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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 7, 2012. Posted: 07 Dec 2012 12:32:53
ARB Newsclips December 7, 2012. ARB Newsclips for December 7, 2012 This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. AIR POLLUTION NASA aircraft to study climate change and air pollution next month. A collection of NASA Earth science missions will take to the skies in January to study climate change and air pollution, the agency announced on Thursday. These airborne missions are all based at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Southern California. NASA mission scientists use airborne instruments in conjunction with satellite observations to assist in understanding Earth’s complex systems. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/nasa-aircraft-to-study-climate-change-and-air-pollution-next-month CAP AND TRADE California Rejected 66% Carbon Permit Bids Last Month. California, the second-biggest carbon polluter in the U.S., behind Texas, said companies offered an average $15.60 a ton for emissions allowances in a state auction in November. The price exceeds a preliminary figure of $13.75 a ton issued last month for all submitted bids because some offers were subsequently rejected for violating purchasing and holding limits or bid guarantees, the state Air Resources Board said on its website today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-06/california-carbon-permits-bids-averaged-15-60-last-month.html Calif. overstated demand for its inaugural cap-and-trade auction. California regulators' announcement yesterday that valid demand for their inaugural carbon auction was actually one-third of previous estimates may have damaged consumer confidence in the budding market. Nearly two-thirds of the bids the California Air Resources Board received on Nov. 14 either exceeded the number of allowances each bidder is allowed to hold, were not supported by the amount of money bidders were required to hold in reserve or otherwise violated the rules of the auction, agency staff said yesterday. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/12/07/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE UPDATE 2-Climate talks risk failure over aid row, lack of carbon cuts. Wrangling over aid to the developing world and the failure of rich countries to set tougher goals for fighting global warming threatened to torpedo U.N. talks among 200 nations on the final day on Friday. The United Nations tried to dampen already modest expectations for the two-week meeting in Doha, which is seeking to extend the Kyoto Protocol - the U.N. plan that obliges about 35 developed nations to cut carbon emissions but expires at the end of this year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/07/climate-talks-idUSL5E8N76EG20121207 European Union agrees deal on U.N. "hot air": Commission. European Union countries have resolved a long-standing row over surplus sovereign pollution permits, the EU Commission said on Friday, a dispute that has slowed progress at U.N. climate change talks in Qatar. The Commission, the European Union's executive, declined to disclose detail on the deal. However, sources speaking on condition of anonymity said the deal will restrict the use of surplus carbon credits called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, but not cancel them. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/07/us-climate-talks-hotair-idUSBRE8B60IX20121207 California faces carbon conundrum. Left for dead years ago, the idea of taxing greenhouse gases has sprung back to life in Washington, as politicians look for ways to tackle global warming and tame the deficit. It's welcome news for environmentalists, desperate for federal action on climate change. But the proposed carbon tax could pose a problem for California. The state has taken a different approach to fighting global warming, last month launching a cap-and-trade system in which companies…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/California-faces-carbon-conundrum-4098030.php#ixzz2EOCAHzN8 California ski industry feels chill from climate change. A warming climate is melting California's winter tourism dollars. That's the conclusion of a new economic analysis released Thursday. The study – titled "Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States" and written by two University of New Hampshire researchers – said California and 37 other states have lost an estimated $1 billion…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/07/5037582/state-ski-industry-feels-chill.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/06/5036359/study-global-warming-could-have.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articles#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/07/2485943/california-ski-industry-feels.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy UN climate talks go into overtime in Qatar. A dispute over money clouded U.N. climate talks Friday, as rich and poor countries sparred over funds meant to help the developing world cover the rising costs of mitigating global warming and adapting to it. Developing countries want firm commitments from rich nations to scale up climate aid to poor countries to $100 billion annually by 2020, a general pledge that was made three years ago. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/07/money-in-focus-as-un-climate-talks-enter-last/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/un-climate-talks-go-into-overtime-in-qatar/image_dea58579-c671-5919-9870-a2753a1301a0.html http://modbee.com/2012/12/06/2484859/tensions-mount-as-un-climate-talks.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22144576/money-focus-un-climate-talks-enter-last-day?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/rich-poor-countries-argue-over-climate-financing-as-un-climate-talks-enter-last-day/2012/12/07/901e7e00-404a-11e2-8a5c-473797be602c_story.html http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/12/07/un-climate-qatar/1753773/ http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22144576/money-focus-un-climate-talks-enter-last-day?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Mayor: NYC working on storm, climate prep. The city will work on upgrading building codes and evacuation-zone maps, hardening power and transportation networks and making sure hospitals are better prepared for extreme weather after Superstorm Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday. As a start, utility Consolidated Edison has agreed to spend $250 million toward getting its electrical, steam and gas systems in shape to withstand a Category 2 hurricane, Bloomberg said. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/mayor-nyc-working-on-storm-climate-prep/article_74c73be1-d575-5412-9db4-520f6f69ee99.html FUELS The natural gas revolution reversing LNG tanker trade. A vast dock stands a mile offshore here, its concrete legs planted in the water and its steel tentacles poised to suck natural gas in a liquid state from special refrigerated tankers up to a thousand feet long. But on a recent clear fall afternoon, there wasn’t a tanker in sight. Inside a control room, operator Ron Keraga watched computer monitors that did not blink. The only flurry came from the sea gulls, which perched on the railings outside and then left a white trail behind them. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-natural-gas-revolution-reversing-lng-tanker-trade/2012/12/07/dc826520-0c9e-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_story.html S. Ind. site picked for $950M fertilizer plant. A businessman has picked a southern Indiana site for a nitrogen fertilizer plant that's projected to cost about $950 million to build. Ohio Valley Resources president Doug Wilson of Fairfield, Ill., says he picked the 150-acre site near the Ohio River town of Rockport. Wilson tells the Evansville Courier & Press that two nearby interstate natural gas pipelines will reduce the cost of obtaining the gas needed for nitrogen production. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/07/s-ind-site-picked-for-950m-fertilizer-plant/ Oil price slips as investors await US jobs data. Oil prices rose moderately Friday, clawing back some of the ground lost during a sharp sell-off the day before, as traders awaited a slew of economic data from China. Benchmark oil for January delivery was up 30 cents to $86.56 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.62, or 1.8 percent, to finish at $86.26 per barrel in New York. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/07/oil-rises-ahead-of-china-economic-data/ VEHICLES Ford hybrids' miles per gallon fall short. Ford Motor Co.'s two newest hybrid models fell 17 to 21 percent short of the company's promise of 47 miles per gallon in tests by Consumer Reports magazine. The Ford Fusion hybrid achieved 39 miles per gallon, while the C-Max hybrid averaged 37 mpg in tests of city and highway driving, the magazine said Thursday. Ford advertises that each model will achieve 47 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Ford-hybrids-miles-per-gallon-fall-short-4098036.php#ixzz2EOBhCUYL HIGH-SPEED RAIL Obama pushes ahead with high-speed rail plan. Undaunted by the looming fiscal crisis, the Obama administration said Thursday that it plans to forge ahead with its signature transportation project, investing billions of dollars in a long-term effort to build a high-speed rail network. “We’re not giving up on high-speed rail,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testified before a congressional committee. “The president will include funding in his budget. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/obama-pushes-ahead-with-high-speed-rail-plan/2012/12/06/e7286a54-3fe0-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_story.html California High-Speed Rail Too Expensive, McCarthy Says. California’s $68.4 billion high-speed rail project is looking for too much money from the U.S. government and should be reconsidered, said California Representative Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House’s third-ranking Republican. “Maybe it’s time when we cut our losses,” McCarthy said today at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing in Washington. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-06/california-high-speed-rail-too-expensive-mccarthy-says.html Needy' workers will get jobs on high-speed rail. The California High-Speed Rail Authority took steps Thursday to ensure that at least some jobs building the system will go to people who are most in need of work. But some non-union contractors fear that the measure will become little more than a means for construction jobs to be monopolized by labor unions. On a 5-0 vote in Sacramento, the authority adopted a community benefits policy that sets hiring goals for contractors for the first sections of the statewide rail project in the central San Joaquin Valley. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/12/06/3091639/approved-policy-targets-disadvantaged.html Hahn: High-Speed Rail Project ‘Critical’ To Calif., U.S. Economy. A Southern California Congresswoman Thursday defended plans for a high-speed rail project despite spiraling costs and concerns about its long-term viability. KNX 1070′s Jan Stevens reports Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Torrance) clashed with a Bakersfield lawmaker during a Transportation Committee hearing in Washington. State legislators in July approved nearly $8 billion in spending on the first phase of the rail project that will ultimately connect the Southland to San Francisco. Posted. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/12/06/hahn-high-speed-rail-project-critical-to-calif-us-economy/ GREEN ENERGY Energy development on public lands generated $12 billion in 2012. Energy development on public lands and waters pumped more than $12 billion into federal coffers in 2012, $1 billion more than the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. "These revenues reflect significant domestic energy production under President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy and provide a vital revenue stream for federal and state governments and American Indian communities," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-20121206-energy-income,0,4832619.story?track=rss Los Angeles signs long-term solar contracts. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed two contracts Thursday that will expand the city's use of solar energy - enough to power nearly 200,000 homes - and help it close down a coal plant. One agreement for 25 years would let the city purchase solar power from a project on Native American tribal land in Nevada to help the city Department of Water and Power increase its use of clean energy. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22141938/los-angeles-signs-long-term-solar-contracts?source=rss California commission cautions ‘not so fast’ on building out solar, wind. California’s been building out its wind, solar and other renewable energy resources at a rapid pace over the past few years as it races to meet its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 33 percent renewables by 2020. But a new report out from the state’s Little Hoover Commission—which lauds the effort—cautions that the state’s electric customers may face soaring utility bills unless the state reorganizes its energy agencies. Posted. http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/california-commission-on-building-out-solar-wind-120612 OPINIONS Going Beyond Carbon Dioxide. WE all know (or should know) by now that the carbon dioxide we produce when we burn fossil fuels and cut down forests is the planet’s single largest contributor to global warming. It persists in the atmosphere for centuries. Reducing these emissions by as much as half by 2050 is essential to avoid disastrous consequences by the end of this century, and we must begin immediately. But this is a herculean undertaking, both technically and politically, as the lack of progress at United Nations climate talks here this week attests. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/opinion/going-beyond-carbon-dioxide.html For his next crisis. California’s green folly. Saving the planet isn’t easy — or cheap — especially in California. The state’s anti-global-warming cap-and-trade program is the latest gimmick to leave it with yet another big hole to fill in its budget. The Golden State’s new carbon-trading program is the world’s second largest, after the European Union’s. The stated goal is to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and another 80 percent by 2050. Posted. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/for_his_next_crisis_gC1fOgu7CyiA5TSsbdGy4O How to cut American oil use in half in 20 years. The Union of Concerned Scientists has figured out how Americans can cut their oil consumption in half within 20 years. Sound impossible? Not really, according to scientists and engineers who have done calculations for us non-math majors. It all boils down to making a few choices to conserve and deploying existing technology or technology already in the pipeline, says the Union of Concerned Scientists, best known in the 1970s and 1980s for warning us off the nuclear arms race. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-american-oil-use-20121206,0,410427.story?track=rss Obama wants to understand climate change? Listen to us and Sandy, too. Following two of the most destructive years for climate catastrophes, President Obama is now calling for a "wide-ranging" conversation with scientists. Let's talk. As climate scientists who've together spent decades studying how and why our climate is changing, we welcome that opportunity. "Frankenstorm" Sandy brought a message for you and all of us: climate change impacts are here now, right now. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/07/5038198/obama-wants-to-understand-climate.html#storylink=cpy http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/07/2486022/obama-wants-to-understand-climate.html#storylink=misearch Editorial: Rules on oil and gas fracking are way out of whack. Are regulators at the California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources free to make decisions in the public interest? Despite serious complaints voiced by farmers and environmentalists in Kern County, state regulators over the past year and more have waived environmental review for dozens of controversial new gas and oil drilling operations. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/07/5037556/rules-on-oil-and-gas-fracking.html#storylink=cpy Letter: Cost of diesel fuel. Editor, Has anybody noticed the staggering cost of diesel fuel in the Bay Area, still running at $4.50 per gallon? In fact it has not moved down at all, unlike the gasoline that is now almost a dollar per gallon cheaper. What gives? Are we being creamed, quartered and thrown away? Frankly, this is absurd, no matter what the reasons are (in addition to the good old capitalistic notion of making money) and it does not help the folks that are buying diesel-powered cars to be good to the environment either. Who has the answers here? Posted. http://smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?type=opinions&title=Letter:%20%20Cost%20of%20diesel%20fuel&id=1759466 BLOGS California moves toward open source ratings for city bonds. In the past year, three California cities have filed for bankruptcy. This casts a pall on the bonds of other California cities, because investors wonder if they also contain buried fiscal issues. In an effort to create more transparency, a new open source ratings project was recently launched: Posted. http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/12/06/california-moves-toward-open-source-ratings-for-city-bonds/ Warming Slopes, Shriveled Revenues. Snow can be an entrancing sight or an exhausting burden, but for communities dependent on winter sports, it is one thing above all else: revenue. In recent years, however, the cold cash that used to fall from the sky, giving an economic boost to 38 states, has become less reliable. Winters are getting warmer, less snow is falling, and snow seasons are starting later and ending earlier. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/warming-slopes-shriveling-revenues/ Cleaner Air May Lengthen Life Spans In The U.S.: Study. Continued improvements to air quality across the United States appear to extend life expectancy, new research out of Boston's Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) indicates. Researchers analyzed 545 U.S. counties over seven years (2000 to 2007) and observed an association between reductions in fine particulate matter and improved life expectancy. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/cleaner-air-life-span-pollution-longevity-live-longer_n_2244959.html?utm_hp_ref=health-news