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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 6, 2012 Posted: 06 Feb 2012 14:26:36
ARB News Clips for February 6, 2012. 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. CLIMATE CHANGE China bars its airlines from paying EU carbon tax. China announced Monday it will prohibit its airlines from paying European Union charges on carbon emissions, ratcheting up a global dispute over the cost of combatting climate change. The charges are aimed at curbing emissions of climate-changing gases but governments including China, the United States and Russia oppose them. The ratings agency Fitch warned in December the conflict could spiral into a global trade dispute. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_EU_AIRLINES?SITE=MOSPL&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT AP Newsbreak: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-06/china-bans-airlines-from-joining-european-union-s-carbon-emissions-system.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/china-bars-its-airlines-from-paying-eu-carbon-tax-ratcheting-up-global-dispute/2012/02/06/gIQAIa2AuQ_story.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/02/05/2711274/china-bars-its-airlines-from-paying.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19903244?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19903244?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Opponents of EU airline CO2 scheme to meet in Moscow. A group of 26 countries vehemently opposed to the EU's aviation emissions trading scheme will meet in Moscow on February 21 to discuss a plan of action, EU and Indian sources told Reuters on Monday. The governments, which include Russia, India, China and the U.S., claim an EU law forcing all airlines touching down or taking off within the bloc to pay for their CO2 emissions from last month is discriminatory and illegal, and some are prohibiting their carriers from complying. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/06/us-russia-aviation-idUSTRE8151QJ20120206 Spain Needs $466 Million in Carbon Credits to Meet Kyoto Limit. Spain may need to buy at least 355 million euros ($466 million) of carbon emissions permits to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, Agriculture Minister Miguel Arias-Canete said. The country will need at least 67 million metric tons of emissions permits to cover greenhouse gas emissions that exceed the volume allowed under the 1997 Kyoto agreement, Arias-Canete told a parliamentary committee last week. “The government needs a lot of permits,” the minister said. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-06/spain-needs-466-million-in-carbon-credits-to-meet-kyoto-limit.html E.U. Rebuffs China's Challenge to Pollution Plan. Brussels — The European Commission said Monday that it would continue charging airlines for their greenhouse gas emissions, despite an announcement from China that its carriers would be forbidden to pay without its permission. “We’re not backing down in our legislation, we’ll apply this to companies operating in Europe,” said Isaac Valero-Ladron, a spokesman for the European Commission, the Union’s executive body. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/business/global/eu-rebuffs-chinas-challenge-to-pollution-plan.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print Climate change gives gardeners new options. If you're planting a spring garden in the U.S. this year, you may want to set aside some extra seed money. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has updated its plant hardiness zone map for the first time since 1990, reflecting how some crops are moving north as winter grows warmer. Despite all the long-term dangers associated with global warming, it does have a few short-term perks …Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/06/4242647/climate-change-gives-gardeners.html Disclosing greenhouse gas emissions boosts business, study finds. New research shows it can pay to be green. A pair of California business school researchers has found that companies that disclose greenhouse gas emissions enjoy an immediate rise in stock value and positive returns to shareholders. Their study appeared in Social Science Research Network. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/disclosing-greenhouse-gas-emissions-boosts-business-study-finds-14765 http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=177204 The Complex Process of Reducing Carbon Intensity. The next big piece of California's groundbreaking climate strategy is to clean up the fuels we use, reducing the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard calls for a 10 percent reduction in the average "carbon intensity" of fuels by the end of the decade. But Midwestern ethanol producers are challenging the regulation in court. Posted. http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201202030850/a Why climate change will make you love big government. This essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom’s kind permission. Look back on 2011 and you’ll notice a destructive trail of extreme weather slashing through the year. In Texas, it was the driest year ever recorded. An epic drought there killed half a billion trees, touched off wildfires that burned 4 million acres, and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and buildings. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-change/why-climate-change-will-make-you-love-big-government/ DIESEL EMISSIONS Commuters continue to breathe diesel exhaust at Chicago's Union Station. Thousands of commuters continue to breathe high levels of lung-damaging diesel exhaust at Chicago's Union Station, in part because of nagging maintenance problems at the Old Post Office that straddles the southbound tracks. Testing by Amtrak has determined that ventilation fans at the shuttered post office building repeatedly malfunction. Posted. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-old-post-office-pollution-0206-20120206,0,1354245.story Landmark Diesel Exhaust Study Stalled Amid Industry And Congressional Objections. Publication of a landmark government study probing whether diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in miners — already 20 years in the making — has been delayed by industry and congressional insistence on seeing study data and documents before the public does. A federal judge has affirmed the right of an industry group and a House committee to review the materials and has held the Department of Health and Human Services in contempt for not producing all of them. Posted. http://njtoday.net/2012/02/06/landmark-diesel-exhaust-study-stalled-amid-industry-and-congressional-objections/ Stalemate looms on NOx vs CO2 diesel emission limits. Which emissions are more harmful: oxides of nitrogen (NOx) or carbon dioxide (CO2)? No-one can provide a definitive answer, because any judgment on the subject is akin to comparing apples with oranges. Nitrogen oxides are pollutants, constituting an immediate threat to human health, while CO2 is a longer-term - albeit profound - hazard, detrimentally affecting the planet’s climate. Posted. http://www.automotiveworld.com/news/commercial-vehicles/91883-stalemate-looms-on-nox-vs-co2-diesel-emission-limits FUELS 2012 begins with highest January gasoline prices ever. January is typically a month of falling gasoline prices because fuel demand traditionally falters in the slower travel weeks that follow the end-of-the-year holidays. Not so this year. The last month was the most expensive January ever for retail gasoline as prices averaged out at $3.37 a gallon, according to the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) in New Jersey. That compared with the previous record average for the month of $3.095 a gallon SET last year. In 2010, January gasoline prices averaged just $2.71 a gallon. The new record meant more pain in Americans' budgets. A typical household, burning about 50 gallons of gasoline a month, had to pay about $168.50 for that fuel in January, or $33 more than it did in 2010. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-gas-oil-prices-20120206,0,1341783.story?track=rss Five Key Biofuels Issues for 2012. The 2011 ethanol tax incentive might be gone, but the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is still in place. As a result, the upcoming year promises to see a great deal of legal activity surrounding ethanol use, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Here are five stories the organization is keeping an eye on in 2012…Posted. http://www.agweb.com/article/five_key_biofuels_issues_for_2012/ VEHICLES California Car Deal Criticized as Hurting Green Sales. When California’s air regulators approved new car-pollution rules to cut down on smog and global warming, they included a provision that critics described as a loophole that could substantially reduce the number of electric vehicles sold in the state in coming years. Under the new Advanced Clean Cars Program rules, approved last month, automakers will be required; beginning in 2018, to sell an escalating number of automobiles and light vehicles in California that can run on electricity, fuel cells or other zero-tailpipe-emission technologies. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/us/california-clean-cars-deal-criticized-as-hurting-green-sales.html?_r=1&scp=8&sq=smog&st=cse 100-mpg Fusion sparks interest -- too early. When a customer told Vandalia, Ohio, Ford dealer Larry Taylor last week that he was interested in buying a Fusion Hybrid, Taylor walked him over to look at a 2012 Fusion Hybrid. The customer looked at the car and shook his head. He said, "No, not that one. I want the one that gets more than 90 mpg," Taylor recounts. Taylor had to tell the customer that the car he was interested in, the 2013 Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid that Ford says will get in excess of 100 mpg, probably won't arrive until fall…Taylor still has about 80 units of the 2012 Fusion on his lot. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/article/20120206/OEM06/302069940#ixzz1lcjJfIYy GREEN ENERGY Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot. Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward cities. They are showing up at planning meetings to denounce bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances — efforts they equate to a big-government blueprint against individual rights. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/us/activists-fight-green-projects-seeing-un-plot.html?_r=3&emc=eta1 Energy cells help power Century City skyscraper. Century City skyscraper Constellation Place, formerly known as MGM Tower, is the first Los Angeles high-rise to be served by electricity-generating fuel cells. Landlord JMB Realty installed two Bloom Energy Servers that will produce 400 kilowatts of power, about one-third of the electricity needed by the 35-story tower. Bloom servers, made by Bloom Energy of Sunnyvale, Calif., are each big enough to occupy an average parking space and contain thousands of Bloom fuel cells …Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-energy-cells-20120203,0,7643742,print.story MISCELLANEOUS Republican primary candidates on climate change. In the past five years, climate scientists have become increasingly convinced that human activities are having a dangerous, long-lasting impact on the global climate. Many Republican primary candidates meanwhile, have been moving the other way. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/05/INFM1N13NV.DTL OPINIONS A rational approach to rail. New priorities — start in urban areas, build on what's in place — could propel the bullet train. California's proposed bullet train is being recalibrated. And designers may finally be on the right track. Sensitive to growing public and political opposition, high-speed rail officials seem to be coming to a rational conclusion: It makes good sense to begin service ASAP in urban areas where people might actually ride the trains. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-train-20120206,0,5033707,print.column High-speed rail ... or fail? A bullet train official tries to answer tough questions about soaring costs and judging the risks of new technology. Can it be built faster, better and cheaper? When it comes to California's plans for high-speed rail, scads of people have strong opinions. But that shouldn't be a surprise. As I noted in Wednesday's column, voters in 2008 approved a 520-mile train route that was supposed to cost $33 billion and be completed in 2020. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0205-lopez-hispeed-20120205,0,3518201.column EU an ocean apart from U.S. on climate change. Soon after arriving in the Bay Area, my Anglo American partner gave up on public transport and decided to lease a car. She opted for a Honda Fit, which had "good" mileage of 33 mpg until compared with the same model sold in the United Kingdom, which does around 55 mpg. I asked the dealer at Honda Marin whether he knew what the tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions were. He looked at me blankly. When I told him that in the European Union, it's now a legal requirement to label cars with the grams of carbon dioxide emitted per mile and zero-emission vehicles get a road tax break, he looked as if I'd landed from Mars. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/05/INFM1N1645.DTL Climate-change solutions depend on open dialogue. Katharine Hayhoe is a busy woman. As an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, she studies the regional impact of climate change. As a Christian, she volunteers, sharing her science with church and public groups. And as the mother of a young child - well, enough said. So it's not surprising she was frustrated when a chapter about climate science she wrote for an upcoming Newt Gingrich book was casually dumped by the Republican presidential primary candidate in the lead up to the Iowa caucuses. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/05/INFM1N12Q9.DTL&type=green Should the U.S. end restrictions on domestic oil drilling? No: This will discourage green energy. Gasoline prices rose sharply in 2008 and again in 2011, largely as a consequence of rising global demand and limited supply. People's reactions were mixed. Some called for immediate relief in the form of gas tax rebates or increased oil drilling, both onshore and offshore. Others welcomed higher gas prices because they motivate auto companies to design and market more fuel-efficient vehicles, and consumers to buy them. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/02/04/2055864/should-the-us-end-restrictions.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EDITORIAL: State's cleaner car goal won't work without buyers. The California Air Resources Board has unanimously approved new regulations that mandate car manufacturers to cut smog emissions from new vehicles by 75% by 2025 and greenhouse gases by 34%. To produce that level of emission reductions, CARB has set an ambitious target. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/02/06/2711618/editorial-states-cleaner-car-goal.html#storylink=misearch California's Dreaming: It Thinks It Can Force You To Buy A Car You Don't Want. Last Friday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandated that by 2025, 15% of new cars sold in California must have zero or near-zero emissions – in other words, that they be electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, the Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen car and soon the Tesla Model S. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccalindland/2012/01/31/californias-dreaming-it-thinks-it-can-force-you-to-buy-a-car-you-dont-want/ "Global Warming Has Stopped"? How to Fool People Using "Cherry-Picked" Climate Data. The current favorite argument of those who argue that climate changes isn’t happening, or a problem, or worth dealing with, is that global warming has stopped. Therefore (they conclude) scientists must be wrong when they say that climate change is caused by humans, worsening, and ultimately a serious environmental problem that must be addressed by policy makers. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/02/05/global-warming-has-stopped-how-to-fool-people-using-cherry-picked-climate-data/ Commentary: California Drives Investment in Cleaner Cars. Last week, the California Air Resources Board passed a new package of Advanced Clean Car rules continuing California’s leadership in auto technology. It is rare that a regulatory action will result in such a big win for the economy, consumers, national security and the environment. Simply put, cleaner cars will save money and drive job creation. As the original author of California’s landmark clean car law that now serves as our national standard,…Posted. http://encino.patch.com/articles/commentary-california-drives-investment-in-cleaner-cars BLOGS A Bay Area Experiment in Electric Bike Sharing. Any cyclist who pedals around San Francisco will soon learn about the Wiggle, a bicycle route that weaves a delightfully flat path across this city of hills. But the Wiggle, just one mile long, can save cyclists from only so many hills. Soon San Franciscans will have a new option for navigating the local terrain without breaking a sweat or resorting to a car, thanks to a pioneering federally financed electric bike share program that will start up this year. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/a-bay-area-experiment-in-electric-bike-sharing/ Who was for, who was against CARB's ZEV mandate "over-compliance" rule. What impact will the "over-compliance" rule – some would say loophole – in the California Air Resources Board's recent changes to the Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate have? The short and obvious answer is that only time will tell, but one can make the case both that it's a good thing and that it's a bad thing. Odd, but true. Before we get too far into this, a primer on the ZEV Mandate changes and what the over-compliance rule actually is is important. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/03/who-was-for-who-was-against-carbs-zev-mandate-over-compliance/ Business Coalition BICEP Endorses California’s Advanced Clean Car Program. Business advocacy Coalition, BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) has endorsed the California Air Resources Board’s, Advanced Clean Cars Program, which passed last week – citing benefits which they say will spark economic growth. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/02/business-coalition-bicep-endorses-calirfornias-advanced-clean-car-program/