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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 21, 2012 Posted: 21 Nov 2012 11:11:03
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 CAP AND TRADE How to rule out cap-and-trade without quite ruling out cap-and-trade. Lobbed a friendly question yesterday afternoon, Joe Oliver stood in the House and declared as follows. I am pleased to announce that, although the United States is adopting a carbon tax, which the American administration did not say it intended to do, our government will never do so in Canada. We will never adopt the NDP’s $21 million carbon tax, which would cause job losses and increase prices overall. We will continue to lower taxes and stimulate job creation. Now, moments earlier, Eve Adams had reported to the House that the Obama administration was steadfastly against a carbon tax, so maybe Mr. Oliver had received urgent news to the contrary or perhaps he misspoke. Nonetheless, here was the Natural Resources Minister declaring that the Harper government would never adopt a carbon tax. Posted. http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/11/20/how-to-rule-out-cap-and-trade-without-quite-ruling-out-cap-and-trade/ AIR POLLUTION Air quality officials say DWP responsible for Owens Lake dust storms. The California Air Resource Board ruled Monday that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is solely responsible for controlling the choking dust storms that arise from the dry Owens Lake bed. The board said the DWP must take additional air pollution control measures on 2.9 square miles of the lake bed, which was drained to provide water to Los Angeles. The powder-fine dust arising from the bed often exceeds federal health standards. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/california-air-quality-officials-say-dwp-responsible-for-owens-lake.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29 Australian scientists find excess greenhouse gas near fracking. Environmental researchers have detected excess greenhouse gas levels near the site of Australia's biggest coal seam gas field, prompting calls for halting expansion of hydraulic fracturing until scientists can determine whether it might be contributing to climate change. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-australia-fracking-leakage-20121116,0,7039884.story Environmentalists sue to block mining near Reedley. California environmentalists are suing Fresno County in an effort to block the proposed 886-acre Carmelita mine rock quarry project near Reedley. The Board of Supervisors approved the quarry last month after a contentious seven-hour hearing. Friends of the Kings River say in Tuesday's lawsuit that planners did not keep the region's best interests in mind when they considered potential problems, such as groundwater drawdown, air pollution and traffic. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Environmentalists-sue-to-block-mining-near-Reedley-4056736.php#ixzz2CsVQX9SE http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/21/5002113/environmentalists-sue-to-block.html#storylink=misearch http://modbee.com/2012/11/21/2464801/environmentalists-sue-to-block.html#storylink=misearch Unhealthy air quality levels ending in NH. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says a three-day period of unhealthy air pollution levels in the southwest part of the state is coming to an end. The department forecast concentrations of fine particle pollution to be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in populated valley areas, especially in Keene. The forecast started Monday and ends late Wednesday morning. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Unhealthy-air-quality-levels-ending-in-NH-4056030.php#ixzz2CsVnOp00 COUNTY: Changes to review process sought. Hoping to boost public confidence in how Riverside County handles development, a supervisor wants to change the environmental-review process so county officials, not developers, pick the consultants to conduct the studies. Supervisor Jeff Stone discussed his proposal during the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Nov. 20. Stone’s suggestion comes after Liberty Quarry opponents condemned the environmental impact report for the proposed open-pit mine outside Temecula. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/politics/jeff-horseman-headlines/20121120-county-changes-to-review-process-sought.ece CDC: Secondhand smoke at 5 major airports puts flyers at risk. Thanksgiving travelers who pass through the five major U.S. airports that still allow indoor smoking in designated public rooms face a hidden health hazard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday. A study by the federal health agency found that secondhand smoke levels directly outside public smoking areas were five times higher than the levels in smoke-free airports. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/20/us-usa-health-secondhandsmoke-idUSBRE8AJ1KK20121120 http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22039585/secondhand-smoke-puts-flyers-at-risk?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/11/21/secondhand-smoke-at-five-major-airports-puts-flyers-at-risk-cdc-says/ CLIMATE CHANGE UN report warns of widening climate gap. A U.N. report on rising greenhouse gas emissions reminded world governments Wednesday that their efforts to fight climate change are far from enough to meet their stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). The report by the U.N. Environment Program, released just days ahead of a major climate conference, said the concentration of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is up about 20 percent since 2000. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/UN-report-warns-of-widening-climate-gap-4055947.php#ixzz2CsZ90DAM http://sacbee.com/2012/11/21/5001795/un-report-warns-of-widening-climate.html#storylink=misearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/21/un-report-warns-of-widening-climate-gap/ http://modbee.com/2012/11/21/2464656/un-report-warns-of-widening-climate.html#storylink=misearch DIESEL EMISSIONS Algae-based Biodiesel For Sale in California. For what is being touted as the first time in history, algae-based biodiesel is available to consumers in a retail setting at various locations in the state of California. PropelFuels, a retailer of renewable fuels and clean mobility solutions, and Solazyme Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, are bringing algae-derived fuel to retail pumps. The two renewable fuel brands have come together to offer Solazyme's algae-based SoladieselBD to drivers through Propel's Bay Area network of retail renewable fuel locations. The month-long pilot program provides the industry's first opportunity to test consumer response to this advanced renewable fuel. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=78610 FUELS California Energy Commission to award up to $28.59M for hydrogen refueling stations in 25 areas. The California Energy Commission has issued a competitive grant solicitation (PON-12-606) to award up to a combined $28.59 million for new hydrogen refueling stations in 25 selected areas. The goal is to expand the network of publicly accessible hydrogen fueling stations to serve the current population of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and to accommodate the planned large-scale roll-out of FCVs commencing in 2015. Individual projects are eligible for up to 65% of the total project cost or $1.50 million, whichever is less. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/cech2-20121120.html HIGH-SPEED RAIL Judge rejects injunction against California high-speed project. A SACRAMENTO County Judge has rejected a bid by farm bureaus in Merced and Madera counties to halt preparatory work on the initial section of California's high-speed line between Merced and Fresno until a lawsuit is decided. The lawsuit was filed earlier this year and alleges that the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHRSA) failed to conduct thorough environmental reviews and violated open meeting laws stipulated by the California Environmental Quality Act. However, the failure by the bureaus to secure an injunction means that preparation work and tendering will proceed as scheduled. Posted. http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/high-speed/judge-rejects-injunction-against-california-high-speed-project.html?channel=523 GREEN ENERGY L.A. City Council Approves $1.6 Billion DWP Solar Power Deal. You might not have noticed it even if you were in the room at the time, but the Los Angeles City Council this morning unanimously approved a power purchase agreement between the Los Angeles Department of Water And Power (DWP) and the largest utility-scale solar project on tribal land in the United States. Under the agreement, DWP will buy all the power from the K Road Moapa Solar plant for 25 years, at a cost of $1.6 billion, with several options to buy the plant outright. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/utilities/la-city-council-approves-dwp-solar-purchase-from-tribe.html US natural gas supplies shrank last week. The nation's natural gas supplies fell last week, the government said Thursday. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage shrank by 38 billion cubic feet to 3.873 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 16. Analysts expected a drop of 23 billion to 27 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/11/21/2464957/us-natural-gas-supplies-shrank.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Santa Barbara Residential Solar Company Offers New Extended 25-Year Warranty as Elite Dealer for SunPower. New research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that installing a residential solar energy system increases a home’s value by an average of $17,000. That’s good news for homeowners who want to increase the value of their home, save money on utility bills, and reduce their impact on the environment. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Santa-Barbara-Residential-Solar-Company-Offers-4056324.php#ixzz2CsYKRo2g Moving Forward, Looking Back: Sun shines on town's green roots. By today's standards, the good people who settled our town in 1639 were environmental superstars. In a world with no fossil fuels, no engines, and no electricity, they cleverly exploited the energy that nature offered them. Wind-powered boats brought them across the Atlantic; their mills ran on the hydropower of river currents and tides. Travel and labor were self-powered, with assists from domesticated animals. They were obsessive recyclers. Posted. http://www.fairfieldcitizenonline.com/opinion/article/Moving-Forward-Looking-Back-Sun-shines-on-4056433.php#ixzz2CsYibJlz Living Green: Geo-thermal heating offers a clean-energy alternative. When Loraine and Alan Robichaud were building their home on the rolling hills in Hoosick Falls, they were determined to make it both lovely and eco-friendly. For starters, they had enormous 19-foot-high windows built where some homes would have solid walls. Posted. http://blog.timesunion.com/lifeathome/living-green-geo-thermal-heating-offers-a-clean-energy-alternative/12993/ Blue Sphere's Waste to Energy Plants in North Carolina and Rhode Island Sign a Letter of Intent for Sales of Compost! Blue Sphere Corp. (OTCBB: BLSP) (the "Company" or "Blue Sphere"), a company in the Cleantech and Waste to Energy sectors as a project integrator, is pleased to announce that each of its two waste to energy projects - a 5.2 MW plant in North Carolina and a 3.2 MW plant in Rhode Island - has signed a letter of intent with an international compost manufacturing and marketing company at prices of up to $20 per ton of compost. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/21/5002100/blue-spheres-waste-to-energy-plants.html#storylink=misearch Minn. man buys surplus NC light tower for research. To the government, it was a defunct offshore light tower that hadn't helped ships navigate the waters off North Carolina in more than a decade. To a Minnesota entrepreneur, the platform out in the Atlantic is a launching pad for research into wind power and other technologies. First, some renovations will be needed at the Diamond Shoals Light Tower, which sits about 13 miles off Cape Hatteras. Its buyer hopes to get his first view of his new property next week - provided, of course, that the landing pad is sturdy enough for a helicopter. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/21/minn-man-plans-to-use-nc-light-tower-for/#ixzz2CsnQAedv http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/minn-man-buys-surplus-nc-light-tower-for-research/article_a5b01616-f8a8-5368-bebd-7b5a8282b1ee.html OPINIONS Echoes of Enron in cap-and-trade? Somewhere, Grandma Millie is shaking her head in despair. Millie, in case you've forgotten, was a fictional California widow personified in recordings of Enron traders who gamed the state's electricity markets more than a decade ago. The traders laughed about stealing from bleeping "Grandma Millie" after charging her $250 a megawatt hour for power and leaving her in the dark. Millie's suffering has faded from California's consciousness as the state again prepares to meddle in manipulated markets. This time, it's adopting a cap-and-trade system to restrict carbon emissions, a "market" disturbingly similar in structure to Enron's former playground. Posted. http://www.chron.com/opinion/article/Echoes-of-Enron-in-cap-and-trade-4055362.php Still ignoring the history – and risk – of AB 32. Last week, the California Air Resources Board had its first cap-and-trade auction of pollution credits, meant to use market forces to gradually push major industries to reduce the emission of gases which contribute to global warming. Since then, Gov. Jerry Brown, air board chair Mary Nichols and others have lauded the Golden State for the enactment of AB 32, a 2006 state law requiring California to broadly shift to cleaner but costlier forms of energy by 2020 through cap-and-trade and renewable energy mandates. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/still-ignoring-the-history-and-risk-of-ab/article_52e01397-c4d0-5d80-a735-cbe6c9656960.html King Coal, Alive and Kicking. Some 1,200 new coal-fired power plants are being planned across the globe despite concerns about greenhouse gas emissions from such generating stations, the most polluting type, the World Resources Institute estimates. Two-thirds of them would operate in China and India, it says. [World Resources Institute] The United States and Mexico will share in both surpluses and water shortages under an accord overhauling how the two countries manage water from the Colorado River. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/king-coal-alive-and-kicking/ Editorial: California's first cap and trade foray doesn't yet answer question: Will it reduce greenhouse gas? California dipped its toe into the cap-and-trade water and found it to be neither too hot nor too cold. Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary D. Nichols proclaimed the first auction of carbon allowances to be a success. Numerous environmentalists who want cap and trade to succeed also praised it. But in reality, the first live auction conducted last week and assessed this week was like taking a test drive in an alternative fuel vehicle. Maybe it will fit California's needs. Maybe it won't. Posted. here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/21/5001206/editorial-californias-first-cap.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy BLOGS California’s CO2 Now Has a Price, but a Low One. A free-market auction has established a price for pollution in California: for each metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted, businesses, utilities and industries that bought allowances last week will pay just $10.09. The results of the first auction, announced on Monday, came as both a relief and a bit of a disappointment, although state officials put the best face of it. In a statement, Mary D. Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, said, the auction was “a success and an important milestone for California as a leader in the global clean-tech market.” She added, “By putting a price on carbon, we can break our unhealthy dependence on fossil fuels.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/californias-co2-now-has-a-price-but-a-low-one/ Clean Energy, Innovation, and Infrastructure Win Western Support. On the eve of California's landmark, first ever cap-and-trade auction, voters in three Western states were asked some key questions: Should polluters be held financially accountable for their climate pollution emissions? And if so, how should the resulting funds be spent? The results of this new poll show significant support for putting a price on carbon pollution, as well as funding clean energy and innovative infrastructure. The poll was made public at Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco, the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, and was conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of the BlueGreen Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ceres, and the U.S. Green Building Council. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-foster/clean-energy-innovation-win_b_2165197.html?utm_hp_ref=green Would a carbon tax cut emissions drastically? Not on its own. Lately, the White House and Congress have been talking up tax reform. And that’s given policy wonks an excuse to revisit one of their favorite environmental proposals — the carbon tax. The government would slap a fee on greenhouse-gas emissions to offset tax cuts elsewhere. It would boost the economy and address global warming. What’s not to love? Well, set aside the fact that there aren’t yet any prominent politicians touting the idea. It’s still worth discussing on its merits. And one of the biggest questions here is whether a carbon tax would actually reduce U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions significantly. Is it a comprehensive solution to climate change? Or just a small first step? Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/20/would-a-carbon-tax-reduce-emissions-sharply-not-on-its-own/