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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 27, 2011

Posted: 27 Oct 2011 14:09:41
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 27, 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.


Political Signal Needed to Secure UN Carbon Market’s Future,
Norway Says. Climate envoys should send a “political signal” at
the upcoming summit on their willingness to continue the United
Nations carbon market to allay investors’ concerns about its
future, Norway’s chief negotiator said. More than 190 nations
will meet in Durban, South Africa, from Nov. 28 until Dec. 9 to
discuss climate-protection rules for the period after 2012, when
the current emission-reduction targets for developed nations
under the Kyoto Protocol expire. Posted.

Trader foes.  After more than three years, the nation’s first
broad-based greenhouse-gas trading market was unanimously adopted
last week.  “It sends a clear signal to the global-investment
community that investing in clean tech in California will be
rewarded,” said Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols. 


Paving way for electric cars. Local officials discuss how to make
driving clean vehicles a feasible option. Victorville • Electric
cars are a rare sight in the Victor Valley today, and their few
owners are likely hard-pressed to find convenient charging
stations. But local officials are beginning to discuss how to
make driving the clean vehicles a more feasible option for
residents in coming years. On Wednesday, the Mojave Desert Air
Quality Management District hosted a workshop on planning for the
future needs of electric vehicles. Posted.


Huge solar power plants are blooming in California's southern
deserts. Mojave Desert -- At first glance, California's vast
Mojave Desert seems barren: mile after mile of dust, sand and
scrubby creosote bush under a blistering sun. But the huge
desert, which spans an area larger than West Virginia, is
becoming speckled with gigantic solar power plants that are
creating hundreds of construction jobs and, when complete, will
generate electricity for millions of homes. Posted.

California's cleantech leadership faces competition. States like
Mississippi and Oregon are aggressively courting Silicon Valley
cleantech startups to locate their manufacturing outside of
California with tax incentives and low-interest loans, and
California has to fight back and encourage companies to
manufacture in-state, according to cleantech executives and
investors who attended a meeting Wednesday in Fremont.
"California is a cleantech leader, but we can't rest on our
laurels," said Nancy Pfund of DBL Investors, which has a sizable
cleantech portfolio. Posted.

California panel resumes green energy tax breaks. Sacramento,
Calif. A state panel voted Tuesday to resume a tax break program
for clean energy manufacturers after lawmakers found the effort
has been working as intended to help foster alternative energy in
California. The California Alternative Energy and Advanced
Transportation Financing Authority had temporarily suspended the
program after awarding $25 million in sales tax breaks to the
failed Fremont solar startup Solyndra. Posted.

Which are cheaper—tradeable credits or feed-in tariffs?  A few
years ago, a heated debate started within the U.S. solar industry
about which was more cost-effective: solar renewable energy
credits (SRECs) or feed-in tariffs (FITs).  Now that we've had
more experience with both policies, the question is again being
asked. Researchers at the Institute for Local Self Reliance
(ILSR) attempted to answer this question, and released a report
earlier this month concluding that long-term contracts for clean
energy are more cost-competitive than tradeable credit markets. 


State sues over bottles' 'biodegradable' labeling. San Francisco
-- A plastic bottling company and two bottled-water companies are
selling their products in California in containers labeled
"biodegradable," a designation that is both false and illegal,
Attorney General Kamala Harris said Wednesday in a lawsuit. The
suit seeks to remove the bottles from store shelves throughout
the state using a 2-year-old California law that prohibits
labeling any plastic food or beverage container as biodegradable.


ARB’s decision shows California as economic powerhouse making
smart move.  California’s Air Resources Board has unanimously
adopted its cap-and-trade regulation on, the final and most
critical piece of its landmark climate policy, the Global Warming
Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), which Environmental Defense Fund
(EDF) co-sponsored.  We now have the beginning of the most
comprehensive carbon market in North America, which underscores
the fact that sensible climate policy is still within reach in
the United States.  Posted. 

Cap-and-trade challenges. California again leads the nation in
responding to global warming. With adoption last week of the
nation’s first comprehensive, state-administered cap-and-trade
system to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, California has once
again led the way in combating climate change. This follows upon
its earlier leadership in compelling reductions in vehicle
emissions that paved the way for the assertive national
efficiency standards adopted by the Obama administration in 2009.

Not the time to play politics with climate change.  For the
clueless or cynical diehards who deny global warming, it's
getting awfully cold out there.  The latest icy blast of reality
comes from an eminent scientist whom the climate-change skeptics
once lauded as one of their own. Richard Muller, a respected
physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, used to
dismiss alarmist climate research as being "polluted by political
and activist frenzy." Frustrated at what he considered shoddy
science, Muller launched his own comprehensive study to set the
record straight. Posted. 

Cap, trade: California’s experiment. If not for laws first
enacted in California, American motorists might still not have
seat belts, air bags and catalytic converters to protect
themselves and the environment. In fact, it could be argued that
many of the laws and rules that protect mankind and its
environment were first enacted in the Golden State. Now,
California is No. 1 again — the first state to adopt landmark
cap-and-trade rules for businesses with high levels of emissions,
and we’ll just have to wait to see if this milestone grows on the
rest of the nation. Posted.

The Energy Revolution That Keeps Carbon on Top: Nathan Myhrvold.
A remarkable thing happened in Silicon Valley during the past
decade. Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs set their sights on
clean energy as the Next Big Thing. They audaciously hoped to
reinvent energy by harnessing the incredible innovation that had
transformed information technology and biotechnology. Some of the
best venture capitalists in the business, including my friends
Bill Joy and Vinod Khosla, detached from their computing roots
and focused on energy startups. Posted.

It's time to raise California's gas tax. California urgently
needs more money to rebuild its public facilities. Increasing the
gas tax, last boosted 21 years ago, would let the state pay for
much-needed transportation projects without costly borrowing.
There are three main reasons why the state has not been rapidly
rebuilding California's public facilities, despite an urgent
need. Two of them I've written about recently: gubernatorial
ambivalence and bureaucratic inertia. But the third is a more
long-term problem. The state simply does not have enough money to
build all that it needs. Posted.

Ewart: Golden State's cap and trade plans have broad reach. With
so much focus on recent moves to classify oilsands crude as a
"dirty" fuel in Europe, it would be easy to overlook the news
California has put in place a cap-and-trade program to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. The state, which has long been the
leader among North American governments on environmental policy,
last week brought forward regulations to provide specific
timelines and reduction targets for the state's biggest
greenhouse gas emitters. Poste.


D.C. dawdles, California leads on climate. We could smell the
sweet winds of change all the way up in Washington State last
week, when California adopted final rules to implement a cap and
trade program to reduce climate pollution across its economy,
beginning in 2013. California got it right. Cap and trade is a
policy at the scale of the problem: big, complex policy to deal
with a big, complex problem. The state’s action to embark on cap
and trade, along with a suite of other essential clean energy,
energy efficiency and clean transportation polices, matters far
beyond its borders. Posted.

Exploring Corn, Energy and Humanity’s Growth Spurt.  I’ve been on
the road, learning about damaging and sustainable agricultural
methods (and a big corn-to-ethanol plant) in Iowa, meeting with
hundreds of science-oriented high school students in Houston to
discuss energy and innovation and speaking about how new
opportunities for globally sharing and shaping insights and
information can be a prime route toward sustaining human progress
on a finite planet (and on a tight budget).  Posted. 

Fossil Fuels as the Whale Oil of the Future. Amory B. Lovins, the
longtime efficiency guru, has a new book out that analyzes the
possibility of converting the nation to almost total reliance on
renewable sources of energy. The conclusions may not win instant
acceptance, but it is certainly in the running for the
best-blurbed energy book of the year. Chelsea Green Publishing
“Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy
Era” carries a quote on the cover from Bill Clinton, who says it
is a “wise, detailed and comprehensive blueprint.” Posted.

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