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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 25, 2014

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 13:39:05
ARB Newsclips for July 25, 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.


California’s Progressive, Divisive Cap and Trade Plan. 
California is claiming the environmental high ground by preparing
to take the next step in its carbon reduction plan, but the
result may leave drivers fuming.  Starting on January 1, 2015, a
cap and trade system will go into effect for all transportation
fuels in California, including, of course, gasoline. Oil
companies are predicting it will mean an immediate increase of at
least 12 cents a gallon at the pump.  Posted. 


U.S. West States Met to Discuss EPA Emission Proposals. Top air
regulators from 13 states across the western U.S. met in private
last week to talk about how they could work together on
carbon-emissions cuts proposed by the Obama administration.
California Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols, Nevada
Environmental Protection administrator Colleen Cripps and Arizona
Department of Environmental Quality director Henry Darwin
attended the July 17 meeting in Denver…Posted.

China’s Plan to Limit Coal Use Could Spur Consumption for Years.
Under pressure to reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions, the
Chinese government is considering a mandatory cap on coal use,
the main source of carbon pollution from fossil fuels. But it
would be an adjustable ceiling that would allow coal consumption
to grow for years, and policy makers are at odds on how long the
nation’s emissions will rise. Posted.

What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming? ‘In
Sichuan, we’re eaters,” said Chen Zemin, the world’s first and
only frozen-dumpling billionaire. “We have an expression that
goes, ‘Even if you have a very poor life, you still have your
teeth to please.’ ” He smiled and patted his not insubstantial
belly. “I like to eat.” Posted.

Hot weather prompts bad-air warning. Soaring temperatures across
the Bay Area have prompted air quality regulators to issue a
Spare the Air Alert for Friday. The Bay Area Air Quality
Management District is advising residents to avoid prolonged
outdoor activity during the hottest parts of the day. Agency
officials also are urging people to carpool or take public
transportation to reduce the number of smog-producing cars on the
road. Posted.




Fairbanks pollution initiative to appear on ballot. Enough
signatures have been gathered for a ballot initiative seeking to
renew a law barring the Fairbanks North Star Borough from
regulating home heating devices. The "Home Heating Protection
Initiative" will appear on the municipal ballot in October. It's
the third in a series of initiatives that have barred the borough
from imposing regulations on home heating devices since

EPA awards grant for native indoor air pollution study.   The US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the award of
a new grant to measure the effects of indoor pollution on native
subsistence hunters in subarctic North America. The $700,000
(£411,413) Science to Achieve Results grant has been awarded to
Richard Peltier, health scientist at the University of
Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health
Sciences.  Posted. 

Indoor air purifier company fined $120,000 by ARB for illegal
product sales.  The California Air Resources Board (ARB)
announced today that it has fined a manufacturer of indoor air
cleaning machines $120,000 for violating state regulations that
applied to two of its products.  Posted. 


Obama to attend UN climate summit in September. President Barack
Obama will attend a United Nations summit on climate change in
September. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited heads
of state and other leaders to the Sept. 23 summit in New York.
The U.N. says the goal is to spur governments, industry and civil
groups to make new commitments to addressing climate change.


Climate Change May Reduce Corn, Wheat Crop Yields. Rising
temperatures caused by climate change increase the odds that corn
and wheat yields will slow even as global demand for the crops
for food and fuel increases in the next 10 to 20 years, according
to a study published in Environmental Research Letters. There is
as much as a 10 percent chance the rate of corn yields will slow
and a 5 percent probability for wheat because of human-caused
climate change…Posted.

Kudzu That Ate U.S. South Heads North as Climate Changes.  As the
climate warms, the vine that ate the U.S. South is starting to
gnaw at parts of the North, too. Kudzu, a three-leafed weed first
planted in the U.S. more than 100 years ago for the beauty of its
purple blossoms, has been spotted in every county in Georgia,
Alabama and North Carolina. It chokes young trees, brings down
power lines and infests abandoned homes. Posted.

El Nino Seen by Forecasters Weak or Delayed for Months. El Nino
will probably develop as a weak event in late summer or early
fall in the Northern Hemisphere, according to MDA Weather
Services, while Commodity Weather Group LLC said it may be
delayed for several months as the warming of the Pacific Ocean
slows. Palm oil futures fell. A drier pattern in Southeast Asia
and eastern Australia, and lower monsoon rainfall in India are
signs of an El Nino-like event…Posted.

States Against E.P.A. Rule on Carbon Pollution Would Gain, Study
Finds.  Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Senator James M. Inhofe of
Oklahoma are among the most vocal Republican skeptics of the
science that burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming,
but a new study to be released Thursday found that their states
would be among the biggest economic winners under a regulation
proposed by President Obama to fight climate change.  Posted. 

Study casts doubt on rate of Antarctic sea ice growth. A new
study suggests that scientists must re-examine records that show
increases in Antarctic sea ice since 1979. Researchers found that
something changed in the way satellite data get converted into
ice cover, but they can't yet identify the exact nature of the
change, or whether it fixed a problem or introduced one. Posted.

Brown to sign climate pact with Mexico, with linkage on the
table. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is heading to Mexico next week to
sign a climate change agreement that will call for some sort of
linkage between the two jurisdictions, according to a document
detailing part of the agenda. Brown is scheduled to sign the
memorandum of understanding in Mexico City on Monday with the
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, as part of a
three-day trip also dealing with energy and trade issues. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003498/print BY

White House report shows drop in greenhouse gas emissions.
Federal agencies have continued to cut their greenhouse gas
emissions over the past year, according to a new White House
report released today. Agencies across the federal government
have reduced emissions by more than 17 percent since 2008. In
addition, more than 9 percent of electricity used by the
government came from renewable power…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003527/print BY

Global warming found not to drive tropical soil carbon into the
atmosphere – study. Contrary to popular belief, climate warming
does not cause the carbon trapped in soil -- found in tropical
forests, at least -- to enter the atmosphere at an accelerated
rate. While it is true that the planet's soil releases about 60
billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year, many
short-term studies claim that rising temperatures will increase
this process and, in turn, speed up global warming. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003500/print BY

Researchers trace ancient 'tipping points' that could warn of
future climate shifts. At the end of the last Ice Age 18,000
years ago, the Northern Hemisphere transitioned rapidly into a
new climate state. Glaciers retreated and the world warmed, and
by 11,500 years ago, the planet had entered the constant summer
of today's Holocene Epoch. Right before this shift, there may
have been a warning sign that the planet was hitting a tipping
point into a warmer state. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003495/print BY


Satellites show major Southwest groundwater loss. Groundwater
losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive enough to
challenge long-term water supplies for the seven states and parts
of Mexico that it serves, according to a new study released
Thursday that used NASA satellites. Researchers from NASA and the
University of California, Irvine say their study is the first to
quantify how much groundwater people in the West are using during
the region's current drought. Posted.

California Tries to Measure Water Use as Drought Worsens. State
and local officials in California are struggling to track water
use as Governor Jerry Brown calls for a 20 percent drop in
consumption to alleviate a record drought. The State Water
Resources Control Board, for instance, reported usage in Santa
Ana soared 63.6 percent in May from the average of corresponding
months in 2011-2013, while the city said the increase was 7
percent. Posted. 

Fire season in West so far is below expectations. Widespread
drought across the West had forecasters expecting an
above-average wildfire season this summer, which so far has not
lived up to expectations. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell
said Wednesday that the hot windy weather known as "red flag"
days have not lined up with the lighting strikes that start most
fires, particularly in drought-parched California. Posted.

California to water-wasters during drought: no more Mr. Nice Guy!
As the California drought grinds through its third year, it’s no
more Mr. Nice Guy as far as the government goes. After last
month’s news that the New Year’s call by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for
a voluntary 20 percent cutback actually yielded a 1 percent
increase in water use statewide by June, California took the
unprecedented action of imposing a mandatory requirement that all
440 of the state’s major water districts implement drought
response plans as of Aug. 1 Posted.


Gasoline prices falling in California, across nation.  California
gasoline prices are falling, welcome news for motorists amid the
summer driving season. The average price for a gallon of unleaded
regular fell below $4 Friday for the first time since April 1,
according to price-tracking website GasBuddy.com. Friday’s
average of $3.998 a gallon compares with a recent high of $4.264
on May 1. “You might not go back above $4 this year,” said Tom
Kloza, chief oil analyst for GasBuddy. Posted.

Industry Vows to Fight U.S. City’s Ban on Canadian Oil Sands. Why
Canada Would Rather Export Oil Than Refine It. Many residents of
South Portland, Maine, were ecstatic over a recent decision by
the city council to forbid the use of the city's facilities to
export Canadian oil sands. The council voted 6-1 on July 21
against allowing the use of the 236-mile Portland-Montreal Pipe
Line to ship the Canadian oil to South Portland for export.

California Energy Commission selects 11 advanced biofuels
projects for $43.6M in awards.  The California Energy Commission
(CEC) has selected 11 biofuel projects projects—including
gasoline substitutes, diesel substitutes and biomethane
projects—for $43,633,421 in awards under a grant solicitation
released in January for the development of new, or the
modification of, existing California-based biofuel production
facilities that can sustainably produce low carbon transportation
fuels.  Posted. 

Ethanol producer to integrate renewable diesel production from
corn distiller oil.  Ethanol producer East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC
(EKAE) intends to integrate renewable diesel production at its
ethanol plant in Garnett, Kansas. Renewable diesel will be made
from the corn distillers oil (CDO) already produced at the plant
along with other feedstocks purchased on the market. Posted. 

For energy-producing states, shifts in domestic fuel use could be
the biggest impact of the Clean Power Plan. States that pay the
highest abatement costs under U.S. EPA's new power plant carbon
rule may actually emerge as economic winners once upstream
impacts are accounted for, according to a new joint analysis by
the Rhodium Group (RHG) and the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS). 
In the month and a half since EPA first released a draft version
of its Clean Power Plan (CPP)…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003497/print BY

EPA IG may have strengthened agency's hand on methane regulation.
 A report released today by U.S. EPA's inspector general may help
pave the way for methane regulations for natural gas pipelines.
The agency's IG found that EPA is doing too little to limit
methane leakage from the natural gas transmission sector, which
it estimated to contribute more than 13 million metric tons of
CO2 equivalent each year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060003534/print BY


Sales of Big S.U.V.s Pulling the Weight at General Motors. When
the redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Suburban started coming off the
assembly line this year, Mike Quinto made sure he was one of the
first to buy one, ordering it, sight unseen, two months ahead of
time. Mr. Quinto, a technology consultant from Blowing Rock,
N.C., is well aware that the fuel economy of his four-wheel-drive
Suburban, a large sport utility vehicle, is low, officially rated
at a combined 18 miles a gallon. Posted.

Nissan will offer free charging to new Leaf electric car buyers.
Taking a cue from Tesla Motors, which provides the owners of its
cars a network of free charging stations nationwide, Nissan is
launching a similar program for drivers of its Leaf electric
vehicle. Starting in August, Los Angeles area Leaf buyers will
get a card that pays for two years of no-cost public charging at
hundreds of stations. The car includes access to fast chargers
that can recharge a Leaf battery to 80% power in about 30
minutes. Posted.

Changing human behavior is major factor in selling cleaner cars,
curbing congestion. Henry Ford's vision to create cars "for the
great multitude" has been far better received than anyone could
have imagined. More than a century since the Model T was
introduced, global demand for personal vehicles is stronger than
ever, particularly in the developing world, where people want
cars for improved mobility and as status symbols. But as car
culture spreads, vehicles are clogging up city streets and
threatening the planet with harmful emissions. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003467/print BY

China pushes harder to boost electric car sales. China this week
issued a new guideline on how it plans to add more electric
vehicles and other green models on the road, reviving the hope
that clean car producers will see a long-awaited sales surge in
the world's largest auto market. In a statement posted on its
website, the State Council, or China's Cabinet, laid out an
extensive list of objectives to achieve by 2020, including
speeding up green transit in public transportation…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003494/print BY


High-speed rail Pacheco Pass route upheld by appeals court. A
state appeals court on Thursday upheld a proposed route for
California's high-speed rail line connecting the San Francisco
Bay Area to the Central Valley. The decision is a short-term win
for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has prioritized the $68-billion project
that has become bogged down by legal and regulatory challenges.


German Utilities Bail Out Electric Grid at Wind’s Mercy.
Germany’s push toward renewable energy is causing so many drops
and surges from wind and solar power that the government is
paying more utilities than ever to help stabilize the country’s
electricity grid. Twenty power companies including Germany’s
biggest utilities, EON SE and RWE AG, now get fees for pledging
to add or cut electricity within seconds to keep the power system

State Department Names Acting Energy Envoy.  Amos Hochstein Takes
Post at Critical Time for Obama's Energy Diplomacy.  The State
Department on Friday named Amos Hochstein as acting special envoy
and coordinator for international energy affairs, filling the
position at a critical time for the Obama administration's energy
diplomacy efforts. The State Department's Bureau of Energy
Resources, which Mr. Hochstein will now lead…Posted.

New technologies await 'discussions' to extend U.S.-China
partnership. The U.S. government may be a few months away from
renewing a $150 million clean energy research partnership with
China, according to a senior U.S. adviser on the program, and he
suggested that researchers on both sides of the Pacific have a
strong idea about what they would want to spend the new funds on.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003499/print BY

U.K. announces cap of £200M to renewable energy subsidies. In a
move that frustrated green energy advocates and small businesses
in the industry, the United Kingdom's government announced
yesterday it would cap subsidies for renewable energy projects at
£200 million ($340 million) a year. The decision will affect
low-scale renewable energy initiatives, such as wind, solar and
biomass installations, and the funding will be available

Diversity in U.S. power supply poised to fall, and that could
drive prices up – study. The United States is heading toward a
less diverse supply of electricity in a shift that could stir
volatility in the coming decades, according to a new report from
IHS Inc. Factors behind the trend include proposed environmental
regulations, a preference for natural gas and renewable energy
over other sources and lower wholesale power prices, IHS said in
a news release yesterday. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1060003501/print BY


San Pedro butane storage company agrees to pay $260,000 fine to
EPA. The operator of a large butane storage site in San Pedro
that has long drawn complaints from residents has agreed to pay a
$260,000 fine for safety and inspection lapses at the facility,
federal environmental officials announced Thursday. Rancho LPG
Holdings LLC, the owner of two liquid petroleum tanks that can
hold up to 25 million gallons of flammable substances…Posted.


COLUMN-Time to be afraid - preparing for the next big solar
storm: Kemp. The probability of a solar storm striking Earth in
the next decade with enough force to do serious damage to
electricity networks could be as high as 12 percent, according to
solar scientists. One such storm erupted from the surface of the
Sun two years ago, on July 23, 2012. If it had been directed at
this planet, it would have produced the worst geomagnetic storm
in more than four centuries and caused extensive power problems.

Robert Rubin: How ignoring climate change could sink the U.S.
economy. Good economic decisions require good data. And to get
good data, we must account for all relevant variables. But we’re
not doing this when it comes to climate change — and that means
we’re making decisions based on a flawed picture of future risks.
While we can’t define future climate-change risks with precision,
they should be included in economic policy, fiscal and business
decisions because of their potential magnitude. Posted.

A Carbon Tax’s Ignoble End. Why Tony Abbott Axed Australia’s
Carbon Tax. It will be remembered as one of the most ignoble
moments in our history: On July 17, Australia became the first
country to repeal a carbon tax. The deputy leader of the Greens
Party, Adam Bandt, said it was “the Australian Parliament’s
asbestos moment, our tobacco moment — when we knew what we were
doing was harmful, but went ahead and did it anyway.” Posted.

Dan Walters Daily: Rising costs undermine California
cap-and-trade. (VIDEO) Consumers support California's efforts to
combat climate change until it hits their pocketbooks, Dan says.

Genesis finds its groove. Pop a few buttons off most
provocatively dressed Hyundais, and you will find four-cylinder
hearts born to be mild. Like a few big-city strutters you've
known, they promise more than they can deliver. (I keep a
tattered court document in a bottom drawer to remind me of mine.)
In fact, take a typical Hyundai to a wild party and it will doze
off in the parking lot by 9 o'clock, probably dreaming of growing
up to be a Lexus. Don't get me wrong. Hyundais can comfortably
transport us to a glassy office or a table at a local burger
joint. Posted.

Win some, lose some. Re "Australia scuttles tax on carbon
emissions" (Page A9, July 18): This is a defeat for efforts to
combat climate change. What happened? This was not a simple
carbon tax where all revenue collected was returned to Australian
households. Thus, the average Australian saw increased energy
costs with no direct compensation for these costs. Also, The tax
was strongly opposed by the conservative party and when it
returned to power it immediately sought the repeal of the tax.
Posted. here:

The records keep coming. Re "State's on a warming trend in 2014"
(Capitol & California, July 22): The records keep coming. NOAA
announced that global average temperature reached a new high in
the month of May and then again in June. The National Weather
Service reported that the first six months of this year were the
hottest in California history. Posted.

EarthTalk / Another result of climate change: Wildfires. Dear
EarthTalk: Why are wildfires on the increase and what can be done
to stop them from happening? There's no question that wildfires
are on the increase across the American West and other fire-prone
regions of the world, and most environmental leaders agree that
global warming is largely to blame. In a recent study published
in the journal Geophysical Research Letters…Posted.

[Editorial] Don’t let big business ruin efforts to cap carbon
emissions. Greenhouse gas emission trading, the key program for
responding to climate change by reducing carbon emissions, is
running into trouble at the very outset. On July 15, the
Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and other business
lobbyists suggested delaying the implementation of the new system
until after 2020. Posted.


This animation shows how awful the California drought is this
year. For the first time since 2000, air pollution is not the top
environmental concern among Californians, according to a Public
Policy Institute of California survey. It’s water. A full 35
percent of the survey’s respondents cited drought or water supply
as their top environmental concern in response to an open-ended
question, PPIC reported this week. That’s up from 8 percent just
three years ago. Posted.

More Americans working in solar than coal mining. In a report
issued in May 2013 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sites data
that estimated slightly over 80,000 jobs for all occupations
within the coal-mining  industry. A 2013 report from the U.S.
Mine Safety and Health Administration cited 123,227 jobs in coal
mining. The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013
sites data that shows as of November 2013 the solar industry
employed 142,698 Americans. Posted.

California GOP turns on climate change law.  If you want a sense
of how politicized the fight against global warming has become,
look no farther than the latest poll from the Public Policy
Institute of California. Posted. 

The Dark Side Of Solar Energy: Weaponry. Panic struck late
medieval Europe. The Muslims were on the verge of producing,
according to one of the most learned men of the day, Roger Bacon,
the ultimate doomsday device, a solar mirror that “would burn
fiercely everything on anything it could be focused upon.”

How an Island-City Plans to Hold Back Rising Seas. I’m on the
east side of Alameda Island, standing in mud in front of a storm
drain that empties out into San Leandro Bay. There’s a stretch of
homes right on the shoreline looking out at estuaries, the
Oakland Airport, and Coliseum. The waterline isn’t quite at my
feet right now, but in less than a century I’d likely be standing
in water up to my shoulders. Posted.

On climate change, Republicans are even more backward than oil
companies. Ask your average liberal or environmentalist to name
the primary impediment to action on climate change, and the
response will probably be: “Easy. It’s the fossil fuel industry.”
It’s not that easy, however. The fossil fuel companies are
actually more accepting of climate reality than virtually every
Republican in Congress. Posted.

Big Polluters Cry Wolf Over EPA Plan to Protect Health and Fight
Climate Change.  Next week the Environmental Protection Agency
will host four public hearings on its plan to reduce climate
change pollution from power plants. The speakers list is already
filling up. Physicians will outline the health hazards linked to
climate change. Farmers will talk about the challenges of raising
crops in the face of extreme weather. And governors and mayors
will describe the benefits of attracting clean energy investment
to their communities. Posted.

Drive an EV and you, too, can pay the equivalent of 75 cents a
gallon.  One in six households can party like it's 1979 by
purchasing a plug-in vehicle. Add a thumpin' sound system to that
vehicle and you can celebrate by pumping out an appropriate hit
from that year, too. We think Chic's Good Times would be
appropriate.  Thanks to special rates for households with
battery-electric of plug-in hybrid vehicles, about 21 million
households (a sixth of the country's total)…Posted. 

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

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