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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DIRTIEST_POWER_PLANT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/05/28/3947787/power-plant-becomes-a-model-for.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/power-plant-becomes-a-model-for-cleaner-operation/2014/05/28/e9a843f4-e637-11e3-a70e-ea1863229397_story.html http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/28/3360027/power-plant-becomes-a-model-for.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DIRTIEST_POWER_PLANT_TIMELINE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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 injuries…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BIOFUEL_FACILITY_FIRE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_OLD_CARS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/china-targets-heavy-industry-vehicles-coal-for-2015-carbon-cuts.html 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-05-27/london-s-dirty-secret-pollutes-like-beijing-airpocalyse.html 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 complexities”…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-05-27/environmental-groups-lose-challenge-to-epa-acid-rain-rulemaking.html 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/damage-award-in-texas-fracking-case-raises-stakes-in-air-quality-debate.html 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. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20140526/air-pollution-levels-up-in-parts-of-inland-empire 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UN_UNITED_NATIONS_CITIES_AND_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Bloomberg-Cities-key-to-confront-climate-change-5508296.php http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/27/3359502/bloomberg-cities-key-to-confront.html 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 week…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-05-28/chamber-study-predicts-obama-climate-rule-will-kill-jobs.html 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. http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/27/3359699/mobley-climate-is-right-to-beat.html#storylink=cpy ‘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. http://time.com/#116131/un-co2-levels-greenhouse-gases/ '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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/27/6436725/bill-would-allow-local-groundwater.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/05/27/44389/central-valley-lawmakers-to-discuss-drought-compro/ FUELS 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. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EXXON_MOBIL_MEETING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_KEYSTONE_CONSTRUCTION_DEFECTS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/29/business/energy-environment/for-british-columbia-gas-boom-presents-a-conundrum.html?action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults&mabReward=relbias%3Aw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry710%23%2Fclimate%2Bchange%2F24hours%2F VEHICLES 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/technology/googles-next-phase-in-driverless-cars-no-brakes-or-steering-wheel.html?hpw&rref=technology&action=click&module=Search®ion=searchResults&mabReward=relbias%3Aw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry710%23%2Fvehicles%2F24hours%2F GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20140527/walmart-to-double-number-of-solar-projects 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/5-things-to-know-about-hurricane-season-5507190.php OPINIONS 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.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/opinion/climate-change-doomed-the-ancients.html?_r=0 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. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/opinion/20140527/cap-and-trade-law-levels-playing-field-for-reducing-carbon-emissions-guest-commentary BLOGS 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/05/28/un-study-says-diesel-trucks-might-not-be-worst-emission-offender/ 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. http://blog.pe.com/business/2014/05/28/home-improvement-epa-puts-clothes-dryers-on-energy-star-list/ 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/america-coal-plant_n_5400396.html 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. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/may/28/air-pollution-australia-greg-hunt 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. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mbaumhefner/california_moves_closer_toward.html California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.