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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 1, 2014. Posted: 01 May 2014 14:58:25
ARB Newsclips for May 1, 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. CAP AND TRADE Bill advances to add cost of cap and trade to gas pump disclosures. Information about how much California's cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions increases gasoline prices would be posted at fuel pumps throughout the state under legislation that has cleared its first committee hurdle. With an 8-5 vote, the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection on Tuesday approved A.B. 2656 and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998805/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION Court orders EPA to adopt new air pollution rule. A federal court has given the Obama administration a deadline for updating federal standards for smog that are more than a year overdue. U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in San Francisco on Tuesday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue ground-level ozone standards by Dec. 1 and a final rule by Oct. 1, 2015. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EPA_SMOG_STANDARD?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/court-orders-epa-to-adopt-new-air-pollution-rule/2014/04/30/9119657a-d097-11e3-a714-be7e7f142085_story.html Air quality gains could be eroded by drought, climate change. Almost 15 years of steady improvement to the air breathed by Southern Californians is being threatened by a statewide drought causing the release of lung-damaging particles from dry riverbeds, home fireplace chimneys and local wildfires, according to a national health organization. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/article/20140430/NEWS/140439999 CLIMATE CHANGE Russia Says 2C Climate Goal Shouldn’t Dictate Carbon Pledges. Russia said the United Nations-endorsed goal of keeping global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) shouldn’t dictate countries’ emission limits in a new climate treaty. The “only reasonable” method is for countries to make emissions pledges according to economic development, natural and geographic characteristics…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-01/russia-says-2c-climate-goal-shouldn-t-dictate-emission-pledges.html High carbon dioxide levels set a record. There's striking new evidence that Earth's atmosphere is increasingly saturated with carbon dioxide, the major gas from fossil fuel emissions that trigger climate change. Measurements of the climate-changing gas by instruments high on a mountain in Hawaii and around the world show that global emissions from burning fossil fuels rose last month to levels higher…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/High-CO-2-levels-set-a-record-5443592.php Climate change: Pacific Ocean acidity dissolving shells of key species. In a troubling new discovery, scientists studying ocean waters off California, Oregon and Washington have found the first evidence that increasing acidity in the ocean is dissolving the shells of a key species of tiny sea creature at the base of the food chain. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25664175/climate-change-pacific-ocean-acidity-dissolving-shells-key?source=email NASA carbon-counting satellite arrives at launch site. A NASA spacecraft designed to make precise measurements of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere is at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to begin final preparations for launch. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 arrived Wednesday at its launch site on California's central coast after traveling from Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, Ariz. Posted. http://phys.org/news/2014-05-nasa-carbon-counting-satellite-site.html#jCp DROUGHT Water cutbacks looming for California farmers, water agencies. California water officials are on the verge of making an unusually drastic pronouncement in response to the ongoing drought: Ordering hundreds of water agencies, farmers and other property owners to stop diverting water from rivers in which they have longstanding water rights. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/30/6368291/water-cutbacks-looming-for-california.html#storylink=cpy EBMUD's new emergency water supply arrives from Sacramento River. An emergency supply of Sacramento River water arrived at the East Bay's largest water district Wednesday, culminating a mission sidetracked for decades by a regional water war. East Bay Municipal Utility District leaders welcomed the water gushing into San Pablo Reservoir as drought insurance for 1.3 million people in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25670232/ebmuds-new-emergency-water-supply-arrives-from-sacramento?source=rss Farmers Forecasting Less Rice, Higher Prices Because of Drought. California supplies virtually all of the nation’s sushi rice and half of it is exported. But of all the food crops in the state, rice is likely to be affected by the drought the most. The mere speculation of losses is already driving up prices. At Montna Farms near Yuba City, huge drag scrapers level a rice field in preparation for planting. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/04/30/farmers-forecasting-less-rice,-higher-prices-because-of-drought/ South Australians warned they may have to carry cost of losing their homes to rising sea levels. Around 60,000 homes in South Australia are considered at risk of a predicted sea level rise of half a metre over the next 50 years. Eyre Peninsula homeowners have been warned to accept that their properties may have an “expiry date” if relocation or the construction of sea walls is too expensive in the face of sea levels raised by melting ice caps. Posted. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/south-australians-warned-they-may-have-to-carry-cost-of-losing-their-homes-to-rising-sea-levels/story-fnii5yv5-1226901369729 DIESEL EMISSIONS CARB meeting to tackle efficiency in freight movement. Have ideas to make goods movement more efficient? The California Air Resources Board wants you to share your opinion. CARB is hosting a public forum “for the development of the Sustainable Freight Strategy,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 5 at the Cal/EPA Headquarters Building in Sacramento, Calif. For those unable to attend in person, the meeting will be webcast here. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=26953#.U2J0rYUvDfk EPA offers new round of grants for clean diesel projects. U.S. EPA announced the offer today of $9 million in grants for clean diesel projects aimed at cutting emissions from diesel engines, such as those found in trucks, locomotives and buses. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program targets projects considered cost-effective ways to improve fleets in areas with dirty air. EPA expects to provide cash for 10 to 20 projects under this funding round. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059998824/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Enterprise Products Profit Rises on Winter Fuel Demand. Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD), the biggest U.S. pipeline operator by market value, said first-quarter profit rose 6 percent as a frigid winter and surging energy supplies boosted demand for transporting fuel. Net income climbed to $798.8 million, or 85 cents a share, in the first quarter, from $753.5 million, or 83 cents, a year earlier…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-01/enterprise-products-profit-rises-on-winter-fuel-demand.html The bad side of the biofuel boom. There's biofuel in them thar prairies! You've got it, Yosemite Sam. A biofuel rush has officially swept the U.S., with farmers planting corn, soy, sugarcane and other plants for use in fuel. Their crops help meet the EPA requirement that almost all gasoline sold in the U.S. contain at least 10 percent corn ethanol, the most common biofuel. As early as the 1970s, scientists touted biofuels as a clean, renewable energy source. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/01/ozy-bad-side-biofuel/8558385/ Switch from gasoline to ethanol linked to higher ozone levels. Scientists have made a surprising discovery about ethanol: The more it was used by drivers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the more ozone they measured in the local environment. The finding, reported this week in Nature Geoscience, is contrary to other studies predicting that increased use of ethanol would cut levels of ground-level ozone, or smog. Posted. http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/la-sci-sn-ethanol-ozone-levels-brazil-20140501,0,6484730.story Oil sands heavyweights see new path to profit in rising carbon emissions. It’s a bold proposition: Don’t just capture carbon and bury it deep underground, but use it as feedstock to spur large-scale production of chemicals, ski boots and fishing rods, concrete products and pavements, among other applications. Raw oil exports offer big bang-for-the-buck for Canada’s economy, report says. Posted. http://business.financialpost.com/2014/05/01/carbon-emissions-assets/?__lsa=9016-68da Green group accuses Calif. of 'blatant violations of fracking disclosure rules' California has repeatedly failed to disclose information on unconventional oil drilling as required by state law, an environmental group said yesterday in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown (D). The state's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, known as DOGGR, hasn't posted legally mandated reports for 47 fracking operations…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059998808/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLE Green Batteries’ Graphite Adds to China Pollution. As more environmentally conscious Americans do their bit to help clear the air by paying up for an eco-friendly Prius or a sporty Tesla, a damaging form of polluted rain is falling in China. The link is graphite, a vital component in batteries used in Tesla’s Model S, Toyota’s plug-in Prius and other electric cars, as well as in electronic gadgets including iPhones. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-14/teslas-in-california-help-bring-dirty-rain-to-china.html California Fines Ford $3 Million Over Defective Pollution Control Equipment. Ford is being fined $2.96 million because the pollution control system on 2011-12 Fiestas sold in California are not working properly, the state’s Air Resources Board said late Wednesday. “It is one of our larger fines,” Stanley Young, a spokesman for the agency, said in an interview. The board enforces California’s particularly strict air pollution standards. The problem affects almost 16,500 vehicles, he said. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/02/automobiles/california-fines-ford-3-million-over-defective-pollution-control-equipment.html?_r=0 Success puts pressure on clean-car rebates. The state rebate for low- or zero-emission vehicles has been extended into the summer months, after funding for the popular payout became nearly exhausted, the California Air Resources Board has announced. The rebates offset the price of a new vehicle by as much as $2,500, encouraging consumers to buy into new technologies that can reduce smog…Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/apr/29/clean-car-rebates-reconsidered/ Tesla Motors To Open Operations In San Joaquin County. Tesla Motors has started work on building modifications at a plant in Lathrop in San Joaquin County. The electric automaker is already seeking job applicants for the new facility. Tesla says it is expanding its infrastructure and has signed leases for more than 625,000 square feet of California real estate. The Lathrop plant is located along Interstate 5. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/04/30/tesla-motors-to-open-operations-in-san-joaquin-county/ GREEN ENERGY Offshore Wind to Grow 6-Fold, Aiding Suzlon, Vestas: HSBC. Offshore wind power is set to grow six-fold by 2020, benefiting turbine makers Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL), Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, HSBC Holdings Plc said. Total global installed capacity of wind turbines at sea is forecast to rise to 43 gigawatts by 2020 from 6.5 gigawatts at the end of 2013, the bank said today in an e-mailed report. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-01/offshore-wind-to-grow-6-fold-aiding-suzlon-vestas-hsbc.html A Ghost Town, Going Green. Gerald Freeman leaned on a walking stick on a dusty hill near the four rows of his solar arrays, talking about it like an apostle on a mission. Down the road are the eucalyptus trees he planted as a potential source of biomass. And not far away, he said, he hopes to install a hydrogen system, another source of renewable fuel. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/business/energy-environment/a-ghost-town-going-green.html Mayor Lee proposes gutting CleanPowerSF energy program. Mayor Ed Lee on Wednesday proposed raiding $19.5 million that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors set aside to fund a renewable energy program, his administration saying the money could be better spent on additional streetlights and subsidies for solar panels on homes and businesses. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Mayor-Lee-proposes-gutting-CleanPowerSF-energy-5443302.php Wind-powered S.F. Bay ferry commute tests promising. It's a twist on last year's America's Cup that may bring a breakthrough in commuting. Take a sleek, carbon-fiber sail that can propel a racing yacht to speeds of 55 mph, combine it with the winds of San Francisco Bay, and make a hefty ferryboat perform like Team Oracle. That's the thinking behind a $355,000 grant awarded by pollution regulators to a group…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Wind-powered-S-F-Bay-ferry-commute-tests-5443767.php Cleantech Sector Is Growing Fast, Yet Cost Drops Lead To Renewable Energy Investment Decline. Investors worldwide spent less on renewable energy and related technologies—such as smart meters, electric vehicles, and storage—last year than in previous years. Global investments in renewable energy fell to $214 billion, down 14 percent from 2012. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/30/renewable-energy-investments-decline-reality-clean-tech-sector-growing/#WjvtlDTDz7UV8lMY.99 Amendment to energy bill aims to boost tribal renewable energy ventures. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee met yesterday to hear testimony from tribal members and federal officials on potential amendments to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that would boost alternative energy development on reservations and revamp Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs), which have been a resounding failure since they became available in 2008. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998800/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY U.S. has potential to double its capacity -- DOE report. A new report from the Department of Energy concludes that the United States has the potential to almost double its hydropower generation capacity and replace hundreds of millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The assessment of U.S. hydropower capability was prepared earlier this week and demonstrates how the country can continue to diversify its energy supply…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998798/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Democrats offer green bank bills. House Democrats are attempting to revive an approach to mobilizing private financing for clean energy projects by establishing a national green bank. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, led seven colleagues in introducing the bill, H.R. 4522. A similar idea was included in the greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059998843/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Scalia gets his facts wrong in EPA dissent. Supreme Court opinions are rarely susceptible to the kind of fact-checking that reporters usually employ on politics. But Justice Antonin Scalia's hearty dissent in an environmental case this week contained such a glaring error of fact — misreporting an earlier case in which Scalia himself wrote the majority opinion — that the justice changed the opinion. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Scalia-gets-his-facts-wrong-in-EPA-dissent-5444217.php http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/scalia-gets-his-facts-wrong-in-epa-dissent-106226.html Etiwanda fire drives 1,600 from their Southern California homes. Driven by fierce winds, a wildfire continued to burn into the mountains above Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday night after scorching more than 1,000 acres, forcing more than 1,600 from their homes. By evening, the Etiwanda Fire was zero-percent contained, and investigators still had not determined the cause of the blaze…Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/News/ci_25672888/Etiwanda-fire-drives-1600-from-their OPINIONS The Supreme Court makes the right call on a Clean Air Act provision. THE SUPREME Court considered two cases this term in which somewhat unclear wording in the federal Clean Air Act left sensible environmental rules open to challenge. On Tuesday, in the first case, the justices rightly sided with the sensible rules. In Environmental Protection Agency v. EME Homer City Generation L.P., a 6-to-2 majority upheld EPA rules designed to stop groups of states from contributing harmful ozone…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-supreme-court-makes-the-right-call-on-a-clean-air-act-challenge/2014/04/30/25eab558-cfe1-11e3-b812-0c92213941f4_story.html Mercury News editorial: Court ruling provides EPA with legal backing to fight climate change. The Supreme Court decision handing the Environmental Protection Agency an important clean air victory Tuesday was refreshing in every sense of the word. The court's 6-2 ruling upheld the EPA's authority to limit power-plant emissions that blow across state lines. It's a crucial step forward for President Barack Obama's effort to improve the air quality of states downwind from polluting coal-fired plants. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/News/ci_25669076/Mercury-News-editorial:-Court-ruling-provides Why Doesn't Anyone Know How to Talk About Global Warming? The gap between science and public understanding prevents action on climate change—but social scientists think they can fix that. When Vox.com launched last month, the site's editor-in-chief, Ezra Klein, had a sobering message for us all: more information doesn't lead to better understanding. Posted. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/talking-about-climate-change-how-weve-failed-and-how-we-can-fix-it-180951070/#i5TDm973ivBiABms.99 BLOGS Climate Change and Children: A Call for Action. The UN recently issued their latest report on climate change, and the findings are grim, suggesting that "climate change risks destabilizing human society". US Secretary of State John Kerry commented: "Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtenay-cabot-venton/climate-change-and-childr_b_5226952.html What Are The 10 Most Polluted U.S. Cities? California may be a haven for plug-in electric cars, but it's also home to many of the most-polluted cities in the U.S. Of the 10 most polluted U.S. cities in the American Lung Association's State of the Air report (via Mashable), seven are in the Golden State. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1091816_what-are-the-10-most-polluted-u-s-cities Arizona’s enormous solar plant is up and running. The Agua Caliente Solar Photovoltaic Facility might just be the happiest farm in the world. Instead of pigs and cows enjoying a free-range frolic before their inevitable demise, it’s sunbeams being harvested after skittering across 2,400 acres of solar panels. Posted. http://grist.org/list/arizonas-enormous-solar-plant-is-up-and-running/ Jerry Brown is his own man. Jerry Brown is his own man. “There are some people making fun of everything,” the California governor told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Wednesday. “So that's just the way life is.” In this case, he was responding to a question about his struggle to get a high-speed rail plan off the ground. Posted. http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/01/california-governor-jerry-brown-standing-up-to-the-critics/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.