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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 24, 2014. Posted: 24 Mar 2014 16:20:49
ARB Newsclips for March 24, 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 Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes. A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel. The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/business/selling-a-poison-by-the-barrel-liquid-nicotine-for-e-cigarettes.html?ref=science EPA: La. must tighten Nucor air pollution permit. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is ordering the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to tighten the air pollution permit granted to Nucor Corp.'s St. James Parish plant. NOLA.com ' The Times-Picayune reports that the EPA concludes the pig iron and direct reduced iron manufacturing plants violate parts of the federal Clean Air Act. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/mar/22/epa-la-must-tighten-nucor-air-pollution-permit/#ixzz2wtrCi16X Burning question: Will bonfires be a part of the beach scene this summer? Gregg Kellogg remembers nights gathered around the warmth of a beach bonfire with his family. The 57-year-old lives in the home where he grew up, only steps from the fire rings at Corona del Mar State Beach. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/beach-606538-rings-fire.html Advocates weigh in as White House work on methane guidance hits home stretch. With U.S. EPA curbs on greenhouse gases dominating debates on Capitol Hill, federal agencies have been quietly writing a white paper that outlines plans to limit heat-trapping methane emissions. Officials from six agencies have been working since summer on the interagency methane strategy that President Obama ordered up in his Climate Action Plan last year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059996628/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE UN: 2013 extreme events due to warming Earth. The head of the U.N. weather agency blamed extreme weather on human-induced climate change Monday, citing key events that wreaked havoc in Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Pacific region last year. Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said his agency's annual assessment of the global climate shows how dramatically people and lands everywhere felt the impacts of extreme weather such as droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_UNITED_NATIONS_GLOBAL_WEATHER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_UN_CLIMATE_PANEL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Big-climate-report-Warming-is-big-risk-for-people-5343096.php http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/23/6262137/big-climate-report-warming-is.html http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/mar/23/big-climate-report-warming-is-big-risk-for-people/ http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_25406637/big-climate-report-warming-is-big-risk-people http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/mar/24/un-says-2013-extreme-events-due-to-warming-earth/ Clinton wants 'mass movement' on climate change. Hillary Rodham Clinton says young people understand the significant threat of climate change and that she hopes there will be a mass movement that demands political change. The potential 2016 presidential candidate says at a Clinton Global Initiative University panel that young people are much more committed to doing something to address climate change. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CLINTON_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Clinton-wants-mass-movement-on-climate-change-5341455.php Toilet tech fair tackles global sanitation woes. Who would have expected a toilet to one day filter water, charge a cellphone or create charcoal to combat climate change? These are lofty ambitions beyond what most of the world's 2.5 billion people with no access to modern sanitation would expect. Yet, scientists and toilet innovators around the world say these are exactly the sort of goals needed to improve global public health amid challenges such as poverty... Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_INDIA_TOILETS_FOR_THE_FUTURE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Toilet-tech-fair-tackles-global-sanitation-woes-5343657.php As Listener and Saleswoman, E.P.A. Chief Takes to the Road for Climate Rules. Gina McCarthy was deep in enemy territory. Here on this wind-whipped prairie pocked with strip mines, Ms. McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, faced 20 coal miners, union workers and local politicians deeply suspicious of the new climate change regulations she had come to pitch. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/us/as-listener-and-saleswoman-epa-chief-takes-to-the-road-for-climate-rules.html?ref=earth Va. groups plan campaign to cut carbon pollution. A coalition of Virginia environmental groups is planning a statewide campaign calling for a reduction in carbon pollution. The campaign, Virginia Acts on Climate, will run through June. It will include community events and other activities that showcase how local governments, businesses and residents are working to reduce carbon pollution. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-groups-plan-campaign-to-cut-carbon-pollution/2014/03/24/9963b888-b356-11e3-bab2-b9602293021d_story.html Endangered desert species cling to existence. Facing drought and climate change, animals such as the Amargosa vole are struggling to survive in the Mojave Desert. Under a canopy of gleaming stars, Janet Foley made her way across a dab of marshlands surrounded by harsh Mojave Desert terrain, her headlamp fixed on a live trap the size of a loaf of bread. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0324-drought-species-20140324,0,994465.story#ixzz2wtuYNsLs Redlands-based Esri has key role in White House climate change plan. Geographic information system pioneer Esri will play a pivotal role in the development of a White House Climate Data Initiative that will push out information about climate change so that governments, businesses and other organizations can make decisions based on the best available evidence. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20140321/redlands-based-esri-has-key-role-in-white-house-climate-change-plan DROUGHT California drought: Central Valley farmland on its last legs. Even before the drought, the southern San Joaquin Valley was in big trouble. Decades of irrigation have leached salts and toxic minerals from the soil that have nowhere to go, threatening crops and wildlife. Aquifers are being drained at an alarming pace. More than 95 percent of the area's native habitat has been destroyed by cultivation or urban expansion…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-drought-Central-Valley-farmland-on-5342892.php Roseville declares mandatory water cutbacks, but measures lack teeth. Roseville city officials are expected to call for water cutbacks today, but the announcement comes with little teeth. The city will ask customers to reduce water use by 20 percent, but it will not impose a surcharge or penalty on residents who do not meet that target. Despite a lack of strict enforcement, the city is calling the reduction “mandatory.” Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/24/6262286/roseville-declares-mandatory-water.html#storylink=cpy California drought puts spotlight on water theft. It’s amazingly easy to steal water from a California stream. Even in this epic drought, the state has no way of monitoring exactly who is tapping into its freshwater supplies and how much they take. And those who do get caught taking water they have no right to often are allowed to keep taking it for years just by promising to obtain a permit. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/23/6259597/california-drought-puts-spotlight.html#storylink=cpy DIESEL EMISSIONS Why smog-bound Chinese cities may have a long wait for their next electric bus. China's clean vehicle promotion has progressed slowly, even in a sector that has been getting the biggest government push. Alternative-fuel buses, including electric buses, hybrid ones and models that run on fuel cells, have been viewed as China's best chance to push its transportation sector into a cleaner path. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996556/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Weaning Europe From Russian Gas. European Union leaders at a summit meeting last week made a commitment to cut their dependence on Russian gas. The Ukraine crisis has highlighted the issue: About 30 percent of the gas the Union consumes comes from Russia. Not that there is any immediate risk of the Kremlin turning off the taps. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/business/international/weaning-europe-from-russian-gas.html?action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry85%23%2Fclimate%2Bchange%2F24hours%2F&_r=0 Outlook for Coal Darkens. Coal's Comeback Year Runs into Trouble. China Moves Forward with New Nuclear Reactors. The coal market in the United States continues to shrink, dimming the industry's future prospects. New data from the Energy Information Administration shows that planned retirements for coal-fired power plants continue to pile up. The EIA projected last November that 60 gigawatts of coal capacity would be closed down between 2012 and 2020. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Outlook-for-Coal-Darkens-5340755.php New Chevron website covers Richmond news. Chevron's Richmond refinery occasionally makes news for the wrong reasons: pollution, taxes, fires. Now the company has launched its own website to cover community news through its own lens. The Richmond Standard offers a daily stream of local news, crime and sports stories, with an emphasis on short, entertaining features. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/New-Chevron-website-covers-Richmond-news-5339356.php Valero Energy Corporation Purchases Plant to Increase Its Ethanol Capacity to 1.3 Billion Gallons. Valero announced today that it has expanded its ethanol production through the purchase of its 11th corn ethanol plant. The plant purchased from Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings is located in Mount Vernon, Ind., and has an annual production capacity of 110 million gallons. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Valero-Energy-Corporation-Purchases-Plant-to-5338351.php Can Fuel Cells Survive Without Subsidies? Plug Power has seen its share of ups and downs lately, through little fault of its own. Recent increases in market capitalization can be most likely attributed to increasing fourth quarter revenue and decreasing annual adjusted net losses year over year, combined with announcements of new contracts to provide and service GenDrive units. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Can-Fuel-Cells-Survive-Without-Subsidies-5337493.php HIGH-SPEED RAIL Patterson tries to derail funds for high-speed train. Fresno Assembly Member Jim Patterson, who like many other Valley Republicans is no particular fan of California's high-speed train plans, is taking a swing at derailing money for the controversial project with a bill to be heard Monday by the Assembly's Transportation Committee. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/03/21/3835450/patterson-tries-to-derail-funds.html GREEN ENERGY U.S. energy boom may signal a new export era. The energy industry is pushing to lift government curbs and tap newly accessible reserves to create an unprecedented era of exports. But skeptics point to the risk given shifts in supply and demand. In a Louisiana swamp several miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, about 3,000 construction workers are building a massive industrial facility to liquefy natural gas, preparing for a new era when the U.S. will begin exporting energy around the globe. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-energy-exports-20140323,0,5478547.story#ixzz2wu69Szp5 Clean Energy Investment Is Falling, but That's Good News -- for Solar Stocks. Clean energy was one of the hottest investments on the market last year. Once-moribund solar stocks shone brightly, wind energy whipped stagnant share prices into a roaring gale of gains, and even formerly abandoned biofuel hopefuls began to look like more than just a pipe dream: Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Clean-Energy-Investment-Is-Falling-but-That-s-5342390.php Is Now the Time for Real Alternative Energy? Technology is changing the power industry, with advances in solar power and wind turbines helping to push the envelope on renewable energy. But those sources of energy are becoming more and more mainstream. If you want to be at the cutting edge, you need to look at companies like Covanta , Solazyme , and FutureFuel. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Is-Now-the-Time-for-Real-Alternative-Energy-5342353.php Stamford firm creates trading platform for renewable energy certs. Across the country, people are putting solar panels on rooftops. Wind farms are getting erected. Geothermal energy is being harnessed out West. To some, the future is increasingly green. It could be doubly so for one Wall Street newcomer. "It's a false distinction that things that are good for the environment are bad for business," says Kapil Mohindra, seated in his sparse Stamford office one morning. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Stamford-firm-creates-trading-platform-for-5339531.php Is SunPower Really Worth 2.5 Times First Solar? SunPower is trading at a trailing P/E ratio around 50 while its competitor First Solar trades at a trailing P/E ratio around 20. Such a big difference in valuation could signal that SunPower is heavily overvalued or that it is a far superior company. The situation is complex, but taking into account changing margins and fundamental product differences SunPower really is the superior growth stock for long-term investors. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Is-SunPower-Really-Worth-2-5-Times-First-Solar-5344184.php This Week's Winners and Losers in the Battle for Offshore Wind. Did the ocean breezes blow in favor of advocates or opponents of offshore wind this past week? Here are some of the most recent developments: MEA Culpa The Maryland Energy Association, or MEA, is guilty -- guilty of revealing its support for offshore wind projects. It announced a $700,000 initiative to help state businesses enter and compete in the global offshore wind market. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/This-Week-s-Winners-and-Losers-in-the-Battle-for-5343725.php Companies Going Green is Bad for Utilities. New technologies are allowing utility customers to reduce their energy consumption and, thus, save money. But every penny they save is a penny that doesn't go to the local utility. The trend toward "green" could limit demand growth in the utility sector for years to come. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Companies-Going-Green-is-Bad-for-Utilities-5337976.php Airport may harness the sun for power. The sweeping curves and glass walls of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport's planned new terminal building have defined that project since the design was released last month, but the futuristic architecture is not the only forward-looking aspect of the project. Airport officials say they are also embarking on an ambitious plan: harnessing enough solar energy to fully power the airport…Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/mar/23/airport-may-harness-the-sun-for-power/#ixzz2wtrqPU31 Silurian Valley solar/wind project up for public discussion in Barstow. Members of the public can weigh in on a proposed 200-megawatt solar and wind facility in the Mojave Desert during two public meetings, hosted by the Bureau of Land Management, on Thursday. The Silurian Valley solar project would be on Highway 127, about 10 miles north of Baker, and consist of multiple arrays of photovoltaic panels, 44 miles of service roads…Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20140323/silurian-valley-solarwind-project-up-for-public-discussion-in-barstow New report offers consistent metric to compare energy efficiency programs. Compared to building a new generator, it's much cheaper for a utility company to coax customers to swap old light bulbs for ones that use less electricity. And it might cost less to convince people to insulate their homes than it does to build new gas pipelines. But energy efficiency measures have a long way to go before power providers in the United States can count them as just another resource, like a power plant. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059996587/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS After the Exhibition, Finding New Uses for Displays. MAKING what is old new again with fresh displays has long been the province of museums. But what happens to all the stuff left over when shows end? Many museums are going beyond traditional recycling efforts and giving second lives to exhibit materials. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/arts/artsspecial/after-the-exhibition-finding-new-uses-for-displays.html?ref=earth OPINIONS Vernon's Exide battery plant: An environmental wake-up call. High levels of lead found in the soil near the battery recycling facility show that state regulators have failed to protect public health. There's no clearer sign that state environmental regulators have failed to protect public health than the warning issued this month to parents living in the shadow of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon: Don't let children play in the dirt in your backyard. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-exide-20140323,0,1471694.story#ixzz2wtu9RSPM Editorial: Drivers ought to control data collected by cars. Your new car knows how long you've been driving, where you're going, and how fast you're going to get there. Your automaker knows all of this, too. Do you? This is not a rhetorical question. More and more new cars are equipped with technology called telematics that collects an astounding amount of data on drivers and their families. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Drivers-ought-to-control-data-5338302.php EDITORIAL: Flint Hills air quality fines show resolve. If you think that U.S. companies can't afford to spend what is needed to operate in an environmentally responsible manner, the Flint Hills refinery in Port Arthur has 44 million reasons why you are wrong. That is the staggering amount of money that plant officials agreed to spend on upgrades to reduce air pollution. Oh, and the company also will pay a $350,000 penalty for violating the Clean Air Act. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/EDITORIAL-Flint-Hills-air-quality-fines-show-5336327.php Viewpoints: Fracking boom could increase California’s earthquake risk. It destroyed more than a dozen homes, injured people and damaged a key highway. But the earthquake that struck near Prague, Okla., in 2011 didn’t just harm one community. This magnitude 5.7 quake shook up people’s peace of mind across the whole state, which was not known for seismic activity. That has changed: Oklahoma is now earthquake country, thanks to the oil and gas industry. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/23/6251505/viewpoints-fracking-boom-could.html#storylink=cpy Dan Morain: Lining up for the cap and trade gusher. Count ’em, 45 smart lobbyists and consultants sashayed to the microphone in a Capitol committee room last week, each of them seeking millions of dollars for very important programs that would cut greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/23/6257647/dan-morain-lining-up-for-the-cap.html Viewpoints: A better direction for California’s climate change policy. California’s historic climate change legislation is at a crossroads. Signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, AB 32 has been coming online in stages, with the law’s centerpiece cap-and-trade program launching in late 2012. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/22/6257858/viewpoints-a-better-direction.html Diana Gomez: More freeways not the answer for Valley transportation needs. It is a fact that California is growing. In the last 18 months or so alone, we welcomed over 350,000 new residents to the state. These new residents, along with all the people who live here, will have transportation needs that far exceed the capacity of our infrastructure. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/03/21/3556544/diana-gomez-more-freeways-not.html Time to clear the air and end Oceano dune disagreements. Off-road vehicle recreation is a mainstay of the South County economy, and it would be political suicide for elected officials to arbitrarily and abruptly move to shut it down. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/03/24/2987344/time-to-clear-the-air-and-end.html?sp=/99/181/ Cold response to global warming. The latest Environment Ministry report on estimated damage from global warming reminds us of the urgency of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions — efforts that do not appear to be high on the Abe administration’s policy agenda. Last year, Japan came under severe international criticism for its new greenhouse gas emissions target…Posted. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/03/24/editorials/cold-response-to-global-warming/ BLOGS EarthTalk: Cap-and-trade may be future of emissions regulation. If “cap-and-trade” has worked so well in Europe for reducing greenhouse gas emissions there, why haven’t we tried something similar here in the U.S.? Posted. http://azdailysun.com/lifestyles/columnists/earthtalk-cap-and-trade-may-be-future-of-emissions-regulation/article_a2f5dccc-b163-11e3-a0bd-0019bb2963f4.html Transportation Priorities Jostle for CA’s Cap-and-Trade Revenue. A series of hearings in Sacramento have been revisiting California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, Assembly Bill (A.B.) 32, which calls for a statewide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to 1990 levels by 2020. Posted. http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/03/21/transportation-priorities-jostle-for-cas-cap-and-trade-revenue/ California Climate Law on Track, State Officials Say. With the energy sector and methane squarely in the sights of state regulators, California is on track to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets by 2020, and it is revising plans to set more challenging reduction targets for 2030, state officials said earlier this month. The goal is to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Posted. http://www.naturalgasintel.com/articles/97806-california-climate-law-on-track-state-officials-say IPCC draft: brake on food supply and economy. Global warming will disrupt food supplies, slow world economic growth and may already be causing irreversible damage to nature, according to a UN report due this week that will put pressure on governments to act. A 29-page draft by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will also outline many ways to adapt to rising temperatures, more heatwaves, floods and rising seas. Posted. https://www.businessspectator.com.au/print/795856 Making the best of methane: The latest look at methane abatement in coal mining. In a climate of political turmoil, when we don’t know which way the climate tax is going to go, one thing is for sure: Investing in cleaner mining techniques is a safe way to go, no matter the political outcome. The good news is the mining industry in the Hunter Valley will soon be leading the way for cleaner emissions thanks to a history-making grant, the biggest ever seen by the University of Newcastle…Posted. http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/features/coping-with-carbon-the-latest-look-at-methane-abat Global warming to hit Asia hardest, warns new report on climate change. Flooding, famine and rising sea levels will put hundreds of millions at risk in one of the world's most vulnerable regions. People in coastal regions of Asia, particularly those living in cities, could face some of the worst effects of global warming, climate experts will warn this week. Hundreds of millions of people are likely to lose their homes as flooding... Posted. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/22/global-warming-hit-asia-hardest Derby, Shelton, West Haven to be honored for energy efficiency. Derby, Shelton and West Haven will be among 23 state municipalities honored today for their participation in statewide clean energy programs. These city’s mayors will be joined by their state senators and state representatives in receiving grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for their work at a 10 a.m. ceremony in the state capitol. The grants can be used in community-based energy-saving projects. Posted. http://blog.ctnews.com/connecticutpostings/2014/03/24/derby-shelton-west-haven-to-be-honored-for-energy-efficiency/ BYD electric bus goes over 200 miles on one charge in Denmark. BYD continues to have good news to share about its electric buses. From huge orders (1,200 units!) in China to 30-hour run times in New York City, things seem to be working well for the maker of the EV people mover. The latest batch of good news comes from Copenhagen, Denmark, where BYD says an ebus has managed to drive over 200 miles on a single charge. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/03/24/byd-electric-bus-goes-200-miles-on-one-charge-in-denmark/ Jay Leno plugs himself into Porsche's 918 Spyder. As one of the greatest sports car manufacturers of all time, when Porsche puts out a new, ultra-exclusive hypercar, enthusiasts tend to stand up and take note. Jay Leno is no exception, and now, the funnyman is finally getting his time with awesome 918 Spyder. With his 1963 Porsche 356 and his 2005 Carrera GT flanking a Liquid Silver 918, Leno takes us through the basics of this plug-in hybrid roadster alongside Daniel Eastman of Porsche North America. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/03/24/jay-leno-porsche-918-spyder-video/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.