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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 8, 2014

Posted: 08 May 2014 12:39:37
ARB Newsclips for May 8, 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.


Elections not stopping Obama pollution rules.  Within weeks,
President Barack Obama's administration is set to unveil
unprecedented emissions limits on power plants across the U.S.,
much to the dismay of many Democratic candidates who are running
for election in energy-producing states. Fearful of a political
backlash, they wish their fellow Democrat in the White House
would hold off until after the voting.  Posted. 

Other related articles:


Cities in India Among the Most Polluted, W.H.O. Says.  An
international effort to quantify air pollution levels has found
that New Delhi’s air is the most polluted in the world, followed
by that of three other cities in India’s central Hindi belt. The
findings by the World Health Organization confirm those of other
experts, who for years have been puzzled about why so much
international attention has focused on Beijing’s troubled air
quality rather than on what some say are equal or worse problems
in South Asia. Posted.

India rejects WHO report saying New Delhi has worst air
pollution. India on Thursday rejected the findings of a World
Health Organisation (WHO) study that ranks New Delhi as the
world's worst city for air pollution, with government scientists
saying the U.N. agency had overestimated levels in the capital. A
WHO study of 1,600 cities released on Wednesday found air
pollution had worsened since a smaller survey in 2011, putting
city-dwellers at a higher risk of cancer, stroke and heart
disease. Posted.

Report shows Los Gatos is reducing air pollution. Had the
sneezies this spring? You might want to invest in Kleenex because
a report released earlier this week says pollen season is
becoming longer due to climate change. The 840-page National
Climate Assessment says climate change "threatens human health
and well-being in many ways," including smoky air from wildfires
and smoggy air from other types of pollution. Posted.

California park officials, air board seek OK for deal to cut dune
dust.  California recreation and air-quality officials have asked
a court to sign off on a deal seeking to reduce the amount of
dust that emanates from a stretch of sand dunes and blows into
housing tracts atop a nearby mesa in San Luis Obispo County.  The
agreement comes after months of sometimes acerbic negotiations,
and has economic and environmental implications that stretch
throughout the Central Coast.  Posted. 

Bruce McPherson exploring San Lorenzo Valley air pollution
solutions.  County Supervisor Bruce McPherson, who represents the
San Lorenzo Valley, said Wednesday he is exploring solutions to
reduce winter air pollution for Valley residents.  In the burn
season that ended in April, there were 37 days when San Lorenzo
Valley air did not meet the federal Clean Air Act standard, 19
last year, when storms blew smoke away, and 42 the year before,
according to the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control
District.  Posted. 


Miami Finds Itself Ankle-Deep in Climate Change Debate.  The
sunny-day flooding was happening again. During high tide one
recent afternoon, Eliseo Toussaint looked out the window of his
Alton Road laundromat and watched bottle-green saltwater seep
from the gutters, fill the street and block the entrance to his
front door. “This never used to happen,” Mr. Toussaint said.
“I’ve owned this place eight years, and now it’s all the time.”

Obama Climate-Change Push Faces a Lukewarm Public.  The White
House rollout of a climate-change report this week was aimed
squarely at showing the public that inaction affects people
directly, covering everything from extreme weather to seasonal
allergies. But left unanswered is the question of whether a broad
public-relations push—which features President Barack Obama
chatting with TV meteorologists including NBC's Al Roker—will be
enough to make Americans care. Posted.


ARB announces fines for violations of diesel truck and bus fleet
rules.  The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced
yesterday that it had issued fines totaling more than $2 million
to operators of heavy duty diesel truck and bus fleets across the
state in 2013 . The fines were levied against a total of 256
different companies, including several small businesses.  Posted.

Funding boost for long haulers? CARB presents expanded Moyer
funding.  For 15 years, most long-haul trucking operations
haven’t qualified for grant money to pay for diesel emissions
upgrades through the California Air Resources Board.  Times may
be changing.  According to a proposal by California Air Resources
Board staff, CARB is considering lowering the required operating
time in California for trucking companies from 75 percent to 51
percent. While trucks based on the other side of the country may
not qualify, the move could make California and other West
Coast-based trucks eligible.  Posted. 


High-speed board OKs next 114-mile section between Bakersfield &
Fresno.  The board that oversees California’s $68 billion
high-speed rail project voted Wednesday to unanimously adopt a
planned route for its second and most substantial section to
date, a 114-mile stretch between Fresno and Bakersfield.  Meeting
in Fresno, the board voted 7-0 to approve a 20,000-page
environmental planning document, sending the next phase of the
project on for federal review.  Posted. 

Estimated cost of key bullet train segment rises $1 billion.  The
estimated cost of building a key Central Valley segment of the
California bullet train has increased by nearly $1 billion from
the original estimate, based on figures in an environmental
impact statement approved by the rail agency Wednesday.  Posted. 


Stanford Divesting Coal Helps Students Seeking Domino Effect. 
Stanford University’s decision this week to end investments in
coal companies may bolster student-led campaigns to stop climate
change that have spread to hundreds of U.S. college campuses.
Stanford, which has an $18.7 billion endowment, is the wealthiest
and most high-profile university to embrace the argument that
universities should divest from fossil-fuel companies
contributing to global warming. Posted.

Poll: Californians want oil-extraction tax, county control over
fracking.  California seems to be moving toward imposing a tax on
oil pumped from the ground, either through a legislative bill or
a ballot measure, a new poll suggests. The poll -- commissioned
by NextGen Climate Action, the group formed by billionaire hedge
fund manager Tom Steyer of San Francisco -- found most likely
voters in the state want oil companies to pay such a tax. Posted.


Cal State Los Angeles joins the Hydrogen Highway.  Before he
helped christen a new hydrogen-fueling station at Cal State L.A.
on Wednesday, Richard Corey had a message for Detroit automakers:
“Develop and bring zero-emission vehicles to California — from
battery electric to fuel-cell vehicles.”  “Bring ‘em on!”
exclaimed the executive officer of one of the most powerful
environmental agencies in the world, the California Air Resources
Board.  Posted. 


Palo Alto looks to supercharge electric vehicle charger
ordinance.  A Palo Alto law that requires new single-family homes
to come rigged for electric vehicle chargers could soon be
extended to other developments. On Tuesday, the City Council's
Policy and Services Committee is slated to review a similar
ordinance that would apply to new hotel, multifamily and
commercial developments. Posted.


The Greening of Business Travel Gains Momentum. On a single
afternoon recently, Rob Bernard had a meeting in Kenya, one in
Ireland and one in Finland — three countries and two continents
in less than 24 hours. But he never left his desk in the United
States. “I’m able to do that digitally now, instead of
physically, and that saves massive amounts of time, massive
amounts of carbon emissions and makes me far more productive
because I’m not trying to figure out all these time zones with my
body clock,” said Mr. Bernard, the chief environmental strategist
at Microsoft. Posted.


Climate Disruptions, Close to Home.  Apart from the
disinformation sowed by politicians content with the status quo,
the main reason neither Congress nor much of the American public
cares about global warming is that, as problems go, it seems
remote. Anyone who reads the latest National Climate Assessment,
released on Tuesday, cannot possibly think that way any longer.
The report is exhaustive and totally alarming. Posted.

How California should budget for climate change.  A new federal
report on climate change released by the White House does not
focus, as previous reports did, on predictions about the future
but instead offers stark descriptions of the here and now:
shorter winters, intensified storms, deepening drought, more
frequent heat waves. Growing seasons are changing and Western
pine forests are falling to beetle infestations.  Posted. 


Rising carbon dioxide levels affect nutrients in crops, study
says.  The increased concentration of carbon dioxide that comes
with climate change could mean some basic food plants will carry
lower concentrations of iron and zinc – and deficiencies of those
nutrients are already a “substantial global public health
problem,” scientists reported Wednesday.  Posted. 

Types of Carbon Pricing, Part 2 of 3.  Carbon taxes define a set
price for all emissions from a jurisdiction and a particular
time.  For jurisdictions accounting for a small proportion of
emissions and looking at limited time horizons – for example
British Columbia over the next 5 years – variations in emissions
will have little effect on the stock of GHGs in the atmosphere,
so there is little likelihood that any incremental emissions will
lead to a dangerous threshold being reached.  Posted. 

U.K. To Invest $850 Million By 2020 To Promote Electric Vehicles.
 Despite hefty incentives, electric vehicle sales have remained
stagnant in the United Kingdom.  While sales doubled in 2013
compared to 2012, matching the global trend, just 2,500 vehicles
found homes last year. That's less than the Nissan Leaf sells in
some single months in the U.S.  The UK government has this week
promised to invest £500 million--almost $850 million--to boost
the 'ultra low emission vehicle' industry.  Posted. 

Natural Gas May Be a Lot Worse for Climate Than Suspected. 
Natural gas and oil fields may well be releasing far more
climate-killing methane into the atmosphere than previously
thought, undermining natural gas' usefulness as an alternative
"bridge fuel" for society to use to wean itself off coal in
fighting climate change.  That's according to a new federally
funded study to be published in the Journal of Geophysical
Research: Atmospheres.  Posted. 

Next-gen Nissan Leaf will look more mainstream, have more range. 
The next-generation Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle will
look better and go farther on a single charge, company executives
tell Automotive News. How much better and how much farther
remains to be seen, as does the timing on when the new version
will be available to the public. Nissan executive Andy Palmer,
speaking recently at the Beijing Motor Show, implied that an
electric vehicle would need to have a 185-mile single-charge
range to be competitive with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, once
those arrive in larger numbers. Posted.

Mercedes testing C-Class plug-in hybrid modes in Germany. Testing
appears to be underway for what would be the first Mercedes-Benz
C-Class with a hybrid powertrain. We can see a pair of the
prototypes undergoing testing in Germany, with one, a C-Class
Wagon, still heavily clad in camouflage and featuring a more
noticeable outlet on the passenger side of its rear bumper.
There's also a more production-looking sedan, which features a
not-so-discreet flap over its rear-bumper outlet. Posted.

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

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