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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SENATE_EPA?SITE=PASCR&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/republican-measure-to-block-epa-power-plant-controls-tests-senates-support-for-epa/2011/11/10/gIQAFrvd7M_story.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/11/10/2608955/republicans-test-senates-will.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/10/1941031/republicans-test-senates-will.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/nov/10/republicans-test-senates-will-to-stand-up-for/ http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19304867?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/fight-over-clean-air-rules-threatens-to-delay-u-s-power-payback.html 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/china-s-breathable-pollution-breaks-index.html 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/world/asia/with-anger-over-dirty-air-rising-beijing-tries-tours-on-monitoring-center.html?_r=1 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. http://auburnjournal.com/detail/192940.html?content_source=&category_id=2&search_filter=&user_id=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&event_ts_to=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=1&sub_type=&town_id= CLIMATE CHANGE 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. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-10/un-urges-green-companies-to-help-break-vicious-climate-cycle.html 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. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204358004577027542955102790.html?_nocache=1320951794697&user=welcome&mg=id-wsj BY SUBSCRIPTION 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/10/europe-emissions-idUSL5E7MA1W920111110 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/epa-gives-greenhouse-gas-permit-to-texas-plant-the-1st-since-taking-over-states-program/2011/11/10/gIQACS1w8M_story.html GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-probe-20111110,0,1234728.story 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. http://www.grist.org/energy-policy/2011-11-09-todays-technology-climate-change-who-cares MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/10/MNH91LRJL8.DTL&type=printable 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. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/riverside-climate-fair-at-ucr-on-saturday/article_a827b28e-73f1-5414-9bf0-0507fd241cf3.html OPINIONS 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. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/9/fantasyland-energy-policy/print/ 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. http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/38/article/29222/ 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. Posted. http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/change_for_the_better/10722/ BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/when-do-we-hit-the-point-of-no-return-for-climate-change/2011/11/10/gIQA4rri8M_blog.html 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/if-you-act-your-age-whats-your-carbon-footprint/ 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. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/energy-forecast-fracking-in-china-nuclear-uncertain-co2-up/ 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. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/running-on-natural-gas-magnolia-special-roadster-completes-cross-country-drive/ 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/on-our-radar-viciously-more-expensive-energy/ 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. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/11/darrell-issa-opens-inquiry-into-california-air-resources-board.html http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2011/11/09/powerful-congressman-wants-some-answers-from-the-air-resources-board/ http://www.kmjnow.com/pages/landing?Air-Resources-Board-Under-Congresssional=1&blockID=565124&feedID=806 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. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/11/greenhouse-gases-carbon-dioxide-methane-global-warming-climate-change/1 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. http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/11/10/cap-trades-failure-means-its-time-carbon-tax