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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 22, 2016.

Posted: 22 Jan 2016 13:35:00
ARB Newsclips for January 22, 2016. 

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.


China to ban CO2 auditors from carbon trading in new rules. China
will ban firms responsible for auditing carbon dioxide emissions
and offset projects from trading on a national carbon market due
to be launched in 2017, according to new government guidelines
aimed at increasing the credibility of the verifiers. Tens of
thousands of firms will have to participate in the nationwide
emissions trading scheme (ETS)…

China Plans to Include Eight Industries in Carbon Trading Market.
China’s planned national carbon-trading program will cover eight
industries when it starts up in 2017, the nation’s top economic
planning agency said in a statement on Friday. The petrochemical
and power industries will be included, along with chemicals,
construction material, nonferrous metals…

Report: State should have flexibility to spend funds. California
lawmakers should have more flexibility to spend billions of
dollars collected through the state's landmark cap-and-trade
system designed to combat climate change, analysts recommended
Thursday.  The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office reported
the state can reach its goals for cutting greenhouse gases…


U.S. appeals court declines to block Obama carbon emissions plan.
In a big victory for the Obama administration, a U.S. federal
court on Thursday rejected a bid by 27 states to block its Clean
Power Plan, the centerpiece of its strategy to combat climate
change by reducing carbon emissions from power plants.

Brazil court orders closure of Vale's Tubarão iron ore port. A
Brazilian federal court on Thursday ordered the suspension of
activities at Vale SA's Port of Tubarão until pollution concerns
are fixed, halting the world's largest iron ore exporter's
ability to ship more than a third of its output. The ruling by
the court in Vitoria, Brazil was made as part of a police
investigation at the giant man-made port.


Gas company forced to resume offering rental houses to Porter
Ranch families. The Los Angeles city attorney has forced the
Southern California Gas Co. to back down from a plan the utility
quietly put in place this week to stop offering rental houses to
Porter Ranch families dislocated by the nearby gas leak.

Why have state regulators not taken action against aging gas
wells? Federal and state lawmakers pressed utility regulators at
a hearing Thursday night on why the aging natural gas wells at
the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility were allowed to operate for so
long, even after there was knowledge that the infrastructure was
aged and, in some cases, corroded.

Allegations of conflict of interest raised about gas company
attorney and gas-leak panel.  After weeks of hearings on how the
colossal gas leak over Porter Ranch has sickened or displaced
residents, an independent law panel is expected to rule Saturday
on a sweeping air district order to stem the stench.

Porter Ranch ‘Climate Disaster’ Shows Need for National Fracking
Ban: Bernie Sanders. As the ongoing Porter Ranch disaster shines
a spotlight on the dangers of aging natural gas infrastructure
around the country, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and
environmental experts are now arguing that the leaking well
serves as “yet another example of the urgent national need to
transition away from fossil fuels.”

SoCal Gas officials grilled during Porter Ranch gas leak hearing.
Officials with the Southern California Gas Company answered
questions about the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak at a hearing in Granada
Hills on Thursday. The hearing was called by State Assemblyman
Mike Gatto, who was recently appointed to the committee on
utilities and commerce.


Stop ignoring costs of smaller disasters: U.N. risk chief. 
Governments around the world are underestimating the costs of
disasters, particularly smaller ones triggered by weather and
climate extremes, which is undermining the case for efforts to
reduce risk, the United Nations' new disaster prevention chief
said. Robert Glasser, who became head of the U.N. Office for
Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) this month…

Air district OKs $300k for global warming conference planned for
October. Bay Area's air pollution regulators will spend $300,000
staging a conference this fall to figure out ways the region can
be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  In approving
the funds Wednesday, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District
board said it believes county and regional governments can
spearhead fighting climate change despite having less...

EPA foes threaten Supreme Court battle to freeze climate rule.
Industry opponents of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan
vowed yesterday to go to the Supreme Court to challenge a federal
appeals court's refusal to block the climate change regulations.
The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit denied requests by 27 states and numerous trade


Save the Children faces funding gap for Ethiopian drought crisis.
Save the Children charity said on Friday it had raised less than
a third of what it needed for its campaign to help Ethiopia cope
with drought which has left 10.2 million people critically short
of food. Experts say the drought is worse than the one in 1984,
when years of conflict followed by the failure of rains led to a
famine that killed up to a million people.

El Niño inspires hope of 'major dent' in drought, but empty
reservoirs point to long recovery. After months of warnings by
some officials that El Niño and winter rains were far from
certain, the bounty of storms plowing through Northern California
has opened hope that there could be a huge improvement in the
state’s severe drought by spring. A convoy of storms since
January has marched through areas…


Anti-pollution deal may be tough to enforce.  A closer look at
how the JBS hog plant in Louisville plans to meet California
standards for refrigeration units on trucks. The JBS pork
processing plant in Butchertown stepped out in front by agreeing
to make sure all trucks using its large parking lot be equipped
with California-compliant refrigeration units that limit soot and
other toxic exhaust from burning diesel fuel.

Electric Trucks Will Be Environmental Game Changer (When
Perfected). Electric cars are becoming more common on the roads,
but when it comes to trucks and large freight vehicles, they
still seem to be far away from being replaced by electric trucks.
This however will probably be only true for a short while longer
as automotive technology. Ian Wright, who is a co-founder of
Tesla, claims that commercial trucks are the real market for
electric vehicles, not cars. We already have electric truck
concepts which are working, and there are other ways as well in
which the fleets are being turned into electric-powered vehicles.


U.S. to tackle oil and gas methane waste on public lands
–sources. The Obama administration is expected to propose new
rules as soon as Friday to curb methane leaks from oil and
natural gas production, its latest attempt to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions from energy production under its control, sources
familiar with the plan said.

New Rules Would Cut Methane Vented on Public Lands. The Obama
administration on Friday proposed new rules that would lead to a
crackdown on oil and gas wells that vent or flare methane into
the atmosphere on public and tribal lands. Methane is about 35
times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas driving
climate change over the span of a century…

BLM clamps down on methane waste on public lands. The Bureau of
Land Management today released a draft rule to curtail the loss
of natural gas from roughly 100,000 wells on federal and tribal
lands, a major plank in the Obama administration's effort to
maximize domestic production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This Time, Cheaper Oil Does Little for the U.S. Economy. It has
been a truism of the American economy for decades: When oil
prices rise, the economy suffers; when they fall, growth
improves. But the decline of oil prices over the last two years
has failed to deliver the usual economic benefits. As oil prices
have fallen to levels not seen since 2003 — sagging below $27 a
barrel on Wednesday…

The Navy has launched a carrier strike group powered partly by
biofuels. The Navy on Wednesday launched its first carrier strike
group powered partly by biofuel — a mix made from beef fat —
calling it a milestone toward easing the military's reliance on
foreign oil. The maritime branch touted the warships as the
centerpiece of its "Great Green Fleet" — part of a Navy-wide
initiative that aims to draw 50 percent of its power from
alternative energy in four years.

US seeks to limit methane gas 'flaring' at drilling sites. The
Obama administration on Friday proposed new rules to clamp down
on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land,
arguing the effort will reduce waste and harmful methane
emissions as part of President Barack Obama's bid to curb climate
change. Energy companies frequently "flare" or burn off vast
supplies of natural gas…

Tesoro getting into the "biocrude" game. San Antonio-based
refining company Tesoro Corp. (NYSE: TSO) is hoping to turn trash
and other renewable resources into regular unleaded. Earlier this
week, Tesoro announced that it plans to add renewable "biocrudes"
to the feedstocks processed at its refineries in California.
Biocrude is defined as a synthetic petroleum substitute.


Honda Clarity Fuel Cell coming -- at a price. Honda has revealed
pricing and availability for its 2016 Clarity Fuel Cell sedan --
but it's not cheap. The five-passenger, four-door vehicle will be
in dealerships "before the end of 2016," Honda said Thursday. It
will cost an estimated $60,000, with leases available from $500 a
month. That will put Honda in the neighborhood of its fuel cell

Why Isn't The 2016 Chevy Volt A Flex-Fuel Plug-In Hybrid That Can
Use E85 Ethanol? The 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid has
received numerous accolades, including this site's Best Car To
Buy 2016 Award. It's better-looking, quicker, quieter, and has a
significantly longer all-electric range of 53 miles. It is not,
however, certified to use E85, the fuel blend containing 85
percent ethanol, and so it's not classified as a Flex-Fuel

Future Of '84-MPG' Elio 3-Wheeler Depends On Government Loans.
Elio Motors says it's closer than ever to putting its "84-mpg"
two-seat three-wheeler into production, but that still may not be
close enough. The company recently secured additional funding, it
says, but is still short of what it needs to start production at
its former General Motors plant near Shreveport, Louisiana.

U.K. Plant To Assemble Larger Battery Packs For Next Nissan Leaf.
Nissan said yesterday it will invest £26.5 million ($37.9
million) in its battery plant in Sunderland, England, to produce
"advanced" battery cells for the next-generation Leaf electric
The announcement may end rumors that Nissan would outsource…

Carmakers flaunt low-emission rides despite low consumer
interest. The anticipated Chevrolet Bolt -- General Motors Co.'s
new electric vehicle -- received star treatment at the Washington
Auto Show yesterday. Carmakers chose to highlight technologies
designed to save fuel, though they have struggled to catch on
with consumers amid plunging oil prices.


VW Appoints New Electric-Car Leader From Supplier Continental. As
it tries to weather the ongoing diesel scandal, Volkswagen has
promised to allocate more resources to electric-car development
in the near future. Now it has a new chief of electric-car
development, named as part of a reorganization of VW's entire
vehicle-development apparatus.


China’s First Domestic Green Bond Offer May Be Worth $3 Billion.
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co.is planning China’s first
domestic sale of green bonds, an offering valued at as much as 20
billion yuan ($3 billion) that would support deployment of
renewable energy. The bank will sell three-year bonds from Jan.
27 to Jan. 29, according to a statement posted on the website of
ChinaBond, the nation’s debt clearing house.

New York PSC approves fund to invest $5 billion in clean energy.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the approval
of a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund to invest in reducing
emissions and promoting the use of renewable energy in the state.
The state's Public Service Commission approved the fund after
Cuomo officially requested renewable power mandates…

Why Solar and Wind Are Thriving Despite Cheap Fossil Fuels. Low
oil prices are rattling stock markets, but investors remain
bullish on solar, wind, and other clean energy. Here are three
reasons why. The prolonged plunge in fossil fuel prices is
rippling across the globe. Yet it’s barely put a dent in the
booming market for clean energy, heralding perhaps a new era for
wind and solar.


Can climate change cause earthquakes too? Have you wondered
whether melting glaciers and rising seas and the resulting change
in weight distribution on the earth’s surface could cause
earthquakes? Answer: Maybe. But that’s not the kind of earthquake
I’m talking about. I’m talking about the giant fissure that has
appeared in the discussion of this subject.

25 feet of El Niño snow piling up on California mountain peaks.
Don't get excited.  Don't get rid of that bucket in your shower. 
Don't replant your lawn.  But do go skiing or take a trip up to
play in the snow.  The amount of snow in the Sierra is off the
charts for recent years, and by the end of this weekend's El Niño
storms, some Sierra peaks will have been buried under 25 feet of

Climate change: confirmed. If you doubted it before, look at the
evidence that was released this week. For those still unconvinced
about the reality of climate change, the year that just ended
should erase any doubt. Climate data from the air, land and water
all reveal an indisputable portrait of a warming world.

Opinion: The smart money is going green. Last month, the world
reached a landmark agreement on climate change in Paris. This
week, business leaders gathered in Davos for the World Economic
Forum need to start breathing life into that deal. The Paris
Agreement delivered a clear and credible signal that the world
economy is moving in a low-carbon direction. Now it's time for
companies and investors to make 2016 a 'Year of Green Finance' by
putting efforts to reduce emissions…

Why Big Blizzards In Winter Don’t Disprove Global Warming.
Another epic blizzard threatens 50 million people on the East
Coast, with a bulls-eye on Washington DC. And leading
climatologists again explain how human-induced climate change,
especially warming-fueled ocean temperatures, are super-charging
the amount of moisture in the atmosphere the storm will dump on

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

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