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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 30, 2013. Posted: 30 Apr 2013 12:25:30
ARB Newsclips for April 30, 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 Beach bonfire supporters gather in support of O.C. fire rings. Supporters of the fire rings that line the Orange County shoreline gathered Sunday at Huntington State Beach to send a political smoke signal to air quality regulators who want to snuff out the decades-old tradition in the name of health. Proponents of beach fires cooked hot dogs, roasted marshmallows and told supporters why they believe the South Coast Air Quality Management District is wrong in its proposal to ban fire rings in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-beach-bonfire-supporters-gather-20130429,0,1718902.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+(L.A.+Now) China career boost can come with health risks. Whitney Foard Small loved China and her job as a regional director of communications for a top automaker. But after air pollution led to several stays in hospital and finally a written warning from her doctor telling her she needed to leave, Small packed up and left for Thailand. In doing so, the Ford Motor Co. executive became another expatriate to leave China because of the country's notoriously bad air. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/30/5382159/china-career-boost-can-come-with.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/China-career-boost-can-come-with-health-risks-4474511.php States scramble as EPA shifts research monitors into regulatory mode. A little-noticed change in U.S. EPA air policy has turned a national pollution-monitoring network that has been providing data to researchers for 22 years into a regulatory tool, leaving states scrambling to figure out the implications. At issue are 90 air monitors in the Clean Air Status and Trends Network, or CASTNET, launched in 1991 by the landmark Clean Air Act amendments to track long-term trends in acid rain pollutants as well as rural ozone, a component of smog. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/04/30/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE COLUMN-U.S. pragmatic approach leads climate talks: Wynn. A U.S. submission to U.N.-backed negotiations shows how a scaled-down global climate deal which falls short of a full treaty can be agreed in 2015. Much will depend on the United States, as the world's second biggest carbon emitter whose present administration will be in place beyond the deadline for agreement on a new deal. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/30/column-wynn-us-climate-idUSL6N0DG38820130430 DIESEL EMISSIONS EPA: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act helped retrofit more than 50,000 engines. Between 2008 and 2010, more than 50,000 diesel-powered engines were upgraded or replaced using Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. The upgrades helped reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 203,000 tons, particulate matter by 12,500 tons and carbons dioxide emissions by 2.3 million tons, according to a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report to CongressPosted. http://www.progressiverailroading.com/mechanical/news/EPA-Diesel-Emissions-Reduction-Act-helped-retrofit-more-than-50000-engines--35999 FUELS California Proposal for Fracking Moratorium Clears Panel. A California Assembly panel approved a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing by oil and natural-gas producers until the most populous U.S. state assesses health and environmental concerns. The bill by Adrin Nazarian, a Los Angeles Democrat, is opposed by the oil industry through the Western States Petroleum Association, which says hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for more than 60 years. Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee approved the measure 5-3 on a party-line vote late yesterday. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-30/california-proposal-for-fracking-moratorium-clears-panel.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/apr/29/assembly-committee-passes-three-bills-to-impose/?print=1 Ready (or Not?) for a Great Coming Shale Boom. About a year ago, talk began circulating in this West Texas town about a huge oil-producing formation called the Cline Shale, east of the traditional drilling areas around Midland. Then the oilmen and their rigs arrived. Now homes and hotels are sprouting, “help wanted” signs have multiplied, and a major drilling company has cleared land to build an office and equipment yard. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/us/time-for-texas-to-get-ready-for-the-shale-boom.html?ref=earth Vast majority of Americans support fuel economy standards – report. New federal fuel economy standards are putting more fuel-efficient cars on the road and getting widespread praise from the public, according to a progress report by the Consumer Federation of America. The survey released yesterday found that 85 percent of respondents "support" federal requirements to increase the fuel economy of new light-duty vehicles to an average of 35 mpg by 2017 and to 54.5 mpg by 2025. More than half -- 54 percent -- "strongly support" these standards. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/30/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Climate body has surprise findings amid Europe-wide debates on fracking. It may seem an odd position by Britain's premier watchdog on climate policies: Fracking for gas may not be so bad after all. In terms of the carbon footprint, it is less damaging than importing gas. That's not the only surprise delivered last week by the Committee on Climate Change, an elite panel of government advisers. Britons are mistaken if they believe their windmills, solar panels, energy-saving regulations and nascent bicycle culture are resolving the nation's carbon problems, the panel said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/04/30/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Enzyme Research Could Lead to Less Expensive Biofuels. Five NREL scientists and one scientist from the Weizmann Institute of Israel conducted research that could lead to enzymes helping create less expensive biofuel. Their paper, “Fungal Cellulases and Complexed Cellulosomal Enzymes Exhibit Synergistic Mechanisms in Cellulose Deconstruction”, has been published in Energy and Environmental SciencePosted. http://eponline.com/articles/2013/04/30/enzyme-research-could-lead-to-less-expensive-biofuels.aspx VEHICLES Enterprise hangs 'for rent' sign on electrics. The Enterprise Rent-a-Car on Ocean Street is turning over a new Leaf. A couple, in fact. Last week the branch became one of a handful from the company in Northern California to offer all-electric Nissan Leafs for rent, giving customers who are thinking about ditching gas-guzzlers a chance to take an extended test drive in an emissions-free ride. Posted. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_23133879/enterprise-hangs-rent-sign-electrics?source=rss&utm_source=feedly Riverside McDonald’s gets fast electric car charger. Don’t be surprised if you hear electric car drivers pulling into the McDonald’s at 2242 University Ave. in Riverside say: “I’ll have burgers and fries with my direct current.” The restaurant has installed its Blink Direct Current Fast Charger for electric vehicles, making it the first and only one in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to Scott Watkins, a spokesperson for ECOtality, Blink’s provider. Posted. http://www.pe.com/business/business-headlines/20130429-environment-riverside-mcdonalds-gets-fast-electric-car-charger.ece HIGH-SPEED RAIL California bullet train groundbreaking faces new obstacles. Challenges are coming from a private railroad, a legislative committee and a powerful federal agency asserting authority over the project. California's bullet train agency is facing a series of new regulatory and political problems that could jeopardize its July construction kickoff, which already has been delayed more than six months. The new challenges are coming from a private railroad that controls a key right of way…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0426-bullet-train-snag-20130429,0,4265519.story?utm_source=feedly GREEN ENERGY A City That Turns Garbage Into Energy Copes With a Shortage. This is a city that imports garbage. Some comes from England, some from Ireland. Some is from neighboring Sweden. It even has designs on the American market. “I’d like to take some from the United States,” said Pal Mikkelsen, in his office at a huge plant on the edge of town that turns garbage into heat and electricity. “Sea transport is cheap.” Oslo, a recycling-friendly place where roughly half the city and most of its schools are heated by burning garbage…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/world/europe/oslo-copes-with-shortage-of-garbage-it-turns-into-energy.html?ref=earth California officials split on how to divvy up $500 million in clean-energy funds. The fight over Proposition 39 didn't end at the ballot box. Six months after voters overwhelmingly approved a change in the corporate tax code that's expected to net the state an additional $1 billion in revenue for five years, lawmakers are wrangling over how to spend an estimated $500 million a year the measure earmarks for energy efficiency projects. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/29/5381399/california-officials-split-on.html#mi_rss=Latest%20News?utm_source=feedly#storylink=cpy Navajo Nation forms company to run NM coal mine. The Navajo Nation is moving closer to getting into the coal mining business. Tribal lawmakers voted Monday to form a limited liability company that would run the Navajo Mine near Farmington, N.M. The tribe said it will decide by July 1 whether to purchase the mine from Australia-based BHP Billiton for about $85 million. Navajo President Ben Shelly also must sign off on the creation of the Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Navajo-Nation-forms-company-to-run-NM-coal-mine-4473958.php#ixzz2Rxm8hNDN Construction Starts on Warren Buffett's Solar Project. Construction has launched on a solar project its developers are calling the world's largest, on more than 3,200 acres straddling the Kern-Los Angeles county line west of the Antelope Valley town of Rosamond. Antelope Valley Solar I and II are being built for MidAmerican Solar, a Phoenix-based energy development company indirectly owned by financier Warren Buffett. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/construction-starts-on-warren-buffetts-antelope-valley-solar.html?utm_source=feedly MISCELLANEOUS Edward Frieman dies at 87; leading figure in American science. With wide-ranging interests, Edward Frieman led the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, advised the U.S. on defense and energy and was a friend of Albert Einstein. Edward A. Frieman, a leading figure in American science for decades as a researcher with wide-ranging interests, a top-level governmental advisor on defense and energy issues, and director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, has died. He was 87. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-edward-frieman-20130429,0,7781587.story Students passionate about banning bags. Ella Whitney's family has been using fabric bags to haul groceries from the store to the house for several years now. So have Cosimo Satalino's family and Katie Horton's family. "We always have our bags in the car," Ella said. "We even have a little sign, a post-it note, on the dashboard, to remind us." The practice has become more popular in recent years as cities, in particular those in coastal areas, have banned the use of disposable plastic grocery bags due to the hazard they pose to the marine life. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/29/students-study-plastic-enviroment-hazards/?utm_source=feedly Earth Month Puts Focus on ‘Green' Jobs. As Earth Month 2013 nears its conclusion, it is a good time to look at “green” jobs, which over the last decade have become a major topic among such agencies and organizations as the U.S. Department of Labor, the California Employment Development Department, and, more locally, the Orange County Workforce Investment Board. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey indicated that about 2.6 percent of national employment was considered green in 2011…Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/month-506238-earth-focus.html OPINIONS Natural Gas, Not Diesel. Americans are learning that climate change is real. Truck fleets burning liquefied natural gas cut greenhouse gases by 25 percent. Further, they are poised to use an even better gas fuel that cuts greenhouse gases 88 to 100 percent: a renewable form of natural gas, known as R.N.G., made from organic wastes flowing from communities, businesses and agricultural operations nationwide. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/opinion/natural-gas-not-diesel.html?_r=0 Carbon tax is better for consumers than cap and trade. Re "California, Quebec join to take lead on climate policy" (Viewpoints, April 26): Gray Davis and Jean Charest are right that we need a price on carbon, and that improving energy efficiency and developing new energy technologies will cause our economy to grow. These liberal leaders back a cap-and-trade approach to pricing carbon. However, conservatives and environmentalists prefer a revenue-neutral carbon tax because the tax will be paid by fuel producers and be rebated to American households. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/30/5378510/taking-the-lead-on-climate-policy.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Clash of business and health. Some big-rig and heavy truck drivers got a surprise last week when they were pulled over in Santa Maria. The operation was the work of the state’s Air Resources Board and California Highway Patrol, and its purpose was to give heavy polluters an ultimatum — clean up tailpipe emissions or park your truck. Who hasn’t been behind a big-rig or other large, diesel-powered vehicle at a stoplight, and when the light goes green, heavy, black smoke boils out of the exhaust pipe. Posted. http://www.lompocrecord.com/news/opinion/editorial/clash-of-business-and-health/article_dc00efea-b13f-11e2-8245-0019bb2963f4.html Imperial County: Toxic Capital of the California Desert. The Imperial County town of Brawley is one of the most polluted places in California, according to a new environmental justice mapping tool released last week by the State of California. In fact, ZIP Code 92227 surrounding Brawley ranks in the dirtiest five percent in the state, earning especially bad marks when it comes to pesticide pollution, hazardous waste, and impaired bodies of water. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_focus/commentary/east-ca/imperial-county-toxic-capital-of-the-california-desert.html BLOGS Billions of Cellphones Polluting the World. Once considered a status symbol, cellphones have become ubiquitous. There are now 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, 800 million more than at the end of 2011. But mobile technology poses serious environmental challenges, both because of the raw materials needed to produce the hardware and the pollution associated with disposal. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/billions-of-cellphones-polluting-the-world/?smid=go-share Electric Cars Rally on Connecticut’s Back Roads. If the event had been a straightforward race, it would likely have seen a victory by one of the dozen Teslas that participated. But it was the odometer and not the speedometer that mattered, as drivers followed a set of sometimes arcane directional clues and tried to stay on a circuitous route. Each car had a driver and a navigator. My original plan was to gather color for the article by riding in the back of a Chevrolet Volt driven by Leo Karl III…Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/electric-cars-rally-on-connecticuts-back-roads/ Clean Air Benefits and Fuel Savings of Diesel Emissions Reduction Program. More than 50,000 older diesel powered engines were upgraded or replaced between 2008 to 2010 because of Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funding which resulted in major clean air benefits and fuel savings, according a new report issued today – the "Second Report to Congress: Highlights of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://blog.ctnews.com/kantrowitz/2013/04/30/clean-air-benefits-and-fuel-savings-of-diesel-emissions-reduction-program/ Riverside County passes on $700,000 renewable energy development grant. It’s rare for any county in California to turn down the opportunity to score $700,000 in state grant money to help update its general plan or other renewable energy permitting regulations, but that appears to be what Riverside County has done. A request for proposals issued March 11 announced up to $7 million in state money available to counties “to fund plans for the development or revisions of rules and policies that facilitate the development of eligible renewable energy resources, and their associated electric transmission facilities, and the processing of permits for eligible renewable energy resources.” Posted. http://greenenergy.blogs.mydesert.com/2013/04/29/1163/