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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 3, 2013 Posted: 03 Jun 2013 14:51:21
ARB Newsclips for June 3, 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. CAP AND TRADE Airlines Seek Carbon Market to Curb Post-2020 Pollution. Airlines backed a call for an emissions market to offset growth in their greenhouse gases after 2020, a step that could spur international talks on tackling pollution from the industry. International Air Transport Association members adopted today at their annual general meeting in Cape Town a resolution in favor of a market-based mechanism to help address airlines’ emissions. IATA produced the proposal before a September gathering of the United Nations’ aviation panel that will consider the industry’s tools to fight climate change. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-03/airlines-seek-carbon-market-to-curb-post-2020-pollution.html AIR POLLUTION EPA's delay means power plant rule can't go final – utilities. U.S. EPA missed its chance to finalize its greenhouse gas proposal for new power plants when it let a statutory deadline for the rule slip in April, according to a coalition of coal-fired electric utilities. The Utility Air Regulatory Group argues in a May 16 letter to EPA that the agency's failure to finalize its first-time greenhouse gas rule for future power plants by April 13 -- one year after it had proposed the rule -- means it must now repropose a rule and repeat public comment steps before finalizing a rule. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059982170/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Researchers model impact of aerosols over California: Findings may clarify effectiveness of regional pollution controls. Aerosols are microscopic particles—like dust, pollen and soot—that ubiquitously float around in our atmosphere. Despite their tiny stature, these particles can have a huge impact on human health, climate and the environment. So scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Colorado State University and the California Air Resources Board have set out to characterize the roles of various particles as atmospheric change agents on a regional scale. Posted. http://phys.org/news/2013-06-impact-aerosols-california-effectiveness-regional.html CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Fix That’s Fair Assigns U.S. Three Times Chinese Effort. A fair climate fix would assign the U.S. almost three times the effort of cutting carbon dioxide output as China, which in 2006 became the biggest emitter, research by the Stockholm Environment Institute suggests. The U.S., the biggest historical emitter, would have responsibility for 29.1 percent of the greenhouse gas cuts needed in 2020 to keep the planet on a pathway that avoids the worst effects of global warming, according to the institute’s calculations. That compares with 10.4 percent for China, 22.9 percent for the European Union and 1.2 percent for India. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-06-03/climate-fix-that-s-fair-assigns-u-dot-s-dot-three-times-chinese-effort Part of what makes living in Hawaii so pleasant is the gentle breeze. Arriving from the northeast, it's light enough that it is barely noticeable but strong enough to chase away the humidity. It's a natural draw to the outdoors. It is not uncommon to show up at a house to find its residents relaxing out in the covered porch or in the car port, not their living room, and enjoying the cooling winds — and a cool drink. Nowadays, experts say, these breezes, called trade winds, are declining, a drop that's slowly changing life across the islands. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Trade-winds-drop-and-Hawaii-gets-muggy-4570800.php#ixzz2VBPRVlom Keeling Curve a mainstay of climate science. A gallery of watershed discoveries is engraved on a marble wall in the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C. There are Darwin’s finches, Watson and Crick’s double helix — and the Keeling Curve, a 55-year (and still counting) chart tracking the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This jagged diagonal line, which measures a gas linked to global warming, forms the foundation of modern climate science. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/02/keeling-curve-climate-change-scripps/ Climate change is killing us with drought and rising sea waters. 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. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130603/MCT/130609968/0/SEARCH Climate change threatens 82% of native California fish. Four of five native fish in California, including salmon and steelhead trout, likely will be driven to or near extinction within 100 years if climate change continues on its current path, a new study predicts. Of 121 native fish species, 82% will plummet in number or disappear because they need cool, flowing water yet climate change is boosting temperatures and lessening stream flow, according to scientists at the University of California-Davis' Center for Watershed Science. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/01/climate-change-california-fish/2375685/ Environmentalists Unite in Quest to Fight Global Warming. Environmental groups have found harmony in fighting for their biggest causes, but success remains elusive. The nation’s environmental leaders are mounting a double battle against global warming, and they see President Obama’s remaining time in the White House as critical in winning both of them. In interviews with the leaders of seven major environmental organizations, they all indicated a sense of unity and urgency on rolling out regulations to control the greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists agree…Posted. http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/environmentalists-unite-in-quest-to-fight-global-warming-20130602?utm_source=feedly FUELS Fracking Tests Ties Between California ‘Oil and Ag’ Interests. Scattered on either side of Shafter Avenue just north of the town center here, new oil pump jacks, some bobbing and others thrusting, tower above this corner of California’s prime farmland. A dirt side road, flanked by an orchard of two-year-old almond trees and a field of alfalfa plants, leads to a two-acre patch where workers were drilling a third well. At a larger rig not too far away, next to a field of potatoes, a 50-foot-tall tower flared off the gas from the crude being extracted from land that used to be a rose field. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/us/california-oil-and-ag-face-rift-on-fracking.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Colby opts against fossil-fuel divestment. Trustees at Maine's Colby College have decided not to stop investing endowment money in oil, gas and other companies connected to fossil fuels, but students say they'll continue trying to build support for the move. Students asked the board's investment committee to consider divesting investments in companies they say contribute to global warming. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Colby-opts-against-fossil-fuel-divestment-4569495.php#ixzz2VBOTlyJ6 California should heed Obama administration on fracking. The state Senate has rarely seemed as confused as it appeared last Wednesday. On a 39-0 vote, senators OK’d a bill to limit obstacles to economic growth created by excessive regulations in the California Environmental Quality Act. But the same day, on a 27-11 vote, senators approved a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing for energy exploration in the state until Jan. 1, 2015, when state rules governing the practice will be in place — rules that appear likely to be onerous by design. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/03/tp-california-should-heed-obama-administration-on/ Calif. bills to halt fracking fail to win support. Attempts to place a moratorium on the controversial oil drilling technique known as fracking failed as the Legislature hit its first bill-passing deadline, but the industry almost certainly will face stronger regulations when this year's legislative session is over. An Assembly bill to temporarily halt hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, did not win enough support to pass that chamber. A Senate measure will be amended to remove its proposed moratorium. Posted. http://www.marinij.com/tablehome/ci_23364328/calif-bills-halt-fracking-fail-win-support “Project Volt Gas Volt” proposes long-term financing plan to support widespread implementation of power-to-gas systems. Corinne Lepage, Member of the European Parliament (and former French Minister of the Environment) and Professor Robert Bell, Brooklyn University, City University of New York, are proposing Project Volt Gas Volt (VGV) as a technology pathway for using renewable energy to “keep the lights on” on the broadest scale without disruption, together with a long-term financing proposal for the project. Although they are targeting an initial implementation France, they see it as broadly applicable. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/06/vgv-20130602.html Keystone XL alternative hits a political wall in British Columbia. The British Columbia government Friday formally opposed an oil sands pipeline that would run to Canada's western coast, putting a major barrier in front of a conduit considered a chief alternative to Keystone XL. In a written submission to a joint review panel assessing Enbridge's Northern Gateway -- which would carry oil sands crude across Canada from Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia, if built -- the province said "it cannot support the project as presented to the panel because Northern Gateway has been unable to address British Columbians' environmental concerns." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982134/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Holding Its Own vs. Nonhybrids. The Lexus GS 450h, redesigned for the 2013 model year, demonstrates how far Toyota has come in the two decades it has spent trying to electrify the automobile. The company’s goal, which seemed a bit of a stretch in the early 1990s, was to make electrified vehicles that were better than comparable vehicles powered by conventional internal-combustion engines. Otherwise, Toyota’s leaders believed, no one would have a reason to buy one. This shapely GS 450h suggests that it has met that goal. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/automobiles/autoreviews/a-lexus-holding-its-own-vs-nonhybrids.html Electric cars are getting as cheap as gasoline rivals. The Times test drives the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e and Honda Fit EV to see how they stack up in the race to go green. What would it take to get you into an electric car today? Forced by state regulators to sell more zero-emission vehicles, automakers are tripping over each other to offer consumers rock-bottom lease deals. For the first time, electric vehicles are penciling out cheaper than their gas-powered counterparts. Honda joined the price war this week by dropping the lease on its Fit EV from $389 to $259 a month. Posted. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/01/autos/la-fi-0601-hy-autos-electric-cars-20130531 Ford recalling 465,000 vehicles for fuel leaks. Ford is recalling about 465,000 cars and SUVs because the fuel tanks can leak and cause fires. The global recall affects the Ford brand's Fusion, Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Police Utility and Police Interceptor. Also covered are the Lincoln MKS, MKT and MKZ. All the vehicles are from the 2013 model year. Ford says a connector from the fuel tank to the fuel line is the source of the leak. Customers could smell gas or see a leak on the ground. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_23376881/ford-recalling-465-000-vehicles-fuel-leaks?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com HIGH-SPEED RAIL Judge weighs arguments over California high-speed rail plans. Five years after voters approved Proposition 1A, a $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure, attorneys spent Friday morning arguing whether plans for the train system comply with the law. Lawyers for Kings County and two of its residents are convinced that a financing plan delivered to the state Legislature in November 2011 fails to live up to the ballot measure's provisions. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/01/5462806/judge-weighs-arguments-over-california.html GREEN ENERGY EPA tightens limits on power use by televisions. U.S. EPA is tightening its requirements for power use in televisions. The agency's newest version of Energy Star television and display specifications -- which went into effect Saturday -- is expected to further increase energy efficiency and save consumers billions of dollars, industry experts said. As it stands, televisions that meet the Energy Star criteria are on average 40 percent more efficient than regular models, saving American consumers up to $3.5 billion a year on energy bills and reducing carbon emissions equivalent to those from 4.5 million vehicles, a study by EPA showed. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059982102/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Environmentalists’ Complaint Exposes Rift Between ‘Green’ Certification Groups. The legal watchdogs at the Federal Trade Commission have been trying to police the proliferating — and often false — claims in recent years that products are “green” or “environmentally friendly.” The agency recently brought cases against Amazon.com, Macy’s and Sears, Roebuck & Company for selling clothing purportedly made of bamboo fiber that was really fashioned from rayon, a decidedly ungreen material. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/us/complaints-abound-in-green-certification-industry.html?ref=earth OPINIONS How to Play Well With China. PRESIDENTS Obama and Xi Jinping will meet in California for two days starting this Friday. It’s about time. New sources of friction are constantly appearing in the relationship between the United States and China: trade disputes, tension over North Korea, debates over curbing carbon emissions, allegations of cyberattacks by China. Having survived re-election, President Obama can shrug off charges of appeasement and treat a rising China with the care it deserves. China, with its leadership transition, has a fresh start, too. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/opinion/sunday/how-to-play-well-with-china.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 The climate change guilt trip. The battle against global warming should not be about judging people's every choice. A friend recently returned from a camping trip in the Sierra Nevada. His eyes shone as he described the opalescent sky, the vitality of wildlife in spring and the fun he'd had playing with his two young daughters during the mellow evenings. It had been a really good trip, an experience to treasure, he said. I casually asked how long it took to get there. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-turner-climate-change-20130602,0,6053461.story Editorial: State toxics agency could use a cleanup. Apparently, Caltrans isn't the only state agency that needs thorough scrutiny. Evidence is mounting that the state Department of Toxic Substances Control could use a good scrubbing as well. The Bee's Jim Sanders reported Thursday that the agency has spent more than $100 million in public money since 1987 to clean up 1,700 contaminated sites across California, but has yet to bill the polluters. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/01/5462469/state-toxics-agency-could-use.html#storylink=cpy Uncertainties about climate change are many and varied. I am always amazed when newspaper columnists profess to know more about carbon dioxide emissions and climate change than scientists and engineers working in the field. The latest example is Eugene Robinson's diatribe, "Obama alone can steer climate change policy," in which Robinson states, "For the record, and for the umpteenth time, there is no great amount of uncertainty about whether the planet is warming or why." There are several problems with Robinson's argument, chief of which is this: If the planet is warming and if carbon…Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/opinion/ci_23356340/uncertainties-about-climate-change-are-many-and-varied Governor's global warming policy needs close look. If you listen to Jerry Brown, you would think he was one of the foremost proactive climate change leaders around. At UC Berkeley last week, he said, “the changes in our climate are…, soon to be irreversible” (May 20th, 2013). . On May 23rd, the Sacramento Bee reported that Governor Brown “complained bitterly” that “the news media ignores climate change.” Naturally, you would think he would proudly lead in implementing AB 32, this state’s pioneering climate law to address global warming. Right? Wrong. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?_c=11h874emcl1d9up&xid=11h86dvw36pd2cn&done=.11h874emcl1l9up# Editorial: Safety is latest worry about California bullet train. Take "The Little Engine That Could," remove the hero's underdog charm and the inevitability of a happy ending, and you've got the saga of the California bullet train as the project nears the scheduled start of construction next month. It thinks it can, it thinks it can. Planners think it can get over a mountain of legal, financial and procedural worries, the latest being a red flag about safety and quality in a major contractor's proposal. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/opinions/ci_23369328/editorial-safety-is-latest-worry-about-california-bullet Carbon Cap & Trade Builds Global Momentum. Policymakers in Washington, D.C. might be mired in the politics of intransigence, especially when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, but California and nine U.S. states in northeast aren't. They are taking action by implementing carbon cap & trade auctions to begin to reign in emissions of the climate-altering greenhouse gas, which just climbed past 400 parts per million (ppm) in Earth's atmosphere - a concentration not seen in literally millions of years. Posted. http://evworld.com/focus.cfm?cid=150