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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 8, 2017. Posted: 08 Feb 2017 16:59:15
ARB Newsclips for February 8, 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. ARB BUSINESS Workshop on Potential Amendments to Smoke Inspection Programs/Development of a New Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspection & Maintenance Program. The Air Resources Board (ARB) invites you to participate in a public workshop to learn more about potential regulatory changes to ARB’s Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspection Program (HDVIP) and the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP). Staff will discuss the potential reduction of the allowable opacity limit for heavy-duty diesel vehicles, which is currently set at 40 percent. https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/mailouts/msc1703/msc1703.pd f ARB Fuels Workshop. The California Air Resources Board staff invites you to participate in an ongoing series of public working meetings to discuss (1) changes to the pathway carbon intensity application and evaluation process, (2) improvements to reporting and credit generation processes, and (3) the integration of third-party verification requirements under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs_meetings/011117mtgnotice.pdf CAP AND TRADE ‘A Conservative Climate Solution’: Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax. A group of Republican elder statesmen is calling for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change. The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury, says that taxing carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels… https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/science/a-conservative-climate-solution-republican-group-calls-for-carbon-tax.html?_r=0 Carbon Prices Rise In California's Cap-And-Trade Program As Legal Certainty Grows. California’s cap-and-trade program, which anchors North America’s largest carbon market, is starting 2017 on a strong note ahead of its first quarterly auction on February 22. The market has generated more than $4 billion in revenue for carbon emission reductions and, despite an uneven performance last year... http://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2017/02/08/carbon-prices-rise-in-californias-cap-and-trade-program-as-legal-certainty-grows/#9cd65d047540 http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/08/stories/1060049726 AIR POLLUTION Macedonian Capital Offers Free Transport to Fight Pollution. Municipal authorities in Macedonia's heavily polluted capital are offering residents free use of public transport to reduce the use of cars. Macedonian health authorities say that the city of around 750,000 is now Europe's most polluted capital, with poor air quality blamed for the premature death of 1,300 people each year. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/02/07/world/europe/ap-eu-macedonia-pollution.html Study points to link between air pollution and dementia. A new study points to a link between air pollution and dementia. The New York Times said that the research "suggests that air pollution may accelerate brain aging and contribute to the progression of dementia, and women with a specific gene variant are at greater risk than others." Overall, women who live in areas with high concentrations of fine particulate matter -- also known as soot… http://lancasteronline.com/news/national/study-points-to-link-between-air-pollution-and-dementia/article_6aae4b60-ed4c-11e6-acd8-937d8389ddd7.html ALISO CANYON $8.5 million Aliso Canyon gas leak settlement includes $1 million health study. The Southern California Gas Co. has agreed to pay $8.5 million — including $1 million for an independent health study — to settle a lawsuit filed by an air quality agency last year over the nation’s worst natural gas leak at the utility’s Aliso Canyon storage facility, officials announced Wednesday. http://www.dailynews.com/business/20170208/85-million-aliso-canyon-gas-leak-settlement-includes-1-million-health-study Jerry Brown mum on the fate of Aliso Canyon. Feb. 17 will mark exactly one year since the massive gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility was finally plugged. Now, the facility’s operators, Southern California Gas, say the site is ready to go back online. State regulators have put forth an initial recommendation to get the plant up and running again, but not at a capacity as robust as SoCalGas wants. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/ CLIMATE CHANGE GOP-backed measures seek to rein in science used at EPA. Pondering new restrictions on how the Environmental Protection Agency can use scientific data, congressional Republicans are seeking advice from the chemical and fossil fuel industries. House Science, Space and Technology committee chairman Lamar Smith this week accused the Obama administration of relying on faulty and falsified data to… http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRUMP_EPA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=0b9cb3afd4-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-0b9cb3afd4-327747457 A Crack in an Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew 17 Miles in the Last Two Months A rapidly advancing crack in Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf has scientists concerned that it is getting close to a full break. The rift has accelerated this year in an area already vulnerable to warming temperatures. Since December, the crack has grown… https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/07/science/earth/antarctic-crack.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=g-artboard%20g-artboard-v3%20&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 Was Data Manipulated in a Widely Cited 2015 Climate Study? In an article that appeared online in The Mail on Sunday, a British tabloid, the journalist David Rose described “astonishing evidence” that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States had “rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris agreement on climate change.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/science/was-data-manipulated-in-a-widely-cited-2015-climate-study.html http://bigstory.ap.org/article/3fc5d49a349344f1967aadc4950e1a91/major-global-warming-study-again-questioned-again-defended US Panel Warns Trump Change on One China Policy 'Dangerous'. The Trump administration shouldn't abandon long-standing U.S. policy on the status of Taiwan, a prominent panel of China specialists said Tuesday, calling such a move "exceedingly dangerous." https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/02/07/us/politics/ap-us-united-states-china.html http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/article131242934.html Crunching the numbers of California climate spending. State environmental regulators are working on an updated series of guidelines to send cap-and-trade revenue to low-income neighborhoods, the result of new legislation passed last year. They've been holding meetings around the state in an effort to garner community input. It's one part of an ongoing push-and-pull among lawmakers and… http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-crunching-the-numbers-of-california-1486491740-htmlstory.html California’s climate policy depends on federal waivers—what if Trump doesn’t grant them? California officials have discerned a chilling signal that the Trump administration may be willing to halt the state’s unique authority to impose its own vehicle emission rules—a move that could undercut its pioneering effort to battle climate change. The threat arose during the confirmation hearing for Scott Pruitt, Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/2017/02/08/californias-climate-policy-depends-federal-waiverswhat-if-trump-doesnt-grant-them/97403404/ Food Security, Forests At Risk Under Trump’s USDA. U.S. food security, forest health, and the ability of farmers to respond to climate change are all at risk if President’s Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture brings climate change skepticism to the agency, agricultural researchers and environmental law experts say. That concern takes root not only in Trump’s own statements scoffing at climate policy… http://www.climatecentral.org/news/food-security-forest-risk-trump-usda-21139?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=0b9cb3afd4-Today_s_Climate12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-0b9cb3afd4-327747457 Trump team being pulled in 2 directions on climate pact. For every conservative who dreams about ripping up the Paris Agreement, there's a company executive who wants to stay in. That's the political choice facing President Trump: Bend to ideological opponents of global climate action, or listen to the capitalists who see a financial angle in the small print. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/07/stories/1060049647 Warming to have 'severe impacts' on peak electricity demand. Climate change may force utilities in the United States to invest billions of dollars in new power infrastructure to keep air conditioners humming on the hottest of days, according to a new study. Rising average temperatures will increase the number of sweltering summer afternoons, thereby increasing the number of days requiring maximum electricity production as millions of people try to cool off. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/07/stories/1060049626 5 key players in climate showdown with Trump. California Democratic leaders vow they're ready to take on President Trump in a battle to keep alive the fight against climate change as he rejects the science and embraces fossil fuels. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and legislative leaders come armed with some political clout, at least locally. Democrats hold every statewide office and a two-thirds "supermajority"… http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/02/08/stories/1060049734 Pruitt had a plan for CO2 cuts: Let states decide. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) may waffle on climate science but he has laid out some specific thoughts on how he would have written federal carbon regulations for coal plants. In 2014, President Trump's pick to lead U.S. EPA came up with a plan he thought would work under his narrow interpretation of the Clean Air Act. " http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/07/stories/1060049648 Did a changing climate wipe out the giant kangaroo? The landscape of present-day Australia once was home to 500-pound kangaroos, tapirs as big as horses, giant wombat-like creatures and 8-foot turtles. Now new research indicates that climate change could have been the cause of these large species' extinction some 30,000 years ago. According to a study published in the journal Paleobiology, as weather patterns in the region changed, the land started to dry out and affect the animals' food supply. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/07/stories/1060049629 DROUGHT 'Atmospheric river' slams California again as state decides whether to keep drought restrictions. The “atmospheric river” returned with a vengeance Tuesday to Northern California, where snow piled up in the Sierra Nevada and coastal riverbanks were overwhelmed, flooding rural towns. It’s at least the third major storm series to hit the region since the beginning of the year, building Sierra Nevada snowpack to heights not seen in years. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-rain-storm-wind-20170207-story.html Coalition calls for end to California drought emergency. A coalition of state and local leaders is pressing California to lift restrictions on urban water use after the wettest winter for years. Water regulators in Sacramento on Wednesday will decide on a recommendation to extend the drought rules, uncertain if rain and snow will continue through spring. http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article131306134.html#storylink=cpy Why Is the Drought Not Over Yet? Since December storms have been battering Los Angeles. In this first week of the city's traditionally rainiest month, L.A. is more than 7.5 inches above normal rainfall for the entire season — which ends Sept. 30. A normal year gets about 15 inches for the year; we've seen 15.44 inches through yesterday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. And more rain is probable on Friday, forecasters say. http://www.laweekly.com/news/why-is-the-drought-not-over-yet-7903506 State Water Board May Extend Mandatory Rations Despite Recent Rain And Snow. When California Governor Jerry Brown declared that emergency drought regulations were going into effect in April of 2015, ordering residents to cut water use by 25 percent, the Sierra snow pack was at just 5 percent of normal. Now, nearly two years later, aided by strong storms in January, the snow pack is at 182 percent of normal… http://kogo.iheart.com/articles/kogo-local-news-125548/state-water-board-may-extend-mandatory-15543914/#ixzz4Y7zFOVAa DIESEL ACTIVITIES Allison Transmission and Cummins receive certification from California Air Resources Board for model year 2017 H 40/50 EP™ system paired with B6.7 and L9 engines. Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) and Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) today announced certification from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for model year 2017 Allison Hybrid H 40 EP™ / H 50 EP™ propulsion systems paired with the Cummins B6.7 and L9 diesel-electric hybrid engines used in transit buses and coaches. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/allison-transmission-and-cummins-receive-certification-from-california-air-resources-board-for-model-year-2017-h-4050-ep-system-paired-with-b67-and-l9-engines-300403273.html FUELS As feds roll back methane rule, California pushes ahead with its own. As Congress moves towards scrapping a federal rule regulating methane, California is plowing forward with the nation's strictest rules designed to curb the emissions of the potent greenhouse gas from oil and gas sites – the latest example of the state going it alone on climate change. The rule was one of a suite of environmental regulations passed… http://www.scpr.org/news/2017/02/08/68859/as-feds-roll-back-methane-rule-california-pushes-a/ With Pruitt looming, Calif. prepares to cut truck emissions. California regulators are vowing to push forward with their own fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles at a time when it's unclear if federal car rules will survive the Trump presidency. The long-scheduled and usually uncontroversial state process has taken on new weight after Scott Pruitt, President Trump's pick for U.S. EPA administrator… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/07/stories/1060049627 VEHICLES Omnitek developing 18L natural gas engine for off-road construction vehicle applications. Omnitek Engineering Corp. will participate in a $1.5-million California Energy Commission grant (GFO-16-506) study with its partner Olson-Ecologic Testing Laboratories to demonstrate its clean natural gas engine technology for off-road heavy duty construction vehicle applications in the greater Los Angeles area. Omnitek Engineering will develop an 18-liter Caterpillar natural gas engine capable of operating on CNG, LNG… http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/02/20170208-omnitek.html VW RECALL VW Launches U.S. Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Unit. Volkswagen Group of America on Tuesday announced a U.S. subsidiary that will manage $2 billion in investments in zero emission vehicle infrastructure and awareness programs over a decade as part of a court settlement over its excess diesel emissions. https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/02/07/business/07reuters-volkswagen-emissions.html VW will spend billions on EV infrastructure in the U.S. as part of diesel penance. Newly launched subsidiary Electrify America LLC will invest $2 billion on charging stations and EV promotion. As part of its compensation for the diesel crisis, Volkswagen will spend $2 billion in the U.S. on zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure, with the automaker having launched a subsidiary to manage its ZEV infrastructure projects. http://autoweek.com/article/volkswagen/vw-launches-zev-subsidiary-us-part-diesel-penance#ixzz4Y7qylhDr GREEN ENERGY Offshore Wind Moves Into Energy’s Mainstream. When engineers faced resistance from residents in Denmark over plans to build wind turbines on the Nordic country’s flat farmland, they found a better locale: the sea. The offshore wind farm, the world’s first, had just 11 turbines and could power about 3,000 homes. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/business/energy-environment/renewables-offshore-wind-green-power-dong.html Lawmaker wants to protect island from wind energy testing. A Maine lawmakers says Monhegan Island would be jeopardized by wind energy testing and should be protected from it. Sen. Dana Dow, a Lincoln Republican, says he has submitted a bill that would prohibit placement of a wind energy test area within 10 miles of the Monhegan Island Lobster Conservation Area. http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article131239164.html Energy costs at record lows thanks to gas, efficiency. The nation's rapid adoption of clean energy technologies, combined with sustained natural gas consumption, sagging oil prices and the widespread deployment of energy efficiency measures, helped U.S. consumers drive down energy costs to record lows in 2016. Where energy spending occurred, it was concentrated in low- or zero-carbon forms of energy that should help the United States… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/08/stories/1060049698 Solar industry continues to be hot. The sun continues to shine on the solar industry. Employment in the solar sector grew by 25 percent last year, with California leading the way with nearly 25,000 new jobs, according to a census published Tuesday by The Solar Foundation. The industry grew at 17 times the pace of the rest of the economy, adding more than 51,000 jobs nationwide. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/07/solar-industry-continues-to-be-hot/ California hits 100,000 solar jobs as industry grows at record pace. The American solar industry now employs more than a quarter of a million people, after a breakneck year that saw employment grow by a record 25 percent — and that growth is expected to continue into 2017, as low-cost solar panels nudge coal and natural gas out of the electricity marketplace. http://www.desertsun.com/story/tech/science/energy/2017/02/07/california-hits-100000-solar-jobs-industry-grows-record-pace/97448780/ USAID says $700M wind farm will help Kenya's development. Africa's largest wind farm, expected to come online later this year, will be remembered as one of the world's most logistically challenging energy developments. But the benefits of the nearly $700 million Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) — built near the shore of the world's largest desert lake in Kenya's Rift Valley — should exceed the high costs… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/02/07/stories/1060049628 MISCELLANEOUS Trump: 'California in many ways is out of control'. Declaring California to be “out of control,” President Trump threatened to withhold federal funding to the state if it votes to declare itself a sanctuary state. A state Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill from State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León that would prohibit state and local law enforcement… http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-bill-to-make-california-a-1486330796-htmlstory.html http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Trump-calls-California-out-of-control-in-10910183.php http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article130942769.html OPINIONS A Conservative Case for Climate Action. CRAZY as it may sound, this is the perfect time to enact a sensible policy to address the dangerous threat of climate change. Before you call us nuts, hear us out. During his eight years in office, President Obama regularly warned of the very real dangers of global warming, but he did not sign any meaningful domestic legislation to address the problem, largely because he and Congress did not see eye to eye. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/opinion/a-conservative-case-for-climate-action.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0 State should let emergency drought regulations expire. At a recent workshop to discuss whether the state’s emergency drought regulations should be extended beyond February, two government agencies scheduled to report on drought conditions were noticeably absent because they were busy responding to flooding issues. Apart from this ironic twist, one cannot brush aside this winter’s record rainfall, snowpack and reservoir conditions. http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article131164404.html#storylink=cpy BLOGS How a culture clash at NOAA led to a flap over a high-profile warming pause study. A former scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, D.C., made waves this past weekend when he alleged that climate scientist Thomas Karl, the former head of a major NOAA technical center, “failed to disclose critical information” to the agency, journal editors…http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/how-culture-clash-noaa-led-flap-over-high-profile-warming-pause-study A Republican group is framing their proposed carbon tax as “environmental insurance,” not a tax. In the past, if there was one thing consistent across the entire Republican Party, it’d be a shared hatred of taxes. That’s what makes a meeting to be held today (Feb. 8) between officials of the US government and a group of Republican policy wonks so interesting. In the meeting, the conservative thinkers… https://qz.com/905688/a-republican-group-making-the-case-for-a-carbon-tax-to-donald-trumps-administration-needs-to-just-look-at-what-happened-in-australia/ China's big, beautiful, green 'vertical forests' will suck up toxic smog. Those aren't just towers—they're enormous, verdant air filters for smog-choked cities. Vertical Forests blanket buildings with trees and plants, to soak up urban air pollution, produce clean oxygen, and boost local biodiversity. Now China—a nation grappling with dangerous smog from coal plants, factories, and vehicles—will get green buildings of its own. http://mashable.com/2017/02/07/china-vertical-forest-smog/#.shVhqyH4kqB California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.