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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 11, 2014

Posted: 11 Jul 2014 14:56:19
ARB Newsclips for July 11, 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.


Petition gatherers: Come for one measure, stay for another. 
Michael Arno, whose company is collecting signatures to qualify
Draper’s initiative for the November 2016 ballot, has offered
signature gatherers an unrelated “expression of support” that
people can sign urging the Legislature to hold off expanding
California’s controversial cap-and-trade program to vehicle fuels
in 2015.


Vernon battery recycler is allowed to reopen, with conditions.
Air quality officials are giving a battery recycling plant in
Vernon another chance to prove it can operate without putting
nearby residents at risk. Despite demands from community groups
calling for permanent closure of the Exide Technologies plant,
the region's air quality hearing board approved an agreement
Thursday that would allow the idled facility to reopen…Posted.



Why Some Cities Get Way Hotter Than Others During The Summer.
Summer in the city can be brutal, but just how bad it gets
depends on the city itself. Most cities are hotter than their
surroundings, but some are more susceptible to this "heat island"
effect than others. A new study, released July 9 in the journal
Nature, has pinpointed why — and which cities are the most at
risk. Posted.

Teaming up on clean power.  California’s role as a lonely pioneer
on climate change is coming to a close. The Environmental
Protection Agency’s proposed limits on carbon emissions from
existing power plants gives states wide latitude on how to
achieve reductions. The 2030 emission targets — set to become
part of the U.S. Clean Air Act next year, with many

Climate change solution: Scrap subsidies, fund innovation. Mark
your calendars. November 30, 2015 is international climate D-Day.
Representatives from 196 countries will meet in Paris for the
21st session of the Conference of the Parties to complete
negotiations on a new international climate agreement to replace
the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2020. Posted.

Soot from wildfires discovered with 90% greater warming potential
– study. Scientists have learned something new about the nasty,
dark smoke that rises from wildfires that might have important
implications on the climate. As the U.S. wildfire season is well
underway, researchers have detected a new, bigger kind of soot
particle emitted by fires that, when released into the
atmosphere, has a 90 percent greater warming effect than the
particles assumed in current climate models. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002708/print BY

Global warming education proponents strengthen efforts against
'anti-science forces' The fight over whether states should
include man-made climate change in K-12 science education heated
up yesterday with the "Climate Science Students Bill of Rights,"
a new campaign launched by advocacy groups with the aim of
garnering national support for the Next Generation Science
Standards (NGSS). Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002704/print BY

Changing southern winds could exacerbate sea-level rise – study.
Fragile ice sheets in Antarctica could come under even more
pressure from climate change as shifting westerly winds in the
region drive warm water under the continent's protruding
glaciers. After running almost two dozen ocean simulations from
the data-poor Antarctic -- at a higher resolution than ever
before -- an international team of researchers now believes that
projected changes in winds circling the continent may help
accelerate global sea-level rise. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002703/print BY

USGS scientists use satellites to see how polar bears adapt to
warmer conditions. Scientists traditionally track animals by
capturing and tagging them, then releasing them back into the
wild. Or researchers might have access to GPS systems or be able
to count members of a population from the window of a low-flying
plane. But now, a handful of scientists at the U.S. Geological
Survey are using some exceptionally expensive machinery in order
to study animals in the Arctic: satellites. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002710/print BY


California drought: El Niño not likely to bring much rain.
Professional weather watchers are losing hope that the expected
arrival of an El Niño in coming months will wash away
California's drought. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center, which
issued its monthly report on Pacific Ocean weather patterns
Thursday, is still projecting that sea surface temperatures will
rise, a phenomenon known as El Niño. But the El Niño that's in
the forecast will likely be "weak to moderate," the report says.


California’s Deepening Drought Shrinking Reservoirs. The
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves
19 million people from Ventura to the Mexico border, is
anticipating drawing down 40 percent of its water storage this
year to meet demand. Southern California’s reservoirs were in
good shape going into last winter. Now, seven months later,


A Lesson in Diplomacy for Pipeline Companies. Big energy projects
often bring out opposition groups. Investors often think of such
groups as intractable opponents and as obstacles to overcome. But
a proposed project in Canada shows that this isn't always the
case. Opposition groups have blocked Canada's efforts to bring
its oil and gas to international markets at every turn. Posted.


China to Exempt Electric Cars From 10% Purchase Tax. China will
waive a 10 percent purchase tax on electric cars as part of
expanded measures to combat pollution and cut energy dependence. 
New-energy autos -- China’s term for electric cars, plug-in
hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles -- will be excluded from the levy
from Sept. 1 to the end of 2017…Posted.

Betting on Diesel Cars, Exxon Is Set to Expand Belgium Refinery.
Exxon Mobil to Invest in Diesel in Belgium. At Dimitris
Poliviou’s car repair shop, customers are increasingly turning up
with diesel-powered vehicles. “There are loads and loads of
them,” Mr. Poliviou said as his crew in the Belsize Park
neighborhood here worked on a diesel Volkswagen Passat. Posted.

ENERGY: Grant to pay for electric vehicle charging stations.  The
Riverside County Economic Development Agency has moved into the
fast lane when it comes to charging-station installations for
electric vehicles. A $497,357 grant has been awarded to the EDA
by the California Energy Commission to install 45 charging
stations with 87 ports at workplaces, destinations and travel
corridors over a three-year period. Posted.


Inventor pushes solar panels for roads, highways. The solar
panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant
for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots,
bike trails and, eventually, highways. Brusaw, an electrical
engineer, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear
and tear that comes from inclement weather and vehicles, big and
small, to generate electricity. Posted.


Solar subsidy extended to farms, campuses. Some utility customers
will be able to link multiple electricity meters to a single
solar energy system, making renewable energy more feasible for
farms and campus-style office complexes, under state rules
adopted Thursday. The new guidelines adopted by the California
Public Utilities Commission extend a generous credit system for
renewable energy…Posted.

Calif. to award $26M for microgrid- and grid-connected EV
projects. California doesn't have to contend with the intense
hurricanes and snowstorms that have battered the Northeast in
recent years, causing widespread and prolonged blackouts. But the
Golden State faces other threats to its power system that have
prompted a new $26.5 million investment in resilient microgrid
projects from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002705/print BY


Taking a Bite Out of Climate: 4 World Cup Snacks.  But bugs
aren't just a personal health issue. Raising them produces far
fewer greenhouse gases than current agriculture operations, which
account for about 20 percent of global emissions. Raising insects
is less water- and energy-intensive than traditional agriculture
operations. In the U.S., relentless drought in California and
Oklahoma is having an impact on cattle and grain prices, but bugs
would likely be better able to weather the storm. Posted.


BBC told that science fringies belong in the audience, not on the
air. The BBC is getting some grief, and some plaudits, for
pledging to do what it’s supposed to do: evaluate the quality of
what it puts on the air before it airs it. A deeply researched
report from its governing body, the BBC Trust, says the BBC
programmers should stop falling into the faux-equal-time trap,
bringing in fringe figures to discuss substantive matters of
science, such as climate change. Posted.

Opinion: Who you gonna call: 'Drought Busters' or 'Water
Conservation Response Unit'? Dear Los Angeles Department of Water
and Power, Please bring back the “Drought Busters.” We’re in the
midst of what could be the worst drought in California history,
and despite calls for residents throughout the state to cut their
water consumption by 20%, some communities actually have used
more water. Angelenos need reminding. The “Drought Busters” could
help. Posted.

Smooth surfaces help make cities into sizzling urban heat
islands. Nineteen years ago this month, Chicago experienced one
of the worst heat waves in its history. Nearly 500 people, mostly
poor and elderly residents of the city’s dense urban core,
perished in sweltering temperatures and oppressive humidity. The
National Weather Service later determined that Chicago itself was
partly to blame…Posted.

Water conservation in California can no longer be voluntary.
Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown urged Californians to
voluntarily cut their water usage by 20% to help preserve the
state's already limited supply during this severe drought. But
sometimes, asking nicely doesn't work. Between January and May,
water use was reduced by a measly 5%. Clearly, the voluntary
approach isn't enough — water use is even up in some communities
— and the state needs to take a harder line. Posted. 

Water rules and fines will help, but attitudes must change. We
hope the State Water Resources Control Board affirms all the
staff recommendations for emergency urban water cutbacks outlined
Wednesday – restrictions and fines on excessive landscape
watering, running hoses and rinsing off sidewalks. Such rules are
reasonable and doable. They’re also debatable in how much good
they’ll do. Posted.

Water limits should apply to all users. The California Water
Resources Control Board will decide next week whether to impose
mandatory limits on urban water use and slap violators with fines
of up to $500 a day. This raises two questions: 1) What took it
so long? 2) Why aren't agricultural water users, who gulp 80
percent of California's usable supply, getting the same

Carbon producers can meet EPA's limits as they have in the past.
Past is prologue, and as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
moves forward with new limits on carbon pollution from the
nation's electric power plants, familiar alarms are sounding that
the limits will drive up electric bills, threaten the reliability
of our electric power system, and harm our economy. Nonsense.

The Truth Behind the Government's "Clean Power Plan". The EPA's
Clean Power Plan is part of Barack Obama's larger agenda to
battle climate change caused by the burning of coal and other
fossil fuels. It aims to cut carbon emissions 30% by 2030. The
proposal would enforce more stringent environmental standards,
requiring states to reduce their carbon footprints. States have
until 2016 to comply with the new regulations. Posted.


China, U.S. Agree to Take Baby Steps on Climate Change. The
world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases agreed on
Wednesday to do more to fight climate change, but the specific
steps they settled on were far from ambitious. Chinese and U.S.
officials, including heavy hitters such as Secretary of State
John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, are meeting in
Beijing for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue…Posted.

West Nile Virus is alarming example of climate change’s effects.
The message gets to the Santa Clara County Mosquito and Vector
Control District that a dead bird was found in Sunnyvale. If it’s
a crow or a jay, the district sends out a team to collect the
bird and bring it back to their in-house lab to test it for West
Nile Virus. If the bird tests positive, a team of five
technicians in white pick-up trucks goes out and sets 40 mosquito
traps in a one-mile radius of the site. Posted.

Richmond planners OK Chevron refinery upgrade. Chevron Corp.’s
long-delayed effort to upgrade its Richmond refinery won the
blessings of the city’s planning commission late Thursday, moving
the controversial project closer to construction. The commission
unanimously certified the upgrade’s latest environmental impact
report, adopting several measures related to safety and pollution
controls sought by the project’s opponents. Posted.

Dell’s magic trick: pulling carbon out of the air.
Carbon-negative packaging reverses carbon emissions. Just when
you thought carbon-neutral was amazing … carbon negative comes
along.  Oliver Campbell, Worldwide Procurement Director,
Packaging, for Dell, launches plastic packaging products made
from carbon in the air. Dell, which has already advanced the use
of organic materials to ensconce its computer and other
electronic products in (see “Dell’s Campbell: The whole
package,”) has taken the carbon reduction fight to the next
elevation–carbon negativity. Posted.

Opinion: California's Low On Water? Time to Fine the Water
Resources Board Not Its Citizens. California is in the midst of
one of its many droughts.  To combat the current drought, the
otherwise do-nothings of the California Water Resources Board are
proposing to fine citizens they call “water hogs” $500 per day. 
Instead of fining helpless consumers, California’s government
should do its job for once and seriously increase water supplies.

Why We Need a Carbon Tax. The scientific community is clear:
Global warming is real and it is caused by human activity. In
terms of droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires, disease,
rising sea levels and extreme weather disturbances, global
warming is already causing devastating problems. The simple truth
is that if we do not act boldly and quickly these problems will
only get much worse in the years to come. Posted.

Oil Refineries Have a Moral Imperative to Fix the Air Pollution
Problem They're Causing. When I moved with my family from
California to Utah nine years ago, I was stunned by the horrible
air quality in this otherwise gorgeous mountain state. Day after
day, during that first winter, we were smothered in breath-taking
blanket of smog. Back then, I knew little about how air pollution
impacted our health…Posted.

Bad idea: change the Wilderness Act to respond to climate change.
The Wilderness Act is one of the iconic pieces of environmental
legislation, and it is 50 years old this year. It created a
process and management standard by which millions of acres of
relatively undeveloped federal land were protected from
development and most forms of active human management. Posted.

There are now more than 500,000 EVs on the planet. In the three
years since automakers started selling mass-produced plug-ins
such as the Nissan Leaf battery-electric and Chevrolet Volt
extended-range plug-in, global customers have acquired a
half-million plug-ins, according to a UC Davis report. That
adoption rate is faster than how quickly people bought
hybrid-electric vehicles during the first three years of
gas-electric vehicle commercial availability more than a decade
ago. Posted.

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

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