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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 5, 2014.

Posted: 05 May 2014 15:44:31
ARB Newsclips for May 5, 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.


Beijing fines 652 firms for pollution in four months. 
Authorities in the Chinese capital fined 652 industrial
facilities for breaching environmental regulations in the first
four months of the year as it stepped up efforts to fight
pollution. Beijing's air quality has come under intense scrutiny
since January last year, when heavy smog settled over the city to
the alarm of its residents. Posted.

Smog-Standard Ruling Stirs Debate.Judge's Ruling Reanimates
Battle Between Businesses and Environmental Groups.  A federal
judge's ruling last week directing the Obama administration to
issue a long-delayed smog standard is reanimating a battle
between businesses and environmental groups that has been dormant
for three years. The more stringent federal standard for
ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog, was delayed by
President Barack Obama in 2011. Posted.

Sriracha sauce becomes a hot political issue with bipartisan
backing.  California’s latest political darling comes in a clear
plastic bottle with a green top and tastes good on eggs. Sriracha
hot sauce has won the eager endorsement of politicians from both
sides of the aisle in recent weeks as the manufacturer has talked
about leaving Irwindale amid a regulatory battle over whether the
plant sends a spicy smell into nearby neighborhoods. Posted.

Online environmental tool places Stanislaus and Merced counties
among the worst areas in California. The latest rankings of
neighborhood exposure to pollution continue to place much of
Stanislaus and Merced counties at the bad end of the spectrum in
California. That’s good if you’re looking for state money to help
address longstanding problems such as unemployment, dirty water,
asthma and lack of bus stops. Posted. 

Supreme Court's ruling expands air pollution control efforts, say
Stanford scholars. Stanford experts analyze the recent U.S.
Supreme Court ruling that states must comply with regulations
developed by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce
coal-burning pollutants that float to downwind states. The U.S.
Supreme Court has given the Environmental Protection Agency more
power to establish and enforce air pollution standards for coal
power plants. Posted.

Ozone levels will rise dramatically as climate warms – study. As
the climate continues to warm and temperatures rise,
concentrations of lung-irritating ground-level ozone could
significantly increase over the next four decades, according to a
new federal study. The study led by the Boulder, Colo.-based
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) forecasts this
spike in ozone pollution levels by 2050 across the continental
United States if current emissions of ozone-forming pollutants
persist. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999012/print BY


Final fed climate report will present dire picture. The Obama
administration is more certain than ever that global warming is
changing Americans' daily lives and will worsen - conclusions
that scientists will detail in a massive federal report to be
released Tuesday. Once people thought global warming was more in
the future and more of an issue in other parts of the


UN chief calls for greater action on climate. The United Nations
secretary-general on Sunday urged world policymakers to do more
to address the threat of climate change as negotiators attempt to
forge a new global warming pact next year. Speaking to hundreds
of international delegates at the start of a climate gathering in
Abu Dhabi, Ban Ki-moon warned that time is running out to reduce
harmful emissions…Posted.


East Antarctica more at risk than thought to long-term thaw:
study. Part of East Antarctica is more vulnerable than expected
to a thaw that could trigger an unstoppable slide of ice into the
ocean and raise world sea levels for thousands of years, a study
showed on Sunday. The Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, stretching
more than 1,000 km (600 miles) inland, has enough ice to raise
sea levels by 3 to 4 meters…Posted.

Ocean data points to strong El Nino: climate scientist.  A spike
in Pacific Ocean sea temperatures and the rapid movement of warm
water eastwards have increased concerns that an El Nino weather
pattern this year could be one of the strongest in several
decades, an Australian climate scientist said. El Nino - a
warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - affects wind
patterns and can trigger both floods and drought in different
parts of the globe, curbing food supply. Posted.

Investors in Coal-Burning Plants Brush Off Supreme Court Decision
on EPA Air Rules. Investors in coal-burning utilities are
brushing off a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court this week that
gave federal regulators more power to control air pollution.
Time, they say, is on their side. It will be years more before
utilities feel any pain from new rules as companies, lawyers and
regulators wrangle over how to apply restrictions…Posted.

Scientists race to develop farm animals to survive climate
change. When a team of researchers from the University of
Delaware traveled to Africa two years ago to search for exemplary
chickens, they weren't looking for plump thighs or delicious
They were seeking out birds that could survive a hotter planet.

Remaining carbon capture projects in Europe continue with
government support and tempered targets. Bruised from the
collapse of the carbon price under the E.U. Emissions Trading
System, surviving European carbon capture and sequestration
projects are moving forward, albeit with reduced ambitions.
Earlier this year, a pilot carbon capture initiative in Norway
began scrubbing carbon dioxide from a nearby oil refinery and
power plant…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998981/print BY

Warming influence from human-emitted gases continues to rise –
NOAA. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's annual
index of greenhouse gases continues to tick upward, with a 1.5
percent increase from 2012 to 2013, the agency reported Friday.
The index is meant to provide a straightforward way to understand
the warming influence of greenhouse gases and how that changes
year to year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998960/print BY


California city looks to sea for water in drought. This seaside
city thought it had the perfect solution the last time California
withered in a severe drought more than two decades ago: Tap the
ocean to turn salty seawater to fresh water. The $34 million
desalination plant was fired up for only three months and
mothballed after a miracle soaking of rain. As the state again
grapples with historic dryness…Posted.


Cal Fire declares burn ban in Bay Area counties. State fire
officials have announced a ban on outdoor burning in several Bay
Area counties because of dry conditions and a jump in fires
statewide. The ban went into effect Thursday and prohibits open
burning in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa
Cruz, Monterey, San Benito counties and parts of Stanislaus and
San Joaquin counties, according to Cal Fire spokesman Officer
Daniel Berlant. Posted.

California drought: Tioga road in Yosemite opens on earliest date
since 1988. In the latest sign of California's persistent
drought, the Tioga Road, a historic route through Yosemite
National Park and the highest-elevation highway in the state,
opened Friday to motorists -- the earliest in more than two

Calls for groundwater regulation grow louder in parched Calif.
California's drought is increasing the political pressure to
bring the state's groundwater basins under regulation. The state
relies on groundwater supplies for up to 40 percent of its water
in a normal year. This year's drought conditions are pushing
groundwater to contribute as much as 65 percent, as farmers
facing surface water cutbacks turn to well water. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059999004/print BY

Drought in West, cold in East make a difficult spring for
America's farmers. The landscape across the United States to date
has led to a split experience among farmers, with some not able
to plant because of the cold and others unable to grow because of
the heat. Colder-than-normal soil temperatures in the Midwest,
heavy rainfall in the East, and lingering drought in California,
Texas and the Great Plains…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059998980/print BY


Costly upgrades still loom for local truckers. Even as California
air quality officials ease diesel engine regulations intended to
meet state emission standards, local trucker Michael Velez says
he’s still in the same place as five months ago.

High tech sail could one-day power ferry boats. San Francisco Bay
is being used to test a one-of-a-kind wind sail that could end up
powering ferry boats. The objective is to reduce fuel use and air
pollution.  The 40-foot sail is made of carbon fiber making it
light. The design is sleek to help propel any vessel. One day it
could be used on a ferry boat carrying hundreds of commuters. The
boats would use both wind and diesel. Posted.


Survey: US gas prices jump 3 cents per gallon. The average price
of a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. rose 3 cents, to
$3.72, during the past two weeks, marking the 12th straight week
of price hikes at the pump. That's according to a survey released
Sunday. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg says gas prices are
about to tumble, however, as crude oil and wholesale gasoline
prices have started falling due to…Posted.

US to build 2 gasoline reserves in Northeast. The federal
government offered New Yorkers smarting from Superstorm Sandy
some hope Friday that they won't see a repeat of chronic gasoline
shortages, announcing plans to create gas reserves to ease future
weather-related disruptions. The two reserves - one for the New
York City area and one in New England - will total 42 million
gallons gasoline and will be stored…Posted.


AP IMPACT: Deadly side effect to fracking boom. Booming
production of oil and natural gas has exacted a little-known
price on some of the nation's roads, contributing to a spike in
traffic fatalities in states where many streets and highways are
choked with large trucks and heavy drilling equipment. Posted.

Lobbying Surges for Keystone Pipeline Before Senate Vote.
Television ads sponsored by the oil industry’s main trade
association are being broadcast in five states to pressure
Democrats to back the Keystone XL pipeline, part of a flurry of
last-minute lobbying before a Senate vote as soon as this week.

Canada Finds China Option No Easy Answer to Keystone Snub.
Stephen Harper was in need of a new friend with a big appetite
for oil. The Americans just weren’t cutting it. It was February
2012, three months since President Barack Obama had phoned the
Canadian prime minister to say the Keystone XL pipeline designed
to carry vast volumes of Canadian crude to American markets would
be delayed. Posted.


Toyota Joins California Hydrogen Push in Station Funding. Toyota
Motor Corp. (7203) is funding a startup led by General Motors
Co.’s former marketing chief to speed up the opening of
hydrogen-fuel stations in California needed for zero-emission
cars. Toyota is backing FirstElement Fuel, led by Joel Ewanick,
with at least $7.2 million, according to letters filed with the
California Energy Commission…Posted.

Energy Commission will fund new hydrogen fueling stations in
California. California’s long-talked-about “Hydrogen Highway” has
received a major commitment to help it take shape. The
Sacramento-based California Energy Commission says it will invest
$46.6 million to accelerate the development of public hydrogen
fueling stations throughout California to promote a consumer
market for zero-emission fuel-cell vehicles... Posted.


High-speed rail agency poised to approve Fresno-Bakersfield
section. The California High-Speed Rail Authority board is poised
to forge ahead with approval of its Fresno-Bakersfield
bullet-train route when it meets Tuesday and Wednesday in Fresno.
A 20,000-page report detailing the potential effects of
construction and operation of the 114-mile segment will be up for
public comment for at least four hours…Posted.

Brown wants to raid Cap-and-Trade for HSR train. Will the
Legislature let him? Lots have been written lately about the use
of Cap-and-Trade dollars to fund the building of the high-speed
rail project. There are two problems first of all; there is a
huge capital gap and cap-and trade is merely a Band-Aid and it is
most unlikely it will fill that gap even for the first 300 miles
of construction. Governor Brown wants $250 million in this coming
year’s budget for the High-speed rail project. Posted.


COLUMN-Energy and climate as an optimisation problem: Kemp.
Uncertainty about the commitment of politicians and the public to
"stay the course" risks derailing Britain's plan to cut
greenhouse emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050. "Recent
statements from government ministers show that energy policy is
once again in flux," according to the UK Energy Research Centre
(UKERC). "Climate change mitigation is subject to increasing
trade-offs with other objectives within government," …Posted.

Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change. Western policies seem more
interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.
Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when
institutions in developed countries (including my own university)
turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say
their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like
Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use. Posted.

Toyota Escapes to Texas. Governor Jerry Brown's California
comeback tour was rudely interrupted this week by news that
Torrance-based Toyota is moving to Plano, Texas. The runaway car
maker shines a headlight on how the South is overtaking
California as a commercial and industrial power. In addition to
its sales headquarters, Toyota says it plans to move 3,000
professional jobs to the Dallas suburb to centralize operations
and improve efficiency. Posted.

Gardening for Climate Change.  This past winter was a tough one
in our backyard. Where we live, about a hundred miles inland from
the South Carolina coast, winter is normally a good time to make
changes, like the swath of turf I removed from our front yard
this year and replaced with perennial flowers and small tufts of
native grass. But what is normal now in the garden? Posted.

Get ready for a water war in the Valley. In the name of helping
endangered fish, the state takes 40 percent of the water flowing
down the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers and sends it to
the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving a third less for
irrigation. Farmers start pumping more groundwater for their
trees and vines. After a couple of droughts, there isn’t enough
groundwater left, and the trees and vines begin dying. Everyone
loses. Posted.

When air becomes a public health hazard. A new report from the
American Lung Association lists the cities that have the worst
air pollution in the U.S. Places in Southern California and the
Central Valley, including Los Angeles, Fresno, Visalia and
Modesto, top the list. But Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and even
Fairbanks are also offenders. Posted.


Keystone emissions amount to a fraction of what U.S. cows release
into the atmosphere. Frustrated with the Obama administration's
foot-dragging over a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, the
Senate this week is considering legislation that would approve
the pipeline by making an end-run around the White House. Since
we'll be hearing an awful lot about the issue this week, it's
worth reviewing exactly what is — and isn't — at stake here.

National Climate Assessment roll-out Tuesday: With proper
translation, rolling eyes not deserved. ‘Oh great, another
climate report!…’ Admit it, some of you are rolling your eyes and
saying this…. The National Climate Assessment (NCA) report , a
comprehensive review of climate change and impacts on the United
States, is being released Tuesday. This report, for Americans, is
a bit closer to home and should generate a buzz. But, will it?

Sierra snowpack a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ moment for Obama.
Satellite photos in February of the Sierra Nevada’s shrunken
snowpack brought home the urgency of climate change to President
Obama, according to a front-page story in Monday’s Washington
Post: “‘It was a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ moment,’ recalled
White House counselor John D. Podesta, one of two aides who
briefed the president that February day. Posted.

CA, MD up EV incentives; US Rep wants tax credit increased to
$10,000.  Advanced-powertrain vehicle advocates in California and
Maryland can rejoice over a chilled glass of Napa Valley's finest
white wine and a heaping plate of Baltimore's best crab cakes.
That's because both states will continue to make life a little
financially sweeter for plug-in vehicle drivers. It's a
short-term fix for California but potentially longer-term for
Maryland. Posted.

EPA's $9M clean diesel campaign could pay back $117M in health
benefits.  Diesel fumes are bad for people. But diesel power is
good for a lot of heavy-duty work. So, for now, one answer to
threading the needle of that little conundrum is to make diesel
engines as clean as possible. To that end, the US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $9 million worth of grant
funds from the DERA National Funding Assistance Program. Posted.

A Small Victory in the 'War on Coal' While the main action in
reducing air pollution and greenhouse gasses must be to focus on
developing renewable energy, the elimination of coal as a source
of energy remains an important environmental and economic goal.
Although it is incorrect to say that the Obama administration is
sponsoring a "war on coal," they should be. I recognize the
importance of coal to the economies in Appalachia, but we need to
begin the transition to a coal-free economy. Posted.

Climate change is clear and present danger, says landmark US
report. National Climate Assessment, to be launched at White
House on Tuesday, says effects of climate change are now being
felt. Climate change has moved from distant threat to present-day
danger and no American will be left unscathed, according to a
landmark report due to be unveiled on Tuesday. Posted.

8 Incredibly Efficient Cars That Drive Thousands Of Miles On Just
One Gallon--Designed By Kids In High School. If you're feeling
down about the state of the environment, there are few things
more heartening than to check out the winners of the annualShell
Eco-Marathon Americas. The competition challenges teams of
high-school and college students to build incredibly
energy-efficient vehicles that are powered by everything from
gasoline and fuel cells to electricity and solar power. Posted.

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

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