Reinforcing mounting evidence that greenhouse gases in the U.S. are sloping down, the U.S. Energy Information Agency Aug. 14 released data showing that in 2011 energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide declined 2.4 percent in 2011. The tally marked the fourth year in the past six that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have fallen. The anomaly is that 2010 emissions climbed by 3.3 percent with improved economic conditions. At 526 million metric tons last year, carbon dioxide emissions were a full 9 percent below their level in 2005 before recession struck. EIA stated the 2011 decline \u201coccurred during a year of positive growth\u201d for the economy. While noting that year-to-year variations in weather and economic output help determine emissions, EIA attributed the declining trend in carbon dioxide to improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, abundant supplies of natural gas, and increased use of non-hydro renewable generation, as well as less use of coal power. * * * * * California stands to lose 25-30 percent of its oil refining capacity by 2020 under the state\u2019s carbon cap-and-trade program, according to Western States Petroleum Association executive director Catherine Reheis-Boyd. Five to seven of 14 refineries are expected to shut, she wrote to the California Air Resources Board Aug. 13, unless the state defines petroleum refining as a \u201chighly\u201d trade exposed industry, as it already has done for oil and gas extraction in California. Highly trade-exposed industries get 100 percent free carbon emissions rights under cap-and-trade in recognition they can\u2019t recoup the cost of emissions controls in their products. That\u2019s to prevent the same industries out-of-state from undercutting California companies because they don\u2019t face the same emissions control requirements. Medium- and low-exposed industries are to get less help. The emissions rights are to be transferred in part from utilities. CARB is considering increasing free emissions rights for trade exposed industries (Current, Aug. 3, 2012). * * * * * Gov. Jerry Brown wants climate change deniers to cut the crap. To that end, he introduced a new website Aug. 13: Climate Change: Just The Facts. In a statement, the governor\u2019s office observed that \u201cdespite overwhelming evidence to the contrary there are still recalcitrant skeptics who ignore the findings of climate scientists and assert that global warming is not a problem.\u201d The office went on to say that the \u201cwebsite debunks the claims of deniers and documents the serious impact of climate change on California.\u201d * * * * * The City of Long Beach is studying the potential to use the growth of its trees to gain greenhouse gas emissions rights and sell them as offsets under California\u2019s carbon cap-and-trade program. The city owns 393,000 trees, which cost about $2.5 million\/year to maintain. Facing a projected budget deficit of $17 million, Long Beach City Council member Gerrie Schipske and two of her colleagues introduced a motion Aug. 14 contending that the city may be able to raise the money needed for tree maintenance by registering its urban forest as an offset project under the state\u2019s cap-and-trade program. The city manager\u2019s office is to report back to the council on the feasibility of the idea. Tree planting and maintenance programs are eligible for carbon offsets since trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.