. A subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. has agreed
to pay $254,100 to settle charges that it emitted a greenhouse
gas in amounts exceeding what California law allowed. THUMS Long
Beach Co., an offshore oil and gas production operation, did not
admit any liability in the case and paid the fine to resolve the
complaint by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), according
to a written agreement. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003261/print BY


Climate scientists have a beef with beef. If you want to slow
climate change, white meat may be the right meat, according to
two studies that tally the environmental effect of the beef
industry. Raising cattle in the U.S. requires 28 times as much
land and 11 times as much irrigation water, and pumps at least
five times as much planet-warming gases into Earth's atmosphere
than producing the equivalent calories of dairy products,
poultry, pork or eggs…Posted.

California was hotter than ever during the first half of 2014. 
It was another balmy, breezy summer day Monday, with a high in
San Jose of 79 degrees, far below the record temperature of 97.
Oakland was even cooler at 74, and as usual, San Francisco's high
of 70 was cool enough to bring out jackets. But beneath that
simmering surface calm, the ground was heating up at a record
rate -- and the California weather landscape was shifting with
it.  Posted. 

Checking the variability of EPA's math leads some to question its
Clean Power Plan. Under the Clean Power Plan (CPP) -- U.S. EPA's
ambitious proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing
power plants -- states are asked to meet widely divergent
targets. Some, like North Dakota and Kentucky, would have to cut
carbon intensity by less than 20 percent; others would have to
hit reduction targets of more than 40 percent. Posted.

U.N. gives climate change policy a major role in dealing with
poverty. The United Nations has made tackling climate change a
central part of fighting poverty in a sweeping new blueprint that
could form the core of the world's development priorities for the
coming decades. Approved over the weekend after nearly 29 hours
of debate, the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
still must get the green light from the General Assembly in
September before undergoing still further negotiations. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003264/print BY

Soaring 60,000 feet above, pilots use NASA laser technology to
analyze Arctic ice and sea-level conditions. In the cockpit of an
ER-2 jet with its impressive 103-foot wing span, two pilots in
Alaska have been flying over the Arctic and back to help NASA
scientists gather information about the relationship between
melting ice and sea-level rise. Taking turns piloting eight-hour
flights from Fort Wainwright -- close to Fairbanks -- to the
northern tip of the globe, either Tim Williams or Denis Steele
climbs to 60,000 feet and engages NASA's laser and photo system
to collect data on ice, water and Arctic forests. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003244/print BY


California drought: Record heat gives some cantaloupe crops
sunburn. -- The temperatures were so hot this year in Joe Del
Bosque’s cantaloupe fields that some of the melons could have
used sunscreen. The surface of the fruit got sunburned, which
looks bad and in some cases affects taste. He had to throw those
away. The first six months of the year were the hottest ever in
California, the National Weather Service said Monday. Posted.

New law prohibits some fines for brown lawns during droughts. 
Californians who let their lawns die during a drought won't risk
a slap on the wrist from their homeowners' associations, thanks
to a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday. The measure
prohibits homeowners' associations from imposing fines on
residents who stop watering their lawns in an effort to conserve
water. Posted.

Q&A: City of Sacramento watching for water run-off, watering
violations. With California in a severe drought, the State Water
Resources Control Board ruled last week that some cases of water
waste could be treated as criminal infractions. The city of
Sacramento declared a water shortage in January and has been
enforcing tough rules since then. Posted.

'Water cops' being hired by Bay Area agencies to root out water
waste. It's about to get more difficult to go unnoticed if your
sprinklers are watering the street more than your lawn.
California's worsening drought and mandatory new state water
rules are prompting Bay Area water agencies to beef up their
conservation staffs -- the employees sometimes called "water
cops." Posted.


U.S. consumer inflation rises on high gasoline prices. U.S.
consumer prices rose in June as the cost of gasoline surged, but
the underlying trend remained consistent with a gradual build-up
of inflationary pressures. The Labor Department said on Tuesday
its Consumer Price Index increased 0.3 percent last month, with
gasoline accounting for two-thirds of the gain, after May's 0.4
percent rise. In the 12 months through June, the CPI increased
2.1 percent after a similar rise in May. Posted.

Pump Prices in U.S. at 4-Month Low as Refineries Ramp Up. Retail
gasoline in the U.S. slid to the lowest level in almost four
months as refineries boosted production to cash in on cheaper
domestic oil, offering relief to consumers who saw their costs
rise last month. Pump prices averaged $3.593 a gallon yesterday,
down 4.2 cents from the previous week and the lowest since March
31, data posted on the Energy Information Administration’s
website show. Gasoline was 2.4 percent below 2013 levels. Posted.

Maine town fights plan to use pipeline to export oil sands crude.
Tom Blake, like thousands of his neighbors in this coastal town,
is used to living alongside the oil industry. Tank farms cluster
in neighborhoods, by the park where families watch the movie
"Frozen" on a summer night, next to schools and senior citizens
apartment buildings. As a child, Blake, the town's former mayor,
used to jump into high snow drifts from the massive oil tank next
door. Posted.

San Diego County Gasoline Price Drops For 15th Day. The average
price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego
County dropped Tuesday for the 15th consecutive day, decreasing
six-tenths of a cent to $4.025, its lowest amount since March 29.
The average price has decreased 12.8 cents over the past 15 days,
including four-tenths of a cent on Monday, according to figures
from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. Posted.

Natural gas, despite leaks, appears to be less polluting than
coal. Natural gas is only half as polluting for the climate as
coal, even accounting for leaks of a potent greenhouse gas,
suggests a new study published in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences yesterday. The study, by scientists at the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, compiles the findings of
previous studies exploring the benefits of natural gas for the
climate. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003240/print BY


Chevron agrees to new Richmond refinery project conditions in
hope of gaining approval. Looking to satisfy city and state
leaders, Chevron Corp. on Monday reversed its previous position
and agreed to a lower cap on greenhouse gas emissions stemming
from its $1 billion Richmond refinery modernization project.



4 farms selected to produce energy for utility.  Four Michigan
farms have been selected to produce electricity for a utility
using biodegradable material in anaerobic digesters. 
Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. announced the plans Tuesday,
saying it's a part of an effort to diversify the use of renewable
energy by Consumers Energy.  Posted. 


Downstream Solar Companies, Funds Drive Strong Solar Investment.
The social and environmental, as well as economic, benefits of
making greater use of clean, renewable energy are clear as day,
whatever your opinion about climate change and our role in
causing it. With performance and reliability steadily improving,
costs declining sharply, and the advent of third-party financing
that makes installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems more
affordable for more people…Posted.

Loan, partnership propel Mexico wind farm. A new investment
partner and development bank financing are pushing forward plans
for a wind power plant in Mexico that delivers electricity to the
California grid. IEnova, the Mexico-based subsidiary of Sempra
Energy, has sold a 50 percent interest in its Energía Sierra
Juárez wind project to power generating firm InterGen. Sierra
Juarez is engineered to harness winds blowing across the high

An industry nurtured with tax breaks may be nearing commercial
tipping point. Limited storage capacities and high upfront costs
have historically prohibited solar power from competing against
cheaper energy alternatives like coal and natural gas. Yet as the
sector grows, solar power proponents can point to promising
indicators hinting at the energy potential solar panels might
yield. Consider how solar panel use in Australia forced the price
of electricity -- in the middle of the day -- below zero on July
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003249/print BY


Australia dumps working carbon tax, keeps failed mining tax:
Clyde Russell. Australian lawmakers have voted to dump a tax that
was arguably working and keep one that is demonstrably failing in
yet another example of petty politics trumping sensible policy.
The conservative government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott finally
managed last week to pass legislation through both houses of
parliament that ended the carbon tax and the floating emissions
scheme it was to morph into from July 2015. Posted.

New survey: Public likes carbon taxes, with caveats. Despite
their hostility to new taxes that they might have to pay
themselves, a sizable majority of Americans can support a tax on
carbon if it's structured the right way, according to a survey
released Monday by the University of Michigan's Center for Local,
State, and Urban Policy. The survey, done in conjunction with
Muhlenberg College's Institute of Public Opinion in Pennsylvania,
found that the enthusiasm for carbon taxes…Posted.


A Reassuring American Presence Joins Talks on Climate Change With
China. The presence of John D. Podesta, former chief of staff to
President Bill Clinton and now counselor to President Obama, at
the recent United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in
Beijing was a surprise. He is not a China expert. But the Chinese
like old hands, aides with proximity to the Oval Office, and Mr.
Podesta fills that bill. In addition, Mr. Podesta is passionate
about climate change. Posted.

Researchers Question Expansion of Antarctica’s Fringe of Sea Ice.
A new study of methods used to track Antarctic sea ice trends has
raised important questions about whether recent increases in ice
there are, to a significant extent, an illusion created by flawed
analysis of data collected by a series of satellites. The news
release excerpted below offers a good overview of the paper — “A
spurious jump in the satellite record: has Antarctic sea ice
expansion been overestimated?”…Posted.

California Fire Season: Threat of Dry Lightning Looms. Weather
experts say the next couple of weeks could be some of the worst
in state history for wildfires caused by lightning strikes. Three
years of drought have caused the state to become incredibly dry,
with significantly more wildfires than last year. Posted.

Next Big Thing You Missed: Bigger, Cheaper Fuel Cells Will
Eliminate Power Outages. General Electric has a bright idea for
keeping the lights on even when the electrical grid
short-circuits. The 122-year-old company wants to bring clean,
reliable, affordable energy to the masses with hyper-efficient
fuel cells , and in a rare move, is launching a startup to do it.
On Tuesday, the energy and electronics conglomerate unveiled GE
Fuel Cells…Posted. http://www.wired.com/2014/07/ge-fuel-cells/ 

The U.S. Must Lead on Climate Threat. During a Congressional
hearing this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton (R) invoked Noah's Ark
saying, "I would point out that if you're a believer in the
Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of
climate change and that certainly wasn't because mankind had
overdeveloped hydrocarbon." Really? Because 97% of the world's
climate scientists beg to differ today. Posted.

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

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