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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 23, 2013. Posted: 23 May 2013 12:40:56
ARB Newsclips for May 23, 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. CAP AND TRADE Utilities Tap Cheaper Compliance Option With UN Carbon Banking. Utilities and refineries have retained the most flexibility among European Union industries to use lower-cost United Nations carbon offsets to comply with the bloc’s emissions caps from 2013 to 2020, according to EU data. The industry groups used the smallest share of their quota of UN credits in the five years through 2012, Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis of the EU data show. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-23/utilities-tap-cheaper-compliance-option-with-un-carbon-banking.html Climate Scientist Hansen Turns Activist, Advocates 'Fee' on Carbon Pollution. James Hansen, the former NASA climate scientist who first brought climate change to the attention of Congress in the 1980s, stepped down as head of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies last month. That hasn’t stopped him traveling the globe to lobby for climate protection measures, while remaining an adjunct professor for Earth and Environmental Studies at Columbia University. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-23/climate-scientist-hansen-turns-activist-advocates-fee-on-carbon-pollutioin.html U.K. Climate Adviser Says Low-Carbon Mix Saves $150 Bln. Britain, under pressure to build new power stations, could save as much as 100 billion pounds ($150 billion) through 2050 by spending on wind, nuclear and carbon capture rather than gas, the government’s climate adviser said. Investing in low-carbon power is a “low-regrets strategy with potentially significant benefits,” a report from the Committee on Climate Change shows. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-22/u-k-climate-adviser-says-low-carbon-mix-saves-150-bln.html Impact of carbon tax depends on how it's done – CBO. The effects of a carbon tax on the environment and the economy would depend heavily on how its revenue was spent, according to a report released yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office. The report echoed many of the same points that have been made over the past year by economists on both the left and the right who have remained interested in the concept of a carbon tax despite the long odds it would face in today's Congress. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/New-rules-for-disposing-old-thermostats-4540318.php?utm_source=feedly British insurer tries to fix perceived risk in provisions of Calif. offset rules. A British insurance firm is trying to fix a perceived flaw in California's cap-and-trade system with another market-based solution. Parhelion Underwriting Ltd. announced yesterday that it would offer insurance for California carbon offset credits, which businesses can use to comply with the state's economywide greenhouse gas trading program that began in January. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059981672/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION China plans tougher quality standards for coal to tackle pollution. China may impose higher quality standards for imported and locally traded coal to cut air pollution, two sources said, in a move that could slash imports while boosting the fortunes of a faltering domestic industry. The National Energy Administration (NEA) held a meeting with major state-owned coal producers earlier this month to discuss the new standards…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/us-china-coal-regulation-idUSBRE94M0GB20130523 EU deal on airline emissions tax could take until 2016. As countries and airlines grapple with reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, European Union officials acknowledge that their pioneering program to curb airline emissions will be delayed, perhaps until 2016. The European program, called the Emissions Trading Scheme, aims to reduce airplane emissions and fine airlines that produce too much on flights to and from Europe. This month the European Commission, which proposes and implements legislation for the member countries…Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2013/05/23/climate-airlines/2351173/ CLIMATE CHANGE Gov. Brown keeps pressing climate change crusade. Gov. Jerry Brown kept crusading Thursday for climate change, joining scientists who released a 20-page call to action on environmental problems such as pollution, extinctions and population growth. Brown appeared with Silicon Valley leaders and climate scientists at a conference at NASA Ames Research Center focusing on climate disruption. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Gov-Brown-keeps-pressing-climate-change-crusade-4542034.php#ixzz2U8QYfeFx http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_23306157/gov-brown-continues-climate-change-crusade?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_23306157/gov-brown-continues-climate-change-crusade http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/23/gov-brown-continues-climate-change-crusade/ Heat-related deaths may increase with climate change. Heat-related deaths in New York City's borough of Manhattan may rise about 20 percent over the next decade, according to a new study. Researchers at Columbia University in New York analyzed the relationship between daily temperatures and temperature-related deaths across all seasons between 1982 and 1999 in Manhattan, which comprises the most densely populated county in the United States. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/23/heat-related-deaths-in-nyc-may-increase-with-climate-change/#ixzz2U8ERay1T Obama admin aims to improve efficiency, adapt to climate change by releasing data. Rather than simply throwing money at problems, federal officials are now releasing a flood of data as a means to address the nation's issues, including areas like climate change. Earlier this month, the White House released a tsunami of government-held data to the public in more easily accessible formats under a new open data policy. In an executive order, President Obama said revealing this information…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059981669/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS State fines truck firm for smog violations. The California Air Resources Board has fined Mex-Cal Truckline Inc. of Otay Mesa $300,000 for violating state air pollution laws by dispatching noncompliant vehicles serving regulated intermodal railyards in 2011 and 2012. The Otay Mesa office is south of downtown San Diego, just north of the state's border with Mexico. Under terms of a settlement, Mex-Cal will pay its fine to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality research. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/23/5441833/state-fines-truck-firm-for-smog.html#storylink=cpy http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/05/23/3310447/state-fines-truck-firm-for-smog.html FUELS House passes GOP bill to speed pipeline approval. House Republicans pushed through a bill Wednesday to bypass the president to speed approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. Democrats criticized the legislation as a blatant attempt to allow a foreign company to avoid environmental review. The bill was approved, 241-175, largely along party lines. Republicans said the measure was needed to ensure that the long-delayed pipeline, first proposed in 2008, is built. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_KEYSTONE_XL_PIPELINE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-05-22/house-passes-keystone-bill-as-white-house-vows-veto.html In top coal state, gas to fuel next power plant. The next major power plant to be built in the nation's top coal-mining state will be fueled by natural gas. Black Hills Corp. subsidiaries Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power and Black Hills Power held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station on the outskirts of Cheyenne. Work on the 132-megawatt power plant — on track to be Wyoming's largest gas-fired plant — began a few weeks ago. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-05-23/in-top-coal-state-gas-to-fuel-next-power-plant Limiting Methane Leaks Critical to Gas, Climate Benefits. Knowing how much methane is leaking from the natural gas system is essential to determining the potential climate benefits of natural gas use. Our extensive review of the publicly available studies finds that a pervasive lack of measurements makes it nearly impossible to know with confidence what the average methane leak rate is for the U.S. as a whole. More measurements, more reliable data, and better understanding of industry practices are needed. Posted. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/limiting-methane-leaks-critical-to-gas-climate-benefits-16020?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatecentral%2FdjOO+Climate+Central+-+Full+Feed VEHICLES Volkswagen to put special fuel caps on diesels. Volkswagen is replacing the fuel tank covers on more than 200,000 of its diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada to remind owners to fill their tanks with diesel - not gasoline. The company said Tuesday it's taking action after getting a small number of reports of drivers filling diesel tanks with gas. Using the wrong fuel can damage the engine. Volkswagen will alert affected customers. Dealers will put on a new fuel cap with yellow "Diesel" lettering for free. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_VOLKSWAGEN_DIESEL_FUEL_CAPS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT To Spark Buyers for Electric Cars, Drop the Price to Nearly $0. A new round of discount leases on plug-in cars combined with electric-vehicle incentives, could make a battery-electric car extraordinarily economical. This car deal sounds too good to be true: Drive a car, almost free. To entice drivers to try electric-powered cars, auto makers are lowering the price of entry to the zero-emission lifestyle. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323982704578453123010639156.html?KEYWORDS=%22eyes+on+the+road%22 http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-chevy-spark-ev-lease-highlight-electric-car-price-war-20130522,0,3983957.story?track=rss Is the Electric Car Right for You? Steep discounts and public subsidies have more and more consumers considering electric cars. Eyes on the Road columnist Joe White Joins Lunch Break with a look at how going electric could end up putting money in drivers' pockets. Posted. http://live.wsj.com/video/is-the-electric-car-right-for-you/4E7EDD6F-4DB0-4485-9C2B-57FB72AC154E.html?KEYWORDS=%2522eyes+on+the+road%2522#!4E7EDD6F-4DB0-4485-9C2B-57FB72AC154E Electric automaker Tesla pays off its federal loan early. In a huge boost for the Obama administration and clean-energy firms, electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc. announced Wednesday that it is paying back its $465 million government loan in full – and nine years early. The Department of Energy oversees $34 billion in taxpayer-funded loans for clean energy and other projects, but Tesla, based in Palo Alto, is the only United States car company in the vast portfolio of 33 projects to pay back its loan. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/23/5441704/electric-automaker-tesla-pays.html#storylink=cpy http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-22/tesla-pays-off-its-465-million-loser-loan#r=rss?utm_source=feedly http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/05/22/elon-musk-to-govt-heres-that-500m.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_sanjose+%28Silicon+Valley+%2F+San+Jose+Business+Journal%29 http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/tesla-pays-back-energy-dept-loan-early-91791.html?utm_source=feedly GREEN ENERGY Retiring coal-fired plants in Nevada passes Senate. The Nevada Senate endorsed NV Energy Inc.'s plan Wednesday to retire coal-fired power plants and pave the way for the state's biggest electrical utility to transition to more renewable sources. After several revisions, SB123 was approved unanimously and now moves to the Assembly. Under the bill, NV Energy will eliminate at least 800 megawatts of coal-fired electric generating capacity by Dec. 31, 2019. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/energy/article/Retiring-coal-fired-plants-in-Nevada-passes-Senate-4539897.php#ixzz2U8Rv525t Will Solar Power Doom PG&E? A report on the industry thinktank website The Energy Collective suggests that Pacific Gas & Electric might be the first U.S. power company to fall to competition with increasingly cheap rooftop solar. In his report, analyst Douglas Short points out that a confluence of factors contribute to what he sees as a bleak outlook for PG&E's future, including the utility's retail price structure for power, state laws, and good old California sunshine. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/utilities/will-solar-doom-pge.html?utm_source=feedly With new tax incentives, DOE boosts wind power growth estimates by 34%. The U.S. wind energy sector could add as much as 20,000 megawatts of new generation between 2012 and 2016 as developers take advantage of new Treasury Department rules that make new wind farms eligible for federal tax benefits through the end of 2013. The projections, released yesterday by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, account for January's extension of the production tax credit for wind power…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059981670/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS New rules for disposing old thermostats. California took an aggressive step on Wednesday to ensure that mercury-laden thermostats in homes and businesses do not wind up in landfills and pollute the environment with the hazardous toxin. The Department of Toxic Substances Control released new regulations requiring manufacturers of thermostats to significantly increase the safe disposal of those products that contain mercury. The regulations take effect July 1. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/New-rules-for-disposing-old-thermostats-4540318.php#ixzz2U8b6p5Fq S.F.'s new tack in fighting metal theft. San Francisco prosecutors have opened a new front in the battle against copper theft, filing a $10 million lawsuit against a scrap-metal recycler that allegedly chose to shut down and trash its files rather than comply with a city subpoena seeking sales records. The unusual suit against J&S Recycling, which until March operated out of a 20,000-square-foot warehouse on the city's southeastern shore, accuses company owners of directing employees to empty file cabinets and toss computers after learning of the subpoena. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/S-F-s-new-tack-in-fighting-metal-theft-4540905.php#ixzz2U8h0hWFg Buyer Liability Insurance Now Available for California's Cap-and-Trade Offset Program. In a unique alliance, Parhelion offers insurance on compliance offset credits that originate from the Climate Action Reserve. The Climate Action Reserve, North America's premier carbon offset registry, and Parhelion Underwriting Ltd., the leading innovator for carbon market insurance products, today announced a unique, strategic alliance to support the delivery of the first insurance product for compliance offset credits in California's Cap-and-Trade Program. Posted. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buyer-liability-insurance-now-available-for-californias-cap-and-trade-offset-program-2013-05-22 OPINIONS Congress must quit dithering on climate change. Regarding the May 20 op-ed by Rep. Lamar Smith, “Let’s cool our rhetoric on climate change”: Apparently, Mr. Smith (R-Tex.), the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has little use for the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, at least insofar as they conflict with the short-term interests of the petroleum and coal industries. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congress-must-quit-dithering-on-climate-change/2013/05/22/923ade8c-c212-11e2-9642-a56177f1cdf7_story.html Oil severance tax would increase cost of producing oil. Re "Forces join to push for energy tax" (Page A1, May 20): Proponents of this new $2 billion annual tax claim it is justified because California is the only state without a severance tax. What they don't tell you is that California taxes oil differently than other states. In fact, oil companies pay some of the highest taxes on oil production in the country due to higher corporate tax rates…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/23/5434859/senate-bill-241-oil-severance.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS Seeking Clarity on Terrible Tornadoes in a Changing Climate. As I explained earlier this week, questions related to any impact of human-driven global warming on tornadoes, while important, have almost no bearing on the challenge of reducing human vulnerability to these killer storms. The focus on the ground in Oklahoma, of course, will for years to come be on recovery and rebuilding — hopefully with more attention across the region to developing policies and practices that cut losses the next time. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/seeking-clarity-on-terrible-tornadoes-in-a-changing-climate/ Science Group Criticizes Politicians for Global Warming Distortions. It’s great to see the Union of Concerned Scientists offering nonpartisan criticism of elected officials for distorting — in both directions — what’s known about the role of human-driven global warming on several fronts, from tornado ferocity to hurricane losses. Here’s the statement the group circulated to reporters this morning: We recently noticed a small flurry of policymaker statements on climate change that struck us as inaccurate or misleading. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/science-group-criticizes-politicians-for-global-warming-distortions/