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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 15, 2014 Posted: 15 Jul 2014 13:38:40
ARB Newsclips for July 15, 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. CAP AND TRADE Democratic bill would slow California's effort to curb climate change. Political-economic fights at the Capitol never really end. They just morph into new incarnations. Take, for example, the eight-year battle among industry, environmentalists and the administrations of Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and successor Jerry Brown over how to deal with threats of global warming. Now, the conflict again is heating up. Just before their July recess...Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-capitol-business-beat-20140714-story.html Ain't no such thing as a free regulation. Robert Heinlein’s 1966 sci-fi novel about a lunar colony that breaks away from its earthly rulers, “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress,” popularized a term that should be understood by everyone who works in the Capitol. Called TANSTAAFL, it translates as follows: “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” Decades ago, bars would offer free food to patrons that ordered drinks. But as the novel’s characters discussed, a “free lunch” isn’t free. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/14/legislators-feign-surprise-cap-trade-high-costs/ AIR POLLUTION Coal Plant Carbon Pollution Injects Life in Old Oil Wells. In one of the first projects to harness the C02 waste of a coal plant for oil drilling, power generator NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) announced today that it’s beginning construction on a $1 billion retrofit of its East Texas coal plant. NRG will pump carbon dioxide pollution from the plant deep into a nearby oil field that it partially owns. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-15/coal-plant-carbon-pollution-injects-life-in-old-oil-wells.html http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-07-15/coal-plant-carbon-pollution-injects-life-in-old-oil-wells Richmond council set to weigh competing proposals for Chevron modernization project. Chevron Corp.'s quest to begin construction on a $1 billion upgrade to its refinery is set for another showdown July 22, when the City Council will weigh competing visions for the project proposed by the energy giant and the city's Planning Commission. The commission last week unanimously approved the project's environmental impact report, written by an outside consulting firm, but added more than a dozen safety and pollution-reduction amendments, which the company said Monday it will formally appeal. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/News/ci_26147116/Richmond-council-set-to-weigh-competing-proposals-for-Chevron-modernization-project http://www.insidebayarea.com/News/ci_26147116/Richmond-council-set-to-weigh-competing-proposals-for-Chevron-modernization-project Drive to clean up S.F. freeway, construction air pollution. Freeway-adjacent neighborhoods such as the Bayview and South of Market have the unfortunate distinction of being the most polluted in San Francisco. These neighborhoods, on the eastern side of San Francisco, are also seeing the most new construction. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Drive-to-clean-up-S-F-freeway-construction-air-5622234.php States ask Supreme Court to take up EPA mercury, toxics standards. Twenty-one states have asked the Supreme Court to review U.S. EPA's landmark air standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from power plants. They are seeking review of a divided April ruling from a federal appeals court that upheld EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, one of the most significant EPA rules issued during President Obama's first term. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060002884/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Mary Robinson named UN envoy for climate change. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish president Mary Robinson as his special envoy for climate change. She has a mandate to mobilize world leaders to take action at the climate summit the U.N. chief is hosting in September. U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday the Sept. 23 summit will be "an important milestone" to mobilize political commitment for a global climate agreement by 2015…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UN_UNITED_NATIONS_CLIMATE_APPOINTMENT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Mary-Robinson-named-UN-envoy-for-climate-change-5621130.php Court KOs New Jersey bid to block ocean blasting. A federal appeals court on Monday cleared the path for seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey that will blast the floor of the Atlantic Ocean with loud noises as part of a climate change research project. The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected New Jersey's request to block the testing off Long Beach Island, which aims to use acoustic research to examine sediment dating back tens of millions of years. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OCEAN_BLASTING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Inslee, UK minister further climate change work. Gov. Jay Inslee and officials in the United Kingdom are expanding their work together on climate change. Inslee and Gregory Barker, the UK's minister of energy and climate change, signed a "phase two" agreement on Monday to continue their work. Last fall, Inslee and Barker, formally entered into a partnership, agreeing to work together to find market-based solutions, such as a cap and trade program, to tackle climate change. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Inslee-UK-minister-further-climate-change-work-5621174.php Taking to the pulpit against climate change. Rabbi Moti Rieber travels the politically red state of Kansas armed with the book of Genesis, a Psalm and even the words of Jesus to lecture church audiences, or sermonize if they'll let him, about the threat of global warming. "My feeling is that I'm the only person these people are ever going to see who's going to look them in the eye and say, 'There's such a thing as climate change,'" Rieber says. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/15/climate-religion-kansas-church-global-warming-evangelical/12515665/ EPA Followed States' Lead in Developing Power Plant Proposal, Officials Say. The Environmental Protection Agency built off of successful state initiatives when it proposed carbon dioxide emissions standards for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, agency officials and environmental advocates said. The various components of the proposed carbon dioxide standards are already being implemented by the states and have proven to be achievable and cost effective…Posted. http://www.bna.com/epa-followed-states-n17179892311/ President set to roll out help for climate-affected communities. President Obama will personally roll out a series of new climate change adaptation actions tomorrow when he meets with members of his State, Local and Tribal Leaders Climate Task Force on Preparedness and Resilience. A White House official said the announcement will focus on ways the administration can "support state, local, and tribal leaders in preparing their communities, including electricity systems and infrastructure, for the impacts of climate change." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/eedaily/stories/1060002843/ BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY China lures companies into carbon footprint labeling. First, it was energy efficiency labeling. Then it was carbon emissions trading. Now, China is finding another way to limit climate impacts of its domestic production. A group of Chinese companies recently earned a certification from their government for producing goods with a significantly smaller carbon footprint than the market average, marking the start of a carbon labeling system in the country that is the world's largest greenhouse gas polluter. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002822/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Precipitation may affect long-term survival of bird species under climate change – study. In a climate-changed world, wetness or dryness could be a matter of life or death for some bird species, according to a recent study published in the journal Global Change Biology. Funded by the National Science Foundation with support from the U.S. Geological Survey and others, the analysis found that precipitation is more likely than temperature to influence the long-term population trends of birds. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002856/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT California Expected to Set Mandatory Water Curbs. Reservoirs' Water Levels Have Fallen to Less Than Half Their Capacities. California is poised to institute mandatory statewide water restrictions for the first time, as the impact of a three-year drought continues to spread across the Golden State. The emergency measure expected to be approved Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board comes as reservoirs in California and elsewhere in the West have shriveled amid one of the worst droughts on record to hit the region. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/articles/california-expected-to-set-mandatory-water-curbs-1405367707 http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/15/6556180/am-alert-state-water-board-considers.html#storylink=cpy http://www.kfbk.com/articles/kfbk-news-461777/water-wasters-may-soon-be-fined-hundreds-of-dollars-12561694/ http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/07/14/california-gears-up-to-vote-on-water-wasting-law-tuesday-conservation-drought/ Airport, parks not cutting water use by 10 percent goal. The grass is browner, fountains are shut off, trucks and equipment haven't been cleaned since February, and water use in city parks is down by almost 20 percent from 2009 numbers. And yet the Recreation and Park Department is still using too much water. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/airport-parks-not-cutting-water-use-by-10-percent-goal/Content?oid=2850126 Little oversight as Nestle taps Morongo reservation water.The plant, located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians' reservation, has been drawing water from wells alongside a spring in Millard Canyon for more than a decade. But as California's drought deepens, some people in the area question how much water the plant is bottling and whether it's right to sell water for profit in a desert region where springs are rare and underground aquifers have been declining. http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2014/07/12/nestle-arrowhead-tapping-water/12589267/ DIESEL EMISSIONS New program aims to reduce log truck pollution. In an effort to help loggers reduce their air pollution, a new program called Truck Improvement/Modernization Benefitting Emission Reductions Program – also known as the TIMBER program – is being offered in Calaveras County to California log truck owners. Posted. http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/news/article_9cd6f1f8-0bab-11e4-a1ae-0019bb2963f4.html FUELS LNG larger threat than fracking. Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves credit for so far resisting the powerful gas lobby's push to frack New York. But where does the governor stand on tying our future to fracked gas? We may soon see by how his Department of Environmental Conservation responds to 50,000 comments from New Yorkers concerned about proposed rules for liquefied natural gas. LNG, essentially liquid methane, is a dangerous…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/LNG-larger-threat-than-fracking-5620922.php Green, consumer groups demand fair and accurate fuel economy ads. A consortium of environmental, safety and consumer groups submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission last week calling for an end to the deceptive use of fuel economy information in vehicle advertisements. Properly disclosing fuel economy ratings in car advertisements is a significant consumer issue, the group said in its comment letter. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060002858/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Why Toyota Delayed the All-New 2016 Prius. The Prius hybrid may not be Toyota's best-selling model -- that would be the Corolla -- but it's arguably the company's most important. It's not just that the Prius is the world's best-selling hybrid car, hands-down. In many ways, the Prius is a perfect example of everything Toyota does right: Cutting-edge green technology made accessible, easy to use, and reliable -- at a mass-market price. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Why-Toyota-Delayed-the-All-New-2016-Prius-5621176.php Carmakers Are Central Voice in U.S.-Europe Trade Talks. It’s a task that makes sense only by the logic of international trade strictures — which is why negotiators for the European Union and the United States are eager to change the rule book. Here, in a corrugated metal warehouse next to a barge terminal, crews toil two shifts a day on brand-new Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner cargo vans, fresh from assembly lines a few miles away. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/business/international/winding-road-ahead-for-us-europe-trade-talks.html?_r=0 GREEN ENERGY Companies Don't Care Anymore That You Don't Care Anymore About This Sustainability Thing. It kind of doesn't matter to serious companies that some people still dismiss corporate sustainability as empty green PR. “It kind of doesn't matter," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in an interview last month. "We do it because it's the right thing to do." Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-14/companies-don-t-care-anymore-that-you-don-t-care-anymore-about-this-sustainability-thing.html For Energy Startups, Valuation Comes Harder These Days. The way we value energy start-ups will dramatically change in the very near future since there are a host of new ways economic energy disruption can impact capital expenditures (capex) and therefore valuation. One necessary area for meeting corporate needs is connecting with consumers like never before to deliver data and savings. This is something that has driven the recent IPO of OPOWER to reach over 32 million households already. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/For-Energy-Startups-Valuation-Comes-Harder-These-5620410.php MISCELLANEOUS The Green Gypsie celebrates two eco-friendly years. “Going Green” has become a popular phrase that — at the very least — has many separating their paper, plastic, aluminum and glass for recycling. But Amanda Reifel and Angela Rossi have made the eco-conscious habits not only their way of life, but their livelihood. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/lifestyle/20140714/the-green-gypsie-celebrates-two-eco-friendly-years Battle lines form -- farms vs. solar vs. high-speed rail. Tension is mounting in California over shrinking farmland as solar developers, oil companies and the state's planned bullet train fight for open space. An alliance that includes farm groups and environmental advocates painted the situation with farmland conversion as dire in a report last week. The Golden State grows about half of the nation's fruits and vegetables, it said, and the crops help power California's economy. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060002882/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Editorial: How California can best fight climate change. California's landmark climate change law, AB 32, has created a promising cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases that has put the state on track to meet its emissions goals for 2020, kick-started the state's green technology industry and generated hundreds of millions of dollars for mass transit and other projects that will further reduce reliance on fossil fuels. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-adv-carbon-tax-20140712-story.html The 80 percent should stop wasting water. Re "Hefty overwatering fines would make it clear California is in a drought" (Editorials, July 14): Yes, everyone should do their part to reduce overall water consumption and eliminate wasteful watering habits. Not just during the drought but going forward. So when do the folks of California see the end of gravity irrigation, flooding fields and orchards, planting water intensive crops and other wasteful practices? Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/15/6555163/the-80-needs-to-play-by-the-same.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS China Clarifies its Plans on Setting a CO2 Emissions Peak. With climate treaty negotiations expected to intensify next year, China is signaling that it may soon set the timetable for hitting an eventual peak in its emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important human-generated greenhouse gas. The signals came on Monday from Xie Zhenhua, China’s lead climate treaty negotiator, speaking at a German climate conference. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/china-clarifies-its-plans-on-setting-a-co2-emissions-peak/ Oklahoma hit by eight earthquakes in two days. Is the fracking industry to blame? The eight earthquakes that occurred in Oklahoma over the past couple of days may be yet another side effect the U.S.’s insidious fracking boom. The quakes hit between Saturday morning and early Monday morning, most of them small enough that people didn’t realize the ground was shaking beneath them (they ranged from 2.6 to 4.3 on the Richter scale). Posted. http://grist.org/news/oklahoma-hit-by-eight-earthquakes-in-two-days-is-the-fracking-industry-to-blame/ Innovation: Key to Reducing Carbon Emissions. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a proposal to reduce carbon emissions aggressively -- by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. It will create economic opportunities, improve public health especially among children and seniors, and curb the harmful impact of dirty power plants on the environment. It also avoids a potentially clumsy federal "one-size-fits-all" approach, by requiring and empowering each state to craft its own pollution reduction strategy. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-scott-peters/innovation-key-to-reducin_b_5587909.html U.S. Military May Be the Strongest Force in Battle Against Climate Change. Fear is a potent force in American politics. It is the force that sustains the War on Terror, the latest calls for further military interventions in Iraqi and Syrian civil wars, and Obama's use of drones on multiple continents. At the same time, fear about the threat of climate change has proven sharply divisive. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ryan-rafaty/us-military-climate-change_b_5577959.html?page_version=legacy Red States Are Way Ahead of Congress on Global Warming. Congress is more deeply divided today than it has been in the last two decades on a wide range of issues, including global warming. In the Senate, for example, Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe routinely fulminates that it's a hoax, while Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse understands the science and is leading the charge for a carbon tax. Conventional wisdom says the schism between Inhofe and Whitehouse shouldn't come as a shocker. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/red-states-are-way-ahead_b_5586451.html States With Fracking See Surge In Earthquake Activity. States where hydraulic fracturing is taking place have seen a surge in earthquake activity, raising suspicions that the unconventional drilling method could be to blame, especially the wells where the industry disposes of its wastewater. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/14/fracking-earthquake_n_5585892.html Daimler, BMW partnering up on wireless charging. Plug-in vehicle advocates can get all warm and fuzzy about two Germany heavyweight automakers getting together for the sake of wireless charging. That's because Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and BMW will work together to speed up development of a wireless charging system. While not a ton of details were divulged, we can still rejoice. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/07/15/daimler-bmw-partnering-up-on-wireless-charging/ EPA ready to go virtual with ANSYS to create cleaner engines. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is turning to a company whose home base is as old-school Rust Belt as one can get, but the company's specialty's undeniably new-school technology. The EPA has struck a deal with Pittsburgh-based ANSYS to model simulations of internal combustion engines. And while the models will be theoretical, the EPA is shooting for some very real results. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/07/14/epa-ready-to-go-virtual-with-ansys-to-create-cleaner-engines/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.