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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 21, 2014.

Posted: 21 Jul 2014 14:08:57
ARB Newsclips for July 21, 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 could aid preservation of California farmland.
Abandoning the farm that he had worked for three decades, and
that his wife’s family had owned for over a century, was never an
option for Dan Port. Port and his family had continued to squeeze
a profit out of their 180 acres near the small town of Ione,
raising grass-fed beef to sell through farmers markets.
Determined as he was to keep the farm running, Port said he
recognized the constant pressure on farmers to give their land
over to developers.

Utilities already regulated under cap-and-trade urge Brown to
hold fast.  Utilities urge Brown to hold fast on cap-and-trade.
Oil industry groups and some utilities are on opposite sides in
the intensifying debate over expanding California’s cap-and-trade
program to vehicle fuels in 2015. The oil industry has called on
Gov. Jerry Brown to delay the expansion. Posted.

Climate plan faces new challenge: Gas prices. Fear of a gasoline
price spike is creeping into Sacramento as California’s gasoline
and diesel producers prepare for the first time to pay for the
air pollution their products create. State clean air regulators
are getting ready to extend a cap on greenhouse gas emissions to
motor fuels in the transportation sector on Jan. 1, 2015. Fuel
producers are likely to pass on costs for acquiring necessary
pollution allowances to consumers at the gas pump, though at what
price is uncertain. Posted.

Most Americans Support Carbon Tax When Revenue Is Earmarked. A
new study shows the public doesn’t trust government to use money
effectively without direction. A survey released Monday reveals
most Americans – across all political parties – support a tax on
carbon emissions if the money it raises is directly spent on a
specific cause, such as research into renewable energy. Posted.


U.S. Seen as Weak on Global Research Collaboration. Amie K.
Lund’s long-distance collaboration with a researcher in France
was a modest one. They published a paper together, exchanging
drafts by email. But Dr. Lund, who studies the effect of air
pollution on the heart and brain, wanted to learn an innovative
cell-culture technique that her colleague had developed in his
lab, and, as she said with a laugh, “you can’t just email a
protocol.” Posted.

FBI issues warning about air conditioner coolant.  As the U.S.
tries to phase out a polluting refrigerant that is used in
millions of air conditioners across the country, unapproved
coolant is popping up on the market — with potentially dangerous
consequences. The FBI is warning people to be on alert for
refrigerant substitutes that have not been approved by the
Environmental Protection Agency. Posted.

Utah gears up for new efforts to clear air. A Utah lawmaker is
bringing back a failed effort to clear soot from Utah's skies.
Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, proposes that Utah allow
state regulators to set pollution standards that are stricter
than their federal counterparts'. The state's mountains, weather
and other factors combine in winter to create an air pollution
problem unique to the state, Edwards told a legislative panel
Wednesday. Posted.

UC RIVERSIDE: Researchers study smog-eating roof tiles. The UC
Riverside student researchers found a titanium dioxide compound
removes up to 97 percent of smog-causing nitrogen oxides. A
little bit of titanium may go a long way toward reducing air
pollution. Student researchers from UC Riverside have found that
specially coated roof tiles have potential smog-eating
capabilities, prompting questions about where else the coating
could be applied for more smog-fighting results. Posted.

Project at Ky. coal plant to trap carbon dioxide. Kentucky
elected officials and representatives from the U.S. Department of
Energy will visit a central Kentucky coal power plant to tout a
project that will capture and store carbon dioxide emissions.
They will be breaking ground Monday on the carbon capture pilot
system at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Harrodsburg.

Court won't reconsider EPA's decision not to regulate mine
emissions. A federal appeals court on Friday declined to
reconsider a ruling upholding U.S. EPA's decision against
regulating coal mine emissions under the Clean Air Act. At issue
is a petition from environmentalists asking the agency to crack
down on coal mine emissions and set performance standards. In
response, EPA expressed being open to the idea but said it didn't
have time to act on it. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003209/print BY

Judges reject Volvo's bid to overturn $72M EPA penalty. Federal
judges on Friday upheld a $72 million penalty imposed on a
non-road heavy-duty engine maker for violating U.S. EPA air
standards. Volvo Powertrain Corp. had asked the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn the
penalty, arguing that the engines were manufactured by a sister
company -- Volvo Penta -- and therefore did not violate the terms
of a previous settlement agreement. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003213/print BY


First six months of 2014 were warmest in California's history. 
The first six months of 2014 were the hottest ever in California,
according to the National Weather Service. The period was nearly
5 degrees warmer than the 20th century average and more than a
degree hotter than the record set in 1934, the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration said. Posted.


California drought will only get worse, experts say. California
is probably headed into a deeper drought this summer, making it
harder to escape in the future, an expert says. With more than
80% of the state in an extreme drought, dry conditions will
probably continue and won't improve much in the next few months,
said climatologist Brian Fuchs of the National Drought Mitigation
Center at the University of Nebraska. Posted.

California’s new water-waste penalty also applies to government,
but who will enforce it? When California water officials last
week passed new regulations making wasting water a crime, they
also handed a new tool to government watchdogs. In a
little-noticed provision of the regulations adopted Tuesday, the
State Water Resources Control Board declared that public agencies
– in addition to individuals and businesses – can be prosecuted
for a criminal infraction and fined $500 per day for certain
categories of water waste. Posted.

Drought hinders California's clean energy goals. Already locked
in its third dry year, an ongoing drought could complicate
California's battle against global warming and make it more
expensive, officials said. For years, dams have been one of
California's main sources of clean energy, generating power
without spewing greenhouse gases into the air. Posted.

California drought: Are swimming pools a waste of water? 
“Swimmin’ pools, movie stars.” The notable refrain from the “The
Beverly Hillbillies” theme song describes it best. Not everyone
who moves to California can become a movie star. But if you have
enough money, you can get a house with a swimming pool. Pools are
the aquamarine line between affluent and low-income Los Angeles.
Getting a house with a pool was a status symbol for the TV

California drought: High-bidding farmers battle in water
auctions. Rumors drifted across the parched Central Valley that a
bidding war for water might push auction prices as high as $3,000
an acre-foot, up from $60 in a normal year. Yet, Ray Flanders
needed water to keep his orchards alive. So this spring he sealed
his bid in an envelope, climbed into his truck and drove 70 miles
to hand-deliver it to the Madera Irrigation District, which had
water saved from 2013. Posted.

Agriculture chief visits water-starved families. U.S. Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack visited drought-stricken homeowners on
Friday in Central California, saying drought and climate change
would require major investment to secure future water supplies.
Vilsack also announced $9.7 million in new emergency drought aid
to help rural Californians hurt by the state's three-year
drought. Posted.

Stanislaus County irrigation districts pumping record amounts of
groundwater. Despite widespread concerns about declining
groundwater levels, some Stanislaus County irrigation districts
have dramatically increased well pumping this year. Modesto
Irrigation District wells pumped 311 percent more groundwater
this January through June than they did during the same months
last year. Posted.

In the battle against the drought, O.C. residents might be part
of the problem. If you’re annoyed with last week’s move by the
state to fine people up to $500 a day for wasting water, you
might want to consider your own use – or your neighbor’s. It
turns out that Southern California, Orange County residents in
particular, are very much part of the problem when it comes to
saving water. Posted.

California Emergency Regulations Mandate Water Conservation. In
response to the ongoing severe drought, the State Water Resources
Control Board approved an emergency regulation to ensure water
agencies, their customers and state residents increase water
conservation in urban settings or face possible fines or other
enforcement. Posted.

Despite California's Drought, Taps Still Flowing In LA County.
This January, after the driest calendar year in California
history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called
on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent. But
downtown Los Angeles doesn't look like a city devastated by the
state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with
landscaping, and fountains are running.. Posted.

USDA offers $9.7M in emergency funds for rural Californians. The
Agriculture Department is offering close to $10 million to 25
California public utilities and water districts in need of
emergency drought assistance. The Emergency Community Water
Assistance Grants are triple the amount the department committed
to the state earlier this year and will help 73,000 residents,
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/stories/1060003143/ BY


BASF Mobile Emissions Catalysts Plant Open for Business. BASF has
inaugurated its €150 million ($203 million) production plant for
mobile emissions catalysts — the company’s largest emissions
catalysts plant in Europe — in Sroda Slaska, a Special Economic
Zone near Wroclaw, Poland. The emissions catalysts produced in
Sroda Slaska will be used by manufacturers of light duty gasoline
vehicles and light and heavy duty diesel vehicles to meet more
stringent Euro 6/VI emissions regulations. Posted.


China Boosts June Net Diesel Exports to Highest in Four Years.
China raised its net diesel exports to the highest level in four
years as domestic demand trailed output growth amid a slowing
economy. Overseas sales of the fuel in the world’s largest energy
consumer exceeded imports by about 440,200 metric tons in June,
according to data e-mailed by the General Administration of
Customs in Beijing today. That’s the highest since May 2010.

Movement targets fossil fuel divestiture. When she learned of an
international campaign to divest from the fossil fuel industry,
Wanda Guthrie didn't wait long to join in. As environmental
justice committee chair of the Thomas Merton Center — a
faith-based social activist group in Bloomfield — she has been
urging religious and other groups to use their investment
decisions to promote a halt in the burning of carbon-emitting
fossil fuels. Posted.

Feds approve oil exploration off US Eastern Coast. The Obama
administration has sided with energy developers over
environmentalists, approving the use of underwater blasts of
sound to pinpoint oil and gas deposits in federal Atlantic Ocean
waters. The regulatory decision is the first real step toward
what could be an economic transformation in East Coast states,
potentially creating a new energy infrastructure, thousands of
jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue. Posted.

Prospect of higher gas prices causes concern.  Fear of a gasoline
price spike is creeping into Sacramento as California’s gasoline
and diesel producers prepare for the first time to pay for the
air pollution their products create. State clean-air regulators
are getting ready to extend a cap on greenhouse gas emissions to
motor fuels in the transportation sector on Jan. 1, 2015. Posted.


California reviews fracking water disposal amid contamination
California on Friday said it would review wells where oil
drilling waste water from the process known as hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, is disposed to ensure they are not
contaminating drinking water. The move comes after the state
ordered oil companies to shut down 11 wells on July 1 in Kern
County, an area in the state’s Central Valley that is home to the
bulk of its crude oil production. Posted.

State allows two oil field injection wells to resume operation.
State oil regulators announced Friday they have lifted emergency
shutdown orders on two of the 11 Kern County injection wells
closed last week out of concern they may have contaminated
protected groundwater. One of the wells allowed to resume
operation belongs to Longbow LLC, and the other is owned by Pace
Diversified Corp., according to the agency that closed the wells
July 7, the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.


Tesla idles Fremont production line for Model X upgrade. Tesla
Motors shut down its production line Monday as part of a
long-scheduled plan to retool the factory to increase production
of the Model S sedan and prepare for the introduction of the
Model X crossover SUV. "We'll be back at regular production Aug.
4," Simon Sproule, Tesla's vice president of communications, said
in an interview. "We'll be down for 128 hours of regularly
scheduled production time." Posted.


How Does Your Energy Bill Compare To Others? Americans will be
wiping sweat off their foreheads this month, so get ready to
crank up those air conditioners. July tends to be the hottest
month of the year in the contiguous U.S., and as a result it has
the highest energy consumption. With mercury rising, consumers
can expect the heat to drain not only their energy supply but
also their wallets. In the United States, 7.1 percent of the
average consumer's total income is spent on energy costs,
including fuel, natural gas and electricity. Posted.

Solar cooking conference extols virtues of cookers to developing
world.  Hundreds of people Saturday cooked using only the power
of the sun – a practice little used in the United States, but
considered a liberating tool for women in developing countries
that also helps curb greenhouse gas emissions. The solar cooking
event at William Land Park capped a three-day conference by
Sacramento-based Solar Cookers International. Posted.


Global conference in Nevada focuses on mountains. More than 170
scientists from around the world gathered in Reno for what
organizers billed as a first-of-its-kind conference to discuss
global monitoring systems for mountain environments. The four-day
gathering, which ended this weekend after being hosted by the
University of Nevada, Reno, also drew sociologists, political
scientists, economists and anthropologists. Posted.

New Peru law weakens environmental safeguards. Dozens of
international groups, the United Nations, and even Peru's own
citizen ombudsman are objecting to a new law that weakens
environmental protections in the Andean nation even as it
prepares to host international climate talks this year. The law,
aimed at increasing investment, strips Peru's six-year-old
environment ministry of jurisdiction over air, soil and water
quality standards, as well as its ability to set limits for
harmful substances. Posted.


The Pentagon's War Against Climate Change. U.S. conservatives
make at least two arguments against action on climate change: We
don’t have enough conclusive evidence to prove it is happening,
and even if we did, the cost of cutting our carbon emissions
would be too high. The U.S. military has been quietly rebutting
both those arguments. Posted.

Water and Climate Change. Any blueprint for grappling with
climate change must simultaneously factor in the water use
involved in the technological options for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, a fact inadequately addressed in the United Nations
report cited by Mr. Porter. Electricity technologies are no
exception. Posted.

Op-Ed: The carbon taxes we're already paying. In June, a
decades-long open secret hit the media like a typhoon: Climate
change is the fundamental economic challenge of our time. The
bipartisan troika of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg,
hedge fund mogul Tom Steyer and former Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson funded the report, titled "Risky Business," which
estimated that on its current trajectory, climate change could
cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by 2050.

Coalition forms to manage California's groundwater. So let me get
this straight: The state government is telling us we can't hose
down the driveway and should feel guilty about watering the lawn.
But it's OK for somebody to pump all the groundwater he wants?
The policy-makers are padlocking flush toilets and shutting off
showers at some state parks. But they're too lazy or cowardly to
regulate people's wells?

Climate-change deniers living in fantasy world. If Michael Grant
(June 19, "Global Warming scam keeps rich above peasantry")
bothered to read some of the vast body of sound science now
available that confirms current climate change is man-made, he
would see that this time things are different. The rapidity of
change including temperatures, atmospheric CO2 levels, the
melting of ancient glaciers…Posted.

 A plan to prevent copper pollution in waterways is fatally
flawed. As early as next month, the State Water Resources Control
Board could take up the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality
Control Board’s recommendation for the maximum level of copper
particulates allowed in Marina del Rey, one of the largest
man-made harbors in the world. This sounds fairly simple, but the
proposal is so flawed that it’s destined for failure. Posted.

Spending on the Delta a sticking point in the water bond. If Gov.
Jerry Brown and lawmakers want voters to weigh in this year on a
multibillion-dollar water bond – a big if – they will need to
compromise on what may seem like an arcane point: Who controls
the money earmarked for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?

Opinion: We're the ones to blame for water cops, ticket books.
There are some people who if told it's a bad idea to kick a
rattlesnake they would go ahead and do it anyway, because, by
god, no one is going to tell them what to do. Many of them are
2-year-olds, some perform in Monty Python's Flying Circus but the
vast majority are otherwise sane adults living here in
California. Posted. 


One in seven trucks will be alt-fuel by 2035. More natural gas.
Less diesel. That's a quick synopsis of a study by Navigant
Research on future fueling trends for trucks. Powertrains that
are either plug-in or run on natural gas or liquefied petroleum
gas (i.e. propane or autogas) represent a small minority of
global medium- and heavy-duty trucks but will account for 14
percent of those trucks (about one in seven) by 2035. Posted.

The Week Ahead: EPA's McCarthy to Testify on Carbon Rules for
Power Plants. On July 23, Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Gina McCarthy is scheduled to testify before the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a hearing on
"EPA's Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power
Plants." As detailed in a June 17 Energy and Climate Report
article, the proposed rules would set carbon dioxide emissions
standards for existing and modified power plants by establishing
unique CO2 emissions rates for the power industry in each state.
Posted. http://www.bna.com/week-ahead-epas-b17179892555/  

SAE announces J2601 hydrogen fueling standard. Standardizing
refueling systems isn't a quick process, and a new set of fueling
standards for hydrogen stations were about 13 years in the
making. But SAE International (SAE stands for Society of
Automotive Engineers) said this week that it finally settled on a
hydrogen refueling standard for light-duty vehicles. For the
record, it's called SAE J2601. Posted.

Does Big Oil Really Care About Vulnerable Communities? There they
go again... with the same lament we always seem to hear from Big
Oil lobbyists when it's time to protect public health: Don't put
environmental protections on fuels, because that "will hit
low-income and middle-income families the hardest." In other
words, if you make us clean up our act, then we'll be forced to
raise gas prices, which hurts vulnerable people... You don't want
to hurt them, do you? Posted.

The Surprising Reasons Why Lowering CO2 Emissions Will Drive Our
Electricity Bills Down, Not Up. If the customer wants clean
energy, he’ll have to pay for it, right? Wrong. There’s actually
no premium attached to low-carbon power, state utility regulators
heard last week at their annual conference in Dallas. I’ll cut to
the chase. Check out this report from Analysis Group, a five-star
consultancy based in Boston, who presented at the conference.

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

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