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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.


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.

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

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. 


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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. 

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.


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.

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.

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