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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 1, 2013

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 12:33:15
ARB Newsclips for November 1, 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.


Wood-burning restrictions go into effect today. With crisper fall
days in the forecast, San Joaquin Valley air quality officials
say residents need to check before lighting up a fireplace blaze.
The Valley Air Pollution Control District's annual wood-burning
program begins today. On days with high levels of tiny particle
pollution in the atmosphere, the district may prohibit residents
from lighting a fire.

Fireplace, wood burning restrictions effective Friday.  The
Valley's Check Before you burn program, which bans the use of
home fireplaces and other wood fires on certain days, begins its
11th season on Nov. 1.  Check Before You Burn, which has resulted
in historically clean wintertime air quality in the Valley,
continues through February. The Valley Air District calls this
wood-burning curtailment program a critical tool in minimizing
harmful particulate pollution.  Posted. 

No-burn rules hit Marin, fines up to $500 for repeat offenders. 
Marin residents beginning Friday will be required to check air
quality conditions before they burn logs to brace themselves
against the cool fall and winter air.  As the winter "Spare the
Air" season gets underway, burning wood, manufactured fire logs
or any other solid fuel, both indoors and outdoors, is illegal
when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District calls an air
alert.  Posted. 

Winter spare the air season starts today.  Burning wood in the
Bay Area will be illegal on certain days during the Winter Spare
the Air season, which begins Friday, according to air quality
officials.  The Bay Area Air Quality Management District decides
daily during the season, which runs through February, whether air
quality in the region is healthy enough to allow the burning of
wood, firelogs or other solid fuel.  Posted. 


Obama signs order on response to climate change.  A year after
Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, President Barack
Obama signed an executive order Friday to make it easier for
states and local governments to respond to weather disasters. 
The executive order establishes a task force of state and local
officials to advise the administration on how to respond to
severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other potential impacts of
climate change. The task force includes governors of seven states
— all Democrats — and the Republican governor of Guam, a U.S.
territory. Fourteen mayors and two other local leaders also will
serve on the task force. All but three are Democrats.  Posted. 

Other related articles:



Gov. Brown, Mayor Johnson named to president's climate task
force.  Mayor Kevin Johnson and Gov. Jerry Brown were named
Friday to President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness
and Resilience.  The mayor and governor were two of 26 state,
local and tribal leaders from around the country who were
selected for the panel by the president. Obama formed the task
force as part of his Climate Action Plan.  Members of the panel
“will provide recommendations to the President on removing
barriers to resilient investments, modernizing federal grant and
loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the
information and tools they need to prepare” for severe weather
events and climate change, according to a White House press
statement.  Posted. 

Water Action Plan created to help avoid statewide crisis. 
California officials on Thursday released a five-year “Water
Action Plan” intended to avoid a statewide water supply crisis
stemming from drought, population growth and climate change. 
John Laird, secretary of the state Natural Resources Agency,
acknowledged that the plan does not include a lot of new ideas.
Rather, the goal is to integrate existing ideas about water
supply and conservation and get disparate state agencies working
together.  Posted. 



Plans to Relax California Climate Regulations Upset Some
Environmentalists.  California regulators are weighing plans to
make it easier and less expensive for oil refineries and other
big industries to comply with the state’s new cap-and-trade
system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and
environmentalists are alarmed.  At a hearing last week in
Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board heard staff
proposals to amend the year-old cap-and-trade program to extend
“transition assistance” to industry through 2018.  Posted. 

Pacific Climate Pact's Green Energy Goals No Easy Feat.  From
streamlined permitting of clean energy projects to electricity
grid integration, the regional climate change action pact inked
by California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia this week
is an impressive wish list of renewable-friendly goals, but
experts say bridging jurisdictional divides and turning those
goals into concrete, cohesive energy policies won't be easy for
lawmakers and regulators.  Under the so-called Pacific Coast
Action Plan on Climate and Energy, the U.S. states and Canadian
province agreed to coordinate efforts to enact climate change
policies such as carbon emission reduction targets, pricing
mechanisms for carbon emissions and low-carbon fuel standards. 


CARB: More trucking emissions crackdowns to come.  In the past
five years, California enacted the most restrictive truck
emissions requirements in the world, including the state’s most
expensive regulation in history – the multibillion-dollar Truck
and Bus regulation.  Those trucking rules may pale in comparison
to future California trucking regulations.  The California Air
Resources Board recently published a 123-page document the agency
is calling a draft discussion of its Climate Change scoping plan.
The plan is tied to California Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 law
that directed CARB to draft and implement regulations to cut
emissions from multiple state sectors, including transportation. 


On roads and rails, natural gas threatens diesel's dominance:
Kemp.  Warren Buffett's Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF)
railroad captured headlines earlier this year when it announced
it would start trialling trains powered by liquefied natural gas
(LNG).  But even a pilot programme is still some way off. BNSF
must still convince U.S. rail regulators trains powered by highly
combustible natural gas can be operated safely.  Posted. 

Local oil activity may spur reroute of high-speed rail. The new
proposed alignment, set for a vote Thursday by the board of the
California High-Speed Rail Authority in Sacramento, has won
qualified support from the city of Shafter and tentative
agreement from Wasco officials, though both cities generally
oppose the project because of its expected disruptive effect on


Ford Issues Recall for Focus E.V. and Ambulances. Following an
investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, Ford says it will recall about 2,500 of its
2012-14 Focus Electric because of a power-loss problem. Ford told
the safety agency that a software issue in the powertrain control
module could cause a loss of power to the front wheels. However,
the automaker said the steering and brakes would work normally
and that it was not aware of any accidents related to the defect.

'Cash for clunkers' was kind of a lemon, analysis says.  When the
Obama administration first proposed its “cash for clunkers” plan
in 2009, the reaction was generally favorable. Congress would
spend $2.85 billion to encourage drivers to swap their old
gas-guzzlers for newer, more-fuel-efficient cars.  The program
had something for everyone: It would lend a hand to the ailing
U.S. auto industry. It would tamp down oil consumption. And, once
launched, the program proved so popular with consumers that it
burned through $1 billion in its first five days. Sure, a few
critics argued that the program wouldn't be very cost-effective,
but no one was really listening.  Posted. 


Sonora school kids fight Rim fire fears with art.  The flames are
out. The air has cleared and evacuees have long since returned to
their homes. But the Rim fire still burns fresh in the minds of
children who feared for their homes and grieved for wild animals
lost.  At Curtis Creek Elementary, just six miles from one stand
of blackened timber, students remember days spent worrying,
waiting for evacuation orders and choking on smoke. Thirteen
students took brushes in hand and poured their feelings into
paintings and poetry that teacher Liz Miller had made into a 2014
calendar.  Posted. 


Bill would boost renewables to 25 percent by 2025, has no chance
in hell of passing.  Most states in the union require utilities
to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from
renewable sources. A new bill in Congress would take that
strategy national.  Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Tom Udall
(D-N.M.) — cousins, as it happens — introduced legislation this
week that would require utilities across the country to generate
a quarter of their electricity from wind, solar, and other
renewable sources by 2025.  Posted. 

Cap-and-Trade Beat Acid Rain, It Can Beat Global Warming: Sandor.
 Arguments against cap-and-trade -- legislation designed to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- generally boil down to a few
key points: It won’t work, It will drive up power prices, It will
hurt the economy, It will hurt our global competitiveness, It
won’t help the environment.  “It’s embarrassing because the same
debates occurred with acid rain,” says Dr. Richard Sandor, CEO of
Environmental Financial Products. “We got rid of acid rain in the
U.S.” via a cap-and-trade program he says saved $123 billion in
reduced health care costs associated with lung cancer since the
late 1980s.  Posted. 

Hong Kong Finds Switch to Cleaner Fuels Has Flaws. The problem
lies in the taxis’ and minibuses’ catalytic converters, said
Christine Loh, the under secretary for the environment. Unless
replaced every 18 months for cars and light buses that are driven
nearly around the clock, the catalytic converters become fouled,
and the vehicles begin emitting extremely high levels of

Moms Protest Air Pollution In Colorado With 'Gas Patch Kids'.  A
group of Colorado moms took an eye-catching approach to
protesting Colorado's current air quality regulations this week
when they showed up at Gov. John Hickenlooper's (D) office with
Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, which they've renamed "gas patch kids"
to represent real children living in areas impacted by the surge
of oil and gas drilling in the state.  The Colorado Moms Know
Best group showed up with a petition signed by over 8,000
Colorado moms. It called for Hickenloooper to implement "common
sense yet innovative standards to control oil and gas emissions,
which can harm kids’ health," according to a statement from the
group.  Posted. 

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