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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 19, 2013. Posted: 19 Feb 2013 15:02:28
ARB Newsclips for February 19, 2013. ARB Newsclips for February 19, 2013 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. AIR POLLUTION Fairbanks area, trying to stay warm, chokes on wood stove pollution. Wood-burning stoves give the Fairbanks, Alaska, area some of the worst winter air pollution in the country. In Krystal Francesco's neighborhood, known here as the "rectangle of death," the air pollution recently was so thick she could hardly see across the street. Wood stoves were cranking all over town — it was 40 below zero — and she had to take her daughter to the emergency room. "She's crying because she can't breathe, and I can just see her stomach rapidly going in and out. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fairbanks-air-pollution-20130217,0,1737295.story Distribution centers quietly add to Valley pollution. Hazardous waste, treated human sewage and farm chemicals are part of a dumping ground culture surrounding the San Joaquin Valley, but other deadly health risks slip under the radar. Through a legal loophole, a company with global sales of $4 billion opened its West Coast distribution center in Visalia last year without having to follow a rule that curbs air pollution, much of it generated by traffic. Critics, who sued over it, argue traffic and diesel truck exhaust from the 500,000-square-foot distribution center will create tons of air pollution. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/02/16/3177612/distribution-centers-quietly-add.html Scientists trace particulate air pollution to its source. Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have, for the first time, developed a system that can determine which types of air particles that pollute the atmosphere are the most prevalent and most toxic. Previous research has shown that air pollution containing fine and ultrafine particles is associated with asthma, heart disease and premature death. Posted. http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10506 Researchers Link Air Pollution To Heart Attacks. Air pollution causes heart attacks and death. Especially when the pollutants include ozone and particulate matter. And more often in the summer time, when ozone levels are higher. These are the conclusions of researchers at Rice University who studied the 11,677 cases of cardiac arrest logged by emergency services personnel in Houston, Tx. between 2004 and 2011. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/02/18/researchers-prove-air-pollution-causes-heart-attacks/ Four air pollution control agencies that impact Bakersfield and Kern County. One of the drawbacks to living in Bakersfield and Kern County is that we have some of the worst air quality in the nation. Whether talking about photochemical smog or particulate air pollution, there aren't many places in the country that have a worse air pollution problem than right here in the San Joaquin Valley. What a lot of people don't know or understand, unless they spend their working days interacting with government…Posted. http://www.examiner.com/list/four-air-pollution-control-agencies-that-impact-bakersfield-and-kern-county Navajo Nation agrees to coal-power plant extension. The Navajo Nation has reached an agreement in extending a lease for a coal-power plant that would give the tribe a substantial boost in annual payments. The proposed agreement, posted Friday on the tribe's website for public comment, is for a 25-year lease that will expire in 2044 and will increase lease payments from $3 million a year to $45 million a year to the tribe. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/16/navajo-nation-agrees-to-coal-power-plant/#ixzz2LMnb3atU EPA, N.M. haze deal requires coal-fired power plant's shift to gas. New Mexico's largest electricity provider will shutter two coal-fired units and burn natural gas at the San Juan Generating Station in the Four Corners area under a tentative agreement between the state and U.S. EPA over a long-disputed regional haze cleanup plan. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) and EPA announced Friday that the state would proceed with an alternative to a federal plan for cleaning up air in the Four Corners region. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/18/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 'Very large amount of evidence' links ozone, disease -- EPA science review. A U.S. EPA science review has reaffirmed that exposure to ozone -- a precursor to smog -- is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease and death. The 1,200-page integrated science assessment, released Friday, is the first update to EPA's ozone review since 2006 and is meant to guide the writing of national air quality standards. The document reflects evidence from studies released since the 2006 review. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/18/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE EU parliament hesitates in drafting law for CO2 fix. European lawmakers backed an emergency plan to save the world's biggest market for carbon allowances from collapse on Tuesday, but put off drafting the necessary legislation, sending prices down by as much as 20 percent. The carbon market, a pillar of the European Union's climate policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, has hit a series of record low prices because of a huge surplus of allowances, mostly caused by economic recession in the euro zone. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/19/us-eu-ets-idUSBRE91I0H320130219 Climate change rally brings thousands to protest in Washington. Climate activists descended on Washington, D.C., on Sunday in what organizers boasted was the largest climate-change rally in American history, claiming more than 35,000 attendees. The Forward on Climate rally, as it was billed by environmental groups Sierra Club and 350.org, called for President Obama to take immediate action on climate change, with many calling for the government to block the construction of the oil pipeline known as Keystone XL. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-climate-change-rally-washington-20130217,0,799969.story http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Thousands-protest-Keystone-XL-pipeline-4286432.php http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/18/tp-crowd-protests-oil-pipeline/ EU lawmakers seek to beef up cap-and-trade system. European lawmakers are proposing to tighten the bloc's cap-and-trade system to make carbon dioxide pollution more expensive. The European Parliament's environment committee voted in favor of a change Tuesday that would allow the EU Commission, the bloc's executive arm, to tighten the supply of pollution rights. The price for the emission allowances has dropped significantly since their introduction amid lower-than-expected demand as the European debt crisis…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/EU-lawmakers-seek-to-beef-up-cap-and-trade-system-4290039.php#ixzz2LN9tnJ3h http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/eu-lawmakers-seeking-to-tighten-cap-and-trade-system-to-make-carbon-pollution-more-expensive/2013/02/19/4715a38c-7ab0-11e2-9c27-fdd594ea6286_story.html Poll reveals more Americans say they believe climate is changing. The percentage of Americans who believe the climate is changing has grown, and the majority of Americans support new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study from Duke University. The survey found that 50 percent of Americans "are convinced the climate is changing" and another 34 percent believe it "is probably changing." Duke said this is the highest level of belief in climate change since 2007. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/19/v-print/5199858/poll-reveals-more-americans-say.html Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards. With scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years, some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit. Then, when a whopper of a blizzard smacked the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in some places earlier this month, some of the same people again blamed global warming. How can that be? It's been a joke among skeptics, pointing to what seems to be a brazen contradiction. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/18/5198319/climate-contradiction-less-snow.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articles#storylink=cpy Influential climate science work remains under the radar. It is probably the most influential paper on climate science today. But few outside scientific circles even know it exists. Though just six pages long, it's dense, technical writing makes it largely incomprehensible to non-experts. And yet this paper is transforming the climate change debate - prompting the financial world to rethink the value of the world's fossil fuel reserves and giving environmental activists a moral argument for action. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/15/5193854/influential-climate-science-work.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articles#storylink=cpy Islands want UN to see climate as security threat. The Marshall Islands and other low-lying island nations appealed to the U.N. Security Council to recognize climate change as an international security threat that jeopardizes their very survival. Tony deBrum, a minister and assistant to the Marshall Islands president, said Friday the island nations are facing opposition from Security Council permanent members Russia and China and a group of more than 130 mainly developing nations, which argue that the U.N.'s most powerful body is the wrong place to address climate change. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/16/islands-want-un-to-see-climate-as-security/#ixzz2LMpAuQXG S.F. protest urges action on climate change. Environmentalists are protesting in San Francisco as they urge President Barack Obama to take action on climate change and reject a pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to Texas. Organizers say the members of 65 San Francisco Bay area groups including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and 350.org are taking part in the rally, which coincides with a demonstration in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators are holding the protest outside of a U.S. Department of State office, where they demanding the State Department reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/17/sf-protest-urges-action-on-climate-change/ Working Out Kinks in the Cap-and-Trade Market. California's cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gases resumes with its second auction of carbon allowances to industrial polluters. In addition to the state's carbon footprint, billions of dollars are at stake. But some questions remain from the first auction. (AUDIO) Posted. http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201302190850/a Tempered expectations ahead of Calif.'s second carbon credit auction. California's second auction of greenhouse gas allowances, taking place today, should offer a more accurate picture of the Golden State's carbon market, observers said. The lack of a serious legal challenge to the state's authority, as well as the official start of the program itself, should increase participation among the 600-odd businesses that are required to submit allowances under the economywide carbon cap. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/19/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY New alliance forms to challenge oil industry on Calif. climate law. A battle is heating up between part of the oil industry and supporters of California's climate law. A new group has come together with the goal of fighting arguments made by Fueling California, an organization that is targeting the Golden State's low-carbon fuel standard. That rule aims to grow use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel. The alliance, called Stop Fooling California, launched last month and reached out Sunday to local communities at Los Angeles events tied to the Keystone XL pipeline protest in Washington, D.C. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/19/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Obama Faces Risks in Pipeline Decision. President Obama faces a knotty decision in whether to approve the much-delayed Keystone oil pipeline: a choice between alienating environmental advocates who overwhelmingly supported his candidacy or causing a deep and perhaps lasting rift with Canada. Canada, the United States’ most important trading partner and a close ally on Iran and Afghanistan, is counting on the pipeline to propel more growth in its oil patch, a vital engine for its economy. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/business/energy-environment/obamas-keystone-pipeline-decision-risks-new-problems-either-way.html?hpw California ARB proposing amendments to Clean Fuels Outlet regulation to ensure adequate hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will conduct a public hearing in June to consider adopting amendments to the Clean Fuels Outlet (CFO) Regulation with the intention of ensuring an adequate hydrogen refueling infrastructure to support the introduction and growth of hydrogen-fueled vehicles. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/02/cfo-20130219.html VEHICLES Ford’s Fusion stands out. The redesigned-for-2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan is arguably one of the handsomest rides on the road. It also comes close to being one of the most improved models of the year, though a step or two in the wrong direction detract from the car’s giant leaps forward. We recently had the chance to take a Ford Fusion Hybrid for a week’s test drive, and found it to be everything a family-minded midsize car should be: responsive, roomy, quiet and fuel-efficient. Posted. http://www.pe.com/cars/cars-headlines-index/20130218-fords-fusion-stands-out.ece Lawmakers aim to clear way for medium-speed electric vehicles. Two Riverside County lawmakers want to pave the way for more environmentally friendly all-electric vehicles to cruise the streets of California cities. Assembly members Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, and Jose Medina, D-Riverside, have introduced a bill that would open that door by creating a new vehicle classification in California: medium-speed electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/17/tp-lawmakers-aim-to-clear-way-for-medium-speed/ Inflated numbers prompt concerns over EPA mileage stickers. The United States' reputation for tough fuel economy standards was tarnished in November when U.S. EPA announced that Hyundai Motor Group had embellished the fuel mileage for 900,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles sold in the United States by as much as 6 mpg. The parent company apologized and voluntarily decided to compensate owners of the vehicles. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/18/18 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-Speed Rail Buzz Overpowers Daily Chug Of Freight Trains. From the steam engine to visions of a national high-speed rail system, railroads have made their mark on American culture. In his first term, President Obama promised to create a national system of high-speed rail, though he was scarcely the first politician to have done so. The January 2010 stimulus bill allocated $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, but Congress rejected federal funding for it. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2013/02/16/172199502/high-speed-rail-buzz-overpowers-daily-chug-of-freight-trains GREEN ENERGY UNLV team prepares to break ground on solar house. After a year of perfecting their design, a team of students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is ready to break ground on a super-energy-efficient house and pit it against similar creations in a national competition. UNLV's Solar Decathlon team submitted plans for approval and hopes to start building the 735-square-foot, solar-powered house dubbed "Desert Sol" later this month. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/18/unlv-team-prepares-to-break-ground-on-solar/#ixzz2LMqM6RWt Beer-powered beer. The Alaskan Brewing Co. is going green, but instead of looking to solar and wind energy, it has turned to a very familiar source: beer. The Juneau, Alaska-based beer maker has installed a unique boiler system in order to cut its fuel costs. It purchased a $1.8 million furnace that burns the company’s spent grain — the waste accumulated from the brewing process — into steam that powers the majority of the brewery’s operations. Company officials joke that they are now serving “beer-powered beer.” Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/18/tp-beer-powered-beer/ Steve Scauzillo: Financiers turning green on energy savings. Advances in energy haven't changed much in the last 40 years. Solar power, wind power, battery-power - we had all these when Sen. Gaylord Nelson launched the first Earth Day in 1970. Frustrated futurists such as myself who grew up reading Asimov and Bradbury and watching Lucas' and Roddenbery's visions manifest on the small and big screens want more. If no starships, then at least give us that blue food they ate on Tatooine. Well, that's not a good example for us foodies. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_22605129/steve-scauzillo-financiers-turning-green-energy-savings?IADID=Search-www.sbsun.com-www.sbsun.com#ixzz2LN3xx1kF MISCELLANEOUS Solar Power's Toxic Footprint. According to figures released by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control DTSC, solar manufacturers in the state produced over 46 million pounds of hazardous waste between 2007 and 2011. 1.4 million pounds of that waste, which included polluted water and heavy metals such as cadmium, was shipped out of state -- meaning that calculations of solar's climate benefit must account for fuel used to ship that hazardous waste. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/solar-powers-toxic-footprint.html OPINIONS How Not to Fix Climate Change. After much back and forth, James E. Hansen and I had agreed on a date to meet. Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is the scientist most closely associated with climate change activists like Bill McKibben, who has led the charge against the Keystone XL pipeline, and Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. In Hansen’s view, the country needs to start moving away from fossil fuels now, before the damage becomes irreversible. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/opinion/nocera-how-not-to-fix-climate-change.html?_r=0 Politics and energy policy. Obama urged a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change. What might that look like, and is there any chance of it happening? Quick: Name one thing mainstream Republicans and Democrats agree on when it comes to energy policy. Other than that both sides would like it to be cheaper, you're probably drawing a blank. That's why there was something a little quixotic in President Obama's call last week, during his State of the Union address, urging Congress to get together and pursue "a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change." Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-energy-policy-bipartisan-20130218,0,7133001,print.story Biking in L.A.? (Gulp) You bet! A transplanted Midwesterner learns that, with a little care and a lot of luck, it can be done. And it sure beats sitting in traffic. I step out the door of my Los Feliz apartment and head to the parking lot where my rust-colored bicycle awaits. Strap on the helmet. Key open the bike lock. It's another sunny morning in L.A. The pavement rolls by under my single-speed bicycle. Commonwealth Avenue. Talmadge Street. And finally, Sunset Boulevard. Dodge, roll, brake, roll. Shattered windshield glass. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-poston-bicycle-20130219,0,7268780.story?track=rss Another View: CEQA reform should not only be for cities. The Bee has always been Sacramento-centric, but in response to Stuart Leavenworth's column, "A CEQA advance environmentalists should explore" (Feb. 10), I can only respond: Seriously? Leavenworth proposes "a CEQA exemption for housing, transit and certain mixed-use projects within cities – and only cities. It would not apply to developments that counties might want in their unincorporated areas." Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/17/5194656/ceqa-reform-should-not-only-be.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articles#storylink=cpy Editorial: Plastic bag ban is not a simple issue. Proceed, but make sure to get it right. That should be the mind-set of Sacramento City Council members as they consider a possible ban on plastic bags. It's certainly better for the environment if we use fewer plastic bags, especially the thin ones favored by grocery stores. They are not biodegradable and less than 5 percent are recycled, the state estimates. Sacramento is among the minority of cities that try to recycle them, but bags continually get caught in sorting equipment. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/19/5199134/plastic-bag-ban-is-not-a-simple.html Coal plant a bad idea in a region with dirty air. I am bothered to learn that the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued a preliminary air permit to SCS Energy for a coal power plant in Kern County near Button willow called Hydrogen Energy California, or HECA. Having the dirtiest air quality in the nation, it should be unthinkable to permit a plant that will be using 300 trucks a day of coal to fuel it. The emissions, including mercury, will only make our air quality worse. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/letters/x837005220/Coal-plant-a-bad-idea-in-a-region-with-dirty-air BLOGS Holding Obama’s Feet to the Climate-Change Fire. At first glance, it was hard to tell whether they had come to bury Obama or to praise him. Thousands of activists from hundreds of environmental, social justice and community groups marched on Washington yesterday in the biggest climate rally ever held in the U.S. capital. Activists both called on President Obama to make good on his climate change policy promises and protested the Keystone XL pipeline project. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/holding-obamas-feet-to-the-climate-change-fire/ Could Wind Power Cool New England’s Price Fever? As I reported in Saturday’s paper, New England is experiencing a remarkable spike in electricity prices brought on by high heating demand and rising natural gas prices for electric generators. What role, if any, could renewable energy play in solving this problem? At the Union of Concerned Scientists, the senior energy analyst Michael B. Jacobs, who has a blog called the Energy Roller Coaster, has been sounding the alarm about over-reliance on natural gas in New England and Texas. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/could-wind-power-cool-new-englands-price-fever/ California's second cap-and-trade auction set for Tuesday. California continues its efforts to combat global warming this week, as the state Air Resources Board auctions off permits for carbon pollution. Large polluters, like power plants that burn fossil fuels, send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In the future, they’ll need permits to do that. The state held its first auction for these permits in November. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/environment/2013/02/18/12589/californias-second-cap-and-trade-auction/