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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 3, 2011. Posted: 03 Nov 2011 14:35:29
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 3, 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 BP Texas City Refinery Explosion: Company To Pay State $50 Million Over Air Pollution Violations. Houston -- Oil company BP has agreed to pay Texas $50 million for air pollution violations at a Gulf Coast refinery where a 2005 explosion killed 15 workers, the state's attorney general announced Thursday. The settlement between BP Products North America and the State of Texas resolves 72 emissions violations between 2005 and now, Attorney General Greg Abbott told a Houston news conference. The violations include some that contributed to the massive explosion six years ago at the Texas City refinery. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/bp-texas-city-refinery-explosion_n_1074086.html Blowing dust prompts air alert issued in SJ Valley. Air alerts are being issued across the San Joaquin Valley as high winds are stirring up dust that can cause health problems in some people. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued warnings for Kings, Tulare and the valley portions of Kern counties. The wind is causing large amounts of dust in some areas. Particulate matter of 10 microns and smaller is monitored by the federal government. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/02/1930695/blowing-dust-prompts-air-alert.html BY SUBCRIPTION http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19248861?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111102/A_NEWS/111109973&cid=sitesearch AIR QUALITY: Fireplace restrictions are in effect. Southern California’s smog battle just got a bit more personal. Residents now are required to check the air quality before they burn wood in a home fireplace – or risk violating regulations that went into effect this week. Fines for repeat offenders can be as high as $500. “It’s a relatively small shift in our habits and our personal lives to accomplish air pollution reductions,” said Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which imposed the rule. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20111102-air-quality-fireplace-restrictions-are-in-effect.ece CLIMATE CHANGE Biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases. The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world's efforts are at slowing man-made global warming. The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. "The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing," said John Reilly, co-director of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gqM8km0TY9gPWqJRTxqy31aO3G9A?docId=ffc4bdbaeca549c8a98aadb2ce3f247c Vulnerable islands urge climate deal before end-2012. A group of island states most vulnerable to global warming have lashed out against rich nations for wanting to delay a new international climate pact until years after the Kyoto Protocol on curbing carbon emissions expires in 2012. The 42-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said countries such as Japan and Russia were "reckless and irresponsible" for promoting a delay in the adoption of a new international agreement until 2018 or 2020, just weeks before the start of a United Nations climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/03/us-climate-aosis-idUSTRE7A23WR20111103 Climate change linked to Ice-Age animal extinctions. Climate change and human activity caused the extinction of some Ice-Age animals, such as the woolly rhinoceros, woolly mammoth, and wild horses, and the near extinction of others including reindeer, bison, and musk ox, says an international study. The scientists say their study, published in the journal Nature, is the first to combine genetic, archeological, and climatic data to track the population history of six large Ice-Age mammals and can shed light on the possible fates of today's animals as the Earth continues its current warming cycle. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/11/climate-change-extinction-ice-age-mammals/1?csp=34news California Cap-and-Trade Could Change the U.S. Stance on Climate Change. As the next round of UN climate regulation appears on the horizon, Jem Porcaro considers how they may shape clean technology developments and employment in green industries. It is commonly understood that the chances of reaching a climate agreement that includes the United States at this point are rather grim and will ultimately depend on certain developing countries, such as China, adopting binding climate controls. Posted. http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/paulraybould/54786/california-cap-and-trade-could-change-us-stance-climate-change New regulations could cost cement company millions. Colton - An executive for a a cement company with operations here - for now - said the state's new cap-and-trade system will cost his firm millions by adding new regulations to the cost of doing business at a time when the economy is still weak. "The overall economy is hurting us more than A.B. 32 (the law that authorizes cap and trade," said Steve Regis, vice president for engineering at CalPortland Co., which is headquartered in Glendora. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_19249511 Dispute erupts on timing of global climate pact. Small developing countries are protesting calls by Russia and Japan to delay a global climate change agreement. The 42-nation Association of Small Island States, countries most threatened by rising sea levels from melting polar ice caps, said an agreement should be concluded next year—an ambitious target in view of the deep differences that have plagued negotiations for years. The dispute escalated three weeks before 195 parties convene in South Africa to negotiate less troublesome elements of a climate deal. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/03/1931484/dispute-erupts-on-timing-of-global.html BY SUBCRIPTION http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19254380?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19254380?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Global warming threatens Delta smelt, salmon, says report. The combined impact on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of increasing water temperature and salinity brought on by global warming could reduce habitat quality for native species, such as the endangered Delta smelt and winter-run Chinook salmon, and intensify the challenge of sustaining their populations, says a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=19718 GREEN ENERGY Clean-tech venture funding jumps as other sectors go wanting. Green companies raise almost $1.2 billion in the third quarter, a 73% increase from a year earlier. California firms received more than half of that infusion of cash. Overall venture funding was down about 50%. Venture capitalists are pouring money into clean technology even as investors scale back funding in many other areas. Firms in the green sector raised almost $1.2 billion in the third quarter — up 73% from $684 million collected in the same period last year, according to a report released Wednesday by Ernst & Young. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-fi-clean-tech-investing-20111103,0,3068731,print.story Energy stimulus program plagued by problems. Washington -- The Department of Energy's inspector general said Wednesday that the 2009 stimulus program for green energy was so at odds with the realities on the ground that it was akin to "attaching a lawn mower to a fire hydrant." Inspector General Gregory Friedman, testifying to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's panel on stimulus oversight, outlined a range of problems, from a flood of $35 billion in stimulus money that overwhelmed the department's $27 billion annual budget to weatherization programs …Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/03/MNSR1LPINB.DTL&type=printable California’s clean-energy tax breaks getting close look. The Solyndra debacle has forced a critical look at California’s clean-energy tax incentives - and serves as a reminder that difficulties remain in the state’s ability to attract manufacturing despite these hefty tax breaks. “California in the past 10 to 15 years has gotten 45 to 50 percent of the country’s venture capital, that’s great. But it doesn’t mean it will transform into manufacturing in California,” said Gino DiCaro of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?xid=1040q1swv4jp5e2# Luring renewable energy is a tale of fits and starts. Back in 2005, Oakland-based BrightSource Energy had what it thought was a bright idea – a solar array in the Mojave Desert that would generate 440 megawatts of electricity – nearly doubling the amount of solar thermal electricity being produced in the United States. The $1.3 billion project, initially designed to cover over 4,000 acres near the dry Ivanpah Lake on the California-Nevada border, would also help California meet its goal at the time of 20 percent of electricity sold by investor-owned utilities coming from renewable sources. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?xid=1040pw8v4ojx3or OPINIONS Editorial: Realistic plan for high-speed rail requires patience. Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin has the right perspective on high-speed rail. She recalls I-5, which took from 1947 to 1979 to complete, segment-by-segment. "It began in the Central Valley," she notes. "It was called the 'road to nowhere.' It was called 'too expensive.' Today, it is the backbone of surface transportation in California." The latest business plan from the California High-Speed Rail Authority will not change the minds of long-time critics – there's still too much unknown about this major infrastructure project that will take decades to complete. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/03/v-print/4026447/realistic-plan-for-high-speed.html BLOGS 26 Nations Defy Europe on Airline Emissions. China, the United States and 24 other nations backed a declaration on Wednesday urging that their airlines be exempted from the European Union’s Emissions Trading System. The move at the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the United Nations, is another challenge to environmental leadership by the European Union, which has failed in its efforts to get some of the biggest polluters in the developed world to adopt crucial parts of its agenda for tackling climate change. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/26-nations-defy-europe-on-airline-emissions/ Rep. Lois Capps introduces legislation to protect health from climate change, extreme weather. You don’t have to convince the 13,000 American public health professionals in Washington, DC this week for the American Public Health Association meeting that climate change harms people’s health. They recognize the health risks of carbon pollution, and see the huge health benefits we stand to gain by creating more climate-resilient communities and homes right now. We need to make this a national priority. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kknowlton/rep_lois_capps_introduces_legi.html G20 Leaders Challenged to Deliver on Cuts to Fossil Fuel Subsidies to Start Climate Fund. Greenpeace today challenged G20 leaders attending this week’s summit in Cannes to deliver on their pledge to cut fossil fuel subsidies and instead invest in green jobs, in response to the current global financial, economic, and environmental crisis. A World Bank report prepared for the G20 shows that if developed countries transferred $10 billion from fossil fuel subsidies to climate finance …Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/g20-leaders-challenged-deliver-cuts-fossil-fuel/