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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 8, 2015. Posted: 08 Jan 2016 15:41:56
ARB Newsclips for January 8, 2015. 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 Governor proposes spending cap-and-trade money to halve oil use. More than $1 billion in revenues from California's cap-and-trade program would be spent on efforts to cut the state's petroleum use in half by 2030 under a budget proposal Gov. Jerry Brown (D) released yesterday. The governor in his draft blueprint for fiscal 2016-17 outlined how he wants to use a total $3.1 billion in proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade program, which auctions allowances to many businesses with carbon emissions. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2016/01/08/stories/1060030320 Carbon cap plan would hit fertilizer plant, food processors. The Washington Department of Ecology has proposed a cap-and-reduction measure for manufacturers. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration Wednesday proposed capping and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 70 oil refineries, fuel importers and manufacturers, including a fertilizer maker in Kennewick and two food processors in Othello. http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20160107/carbon-cap-plan-would-hit-fertilizer-plant-food-processors AIR POLLUTION Napa air quality monitor station moving to college. A monitoring station that tracks air quality over the city of Napa – and helps regulators decide when to ban wood burning – is poised to move to the Napa Valley College grounds as early as next month. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is relocating its local air monitoring device about 4 ˝ miles southeast from a Jefferson Street commercial building… http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/napa-air-quality-monitor-station-moving-to-college/article_88eba1c3-8899-5936-a66a-e69c1a363a8b.html CLIMATE CHANGE NOAA: U.S. posts second-hottest year on record. The United States posted its second-hottest year on record in 2015, government scientists reported Thursday, extending the streak of warmer-than-average annual temperatures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the annual average temperature in the contiguous United States last year was 54.4 degrees Fahrenheit… http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/us-posts-second-hottest-year-on-record-217442#ixzz3wfgwAQxE Global Warming Helped Exacerbate Biggest Year Ever for U.S. Wildfires. A warmer, drier climate played a role in fires that burned more than 10 million acres. Scientists and forest agency officials yesterday said they see a link between climate change and the record-breaking 2015 wildfire season. Parsing the exact role a changing climate played in the historic burns can be challenging… http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/global-warming-helped-exacerbate-biggest-year-ever-for-u-s-wildfires/ December warmest and wettest on record. December brought unusual cherry blossoms and major rainfall to the eastern United States, and yesterday the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration made it official: It was the warmest and wettest December on record. It became the first month ever to snag the top rank in both precipitation and temperatures. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2016/01/08/stories/1060030323 Some carbon footprints bigger than others, study finds. The carbon footprints of communities in the Bay Area of California vary widely, even from neighborhood to neighborhood, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District ranked each census block in the nine-county Bay Area according to its carbon footprint… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2016/01/08/stories/1060030296 DROUGHT As rain pummels California, some see a way to fight drought. Much of the torrential rain that fell on Southern California this week flowed right into the ocean, just like it did before the state's epic drought. That seemed like a good idea for many years, as storm drains provided a crucial defense against flooding. But with California entering what may be a fifth year of drought… http://www.chicoer.com/environment-and-nature/20160108/as-rain-pummels-california-some-see-a-way-to-fight-drought DIESEL ACTIVITIES Mack certifies engines to use renewable diesel. OEM says the fuel can cut GHGs by 15% to 80%. Following extensive testing, Mack Trucks is now allowing for the use of “renewable diesel fuel” in all of its engines – stressing, however, that this does not necessarily apply to biodiesel fuel. Mack said that while “renewable” diesel fuel is similar to conventional biodiesel… http://fleetowner.com/equipment/mack-certifies-engines-use-renewable-diesel FUELS Massive gas leak has cost utility company $50 million. A utility company said it has spent about $50 million because of a massive leak from an underground natural gas storage well near Los Angeles. The parent company of Southern California Gas Co. filed papers Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission with the estimate for costs associated with trying to stop the leak and to reimburse people who have been displaced by a sickening stench. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_GAS_LEAK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-socalgas-liability-20160108-story.html No Short-Term Fix for California Methane Leak. To the dismay of thousands of residents of Porter Ranch, Calif., whose lives have been upended by a huge natural-gas leak from a nearby well, the local utility says it will take at least another month and a half to shut it down. Early efforts to halt the leak or kill the well by injecting liquids into it failed because the liquids were not heavy enough to overcome the gas rushing up at nearly 200 times normal atmospheric pressure. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/science/no-short-term-fix-for-california-methane-leak.html?_r=2 Officials and gas company agree on plan to burn off some methane afflicting Porter Ranch. Air quality regulators and Southern California Gas Co. have agreed on a plan to capture and incinerate at least some of the natural gas from a leaking well that has sickened and displaced thousands of residents of Porter Ranch, according to a legal document filed this week. Under the plan, the gas company would as soon as next week deploy pollution control… http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-20160108-porter-ranch-gas-capture-incinerate-story.html UC Davis scientist key to measuring massive methane leak at Aliso Canyon. The true size of what’s likely the largest methane leak in U.S. history may not have been known if not for the niche specialty of Steve Conley, an affable 51-year-old pilot and an atmospheric scientist at UC Davis. Conley’s arcane specialty is measuring leaks from gas and oil pipelines with sophisticated instruments installed on a single-engine, two-seat airplane that he flies. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article53629265.html#storylink=cpy VEHICLES A rebranded Saab at the center of China's green car push. The Swedish automaker once known as Saab has emerged as part of China's push to make electric vehicles a mass-market alternative to petrol cars, after getting a $12 billion order for EVs. Chinese-owned National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) - the company that acquired Saab's assets, though not its name - said it received an order for 250,000 EVs… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-autos-panda-insight-idUSKBN0UL00M20160107 How China’s Dirty Cities Are Reshaping Car Design Across World. For global automakers, China is becoming the new California. The U.S. state grabbed the lead a few years ago in establishing fuel-efficiency standards to clean up urban smog. Now, as China struggles with its air-pollution crisis, Beijing increasingly influences the models and technology Detroit, Europe and Japan sell around the world. http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-NZGXZTSYF02201-352IALPIKV15CL00R5NEJ3JJ10 VW RECALL Volkswagen CEO to hold high-level talks in Washington on emissions scandal. Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller will meet with the top U.S. environmental regulator next week for the highest-level talks since the German automaker admitted to using software to evade emissions requirements for 580,000 U.S. vehicles. Mueller will meet with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-idUSKBN0UL1WF20160107 VW Said to Weigh Buyback of Thousands of Cars in U.S. Talks. Volkswagen AG may buy back tens of thousands of cars with diesel engines that can’t be easily fixed to comply with U.S. emissions standards as part of its efforts to satisfy the demands of regulators, according to two people familiar with the matter. http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-O0LUIX6K50XZ01-03OG9HMLPGQB131ND40M7UH5K5 VW Refuses to Give U.S. States Documents in Emissions Inquiries. Citing German privacy laws, Volkswagen has refused to provide emails or other communications among its executives to attorneys general in the United States, impeding American investigations into the company’s emissions-cheating scandal, according to officials in several states. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/09/business/vw-refuses-to-give-us-states-documents-in-emissions-inquiries.html?_r=0 http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/international/volkswagen-blasted-for-sh/2411112.html http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/vw-withholding-emails-states-probing-emissions-scandal-source-n492886 GREEN ENERGY San Jose: Berryessa School District to use bond monies to go green. Aiming to reduce its environmental footprint and invest some of Berryessa Union School District's $77 million in renewable energy to benefit campuses here, almost $11 million has been allocated so far toward installing solar panels at various school sites. In a presentation given to the board of trustees in October 2015, Oakland-based OpTerra Energy Services… http://www.insidebayarea.com/bay-area-news/ci_29356074/san-jose-berryessa-school-district-use-bond-monies Hydropower Said to Put Climate, Biodiversity at Risk. Hydropower — often considered a renewable source of energy that is key to meeting global climate goals — is big business in the Amazon, Congo and Mekong river basins, where more than 450 dams are on the drawing board. But dam building in tropical rainforests comes at a huge cost to biodiversity and the tropical rain forest ecosystems that provide humans with clean air and water… http://www.climatecentral.org/news/tropical-hydropower-biodiversity-climate-risk-19890?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatecentral%2FdjOO+Climate+Central+-+Full+Feed MISCELLANEOUS Brown's budget earmarks big money for natural disasters. After one of the most destructive fire seasons in California history and with an eye toward the increased potential effects of climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed spending more on fighting wildfires than the state has in more than a decade. Brown’s $170.7 billion budget proposal includes a $719 million one-time drought package… http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-jerry-brown-budget-drought-20160108-story.html OPINIONS When it comes to climate change, payback isn’t enough. Many people argue that rich countries like the United States should bear a greater burden for climate change mitigation than poor countries, because rich countries have emitted more greenhouse gases. This stance is based on the principle of corrective justice, according to which one who wrongfully does harm must compensate the victim. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2016/01/08/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-payback-isnt-enough/ Cows were symptom of global warming in Fresno. Back in 1958, when I was 7 years old, I remember my family going to a dairy on Cedar and Dakota avenues. We got all our milk and eggs there and their chocolate milk was the best. They had farm animals there also for kids to see and enjoy. I remember standing in front of a cow and a big noise came out and the ground kinda shook. http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article53397910.html#storylink=cpy Battery-powered cars not the real solution: Letters. Dead batteries aren’t the way to get more green. The Green Way column touts the Chevy Volt being named the 2016 Green Car of the Year as the No. 2 top environmental story of the year in 2015. Even though the auto industry awarded Chevrolet this honor, it is a laughable accolade in that it once again highlights the distracting hype about battery-powered automotive… http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/opinion/20160107/battery-powered-cars-not-the-real-solution-letters It’s Been Raining a Ton in California! Does That Mean the Drought Is Over? If you have any friends in Los Angeles, you’ve probably seen roughly four bazillion photos of the rain in the past week. Because it’s been raining in L.A. Yes, that’s a big deal for the typically dry city, and for the state, which has endured four years of punishing drought. But does this mean that the drought is over? http://www.newsweek.com/its-been-raining-ton-california-does-mean-drought-over-412880?rx=us Methane Gas Crisis: How California's Porter Ranch Became a Ghost Town. In the winter of 2008, a real estate column in the Los Angeles Times profiled Porter Ranch, a collection of subdivisions in the San Fernando Valley that feels utterly removed from the huge city on whose northern edge it lies. http://www.newsweek.com/porter-ranch-california-methane-gas-leak-crisis-412807?rx=us Sustainability Is Not a Zero-Sum Game. A new ranking system tells us sustainability can actually drive growth, not tamp it down. Ever since Adam Smith wrote "The Wealth of Nations" in 1776, politicians and economists have debated why some countries prosper while others remain poor. Recently, the debate has become even more heated, as national leaders tackle sustainability issues. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/articles/2016-01-08/how-sustainability-can-drive-growth-not-prevent-it Moorella The Solar Powered Cyborg Turns CO2 Into Something Useful & Good. Yes, it’s a thing. Solar energy can be used to transform the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into useful chemical products. CleanTechnica has been following a number of these “artificial photosynthesis” systems through the R&D phase and we just caught wind of a new one from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory… http://cleantechnica.com/2016/01/08/moorella-the-solar-powered-cyborg-carbon-recycler/ BLOGS Here’s What It’s Like To Live Next To California’s Gas Blowout Catastrophe. “This isn’t just a Porter Ranch problem -- the gas doesn’t know borders.” Matt Pakucko was coughing. “This gas, it’s an invisible tsunami,” he said, struggling to clear his throat. He is a resident of the affluent Porter Ranch neighborhood's Highlands community, closest to where an enormous volume of natural gas is spewing from a broken well… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-methane-gas-leak_568f004de4b0cad15e644090 California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.