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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 26, 2017. Posted: 26 Jan 2017 15:30:54
ARB Newsclips for January 26, 2017. 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. CAP AND TRADE Elon Musk Floated the Idea of a Carbon Tax to Trump, an Official Says. Tesla Motors Inc. founder Elon Musk is pressing the Trump administration to adopt a tax on carbon emissions, raising the issue directly with President Donald Trump and U.S. business leaders at a White House meeting Monday regarding manufacturing. A senior White House official said Musk floated the idea of a carbon tax… https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-26/tesla-s-musk-said-to-float-idea-of-a-carbon-tax-to-trump-ceos AIR POLLUTION Toxic air pollution report finds continued gains. The county adopted its latest “hot spot” report for toxic air pollution Wednesday, which found progress continues on limiting harmful emissions from industrial and government facilities. Cancerous and other dangerous air pollutants have been reduced by nearly 25 percent since 2009 and roughly 88 percent since 1989 when the program started, according to the most recent Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Report. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/environment/ Palo Alto teens ask city to test for vapor intrusion. Students from Gunn High School’s Investigative Medicine Club are again petitioning Palo Alto city officials to deal with toxins seeping from plumes into buildings. Brent Han asked the City Council on Monday to adopt a citywide vapor intrusion policy that requires testing when buildings are constructed or situated over toxic plumes. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/01/25/palo-alto-teens-ask-city-for-vapor-intrusion-policy/ Global Suppliers Achieve 434 Million Tonnes Of Emissions Reductions. A new report has shown that the world’s largest purchasing organizations, large private and public sector organizations, not only have the ability to drive down emissions across their supply chains, but are actually doing so, achieving reductions equivalent to 434 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2016. The new report was published by environmental data initiative… https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/26/global-suppliers-achieve-434-million-tonnes-emissions-reductions/ CLIMATE CHANGE U.S. government scientists go 'rogue' in defiance of Trump. Employees from more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have established a network of unofficial "rogue" Twitter feeds in defiance of what they see as attempts by President Donald Trump to muzzle federal climate change research and other science. Seizing on Trump's favorite mode of discourse, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-resist-idUSKBN15A0DI?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=942ae2935a-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-942ae2935a-327747457 South, southeast face Europe's most adverse climate change impact: agency. Southern and southeastern regions of Europe will face the continent's most adverse effects from climate change as heatwaves and droughts become more intense and frequent, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Wednesday. Climate change is causing more frequent and severe flooding… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-climatechange-idUSKBN15912K Climate change efforts under siege after Trump election -E.ON CEO. German utility E.ON, which owns billions of euros worth of wind parks in the United States, said global efforts to tackle climate change were suffering serious setbacks, singling out the election of Donald Trump as a key obstacle. "President Trump has clearly distanced himself from climate protection during his election campaign: for him it does not… http://www.reuters.com/article/e-on-ceo-trump-idUSL5N1FF1QC Trump’s Web Makeover Softened After Bureaucratic Backlash. The White House website no longer has a section on climate change. An EPA page that answered "common questions" about global warming is gone. And reports on greenhouse gas emissions have vanished from the State Department’s Internet site. But, six days into the administration of President Donald Trump, most references to climate change and carbon emissions remain on government web pages. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-26/trump-climate-pivot-takes-shape-in-overhaul-of-federal-websites Trump administration backs off plan to scrub climate pages from EPA website. The Trump administration on Wednesday backed away from plans to take down some climate-change information from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, which employees said had been planned for this week. But political appointees are exerting more oversight over the agency’s scientific communications. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/25/trump-administration-backs-off-plan-to-scrub-climate-pages-from-epa-website/?utm_campaign=942ae2935a-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Inside Climate News&utm_term=.542c33722901 California Eyes Climate Leadership Role, But Trump's EPA Holds A Key On Cars. California Gov. Jerry Brown is vowing to lead the nation on climate change, as the Trump administration pulls back. But the Trump administration could get in California's way. In his annual State of the State speech, California Gov. Jerry Brown had one key message about climate change: perseverance. "We cannot fall back and give in to the climate deniers," Brown said. "The science is clear. The danger is real." http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511480146/california-eyes-climate-leadership-role-but-trumps-epa-holds-a-key-on-cars Strangling a Huge Climate Policy Machine Won't Be Easy for Trump. In the early days of what appears to be a clampdown on federal agencies who do climate work, it's been a bumpy ride for the Trump transition team. If the Trump administration intends to strangle the flow of climate change information produced by the federal bureaucracy, it will be no small task. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/25012017/climate-change-bureaucracy-epa-donald-trump?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=942ae2935a-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-942ae2935a-327747457 Russia, Canada, Brazil record vast forest loss. Here is how to turn a forest into a carbon-consuming machine that will help contain global warming. Leave it alone. Let it grow. Do not log it. It will sequester only so much carbon, but there are sure to be other benefits, according to some fresh thinking by a distinguished plant ecologist. And is the world listening? Probably not. http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/01/26/russia-canada-brazil-record-vast-forest-loss/ One thing that will breach Trump's wall: climate change. Architects have called the border wall a "pharaonic project" and a misplaced infrastructure priority. Environmentalists say it will continue to cut off the flow of water and wildlife in a changing climate but is little more than political grandstanding that won't keep out people. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/26/stories/1060049011 EPA transition economist sees no role for carbon regs. An economist on the Trump administration's U.S. EPA team said today that he opposes using carbon taxes to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. Asked whether he supports any government regulations on carbon during a discussion at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, David Kreutzer replied, "Given the inefficiency of the… http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/01/26/stories/1060049062 Pruitt questions warming, leaves wiggle room on CO2 finding. EPA administrator nominee Scott Pruitt yesterday sent 242 pages of responses to questions from Democratic senators, doubling down on his stances that the severity of climate change is up for debate and that the agency he would run has overstepped its congressional mandate. In response to numerous general and specific questions about climate science… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/26/stories/1060049016 Clean energy leaders say Trump's coolness won't hurt. Carbon-free power and climate change may not be selling points for renewable energy under the Trump administration. But business leaders are betting that "Made in the USA" will resonate with a president committed to an "America first" energy agenda. Executives representing clean energy business and lobbying groups told an audience yesterday… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/26/stories/1060049002 Trump will accept climate change — Tom Brokaw. Television journalist Tom Brokaw believes that President Trump could soon begin to change his mind about climate change. Trump has so far remained skeptical about the scientific consensus behind climate change, going so far as to call it a Chinese-invented hoax. But Brokaw thinks that Trump is going to get a different perspective on the issue from the military. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/26/stories/1060048999 Exxon's Nod to Climate Change: A Board Member Who's an Expert on It. Naming atmospheric scientist Susan Avery to its board of directors may signal the oil giant will begin to take climate risks seriously. ExxonMobil has elected to its board of directors a prominent expert in atmospheric science, a move that some see as a sign the company is beginning to increase climate change considerations in its business plan. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26012017/exxons-nod-climate-change-board-member-who-studied-it?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=461e66377e-InsideClimate_News12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-461e66377e-327494049 DROUGHT Half the state has escaped the drought, feds say. Nearly half of California has escaped the drought, according to a federal estimate released Thursday. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor reported that 48.6 percent of the state is now drought free. That was up from 42.5 percent a week ago. All of Northern California is drought free, the estimate said, including the Sacramento area. Two weeks of rain and snow have helped ease drought conditions, adding to one of the wettest winters in years. http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article128876884.html#storylink=cpy Folsom Lake less than half full after recent rains. Residents ask: Why so dry? Northern California is on track to break rainfall records. Water has gushed through a weir into the Yolo Bypass floodplain at levels not seen in more than a decade. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is nearly double historical averages. But you wouldn’t know the region has experienced an exceptionally wet winter looking at the steep, dry shores ringing the Sacramento region’s … http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article128691044.html#storylink=cpy State gets deluge but still faces hotter, drier future. Rain deluged California over the past two weeks, coming so heavily that it triggered flooding, mudslides, power outages and crumbling cliffs. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a disaster area in 49 counties. The Golden State winter overall has been wet, with most reservoirs at or above historical averages. It sounds like good news for a state that has endured a historic drought. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060049032/search?keyword=california FUELS Irish lawmakers vote to divest from fossil fuels. Ireland could become the first country in the world to fully divest its sovereign wealth fund from fossil fuels, after a parliamentary vote on Thursday. Lawmakers split 90 to 53 in favour of ditching coal, oil and gas holdings from the €8 billion (US$9bn) Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/01/26/irish-lawmakers-vote-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels/?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=942ae2935a-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-942ae2935a-327747457 Canadian oil patch hopeful about Keystone XL. Published: Thursday, January 26, 2017 President Trump's attempt to expedite the Keystone XL pipeline angered opponents of the project. But the move pleased at least one key party: the Canadian oil patch. The battered Canadian oil industry reacted to Trump's directive with renewed hope for a friendly relationship with the incoming administration. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2017/01/26/stories/1060048985 FIAT/CHRYSLER (FCA) FCA in ‘intense’ talks with feds over diesel engines. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is in “pretty intense discussions” with federal regulators over claims that the automaker has been using emissions-cheating devices in its diesel-powered Ram 1500 pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee models, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne. He said the talks are “proceeding well,” and the company hopes that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency… http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/chrysler/2017/01/26/fca-earnings/97074556/ GREEN ENERGY Home of World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Maker Bypasses Trump Sphere. Denmark’s minister in charge of energy policy plans to head to the U.S. this year to talk to state representatives in an effort to promote wind energy despite open declarations of hostility toward the technology from President Donald Trump. Lars Christian Lilleholt, energy minister in Denmark’s minority center-right coalition… https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-24/denmark-to-seek-an-end-to-subsidies-for-offshore-wind-energy?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=3445e5aed4-Clean_Economy_Wire12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-3445e5aed4-327494049 N.Y. utility gives green light to largest project in U.S. A New York utility yesterday approved the largest-ever offshore wind project in America, and officials said it shouldn't add much more than a dollar to customers' monthly bills. The Long Island Power Authority, a public utility that reports to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), gave the green light to a 90-megawatt project off the South Fork of Long Island. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2017/01/26/stories/1060049007 Wind executive opens grid consulting group. One of Washington's top advocates for wind energy is ending a 12-year career at the American Wind Energy Association to launch a new consulting firm dedicated to building a more robust electricity grid. Rob Gramlich, AWEA's senior vice president of government and public affairs, said yesterday he views the grid as one of the greatest challenges facing the energy sector going forward. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/26/stories/1060049010 MISCELLANEOUS Trump Prepares Orders Aiming at Global Funding and Treaties. The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the United States’ role in the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/us/politics/united-nations-trump-administration.html?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=942ae2935a-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-942ae2935a-327747457 The EPA just delayed 30 environmental regulations created under Obama — here's what that means. The Environmental Protection Agency published paperwork Wednesday to delay 30 environmental regulations created under the Obama administration until March 21. All 30 regulations were written into the Federal Register before President Donald Trump took office and were due to go into effect before March 21. (Writing a regulation into the Federal Register is a step on the way to making it enforceable.) http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/The-EPA-just-delayed-30-environmental-regulations-10884013.php EPA Pick Pruitt Abandoned Environmental Protections in Oklahoma, Lawyers Say. Legal experts say Scott Pruitt did not pursue enforcement of environmental laws in favor of industries that were also among his biggest political donors. Environmental lawyers from Oklahoma joined the chorus of those pressuring U.S. senators to reject President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/25012017/scott-pruitt-epa-oklahoma-environment-oil-gas?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=461e66377e-InsideClimate_News12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-461e66377e-327494049 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE Agency releases Obama admin's environmental justice plan. The Department of Energy today released its environmental justice strategy for 2017 to help protect vulnerable populations from agency actions. The plan is dated January 2017 and signed by former Secretary Ernest Moniz. It's unclear how much weight it will have under the new administration. "The U.S. Department of Energy is a leader among… http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/01/26/stories/1060049056 OPINIONS The fledgling Trump administration has effectively declared war on environmental protection. On Tuesday, President Trump signed executive orders that took the first steps toward reversing two Obama administration rulings against oil pipeline projects. One of those rulings, by the State Department, rejected the application for the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries and shipping points in the United States. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-environment-battle-20170124-story.html BLOGS Trump infrastructure priority plan includes transmission, wind, energy storage. Dive Brief: •A 50-item list of infrastructure priorities compiled by the Trump administration and released by McClatchy and the Kansas City Star includes provisions for transmission expansion, wind and energy storage, among other power sector projects. •It is not clear if the $137 billion wish list is a draft or final version, the outlets reported… http://www.utilitydive.com/news/trump-infrastructure-priority-plan-includes-transmission-wind-energy-stor/434754/ SunShot $1 per Watt Solar Cost Goal: Mission Accomplished, Years Ahead of Schedule. U.S. utility fixed-tilt system pricing is below $1.00 per watt. How crucial was the DOE in reaching this milestone? With the advent of $1.00-per-watt (DC) pricing for utility fixed-tilt PV systems, the solar industry has crushed the SunShot Program's $1.00-per-watt goal for 2020 three years early. https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Sunshot-1-Per-Watt-Solar-Cost-Goal-Mission-Accomplished-Years-Ahead-of-S?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=3445e5aed4-Clean_Economy_Wire12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-3445e5aed4-327494049 Here's what you need to know about California's climate change deal. California Gov. Jerry Brown offered an energetic rebuke to the Trump administration’s "alternative facts" and "blatant attacks on science" in his State of the State address. The solidly blue state voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, prompting Brown to reflect on California’s place in a broader national context in a speech traditionally… http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jan/26/jerry-brown/heres-what-you-need-know-about-californias-paris-a/ It is 30 seconds closer to midnight. Over the course of 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity's most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons and climate change. The United States and Russia—which together possess more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons—remained at odds in a variety of theaters… http://thebulletin.org/it-30-seconds-closer-midnight10431 States Expected To Continue Course Toward Clean Energy Future. In Wyoming, Republican Gov. Matt Mead is counting on a state-funded research center set to open this year to find a way to produce energy from coal without releasing carbon dioxide into the environment. In Kansas, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is eyeing new wind farms to bring jobs and economic growth. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/states-expected-to-continue-course-toward-clean-energy_us_588a106be4b06558f8e94e91 Calls For Senators Feinstein and Harris to Reject Trump’s Climate Denier Cabinet. Two weeks ago, a sign-wielding crowd of 150 people gathered together in front of the downtown Federal Building to deliver an urgent message to California’s two Senators: reject four nominations made by President Trump to key cabinet-level level posts. Why? Because all four of these men deny the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change. http://sandiegofreepress.org/2017/01/san-diego-350-calls-senators-feinstein-harris-reject-trumps-climate-denier-cabinet/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.