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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 9, 2013.

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 15:31:06
ARB Newsclips for December 9, 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.


Economist champions carbon credits. An agricultural economist
advocates for farmers and ranchers to receive credits with a
monetary value for the carbon their acres absorb. The dean of New
Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and
Environmental Sciences sees a financial opportunity for farmers
and ranchers in future federal climate change bills. Lowell
Catlett encourages the agricultural community to


U.S. Northeast states ask EPA to crack down on Midwest pollution.
Eight Northeastern and mid-Atlantic governors on Monday
petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require
"upwind" states in the Midwest and South to curb ozone-forming
pollution from their power plants, which they say travels
downwind and poses health risks to their citizens. Posted.


Obama’s Pollution-Control Agenda Goes to Court Tomorrow.  Two of
President Barack Obama’s top pollution-control measures face
courtroom tests tomorrow as coal-dependent utilities, miners and
some states challenge what they call overreach by the
Environmental Protection Agency. Efforts to regulate pollutants
that cause smog and soot, as well as mercury from coal plants,
have moved in fits and starts for more than a decade. Posted.

Air district moves ahead on Newport Beach plan for fire pits. Air
quality officials on Friday approved $600,000 for contractors to
design and install gas fire rings on public beaches, taking a new
step in the fight over hundreds of wood-burning fire pits on Los
Angeles and Orange County coast. The South Coast Air Quality
Management District will pay two companies about $24,000 per unit
to build more than two dozen gas or propane-burning fire pits.

2014 World Cup as polluting as 560,000 cars.  The World Cup may
be great for planet football, but it isn't so good for planet
Earth. FIFA says the 2014 tournament, which will require huge
amounts of air travel to venues across Brazil, will produce the
equivalent of 2.72 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a
greenhouse gas. Posted.

Sixth 'Spare the Air' alert of winter season issued for Bay Area
on Monday. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has
issued its sixth Winter Spare the Air alert for today, banning
all wood burning throughout the region. The air alert was issued
due to a cold, stagnant weather pattern that has allowed air
pollution to rise to a level that is expected to be unhealthy on
Monday. "Because still weather and high pollution levels have
persisted in the region…Posted.

Wood-burning boilers could save businesses money, but remain a
tougher sell for homes. Companies in the eastern United States
could save money by switching to biomass boilers for heating and
industrial steam, according to a recent study. Using wood-based
fuel to boil water could curb energy expenses and reduce overall
greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal or oil. In a study
published earlier this year in the Renewable Energy Journal,
researchers ranked states based on their potential for converting
boilers to run on woody biomass. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991486/print  BY

Shanghai Warns Kids to Stay Indoors for Seventh Day on Smog.
Shanghai warned children and the elderly to stay indoors for at
least a seventh day out of the first nine this month,
intensifying pressure on local authorities to control the worst
smog since government monitoring began last year. The city’s air
quality index was at 238, or “heavily polluted” at 5 p.m.,
according to the local monitoring center. Posted.

Supreme Court weighs issue of cross-state air pollution. Inside
an unmarked trailer at the end of an unmarked dirt road about 15
miles north of the nation's capital, a high-tech radar monitor
beeps every 10 minutes in an effort to find out who is polluting
Maryland's air. Aided at times by weather balloons and aircraft
carrying ozone monitors, the "radar wind profiler" — one of three
in the state — measures wind speed and direction up to 4
kilometers above ground. The findings often reveal that air
pollution capable of inducing heart attacks…Posted.


As Keystone ruling nears, Canada short on time for climate plan.
Canada is running out of time to offer U.S. President Barack
Obama a climate change concession that might clinch the
controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, as the country's energy
industry continues to resist costly curbs on greenhouse gas
emissions. Two years of negotiations between the Canadian
government and the energy sector to curtail carbon pollution have
not produced an agreement. Posted.

Arctic thaw tied to European, U.S. heatwaves and downpours –
study. A thaw of Arctic ice and snow is linked to worsening
summer heatwaves and downpours thousands of miles south in
Europe, the United States and other areas, underlying the scale
of the threat posed by global warming, scientists said on Sunday.
Their report, which was dismissed as inconclusive by some other
experts, warned of increasingly extreme weather across "much of
North America and Eurasia where billions of people will be
affected". Posted.

EU to Approve Change to Emissions Program. European Union
lawmakers are set Tuesday to approve a long-sought fix to the
bloc's struggling system for trading carbon-emission rights as
Germany and other nations have recently indicated support for the
plan to make it more expensive to pollute. The Emissions Trading
System was designed to put a price on greenhouse-gas pollution by
utilities as the bloc seeks to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by
20% by 2020 versus 1990. Posted.

Inconvenient truth: China, developing world now biggest source of
greenhouse gases. China's greenhouse gas emissions have escalated
in the past decade even as U.S. emissions have dropped, and that
has fundamentally changed the balance of power in international
negotiations over blame for climate change and who bears the most
responsibility for trying to stop it. When President Obama took
office, the U.S. and other major emitters faced calls to…Posted.

Spotlight on oceans.  The ocean is getting hot, sour and
breathless, a group of UC San Diego science students warned
officials at an international climate conference last month. She
was one of ten UC San Diego graduate students who travelled to
Poland for the 19th session of the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change in Warsaw. “We went as a group to present science
and why it matters and why there’s scientific evidence that
humans are creating global ocean change…Posted.

Abandoned mine may offer novel solution for global warming.
Researchers from Stanford University may have found a way to
permanently bury greenhouse gas emissions inside the Earth after
having set their lab at an abandoned mine, located about 110 km
east of the campus. The team, which will present its findings
this week at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San
Francisco, worked for two years at Red Mountain mine, which
contains some of the world's largest veins of pure magnesium
carbonate, or magnesite. Posted.


OOIDA Files Lawsuit Over California Truck Regulations.  The
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit in
the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, against
the California Air Resources Board on Friday, in connection with
the Truck and Bus Regulation.  It is asking for an injunction
saying the regulation is unconstitutional and discriminates
against out-of-state truckers.  Posted. 

CARB proposes more exemptions, hears public comment on impact on
trucking.  The California Air Resources board has proposed
another exemption to its slate of Jan. 1 regulatory changes,
which would allow truck owners to run in certain “NOx-exempt”
counties without retrofitting their trucks with diesel
particulate filters or buying new equipment.  If the proposed
extension is approved, owners of 2006 and older engines running
in these counties…Posted. 

Valley air district urges truckers to attend truck-rule workshop.
 With the Jan. 1, 2014 compliance deadline of the California Air
Resources Board’s truck rule fast approaching, the San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution Control District has a workshop December 12
to explain the changes.  “We are very pleased that the Air
Resources Board sees the importance of allowing additional time
for these small trucking operations to receive critical funding
that allows them to go beyond what is required by this
regulation,” says Seyed Sadredin, the Valley Air District’s
executive director and air pollution control officer.  Posted. 

Workshop to explain truck emissions deadline. The San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution Control District will hold a workshop for
truckers on Dec. 12 explaining next year's compliance deadline
with the state's Truck and Bus rule. By the Jan. 1 deadline, all
heavy duty trucks with 2005 model year engines or newer must be
equipped with a device to filter out particulate emissions.
Trucks with 2010 model year engines are already compliant with
the rule…Posted.

California Ports Ready for At-Berth Regulation. Years of work
have gone into constructing the shore power infrastructure needed
to comply with the California Air Resources Board’s "Airborne
Toxic Control Measure for Auxiliary Diesel Engines Operated on
Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth in a California Port," known as the
At-Berth Regulation, which requires that at least half of all
container ships berthed at the ports to shut down their diesel
engines and run on shore-side electricity beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

Heavy trucks up for auction; part of national sale of 500. Truck
and heavy equipment auctioneer J.J. Kane will be auctioning off
more than 235 pieces of heavy equipment from California, bucket
trucks and dump trucks, some of which will not be legal to
operate in California over the next few years without soot
filters or upgrades.
Truck and heavy equipment auctioneer J.J. Kane will be auctioning
off more than 235 pieces of heavy equipment from California,
bucket trucks and dump trucks…Posted.


Short-cut to produce hydrogen seen as step to cleaner fuel.
Scientists have produced hydrogen by accelerating a natural
process found in rocks deep below the Earth's surface, a
short-cut that may herald the wider use of what is a clean fuel,
a study showed on Sunday. Used in rockets and in battery-like
fuel cells, hydrogen is being widely researched as a
non-polluting fuel, but its use is so far hampered by high costs.
A few hydrogen vehicles are already on the roads, such as the
Honda FXC Clarity and Mercedes-Benz F-Cell, and more are planned.

Canadian government clears Shell to expand Jackpine project. The
Canadian government has granted approval for Royal Dutch Shell
Plc to expand its Jackpine oil sands project in northern Alberta,
a move that could boost production at the site by up to 100,000
barrels a day. Canada's environment minister said in a statement
late on Friday that after a review by a federal-provincial panel,
the government concluded that the project was likely to cause
significant adverse environmental effects. Posted.


Are Zero electric motorcycles coming to LAPD? Are electric
motorcycles going to be part of the Los Angeles Police Department
fleet? Zero Motorcycles hope so. The electric motorcycle company
based in Scotts Valley, Calif., has placed a couple of its Zero
DS Police models with the LAPD, which is currently testing them
for practicality on the force. From the company's booth at this
weekend's Progressive International Motorcycle. Posted. 

US Electric Vehicles sales report for November.  The monthly US
EV sales report is provided by InsideEVs and is updated with the
latest available information. Inventory problems for last month’s
biggest three selling models (Toyota Prius PHEV, Chevrolet Volt
and the Nissan LEAF) have limited sales numbers in November
despite high demand. November ended with about 8,700 plug-ins
sold.  Despite a relatively muted first half of the year,
electric vehicle sales have been surging since August – a record
month when over 11,000 plug-ins were sold. Posted. 


Californians deserve to know how a bullet train will be financed.
The rail authority's chairman has some ideas, but we haven't
heard from Gov. Brown. Let's stipulate that a bullet train
zipping between Los Angeles and San Francisco would be grand and
groovy. But to quote a great movie line, "Show me the money!"
That's what the pro football wide receiver (played by Cuba
Gooding Jr.) tells the sports agent (Tom Cruise) in the flick
"Jerry Maguire." And it's what a judge, former bullet backers and
many citizens have been trying to tell an obstinate Gov. Jerry
Brown. Posted.


Wave-energy plan revived at San Onofre.  Retired electrical
engineer Chong Kim of Fountain Valley is reviving a bid to
generate electricity from the force of the waves off the coast at
San Onofre, filing a preliminary permit with Washington officials
and hanging out a shingle for willing investors. An earlier
permit application for the offshore power plant, filed in 2010,
was abandoned because of insufficient funding for environmental
studies that can run into the millions of dollars. Posted.

Low natural gas prices, energy efficiency to play key roles in
EPA's existing power plant rules. Economists and regulators are
beginning to see preliminary results from the potential scenarios
under future regulations to reduce carbon emissions from the
nation's fleet of power plants. In his Climate Action Plan
released in June, President Obama directed U.S. EPA to craft a
regulation that would set maximum carbon emissions standards from
existing power plants by July 2014. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991488/print BY


Agency plans to drastically scale back enforcement.  U.S. EPA
plans to conduct fewer in-person inspections and bring fewer
cases against industrial rule-breakers over the next five years,
the agency said in a recent document outlining its goals. The
agency aims to carry out 30 percent fewer inspections and
evaluations than the past five years. It will seek to initiate 40
percent fewer civil cases, and it will keep criminal goals mostly
static with 2012. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059991523/print BY


Letters: Act now to save the Earth, or else. Re "Studies raise
urgent climate alarms," Dec. 4. It's senseless to argue that
burning fossil fuels isn't driving the rise of heat-trapping
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to levels that scientific core
samples show have not been seen in millions of years. Clearly the
Earth's internal system of environmental balances can be pushed
out of whack by human actions. Foolish farming practices caused
the Dust Bowl, and it didn't take centuries. Posted.

How to make a global climate change deal. By Editorial Board,
Published: December 6 IN THE Warsaw climate change conference
last month, world representatives negotiated an agenda for
further negotiations. That they did not manage to mess that up,
we are told, is an achievement. The United Nations climate change
proceedings are in their 22nd year. Until participants embrace
some realities, they are unlikely to produce useful agreements.

Pace of global warming adds to urgency to change. President Obama
made another modest attempt to do something about climate change
last week by ordering federal agencies to more than double their
use of renewable energy by 2020. The operative word is modest.
There is no hope of doing something truly transformational to
meet the No. 1 challenge of our times in a Republican-controlled
House of Representatives, where deference to consumer fear,
dubious science and the clout of Big Oil continues to rule the
day. Posted.

Proposed law needs remodel.  If you are going through a
hair-pulling home remodel now, you probably noted Stockton's
proposed green building ordinance. It would add $2,500 to $5,000
to your costs. On the front end. Tweaking your house to guzzle
less energy saves money long-term. That said, there is a
difference between recognizing the financial and ecological
benefits of this approach and being forced to adopt it. Posted.


A new look at climate change. The annual United Nations climate
change talks, which concluded last month in Warsaw, unfortunately
found little common ground on carbon. The talks broke down over
the world’s richest nations’ inability to agree with the poorest
on how to address the financial costs of global climate change.
While disappointing, it’s not surprising. Developed countries
like the United States and the nations of the European Union,
which have wielded the largest carbon footprints over the past
decades, are not as often the victims of climate-related
disasters. Posted.

China Admits It's Poorly Prepared To Tackle Climate Change
Impacts. China is poorly prepared to tackle the impact of climate
change that presents a serious threat to the country, thanks to a
lack of planning and public awareness, the government said on
Monday. The world's most populous country already faces
challenges from weather extremes, with 2,000 people dying on
average each year since the 1990s in natural disasters that are
set to get worse, China's powerful economic planning agency said.

Climate Change This Week: The Real Climate Tax, Methane Mess, and
More! US Taxpayers Footing Big Bill For Climate Change Inaction
says a new analysis, reports Kieran Cooke at RTCC. Hurricane
Sandy, enhanced by rising sea levels and temperatures, and
drought that hit 70% of the US cost $100+ Billion; in 2012 alone,
relief payouts amounted to $300+ per US person. Meanwhile US
weather-related catastrophes have risen from about 50 annually in
the 1980s, to about 200 annually in recent years. Posted.

Three steps back? California's climate, clean air and consumer
cost issues.  The Sierra Club has launched an online petition and
video urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
and Governor Jerry Brown to reject a plan that it says would add
new air pollution to Southern California and move California's
climate goals backward.  The Sierra Club contends that the CPUC,
the California Independent System Operator and the California Air
Resources Board (CARB)…Posted. 

Why Congress needs to extend the wind energy tax credit.  The
wind energy production tax credit is a tougher issue than you
might imagine for some good liberal wonks. On the one hand, wind
power is great. On the other hand, tax credits are a
market-distorting, inefficient way of making policy. They are
basically spending disguised as tax cuts. Most tax credits that
affect the environment …Posted. 

Diesel exhaust causes 6% of all lung cancer deaths.  If there
were ever a reason for automakers like Audi and Volkswagen to get
their "clean diesel" technology – or something even cleaner,
i.e., zero-emission vehicles – on the road, this is it.
Researchers at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands say
up to six percent of lung-cancer deaths in the US and UK could be
caused by diesel exhaust. The researchers published a study in
the Environmental Health Perspectives …Posted.

Looking on the Bright Side of Bad Air.  The heavy air pollution
that shrouded much of eastern China over the past week has
generated intense coverage in Chinese media, including a few
efforts to find silver linings in the haze. Aided by the
expansion of real-time air quality monitoring to many cities,
along with official websites that report pollution data, Chinese
residents have a far better idea now of what they are breathing
than they did just a few years ago…Posted.

A Follow-up on the NYT's Environmental Coverage. Last March, the
New York Times killed its Green blog and disassembled its
environment desk, distributing the staff into other units.  Jayni
noted the possible concern that this change might result in
diminished resources for environmental coverage at the Times; she
also noted the positive spin that some Times people put on the
change, that it would “mainstream” environmental coverage into
the Times overall news reporting. Posted.

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