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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 10, 2014.

Posted: 10 Feb 2014 13:17:45
ARB Newsclips for February 10, 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.


Senator says Dems erred in promoting cap and trade ahead of
renewable standard. Congressional Democrats should have pushed
renewable energy legislation instead of a cap-and-trade bill when
they controlled Capitol Hill in President Obama's first term, a
Democratic senator told a Washington, D.C., ballroom packed with
labor and environmental advocates today. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059994330/print BY


EPA agrees to May deadline for review of refinery emissions. U.S.
EPA has agreed to review its emissions standards for hazardous
air pollutants from petroleum refineries by May after community
groups said the agency had neglected its duties by failing to
update the standards for 16 years. The agency will have to either
propose revisions to its petroleum refinery National Emission
Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) or determine that
none are necessary by May 15, 2014. A final rule would be due by
April 17, 2015. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/stories/1059994270/print BY

Exxon Mobil division heads to court over refinery emissions.
Exxon Mobil Chemical Co. goes on trial this morning to defend
itself against accusations that it repeatedly violated the
federal Clean Air Act at a complex southeast of here and got away
with it. The suit against the company was brought by
environmental groups and alleges that the massive refining
complex in Baytown released excess air pollution into neighboring
communities more than 4,000 times since 2005. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059994272/print BY


UC Davis part of nationwide USDA research hub on climate change.
The Obama administration has tapped UC Davis as one of 10 sites
around the country to be part of a research push on the potential
effects of climate change on farms and forests. Seven “hubs” will
represent major regions around the country. UC Davis will serve
as a “subsidiary hub,” one of three nationwide, under the larger
Southwest hub. Posted.

Scientists further link warming 'pause' to heat stored in the
Pacific Ocean, spurred by stronger winds. About 15 years ago, the
Earth's temperature was rising fast. Most climate models
predicted that trend would continue, as humans continued to pump
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Instead, the Earth's
surface temperature over the past 13 years has been mostly
stable. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994303/print BY

Steyer's secret weapon emerges as power in climate debate.
High-profile billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer
held center stage at an event here, speaking about energy and
politics to an audience of business power players. There were few
surprises -- until the end. In his final minutes, Steyer
announced that he planned to launch an effort to quantify what
inaction on climate change could cost the country. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059994329/print BY

Arctic may warm 13 C by end of the century – study. The Arctic
could warm as much as 13 degrees Celsius, or 23.4 degrees
Fahrenheit, by the end of the century if efforts are not
undertaken to cut greenhouse gases, according to new research
from federal scientists. The findings published in Earth's Future
and led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
researchers use the most recent climate models to try to pinpoint
the future of the Arctic. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994287/print BY


Drought blocking passages to sea for California coho salmon. The
drought has obstructed the migratory journeys of many coho salmon
on California's North and Central Coast, putting them in
immediate danger. By now, water would typically be ripping down
Scott Creek, and months ago it should have burst through a berm
of sand to provide fish passage between freshwater and the ocean.

California drought a 'train wreck' for Central Valley farms.
California's great Central Valley aquifer and the rivers that
feed it, already losing water in the changing climate, are now
being drained because of the drought, leaving water levels at
their lowest in nearly a decade. Water experts say many farmers
who depend on the huge water source beneath the valley for
irrigation will have to resort to pumping water from ever deeper
levels at greater costs…Posted.

Sacramento rainfall record for date set; Folsom Lake rises over 6
feet. Folsom Lake has risen 6 feet but state water officials say
the storm hitting Northern California has done little to ease a
severe drought. “It has gone up a bit, but it’s certainly not
anything to dance in the rain about,” said Doug Carlson,
spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. “We
still have a long ways to go before we’re anywhere close to
normal.” As of one week ago Sunday, Folsom Lake had only 17
percent of its total capacity. The recent rains pushed it to just
19 percent of capacity – still barely one-third of what it should
be for this time of year, Carlson said. Posted.

California Drought: Database shows big difference between water
guzzlers and sippers. The historic drought is making average
residents think twice every time they turn on the tap, despite
the weekend rain. But there is nothing average about the way
Californians consume water: A little-known state database that
measures water use in every community shows huge -- sometimes
shocking -- differences between California's water sippers and
guzzlers. Posted.

Drought crisis to bring Obama to Fresno.  The White House
announced Friday that President Obama will come to Fresno on Feb.
14 to discuss the drought and federal efforts to deal with it. A
White House official said further details about the president's
trip to the central San Joaquin Valley will be made public in
coming days. The trip will mark Obama's first visit to the Fresno
area. Posted.

Calif. senator asks FERC to ease hydropower rules because of
drought. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Friday asked the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite any requests for
low water flows at hydropower plants and dams given California's
historic drought. "The State of California is facing a crisis
that demands the Federal government's maximum flexibility and
assistance," Feinstein said in a letter to acting FERC Chairwoman
Cheryl LaFleur. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059994271/print BY


New pollution control device eyed for ships in the Port of Long
Beach.  Harbor officials on Monday could approve a $2-million
contract for testing the latest technology for capturing
pollution spewing from vessels in the Port of Long Beach.  The
contract with South Coast Air Quality Management District would
demonstrate Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc.’s Advanced
Maritime Emissions Control System, which is a version of Advanced
Cleanup’s previously demonstrated “sock on a stack” exhaust
capturing system…Posted. 


UPDATE 1-Kuwait approves $12 bln bids for clean fuels project.
Kuwait has approved bids worth a total of $12 billion for major
upgrades at two oil refineries, the state-run oil company said on
Monday, in a sign it is moving ahead with large infrastructure
projects. The Clean Fuels Project is a specification upgrade and
expansion of Kuwait's largest refineries as part of the Gulf
state's economic development plan, which has faced delays partly
due to political instability. Posted.

Biofuels Still Face Challenges. Navigant Research forecasts that
global biofuels consumption in the road transportation sector
will grow from more than 32.4 billion gallons per year (BGPY) in
2013 to more than 51.1 BGPY in 2022. Navigant Research examines
the challenges faced by this fuel source in a new report. In the
last 10 years, an increase in ethanol production capacity in the
United States and Brazil, and biodiesel in Europe…Posted.

The Oil Industry's Fight to Kill Renewable Fuels—and Why It May
Win. For all its faults, the Renewable Fuels Standard is the only
federal policy that is steadily eroding the oil industry's de
facto monopoly on motor fuels. he American oil industry could be
on the verge of winning its war on the federal Renewable Fuel
Standard (RFS), as the Obama administration weighs changes that
could severely undermine the nation's most successful—and most
divisive—effort to cut crude oil consumption in the nation's
cars. Posted.


China Extends Electric-Car Subsidies to Fight Air Pollution.
China will give more subsidies for electric vehicles than
previously announced as part of government plans to tackle
pollution. Shares of BYD Co. (1211) rose. Subsidies for 2014 will
be cut by 5 percent, instead of the previously announced 10
percent, and decreased by 10 percent in 2015, instead of 20


Bullet train revenue estimates down, ridership up in new business
plan. New estimates for the California bullet train show lower
revenue and construction costs, and higher ridership and
operating costs. Construction costs and revenue estimates for the
California bullet train are headed downward while operating costs
and ridership for the proposed statewide system are expected to
increase above earlier forecasts, according to the project's
latest business plan unveiled Friday. Posted.


Firm seeks to harness Wyoming's wind energy for California. 
Anschutz Corp., known for the Staples Center, looks to set up the
largest wind generation facility in the nation — in a state that
wouldn't use a kilowatt of it. A relentless wind howls day after
day across this high desert, pouring through a low gap on the
Continental Divide. "This is one of the windiest places in the
nation," screams Bill Miller above the din of gusting air.

States explore green banks to reduce risk of clean energy
projects. After funding fiascos like Solyndra and facing constant
political attacks on government clean energy investments,
renewable energy advocates are now zeroing in on so-called green
banks to finance clean energy projects and to get states to cut
fossil fuel use. To that end, the Coalition for Green Capital has
launched the Green Bank Academy to begin teaching interested
states how to move toward a green bank model pioneered by
Connecticut and more recently New York. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059994277/print  BY


Sharp disagreement over effects of North Carolina coal ash spill.
Duke Energy has downplayed any danger to the public or wildlife.
But environmentalists say tests found levels of arsenic, lead,
chromium and other heavy metals far exceeding safety standards.
Pete Harrison dipped his kayak paddle into a gray stain on the
bank of the murky Dan River. He pulled out a sticky gob 4 inches
thick. "That's pure coal ash," he said. Posted.

BEAUMONT: Green grant money to spur infrastructure development. 
Beaumont is in a green mood. After receiving a $100,000 grant
from Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas
Company, the city held a Climate Action Planning Workshop Friday,
Feb. 7, to discuss how to best use the funds. Posted.


House Republicans muddy California’s water crisis. CALIFORNIA SAW
a bit of relief from its extreme drought this past weekend, when
big storms dumped rain on the parched state. But it appears that
California won’t be spared from another threat — Washington
politicians talking foolishly about the water crisis or, worse,
meddling in the state’s efforts to cope. A week ago, Denis
McDonough, President Obama’s chief of staff, sought to connect
the drought to global warming. Posted.

India's Particulate Problem. Two years ago, China seemed
oblivious to the extraordinary levels of air pollution in many of
its cities and the health consequences. But over the past six
months, there has been an explosion of information on pollution
concentrations, warnings from the media and new policies from the
government. It took a long time, but change is happening. Posted.

The Dust Bowl Returns.  EVERY Saturday in late December and
January, as reports of brutal temperatures and historic snowfalls
streamed in from family in Vermont, New York and even southern
Louisiana, we made weekly pilgrimages to our local beer garden to
enjoy craft brews and unseasonably warm afternoons. Normal
winters here in Fresno, in the heart of California’s Central
Valley, bring average highs in the 50s…Posted.

Letters: Climate change and Keystone XL. Re "Free the pipeline,
Obama," Opinion, Feb. 4 Those who oppose Keystone XL aren't doing
so primarily to make the pipeline a "litmus test issue for
climate seriousness," as Jonah Goldberg writes. Rather, they're
taking a principled stand. We must stop the juggernaut of
business-as-usual that is leading inexorably to climate
disruption. Posted.

Despite L.A. smog, our air quality's improving.  From the heights
of San Jacinto Peak to the depths of its desert canyons, clean
air is vital to maintaining the physical health of Coachella
Valley residents as well as the economic health of its
tourist-based economy.  But the valley isn’t immune to air
pollution and its health impacts.  Posted. 

Power alert exposes green shortcomings.  Mother Nature delivered
a potent reminder last week to green-energy zealots of just how
far California remains from nirvana. Soon the high cost of small
progress will be more apparent, too. Thursday state officials
issued a “flex alert” and called for conservation after some
power plants — including an unidentified one in San Diego County
— ran out of natural gas to fuel their generators. Posted.


Toyota unofficially teases TE-S800 plug-in hybrid roadster.  We
really want to party with the Toyota Engineering Society. With
the mothership company showing a bunch of modifications at the
Tokyo Auto Salon last month, that nutty engineering group used
the event to unofficially show off its TE-S800 PHEV roadster, as
you can see in the two-minute video below. The car is a plug-in
hybrid that pairs the 115-horsepower gas engine that's standard
issue on the Toyota Prius hybrid with a 102-horsepower electric
motor. Posted.

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.

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