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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 31, 2013

Posted: 31 May 2013 11:25:45
ARB Newsclips for May 31, 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.


CAR, Insurer Parhelion Join Forces To Cover California Offset
Invalidation Risk.  The Climate Action Reserve (CAR) is
partnering with an insurer to mitigate the risk of invalidation
for ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and livestock offsets bound
for California’s compliance market.  The CAR has formed an
exclusive alliance with specialty insurer Parhelion Underwriting
Ltd to insure against invalidation of offset credits that are
transitioned from credits originally issued by the reserve to
California’s cap-and-trade program.  Posted. 

EU may link carbon fix to economy's revival.  The European
Union's regulator is considering tools to link the supply of
carbon permits with the bloc's economic performance, according to
Jos Delbeke, director general for climate at the European
Commission.  The possibility of improving the world's biggest
emissions- trading system by equipping it with a flexibility
mechanism emerged during public consultations on long-term
scenarios for the market, Delbeke said. It adds to six options
floated by the commission last year to strengthen the
cap-and-trade program after prices slumped to all-time lows amid
a record surplus of allowances exacerbated by an economic crisis.


Rep. Adam Schiff asks Metrolink to assess yard's health risks.  A
local congressman Thursday called on Metrolink to assess the
health risks of air pollution on neighborhoods surrounding the
commuter railroad's central maintenance yard north of downtown
Los Angeles.  At a news conference, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)
made the request on behalf of residents and community groups that
have long been concerned about diesel exhaust coming from the
commuter system's locomotives when they are serviced.  Posted. 

Air Quality Alert Issued for Fairfax County.  Here comes summer. 
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, along with
the Virginia Department of the Environmental Quality, issued an
air quality alert Thursday for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan
areas — including Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington and Alexandria
counties — in advance of the hot and muggy weather in this week's
forecast.  Through Saturday, temperatures are expected to hit the
low 90s in Fairfax County, according to the National Weather
Service.  Posted. 

Salton Sea Dust Mitigation Bill by Asm. V. Manuel Pérez Passes
Assembly.  Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez is pleased to report on
several bills that have passed the Assembly Floor with strong,
bipartisan support.  AB 147, the Salton Sea Dust Mitigation Act,
compels state action related to Salton Sea dust mitigation.  The
bill directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB), as the
state’s air quality expert, to evaluate the air quality
mitigation planning completed to date by local water agencies to
ensure it is adequate to mitigate the dust emissions from the
Salton Sea resulting from the implementation of the
Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA).  Posted. 


California native fish could disappear with climate change. 
Climate change may cause the extinction of 82 percent of
California's native fish species, including iconic ones such as
Central Valley salmon and Delta smelt, according to a new study. 
The peer-reviewed study by fishery experts at UC Davis created a
framework to measure how vulnerable numerous species are to
climate change. It assesses habitat conditions, climate change
projections and temperature sensitivity for the 121 native and 50
nonnative fish species that inhabit California.  Posted.



Climate change linked to more pollen, allergies, asthma.  From
the roof of the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in the Chicago
suburbs, an 83-year-old retired doctor finds troubling evidence
of why so many people are sneezing and itching their eyes. 
Joseph Leija counts the pollen and mold spores that collect on
slides inside an air-sucking machine atop the six-story building.
"There's been an increase, no doubt about it," he says of the 5
a.m. weekday counts that he's been doing as a volunteer for 24
years.  Posted. 


At California ports, some ships plug in to power up.  In less
than a year, many of the towering cargo ships loading and
unloading goods at California ports won't just tie up at dock —
they'll also plug in.  In January, the state will become the
first government body in the world to require container fleets
docking at its major ports to shut off their diesel engines and
use electricity for 50 percent of their visits — or face
crippling fines. The requirements also include slashing fleet
emissions by half, and those requirements rise to 80 percent in
2020.  Posted. 


California Carbon Fuel Standard May Remain in Place. 
California’s low-carbon fuel standard will remain in effect, a
state appeals court provisionally ruled in a lawsuit challenging
the regulation by U.S. ethanol producer Poet LLC.  Poet, the
second-largest U.S. maker of the corn-based fuel, argued that the
standard, which requires transportation fuel-sellers in
California to reduce the “carbon intensity” of their products by
10 percent by 2020, should be held invalid because regulators
approved it before completing an environmental review.  Posted. 


Electric car price war shifts into high gear.  Want to pay $7,000
for a $37,000 electric car?  It's not a trick question. For the
first time, through the magic of subsidized leases, electric
vehicles can now compete on price with comparable gas-powered
cars — indeed, they are cheaper once you factor in gas savings. 
Honda announced this week that it would drop the lease on its Fit
EV from $389 to $259 a month. That price includes collision and
vehicle theft coverage, maintenance, roadside assistance, even a
charging station at your house. Factoring in the state rebate,
that's an all-in, three-year ownership cost of less than $7,000 —
maybe the cheapest $37,000 car in history.  Posted. 


California high-speed rail faces delays as high-stakes trial
begins Friday.  High-speed rail officials acknowledged Thursday
that they almost certainly won't break ground on the $69 billion
project as planned in July after hitting some last-minute bumps
in the road. And even more delays are possible as a court battle
begins that could wipe out voters' approval of the bullet train. 


Consumer question: When is 'green' logging really green?  The
seal looked appealing, a daisy on a field of green, with the
words “Tested Green.” It was issued to more than 120 products as
a guarantee of environmental responsibility.  The problem,
federal trade regulators announced in 2011, was that almost
anybody who wanted to pay the $189.95 for a “rapid” certification
got a logo.  “It took us about 30 seconds to have the Federal
Trade Commission certified as 'tested green,' and we were neither
tested nor green,” Jim Kohm, head of the FTC’s enforcement
division, said Thursday.  Posted. 


Pacific islands’ deadly threat from climate change.  For almost
70 years, my country, the Marshall Islands, has been fighting for
its survival. Unfortunately, the threats we face are the result
of forces we cannot control.  From 1946 to 1958, we endured the
horror of 67 atmospheric nuclear tests. The most powerful was the
“Bravo shot,” equivalent in power to 1,000 Hiroshima bombs. Now
our residents are confronted by a different kind of atmospheric
danger: the existential threat posed by climate change.  Posted. 


Beijing adding pollution tax to gas prices by next year.  The
Chinese government is about to put its money where everyone's
mouth (and nose, for that matter) is by enforcing an
automobile-pollution refueling tax in the notably polluted city
of Beijing, Gasgoo says, citing Xcar.  Beijing will be China's
first city to enact such a pollution tax when it does so within
the next 12 months. With the tax in effect, gas taxes will total
ten yuan ($1.62) per liter. Current taxes run one yuan per liter
plus 0.1 percent for construction and educational funding. 

Fresno State study warns of climate effects on San Joaquin River.
 Two Fresno State professors say climate change will make the San
Joaquin River’s annual runoff show up earlier — as much as six
weeks earlier in the next century.  And one other thing:There
will be a “significant decrease in annual stream flow,” said
geology professor C. John Suen, who co-authored a study on the
upper San Joaquin. Suen’s co-author was associate hydrology
professor Zhi Wang.  The study, published in Hydrology Research,
is more confirmation of findings in previous climate change
studies, and it is not a pretty picture.  Posted. 

Scientists plan to reduce greenhouse gases by breeding fartless
cows.  Natural gas wells leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas,
into the atmosphere as a consequence of the production process.
So do cows. But where well leaks are called “fugitive methane
emissions,” cow leaks are simply called fart and burps.  Regular
Grist readers will remember that we’re really quite interested in
this unusual source of methane. It’s silly, but it’s also a big
problem. Scientists now think, though, that they’ve hit on a
solution: they might simply be able to breed to farts and burps
out of cows.  Posted. 

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