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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 3, 2012 Posted: 03 Jan 2013 11:58:50
ARB Newsclips for January 3, 2013. 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. AIR POLLUTION WILDOMAR: Air district tests homes. Technicians collected air samples Wednesday from three abandoned homes in a Wildomar tract, the first official action in the neighborhood since several residents told authorities that something in the houses might have contributed to ailments that had stricken their families. Tests ordered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District will screen for about 50 types of chemicals, including hydrocarbons associated with industrial sites, district spokesman Sam Atwood said during a visit to the Autumnwood tract on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20130102-wildomar-air-district-tests-homes.ece Utah adopting Calif.-style rules for air pollution. Utah could lose federal highway funds if it doesn't start reducing pollution along the urban corridor by December 2014. The new regulations will force California-style changes in consumer products, with spray pumps replacing aerosols or aerosols switching to environmentally friendly propellants. Likewise, regulators are tightening limits on volatile organic compounds in paints, coatings and solvents - local factories and car-repair shops will have to buy reformulated products or install special emissions controls. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/02/utah-adopting-calif-style-rules-for-air/#ixzz2GvtkhqKV Secrecy and San Onofre. Nuclear safety regulators have dismissed objections to a nondisclosure agreement that would seal from public view some documents related to faulty steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear plant and an application to restart the facility.Open government activist Ray Lutz of El Cajon filed the objections to an agreement made in early December between San Onofre operator Southern California Edison and Friends of the Earth, an international environmental and nuclear watchdog group. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/03/san-onofre-records-request-denied/ Air Pollution Levels Incite Environmental Quality Experts. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is recommending that residents do not burn wood in their fireplaces or woodstoves on Thursday, Jan. 3, to prevent air quality from becoming unhealthy. A Winter Spare the Air Alert is NOT in effect on Thursday and wood burning is not illegal, but strongly discouraged. Winter Spare the Air Alerts were issued on Tuesday and Wednesday. Posted. http://menlopark-atherton.patch.com/articles/air-quality-experts-burning-wood-is-strongly-discouraged-8e4fe920 EIP "Toxic 10" Report: Power Plants Emitting Most Mercury Account For Nearly a Fifth of All Such Pollution. Even though mercury and other hazardous air pollution from U.S. power plants are declining, the progress at the coal-fired power plants are uneven, leaving in place a significant remaining risk to the health of the public and environment, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/03/5089948/eip-toxic-10-report-power-plants.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Air quality officials ask Bay Area residents not to burn wood on Thursday. Despite those frigid nights, now is not the time to burn wood in fireplaces. Officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are asking residents not burn wood in their fireplaces or woodstoves on Thursday to prevent air quality from becoming unhealthy. A winter Spare the Air alert is not in effect on Thursday and wood burning is not illegal, but strongly discouraged. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_22300512/air-quality-officials-ask-bay-area-residents-not?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_22300512/air-quality-officials-ask-bay-area-residents-not CLIMATE CHANGE Cost of combating climate change surges as world delays –study. An agreement by almost 200 nations to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 will be far more costly than taking action now to tackle climate change, according to research published on Wednesday. Quick measures to cut emissions would give a far better chance of keeping global warming within an agreed U.N. limit of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times to avert more floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/03/climate-costs-idUSL5E9C295520130103 California implements cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions. California is on the verge of implementing a new cap and trade system that will require some 350 companies to begin paying for the carbon dioxide they emit. Companies will receive allowances for their emissions, but those allowances will decrease over the years — in hopes companies will feel pushed to reduce their emissions to stay off buying more emission credits. Posted. http://www.pri.org/stories/science/environment/california-implements-cap-and-trade-system-to-reduce-carbon-emissions-12526.html Calif., Quebec begin joint effort to enforce cap-and-trade rules. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Quebec and California on Tuesday became the first North American jurisdictions to enforce compulsory cap-and-trade regulations. By setting limits on companies' greenhouse gas emissions, California's goal is to return to its 1990 emissions levels by 2020. By that same year, Quebec's government hopes to reduce its emissions by even more -- 25 percent below the province's 1990 levels. In 2015, Quebec will extend the plan to include vehicle fuel distributors. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/01/03/6 Environmental cap-and-trade regulations in force. On Tuesday, Jan. 1, Quebec and California became the first jurisdictions in North America to enforce compulsory cap-and-trade regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The idea was pushed by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Quebec premier Jean Charest, within the Western Climate Initiative, which includes seven states and four provinces — Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. Posted. http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Environmental+trade+regulations+come+into+force/7762705/story.html Climate change may drastically alter region. Lake Tahoe is "the fairest picture the whole earth affords," Mark Twain once wrote. Its crystal blue waters, surrounded by stunning snowy mountains, define one of California's crown jewels as an American landmark. It attracts 3 million skiers, boaters, campers, hikers and other visitors each year. Posted. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_22269700/climate-change-may-drastically-alter-region?source=rss FUELS Elias: Hydrogen fuel plan still tilts toward corporations. Six months after pulling back about $12 million worth of grants to help build refueling stations for the hydrogen fuel cell cars due to debut by 2017, the California Energy Commission is ready to take applications for new grants.The problem: Revised rules issued by the commission appear at first glance to cut out the favoritism that sullied last spring's stymied grants, but the new rules still seem likely to place all or almost all the money in the same hands that would have received the canceled grants. They also encourage a modicum of pollution over completely clean air. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/03/elias-hydrogen-fuel-plan-still-tilts-toward/#ixzz2Gvu7z1fg Greuel faults DWP for bypassing bids on lobbying contracts. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power repeatedly bypassed its competitive bidding process when it awarded $480,000 in contracts to lobby Sacramento decision-makers, according to a report issued by City Controller Wendy Greuel. DWP executives issued four no-bid contracts for state lobbying over the last two years, two of them to Mercury Public Affairs, a firm that includes former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez as one of its partners. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-adv-dwp-no-bid-20130103,0,2707590.story Buffett Like Icahn Reaping Tank Car Boom From Shale Oil: Freight. Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn are reaping the benefits of surging demand for railroad tank cars to haul shale oil from beyond the reach of existing pipelines. Buffett’s Union Tank Car Co. is working at full capacity and Icahn’s American Railcar Industries Inc. has a backlog through 2014. Trinity Industries Inc., the biggest railcar producer, began converting wind-tower factories last year to help meet demand for train cars that can transport the petroleum product. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Buffett-Like-Icahn-Reaping-Tank-Car-Boom-From-4164328.php#ixzz2GvoTQShj Will Asset Sales Drive This Energy Giant Higher in 2013? Plains All American (NYSE: PAA) recently announced that it will acquire Chesapeake's (NYSE: CHK) crude oil and condensate gathering assets in the Eagle Ford shale; the acquired assets comprise throughput capacity of 50,000 barrels per day and 450,000 barrels of storage capacity in a deal worth $125 million. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/business/fool/article/Will-Asset-Sales-Drive-This-Energy-Giant-Higher-4164377.php#ixzz2Gvpiwuj8 GREEN ENERGY Warren Buffett to build world's largest solar energy project. MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of Mr Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment company, has struck a deal with SunPower to acquire and build two projects in California’s Antelope Valley. The deal, which will see MidAmerican pay between $2bn to $2.5bn, marks the third time in little over a year that Mr Buffett has ploughed cash into solar energy. He last year created a unit within Mid American to support an increasing number of solar and wind investments. Posted. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9777016/Warren-Buffett-to-build-worlds-largest-solar-energy-project.html Other related stories: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_22297621/sunpower-sells-two-socal-solar-projects-company-owned http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Buffett-firm-bets-big-on-solar-4163046.php Tax break extension breathes new life into U.S. wind power. The U.S. wind industry is powering up once again after Congress extended a critical tax credit that wind companies say will save tens of thousands of domestic jobs and allow more clean energy projects to ramp up this year. About half of the sector's 75,000 jobs in the United States had been expected to disappear if the wind production tax credit had been allowed to expire at the end of last year, according to trade group the American Wind Energy Association. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1E9C2AW720130103 Congress renews wind energy credit. Kern's wind energy industry got the tax credit renewal it was looking for -- and with a welcome twist. Congress voted late Tuesday to extend the credit through Dec. 31 as part of a wide-ranging measure that avoids the tax increases and spending cuts that had been dubbed the "fiscal cliff." Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/x1055275694/Congress-renews-wind-energy-credit BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Rebecca Tarbotton, Environmental Activist, Dies at 39. Rebecca Tarbotton, an environmental activist who helped persuade big banks to stop financing mountaintop removal mining and who helped persuade Disney to reduce its use of paper made from trees cut down in rain forests, died on Dec. 26 in a swimming accident in Mexico. She was 39 and lived in Oakland, Calif. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/us/rebecca-tarbotton-environmental-activist-dies-at-39.html?_r=0 BLOGS The Wind Industry Gets To Draw Another Breath. In the last-minute tax maneuvering in Congress this week, wind power came out well.Wind not only got an extension of its tax credit in the federal budget compromise, but the rules were also restructured: while the extension runs for only one year, the nature of the deadline has changed. Projects do not need to be finished and feeding electricity to the grid by next New Year’s Eve; construction only needs to be started. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/the-wind-industry-gets-to-draw-another-breath/ Climate Change Made Some Noise in 2012. While Bebbo is unconvinced that the pop culture prowess of "Gangnam Style" can make us forget our climate is in crisis, that doesn't mean 2012 provided no hope for our fight against global warming. It appears the U.S. -- Earth's second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter -- has treated this year's extreme weather (most notably Hurricane Sandy) as a wake-up call. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/neil-wagner/2012-climate-change-noise_b_2386833.html Gov. Jerry Brown wants to "calibrate" environmental rules. An early environmental leader as California's governor nearly four decades ago, Jerry Brown is now easing restrictions for oil companies and talking about overhauling the state's landmark environmental law to boost the economy. As detailed in The Times, that strain of pragmatism has run throughout Brown's current governorship — and flummoxed many allies — and nowhere is it more apparent than on the issue of the environment. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2013/01/gov-jerry-brown-wants-to-calibrate-environmental-rules.html California’s Cap-and-Trade Debut. Cap-and-trade? Cap-and-dividend? CARB? AB32? Carbon tax? Confused? Cap-and-trade legislation began as a simple idea – setting limits on pollution and having companies buy or trade offsets. A greenhouse cap-and-trade bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009. But the Senate bill, which ballooned into an incomprehensible 1,400 pages, was ultimately abandoned. Soon after, a cap-and-dividend bill was proposed in the Senate, requiring companies to pay a “dividend” to consumers, funded by a purchase of carbon shares by the polluting companies. This bill has not progressed through the Senate. Posted. http://www.energyviewpoints.com/californias-cap-and-trade-debut/ 2012 was the hottest year in history in New York, D.C., Louisville, Philadelphia … It’s not yet official, but 2012 was the hottest year in American history. Recorded history, that is; we’ll allow climate change deniers the possibility that the United States was hotter when it was a still-forming Pangeal mass of semi-solid lava. Beyond that, though: hottest ever. This led to a bumper crop of “hottest year ever!” stories in local media last week. Here’s a Google News search for “hottest year.” Among the areas noting that accomplishment: Lexington, Richmond, Topeka, New Jersey, Cleveland and Columbus, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Burlington, Louisville, and New York City. Posted. http://grist.org/news/2012-was-the-hottest-year-in-history-in-new-york-d-c-louisville-philadelphia/