California

California’s Market for Hard-to-Verify Carbon Offsets Could Let Industry Pollute as Usual

Maureen Nandini Mitra and Michael Stoll, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 8 2013 - 2:21pm

Timber, dairy and chemical companies are lining up to sell  carbon credits, which regulators call “offsets,” to the largest California polluters so they can compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions. Many environmentalists say that because it is notoriously difficult to prove that such projects actually reduce the state’s overall carbon footprint, California should proceed slowly in approving a vast expansion of the cap-and-trade market. This story is part of a special report on climate change in the summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

European, U.S. Climate Policies Trail California’s

Chorel Centers and Kevin Forestieri, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 6 2013 - 5:31pm

As California pushes forward on a wide range of aggressive goals to curb its contribution to climate change, the same solution that’s the centerpiece of the state’s effort — a cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions — is moving forward in a big way on the international stage. The European Union voted Wednesday to strengthen the role of the continental cap-and-trade system. But, as the New York Times reported, the union is far from unified on the issue. Many fear cap-and-trade would burden the European economy — in part because the U.S. has failed to pass its own federal cap-and-trade scheme.

Carbon Storage Could Aid Climate, but at What Cost?

Lisa Weinzimer, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 3 2013 - 11:30am

While building a power plant in Southern California that buries carbon dioxide underground can help the industry meet California's greenhouse gas and gas reduction goals, local concerns regarding health effects and air pollutants challenge the project's environmental claims.

This story is part of a special report on climate change in the Summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

Mapping California’s Biggest Polluters

Darin Jensen, Mike Jones and Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 2 2013 - 3:59pm

Carbon dioxide, as everyone knows, is invisible. But with a little mapmaking magic, the greenhouse gas comes into sharp view in a rainbow of colors, and shows clearly how and where California contributes to global warming. California’s cap-and-trade program requires the largest emitters of greenhouse gases to pay to pollute. Each metric ton of carbon dioxide (or other greenhouse gas equivalent) requires an “allowance,” with the total supply (the “cap”) falling each year. These maps show the largest emitters. This is part of a special report on climate change in the Summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

California Eliminating ‘Wasteful’ Enterprise Zones

Miguel Sola Torá and Yoona Ha, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 1 2013 - 4:17pm

Enterprise zones — which were created to offer tax breaks for companies creating jobs in economically depressed areas of the state — are on the way out in California, to  be replaced by a range of more targeted incentives. The current program came under scrutiny for soaring costs and the proliferation of businesses that legislators said did not need the generous tax credits they were collecting.

Years of Lobbying Helped Transportation Fuels Industry Win Exemptions From California’s Climate Rules

Ambika Kandasamy and Barbara Grady, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 25 2013 - 11:20am

For four years oil companies, airlines and ground transportation industry groups have petitioned California for exemptions from the state’s cap-and-trade greenhouse gas market, saying consumers would take the hit through higher prices at the pump and in stores. And in court they are still arguing that the state lacks the regulatory authority to compel participation. To a degree, they have succeeded. This story is part of a special report on climate change in the summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

California’s Hunger for Low-Carbon Power Could Hurt Other States

Lisa Weinzimer and Ambika Kandasamy, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 19 2013 - 3:11pm

California’s effort to ensure that the state receives low carbon electricity could end up increasing greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere in the country, thanks to a practice known as contract reshuffling.Importing low-carbon electricity from out-of-state suppliers of renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower is one way California’s electric utilities can decrease their carbon emissions.

This story is part of a special report on climate change in the Summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

Governor’s Raid on Greenhouse Gas Pollution Fund Sets Back Environmental Groups

Chantal Jolagh, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 17 2013 - 3:37pm

Environmental and community groups are looking for ways to replace the $500 million for energy conservation, transportation and other green programs that Gov. Jerry Brown persuaded the Legislature in mid-June to borrow to balance the state budget. 

State Homeless ‘Bill of Rights’ Put on Hold Until Next Year

T.J. Johnston, San Francisco Public Press — May 30 2013 - 3:41pm

A “homeless bill of rights” in California must wait until next year for a vote in the full Assembly after clearing its first hurdle.  Advocates say the legislation would protect homeless people from local enforcement of so-called “quality of life” laws, and specify homeless people as deserving of protection in the state’s antidiscrimination statutes.

With California Carbon Cap-and-Trade Program Launch, Experts Debate Economic Side Effects

Barbara Grady, SF Public Press — Nov 15 2012 - 4:56pm

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, California’s potentially revolutionary carbon cap-and-trade program launched in a humdrum fashion. Numbers began appearing on a secure Web site accessible to the biggest oil exploration companies, manufacturers, utilities, state regulators and independent monitors. No one outside of this select group got to see its inner workings. But the event marked a new phase in the state’s pioneering effort to halt climate change: actual dollars traded for permits to emit carbon dioxide.

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