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newsclips -- ARBNewsclips for November 16, 2012.

Posted: 16 Nov 2012 14:37:29
ARB Newsclips for November 16, 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.


State voters support cap and trade. A USC Dornsife/L.A. Times
poll of 1,520 registered voters finds that they strongly support
the state's ambitious program to limit emissions of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases. California voters strongly
support the state's ambitious program to limit emissions of
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause global
warming, according to a new post-election poll. At the same time,
the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of 1,520 registered
voters showed that they are sharply divided over whether it is a
good idea for the state to relax requirements for environmental
reviews of proposed new developments. Posted.

California holds cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse gas credits.
 California environmental officials moved ahead with a first-ever
auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits despite a last-minute
lawsuit filed by the state Chamber of Commerce to invalidate the
sale.  On Wednesday state Air Resources Board technicians worked
at computer terminals to take bids from some major industrial
facilities such as cement plants, steel mills, refineries and
food processors.  Posted. 

Carbon cap-and-trade launches. California's new system for
limiting industrial greenhouse gas emissions by putting a price
on carbon is not likely to spur a similar federal program anytime
soon, but it might influence other states to follow suit, energy
policy experts said. The state's Air Resources Board on Wednesday
began auctioning permits called "allowances" for greenhouse gas
emissions, launching the world's second-largest marketplace for
carbon emissions. Posted.

With California Carbon Cap-and-Trade Program Launch, Experts
Debate Economic Side Effects. At 10 a.m. Wednesday, California’s
potentially revolutionary carbon cap-and-trade program launched
in a humdrum fashion. Numbers began appearing on a secure Web
site accessible to the biggest oil exploration companies,
manufacturers, utilities, state regulators and independent
monitors. No one outside of this select group got to see its
inner workings. But the event marked a new phase in the state’s
pioneering effort to halt climate change: actual dollars traded
for permits to emit carbon dioxide. Posted.


Hotel guests face carbon monoxide risk. Eight people have died
and at least 170 others have been treated for carbon monoxide
poisoning in the past three years in hotels, which rarely are
equipped with CO alarms, a USA TODAY investigation finds. And a
review of state and local laws finds that few states or
municipalities require hotels to be equipped with the alarms —
devices that the National Fire Protection Association says should
be near bedrooms in every home. Posted.

Valley air district offers grant for fireplaces, wood stoves.  If
you plan to warm your home with wood a stove our just like
relaxing during cold nights in front of a fireplace, financial
help is available to make them burn cleaner.  The San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution Control District is offering financial
incentives to upgrade fireplaces and pellet stoves with versions
that produce less pollution from burning wood or versions that
operated on natural gas.  Posted. 

WILDOMAR: State agency may investigate homes. Wildomar residents
who blame their homes for making them sick may get the state
investigation they have been seeking. In a conference call with
residents on Wednesday, Nov. 14, representatives of California’s
toxic substances agency said they will reconsider their earlier
decision not to test the homes for possible chemical
contamination. Two couples who abandoned their homes in the
Autumnwood tract talked with officials from the state Department
of Toxic Substances Controls and pleaded for an official
investigation. Posted.

LIBERTY QUARRY: Pechanga tribe to buy site.  The Pechanga Band of
Luiseño Indians reached an agreement Thursday, Nov. 15, to
acquire the site of the proposed Liberty Quarry, ending plans for
an open-pit mine that became of one of the most contentious
land-use projects in Riverside County history.  Posted.


EPA to finalize pollution controls at Ariz. Plants.  The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency was expected to meet a deadline
Thursday on a plan to control emissions from three Arizona power
plants that it contends have impaired visibility at places like
the Grand Canyon, but a spokesman for the agency said the details
wouldn't immediately be available.  The EPA had proposed
approving Arizona's air-quality plan to reduce sulfur dioxide and
soot at the Cholla, Coronado and Apache coal-fired plants. 


Carbon tax: Exxon backs Obama plan to impose climate change fees.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) is part of a growing coalition backing a
carbon tax as an alternative to costly regulation, giving
newfound prominence to an idea once anathema in Washington.
Conservative economists and fossil-fuel lobbyists united in 2009
to fend off climate-change legislation that would have
established a cap-and-trade mechanism. They are now locked in a
backroom debate over a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions that could
raise an estimated $100 billion in its first year. Posted.

Drought forces Midwest firm to ponder drier future.  At the
height of this year's drought, decision-makers at the
agribusiness giant Archers Daniels Midland kept an uneasy eye on
the reservoir down the hill from their headquarters.  At one
point, the water level fell to within 2 inches of the point where
the company was in danger of being told for the first time ever
that it couldn't draw as much as it wanted. Posted. 

Forest carbon schemes must consider people, biodiversity –
scientists. Efforts to cut carbon emissions by curbing
deforestation may fail unless they avoid negative impacts on
biodiversity and local people, a network of forest scientists
said on Friday. The world's shrinking forests need to be valued
as more than just carbon sinks for mitigating climate change,
says a report from the International Union of Forest Research
Organizations (IUFRO). Biodiversity is key in determining a
forest's ability to absorb greenhouse gases, it adds. Posted.


Despite Accord, Spill Aftermath Shadows BP.  The deal BP struck
Thursday with the United States is another step toward removing
the doubts that have hung over the company and its stock price
since the huge blowout that killed 11 people on the Deepwater
Horizon rig in 2010. But it is not the comprehensive settlement
that the company and investors were hoping for.  Posted. 

Energy innovation could rescue California.  California venture
capitalists and the Obama administration spent, collectively, $30
billion, over the past four years on energy tech investments to
replace oil, coal and natural gas. Odds are that won’t happen
again. One reason: All that money didn’t yield one energy company
that made last month’s Wall Street Journal list of Top 50 startup
companies.  Posted. 

Climate change implications of new study on methane emissions in
coal seam gas field. Coal seam gas has been touted as a green
transitional fuel, far less polluting than coal, but a new study
implies it may not be as green or climate friendly as the
industry makes out. It hinges on the level of fugitive emissions
produced in development and production of a gas field. Posted.

Slow rollout of E15 in California means higher prices at pump.
Approval of E15 in California is moving slowly and, ultimately,
the losers are consumers, who will pay more for gasoline, said
Andy Foster, spokesperson for Aemetis Inc., a biofuel producer
that’s a member of the California Advanced Energy Coalition. With
the data available on the safety of E15, there’s no reason the
process to approve it should take years, as the California Air
Resources Board recently said it would. “Frankly, let’s move on,”
Foster told Ethanol Producer Magazine. Posted.

EPA denies waiver of corn-based fuel requirements. U.S. EPA
rejected requests by governors of major livestock-producing
states to waive federal corn-ethanol mandates in response to the
searing drought. In denying the requests, EPA said the governors
had failed to show the renewable fuel standard had caused severe
regional or statewide economic harm. The agency also declared it
"highly unlikely" that waiving the volume requirements for corn
ethanol would affect corn, food and fuel prices. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/11/16/1 BY


Calif. to coordinate GHG rules with feds. California regulators
voted yesterday to mesh their greenhouse gas standards for cars
with the federal government's, the last step in the federal-state
cooperation on vehicular greenhouse gas regulations for model
years 2017-2025. The California Air Resources Board voted to
accept U.S. EPA's greenhouse gas standards, which EPA and the
Department of Transportation finalized in August along with fuel
economy standards of 54.5 miles per gallon fleetwide by 2025
(Greenwire, Aug. 28). "The board's action today is the final step
in establishing a single national program to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions by increasing vehicle efficiency," said Air
Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/11/16/19 BY

Chrysler to debut Fiat 500e, company's first electric car.
Chrysler’s first electric car, the Fiat 500e, will make its debut
at the American Music Awards on Sunday. The Auburn Hills
automaker released the first ever images of the car today. The
photos include an exterior shot of a bright orange car with a
white front bumper and a separate photo of a white interior with
orange stripes on the seat and orange interior accents. The
plug-in electric Fiat 500e will premiere on the "green carpet" of
the American Music Awards and will be shown to the general public
for the first time at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show starting
Nov. 30. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/11/16/19 BY


Calif. high-speed rail faces crucial court ruling.  California’s
plan to begin building its $68 billion high-speed rail system in
the Central Valley hinges on a crucial court decision that could
stop the project in its tracks if a judge agrees to a request for
a delay from farming interests. Sacramento County Superior Court
Judge Timothy Frawley is expected to decide Friday whether to
grant a preliminary injunction that would temporarily halt the
ambitious infrastructure project. Posted. 

Other related articles:

High-speed rail must tame California’s tricky terrain.  A bullet
train linking Northern and Southern California will be an
audacious engineering feat because the line must cross two
mountain ranges and a half-dozen earthquake faults, according to
experts.  Planners foresee the 141-mile segment from Bakersfield
to Los Angeles running through vast tunnels, diving through the
Tehachapi and San Gabriel mountains, plunging 500 feet
underground in some places and soaring over canyons on viaducts
200 to 330 feet high, the Los Angeles Times reported.  Posted. 


Creating Better Climate Policy: Linking Carbon Taxes to
Investments in Clean Energy. Nipping at the heels of Mayor
Bloomberg’s climate-tinged Presidential endorsement, Hurricane
Sandy, and President Obama’s victory speech shout-out to climate
change is a reinvigorated debate on carbon pricing. This week,
the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Brookings
Institution, the International Monetary Fund, and Resources for
the Future co-hosted a daylong conference on designing a U.S.
carbon tax. Posted.

Carbon emerging as new solar cell material. Researchers are
investigating how carbon can harness the sun's light, potentially
replacing more expensive and toxic materials used in conventional
photovoltaic technologies. Now a team at Stanford University has
developed a solar cell whose components are made solely from
carbon. The scientists published their findings last month in the
journal ACS Nano. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/11/16/4  BY

Wind could supply up to 12% of global electricity by 2020, study
says. Wind power could supply up to 12 percent of global
electricity by 2020 and more than 20 percent by 2030, a new study
by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace shows.
Wind energy installations totaled 240 gigawatts globally by the
end of 2011, and the industry is set to grow by at least another
40 GW this year, the study says. By 2020, under the scenario put
forth by the International Energy Agency, total capacity would
reach 587 GW, supplying about 6 percent of global electricity.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/11/16/8 BY


Kettleman City landfill could face sanctions for unreported
spills. The largest toxic waste landfill in the West failed to
report 72 spills to regulators over a five-year period and now
faces heavy fines, the Department of Toxic Substances Control
said Thursday. The case has been referred to the state Attorney
General's Office to decide how much to levy and if more sanctions
are warranted. Each violation could result in a fine of up to
$25,000. Posted.


Cap-and-trade funds to struggling communities.  California's
cap-and-trade system became a reality Wednesday with the state's
first auction of carbon permits. Thanks to legislation signed in
September by Gov. Jerry Brown, this event brings a real promise
of help for our state's most polluted and economically struggling
communities.  The story begins in 2006, when lawmakers passed
AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires California
to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Carbon auction levies unauthorized tax. California has long been
at the forefront of the effort to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. AB32, the state's climate change law, gave us the
opportunity to be the leader in this arena. The key to success of
AB32 is cost-effective implementation so that we become a model
for other states. Obviously, greenhouse gas reduction is a global
problem that California cannot solve on its own. We need other
states to follow our lead to truly create change. Posted. Read

Editorial: Cap and trade finally underway. It took six years
along with a lot of debate over climate change and the cost of
fighting it, but California has begun the complicated permitting
system known as "cap and trade" to reduce greenhouse gas
On Wednesday, the state Air Resources Board took bids for permits
from industrial facilities including oil refineries, cement
plants, steel mills, power plants and food processors. This
market-based system of auctioning permits comes from the landmark
2006 law, known as AB 32, signed by then Gov. Arnold
Schwarzengger. Posted.

The Potential Long-run Impact of California’s Cap-and-Trade Plan.
California’s first auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits is
a landmark effort to combat emissions, says Wharton legal studies
and business ethics professor Eric W. Orts. The auctions will be
held quarterly and are aimed at reducing California’s greenhouse
gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The state expects to cut
emissions by 30% from current levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990
levels by 2050. Posted.

We will lead on climate change. New York must press ahead with
urgency to equip itself for the new age of extreme weather. In
just 22 months as governor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the
destructive force of three powerful storms that have crippled the
state: Irene, Lee and now Sandy. Each has taken an immeasurable
toll on communities. Precious lives have been lost, and homes and
businesses destroyed. This storm alone was responsible for 60
deaths to date and more than $30 billion in damage in New York
State. Posted.

Has Obama turned a corner on climate change? In response to a
reporter's question during his first press conference after
reelection, President Obama says he aims to curb the effects of
climate change while growing the economy. In his first
post-reelection press conference Wednesday, President Obama
broached the topic of climate change head on. "I am a firm
believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by
human behavior and carbon emissions," Mr. Obama said in response
to a reporter's question. Posted.


Obama on Climate Policy: Not Just Now, Thanks. Environmental
advocates have expressed frustration with the lack of discussion
of climate change in the presidential race this year, a reticence
that persisted even after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. On
Wednesday, in his first post-election news conference, President
Obama offered his most extensive remarks on climate change in
months. They did not particularly thrill environmentalists.

Can Public Leak Patrols Stem Gas Emissions at a Profit?  This is
the second of a pair of “Your Dot” reactions to my post on
citizens’ efforts to build mapped data bases as a tool for
tracking the gas drilling surge in the United States.  The first,
by environmental watchdog Walter Hang, described potential
pitfalls in such “do it yourself” efforts. Today’s post is by
Frank O’Donnell, a seasoned clean-air campaigner in Washington. 

Sen. Kehoe to head plug-in collaborative.  State Sen. Christine
Kehoe will take a new job Jan. 1, but one that allows her to
continue to help steer California toward alternative fuel
vehicles.  The San Diego Democrat has been named executive
director of the California Plug-in Vehicle Collaborative, which
promotes all-electric cars.  She will step into the post Jan. 1,
after leaving the state Senate.  Posted. 

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