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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 4, 2013. Posted: 04 Dec 2013 13:17:15
ARB Newsclips for December 4, 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 What are California Legislators Thinking About Cap-and-Trade? CA Senate Hearing at UCLA Focuses on Ways to Spend Auction Revenue. Today, UCLA’s Emmett Center and IOES hosted a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation with Senators Pavley, Correa, de Leon, deSaulnier, Lieu, and Assemblymember Bloom attending. The hearing featured testimony on climate science, on AB 32 implementation, and on opportunities to invest revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions in ways that create jobs…Posted. http://legal-planet.org/2013/12/03/what-are-california-legislators-thinking-about-cap-and-trade/ Australia's environment minister defends scrapping carbon pricing. Scrapping the "brutal" carbon pricing system is consistent with other nations' climate policies, Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt said in a speech to the Carbon Expo in Melbourne yesterday morning. The minister laid out details on the Coalition's Direct Action approach to climate, predicting it will be in place for decades and insisting it will pass the Senate by July next year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991238/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION Hong Kong Central Roadside Pollution Surges to Toxic Levels. Nitrogen dioxide readings jumped in Hong Kong at two roadside pollution monitoring stations, reaching concentrations at which it becomes a toxic gas. The reading in the downtown district of Central was 231.8 micrograms per cubic meter at 3 p.m. local time, data from the Environmental Protection Department show. The gas can cause significant inflammation of the airways once concentration levels exceed 200 micrograms, according to the Geneva-based World Health Organization. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/hong-kong-roadside-pollution-spikes-to-toxic-levels-in-central.html California Launches Breathe Well Mobile Site. A new mobile website launched by the California Air Resources Board aims to help users monitor air quality. The state of California has launched a new mobile website that will help users to, literally, breathe easier. Called Breathe Well, the site was developed by the state's Air Resources Board (ARB) to provide people with access to hour-by-hour air pollution data. Site visitors can see real-time levels of ozone and fine particle pollution in their immediate area, or in other cities and towns throughout the state. Posted. http://www.govtech.com/health/Breathe-Well.html CLIMATE CHANGE Federal study warns of sudden climate change woes. Hard-to-predict sudden changes to Earth's environment are more worrisome than climate change's bigger but more gradual impacts, a panel of scientists advising the federal government concluded Tuesday. The 200-page report by the National Academy of Sciences looked at warming problems that can occur in years instead of centuries. The report repeatedly warns of potential "tipping points" where the climate passes thresholds, beyond which "major and rapid changes occur." Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_SUDDEN_WARMING_WOES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-03/sea-level-rise-too-fast-to-reverse-climate-change-study.html http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/science/earth/panel-says-global-warming-risks-sudden-deep-changes.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0&pagewanted=print http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-climate-urgency-20131204,0,7482587.story#axzz2mUXKNUh5 http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Federal-study-warns-of-sudden-climate-change-woes-5031607.php http://www.modbee.com/2013/12/03/3067001/federal-study-warns-of-sudden.html http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/12/04/stories/1059991266 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Texas takes on greenhouse gas permits after long EPA fight. Texas regulators will hold a hearing this week on a proposal to take over greenhouse gas permitting from U.S. EPA, a move that could wind down a long-running dispute over how to regulate the state with the biggest emissions footprint in the United States. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and an industry group say the proposed rules would streamline the process for pipeline operations, oil refineries, power plants and other sources of emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059991250/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Botswana accused of allowing fracking in national parks. The government of Botswana has quietly allowed international companies to explore for natural gas in some of the country's most sensitive national parks using the controversial drilling method of hydraulic fracturing, according to a new documentary released in South Africa. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-botswana-fracking-20131202,0,4172564.story#ixzz2mWVQU4Zp Chevron CO2 Injection Wells to Cut GHG Emissions 40%. Chevron has started drilling carbon dioxide injection wells as part of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Western Australia, Oil & Gas Journal reports. The wells are expected to reduce the project’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 percent, the publication says. The CO2 injection project on Barrow Island, part of Chevron’s Gorgon-Jansz LNG project…Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/12/04/chevron-co2-injection-wells-to-cut-ghg-emissions-40/ VEHICLES Mitsubishi Cuts Electric Car Price in U.S. to Overcome Obscurity. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211) lowered the price of its i-MiEV electric car in the U.S. by 21 percent to spur demand for a vehicle that attracted only a dozen buyers last month. The 2014 i-MiEV hatchback will sell for $22,995, down from $29,125 for the previous model, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement late yesterday. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/mitsubishi-cuts-electric-car-price-in-u-s-to-overcome-obscurity.html Rav4EV, which uses a Tesla battery, is fire-free. As federal investigators probe the safety of the Tesla Motors Model S and its battery pack, it's worth noting that there's another electric car sold in California with the same basic power source. And it hasn't had a single battery fire to date. Toyota's Rav4EV features a battery pack built by Tesla. Since the small SUV hit the market in September 2012, Toyota has sold about 1,200 of them, all in California. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Rav4EV-which-uses-a-Tesla-battery-is-fire-free-5028772.php Driverless Cars Could Be Cruising California Roads By Spring. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has released its newly created regulations for the testing of automated vehicles. The DMV’s Bernard Soriano said the regulations are intended for manufactures who want to begin testing their cars on California roads. The rules cover everything from how much insurance the cars must have to who can drive them. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/14114 GREEN ENERGY U.K. Cuts Onshore Wind, Solar Aid; Boosts Turbines at Sea. The U.K. government said it expects 40 billion pounds ($65 billion) of investment in renewables by 2020 after shifting incentives toward offshore wind power and away from projects on land in areas where residents object. The Treasury published a list of final “strike prices” for electricity from renewables in its national infrastructure plan today, cutting support for solar parks and onshore wind farms and raising them for turbines at sea. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/u-k-cuts-onshore-wind-solar-aid-boosts-turbines-at-sea.html Hitachi unveils storage for wind, solar energy. Hitachi unveiled an energy-storage system that the company said will support wind and solar power and allow users to sell electricity into deregulated markets such as California. The units can be installed on high-voltage power lines, and will be able to capture excess energy produced by wind and solar sources so it can be sold back into the network when the demand for power exceeds the supply. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Hitachi-unveils-storage-for-wind-solar-energy-5032196.php Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that's not ready. In a sprawling complex of laboratories and futuristic gadgets in Golden, Colo., a supercomputer named Peregrine does a quadrillion calculations per second to help scientists figure out how to keep the lights on. Peregrine was turned on earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Energy. It has the world's largest "petascale" computing capability. It is the size of a Mack truck. Its job is to figure out how to cope with a risk from something the public generally thinks of as benign _ renewable energy. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/04/5969141/power-struggle-green-energy-versus.html#storylink=cpy Solar farm could find cheap parking at S.J. County yard. A parking lot for county vehicles could soon double as a mini solar farm. It will be cheaper in the long run to install solar carports at San Joaquin County's corporation yard in south Stockton and use the energy from the sun than to buy electricity for the county facility, according to a resolution approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131204/A_NEWS/312040318&cid=sitesearch OPINIONS Let Them Burn Coal. There’s a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal. About 3.5 million of them die prematurely each year as a result of breathing the polluted air inside their homes — about 200,000 more than the number who die prematurely each year from breathing polluted air outside, according to a study by the World Health Organization. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/opinion/let-them-burn-coal.html?hpw&rref=opinion&_r=0 Global warming debate keeps up. In his op-ed Jeffrey Bada, regarding some of the hostility toward science he has personally experienced states: “What I do not understand is the reason for this hostility.” The short answer is that the issue of global warming has become politicized, but more interesting are the reasons why. For many years environmentalists have propagated the myth that nuclear power is unacceptably dangerous, completely disregarding scientific fact to the contrary. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/03/letters-climate/ BLOGS An Update on Risks of Abrupt Jolts from Global Warming. In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences published “Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises,” a valuable report examining whether and how the building human influence on the climate system might lead to disruptive jolts. The most important finding, in a way, was that this was an area sorely in need of intensified research. Most of the “monsters behind the door,” to use an apt phrase from Stephen W. Pacala of Princeton, were plausible rather than probable. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/an-update-on-risks-of-abrupt-jolts-from-global-warming/ SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Solar development moratorium lifted. San Bernardino County supervisors today, Dec. 3, gave initial approval to an ordinance that establishes rules for where commercial solar projects can be located to avoid conflicts with neighborhoods and biological resources. The board is scheduled to give final approval to the development code amendment at its meeting on Dec. 17. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/environment/2013/12/03/san-bernardino-county-solar-development-moratorium-lifted/ Study shows California can meet its climate goals. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently completed a study that shows California is well on the path to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and meeting its ambitious climate goals. The analysis found that regulations that have already been adopted have put California on track to reducing its emissions below the state’s targets all the way to the year 2026, while aggressive expansion of the existing policies will allow the state to meet and exceed its 2050 goal. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/pmiller/study_shows_california_can_mee.html Dangerous Climate Change, Reconsidered. If we take the dangers of future global warming seriously, then nothing is more important for curbing them than to immediately begin significant annual reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. That was my first reaction on reading the new paper by climatologist James Hansen of Columbia University’ Earth Institute and his colleagues being published today by PLOS ONE, “Assessing Dangerous Climate Change: Required Reductions of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People…Posted. http://blogs.plos.org/retort/2013/12/03/dangerous-climate-change-reconsidered/ Renewable Energy Offers Best Hope, Not Threat. A recent LA Times article raises fears that clean energy might make the electric grid less reliable. The article gets some key facts wrong. Clean energy, key to fighting dangerous climate change, is manageable and getting cheaper all the time. First, clean energy is not just the whim of some special interest group: there is a global scientific consensus that we must cut our use of fossil fuels in order to reduce dangerous carbon pollution. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/nlong/renewable_energy_offers_best_h.html ALEC preparing attacks on EPA carbon pollution standards. This week, the polluter-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is holding its annual meeting in DC, and the obstruction of EPA progress to reduce carbon pollution is front and center on its Environment Task Force agenda. ALEC conferences create a space for corporations and conservative lawmakers to create model legislation that any state legislator can introduce. American Electric Power is the current chair of ALEC’s environment task force. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ahaq/alec_preparing_attacks_on_epa.html Safe Climate Caucus: A Vision For Congressional Action For Our Planet. Today, action on climate change hit a milestone on the Hill with it being the 100th day of speeches by the Safe Climate Caucus. For 100 days, members of the Caucus have spoken out on a wide range of topics ranging from extreme weather to clean energy to the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/khenderson/today_action_on_climate_change.html