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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 17 - 18, 2014 Posted: 18 Feb 2014 12:29:40
ARB Newsclips for February 17 - 18, 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. CAP AND TRADE Qingdao city next in line to set up emissions market in China. Qingdao has become the latest Chinese city to plan a market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as a group of advisers backed by its mayor is hammering out rules for an emissions trading scheme that could start next year. Qingdao, a city of 3 million people in northeastern Shandong province with a GDP equal to that of Bangladesh, is a major energy consumer as the local economy relies on heavy industry and petrochemicals. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/18/china-carbon-idUSL3N0LN2GI20140218 Iran plans carbon emissions trading market, official says. Iran plans to set up a carbon trading market to reduce industrial emissions of climate-warming gas, an official from Iran's Fuel Conservation Organization (IFCO) told oil ministry news service Shana. Iran has some of the world's largest gas reserves and is major crude oil exporter. But rapidly rising domestic demand has created a gas supply and vehicle pollution crisis in some cities. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/16/iran-carbon-market-idUSL6N0LL0AP20140216 AIR POLLUTION Beijing Air Pollution Eases After Hazardous Smog Levels. Air pollution in Beijing eased after firework displays traditionally marking the end of the Lunar New Year festival added to hazardous levels of atmospheric contamination. Micrograms-per-cubic-meter concentration of PM2.5, fine particulates that pose the greatest risk to human health, fell to 74 near Tiananmen Square in central Beijing at 9 a.m., according to data on the website of the city’s air-monitoring center. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-16/beijing-air-pollution-eases-after-two-days-at-hazardous-levels.html Air pollution exposure may increase risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. Air pollution exposure has long been suspected to increase the risk of both heart and lung diseases, but another important organ may also be at risk of injury from this contaminated air: the brain. Researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) annual meeting in Chicago recently detailed the impact that constant exposure to air pollution may have on the developing brain. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/18/air-pollution-exposure-may-increase-risk-neurodevelopmental-disorders/ Toxins in S.J. decline over past decade. Toxic emissions reported to the Environmental Protection Agency remain near historic lows in San Joaquin County, according to data released this month. The level of emissions reported in 2012 - the most recent year data are available - was less than 100,000 pounds for the second year in a row, although emissions increased slightly from 2011. For perspective, 10 years earlier, 659,963 pounds were released into the environment. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140218/A_NEWS/402180318/0/SEARCH BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 5 Things To Know about Colo.'s air pollution plan. New air quality rules for Colorado's booming oil and gas industry go under review Wednesday when health officials start taking public testimony on a set of upgrades meant to reduce air pollution from drilling. Parts of Colorado haven't meet federal ozone standards for four years. The state's Air Quality Control Commission last year proposed tougher air quality checks for energy producers including the nation's first statewide rule on methane emissions. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/feb/15/5-things-to-know-about-colos-air-pollution-plan/#ixzz2thJErolW 24-hour fireplace use ban in Inland Empire due to smog. For the 13th time this season, fireplace use has been prohibited in the Inland Empire because of anticipated bad smog. The ban takes effect at midnight tonight, and will last 24 hours, said Sam Atwood at the South Coast AQMD. Tiny particles are expected to exceed health standards, he said. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20140217/24-hour-fireplace-use-ban-in-inland-empire-due-to-smog Paramount residents not alone in pollution fight. Soon after starting work at Lincoln Elementary in Paramount nearly five years ago, second-grade teacher Lisa Lappin became alarmed by the number of teachers and students sick from cancer and other illnesses. Pungent, metallic odors sometimes blanketed the school, so Lappin started asking questions. She complained to county and environmental regulators, circulated petitions and sought help from environmental groups. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-paramount-forge-20140216,0,578319.story#ixzz2thUp3BI6 ‘No burn’ alert issued for Southern California areas. Starting at midnight tonight—Tuesday—and lasting 24 hours, the South Coast Air Quality Management District will prohibit residents of LA County, Orange County and the Inland Empire from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in a fireplace. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/02/17/42275/no-burn-alert-issued-for-southern-california-areas/ CLIMATE CHANGE US, China promise improved climate cooperation. The United States and China promised Saturday to cooperate more closely in combatting climate change following a visit to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In a joint statement, the two governments said they have agreed on steps to carry out commitments to curb output of greenhouse gases that trap solar heat in the atmosphere. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_KERRY_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Obama orders new fuel standards for trucks. President Barack Obama is ordering a new round of fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by March of 2016. He is highlighting improvements already undertaken by companies such as Safeway to cut back on gasoline costs for their fleet of trucks. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Other related stories: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-18/obama-sets-timetable-for-new-truck-fuel-efficiency-rules.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_25167864/what-can-unite-liberals-and-tea-partyers-nsa?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/19/us/politics/obama-to-request-new-rules-for-cutting-truck-pollution.html?_r=1 Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Climate Change. A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers. The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, burst onto the national political scene during last year’s elections, when he spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions more intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/us/politics/financier-plans-big-ad-campaign-on-environment.html?_r=0 DROUGHT Obama announces millions in drought aid during Valley visit, but farmers argue money fails to get at depth of state's water problems. Farmers in California's drought-stricken Central Valley said the financial assistance President Barack Obama delivered on his visit Friday does not get to the heart of California's long-term water problems. Amid one of the driest years in the state's recorded history, Obama came to the Fresno area to announce $100 million in livestock-disaster aid, $60 million to support food banks and another $13 million toward things such as conservation and helping rural communities that could soon run out of drinking water. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140215/A_NEWS/402150316/-1/A_NEWS14 President Pledges $1b to ‘Climate Change Resilience Fund’. President Obama’s speech Friday in Fresno revealed a new $1 billion fund will be allocated to California to become more resilient to future droughts. This comes after the state experienced the worst drought season in almost 40 years. The “Climate change resilience fund” will go towards more research, find breakthrough technologies, and to better prepare for Califronia’s severe droughts. Posted. http://fox40.com/2014/02/14/president-pledges-1b-to-climate-change-resilience-fund/#ixzz2th03pGO7 FUELS Gas prices keep on climbing in Southern California. Southland gas prices posted double-digit gains over the past week as refineries worked to convert their stock to California’s more costly summer blend. And one industry analyst figures prices will keep climbing. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/business/20140215/gas-prices-keep-on-climbing-in-southern-california HIGH-SPEED RAIL Court Agrees To Expedited Review Of High-Speed Rail Case. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration won at least a partial victory Friday in the legal wrangling over California’s high-speed rail project when a state appellate court said it would hear an expedited review of two lower court rulings. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/14/high-speed-rail-foes-seek-hearing-on-travel-times/ http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_25144329/high-speed-rail-foes-seek-hearing-travel-times GREEN ENERGY Green-energy funds for schools. State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson has announced that school districts can apply for part of $65 million that is available to those that wish to plan energy-efficiency projects under the California Clean Energy Jobs Act. The $65 million in available marks the second round of funding under the 2012 voter-approved initiative to create clean jobs and reduce school operating costs. The first round of funding totaled $105 million. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140116/A_NEWS/140119893/0/SEARCH BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Elk Grove explores LED future for street lamps. Elk Grove neighborhoods could soon glow under LED light if leaders move ahead with a plan to replace traditional street lamps with the energy-saving technology, joining other cities that are switching to save money and electricity. City public works officials are still penciling out costs, but if Elk Grove council members approve the project by the end of the fiscal year, it could go out to bid by early summer, said Richard Shepard, Elk Grove’s public works director. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/16/3194138/elk-grove-explores-led-future.html#storylink=cpy MISCELLANEOUS Enthusiasts see progress in goal to enhance the city's bike-riding infrastructure. On a bright morning last week, clad in the tan dress and black knee boots she was wearing to work that day, Kristine Williams climbed onto her 4-year-old light-blue Raleigh and pedaled from her central Stockton home to her job two miles away in the heart of downtown. In so doing, Williams was executing one of the rarest of acts for a person who lives and works in Stockton. She was riding to her job on her bicycle, a mode of transportation she chooses over her car despite the shortcomings of Stockton's bike-riding infrastructure. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140217/A_NEWS/402170310/0/SEARCH BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Eric O. Stork, former EPA official who oversaw auto emissions compliance, dies at 87. Eric O. Stork, an Environmental Protection Agency regulator who tangled with the auto industry over automobile air pollution standards, died Feb. 2 at his home in Arlington County. He was 87. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/eric-o-stork-former-epa-official-who-oversaw-auto-emissions-compliance-dies-at-87/2014/02/16/9f87ef92-94cd-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html OPINION Global-Warming Activism Heats Up. Tom Steyer made a fortune as a hedge fund manager at Farallon Capital, in part from investments related to fossil fuels. But now that he's sitting atop a pile estimated at $1.5 billion, he's been aggressively seeking to prevent others from making a living from such energy sources. Mr. Steyer has funded a media campaign against approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and leads a political organization called NextGen Climate Action. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303491404579390523100612640?mod=wsj_streaming_latest-headlines Tackling climate change protects our SoCal way of life: Guest commentary. We take our ability to live in Southern California for granted. But the truth is, we depend on infrastructure — on nature-taming systems that make our modern, urban way of life possible. It’s a matter of striking an ongoing balance with our environment. And if we want to keep that balance, we need to accelerate our response to climate change. Take the current drought. The governor is asking everyone to cut down on water use. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/opinion/20140214/tackling-climate-change-protects-our-socal-way-of-life-guest-commentary Seeking the Strategy Behind Kerry’s Climate Speech in Indonesia. I’m hoping that someone can identify some smart strategic angle behind Secretary of State John Kerry’s climate speech in Jakarta on Sunday pressing Indonesia, in essence, to forsake its ample reserves of fossil fuels in its push to develop its economy. I can’t. You might say the aim was to push the tropical country to curb deforestation, but that issue was barely mentioned. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/seeking-the-strategy-behind-kerrys-climate-speech-in-indonesia/ Why historic snow doesn't mean climate change is a myth. It’s been snowing in the Eastern United States like nobody’s business. Crazy, wild cold and snowstorms. Predicting the weather might be hard, but predicting that extreme cold weather will produce a lot of hot air from climate deniers is easy. In fact, the number of myths floating around about climate change is pretty extensive, and I thought it might be helpful to address them, one by one, over the course of the year. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-snow-climate-change-20140217,0,3649401.story#ixzz2thVd3OvK BLOGS LaMalfa: California bullet train -- "The claims made in attempts to prop it up have reached the level of farce". After a state court ruled what anyone paying attention has known for years, that the California High-Speed Rail Authority's plan violated voter-approved law, it is time for Congress to put a stop to this plan, particularly now that California is prohibited from using state bonds to build the project. Posted. http://blogs.redding.com/mbeauchamp/archives/2014/02/lamalfa-califor.html Obama wants to spend $1 billion on climate adaptation. OK, we get it: The climate deniers in Congress don’t want the country to do anything to rein in greenhouse gas pollution from their favorite filthy industries. But are they willing, at the very least, to help Americans adapt as the weather turns deadly around them? We will soon know the answer to that question. Posted. http://grist.org/news/obama-wants-to-spend-1-billion-on-climate-adaptation/ Latest Honda promo film is a Never Ending Race against emissions. A new Honda promotional video shows clips of a hazy, smog-choked Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, and then gives the company credit for its lead role in cutting vehicle-emissions by a factor of one thousand since 1970. Self-serving? Sure. Then again, this LA-native reporter born in 1970 can't help but be somewhat appreciative. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/16/honda-promo-film-shows-never-ending-race-against-emissions/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.