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newsclips -- CARB Newsclips for July 21, 2017

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 14:14:17
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.


The Air Resources Board (ARB) announces the launch of its new
California Dairy and Livestock GHG Reduction Working Group (Dairy
Working Group) and Subgroup list serves that will provide
interested stakeholders with up-to-date information about current
activities and processes.  Sign-up for the main Dairy Working
Group process List Serve:


DOJ seeks to waive Harley-Davidson air-pollution punishment.
The Trump administration agreed this week to waive part of the
penalty Harley-Davidson Inc. agreed to pay last year to settle a
case over air pollution involving racing tuners that caused its
motorcycles to emit higher-than-allowed pollution levels. The
Justice Department filed a new consent decree with the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia Thursday. It
eliminated a requirement that the Milwaukee-based company spend
$3 million to curb air pollution in local communities by paying
to replace conventional woodstoves with cleaner-burning

Related stories:
Maryland plans lawsuit against EPA under Clean Air Act.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration announced plans
Thursday to sue the Environmental Protection Agency, if the
agency doesn't respond to Maryland's request to make sure power
plants in neighboring states use pollution controls. Ben
Grumbles, secretary of the Maryland Department of the
Environment, notified the agency of the state's plans in a letter
to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Lawsuits claim Texas loopholes allow illegal air emissions.
An environmental group is attempting to force the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency to tighten Texas air pollution
control permits that it says have loopholes that allow for
illegal emissions, according to five federal lawsuits filed
against the agency Thursday.

Vermont gov. creates climate commission to reach energy goal.
 Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Thursday he remained
committed to meeting the state's long-term goal of getting 90
percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050 and to help
accomplish that goal he created a commission to advise him on the
best way to do it. He asked the 21-member commission to report
back to him with an action plan by July 31, 2018, but he also
wants the commission to present him with three top ideas by the
end of the year so the Vermont Legislature could act upon them
during the 2018 legislative session.

California farm region plagued by dirty air looks to Trump.
California's vast San Joaquin Valley, the country's most
productive farming region, is engulfed by some of the nation's
dirtiest skies, forcing the state's largest air district to spend
more than $40 billion in the past quarter-century to enforce
hundreds of stringent pollution rules. The investment has
steadily driven down the number of days with unhealthy air - but
on hot, windless days, a brown haze still hangs overhead, sending
wheezing people with tight chests to emergency rooms and hundreds
each year to an early grave.

Solana Beach OKs climate action plan.
As expected, council members at the July 12 meeting adopted a
climate action plan, a document more than two years in the making
that provides the city with a roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions and address the challenges of climate change.
“Our city’s always been a leader in this and I don’t see why we
wouldn’t continue to embrace that role,” Mayor Mike Nichols said
before the 4-1 vote.

Are ‘smog-sucking’ solutions solving air pollution?
With fossil-fuel based power generation, industrial sources,
waste disposal and fossil-fuel based transport the main culprits,
according to the European Environment Agency, much of our air,
particularly in cities, falls short oflevels deemed safe by the
World Health Organisation. Indeed, particulate matter (PM 2.5 and
10) is the seventh highest mortality risk in Europe.


On climate change, US can't walk out of room when heat is on,
says UK environment secretary.
The U.K.'s secretary of state for environment, food and rural
affairs has said he "deeply" regrets President Donald Trump's
approach to the landmark Paris Agreement. "It is because
environmental degradation is such a threat to future prosperity
and security that I deeply regret President Trump's approach
towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," Michael Gove said
in a major speech on Friday.

Related stories:



A Cheap Fix for Climate Change? Pay People Not to Chop Down
The tropical forests in western Uganda, home to a dwindling
population of endangered chimpanzees, are disappearing at some of
the fastest rates on Earth as local people chop down trees for
charcoal and to clear space for subsistence farming. Now, a team
of researchers has shown that there is a surprisingly cheap and
easy way to slow the pace of deforestation in Uganda: Just pay
landowners small sums not to cut down their trees. Their study,
published in the journal Science on Thursday, demonstrated this
by conducting something all too rare in environmental policy — a
controlled experiment.

Climate Change and Geoengineering: Artificially Cooling Planet
Earth by Thinning Cirrus Clouds.
As part of the Paris Agreement in 2015, nearly 200 world leaders
agreed to curb greenhouse gas emissions and strive to keep
temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels
in order to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change by
the end of the century. At present, climate scientists regard
warming of two degrees above pre-industrial levels as the
threshold for global warming. After this point, extreme weather
will become more likely—increasing the risks of storms, droughts
and a rise in sea levels. Consequences include food and water
scarcity, and increased migration as parts of the planet become


Regulators release environmental assessment of pipeline.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline intended to carry natural gas across
West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina would have some
adverse environmental effects, including impacts on water
resources, forest and other habitats, an assessment by federal
regulators found. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which
oversees interstate natural gas pipelines, released its final
environmental impact statement Friday for the proposed 600-mile
(965-kilometer) pipeline, which has broad support from political
and business leaders but is staunchly opposed by
environmentalists and many affected landowners.


Volvo electric vehicle push reflects China’s leadership
Volvo made headlines earlier this month when it announced that
electrification will be “at the core of its future business” and
is “paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history”. But
while the Chinese-owned company’s commitment to stop producing
new vehicles powered solely by internal combustion engines by
2019 is bold, it makes a lot of sense given global trends in the
automotive sector, and China’s own ambitions to become a world
leader in electric vehicles (EVs).


Audi to Modify Up to 850,000 Diesel Vehicles as Carmakers Face
Facing a worsening public backlash over accusations they evaded
rules on diesel emissions, German automakers have rushed headlong
to upgrade their vehicles’ emissions systems. On Friday, Audi
followed its rivals Daimler and BMW in announcing plans to
upgrade software on diesel vehicles across Europe. The three
carmakers have said in recent days that they will modify a total
of more than four million vehicles in an effort to fend off
inquiries into possible emissions cheating.

Volkswagen's CA settlement in emissions scandal reaches $1.3
California says Volkswagen will pay the state another $154
million in penalties and costs over the automaker's emissions
scandal. California's Air Resources Board says the increase in a
consent decree filed Thursday brings VW's total settlement in
California to $1.3 billion.

Not Done Yet: Volkswagen Owes California Another $154 Million for
Diesel Deception.
Over the past couple of years, the state of California has spent
a lot of time and money, first unraveling Volkswagen’s deception
on diesel emissions and then working to fix the mess. The state
even made sure that VW has to pay a little more penance to the
Golden State with settlement requirements such as additional
mandated sales of electric vehicles. And now a court document has
formally attached a dollar amount due to the California Air
Resources Board (CARB) for the cost of it all: $60 million.

Did Volkswagen Kill the Diesel Market? Or Was It Already Dead?
After Volkswagen was caught cheating on diesel emissions,
consumers have become more skeptical about diesel vehicles. Now,
manufacturers across the globe are forced to rethink their plans
for the high-mileage technology. Facing accusations that it also
duped emissions tests, Daimler AG this week announced the recall
of 3 million diesel vehicles sold in Europe. Industry analysts
believe the automaker could follow up with a similar move in the
U.S. where it is under investigation by the Environmental
Protection Agency.


Africa Set To "Leapfrog" Over Coal And Choose Renewable Energy
Despite America’s temporary lack of leadership on the climate
crisis, there is a good chance that a prolonged catastrophe can
be avoided. Thanks to a combination of market forces, an
unprecedented surge in climate activism, and the increasingly
concrete global cooperation on the issue, renewable energy is
proliferating across the planet like never before.


Game of Thrones star dedicates birthday to climate action.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has announced that all he wants for his
birthday this year is a healthy planet. To celebrate his 47th
birthday this month, the Danish actor and star of HBO’s hit
series Game of Thrones is asking his friends, family and fans to
help him raise funds for UNDP, which works to protect the people
and planet from the effects of climate change.


California is handling climate change all wrong.
Gov. Jerry Brown has won praise for promising that California
will live up to the Paris accord despite President Trump’s
withdrawal from the treaty. He also signed a climate deal with
China last month, and has unveiled plans for a global climate
summit in San Francisco next year. Earlier this week, California
lawmakers voted to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program for
another 10 years.

Shailene Woodley: US should run on renewable energy by 2050.
Every person on this planet has one thing in common: the need for
clean air and water. Right now, our nation is at a crossroads.
Fossil fuel companies have pressured members of Congress into
denying that climate change exists and is caused by human
behavior. These corporations think that Americans won’t notice
when their water is polluted and their farm lands are covered in


Here's how cities can go completely renewable.
The notion of cities switching completely to solar, wind, hydro
and other renewable energy sources long has seemed fanciful.
Indeed, that goal feels even more distant to many U.S. municipal
leaders following President Donald Trump’s controversial decision
to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Enter the Global 100%
Renewable Energy campaign, the first international platform
advocating for the total reliance on clean alternatives to fossil
fuel for cities and regions. Founded in San Francisco in 2013,
the campaign is comprised of international organizations
dedicated to renewable options. This defiantly optimistic
coalition insists that such a transition is very achievable.

What’s holding back investment and innovation in renewable
Renewable-energy technologies are critically important, both in
addressing the risks of climate change and achieving Sustainable
Development Goal number 7 (SDG7,) relative to affordable and
clean energy. They have also become increasingly
cost-competitive: the capital cost of utility-scale solar
photovoltaic (PV) energy has fallen by more than 60 per cent
since 2010, and that of onshore wind energy by 20 per cent.

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