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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 12, 2013

Posted: 12 Apr 2013 11:56:16
ARB Newsclips for April 12, 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.


Brown wants China aboard California's high-speed rail project. 
Gov. Jerry Brown's trade mission to China this week is
intersecting with one of the most controversial issues of his
governorship: California's $68-billion bullet train. The governor
has staked part of his legacy on the rail network, a centerpiece
of his vision for California. He is hoping that China, which is
enjoying an economic boom and spent $77.6 billion on overseas
investments last year, according to official figures, will pump
some of its cash into the troubled project. Posted.

A Busy California Port Seeks to Grow, but a Neighbor Objects. It
was a provocative statement from the mayor of this city of nearly
half a million people, where the port, one of the busiest in the
nation, has long driven the economy. For years, Mayor Bob Foster
said, he has favored development projects in the region, looking
for ways for the port to bring in more business. But the $500
million project by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway would
increase traffic and pollution and have a devastating effect on
residents in adjacent working-class neighborhoods, he said.


Gina McCarthy, nominee to head EPA, pledges common-sense approach
to climate change. Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to
head the Environmental Protection Agency, Thursday pledged a
“common-sense” approach to battling climate change and touted a
career that included working for five Republican governors in an
effort to counter GOP criticism of the agency she hopes to lead.


Climate change threatens wineries, study shows; how would valley
adjust? Wine-grape growers in California and around the world
will be forced to move their vineyards north to cooler
environments within the next few decades as climate change causes
temperatures to rise, conservation biologists say in a study
published this week. Think Yellowstone pinot noir or Chateau
Yukon cabernet. Not that those are likely new venues for high-end
premium grapes, but a new analysis warns that the world's warming
climate will put new strains on water supplies for vineyard
irrigation. Posted. 

Report: Global warming didn't cause big US drought. Last year's
huge drought was a freak of nature that wasn't caused by man-made
global warming, a new federal science study finds. Scientists say
the lack of moisture usually pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico
was the main reason for the drought in the nation's midsection.
Thursday's report by dozens of scientists from five different
federal agencies looked into why forecasters didn't see the
drought coming. The researchers concluded that it was so unusual
and unpredictable that it couldn't have been forecast. Posted.

Greenhouse gases make high temps hotter in China. China, the
world's largest producer of carbon dioxide, is directly feeling
the man-made heat of global warming, scientists conclude in the
first study to link the burning of fossil fuels to one country's
rise in its daily temperature spikes. China emits more of the
greenhouse gas than the next two biggest carbon polluters - the
U.S. and India - combined. And its emissions keep soaring by
about 10 percent per year. Posted.

North Coast grape growers optimistic on climate. North Coast
grape growers say they take climate change seriously, but they
remain optimistic about finding ways to produce premium crops
should temperatures rise as much as a new study suggests.
The study, the latest in a decade of such research, predicts
parts of the Rocky Mountain region could become suitable for
growing wine grapes by 2050, even as large swaths of California
vineyards decline in productivity. Posted.


Russia Skips Hybrids in Push for Cars Using Natural Gas. gor A.
Samarsky of the southern Russian city of Krasnodar gets fuel
economy on his 1998 Lada sedan that would make a Prius owner
green with environmental envy. For all of 120 rubles — about
$3.80, or a little more than a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in
the United States — he can drive 140 miles. The Toyota hybrid
would need three gallons of gas to drive that distance. The only
drawback in Mr. Samarsky’s mind is his wife’s lingering fear that
the car, which runs on methane gas, will explode on the way to
the grocery store. Posted.

How fracking transforms remote ranchland to hubs for energy
production. Three hours west of Denver, across the Continental
Divide, the Rocky Mountains begin the long transition into high
desert plateaus. This sparsely-populated land is dotted with
ranches and small towns that were once local hubs for mining the
rich minerals found under the earth. But over the past few years,
this town and others have become increasingly a local center for
the natural gas industry. Posted.

Coal to stay important in U.S. energy mix -environment agency
pick. Gina McCarthy, EPA's assistant administrator for air and
radiation, was questioned by Republicans on the Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee on the agency's plans to
roll out regulations soon to curb carbon emissions from power
plants, blamed for contributing to global warming. The Boston
native is seeking confirmation by the Senate to replace Lisa
Jackson, who resigned as EPA chief in February. Posted.


Solar panel projects at Thousand Oaks parks move forward. A plan
to install carports with solar panels at two parks in Thousand
Oaks was approved at an administrative hearing Wednesday at City
Hall. The hearing was triggered after the city received
objections from residents about the project planned for Dos
Vientos Community Park and one objection to the Thousand Oaks
Community Park project. The plan calls for four rows of carports
in the parking lot next to the Thousand Oaks Community Center,
near Thousand Oaks High School, and two rows of carports in front
of the community center at Dos Vientos Community Park. Posted. 

PG&E Announces Enhanced Green Energy Program To Give Electric
Customers More Renewable Options. Pacific Gas and Electric
Company (PG&E) said today that it has reached an agreement with a
diverse group of consumer and other organizations to enhance its
proposed "Green Option" to give electric customers an opportunity
to support 100 percent renewable energy. The revised proposal,
which has been submitted for approval by the California Public
Utilities Commission, would provide participating customers with
energy from new small- and mid-sized solar projects located in
PG&E's service area. Posted.


California's environmental laws: Job creators, not job killers.
Who knew that being a smoggy place might be good for business?
Gov. Jerry Brown is in China, and one of the things he’s pitching
is California’s expertise in dealing with smog. Because if
there’s one thing we have in common with the Chinese, it’s air
pollution. Now, some of what Brown is doing is, well, kind of
squishy. Posted.


The Insiders: Democrats’ lost momentum on climate change. As I
said last week, fewer Americans view global warming as a “very
serious problem” today than just six months ago. In October, 39
percent of Americans viewed global warming as a very serious
problem, compared with 33 percent who believe that to be true
today.  Carter is the pollster, but by my back-of-the-envelope
math, if you exclude partisan Democrats who will follow President
Obama on everything, you’re left with about 25 percent of
Americans who think that global warming is a very serious
problem. Posted.

Climate change and Mitch McConnell.  I can’t decide what to write
about today: Ed Rogers and climate change, or why Mitch McConnell
must be the model for Kevin Spacey’s character in “House of
Cards.”  Maybe both. First, Ed and I have had a little back and
forth on climate change. It’s probably tedious to some of you; I
believe it is a massive threat worthy of a massive response.

Solar Grows Up – Now What? Almost a decade ago, I was part of a
group that lost a standby rate case with a Massachusetts utility,
when the utility convinced the commission to approve a rate that
would incentivize solar at the expense of combined heat and
power, (CHP).  The package fractured the green coalition we’d
assembled and the utility got to greenwash their new, terrible
rate.  Yes, I’m still bitter. Posted.

Moapa to Lead Powerful, Symbolic Walk from Coal to Clean Energy. 
Southern Nevada’s Moapa Band of Paiutes are organizing a 16-mile
“Walk from Coal to Clean Energy” on April 20, 2013 in concert
with Earth Day. This walk will celebrate the tribe’s efforts to
retire the polluting Reid Gardner coal plant that adjoins their
tribal lands, and also their success in developing the largest
solar project on tribal lands in the nation, which will begin
construction later this year. Posted.

California’s China trade office open for business; more deals
signed. Positioning California to attract a growing share of
China’s massive foreign investment pool and bolstering
California-China trade, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., the Bay
Area Council and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic
Development (GO-Biz) opened the California-China Office of Trade
and Investment today. It is the state’s first foreign trade
office in a decade. Posted.

Aston Martin to Race Hydrogen-Powered Rapide. British sports-car
maker Aston Martin said it will enter a hydrogen-powered version
of its Rapide S in next month’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance
race in Germany. While the company is focusing on the novelty of
a hydrogen-fueled racing car, fans may find the idea of competing
with a big, four-door passenger car is even stranger. However,
Aston said the race is an opportunity to show off its hydrogen
technology and turn the first lap in an international motorsport
competition without emitting carbon dioxide. Posted.

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