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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 31, 2012

Posted: 31 Aug 2012 11:42:30
ARB Newsclips for August 31, 2012. 

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.


California’s Simulated Carbon Auction Seen as ‘Slam Dunk’. 
California, the world’s ninth-largest economy, said a trial
auction of carbon allowances appears to have gone well today. 
Participants found the online system easy to use, the state Air
Resources Board, which performed the simulation in preparation
for the first real auction of permits on Nov. 14, said in a
statement. More than 430 companies regulated under the state’s
cap-and-trade program were invited to log into the auction
platform and submit bids as part of the trial.  Posted. 

California Tests Cap and Trade System.  The main goal of the test
run is to make sure the software works smoothly and prevents
attempts to game the bidding system.  Stanley Young is with the
California Air Resources Board, which ran the practice auction
for 150 participants.  YOUNG: "We learned from what happened and
what was successful in other auction platforms, such as in the
European market and in the Northeast with the regional greenhouse
gas initiative, and we've taken those lessons to heart."  Part of
the challenge with cap and trade markets is how prices are set
for the carbon credits. Too low, and it's inexpensive for
companies to pollute. Too high, and companies face too heavy a
burden.  Posted. 

California gives carbon auction a trial run.  The state ran a
test of its controversial greenhouse-gas market Thursday, even as
it wrestles with ongoing complaints that the price of carbon
could prove too costly for businesses.  A three-hour practice
auction, in which tons of fake greenhouse gases were sold online,
was declared a success by the California Air Resources Board. The
mock auction was a run-up to the first real sale, set for
November.  Posted. 

State holds practice auction to test GHG market.  California's
first-in-the-nation, economywide greenhouse gas market took its
first fledgling steps yesterday with a practice auction designed
to test the online platform prior to November's inaugural sale of
carbon credits.  About 150 of the Golden State's largest emitters
took part in yesterday's dry run, during which they got the
opportunity to "kick the tires" on a state-run system that will
be used four times per year through 2020 to dispense allowances
to those responsible for about 80 percent of the state's
greenhouse gas emissions.  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY.  Posted. 

California's cap-and-trade program to cut emissions starts trial
run.  The eyes of the world are on California as it prepares to
roll out the nation's first comprehensive cap-and-trade program,
a cornerstone of the state's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and shift to an environmentally sustainable economy. 
So on Thursday, the state will stage a trial run of the online
auction of emissions permits for roughly 150 major emitters of
greenhouse gases to give the state time to work out any glitches
before the official Nov. 14 launch of the program.  Posted. 

'Cap and trade' auction to get trial run.  Come November,
California will open North America's first full-scale carbon
market, in which companies buy and sell the right to emit
greenhouse gases from their factories, power plants and oil
refineries.  It's a major undertaking involving hundreds of
companies and - potentially - billions of dollars. So on
Thursday, California officials plan to stage a dress rehearsal. 


Carbon Cap-and-Trade Explained in One Simple Diagram.  Every year
at the Pacific Coast Producers processing plant in Woodland,
Calif., half a million tons of tomatoes are sliced, diced,
canned, boiled, and shipped to grocery stores nationwide. The
operation is driven by steam, lots of it, which comes from a
suite of massive natural-gas-powered boilers. Together, these
boilers emit over 25,000 metric tonnes (~27,557 US tons) of
greenhouse gases annually, which means PCP will be forced to join
California's cap-and-trade carbon market, set to kick off in
November.  Posted. 

Curtain rises on California’s planned carbon market.  Every year
at the Pacific Coast Producers (PCP) processing plant in
Woodland, Calif., half a million tons of tomatoes are sliced,
diced, canned, boiled, and shipped to grocery stores nationwide.
The operation is driven by steam, lots of it, which comes from a
suite of massive natural-gas-powered boilers. Together, these
boilers emit over 25,000 metric tonnes (about 27,557 U.S. tons)
of greenhouse gases annually, which means PCP will be forced to
join California’s cap-and-trade carbon market, set to kick off in
November.  Posted. 

Researchers: California Heat Waves To Become More Humid, Stronger
Along Coast.  Using a “non-stationary” model that factors in the
recent warming trends of the past few years, researchers from the
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have
determined that California heat waves will become more humid and
stronger in populous coastal areas.  Traditionally, California
heat waves primarily affect the interior desert and valley areas
that become hot during the day and both cooler and drier at
night. According to study researchers Alexander Gershunov and
Kristen Guirguis, their analysis and computer model data indicate
that the future Golden State heat waves will be marked by greater
humidity, increased nighttime temperatures, and with larger
swaths of land, which include the coastal areas, being affected. 


Toyota developing external power supply system and V2H for fuel
cell buses.  Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed an
external power supply system that uses electricity generated
within a fuel cell bus (FC bus) to supply electrical power to
devices such as home electrical appliances. An FC bus—based on
the FCHV-BUS (Fuel cell hybrid vehicle-bus)—equipped with the new
power supply system has two electrical outlets (AC 100 V, 1.5 kW)
inside the cabin that can supply a maximum output of 3 kW and
potentially power home appliances continuously for more than 100
hours.  Posted. 


Train seeks taxpayer money in hopes of private profits.  San
Diegans are being asked to pay for a couple of costly trains they
likely won’t ride very often. State and federal taxpayers are
picking up the bill for California’s high-speed rail line from
Bakersfield to Madera in the Central Valley. With no funding
source identified and ridership between two Central Valley
locations likely to disappoint, the train’s chances of ever
extending all the way to San Diego seem iffy at best.  Posted. 

Hanford farmer says high-speed rail plans flawed.  A Hanford
farmer challenged Federal Railroad Administration officials in
Fresno Wednesday to reject plans for high-speed train routes in
Kings County and the San Joaquin Valley.  Frank Oliveira, whose
property would be affected by one of two route options running
through Kings County, complained that the California High-Speed
Rail Authority has excluded the county from planning and design
decisions for the proposed train system. He and other members of
the Citizens for High-Speed Rail Accountability say the alleged
exclusion, dating back to 2005, violates the National
Environmental Policy Act.  Posted. 

HIGH-SPEED RAIL.  Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is all smiles, happy
that so far his city has avoided widespread confrontations and
arrests that have marred other conventions.  But that doesn't
mean he's pleased with everything.  Buckhorn, a Democrat, used
his daily press briefing to argue Tampa needs more mass transit
options to build from the "worldwide" exposure it got during the
convention.  Posted. 


These are basically treasure maps for renewable energy.  The
National Renewable Energy Laboratory sounds like one of those
things that could go either way. Maybe it’s cool: “energy
laboratory” sounds neat. Maybe it’s boring: “national” anything
tends to be a snooze. (For example.) Funded by the Department of
Energy (boring), NREL explores how the country can better use
renewable power (also kind of boring). (You know, in the
objective sense. Kids find it boring, for example. Like, little
kids. Toddlers. I assume.)  NREL alsos provide detailed maps of
where in the United States a developer can reap the most benefit
from various types of renewable energy. That is cool.  Posted. 

Second company accused of California electricity shenanigans. 
Once again, a power supplier has been accused of gaming
California's electricity market.  The company, which state
officials wouldn't identify, has allegedly reaped $10.5 million
in "excessive gains" since April, according to the California
Independent System Operator.  The ISO, which runs California's
transmission grid, has blocked the company from continuing the
behavior, said ISO spokeswoman Stephanie McCorkle. She said the
ISO this week asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to
investigate the matter.  Posted. 


GOP platform highlights the party’s abrupt shift on energy,
climate.  Over the past four years, the Republican Party has
undergone a fairly dramatic shift in its approach to energy and
environmental issues. Global warming has disappeared entirely
from the party’s list of concerns. Clean energy has become an
afterthought. Fossil fuels loom larger than ever. And one way to
see this shift clearly is to compare the party’s 2008 and 2012
platforms.  It may seem difficult to believe now, but back in
2008, the Republican Party’s platform (pdf) had a long and
detailed section on “Addressing Climate Change Responsibly.” 


Flawed cap-and-trade plan can still be fixed before Legislature
leaves.  After years of bureaucratic fog, there’s a ray of
sunshine illuminating and hopefully repairing the California Air
Resources Board’s (CARB) seriously flawed cap-and-trade auction
program. A group of legislators, armed with an opinion by the
state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), is calling for common
sense and moderation in a policy that is on the brink of costing
California businesses and consumers billions of dollars, workers
their jobs, and the state and local governments reduced revenues.
 The business community has long supported a well-designed cap
and trade program to help meet the goals of AB 32, the 2006
Global Warming Solutions Act. AB 32 instructs CARB to implement
AB 32 in the most cost-effective technologically feasible manner.

Could Pension Savings Fund High-Speed Rail?  Before this week,
California had a $60 billion-or-so problem. It was called the
high-speed rail, Phase 1.  That’s a rough estimate of the money
California would need to complete the project that it now wants
to start – and doesn’t currently have.  Where would it come from?
The feds don’t have it. Private investors aren’t interested.  But
Jerry Brown was on the case.  He and the Democrats made a deal on
pension legislation. And lo and behold, projections show it would
save state and local governments up to $60 billion over 30 years.


East Coast National Parks at Risk From Sea Level’s Rise.  Labor
Day is summer’s last hurrah, and families from across the country
will be flocking to the beach this weekend to soak in some final
rays.  Beachgoers on the East Coast making their way to Cape Cod
or one of six other National Seashores, however, might want to
pause and take an extra look around at the wind-tossed dunes and
sloping sands. Not just because summer is coming to an end, but
because these areas are some of the most susceptible to the
effects of climate change and may look very different, very soon.

PolitiFact Repeals the Laws of Supply and Demand.  If you
restrict the supply of something, the price will go up. It’s one
of the laws of supply and demand. Thus, cap-and-trade energy
rationing schemes drive the price of energy up, by capping the
supply. President Obama has conceded that in his unguarded
moments. In a January 17, 2008 interview with the San Francisco
Chronicle, Obama said that “electricity rates would necessarily
skyrocket” under his cap-and-trade plan to fight global warming.
He also said that under his plan, “if somebody wants to build a
coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt
them.”  Posted. 

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