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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 21, 2014

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 14:34:01
ARB Newsclips for April 21, 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.


Australia's Palmer says won't back government climate plan:
report. Australia's government might fail to get the necessary
backing for its planned A$1.55 billion ($1.45 billion) fund to
pay big emitters to cut pollution, after a Senate minority party
on Monday said it would vote against the plan. Mining billionaire
Clive Palmer, whose Palmer United Party (PUP) will control the
balance of power in the Senate from July, said he would not back
the government's direct action Plan on climate change. Posted.

Setbacks Aside, Climate Change Is Finding Its Way Into the
World's Classrooms.  From Mauritius to Manitoba, climate change
is slowly moving from the headlines to the classroom. Schools
around the world are beginning to tackle the difficult issue of
global warming, teaching students how the planet is changing and
encouraging them to think about what they can do to help slow
that process. Posted.

Fresh data and warning about climate change.  International
efforts to cut greenhouse-gas emissions haven’t been enough to
stave off climate change, the world’s leading scientific
organization on the issue warned last week. Emissions climbed at
record rates for the first decade of this century, and only major
action will keep warming at manageable levels, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in the final
volume of a trilogy of reports about the science and policy of
climate change. Posted.

Climate changes visible by ZIP code with new online tools. With
the click of a computer mouse, the potential risks of rising sea
levels will soon be searchable — by ZIP code — for all U.S.
coastal communities. An online mapping tool will show how much
sea levels are expected to rise in each area, as well as the
number of residents and buildings that could be flooded. Posted.

Climate change increasing massive wildfires in West. Massive
wildfires are on the increase in the Western USA due to rising
temperatures and worsening drought from climate change, and the
trend could continue in the decades to come, new research


California’s Thirsting Farmland. This summer, Todd Allen’s only
crop will be Pima cotton. He and his brother, Joel, usually also
grow cantaloupes and, later in the season, winter wheat on about
600 acres or so. But this year, they and hundreds of others will
get no water from the reservoirs that sustain farming in the
Central Valley, where much of the nation’s fresh fruits, nuts and
vegetables are grown. Posted.

California drought: Food banks drying up, too. The effects of
California's drought could soon hit the state's food banks, which
serve 2 million of its poorest residents. Fresh produce accounts
for more than half the handouts at Bay Area food banks, but with
an estimated minimum of 500,000 acres to be fallowed in
California, growers will have fewer fruits and vegetables to
donate. With less local supply, food prices will spike…Posted.


Air quality board to consider another relaxation of diesel rules.
Under pressure, air quality board might again give small trucking
operations more time to comply with rules to clean up diesel
emissions. California air quality officials are again moving to
relax tough rules to clean up aging diesel trucks that are among
the state's worst remaining sources of air pollution. The changes
being considered this week by the state Air Resources Board come
in response to pressure from small trucking firms and


Price Chopper joins RPI test using air flow to stretch trucking
fuel.  A technology initially aimed at making jetliners more
efficient by directing the flow of air may someday help the Price
Chopper supermarket chain and other shippers squeeze more mileage
out of delivery trucks. Developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, small devices called air-jet actuators are part of
$4.3 million in state research funding announced this week for 17
different projects across the state meant to reduce the
environmental footprint of trucks, cars, trains, subways and
airports. Posted.


Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas. Biofuels made
from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than
gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows,
challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are
a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate
change. A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and
released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate
Change concludes that biofuels …Posted.




Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL. Democrats
sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama
administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL
pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the
midterms. Fat chance. An indefinite extension of the government's
review of the contentious oil pipeline, announced late Friday by
the State Department, almost certainly pushes a final decision
past the November elections…Posted.




FEATURE-Many Canadian aboriginals see no compromise on oil sands
pipeline. Just a few miles from the spot where Enbridge Inc plans
to build a massive marine terminal for its Northern Gateway oil
pipeline, Gerald Amos checks crab traps and explains why no
concession from the company could win his support for the
project. Amos, the former chief of the Haisla Nation on the
northern coast of British Columbia and a community leader, has
argued for years that the risk - no matter how small…Posted.

Exporting Oil Will Lower Your Gasoline Bill? Since 1975, U.S.
exports of crude oil have been largely banned under restrictions
imposed by Congress in the aftermath of the 1973 Arab oil
embargo. But with the U.S. entering into what many have termed a
new era of oil abundance, U.S. lawmakers are now seriously
thinking about lifting the ban. Some worry that exporting U.S.
oil could raise domestic gasoline prices, eating into consumers'
disposable incomes and hindering economic growth. Posted.

Canada Embracing Climate Control Measures to Support Oil Sector.
Environmental advocacy groups put Canadian oil sands on the same
footing as a weapon of mass destruction. With limited trade
options on hand, provincial leaders are now trying to recast the
Canadian oil sector's image with a green hue. The processes
involved in exploiting the more viscous form of crude oil found
in the Athabasca region of Alberta are viewed as detrimental to
human health and the global environment. Posted.

Can Biodiesel Investments Survive Without the Blender's Tax
Credit? he blender's tax credit, or BTC, is a fixed $1 per gallon
tax credit given to the first fuel blender of a volume of
biodiesel that contains at least one-tenth of one percent
petroleum-based diesel fuel. It is separate from renewable
identification numbers, or RINs, that are used to track monthly
production and are priced on the open market. In other words,
biodiesel and renewable diesel producers…Posted.

How Natural Gas Prices Could Spike Over the Long Term. The future
is generally not set in stone. Thousands of factors affect
natural gas prices, and each factor can change at any moment. So
far, these factors have kept U.S. natural gas trading at a
significant discount to prices in the rest of the world. Natural
gas contracts at Henry Hub, for example, trade at around
$4.7/MMBtu while LNG trades at approximately $20/MMBtu in the
Asian Pacific.  Posted.

Gasoline prices hit 14-month high. Surging gasoline prices in the
San Diego area have reached their highest level in more than a
year. The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline
climbed to $4.27 on Friday at San Diego gas stations, up 12 cents
from a week ago and 27 cents in a month, according to the AAA
daily fuel gauge report. The last time gasoline sold for so much
was March 2, 2013. Posted.

Former EPA official: Fracking transparency vital.  Controversies
over the fracking process may be inevitable, a former
administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
acknowledged recently, but Wisconsin can protect its place as the
leading supplier of sand for the nation's fracking boom as long
as the state has strong regulations, maintains maximum
transparency and responds quickly to neighbors' concerns. Posted.

Study casts doubts on GHG savings of fuels made from corn stover,
cobs. The loss of soil carbon that results from removing corn
field wastes to make biofuels could negate their value as a
low-carbon fuel ingredient, a recent paper suggests. Using corn
residue -- corn stover and cobs -- to make cellulosic biofuels
increases emissions from the burning of plant matter and other
residue components in the biorefinery…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998148/print BY


Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom. After early
complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local
construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania,
Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way
from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom. That vocal
support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by
environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as
fracking. Posted.

National energy boom blurs political battle lines. The U.S.
energy boom is blurring the traditional political battle lines
across the country. Democrats are split between environmentalists
and business and labor groups — and one key issue is the proposed
Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline. Some deeply conservative areas are
allying with conservationists against fracking, the drilling
technique that's largely responsible for the boom. Posted.


Mazda recalls 109,000 SUVs in the United States for rust issue.
Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
is recalling 109,000 Tribute compact sport utility vehicles in
the United States to address potential rusting frame parts in
cold-weather states where road salt is heavily used in the
winter. The recall affects Tribute SUVs from model years 2001 to
2004 as corrosion on a part of the vehicle's frame could result
in the loss of steering control, Mazda said in a statement.

UPDATE 1-VW to push electric cars in China as market opens.
Volkswagen will keep expanding Chinese operations and start
selling battery-powered cars in the biggest auto market as the
country rewards electric-vehicle buyers to tackle air pollution.
VW said on Saturday it will add capacity in its top market, the
destination of over a third of its 2.4 million first-quarter
group deliveries, as economic stimulus measures and demand in
China's interior regions fuel sales. Posted.

Clean Energy Fuels CEO: Why Tesla Isn't Competition, and
Passenger Cars Aren't Clean Energy's Market. The difference
between fleet and passenger vehicles is often misunderstood,
Andrew Littlefair says. Andrew Littlefair is the CEO and
co-founder of Clean Energy Fuels , the leading provider of
natural gas for transportation in North America. Clean Energy
provides CNG and LNG fuels to solid waste, trucking, and transit
fleets, among others, and currently operates some 500 fueling
stations in the United States and Canada…Posted.

300mpg Diesel-Electric Hybrid Unveiled by Volkswagen. The star of
this week's Qatar motor show will undoubtedly be Volkswagen's
"one-liter car," the diesel hybrid XL1, which is able to achieve
more than 300 mpg. The $60,000 XL1 is powered by an 800cc,
two-cylinder turbodiesel powerplant (half a BlueMotion engine),
producing 47bhp, supported by a 27bhp electric motor hat fuelled
by lithium-ion batteries. Posted.

New battery research initiative announces first corporate
members. Duracell, Volkswagen and Hitachi are among the firms
that last week joined CalCharge, an initiative that pools
research resources from national laboratories, universities and
private companies to design better batteries. The program aims to
bridge a critical gap between fundamental improvements in battery
technology and commercial products, smoothing over administrative
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998157/print BY

NASCAR begins an environmental cleanup with fuel cells. NASCAR,
both the world's most popular motor sport and a sport widely
disdained by environmentalists, is attempting to throw its green
agenda into a higher gear. Five years into the NASCAR Green
program, the racing series has launched ambitious recycling,
clean air and renewable energy initiatives. NASCAR is now also
looking to other clean energy technologies to improve its
environmental credentials…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998146/print BY


High-speed rail agency issues final environmental report for
Fresno-Bakersfield route.  A final version of an environmental
report has been issued for the Fresno-Bakersfield stretch of
California's proposed high-speed rail system.  The 20,000-page
report, released Friday afternoon by the California High-Speed
Rail Authority, details the anticipated effects that construction
of the rail line and operation of the bullet train would have on


Conservative heavyweights have solar industry in their sights.
The Koch brothers and large utilities have allied to reverse
state policies that favor renewable energy. Environmentalists are
pushing back, but the fight is spreading and intensifying.

Earth-friendly. Earth Day is Tuesday, and if you've forsaken an
eco-friendly lifestyle because you think going green requires a
lot of green, think again. Investing in solar panels, hybrid cars
and energy-efficient appliances can save cash long-term, but the
initial investment can be costly and infeasible. Likewise,
adopting an exclusively organic diet or using store-bought,
all-natural cleaning products can hurt a grocery budget. Posted.

25 Amazing Facts About Solar. In the past few years alone, the
solar industry has gone from a clean energy source that required
subsidies just to stay afloat to a full-fledged economic force.
Solar energy is now passing grid parity in Europe, the
southwestern U.S., South America, South Africa, and many other
parts of the world. As costs fall, even more locations will find
solar power to be economical, opening up a global electricity
market worth over $1 trillion annually. Posted.

Oxford schools' green reputation grows.  The Oxford School
District's traditional school colors of blue and gold are facing
some stiff competition by the color green now that the district
is becoming synonymous with healthy food choices, sustainability
efforts and energy efficiency. The Oxford High School is headed
toward becoming the first high school in Mississippi to become
LEED Silver Certified. Posted.


Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans. While
scientists believe the universe began with a Big Bang, most
Americans put a big question mark on the concept, an Associated
Press-GfK poll found. Yet when it comes to smoking causing cancer
or that a genetic code determines who we are, the doubts
disappear. When considering concepts scientists consider

Serial Bird Killers? The True Toll of Infamous Windmills.  As if
cats weren’t bad enough, humans have invented all sorts of
torture devices for our winged friends. We’ve paved over their
nesting sites to make room for Olive Gardens and have broken up
their skyscapes with glass buildings and radio towers. Then came
the most infamous bird killer of all: the wind turbine. As you
can see in the chart below, these sky blenders top the list.

Top court declines Exxon's appeal in water pollution case. The
Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a ruling against Exxon
Mobil Corp that ordered the company to pay $105 million in
damages for polluting New York City's groundwater with a toxic
gasoline additive. The decision not to hear the case leaves
intact a July 2 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld
the judgment. Posted.

Fighting season for Brown, lawmakers. The governor and
legislative leaders are about to begin an intense period of
bartering on cap-and-trade, the bullet train and a rainy-day
fund. High-stakes bargaining is about to begin in California's
Capitol.  As the weather heats up in Sacramento every year, so
does the intensity. There'll be bartering over wonky programs and
policies that for most citizens would be snooze-inducing. Posted.

Apple offering free recycling of all used products. Apple is
offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to
power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable
energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online
services. The iPhone and iPad maker is detailing its efforts to
cultivate a greener Apple Inc. with an environmental section on
the company's website that debuted Monday. Posted.

Farm Briefs: Range camp, Run Your Tail Off, greenhouse gases. 
The application deadline for Range and Natural Resource camp has
been extended to April 28.  The camp is a week-long event that
immerses 24 students throughout California, ages 15-18, in
science and topics related to rangelands, forests and riparian
areas.  Posted. 


Column: Climate is right for clean energy firms. If you're
ecology minded, the news hasn't been all that green of late, with
ice caps and glaciers melting and storms becoming more
destructive. But there is a huge silver lining for long-term
investors in environmentally-friendly companies and technologies.
To stave off a nearly 5-degree global temperature increase by
2100, nations must cut their global greenhouse emissions by up to
70 percent by the middle of this century…Posted.

Running Out of Time.  Next year, in December, delegates from more
than 190 nations will gather in Paris to take another shot at
completing a new global treaty on climate change. This will be
the 21st Conference of the Parties under United Nations auspices
since the first summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. For the
most part, these meetings have been exercises in futility,
producing just one treaty — in Kyoto in 1997 — that asked little
of the big developing countries and was never ratified by the
United States Senate. Posted.

Does fracking cause quakes? California needs to know.  A swarm of
Ohio quakes that geologists say may be linked to fracking
illustrate the risks in California. Many concerns have been
raised about hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — but
the one scientists know the least about is the potential for
earthquakes. Until recently, evidence linking earthquakes to
fracking …Posted.

Dan Morain: California could be in the running for Tesla’s
battery factory, after all. Elon Musk probably would be a
billionaire even if California didn’t exist. But this state’s
green laws and subsidies certainly helped turn Musk golden. Musk
founded Tesla Motors Inc., the sleek all-electric cars that sell
for $70,000 or more, and SpaceX, which has the lucrative NASA
contract to ferry cargo to the International Space Station. He’s
also chairman of SolarCity, the largest installer of rooftop
solar panels. Posted.

Editorial: Keystone XL pipeline needs green light, not stop
signs. As the comic strip character Charlie Brown might say,
"Good grief!" Last week President Obama decided yet again to
delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Technically, the
latest delay is tied to developments in Nebraska, which the
northern leg of the pipeline must pass through. Posted.

Positive actions to celebrate Earth Day. The following editorial
appeared in the Kansas City Star on Monday, April 21: As the
nation celebrates Earth Day on Tuesday, it's an excellent
opportunity to highlight the positive initiatives taken in the
past to protect the air, water and land we all depend on for
life. The special day, which began April 22, 1970, has spurred
much progress. U.S. laws have cleaned up rivers and the air,
especially in large cities. Posted.

Learn about climate change at Earth Day forum. A public meeting
dealing with climate change will be held Tuesday night in
Atascadero. The free forum will be held in the Fellowship Hall of
the Community Church beginning at 7 p.m. One of the issues to be
answered, at least for me, will be the difference between weather
change and climate change. I tend to use the terms
interchangeably, as if they are the same. Posted.

Voices: On Earth Day 2014, a climate change challenge. Two other
reporters and I wrote those words about the first Earth Day in
1970 for the Elizabeth, N.J., Daily Journal. At the time,
concerns about the environment were only beginning to enter the
mainstream, prompted by worsening smog in our major cities and
pictures of Ohio's Cuyahoga River on fire in 1969. Congress had
created the Environmental Protection Agency just months before
that first Earth Day, but the agency had not yet opened for
business. Posted.


Climate Change: Who Will Lead? With the latest warnings delivered
by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the
past few weeks, no world leader will ever be able to claim that
they were caught off-guard by climate change. As former heads of
state ourselves, we've experienced global crises from within the
corridors of power. Some may take the world by surprise, but
sometimes the warning signals are such that there is no excuse
not to act. Posted.

Earth Day: Promoting Urban Revitalization and Green Cities. 
April 22nd is Earth Day--an annual celebration of the planet's
biodiversity and an important opportunity to highlight solutions
to some of the world's most pressing environmental and social
challenges. Through more than one billion pledges to buy local
produce, start composting, eat less meat, reduce energy
consumption, and many other actions…Posted.

Fueling the Future: How California Businesses are Advancing Earth
Day’s Vision. To mark the 44th Earth Day, EDF has released a new
Green Roads map celebrating clean transportation, an economic
sector that is helping the Earth by producing groundbreaking and
sustainable technologies. We Californians like to drive, but
unfortunately our dependence on petroleum is harming our state,
giving us the nation’s most polluted cities and the state’s
biggest contributor to climate pollution (see the graph). Posted.

“Climate change war” is not a metaphor. The U.N.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just completed a
series of landmark reports that chronicle an update to the
current state of consensus science on climate change. In a
sentence, here’s what they found: On our current path, climate
change could pose an irreversible, existential risk to
civilization as we know it – but we can still fix it if we decide
to work together. Posted.

Honda Concept B Hybrid production version coming to China in
2016.  At the Beijing Motor Show this weekend, Honda took the
wraps off of the Concept B Hybrid, a "new-value concept" that
will apparently do its level best to get the Japanese automaker
back into the entry-level gas-electric game. Powertrain details
for the five-door concept hatch are noticeably absent, so we are
assuming that what Honda wants with this concept is for us to
focus on the looks. Posted.

Lexus NX debuts in turbocharged and hybrid guise.  Lexus showed
off its polarizing new NX at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show,
trotting out both the turbocharged 200t model (Lexus' first
production turbo) alongside the hybrid-powered 300h. We still
don't know a great deal about the turbocharged model, aside from
the fact that the engine underhood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder,
although we're hoping to get details sooner rather than later.

DOE offers $10M to advance biomass-to-biofuel efforts.  The
Department of Energy has made it clear that it favors a
technology-somewhat-neutral, "all-of-the-above" strategy for
developing energy alternatives for the US, as the new Strategic
Plan 2014-2018 (PDF) states. What this looks like in the real
world is another $10 million for "Technologies to Produce
Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass." Posted.

Montreal sets new EV gathering record: 431.  The Nissan Leaf
models are the easiest to spot, since they dominate the
foreground. But Tesla Model S EVs and Chevy Volt plug-in hybrids
are represented as well. Look a little closer and you'll see a
Ford Focus Electric and Mistubishi i EVs. And is that a Cadillac
ELR we see? Yes, it's kind of fun to take a good look at the
picture above which was released by the Electric Vehicle
Association of Quebec (AVEC) showing off the group's successful
431-EV gathering…Posted.

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

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