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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 6, 2015. Posted: 06 Jan 2016 14:14:08
ARB Newsclips for January 6, 2015. This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. CLIMATE CHANGE The quest to hack trees and beat climate change. In the fight against climate change, trees are an ally. They suck in carbon dioxide, reducing the harmful greenhouses gases in our air. But there’s a problem — we’re asking them to work overtime. Trees can’t absorb enough of the carbon dioxide humanity is throwing at them, unless we turn every inch of available land into a dense forest… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2016/01/06/the-quest-to-hack-trees-and-beat-climate-change/ Poll: 70 percent believe in climate change. A new survey finds that 70 percent of Americans believe the climate is changing. The poll from Monmouth University, released Tuesday, found a stark partisan divide on most issues surrounding climate change, including whether it is happening, how serious it is and what should be done about it. http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/264767-poll-70-percent-believe-in-climate-change Earth is Experiencing a Global Warming Spurt. Cyclical changes in the Pacific Ocean have thrown earth’s surface into what may be an unprecedented warming spurt, following a global warming slowdown that lasted about 15 years. While El Niño is being blamed for an outbreak of floods, storms and unseasonable temperatures across the planet… http://www.climatecentral.org/news/earth-experiences-global-warming-spurt-19877 Biomass legal challenge fuels debate on its carbon footprint. New lawsuits from advocates of biomass energy challenging the Clean Power Plan expose a long-standing rift between the Obama administration and the industry over whether biomass can be considered renewable on par with solar and wind. The industry doesn't know exactly how carbon emissions from burning wood… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2016/01/06/stories/1060030179 DROUGHT El Nino Is So Last Year, Here Comes La Nina to Wreak More Havoc. As the effects of the most severe El Nino in almost 20 years still reverberate around the world, preparations are already under way for La Nina. Indonesia is set to distribute water pumps to farmers and assessing its rice stockpiles in anticipation of the weather event materializing in October, Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/el-nino-is-so-last-year-here-comes-la-nina-to-wreak-more-havoc South African Farmers May Seek International Aid as Drought Hits. South African farmers may seek international aid as the worst drought in decades threatens a regional food shortage, according to a farmers’ group. Farmers need as much as 20 billion rand ($1.27 billion), an estimate that will be revised after a more detailed industry assessment is completed at the end of this month… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/south-african-farmers-may-seek-international-aid-as-drought-hits California officials focus on water conservation amid storms. State regulators said Tuesday they are confident that residents of drought-stricken California will meet long-term water conservation goals but worried that the onslaught of storms dousing the state might lead to backsliding. “You’re seeing it rain and you’re hearing about a snowpack above normal,” … https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/california-misses-mark-for-saving-water-2-months-running/2016/01/05/d98c4890-b385-11e5-8abc-d09392edc612_story.html Bay Area receives another good soaking as El Niño delivers. When it comes to rainfall, January has been a dismal month in the Bay Area over the past three years as the drought-stricken region received a fraction of its normal amounts. The return of El Niño has the Bay Area off to a promising start, as the second in a series of storms arrived overnight Wednesday… http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_29350020/bay-area-receives-another-good-soaking-el-nino FUELS Despite Protests, Oil Industry Thrives Under Obama Agenda. The nation’s biggest fossil-fuel trade group delivered its annual state-of-the-industry report Tuesday. True to form, it included a whack at President Barack Obama’s policies -- even though oil and gas have flourished on his watch. U.S. oil production has surged 82 percent to near-record levels in the past seven years and natural gas is up by nearly one-quarter. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-05/despite-protests-oil-industry-thrives-under-obama-energy-agenda UPDATE 1-U.S. gasoline stocks surge most since 1993; crude draws down –EIA. U.S. gasoline inventories last week surged the most since 1993, overshadowing an unexpected slump in crude stocks, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Gasoline stocks rose 10.6 million barrels in the week ending Jan. 1 compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.3 million-barrel gain. http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL1N14Q1DC20160106 BA blames UK government for scrapping of £340m green fuels project. Groundbreaking plan to turn London’s rubbish into green jet fuel has been abandoned due to a lack of UK government support, airline says. British Airways says that it has been forced to shelve a groundbreaking £340m scheme to create 16m gallons of jet fuel from London’s rubbish every year, partly due to a lack of government support. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/06/ba-blames-uk-government-for-scrapping-of-340m-green-fuels-project VEHICLES Toyota Helps Dealers Hit by Diesel-Car Ban Pay Wages, Cut Stocks. Toyota Motor Corp. said it was supporting its dealers in Delhi after the Supreme Court refused to lift a three-month ban on new diesel-engine cars over 2,000 cubic centimeters in India’s capital. The company has taken back stocks of unsold cars and will… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/toyota-helps-dealers-hit-by-diesel-car-ban-pay-wages-cut-stocks India Riles Carmakers by Skipping a Step in New Emissions Rules. India’s Ministry of Road Transport & Highways will impose tighter vehicle emissions rules four years early, skipping a transitional step offered elsewhere, to combat intensifying pollution. New cars will have to meet Bharat Stage 6 regulations, equivalent to the European Union’s Euro 6 emissions norms, in April 2020… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/india-riles-carmakers-by-skipping-a-step-in-new-emissions-rules India Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Larger Diesel-Engine Vehicles. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz luxury unit was denied relief by India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case that put the luxury carmaker on the wrong side of a dividing line on diesel engines. Chief Justice T.S. Thakur maintained a ban on new diesel-engine cars over 2,000 cubic centimeters… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-05/india-supreme-court-keeps-ban-on-larger-diesel-engine-vehicles Rich Electric-Car Buyers In CA Face Mid-March Deadline For Rebates. Cash incentives offer an important way to encourage electric-car adoption, and California has one of the more generous programs. A $2,500 rebate for new battery-electric cars and a $1,500 rebate for plug-in hybrids have helped grow the number of electric cars on the state's roads. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1101709_rich-electric-car-buyers-in-ca-face-mid-march-deadline-for-rebates Lux: micro-hybrids will provide the most economical path for automakers to meet 2025 fuel efficiency targets. While battery-electric vehicles, super-light carbon fiber composites, and hydrogen fuel cells will all be available, a new report from Lux Research has concluded that micro-hybrids will provide the most economical route—$1,700 additional average vehicle cost… http://www.greencarcongress.com/2016/01/20160106-lux.html Tax Credit For Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles Extended By Budget Deal. The recently-passed Congressional transportation-funding bill contained many positives for electric-car advocates. It included the renewal of a home-refueling tax credit that covers electric-car charging stations, a provision for installing charging stations at government facilities, and other relevant items. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1101698_tax-credit-for-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-extended-by-budget-deal VW RECALL Volkswagen Vows to Find Solutions for Tainted U.S. Cars. Volkswagen AG vowed to emerge from the diesel scandal even as authorities in the U.S. toughen their stance. “We are confident we will find good solutions for the affected U.S. vehicles,” Herbert Diess, chief of Volkswagen’s namesake brand, said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “In recent weeks we’ve made significant progress.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/volkswagen-is-confident-it-can-fix-u-s-cars-in-wake-of-lawsuit http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2016/01/06/78344518/ Volkswagen's U.S. Sales Slump in December Amid Emission Scandal. Volkswagen AG managed to temper a December sales slump in the U.S. as it grapples with its diesel-emissions scandal. Just one day after the U.S. Justice Department sued the company for cheating on federal standards, the German automaker reported a 9.1 percent decline in deliveries of its namesake brand to… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-05/vw-brand-s-u-s-sales-fell-9-1-in-december-amid-diesel-scandal Justice Department alleges VW violated Clean Air Act. The Justice Department filed a civil complaint Monday against Volkswagen alleging nearly 600,000 cars with diesel engines in the U.S. violate emissions laws and that many were imported in violation of the Clean Air Act. The lawsuit was filed in Detroit on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which worked with the California Air Resources Board in exposing the violations last year. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/01/04/justice-epa-vw-clean-air-act/78262392/ Volkswagen Chief Tries To Put Diesel Debacle Behind And Look Ahead To An Electric Autonomous Future. Volkswagen’s attempts to navigate its way out of the scandal that has gripped the company for four months, tanked the stock and decimated U.S. sales is on full display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Before Herbert Diess, chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger cars brand… http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkiley5/2016/01/06/volkswagen-chief-tries-to-put-diesel-debacle-behind-and-look-ahead-to-an-electric-autonomous-future/ GREEN ENERGY Record wind investment to help 1,000 new turbines soar. United Wind Inc., a leading developer of distributed wind energy projects, has secured a record $200 million in funding from a Canadian investor, officials announced yesterday. The financing, from Forum Equity Partners Inc. of Toronto, is the largest investment ever made in a distributed wind energy firm and will allow… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2016/01/06/stories/1060030164 MISCELLANEOUS SolarCity to cut 550 jobs in Nevada. Solar panel installer SolarCity Corp said it would cut 550 jobs in Nevada, two weeks after the state's utilities commission approved changes that would reduce credits customers receive for selling excess solar power to the grid. The company, which has more than 13,000 employees, said it would relocate the affected workers to business-friendly states. http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL3N14Q4UA20160106 Arnold Schwarzenegger pumps up California’s clean energy debate. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to terminate the idea that California’s clean energy experiment has turned it into an economic wimp. The muscle-bound movie star, who’s now a climate change activist, argues it hasn’t. http://www.politifact.com/california/article/2016/jan/05/arnold-schwarzenegger-pumps-californias-clean-ener/ OPINIONS Must address ‘weather on steroids' Re: “Climate already in action” [Letters, Jan. 3]: I want to voice my support for Craig Preston: our weather is on steroids. The scientists who try to connect weather events to climate change freely admit that it is hard to identify long-term trends amid the noise of daily weather, but at the same time… http://www.ocregister.com/articles/weather-358519-ocprint-climate-government.html BLOGS Koch Brothers' 'Bankers' Sneak Anti-Wind Op-Ed Past the New York Times. In the run-up to the perennial debate in Congress over whether to extend a tax credit for the wind industry, The New York Times ran a provocatively headlined -- and misleading -- op-ed column denouncing it as corporate welfare. "Giving Billions to the Rich" was a broadside against Congress' end-of-the-year tax extenders package… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/koch-brothers-bankers-sne_b_8917064.html The Real Climate Change Hoax. As a performing magician, I naturally take a keen interest in deception. So it was also with a professional, not merely personal, interest that I watched the spectacular fraud perpetrated on the world's public in Paris last month, as political leaders from nearly 200 nations signed the first universal treaty to limit the carbon gases causing global warming. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-sanbonmatsu/the-real-climate-change-hoax_b_8920048.html Air Purifier Makers Breathe Easy in Delhi’s Pollution. Delhi’s low-quality air doesn’t produce many winners. The Indian capital’s pollution levels damage residents’ lungs, vex commuters and spook fitness freaks. But one group is breathing easier amid the toxicity: air-purifier makers. http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2016/01/06/air-purifier-makers-breathe-easy-in-delhis-pollution/ Why Each of Us Can Make a Difference in the Clean Energy Future. As the need for renewable energy becomes more pressing, some of the fiercest duels in the West are now being fought over where to put power lines, wind turbines, solar farms and other needed energy development projects. There is so much at stake in the beautiful landscapes of a place like Colorado that we must be careful to strike the right balance in siting these types of infrastructure. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-yarnold/why-each-of-us-can-make-a_b_8922224.html California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.