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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 19, 2014 Posted: 19 Feb 2014 13:44:03
ARB Newsclips for February 19, 2014. 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 Microsoft Acquires Carbon Credits From Madagascan Rainforest. Global tech giant, Microsoft Inc. has acquired a block of carbon credits from the Madagascan government to help protect one of the country’s pristine rainforest ecosystems – the Makira National park. This investment makes Microsoft the first buyer of the Makira REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) conservation project which aims to curb deforestation on 320,000 hectares of land, preventing the release of 32.5 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere while teaching local communities about the benefits of sustainable farming. Posted. http://www.ventures-africa.com/2014/02/microsoft-acquires-carbon-credits-from-madagascan-rainforest/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20ventures-africa%2FkCzk%20%28Ventures%20Africa%29 Carbon Bulls at Three-Year High in Options Market on Surplus Fix. Options traders are the most bullish on European Union carbon permits in three years amid optimism the bloc’s nations will sign off on a plan to support prices by withholding the supply of some allowances. Calls that pay should emission prices rise 10 percent from current levels cost 5.8 percentage points more than puts betting on a 10 percent fall, according to three-month data compiled by Bloomberg. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-19/carbon-bulls-at-three-year-high-in-options-market-on-surplus-fix.html AIR POLLUTION Colorado opens 4 days of air pollution hearings. New air pollution rules for Colorado's oil and gas industry go up for public comment Wednesday. The state Air Quality Control Commission is opening at least four days of public testimony on a sweeping proposal to force new air-pollution limits on oil and gas producers. The changes include the nation's first statewide methane-emissions standard for energy producers, as well as new infrared monitors on drilling sites and storage tanks. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/19/3197936/colorado-opens-4-days-of-air-pollution.html BY SUBSCIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Billionaire climate change crusader Tom Steyer doubles down. California billionaire Tom Steyer, recently profiled in The Times as the emerging liberal counterweight to the Koch brothers, is doubling down.The financier is planning to spend at least $100 million on tough attack ads targeted at congressional and gubernatorial candidates in the 2014 election cycle who oppose efforts to curb global warming, according to a report in the New York Times. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-steyer-climate-change-fundraising-20140219,0,1588471.story#ixzz2tnXpBYu9 EPA Emission Rules Face Test at High Court. Seven years after a landmark Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for federal regulation of greenhouse gases, the justices will consider whether the Environmental Protection Agency has stretched its powers too far in applying new emissions rules. The stakes are high for both the EPA and the industries it is targeting to help curb pollution. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304899704579389302045805162?KEYWORDS=air+pollution DROUGHT California drought: Why is there no mandatory water rationing? Fourteen months into a historic drought, with reservoirs running low and the Sierra snowpack 27 percent of normal, a growing number of Californians are wondering: Why isn't everyone being forced to ration? So far, Gov. Jerry Brown and most major water providers, from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, are calling for voluntary cuts -- not mandatory rationing with fines for excessive use. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25153774/california-drought-why-is-there-no-mandatory-water FUELS German Village Resists Plans to Strip It Away for the Coal Underneath. A grove of apple saplings grows on the lee side of Ulrich Schulz’s barn. He did not plant them for the fruit, he said, but as an act of rebellion against a nearby mining company that wants to raze his farm, which his family has owned since 1560, to get at the coal beneath his land. “A nod to Martin Luther,” said Mr. Schulz, 53, gesturing at the two rows of spindly trees. “He said that if he knew the world was coming to an end, he would plant an apple tree.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/19/world/europe/german-village-resists-plans-to-strip-it-away-for-the-coal-underneath.html?ref=earth Upgrading fuel efficiency. President Barack Obama directed his administration to issue the next round of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by March 2016. Obama said the action would benefit the economy through lower costs for consumers and development of new technology while also enhancing U.S. energy security. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/19/tp-upgrading-fuel-efficiency/ In Britain, fledgling fracking industry runs into opposition. Just a few yards from the messy camper van where he now spends his nights, Hytham Chlouk points through some winter-stricken trees at what he calls "the death star." It's a giant derrick that rises high in a clearing behind a perimeter of fences topped with razor wire. To the company that runs the deep-bore drill inside the structure, it offers a potential gateway to lower natural gas prices in energy-hungry Britain. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-britain-fracking-20140219,0,3767701.story#ixzz2tnXYUmqW GREEN ENERGY China Beats U.S. on Smart-Grid Spending for First Time. China spent more on smart grids than the U.S. for the first time in 2013, with the $4.3 billion it invested accounting for almost a third of the world’s total. Global spending rose almost 5 percent to $14.9 billion, according to data released yesterday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. North American investment declined as much as 33 percent to $3.6 billion. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-18/china-spends-more-on-energy-efficiency-than-u-s-for-first-time.html Offshore Wind Expansion Scrapped by Concern About Birds. Three utilities scrapped plans to extend the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, saying they had doubts they could satisfy concerns about how the facility would affect the habitat of a bird in the estuary east of London. EON SE (EOAN) said it would take until 2017 to collect the necessary data for British environmental authorities that the project wouldn’t harm the red throated divers. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-19/bird-habitat-concern-forces-utilities-to-scrap-wind-farm.html OPINION Kerry delivers a timely lesson on carbon. Secretary of State John Kerry, during a visit Sunday to Jakarta, Indonesia, addressed the increasingly pressing issue of climate change. He was speaking to Indonesians, but he could have just as easily, given the relevance and importance of his remarks, been speaking to Americans. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/19/3778718/kerry-delivers-a-timely-lesson.html#storylink=cpy MISCELLANEOUS Spilled manure cleanup continues near dairy farm. State officials say cleanup work continues at a southwestern Michigan dairy farm where liquid manure leaked from an open-air lagoon and spread into a creek and a river. The Michigan Department of Environmental quality says workers at the Schaendorf farm are pumping manure-laden water from a country drainage ditch that flows into Bear Creek and returning it to the storage structure. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/18/spilled-manure-cleanup-continues-near-dairy-farm/#ixzz2tnJDN6Pd BLOGS A Look at the ‘Shills,’ ‘Skeptics’ and ‘Hobbyists’ Lumped Together in Climate Denialism. In his contribution to the recent discussion of Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on global warming, David Victor of the University of California, San Diego, included this line: The whole climate science and policy community is spending too much time thinking about the denialists and imagining that if we could just muzzle or convince these outliers that policy would be different. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/19/a-look-at-the-shills-skeptics-and-hobbyists-lumped-together-in-climate-denialism/ Almost half of US Cadillac dealers say no to ELR plug-in hybrid. If you've got $75,995 (or so) burning a hole in your pocket and a hankering for the new Cadillac ELR, you'd better call your local dealer before you burn up shoe leather and gasoline to head down there. According to a report on Edmunds, only about 56 percent of the brand's 940 dealers have signed up to carry the premium plug-in hybrid. As much as we'd like to see the more affluent among us driving on electricity, we can certainly understand the dealers' apparent lack of enthusiasm. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/18/almost-half-of-us-cadillac-dealers-say-no-to-elr-plug-in-hybrid/ U.S. tries to have it both ways with solar trade policy. Remember how the U.S. trade representative announced last week that he would haul India before the World Trade Organization to try to force the country to accept more solar-panel imports? It’s a reaction to India’s efforts to protect its own solar industry as it massively boosts its renewable energy capacity. Posted. http://grist.org/news/u-s-tries-to-have-it-both-ways-with-solar-trade-policy/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.