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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 21, 2014.

Posted: 21 Jan 2014 15:00:49
ARB Newsclips for January 21, 2014. 

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.


California's Cap-and-Trade Awakening.  Democrats in California
needed to pass cap and trade to find out what's in it. At least
that's the take-away from state Senate president Darrell
Steinberg's epiphany in the Los Angeles Times this week.  Cap and
trade is "asking the trading market to enter directly into the
energy segment again and that brings back bad memories," Mr.
Steinberg said, harking back to the state electricity crisis in
2001. Posted. 

Obama's draft budget projects cap-and-trade revenue.  President
Obama's proposed budget laid out his assumptions that a new
cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions would begin to
generate billions of dollars in revenue as companies are forced
to comply with a market-based program.  Obama's budget includes
several principles on what the administration wants to see out of
a cap-and-trade program, including emission targets that cut U.S.
greenhouse gas levels 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.


China pollution wafting across Pacific to blanket U.S. – study.
Pollution from China travels in large quantities across the
Pacific Ocean to the United States, a new study has found, making
environmental and health problems unexpected side effects of U.S.
demand for cheap China-manufactured goods. On some days, acid
rain-inducing sulphate from burning of fossil fuels in China can
account for as much as a quarter of sulphate pollution in the
western United States…Posted.



Exceptional dryness brings the hazy days of winter.  California's
exceptionally dry winter is having a visible consequence: bad
air. A high-pressure zone off the West Coast that has been
warding off rain for months has worsened air pollution across
California and the Southwest. The stagnant conditions have
trapped fine particles close to the ground, leaving a buildup of
sooty haze that poses a threat to people's health. Posted.

Wildfire smoke may pose lasting risk to young, study finds. 
Exposure to wildfire smoke may be particularly damaging to
infants and young children, according to a study conducted at the
University of California, Davis. But authorities say it is
unclear whether that means that infants should be evacuated from
areas that suffer prolonged periods of dense smoke, as happened
in a broad swath of the Sierra and Mother Lode during this past
summer's Rim Fire. Posted.

Utahns back tougher air pollution standards.  According to a
statewide poll, Utahns favor stricter air pollution standards on
industry by a 3-to-1 margin. The survey, commissioned by The Salt
Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/1jgrPPS), found 67 percent of those
surveyed supported the stricter standards and 23 percent opposed
them. Ten percent were unsure. Posted.

Study: Pollution from Chinese factories is harming air quality on
U.S. West Coast.  Bad air from China is blowing across the
Pacific Ocean and contributing to smog in the United States,
according to new scientific research.  And much of that air
pollution is being caused by the manufacturing of goods inside
China for export to the United States and Europe.  Posted. 

Study suggests air pollution in SM Mountains harming plants,
increasing fire risk.  Initial results from experiments conducted
in the Santa Monica Mountains indicate that high levels of
nitrogen may adversely impact native plants and, by extension,
increase the risk of wildfire, federal officials said this week. 
“No one will be surprised to learn that our data shows increased
air pollution on the eastern end of the mountains, closer to Los
Angeles,” said Dr. Irina Irvine…Posted. 

Bad Air Quality Increases Risk Of Allergies & Asthma.  No rain
for the Valley means more bad air.  "Well it's some of the worst
air quality we have seen in at least 10 years, and without any
wind or rain, it just continues to pile upon us, and gets worse
and worse," according to Physicians Assistant, Michael Ginsberg. 
According to Doctors at the "Baz Allergy, Asthma, and Sinus
Center," the worse the air gets, the harder it is for people to
breathe.  Posted. 

Scientists find U.S. footprint in China's climate-related
emissions. Whenever smog that formed in China has affected its
neighbors and countries far away, it has prompted international
criticism. But a new study points out that China should not be
the only one blamed. Chinese air pollution blowing across the
Pacific Ocean is often caused by the manufacturing of goods for
export to the United States and elsewhere…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993201/print BY


Changes for Obama climate goals do not need congressional OK
–report. A group of business leaders, energy experts and former
government leaders believes that the Obama administration could
tackle climate change by taking measures that do not require
congressional approval, according to a report released on
Tuesday. The 207-page report contained about 200 recommendations
on how President Barack Obama can use executive authority to
advance the climate change action plan he announced in June.

Extreme El Niños to become more frequent with climate change –
study. "El Niño hits California hard," read the CBS News
headline. "Mudslides and floods block roads, cut rail lines and
power across valley and Ventura County," the Los Angeles Times
reported. The year was 1998, the last time the world experienced
what scientists call an extreme El Niño. From late 1997 into
early 1998, in addition to massive flooding in California and
parts of South America, Southeast Asia recorded severe
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993185/print BY

Rich countries 'outsourcing' CO2 emissions to rising economies.
According to a draft U.N. report, the world's richest countries
are increasingly outsourcing their carbon pollution to China and
other rising economies. Cheap clothes, electronic devices and
other goods manufactured in China and other rising economies but
consumed in the United States and Europe are the source of the
emissions. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993203/print BY


California drought brings risk of 'explosive' wildfires. Record
dry conditions across California could create explosive wildfires
at a time when the state should be rehydrating itself, experts
warn. Across California, vegetation that typically rehydrates
with rain between December and April continues to get dryer and
more dangerous, worrying officials who fear that wildfires will
get worse as the fuel gets even dryer. Posted.

California drought: Tips for conserving water. Like big
earthquakes and budget deficits, droughts are a part of life in
California that seem to come back around every decade or so.
Remember not flushing the toilet? Putting a bucket in the shower?
It's time to dust off those tips, as California finds itself in a
brutally dry spell. On Friday, following the lowest rainfall year
in the state's 153-year history…Posted.

Drought: The behemoths combine. The heavy hitters are stepping up
to the plate. California’s two behemoth water deliverers — the
State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project,
perhaps the best known water purveyors in the world –  are poised
to join together to move water quickly around the state in the
face of an unprecedented drought. Gov. Brown’s decision to ask
Californians to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20
percent received support, especially among those with long


ExxonMobil starts producing ultra-low sulphur diesel in
Singapore. Exxon Mobil Corp said on Tuesday its new hydrotreater
has started operations and is producing ultra-low sulphur diesel
at its 592,000 barrels per day (bpd) Singapore refinery. The new
unit will increase the facility's daily low-sulphur diesel
capacity to 25 million litres or about 157,000 barrels. Of that,
about 36 percent or 57,000 bpd will meet ultra-low sulphur diesel
specifications, the company said in a statement. Posted.

Owner-operators show business optimism for 2014.  As January got
rolling in earnest, owner-operators back from holiday breaks or
just continuing on their way through record-low temps and reports
of yearend rate increases in the spot freight market reflected a
majority view that their businesses would fare better in 2014
than the prior year. “Outlook is profitable,” wrote reader
Richard Young on Overdrive’s Facebook page.  Owner-operator
Tilden Curl concurred. Posted. 


New attempt on fracking standards launches.  A hotly debated
partnership between major oil and gas companies and some
environmental groups moved forward Tuesday, almost a year after
it was first announced. The Pittsburgh-based Center for
Sustainable Shale said in a release that it is now accepting
applications for a program that aims to enforce tough but
voluntary new standards for fracking and other related activities
in the Northeast. Posted.

DOE, biotech firm join effort to capture and use fugitive methane
from drilling.  A partnership between Energy Department
scientists and a private bioengineering firm could lead to the
commercialization of a technology capable of converting fugitive
methane from oil and gas fields into liquid biofuels at a scale
that could be broadly applied to U.S. oil and gas operations. The
process being developed by the Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory and Calysta Energy of Menlo Park, Calif. …Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993200/print BY


Silicon Valley sees shortage of EV charge stations.  An
increasing number of electric-vehicle driving employees at
Silicon Valley companies are finding it hard to access
car-charging stations at work, creating incidents of “charge
rage” among drivers.  Installation of electric vehicle charging
ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand,
creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace, the San Jose
Mercury News reported (http://bit.ly/1joxwJ6).  Posted. 

A faster and efficient electronic car on way.  Your small
electric car may soon become faster and more efficient thanks to
'super capacitors' that are capable of storing far greater charge
in a much smaller package.  The energy storing devices can be
made from a material called calcium-copper-titanate (CCTO) which,
the researchers - including Indian-origin lead author Raghvendra
Pandey - have identified as a practical energy-storage material. 


Solar energy and the 'poisoned chalice'.  After resigning for
health reasons, a member of the California Public Utilities
Commission has warned of intense pressure by utilities to protect
against the incursion of rooftop solar energy. Commissioner Mark
Ferron announced Wednesday that he could no longer perform his
duties as commissioner after two years of treatment for prostate
cancer. Posted.

Senate spending bill withholds funds for bulb enforcement. 
Besides funding major programs, the federal spending bill that
the Senate passed Thursday contains a provision that has gained
little notice yet affects consumers nationwide. The legislation,
which now heads to President Barack Obama, withholds federal
funding for enforcement of rules that effectively prohibit the
manufacturing, import and distribution of 40- to 100-watt
incandescent light bulbs in the United States. Posted.

Soaring financing costs slow use of clean energy in developing
countries – report. The costs of debts are crippling developing
countries' efforts to develop clean energy, a new study from the
Climate Policy Initiative finds. Despite advantages like cheaper
labor and land costs, the price of financing renewable energy
projects is significantly higher in developing countries than in
wealthy ones, according to the report. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993183/print BY

Germany plans to speed up cutting subsidies for wind and solar
energy farms. The new German government is pushing forward with
plans to cut aid for new onshore wind and solar projects amid
protests from green energy groups and politicians and cheers from
traditional utilities. Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel
wants to limit subsidies for onshore wind to 9 euro cents per
kilowatt-hour in 2015, or by 10 percent to 20 percent versus 2013
levels, and cap new wind installations at about 2,500 megawatts
per year. Posted.


New redemption law puts squeeze on bottle and can recyclers.
Francisco Morataya drives a vanload of empty bottles and cans to
Victar Recycling Center in Echo Park every week or so to
supplement his wages as an office janitor. The 61-year-old Eagle
Rock resident had been making $200 per load, enough to pay his
daughter's cellphone bill. But that was before a new state law
tightened the redemption rules, making it harder for people at
the economic fringes to scrape by. Posted.



COLUMN-Nuclear power is set to disappoint, again: Kemp. Nuclear
power is the energy dream that refuses to die, despite serious
accidents at Windscale (1957), Three Mile Island (1979),
Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011). Many of the arguments that
were employed in favour of nuclear in the 1950s and 1960s as a
solution to oil supplies running out are now being resurrected in
favour of nuclear as a solution to climate change. Posted.

Costs of Climate Change.  Re “The Flood Next Time” (By Degrees,
Jan. 14): Justin Gillis’s excellent article makes clear the
threat climate change poses to personal, business and civic
property. Sea level rise is only one of many impacts expected to
worsen greatly in the next several decades. It is time we accept
that we already pay a “carbon tax” in the actual costs of
greenhouse gas pollution. Posted.

Backsliding on the Climate.  Pay now to reduce carbon emissions
and make the transition to clean energy or pay much more dearly
later. That’s the message from a draft United Nations report on
climate change issued last month. It’s a message the European
Commission, which is debating whether to temper its clean energy
goals, would do well to heed. The commission is considering
making renewable-energy targets nonbinding on individual nations,
opting for less-onerous Europe-wide targets. Posted.

Stop the foot-dragging on climate change. A U.N. panel says the
world has perhaps just 15 years to make serious inroads on the
problem. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress disagree. The
world has very little time — perhaps 15 years — to make serious
inroads on climate change, according to a leaked report from a
United Nations panel. Current efforts, even among the most
committed nations, fall short, and at the current rate of carbon
emissions, the problem might grow too large to overcome with
existing technology. Posted.

Put high-speed rail money to better use.  The Monday editorial,
"Shifting funds won't save train," is right on.  The high-speed
rail line proposed for travel between Northern and Southern
California is expected to have an installation cost of $68
billion. Unlike urban public transit, which is needed by people
going to work, school and shopping, much of long distance travel
is optional. Posted. 

No cap-and-trade money for high-speed rail.  Gov. Jerry Brown has
warned lawmakers that an upturn in state revenues should not
serve as an excuse for a new state spending spree. He's right.
Unfortunately, he undermines his credibility by proposing that
California use funds from the state's greenhouse gas reduction
program for his high-speed rail boondoggle.  Posted. 


Fresh Views on Climate Scientists as Advocates.  “If You See
Something, Say Something,” is the headline on a Sunday Op-Ed
article by Michael E. Mann, the Penn State climate scientist who,
after years of attacks from groups fighting restrictions on
greenhouse gases, has become a prominent climate and political
campaigner, as well.
The piece appropriately defends the right of scientists to be
citizens, fighting disinformation and pressing for action…

Moving Forward: A Modern Freight System for California that can
cut pollution and lower impacts in freight-side communities. 
What if parents of asthmatic kids in freight impacted communities
like West Oakland, Wilmington and Riverside could breathe a
little easier knowing that they no longer have to endure hundreds
of dirty diesel trucks in their communities? Measures detailing
how we could accomplish that were released in a new report today,
Moving California Forward: Zero and Low-Emission Freight
Pathways.  Posted. 

Solar wins: How sunshine will save the planet (really!).   We’ve
had some bad news this year, like wildfires, hurricanes,
droughts, floods, exploding oil trains, imploding governments,
and an international consensus of climate scientists affirming
that the end is probably nigh: Any enviro can see these are dark
times for the climate. But if you squint hard enough through the
gloom, a literal and figurative ray of sunshine emerges! Because
you know what, guys, solar energy may just save us all.  Posted. 

Nissan sells 100,000 Leaf EVs worldwide.  Nissan sold 22,610 Leaf
electric vehicles in the US last year, but the bigger story
(literally) is how the company is selling the EV around the
world. After selling the 99,999th Leaf to a woman in Virginia,
Nissan sold the 100,000th Leaf to a man named Brett Garner in the
UK. For the record, it took Nissan just about three years and one
month to reach that mark, since the first Leafs were sold in
December 2010. Posted.

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