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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 13, 2011

Posted: 14 Jun 2011 10:30:05
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 14, 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.


It’s not just CO2: Cutting soot and smog will limit climate
change quickly, says new UN report.  AMSTERDAM — The struggle to
contain climate change usually focuses on reducing carbon
dioxide. But black carbon and ozone, the main ingredients of soot
and smog, also add to global warming, and controlling them will
act quickly to slow rising temperatures, a U.N. agency said
Tuesday.  Black carbon comes from solid particles from tailpipes,
forest fires or wood-burning stoves and brick kilns commonly
found in poor countries. It absorbs sunlight, and is most
damaging when it settles on the Arctic snow or mountain glaciers,
causing ice packs to melt more rapidly.  Posted. 


Cap and trade rated higher than air alternatives.  Under orders
from a judge, California air quality regulators released a study
Monday of potential greenhouse-gas-cutting measures, including
alternatives to a controversial cap-and-trade system due to begin
operations in the state next year.  But the analysis, from the
California Air Resources Board, still gives cap and trade higher
marks than any of the alternatives, including a carbon tax. As a
result, the study is unlikely to settle the lingering debate over
the state's cap-and-trade system, which will set a limit on
greenhouse gas emissions and create a market for trading the
right to produce those gases.  Posted. 

State releases new cap-and-trade alternatives analysis. 
California regulators have revised their analysis of alternatives
to cap and trade in the wake of last month's court decision that
found the groundwork for the nation's first economywide
greenhouse gas trading system insufficient.  San Francisco
Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith's May 20 decision handed
back the California Air Resources Board's cap-and-trade program,
the cornerstone of its efforts to reduce emissions to 1990 levels
by 2020. Environmental justice groups had sued over the
market-based model, which they alleged would increase air
pollution in some spots by allowing companies to buy their way to
compliance.  Posted.  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. 


Senate to vote on repealing ethanol tax credits.  WASHINGTON --
With lawmakers desperately working to shave federal budget
deficits, the Senate is debating a measure to eliminate ethanol
tax credits that pay the oil industry $5 billion a year. The
biggest defenders of the subsidies, however, include farm belt
conservatives leading the charge for less government.  Sen. Tom
Coburn, R-Okla., is forcing a vote on a measure Tuesday that
would repeal the credits. Coburn says they are wasteful subsidies
for an industry that no longer needs them.  "The days of placing
spending programs in the tax code and giving them holy status are
over," Coburn said. "Ethanol is bad economic policy, bad energy
policy and bad environmental policy."  Posted. 


EPA chief Lisa Jackson says Sacramento is on the right track to
attract clean tech.  The head of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency said Monday that the Sacramento region is on
the right track in its effort to attract green jobs and clean
tech industry.  Making her first visit to the capital region, EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson said she was impressed by the
commitment of local business and political leaders to developing
Sacramento into a hub for the green economy.  "There is another
gold rush coming to Sacramento, and your commitment to an emerald
community and green will make that happen," she said.  Posted. 

Google invests $280 million to spur home solar.  NEW YORK --
Google is investing $280 million to help private homeowners put
solar panels on their rooftops. It's Google's latest - and
largest - investment in clean energy.  The money will allow
installer SolarCity to offer solar systems to homeowners for no
money up front. In exchange, customers agree to pay a set price
for the power produced by the panels.  Google earns a return on
its investment by charging SolarCity interest to use its money
and reaping the benefits of federal and local renewable energy
tax credits.  Posted. 



Wind power and water power collide in the Northwest.  Reporting
from Rufus, Ore.— The wide, green gorge where the majestic
Columbia River begins its final push to the sea generates so many
stiff breezes that windsurfers from around the world make their
way to Hood River, not far from here, to ply their colorful sails
atop the churning whitecaps.  Lately though, electricity, not
recreation, has become the big-ticket wind client in the Columbia
Gorge. Wind turbines have sprung up all over the blustery
hilltops in eastern Washington and Oregon, an area soon to become
home to the largest wind farm in the world, developed for
customers of Southern California Edison. Indeed, half the massive
new wind power generated in the Pacific Northwest goes down the
grid to California.  Posted. 


Critical List: EPA delays rules on carbon emissions; Bachmann
hates the EPA.  The EPA is delaying until September rules that
would regulate power plants' greenhouse gas emissions.  Michele
Bachmann has a great plan for the agency, should she become
president: Rename it "the job-killing organization of America."
That will solve everything!  Fukushima clean-up has been a comedy
of errors when it comes to safety protections. Many aren’t
getting training to use their protective gear, and others aren’t
getting enough gear at all. Some people say that when they were
recruited, they weren’t even told that they’d be cleaning up
radiation at the plant.  Posted. 

Air Board Hands in its Homework.  In response to a court ruling
(which it's still appealing), the California Air Resources Board
today issued a new analysis of its proposed carbon trading
program, weighed against several alternative means of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions.  The fresh look includes the original
five options, including cap & trade and the option of doing
nothing at all. It does not add any new options but rather seeks
to flesh out the other three. The non-trading options include
regulating emissions at the source, implementing a straight-up
tax on carbon emissions, and a mixed bag of actions.  Posted. 

Air Resources Board Releases New Environmental Assessment of Cap
and Trade to Comply with Judge’s Order.  The California Air
Resources Board (CARB) is covering all its bases in responding to
a judge’s order that CARB violated  the California Enviornmental
Quality Act (CEQA) in adopting its scoping plan to implement AB
32 (the state’s  climate change legislation).  As I reported last
week,  CARB has  won an order from the appeals court allowing the
state to go forward in implementing its challenged cap and trade
program.  But to hedge its bets,  the staff of the California Air
Resources Board (CARB) today released an analysis that is meant
to bring CARB into compliance with the judge’s ruling while
supporting CARB’s decision to adopt a cap and trade program. 

Global warming’s cause, effect and solution.  Leave it to the
esteemed President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to put his
finger on the global warming problem.  “The main factor behind
the destruction of the environment is the greed and ceaseless
avaraice and insatiable hunger of the world’s capitalists.” 
There you have it, authoritatively. Well, sort of
authoritatively. The Iranian nutcase has laid the blame for
global warming squarely at the door of capitalism. We’re shocked.
 What to do? How about suing?  Posted. 

U.S. (finally) Labels Formaldehyde "Known Human Carcinogen."  
After decades of debate, the Obama administration last week
classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen, a label that
is likely to advance regulatory steps to restrict this widely
used hazardous chemical. The move came as the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services released the long-awaited 12th Report
on Carcinogens, a Congressionally mandated report assembled by
the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of
Health. Posted. 

Triple Threat: New Generator Harnesses Energy from Sun, Wind and
Rain.  One thing that's known for sure about the future of
renewable energy is that it will take all types to fulfill our
energy needs.  The wind isn't always blowing and the sun isn't
always shining, but if wind, solar, geothermal, wave/tidal and
any other type of renewable energy generation are all utilized
and all feeding the grid, then we'll be more than covered.  But
what about devices that can harness more than one of these
renewable energy sources at once? Posted. 

GM Boss Wants Gasoline Tax Hike – Is This Good Policy To Meet
Fuel Efficiency Goals?  The Detroit News reported last week that
General Motors CEO, Dan Akerson, would like to see the federal
gasoline tax boosted by as much as $1 per gallon in order to
encourage drivers to choose more fuel efficient vehicles. If you
are a politician in office today, it’s of course anathema to talk
about raising fuel taxes – unless of course you harbor some sort
of political suicide agenda – and it’s at least mildly surprising
that a Republican CEO would be a proponent of raising taxes on a
product which directly, and potentially adversely, impacts the
company he is running. Posted. 

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