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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 4, 2014.

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 12:28:15
ARB Newsclips for April 4, 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.


Colorado’s new drilling rules seen as making an impact in Texas.
Colorado’s tough, new air pollution rules for the oil and gas
industry were approved only a month ago, but they’re already
making an impact in Texas, where lawmakers and energy companies
have long-resisted tightening air standards. Posted.

Report: EPA fails to disclose risks in human tests.  An internal
investigation issued Wednesday found that the Environmental
Protection Agency failed to disclose long-term cancer risks and a
small chance of death to 81 human test subjects who consented to
breathe in diesel exhaust and other pollutants during
experiments.  Posted. 

That will leave a mark: CARB fines wipe fluid maker $418,500. 
The California Air Resources Board has proven it isn’t afraid of
fining companies for violating emissions standards in any
capacity.  In the past, CARB has fined – besides among trucking
companies and public utilities that violate California air
quality regulations – makers of gas-powered tailgate beverage
blenders, mini-scooter manufacturers and others,.  Posted. 


ESA launching satellite for new monitoring system. The European
Space Agency is launching the first of six satellites for a new
system designed to better monitor climate change, environmental
disasters and catastrophes like floods, volcanic eruptions and
earthquakes. The Sentinel 1A satellite is due to be launched from
French Guiana later Thursday. Posted.


US helps rice growers reduce greenhouse gases. The federal
government is helping rice growers in Arkansas and elsewhere to
use new production methods that would decrease greenhouse gas
emissions. The Agriculture Department said Thursday its Natural
Resources Conservation Service is providing more than $1 million
to develop new conservation methods. Methane and nitrous oxide,
gases that help trap heat in the earth's atmosphere…Posted.

Researchers project higher disease risk from ticks under changing
climate. Moving farther north each year, ticks are spreading in
North America as the climate changes, bringing dangerous diseases
with them. Health officials are drawing on the past to forecast
where the illnesses might go, but new trends keep emerging,
forcing researchers to adapt and revise their models. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997348/print BY

Sea ice hits fifth-lowest level on record. Arctic sea ice cover
is falling to its fifth lowest on the satellite record, National
Snow and Ice Data Center scientists said Wednesday. They revealed
that Arctic sea ice coverage averaged 14.8 million square
kilometers for the month of March, putting it at 730,000 square
kilometers below the 1981-2010 satellite average. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997319/print BY


Assembly slaps HOAs on water. San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena
Gonzalez’s legislation to grant residents of common-interest
developments the unbridled right to plant drought resistant
landscaping is on its way to the state Senate. The Democrat’s
measure easily cleared the Assembly Thursday, 74-1. “Homeowners
who want to act responsibly in these times of water insecurity
should be rewarded — not penalized, sued or fined by their HOAs,”
Gonzalez said. Posted.

California is poised to take over groundwater management if
locals don't step up. Message to local water managers: pick up
the pace on handling groundwater management, or expect the state
to do it for you.
That's the word in a new state action plan on Sustainable
Groundwater Management," available here: http://bit.ly/1gSNwDZ

Water transfer proposal ruffles some locals in ag. Farmers with
surface water rights are scrambling to decide if they will pump
groundwater to make up for cutbacks from the state water supplies
along the Feather and Sacramento rivers. In the meantime, a
"relatively quiet" proposal to transfer water from Biggs-West
Gridley Water District to south of the delta a has some farmers
in the Sacramento Valley upset.

Feinstein applauds decision to pump more water in Central Valley,
seeks more. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday applauded a
decision by federal and state officials to release more water in
the Central Valley, and pushed for much more supplies to be made
available to the parched farming region. Posted.


$2.2M hydrogen-fueled zero-emissions bus rolls through Marin. 
Marin residents now have the opportunity ride a $2.25 million,
environmentally-friendly bus around the county.  The
zero-emissions bus, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, is rolling
through the county's streets and on Highway 101, part of a state
plan to cut the amount of diesel pollutants standard buses spew
into the air.  Posted. 

Port of Oakland goes electric to reduce diesel pollution.  The
Port of Oakland celebrated a clean air milestone Friday with the
completion of a power system that will allow vessels docked at
berths to power up on electricity instead of diesel fuel.  The
$70 million project is expected to eliminate 11 tons of diesel
particulate and further improve air quality in West Oakland where
prior studies have shown higher-than-average levels of asthma and
cancer.  Posted. 


U.N. climate chief urges radical clean-up of oil, gas industry.
The U.N.'s climate chief called on the oil and gas industry on
Thursday to make a drastic shift to a clean, low-carbon future or
risk having to leave three-quarters of fossil fuel reserves in
the ground. "The time for experimentation, for marginal changes
and for conditional response is now over," Christiana Figueres
told the International Petroleum Industry Environmental
Conservation Association (IPIECA) in a speech in London. Posted.

Will the White House's New Rules on Methane Hurt These Companies?
There are cost-effective technologies and best management
practices to capture methane from venting and leaks across the
entire oil and natural gas value chain. These range from
equipment upgrades or replacements, to process or operational
changes. -- White House Climate Action Plan (opens PDF) Natural
gas production in the U.S. …Posted.

Gas prices may jump from California emissions law.  California's
greenhouse gas reduction law already has shaken up the state's
industrial sector, costing it more than $1.5 billion in pollution
permit fees.  It's now poised to hit the pocketbooks of everyday
Californians.  Posted. 

More truck fleet owners convert to natural gas, but will it stay
cheap? For companies to shift their vehicle fleets off
conventional petroleum products to cleaner fuels and efficient
technologies, managers must have confidence that they will be
able to recover their sunk costs. Natural gas is currently one of
the most attractive alternative fuels for medium- and heavy-duty
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997347/print BY

Genetically engineered poplar trees make a better biofuel
feedstock – study. Scientists have genetically engineered poplar
trees to break down more easily, yielding about 25 percent more
sugars to make biofuels, according to a study in Science today. 
Lignocellulosic biofuels are made from grasses, agricultural
residues, trees, forestry waste and even household trash. They
have low carbon emissions, don't compete with food crops and make
use of waste…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059997349/print BY

EPA, oil industry to square off in court over 2013 RFS. U.S. EPA
will defend its 2013 targets for renewable fuels in court Monday
against oil industry trade groups and a refinery owned by Delta
Air Lines Inc. At issue in the case that combines all the oil
industry challenges: Did EPA overshoot the targets, requiring
refiners to breach the "blend wall"? The challenge also accuses
EPA of breaking the law by releasing a final 2013 renewable fuel
standard (RFS) more than eight months after its statutory


Exxon Mobil agrees to share more data on fracking's risks. Exxon
Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, has
agreed to disclose more information about the environmental risks
of hydraulic fracturing, the process known as fracking. 
In an agreement with New York City's pension funds, which control
Exxon shares worth roughly $1.02 billion, the company agreed to
report on risks surrounding disposal of fracking waste

There's a War Going on in the Supreme Court No Energy Company is
Safe From. Murray Energy has followed through on its threat to
sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over what the
company calls a "war on coal." Arch Coal , however, just lost a
pivotal case against the EPA. That could make Murray's move a
long shot with more downside risk than upside opportunity for the
coal industry, with serious implications that reach across the
energy space.

Oil industry creates groups to battle fracking moratoriums,
severance tax. Oil industry groups and their allies have launched
parallel campaigns in California to battle a proposed oil
extraction tax and efforts to block unconventional oil drilling,
including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059997355/print BY


VW to build plug-in hybrid cars in China as pollution reforms
open the market – sources. Volkswagen plans to make plug-in cars
in China, company sources say, seeing a big potential market as
the country's leaders fight hazardous levels of air pollution
with measures that include boosting green power. VW will announce
its plans at the Beijing auto show on April 19-20 and will build
the plug-in hybrids …Posted.

Many 'green' cars carry greenhouse gas. America's electric cars
are better for the environment, but they share a dirty little
secret. The Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster all use a
super greenhouse gas known as HFC 134a as the refrigerant for
their air conditioners. The liquid coolant is so potent that when
it leaks into the atmosphere, it traps 1,400 times more heat than
carbon dioxide over a 100-year time horizon. Posted.

China Plans More Electric Vehicle Support. China announced plans
to support greater adoption of electric vehicles by exempting
buyers of EV's from paying a sales tax. Vice Premier Ma Kai said
that past incentives have not worked with sufficient speed, so
the government will exempt "new-energy vehicles" from the 10%
auto tax that buyers must pay. That includes plug-in hybrids,
electric cars, and fuel-cell vehicles. Posted.


General Electric Company Unveils Wind Turbine for India. General
Electric Company introduced its 1.7 MW wind turbine to India's
energy market today, creating new opportunity to pull power from
the country's low-wind-speed conditions. The 1.7 MW wind
turbine's 103-meter rotor is specifically designed by General
Electric Company to deal with the South Asia nation's low wind
speeds, allowing it to generate electricity efficiently and
economically. Posted.


Nest disables feature on smoke alarms. The high-tech home
monitoring device company Nest Labs is disabling a feature on its
smoke alarms due to the risk that owners could unintentionally
turn off the device with the wave of a hand. Nest was acquired
this year by Google Inc. for $3.2 billion. Nest developed
technology which it calls the Nest Wave that allows owners to
turn off the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm at a
distance, among other things. Posted.


Viewpoints: Green Bank would create more clean energy innovation.
 As a venture capitalist, I spend much of my time on the
unvarnished edge of capitalism. It’s a place where some level of
failure is inevitable, survival of the fittest is an
understatement, and success is usually the result of a
combination of merit, relentless hard work and a little luck
thrown in for good measure. Posted.


Stanford economists say social cost of carbon too low. An an
article published Friday in the journal Nature, Nobel laureate
economist Kenneth Arrow and Lawrence Goulder, both of Stanford,
along with six other law and economics scholars, said the
controversial “social cost of carbon” calculations developed by
the federal government are too low, not too high, as
conservatives argue. Posted.

Wind Power Has Cut U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 4.4 Percent:
Report. The growth of wind power in the United States is putting
a significant dent in emissions, according to a forthcoming
report from the American Wind Energy Association. Wind generation
avoided 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, which
is equivalent to taking 16.9 million cars off the road. That's a
4.4 percent cut to power sector emissions, when compared to the
level of emissions that would have been generated if that power
had come from fossil fuels. Posted.

Republicans join Democrats in trying to revive wind energy
incentives.  The political winds in the nation’s capitol shifted
on Thursday in favor of wind energy.  A Senate committee passed a
bill that would restore two key tax credits for the wind
industry. Both credits have helped spur the sector’s rapid growth
in recent years, but Congress allowed them to expire at the end
of last year.  Posted. 

CA Electric-Car Incentive Update: Funds Run Out, Green Stickers
Gone.  Access to carpool lanes on California's legendarily
crowded freeways is a big perk.  So is getting a check in the
mail that cuts the purchase cost.  These incentives were
successful in spurring sales of hybrids years ago, and they've
helped sales of modern battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars
since the first ones were sold in 2010.  Posted. 

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

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