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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 4, 2011.

Posted: 04 Feb 2011 13:08:41
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 4, 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.


S. Calif. Air Board Approves Pollution Program.  Southern
California's anti-smog agency overwhelmingly approved a
controversial plan that would allow companies to pollute by
purchasing emission credits.  The South Coast Air Quality
Management District voted 10-1 to approve trading credits, the
third time they've voted on an issue that has sparked lawsuits in
the past.  Posted. 





Pharma Giant Merck Faces Trial Over Merced Plant.  A company once
owned by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. exposed residents near
its now-shuttered Merced plant to cancer-causing chemicals, then
covered up the contamination for years and downplayed its
severity, a lawyer said Thursday.  Fresno attorney Mick
Marderosian made the allegations in opening statements in U.S.
District Court in Fresno.  Posted. 


Judge: More Review Needed To Finalize Ab32. San Francisco, ca
(AP) -- state air quality regulators must conduct further
analysis before fully implementing California’s landmark 2006
climate law, a trial court judge has said. In a tentative ruling
last month, san Francisco superior court judge Ernest goldsmith
said the California air resources board violated state
environmental law by failing to properly study alternatives to
plans it has adopted. A final ruling could come Tuesday, when the
air board's response is due, and if it's upheld, it could delay
implementation of the nation's most aggressive climate change
laws. Posted.




California Court Decision No Threat To ETS: Lawyers. A California
court decision is unlikely to delay the start of the state’s
cap-and-trade programme. Late last month, a San Francisco judge
tentatively ruled that the California Air Resources Board (Carb)
had failed to adequately examine alternative policy options to
creating a carbon market when deciding how the state should
reduce its GHG emissions. An attorney representing the
challengers told Reuters Tuesday that the ruling, if finalised,
could potentially delay implementation of the cap-and-trade
carbon market due to start next year. Posted. Pointcarbon.com
(this article is by subscription only). Thank you.

Pacific Northwest Warned Of Climate Change Dangers.  Washington
state and the province of British Columbia launched a joint
effort on Wednesday to warn residents of North America's Pacific
Northwest about the danger that climate change poses to coastal
communities.  Officials say they hope that by increasing public
awareness about issues such as rising sea levels they can revive
flagging support for fighting global warming in the neighboring
U.S. state and Canadian province.  Posted. 

Record Droughts Could Make The Amazon A Source Of Carbon
Emissions. A severe drought last year in the Amazon rainforest
outpaced a 2005 dry spell thought to be a once-in-a-century
event, a new study finds. Researchers from the United Kingdom and
Brazil also said the pair of droughts have raised concerns that
the forest could be approaching a point where it ceases to be a
carbon "sink," absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
than it produces, and flips to a carbon source. Posted.


Oakland Port Grant To Cut Ships' Dirty Diesel Pollution. Half the
ships at dock in California ports must plug into electrical power
by 2014. By 2014, half the large container ships that dock at the
Port of Oakland must shut down their dirty auxiliary diesel
engines and plug in to clean electrical power. And the port's $90
million estimate for meeting that state deadline got a boost this
week when the Air Quality Management District awarded a $5
million grant to help bring electrical shore power to three
Oakland berths. Posted.


Group Drops Lawsuit Over Colorado Oil, Gas Rules.  The Colorado
Oil and Gas Association said Thursday it is withdrawing its
lawsuit challenging Colorado oil and gas rules that took effect
in 2009.  Industry officials had said the rules, aimed at
balancing development with protections for human health and the
environment, were among the country's most restrictive.  Posted. 

Report Backs Massive Canadian Oil Sands Pipeline.  A proposed oil
pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast could substantially
reduce U.S. dependency on oil from the Middle East and other
regions, according to a report commissioned by the Obama
administration.  The study suggests the 1,900-mile pipeline,
coupled with a reduction in overall U.S. oil demand, "could
essentially eliminate Middle East crude imports longer term.". 



The Root: Trying To Find The Rumored Green Jobs. Proclaiming it
"Innovation Week" at the White House, President Obama has ramped
up his clean-energy agenda recently. From the Monday launch of a
program designed to spark entrepreneurship in high-growth
industries, to Thursday's tour of labs at Penn State where
researchers are developing more energy-efficient buildings, the
president keeps talking the good talk on investing in new
technologies to create jobs. Posted.

Obama Sharpens Jobs Element Of Energy Pitch.  President Barack
Obama, turning briefly to his eclipsed domestic agenda, sharpened
his sales pitch for clean energy technology Thursday by promising
that the payoff would be a wave of jobs ---- the kind good enough
to support families and long-term American prosperity.  Posted. 




Auditor Advises Lawmakers To Rethink Power Surcharge. An
electricity surcharge in place on most California utility bills
since 1996 to fund research and development has resulted in few
payoffs and should be reformed drastically if it is to continue
beyond its sunset date next year, according to the state's
legislative auditor. The Legislative Analyst's Office in
Sacramento examined the fee, which has raised $700 million to
date, and determined that the so-called Public Interest Energy
Research (PIER) program has lacked focus and often spent funds in
areas outside electricity. Posted.

California Proposal Presents Four Strategies To Let The Sun Shine
In. The solar sector in California stands to receive a
potentially significant boost if a four-pronged renewable energy
policy and business initiative introduced this week by state
legislators is signed into law. Assembly Speaker John A. Perez
and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg have
introduced the Clean Energy Jobs Initiative, which is designed to
both accelerate renewable energy deployment in California and aid
the budget-beleaguered state in resolving its persistent fiscal
crisis. Posted.


Honda Fit beats Toyota Prius to top Japan sales.  Honda's Fit
subcompact overtook Toyota's Prius gasoline-electric hybrid as
Japan's top-selling car in January, its first return to that spot
in nearly two years.  The figures released Friday by the Japan
Automobile Dealers Association show how the end of government
subsidies for green cars have hurt sales of the Prius after
holding the top spot in Japan for 20 straight months. It remains
the world's top-selling hybrid.  Posted. 




Homes Go Ultra-Green.  A Sacramento developer said it plans to
roll out a new, ultra-efficient housing development in midtown
this fall where energy bills will be as much as 70 percent lower
than normal.  The 34 houses planned for 25th and R streets will
be net-zero energy – meaning they produce more energy than they
use.  Posted. 

China's Booming Economy May Produce The Majority Of World Coal
Emissions By 2035 – EIA. China's growth kept churning through the
2009 global financial crisis that left the United States and
Europe in economic shambles. That kept China's global carbon
emissions on a steadily upward trajectory, according to the U.S.
Energy Information Administration. EIA emissions data released
last month add weight to a body of evidence suggesting that, in
terms of greenhouse gas emissions, slumping Western economies
will be no match for growth in China and India. Posted.


Gavin Newsom Focuses On Building Efficiency. In one of his first
starring appearances as lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom
returned to one of his favorite stomping grounds this week - a
green business conference. Keynoting a San Francisco confab put
on by GreenBiz Group, Newsom, I'm told, was his usual excitable
self, spinning off ideas left and right, from wave power and
electric vehicles to Asia - especially China - being green's
"godsend of opportunity." Besides talking about state-owned
property being used for EV charging stations - … Posted.

Clean Air Act and Climate Change Control Business Efficiency Job
Growth Engines. It is a fact the economy of Southern California,
the most heavily and longest regulated air pollution control
region in the world has one of the strongest export economies in
the world.  The Clean Air Act and now Climate Change Control are
business efficiency improving, waste reducing and life saving job
growth engines. The Congressional Budget Office must do a benefit
assessment of the four decade history of the Clean Air Act. 

Expanding California's Clean Economy. We all know there is one,
and only one immediate challenge confronting California – and
that is the state budget. As the Governor outlined in his State
of the State message, the budget is and remains our top priority.
We cannot recover the economic health of our state until we put
our fiscal house in order as quickly as possible. But we also
must continue taking leadership in our ongoing effort to
strengthen California’s economy by supporting emerging industries
and creating jobs for Californians. . Posted.

Accommodating Bikes Is Right Thing To Do.  The most frustrating
thing about the discussion about the "bike path to nowhere" is
the city of Bakersfield's refusal to accept bicycling as a viable
means of transportation and to adopt a Complete Streets
philosophy as required by state legislation.  The Complete
Streets Act -- which was passed in 2008 and is now required to be
a part of any new general plan adopted in the state -- requires
that all road users be accommodated, including bicyclists.
Therefore, every street improvement, including Rosedale Highway,
should be designed to provide safe access to all users.  Posted. 

EPA Rules: Bad Policy, Bad Time. Since late last year, the
Environmental Protection Agency has been rolling out new federal
climate regulations that would have the same effects as the
job-destroying cap-and-trade policy that Congress rejected last
year.EPA has seized control over parts of several state air
programs, empowering the agency to run them federally. EPA has
also signaled that additional burdensome regulations are on the
horizon. Posted.


L.A. Air Officials To Vote On Pollution Trading. A nine-year
battle between Los Angeles regional air quality officials, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California public health
groups over the integrity of the area's pollution trading system
will be rejoined Friday, as air district officials vote on new
rules governing pollution offsets. Environmentalists contend that
a proposal by the South Coast Air Quality Management District
(AQMD), known as Rule 1315, will lock in a phony accounting
system that will count years-old pollution reductions as offsets,
thus allowing businesses to build new facilities that pollute.

Government Backs $1 Billion Plan to Make Gasoline from Wood. The
Energy Department has offered a Texas company a loan guarantee
for a $1 billion project to build four small factories that would
turn wood chips into an oil substitute. The loan guarantee, if
finalized, would be about four times larger than any previous
guarantee for biofuels. Its aim is to spur industrial-scale
production of substitutes for gasoline and diesel from renewable
sources beyond food crops like corn and sugar, a goal that many
companies are chasing but none has yet achieved. Posted.

Rescuing the Earth’s Weather History.  One of the most profound
limitations of climate science arises from a simple fact. While
humans have existed on this planet in more or less their present
form for perhaps a quarter-million years, the historical record
covers only a few thousand years, and the record of accurate
weather and climate observations is much shorter than that. 
What If: On Uprisings, Oil Kingdoms and the Energy Gap.  Gal
Luft, an analyst of the intersection of energy and security
policy, has posted a troubling portrait of what might unfold in
the United States if the turmoil in Egypt spread to Saudi Arabia,
along with the limited options to respond, given deep dependence
on petroleum. [There's much, much more on the Saudi question.] 
It’s been clear for a long while that America remains hostage to
oil shocks – and has  yet to initiate the long-term and sustained
effort that’d be required to limit the economic and strategic
risks.  Posted. 
The Economy vs. Clean Energy: A False Choice. I represent an
alliance of nearly 1,000 small, mainstream companies in
California, who employ tens of thousands of people around the
state, and who are committed to pursuing clean energy policies
that help grow the economy and create jobs. Our network is made
up of businesses from all geographic regions of the state and
includes owners of print shops, restaurants, construction firms,
and landscape companies; CEOs of and investors in solar and
renewable companies; leaders of chambers of commerce and business
associations; and more. Posted.

Green Jobs Or Tax Reform? A day of extremes at the state Capitol
on Wednesday led to very different budget crisis resolution
angles – green jobs or tax reform? From a press conference
announcing a green jobs initiative to a panel discussion about
how to implement tax reform, the extremes were arresting, and
even comical. In one corner was the Democratic team, Senate
President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John
Perez, proclaiming their “Green Jobs Initiative,” which amounts
to another group of bills that push even more state subsidized
“green jobs” and “clean energy” subsidies …Posted.

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