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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 28, 2014

Posted: 28 May 2014 14:00:31
ARB Newsclips for May 28, 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.


Power plant becomes a model for cleaner operation. A massive
coal-fired power plant in western Pennsylvania is turning from
one of the worst polluters in the country to a model for how such
a facility can clean up its act. Homer City Generating Station is
expected to make the transformation in a few years. When it does,
it will end four decades of nearly limitless pollution from two
of its units that had long escaped regulation. Posted.



A long road to clean up a dirty power plant. A timeline of the
legal battles to get Homer City Generating Station to clean up
its pollution: -June 2008: EPA files violation notice alleging
that beginning in 1988 Homer City made modifications without
installing pollution controls. Posted.

New Mexico biofuel plant catches fire.  A New Mexico biofuel
facility caught fire Tuesday, sending a giant column of black
smoke into the air and prompting authorities to briefly evacuate
an area that includes about 350 homes. A series of small
explosions was reported at the Rio Valley Biofuels plant near the
town of Anthony, but there was no immediate word of any

China to take 6 million older vehicles off roads. China's
government plans to take 6 million older, polluting vehicles off
the road this year in an effort to revive stalled progress toward
cleaning up smog-choked cities. The plan also calls for filling
stations in Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities to switch to
selling only the cleanest grades of gasoline and diesel,
according to a Cabinet statement issued Monday. Posted.

London’s Dirty Secret: Pollution Worse Than Beijing’s. London has
a dirty secret. Levels of the harmful air pollutant nitrogen
dioxide at a city-center monitoring station are the highest in
Europe. Concentrations are greater even than in Beijing, where
expatriates have dubbed the city’s smog the “airpocalypse.” It’s
the law of unintended consequences at work. European Union
efforts to fight climate change favored diesel fuel over gasoline
because it emits less carbon dioxide, or CO2. Posted.

EPA Defeats Groups’ Push to Toughen Rules on Acid Rain. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, in at least its sixth court
victory this year in air-quality cases, defeated a challenge by
environmental groups to its delay of new rules to combat acid
rain. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today accepted the
agency’s argument that drafting effective rules to curb the
airborne chemicals that cause acid rain involves “large

Damage Award in Texas Fracking Case Raises Stakes in Air Quality
Debate. Between February 2010 and July 2011, Lisa and Bob Parr
filed 13 complaints about air pollution from gas and oil
operations near their ranch in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they
had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality (TCEQ). They also experienced nausea,
nosebleeds, ringing ears and rashes. Posted.

Air pollution levels up in parts of Inland Empire.  Air pollution
levels will edge up into the “unhealthful for sensitive groups”
range in parts of Inland Empire and in the Coachella Valley
Tuesday, the AQMD warned today. Ozone levels will be at an
estimated index level of 111 in the San Bernardino Valley and
Coachella Valley, and an estimated 137 in the nearby San
Bernardino Mountains. Posted.

EPA power plant rule could lead to drastic cuts in traditional
air pollutants – study. A new study finds that allowing more
flexible compliance with U.S. EPA's upcoming power plant rule
wouldn't only lead to less greenhouse gas emissions -- it would
lead to cleaner air and healthier ecosystems, too. Researchers
from Harvard University and Syracuse University modeled three
different possible scenarios for the June 2 proposal…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060000270/print BY

RGGI proved electricity sector will adapt to new power plant regs
– study. Critics have warned of an energy-sector crisis in the
wake of the Obama administration's new power plant rules, but
groups that monitored the East's largest carbon trading program
for power plants argue that regulation, if done properly, can
provide both environmental and economic benefits. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060000269/print BY


Bloomberg: Cities key to confront climate change. Former New York
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his new U.N. job, said Tuesday that
cities hold the key to confronting climate change because they
account for 75 percent of the heat-trapping gases and their
mayors have executive powers to reduce emissions. Posted.



Chamber Study Predicts Obama Climate Rule Will Kill Jobs. The
nation’s biggest business lobby says President Barack Obama’s
plan to tackle climate change could cost the U.S. economy $50
billion a year. Supporters predict it will create jobs and lower
power bills. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Natural Resources
Defense Council are both releasing economic impact studies this

Mobley: Climate is right to beat Gray in Assembly race. A
latecomer to next week’s primary election, Jack Mobley said the
changing political climate in California gives him a legitimate
shot at contending with incumbent Adam Gray, D-Merced. Mobley, a
Merced Republican, said Gray’s win of the 21st Assembly District
seat in 2012 was buoyed by the re-election of President Barack
Obama and excitement surrounding the California high-speed rail
project – both of which he said are less popular than two years
ago. Posted.

‘Time Is Running Out’ To Stop Rising CO2 Levels, Says UN. April
was the first time the monthly average of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere passed 400 parts per million, a threshold that the
U.N. says has "symbolic and scientific significance" The amount
of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record high last
month, according to the UN’s weather agency, highlighting the
need to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions. Posted.

'Global warming' is much scarier to Americans than 'climate
change' – study. A new report proves words are a powerful thing
-- especially when it comes to describing a changing climate rife
with extreme weather events. Findings published yesterday by
researchers from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
(YPCCC) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change
Communication revealed that while "global warming" and "climate
change" …Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060000273/print  BY

Want to manufacture fresh water without producing greenhouse
gases? It'll cost you. In the search for climate change
solutions, desalination presents a conundrum. As a warming planet
causes natural water sources to become scarce in regions like the
U.S. Southwest, Northern Africa and the Middle East, the
technology provides a much-needed new resource, transforming
brackish wastewater into safe, clear drinking water. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060000248/print BY


Bill would allow local groundwater management. The state Senate
approved legislation Tuesday asking local agencies to develop
plans to manage groundwater, a supply that is largely unregulated
throughout the state even amid a statewide drought. Posted.

Central Valley lawmakers to discuss drought compromise. Just
before leaving town last week, the U.S. Senate passed the amended
version of California Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s drought relief
bill. The House passed its own version in February. Now lawmakers
begin the process of compromise.


Exxon CEO: Oil will be top energy source for years. The CEO of
Exxon Mobil Corp. says alternative fuels will grow but that oil
will remain the world's leading source of energy for another
quarter century. CEO Rex Tillerson says natural gas will surpass
coal as the second most heavily used fuel. Tillerson made the
comments Wednesday at the company's annual shareholder meeting.

New safety requirements set for Keystone pipeline. Safety
regulators have quietly placed two extra conditions on
construction of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oil pipeline
after learning of potentially dangerous construction defects
involving the southern leg of the Canada-to-Texas project. The
defects - high rates of bad welds, dented pipe and damaged
pipeline coating - have been fixed. Posted.

For a Canadian Province, Gas Boom Presents a Conundrum.  As
nations rush to ship vast new stores of natural gas across
oceans, the climate change implications of the fuel are coming
under increased scrutiny. Perhaps nowhere is the debate so
intense as in British Columbia, a province in western Canada
where there are plans to export large quantities of natural gas
to Asia. Posted.


Google’s Next Phase in Driverless Cars: No Brakes or Steering
Wheel. Humans might be the one problem Google can’t solve.For the
past four years, Google has been working on self-driving cars
with a mechanism to return control of the steering wheel to the
driver in case of emergency. But Google’s brightest minds now say
they can’t make that handoff work anytime soon. Their answer?
Take the driver completely out of the driving. Posted.


Walmart to double number of solar project.  Walmart will be
doubling the number of on-site solar energy projects at its U.S.
stores, with a number of its solar-powered stores already in the
Inland Empire. Walmart is the number one commercial solar energy
user in the United States, according to the Solar Energy Industry
Association. The company has 240 solar installations in the
United States. There are 123 in California. Posted.

How the U.S. energy mix made a U-turn from Calif. to Texas.
Windmill blades could be seen on a loading dock at one of the
nation's busiest ports during a recent visit to the offices of
the Port of Houston Authority to discuss major petrochemical
investments coming their way. The blades weren't entering the
port, the staff explained, but rather leaving it. Though the
details were fuzzy, the explanation was that a canceled wind
energy project in central Texas was reselling them to another
buyer, perhaps in Latin America. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1060000240/print BY


5 things to know about hurricane season. Starting this hurricane
season, forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in
Miami will begin dropping small drones into storms in the hope
they can learn more about how storms strengthen and better
predict a storm's intensity. With the season's official start
just days away, here are five other things to know about
hurricanes: Posted.


Climate Change Doomed the Ancients.  This month, a report issued
by a prominent military advisory board concluded that climate
change posed a serious threat to America’s national security. The
authors, 16 retired high-ranking officers, warned that droughts,
rising seas and extreme weather events, among other environmental
threats, were already causing global “instability and conflict.”

Cap-and-trade law levels playing field for reducing carbon
emissions: Guest commentary. For decades, polluting industries
have argued that California’s policy approach to addressing
cleaning up our air harms our economy. The misleading warnings
and doom-and-gloom predictions haven’t materialized — instead
Californians continue to support our state’s approach to
addressing climate change, in polls and at the ballot box.


UN says diesel trucks might not be worst emission offenders. 
Airborne particulate matter can really do a number on us humans,
particularly with regard to our cardiovascular systems. It seems
reasonable for air pollution, then, to be a major concern when
calculating the environmental and health costs of the way we do
business. Posted.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: EPA puts clothes dryers on Energy Star list. 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out the
first-ever Energy Star label for clothes dryers. After getting
feed-back from retailers, manufacturers, the U.S. Department of
Energy and environmental groups, the EPA said it would put the
Energy Star rating on electric, gas and compact dryers that use
20 percent less energy than…Posted.

One Of America's Dirtiest Coal Plants Had Some Dire Predictions.
It Was Wrong. Three years ago, the operators of one of the
nation's dirtiest coal-fired power plants warned of "immediate
and devastating" consequences from the Obama administration's
push to clean up pollution from coal. Faced with cutting sulfur
dioxide pollution blowing into downwind states by 80 percent in
less than a year, lawyers for EME Homer City Posted.

What kills 3000 Australians per year?  There's something that
kills 3000 Australians per year. You probably won't have read
about this significant danger.  It's not cancer. It's not sharks,
or drop bears, or funnel web spiders. And it's not car accidents
or heroin overdoses.  It causes serious health problems for even
more Australians each year, and for many people there is no
"safe" level of exposure.  Posted. 

California Moves Closer Toward Clean Air for All.  Imagine a
California with substantially cleaner air and lower rates of
asthma and cancer, especially in disadvantaged communities
hardest hit by dangerous air pollution. Then imagine you’d be
paying less in fuel costs – the equivalent of about $1 a gallon
of gas – to help make it happen. Posted. 

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

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