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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 9, 2011.

Posted: 09 Feb 2011 12:42:01
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 9, 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.


EPA's Power Plant Rules Would Spur Job Creation – Report. 
Despite claims that U.S. EPA's regulations are destroying jobs at
a time of already high unemployment, two new sets of air
pollution rules for power plants would create hundreds of
thousands of jobs over the next five years, according to a report
(pdf) released today.  Posted. 

Professors Take Part in Anti-Pollution Initiative. Urban and
Environmental Policy (UEP) professor Martha Matsuoka and
professor of Environmental Science James Sadd have joined forces
with the "Clean Up Green Up" organization, a grassroots movement
that aims to transform the most polluted neighborhoods in Los
Angeles into healthier residential spaces. The campaign focuses
on helping to clean up the local air supply through on-the-ground
research as well as collaboration with community members and city
council members. Posted.


Global Warming Fix Heats Up Hearing With EPA Chief. Washington
(AP) — Congressional Republicans are vowing to prevent the
Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to
control pollution that contributes to global warming,
underscoring the threat with a proposed deep cut to the agency's
budget. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chair of a House subcommittee
on energy and power, said that "Congress intends to reassert
itself" in the regulatory process at EPA and the Clean Air Act.
He spoke at the start of a hearing Wednesday on a bill that would
curtail the EPA's powers. Posted. 




State AG Rejects Premise Of Tentative Court Ruling On A.B. 32.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris yesterday rejected a
state judge's tentative ruling that the state had failed to
complete an environmental review of its broad greenhouse gas
emissions reduction plan, charging that the court had in many
respects ignored the facts. Harris, a Democrat, was responding to
a ruling issued last month by San Francisco Superior Court Judge
Ernest Goldsmith that faulted the California Air Resources Board
(ARB) for not completing environmental analyses or considering
alternatives to a cap-and-trade market to regulate carbon
emissions. Posted.

Lawsuit By Low-Income Groups May Delay Climate Law. The latest
legal challenge to California's landmark climate-change
legislation isn't coming from big polluters faced with a series
of new regulations. Instead, groups representing low-income
residents are challenging the environmental law as unfairly
burdening their beleaguered communities. A handful of community
groups, represented by the San Francisco-based Center on Race,
Poverty and the Environment have filed a motion that could delay
the implementation of parts of the Global Warming Solutions Act,
also known as AB 32. Posted.

UK's Prince Charles Blasts Climate-Change Skeptics. Brussels (AP)
— Prince Charles lashed out Wednesday at climate change skeptics,
saying they are playing "a reckless game of roulette" with the
planet's future. Skeptics are having a "corrosive effect" on
public opinion, the British heir to the throne added. "Their
suggestion, that hundreds of scientists around the world ... are
somehow unconsciously biased, creates the implication that many
of us are secretly conspiring to undermine and deliberately
destroy the entire market-based capitalist system," he said.



California Releases First State-Approved K-12 Environmental
Curriculum In U.S. At Searles Elementary School in Union City, 
fifth-grade students last week eagerly shared what they learned
during a pilot run of the nation's first state-approved K-12
environmental curriculum. The California Environmental Protection
Agency, which developed the material, this month, released it to
school districts statewide. Instead of generic chemistry
lectures, students will learn how chlorine-containing molecules
from products such as aerosol cans and refrigerators chew away --
through chemical reactions -- the protective ozone layer over the
Earth's poles. Posted.

Obama's Foreign Aid for Climate Change Bound for GOP Chopping
Block.  When Congress passes appropriations legislation this
year, the short list of programs getting more money is unlikely
to include international climate aid. The new Republican majority
in the House and many members in the Senate have made cutting
discretionary spending their flagship issue for the 112th
Congress, a stance that doesn't bode well for international aid
programs.  Posted. 

EU Carbon Little Changed Ahead of U.K. Sale; Power Declines.
European Union carbon-dioxide prices were little changed as the
U.K. prepares to sell 4.4 million metric tons of allowances
tomorrow, boosting supply. EU emission permits for December rose
2 cents to 14.73 euros ($20.09) a metric ton on London’s ICE
Futures Europe exchange in London as of 12:51 p.m. The U.K.,
Europe’s second-biggest emitter, will sell 4.4 million tons of
spot permits tomorrow at auction. Posted.

ArcelorMittal Made $140 Million Selling Carbon in 2010. (Corrects
year in third, fourth paragraph.) ArcelorMittal, the world’s
biggest steelmaker, made a net gain of $140 million from the sale
of carbon-dioxide permits last year, according to company
earnings published yesterday. Emissions from manufacturers in the
European Union are capped under the bloc’s carbon-trading
program. Companies are allocated free allowances and can trade
them to ensure they have enough to cover their emissions each
year. Posted.

Bush EPA Chief Supported Greenhouse-Gas Regulation. Washington—An
Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President
George W. Bush told the former president in 2008 that his
administration was obliged to declare that emissions of
heat-trapping greenhouse gases linked to climate change endanger
public health and welfare. Stephen Johnson, the EPA's
administrator from 2005 until 2009, also suggested in a Jan. 31,
2008 letter that the agency propose regulations to limit
greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles and from other human
sources—a stance that the Obama administration has taken. Posted.

23 States Back White House In Supreme Court Case. A group of
states has announced support for the Obama administration in a
case before the Supreme Court over whether federal common law can
be invoked to regulate greenhouse gases. In total, 23 states have
joined an amicus brief backing the administration's position in
the case, American Electric Power v. Conn. that will be argued
April 19. The move pits those states against eight others that
want to use federal common law to force utilities operating
fossil fuel-fired electric power plants to reduce emissions. The
plaintiffs say the power companies are contributing to a "public
nuisance" by releasing greenhouse gases into the air. Posted.

Around the State: Idaho Geothermal; Oregon Energy Efficiency;
California Cap-Trade Setback. Idaho is working to encourage
geothermal power development in the state, which ranks third in
geothermal potential--behind only California and Nevada. Current
state laws restrict development on state-owned lands, but four
bills in the state legislature aim to create a more friendly
environment for investment in new geothermal power wells. 
According to the New York Times, the proposed legislation would
eliminate restrictions on the size of geothermal leases, reduce
royalty fees and remove 10-year expiration clauses on leases.


Ethanol Gets Seat on California LCFS Panel. Renewable Fuels
Association (RFA) Vice President of Research and Analysis Geoff
Cooper has been selected to represent the ethanol industry on the
California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Low Carbon Fuels Standard
(LCFS) Advisory Panel. Panel members will participate in periodic
reviews of the LCFS program and provide input on issues related
to implementation of the LCFS. The first panel meeting is
scheduled for Feb. 16 in Sacramento. “California has always been
an important market for biofuels like ethanol,” Cooper said.


Utilities, Cool to Obama's Clean Energy Standard, Are Redefining
It. If President Obama's clean energy plan depends on the support
of electric utilities, he has a lot of convincing to do. Leery
industry officials are maneuvering for leverage in the opening
lap of Obama's push for a clean energy standard, a plan that one
official described as "DOA" if Democrats fail to make major
concessions. The plan offers a complicated goal -- making cleaner
fuels competitive with cheap coal -- but nearly no details.

Grant Boosts Green Upgrades At Sacramento Schools. Plans for $100
million in green upgrades to Sacramento's school buildings
received a boost from the national organization that certifies
eco-friendly and energy-efficient buildings. The U.S. Green
Building Council on Tuesday named the Sacramento City Unified
School District as one of the first school systems in the nation
for its $300,000 green schools fellowship program. Posted.


China's New Urban Plan -- Buy a Car, but Don't Use It.  One
aspect of this country's high-speed economic growth is that
Chinese are getting richer and prefer to have their own cars.
After decades of streets crowded with bicyclists pedaling their
way to work, suddenly China has blossomed into the world's
largest auto market. But that isn't something worth celebrating,
at least not for Chinese mayors. In fact, cities here are trying
hard to pry drivers out of their shiny new cars and lure them
into mass transit.  Posted. 

Auto Program Passes With Flying Colors.  The San Joaquin Valley
Air Pollution Control District and Valley Clean Air Now hosted
the free Tune In and Tune Up Car Clean-Up Event on Jan. 22 at the
Shima parking lot at San Joaquin Delta College.  Residents with
1995 model or older cars were provided free emissions tests.
Those cars found to be repairable were signed up for a $500
voucher for repairs at a certified Gold Shield smog shop. More
than 400 cars were tested.  Posted. 

Toyota To Build New Hybrid Compact Vehicle. The car company has
announced plans to assemble a new compact hybrid electric vehicle
at its plant, its second model after the best-selling Prius.
Central Motor Co., an assembly unit of Toyota, will produce the
model at a plant in Ohira, Miyagi prefecture, according to a
confidential source. The move to Ohira is a shift from the
company's usual production center in Aichi prefecture. Sources
cite lower labor costs and proximity to a port as reasons for the
change. Toyota plans to begin selling a compact version of the
Prius hybrid in the first half of 2012. The car was first
revealed at the Detroit auto show last month. Posted.

Oregon, Washington Mull Electric Car Fees. GREEN FEES: Both the
Oregon and Washington legislatures are considering bills imposing
fees on electric car owners, moves designed to make up for
revenue that's lost when drivers don't pay gas taxes because they
don't use gas. The bills have key legislators behind them. In
Washington, the transportation committee chairs in both houses of
the legislature support a $100-a-year fee, the Seattle Times
reports. The Register Guard reports that Oregon's bill, which
would charge electric car drivers six cents for every 10 miles
they drive, is the product of a task force that has been studying
alternatives to the gas tax for years.

Car Buyers Care About CO2 Emissions By Default. Only 0.1 per cent
of prospective car buyers consider the environmental impact of
CO2 emissions more important than other factors when choosing a
new vehicle. According to a poll carried out by car comparison
site, car buzz, of the 1% of respondents who claimed CO2
emissions would be the first thing they looked at, two thirds
said this was to save money through cheaper road. Only one in ten
of those respondents were concerned about the impact on the
environment. Posted.


Pollution.  Air pollution is a matter of life and death. Right
now there are no limits on the amount of carbon pollution
companies are allowed to emit.  We need Congress to stand up for
our health and our future. It must stop caving in to corporate
polluters and end attempts to undermine the Environmental
Protection Agency's authority to limit dangerous greenhouse
pollution.  Posted. 


Teaming Tenants and Landlords for Energy Savings.  Last week I
wrote about how small businesses are going green by taking steps
that reduce waste and energy use. While personal convictions may
drive many business owners to reduce their environmental impact,
most still make decisions based on a model that requires a quick
return on such an investment.  Posted. 

E.P.A. Chief Faces House Grilling.  As Republican lawmakers move
to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating
emissions of greenhouse gases, Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A.
administrator, has been called to testify before the House Energy
and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power. 

Attacks On EPA Misrepresent Regulations' Effects On Economy.
Having successfully blocked the legislative branch from adopting
carbon regulations, congressional Republicans and a few Democrats
are now moving to cripple the EPA, whose mandate under the Clean
Air Act, the Supreme Court found, includes addressing climate
change. A bill co-authored by the new chair of the Energy and
Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, and notorious climate denier
James Inhofe, would block the agency's ability to regulate
greenhouse gases. Posted.

The Dark Side Of Leds: Some Colored Lights Contain Lead. As the
light from incandescent bulbs dims in the face of their impending
phase-out, new concerns are being raised about the hazardous
materials contained in some of their more energy-efficient
replacements, such as light-emitting diodes or LEDs. While LEDs
consume a fraction of the energy of incandescent and last
exponentially longer, some colored LEDs may contain lead,
according to Potential Environmental Impacts of Light-Emitting
Diodes, a new study by UC Irvine. Posted.

How the Carbon and Energy Software Market Grew 400% Without a
Cap-and Trade Bill. Cap-and-trade legislation — back when
Congress had an interest in limiting greenhouse gas emissions —
promised to cultivate a slew of carbon-related markets, including
one for companies that had developed software tools to track
environmental data. Of course, we know what happened next.
Congress punted on the issue and the economy continued its
tailspin, which you’d think would erase any need for carbon
accounting software. Posted.

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