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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.


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


‘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…

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...


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

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…


$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.

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.


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…

A Crack in an Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew 17 Miles in the Last Two
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…

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.”

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."


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…

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.

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…

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.

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
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.

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"…

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. "

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.


'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.

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.

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

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…


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.


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…

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…


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…


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

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. 


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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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…


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…



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

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.


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

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…

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.

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.

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