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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 15, 2012. Posted: 15 Oct 2012 14:32:39
ARB Newsclips for October 15, 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. AIR POLLUTION APNewsBreak: LA sues over Owens Lake dust control. The powerful Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sued air regulators Friday over demands to control dust from Owens Lake nearly a century after the exploding metropolis siphoned water to quench its growing thirst. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno, marks the latest salvo in a bitter back-and-forth over water rights in the arid region that was set in motion in 1913, when Los Angeles began diverting water from the lake 200 miles to its north. The lake went dry in 1926 and has since been plagued with massive dust storms and poor air quality. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_WATER_WARS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1013-dwp-dust-20121013,0,57296.story Pollution issue divides desert town as deadline nears. Residents of Hinkley, made famous by "Erin Brockovich," weigh an offer by PG&E to buy homes near chromium-tainted water. Animosity is high between residents wanting to sell and those opting to stay. The high desert town of Hinkley is being torn apart, neighbor by neighbor, as homeowners grapple with a plume of carcinogenic pollution made famous by a Hollywood movie. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1014-hinkley-buyout-20121014,0,6073012.story Plan would tighten rules on burning in valley. Cozy wintertime fires made scarce in recent times by air pollution rules would become even more rare under a valleywide proposal aimed at easing respiratory ills. If the San Joaquin Valley falls short of new federal air quality standards, funding for some big-ticket road projects — specifically, a remake of Highway 99's interchange with Kiernan Avenue in Salida and widening Claribel Road northeast of Modesto — could be in jeopardy. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/10/14/2414191/plan-would-tighten-rules-on-burning.html# BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Handful of Arvin residents protest composting firm. A handful of people marched in circles in a dirt lot across from Community Recycling & Resource Recovery Inc. outside Arvin on Sunday. They were holding signs reading "Why can't you be a good neighbor and stop polluting our homes," "Community Recycling stop polluting our air," and "Shame on you Community Recycling, you lie to Arvin." Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1526555418/Handful-of-Arvin-residents-protest-composting-firm BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY LIBERTY QUARRY: Temecula sues to stop fast-tracking. Temecula is suing to prevent Riverside County from adding surface mines to the list of projects eligible for a fast-tracked review. That could help the proposed Liberty Quarry gain a quicker approval. City officials vigorously oppose the mine, saying it would destroy the area’s quality of life and cause massive air pollution. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/temecula/temecula-headlines-index/20121010-liberty-quarry-temecula-sues-to-stop-fast-tracking.ece CLIMATE CHANGE World matched record for hottest September _ again. Something about September keeps bringing out the record heat in the world. The globe last month matched a record for the hottest September, set in 2005. It was the third time since 2000 that the world set or tied a heat record for September. In addition to 2012 and 2005, previous hot September records were set in 2003. And these records go back to 1880. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_HOT_SEPTEMBER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-10-15-13-19-36 OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/climate-heat-idUSL1E8LFC7P20121015 http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/World-matched-record-for-hottest-September-3949784.php http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21776257/world-matched-record-hottest-september South Korea doubles 2013 emissions reduction target. South Korea has doubled a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by local industrial and power sectors in 2013 to enhance competitiveness prior to a new cap-and-trade scheme starting in 2015, the economy ministry said on Monday. Asia's fourth-largest economy aims to cut 17.2 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent or 3 percent of next year's expected emissions, compared with 8 million metric tons of CO2 reduction or 1.42 percent of this year's level, it said in a statement. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/us-korea-emissions-idUSBRE89E03Z20121015 China Carbon Debut Defies Emission Doubters. China’s first steps to build what is destined to be the world’s second-biggest emissions market are boosting the prospects for fledgling programs from Australia to California. Four cement makers in China, the world’s biggest emitter, bought 1.3 million pollution permits for 60 yuan ($9.55) a metric ton last month in Guangdong. The province plans the largest of seven pilot programs for a proposed national market within three years. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-12/china-carbon-debut-defies-emission-doubters-energy-markets.html A Grand Experiment to Rein In Climate Change. Braced against a steep slope, Robert Hrubes cinched his measuring tape around the trunk of one tree after another, barking out diameters like an auctioneer announcing bids. “Twelve point two!” “Fourteen point one!” Mr. Hrubes’s task, a far cry from forestry of the past, was to calculate how much carbon could be stored within the tanoak, madrone and redwood trees in that plot. Every year or so, other foresters will return to make sure the trees are still standing and doing their job. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/science/earth/in-california-a-grand-experiment-to-rein-in-climate-change.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20121015/WIRE/210151082 California greenhouse gas rules face major court test. Having fended off a challenge to groundbreaking emissions standards for new cars, California now finds itself in a legal tug-of-war to preserve some of its unprecedented regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of fuels. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday will hear arguments in a legal challenge to the 2006 regulations, which a Fresno federal judge last year struck down as unconstitutional. The judge sided with an array of gas, trucking and farming industry interests aligned against the complex effort to curtail the carbon footprint of transportation fuels. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_21772831/california-greenhouse-gas-rules-face-major-court-test?source=rss http://www.dailynews.com/breakingnews/ci_21772831/california-greenhouse-gas-rules-face-major-court-test http://www.insidebayarea.com/oakland-tribune/ci_21772832/california-greenhouse-gas-rules-face-major-court-test CALIFORNIA GAS PRICES Gas prices will jump again, critics say. For years, California has suffered sudden jumps in the price of gasoline. The latest price spike, which peaked this week, briefly saw some stations charging $5 for regular. Now critics warn that one of the state's policies to fight global warming could make the situation worse. Business groups are taking aim at California's "low carbon fuel standard," which is designed to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that come from making and burning fuel. Created in 2007, the standard forces fuel producers to lower the "carbon intensity" of their products 10 percent by 2020. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Gas-prices-will-jump-again-critics-say-3944166.php#ixzz29OQWyvku SPIKE REMINDER OF CALIFORNIA ‘FUEL ISLAND’ State’s more-stringent environmental laws can separate it from rest of U.S. As gas prices spiraled out of control over the past few weeks, the historic run-up reminded residents that California is a “fuel island” separated from the rest of the nation by environmental laws that are more stringent and costly. And it’s not just gasoline. California’s penchant for eco regulations covers everything from light bulbs and cancer-causing chemicals to genetically engineered foods and greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/14/tp-spike-reminder-of-california-fuel-island/ Governor's leadership needed to prevent future fuel snafus. Governor Brown demonstrated real leadership in addressing the recent fuel supply shortage by essentially suspending the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) summer boutique gasoline mandate through the end of October. This unprecedented action has the potential to keep California moving and help alleviate impact to businesses and consumers alike from an energy cost-driven economic meltdown. If the Governor had not acted there would have been prolonged the pain at the pump. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?_c=10xknqgmjgupq9b&xid=10xkn35hgn9lhzh&done=.10xknqgmjguxq9b Gas prices retreat from record highs. Gasoline prices are dropping across the Coachella Valley after rising sharply over the past few weeks. From Saturday to Sunday, the price for a gallon of regular gas fell eight cents to $4.479 at the ARCO station at Sunrise Way and Vista Chino in Palm Springs. Gas prices, which set a record high on Oct. 8 at $4.688 per gallon, eased Sunday to $4.639 in the Riverside-San Bernardino metro area, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. One month ago, the average price for a gallon of regular gas was $4.136 in the Inland Empire. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20121015/NEWS/310150008/Gas-prices-retreat-from-record-highs?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage O.C. gas prices drop 2 cents. Orange County motorists are finding a small, albeit welcomed reprieve at the gas pump today as the average price of gas dropped to $4.64 a gallon Saturday. Today's AAA fuel gauge report shows a 2-cent drop in average gas prices for O.C. from Friday's $4.66 average. That's 83 cents pricier than last year's gas prices. Statewide, the average gas price also dropped roughly two cents to $4.63, still ranking California as the priciest state for gas in the nation, according to AAA. The second-priciest state for gas price averages is Hawaii at $4.43. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/gas-374478-average-price.html Southern California Gas Prices Should Get Lower. As Los Angeles-area gas prices hit another record high on Monday, the less expensive "winter blend" fuel began flowing from California refineries, meaning lower prices are expected at the pump soon, officials said. The fuel switch over began on Sunday when Gov. Jerry Brown told the California Air Resources Board to authorize use of the winter fuel to alleviate a shortage of the "summer blend." That shortage sent wholesale prices soaring last week and pushed retail prices to record levels. But it's unclear how soon lower prices will hit the street and how low they'll go. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21774829/southern-california-gas-prices-should-get-lower Why did CA gas prices spike? A mystery remains behind the history-making October spike in California retail gasoline prices. The run-up in wholesale and retail prices was touched off by a power outage at Exxon Mobil’s Torrance refinery. What happened next was unprecedented even for California’s isolated and volatile gasoline markets, and comparable only to a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/13/gas-price-mystery-endures/ FUELS Corrosion linked to 2011 Chevron refinery fire. Corrosion that went unchecked - the suspected cause of a fire at Chevron Corp.'s Richmond refinery in August - has been linked to a fire at the plant in October 2011, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/OzFQcu ). According to state inspection documents obtained by The Chronicle, a state Division of Occupational Safety and Health inspector who investigated the smaller 2011 fire documented allegations from two workers of corrosion at the refinery. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REFINERY_FIRE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Industry seeks to weaken EU cap on crop-based fuels. The European Commission is under strong pressure from industry groups and some of its own departments to weaken a planned cap on the use of biofuels made from food crops such as rapeseed and wheat. Last month, the two EU Commissioners responsible for biofuel policy said they planned to limit the share of crop-based fuels in the transport sector to 5 percent up to 2020, which would effectively halve the bloc's existing target. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/14/eu-biofuels-idUSL5E8LD3RR20121014 Last-Ditch Bid in Texas to Try to Stop Oil Pipeline. Deep within the oak and pine forests that blanket this stretch of East Texas, the chug of machinery drones on late into the day, broken only by the sounds of a band of activists who have vowed to stop it. Here, among the woods and farmland, what might be one of the last pitched battles over the Keystone XL oil pipeline has been unfolding for weeks now, since construction of the controversial project’s southern leg began in August. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/us/protesters-gather-at-keystone-xl-site-in-texas.html?ref=earth Report on Baldwin Hills fracking raises community ire. Despite its findings, the environmental impact study has deepened tensions between an oil field owner and those opposed to the controversial hydraulic fracturing technique used to extract oil. The environmental impact report on hydraulic fracturing at the Inglewood Oil Field was supposed to address key concerns raised by residents of the Baldwin Hills area. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fracking-study-20121015,0,4459928.story?track=rss Natural gas eyed as fuel for trains. On a 300-mile stretch of railroad in the plains of eastern Alberta, a test train chugs across the landscape burning a fuel that once made sense only to environmentalists. It runs on natural gas. And today, that makes sense to business leaders whose top priority is cutting costs. Over the past two weeks, train industry executives and others have been talking more about natural gas, as meetings in Houston and the Chicago area highlighted bubbling interest in a fuel that could slash one of railways' top costs. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Natural-gas-eyed-as-fuel-for-trains-3948140.php#ixzz29OAxZdnA VEHICLES Lincoln's 2013 MKZ Hybrid tops in fuel economy. Lincoln is several weeks away from introducing its all-new MKZ sedan, which means you can expect bits of information to begin trickling out now. Like today. Ford's luxo-nameplate announced Monday morning that the hybrid version of the 2013 MKZ had been rated by the EPA at 45 mpg in the city, highway and combined. This should come as no surprise as the car the MKZ is largely based on, the 2013 Ford Fusion, was recently rated at 47 mpg across the board. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-mo-autos-lincoln-mkz-hybrid-epa-20121015,0,3673417.story Tesla receives $10 million from state energy commission for electric auto manufacturing. The California Energy Commission voted this week to grant $10 million to Tesla Motors, Inc., to help produce an electric-powered vehicle at its Fremont plant. The project is expected to create more than 500 new manufacturing jobs at the plant, said Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont. "This is great news for Tesla and great news for the Fremont community," he said. "Not only will it lead to cleaner vehicles improving our environment, it also will lead to more manufacturing jobs here at home." Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_21762001/tesla-receives-10-million-from-state-energy-commission GREEN ENERGY A Plan to Go Halfway Around the World, Fueled by Plastic Trash. Sometime in the next few months, a single-engine Cessna will fly from Sydney to London. Converted to be able to carry extra amounts of fuel, the small plane will take 10 days for its journey, making 10 or so stops along the way. What will make this journey special is not the route or the identity of the pilot — a 41-year-old British insurance industry executive who lives in Australia — but the fuel that the aircraft will be using: diesel processed from discarded plastic trash. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/business/energy-environment/halfway-around-the-world-fueled-by-plastic-trash.html?pagewanted=all State signs alternative energy deals. Landfill gas and geothermal energy will soon power a share of the state's massive water pumping infrastructure. The California Department of Water Resources announced Wednesday it has signed deals to buy 33 megawatts of energy from the two sources through 2016. The majority comes from The Geysers geothermal field near Middletown, operated by the Northern California Power Agency. The rest comes from a gas-to-energy plant at Ox Mountain Landfill in Half Moon Bay. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/13/4908119/state-signs-alternative-energy.html#storylink=cpy Public land set aside for solar plants. Federal officials approved a plan Friday that sets aside 285,000 acres of public land for the development of large-scale solar power plants, cementing a new government approach to renewable energy development in the West after years of delays and false starts. At a news conference in Las Vegas, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the new plan a "roadmap ... that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands." Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Public-land-set-aside-for-solar-plants-3944807.php#ixzz29OBiTEcR Solyndra files $1.5 billion lawsuit against Chinese solar firms, claims conspiracy. Solyndra, the bankrupt Fremont solar-panel maker that received a $535 million U.S. government loan guarantee, filed a blockbuster lawsuit this week that accused Suntech and other Chinese panel makers of driving it out of business by running an illegal cartel. Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2011, is seeking compensation "for the loss of the $1.5 billion value of its business and more which defendants destroyed," according to a complaint filed Thursday in San Francisco federal court. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21759661/solyndra-files-1-5-billion-lawsuit-against-chinese Eye on the Environment: Leases, rebates, group purchasing help homeowners go solar. Sometimes being "environmental" has the connotation of giving up something or doing without. With solar, however, the only thing to give up is high electricity bills. In the past 18 months, the reality of solar electricity has changed, costs have come down and homeowners can save money immediately on their electricity bills. More than 125,000 Californians have found solar energy to be an affordable and reliable alternative, and they are regularly generating 1.3 megawatts of power. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/13/leases-rebates-group-purchasing-help-homeowners/ Germans face hefty bill to end nuclear power. There were cheers around Germany when Chancellor Angela Merkel announced last year, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, a swift end to nuclear power in favor of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. But only 18 months into the plan, the cost of the switchover is beginning to sink in. Some politicians, fearful of losing popular support for the transition, are demanding an overhaul of the way it is financed. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/germans-face-hefty-bill-to-end-nuclear-power/article_03d1f98c-2782-5203-b0ec-5c53d5296abc.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/germanys-tax-financing-renewable-energies-expansion-skyrockets-by-almost-50-percent-on-year/2012/10/15/1b0ac946-16a3-11e2-a346-f24efc680b8d_story.html REAL ESTATE: Powering up for solar. When Daniel Sullivan, president of Sullivan Solar Power, turned the key recently to open the new Riverside branch office of a company posting $16.8 million in revenues in 2011, he couldn’t help but bask in it all. Standing in the midst of 50 VIPs, the entrepreneur who got his start in 2004 with $2,500 in the bank, a beat-up Ford Ranger, a set of tools and space in a garage warmed by a space heater said solar installation is no pipe dream. Posted. http://www.pe.com/business/business-headlines/20121010-real-estate-powering-up-for-solar.ece MISCELLANEOUS John S. Hoffman, developer of Energy Star efficiency program, dies at 62. John S. Hoffman, a former federal environmental official whose innovative program to identify and reward energy-efficient practices became the Energy Star program, a voluntary international rating system for “green” products, died Sept. 24 at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He was 62 and a Washington resident. He had complications after surgery for a perforated peptic ulcer, said his wife, Lucinda McConathy. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/2012/10/13/cd06f73a-14b6-11e2-bf18-a8a596df4bee_story.html What to know about California's consumer programs to combat smog. In an effort to reduce smog, the state of California will buy your old clunker car and will pay certain motorists to fix their polluting vehicles. To fight smog, the state of California is giving out cash. It will buy your old clunker car and will pay certain motorists to fix their polluting vehicles. Here's how the programs work: • The Bureau of Automotive Repair will pay $1,000 for any running car, SUV, van or truck weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-five-smog-20121014,0,3914910.story Valley air district to help farmers buy tractors. Valley farmers can get help replacing older tractors with newer, cleaner-burning equipment through a grant program starting today, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District announced. The program operates on a first-come, first-serve basis and applications for funding will be accepted beginning at 7:30 a.m. today at the district's office in Fresno. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/14/3029578/valley-air-district-to-help-farmers.html#storylink=misearch Green Desert: Latino voters opt for green initiatives. With a little more than three weeks until Election Day, two polls have been released almost simultaneously, heralding Latino Americans as the next big voting block to go green. The Natural Resources Defense Council released a new poll earlier this week, surveying Latino voters in four key swing states — Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012310140025 As gas price soar, city cycling more attractive. With an autumn chill in the air on a gray San Francisco morning, the five-member Ades family rubbed the sleep from their eyes, strapped on their bike helmets and rode right past their two cars to the kids' elementary school about a mile away. "It's good exercise, and there's an environmental aspect to it as well," said Stan Ades, of his decision to start his kids - ages 6, 8 and 10 - bike commuting to school. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/13/as-gas-price-soar-city-cycling-more-attractive/ OPINIONS Don't Block the Sun. Picture the good news: a third industrial revolution, powered by decentralized energy and massive digital connectivity. Picture the bad news: the residual institutions of the second industrial revolution, powered by oil and 20th century transportation habits, threaten to hold this third revolution back, maybe kill it. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/dont-block-the-sun-encourage-solar-industry.html Who's paying for San Onofre? For months, Southern California Edison's customers have been paying for the San Onofre nuclear plant even though it is delivering no electricity. The Public Utilities Commission hasn't been much help. For more than eight months, ratepayers of Southern California Edison have been paying $54 million a month — a per-customer average of more than $10 — for a nuclear power plant that has been delivering no electricity. This situation should never have been allowed to drag on for so long. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/la-ed-san-onofre-20121014,0,588366.story Editorial: CalRecycle has to limit fraud, collect its debt. CalRecycle, the state's quarter-century-old beverage container recycling program, is in big trouble. While the number of bottles and cans diverted from landfills in California is up dramatically, rampant fraud and mismanagement is depleting the state's recycling fund. In recent years the state has paid out $80 million to $100 million more to consumers and others who turn in used bottles and cans than it has taken in from beverage distributors. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/15/4911504/calrecycle-has-to-limit-fraud.html#storylink=cpy Head to Head: Should the FTC investigate potential manipulation of the gasoline market? THE ISSUE: California gas prices jumped 49 cents in a week, according to AAA, to an all-time high of $4.67 per gallon for regular gas. There has been no similar spike in gas prices nationwide. Join Ben and Pia as they continue the debate online at www.sacbee.com/opinion. Pia Lopez: Yes Californians normally have higher gas prices than the national average. Our topography – mountains trapping air in valleys – means we have severe air quality problems. Nine of the nation's 10 smoggiest cities for ozone pollution are in California. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/11/4900727/should-the-ftc-investigate-potential.html#storylink=cpy Obama vs. Romney: The energy debate. The first televised debate between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney showcased their very divergent views of what makes America work. Yet despite those differences, their respective platforms are surprisingly similar on an all-important topic – energy. While health care, abortion and public education spending all affect each of us on a very personal basis, what happens on the energy landscape will drive the economy in terms of job creation. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/14/4907715/obama-vs-romney-the-energy-debatewhos.html#storylink=cpy Climate Law Is Good Business for California. It may be hard for many Californians -- hell, it's hard for many in my office -- to follow the ins and outs of AB32, the state's landmark Global Warming Solutions act, which requires a reduction of our carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. But here's one thing we all do know: gas prices in California went up this week. Gas stations near my house in the East Bay are posting prices around $5 per gallon, and it's a price spike found throughout the state, as this L.A. Times editorial makes clear. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-gordon/california-green-energy-_b_1962033.html Another Tax Proposal by California’s Air Regulators. Not satisfied with a $60 billion new energy tax, disguised as a cap-and-trade auction and pegged to increase gasoline prices by 70 cents a gallon. Not satisfied with an untested “low-carbon” fuels regulation that will likely reduce refinery capacity in California (and we just saw how well that works out for California). Now, the Air Resources Board is considering a new regulation (sub. req’d, posted 10/4/2012) creating a “border adjustment fee” on California fuels. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/10/another-tax-proposal-by-californias-air-regulators/ BLOGS Norway Increases Carbon Tax on Domestic Production. Norway will nearly double the carbon dioxide tax rate for its offshore oil and gas production in 2013, the country’s environment ministry announced last week. By raising the tax rate from 210 Norwegian Krone to 410 Krone (or €28 to more than €55) per ton of CO2, the Norwegian government is setting one of the highest carbon tax rates in the world. “The commitment to the environment must be followed up on in the budget and resolutions,” said Bård Vegar Solhjell, minister of the environment. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/norway-increases-carbon-tax-on-domestic-production/?ref=greenhousegasemissions From dream to reality: Rhonda and Nigel Farrar's journey to an organic home. The odyssey of Rhonda and Nigel Farrar to build an environmentally friendly "green" home is one of those stories that fascinated me. The Farrars built the dream home on a two-acre site to the north of Lake Hodges. I learned of their quest in 2009, when I heard Rhonda Farrar talk about the project. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/business/morning/business-briefing-from-dream-to-reality-rhonda-and-nigel-farrar/article_ee3be576-5cf8-51e7-8758-253fa8096497.html