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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 26, 2013. Posted: 26 Mar 2013 10:59:32
ARB Newsclips for March 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. CLIMATE CHANGE Governors Ask Obama to Weigh Climate Impact of Coal Ports. President Barack Obama’s administration should weigh the climate-change impact of burning coal in Asia when considering whether to approve Pacific coal- export terminals, two Western governors said. In a letter to the White House Council of Environmental Quality, the Democratic governors, John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington, said the administration must expand its review of the projects and consider the carbon dioxide that would be released when the coal is burned for power. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/governors-ask-obama-to-weigh-climate-impact-of-coal-ports.html Utility Group, Virginia Appeal Decisions Upholding CO2 Regulation. Virginia and the Pacific Legal Foundation asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appellate court decision upholding the Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 finding that greenhouse gases should be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Additionally, the Utility Air Regulatory Group, a power company trade group, asked the Supreme Court to overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision upholding EPA's greenhouse gas permitting program for large stationary sources of emissions. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/utility-group-virginia-appeal-decisions-upholding-co2-regulation.html New York State Cites Climate Change as Risk to Bond Investors. New York State is listing climate change as a risk for bondholders after Hurricane Sandy caused more than $40 billion in damage and Governor Andrew Cuomo said better preparations are needed. New York may be the first U.S. state to inform investors of the danger posed by rising sea levels, greater flooding and erosion resulting from climate change, said Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/new-york-state-cites-climate-change-as-risk-to-bond-investors.html FEATURE-Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries in Greenland's Arctic valleys. On the Arctic Circle, a chef is growing the kind of vegetables and herbs - potatoes, thyme, tomatoes, green peppers - more fitting for a suburban garden in a temperate zone than a land of Northern Lights, glaciers and musk oxen. Some Inuit hunters are finding reindeer fatter than ever thanks to more grazing on this frozen tundra, and for some, there is no longer a need to trek hours to find wild herbs. Welcome to climate change in Greenland, where locals say longer and warmer summers mean the country can grow the kind of crops unheard of years ago. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/26/greenland-climate-agriculture-idUSL3N0CB1BB20130326 UC, CSU could get a pass on emissions laws. California's cash-strapped public universities would save millions of dollars under legislation by Orange County state Sen. Mimi Walters, but the bill's prospects are uncertain because it would alter a landmark global warming law beloved by environmentalists. Walters' proposal seeks to exempt University of California and California State University campuses from the new cap-and-trade program established under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, otherwise known as Assembly Bill 32 or AB32, one of the nation's most ambitious environmental laws. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/trade-501273-cap-emissions.html FUELS Audit Faults Stimulus-Backed $1.5 Billion U.S. Clean-Coal Effort. Poor management has hampered a U.S. program to develop technology to capture carbon-dioxide emissions, the Energy Department inspector general said in a report that raises new questions about a clean-energy initiative backed by the 2009 economic stimulus. In total, the Energy Department received $1.5 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to invest in technology that responds to climate-change risks. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that most scientists think is making the planet hotter. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/audit-faults-stimulus-backed-1-5-billion-u-s-clean-coal-effort.html Future Capital Buys U.S. Bio-Ethanol Plant for $220 Million. Future Capital Partners Ltd., a London-based investment company, bought U.S. bio-ethanol maker Appomattox Bio Energy LLC for $220 million and will use some of its equipment to start a plant in the U.K. The company will sell Appomattox’s land, plant and machinery to the Future Fuels Partnership that it set up to build a bio-ethanol refinery in Grimsby, northern England, it said today in an e-mailed statement. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/future-capital-buys-u-s-bio-ethanol-plant-for-220-million.html Miles-Driven Could Replace Gasoline Tax, LaTourette Says. Abolishing the U.S. gasoline tax and replacing it with a levy based on miles driven could happen “tomorrow” regardless of hurdles to implementing it, said a former top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The gasoline tax, which Congress hasn’t raised since 1993, needs to be ended because lawmakers won’t increase it, former Representative Steve LaTourette said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s Washington office. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/miles-driven-could-replace-gasoline-tax-latourette-says.html Shale gas lures global manufacturers to US industrial revival. When Wolfgang Eder and his team started looking around for a site for a new plant for Voestalpine, the Austrian steelmaker he heads, they had 17 sites in eight countries on their list. This month, after more than a year of looking, they settled on the U.S. state of Texas, after a boom in the production of natural gas from shale extraction brought gas prices down to just a quarter of what companies paid in Europe. "In the USA, re-industrialisation is being promoted very consistently, ambitiously and with great conviction," Eder told Reuters. "Low energy prices gave us the final - and not insignificant - push." Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/26/manufacturing-shale-idUSL6N0CE57M20130326 VEHICLES Rebates, incentives for 'green' cars encourage buyers, frustrate tax activists. A plan to reduce smog caused by California's busy freeways is working: More people than ever are taking advantage of rebates and buying clean-energy cars. But many taxpayers aren't happy about it. The state's $43-million rebate program for plug-in hybrids and other zero-emission vehicles is nearly empty, so the California Air Resources Board and the Energy Commission pumped $10.5 million more into the account, enabling more residents to take advantage of getting up to $2,500 back. Posted. http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/state&id=9041019 Tesla share jump on cryptic tweet by Elon Musk. No stranger to leveraging his Twitter presence to maximize attention for his electric car company, Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk sent his company's stock up 2.5% on Monday with a single, cryptic tweet. "Really exciting @TeslaMotors announcement coming on Thursday. Am going to put my money where my mouth is in v major way," Musk tweeted. The markets noticed, sending Tesla shares up 91 cents to close at $37.53. Tesla shares are traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Just what Musk has up his sleeve remains a mystery. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-tesla-musk-tweet-announcement-20130326,0,7699743.story?track=rss GREEN ENERGY How Green Is Your School? One of the reasons that Layla El Zein, a successful telecommunications engineer in Lebanon, decided to go to business school was that she was interested in turning her charity work into a full-time job. “I felt that I had much more to give than volunteering,” she said. She chose the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University partly because of its M.B.A. program’s focus on sustainability. “Their sustainability initiatives are really clear and tough, and they prioritize it,” she said. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/education/how-green-is-your-university.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 MISCELLANEOUS In S.F., an uphill battle for a 'freeway for bikes' Plan to replace some parking spaces on Polk Street with bicycle lanes and parklets has many residents and lots of business owners saying 'Not so fast.' Russian Hill's Velvet Da Vinci gallery, which offers an array of edgy jewelry and metalwork, has been doing brisk business lately in "Save Polk St." T-shirts. Neighboring shops have signs in their display windows warning that a "radical agenda" threatens the shopping district, where residents can get shoes fixed at Frank's, fill pantries at Real Food Co., sip a Soju cocktail at Amelie or buy a silicone sex toy at Good Vibrations. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-sf-bikes-vs-cars-20130326,0,3851677.story?track=rss OPINIONS Carbon tax? No thanks, says Senate. In case there was any doubt about the odds of Congress enacting a carbon tax, a Senate vote Saturday morning showed that they are long indeed. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a liberal Rhode Island Democrat, offered an amendment to the proposed fiscal 2014 budget resolution calling for "establishment of a fee on carbon pollution." The amendment didn't suggest who'd pay the fee or how large it would be; it required only that the fee not increase the deficit and that all the revenue raised be "returned to the American people in the form of federal deficit reduction…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-senate-budget-resolution-carbon-tax-20130325,0,614758.story Cathie Anderson: Sacramento recycler sees businesses upgrading tech equipment. Look at the region's economy from the perspective of Arman Sadeghi, and you'll see a definite sign that the business outlook is improving. Sadeghi runs All Green Electronics Recycling, and government organizations and big corporations seek him out when they are ready to get rid of old technology and upgrade. "We actually buy their equipment from them," said Sadeghi, founder and chief executive of All Green. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/26/5292531/cathie-anderson-sacramento-recycler.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS The biggest fight over renewable energy is now in the states. Nowadays, a huge chunk of the action on clean energy in the United States is happening at the state level. Some 29 states and Washington D.C. have renewable energy standards requiring electric utilities to get a portion of their power from sources like wind or solar. Those state-level standards have played a big role in doubling the amount of renewable-energy capacity in the United States in the past four years. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/25/the-biggest-fights-over-renewable-energy-are-now-happening-in-the-states/ Senate Spurns Bid to Block Carbon Standards. The U.S. Senate cast key votes on the fiscal 2014 budget resolution Friday that sent a clear message on climate change: we won't stand in the way of executive action to cut the carbon pollution from our nation's power plants. The Senate also stood up for public health, rejecting a bid to poke an industry loophole in new standards to cut down on the mercury and other toxic chemicals in the air we breathe. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frances-beinecke/senate-spurns-bid-to-bloc_b_2948073.html The Ocean in a High Carbon Dioxide World. It's easy to take for granted the many ways that the ocean keeps us alive; it sustains much of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the climate that surrounds us. The complex ocean systems that produce these benefits -- from currents and photosynthesis to food chains -- are often chaotic and unpredictable at smaller scales, but at large scales they come together in a dynamic equilibrium to ensure that life can thrive. One of the ocean's most important life-giving functions is its absorption of carbon dioxide emissions. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andreas-merkl/the-ocean-in-a-high_b_2949725.html Making fuel fom air pollution. Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves a smaller carbon footprint. Now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. Posted. http://scienceblog.com/61806/making-fuel-fom-air-pollution/