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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 13, 2011. Posted: 13 Jan 2011 13:07:03
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 13, 2011. 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 U.S. Carbon Emissions To Fall In 2011, Rise In 2012. Carbon dioxide emissions, which are from fossil fuels and trap heat in the atmosphere, are expected to fall in the United States in 2011 before rising in 2012 as the economy recovers, according to the government's energy forecaster. The Energy Information Administration's monthly report says carbon emissions should fall 0.6 percent this year to 5.587 million tonnes. This decline will be caused by lower power demand, as temperatures are expected to be cooler in the coming summer than this past summer. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/13/11 CLIMATE CHANGE Picarro Goes For Gold In Gauging Greenhouse Gases. Measuring greenhouse gases is getting to be a good business. On Wednesday, Sunnyvale Company Picarro Inc. announced a $5 million deal for its measuring instruments that will be deployed at 100 greenhouse gas monitoring stations worldwide. "This is the biggest order, from the unit standpoint, in our company's history," said CEO Michael Woelk. The 10-year-old company signed the deal with AWS Convergence Technologies, which is investing $25 million over the next five years to build the monitoring stations, including 50 in the United States. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/13/BUPJ1H7JH1.DTL&type=printable CO2 Trading Worth Up to $212 Billion Opposed by Japan, Korea. Japanese and South Korean companies, adopting arguments that helped block carbon trading in the U.S., are opposing government plans to set up emission markets worth a potential $212 billion by 2020. The Federation of Korean Industries said Jan. 11 that starting emissions trading in 2013 would add to the cost of doing business and put the country at a disadvantage unless Japan and China do the same. Keidanren, Japan's largest business lobby said 61 of 64 companies that responded to a survey in September opposed introducing carbon trading. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/01/12/bloomberg1376-LEX3I91A1I4K01-55QVD0RV4V2KTCJN7M92VPOI4A.DTL&type=printable EPA Grants Greenhouse-Gas Rule Exemption. The Environmental Protection Agency is granting an exemption under its controversial greenhouse-gas requirements, saying that it will provide a three-year reprieve for facilities that burn wood chips and other biomass products to generate electricity. These facilities, often times power plants and paper makers, represent a small segment of the sectors that have to comply with the EPA's new greenhouse-gas regulations, which went into effect Jan. 2. But the EPA's action was seen as an important move at a time when the agency has been accused of overstepping its bounds and has come under fire for imposing potentially costly regulations. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703583404576079671129356558.html Biomass Over Climate. Under pressure from some members of Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is easing up on regulating global warming pollution from facilities that burn biomass for energy. The agency said Wednesday it needs more time to figure out whether biomass - including farm waste, sawmill scraps and forest thinnings - is really a green fuel. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson notified members of Congress who had complained that new rules regulating industrial carbon dioxide emissions would make it hard to develop new biomass energy plants they see as job creators and part of a national green energy strategy. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/01/12/1508639/epa-eases-up-on-pollution-from.html#ixzz1AvvGgPBb http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=12600395 UCSD Climate Change Scientists Pioneering New Tracking Tool. UC San Diego and a private company have launched what's being called the world's first and largest privately funded network to track greenhouse gases. Currently, scientists rely on a few dozen sampling stations to continuously monitor greenhouse gases around the globe. But now, UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography is teaming with a private-sector company, Earth Networks, to build the world's most comprehensive network for tracking carbon around the globe. Posted. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/jan/13/ucsd-climate-change-scientists-pioneering-new-trac/ Calling All Corporate Leaders: Full Speed Ahead On Greenhouse Gas Reductions. Last October, EPA held its final Climate Leaders meeting. While many were concerned about the sudden dissolution of the program, some saw it as inevitable. The consensus is that the EPA Climate Leaders program has provided significant value to companies over the past eight years. Beginning with 11 charter members in 2002, the program grew to 275 companies in 2010, with annual GHG reductions totaling 18 million metric tons of CO2 annually – enough to power over 2 million homes for one year. Posted. http://www.favstocks.com/calling-all-corporate-leaders-full-speed-ahead-on-greenhouse-gas-reductions/1231166/ State Official Explains 'Clear Incentive' In Emerging Cap-And-Trade Plan. Correction appended. A senior California official yesterday shed more light on how the state expects to enforce greenhouse gas emissions cuts as well as provide emitters with a backstop in case of carbon allowance price spikes under its fast-approaching cap-and-trade program. Kevin Kennedy, assistant executive officer in charge of the Office of Climate Change at the California Air Resources Board (ARB), addressed greenhouse gas cuts set to go into effect in California next year during a briefing with attorneys. He explained that enforcement will proceed, in part, via a "surrender obligation" rule that would penalize emitters for failing to meet deadlines. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/13/2 Last Year Was The Wettest And Tied 2005 For The Hottest. 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year since records began in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday. Combined land and surface temperatures last year were 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, according to a report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. Last year was also the wettest on record. The record-setting conditions in 2010 are part of a overall warming trend driven by human activities that pump carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, said David Easterling, the NOAA climate center's chief of scientific services. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/13/5 DIESEL Clean Trucks Program Expansion Approved. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the inclusion of smaller trucks to the Clean Trucks Program on Monday. The board in its meeting also approved penalties for “dray-offs” within the Harbor district — switching cargo from a “clean” to a “dirty.” The board added “Class 7” trucks to its program. Class 7 trucks are smaller than “Class 8” trucks. Under the program Class 8 trucks are subject to strict emission standards and older models have been progressively banned from terminals since 2008. Posted. http://www.lbpost.com/news/don/10925 Diesel Hybrid Market Fires Up. Hybrid trucks are already in commercial production, and with Peugeot’s pending launch of the world’s first diesel-electric hybrid passenger car, the industry is poised for considerable growth. Although the U.S. lags behind Europe in terms of favoring light-duty diesel applications, interest may soon grow as the European market takes off. The environmental benefits of diesel hybrid technologies are impressive, allowing for an average fuel consumption saving of 20 to 35 percent. Posted. http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/7534/diesel-hybrid-market-fires-up AGC’s General Counsel Negotiates Compromise on California Emissions Rule. In 2007, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) set in motion strict off-road diesel emissions rules that could have had long-range impact on contractors and equipment suppliers. When the recession hit the state particularly hard, the CARB rules, based data that was questioned from the outset, seemed unfair and costly. Officials estimated the equipment replacements and upgrades would cost billions of dollars. Posted. http://enr.construction.com/people/awards/2011/0112-Michael_Kennedy.asp GREEN ENERGY Dashboard: San Diego County Environment Improves. The second annual quality-of-life "dashboard" for San Diego County showed improvements in several environmental indicators but concluded that the region still lags behind many parts of the state and nation in some key measurements. The assessment, published Wednesday by the non-profit Equinox Center in Encinitas, includes 14 key metrics, including jobs and wages, water and energy consumption, climate change, mobility, housing affordability, waste disposal and land development. Posted. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jan/12/report-san-diego-county-environment-improves/ Environmentalists Lose Bid to Protect Arcadia Woodland. Ignoring protests from residents and environmentalists Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors opted to let crews bulldoze about 11 acres of coast live oaks and sycamore trees north of Arcadia. Infuriated by the lack of official response, protesters plan to meet the bulldozers head on this morning near Wilderness Park in hopes of stopping the destruction. " Posted. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_17069980?source=rss#ixzz1Avu6iTg4 UC Davis Wins Ag Research Grants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $40 million in research grants to the University of California, Davis, to develop new bioenergy sources and climate-change-tolerant plants. The awards were among the largest research grants received by the UC Davis campus in recent years, behind a five-year, $75 million grant in 2009 from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/01/13/1509488/uc-davis-wins-ag-research-grants.html#ixzz1Aw4iaIYW ENERGY: Cox Communications Goes Green with Fuel Cells. Cox Communications will unveil a pair of biogas-powered, 400-kilowatt fuel cells Thursday ---- a green energy purchase made possible by use of a California utility ratepayer fund and federal tax credits. Both the state and the federal governments have implemented numerous programs to create markets for energy generators that produce fewer greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_3041c09c-87c6-5d3d-a9a8-8c5b5b108241.html Buzzing With Energy. The $452 million Lodi Energy Center is shaping up nicely six months into the two-year construction timeline, the Northern California Power Agency reports, and it's on schedule. The agency is teaming up with the California Energy Commission on the 296-megawatt energy center now under construction on 4.4 acres of city-owned land off Interstate 5 north of Eight Mile Road near the White Slough wastewater treatment plant. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110113/A_NEWS/101130320 Energy Commission Awards Over $500,000 for Research on Effects of Climate Change on Hydropower. The California Energy Commission today awarded $582,685 for research projects including one that will look at the effects of climate change on hydropower projects. Funds for the four research projects come from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The Energy Commission approved $299,970 to the University of California at Davis to look at the effects of climate change on hydropower operations and their environmental impact downstream. Posted. http://yubanet.com/regional/Energy-Commission-Awards-Over-500-000-for-Research-on-Effects-of-Climate-Change-on-Hydropower.php Analysis: Solar Stocks Face another Tough Year In 2011. Investors hoping that 2011 will mark the return of off-the-charts growth in solar stocks will be sorely disappointed, though the industry's battered share prices make for good bargains in the meantime. In 2010 the fast-growing industry logged its biggest sales year ever, yet shares of solar panel makers lagged the broader market significantly. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70B6GV20110112 California's Energy Policies May Make or Break Plug-In Hybrids. California policies aimed at reducing electricity use and curbing greenhouse gas emissions have the unintended consequence of making new plug-in hybrid vehicles uneconomical, according to a Purdue University economist. Wally Tyner, the James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics, said California's tiered electricity pricing system means Californians will pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country to recharge plug-in hybrid vehicles. Posted. http://westernfarmpress.com/management/californias-energy-policies-may-make-or-break-plug-hybrids VEHICLES Auto Makers Seek Help on Fuel Rules. Washington—Auto makers are asking newly empowered House Republicans to help fight a proposal under consideration by the Obama administration to boost fuel-economy standards for new cars and trucks to as high as 62 miles per gallon by 2025. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the car industry's main trade group, wrote in a letter to U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) and Fred Upton (R., Mich.) that fuel-economy standards are "by far the most expensive regulations auto makers face." Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704803604576078020305484178.html OPINION Save Energy, Save Our Troops. A NATO oil tanker truck was blown up by insurgents at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last week, and while no one was injured, the incident temporarily closed the Khyber Pass, the main supply artery for Western troops in the Afghan theater. This has become an all-too-routine occurrence; in the last nine years some 1,000 Americans have been killed on fuel-related missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/opinion/13anderson.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print EDITORIAL: Chicken Little Eats Crow. Doomsayers who make a living warning that the sky is falling victim to human-induced pollution need to take a deep breath. It turns out Mother Nature has her own resources for cleaning up the air. The journal Science reported Friday that hydroxyl, a chemical that plays a central role in regulating pollutants in the Earth's atmosphere, is less susceptible to fluctuations in concentration than previously thought. As a result, scientists now believe the atmosphere's capability of cleaning itself is relatively stable. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/12/chicken-little-eats-crow/ California Poised to Write New Chapter in Energy Policy. With gridlock likely in the 112th Congress and the Administration’s mandate accordingly tempered, those interested in America’s energy policy and 21st century competitiveness should look West. As newly-elected California Governor Jerry Brown’s ambitious state budget undergoes the scrutiny of multiple media cycles, other elements of the senior statesman’s agenda may easily go unnoticed – including what impact Governor Brown part deux may have in renewing an American innovation economy. Posted. http://leadenergy.org/2011/01/california-poised-to-write-new-chapter-in-energy-policy/ BLOGS Another One Bites the Dust? California's cap-and-trade partners are dropping like flies. It's not official yet, but it's looking like what was once envisioned as a regional carbon trading program involving seven US states and four Canadian provinces, will now involve just one US state - California - and just three provinces: Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario. One by one, members of the Western Climate Initiative have postponed their involvement or dropped out altogether, as Arizona did last February when Gov. Jan Brewer issued an executive order backing out of the carbon trading program. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/01/12/another-one-bites-the-dust/ Will New California Governor Approve Plan For 1 Million Electric Vehicles? Motivated by Prop 23's defeat in November, Environment California is working on getting Governor Jerry Brown on board with a plan to reduce California's dependence on oil by getting one million clean vehicles on the Golden State's roads by 2022. Why one million? As Dan Jacobson, Environment California's legislative director, explains: It's our theory that if you can get to a million that basically creates a tipping point. There will then be so many clean cars that Detroit and all the automakers will just start selling us nothing but clean cars. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/01/13/california-governor-approve-plan-1-million-electric-vehicles/print/ EPA Defers Greenhouse-Gas Requirements For Burning Biomass As Fuel [Updated]. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will defer greenhouse-gas permitting requirements for emissions from industries' burning of biomass -- plant materials and animal waste that are used as fuel. Announced Wednesday, the EPA says the three-year deferral will allow the agency to research the environmental impact of burning biomass for fuel and to develop rules on whether emissions from such sources would require permitting under the Clean Air Act. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/01/epa-defers-greenhouse-gas-requirements-for-biomass.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 EPA Delays Climate Rules for Biomass Industry. In another sign that the Environmental Protection Agency is moderating its climate policy, it announced Wednesday it would exempt the biomass industry from limits on greenhouse gas emissions for three years. More than two dozen lawmakers had urged EPA to hold off on applying new rules aimed at curbing greenhouse gases from large emitters to facilities that burn wood and farm waste. Posted. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/post-carbon/2011/01/epa_delays_climate_rules_for_b.html