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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 3, 2014 Posted: 03 Feb 2014 15:00:32
ARB Newsclips for February 3, 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. AIR POLLUTION Beijing Air Pollution Improves After Cold Front, Xinhua Reports. The air quality in Beijing improved after a cold front from the north brought strong winds, dispersing heavy smog in the Chinese capital, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. The concentration of PM2.5 pollutants -- particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that pose the biggest health risk - - was as low as 11 in the six districts…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-03/beijing-air-pollution-improves-after-cold-front-xinhua-reports.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-chinas-war-on-bad-air-government-decision-to-release-data-gives-fresh-hope/2014/02/02/5e50c872-8745-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html OC judge won't block enforcement of fire ring ban. An Orange County judge has refused to block enforcement of a rule banning the use of beach fire pits within 700 feet of Southern California homes. The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued the regulation, which takes effect in March and could eliminate 60 pits at Newport Beach. A pro-fire ring. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/31/6119249/oc-judge-wont-block-enforcement.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/OC-judge-won-t-block-enforcement-of-fire-ring-ban-5194459.php http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fire-599741-aqmd-judge.html Irwindale spicing up suit against Sriracha plant. A Los Angeles suburb is spicing up its lawsuit against a hot-sauce manufacturer it claims polluted the air with pungent smells. Stephen Onstot, an attorney representing Irwindale, tells City News Service that the small industrial city east of Los Angeles will add a breach-of-contract claim to its existing nuisance suit against the Sriracha plant. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/31/6119211/irwindale-spicing-up-suit-against.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Irwindale-spicing-up-suit-against-Sriracha-plant-5194478.php Wood heat more popular, but there are environmental concerns. Bill Traver has sold wood stoves to customers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia from his small shop in Hedgesville, W. Va., for nearly three decades, but over the past few years, he's seen an increase in sales. "It's because people are finally getting away from gas and oil," Traver said. "Because they can't afford it." Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/31/6117522/wood-heat-more-popular-but-there.html#storylink=cpy http://www.recorder.com/home/10349003-95/epa-revising-wood-stove-regs Utah legislators weigh in on governor's air plans. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's call for urgent measures to cut air pollution has left regulators scrambling as legislators question how much their efforts will accomplish. Herbert used his recent State of the State address to promise a rapid transition to cleaner-burning gasoline that lawmakers say it isn't widely available and works effectively only with a new generation of low-emission vehicles. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Utah-legislators-weigh-in-on-governor-s-air-plans-5198166.php EPA draft eyes tightening ozone standard to 60 ppb. In a draft document released today, U.S. EPA staff say that based on available scientific evidence, the agency should consider tightening its current ozone standard to a level as low as 60 parts per billion. A draft policy assessment meant to distill the available scientific and technical information says that the agency should lower its National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, currently set at 75 ppb. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059993920/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Democrats urge EPA to quickly finalize gasoline sulfur standards. Saying the standards will improve public health and reduce emissions from cars and trucks, more than 40 House members are reiterating their support for U.S. EPA's regulations that would lower the sulfur content in gasoline ahead of their expected finalization this month. In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Friday, 42 legislators urged the agency to finalize the so-called Tier 3 standards quickly "so all Americans can breathe easier." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059993913/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE U.N. appoints former NYC Mayor Bloomberg cities, climate change envoy. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday appointed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his special envoy for cities and climate change, in a bid to build momentum ahead of a planned U.N. summit meeting in September. Ban said Bloomberg will assist him in "consultations with mayors and related key stakeholders…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/31/us-climate-un-bloomberg-idUSBREA0U02Q20140131 http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/31/6118002/diplomats-ex-ny-mayor-to-be-un.html#storylink=cpy Want to cut Arctic warming in half? Curb emissions now, study says. Global warming is changing the Arctic so quickly that experts say we should expect an ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer within just a few decades. But a group of scientists says there is a way to spare the Arctic from more disastrous climate change. In a new paper, they say that reducing global carbon emissions now could cut Arctic warming nearly in half by century’s end. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-arctic-warming-sea-ice-carbon-emissions-20140130,0,6296635.story Flooded British villages ignite climate debate. As children climb into boats to get to school and scores of hoses pump floodwaters from fields day and night, one corner of southwest England is trying to reclaim its land. Other Britons watch and wonder: How much can you fight the sea? Here on the Somerset Levels…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/03/6123866/flooded-british-villages-ignite.html#storylink=cpy http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/03/flooded-british-villages-ignite-climate-debate/ Why baby Magellanic penguins are dying in the rain. Magellanic penguin chicks in Argentina have a new killer to fear - death by climate change. The downy chicks were already vulnerable to predation and starvation in the first few weeks of their lives, but now they are threatened by increasing rainstorms caused by changing weather patterns. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/01/6120469/why-baby-magellanic-penguins-are.html#storylink=cpy Nuclear Pact Between America and China; Could This Save the Planet from Climate Change? Climate change is perhaps the most challenging and daunting problem facing humanity. While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report stating that the world needs to limit warming to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to limit irreversible harm to the planet, recent analysis argues even that won't be enough. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Nuclear-Pact-Between-America-and-China-Could-5198273.php Firms Cut Costs, GHGs with EPA Climate Programs. US businesses prevented 365 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 by partnering with the EPA on climate protection programs, the agency says. According to the EPA’s annual Climate Protection Partnerships report, some 21,000 organizations across the US have cut their greenhouse gas emissions and saved money by participating in the agency’s programs. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/02/03/firms-cut-costs-ghgs-with-epa-climate-programs/ EPA touts voluntary greenhouse gas programs in report. U.S. EPA's voluntary climate programs helped avoid the release of 365 million metric tons of greenhouse gases and saved ratepayers $26 billion in energy-related costs in 2012, according to a report released this afternoon by the agency. http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/2014/01/31/stories/1059993857 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Parched, California Cuts Off Tap to Agencies. Responding to one of the worst droughts in California’s history, state officials announced on Friday that they would cut off the water to local agencies serving 25 million residents and about 750,000 acres of farmland. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/us/amid-drought-california-agency-will-withhold-water-deliveries.html Severe Drought Has U.S. West Fearing Worst. The punishing drought that has swept California is now threatening the state’s drinking water supply. With no sign of rain, 17 rural communities providing water to 40,000 people are in danger of running out within 60 to 120 days. State officials said that the number was likely to rise in the months ahead after the State Water Project, the main municipal water distribution system…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/severe-drought-has-us-west-fearing-worst.html California drought: S.F. leads state in water conservation. California declared a drought only two weeks ago, but in San Francisco water conservation efforts have been under way for decades - with significant results. That means the best way San Franciscans can heed this week's call by the city's water agency, the Public Utilities Commission, to cut water use voluntarily by 10 percent is to take advantage of existing programs and be just a little more mindful than usual. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-drought-S-F-leads-state-in-water-5194523.php Steinberg bill aims to ease California drought. California’s Senate leader is drafting legislation that would expedite help for communities facing what may become the worst drought in state history. The actions proposed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, would set a July 1 deadline for state agencies to approve water recycling and stormwater reuse projects. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/03/6122737/steinberg-bill-aims-to-ease-california.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region#storylink=cpy California farmers brace for drought, unemployment. Amid California's driest year on record, the nation's leading agricultural region is locked in drought and bracing for unemployment to soar, sending farm workers to food lines in a place famous for its abundance. One-third of the Central Valley's jobs are related to farming. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6122097/california-farmers-brace-for-drought.html As record drought intensifies, organic dairy farmers are the first to face financial crisis. As California's record-breaking drought continues, organic farmers are facing shortages that could jeopardize their production of beef, milk and cheese. The Golden State's third straight year of dry weather is forcing farmers to make tough choices. Dairy and cattle farmers are the first to feel the squeeze of water shortages, as their cows need to eat year-round, while plant growers typically have until mid-March to make planting decisions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2014/02/03/stories/1059993888 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY House tackles Calif. drought on multiple fronts. Congress is eyeing California's record-breaking drought this week by reviving political hot-button issues as well as long-term infrastructure proposals. A bill to make more water available to farmers in the Central Valley is headed to the Rules Committee tomorrow, bypassing the normal committee process after Republican backers tried and failed to insert the language into the farm bill that passed the House last week. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eedaily/2014/02/03/stories/1059993884 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS 17 foundations pledge to divest from fossil fuels. A coalition of 17 foundations plan to divest their assets from fossil fuel companies and invest in renewable energy instead. The Divest-Invest Philanthropy coalition announced the plans Thursday. Its members include the Wallace Global Fund, the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, and the John Merck Fund, and they're urging other foundations to join them. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/31/6118480/17-foundations-pledge-to-divest.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/17-foundations-pledge-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels-5193649.php Calif. college district vows to sell fuel stocks. A community college district in Northern California has promised to sell its stock in fossil fuel companies, joining a small but growing divestment campaign organized by students around the country. The Peralta Community College District announced Friday that its board of trustees has resolved to stop investing in companies that produce oil, gas and coal within five years. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/01/6120287/calif-college-district-vows-to.html#storylink=cpy Keystone XL oil pipeline gets boost from State Department review. A long-awaited environmental review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline released Friday by the State Department found the project would probably have a negligible impact on climate change, bolstering the case for the controversial project as it heads to the White House for a decision on its construction. The amount of oil extracted from the huge tar sands deposits under the Canadian Great Plains…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6121735/keystone-xl-oil-pipeline-gets.html#storylink=cpy What's in State's Keystone XL oil pipeline report. A report issued by the State Department on Friday raised no major environmental objections to the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. The 1,179-mile pipeline would travel through Montana and South Dakota to a hub in Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries in Texas. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/01/6119870/whats-in-states-keystone-xl-oil.html#storylink=cpy Obama running out of reasons to reject Keystone XL. President Barack Obama is running out of reasons to say no to Keystone XL, the proposed oil pipeline that's long been looming over his environmental legacy. Five years after the pipeline's backers first asked the Obama administration for approval, the project remains in limbo, stuck in a complex regulatory process that has enabled Obama to put off what will inevitably be a politically explosive decision. Posted. here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/01/6119865/obama-running-out-of-reasons-to.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Obama-running-out-of-reasons-to-reject-Keystone-XL-5195631.php VEHICLES Repairing hybrid cars is all he does. Planning a new business around a growing consumer trend - and possessing the skill set to make it work - are two key components of successful entrepreneurship. Stockton native Jorge Santiago hopes he has what it takes to make a go of his new business, Toyo of Stockton, which opened Oct. 7 at 4113A West Lane. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140202/A_BIZ/402010314&cid=sitesearch UK aims to become a world leader in EVs. The UK government has announced plans to spend £9,3m (€11,3m) on electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in the hopes of encouraging more people to make the switch to green cars. The plan foresees a rollout of a charging network, including rapid charging stations, across the country. In addition, the British government has launched a Go Ultra Low campaign, which aims to promote the benefits of electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/5734 Hybrid and electric vehicles not the solution to U.S. air quality, report says. Researchers at North Carolina State University analysed the potential impact of widespread use of electrically-driven vehicles, based on 108 different battery vs oil cost scenarios in the run-up to 2050. The report showed even if electrically-driven models accounted for 42% of all passenger vehicles in the United States…Posted. http://evfleetworld.co.uk/news/2014/Feb/Hybrid-and-electric-vehicles-not-the-solution-to-U-S-air-quality-report-says/0438012668 GREEN ENERGY Fremont company profits in China’s solar market. When a wave of cheap Chinese-made solar panels flooded the market a few years ago, it nearly laid waste to America’s solar manufacturing industry. But recently, one California firm, Solaria Corp., has gone in the opposite direction, rolling out its technology across China. In China’s arid northwest, in the remote provinces of Qinghai and Inner Mongolia, acres of Solaria-made panels crank out up to 3.5 megawatts of power…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6117196/fremont-company-profits-in-chinas.html#storylink=cpy Renewable energy gaining on fossil fuels. Energy in the 21st century is already turning out to be very different from energy in the 20th century. Coal plants that used to provide most of the country's electricity are being shut down by the hundreds and renewable energy is becoming more cost efficient and prevalent by the day. The trends are heavily in favor of renewable energy, and solar energy in particular is taking the U.S. and the world by storm. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2014/01/31/renewable-energy-winning/5082181/ MISCELLANEOUS Concern grows over possibility of a massive power surge. Whether caused by solar flares or terrorists, a major electromagnetic pulse could fry the electric grid and cause massive disruption, an increasing number of observers say. Roscoe Bartlett was rattling off the prices of giant bags of rice, wheat and corn, sold cheaply at Sam's Club. The former congressman from rural, western Maryland expressed bewilderment that every American doesn't stockpile such things, considering what he is sure is coming. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-power-surge-20140202,0,2740850.story Grants available for Yolo, Solano clean air projects. The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District Thursday opened the application period for its 2014 Clean Air Funds program. The District will award more than $500,000 to projects in Yolo and Solano counties that will reduce air pollution from mobile sources. The deadline for applications is March 21. The application packet is available at ysaqmd.org/caf. Posted. http://www.dailydemocrat.com/news/ci_25045930/grants-available-yolo-solano-clean-air-projects BEAUMONT: Climate action planning workshop set. Beaumont will seek input on being environmentally healthy during a Climate Action Planning Workshop on Friday, Feb. 7. Discussion topics include future sustainability projects to be undertaken by the city and community programs to promote resource conservation for homeowners and businesses. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/the-pass/the-pass-headlines-index/20140131-beaumont-climate-action-planning-workshop-set.ece San Lorenzo Valley High School science project helps local air district. A high school science experiment has proved a weather phenomenon traps unhealthy air in the San Lorenzo Valley. Using weather balloons launched from San Lorenzo Valley High School, juniors Connor Lydon and Natalie Gallagher tracked temperature and elevation data the past two winters. Posted. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/santacruz/ci_25042528/san-lorenzo-valley-high-school-science-project-helps Have we become emotionally obsessed with the weather? Lois Rutherford is a hardy 74-year-old who has seen some rough weather in her day: "Charlie, David, Hugo," she said while standing on a frigid Pittsburgh viewing deck recently, ticking off the names of hurricanes that have raked her hometown of Charleston, S.C. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6121872/have-we-become-emotionally-obsessed.html#storylink=cpy OPINIONS Playing politics with California's drought. As California's drought continues, and more than a dozen rural communities ponder what to do when their drinking water runs out sometime in March, it would be nice if the state's Republican politicians brought some straightforward plans for relief to the table. But what many of them are bringing instead is a tired political tactic barely, and laughably, disguised as a remedy for the lack of rainfall. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-drought-california-20140203,0,7714989.story A drier California than ever? Pretty much. The climate clock is ticking, and it is time for policymakers in the West to prepare for what lies ahead. The last 12 months have been the driest on record in California, and this, on the heels of two below-normal years, prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare that the state is in a drought emergency. Ours is a state that relies heavily on the winter storms that bring us the vast majority of our water supply…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ingram-california-drought-20140203,0,5178537.story Choking from diesel emissions. I'd rather breath second-hand cigarette smoke than diesel exhaust. Diesel emissions must be mitigated for the benefit of our health. And start building desalination plants in the south state; plants powered by solar energy. Clean air and clean water - eventually we will get there. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6122164/diesel-emissions.html#storylink=cpy Corporations take the lead in tackling global warming, while Congress lags. The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Friday, Jan. 31: If soft-drink giant Coca-Cola is worried about climate change, shouldn't the White House and Capitol Hill be, too? In a Jan. 24 front-page article, The New York Times cited Coca-Cola's and some other large corporations' recognition of global warming as being "an economically disruptive force." Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/03/6123601/corporations-take-the-lead-in.html#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/03/3167672/corporations-take-the-lead-in.html#storylink=cpy Stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Re Keystone XL pipeline: President Barack Obama only needs one big reason to reject Keystone XL pipeline--climate change. The environmental impact report concedes that the tar sands oil that would go through the pipeline produces higher carbon emissions than other oil. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6122138/keystone-xl-pipeline-climate-change.html#storylink=cpy Another View: Schwarzenegger active as leader on several policy initiatives. William Endicott’s commentary on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s appearance in the recent Budweiser commercial failed to acknowledge that the actor and former governor has always used his personality as a way to engage the public (“Movie star to governor to … beer ads? Schwarzenegger goes beyond shame”; Viewpoints, Jan. 29). Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6116388/another-view-schwarzenegger-active.html#storylink=cpy Drought: Let's build desalination plants. Re Drought: Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to divert our precious water supply down south has reached an estimated cost of over $20 billion, which would naturally balloon to over $40 billion by the time it ever gets built. Wouldn't a better application of this $20-$40 billion be to build desalination plants down south where they need them the most? Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/31/6119714/a-proactive-use-of-20-billion.html#storylink=cpy Editorial: Proposed statewide plastic bag ban needs some repairs. Sometimes, what’s made necessary by politics doesn’t make for good policy. While there’s a worthy goal behind a bill to ban disposable plastic bags at California grocery stores, some dicey deals have been made to boost its chances of becoming law. Before approving what would be the nation’s first statewide ban on plastic bags…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/02/6119242/editorial-proposed-statewide-plastic.html#storylink=cpy EDITORIAL: State deal with EPA on air quality methods is welcome. Sometimes an imperfect deal is better than none at all, and that appears to be the case with last week's agreement between the state of Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA basically agreed to accept the state's permitting system for limiting industrial air pollution, ending a four-year legal fight. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/EDITORIAL-State-deal-with-EPA-on-air-quality-5194425.php BLOGS There's now a Tesla Model S registered in all 50 states. Yes, you too can impress friends at cocktail parties by knowing that the last state to go without a registered Tesla Model S battery-electric sedan was indeed Mississippi. And the second-to-last one was West Virginia. That's what Edmunds is saying, citing data from Polk. Mississippi was the final hold-out until one intrepid Jackson resident made the Model S plunge. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/01/tesla-model-s-all-50-states/ Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For Guinness World Records. Tesla Motors TSLA -0.75% is plotting its way into the Guinness World Records. The electric car maker dispatched two Model S sedans in a cross-country drive that ended this morning in New York City. The trip, started in Los Angeles, took 76.5 hours and, according to a Tesla blog post, “recorded the lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the country…Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2014/02/02/tesla-touts-cross-country-trip-aims-for-guinness-world-records/?ss=business:energy Will The Overselling Of Global Warming Lead To A New Scientific Dark Age? Will the overselling of climate change lead to a new scientific dark age? That’s the question being posed in the latest issue of an Australian literary journal, Quadrant, by Garth Paltridge, one of the world’s most respected atmospheric scientists. Paltridge was a Chief Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2014/02/03/will-the-overselling-of-global-warming-lead-to-a-new-scientific-dark-age/ Punishing drought has California fearing the worst. The punishing drought that has swept California and much of the West is confronting authorities with the worst water shortage this region has faced in more than a century, with near-empty reservoirs, parched fields, starving livestock, clouds of smog and outbreaks of wildfires. Posted. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/punishing-drought-has-california-fearing-the-worst/article16650342/?cmpid=rss1 House looks to help Calif. drought victims by easing Obama's water restrictions. The House will pass legislation next week that would restore the flow of water to farms, homes and businesses in California's Central Valley, to help victims of what congressional Republicans say is a drought that is being made worse by the Obama administration. Posted. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/energy-environment/197119-house-looks-to-end-california-drought-that-gop-blames Electric Cars Cut Greenhouse Gases Even More Than Expected, NASA Says. A trial program with electric cars at the Kennedy Space Center is going better than expected, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in company vehicles. In fact, the center's sustainability office suggests the results are 10 times better than those expected--electric cars are making a real impact on-site. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1090085_electric-cars-cut-greenhouse-gases-even-more-than-expected-nasa-says UPDATE: Plug-In Electric Car Sales In January: Leaf, Volt Both Low. In the first month of 2014, sales of the two most popular plug-in electric cars were lower than they've been in many months. Sales levels likely fell victim both to the predictable winter slowdown in electric-car sales (which we saw in 2012 and 2013 too) and to particularly bad weather last month throughout much of the U.S. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1090082_plug-in-electric-car-sales-in-january-leaf-volt-both-low California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.