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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 7, 2011.

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 13:01:35
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 7, 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.


Agency Oks Plan To Let Industry Expand In L.A. Region Using
Pollution Credits. Environmentalists say the plan will add to the
Southland's smog and soot problems and open the way for new
gas-fired power plants. Southern California air quality officials
adopted a plan Friday to allow industry to expand in the Los
Angeles region by tapping into a public fund of free pollution
credits. Environmentalists said the plan would add to the
region's smog and soot problems and open the way for new
gas-fired power plants to be built in an already overloaded air
basin. "This vote reverses decades of steady progress we've made
to combat chronic air pollution," said Adrian Martinez, an
attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Posted.


Judge Halts California Greenhouse Gas Plan. A California judge
put rules on hold implementing the state's greenhouse gas laws
including cap and trade rules adopted last year. Superior Court
Judge Ernest Goldsmith tentatively ruled Friday that the
California Air Resources Board violated the state's environmental
law in 2008 and again last year. The board approved adopted rules
enforcing the state's emissions law AB32 without doing a full
environmental review, he ruled. The board last year adopted cap
and trade rules without adequately considering the alternatives.

Judge Delays California Global Warming Law Over Cap-And-Trade
Provisions. A San Francisco Superior Court judge has temporarily
halted the implementation of California's Global Warming
Solutions Act over its "cap-and-trade" regulations. The Global
Warming Solutions Act (officially known as Assembly Bill (AB)
32), signed into law by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in
2006, requires California to cap greenhouse gas emissions in the
state at 1990 levels by the year 2020. Posted.

Western Wolverines Threatened By Climate Change. Wolverines in
the continental United States could be wiped out by the end of
the century if temperatures continue to rise, according to a new
study from a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research. Springtime snow cover helps protect wolverine dens from
predators, and the animal is built to thrive in deep powder. But,
Synte Peacock, a NCAR scientist, applied computer models
projecting climate change to the wolverine habitat in the
northern Rockies.

NRCS Faces New Challenges Including Climate Change. Denver -- The
Dust Bowl and preventing soil erosion were foremost in the minds
of the early Natural Resources Conservation Service, formed in
1935 as a New Deal agency. Today NRCS, which falls under the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, is using science to help private
landowners conserve all natural resources, not just soil, and
prepare for challenges including climate change. After all,
private farms and ranches will be vital for feeding a world that
could by some estimates grow to nearly 9 billion people within a
few decades. Posted.



Willi Dansgaard, Paleoclimatologist Who Discerned Climate Record
In Ice Core, Dies At 88.  Los Angeles -- Willi Dansgaard, a
Danish paleoclimatologist who was the first to recognize that the
Earth's climatic history was stored in the Greenland ice cap,
died Jan. 8 in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to the Niels Bohr
Institute at the University of Copenhagen. He was 88. His
research, together with that of Claude Lorius of France and Hans
Oeschger of Switzerland, revolutionized scientific knowledge of
how the temperature and composition of the atmosphere have
changed over the last 150,000 years, demonstrating a clear link
between carbon dioxide and methane concentrations and global
temperatures. Posted.

Don Curlee: Climate Tweaks Affect California's Farming. The
effects of reducing greenhouse gases produced in farming are far
from clear. Some are expected to have detrimental results.
Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions wherever they occur was
the goal of Assembly Bill 32, passed by the California
Legislature in 2006, as the Global Warming Solutions Act. Experts
in several areas are wrestling with the measure's language and
its intent. Posted.

Is Climate Change Causing Millions To Migrate? Two new studies
paint contrasting views of whether climate change-induced weather
will force millions of people to migrate to safer areas. One says
yes, the other no. In an upcoming report, the Asian Development
Bank (ABD) warns that the extreme weather of climate change --
floods, droughts and storms -- will prompt mass migration that no
international organization is set up to handle. "In the past year
alone, extreme weather in Malaysia, Pakistan, the People's
Republic of China, the Philippines and Sri Lanka has caused
temporary or longer term dislocation of millions," the
Manila-based organization said Monday. Posted.

EPA Official Says Cap And Trade Won't Be Part Of Forthcoming CO2
Rules. U.S. EPA air Chief Gina McCarthy sought to ease concerns
Friday that upcoming climate regulations affecting existing power
plants and refineries would lead to a cap-and-trade system. "Our
goal isn't to decide on a number for greenhouse gases that ought
to be achieved," she said. "It's not a cap-and-trade program."
Instead, the regulations, which are expected to be proposed later
this year and finalized in 2012, would be designed to "set a
floor" for what best available control technology would be both
available and affordable to curb emissions, she said. Posted.

EDF's Take On Ab 32 Scoping Plan Lawsuit. The following
information was released by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF):
A Superior Court in San Francisco issued a tentative ruling last
week in a lawsuit filed in 2009 by environmental justice (EJ)
groups. The groups are asserting that the state's Air Resources
Board (CARB) failed to comply with statutory requirements of AB
32 and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when it
adopted the law's Scoping Plan-the blueprint for cutting
pollution to 1990 levels by 2020-in late 2008. Posted.


Ethanol Blend Goes To The Races. Race cars at the Daytona 500
will be running on a 15 percent ethanol fuel blend this year, and
corn farmers are hoping the event will raise the profile of
biofuels. The National Corn Growers Association is sponsoring the
effort. "For us it's an opportunity to tell our story. We'll be
focusing on American farmers," said Rick Tolman, CEO of the
association. NASCAR, the sanctioning body for auto racing, has
been increasing its efforts to go green, which includes providing
more recycling at events and converting one track to solar


Schools' Energy Efficiency Lauded. 14 Turlock campuses get
federal Energy Star label. Turlock — Folks throughout the Turlock
Unified School District have been working on reducing energy
consumption. In addition to helping the environment, the program
saves money during these difficult budget times. Last week, the
district announced that the federal government had awarded
Turlock the "Energy Star" label on 14 of its school sites. To be
recognized with an Energy Star label, school sites must rate in
the top 25 percent nationwide for energy efficiency. Posted.

Chesapeake Energy Plans To Sell $5B In Assets. New York --
Chesapeake Energy Corp. says it will sell all of its Fayetteville
Shale assets and investments in two companies. Chesapeake says it
hopes to bring in more than $5 billion from the sales and will
use the proceeds to reduce its debt. Chesapeake Energy says it
plans to reduce its debt by 25 percent by 2012. The Fayetteville
shale is a natural gas field in central Arkansas, and Chesapeake
Energy is the second largest producer of natural gas from the
formation. Posted.

Green Jobs Are Not Evergreen Jobs. After receiving at least $43
million in aid from the state of Massachusetts, Evergreen Solar
announced last month that it would be closing its manufacturing
plant in Devens, Mass., laying off its 800 workers and moving its
manufacturing operations to China. Warning: These are the "green
jobs" that President Obama has touted as part of his "winning the
future" agenda. The problem isn't that Obama wants to direct
federal dollars toward research for alternative energy. It is in
the national interest to have affordable options when oil sources
are depleted. Posted.

Republicans Out Front Of Obama On Regulations.  When President
Barack Obama asked businesses for advice on creating jobs, he
might have anticipated that more than 200 responses would quickly
be headed his way courtesy of Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who
once called him corrupt.  A month before Obama reached out to
businesses, the new chairman of the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee sent 171 letters to various
businesses and their trade associations. Posted. 




GOP Eyes Rules That Firms Say Hurt Jobs.  House Republicans are
scrutinizing a wide array of existing and proposed Obama
administration regulations in areas as diverse as the environment
and Wall Street, and they are taking guidance from industry
groups that say the rules threaten jobs.  Posted. 

Green Energy Faces GOP Headwinds On Hill.  The Obama
administration lavished billions of stimulus dollars on
wind-power producers and other renewable-energy interests, but
the whirl of the turbines may slow dramatically as budget-cutting
Republicans take their seats in the next Congress.  Posted. 

'Green Bonds' Seen Among Europe's Options For Paying Hefty, $3.93
Trillion Bill For Clean Energy – Study. With time ticking away
for Europe to meet its targets for slashing greenhouse gas
emissions, banks could end up securing massive amounts of debt to
finance the transition to clean energy. Issuing "green bonds" is
one mechanism they could use. European governments are staggering
under the weight of public debt. That has injected some
uncertainty into the European Union's plan to cut emissions 20
percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Posted.

Amid Budget Freeze, White House Wants To Scale Up Funding For
Clean Technologies. The White House wants to spend more on
education, infrastructure and research even as it freezes the
overall budget, administration officials said last week. Austan
Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said
these investments -- all of which are relevant to clean energy --
are too essential to cut in a time of fiscal austerity. "I think
all sides agree that we've got to cut and be fiscally
responsible," he told reporters. Posted.

Philippines Prepares Geothermal For Shift To Cleaner Energy. The
Philippines will surpass the United States to become the world's
top geothermal power producer by 2014, Philippine Vice President
Jejomar Binay predicted yesterday. Binay, in Washington this week
meeting with World Bank officials and others, said his country
hopes to leapfrog fossil fuels and move directly to clean energy.
He called on the World Bank to "rapidly shift away" from lending
for fossil fuels and help countries like his tap into their
renewable energy potential. Posted.

How Ocean Currents Once Warmed The Arctic. New research could
explain why the Arctic was much warmer during a period millions
of years go that scientists say most closely resembles Earth's
climate today. The climate during the mid-Pliocene Epoch, roughly
3 million years ago, is a good overall match for conditions today
with regard to average temperature and the level of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere. But there are some differences that
scientists have had trouble explaining. Posted.


Feds And California To Propose New Fuel Rules. The federal
government and California say they will coordinate on new
proposals to increase vehicle fuel efficiency for future cars and
trucks by Sept. 1. The Transportation Department and the
Environmental Protection Agency are working on new standards for
vehicles that will be built during the 2017-2025 model years.
Prior to Monday's announcement, the California Air Resources
Board had planned to issue its own proposal for the same time
period by March. Posted.

Honda Fit Beats Toyota Prius To Top Japan Sales. TOKYO – Honda's
Fit subcompact overtook Toyota's Prius gasoline-electric hybrid
as Japan's top-selling car in January, its first return to that
spot in nearly two years. The figures released Friday by the
Japan Automobile Dealers Association show how the end of
government subsidies for green cars have hurt sales of the Prius
after holding the top spot in Japan for 20 straight months.

Volt Arrives For Rental Market.  Enterprise Rent-A-Car's
executives anticipate electric vehicles to be a growing part of
their business, and they have begun to test the market for the
new vehicles in the Inland Empire.  Enterprise has two Chevrolet
Volts available for rent for $69.99 per day at its Mark
Christopher Auto Center branch.  Posted. 


Germany Sells Vision For 'Green Toys' To World.  The hottest
"green" toy in Germany isn't made of organic or recycled
materials. That's so 2010. This one has a solar panel and only
runs if kids remember to insert bright red "energy stones" that
power the rest of the space station.  Germany, a pioneer in many
renewable energy initiatives, is also at the forefront of
creating environment-friendly toys aimed at making kids think
about where energy comes from and how much of it they can use,
raising awareness through play.  Posted. 



SOCIAL SCENE: Green fundraiser no black-tie affair.  All Green
Electronics Recycling teamed up with the Boys & Girls Club of
Oceanside to hold an electronics recycling event Jan. 8 at
Oceanside High School.  This fundraiser was a little different
from the formal events mostly seen on this page, but its dual
purpose was every bit as important for the environment and
children of Oceanside.  Posted. 


Clean Air Under Siege.  Shortly after he entered the Senate in
2007, John Barrasso told his Wyoming constituents that the
country’s biggest need was an energy policy to deal with carbon
dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.  That was then. In lockstep
with other Senate Republicans, he helped kill last year’s energy
and climate bill. Now he has introduced a bill that would bar the
Environmental Protection Agency and any other part of the federal
government from regulating carbon pollution.  Posted. 

Widening Battle Lines Between 'Clean,' 'Dirty' Energy. The
following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on
Monday, Jan. 31: During the State of the Union address, President
Barack Obama challenged the nation to invest in clean-energy
technologies so the U.S. would "out-compete" and "out-innovate"
the rest of the world. Indisputably, this country needs less
polluting and more efficient energy sources to make the critical
transition from fossil fuels to the 21st-century technologies
needed to keep the nation economically strong and competitive.

Dirtying the Clean Air Act. Republicans are preparing their
latest attack on the law. But it's worth remembering all their
warnings of economic doom since the 1970 legislation — and just
how wrong those predictions have been. Conservatives have been
attacking the Clean Air Act since its passage in 1970,
continually claiming that federal efforts to fight air pollution
would wreak economic ruin. Posted.

A Federal Role In The Energy Future.  George F. Will's Jan. 30
op-ed, "Let Uncle Sam drive," left out important facts as he
applied his rigid ideological rejection of public-private
partnerships as a way to promote private-sector development.  He
failed to note basic economics: Any product's first units are
expensive to produce; costs fall as the scale of production
increases. The tax credit for electric vehicles is intended in
part to help automakers reach that higher scale, which is why
nearly half of the states have or are considering consumer
incentives. Posted. 

Eye On The Environment: New Ozone Standards On The Horizon.  Last
year we had the cleanest air since the Ventura County Air
Pollution Control District began keeping records in the 1970s. 
Of course, we had a cool summer, which reduced ozone (smog)
formation. In addition, lower economic activity due to the
recession curtailed some emissions.  Posted. 

Climate Change Of Opinion.  San Joaquin County backtracked last
week after sending state officials written comments strongly
questioning the fundamentals of climate change science.  In a
Jan. 25 letter to the state's new Delta Stewardship Council, the
county said it appears the "level of climate science currently
available is unreliable and the ability of climate models to
actually explain past temperatures is in serious doubt." Climate
change was just one of many subjects in the letter, intended to
help shape a new plan to govern the river estuary west of
Stockton.  Posted. 

McINTOSH: Climate Change For Dummies.  As North Americans shiver
and shovel through the current mini ice age, members of the
nonprofit, nonpartisan world organization Climate Renegades
Against Paleomagnetists are upping the rhetoric against climate
change deniers. During a recent secret meeting between United
Nations officials, scientific academics and climate researchers

Opinion: California Clean Air Standards Help Auto Industry. Auto
dealers from across the country are in San Francisco for the
National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Expo to
discuss our industry and where it is headed. We share the
association's mission to champion policies that benefit its
members and the auto industry. However, we disagree with its
position that California's landmark greenhouse gas standards for
new cars and trucks will harm its members. Posted.


Climate Change to Force Mass Migration, Study Warns.  That
weather-related catastrophes cause a lot of destruction is well
known. But the prospect that increasing floods, droughts and
storms will prompt many millions of people to migrate to safer
areas is still poorly understood and anticipated, according to a
forthcoming report from the Asian Development Bank.  Posted. 

Renewable Energy: Labor Coalition's Tactics Draw Heat. Do
California construction unions raise concerns about building
massive solar plants in the Mojave Desert because they care about
wildlife, water shortages and delicate vegetation? Or is it, as
some fellow labor unions charge, a way to extort expensive
contracts from renewable-energy builders? Posted.

Judge's Ruling Could Force Air Resources Board to Look at
Alternatives to Cap and Trade. Here's an irony: After last year's
bruising battle to save California's comprehensive anti-global
warming law from being suspended by an oil industry-backed
initiative, it's a lawsuit by environmental groups that could end
up throwing a monkeywrench into the state's plans. Posted.

EJ Groups Say Suit is Not To Undo AB 32. Plaintiffs who won a
tentative ruling in a suit over the state's climate law say
they're not out to torpedo AB 32. The half-dozen environmental
justice advocacy groups sued over state regulators'
implementation plan and won a tentative ruling in their favor,
from a state court in San Francisco. A lawyer for the
Oakland-based Communities for a Better Environment called the
ruling "very important and exciting," but the groups insist that
they're looking to tweak the regulations under California's
Global Warming Solutions Act, not blow it up. Posted.

Morning Bell: California Cap and Trade Tripped Up By Pollution
Rhetoric. The economic harms of carbon cap-and-trade policies [1]
are so well established that even a state as reliably leftist as
California has never been able to pass a plan through their
legislature. Instead, environmentalists in the Golden State have
relied on the California Air Resources Board (CARB), whose
appointed governing board is democratically unaccountable [2], to
develop and impose carbon regulations by bureaucratic fiat.

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