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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 8, 2012.

Posted: 08 Nov 2012 13:54:46
ARB Newsclips for November 8, 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.

Auction to kick-start California carbon market. California will
next week sell more than 60 million CO2 emission permits in a
move that will get the world's second biggest carbon market off
the ground. More than 350 of the state's biggest emitters,
including utilities Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern
California Edison, will be bound by the scheme, which aims to
help California bring greenhouse gas emissions back down to 1990
levels by 2020. "We're ready to go, we're ready to launch," Mary
Nichols, the chair of California Air Resources Board (ARB), the
agency that administers the program, said at Stanford University
this week. Posted.

Australia Promotes Carbon Market With First Trading Licenses.
Australia’s Securities and Investments Commission granted the
first 11 licenses to trade emission permits in Australia, a sign
that a carbon market is taking shape despite a political threat
to end the program. “A market is beginning to develop, premised
on the steady flow of issuance of carbon units,” Craig McBurnie,
a senior specialist for the commission, said today at the Carbon
Expo in Melbourne. Posted.

Obama to continue efforts to curb greenhouse gases, push energy
efficiency.President Obama’s reelection, along with key wins by
Senate Democrats, ensures that the federal government will press
ahead with efforts to promote renewable energy and energy
efficiency and to curb greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate
change. But the scope of these policies could be constrained by
congressional opposition and by concern over their economic
impact, making it likely that a second Obama term will deliver
some, but not all, of environmentalists’ top priorities. Posted.


Oil back above $85 a barrel after largest drop of year fueled by
fears of US fiscal trouble. Oil prices rose above $85 per barrel
on Thursday as postelection volatility continued. Crude oil rose
75 cents to $85.19 in afternoon trading on the New York
Mercantile Exchange. That followed a decline of 5 percent on
Wednesday, when traders were spooked by worries about budget
negotiations in the U.S. Analysts also say that oil supplies and
production are high, which tends to drive down prices. Posted.

OPEC report sees strong future fossil fuel demand with coal use
growing, oil decreasing. OPEC says that fossil fuels will remain
the main energy source in the coming decades with coal’s share
growing and oil’s falling. In its annual World Oil Outlook, the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also projects
that a barrel of benchmark crude will cost $155 by 2035, compared
with under $100 now. The report, published Thursday, says the use
of fossil fuels as a percentage of world energy use will decrease
only marginally from 87 percent now to 82 percent by 2035.

Stockton Ethanol plant to upgrade facility. Pacific Ethanol Inc.
this week announced it would install a corn oil extraction system
at its Stockton plant, the company's second such upgrade, and put
it into operation before the end of the first quarter. The new
technology, which has become widespread in the corn ethanol
industry, provides additional value in the production of ethanol
and byproducts, including wet distillers grain, which is commonly
used as animal feed. Posted.

Argentine judge embargoes Chevron assets on spill. An Argentine
judge embargoed Chevron Corp.'s assets in Argentina to carry out
an Ecuadorean court order that awarded $19 billion to plaintiffs
in an environmental damage lawsuit in the Amazon, a lawyer said
Wednesday. Judge Adrian Elcuj Miranda ordered the freezing of
Chevron's assets in Argentina as plaintiffs try to collect the
judgment won in Ecuador last year, Argentine lawyer Enrique
Bruchou told reporters in a conference call. Posted.

Prices still falling, a month after SoCal gasoline crisis. What a
difference a month can make. Southern California gasoline prices
have fallen 82 cents since hitting an all-time high on Oct. 8. A
gallon of regular grade gas sold for $3.91 on average in San
Diego on Thursday, down from $4.73 a month ago. The Energy
Information Administration is forecasting a continuing decline in
retail gasoline prices nationwide through the end of this year.
The agency, a statistical arm of the Energy Department, expects
global oil markets to loosen, as supplies slightly outstrip
demand. Posted.


California gets 200 EV charging stations in settlement. Federal
energy regulators have approved a legal settlement between
California and a New Jersey energy company that will see more
than 200 electric vehicle charging stations get built around the
state. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the
settlement between the California Public Utilities Commission and
a subsidiary of Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy Inc. The
settlement came in response to lawsuits filed after California's
energy crisis, when NRG and other companies overcharged
Californians for power. Posted.


Swiss firm says its new switch to aid green energy. A Swiss
engineering group said Wednesday it has developed a new circuit
breaker that will help utilities transfer power over longer
distances, making for more efficient and reliable electric
supplies. Zurich-based ABB Group announced it developed the
world's first circuit breaker for high-voltage direct current,
which will facilitate the long-distance transfer of hydropower,
wind and solar power. Posted.

Election results: What it means for energy in CA. Energy took the
stage in Tuesday's elections, from the presidential race to
California's long list of ballot propositions, and the results
hold immediate and long-term implications for Southern
California. The approval of Proposition 39 should funnel an
estimated $500 million a year for five years into energy
efficiency retrofits on buildings, starting with public schools
and universities. Posted.

Berkeley research facility tackles renewable energy issue. A
futuristic GPS device, given the task of locating a solution for
today's transportation-energy versus environmental-sustainability
battle instead of an address, might very well lead to the new,
five-story, $133 million biofuels research building located near
the northwest edge of the UC Berkeley campus. There, the Energy
Biosciences Institute, established in 2007 by international oil
and gas company BP as a public-private partnership with UC
Berkeley and now including the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is
leading the race to develop nonfood, liquid biofuels. Posted.

KiOR starts production at Mississippi biorefinery. Alternative
fuel firm KiOR says it started production in October in
Mississippi and plans to make its first commercial shipment
before November's end. Based in Pasadena, Texas, KiOR built a
$222 refinery in Columbus, Miss., to extract the equivalent of
light crude oil from wood chips. It refines the oil into gasoline
and diesel fuel. KiOR said researchers have found a way to
increase how much oil it can extract from wood. Posted.


Guarding Against Solar Storms. Regarding “Not ready for a ‘Solar
Sandy’” (Views, Nov. 3): Solar storms do pose a great threat.
That’s why NOAA operates the Space Weather Prediction Center. It
has provided warnings and alerts for grid operators, airlines and
other vulnerable sectors since 1970. But Yousaf Butt errs when he
says there is no plan to replace the aging Advanced Composition
Explorer (ACE) satellite, which provides warnings. Posted. 

Green Goals Without Rancor. Energy and climate change, two issues
that deeply divide the country, stand out as major pieces of
unfinished business for the Obama administration. Sadly, it is
not clear how many disasters it will take and how many billions
we will have to spend before we take the potential consequences
of climate change seriously. But as the president has said, even
for those who don’t believe climate change is real, the benefits
of clean energy -- cleaner air, energy independence, American
jobs and enhanced global competitiveness -- are just too
important to ignore. Posted.


Climate change is making your coffee more expensive. Climate
change has already been blamed for major storms and melting
arctic ice, but now it may be coming after your morning cup of
joe. Researchers have found that climate change will reduce the
number of suitable growing locations for the Arabica coffee
plant, which provides about 70 percent of the world’s coffee
supply, according to a new study in the journal PLOS ONE. Posted.

First Things First: An Efficient Abode. At the beginning of our
build project, Mr. Tobe lent us a simple low-tech device called a
Solar Pathfinder. It’s designed to figure out where to place
solar panels for maximum effect, but we used it to site the house
on the property for optimal passive solar performance. The
pathfinder is essentially a reflective plexiglass dome and a
stack of circular black pieces of paper called sun path diagrams.
The diagrams are covered with a series of white arcs delineating
the path of the sun at different times of year for different
latitudes. Posted.

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