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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.


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. 

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.


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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

‘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. 


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. 

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. 

Other related stories:


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.


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.

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.


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. 


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. 



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
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.

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. 


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.

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. 


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. 

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.

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.

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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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

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