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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 7, 2012

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 13:49:39
ARB News Clips for February 7, 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.


Carbon Capture Projects Imperiled by Worst-Case Scenario: Energy.
The cloud of carbon dioxide that burst out of Lake Nyos in
Cameroon and asphyxiated 1,700 people haunts the plans of oil and
power companies to bury their greenhouse gases underground. “It
was shocking,” said Minoru Kusakabe, a Japanese geochemist who
makes regular trips to the site of the 1986 disaster near the
border with Nigeria. Posted.

EON’s Teyssen Urges Fix to ‘Bust’ EU CO2 Plan, Energy Rules. The
European Union needs to fix its “bust” emissions cap-and-trade
program, the world’s largest, and improve existing energy rules
after investors lost trust in the EU’s policies, said EON AG’s
chief executive officer. “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk real:
the ETS is bust, it’s dead,” EON’s Johannes Teyssen said..

E.U. Rebuffs China's Challenge to Airline Emission System.  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.  The E.U. program, which began Jan.
1, requires airlines to account for all emissions on flights
using European airports and represents the Union’s boldest move
to protect the environment.    Posted. 

NM regulators repeal carbon cap and trade rules. Albuquerque,
N.M. — New Mexico's participation in a regional cap and trade
program aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions became more
unlikely Monday with a unanimous vote by state regulators. The
decision by the Environmental Improvement Board to repeal the cap
and trade rules came in response to petitions filed by New
Mexico's largest electric utilities, oil and gas developers and
others who feared the rules would push businesses and jobs to
neighboring states. Posted. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46294972

County seeks grant to cut new emissions. Napa County is seeking
grant funding to create a local carbon-offset program, the
centerpiece of its initiative to reduce greenhouse emissions in
its unincorporated areas. The program would allow commercial and
vineyard developers to calculate their projects’ carbon
emissions, and then pay into a fund that would support local
energy conservation, habitat restoration and land conservation as
a way to offset those emissions. Posted.

Analysts See Energy Shock From California Climate Law. California
energy users have a shock in store between 2015 and 2020, warns a
new analysis by ICF International. That's when California's
greenhouse gas law, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006,
really bites. Popularly known as AB 32, the law requires
progressive reductions in carbon dioxide and other gases
associated with global warming, aiming to cut the state's
emissions to their 1990 level by 2020. Posted.

Study: Minorities face greatest climate-change impacts. The
California Department of Public Health has released a study
finding that heat events, flooding and wildfires —events
associated with anticipated future climate change — will impact
Fresno County's minorities the greatest. Fresno and Los Angeles
counties were examined for the study. The study also found areas
with a predominantly minority population were more susceptible to
heat stress …Posted.

UN panel promotes carbon tax, eco-based prices.  Governments must
craft a global pact that promotes a carbon tax and prices goods
based on ecological costs, politicians and U.N. panelists urged
Monday.  Former Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey said the
planet is living beyond its means and needs a "sustainable"
economy that better manages natural resources for its 7 billion
inhabitants, while promoting human rights, equality and an end to
poverty.  Posted. 


Cummins Receives EPA’s Certification For School Bus Market. 
Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) said it has received certification from
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air
Resources Board (CARB) for two new school bus ratings.  These new
ratings for the ISB6.7 are certified at 0.20g Oxides of Nitrogen
(NOx) per brake horsepower hour without the use of emissions
credits. They include offerings of 220 hp (164 kW) with 520 lb-ft
(705 N.m) of torque and 250 hp (186 kW) with 660 lb-ft of torque
(895 N.m).  Posted. 


Proposed Utah mine expansion reflects politics of coal. An
obstacle to greening L.A.'s energy portfolio is the DWP's
contract with a Utah plant, which requires the city to buy coal
power until 2027. The gritty fuel is now stoking controversy over
energy policy, environmental damage and how much consumers should
pay to kick the habit. It was the simple beauty of the sagebrush
hills and the first-rate fishing that drew Vince Salvato here 15
years ago. Posted.

Oil refiners and biofuels: 2012 to feature fight over RFS,
cooperation on RIN fraud.  In Florida, the National Biodiesel
Conference — biodiesel’s grandest show — opened with exuberance
over 2011 results, and resolve to meet the industry’s two major
issues in 2012, defense of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and a
crack-down on phony biodiesel credits sold to obligated parties
by con artists posing as legitimate biodiesel producers.  Posted.


Stanford team develops plan for electric highway. With new state
regulations demanding an increase in the number of clean and
green cars, the future is looking bright for electric cars, such
as the Nissan Leaf. The problem is, most electric cars can’t go
more than about 100 miles without being recharged. But a team of
Stanford University researchers may have come up with a novel
infrastructure design that could solve this problem. Posted.

State says motorists change oil too often. "Frequent oil changes
do not necessarily mean better performance or longer engine
life," says CalRecycle Director Carroll Mortensen. With almost 10
million California residents changing their oil every 3,000 miles
or less, state officials said motorists need to rethink their
habits as auto technology advances allow vehicles to go farther
without maintenance. Posted.


California Reveals Price It Pays For Renewable Energy. 
California has one of the nation’s most ambitious renewable
energy mandates – 33% of its electricity must be carbon free by
2020 – yet the price of that power had long remain locked in a
black box, kept confidential by state regulators.  Not any
longer. Forced by a new law to publish the electricity rates of
utility contracts it has approved, the California Public
Utilities Commission on Friday issued a report detailing what
green energy costs consumers.  Posted. 


Fisker lays off workers, wants to renegotiate federal load.
Fisker Automotive has stopped work at a former General Motors
auto plant in Delaware where it plans to build Project Nina, a
family-size plug-in hybrid that is expected to sell for about
$50,000. The Anaheim-based auto company laid off 26 workers at
the plant and let go 40 contract employees working at its
headquarters.  That leaves the company with about 600 employees
working on automotive development in Anaheim. Posted.

Arnold man joins Assembly contest. A political activist for the
past decade, Marc Boyd's entrée into politics was only a matter
of time. A property manager living in Arnold, Boyd joins a
crowded race for California's District 5 Assembly seat.Although
not as seasoned a politician as fellow candidates Rico Oller, a
former Assemblyman, and Frank Bigelow, a Madera County
supervisor, Boyd is accustomed to rubbing shoulders with policy
makers. In 2007, Boyd prepared a climate action plan for San Jose
Mayor Chuck Reed's administration that featured 101 initiatives
to help San Jose soften its ecological footprint. Posted.


Solar energy versus the environment; birth control, the
government and the Roman Catholic Church; the Internet's 'junk
info'. Power vs. the desert. Re "The power compromise," Feb. 5.
If people want renewable energy, they should understand it must
come from somewhere. In this case, the desert ecosystem is the
somewhere. Although the Ivanpah Valley solar site and similar
projects represent a devastating loss to this environment, if we
continue to depend on fossil fuels, there will be devastation
just as bad elsewhere in the world. Posted.

A little rain on this climate change parade. Dana Point, Larry
Hamlin: The graphics associated with the article, “A costly year:
Weather disasters spike in 2011” [Feb. 5] portraying that 2011
experienced more severe weather events than any other year since
1980 is particularly misleading. The arbitrary use of a $1
billion in damages icon to portray the number of events in a year
grossly exaggerates 2011 compared to other years. Posted.

Another Global Warming Oops Moment.  One of the certainties
regarding those who think the government knows best is that the
government barely knows at all, particularly when it comes to the
consequences of its brainstorms.  Today we have yet another
example of what was unintended, but probably could have been seen
coming had our government know-it-alls not been blinded by their
ideological mission.  We call these Global Warming Oops  Moments.

The Great Carbon Bubble. Why the Fossil Fuel Industry Fights So
Hard. If we could see the world with a particularly illuminating
set of spectacles, one of its most prominent features at the
moment would be a giant carbon bubble, whose bursting someday
will make the housing bubble of 2007 look like a lark. As yet --
as we shall see -- it’s unfortunately largely invisible to us. In
compensation, though, we have some truly beautiful images made
possible by new technology.  Posted.

NEW: CA Launches Green Chemistry Inquisition. No one expects the
California Green Chemistry Inquisition. In post-industrial
California, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control
has launched an inquisition called the Green Chemistry Initiative
to determine if there are safer alternatives to the use of some
3,000 chemicals used in commercial products.  Posted.

How does the rebound effect fit into the big picture on climate
change?  In my last two posts, I tried to explain the rebound
effect and explore its implications for policy. (Short version:
Rebound effects are real and in some cases substantial, but they
do not undermine the case for energy efficiency.) In this post —
the last in what I promise was never intended to become a
multi-part series — I explore the question of what the rebound
effect means for our larger understanding of the fight against
climate change. Posted. 


Peter Hoffmann Responds to Your Questions About Fuel Cells. 
Though there are a number of potential impediments to the broad
adoption of hydrogen fuel cells in passenger cars, major
automakers expect to commercialize the technology in their
vehicles by 2015. Peter Hoffmann, the author of two books about
hydrogen fuel cells and editor of The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell
Letter, was featured in a recent interview with Jim Motavalli, a
frequent Wheels contributor .  Posted. 

The sea is rising? Island nations will see you in court. If the
globe keeps warming and the seas keep rising, the country of
Palau could be wiped off the map. So the Pacific island is
teaming up with other small island nations to fight the threat of
climate change -- in court. The countries want the International
Court of Justice to offer an opinion on whether countries that
pollute have a responsibility to other countries that get hurt by
that pollution. Posted.

January U.S. alt-fuel vehicle sales: Prius leaves other hybrids
in the dust.  When it came to January alt-fuel sales, there was
Toyota, and then there was everyone else.  While the world's
biggest maker of hybrids appeared to get back on track and get
its supply chain in order after last year's Japan tsunami
hampered production, most advanced-powertrain models other
automakers sold in the U.S. experienced a substantial dropoff
despite the fact that gas prices were up about 10 percent from a
year earlier.  Posted. 

Suppliers Lag Behind in Reducing Carbon Emissions.  For most
large global companies, carbon tracking and management has become
standard practice. Organizations that started working to reduce
their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions several years ago are
reaping the benefits of efficiency improvements and energy
management programs in the form of emissions reductions and cost
savings. And now these companies are starting to look down their
supply chains for ways to squeeze even more carbon out of their
overall footprint.  Posted. 

Government of Québec to invest $27M in Enerkem/Greenfield Ethanol
waste-to-biofuels plant.  The Government of Québec plans to
inject C$27 million in Québec’s first full-scale commercial
cellulosic ethanol plant through the Ministry of Natural
Resources and Wildlife and Investissement Québec. This facility
will be built and operated by a joint venture partnership formed
by Enerkem, a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company, and
GreenField Ethanol, Canada’s largest ethanol company.  Posted. 

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