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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 26, 2013. Posted: 26 Feb 2013 12:47:50
ARB Newsclips for February 26, 2013. 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 East Bay lawmakers introduce bills aimed at Chevron in aftermath of Richmond refinery fire. Responding to last year's massive refinery fire at Chevron's refinery here, East Bay legislators Loni Hancock and Nancy Skinner introduced two state bills late Friday aimed at strengthening air quality regulators' ability to penalize and compel industry compliance. State Sen. Hancock's bill, SB 691, aims to increase civil penalties that stationary air pollution facilities must pay for violations of state air quality regulations. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22665590/east-bay-lawmakers-introduce-bills-aimed-at-chevron?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22665590/east-bay-lawmakers-introduce-bills-aimed-at-chevron?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com AEP to shut three coal-fired power plants as part of settlement. Three additional coal plants in the Midwest will cease operating by 2015 under a settlement agreement reached yesterday between American Electric Power Co. and a coalition of environmental groups and federal and state agencies. The agreement, which updates a 2007 settlement, effectively ends coal-fired generation at AEP's Big Sandy plant in Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachian coal country, and two power plants in Indiana and Ohio. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/26/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA's Gina McCarthy discusses future of EPA air rules. How can states more easily implement efficiency measures and renewables into their energy portfolios? During today's E&ETV event coverage of the Georgetown Climate Center's event "Promoting Low-Carbon Solutions and a Resilient Future Together," Gina McCarthy, U.S. EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation, discusses the potential for future collaboration between industry and the agency on regulations. McCarthy is rumored to be at the top of the nomination list for EPA administrator. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/tv/transcript/1646 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE San Lorenzo Valley Water District eyes cap-and-trade program. Surveying will begin next month on about 1,600 acres of land in Boulder Creek, Zayante and Olympia to find out how much carbon those forests contain, with the San Lorenzo Valley Water District hoping to fetch a princely sum in the state's newly launched cap-and-trade program. Earlier this month, the district's Board of Directors approved spending $45,000 on the "carbon sequestration" project, which will be headed by the Alameda-based forestry consulting firm Buena Vista Services. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_22666615/san-lorenzo-valley-water-district-eyes-cap-and Update factors in new laws for climate change. The impact of the state's climate change laws can be seen in a long-term transportation plan developing in San Joaquin County, which will exhibit a stronger-than-ever link to planned housing and other land use expectations. The Regional Transportation Plan includes policies, programs and specific projects needed in the county. It's updated every three years, but the latest iteration for the first time will include a "sustainable communities strategy." This comes from state climate change law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130225/A_NEWS/302250314/-1/A_NEWS14 Cities, rural areas, transportation join the scrum for cap-and-trade cash. As money pours into California's coffers from the auction of greenhouse gas allowances, green groups and government agencies are putting in their bids for a share of the state's cap-and-trade largesse. Potentially billions of dollars could be up for grabs as the quarterly auctions continue through 2020. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/26/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Another day, another set of dueling papers on the carbon tax. A think tank and a pro-manufacturing group released dueling papers today taking very different views of the carbon tax. The Brookings Institution paper suggests an escalating carbon tax could help address federal budget shortfalls, reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, and make costly energy subsidies and regulations unnecessary. Meanwhile, the National Association of Manufacturers released a study that found a carbon tax would inhibit economic growth. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/26/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Canada to Follow U.S. Greenhouse Gas Regulations For Trucks. Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent on Monday announced final regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for trucks and buses in the country that will mirror those set to go into effect starting next year in the United States. The regulations will establish progressively more stringent standards for 2014 to 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles such as full-size pick-ups, semi-trucks, garbage trucks and buses. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/02/canada-to-follow-u-s-greenhouse-gas-regulations-for-trucks.aspx VEHICLES Brazil may require EV charging stations in 2014. Brazil, in an effort to attract car manufacturers to invest in local factories, may pass a law requiring power utilities to install electric vehicle charging stations, starting in 2014. Below cars21.com gives an overview of the proposed bill. According to the bill, utilities will be required to install charging points next to dedicated parking spaces. Battery electric cars, plug-in hybrids, but also e-scooters and e-bikes fall under the scope of the proposed bill. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5256 HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-speed rail project moving forward, CEO says. The state's High-Speed Rail Authority has nearly doubled the size of its staff in the past six months and expects the first phase of construction to be "under contract and under way this summer," the agency's CEO told lawmakers Monday. CEO Jeff Morales testified before the Assembly Transportation Committee in what its chairwoman called "the next chapter of legislative oversight" after debates last summer that culminated in the decision to appropriate the first $8 billion for what would be the nation's first high-speed rail system. Posted. http://www.montereyherald.com/state/ci_22668621/high-speed-rail-project-moving-forward-ceo-says After Delays, High-Speed Rail Project to Start This Summer. In his 2012 State of the State address, the governor said his administration was within weeks of releasing a new business plan "that will enable us to begin initial construction before the year is out." Then, last summer, Brown narrowly won lawmaker approval to sell billions of dollars in state bonds. High-speed rail backers had warned the project would lose its federal funds if that vote failed and construction were delayed. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2013/02/25/after-delays,-high-speed-rail-project-to-start-this-summer High-speed rail project on track. The CEO of California's high-speed rail project says the controversial $68 billion dollar project is still on track. High speed rail CEO Jeff Morales says he expects to break ground on the first phase of the project this summer. The 130-mile line will connect Madera and Bakersfield. Morales testified before the State Assembly Transportation Committee Monday, offering lawmakers an update on the project, which has been criticized for being too costly and for running through Central Valley farmland. Posted. http://www.kget.com/news/local/story/High-speed-rail-project-on-track/4QPnleTVR0qgqXkS1RrVJg.cspx GREEN ENERGY Calif. governor fast-tracks reviews on world's largest solar project. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) yesterday cleared some environmental hurdles of a solar project that will be the world's biggest. Brown declared the $1 billion McCoy Solar Project worthy of fast-track approval because it would create jobs, generate clean energy and help the state build needed infrastructure. Those characteristics make it eligible for expedited environmental review under A.B. 900, state legislation enacted in 2011. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/26/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS CEQA future tied to Oakland's experience. Gov. Jerry Brown wants to loosen requirements on the state's 43-year-old landmark environmental law and is willing to stare down his core backers in labor and environmental circles, in large part because of what he learned as mayor of Oakland more than a decade ago. In 2001, frustrated with the pace of his plan to revive downtown Oakland by creating housing for 10,000 residents there, Brown won passage of a state law that would exempt certain parts of the city's downtown from the California Environmental Quality Act… Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/politics/joegarofoli/article/CEQA-future-tied-to-Oakland-s-experience-4308007.php#ixzz2M2GYfh20 Sustainable Landscape Conference coming to Cuyamaca. Local resource-conservation efforts, the role of trees in ecological landscapes and other topics germane to sustainability will be on tap at Cuyamaca College’s fifth annual Sustainable Landscape Conference. The conference, which costs $90 for the general public and $60 for students, will be Thursday, March 7, at Cuyamaca’s performing arts theater. Registration and a continental breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and the program lasts through 4 p.m. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/25/sustainable-landscape-conference-coming-to-cuyamac/ OPINIONS Eugene Robinson: Obama should have utilities switch from coal to natural gas. The test of President Barack Obama's seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It's whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants – one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions – to the ashcan of history. Since his re-election, Obama has signaled a new focus on climate change. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/26/5216894/obama-should-have-utilities-switch.html?storylink=lingospot_related_articles#storylink=cpy BLOGS Re-engineering Nature to Meet Energy Needs. Thousands of inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs gathered in a suburban Washington convention center on Monday for the annual three-day meeting of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy. It wasn’t quite the Oscars. At the registration desk, attendees received a goody bag that included a report on clean energy from the Pew Charitable Trusts and a refrigerator magnet that showed the periodic table of the elements. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/re-engineering-nature-to-meet-global-energy-needs/?ref=earth The Mathematics of Climate Change. The situation is that critical. Climate change is real. Responding to it will be full of challenges. But there will also be opportunities — an aspect of climate change emphasized by Dr. Emily Shuckburgh, a climate scientist based at the British Antarctic Survey. Dr. Shuckburgh speaks widely about climate change, and if you happen to be in San Francisco next week, you’ll have the opportunity to attend one of her talks. Posted. http://wordplay.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/climate/ Feeding Ourselves on a Warming Planet. As we have often noted here on the Green blog, one of the biggest uncertainties humanity faces regarding climate change is the potential effect on the world’s food supply. If there’s a risk that global warming and related changes could hit us much sooner and much harder than scientists are expecting, agriculture could be the crucial realm where that occurs. In fact, we have already entered an era of sharply higher global food prices, with climate change as one of the likely causal factors. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/feeding-ourselves-on-a-warming-planet/ California’s second cap-and-trade auction: Signs of a maturing market. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) held its second auction for greenhouse gas allowances this past Tuesday (Feb. 19). Severin Borenstein blogged about his reactions to the first auction held back in November 2012 here. As a quick refresher, in the first auction, the market clearing price for a “current” vintage 2013 allowance was 9 cents above the auction reserve price of $10 per ton and all allowances available for sale – roughly 23 million – were sold. Posted. http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2013/02/26/californias-second-cap-and-trade-auction-signs-of-a-maturing-market/ Transform: Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds Workshop. The State of California is holding the first of its hearings on how to invest revenues from the state’s landmark greenhouse gas cap-and-trade auction. Join TransForm and our allies in calling for these revenues to be invested in real transportation choices including expanded public transit, increasing biking and walking, and ensuring affordable and accessible housing. You can let our leaders know that you want this new revenue source invested in these priorities and making our communities healthier and prosperous. Posted. http://la.streetsblog.org/2013/02/26/transform-cap-and-trade-auction-proceeds-workshop/