By Published On: February 25, 2011

While the Western Climate Initiative is poised to lose New Mexico as a carbon cap-and-trade market participant, it may pick up another Canadian province. New leadership in New Mexico, which adopted a cap-and-trade system late last year, is moving to overturn the emissions trading program (Current, Feb. 18, 2011). Meanwhile, Manitoba--an initiative member--began taking public comments on whether it should move forward with a cap-and-trade program linked to other initiative member states and provinces. If it does, Manitoba would join California and New Mexico (at least for now), as well as the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec in forging a unified cap-and-trade market. The Western Climate Initiative includes the states of Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, as well as the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. * * * * * To boost alternative fuels and cut greenhouse gases and air pollution, the California Energy Commission Feb. 18 released a draft plan for spending money it collects under AB 118 from motorists. Spending for state fiscal year 2011-12 under the plan would include $8 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and another $8 million for natural gas vehicle fueling equipment. The Energy Commission plan also calls for $8 million to help set up a facility to turn bio-methane into transportation fuel. Other than that $24 million, total spending would be about $100 million. It would cover a wide variety of other alternative transportation fuel projects, including developing diesel fuel substitutes, promoting propane, and subsidizing alternative fuel workforce training and equipment manufacturing. * * * * * California can expect to see dramatic growth in the number of oppressively hot days in the decades ahead, the kind of days that drive demand for air conditioning, a group of academic researchers told the California Air Resources Board Feb. 17. According to the Kent State University team, oppressive days could climb from an average of 84 a year in Fresno to as many as 184 by 2090. Riverside could see the number of hot days increase from 103 to as many as 207. Even areas close to the coast in Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area can expect to see an increase in hot days from 43 to as many as 147 in El Toro, for instance, and from 55 to as many as 142 in Mountain View. The researchers warned this trend would increase the number of heat-related mortalities.

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