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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 14, 2014

Posted: 14 Mar 2014 16:22:44
ARB Newsclips for March 14, 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.


RGGI Completes First Cap-and-Trade Auction Since Reducing CO2 Cap
by 45 Percent.  Extreme, atypical weather continues to take an
unusually heavy toll on the U.S. economy and society this winter,
patterns consistent with forecasts made by the world’s leading
climate scientists. Those same scientists have been urging world
leaders to take action and proactively invest in climate change
mitigation and adaptation initiatives for at least two decades. 


Free ride: To combat pollution, France and Belgium make public
transportation free. Air pollution that has turned Paris skies a
murky yellow and shrouded much of Belgium in smog for days forced
drivers to slow down and gave a free ride Friday to millions in
both countries who use public transportation. The belt of
pollution stretched from France's Atlantic coast hundreds of
miles into Belgium and well into Germany. Posted.




'Cost of Carbon' Doesn't Include Some Climate Risks. The federal
government's revised social cost of carbon figure is too low to
adequately capture several social and economic harms posed by
climate change, environmental groups said in a report released
March 13.  The $37 per metric ton figure that federal agencies
use to calculate the impact of climate change in their
regulations is either missing or improperly quantifying the
threats posed by increased risk of high-ozone days…Posted.

Poll: Global warming no big threat to USA life. Though two-thirds
of Americans believe global warming is happening or will happen
during their lifetimes, only about one-third see it as a serious
threat to their way of life, a new Gallup Poll reports. The wide
perceptual gap has existed since Gallup first asked the question
17 years ago, but it has narrowed slightly. Today, 36% believe
that global warming will seriously affect how they live, up from
25% in 1997. At the same time, the percentage of people who do
not see global warming hampering their lives has doubled since
Gallup's first survey — from 9% to 18% in the poll taken March 6
through Sunday. Posted.

Climate change poses a busy, difficult future for U.S. military.
Climate change poses a top risk to U.S. national security because
it may increase instability around the world, threaten coastal
U.S. military installations and lead to more conflicts stemming
from fights over natural resources, beginning with water. That's
according to expert panelists and two members of Congress
speaking at an event on Capitol Hill yesterday who warned that
continuing to ignore climate change could also jeopardize
America's standing and leadership in the world. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996137/print BU


Future fuel efficiency efforts come into focus.  More integration
between tractor and trailer, more focused trainer on driver
skills, and increased adoption of a wide variety of aerodynamic
devices will most likely be the main areas of focus as new fuel
efficiency rules begin to take hold of the trucking industry by
2017 and beyond.  Posted. 


$4-a-gallon gas lands in California. The steady, month-long climb
in gasoline prices passed a milestone in California this week as
Los Angeles became the first major metro area in the continental
United States to see its average retail gasoline price hit $4 a
gallon in 2014. “We’re not surprised that California is the first
to break the $4 gasoline threshold,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior
petroleum analyst for national gas price tracker GasBuddy.com.

New power sources planned to replace nuclear plant. California
regulators Thursday approved a plan for two utilities to develop
replacement power to help fill the void left by the closure of
the San Onofre nuclear power plant, but environmentalists warned
it could open the way for more dirty energy. The nuclear plant
between San Diego and Los Angeles, which stopped producing power
in January 2012, once generated enough electricity for 1.4
million homes. Posted.

Senate debates pros and cons of Keystone XL pipeline. The fight
over Keystone XL pipeline moved to the Senate on Thursday, as
fans and foes of the pipeline battled over its link to climate
change, the economy and U.S. security. But little was resolved
during a two-hour Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on
the issue that only served to underscore the sharp divisions over
TransCanada Corp.'s $5.4 billion project. University of Alberta
energy policy professor Andrew Leach described it as a "largely
fact-free debate." "Both sides (are) peddling complete
falsehoods," Leach observed, even as they are "calling for people
to base their decisions on the facts." Posted.

Scientists present cheaper way to turn natural gas into other
fuels.  America has more natural gas than it knows what to do
with, so the industry is scrambling to find new ways to use the
fuel as its prices scrape record lows. Though methane, the major
component of natural gas, burns cleaner than coal and oil and
produces less greenhouse gases, most cars, buses and generators
are not set up to use it. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996158/print BY

'Rebound' effect could dampen benefits of GHG standards – study.
Requiring coal-fired power plants to invest in energy-efficient
retrofits may not be the most cost-effective way for U.S. EPA to
reduce carbon emissions, a study has found. When coal plant
operators invest in technology to be more efficient, the marginal
cost of generating electricity goes down. This encourages
operators to generate and sell more electricity from coal, and
ultimately, release more carbon emissions. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996156/print BY

Paper questions EPA's reading of methane emissions from oil
wells. How much methane do oil wells emit during drilling and
hydraulic fracturing? U.S. EPA's estimate of this number is at
least 100 times lower than what it should be, according to a
white paper released yesterday by the Environmental Defense Fund
(EDF). The white paper reviewed a series of recent studies that
have tried to quantify methane emissions from wells that produce
both natural gas and oil. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is
known to leak from oil and gas operations during the production
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059996162/print BY

Senate panel sees clash over climate science and public cost of
Keystone XL. Lawmakers, environmentalists and business advocates
sparred over the various costs associated with building the
Keystone XL oil pipeline yesterday at a charged hearing before
the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Veteran climatologist
and former NASA scientist James Hansen testified that while the
pipeline may appear to have economic benefits, facilitating the
development of fossil fuels would ultimately stick Americans with
a hefty bill. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996154/print BY

Living Smart: Are used appliances 'greener'? What's the better
deal for your pocketbook and the environment: a new major
appliance or a refurbished one? Several consumers who recently
replaced washers and dryers told our research team that they
bought used because those models might last just as long as new
ones and that reusing is a good "green" practice. One couple said
that when their 20-year-old washing machine finally died, they
were disappointed when the brand-new replacement lasted only five
years. Posted.

Biomass appeal: Stockton plant focused on clean way to turn wood
waste into power.  The first thing John Reis does, as he turns a
corner and his new power plant comes into view, is clear up any
misunderstanding about the great clouds of gas billowing from its
75-foot stack.  It's steam. Indeed, as you gaze up toward the
plume, tiny drops of water wet your face on this otherwise clear,
77-degree day.  Posted. 

Bigger, more efficient wind turbines boost industry capacity. The
deployment of larger and more technologically advanced equipment
has helped the wind energy industry boost generation rates on a
per-turbine basis since 2008, resulting in greater operational
efficiencies and lower costs for consumers, according to the
American Wind Energy Association. The data, culled from AWEA's
2013 annual report, show that while U.S. wind energy capacity
grew 140 percent…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996138/print BY


Californians grow less reliant on cars, survey finds. Caltrans
study shows walking, biking and transit use are up as auto trips
fall. More young people don't have driver's licenses.
Californians aren't depending quite as heavily on cars for
commutes and errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new
survey by Caltrans. Although driving is still by far the most
dominant mode of transportation across the state, accounting for
about three-quarters of daily trips…Posted.

Metal-plating firm Electro-Forming charged in hazardous waste
case. Electro-Forming, a Richmond company with a long history of
problems, faces felony and misdemeanor charges involving
hazardous waste. Northern California metal-plating business and
its owner were charged Thursday with felony violations of state
hazardous waste laws, including storing cyanide near acid in a
way that could have triggered a deadly accident. Posted.

Toxic material in infant mats on new state list targeting
hazardous materials. Infant napping pads, varnish strippers and
certain foam sealants made California’s first-ever list of
hazardous products on Thursday, putting manufacturers on notice
that they’ll eventually need to find cleaner ingredients to make
those items or face government regulation. Posted.


We need common ground on climate change economics. Re "Skeptical
of climate 'religion' " (Letters, March 12): The writer calling
climate change "the new religion of environmental fanatics" does
not help us work together on a problem that involves all of us.
Global warming from increased carbon dioxide is continuing with
the ocean absorbing much of the heat. The writer states that
carbon-based fuels have provided a "standard of living never seen
before." Posted.

Editorial: Baby nap mats and paint thinner make California’s
most-unwanted toxic chemicals list. They are not necessarily the
worst chemicals found in consumer products. The three chemicals
targeted in the first crackdown of the state’s Safer Consumer
Products program aren’t even the most ubiquitous. They made the
most unwanted list because they are contained in commonly used
consumer products – infant sleep mats and two home-improvement
products – and pose a serious health threat to users. Posted.

Can One Judge Stop California From Being Railroaded?  Does the
Rule of Law matter or is it an antiquated concept in this day and
age?  After all, our President regularly violates the separation
of powers by unilaterally rewriting laws.  So it comes with some
surprise when a judge stands up to California’s executive branch
and puts the brakes on California’s High Speed Rail project by,
of all things, requiring government to follow the Rule of Law. 


What I'll Talk About When I Talk About Global Warming. I spend a
lot of time thinking about what I'll tell my four-year-old
daughter about global warming. I'm a betting person and my money
says our children are going to view environmental destruction as
our generation's defining failure. If that prediction bears out,
she's going to want an accounting of what went wrong. Truth is, I
bear some responsibility. I'm not Ed Begley Jr. I don't drive an
electric car or compost and you won't find solar panels atop our
roof. I have defenses: composting bins are smelly and electric
cars are expensive. Posted.

5 key issues in the fight for better fuel. To address climate
change, we need more creative collaboration on transportation
fuel. This was underscored in a discussion hosted by BSR Senior
Vice President Eric Olson at the recent Climate Leadership
Conference in San Diego, where a panel of practitioners discussed
an agenda for addressing climate change through modern mobility.
The panelists raised five key ideas that need more attention from
commercial fleet operators, their value chain partners and
policymakers: Posted.

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

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