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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 3, 2017. Posted: 03 Feb 2017 15:32:57
ARB Newsclips for February 3, 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 Is California climate law worsening pollution in communities of color? California’s main tool for fighting climate change is at a crossroads. Gov. Jerry Brown sees the so-called cap-and-trade system of buying and selling pollution permits as key to cutting greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by 2030. The California Chamber of Commerce calls it an illegal tax… http://www.scpr.org/news/2017/02/02/68616/is-california-climate-law-worsening-pollution-in-c/ 2017 Legislative Preview: Cap-and-trade hits lawmakers’ agenda. Last year brought the momentous passage of the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan. Is the Legislature up for another big energy bill? We’ll find out, as environmentalists and clean-energy advocates push for a cap-and-trade style program for Oregon. A pre-session bill by Sen. Lee Beyer, a Springfield Democrat, would set up a carbon market… http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2017/02/03/2017-legislative-review-cap-and-trade-hits.html State punts on deciding if cap and trade hurts the poor. A long-awaited report by California officials into the effects of the state's economywide cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases finds more data are needed to tell whether it harms disadvantaged communities. The report, released yesterday by California EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, aimed to explore the question of whether cap and trade allows emissions… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/03/stories/1060049511 AIR POLLUTION Foreign flights to slip under the radar of EU emissions limits. International flights in and out of the European Union could be exempted from emissions limits for at least another four years to give the United Nations time to implement a global system to curb pollution from planes. The EU proposed extending the exemption, which was set to end at the start of 2017, on Friday to avoid a repeat of tensions when it tried to include all flights in 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-carbon-aviation-idUSKBN15I1CV Air pollution levels on cruise ships could be dangerously high, warns German study. Is the air on a cruise ship more toxic than the air we breathe on land? A German environmental association, Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), has found that passengers could be inhaling “60 times higher concentrations of harmful air pollutants” than they would in natural air settings. http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/02/03/air-pollution-levels-on-cruise-ships-could-be-dangerously-high-warns-german-study.html SOMETHING IN THE AIR What is toxic air pollution, where in London has the worst smog and why have people been warned to stay indoors? Londoners were warned the air pollution could raise to "high" in parts of the capital for a number of days LONDON is on high alert after a number of severe smog warnings throughout the capital. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last week issued a warning… https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2655590/toxic-air-pollution-london-smog-stay-indoors/ House scraps methane standards after Senate kills SEC rule. The House today voted to scrap a Bureau of Land Management rule that seeks to curb greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas flaring, venting and leakage on public and tribal lands. The resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 36, passed by a 221 to 191 vote. Three Democrats voted for it and 11 Republicans against. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/02/03/stories/1060049534 CLIMATE CHANGE House votes to overturn Obama rule on natural gas 'flaring'. The Republican-controlled House voted on Friday to overturn an Obama administration rule that sought to reduce harmful methane emissions into the environment, part of the Democratic president's campaign to combat climate change. Lawmakers voted 221-191 to roll back the Interior Department rule that had clamped down on oil companies that burn off… http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONGRESS_OBAMA_RULES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Republicans Try a New Tack on Climate Change. Not long ago, many Republican officeholders had a simple answer when asked about the changing climate: What changing climate? But the public began to notice the heat waves and the torrential rains and the tidal flooding. So then we had the “I am not a scientist” phase, with one lawmaker after another fending off climate questions with that formula. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/science/climate-change-republicans.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0&utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=1a32cd29ff-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-1a32cd29ff-326457957 Fresno State faculty members sign climate change letter to Trump. Nearly three dozen Fresno State faculty members have joined 2,344 California college professors who signed an open letter to President Donald Trump calling for sustained action on climate change. The letter also urged the president to stand by the country’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as outlined in the Paris Climate… http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article130348704.html#storylink=cpy Sweden criticises US climate stance as it reveals ambitious carbon emissions law. Prime minister Stefan Löfven calls the Trump administration’s approach worrying as he announces new law binding future governments to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045. Sweden has criticised the Trump administration’s approach to climate policy as it announced legislation binding future governments to a goal of phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045… https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/03/sweden-criticises-us-climate-stance-as-it-reveals-ambitious-carbon-emissions-law Climate Change Causes Fundamental Shifts in the Chemistry of Mountain Soil. New research says the changes will likely displace some plants altogether and dramatically shift the range of others. A warming climate will fundamentally change the chemistry of mountain soils by shifting the balance of nutrients, visibly disrupting fragile, high-elevation ecosystems of grasses, flowers and trees within decades. https://psmag.com/global-warming-is-changing-mountain-soils-8b527fe1b7ec#.778j3avn4 Bush-era climate figure a finalist for No. 2 slot. A leading candidate for the State Department's No. 2 slot is a George W. Bush-era diplomat who played a small role in laying the groundwork for the Paris climate deal. Paula Dobriansky led the U.S. delegation in 2007 to U.N. climate talks in Bali, Indonesia… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/03/stories/1060049505 'It's a mystery' if Trump Ag pick will address climate. Two weeks into the Trump presidency, farmers, academics and lawmakers remain uncertain about the new administration's view of the Department of Agriculture, in part because its designated chief has questioned climate science. Under the leadership of former Secretary Tom Vilsack, USDA expanded resilience to climate change in farming communities… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/03/stories/1060049507 Save wetlands or they'll burp carbon, experts say. Coastal wetlands are among the best marine ecosystems to fight climate change, new research confirms. A study published this week in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment compared the carbon sequestration potential of a handful of marine ecosystems and found that mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass meadows have the greatest impact on climate change. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/03/stories/1060049509 DIESEL ACTIVITIES Truckers Sue CA Again, Claiming Air Filter Puts Public Safety at Risk. A group of Golden State trucking companies and others filed a lawsuit in Sacramento County against the California Air Resources Board for the second time, alleging diesel particulate filters cause truck fires. On February 9, 2016, Kieth Daniels could only watch as his beloved 2009 Peterbilt truck burned. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Bay-Legal-Truckers-Sue-CA-Again-Claiming-Air-Filter-Puts-Public-Safety-at-Risk-412624733.html#ixzz4XenohE92 http://www.dailyprogress.com/california-truckers-file-lawsuit-against-engine-filter-rule/article_853dce6b-e271-57ac-b6f7-3488f7b9007d.html FUELS Pipeline projects in limbo as energy commissioner departs. Major natural gas pipeline projects along the East Coast and Midwest face uncertainty as the federal agency that oversees the work loses a commissioner and will be unable to decide on projects indefinitely under President Donald Trump. Democrat Norman Bay is stepping down Friday from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, leaving the five-member panel with just two commissioners, one short of the number needed to form a quorum. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRUMP_PIPELINE_AGENCY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT VEHICLES Clean cars could tank oil prices by 2025 — report. Energy companies and analysts are ramping up their long-term projections for electric vehicles because of falling costs and expanded range — but forecasts still vary widely. The trend speaks to the uncertainty surrounding the technology, which all major automakers have endorsed, despite seeing sales consistently fall below expectations in the short term. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/03/stories/1060049510 GREEN ENERGY For clean energy, a hazy path ahead under Trump. When Oakland-based green business analyst and author Joel Makower wrote up his annual report on the clean energy industry, he had Donald Trump on his mind as he typed the introduction: “It’s hard to imagine a time more hopeful and horrifying for sustainable business.” That sums up the uncertain future facing clean energy executives, investors and environmentalists. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/03/for-clean-energy-a-hazy-path-ahead-under-trump/ MISCELLANEOUS Trump team relaxes EPA restrictions on media and contracts. The Trump administration said Friday it has thawed its temporary freeze on contract and grant approvals at the Environmental Protection Agency, with all $3.9 billion in planned spending moving forward. A media blackout at the agency also appears to have been partially lifted, as a trickle of press releases were issued by the EPA this week. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRUMP_EPA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Republicans ax disclosure, emissions rules on energy. U.S. Republicans on Friday repealed a securities disclosure rule aimed at curbing corruption at energy and mining companies and voted to ax emissions limits on drilling operations, part of a push to remove Obama-era regulations on extractive industries. In a 52-47 vote, the Republican-controlled Senate approved a resolution… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-regulations-idUSKBN15I1JF OPINIONS Carbon Tax vs. Cap and Trade. Over the past couple of years there has been a lot of talk about implementing a carbon tax or a cap and trade system. Essentially, these are two sides of the same coin when it comes to combating the amount of CO2 we release into the air, but there are some differences we need to consider before implementing one. A carbon tax is pretty self-explanatory; it’s simply putting a price tag on carbon emissions. http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2017/02/02/carbon-tax-vs-cap-and-trade/ BLOGS Environmentalists Aren't Happy With South Coast AQMD's New Pollution Plan. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is holding a meeting Friday concerning its new pollution reduction plan, which the agency is expected to approve, KPCC reports. What's significant in the proposal is that facilities will, at first, be able to police themselves, so long as their goals fall within certain enforceable standards. http://laist.com/2017/02/03/smog_regulations.php Is Anything Wrong With Natural, Non-Man-Made Climate Change? I recently asked an environmentalist this question: "If we found out that the planet was warming for purely natural reasons, would you be in favor of climate engineering to stop it, because the current temperature and sea level are the right ones for humans?" He seemed appalled. "No, of course not, man," he said. "Thank you," I said. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/02/03/is-anything-wrong-with-natural-non-man-made-climate-change/#784c744c33d7 Republicans Look To Block EPA From Tackling Climate Change. “This is the legislative equivalent of trying to ban fire trucks while your house is burning.” GOP lawmakers have their sights set on stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to take action on climate change. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gary-palmer-bill-epa_us_58949441e4b0406131365066 The Trump administration is already editing the EPA's climate change websites. In his poem "The Hollow Men," T. S. Eliot famously wrote: "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper." It seems the Trump administration may be taking a cue from this prose, potentially killing off climate change programs not with the flourish of announcements and speeches but with behind-the-scenes tinkering instead. http://mashable.com/2017/02/03/trump-epa-climate-website-changes/#ft6C75NCXSqi California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.