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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. CARB BUSINESS 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: https://www.arb.ca.gov/listserv/listserv_ind.php?listname=dairy AIR POLLUTION 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 versions. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/doj-seeks-to-waive-harley-davidson-air-pollution-punishment/article_f55dfb76-5a0d-51cf-be4b-d8f1bd38f858.html Related stories: https://thinkprogress.org/doj-lessens-air-pollution-fine-harley-ae67744a9392 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/APFN_US_CLEAN_AIR_MARYLAND_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TEXAS_EMISSIONS_FEDERAL_LAWSUITS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2017/07/renewable-energy-vermont-gov-creates-climate-commission-to-reach-energy-goal.html 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_DIRTY_AIR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 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. https://www.thecoastnews.com/2017/07/20/solana-beach-oks-climate-action-plan/ 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. https://dailyplanet.climate-kic.org/smog-sucking-solutions-solving-air-pollution/ CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/21/on-climate-change-us-cant-walk-out-of-room-when-heat-is-on.html Related stories: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/michael-gove-donald-trump-climate-change-us-walk-out-heat-on-paris-agreement-fossil-fuels-a7852626.html http://www.newsweek.com/paris-agreement-donald-trump-climate-change-640102 https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/07/20/us/politics/ap-us-harley-defeat-device.html A Cheap Fix for Climate Change? Pay People Not to Chop Down Trees. 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. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/climate/a-cheap-fix-for-climate-change-pay-people-not-to-chop-down-trees-uganda.html 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 uninhabitable. http://www.newsweek.com/climate-change-geoengineering-artificially-cool-planet-640124 FUELS 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/APFN_US_ATLANTIC_COAST_PIPELINE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT VEHICLES Volvo electric vehicle push reflects China’s leadership ambition. 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). http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/07/20/volvo-electric-vehicle-push-reflects-chinas-leadership-ambition/ VW/AUDI RECALL Audi to Modify Up to 850,000 Diesel Vehicles as Carmakers Face Backlash. 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. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/APFN_EU_GERMANY_AUDI_DIESEL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Volkswagen's CA settlement in emissions scandal reaches $1.3 billion. 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. https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/07/20/73973/volkswagen-s-settlement-in-emissions-scandal-reach/ 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. http://blog.caranddriver.com/not-done-yet-volkswagen-owes-california-another-154-million-for-diesel-deception/ 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. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/did-volkswagen-kill-diesel-market-or-was-it-already-dead-n785251 GREEN ENERGY Africa Set To "Leapfrog" Over Coal And Choose Renewable Energy Instead. 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. http://www.iflscience.com/environment/africa-leapfrog-coal-choose-renewable-energy-instead/ MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2017/07/20/game-of-thrones-star-dedicates-birthday-to-climate-action-.html OPINIONS 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. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-lomborg-california-climate-change-paris-accord-cap-and-trade-20170720-story.html 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 oil. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/342920-shailene-woodley-us-should-run-on-renewable-energy-by-2050 BLOGS 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. https://www.greenbiz.com/article/heres-how-cities-can-go-completely-renewable What’s holding back investment and innovation in renewable energy? 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. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2017/07/21/whats-holding-back-investment-and-innovation-in-renewable-energy/