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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 24, 2014

Posted: 24 Jan 2014 13:26:41
ARB Newsclips for January 24, 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.


China to Cut Dependence on Coal for Energy as Smog Chokes Cities.
China plans to cut its dependence on coal as the world’s biggest
carbon emitter seeks to clear smog in cities from Beijing to
Shanghai. The nation is aiming to get less than 65 percent of its
energy from coal this year, according to a government plan
released today. Energy use per unit of gross domestic product
will decline 3.9 percent from last year, compared with 2013’s
target for a 3.7 percent decrease. Posted.

One-third in state still live where air does not meet U.S.
standards. Overall, California has seen a big improvement in air
quality in the last decade, according to a state evaluation of
smog and soot levels. Air pollution in California has dropped
significantly over the last decade, yet about one-third of the
population lives in communities where the air does not meet
federal health standards, state officials reported Thursday.

Power company Tri-State pitches $10M CO2 X Prize. A power company
is raising money for a $10 million X Prize to spur technology to
capture and use carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power
plants. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead proposed Thursday that his state
get involved in the competition by helping build a facility where
teams could test out their technology. The prize winner would
have to be able to show they could economically capture carbon
emissions at a working power plant. Posted.

Warm, dry weather triggers pollution.  So much for a winter
reprieve from air pollution.  The unusually dry and warm weather
that has made us the envy of the frigid East has a toxic
downside.  Southern California is in the midst of an unusual smog
event — an elevation of soot and other harmful tiny particles at
a time of year when our air should be at its cleanest.  Posted. 


Air Quality Watch for Santa Barbara County.  Air Quality Watch
Issued for Santa Barbara County In Effect through the Weekend;
Elevated Particle Levels in Several Areas.  The Santa Barbara
County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air
Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Watch for
Santa Barbara County to be in effect through the weekend. Posted.

Gusty winds prompt air officials to issue dust caution.  Gusty
winds have prompted local air-pollution officials to issue a
health cautionary statement through Friday for the western and
southern portions of the San Joaquin Valley due to kicked-up
dust.  “Winds may add to the burden of particulate matter already
in the air basin and produce areas of localized blowing dust,
which can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate
matter 10 microns and smaller (PM10),”  Posted. 

Pittsburg: Opponents of proposed oil transfer facility cite poor
air quality samples. Opponents of the proposed WesPac oil storage
and transfer facility say four out of five air samples collected
within a couple miles of the project site show that the area
already exceeds standards for particulate pollution set by the
Environmental Protection Agency. Posted.


Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change. Coca-Cola has
always been more focused on its economic bottom line than on
global warming, but when the company lost a lucrative operating
license in India because of a serious water shortage there in
2004, things began to change. Today, after a decade of increasing
damage to Coke’s balance sheet as global droughts dried up the
water needed to produce its soda, the company has embraced the
idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force.

More work needed to understand aerosols' effects on clouds and
climate, scientists say. In the world of climate change research,
one particular issue has been challenging scientists for years:
clouds. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding how clouds will
respond to climate change and how big of an effect their response
will have on the climate as the globe warms. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993395/print BY

Browner defends Obama's record on global warming. President
Obama's first climate change "czar" defended his 2013 climate
record today, telling reporters that the administration is "doing
the work" on policies to address emissions. Speaking on a call
hosted by the League of Conservation Voters -- one of 18
environmental groups that last week blasted Obama in a letter for
his message of an "all of the above" energy policy…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059993433/print BY


Sacramento breaks 130-year-old record for low rainfall. In the
annals of weather records, this is one nobody wanted to break. On
Thursday, downtown Sacramento recorded its 47th continuous winter
day without measurable rainfall, breaking a record that has stood
since 1884, according to the National Weather Service. It appears
likely the city will go on to shatter the record, as there is no
sign of rain for at least another week. Posted.


Vitol to Trafigura Chasing U.S. NGLs as Traders Cash In: Energy.
Add another profession to the beneficiaries of the U.S. oil boom:
traders of long-neglected drilling byproducts such as propane and
butane. Traders typically earning less than $400,000 a year will
start making as much or more than the average $750,000 earned by
traders in larger, more established oil markets, according to
Webber Chase Ltd. Posted.

Natural gas soars as cold grips homes, drillers.  The frigid
winter of 2014 is setting the price of natural gas on fire. 
Record amounts of natural gas are being burned for heat and
electricity — and it's so cold that drillers are struggling to
produce enough to keep up with the high demand.  Friday, the
price rose within a whisper of $5 per 1,000 cubic feet, the
highest level since June 2010. Posted. 

Midwestern lawmakers want meeting with Obama on ethanol mandate.
Democratic House members from the Midwest today called for a
meeting with President Obama on a recent U.S. EPA proposal that
would lower this year's ethanol and advanced biofuel mandates.
The members, all of whom are strong supporters of the ethanol
industry, said they want the opportunity to express concerns with
the proposal…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059993424/print BY


When will consumers realize the 60-cent light bulb wasn't a
bargain? The deadline is approaching slowly, stealthily. You may
not even realize it until the shelves of your local hardware
store are void of 40-, 60-, 75- and 100-watt standard
incandescent light bulbs. Congress ordered them phased out in
2007, and manufacturers stopped making them as of Dec. 31, so
when they run out depends on your store's inventory and the
continuing allure of Thomas Edison's 135-year-old invention.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993391/print BY

Good intentions are not enough to effectively employ renewable
energy. From the solar arrays in North Africa to the geothermal
fissures of Iceland, renewable energy is coming online around the
globe. To date, there is more than 480 gigawatts of installed
renewable power capacity with projects in 138 countries as of the
end of 2012. But for all the success and growth renewable
resources have seen, there have also been many failures and
setbacks. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059993401/print BY


Why Jerry Brown skirted high-speed rail and water plan in
California State of the State address. Gov. Jerry Brown has
pursued two multibillion-dollar water and high-speed rail
projects so aggressively in recent months that it loomed
conspicuously how carefully he stepped to avoid the projects in
his biggest speech of the year. Brown mentioned the $68 billion
rail program only once in his State of the State address this
week, saying “we’re building the nation’s only high-speed rail.”

Proposed permit law on Vernon battery recycler passes state
Senate. A proposed law requiring a Vernon battery recycler to get
a final permit to operate by 2015 or shut down was approved
Thursday morning by the California Senate. The bill by Sen.
Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) targets Exide Technologies, one of
the world's largest makers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries.


Lawmakers unveil new plan to ban plastic grocery bags in
California. Disposable plastic bags would be banned from grocery
checkout stands in California and consumers would pay at least a
dime for a paper or a sturdier, reusable plastic bag a under a
compromise proposal negotiated by key legislators. An attempt to
pass a bill banning the bags failed last year amid opposition
from plastic bag manufacturers and concerns that the move would
eliminate jobs. Posted.


First year's wood stove swap-out money was gone in two days. 
More than 100 Butte County residents received vouchers this month
to help them replace their wood stoves, and a few dozen more
might also be getting aid soon.  However the Butte County Air
Quality Management District is no longer taking applications for
the first year of the program, as more people are already signed
up than can be accommodated.  Posted. 


Back-seat Driver: The drought, and your car. Gov. Jerry Brown
this week in his State of the State speech made a pointed
connection between the drought and the cars we drive. It’s pretty
clear human action is affecting the climate, and that means more
droughts, he said. California needs to continue leading the way
in limiting climate change by using renewable technology,
including more electric vehicles instead of gas-powered cars.

Charles Krauthammer: Canada deserves an answer on the Keystone XL
pipeline. Fixated as we Americans are on Canada’s three most
attention-getting exports – polar vortexes, Alberta clippers and
the antics of Toronto’s addled mayor – we’ve somewhat overlooked
a major feature of Canada’s current relations with the United
States: extreme annoyance. Last week, speaking to the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce…Posted.

Action to curb economic inequality and climate change must top
the list.  The U.S. economy is still weak, with 7 percent
unemployment, many millions more underemployed and fewer people
employed in November than there were six years ago.  At the same
time — and not unrelated — we are still devolving along a path
toward increasingly ugly inequality…Posted. 


Tesla: China could be biggest market for electric car. Luxury
electric car maker Tesla sees China as potentially the company's
biggest market for its vehicles, despite a hefty $121,000 sticker
price. But that six-figure cost might make the vehicles more
attractive to Chinese buyers, according to Tesla's CEO. $121,000
sounds like a lot of money for the Tesla Model S, considering you
can pick up the 85 kWh car in the U.S. from $80,000 or so, before
incentives. Posted.

California Gov. Brown remains ready for one million electric
vehicles.  California Governor Jerry Brown is drafting behind
President Barack Obama's drive for one million electric vehicles
in the US. In his "State of the State" speech on January 22 in
Sacramento, Brown made mention that, "We're on our way to a
million electric vehicles."  Posted. 

Key enviro law suspended in California under drought emergency. 
When California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a drought emergency
last week, his administration slipped a bit of legalese into the
declaration that has some environmentalists worried.  It states
that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) will not
apply to efforts by state agencies to “make water immediately
available.”  Posted. 

Can clean energy replace a shuttered nuke plant in California? 
Last year’s decision to close the San Onofre nuclear power plant
in Southern California has created a challenge for utilities and
utility regulators: How best to replace the facility’s 2,200
megawatts of generating capacity?  Posted. 

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