Archive for August, 2012
SACRAMENTO -University of California and California State Universities may have to pay $28 million dollar per year to offset their greenhouse gases.
Many business people blame the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill 32, as a cause that is demolishing the California economy and pushing industries to move out of state. This new program tries to shrink emissions and establish a market for carbon credits. Cap and trade program will help California business meet the mandated reductions for greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as authorized by the Global Warming Solutions Act.
Businesses the implement technologies to reduce emissions will require less carbon credits than those that don’t and will need to pay for additional carbon credits to meet 1990 emission mandate. These financial incentives will drive heavy industries and other big business to invest in cleaner technology.
Officials for both the UC and CSU systems noted that“ their institutions support reducing greenhouse gas emissions — but they have also pushed for legislative or regulatory changes that would relieve some of the financial burden of complying with the law.
“The University supports the creation of a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, but is concerned that it is being disproportionately impacted by the proposed cap-and-trade rule and that its compliance costs will ultimately be borne by students, researchers, and patients to the detriment of teaching, research, and healthcare activities,” wrote Anthony Garvin of the UC Office of the president in a 2010 letter to the California Air Resources Board, the entity responsible for implementing AB 32.
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar, whose district includes part of Orange County, said “We should not be saddling our institutions of higher learning with yet more costs that could be avoided,”
“Since 2008-09, the University has lost over $1 billion in State funding,” said UC spokeswoman Brooke Converse in an email. “On top of these absolute cuts, the University has had to address significant rising costs to the tune of about $350 million a year that the State would normally have funded. No amount of preparation for the AB 32 obligations could be adequate under these circumstances.”
There are about $6.3 million to $25 million was compliance in all UC system-$2.1 million to $ 8.4 million for UCLA, about $1.6 million, $6.2 million for UC San Diego, and, $718,000 to $2.9 million For UC Irvine-
Carbon market is not set yet but $10 to $40 per credit is expected.
There are five campuses and one medical center with enough greenhouse emissions to qualify for cap and trade. Who is next?
BRIAN JOSEPH (Aug. 20, 2012), THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, retrieved from http://www.ocregister.com/articles/million-369041-state-cap.html
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules Thursday that would further decrease legal limits for fine particle pollution — known as soot in the state’s air. Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said that “the new standard would save thousands of lives and an upward estimate of billions of dollars in healthcare costs”.
The current proposed regulations would decrease the amount of soot from the current standard of 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to a level between 12 and 13 micrograms per cubic meter in the air. Generally, this sort of soot comes from different sources such as diesel engines, power plants, and wood fires. The new standard regulation will be finalized by Dec. 14.
“The good news about today’s actions is that we’re already on the path for 99% of U.S. counties to meet the proposed standards without the need for additional state or local action,” said McCarthy on Thursday.
She claimed that” regulations and programs already in place are projected to bring soot levels down under 12 micrograms by the year 2020 in all but six counties nationwide, according to EPA projections. Several of these programs, however, including the recently announced Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, or MATS, are being challenged in court”.
“Updating these standards will protect us from the tiniest particles that can cause the biggest health problems. By limiting the smoke, soot, metals and other pollution our lungs and hearts absorb, EPA is protecting all of us from asthma attacks, lung cancer, heart disease and premature deaths,” said John Walke, clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement.
On the other hand, all environmentalists or trade groups were not satisfied with the news.
Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute declared that “EPA’s proposal could substantially increase costs to states, municipalities, businesses and ultimately consumers without justified benefits,” He continued that “companies will be reluctant to invest or build new plants or refineries in counties that cannot meet the new standards, thus taking an economic toll”.
McCarthy disagreed, saying, “In those few areas with specific, localized challenges, like old diesel engines around ports, rail yards or roadways or whether it’s wood stoves in valleys, EPA will partner with those communities by providing technical assistance or other voluntary initiatives – like our DERA (Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, which provides funds for clean diesel conversion) program – to help them to achieve clean air standards that others will be enjoying.”
“The six counties currently listed as projected to fail the new standard by 2020 include Riverside and San Bernardino counties in California; Santa Cruz, Arizona; Wayne, Michigan; Jefferson, Alabama; and Lincoln in Montana”.
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) urged EPA to take it down yet another notch to 11 micrograms/m3. “According to our ‘Sick of Soot’ report, jointly released with the American Lung Assn. and Earth justice, setting the annual standard at 11 micrograms/m3 would save an estimated 27,000 American lives more than under the current standard, and fully 12,000 more lives would be saved than setting a level of 12 micrograms/m3.”
McCarthy said that “A strong body of science, which includes hundreds of new studies, shows fine particles harm health”. “Particles smaller than 2.5 micrograms, which we call PM2.5, can penetrate deep into the lungs to cause premature death. This pollutant is also linked to a wide variety of serious health effects, including heart attack, strokes, aggravated asthma, and increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits. Exposure to particle pollution is estimated to cause tens of thousands of premature deaths each year.”
“The EPA estimates that the cost of implementing the new standards would range from $2.9 million to $69 million, with savings in health costs estimated from $88 million to $5.9 billion”.
McCarthy also said that regulations regarding visibility, or haze, and course particulate matter called PM10 would remain unchanged.