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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 13, 2011.

Posted: 13 Jan 2011 13:07:03
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 13, 2011. 

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.


U.S. Carbon Emissions To Fall In 2011, Rise In 2012. Carbon
dioxide emissions, which are from fossil fuels and trap heat in
the atmosphere, are expected to fall in the United States in 2011
before rising in 2012 as the economy recovers, according to the
government's energy forecaster. The Energy Information
Administration's monthly report says carbon emissions should fall
0.6 percent this year to 5.587 million tonnes. This decline will
be caused by lower power demand, as temperatures are expected to
be cooler in the coming summer than this past summer. Posted.


Picarro Goes For Gold In Gauging Greenhouse Gases. Measuring
greenhouse gases is getting to be a good business. On Wednesday,
Sunnyvale Company Picarro Inc. announced a $5 million deal for
its measuring instruments that will be deployed at 100 greenhouse
gas monitoring stations worldwide. "This is the biggest order,
from the unit standpoint, in our company's history," said CEO
Michael Woelk. The 10-year-old company signed the deal with AWS
Convergence Technologies, which is investing $25 million over the
next five years to build the monitoring stations, including 50 in
the United States. Posted.

CO2 Trading Worth Up to $212 Billion Opposed by Japan, Korea.
Japanese and South Korean companies, adopting arguments that
helped block carbon trading in the U.S., are opposing government
plans to set up emission markets worth a potential $212 billion
by 2020. The Federation of Korean Industries said Jan. 11 that
starting emissions trading in 2013 would add to the cost of doing
business and put the country at a disadvantage unless Japan and
China do the same. Keidanren, Japan's largest business lobby said
61 of 64 companies that responded to a survey in September
opposed introducing carbon trading. Posted.

EPA Grants Greenhouse-Gas Rule Exemption. The Environmental
Protection Agency is granting an exemption under its
controversial greenhouse-gas requirements, saying that it will
provide a three-year reprieve for facilities that burn wood chips
and other biomass products to generate electricity. These
facilities, often times power plants and paper makers, represent
a small segment of the sectors that have to comply with the EPA's
new greenhouse-gas regulations, which went into effect Jan. 2. 
But the EPA's action was seen as an important move at a time when
the agency has been accused of overstepping its bounds and has
come under fire for imposing potentially costly regulations.

Biomass Over Climate. Under pressure from some members of
Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is easing up
on regulating global warming pollution from facilities that burn
biomass for energy. The agency said Wednesday it needs more time
to figure out whether biomass - including farm waste, sawmill
scraps and forest thinnings - is really a green fuel. EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson notified members of Congress who had
complained that new rules regulating industrial carbon dioxide
emissions would make it hard to develop new biomass energy plants
they see as job creators and part of a national green energy
strategy. Posted.

UCSD Climate Change Scientists Pioneering New Tracking Tool. UC
San Diego and a private company have launched what's being called
the world's first and largest privately funded network to track
greenhouse gases. Currently, scientists rely on a few dozen
sampling stations to continuously monitor greenhouse gases around
the globe. But now, UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography is
teaming with a private-sector company, Earth Networks, to build
the world's most comprehensive network for tracking carbon around
the globe. Posted.

Calling All Corporate Leaders: Full Speed Ahead On Greenhouse Gas
Reductions. Last October, EPA held its final Climate Leaders
meeting.  While many were concerned about the sudden dissolution
of the program, some saw it as inevitable.   The consensus is
that the EPA Climate Leaders program has provided significant
value to companies over the past eight years.  Beginning with 11
charter members in 2002, the program grew to 275 companies in
2010, with annual GHG reductions totaling 18 million metric tons
of CO2 annually – enough to power over 2 million homes for one
year. Posted.

State Official Explains 'Clear Incentive' In Emerging
Cap-And-Trade Plan. Correction appended. A senior California
official yesterday shed more light on how the state expects to
enforce greenhouse gas emissions cuts as well as provide emitters
with a backstop in case of carbon allowance price spikes under
its fast-approaching cap-and-trade program. Kevin Kennedy,
assistant executive officer in charge of the Office of Climate
Change at the California Air Resources Board (ARB), addressed
greenhouse gas cuts set to go into effect in California next year
during a briefing with attorneys. He explained that enforcement
will proceed, in part, via a "surrender obligation" rule that
would penalize emitters for failing to meet deadlines. Posted.

Last Year Was The Wettest And Tied 2005 For The Hottest. 2010
tied 2005 as the warmest year since records began in 1880, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday.
Combined land and surface temperatures last year were 1.12
degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, according to a
report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. Last year was
also the wettest on record. The record-setting conditions in 2010
are part of a overall warming trend driven by human activities
that pump carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere, said David Easterling, the NOAA climate center's
chief of scientific services. Posted.


Clean Trucks Program Expansion Approved. The Long Beach Board of
Harbor Commissioners approved the inclusion of smaller trucks to
the Clean Trucks Program on Monday. The board in its meeting also
approved penalties for “dray-offs” within the Harbor district —
switching cargo from a “clean” to a “dirty.” The board added
“Class 7” trucks to its program. Class 7 trucks are smaller than
“Class 8” trucks. Under the program Class 8 trucks are subject to
strict emission standards and older models have been
progressively banned from terminals since 2008. Posted.

Diesel Hybrid Market Fires Up. Hybrid trucks are already in
commercial production, and with Peugeot’s pending launch of the
world’s first diesel-electric hybrid passenger car, the industry
is poised for considerable growth. Although the U.S. lags behind
Europe in terms of favoring light-duty diesel applications,
interest may soon grow as the European market takes off. The
environmental benefits of diesel hybrid technologies are
impressive, allowing for an average fuel consumption saving of 20
to 35 percent. Posted.

AGC’s General Counsel Negotiates Compromise on California
Emissions Rule. In 2007, the California Air Resources Board
(CARB) set in motion strict off-road diesel emissions rules that
could have had long-range impact on contractors and equipment
suppliers. When the recession hit the state particularly hard,
the CARB rules, based data that was questioned from the outset,
seemed unfair and costly. Officials estimated the equipment
replacements and upgrades would cost billions of dollars. Posted.


Dashboard: San Diego County Environment Improves. The second
annual quality-of-life "dashboard" for San Diego County showed
improvements in several environmental indicators but concluded
that the region still lags behind many parts of the state and
nation in some key measurements. The assessment, published
Wednesday by the non-profit Equinox Center in Encinitas, includes
14 key metrics, including jobs and wages, water and energy
consumption, climate change, mobility, housing affordability,
waste disposal and land development. Posted.

Environmentalists Lose Bid to Protect Arcadia Woodland. Ignoring
protests from residents and environmentalists Tuesday, the County
Board of Supervisors opted to let crews bulldoze about 11 acres
of coast live oaks and sycamore trees north of Arcadia. 
Infuriated by the lack of official response, protesters plan to
meet the bulldozers head on this morning near Wilderness Park in
hopes of stopping the destruction. " Posted.

UC Davis Wins Ag Research Grants. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture has awarded $40 million in research grants to the
University of California, Davis, to develop new bioenergy sources
and climate-change-tolerant plants. The awards were among the
largest research grants received by the UC Davis campus in recent
years, behind a five-year, $75 million grant in 2009 from the
U.S. Agency for International Development. Posted.

ENERGY: Cox Communications Goes Green with Fuel Cells. Cox
Communications will unveil a pair of biogas-powered, 400-kilowatt
fuel cells Thursday ---- a green energy purchase made possible by
use of a California utility ratepayer fund and federal tax
credits. Both the state and the federal governments have
implemented numerous programs to create markets for energy
generators that produce fewer greenhouse gases. Posted.

Buzzing With Energy. The $452 million Lodi Energy Center is
shaping up nicely six months into the two-year construction
timeline, the Northern California Power Agency reports, and it's
on schedule. The agency is teaming up with the California Energy
Commission on the 296-megawatt energy center now under
construction on 4.4 acres of city-owned land off Interstate 5
north of Eight Mile Road near the White Slough wastewater
treatment plant. Posted.

Energy Commission Awards Over $500,000 for Research on Effects of
Climate Change on Hydropower. The California Energy Commission
today awarded $582,685 for research projects including one that
will look at the effects of climate change on hydropower
projects. Funds for the four research projects come from the
Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The
Energy Commission approved $299,970 to the University of
California at Davis to look at the effects of climate change on
hydropower operations and their environmental impact downstream.

Analysis: Solar Stocks Face another Tough Year In 2011. Investors
hoping that 2011 will mark the return of off-the-charts growth in
solar stocks will be sorely disappointed, though the industry's
battered share prices make for good bargains in the meantime. In
2010 the fast-growing industry logged its biggest sales year
ever, yet shares of solar panel makers lagged the broader market
significantly. Posted.

California's Energy Policies May Make or Break Plug-In Hybrids.
California policies aimed at reducing electricity use and curbing
greenhouse gas emissions have the unintended consequence of
making new plug-in hybrid vehicles uneconomical, according to a
Purdue University economist. Wally Tyner, the James and Lois
Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics, said California's
tiered electricity pricing system means Californians will pay
some of the highest electricity rates in the country to recharge
plug-in hybrid vehicles. Posted.


Auto Makers Seek Help on Fuel Rules. Washington—Auto makers are
asking newly empowered House Republicans to help fight a proposal
under consideration by the Obama administration to boost
fuel-economy standards for new cars and trucks to as high as 62
miles per gallon by 2025. The Alliance of Automobile
Manufacturers, the car industry's main trade group, wrote in a
letter to U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) and Fred Upton
(R., Mich.) that fuel-economy standards are "by far the most
expensive regulations auto makers face." Posted.


Save Energy, Save Our Troops. A NATO oil tanker truck was blown
up by insurgents at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last week,
and while no one was injured, the incident temporarily closed the
Khyber Pass, the main supply artery for Western troops in the
Afghan theater. This has become an all-too-routine occurrence; in
the last nine years some 1,000 Americans have been killed on
fuel-related missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Posted.

EDITORIAL: Chicken Little Eats Crow. Doomsayers who make a living
warning that the sky is falling victim to human-induced pollution
need to take a deep breath. It turns out Mother Nature has her
own resources for cleaning up the air. The journal Science
reported Friday that hydroxyl, a chemical that plays a central
role in regulating pollutants in the Earth's atmosphere, is less
susceptible to fluctuations in concentration than previously
thought. As a result, scientists now believe the atmosphere's
capability of cleaning itself is relatively stable. Posted.

California Poised to Write New Chapter in Energy Policy. With
gridlock likely in the 112th Congress and the Administration’s
mandate accordingly tempered, those interested in America’s
energy policy and 21st century competitiveness should look West. 
As newly-elected California Governor Jerry Brown’s ambitious
state budget undergoes the scrutiny of multiple media cycles,
other elements of the senior statesman’s agenda may easily go
unnoticed – including what impact Governor Brown part deux may
have in renewing an American innovation economy. Posted.


Another One Bites the Dust? California's cap-and-trade partners
are dropping like flies. It's not official yet, but it's looking
like what was once envisioned as a regional carbon trading
program involving seven US states and four Canadian provinces,
will now involve just one US state - California - and just three
provinces: Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario. One by one,
members of the Western Climate Initiative have postponed their
involvement or dropped out altogether, as Arizona did last
February when Gov. Jan Brewer issued an executive order backing
out of the carbon trading program. Posted.

Will New California Governor Approve Plan For 1 Million Electric
Vehicles? Motivated by Prop 23's defeat in November, Environment
California is working on getting Governor Jerry Brown on board
with a plan to reduce California's dependence on oil by getting
one million clean vehicles on the Golden State's roads by 2022.
Why one million? As Dan Jacobson, Environment California's
legislative director, explains: It's our theory that if you can
get to a million that basically creates a tipping point. There
will then be so many clean cars that Detroit and all the
automakers will just start selling us nothing but clean cars.

EPA Defers Greenhouse-Gas Requirements For Burning Biomass As
Fuel [Updated]. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
announced it will defer greenhouse-gas permitting requirements
for emissions from industries' burning of biomass -- plant
materials and animal waste that are used as fuel. Announced
Wednesday, the EPA says the three-year deferral will allow the
agency to research the environmental impact of burning biomass
for fuel and to develop rules on whether emissions from such
sources would require permitting under the Clean Air Act. Posted.
EPA Delays Climate Rules for Biomass Industry. In another sign
that the Environmental Protection Agency is moderating its
climate policy, it announced Wednesday it would exempt the
biomass industry from limits on greenhouse gas emissions for
three years. More than two dozen lawmakers had urged EPA to hold
off on applying new rules aimed at curbing greenhouse gases from
large emitters to facilities that burn wood and farm waste.

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