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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 24, 2014.

Posted: 24 Jul 2014 14:46:07
ARB Newsclips for July 24, 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.


California climate change policies to hit pocketbooks. In
California's fight against global warming, consumers may soon
suffer their first hit. Come January 2015, gasoline and other
fuels will for the first time fall under the state's
cap-and-trade system for reining in greenhouse gas emissions.
Prices at the pump could rise as a result. Until now, the state's
efforts to curb emissions, boost renewable power and encourage
alternative fuels haven't hit Californians in the pocketbook.


Coal Company Pain Accelerates as Bankruptcy Cases Rise. The coal
business, after fueling the Industrial Revolution and powering
U.S. growth for much of the past century, is now beset by a glut
of cheap natural gas and tighter regulation. James River Coal Co.
in many ways epitomizes these ills. After filing for bankruptcy
almost four months ago with plans to sell its business, the
Richmond, Virginia-based company has delayed an auction twice
without announcing a buyer.

3M Profit Up on Demand for Face Masks and Filters. 3M Co. MMM
+0.26% reported a 5.8% increase in profit for the second quarter,
fueled partly by stronger sales of respiratory face masks and
water-filtration products in China and other developing countries
where pollution fears are growing. "Air pollution is playing very
well to our strong position in this space," Inge Thulin, 3M's
chief executive, said in a call with analysts. Posted.

States Against E.P.A. Rule on Carbon Pollution Would Gain, Study
Finds.  Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Senator James M. Inhofe of
Oklahoma are among the most vocal Republican skeptics of the
science that burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming,
but a new study to be released Thursday found that their states
would be among the biggest economic winners under a regulation
proposed by President Obama to fight climate change. Posted.


China’s Energy Plans Will Worsen Climate Change, Greenpeace Says.
China’s plans for 50 coal gasification plants will produce an
estimated 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year and
contribute significantly to climate change, according to a report
released Wednesday by Greenpeace East Asia. The plants, aimed in
part at reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants in
China’s largest cities, will shift that pollution to other
regions, mostly in the northwest, and generate enormous amounts
of carbon dioxide…Posted. 

Study Gives Hope of Adaptation to Climate Change.  As we pour
heat-trapping gases into the air, we’re running an experiment.
We’re going to see what a rapidly changing climate does to the
world’s biodiversity—how many species shift to new ranges, how
many adapt to their new environment and how many become extinct.
We don’t have a very good idea of how the experiment will turn
out. Scientists are coming to appreciate that there’s a lot about
how climate affects life that they still don’t understand.

Poll: Californians support global warming rules - unless gas
prices rise. Californians continue to strongly support their
state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases – until they find out
it involves higher gasoline prices, according to a new poll
released Wednesday. The Public Policy Institute of California’s
annual environmental survey also found majorities oppose the
greater use of fracking for oil exploration (54 percent)…Posted.

Council trio ask mayor to act on climate plan.  Contending that
San Diego must move quickly to fight climate change, City Council
members lobbied Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Wednesday to accelerate
progress on the city’s controversial climate action plan. The
council members — David Alvarez, Todd Gloria and Marti Emerald —
expressed frustration that there’s been no visible progress on
the plan…Posted.

A pause in global warming? Studies try to better explain what's
happened. Two recent studies explore a pause in global warming
during the first decade of the 21st century, implying that more
pauses can be expected because of the climate's natural
variability. Any pause in global warming, such as it may have
been during the first decade of the 21st century, might seem to
be on its way out. Global average temperatures for May and June
2014 reached record levels of warmth. Posted.

Californians show strong support for laws on climate, but higher
energy prices could weaken it. Californians overwhelmingly favor
state laws aimed at limiting climate change. But that support
would drop notably if the rules start to hurt wallets, an opinion
poll released today said. The Public Policy Institute of
California (PPIC) found that 76 percent of Golden State voters
back the 2011 law requiring that one-third of California's
electricity come from renewable resources by 2020. Posted.

Climate models more accurate when considering natural ocean
cycles – study. While short-term climate change models struggle
to accurately predict global surface temperatures, a new academic
investigation that took natural ocean cycles into account
produced significantly more accurate results. In a new study led
by James Risbey and published in Nature Climate Change, the
authors deployed a large set of simulations from 18 distinct
climate models…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003385/print BY


Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S. Maps and charts
updated weekly show the latest extent of the drought in the
United States. Droughts appear to be intensifying over much of
the West and Southwest as a result of global warming. Over the
past decade, droughts in some regions have rivaled the epic dry
spells of the 1930s and 1950s. About 34 percent of the contiguous
United States was in at least a moderate drought as of July 22.

Major California reservoirs below 50% capacity as drought wears
on. Most of California's major reservoirs are now less than
half-full -- or at what officials call a "seriously low" level --
but that's still nowhere near the historic lows set in 1977, the
state's driest year on record. The latest report released
Wednesday by the California Department of Water Resources shows
10 of the state's 12 major reservoirs below 50% of their total
capacity, with some nearing just 20%. Posted.

Amid extreme drought, California sees big jump in brush fires. 
As California endures record heat and severe drought conditions,
the state is also recording more wildfires this year. Through
July 19, the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection reported more than 3,400 vegetation fires that have
burned more than 51,000 acres. An average year would see about
2,500 fires and 30,000 acres burned, said Cal Fire Capt. Amy
Head. Posted.

Water restrictions backed by 75 percent of Californians, new poll
says. Few local water agencies have forced customers to cut their
water use amid the ongoing drought, but a new poll shows a large
majority of Californians support mandates to turn off the tap.
Three-quarters of people surveyed across the state want to see
their local water providers require reductions, the Public Policy
Institute of California found. Posted.


Richmond's Battle with Chevron's Oil Refinery Project Comes to a
Head. The battle over a project proposed by the Richmond Chevron
oil refinery is coming down to the wire. Next week, on July 29,
the Richmond City Council will vote on the project — and on
whether to approve the sweeping new health and safety
requirements the city’s Planning Commission wants to add. At a
public hearing of the city council July 22, Chevron reversed an
earlier position and endorsed an alternative, “scaled-down”
version of the project that would require the refinery not to
increase greenhouse-gas emissions…Posted.


European Wind Turbine Forecasts Cut as Power Demand Falls.
Falling power demand and an economic slump in Europe prompted the
region’s wind-turbine industry group to cut its forecast for
installations through 2020. The 28-nation European Union will
probably build a total of 192 gigawatts of wind-energy capacity
by the end of this decade, the European Wind Energy Association
said in a report released today in Brussels. Posted.

Texas Is Wired for Wind Power, and More Farms Plug In.  The wind
is so relentless that a week can go by before it is calm enough
for a crane operator to install the 30-ton blades atop the
260-foot towers at the Panhandle 2 wind farm here. It’s worth the
wait; a single turbine at the farm can produce 40 percent more
energy than an average one.
 But turning wind into electricity is one thing; moving the
energy to a profitable market is another. Posted.

Utilities trump military on renewable-power bill. San Diego-area
defense operations are known for their worldwide military
prowess, but when it comes to Sacramento-based politics, they
were no match for San Diego Gas & Electric and other statewide
electrical utilities during a recent Capitol skirmish. The issue
involves electrical generation on California military bases.

Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and
sun. New research outlines the path to a possible future for
California in which renewable energy creates a healthier
environment, generates jobs and stabilizes energy prices.A
Stanford study outlines how power from facilities such as the
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California's Mojave
Desert can be part of the state's renewable energy future.


The White House Has a Plan to Stop Oil Train
Explosions—Eventually. In the latest chapter of the exploding oil
trains saga, the Obama administration has finally released its
proposal on how to make them safer and, hopefully, less prone to
blowing up. The fixes include phasing out old tank cars,
enforcing lower speed limits, using better brakes, and possibly
making railroads reroute trains containing large amounts of oil
around populated areas. Posted.


A Carbon Tax’s Ignoble End.  It will be remembered as one of the
most ignoble moments in our history. On July 17, Australia became
the first country to repeal a carbon tax. The deputy leader of
the Greens Party, Adam Bandt, said it was “the Australian
Parliament’s asbestos moment, our tobacco moment — when we knew
what we were doing was harmful, but went ahead and did it
anyway.” Posted.

Needed: a Department of Toxic Substances Control worthy of its
name. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has
been a called an agency in "turmoil" by its own former director.
Multiple reports and investigations in recent years have
described a department unwilling or unable to enforce
environmental laws or to properly regulate hazardous waste
businesses, putting the public at risk. Posted. 


What kind of laws are you supposed to pass to convince 38 million
people to conserve water during a drought? As California
continues to face the driest period in its history, lawmakers are
grappling with the best way to encourage water conservation in a
state of 38 million people. On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a
bill barring homeowner’s associations from enforcing requirements
to keep lawns green during a drought-related state of emergency.

Drought: Water now top worry for Californians. Water is the top
environmental concern of Californians, surpassing air pollution
for the first time in the history of a 14-year-old survey
released Thursday. As the state grapples with its driest
three-year spell in at least a century, 54 percent of people say
water is a big problem in their part of the state, according to
the poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. A quarter
of those surveyed believe water is somewhat a problem, while just
21 percent don’t think it’s an issue. Posted.



INVENTIONS: UCR students develop product to cut grill pollution. 
More pollutant zapping from a team of UCR Bourns College of
Engineering students.  They have designed a tray that when placed
under the grates of a backyard grill reduces by 70 percent the
level of harmful emissions produced during cooking. Posted.

First Six Months of 2014 U.S. EV Sales Show 33% Year-Over-Year
Gain. Recent sales numbers from insideevs.com indicate that U.S.
EV sales continue to grow steadily.  For the first half of 2014,
over 54,000 vehicles moved (quietly) off the lot, compared with
almost 41,000 for the first six months of 2013.   While the
winter and early spring remained relatively calm, sales soared in
May and June, and showed over a 50% gain (almost 24,000 vs. under
16,000) over last year. Posted.

This is what happens when you drive your Nissan Leaf beyond
empty.  If you see an AAA truck bringing someone a can of extra
gas, it's rarely a big deal, but when an EV driver runs out of
charge, people pay attention. Whether its a writer for The New
York Times or hardcore Tesla fans, people are curious about this
newfangled technology and the things that could go wrong. Posted.

Scientists could finally find extraterrestrial life – by spotting
its pollution. My flying saucer? Yeah, it’s a hemi. Or at least
scientists involved with the search for extraterrestrial
intelligence (a.k.a. SETI) hope so. Thanks to a wizbang new
telescope, researchers will soon be able to detect life on other
planets by observing the contents of their far-away atmospheres.
In particular, they’ll be looking for chlorofluorocarbons,
because any old single-celled life form can spew a bit of oxygen
and methane — but pollution? That takes intelligence. Posted.

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

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