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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 20, 2011. Posted: 20 Dec 2011 14:08:18
California Air Resources Board Newsclips for December 20, 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 Pollution fighters sue Kennecott over mining dust. Salt Lake City—Clean air groups are making good on a promise to sue Kennecott Utah Copper over air pollution. The groups say Kennecott is kicking up too much dust at its Bingham copper mine and should curtail operations. They say Kennecott is violating the federal Clean Air Act even though Utah's pollution regulators have allowed the company to significantly ramp up mining production. The federal lawsuit was filed Monday by Utah Moms for Clean Air, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and WildEarth Guardians. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/12/20/financial/f080610S66.DTL http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19585140 http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/20/1994689/pollution-fighters-sue-kennecott.html Air pollution triggers wood burning ban in Reno. Reno, Nev.—Air pollution in the Reno area has gotten bad enough to trigger a temporary ban on wood burning. The Washoe County Health District issued a Stage 1 Air Pollution Alert and declared a Red Burn Code on Monday. That means all burning of wood and solid fuels must stop at once from north of Reno, to south of Washoe Valley. Health officials say the elevated levels of fine particulate air pollution are due in part to light winds and a strong temperature inversion that is trapping pollutants close to the ground. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19584358 http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/20/1994452/air-pollution-triggers-wood-burning.html Power plant closures to cost US towns jobs, taxes. For more than 90 years, the coal-fired power plant in Glen Lyn, Va., has been churning out electricity and contributing to local prosperity. Of late, it has generated nearly a quarter of the revenue for the $1 million budget of the town. Yet when the plant ultimately shuts down to comply with new federal air pollution regulations by the end of 2014, says Town Manager Howard Spencer, so too might the community of 200. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/20/1994406/power-plant-closures-to-cost-us.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/dec/20/power-plant-closures-to-cost-us-towns-jobs-taxes/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/power-plant-closures-to-cost-us-towns-jobs-taxes/article_2a4ec613-630d-5128-b3e9-0e5edc66035b.html CLIMATE CHANGE EU Carbon Surges as Parliament Backs Proposal to Withhold Permits. European Union carbon prices jumped after the EU Parliament environment committee backed a draft rule requiring the bloc’s executive to propose a temporary cut in permit supply in the next phase of its carbon market. Carbon allowances rose as much as 32 percent on speculation that an amendment to an energy efficiency law voted today raised the likelihood of the EU curbing oversupply and supporting prices in its emissions trading system. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-20/eu-parliament-committee-backs-proposal-to-withhold-co2-permits.html European Parliament eyes boosting carbon prices. A European Parliament committee voted Tuesday to lower the number of carbon emission allowances from 2013 onward in an effort to save Europe's cap-and-trade system. The Parliament's environment committee narrowly voted to reduce the number of allowances sold in auctions as well as those given out for free, said Peter Liese, a committee member from the center-right European People's Party. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/12/20/financial/f044501S20.DTL Durban: Progress for the Planet. The international climate talks that recently wrapped up in Durban, South Africa, could prove to be an historic turning point in the international community's efforts to overcome global warming. While the urgency for overcoming global warming has never been greater, it was actually helpful that expectations for this meeting were quite low. Durban achieved significant progress in helping the world to address both the causes and consequences of global warming. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-jim-ball/durban-progress-for-the-planet_b_1150722.html?ref=world Local companies face cap-and-trade deadline. About 600 facilities producing food, goods and electricity in the state will begin planning for California’s cap-and-trade regulation when the rule becomes effective on Jan. 1. In the San Joaquin Valley, about 30 large facilities, including 14 manufacturers and food processors, will be included in the program that mandates businesses look for new ways to cut carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions or else invest in allowances or offsets by 2013, when the program's enforcement measures kick in. Posted. http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/manufacturing/12569-local-companies-face-cap-and-trade-deadline Scientists mark 1/3 of a century of satellite climate data. One-third of a century of satellite measurements of the Earth's temperature show a warming of about 0.82 degrees F, according to John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH). Christy says this is at the lower end of computer model projections of how much the atmosphere should have warmed in the past 33 years due to the effects of extra greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/12/satellite-temperature-data-global-warming-climate-change/1 FUELS CARB approves low carbon fuel standard; businesses worry. Diesel in California will likely cost more money in the future because of requirements from a California regulation approved and amended Friday. The California Air Resources Board voted to approve amendments to the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Friday. The fuel standard is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels 10 percent by the year 2020. The fuel standard is designed to work with the state’s cap-and-trade-program, which limits emissions created by fuel companies, utilities and other businesses. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Dec11/121911/121911-01.shtml VEHICLES Toyota Ends Go-It-Alone Strategy With BMW, Tesla Alliances: Cars. Toyota Motor Corp. has a tradition of self-reliance. Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda is beginning to change that. Toyoda agreed this month to equip some Toyota cars with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG diesel engines, building on an earlier deal to use Tesla Motors Inc. battery packs in future electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-20/toyota-ends-go-it-alone-strategy-with-bmw-tesla-alliances-cars.html House GOP chair wants California fuel docs. Washington— The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants the California Air Resources Board to turn over more documents about a deal reached this summer to double fuel efficiency standards by 2025. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the committee chairman, wants board Chairwoman Mary Nichols to turn over more documents about how a deal was reached this summer between the White House, California and most major automakers to double requirements to 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year — a plan that Obama administration says will cost the auto industry $157 billion. Posted. http://www.detnews.com/article/20111219/AUTO01/112190411/1361/House-GOP-chair-wants-California-fuel-docs GREEN ENERGY Google, private-equity firm to buy stake in Sacramento area solar farms that will supply SMUD. Google and private equity firm KKR & Co. are taking majority ownership in four solar farms developed by Recurrent Energy. The solar farms are being built near Elk Grove and Galt. On its official blog, Google said it's investing $94 million in the project. The Internet giant now has poured $915 million into clean-tech investments. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/20/4135217/google-private-equity-firm-to.html http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-google-solar-20111220,0,3634301.story http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/12/20/financial/f050212S92.DTL http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19585282 http://www.contracostatimes.com/business/ci_19585283 http://www.nctimes.com/business/google-kkr-invest-in-california-solar-project/article_075cd0c7-ed1c-55dc-b4b7-a107813d141d.html#ixzz1h624YCZh http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/20/1994514/google-kkr-invest-in-california.html Brown promotes solar energy while lighting menorah. Sacramento, Calif. -- Gov. Jerry Brown is summoning the Hanukkah spirit in calling for more alternative energy. The Democratic governor participated Monday in the annual lighting of the Capitol menorah. The Jewish Festival of Lights commemorates the miracle of the menorah burning for eight days when there was enough oil to burn for just one. Brown said it was appropriate for California to tackle "the whole idea that we're running out of oil." Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/19/4133463/brown-promotes-solar-energy-while.html OPINIONS Dan Walters: California bullet train feud echoes old conflict. It's doubtful whether members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, who voted this month to pursue an alternative route through Kings County for a north-south bullet train, have ever heard of the Mussel Slough Tragedy, even though it was a seminal event in the state's history. If they had, they might not have done what they did. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/20/4134108/dan-walters-california-bullet.html#storylink=omni_popular On patrol with the smoke police. As the first rays of sunshine pierced the dense Bakersfield air, Mike Oldershaw searched for smoke. "You want a sample of air across your face," he said, adjusting his truck's air vent. "You usually don't see it first, you smell it." This morning, though, his eyes led him to the culprit: a stucco home in northwest Bakersfield with a wisp of gas piping out its tile roof. Oldershaw, an air quality compliance manager with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, had spotted what could be the day's first no-burn violator. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x1461872356/On-patrol-with-the-smoke-police EDITORIAL: Navy blue goes green. Government digs deeper into debt so pricey biofuel can power warcraft. The $1 trillion budget bill before Congress includes a provision that would resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline, but don’t expect its passage to open a flood of black gold and wash away Uncle Sam’s infatuation with all things green. Even as the scientific validation of global-warming theory crumbles, adherents in Washington have dragooned the U.S. military into leading the charge toward renewable energy. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/19/navy-blue-goes-green/ BLOGS The satellite temperature record: questioning shaky claims after 33 years. An interesting press release marking the 33rd anniversary of the satellite temperature record makes questionable claims about global warming. The release, from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH), reports that the warming trend in the lower atmosphere is lower than at the surface, and states that the satellite data points to flaws in climate models used to project how the planet’s climate system may respond to increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the air. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/the-satellite-temperature-record-questioning-shaky-claims-after-33-years/2011/12/20/gIQAd8KE7O_blog.html Arctic Methane: Is Catastrophe Imminent? In my article over the weekend about the climate risks from buried Arctic carbon, I omitted any discussion of one issue that sometimes appears in the news: methane deposits under relatively shallow seawater near the coasts of Siberia, Canada and Alaska. It was a purposeful omission because my piece focused on carbon buried on land, which presents a climate risk if it eventually emerges as methane or carbon dioxide. However, given the alarming headlines about methane in the ocean, as seen here and here for example, I did some additional reporting. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/20/arctic-methane-is-catastrophe-imminent/