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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 27, 2017. Posted: 27 Jan 2017 15:28:56
ARB Newsclips for January 27, 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 Exxon fought $10 carbon tax in Mass. Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson and officials at Exxon Mobil Corp. have repeatedly said they support a carbon tax to rein in greenhouse gas emissions. But Exxon in 2016 opposed two carbon tax bills in the Massachusetts Legislature, according to lobbying records. On the company's behalf, William Coyne, a Boston-based lobbyist, indicated on a disclosure… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049095 AIR POLLUTION Beijing smog inspectors on frontlines of war on pollution. Tougher law enforcement has reduced the number of environmental offenders in Beijing in recent years, but more companies need to adapt to the emissions standards in China's capital, its environmental inspection squad says. Graphic on air pollution in Beijing tmsnrt.rs/2hVMPCb. Beijing has been on the frontlines of a "war against pollution"… http://in.reuters.com/article/china-pollution-inspection-idINKBN15B0JD Air district will seek voluntary emissions cuts from ports, rail yards and warehouses. Proposed clean-air plan relies on industry cooperation, not rules. Southern California’s air quality agency is poised to approve a 15-year air cleanup plan that contains no emissions limits for the ports, rail yards or warehouse complexes that attract large numbers of ships, locomotives and big rig trucks. http://www.pe.com/articles/air-824144-district-pollution.html Guadalupe celebrates electrifying clean air milestone. A casual lunch conversation resulted in an electrifying idea that could reduce air pollution and put the city of Guadalupe on the electric vehicle charging map. On Thursday morning, Guadalupe leaders, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District and others gathered to dedicate the first electric vehicle charging station in Guadalupe. http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/guadalupe-celebrates-electrifying-clean-air-milestone/article_886c12c1-42cc-5385-a2b9-7d303d711843.html Why do some states require emissions testing? Getting your car checked for excessive emissions has been a part of the American driving experience since 1966, when California launched the first vehicle emissions testing program. However, emissions testing has never been required for everyone. As of 2017, 32 states have some form of emissions testing, but most require testing only in specific regions. Other states have no emissions testing at all. http://www.autoblog.com/2017/01/25/why-do-some-states-require-emissions-testing/ CLIMATE CHANGE British lawmakers urge May to tackle Trump on climate change. British lawmakers have written to Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to challenge U.S. President Donald Trump on his views on climate change when the two leaders meet on Friday. Trump has dismissed climate change as a "hoax" and vowed during his presidential campaign to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris Agreement designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-britain-climatechange-idUSKBN15B009 Trump Wants to Downplay Global Warming. Louisiana Won’t Let Him. “Mother Nature is threatening to kick our people out.” On a recent morning in Baton Rouge, a thousand miles from where Senate Democrats were jousting with Donald Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about whether humans are warming the planet… https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-26/trump-wants-to-downplay-global-warming-louisiana-won-t-let-him Top download from any federal site right now is Park Service report on climate change. The events of the past week have been worrying to advocates of government action on climate change, with the removal of climate priorities from the White House website, the order to freeze all Environmental Protection Agency contracts and the inauguration of a president who said he is “not a big believer”… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/01/27/the-top-download-from-any-federal-site-right-now-is-a-park-service-report-on-climate-change/?utm_term=.ef902e4c37cd What Trump Can and Can’t Do to Dismantle Obama’s Climate Rules. President Trump campaigned on sweeping promises to eliminate former President Barack Obama’s major environmental regulations and “get rid of” the Environmental Protection Agency. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump offered a down payment on those promises, with memorandums clearing the path to construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/us/politics/donald-trump-climate-epa.html?ref=energy-environment&utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=9cb1377e52-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-9cb1377e52-327747457 As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream. You might call it a Noah’s Ark for an era of melting polar ice sheets. An audacious plan to respond to climate change by building a city of floating islands in the South Pacific is moving forward, with the government of French Polynesia agreeing to consider hosting the islands in a tropical lagoon. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/world/australia/climate-change-floating-islands.html?_r=0 Doomsday clock changed partially due to climate change. The Doomsday clock changed partially due to climate change. Now, there's a way for folks to participate in the emission reduction plan for California, too. http://www.abc10.com/weather/doomsday-clock-changed-partially-due-to-climate-change/393872941 Canadian scientists offer support to muzzled US counterparts. For nine years under Canada’s previous government, science suffered harsh restrictions. Now US scientists may be facing a similar fate. Canadian scientists – who were muzzled for nearly a decade by the country’s previous Conservative government… https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/27/canadian-scientists-lend-support-to-muzzled-us-counterparts?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=9cb1377e52-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-9cb1377e52-327747457 Agency awaiting Pruitt plans to give climate awards. U.S. EPA will likely be led soon by a climate skeptic, but it's still planning to give out climate leadership awards to businesses and professionals at a Chicago ceremony later this winter. The agency is listed as the headline sponsor of a voluntary awards program to be held as part of the three-day Climate Leadership Conference on March 1-3. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049088 DROUGHT Nearly half of California is out of the drought. The latest winter storms were a big boost for California — for the first time since January 2014, no part of the state is in the worst category of drought, just 2 percent of the state is now in extreme drought, and almost 50 percent is no longer categorized as being in drought. That’s according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report… http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2017/01/26/54675/nearly-half-of-california-is-out-of-the-drought/ FUELS U.S. biofuels credits drop as EPA delay uncertainty grips market. Prices of paper credits used to meet U.S. biofuels standards dropped to over one-year lows on Wednesday, extending the previous day's slide on news of a government freeze that heightened uncertainty over the program. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a notice this week that the federal agency is delaying implementation of 30 regulations finalized recently by the Obama administration. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biofuels-idUSKBN1592GO TransCanada Submits New Application To Build Keystone XL Pipeline. The company that wants to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline says it has submitted a new permit application to the U.S. State Department. The TransCanada announcement came just two days after President Trump took executive actions to speed the approval process for both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/26/511892321/transcanada-submits-new-application-to-build-keystone-xl-pipeline?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=9cb1377e52-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-9cb1377e52-327747457 Ford CEO urged Trump to ease fuel economy standards. Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields yesterday said he is hopeful President Trump will soften fuel economy rules after meeting with automakers this week. Fields told the president he wants a "balance" between reducing carbon emissions — "which we're all for" — and jobs and affordability for customers, he said to investors in an earnings call yesterday. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049126 Emissions mitigation coalition fears BLM rule rollback. A group of companies with a financial stake in the Obama administration's strategy to reduce emissions on public lands are sounding the alarm on President Trump's likely attempt to walk back the Bureau of Land Management's methane rule. GOP lawmakers appear poised to strike down the BLM action to curb natural gas flaring, venting and leakage… http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049084 Irish parliament votes to divest from fossil fuels. Lawmakers split 90 to 53 in favour of ditching coal, oil and gas holdings from the €8 billion (US$9bn) Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. The bill, brought by independent representative Thomas Pringle, is expected to pass into law in the next few months after consideration by the finance committee. http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/01/26/irish-lawmakers-vote-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels/ Efficiency, not EVs, will make biggest dent in oil use — BP. Fuel efficiency will make a bigger dent in global oil consumption than electric cars as demand for transportation goes up, according to oil major BP PLC. In its latest forecast for international energy markets, the world's sixth-largest oil and gas company projected this week that the global gross domestic product would almost double over the next 20 years, but energy demand would only increase by 30 percent. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049098 VEHICLES Environmentalists challenge Metro leaders to buy all electric buses to curb climate change. Unbowed by proposals coming out of the White House to weaken climate-change initiatives, environmental and labor groups Thursday asked transportation leaders to double down on green energy policies by switching to zero-emission electric buses. http://www.dailynews.com/article/20170126/NEWS/170129544 Westminster council to become first to charge extra to park diesel cars. In trial aimed at cutting air pollution, diesel motorists parking in Marylebone will pay an additional 50%, or £2.45 extra an hour. Westminster will become the first council in the UK to charge drivers of diesel cars extra money to park as town halls across London battle air pollution. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/27/westminster-council-first-charge-extra-park-diesel-cars-air-pollution-emissions VW RECALL Volkswagen set to plead guilty in U.S. diesel emissions case. Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) is set to plead guilty on Feb. 24 in Detroit to three felony counts as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve an excess diesel emissions investigation, a court filing shows. As part of a $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. regulators, the German automaker has agreed to sweeping reforms, new audits and oversight by an independent monitor for three years to resolve diesel emissions cheating investigations. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-idUSKBN15A29J VW Executive, Hired to Help Overhaul Carmaker’s Culture, Is to Leave. Volkswagen’s head of compliance — an outsider hired to help revamp the German carmaker after its diesel deception — is to leave her job barely a year after joining the company. The unexpected departure of the executive, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, raises concerns about the automaker’s willingness to change ingrained practices… https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/business/volkswagen-germany-compliance-hohmann-dennhardt-diesel.html?mabReward=CTM&recp=1&moduleDetail=recommendations-1&action=click&contentCollection=Politics®ion=Footer&module=WhatsNext&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&src=recg&pgtype=article German prosecutors widen Volkswagen emissions probe. Prosecutors in Germany are expanding their probe into Volkswagen's scandal over diesel cars that cheated on emissions tests, increasing the number of suspects and saying they have evidence former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn may have known of the cheating earlier than he has claimed. The announcement raises the legal stakes for the former head of Germany's largest automaker. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-volkswagen-emissions-20170127-story.html GREEN ENERGY Elon Musk Has Trump’s Ear, and Wall Street Takes Note. The election of Donald Trump and the accompanying rehabilitation of fossil fuels should have been, by all rights, devastating for Tesla Motors. Tesla is the top maker of all-electric autos, and it completed its merger with SolarCity, a leading manufacturer of solar energy panels, days after the presidential election. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/business/elon-musk-donald-trump-wall-street.html?emc=edit_ca_20170127&nl=california-today&nlid=72714203&te=1&_r=0 Trump names Obama nominee as temporary top energy regulator. President Trump has named Cheryl LaFleur, a Democratic nominee, to be the acting chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the board announced Thursday. “It is an honor to again be asked to serve as Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and I thank President Trump for the opportunity,” LaFleur said in a statement. http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/316291-trump-names-obama-nominee-as-temporary-top-energy-regulator?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=9cb1377e52-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-9cb1377e52-327747457 IKEA to snap up 88MW Canada wind farm. Swedish furniture giant IKEA has struck an agreement with Canadian firms TransAlta and Teck Resources to buy an 88MW onshore wind farm in Alberta, Canada. The deal, announced this week, will see IKEA buy TransAlta's 51 per cent stake in the Wintering Hills wind farm for around CAD$61m and Teck Resource's 49 per cent stake for CAD$58.6m … http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3003446/ikea-to-snap-up-88mw-canada-wind-farm?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=da5c50357a-Clean_Economy_Wire12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-da5c50357a-327494049 MHI Vestas Unveils New 9 Megawatt Wind Turbine. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has unveiled its new 9 megawatt wind turbine which, in testing at the company’s Østerild broke the energy generation record over a 24 hour period. The continued development of offshore wind turbines continues apace, with the unveiling of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s latest offering. https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/27/mhi-vestas-unveils-new-9-mw-wind-turbine/?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=da5c50357a-Clean_Economy_Wire12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-da5c50357a-327494049 ePURE: More ambition needed to decarbonize EU transport. Europe needs a realistic mix of renewable energy solutions—including low-emission options such as sustainably produced European ethanol—If it wants to achieve its goal of decarbonizing EU transport, according to speakers at a debate Wednesday. Experts from the ethanol industry and the energy sector agreed at the POLITICO conference--“Decarbonizing Europe’s transport sector:… http://ethanolproducer.com/articles/14104/epure-more-ambition-needed-to-decarbonize-eu-transport US DOD to award $55M for advanced drop-in biofuels production; 10M gallons/year. The US Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RX) has issued a funding opportunity (FOA-RQKM-2017-0006) for up to $55 million to design, retrofit, construct, operate, validate and qualify domestic, commercial-scale, an integrated biorefinery(s) capable of producing bio-equivalent fuels suitable… http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/01/20170125-dod.html USGC releases corn, sorghum harvest quality reports. The U.S. Grains Council recently published the first two of its annual reports on corn and sorghum harvest quality, reporting that U.S. farmers produced an estimated 387 million metric tons (15.24 billion bushels) of corn in 2016, along with 12 million metric tons of sorghum. The USGC’s Corn Harvest Quality report includes information on corn use, ending stocks and a future outlook. http://ethanolproducer.com/articles/14106/usgc-releases-corn-sorghum-harvest-quality-reports Nev. to gain 200 MW of solar energy. NV Energy and Apple Inc. plan to build 200 megawatts of solar energy in Nevada by early 2019, the companies announced Wednesday. The project, which will supply renewable energy for Apple's data center in Reno, will build on NV Energy's existing 491 MW of universal solar resources in Nevada. NV Energy CEO Paul Caudill said in a statement that the project… http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049066 Sierra Club aims to retire 28 GW of coal generation in 2017. The federal government's alleged "war on coal" may have ended Jan. 20, but for the Sierra Club, the nation's largest environmental group, the fight continues. The group has set an ambitious goal for 2017 to negotiate the retirements of 28 gigawatts of coal-fired electric generation capacity by 2030 or sooner. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049072 MISCELLANEOUS No, California's environmental laws probably won't block Trump's border wall. With California’s political leaders in full resistance mode over President Trump’s executive order to build a wall on the Mexican border, Senate leader Kevin de León, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and others have floated an idea to try to stop it: the state’s famously stringent environmental laws. “If there’s severe environmental impacts on our border, we’re going to seriously look into it,”… http://www.latimes.com/politics/ ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE Climate regulator appoints environmental justice official. California's air and climate change agency yesterday announced a high-level appointment aimed at incorporating disadvantaged residents into its policies. The state Air Resources Board named Veronica Eady, a longtime environmental justice lawyer, as the agency's first executive officer for environmental justice. The state has faced opposition to its economywide cap-and-trade program from groups representing low-income residents and people of color… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/27/stories/1060049097 OPINIONS Human nature makes it easier to deny climate change than to confront it. At one point in the Senate hearing to confirm Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders asked the nominee to share his personal views about climate change. Pruitt, a longtime ally of the oil industry and bane of the EPA, repeatedly evaded the question, saying policy and law, not his personal views, are what will be important as he carries out his duties. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-deny-climate-20170126-story.html Where California is behind on climate change, and why Trump won’t help. California is leading the way on adapting to climate change, with sweeping laws and ambitious goals set by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase clean energy. But on one important measure, it’s behind some other states. Between 2000 and 2014, 32 states besides California grew their economies… http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/foon-rhee/article129073264.html#storylink=cpy Biofuels can solve ag crisis. Agriculture is suffering, and it’s only a matter of time before we all feel the repercussions. If we don’t fight, if we allow this to happen, this crisis will not only affect Iowa farmers but will cause a ripple effect throughout the Midwest, our urban cities and our entire nation. Plummeting farm income, falling land values and depressed commodity prices over the last few years threaten to undo the prosperity of the previous decade. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/01/26/biofuels-can-solve-ag-crisis/97089366/ No, a BMW 7 Series is not kinder to the atmosphere than a Tesla. A closer look at how much energy an EV uses. An attorney from Philadelphia, Power Line reader Martin Karo, wants you to know that Tesla drivers are smug, fact-averse liberals whose cars are worse for the planet than their gas-burning counterparts. It's something people feel the need to do from time to time, and it doesn't seem to be from a place of genuine concern for the environment. http://www.autoblog.com/2017/01/27/tesla-versus-bmw-7-series-emissions-co2-ev-gas/ BLOGS Chinese Scientist Blasts Trump’s Climate-Change Talk. A top Chinese climate scientist says it’s urgent that everyone makes sacrifices to fight global warming. A top Chinese climate scientist said it would be “foolhardy” of U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from the global climate-change agreement known as the Paris accords. A global-warming skeptic, Mr. Trump has vowed to cancel the accord… http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2017/01/27/0127cpollute/ How 21 kids could keep climate websites from going completely dark. Right now, anxiety is sweeping across the scientific community about the Trump administration's efforts to make climate data disappear. However, there are now a very special group of 21 young Americans, ages nine to 20, who are throwing a sizable wrench in the Trump administration's plans. Their lawsuit against the federal government and fossil fuel companies seeks to hold them accountable… http://mashable.com/2017/01/26/youth-climate-lawsuit-trump-website-removals/#AqVhVs0bPiq1 Hawaii’s largest solar park now online. The Hawaiian Energy Companies (HECO) has commissioned the Island’s largest solar park, the 27.6MW Waianae Solar project. The project broke ground in March 2016 with the array coming online mid-this month. It constitutes the largest in operation in Hawaii to date; generating enough clean electricity to power around 11,000 homes annually. http://www.pv-tech.org/news/hawaiis-largest-solar-park-now-online?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=da5c50357a-Clean_Economy_Wire12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-da5c50357a-327494049 California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.