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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 10, 2013

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 12:43:48
ARB Newsclips for April 10, 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.


As Brown visits China, California-Quebec carbon-trade deal
advances. As he brings his message of carbon reduction to top
officials in China, Gov. Jerry Brown moved another step closer to
broadening California's carbon-trading market Tuesday.
Before crossing the Pacific, the governor sent a letter to the
state Air Resources Board enabling it to move ahead with plans to
link California's carbon-trading market with one in the Canadian
province of Quebec. Carbon markets aim to reduce overall
pollution by creating a system that limits the total amount of
carbon emissions allowed but enables big polluters to buy the
right to pollute more. Posted.


Air pollution scourge underestimated, green energy can help-UN.
Air pollution is an underestimated scourge that kills far more
people than AIDS and malaria and a shift to cleaner energy could
easily halve the toll by 2030, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.
Investments in solar, wind or hydropower would benefit both human
health and a drive by almost 200 nations to slow climate change,
blamed mainly on a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
from use of fossil fuels, they said. Posted.

Beijing's polluted air provides Jerry Brown a political
The local media have given it a name: "Beijing Ke," or the
Beijing Cough, defined by the China Daily as "a bout of
persistent dry cough or throat tickle because of Beijing's poor
air quality." Earlier this year, the local air-quality reading
was so bad that citizens were warned to stay in doors for days on
end. The international media called it the "Airpocolypse." For
Beijing's 20 million residents, pollution has become a way of
life. Even on the relatively good air-quality days, such as the
ones that cold winds have brought here this week, locals take
precautions. Posted.

US EPA air pollution rule suit exposes rift between gas, coal
generators. Many US generators vigorously oppose the Obama
administration's new regulation to curb emissions of mercury and
other hazardous air pollutants, saying the rule will shutter
coal-fired power plants, drive up electricity prices and perhaps
even undermine the reliability of the US electrical grid. But
four companies that have invested heavily in natural gas-fired
and nuclear generation are bucking that widely held industry
position, saying the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury
and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule is justified by "the nature
of the competitive power markets" and other factors. Posted.

Exxon Mobil must pay $236M in NH pollution case. Exxon Mobil
Corp. was found liable Tuesday in a long-running lawsuit over
groundwater contamination caused by the gasoline additive MTBE,
and the jury ordered the oil giant to pay $236 million to New
Hampshire to clean it up. The jurors reached their verdicts in
less than 90 minutes, after sitting through nearly three months
of testimony. Lawyers on both sides were stunned by the speed
with which they reached the verdict on liability and even more
stunned when the jurors took barely 20 minutes more to fill out
the damages verdict. Posted. 

Europe's toxic air: clearer but not clean. While attention is
given to curbing the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions blamed for
global warming, substances more directly harmful to human health,
notably nitrogen oxides, are pumped out of diesel engines and
from European power stations burning coal that is getting cheaper
as Americans exploit new gas reserves. Posted.


Buckle up: Climate change may cause bumpier flights. Are you the
kind of air traveler who turns green when your plane encounters
air turbulence? Do you always have a beverage in your hand when
the captain illuminates the "fasten seat belts" sign and
apologizes for a bit of mid-flight "chop"? If so, you might
consider booking a cruise ship instead of flying the friendly
skies in the coming years. A study published Monday in the
journal Nature Climate Change predicts that global warming will
cause bumpier transatlantic flights by the middle of this
century. Posted.

Renewable Energy Won't Stop Climate Change According to Truthout
Interview with Scholar and Author. Renewable energy is neither
clean nor a solution to climate change according to a new
Truthout interview with Ozzie Zehner, a visiting scholar at the
University of California – Berkeley and author of the book Green
Illusions. Instead of "hyping so-called green energy," Zehner
advocates redirecting focus to the impacts of a growing human
population and consumption. Posted.

French wine could get pricey, climate change study says. That
bottle of Bordeaux you put aside may become even rarer in the
next few decades as climate change could reduce wine grape
production in traditional parts of the world and move it
elsewhere, researchers say. Danish Cabernet, anyone? Wine grape
production's sensitivity to climate makes it a good test case for
what could happen over the next several decades. And the land
suitable for viticulture in current major wine producing regions
could be reduced by 20% to 70% by 2050, depending on the amount
of greenhouse gases produced, the researchers said this week in
the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Posted. 

New science standards call for teaching climate change and more.
The Next Generation Science Standards, developed over the last
year by California and 25 other states in conjunction with
several national scientific organizations, represent the first
effort in some 15 years to transform the way science is taught in
million of classrooms. The multi-state consortium is proposing
that students learn fewer standards more deeply and not merely
memorize information but understand how scientists actually
investigated and gathered it. Posted.


L'Oreal Signs The Climate Declaration In Support Of Climate
Change Policy.   L'Oreal joined forces in Washington, DC today
with 32 other leading companies and consumer brands to urge
regulators and legislators to put climate change on the federal
policy agenda. Recognizing the business risks associated with
climate change and having been affected by Superstorm Sandy, as
were many businesses in the northeast, L'Oreal has taken concrete
and meaningful steps to reduce its own carbon emissions. Posted.


Car Emissions Tied to Rare Pediatric Cancers. Children born to
mothers who lived within a mile of heavy traffic while pregnant
were at higher risk of developing any of three childhood cancers,
researchers said here. Higher incidences of acute lymphoblastic
leukemia and two rare pediatric cancers -- retinoblastoma and
germ cell tumors -- were found in children whose mothers lived
within a 1,500-meter (0.93-mile) radius of gasoline and diesel
emissions while pregnant, said Julia Heck, PhD, of the University
of California Los Angeles School of Public Health, and
colleagues. Posted.


California court ruling gives hope to foes of fracking. A court
ruling that the U.S. government must consider the environmental
impact of "fracking" on federal lands leased to oil companies
offers opponents of the technique a useful weapon in the fierce
public debate in California and other parts of the country. In a
regulatory setback for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, a
federal magistrate judge in San Jose, California, on Monday ruled
that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to analyze its
impact on 2,500 acres in Monterey County. Posted.

Moniz backs natural gas 'revolution' President Barack Obama's
choice to lead the Energy Department pledged to increase use of
natural gas Tuesday as a way to combat climate change even as the
nation seeks to boost domestic energy production. Ernest Moniz, a
physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
said "a stunning increase" in production of domestic natural gas
in recent years was nothing less than a "revolution" that has led
to reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause
global warming. Posted.


M'bishi Motors still halting Outlander plug-in hybrid shipments.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp will extend its production and shipment
stoppage of its Outlander plug-in hybrids until it finds the
cause of an overheating lithium-ion battery in one of the
vehicles, the automaker said on Wednesday. The company stopped
production and shipments in late March as lithium-ion battery
technology faces heightened scrutiny after problems with
batteries in Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jets. Posted.


Did First Solar Just Upend the Solar Industry?  When First Solar
announced the acquisition of TetraSun yesterday it really
announced a fundamental shift in the company's strategy. It isn't
giving up on thin film, not yet, but it is laying the groundwork
for a future without its familiar CdTe panels. TetraSun is an
investment in crystalline silicon solar cells that First Solar
has been fighting against for over a decade. Silicon has won the
battle, and now even First Solar will join the crowd. Posted.

Federal budget: Obama seeks 40 percent increase in clean energy
spending. President Barack Obama proposed a dramatic increase in
clean-energy spending on Wednesday as he sought to expand U.S.
government support for electric cars, wind power and other
"green" technology despite persistent Republican criticism. The
president would pay for the expansion in part by eliminating tax
breaks and subsidies for oil, gas and coal industries. Previous
efforts by Obama's fellow Democrats to repeal the $4 billion
worth of fossil-fuel subsidies have fallen short. Posted.


Will climate change decimate the wine industry? First we find out
that carbon dioxide emissions are bad for oysters, and now a
study indicates that rising global temperatures could also
drastically affect wine production. That’s right: Greenhouse
gases might ruin the romantic strategies of people everywhere —
or, at least, result in some extra costs and environmental harm
to keep these ancient aphrodisiacs readily available. Posted.

Cap & trade: California and Quebec join forces. When it comes to
cap and trade, California will no longer have to go it alone.
Gov. Jerry Brown has approved linking California’s new carbon
market with Quebec’s, in a transnational bid to fight global
warming. Companies in each location will be able to participate
in the other’s market, buying and selling “allowances” to emit
greenhouse gases. Brown on Monday sent California air pollution
regulators a letter certifying that Quebec’s market rules are at
least as stringent as California’s. State law required Brown to
make that finding before the two systems could link. Posted.

Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S.
utilities. Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the
(typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S.
investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far
as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press.
That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally
frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare
thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient
obsolescence. Posted.

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