4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Greenhouse-gas emissions up in wake of San Onofre closure

New report expresses doubt state can meet 2050 pollution goals

Greenhouse-gas emissions in California were up sharply last year as compared to 2011, leading to doubts that the state will be able to meet an ambitious pollution target set in 2006.

Part of the problem is short-term in nature and can be traced to the sudden shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego County early in 2012. Loss of the plant's 2200 megawatts of power (equivalent to the output of four large-scale conventional power plants) caused the state to rely heavily on natural gas for electricity generation. While cleaner than the coal burned in other states, the immediate pollution is much higher than that of a nuclear operation.

A second culprit, suggests the National Resources Defense Council, is a decrease in hydroelectric power generation. After a particularly wet 2011 caused power generated through this low-pollution method to spike, a much drier 2012 brought about a drop in production almost equal to that caused by the shuttering of San Onofre.

While these setbacks do pose a problem in finding a long-term replacement to San Onofre's power, a study released November 4 from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests the state should still be able to meet a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as required by 2006 legislation. An executive order from then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger requiring an additional 80 percent drop by the year 2050, however, seems more daunting.

The Berkeley study considers three possible scenarios for every contributing factor to greenhouse-gas pollution: existing policies that have already drawn commitments from legislators and industry, proposals to more aggressively cut emissions, and anticipation of future technologies that will allow for even further reductions.

Even under the most optimistic scenarios, however, researchers say it's unlikely that the 2050 target will be met. The state's population is expected to expand as high as 50 million by mid-century, and new consumers will bring more demand for energy, as will the industries they'll be working in.

Back in San Diego, the challenge of reducing pollution while facing a rising population is facing similar problems. The San Diego Association of Governments, responsible for implementing a regional transit plan through 2050, has been under fire since 2011, when a lawsuit was filed against the plan's implementation. Plaintiffs Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity, with support from state attorney general Kamala Harris, point out that the local plan calls for increased pollution, rather than reductions.

The SANDAG case continues to wind its way through court, with the latest briefs for a state appeals court action after the government body's plan was struck down filed in early October.

The pressing nature of the report's implications seems to be lessened by the reaction of the agencies responsible for meeting the pollution goals.

"Even if we aggressively expand our policies and implement fledgling technologies that are not even on the marketplace now, our analysis shows that California will still not be able to get emissions to [target levels]," says Berkeley researcher Jeff Greenblatt in a release that accompanied the report.

"Building programs and putting them in place in concrete now for that purpose would really not achieve much," countered Dave Clegern at the California Air Resources Board in an interview with Capital Public Radio. Clegern says that he believes there's still plenty of time to make corrections to meet the pollution reduction goal.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Indicted Trump donor funded Doug Manchester hotel

David Alvarez scores with LA's Kilroy Realty and ambulance firm AMR
Next Article

John Ciardi: edged out by the Beat Generation

American poet and etymologist best known for his translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy

Greenhouse-gas emissions in California were up sharply last year as compared to 2011, leading to doubts that the state will be able to meet an ambitious pollution target set in 2006.

Part of the problem is short-term in nature and can be traced to the sudden shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego County early in 2012. Loss of the plant's 2200 megawatts of power (equivalent to the output of four large-scale conventional power plants) caused the state to rely heavily on natural gas for electricity generation. While cleaner than the coal burned in other states, the immediate pollution is much higher than that of a nuclear operation.

A second culprit, suggests the National Resources Defense Council, is a decrease in hydroelectric power generation. After a particularly wet 2011 caused power generated through this low-pollution method to spike, a much drier 2012 brought about a drop in production almost equal to that caused by the shuttering of San Onofre.

While these setbacks do pose a problem in finding a long-term replacement to San Onofre's power, a study released November 4 from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests the state should still be able to meet a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as required by 2006 legislation. An executive order from then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger requiring an additional 80 percent drop by the year 2050, however, seems more daunting.

The Berkeley study considers three possible scenarios for every contributing factor to greenhouse-gas pollution: existing policies that have already drawn commitments from legislators and industry, proposals to more aggressively cut emissions, and anticipation of future technologies that will allow for even further reductions.

Even under the most optimistic scenarios, however, researchers say it's unlikely that the 2050 target will be met. The state's population is expected to expand as high as 50 million by mid-century, and new consumers will bring more demand for energy, as will the industries they'll be working in.

Back in San Diego, the challenge of reducing pollution while facing a rising population is facing similar problems. The San Diego Association of Governments, responsible for implementing a regional transit plan through 2050, has been under fire since 2011, when a lawsuit was filed against the plan's implementation. Plaintiffs Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity, with support from state attorney general Kamala Harris, point out that the local plan calls for increased pollution, rather than reductions.

The SANDAG case continues to wind its way through court, with the latest briefs for a state appeals court action after the government body's plan was struck down filed in early October.

The pressing nature of the report's implications seems to be lessened by the reaction of the agencies responsible for meeting the pollution goals.

"Even if we aggressively expand our policies and implement fledgling technologies that are not even on the marketplace now, our analysis shows that California will still not be able to get emissions to [target levels]," says Berkeley researcher Jeff Greenblatt in a release that accompanied the report.

"Building programs and putting them in place in concrete now for that purpose would really not achieve much," countered Dave Clegern at the California Air Resources Board in an interview with Capital Public Radio. Clegern says that he believes there's still plenty of time to make corrections to meet the pollution reduction goal.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Joe Bell: nothing new from Mark Wahlberg

Piling on the prejudice
Next Article

La Jolla’s “Street of Dreams”

Curve along the sea cliffs of Lower Hermosa
Comments
1

Remember 2050 is 37 very long years from now and anything can happen before then, like ever more homeowners and business owners installing clean solar on their roofs! This energy replacement process could be greatly accelerated, especially if the CPUC gets proactive and makes the Big Utilities pay us the same amount they pay themselves for the energy that both we and the utilities generate! Stopping the solar energy rate rip off would enable all of us (not just Utility shareholders) to cash in on our great sunny weather.

Energy freedom will lead to ever lower GH gas emissions as electric vehicles replace both gas and diesel powered vehicles! Just imagine recharging your car with your own rooftop solar panels and still receiving a monthly payment from SDG&E for all the excess energy your house produces, think energy INCOME instead of energy bills...

Also, California is now only one nuclear reactor away from not having any operating nuclear power plants that could cause a meltdown like Fukushima, that is far more important than some futuristic GH gas number, because radioactive pollution could make a large portion of California, a wasteland like Fukushima!

Nov. 6, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close