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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,

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.


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. 


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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.



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.



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. 


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. 

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. 

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. 


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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 


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.

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.

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. 


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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. 

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.

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