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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. CAP AND TRADE 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)… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-carbon-idUSKCN0V010K?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews 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… http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-O1CACV6JIJUQ01-7DHPVG80UJSBGKMNH4055AN9RL 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… http://www.ocregister.com/articles/state-360778-ocprint-thursday-money.html AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-court-climatechange-idUSL2N1552SG 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-vale-iron-ore-port-idUSKCN0UZ2JQ ALISO CANYON GAS LEAK 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. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-porter-ranch-homes-20160122-story.html 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. http://www.dailynews.com/government-and-politics/20160121/why-have-state-regulators-not-taken-action-against-aging-gas-wells 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. http://www.dailynews.com/environment-and-nature/20160122/allegations-of-conflict-of-interest-raised-about-gas-company-attorney-and-gas-leak-panel 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.” http://enewspf.com/2016/01/22/porter-ranch-climate-disaster-shows-need-for-national-fracking-ban-bernie-sanders/#sthash.r12vKJsB.dpuf 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. http://abc7.com/news/socal-gas-officials-grilled-during-porter-ranch-gas-leak-hearing/1168991/ CLIMATE CHANGE 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… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-disaster-risks-idUSKCN0UZ12U 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... http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_29415373/air-district-oks-300k-global-warming-conference-planned 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 groups… http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2016/01/22/stories/1060031028 DROUGHT 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-drought-ethiopia-idUSKCN0V0283 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… http://www.latimes.com/local/weather/la-me-ln-el-nino-drought-20160122-story.html DIESEL ACTIVITIES 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. http://www.courier-journal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2016/01/20/emission-limits-likely-first-kentucky/78853770/ 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. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/01/22/1473530/-Electric-Trucks-Will-Be-Environmental-Game-Changer-When-Perfected FUELS 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-climatechange-methane-idUSKCN0UZ31E?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews 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… http://www.climatecentral.org/news/rules-would-cut-methane-vented-public-lands-9947?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatecentral%2FdjOO+Climate+Central+-+Full+Feed 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. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060031037 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… http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/business/energy-environment/this-time-cheaper-oil-does-little-for-the-us-economy.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0 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. http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-01-20/navy-launches-carrier-group-powered-partly-by-biofuels 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… http://napavalleyregister.com/ap/business/us-seeks-to-limit-methane-gas-flaring-at-drilling-sites/article_2b98f06d-b29f-5df7-b9de-a87d2e4c73a6.html 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. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2016/01/22/tesoro-getting-into-the-biocrude-game.html VEHICLES 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 competitors. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-honda-clarity-fuel-cell-price-20160121-story.html 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 vehicle. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1102004_why-isnt-the-2016-chevy-volt-a-flex-fuel-plug-in-hybrid-that-can-use-e85-ethanol 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. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1102007_future-of-84-mpg-elio-3-wheeler-depends-on-government-loans 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 car. The announcement may end rumors that Nissan would outsource… http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1102003_u-k-plant-to-assemble-larger-battery-packs-for-next-nissan-leaf 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. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2016/01/22/stories/1060031016 VW RECALL 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. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1102000_vw-appoints-new-electric-car-leader-from-supplier-continental GREEN ENERGY 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. http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-O1CMJ36JIJX201-414P85LARBGP92C244KK02LQH2 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… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-renewables-new-york-idUSKCN0V010R 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. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2016/01/160122-why-solar-and-wind-thrive-despite-cheap-oil-and-ga/ OPINIONS 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. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2016/01/22/can-climate-change-cause-earthquakes-too/ 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 snow. http://www.sfgate.com/drought/article/25-feet-El-Nino-snow-California-drought-6777223.php 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. http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2016/01/22/Climate-change-confirmed/stories/201601220103 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… http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/22/investing/climate-change-investing-davos-opinion/index.html 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 us. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/22/3741287/climate-science-blizzards/ California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.