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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 25, 2014 Posted: 25 Feb 2014 12:36:50
ARB Newsclips for February 25, 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 $330M spent at California carbon-permit auction. State officials say California's latest carbon-permit auction has raised nearly $330 million. The Sacramento Bee reports industrial firms and others bought emissions allowances that can be used this year and in 2017. At the auction on Monday, the 2014 allowances sold for $11.34 per ton, while the 2017 permits went for $11.38. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/25/330m-spent-at-california-carbon-permit-auction/ LAO Examines Gov. Brown's Plan To Spend Cap-and-Trade Money. A new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office looks at how California Governor Jerry Brown wants to spend money raised from the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program known as cap-and-trade. The report found “significant uncertainty” that Brown’s plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the degree he claims. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/02/24/lao-examines-govbrowns-plan-to-spend-cap-and-trade-money/ Calif. watchdog says Gov. Brown's proposal for spending cap-and-trade dollars is flawed. Doubts exists about whether Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) proposal for spending $850 million in revenue from the state's carbon emissions trading program will shrink greenhouse gases in the most efficient way, California's legislative watchdog warned yesterday. The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) in an analysis said that key questions remain unanswered as California decides for the first time how to spend money from its fledgling cap-and-trade program. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995054/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 6th carbon auction nets $130M for state coffers. California's latest auction of greenhouse gas credits sold out again, evidencing strong demand for allowances to cover companies' CO2 emissions through at least 2017. The auction, held on Feb. 19, fetched $11.48 per ton for credits covering the current year's emissions, 14 cents above the pre-set floor price of $11.34 per ton. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995055/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Nearly half of RGGI carbon proceeds have gone into efficiency – report. Investments in energy efficiency programs account for the lion's share of what's become of carbon auction revenue from the Northeast's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, according to an internal report on the regional cap-and-trade market released yesterday. RGGI staffers estimated that of the $984 million in CO2 allowance auction proceeds collected by nine states from 2009 to 2012…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995030/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY AIR POLLUTION Colorado governor to tout air pollution rules. Colorado's governor is taking a victory lap to celebrate adoption of new air-quality controls on the oil and gas industry. The rules mark a major compromise between environmentalists and large energy producers. Gov. John Hickenlooper plans to tout the compromise Tuesday afternoon. The rules include the nation's first statewide limits on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/feb/25/colorado-governor-to-tout-air-pollution-rules/#ixzz2uM1lRL7s CLIMATE CHANGE For the Supreme Court, a Case Poses a Puzzle on the E.P.A.’s Authority. In trying to decide whether the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority under two programs to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants, the Supreme Court on Monday faced what Justice Elena Kagan called “the conundrum here.” One part of the Clean Air Act, she said, seemed to require that such emissions be regulated. But another part set the emission thresholds so low that even schools and small businesses would be covered. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/us/justices-weigh-conundrum-on-epa-authority.html Swarm of volcanic eruptions may have slowed global warming. An unusual swarm of volcanic eruptions over the past 14 years may be partially responsible for the slowing of global warming, a new report suggests. The 17 eruptions from 1998-2012 pumped sulfur dioxide into Earth’s upper atmosphere, where it formed liquid particles that reflected more sunlight back to space, moderating the larger scale warming of the planet surface…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-volcanoes-climate-20140224,0,877383.story#ixzz2uMDtYVnM US Supreme Court Considers Environment, Presidential Power. An environmental case now before the U.S. Supreme Court could have constitutional implications for the powers of the presidency. The nine-member Supreme Court appeared divided Monday during oral arguments in a case related to the power of the federal government to limit greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. Posted. http://www.voanews.com/content/us-supreme-court-considers-environment-presidential-power/1858384.html U.S. measures slight uptick in super greenhouse gas emissions. The replacement of ozone-depleting substances has led to a 6 percent rise in the carbon-equivalent rate of hydrofluorocarbons, gases with thousands of times the global warming capacity of carbon dioxide, according to U.S. EPA's draft inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks from 1990 to 2012. Over the last three decades, the agency has made an effort to substitute out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995042/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Longer growing seasons may not expand trees' ability to store carbon. Chronic water stress could reduce the carbon capture and storage capacity of deciduous forests in the United States by as much as 17 percent over coming decades, according to Indiana University biologists who are studying the relationship between climate change and forest health. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995035/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY No sign of NEPA climate standards 4 years after CEQ guidance. Standards to guide federal agencies in using the National Environmental Policy Act to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate resiliency have been on the to-do list of President Obama's Council on Environmental Quality for several years. CEQ proposed a draft guidance four years ago, but after a public comment period the draft all but vanished, and the White House office isn't offering clues about where it went -- or whether it might re-emerge. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059995082/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Two storms bearing down on L.A.; up to 4 inches of rain possible -- The storms could produce the most significant rain that the region has seen in nearly two years. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-rain-storms-bearing-down-la-20140224,0,90794.story?track=rss#axzz2uJJJEBnR Bay Area water agency may start Sacramento River diversions -- For the first time ever, a Bay Area water agency plans to use its water rights on the Sacramento River this year to help its customers survive the ongoing drought. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/25/6185991/bay-area-water-agency-may-start.html Santa Clara Valley Water District considers seeking 20 percent reduction -- Declaring that California's historic drought is worsening, leaders of Silicon Valley's largest drinking water provider on Tuesday will consider asking the public for a 20 percent reduction in water use, double what the agency first requested last month. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25220057/california-drought-santa-clara-valley-water-district-asks?source=rss Mandatory 50% water cutbacks ordered by Russian River district -- Ukiah Valley residents, businesses and farmers will be required to cut their dependence on Lake Mendocino water by half beginning next month. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140224/articles/140229732 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Clovis firm wins $1.6 million high-speed rail subcontract. A Clovis firm has landed a $1.6 million contract to work on designs for relocating utilities on the first high-speed rail construction section in the Madera-Fresno area. Blair Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers will be a subcontractor to the prime contractor, Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, on the 29-mile stretch of the proposed bullet-train line. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/24/3789269/clovis-firm-wins-16m-high-speed.html Biden gives a public nod to California's high-speed rail project. Vice President Joe Biden gave a hat tip to Gov. Jerry Brown's high-speed rail efforts on Monday night. Biden appeared as a guest on Seth Meyers' debut episode as the new host of "Late Night." When Meyers turned the conversation to trains, Biden, an admitted "train guy," said he thought people around the country, and not just on the Eastern Seaboard, were beginning to understand how efficient travel by rail could be. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/02/25/42444/biden-gives-a-public-nod-to-california-s-high-spee/ FUELS Japan Pushes to Revive Moribund Nuclear Energy Sector. The government of Shinzo Abe made its biggest push yet to revive its nuclear energy program on Tuesday, announcing details of a national plan that designates atomic power as an important long-term electricity source. The new Basic Energy Plan, which states Japan will push to restart reactors closed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and suggests it might build new ones…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/world/asia/japan-pushes-to-revive-moribund-nuclear-energy-sector.html?_r=0 Los Angeles City Council to consider moratorium on fracking. A Los Angeles City Council committee today will consider imposing a moratorium on fracking and other methods used to force oil and natural gas out from deep underground. The Planning and Land Use Management Committee will take up a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing, which entails injecting a water and chemical mixture into rock formations at high pressures, creating cracks to release natural gas or oil. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20140225/los-angeles-city-council-to-consider-moratorium-on-fracking Cows' methane emissions trump gas operations in latest EPA greenhouse gas inventory. The cattle industry topped the natural gas sector as the primary methane-emitting sources in the U.S. in 2012, even as greenhouse gas emissions from the nation overall decreased by 3.3 percent. The reductions were in part due to power plants using natural gas, which is a cleaner fuel than coal, as their fuel source. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059995037/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES EU parliament backs tougher car emissions limits. Members of the European Parliament voted through the world's toughest carbon dioxide standards for new cars on Tuesday, prompting a cautious welcome from environmental campaigners. The new rules set a limit of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (g/km) as an average across all new cars sold in the EU, compared with an existing limit of 130 g/km. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-eu-cars-idUSBREA1O0WC20140225 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Electric Cars Alone Won’t Drive a Drop in U.S. Emissions: Study. Electric cars can help limit reliance on imported oil and take a bite out of air pollution from urban traffic jams. But as sure-fire ammunition against climate change, a new study finds, they come up short. The study attempted to take a big-picture view, analyzing the ripple effects of electric vehicles on the U.S. energy system, including possible changes in emissions of key air pollutants like heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Posted. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/140225-electric-cars-alone-wont-cut-us-emissions-study-says Pricey Hydrogen Cars to Challenge Electric. Under pressure from regulators, several auto makers are preparing to roll out emissions-free cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells instead of gasoline engines. Three car makers have disclosed plans to lease a small number of new vehicles in California and in a few countries in Europe by the end of next year. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303743604579353251333111522 GREEN ENERGY Wind Project on Tribal Land Dies Quietly. It's official: a wind power project that would have generated up to 250 megawatts of power with as many as 85 turbines in the San Diego County backcountry is off the table. The Shu'luuk Wind Project, proposed by the firm Invenergy for up to 4,000 acres of the Campo Indian Reservation, suffered a mortal blow last June when the tribe's General Council voted 44-34 to oppose the project. Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/wind/wind-project-on-tribal-land-dies-quietly.html California Approaches 4 Gigawatts of Utility-Scale Solar Output. As the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System seems to slowly come online, California is setting new peaks for solar power generation. A record of just over 3,600 megawatts in peak solar power output reached on Friday seems to have already fallen. On Friday, the state's utility-scale solar facilities contributed 24,183 megawatt-hours of power to the state's grid…Posted. http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/california-approaches-4-gigawatts-of-utility-scale-solar-output.html New power lines will make Texas the world's 5th-largest wind power producer. The next big Texas energy boom does not involve tight gas formations in the Barnett Shale, or deepwater oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. While fossil resources continue to draw high interest from energy developers and investors in the Lone Star State, Texas' hottest energy prospect is wind power in West Texas and the Panhandle. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995041/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Insecticides linger in homes, study finds. The insecticides found in roach sprays, flea bombs, ant traps and pet shampoos persist indoors for years after use and collect in the bodies of both adults and children, for whom they may pose health risks, a new UC Davis study has concluded. Levels of the insecticides – called pyrethroids – were found in a majority of the 173 children and adults tested from 2007-09 in Northern California. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/25/6186580/insecticides-linger-in-homes-study.html#storylink=cpy Pesticide regulators tighten cap on cancer-causing fumigant. California pesticide regulators have placed a new limit on a fumigant used by Santa Cruz County farmers to purge fields of pests and disease before planting. The use of 1,3-Dichloropropene, commonly known as 1,3-D or by the brand name Telone, has increased in berry production in recent years as the fumigant methyl bromide is phased out under an international treaty. Posted. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_25220133/pesticide-regulators-tighten-cap-cancer-causing-fumigant?source=rss An Environmental Film Festival and High-Tech Music. This annual festival dwells on risks and threats to humans and other animals. Erratic weather “goes very quickly from being a local economic problem” to “a global security problem,” we hear in “Extreme Realities,” narrated by Matt Damon, which looks at the consequences of climate change. Some films assess the risks of chemicals in batteries, furniture and household products. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/science/an-environmental-film-festival-and-high-tech-music.html?_r=0 OPINIONS Emissions: A Cool Assessment of a Hot-Button Issue. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attracted some attention last week by describing climate change as “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Another part of his remarks, though, was just as revealing. After saying we should not listen to those who deny that human activity is warming the globe, he said: “Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits. Posted. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-02-24/emissions-a-cool-assessment-of-a-hot-button-issue Profit From Global Warming or Get Left Behind. Last month, I wrote about global warming in the context of investment opportunities. As part of that discussion, I mentioned McKenzie Funk’s new book, ``Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming.'' I thought framing the financial opportunities of this might bypass the usual agnotology and political foolishness. To quote: ``This debate is no longer about whether global warming is real (it is) or whether humans are the most likely cause (you are), but rather…Posted. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-02-24/profit-from-global-warming-or-get-left-behind At the Supreme Court, a royal mess for ‘King Barack’ It has the makings of a royal mess for “King Barack.” Monday morning’s Supreme Court argument about the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases went badly for the Obama administration — so much so that the real question before the justices seemed to be how severe the EPA’s loss would be. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-at-the-supreme-court-a-royal-mess-for-king-barack/2014/02/24/4de3ac46-9dae-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html Tougher efficiency standards for trucks makes sense. SOME OF President Obama’s unilateral actions may raise legitimate concerns, even for those who believe this Congress is noxiously unproductive. But his demand that cars and trucks use less fuel raises no such question. The president’s plan rests on a rock-solid legal foundation. It’s also the right thing to do while lawmakers dither on climate change. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tougher-efficiency-standards-for-trucks-makes-sense/2014/02/24/e91adb50-99ba-11e3-b88d-f36c07223d88_story.html The EPA’s strong case for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. AFTER CONGRESS failed to pass a comprehensive climate change bill in 2010, the Obama administration shifted its approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of waiting for a fresh environmental law tailored to slashing carbon dioxide, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would do as much as it could with the power the Clean Air Act gave it decades ago. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-epas-strong-case-for-regulating-greenhouse-gas-emissions/2014/02/23/0d7fa530-9b45-11e3-9080-5d1d87a6d793_story.html BLOGS Latest cap-and-trade auction brings in nearly $300M. The latest cap-and-trade auction of carbon credits in California brought in nearly $300 million, according to the Sacramento Bee. It was the sixth auction since the California Air Resources Board began overseeing auctions in late 2012, according to the Bee. About $1.54 billion has been spent on the credits used to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/blog/morning-roundup/2014/02/carbon-credit-emissions-auction-calif.html Carbon Auction Results Show Stability Amidst Eventful Time for Cap and Trade. It’s early in 2014, but it’s already been a busy year for cap and trade in California. On the upside, several major developments have set off a series of conversations around the state’s landmark program, including Governor Brown’s plans for how to invest cap-and-trade auction proceeds to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Similarly, the California Air Resources Board just released an update to the state’s AB 32 Scoping Plan…Posted. http://blogs.edf.org/californiadream/2014/02/24/carbon-auction-results-show-stability-amidst-eventful-time-for-cap-and-trade/#sthash.iz9dPkoa.dpuf Pollution Bad, but Hard to Tell How Bad, Experts Say. Leaders of the World Health Organization say they are concerned about the air quality and health effects on citizens amid a recent bout of heavy pollution in Beijing. Still, they said they were unsure of the specific toll air pollution takes on any one person’s body, casting doubts on local reports tying the region’s dirty air to particular cases of illness. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/02/25/pollution-bad-but-hard-to-tell-how-bad-experts-say/ Psychology can wipe out 20-25% of your EV's range. There are two primary takeaways from a recent study of electric-vehicle driving habits in Germany. One: an electric vehicle with 25 percent of its battery charge left creates the same reaction in drivers as the fuel needle on "E" in a gas-powered car. Two: familiarity breeds comfort. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/02/25/psychology-can-wipe-out-20-25-of-your-evs-range/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.