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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 29, 2013

Posted: 29 Jan 2013 13:55:48
ARB Newsclips for January 29, 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.


Smog thick enough to cancel flights hits Beijing.  Thick,
off-the-scale smog shrouded eastern China for the second time in
about two weeks Tuesday, forcing airlines to cancel flights
because of poor visibility and prompting Beijing to temporarily
shut factories and curtail fleets of government cars.  The
capital was a colorless scene. Street lamps and the outlines of
buildings receded into a white haze as pedestrians donned face
masks to guard against the caustic air.  Posted. 


Pollution off the index again in China's capital. Beijing's
pollution has reached especially high levels again as smog
blankets much of China's central and eastern areas. After days of
worsening visibility on the capital's streets, the U.S. Embassy
reported early Tuesday morning that the level of pollution was
"beyond index." Since Saturday, it has reported hourly pollution
levels as hazardous to human health. Posted.

Valley Residents, Health Advocates Call For Better Protection
From Particle Pollution. The San Joaquin Valley’s polluted air is
a daily concern for Mario Talavera.
“When I go to the pharmacy, they ask why I need medicine," said
Talavera, of Fresno. "For Mario, Angelica, Tomas, Jose. And for
me too, Mario. I have asthma. The only person who doesn’t have
asthma is my wife.” It’s a constant stress for Fresno resident
Teresa Vidales, too. Her husband, a construction worker and the
family breadwinner, has asthma. One of her four kids does, too.


California Defeats Lawsuit Against Cap-and-Trade Program. 
California environmental regulators running the nation’s first
economy-wide carbon cap-and-trade program defeated a lawsuit that
claims the system contains a loophole so companies can avoid
reducing carbon emissions.  State court Judge Ernest Goldsmith in
San Francisco rejected claims by two environmental groups
challenging the way the program allows polluters to buy
greenhouse gas emission credits from entities that aren’t part of
the program.  Posted. 
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/29/6 BY

Obama Talks Climate Change. California Is Acting On It. It’s not
the happiest time to be an environmentalist. Climate change hit
home last year with brutal force: 2012’s historic drought singed
much of the Midwest, turning farms to dust and withering the corn
crop. Other parts of the U.S. suffered through storms like Sandy
and massive wildfires. Average annual temperatures in the
continental U.S. beat the previous recorded high by a full 1°F
(1.8°C). And the future is uglier still: over the weekend, the
British economist Nicholas Stern warned that climate change could
be even worse than he predicted in his sobering 2006

Climate Change Action Now Helps Win Elections: Poll. Politicians
who oppose taking action on climate change or discount the whole
matter could be risking their careers. Public opinion in the
United States has shifted in favor of doing something about
climate change, and politicians who want to get elected need to
take note of it, according to a new study by the Yale Project on
Climate Change Communication. A nationwide survey conducted
before the November election found that concern about the effects
of global warming is high across political groups…Posted.


Conversion to natural gas fuels may ease U.S. energy crisis, some
experts say. Geopolitical issues are driving up the cost of oil
and eroding U.S. energy security and could trigger another
recession, according to energy experts. But fuels derived from
natural gas could help avoid a future oil crisis if they're
poised to effectively compete in the oil-dominated transportation
sector, members of the U.S. Energy Security Council said
yesterday at a meeting of energy industry leaders. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/29/5  BY


Chowchilla, high-speed rail settle lawsuit over route.  The
California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Monday it has
settled a lawsuit filed by the city of Chowchilla over the rail
agency's approval of a bullet-train route between Merced and
Fresno.  The settlement removes one hurdle from the rail
authority's plans to begin construction this year in Madera and
Fresno counties on the first segment of its proposed statewide
system.  Posted. 


Missing the point of the cap-and-trade defeat.  It’s a baffle.
While reanalyzing the cap-and-trade fight and responding to Theda
Skocpol’s controversial paper on it, my esteemed colleagues Bill
McKibben, David Roberts, Joe Romm, and Eric Pooley have evidenced
some sharp, and sharply worded, differences with one another. But
all appear to agree that one big reason cap-and-trade “crashed
and burned” on Capitol Hill, as Pooley phrased it, was the lack
of public support: If only there had been a vibrant popular
movement out in the country demanding serious action on climate
change, things might have ended differently.  Posted. 


European carbon market doesn’t need a supply fix. Policymakers
racing to prop up the European Union’s carbon market should focus
on the long term instead. Proposals to boost record-low carbon
prices show a confusion about what cap-and-trade systems such as
the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme can achieve. Even if the carbon
price fell to zero, greenhouse gas emissions would stay within an
agreed 2020 limit. To ensure the scheme’s future, authorities
should focus on the cap, not juggle permit supplies.
In theory, “cap-and-trade” schemes are an elegant way to meet
emissions targets at the lowest possible cost. Posted.

How did Davos do on climate change? One sometimes hears that the
World Economic Forum is all talk and no action. I don’t buy it —
talk matters. Social currency is a powerful driver of change,
even at the highest reaches of business and government. And last
week climate change was on center stage at the famous Davos
summit. So as I moved through the WEF Annual Meeting, the
question on my mind was simple: How many of the conversations
here will lead to real-world outcomes? Posted.

California cap-and-trade offsets challenge rejected. Breaking:
California has successfully weathered (at least in the lower
court) another challenge to its cap-and-trade program.  A state
court has affirmed ARB’s significant discretion to design offsets
protocols that rely on standardized additionality mechanisms,
denying a petition that had sought to invalidate those protocols.
 Argus has the first story on this that I’ve seen. Court opinion
here. Posted.

San Francisco judge protects offset protocols in California's
cap-and-trade market. Power plant operators can purchase offsets
in California in order to minimize their climate impact. A court
ruling has upheld offset rules. Under the state’s plan to combat
climate change, polluters must permanently cut carbon emissions.
That’ll be expensive, so regulators designed ways to buffer the
financial pressure. Power plant owners may purchase offsets - a
kind of credit for carbon reductions that wouldn’t have happened
otherwise. Posted.

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