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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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.

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