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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 25, 2014

Posted: 25 Feb 2014 12:36:50
ARB Newsclips for February 25, 2014. 

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.


$330M spent at California carbon-permit auction. State officials
say California's latest carbon-permit auction has raised nearly
$330 million. The Sacramento Bee reports industrial firms and
others bought emissions allowances that can be used this year and
in 2017. At the auction on Monday, the 2014 allowances sold for
$11.34 per ton, while the 2017 permits went for $11.38. Posted.

LAO Examines Gov. Brown's Plan To Spend Cap-and-Trade Money. A
new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office looks at how
California Governor Jerry Brown wants to spend money raised from
the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program known as
cap-and-trade. The report found “significant uncertainty” that
Brown’s plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the degree
he claims.  Posted.

Calif. watchdog says Gov. Brown's proposal for spending
cap-and-trade dollars is flawed.  Doubts exists about whether
Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) proposal for spending $850 million in
revenue from the state's carbon emissions trading program will
shrink greenhouse gases in the most efficient way, California's
legislative watchdog warned yesterday. The Legislative Analyst's
Office (LAO) in an analysis said that key questions remain
unanswered as California decides for the first time how to spend
money from its fledgling cap-and-trade program. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995054/print BY

6th carbon auction nets $130M for state coffers. California's
latest auction of greenhouse gas credits sold out again,
evidencing strong demand for allowances to cover companies' CO2
emissions through at least 2017. The auction, held on Feb. 19,
fetched $11.48 per ton for credits covering the current year's
emissions, 14 cents above the pre-set floor price of $11.34 per
ton. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995055/print BY

Nearly half of RGGI carbon proceeds have gone into efficiency –
report. Investments in energy efficiency programs account for the
lion's share of what's become of carbon auction revenue from the
Northeast's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, according to an
internal report on the regional cap-and-trade market released
yesterday. RGGI staffers estimated that of the $984 million in
CO2 allowance auction proceeds collected by nine states from 2009
to 2012…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995030/print BY


Colorado governor to tout air pollution rules.  Colorado's
governor is taking a victory lap to celebrate adoption of new
air-quality controls on the oil and gas industry. The rules mark
a major compromise between environmentalists and large energy
producers. Gov. John Hickenlooper plans to tout the compromise
Tuesday afternoon. The rules include the nation's first statewide
limits on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.


For the Supreme Court, a Case Poses a Puzzle on the E.P.A.’s
Authority.  In trying to decide whether the Environmental
Protection Agency has the authority under two programs to
regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like
power plants, the Supreme Court on Monday faced what Justice
Elena Kagan called “the conundrum here.” One part of the Clean
Air Act, she said, seemed to require that such emissions be
regulated. But another part set the emission thresholds so low
that even schools and small businesses would be covered. Posted.

Swarm of volcanic eruptions may have slowed global warming. An
unusual swarm of volcanic eruptions over the past 14 years may be
partially responsible for the slowing of global warming, a new
report suggests. The 17 eruptions from 1998-2012 pumped sulfur
dioxide into Earth’s upper atmosphere, where it formed liquid
particles that reflected more sunlight back to space, moderating
the larger scale warming of the planet surface…Posted.

US Supreme Court Considers Environment, Presidential Power. An
environmental case now before the U.S. Supreme Court could have
constitutional implications for the powers of the presidency. 
The nine-member Supreme Court appeared divided Monday during oral
arguments in a case related to the power of the federal
government to limit greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global
warming. Posted.

U.S. measures slight uptick in super greenhouse gas emissions.
The replacement of ozone-depleting substances has led to a 6
percent rise in the carbon-equivalent rate of hydrofluorocarbons,
gases with thousands of times the global warming capacity of
carbon dioxide, according to U.S. EPA's draft inventory of
greenhouse gas emissions and sinks from 1990 to 2012. Over the
last three decades, the agency has made an effort to substitute
out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995042/print BY

Longer growing seasons may not expand trees' ability to store
carbon. Chronic water stress could reduce the carbon capture and
storage capacity of deciduous forests in the United States by as
much as 17 percent over coming decades, according to Indiana
University biologists who are studying the relationship between
climate change and forest health. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995035/print BY

No sign of NEPA climate standards 4 years after CEQ guidance.
Standards to guide federal agencies in using the National
Environmental Policy Act to address greenhouse gas emissions and
climate resiliency have been on the to-do list of President
Obama's Council on Environmental Quality for several years. CEQ
proposed a draft guidance four years ago, but after a public
comment period the draft all but vanished, and the White House
office isn't offering clues about where it went -- or whether it
might re-emerge.  Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059995082/print BY


Two storms bearing down on L.A.; up to 4 inches of rain possible
-- The storms could produce the most significant rain that the
region has seen in nearly two years. Posted.
Bay Area water agency may start Sacramento River diversions --
For the first time ever, a Bay Area water agency plans to use its
water rights on the Sacramento River this year to help its
customers survive the ongoing drought. Posted.

Santa Clara Valley Water District considers seeking 20 percent
reduction -- Declaring that California's historic drought is
worsening, leaders of Silicon Valley's largest drinking water
provider on Tuesday will consider asking the public for a 20
percent reduction in water use, double what the agency first
requested last month. Posted.

Mandatory 50% water cutbacks ordered by Russian River district --
Ukiah Valley residents, businesses and farmers will be required
to cut their dependence on Lake Mendocino water by half beginning
next month. Posted.


Clovis firm wins $1.6 million high-speed rail subcontract.  A
Clovis firm has landed a $1.6 million contract to work on designs
for relocating utilities on the first high-speed rail
construction section in the Madera-Fresno area.  Blair Church &
Flynn Consulting Engineers will be a subcontractor to the prime
contractor, Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, on the 29-mile stretch
of the proposed bullet-train line.  Posted. 

Biden gives a public nod to California's high-speed rail project.
 Vice President Joe Biden gave a hat tip to Gov. Jerry Brown's
high-speed rail efforts on Monday night.  Biden appeared as a
guest on Seth Meyers' debut episode as the new host of "Late
Night." When Meyers turned the conversation to trains, Biden, an
admitted "train guy," said he thought people around the country,
and not just on the Eastern Seaboard, were beginning to
understand how efficient travel by rail could be.  Posted. 


Japan Pushes to Revive Moribund Nuclear Energy Sector.  The
government of Shinzo Abe made its biggest push yet to revive its
nuclear energy program on Tuesday, announcing details of a
national plan that designates atomic power as an important
long-term electricity source. The new Basic Energy Plan, which
states Japan will push to restart reactors closed in the wake of
the Fukushima disaster and suggests it might build new

Los Angeles City Council to consider moratorium on fracking.  A
Los Angeles City Council committee today will consider imposing a
moratorium on fracking and other methods used to force oil and
natural gas out from deep underground. The Planning and Land Use
Management Committee will take up a proposal to ban hydraulic
fracturing, which entails injecting a water and chemical mixture
into rock formations at high pressures, creating cracks to
release natural gas or oil. Posted.

Cows' methane emissions trump gas operations in latest EPA
greenhouse gas inventory. The cattle industry topped the natural
gas sector as the primary methane-emitting sources in the U.S. in
2012, even as greenhouse gas emissions from the nation overall
decreased by 3.3 percent. The reductions were in part due to
power plants using natural gas, which is a cleaner fuel than
coal, as their fuel source. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059995037/print BY


EU parliament backs tougher car emissions limits. Members of the
European Parliament voted through the world's toughest carbon
dioxide standards for new cars on Tuesday, prompting a cautious
welcome from environmental campaigners. The new rules set a limit
of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (g/km) as an average
across all new cars sold in the EU, compared with an existing
limit of 130 g/km. Posted.

Electric Cars Alone Won’t Drive a Drop in U.S. Emissions: Study.
Electric cars can help limit reliance on imported oil and take a
bite out of air pollution from urban traffic jams. But as
sure-fire ammunition against climate change, a new study finds,
they come up short. The study attempted to take a big-picture
view, analyzing the ripple effects of electric vehicles on the
U.S. energy system, including possible changes in emissions of
key air pollutants like heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Posted.

Pricey Hydrogen Cars to Challenge Electric.  Under pressure from
regulators, several auto makers are preparing to roll out
emissions-free cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells instead of
gasoline engines.  Three car makers have disclosed plans to lease
a small number of new vehicles in California and in a few
countries in Europe by the end of next year.  Posted. 


Wind Project on Tribal Land Dies Quietly. It's official: a wind
power project that would have generated up to 250 megawatts of
power with as many as 85 turbines in the San Diego County
backcountry is off the table. The Shu'luuk Wind Project, proposed
by the firm Invenergy for up to 4,000 acres of the Campo Indian
Reservation, suffered a mortal blow last June when the tribe's
General Council voted 44-34 to oppose the project. Posted.

California Approaches 4 Gigawatts of Utility-Scale Solar Output.
As the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System seems to slowly
come online, California is setting new peaks for solar power
generation. A record of just over 3,600 megawatts in peak solar
power output reached on Friday seems to have already fallen. On
Friday, the state's utility-scale solar facilities contributed
24,183 megawatt-hours of power to the state's grid…Posted.

New power lines will make Texas the world's 5th-largest wind
power producer. The next big Texas energy boom does not involve
tight gas formations in the Barnett Shale, or deepwater oil and
gas in the Gulf of Mexico. While fossil resources continue to
draw high interest from energy developers and investors in the
Lone Star State, Texas' hottest energy prospect is wind power in
West Texas and the Panhandle. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059995041/print BY


Insecticides linger in homes, study finds. The insecticides found
in roach sprays, flea bombs, ant traps and pet shampoos persist
indoors for years after use and collect in the bodies of both
adults and children, for whom they may pose health risks, a new
UC Davis study has concluded. Levels of the insecticides – called
pyrethroids – were found in a majority of the 173 children and
adults tested from 2007-09 in Northern California. Posted.

Pesticide regulators tighten cap on cancer-causing fumigant.
California pesticide regulators have placed a new limit on a
fumigant used by Santa Cruz County farmers to purge fields of
pests and disease before planting. The use of
1,3-Dichloropropene, commonly known as 1,3-D or by the brand name
Telone, has increased in berry production in recent years as the
fumigant methyl bromide is phased out under an international
treaty. Posted.

An Environmental Film Festival and High-Tech Music.  This annual
festival dwells on risks and threats to humans and other animals.
Erratic weather “goes very quickly from being a local economic
problem” to “a global security problem,” we hear in “Extreme
Realities,” narrated by Matt Damon, which looks at the
consequences of climate change. Some films assess the risks of
chemicals in batteries, furniture and household products. Posted.


Emissions: A Cool Assessment of a Hot-Button Issue. U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry attracted some attention last week
by describing climate change as “perhaps the world’s most
fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Another part of his
remarks, though, was just as revealing. After saying we should
not listen to those who deny that human activity is warming the
globe, he said: “Nor should we allow any room for those who think
that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the
benefits. Posted.

Profit From Global Warming or Get Left Behind. Last month, I
wrote about global warming in the context of investment
opportunities. As part of that discussion, I mentioned McKenzie
Funk’s new book, ``Windfall: The Booming Business of Global
Warming.'' I thought framing the financial opportunities of this
might bypass the usual agnotology and political foolishness. To
quote: ``This debate is no longer about whether global warming is
real (it is) or whether humans are the most likely cause (you
are), but rather…Posted.

At the Supreme Court, a royal mess for ‘King Barack’ It has the
makings of a royal mess for “King Barack.” Monday morning’s
Supreme Court argument about the Environmental Protection
Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases went badly for
the Obama administration — so much so that the real question
before the justices seemed to be how severe the EPA’s loss would
be. Posted.

Tougher efficiency standards for trucks makes sense. SOME OF
President Obama’s unilateral actions may raise legitimate
concerns, even for those who believe this Congress is noxiously
unproductive. But his demand that cars and trucks use less fuel
raises no such question. The president’s plan rests on a
­rock-solid legal foundation. It’s also the right thing to do
while lawmakers dither on climate change. Posted.

The EPA’s strong case for regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
AFTER CONGRESS failed to pass a comprehensive climate change bill
in 2010, the Obama administration shifted its approach to cutting
greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of waiting for a fresh
environmental law tailored to slashing carbon dioxide, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would do as much as it
could with the power the Clean Air Act gave it decades ago.


Latest cap-and-trade auction brings in nearly $300M. The latest
cap-and-trade auction of carbon credits in California brought in
nearly $300 million, according to the Sacramento Bee. It was the
sixth auction since the California Air Resources Board began
overseeing auctions in late 2012, according to the Bee. About
$1.54 billion has been spent on the credits used to offset
greenhouse gas emissions. Posted.

Carbon Auction Results Show Stability Amidst Eventful Time for
Cap and Trade. It’s early in 2014, but it’s already been a busy
year for cap and trade in California. On the upside, several
major developments have set off a series of conversations around
the state’s landmark program, including Governor Brown’s plans
for how to invest cap-and-trade auction proceeds to reduce
greenhouse gas pollution. Similarly, the California Air Resources
Board just released an update to the state’s AB 32 Scoping

Pollution Bad, but Hard to Tell How Bad, Experts Say.  Leaders of
the World Health Organization say they are concerned about the
air quality and health effects on citizens amid a recent bout of
heavy pollution in Beijing.  Still, they said they were unsure of
the specific toll air pollution takes on any one person’s body,
casting doubts on local reports tying the region’s dirty air to
particular cases of illness.  Posted. 

Psychology can wipe out 20-25% of your EV's range.  There are two
primary takeaways from a recent study of electric-vehicle driving
habits in Germany. One: an electric vehicle with 25 percent of
its battery charge left creates the same reaction in drivers as
the fuel needle on "E" in a gas-powered car. Two: familiarity
breeds comfort.

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.

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