Southwest Gas agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty to the California Air Resources board for reporting its 2011 greenhouse gas emissions 320 days late under AB 32, California’s climate protection law. The law requires all covered companies to file annual emissions reports with the Air Board. Las Vegas, NV-based Southwest Gas provides gas to a million customers in the desert in California, Arizona, and Nevada. “Most California businesses are working hard to comply with new rules aimed at climate change,” said Air Board climate programs manager Steven Cliff. “Unfortunately, due to mistakes or inattention some companies failed to meet the standards.” The Air Board announced the fine Jan. 28. It noted that Chevron also is paying $693,000 in penalties for filing its 2011 emissions report late for two of its operations in California. * * * * * Approval for SCS Energy to build the Hydrogen Energy California facility, which would be the first power plant in California to capture and sequester carbon dioxide, could come as soon as mid-August. That’s under a revised licensing schedule the California Energy Commission issued Jan. 27. SCS plans to build the 400 MW project in Kern County. It would run on coal and petroleum coke. Occidental Petroleum would inject the captured carbon dioxide into the old Elk Hills oil field, which is nearby, to squeeze more petroleum out of the ground as part of its enhanced oil recovery operations. SCS has been seeking a license to build the project since fall of 2011. * * * * * The Brown administration pledged to “work with the Legislature” to co-fund projects and efforts that save both water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Three state agencies outlined the governor’s promise in the California Water Action Plan issued Jan. 27. The plan noted that population growth and climate change are increasing the “severity” of water supply shortages in California, as snow packs diminish and runoff patterns change. The plan outlines strategies intended to increase the ability of the state to deal with “more frequent and more severe dry periods.” The California Natural Resources Agency, Cal-EPA, and Department of Food & Agriculture prepared the plan.