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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 6, 2013. Posted: 06 Dec 2013 14:21:44
ARB Newsclips for December 6, 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 Quebec sells over 2.7 mln carbon-emission permits at C$10.75 a tonne. Permits to emit greenhouse gases in Quebec sold for C$10.75 per tonne, the minimum bid price, at the Canadian province's first auction. Nineteen companies participated in the auction on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Quebec government on Friday. Auction participants bought 1.025 million permits for the right to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide-equivalent in 2013, out of 2.97 million permits offered. Posted. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/06/quebec-carbon-market-idUKL2N0JL17420131206 Major companies plan for U.S. carbon emissions fee, report says. Major U.S. companies, from Wal-Mart and Google Inc. to Shell and ExxonMobil, are including future charges for carbon emissions in their strategic plans, according to a report released on Thursday. The non-profit Climate Disclosure Project, which discloses the greenhouse gas emissions of the world's biggest corporations, found that 29 major companies that operate or are headquartered in the United States, factor in an "internal carbon price" of up to $60 per ton of emissions in their business strategies. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/usa-energy-carbon-idUSL2N0JK0V220131205 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/business/energy-environment/large-companies-prepared-to-pay-price-on-carbon.html?_r=0 AIR POLLUTION United States to help China crack down on vehicle emissions. The United States will help China implement stricter emission standards for vehicles in a bid to help the world's biggest carbon emitter tackle rampant air pollution, the White House announced on Thursday. The announcement was one of several made at the conclusion of Vice President Joe Biden's visit to China on Thursday…PosteD. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-united-states-to-help-china-crack-dow-idUSBRE9B40ZW20131205 http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/us-partners-with-china-to-put-auto-emissions-in-check/2013/12/06/9950be44-5e93-11e3-8d24-31c016b976b2_story.html Flights delayed as air pollution hits record in Shanghai. Hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled on Friday in China's commercial hub of Shanghai as record levels of air pollution shrouded the city in smog, prompting authorities to issue the highest level of health warning. The incident is especially embarrassing at a time when China seeks to build Shanghai into a global business hub on par with the likes of London, New York and Hong Kong by 2020. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/06/us-china-pollution-idUSBRE9B508X20131206 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304096104579241760912685556 BY SUBSCRIPTION Smog at extremely hazardous levels in Shanghai. Shanghai authorities ordered schoolchildren indoors and halted all construction Friday as China's financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen meters, delaying flights and obscuring the city's spectacular skyline. The financial district was shrouded in a yellow haze, and noticeably fewer people walked the city's streets. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Smog-at-extremely-hazardous-levels-in-Shanghai-5040332.php CLIMATE CHANGE Big Oil Anticipates 10-Fold Surge in Carbon Emission Cost. International oil producers are girding for carbon emission costs that may surge to almost 10 times the current prices in Europe, the world’s largest greenhouse gas market, as governments around the world step up efforts to curb climate change. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), the biggest energy company by market value, is basing plans for future capital investments on the assumption that it will have to pay $60 a metric ton for carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-05/big-oil-braces-for-10-fold-surge-in-carbon-emission-costs.html Utility customers reap 'climate dividend'. Come the new year, utility customers will be receiving a "climate dividend" from California's cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, under state rules finalized Thursday. California is rolling out the nation's first economy-wide approach for controlling pollution by capping total greenhouse gas emissions and issuing pollution permits that can be bought and sold. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/06/climate-dividends-coming/ Global warming hasn't stopped but looks different due to climate variability – study. Climate change deniers and the news media have made much of the global warming "pause" in recent years. But recently published research adds more credence to climate scientists' claim that patterns of natural climate variability explain why global mean surface temperatures increased at a slower rate beginning in the early 2000s. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991387/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Texas greenhouse gas proposal falls short, enviros say. Regulators here who are writing rules for greenhouse gas permitting need to do more to measure those emissions and ensure that industries use the best technology to reduce them, environmental groups said at a public hearing. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has proposed rules that would allow the state to take over from U.S. EPA issuing permits for facilities that emit greenhouse gases, ending a long-running dispute between the two regulators. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059991391/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Truckers pepper state air quality staffers during Redding meeting. Anger, fear, frustration and skepticism rang through an emotionally charged Redding City Council Chambers Thursday, as truckers and industry supporters warned state air officials new diesel emission standards will crush an already frail economy. The public forum was scheduled to go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but California Air Resources Board staff members were still fielding questions more than an hour past the scheduled ending. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_24667453/truckers-pepper-state-air-quality-staffers-during-redding FUELS Ethanol Increases Fourth Time This Week on Signs of Higher Use. Ethanol increased a fourth time this week on record low stockpiles and signs of higher demand. Futures jumped as much as 7.2 percent two days after an Energy Information Administration report showed gasoline consumption and ethanol blending above year-earlier levels. Stockpiles along the U.S. East Coast, which includes New York Harbor, fell to 4.76 million barrels last week, data from the Energy Department’s statistical arm showed. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-12-06/ethanol-increases-fourth-time-this-week-on-signs-of-higher-use.html Groups call for federal regulations to curb methane leaks. Ninety health, environmental and sportsmen’s groups asked the federal government Thursday to clamp down on the release of methane gas by the petrochemical industry, asserting that the United States cannot reach its goal for reducing heat-trapping emissions without addressing the issue. Led by the Clean Air Task Force…Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/groups-demand-regulations-to-cut-methane-leak/2013/12/04/eba5b128-5d3e-11e3-95c2-13623eb2b0e1_story.html Gulf gets more restoration projects from BP fund. Restoring the oil-stained Gulf of Mexico coastline is critical to the Obama administration's fight against climate change, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Friday. Jewell was at a national park outside New Orleans to announce the latest round of projects to help the Gulf Coast recover from the 2010 BP oil spill. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Gulf-gets-more-restoration-projects-from-BP-fund-5040400.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/06/5976375/gulf-gets-more-restoration-projects.html Riding the Fracking Wave All the Way to China. The race is on to make America the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, but not everyone is in love with the idea of the U.S. becoming a major exporter of the increasingly abundant energy source. Flush with new production thanks to the fracking revolution, the natural gas industry is hoping to send some of its supplies overseas, and bring back some cash back to America's shores in the process. Posted. http://www.nationaljournal.com/new-energy-paradigm/riding-the-fracking-wave-all-the-way-to-china-20131205 New Study Suggests Much Larger Methane Emissions from Oklahoma and Neighbors. A new study of atmospheric methane in the United States suggests much higher levels than previously thought. The new data raises questions about the impact of natural gas production in Oklahoma and neighboring states, where emission estimates have more than doubled. Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues a report that tracks the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the 2013 update released in April, the EPA dramatically lowered its estimate of methane from natural gas production. Posted. http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/2013/12/05/new-study-suggests-much-larger-methane-emissions-from-oklahoma-and-neighbors/ VEHICLES SolarCity to offer Tesla-made batteries to business customers. SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O) on Wednesday said it will begin offering Tesla Motors Inc-made batteries with its commercial solar systems, allowing businesses to cut what they pay to their local utility by using stored electricity. The batteries made by Tesla (TSLA.O), which can also provide backup power during blackouts, are available to business owners who put up new solar installations…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-solarcity-batteries-idUSBRE9B404E20131205 http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24660729/solarcity-turns-tesla-batteries-soak-up-solar-power http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/12/05/tesla-batteries-go-from-cars-to-roofs.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991406/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-speed rail officials say plan is on schedule. Critics and many political observers might see California's bullet train project as nearly dead, but state officials made clear Thursday that the train is still heading down the rails at full speed. Under siege following court rulings, Dan Richard, the chairman of the state's High-Speed Rail Authority, said the state still plans to break ground as early as next month on the largest public works project in California history. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/05/3649154/feds-deny-early-approval-of-ca.html http://www.mercurynews.com/california-high-speed-rail/ci_24662778/high-speed-rail-authority-try-again-get-bond?source=rss http://www.news10.net/news/california/article/264936/430/Bullet-train-leaders-bullish-even-after-2013s-roadblocks GREEN ENERGY Renewable fuel backers try to change EPA's mind at hearing. Supporters of the renewable fuels industry turned out en masse on Thursday, desperate for the U.S. government to change course after last month announcing a plan to lower the amount of biofuels that must be added to the fuel supply in 2014. About 300 people attended a public meeting held by the Environmental Protection Agency on the Renewable Fuel Standard, proposed changes which have become one of the most divisive policy issues of the year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/06/us-usa-biofuels-idUSBRE9B414P20131206 Obama orders agencies to increase renewable energy use. President Obama has ordered federal agencies to more than double their renewable energy use over the next seven years, part of his ongoing attempt to find ways to cut carbon emissions without cooperation from Congress. In a presidential memorandum released Thursday, Obama challenged agencies to get 20% of their energy from renewable sources by fiscal year 2020. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-obama-renewable-energy-use-20131205,0,3896287.story#ixzz2miNStq00 http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Obama-to-tell-feds-to-boost-renewable-electricity-5035982.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/05/5972211/obama-to-feds-boost-renewable.html GVSU incubator develops renewable energy device. Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center has launched a number of upstart businesses, but breakthrough products have been few and far between. Energy Partners LLC founder and GVSU professor emeritus Jim Wolter thinks he and partner Ed Brandel have come upon an energy storage device that could be a game changer, according to The Muskegon Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1bSf1qz ). Solar 24 combines a large solar energy panel with a battery pack…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/GVSU-incubator-develops-renewable-energy-device-5040399.php NY seeks $30M in proposals for renewable energy. New York state is seeking proposals for $30 million worth of commercial renewable energy projects in New York City and the Hudson Valley. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is looking for proposals for solar and renewable biogas systems larger than 200 kilowatts by Dec. 30. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/NY-seeks-30M-in-proposals-for-renewable-energy-5040344.php For wind power, US extends permit for eagle deaths. The Obama administration said Friday it will allow some companies to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty, an effort to spur development and investment in green energy while balancing its environmental consequences. The change, requested by the wind energy industry, will provide legal protection for the lifespan of wind farms and other projects for which companies obtain a permit…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/For-wind-power-US-extends-permit-for-eagle-deaths-5041341.php http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/06/5976535/for-wind-power-us-extends-permit.html http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Latest-News-Wires/2013/1206/Eagle-deaths-US-to-let-wind-energy-kill-eagles Eco-friendly LEED rating system faces attacks. An eco-friendly building rating system that has powered a green arms race across the nation now faces a challenge from policymakers and an upstart rival. LEED, the longstanding king of green construction and renovation projects, has become a de facto brand in cities such as Portland, Ore., where sustainable growth has been the rage for years. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24664415/eco-friendly-leed-rating-system-faces-attacks Reservoir emissions: a quiet threat to expanding hydropower. Hydropower is a frequent target for criticism. Regardless of your views on global warming, turning a serene stretch of river into an artificial lake humming with electrical equipment can make you unpopular, and the announcement of any new hydropower project is often swiftly followed by outcries over habitat disruption and community displacement, among other concerns. But hydropower's clean energy bona fides are rarely questioned. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991386/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Federal, Calif. regulators lead efforts to ramp up energy storage – panel. Federal regulators are moving steadily to reduce barriers to grid-scale energy storage, while states -- with California far in the lead -- pursue their own incentive programs, a panel of experts said yesterday. Much of the state and federal effort has focused on assigning storage the same benefits enjoyed by conventional renewables under many state and federal laws. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991409/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Palo Alto releases results of first-ever transportation study. One-fifth of Palo Alto households have switched to alternative fuel vehicles and more than 50 percent own four or more bicycles, according to the results of the city's first-ever transportation survey. Intended to shed light on travel patterns within Palo Alto, the survey was circulated online and in hardcopy format from March 11 to May 5. Of the 3,707 responses the city received, 77 percent were from residents. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_24667647/palo-alto-releases-results-first-ever-transportation-study?source=rss Bike sharing takes its place among major mass transit systems. Transportation alternatives to cars are taking off around the globe, according to a new series of reports. Bicycle sharing is the newest mode to hit prime time. According to a new report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), there are now more than 600 bike-share systems with a total of more than 600,000 bikes worldwide. "Bike share has reached a tipping point where it's no longer this crazy idea that a few cities are trying out. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059991404/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS COLUMN-U.S. EPA must set realistic emissions limits for coal: Kemp. President Barack Obama has directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize regulations on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by existing coal-fired power plants by June 2015, as part of the White House Climate Action Plan. The EPA has already published draft regulations that would limit greenhouse emissions from new coal plants to no more than 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity generated (lbs/MWh). Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/usa-coal-idUSL5N0JK2LZ20131205 Manhattan Moment: Biofuel mandates help special interests at consumers' expense. This month, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a reduction in 2014 biofuel mandates from 18 billion gallons to 15 billion gallons. This decision was made because gasoline consumption has fallen, and fuel mixes made with more than 10 percent biofuels can damage car engines. But there is more to the story. Since 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard has required fuel sold in the United States to contain biofuels, of which corn-based ethanol is the most common. Posted. http://washingtonexaminer.com/manhattan-moment-its-time-to-end-biofuel-mandates/article/2540276 Letters: Powering California. Re "Clean energy could choke the grid," Dec. 3 The Times ignores the fact that extreme weather, not renewables, poses the biggest threat to the nation's energy grid. Regardless of the energy source, the grid requires smart management and investment. Predicting mechanical problems at the many aging power plants can be tricky. Imagine asking a mechanic to foresee every problem with a 40-year-old car. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-le-1206-friday-renewable-energy-grid-20131206,0,5363622.story#ixzz2mipLtlCQ BLOGS Oil giant Total joins forces with Bay Area biofuel firm. The French oil giant reported Thursday a new joint venture with Amyris to make and market renewable diesel and jet fuel. Total is already the largest shareholder in Amyris, an Emeryville firm that tweaks the genes of microorganisms — mostly yeast — to turn plant sugars into useful chemicals. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/12/05/oil-giant-total-joins-forces-with-bay-area-biofuel-firm/ How California's Renewable Energy Actually Performed in 2013. As we close in on the end of the year, it's customary to look back and assess the past. And when it comes to renewable energy in California, the year drawing to a close has been an epochal one. In 2013, California saw abundant installations of a number of different kinds of renewable power plants, from gigantic wind turbines to modest rooftop solar arrays, and lots of changes in the laws that regulate how we generate and use renewable energy. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/the-grid/how-californias-renewable-energy-actually-performed-in-2013.html Pricing Carbon Emissions? Bring It On, Say Some Large Companies. It seems many large companies are willing to pay a price for their emissions. A new report by environmental data company CDP found that at least 29 companies--including the five major oil companies, Walmart, and American Electric Power--are now incorporating a price on carbon emissions into the their financial plans, according to The New York Times. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1088942_pricing-carbon-emissions-bring-it-on-say-some-large-companies Energy Subsidies Fan The Flames But All Sectors Share In The Federal Pie. The production tax credit given to the wind energy industry may run out of gas and not get renewed before year-end. But the subsidy is now fanning the flames on all government largess and specifically which industries are the most worthy of getting the added incentives. Just how taxpayer money gets doled out is mired in so much intricacy that is difficult to follow. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2013/12/06/energy-subsidies-fan-the-flames-but-all-sectors-share-in-the-federal-pie/ Natural Gas Building Spree Cancels Out Emissions We Save From Leaving Coal Behind: Report. Companies are so excited about cheap natural gas that they're on an expansion spree, which might undo some of the good we've done by switching to the cleaner fuel from coal, a new report says. The low cost of natural gas is largely seen as a net positive for climate change, as burning gas generates lower levels of emissions than burning coal. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/natural-gas-emissions_n_4392093.html The Climate Post: Report Warns of Sudden Climate Change Impacts. Hard-to-predict sudden changes to Earth's environment are more worrisome than larger but more gradual impacts of climate change, according a panel of scientists advising the federal government. A 200-page report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Sciences repeatedly warns of potential climate "tipping points" beyond which "major and rapid changes occur." And some of these changes--happening in years instead of centuries--have already begun. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-profeta/the-climate-post-report-w_b_4397948.html