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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 26, 2013.

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 12:47:50
ARB Newsclips for February 26, 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.


East Bay lawmakers introduce bills aimed at Chevron in aftermath
of Richmond refinery fire.  Responding to last year's massive
refinery fire at Chevron's refinery here, East Bay legislators
Loni Hancock and Nancy Skinner introduced two state bills late
Friday aimed at strengthening air quality regulators' ability to
penalize and compel industry compliance.  State Sen. Hancock's
bill, SB 691, aims to increase civil penalties that stationary
air pollution facilities must pay for violations of state air
quality regulations.  Posted. 

AEP to shut three coal-fired power plants as part of settlement.
Three additional coal plants in the Midwest will cease operating
by 2015 under a settlement agreement reached yesterday between
American Electric Power Co. and a coalition of environmental
groups and federal and state agencies. The agreement, which
updates a 2007 settlement, effectively ends coal-fired generation
at AEP's Big Sandy plant in Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachian
coal country, and two power plants in Indiana and Ohio. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/26/3 BY

EPA's Gina McCarthy discusses future of EPA air rules. How can
states more easily implement efficiency measures and renewables
into their energy portfolios? During today's E&ETV event coverage
of the Georgetown Climate Center's event "Promoting Low-Carbon
Solutions and a Resilient Future Together," Gina McCarthy, U.S.
EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation, discusses the
potential for future collaboration between industry and the
agency on regulations. McCarthy is rumored to be at the top of
the nomination list for EPA administrator. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/tv/transcript/1646  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY


San Lorenzo Valley Water District eyes cap-and-trade program. 
Surveying will begin next month on about 1,600 acres of land in
Boulder Creek, Zayante and Olympia to find out how much carbon
those forests contain, with the San Lorenzo Valley Water District
hoping to fetch a princely sum in the state's newly launched
cap-and-trade program.  Earlier this month, the district's Board
of Directors approved spending $45,000 on the "carbon
sequestration" project, which will be headed by the Alameda-based
forestry consulting firm Buena Vista Services. Posted. 

Update factors in new laws for climate change. The impact of the
state's climate change laws can be seen in a long-term
transportation plan developing in San Joaquin County, which will
exhibit a stronger-than-ever link to planned housing and other
land use expectations. The Regional Transportation Plan includes
policies, programs and specific projects needed in the county.
It's updated every three years, but the latest iteration for the
first time will include a "sustainable communities strategy."
This comes from state climate change law to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Posted.

Cities, rural areas, transportation join the scrum for
cap-and-trade cash. As money pours into California's coffers from
the auction of greenhouse gas allowances, green groups and
government agencies are putting in their bids for a share of the
state's cap-and-trade largesse. Potentially billions of dollars
could be up for grabs as the quarterly auctions continue through
2020. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/02/26/2 BY

Another day, another set of dueling papers on the carbon tax. A
think tank and a pro-manufacturing group released dueling papers
today taking very different views of the carbon tax. The
Brookings Institution paper suggests an escalating carbon tax
could help address federal budget shortfalls, reduce
heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, and make costly energy
subsidies and regulations unnecessary. Meanwhile, the National
Association of Manufacturers released a study that found a carbon
tax would inhibit economic growth. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/26/1 BY


Canada to Follow U.S. Greenhouse Gas Regulations For Trucks. 
Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent on Monday announced
final regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for trucks
and buses in the country that will mirror those set to go into
effect starting next year in the United States.  The regulations
will establish progressively more stringent standards for 2014 to
2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles such as full-size pick-ups,
semi-trucks, garbage trucks and buses.  Posted. 


Brazil may require EV charging stations in 2014.  Brazil, in an
effort to attract car manufacturers to invest in local factories,
may pass a law requiring power utilities to install electric
vehicle charging stations, starting in 2014. Below cars21.com
gives an overview of the proposed bill.  According to the bill,
utilities will be required to install charging points next to
dedicated parking spaces. Battery electric cars, plug-in hybrids,
but also e-scooters and e-bikes fall under the scope of the
proposed bill. Posted.  http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5256 


High-speed rail project moving forward, CEO says.  The state's
High-Speed Rail Authority has nearly doubled the size of its
staff in the past six months and expects the first phase of
construction to be "under contract and under way this summer,"
the agency's CEO told lawmakers Monday.  CEO Jeff Morales
testified before the Assembly Transportation Committee in what
its chairwoman called "the next chapter of legislative oversight"
after debates last summer that culminated in the decision to
appropriate the first $8 billion for what would be the nation's
first high-speed rail system.  Posted. 

After Delays, High-Speed Rail Project to Start This Summer.  In
his 2012 State of the State address, the governor said his
administration was within weeks of releasing a new business plan
"that will enable us to begin initial construction before the
year is out."  Then, last summer, Brown narrowly won lawmaker
approval to sell billions of dollars in state bonds. High-speed
rail backers had warned the project would lose its federal funds
if that vote failed and construction were delayed.  Posted. 

High-speed rail project on track.  The CEO of California's
high-speed rail project says the controversial $68 billion dollar
project is still on track.  High speed rail CEO Jeff Morales says
he expects to break ground on the first phase of the project this
summer.  The 130-mile line will connect Madera and Bakersfield. 
Morales testified before the State Assembly Transportation
Committee Monday, offering lawmakers an update on the project,
which has been criticized for being too costly and for running
through Central Valley farmland.  Posted. 


Calif. governor fast-tracks reviews on world's largest solar
project. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) yesterday cleared some
environmental hurdles of a solar project that will be the world's
biggest. Brown declared the $1 billion McCoy Solar Project worthy
of fast-track approval because it would create jobs, generate
clean energy and help the state build needed infrastructure.
Those characteristics make it eligible for expedited
environmental review under A.B. 900, state legislation enacted in
2011. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/02/26/2


CEQA future tied to Oakland's experience. Gov. Jerry Brown wants
to loosen requirements on the state's 43-year-old landmark
environmental law and is willing to stare down his core backers
in labor and environmental circles, in large part because of what
he learned as mayor of Oakland more than a decade ago. In 2001,
frustrated with the pace of his plan to revive downtown Oakland
by creating housing for 10,000 residents there, Brown won passage
of a state law that would exempt certain parts of the city's
downtown from the California Environmental Quality Act… Posted.

Sustainable Landscape Conference coming to Cuyamaca. Local
resource-conservation efforts, the role of trees in ecological
landscapes and other topics germane to sustainability will be on
tap at Cuyamaca College’s fifth annual Sustainable Landscape
Conference. The conference, which costs $90 for the general
public and $60 for students, will be Thursday, March 7, at
Cuyamaca’s performing arts theater. Registration and a
continental breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and the program lasts
through 4 p.m. Posted.


Eugene Robinson: Obama should have utilities switch from coal to
natural gas. The test of President Barack Obama's seriousness
about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on
the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It's whether he
effectively consigns coal-fired power plants – one of the biggest
sources of carbon emissions – to the ashcan of history. Since his
re-election, Obama has signaled a new focus on climate change.


Re-engineering Nature to Meet Energy Needs. Thousands of
inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs gathered in a suburban
Washington convention center on Monday for the annual three-day
meeting of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency –
Energy. It wasn’t quite the Oscars. At the registration desk,
attendees received a goody bag that included a report on clean
energy from the Pew Charitable Trusts and a refrigerator magnet
that showed the periodic table of the elements. Posted.

The Mathematics of Climate Change. The situation is that
critical. Climate change is real. Responding to it will be full
of challenges. But there will also be opportunities — an aspect
of climate change emphasized by Dr. Emily Shuckburgh, a climate
scientist based at the British Antarctic Survey. Dr. Shuckburgh
speaks widely about climate change, and if you happen to be in
San Francisco next week, you’ll have the opportunity to attend
one of her talks. Posted.

Feeding Ourselves on a Warming Planet. As we have often noted
here on the Green blog, one of the biggest uncertainties humanity
faces regarding climate change is the potential effect on the
world’s food supply. If there’s a risk that global warming and
related changes could hit us much sooner and much harder than
scientists are expecting, agriculture could be the crucial realm
where that occurs. In fact, we have already entered an era of
sharply higher global food prices, with climate change as one of
the likely causal factors. Posted.

California’s second cap-and-trade auction: Signs of a maturing
market.  The California Air Resources Board (ARB) held its second
auction for greenhouse gas allowances this past Tuesday (Feb.
19). Severin Borenstein blogged about his reactions to the first
auction held back in November 2012 here.  As a quick refresher,
in the first auction, the market clearing price for a “current”
vintage 2013 allowance was 9 cents above the auction reserve
price of $10 per ton and all allowances available for sale –
roughly 23 million – were sold. 

Transform: Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds Workshop.  The State of
California is holding the first of its hearings on how to invest
revenues from the state’s landmark greenhouse gas cap-and-trade
auction. Join TransForm and our allies in calling for these
revenues to be invested in real transportation choices including
expanded public transit, increasing biking and walking, and
ensuring affordable and accessible housing.  You can let our
leaders know that you want this new revenue source invested in
these priorities and making our communities healthier and
prosperous.  Posted. 

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