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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. CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-07/carbon-capture-projects-imperiled-by-worst-case-scenario-energy.html 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.. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-07/europe-s-emissions-trading-system-is-dead-eon-ceo-teyssen-says.html 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/business/global/eu-rebuffs-chinas-challenge-to-pollution-plan.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse 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. http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/county-seeks-grant-to-cut-new-emissions/article_a2e93b8c-514a-11e1-ab9f-0019bb2963f4.html 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. http://energy.aol.com/2012/02/07/analysts-see-energy-shock-from-california-climate-law/ 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. http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/energy-and-environment/722-study-minorities-will-be-impact-more-by-climate-change 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/feb/06/un-panel-promotes-carbon-tax-eco-based-prices/ DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. http://trailer-bodybuilders.com/chassis/cummins-receives-epa-cert-0206/ FUELS 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-utah-coal-20120207,0,5900382.story 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. http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2012/02/07/oil-refiners-and-biofuels-2012-to-feature-fight-over-rfs-cooperation-on-rin-fraud/ VEHICLES 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. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/stanford-team-develops-plan-electric-highway-14781 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. http://www.ocregister.com/news/oil-339096-miles-change.html GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/02/07/california-reveals-price-it-pays-for-renewable-energy/ MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-fisker-layoff-20120206,0,187452.story http://economy.ocregister.com/2012/02/06/oc-hybrid-car-maker-lays-off-26/103568/ 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. http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/news/article_17d30804-51ac-11e1-bdd1-0019bb2963f4.html OPINIONS 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0207-tuesday-20120207,0,3848173.story 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. http://letters.ocregister.com/2012/02/06/a-little-rain-on-this-climate-change-parade/ 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. Posted. http://orangepunch.ocregister.com/2012/02/06/another-global-warming-oops-moment-8/67187/ 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mckibben/the-great-carbon-bubble_b_1259782.html?ref=green 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. http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/02/06/ca-launches-green-chemistry-inquisition/ 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. http://grist.org/energy-efficiency/how-does-the-rebound-effect-fit-into-the-big-picture-on-climate-change/ BLOGS 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. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/peter-hoffmann-responds-to-your-questions-about-fuel-cells/ 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. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/02/sea-rising-island-nations-court.html 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/06/january-u-s-alf-fuel-vehicle-sales-prius-leaves-other-hybrids/ 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. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/02/suppliers-lag-behind-reducing-carbon-emissions/ 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/02/enerkem-20120207.html