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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 23, 2014

Posted: 23 Jul 2014 13:16:21
ARB Newsclips for July 23, 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.


Poll: 60% back carbon tax if used for renewables.  Most Americans
oppose a carbon tax, considered by many economists a
cost-effective way to fight climate change, but they are willing
to support it if the money is returned to them or used to fund
renewable energy, a poll Monday finds. Only a third, or 34%, say
they support taxing fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas that
emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide when burned…Posted.


Beijing shuts big coal-fired power plant to ease smog: Xinhua.
Beijing has closed the first of four large coal-fired power
plants set to be de-commissioned as part of the city's efforts to
cut air pollution, official news agency Xinhua reported on
Wednesday, citing the local planning agency. Xinhua said the
authorities had shut down the Gaojing Thermal Power Plant's six
100 megawatt generating units. Posted.

ARB fines Oxy subsidiary over $250,000 for a 50 lb gas leak.  The
California Air Resources Board (ARB) yesterday announced a
settlement with a California oil company to resolve violations of
a state greenhouse gas emissions regulation. Under the
settlement, THUMS Long Beach Company was fined $254,100 for
excessive emissions of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). Posted.


Greenpeace Says China’s Energy Plans Exacerbate Climate Change.
Two operational coal-to-gas plants in China and 48 proposed ones
would together emit an estimated 1.1 billion tons of carbon
dioxide per year and contribute significantly to climate change,
according to a report released Tuesday by Greenpeace East Asia.
That amount of emissions is equal to about an eighth of China’s
current total carbon dioxide emissions, which come mostly from
coal-burning power plants and factories…Posted.

Obama attributes wildfires to climate change. President Barack
Obama says a wildfire that has burned nearly 400 square miles in
the north-central part of Washington state, along with blazes in
other Western areas, can be attributed to climate change. Obama,
speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday, offered federal help to deal
with Washington's wildfire, the largest in the state's history.

Global warming: How 2013 broke records. Last year was between the
sixth and hottest ever recorded, and other records for extreme
weather and melting permafrost have been broken, according to a
report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. Posted.


Groundwater level in California basin hits historic low. he
groundwater level in the San Bernardino Basin area is at its
lowest point in recorded history, officials say. Measured in
volume, the groundwater level for the basin is now about 500,000
acre-feet below full, according to Douglas Headrick, general
manager for the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District.
That would put it below the previous low recorded in 1964, a
period that followed a 20-year drought, officials said. Posted.

L.A. County supervisors order agencies to scale back water use.
Los Angeles County's board of supervisors voted unanimously
Tuesday to order restrictions on water use for its government
operations, following a state directive to Californians to curb
water usage during one of the worst droughts in decades. Posted.


Environmental concerns over oil-by-rail project could impact
California gas prices. An oil-by-rail project that could lower
California gas prices and reduce the state’s reliance on foreign
oil is facing increasing opposition over environmental concerns.
Tesoro Corp. has partnered with Savage Companies on plans to
build an energy distribution terminal in Vancouver, Wash. The oil
would be brought to the facility by rail and then shipped by
tankers and barges to California refineries where it would be
converted into gasoline. Posted.


Electric car advocates court LGTB customers. Advocates for
electric vehicles are hosting a promotional event Thursday, by
invitation only, tailored to leaders of San Diego's lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender community. As major automakers expand
electric-car options, California authorities are trying to put
1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025 to help
meet the state's aggressive goals for reducing pollution and
greenhouse gases. Posted.


Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help From Oil and Gas Drilling. 
Geothermal energy — tapping into heat deep underground and using
it to produce power — is sometimes described as a forgotten
renewable. It languishes in the shadows of better-known sources
like wind and the sun, and in 2011 it accounted for less than 1
percent of electric power worldwide, according to last year’s
World Energy Outlook. Yet the geothermal industry is

More Steam From Less Energy, Thanks to Creepy Sponge Thing. A
new, sponge-like material developed engineers at MIT can convert
water to steam using just 1% of the sunlight required by
conventional steam-producing solar generators. Floating above the
water and looking an awful lot like the Smog Monster from this
1971 Godzilla movie, this spongy substance is made by spreading
graphite flakes onto layers of carbon-based foam. Most
importantly for the generation of steam energy…Posted.


Is climate change changing you? 5 things you need to know about
the unexpected costs of climate change. “Climate change, once
considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into
the present,” scientists proclaimed in the Obama administration’s
National Climate Assessment, released in May. It’s touching every
corner of the U.S., the report claims: We can’t escape inland.

Big Oil’s Stand in Favor of Air Pollution and Profits in
California.  I remember the days when smog was the defining
feature of San Diego’s skyline for much of the year. We’ve come a
long way in the past four decades. But we’re a long way from
where we need to be when it comes to mitigating climate change.
The big oil companies are running a scare campaign, hoping to
delay California’s groundbreaking solution to reducing carbon
emissions, Assembly Bill 32…Posted

Better constraints on pollution necessary for public’s welfare.
When the Environmental Protection Agency announced the carbon
pollution rules for coal-fired power plants last month, they
mentioned asthma and how asthmatic children who live near power
plants are impacted every day by pollutants. They said what we in
public health already know— we will all suffer more if carbon
pollution continues to warm temperatures and worsen air
pollution. Posted.


Chevron’s Richmond refinery to limit sulfur, greenhouse gases.
Chevron Corp. on Tuesday agreed to limit the greenhouse gases and
sulfur produced by its Richmond refinery if the city council
approves the company’s $1 billion plan to upgrade the aging
facility. Posted.

Setting State Carbon Pollution Targets.  In June, the EPA
proposed the first-ever carbon pollution standards for
fossil-fuel power plants.  Since then, a bevy of pundits have
been busy finding fault with various aspects of the proposal. 
For the most part, these critiques are off-base, failing to
highlight the most important issues with the proposal, while
spilling a lot of virtual ink without pointing out available
remedies where there are shortcomings. Posted.

Court Ruling May Reverberate on ‘Social Cost’ of Carbon.
Greenhouse gas emissions from burning and extracting coal, oil
and natural gas drive climate change, and as communities feel the
effects of a warming world — rising seas, burning forests and
withering crops — communities’ pocketbooks take a hit, too.
That’s called the social cost of carbon. And if a recent federal
court decision stands…Posted.

Group Tries To Make Climate Change A Winning Wedge Issue. Many
nonprofits and issue groups from across the political spectrum
score elected officials on their voting records, evaluating
whether a politician has sided with them on key votes. But a new
environmental group wants to take that ranking a step farther:
Disregarding votes on public lands, endangered species and
groundwater protections…Posted.

A federal tax on greenhouse gases. Re: “Climate change and my
pack-a-day habit of 25 years ago,” July 13 Perspective article.
Allen Best’s fine article reached a very sound conclusion: that
our most sensible approach to global warming is a federal
revenue-neutral tax on greenhouse gas emissions. In endorsing
that idea, Best joins a growing number of conservative economists
and business leaders who favor this market-based approach.

The Strange Relationship Between Global Warming Denial
and…Speaking English. Climate denial isn't a worldwide delusion.
It's a distinctly Anglophone one. Here in the United States, we
fret a lot about global warming denial. Not only is it a
dangerous delusion, it's an incredibly prevalent one. Depending
on your survey instrument of choice, we regularly learn that
substantial minorities of Americans deny, or are skeptical of,
the science of climate change. Posted.

China decrees 30 percent of new government vehicles will plug in.
Maybe Warren Buffett's bet on Chinese electric-vehicle maker BYD
will pay off after all. That's because the Chinese government
just made a commitment to buy lots of advanced-powertrain
vehicles through its government-vehicle system in an effort to
address the notorious pollution problem in China's largest
cities, the Associated Press says, citing China's Xinhua News
Agency. Posted. 

Japan offering $20,000 incentives for hydrogen fuel cell
vehicles.  That tailwind Toyota may be feeling in Japan won't be
from a stiff breeze off the northern Pacific Ocean. The Japanese
automaker is getting ready to start selling its first production
hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in its native country next year. And
the government is ponying up real big in incentives, Reuters
says. Posted.

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

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