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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 10, 2011.

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 14:42:10
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 10, 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.


Senate majority rejects GOP bid to block EPA. Washington (A) --
The Democrat-controlled Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican
attempt to block a regulation intended to curb power plant
pollution that blows downwind into other states. By a 56-41 vote,
senators defeated a resolution by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who
said the step was needed to rein in what he called the Obama
administration's overzealous job-killing approach to
environmental protection. Posted. 

Fight on Clean-Air Rules Threatens to Delay Power Payback.
Electricity companies like Exelon Corp. (EXC) spent billions of
dollars on pollution controls and cleaner energy anticipating
that new rules would move the U.S. power industry away from coal.
Now, last-ditch legislative and legal opposition to a U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency rule that takes effect Jan. 1 may
nullify the competitive advantage they stand to gain over rivals
slow to clean up coal-fired plants. Posted.

China's 'Breathable' Pollution Breaks Index. A smoky brown haze
settled over Beijing on a recent Saturday night, dense enough to
blur buildings viewed across a city street. Beijing's
environmental agency reported "light pollution" and "breathable"
air. A $20,000 device sitting atop the U.S. embassy, located
blocks from the city's monitor, had different words to describe
the evening. China's unprecedented speed of industrialization has
made it the global leader in many categories, including
pollution. Posted.

With Anger Over Dirty Air Rising, Beijing Tries Tours of
Monitoring Center. Beijing — Environmental officials who have
resisted releasing comprehensive data about air pollution here in
the capital announced that they would take action to address
increasing complaints that the government’s monitoring system
fails to report on the most dangerous airborne particles emitted
by the growing ranks of cars and trucks. The action: allowing 40
people to tour the source of the frustration, Beijing’s
monitoring center, once a week. Posted.

Auburn’s fuel-tank endurance art may not endure air quality
regulations. Auburn’s giant fuel-tank tribute to endurance
athletes is threatened with a cover-up. State air quality rules
dictate a lighter color on the 30-foot-high tanks than the ones
Weed artist Rip Cronk used in 2005 to create “Portraits of
Endurance.” An evaporation test on the tanks – located at the
Dawson Oil card-lock station on Blocker Drive – will determine if
the endurance artwork can remain or whether it will be replaced
with a more reflective paint coating meeting new state
regulations. Posted.


UN Urges Green Companies to Help Break ‘Vicious’ Climate Cycle.
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres called for more
engagement from businesses that promote low-carbon strategies to
help governments worldwide speed up the shift to a green economy.
Almost 200 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. Ironing
out a global agreement is a step-by-step approach, meaning the
slow pace of international policy will continue, Figueres said.

Energy Agency Warns Governments to Take Action Against Global
Warming. London—Dangerous climate change will be essentially
irreversible within a little over five years, the International
Energy Agency said in an annual report urging governments to do
what they can to prevent this outcome. To prevent long-term
average global temperatures rising more than two degrees Celsius
(3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels—seen as the
maximum possible increase without serious climate
disruption—immediate, drastic changes to energy and industrial
policies are needed, the IEA said in its World Energy Outlook.

Europe set to revive 30 percent carbon cut debate. Brussels -
European politicians plan next week to revive debate on raising
the target to cut the EU's carbon emissions as the bloc readies
to take a leading role in climate change talks in Durban later
this month. Earlier this year, Poland, holder of the European
Union's rotating presidency, blocked an attempt to move up from
the existing target of a 20 percent cut in carbon emissions by
2020 to a 25 percent target. Campaigners and some politicians say
the minimum target should be 30 percent. Posted.

EPA gives greenhouse gas permit to Texas plant, the 1st since
taking over state’s program. Houston — The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency on Thursday awarded a greenhouse gas permit to
a Texas plant, the first the federal agency has issued since
taking over the Lone Star State’s permitting program in January.
The EPA’s move is part of an ongoing battle with Texas over
environmental regulation, and indicates the agency will move
ahead with its plan to conduct business as usual in Texas even if
the state refuses to cooperate. Posted.


U.S. launches probe into China solar panels. Washington — The
U.S. Commerce Department said it would investigate whether
Chinese companies sell solar panels in the United States at
unfair discounts and receive illegal government subsidies. The
trade spat, one of several sensitive economic and trade issues
between the United States and China, could lead to steep duties
on imports of Chinese panels and help struggling domestic
manufacturers. The action is opposed by companies in the U.S.
solar industry that count on importing cheap panels to boost
solar power generation. Posted.

Can today’s technology tackle climate change? Who cares?  One of
the most heated arguments among climate policy analysts is over
the following question: "Do we currently have the technology we
need to tackle climate change?" For brevity's sake, I refer to it
as the "enough technology" debate.  The way it usually breaks
down is, those who say we don't have the necessary technology
focus on innovation and the need for "breakthroughs."  Posted. 


High-speed rail board says plan is 'new beginning'. When the
California High-Speed Rail Authority released the long-awaited
revision of its business plan, officials heralded the report as
"a new beginning" for efforts to build the nation's first
railroad with trains running at speeds up to 220 mph. The report
takes a blunt new approach to the project, hoping to convey a new
open and honest attitude to combat the spreading impression of
the authority as an arrogant, inflexible agency that can't be
trusted. Posted.

RIVERSIDE: Climate Fair at UCR on Saturday.  The "Refresh
Riverside! A Community Climate Fair" will take place from 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Saturday at UC Riverside.  The free event will give
visitors an opportunity to learn about the science of climate
change.  It will include games and activities for children and
their parents.  Posted. 


DREVNA: Fantasyland energy policy.  Dreaming can be a beautiful
escape - but when we mistake it for reality, we're in for a
real-life nightmare. This is what is happening today with
America's energy policy, and the American people are suffering as
a result. Instead of basing U.S. energy policy on the world as it
is, too many elected officials and special-interest groups favor
an energy policy based on the world as they would like it to be -
a world without fossil fuels.  Posted. 

Turkey prices soar as corporations gobble up pork in form of
ethanol subsidies. Having turkey sticker shock? You can thank Al
Gore. Actually you can thank Gore and the Midwest ethanol subsidy
lobby consisting of Republican and Democrat lawmakers alike. Gore
was the leading cheerleader for ethanol as the elixir for all
that ails America when it comes to energy. He led the charge to
put in place ethanol subsidies. The end result: Ethanol gas that
is not cost effective and has created a shortage of corn that in
turn has sent food prices climbing. The hardest hit is Third
World countries that rely partially on buying grain from American
farmers to feed poor people. Posted.

Change for the better. Chris Paine finds success in 'Revenge of
the Electric Car'. Just a few years back, people interested in
the development of electric cars were seen as part of the
fanatical fringe of the Green movement, perhaps especially in
Pasadena, where passion for electric vehicles runs especially
high. But that was before being green became not only trendy but
also necessary and the future of EVs seemed dim.  


When do we hit the point of no return for climate change? Based
on everything we know about climate science, the basic game plan
is that if we want to limit global warming below 2 degrees
Celsius (so as not to risk the most dangerous and unpredictable
impacts), we’ll need to prevent the amount of carbon-dioxide in
the atmosphere from rising above roughly 450 parts per million.
Currently, we’re at about 392 parts per million. So we’ve got
some wiggle room, right? Posted.

If You Act Your Age, What’s Your Carbon Footprint? We’ve all
heard that some countries produce more carbon dioxide per capita
than others, with the United States among the leaders of the
pack. But how do your individual emissions change over the course
of a lifetime? As it turns out, if you’re enjoying senior citizen
discounts, you’re probably much kinder to the planet than you
were in your slightly younger days, but your 20-something
grandchildren are kinder still. Age is a telling predictor of
carbon dioxide emissions, according to a study published in the
journal Demography. Posted.

Energy Forecast: Fracking in China, Nuclear Uncertain, CO2 Up. 
This year’s World Energy Outlook report has been published by the
International Energy Agency, and says wealthy and industrializing
countries are stuck on policies that threaten to lock in “an
insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system.”  You can
read worldwide coverage of the report here. Fiona Harvey of the
Guardian has a piece on the report that focuses on the inexorable
trajectories for carbon dioxide, driven by soaring energy demand
in Asia.  Posted. 

Running on Natural Gas, Magnolia Special Roadster Completes
Cross-Country Drive.  “No computers were harmed during the
construction of this car,” said J.T. Nesbitt, the creator of the
Magnolia Special, a back-to-basics and entirely hand-built sports
car powered by compressed natural gas.  The cigar-shaped fuselage
and open-wheel layout impart the look of a grand prix racecar
from the 1930s. There is no top, windshield wipers or side glass,
though Mr. Nesbitt fitted tiny headlights to permit night
driving.  Posted. 

On Our Radar: ‘Viciously More Expensive’ Energy.  The global
demand for energy is set to increase 40 percent by 2035, the
International Energy Agency says. And it will become “viciously
more expensive” and more polluting if governments do not promote
renewable energy and nuclear power in the next two decades
instead of burning coal, it warns.  Posted. 

Rep. Darrell Issa opens probe of California Air Resources Board.
The California Air Resources Board is now being investigated by
the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. On
Wednesday, the committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Temecula,
sent Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols a 13-page letter
advising her that he was "expanding" the committee's ongoing
investigation into the establishment of fuel economy standards.
Nichols had earlier declined to attend a committee hearing on the
subject. Posted.

Greenhouse gases continue to rise worldwide. Greenhouse gases
such as carbon dioxide and methane continued to rise in Earth's
atmosphere last year, according to an annual worldwide
measurement taken by the federal government's National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA announced Wednesday
that their "Annual Greenhouse Gas Index" measured 1.29 in 2010.
This means the combined heating effect of greenhouse gases added
to the atmosphere by human activities has increased by 29 percent
since 1990, the year used as a baseline for comparison. Posted.

Cap & Trade's Failure Means It's Time for a Carbon Tax. "I was a
huge supporter of cap-and-trade," said Wayne Leonard, the CEO of
Entergy, a $11 billion utility company. "We developed enormously
elegant solutions, but they couldn't get done." Taxing carbon
emissions is the next best way to deal with the threat of global
climate disruptions, he said, in part because it would give the
energy industry a degree of certainty about how to deploy its
capital. Posted.

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