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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 12-13, 2012.

Posted: 13 Nov 2012 16:22:57
ARB Newsclips for November 12-13, 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.


California poised to begin ‘cap-and-trade’ system to limit
greenhouse gas pollution. California’s largest greenhouse gas
emitters will begin buying permits in a landmark “cap-and-trade”
system designed to control emissions of heat-trapping gases and
to spur investment in clean technologies. The program is the most
wide-ranging of its kind in the nation and a key part of
California’s 2006 climate-change law that dictates standards for
cleaner-burning fuels, more efficient automobiles, and increased
use of renewable energy. Posted.

Calif. to officially launch greenhouse gas system. California's
largest greenhouse gas emitters will begin buying permits in a
landmark "cap-and-trade" system designed to control emissions of
heat-trapping gases and to spur investment in clean technologies.
The program is the most wide-ranging of its kind in the nation
and a key part of California's 2006 climate-change law that
dictates standards for cleaner-burning fuels, more efficient
automobiles, and increased use of renewable energy. Posted.

Do cap-and-trade systems work? Europe already has a carbon
cap-and-trade system similar to the one California will launch on
Wednesday. The northeastern United States does too, albeit in a
far more limited form. Do they work? Do they cut the greenhouse
gas emissions that cause global warming and do so at a reasonable
price? Both follow the same basic principles, setting an overall
limit on emissions and forcing companies to buy and sell permits
to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Posted.

Cap and trade: division over economics. To some business leaders,
California's new cap-and-trade system for curbing greenhouse
gases represents nothing less than the road to economic ruin.
"This is kind of 'Recession: The Sequel,' “said Dorothy Rothrock,
vice president of the California Manufacturers & Technology
Association. "It's going to have a horribly negative effect on
jobs and manufacturing investment." To environmentalists and some
of their green-tech allies, cap and trade is a way to spur
innovation and fight global warming in one stroke. Posted.

California's cap-and-trade auction starts Wednesday. Despite
fierce opposition from much of the business community,
California's grand experiment in taming global warming begins in
earnest Wednesday. State officials are set to auction tens of
millions of dollars' worth of carbon-emission allowances to
scores of oil refiners, cement manufacturers and other large
industrial polluters. The computerized auction marks the
beginning of California's "cap-and-trade" market. The market is
the centerpiece of Assembly Bill 32, the state's 2006 law aimed
at reducing greenhouse gases, and Wednesday's kickoff is being
closely watched. Posted.


California's landmark global warming law becomes real this week
with first cap-and-trade auctions. For more than 40 years,
California has led the nation in environmental regulation, from
passing the toughest coastal protection laws to America's first
rules banning leaded gasoline. Now, this week -- after Hurricane
Sandy pushed the issue of climate change back into the national
spotlight -- California will become the first state to begin
requiring a broad range of businesses to reduce their greenhouse
gas pollution. Posted.

State to officially launch greenhouse gas system. California's
largest greenhouse gas emitters will begin buying permits in a
landmark "cap-and-trade" system designed to control emissions of
heat-trapping gases and to spur investment in clean technologies.
The program is the most wide-ranging of its kind in the nation
and a key part of California's 2006 climate-change law that
dictates standards for cleaner-burning fuels, more efficient
automobiles, and increased use of renewable energy. Posted. 

Cap-and-Trade: The Glossary. You can’t navigate the new world of
carbon trading unless you know the lingo. Here are some key
terms. AB 32 The Global Warming Solutions Act, passed by the
California legislature and signed by Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger in 2006, is the authorizing legislation for cap
and trade. It seeks to reduce total carbon emissions in the state
to 1990 levels, by 2020. That's about 30% below where emissions
would likely be absent substantial reduction efforts. The law
requires a further 80% reduction by 2050. Posted.
CA Companies Will Soon Pay to Release Greenhouse Gases During
'Cap & Trade' Auction. A first push of its kind to reduce
pollution will force some California companies to shell out extra
cash. Essentially the state is telling company officials if they
want to pollute, then they have to pay up. Elizabeth Jonasson,
Coalition for Clean Air says, "Reducing greenhouse gases is
definitely important for our planet, for the Valley, for our way
of life. It's critical that we do our part to reduce climate
change." Posted.

California prepared for first GHG allowance auction: Nichols. The
California Air Resources Board is on track to hold its first
auction of greenhouse gas allowances Wednesday, launching the
world's second-largest cap-and-trade program, CARB Chairwoman
Mary Nichols said Monday at a Platts conference in San Francisco.
The auction will offer about 23.126 million vintage 2013
allowances and 39.45 million vintage 2015 allowances. The minimum
price that a GHG allowance can be sold for is $10. Each GHG
allowance represents one metric ton of emissions. Posted.

California testing cap and trade. Come Wednesday, California will
take its boldest, riskiest step yet to fight global warming,
opening a market that for the first time will put a price on
greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The cap-and-trade system,
six years in the making, will force owners of power plants and
factories to buy and sell permits to spew carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere. If trimming emissions without trashing the state's
economy works, it could be a model for the nation. Posted.


E.U. Postpones Charges for Airline Emissions. The European
Commission said Monday that it would seek to delay a plan to
charge foreign airlines for greenhouse gas emissions for one
year, potentially removing one of the most contentious issues
clouding trade relations with China, India and the United States.
The system, which requires airlines using an airport in Europe to
obtain or buy permits corresponding to the amount of gases they
emit, had generated intense opposition among foreign governments.

With China and India Ravenous for Energy, Coal’s Future Seems
Assured. Last summer, nearly half of India’s sweltering
population suddenly found the electricity shut off.
Air-conditioners whirred to a stop. Refrigerators ceased cooling.
The culprits were outmoded power generation stations and a creaky
electricity transmission grid. But another problem stood out.
India relies on coal for 55 percent of its electric power and
struggles to keep enough on hand. Coal remains a critical
component of the world’s energy supply despite its bad image.

No major pollution upgrades expected at refinery. Chevron does
not plan to increase production at its fire-damaged Richmond
refinery after repairs are made, allowing it to forego
requirements to install the newest clean-air technologies, the
company said. A section of the refinery was damaged in an Aug. 6
fire, which sent a cloud of black smoke into the air and spurred
thousands to seek medical treatment. The cause of the fire was a
leaky, decades-old pipe that failed due to corrosion. Posted.


Q+A: How will U.S. climate negotiators approach Copenhagen? When
U.S. negotiators show up in Copenhagen next month to work on a
deal to tackle global warming, they probably won't have in their
pockets what they most wanted: a law enacted by Washington
committing the country to carbon pollution reductions. With
legislation hung up in the Senate, developed and developing
countries alike might be skeptical of the United States'
commitment to addressing climate change problems. Posted.

Climate change may explain Maya rise and fall, study says.
Evidence of abundant rainfall early in the Maya civilization and
drought later could explain its fate, scientists suggest.
Argument has raged for decades over what doomed the ancient Maya
civilization and spurred its people to abandon their
awe-inspiring temples and pyramids in the rain forests of Mexico
and Central America. Posted.

Warming climate may starve bamboo-eating pandas. Already
endangered by deforestation, poor reproductive rates and hunting,
China's giant pandas may now face a new threat: global warming.
According to a study published online Monday in the journal
Nature Climate Change, rising temperatures could eliminate much
of the bamboo that pandas rely on for sustenance in China's
Qinling Mountains. In the wild, giant pandas are notoriously
finicky eaters. Posted.

Satellites and space debris disrupted by climate change. Climate
change from greenhouse gas emissions might threaten spacecraft as
well as people, a scientists suggested on Sunday, providing
direct evidence that carbon dioxide from human activity is
affecting the outermost portion of the Earth's atmosphere.

Calif. snowpack outlook grim for water. The future of water for
drinking and irrigation looks increasingly bleak throughout
California and the world's northern regions as the changing
global climate shrinks mountain snowpacks and speeds early
runoffs, Stanford researchers forecast. Decreases in winter
snowpacks are likely to be most noticeable during the next 30
years and will continue to shrink through the century, according
to an analysis of future climate trends by a team of specialists
led by Noah…Posted.

EU Commission offers airlines a carbon tax freeze. The European
Commission on Monday proposed freezing the imposition of carbon
emission charges on non-EU flights for a year, a move that could
prevent an international airline dispute from turning into a
global trade war. The Commission said after the announcement that
it quickly obtained support of key member states, including
Germany and Britain, and was expecting quick approval of the
measure by all 27 European Union nations. Posted.

Ignored on campaign, global warming talk heats up. Climate change
is suddenly a hot topic again. The issue is resurfacing in talks
about a possible new tax. Superstorm Sandy, the rare and
devastating Northeast storm, and an election that gave Democrats
gains have put global warming back in the picture. So has the
hunt for answers to a looming budget crisis. What was once an
unlikely solution is now being discussed unofficially- a carbon
tax. People would pay the tax whenever they use fossil fuels like
coal and oil that produce heat-trapping carbon dioixide. Posted.


Auto industry dodges tougher EU emission rules: sources. New
European Union emissions rules for vehicles have been put on hold
or are being delayed, EU sources and campaigners said, citing
pressure from the hard pressed auto industry. The downgrading of
green priorities is another example of policy falling victim to
industry arguments against environmental regulation, a trend
marked on Monday by concessions to airlines. A plan published
last week to prop up the European auto sector made no mention of
carbon regulations for heavy goods vehicles…Posted.


RPT-U.S. study sees 59,000 MW of coal output too costly to run. A
new report on the economic viability of U.S. coal-fired power
plants shows as much as 59,000 megawatts may be ripe to retire in
the next few years, the Union of Concerned Scientists said on
Tuesday. That's in addition to an estimated 40,000 MW of coal
generation scheduled to shut or be converted to another fuel in
the next few years, said UCS, a science-based nonprofit
organization based in Washington DC. The combined closure of
99,000 MW of coal capacity would represent nearly one third of
U.S. coal generation output. Posted.







Russia Anticipates Boom in Oil Extracted From Shale. For decades,
a little-known Cold War technological race played out in the oil
fields of the United States and Russia: a race not into space,
but deep underground. The superpowers were searching for a means
of extracting oil and natural gas from highly impermeable
geological formations like shale rock, a potentially abundant
source of petroleum, as the shale boom in the United States today
is showing. Posted.

Shell Bets on a Colossal Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Factory
Off Australia. At a shipyard on a South Korean island called
Geoje, an army of welders and metal cutters is beginning to
assemble what is by many measures the largest ship ever made. 
It will span 488 meters, or about 1,600 feet — about one-third
longer than the longest United States aircraft carriers. The
vessel, the first of its type, will spend much of its time in one
place, over a natural gas field called Prelude, about 120 miles
off the coast of Australia. Posted.

Alaska ice tested as possible new energy source. A half mile
below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that
helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill
rig has tapped what might one day be the next big energy source.
The U.S. Department of Energy and industry partners over two
winters drilled into a reservoir of methane hydrate, which looks
like ice but burns like a candle if a match warms its molecules.

Montana coal railroad line faces federal review. Eastern Montana
residents will weigh in this week on a proposed 83-mile coal
railroad with the potential to usher in a dramatic expansion of
mining in the state and increase exports of the fuel to Asia. The
Surface Transportation Board is hosting a series of public
meetings beginning Monday in Lame Deer for its environmental
review of the proposed Tongue River Railroad. The $490 million
line from Miles City to south of Ashland would haul up to 20
million tons of fuel annually. Posted.

NJ ends gasoline rationing from storm. Gasoline rationing imposed
in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy has ended. The odd-even
rationing began Nov. 3 because some gas stations couldn't get
fuel while others didn't have electricity to pump it. Gov. Chris
Christie says gas supplies are plentiful and there are no more
lines of motorists waiting for fuel. Rationing was put in effect
in 12 counties in central and northern New Jersey. It ended at 6
a.m. Tuesday. Rationing continues in New York City and on Long
Island. Posted.


Tesla electric sedan snags Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year' award.
Tesla Motors's (TSLA) battery-powered Model S sedan was named
2013 "Car of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine, a first for the
maker of electric vehicles led by Elon Musk that's working to
accelerate production. Tesla's 2013 Model S, with a $57,400 base
price, beat out competitors including BMW's new 3-Series sedan,
Ford Motors Fusion sedan, Honda Motor's revamped Accord and
Toyota Motor's 2013 Lexus GS, Motor Trend said Monday in a
statement. The magazine said it's the first time the award went
to an electric vehicle. Posted.

residents who buy environmentally friendly vehicles from local
dealers could be reimbursed as much as $2,000 each through a
program launched by the city. Under the Clean Air Vehicle
Incentive Program, a resident can apply at City Hall for a rebate
of $2,000 if he or she buys a new alternative-fuel vehicle that
is easy on gas and air quality. A used vehicle that meets the
qualifications could reap a $1,000 rebate. Posted.


Bullet-train planners face huge engineering challenge. The
141-mile section from Bakersfield to L.A. will travel over two
mountain ranges and more than half a dozen earthquake faults.
Experts see it as the project of the century. Civil War veteran
William Hood arrived at the mosquito-infested swamps near
Bakersfield in 1874 to build a rail line that would soar through
the Tehachapi Mountains, linking the Bay Area and Southern
California for the first time. Posted.


In Europe, Green Energy Takes a Hit From Debt Crisis. When Enel
Green Power, the clean energy unit of the Italian utility Enel,
raised €2.6 billion in an initial public offering in 2010, its
focus was squarely on Europe. The company envisaged building more
than two-thirds of its new wind, solar and other renewable energy
projects in Europe after the $3.4 billion I.P.O. to capitalize on
lucrative subsidies from local governments that guaranteed high
returns for investors. Posted.

Calif. company to bring solar to military housing. Thousands of
military homes in southern New Mexico and West Texas will be
fitted with solar panels as part of a $1 billion plan by a
California company to bring solar to military installations
across the country. SolarCity on Tuesday announced it will be
installing photovoltaic panels on homes at White Sands Missile
Range in New Mexico and Texas' Fort Bliss. Posted.

German utility E.ON lowers 2013 outlook. German electricity and
gas supplier E.ON AG on Tuesday lowered its earnings forecast for
next year because of economic uncertainty and rapid changes in
the energy industry, an announcement that caused its shares to
tumble. The reduced forecast came as the utility, which is based
in Duesseldorf, reported a €179 million ($228 million) loss for
the third quarter. Posted. 

'Green' building slow to catch on in South Dakota. Four years
ago, the South Dakota Legislature passed a bill requiring all new
government buildings and major renovations to be certified under
a program that encourages environmentally friendly construction.
Since the law went into effect, 13 state projects — eight new
buildings and five renovations — have attained at least a silver
designation in LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design, as the law requires. Ten have been registered and await
certification. Posted.

REAL ESTATE: Wind, water, green energy. There’s a new sliver of
green for Nestlé Waters North America’s bottling operation in
Cabazon. Two wind turbines have been assembled on the grounds
over the past few weeks — as part of a plan by Nestlé Waters to
integrate alternative energy into its bottling and distribution
plants. Nestlé Waters communications director Jayne Lazgin said
full details of the project will be released in about a month
when the wind energy turbines are activated. Posted.

LED replacements hit stores empty of 100W bulbs. Sorry to see
100-watt bulbs disappear from stores because they were energy
hogs? You can now get LED bulbs that roughly match the
100-watters for size and brightness, but use far less energy.
Until recently, your only alternative was a compact fluorescent
bulb, which has several drawbacks compared with light-emitting
diodes. Most people see the light quality as less pleasing, and
the bulbs contain a small amount of mercury that's released if
the glass breaks. Posted.

Green jobs face doldrums. Green job growth slowed in the third
quarter of the year, with the impending end of a key federal
incentive for the wind industry driving a loss of 3,240 jobs in
the sector, mostly in manufacturing. Environmental Entrepreneurs,
a nonprofit group that monitors jobs in the clean-tech sector,
sees the decline in wind energy jobs as directly linked to
Congress’ failure to extend the production tax credit. Posted.


NRC postpones public discussion of San Onofre reactor restart.
Federal nuclear safety regulators have postponed indefinitely a
public meeting about restarting the Unit 2 reactor at the San
Onofre Nuclear Generating station, originally scheduled for
Friday night at Dana Point. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
confirmed the delay Tuesday in a one paragraph statement. Plant
operator Southern California Edison will use the meeting, once
rescheduled, to describe the technical basis for its plans to
restart one of two reactors sidelined by faulty new steam
generators. Posted.

Considering driving electric? Find out about it Saturday in San
Juan. Weary of wild swings in gasoline prices and maybe thinking
of going electric? You can find out more about plug-in electric
vehicles and hear local owners discuss their everyday experiences
with them during a presentation from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925
Camino del Avion. You'll also have a chance to test-drive an
electric CODA and Chevrolet Volt. Posted. 


Organic vs. conventional farming: Which uses less energy?  A few
weeks ago, after a major study showed that organically grown food
offers little or no nutritional benefit over the cheaper,
conventionally grown equivalent, I began investigating the other
major reason people buy organic: saving the environment. The
environmental impact of a product is too complex to cover
comprehensively in a few hundred words, so I began with one
aspect of it, land use, and looked at how recently released data
shows that conventional farming produces more food on less land
than organic farming. Posted.

Climate Change: Lessons From Ronald Reagan. THE re-election of
President Obama, preceded by the extraordinary damage done by
Hurricane Sandy, raises a critical question: In the coming years,
might it be possible for the United States to take significant
steps to reduce the risks associated with climate change? A
crucial decision during Ronald Reagan’s second term suggests that
the answer may well be yes. The Reagan administration was
generally skeptical about costly environmental rules, but with
respect to protection of the ozone layer, Reagan was an
environmentalist hero. Posted.

The pros and cons of trying to adjust the global thermostat.
According to David Keith, a physicist at Harvard, it's a fairly
straightforward proposition to reduce the rate of warming on
earth, and not all that expensive in the grand scheme of things.
One possibility: fly a couple of customized corporate jets into
the stratosphere every day and dump a lot of sulfur, creating
thin clouds that reflect away some of the sunlight. "The hard
questions here really aren't technical," Keith said Monday.

Letters: Transit and its toll. Re “Leaders tout 110 toll lanes,
but some grumble,” Nov. 11, and “L.A. enters era of toll roads,”
Nov. 10. Now that we have to pay money to drive on some lanes of
the “free” way in Los Angeles, it seems we need to find a new
name. How about “Let's-rip-off-the-middle-class roads” or maybe
“Pay-again-for-roads-you-already-funded-through-gas-taxes?” Or
perhaps, “Poor-people-can-ride-in-transit highways.” As usual,
people with plenty of money will have favorable treatment; the
tolls will not really matter to them. Posted.

Letters: Superstorm Sandy, energy policy and climate change. Re
“Obama finally talks climate change; green industry wants more,”
Nov. 7. While the climate system has many tipping points,
Superstorm Sandy may have marked one of the more important in
terms of public opinion. At the very least, it has blown away the
absurd political taboo against talking about a subject we can
easily do something about. For instance, action in the form of a
100% revenue-neutral carbon fee…Posted.

Viewpoints: State’s well-designed cap-and-trade plan will defy
cynics. California on Wednesday will take a big step forward to
promote clean air, as it holds its first auction to sell permits
for carbon emissions in a move that will get the world's
second-biggest carbon market off the ground. Known as
cap-and-trade, the program is the nation's first to extend
economy-wide and will eventually encompass the electrical,
industrial and transportation sectors responsible for 85 percent
of California's carbon pollution. Posted.

California's model climate policies will maintain momentum in
Obama 2nd term. For decades, California has been the engine of
growth behind America's sputtering clean energy economy -
adopting groundbreaking clean air and climate policies as federal
efforts lagged behind. The hope was that California's initiatives
would become the template for a national law to slow global
warming. That hasn't happened yet - and it isn't likely to over
the next four years. Posted.

Wind farms. The winds and ocean currents control the earth’s
weather and climate. The monsoonal winds bring moisture from the
oceans for rain. If there were no wind, the moisture released by
the oceans through evaporation would remain over the oceans. The
land would become deserts. If the monsoonal winds are weakened,
monsoons will not bring as much rain. Posted.

Cap and trade auction will bring pain at the pump. California is
heading for an energy crisis of potentially epic proportions, and
it won’t be because of OPEC, hostile foreign governments or big
oil companies. No, as Pogo famously said, “we have met the enemy
and it is us.” Or in this case, the “us” is the California Air
Resources (CARB) and its crusade to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions at any cost. The price will be high and all of us will
wind up paying. Posted.

 Wendell Cox: Global warming bill could become big pork barrel.
One of the principal justifications for the California High Speed
Rail line planned from Anaheim to San Francisco is to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Air
Resources Board seem poised to spend "cap and trade" revenue from
Assembly Bill 32 (the "Global Warming Solutions Act" of 2006) on
building the train. Yet, there are strong indications that the
GHG emission reductions be exceedingly costly and contrary to the
spirit of AB32. Posted.


African Science Academies Miss a Big Factor in Climate Statement.
I was encouraged to see a joint statement released by 15 African
academies of science on climate issues on the continent. You can
read it below. But I was discouraged when I dug in and found
they’d missed a vitally important point. The entire statement was
centered on the need to clarify and respond to risks posed by
greenhouse-driven climate change. This is indeed important.

3 Southern California students compete in high-stakes science
contest. Emily Tao of Placentia hopes her research on the
atmospheric formation of sulfuric acid, a major component of acid
rain, will influence predictions for air pollution and acid rain.
Tony Dong of Newbury Park and Brandon Kao of Placentia believe
their research on the mechanism of the reaction between formic
acid and ammonia in the atmosphere will shed light on how clouds
are formed. All three researchers have high hopes for their
studies. And they're all still in high school. Posted.

AB 32 Status Report. California Hitting Clean Energy Targets.
California has a track record of implementing pioneering clean
energy policies that provide direct economic and public health
benefits to the state's residents. AB 32, the Global Warming
Solutions Act of 2006, continues this legacy by committing
California to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by
2020 -- roughly a 20 percent reduction -- through a suite of
complementary policies. Under AB 32, the California Air Resources
Board (ARB) has developed the Scoping Plan, a blueprint for
achieving AB 32's goal of reducing carbon pollution statewide.
Posted. http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/ab32-status-report.asp

California's Cap-and-Trade May Solve State's Budget Problems. By
electing a supermajority of Democrats to the California Assembly
and Senate, Californians may have found an easy way to free up as
much as $14 billion a year for the general fund without any new
tax increases. Why? Because auction money raised from
California's cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases may
soon become available to fund education and other programs
devastated by the Great Recession. Posted.

California’s cap-and-trade starts Wednesday. Will feds follow? On
Wednesday, California is slated to launch its cap-and-trade
program with its first auction for carbon allowances. The state
often leads the way of trying to clean up its air by reducing
emissions. Getting utilities such as Southern California Edison
and Imperial Irrigation District to get at least 20 percent of
all of its power from renewable energy has also been part of that
equation. Posted.

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