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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 7, 2013.

Posted: 07 Mar 2013 13:05:25
ARB Newsclips for March 7, 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.


How much smoke pollution did we create during Bay Area burn
season? A chimney is silhouetted against the night sky in San
Jose. Reduced wood burning is partially responsible for the Bay
Area having one of its cleanest air quality seasons for smoke and
other air-borne fine particles, a regional pollution agency
reported Wednesday.  Soot concentrations in the nine Bay Area
counties violated the federal public health standard on just one
day during the Spare the Air season that ran from Nov. 1 to Feb.
28. Posted.



Critics Warn Of Increased Pollution If Rail Yard Built Near Port
Of LA. A vote by port officials Thursday could clear the way for
a $500 million railway project at The Port of Los Angeles. The
Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners are scheduled to cast
their vote on an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the
project that some community leaders say will increase pollution
in the area. Posted.

REGION: More aggregate mines needed, report says. California and
parts of the Inland area need more aggregate mines to meet future
demand and prevent higher construction costs and air pollution,
according to a new state report. The findings of the California
Geological Survey report mirror arguments made by mine developer
Granite Construction during its failed bid to build Liberty
Quarry outside Temecula. But quarry opponents and Temecula
officials said fears of an aggregate shortage are overblown.

Mont. power plant sued over pollution controls. Environmental
groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the owners of
Montana's massive Colstrip coal-fired power plant, seeking to
force the installation of more pollution controls at the
decades-old facility. The Montana Environmental Information
Center and Sierra Club also asked the U.S. District Court in
Billings to issue penalties for alleged emissions violations. The
center's Anne Hedges said the penalties could total many millions
of dollars for violations over 20 years. Posted. 


Canada's Arctic glaciers headed for unstoppable thaw: study.
Canadian glaciers that are the world's third biggest store of ice
after Antarctica and Greenland seem headed for an irreversible
melt that will push up sea levels, scientists said on Thursday.
About 20 percent of the ice in glaciers, on islands such as
Ellesmere or Devon off northern Canada, could vanish by the end
of the 21st century in a melt that would add 3.5 cm (1.4 inch) to
global sea levels, they said. Posted.

Report: Most insurers not prepared for climate change. Are
insurers ready for the risks posed by climate change? New study
finds most aren't fully prepared, but the industry says it can
handle claims. Most insurance companies do not have comprehensive
strategies to cope with climate change despite mounting
weather-related claims, says a report to be released Thursday.


W. Pa. health board seeks 24-hour drilling notice. The Allegheny
County Board of Health wants natural gas companies to provide
24-hour advance notice before drilling starts. The board passed
the recommendation unanimously Wednesday night. Authorities say
they want the advance notice so air pollution can be monitored at
drill sites. Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County. The requirement
covers shale gas extraction, including well drilling and
hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Posted.

Can this contraption make fracking greener?  Although natural gas
production emits less CO2 than other fossil fuels, it still spits
plenty of junk into the atmosphere. But backers of a new gadget
released Monday say they’ve hit on a way to help frackers clean
up their act.  Boosters of natural gas often flaunt the stuff as
a “clean” fossil fuel, because when it burns — in a power plant,
say — it releases far less carbon dioxide than coal or oil.


Subaru recalls vehicles over engines that may start on their own.
Subaru of America is recalling more than 47,000 cars and sport
utility vehicles because their engines might start on their own.
Several models are involved. The recall includes model year 2010
to 2013 Legacy passenger cars and Outback SUVs equipped with an
automatic or CVT transmission and an Audiovox remote engine
starter (RES) accessory. It also includes 2012-13 Imprezas and
2013 XV Crosstrek SUVs equipped with a CVT transmission…Posted.

Study finds that increased vehicle travel and decreased occupancy
have undercut the impact of improving fuel economy over last 40
years.  A new study by Dr. Michael Sivak, Director, Sustainable
Worldwide Transportation, University of Michigan Transportation
Research Institute (UMTRI), has found that from 1970-2010, an
increase in vehicle distance travelled in the US, coupled with a
decrease in the number of occupants in the vehicles, combined to
undercut the impact of advances in vehicle fuel economy during
that period.  Posted. 


Walgreen attempts to go "green" in energy-producing store.
Walgreen Co is getting behind the "green" part of its name, as it
aims to build what it believes will be the first store in the
United States to produce at least as much energy as it consumes.
The largest U.S. drugstore chain is preparing to build the "net
zero energy" store in Evanston, Illinois, less than 20 miles (32
km) from its headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois. That location
provides relatively easy access for its engineers to measure the
store's performance. Posted.

U.S. has energy trade surplus with China.  American clean-energy
companies racked up a $1.6 billion trade surplus with China in
2011, according to a report issued Wednesday. That's right -
surplus. The report from the Pew Charitable Trusts contradicts
the widely held belief that China has overtaken U.S. leadership
in clean technologies, a belief reinforced by the collapse of
Fremont solar company Solyndra. Posted.

Calif. urged to integrate energy policies. California has adopted
so many different policies to change the way we generate and use
energy that the state now needs to figure out how they all fit
together and how much they'll cost. That's one of the central
messages of a new report that surveys clean-tech executives in
California. The report, issued by the Advanced Energy Economy
business group, argues that looming problems could stymie the
growth of the clean-energy economy that California officials have
worked so hard to nurture. Posted.

Jewell pledges balanced approach on energy. President Barack
Obama's nominee for Interior secretary is pledging a balanced
approach to energy that would expand and diversify production on
public lands while preserving protection on certain land and
water. Recreational Equipment Inc. president and chief executive
Sally Jewell tells a Senate committee she supports Obama's
"all-of-the-above" energy strategy that embraces fossil fuels
such as oil, natural gas and coal, as well as renewable sources
such as wind and solar. Posted. 

California Leads Nation In Creation Of Green Jobs. A new report
finds California had nearly a quarter of all green jobs created
last year. Environmental Entrepreneurs tracks the creation of
green jobs on a monthly basis. The 2012 wrap-up found firms
announced the creation of 110,000 green jobs last year. About
26,000 of those jobs were in California. The positions range from
jobs created by solar and wind farms to positions needed to build
large mass transit projects. Posted.

Mandatory Solar May Come To One California City. If one Antelope
Valley mayor has his way, his city will soon become the first in
the nation to require solar panels on all new homes built in the
city limits. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris tells ReWire that a
decision on the potentially precedent-setting change to the
city's zoning laws could come from the Lancaster City Council in
as little as two weeks. Under Parris' proposed zoning change,
residences built in Lancaster after January 1, 2014 would need to
have associated solar generation either built in…Posted.


'Greedy Lying Bastards' review: falls short. "Greedy Lying
Bastards" is a provocative premise for a documentary: The oil
industry and various groups are thwarting progress on battling
climate change, in the face of meteorological disasters and
mounting scientific evidence that humans cause global warming.
But this film spends a lot of time telling, rather than showing,
at least when it comes to the greedy, lying bastards whom we are
eager to learn about. Posted.

Researchers offer 'unprecedented' method to efficiently capture
carbon. An international team of chemists announced it has
discovered a new use for an existing material that could separate
carbon dioxide from waste streams at power plants and drilling
sites in a cheaper and more efficient manner than current
technology. The team from the University of South Florida and
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in
Saudi Arabia found that an existing material that is
water-resistant, relatively inexpensive and reusable can be very
effective at capturing carbon for commercial application…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/07/15 BY


Viewpoints: Investment needed in new low-carbon fuel. Large oil
companies like to tell the public "We Agree" when it comes to
clean energy. But in Sacramento and Washington, their motto seems
to be "It Can't Be Done." A Jan. 31 article in the San Jose
Mercury News, "Chevron and its allies take aim at California's
low carbon fuel standard," demonstrates how the oil industry has
once again banded together to oppose groundbreaking environmental
initiatives.  Passed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in

Documentary goes after global warming deniers with the gloves
off.  Seven years after "An Inconvenient Truth," what has changed
in the world's efforts to come to grips with global warming? The
scientific consensus has firmed up, even further. Public opinion
has, at last, fallen in line with the science, assisted by any
number of in-your-face extreme weather events - epic droughts,
record ice melts, multiple applications of the phrase "storm of
the century."  But action? Nothing. By anyone.  Posted. 

CEQA reform: Time for meaningful changes to 43-year-old landmark
law. According to recent public polling, voters are feeling more
optimistic about the direction of the state and more confident in
the ability of elected officials to solve California's problems.
At the same time, voters express the desire to enhance the slowly
recovering economy while advancing environmental protections to
keep California both golden and green. Posted.


A Communications Scholar Analyzes Bill McKibben’s Path on
Climate. Bill McKibben and I have been on parallel but very
different journeys related to human-driven global warming since
the greenhouse effect first became front-page news back in the
late 1980s (examples here and here). (Our video chat above was
done in December for my Pace University blogging class.) Posted.

Solar Eclipse. The Egyptian pound is weakening at an alarming
rate. Hard currency reserves are dwindling. Unemployment is up;
investment is down. Imports are being restricted, and banks are
no longer giving out loans. The list of worrisome indicators goes
on, but there is no word that better encapsulates the severity of
Egypt’s economic situation than “solar.” Posted.

Learning from the cap-and-trade debate.  Two months ago, my
report “Naming the Problem: What It Will Take to Counter
Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight Against Global
Warming” [PDF] was posted online (along with an important
companion report, “The Too Polite Revolution” [PDF], by
journalists Petra Bartosiewicz and Marissa Miley). These reports
probed what happened with the big push for cap-and-trade
legislation in 2009 and 2010, and mine used the results of months
of research to place this episode within the larger political
trends that have been playing out in U.S. politics in recent
years.  Posted. 

Poll: Most Americans See Population Growth as Threat to Wildlife,
Climate. If you feel like our crowded planet is taking a tough
toll on the wild, you're not alone. A new poll finds a clear
majority of Americans believe the world's growing human
population is driving wildlife species toward extinction and is
making climate change worse. Respondents also said addressing the
human population -- which topped 7 billion in 2011 -- is an
important environmental issue and that society has a "moral
obligation" to address wildlife extinctions related to population
growth. Posted.

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