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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 18, 2017. Posted: 18 Jan 2017 13:54:26
ARB Newsclips for January 18, 2017. 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 Tax cuts over carbon pricing up to province, Justin Trudeau says. PM says steering new revenue toward 'vulnerable,' as promised earlier, isn't his decision. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he'll leave it up to the New Brunswick government to decide whether to cut other taxes to make up for a carbon-pricing system likely to be announced this year. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/justin-trudeau-carbon-tax-new-brunswick-1.3939722 AIR POLLUTION AQMD proposes ban on toxic hydrofluoric acid at South Bay refineries. In a stunning move that relieved and surprised local activists, the region’s air pollution watchdog plans to seek a ban on a highly toxic acid used at oil refineries in Torrance and Wilmington, the Daily Breeze has learned. Susan Nakamura, acting assistant deputy executive officer with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said a series of safety “mishaps” that have plagued the PBF Energy-owned refinery… http://www.dailynews.com/article/20170117/NEWS/170119495 Colorado Springs wrestles with sulfur dioxide pollution from central coal-fired power plant. Colorado’s pretty second city, aiming to play up its “city for champions” role as a base for Olympians, faces intensifying friction over foul air from an 80-year-old, coal-fired municipal power plant that pumps out sulfur dioxide. It is an example of lingering air pollution problems that the Clean Air Act… http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/15/colorado-springs-power-plant-sulfur-dioxide-pollution/ Clean air advocates detail 19-point plan to attack Utah's pollution problem. Advocates are recommending a 19-point proposal to Utah leaders if they want to get serious about conquering the state's nagging pollution problem, including an outright ban on all two-stroke gas-powered lawn equipment, statewide emissions testing for vehicles and tighter industry controls. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865671255/Clean-air-advocates-detail-19-point-plan-to-attack-Utahs-pollution-problem.html Australia should invest in coal power to reduce emissions, minister says. Economists and energy analysts question environmental and economic case for Matt Canavan’s coal push. Research touted by the resources minister that reportedly suggests Australia can rely on coal to meet emissions reduction has been attacked by experts and appears to have been misreported. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/17/australia-can-meet-emissions-targets-with-coal-says-mining-minister EPA reports decrease in toxic releases. The amount of toxic chemicals being released into the air by industrial facilities has been cut in half since 2005, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Toxics Release Inventory report, which is based on data from more than 21,800 facilities nationwide, shows a 56 percent decrease in the release of toxic air emissions from 2005 to 2015, including an 8 percent decrease between 2014 and 2015. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/data-watch/ EPA, Sierra Club reach deal in monitoring suit. U.S. EPA has worked out a tentative deal to end a Sierra Club lawsuit challenging changes to air quality monitoring regulations put in place last year. Under a proposed settlement scheduled to be formally released tomorrow for public comment, the Sierra Club would drop the suit after EPA issues two "nonbinding guidance documents" intended to bolster public access and notification efforts. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/01/18/stories/1060048574 ALISO CANYON California finishes safety review of wells after blowout. A California natural gas storage facility where a blowout spewed methane for nearly four months has completed a safety review required to resume operations, though it might never return to full capacity, state officials said Tuesday. The Southern California Gas Co. facility at Aliso Canyon has been crippled more than a year since the blowout discovered in October 2015 drove 8,000 families… http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CALIFORNIA_GAS_LEAK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT http://in.reuters.com/article/usa-socalgas-alisocanyon-idINL1N1F71Z7 http://www.ocregister.com/articles/-741417--.html CLIMATE CHANGE For third-straight time, Earth sets hottest year record. Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, government scientists said Wednesday. They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared. Measuring global temperatures in slightly different ways, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that last year passed 2015 as the hottest year on record. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_HOTTEST_YEAR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/hottest-year-on-record/ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-temperatures-idUSKBN15227X http://www.wsj.com/articles/last-year-was-hottest-on-record-climate-experts-say-1484756646 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/science/earth-highest-temperature-record.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-hottest-year-2016-20170118-story.html http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/For-third-straight-time-Earth-sets-hottest-year-10865428.php http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article127198569.html http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38652746 http://abc7news.com/science/2016-hottest-year;-scientists-blame-global-warming/1708364/ http://www.toledoblade.com/World/2017/01/18/World-temperatures-hit-new-high-in-2016-for-third-year-in-a-row.html Study finds global warming could steal postcard-perfect days. Global warming is going to steal away some of those postcard-perfect weather days in the future, according to a first-of-its-kind projection of nice weather. On average, Earth will have 10 fewer days of mild and mostly dry weather by the end of the century, the researchers estimate. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_FEWER_MILD_DAYS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/article127163554.html Interior nominee Zinke disputes Trump on climate change. Donald Trump's choice to head the Interior Department on Tuesday rejected the president-elect's claim that climate change is a hoax, saying it is indisputable that environmental changes are affecting the world's temperature and human activity is a major reason. "I don't believe it's a hoax," Rep. Ryan Zinke told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at his confirmation hearing. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRUMP_INTERIOR_SECRETARY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/510335071/trump-pick-to-head-interior-department-says-climate-change-is-not-a-hoax?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=bcb2242d86- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/17/ryan-zinke-says-humans-influence-climate-change-scientists-say-were-the-dominant-cause/ http://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-01-17/donald-trumps-interior-pick-theres-debate-about-extent-of-human-role-in-climate-change http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/epa-pick-pruitt-climate-change-not-a-hoax/article/2612196?custom_click=rss http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/17/interior-secretary-pick-zinke-climate-change-real/ Trump Denies Climate Change, But Majority Of Americans Favor Environmental Laws. President-elect Donald Trump has denied climate change exists, but the majority of Americans say environmental regulations are worth the cost, a recent Pew Research Center survey found. Fifty-nine percent of Americans say stronger environmental laws and regulations are worth it… http://www.ibtimes.com/trump-denies-climate-change-majority-americans-favor-environmental-laws-2476676 Indigenous Canadians face a crisis as climate change eats away island home. Rising sea levels mean that Lennox Island has lost more than 400 acres in just a few generations. Now its First Nations community wonders if it has a future. His hands tucked tightly in the pockets of his jeans; Gilbert Sark nodded at the ice-covered bay stretched out before him. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/18/canada-island-climate-change-sea-level-rise-lennox Number of 'perfect' days diminishes with climate change. The perfect weather day could happen less often in the future. The mild weather most people prefer, sunny with temperatures between 64 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, will yield to more extreme weather in many parts of the globe, according to a new study published today. The study, published in the journal Climatic Change, found that the global number of mild weather days could decline by up to 13 percent… http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/18/stories/1060048541 Obama admin says there's no 'consensus' on carbon levels. The number 350 resonates with climate activists but not the feds. To many global warming experts, 350 parts per million — the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide beyond which climate advocates and researchers say the levels endanger the planet — is common lingo, and its meaning is widely accepted. Not so to the federal government. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/18/stories/1060048544 Trump is the 'worst' for climate change — scientist. Climate scientist Michael Mann sees President-elect Donald Trump's surprising election win as the "worst possible scenario" for climate change. In a recent interview, Mann, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, spoke about the possible impacts of the incoming administration on climate action. He described the situation as bleak. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/01/18/stories/1060048511 Human impact on climate change up for debate — Pruitt. Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead U.S. EPA, faced a barrage of questions from Democrats at his confirmation hearing today before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The Oklahoma Republican attorney general is an aggressive critic of EPA, often leading litigation against the agency over its regulations… http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/01/18/stories/1060048581 Global warming 'on the table' at U.N. — Haley. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.N. ambassador, is on Capitol Hill today for her confirmation hearing. Photo courtesy of C-SPAN. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) today said that she would bring fresh perspective to the United Nations and that climate change issues would remain… http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/01/18/stories/1060048579 DROUGHT California’s tough water regulations likely to remain in place. Despite a wet winter that has much of California emerging from drought, state officials are showing no sign that they’ll ease up on water regulations imposed on cities and towns over the past three years. Staffers at the State Water Resources Control Board sent a proposal Tuesday to the agency’s governing board recommending renewal of emergency drought mandates… http://www.sfchronicle.com/drought/article/California-looks-to-extend-emergency-drought-10864014.php FUELS Judge lets federal flaring rules take effect during lawsuit. New nationwide rules to curtail the practice of burning off excess natural gas from oil and gas wells on federal land took effect as scheduled Tuesday after a judge said he saw no urgent reason to block them while a lawsuit moves ahead. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl in Casper said Monday that he couldn't immediately conclude the Interior Department had overstepped its authority with the rules… http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_METHANE_GAS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Army plans Dakota Access oil pipeline environmental study. The Army has started the process of launching a full environmental study of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline's disputed crossing of the Missouri River in North Dakota, though a federal judge could stop the effort. The Army published a notice Wednesday of its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement on the Lake Oahe crossing. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OIL_PIPELINE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Trump Interior nominee would consider more drilling on federal land. Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of Interior, on Tuesday said he would consider an expansion of energy drilling and mining on federal lands but would ensure sensitive areas remain protected. The former Navy SEAL sought to outline a measured approach to the job of managing America’s national parks, forests and tribal lands… http://in.reuters.com/article/usa-congress-zinke-idINKBN15133Z VEHICLES Trump may reverse auto emissions rules, but don't expect other nations to follow. Other countries have no intention of rolling back their emission limits. This means that any changes Trump makes in the US could be offset by laws elsewhere. With auto-industry lobbyists pushing to have the Trump Administration roll back current and future emission and fuel-economy rules, automakers clearly see the new U.S. regime as more friendly to the needs of business. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2017/0118/Trump-may-reverse-auto-emissions-rules-but-don-t-expect-other-nations-to-follow VW RECALL VW will appeal court order to buy back customer's diesel car. Volkswagen says it will appeal a court ruling that it must buy back a German customer's diesel car rigged to cheat on emissions tests. Nicolai Laude, a VW spokesman, said Wednesday that the company expects the verdict by the court in Hildesheim in northern Germany to be overturned. Volkswagen noted that other courts had reached opposite decisions in previous cases. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GERMANY_VOLKSWAGEN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT FIAT/CHRYSLER (FCA) Italy rejects Germany's emissions allegations against Fiat Chrysler. Tests conducted on Fiat Chrysler vehicles show they are compliant with regulations and contain no emissions defeat devices as alleged by Germany, Italy's transport ministry said in a statement on Monday. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-fiatchrysler-emissions-italy-idUSKBN1502EF Italy Says Tests Show Fiat 500X Cars Meet Emissions Rules. The Italian transportation ministry says its tests show that Fiat 500X cars meet emissions rules, despite German contentions that the cars contain so-called defeat devices meant to cheat emissions tests. A ministry statement Monday says it carried out the necessary checks and sent a detailed report to Germany indicating the model "meets the existing regulations" on emissions testing. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/01/16/world/europe/ap-eu-italy-fiat-chrysler-.html?_r=0 French target Renault, Brits query Fiat, over diesel emissions. The past week has not been a particularly pleasant one for advocates of diesel cars. Volkswagen agreed to plead guilty to criminal counts related to its diesel-emissions cheating and pay $4.3 billion in fines, while U.S. prosecutors arrested one of the company's executives and indicted five more. Fiat Chrysler was accused by the EPA of using software in its diesel vehicles that violates the Clean Air Act… http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108380_french-target-renault-brits-query-fiat-over-diesel-emissions U.K. to test Jeep model after U.S. emissions accusations. The U.K. said on Monday it will carry out tests on the Jeep Grand Cherokee model following U.S. accusations that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles mislead regulators on diesel car emissions. "We have instructed our market surveillance unit to undertake testing on one of these vehicles at the earliest opportunity," a spokesman at the Department for Transport said. http://www.autonews.com/article/20170117/COPY01/301179948/u.k.-to-test-jeep-model-after-u.s.-emissions-accusations Ram and Jeep diesel emissions allegations spur class action lawsuits. U.S. and Canadian firms seek compensation for owners after EPA issues violation notice. This shouldn't come as a surprise. Last week, the EPA issued a notice of violation to FCA after it determined that Jeep and Ram installed eight undisclosed auxiliary emissions control devices on diesel vehicles. Since then US law firm Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC and Canadian firm Sotos LLP have launched class action suits… http://www.autoblog.com/2017/01/17/ram-jeep-fca-ecodiesel-lawsuits/ Emissions cheating goes global: France and Britain also investigating automakers. With US headlines about the latest on emissions cheating from Volkswagen, and now an investigation of Fiat Chrysler, the past week has not been a great one for diesel cars. Now, two automakers are subject to diesel investigations in Europe. The past week has not been a particularly pleasant one for advocates of diesel cars. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2017/0117/Emissions-cheating-goes-global-France-and-Britain-also-investigating-automakers GREEN ENERGY Renewables trade groups, enviros at odds over Perry. Environmentalists and clean energy groups disagree over President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Energy Department ahead of tomorrow's confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. While the wind industry's largest lobbying group is voicing support for the nominee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)… http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/01/18/stories/1060048569 MISCELLANEOUS Trump pick to lead EPA has spotty state environmental record. When President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first took office as Oklahoma's attorney general, he disbanded the unit responsible for protecting the state's natural resources. Instead, Scott Pruitt reassigned his staff to focus on filing lawsuits against the federal agency he's now selected to lead. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRUMP_EPA_PRUITT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Why the EPA nominee wants to be a political wrecking ball. When new presidents come to the White House, the pendulum of federal environmental action tends to swing, and under Donald Trump it may take an unusually wide shift – seen especially in passing responsibility to the states. State empowerment stands out like no other theme as a guiding light for Scott Pruitt, who faces a confirmation hearing today… http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Inhabit/2017/0118/Why-the-EPA-nominee-wants-to-be-a-political-wrecking-ball ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE California Upgrades Environmental Justice Tool. CalEnviroScreen looks at a number of different factors to identify neighborhoods that have significant impacts from pollution and other factors. The online map looks at 8,000 census tracks and gauges pollution, public health conditions and environmental quality. Red indicates a higher risk rate, while a green color represents lower risk. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2017/jan/17/california-upgrades-environmental-justice-tool/ OPINIONS California has gone from drought to deluge, but our woes aren't over yet. To the editor: California’s current bountiful rainfall is a welcome but uncertain reprieve. Weather is becoming less predictable and more disruptive all around the world, validating the warnings of climate scientists. Its basic physics, they explain: more atmospheric CO2 means a warmer planet. These and other disturbances from global warming can no longer be ignored. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-ol-le-drought-20170117-story.html Cap and trade déjà vu. Wynne government appears to be making the same mistakes the Liberals did with their disastrous Green Energy Act. If you doubt carbon dioxide (CO2) is a dangerous pollutant, you probably think the $156 Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne claims her new cap and trade policy will cost your family this year in direct charges for gasoline and natural gas home heating, is a rip-off. http://www.torontosun.com/2017/01/14/cap-and-trade-deja-vu The Delusional War on Warmth. For decades now, global warming scaremongers have been stealing energy from the environment using windmills, solar collectors and biofuels, force-fed by carbon taxes and emission trading schemes. Their delusional dream is to cool the globe. However, there has been no global warming for nearly 20 years. Right now, the great ice sheets are growing thicker and record snow… http://canadafreepress.com/article/the-delusional-war-on-warmth BLOGS Legislative Update: Cap-and-Trade to Get a Hearing. Two Democratic Assemblymembers got the ball rolling on settling the future of California’s cap-and-trade program by introducing A.B. 151 yesterday. The bill would authorize the California Air Resources Board “to utilize a market-based compliance mechanism” to reduce greenhouse gases after 2020, when the current Global Warming Solutions Act expires. http://cal.streetsblog.org/2017/01/13/legislative-update-cap-and-trade-to-get-a-hearing/ Engaging Indigenous Peoples on Environmental Justice at the UN Permanent Forum. At the EPA, we see providing meaningful engagement for our most vulnerable and underserved communities as a fundamental part of fulfilling our mission to protect this country’s environmental quality and public health. This work includes engagement with federally recognized tribes and indigenous people. http://www.environmentguru.com/pages/elements/element.aspx?id=4426707 Record Year for Environmental Enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division has announced one of its most successful years in its history of over a century, including the highest recoveries in environmental enforcement and the highest criminal penalties handed down in individual vessel pollution and wildlife trafficking cases. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/record-year-for-environmental-enforcement EPA Not Backing Down On 2025 Emissions Standards. Only a week prior to President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now set vehicle emissions standards that should remain in place until 2025. The standards are based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) current fuel economy regulations. http://insideevs.com/environmental-protection-agency-2025-emissions-standards/ Decoded microbial metabolism explains biofuel yield. To unravel how intricate waste biomass converts to biofuels, a Cornell professor studied the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum to decipher its metabolism. Understanding the bacterium’s sugar-processing complexities may lead to improved biofuel yields. “It is recognized for over a century that Clostridium acetobutylicum [a soil bacterium] is a viable biofuel producer. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2017/01/decoded-microbial-metabolism-explains-biofuel-yield New Streamlined Process Could Hold Promise for Making Biofuel. A dozen glass cylinders containing a potential payload of bright green algae are widely exposed to hundreds of multi-colored lights that offer all the natural hues of sunlight. The small LEDs dim and brighten to imitate the constantly changing conditions of the outdoors. In order to further simulate a virtual cloud that passes overhead, chillers start and nudge the algae a little cooler. http://www.azocleantech.com/news.aspx?newsID=23895 Another Potential Global Killer Is Approaching the Tipping Point. And we have no one else to blame but ourselves. For over 7 decades, we have been protecting ourselves from disease-causing bacteria by taking antibiotic drugs. But because everything changes, and even bacteria learn to evolve, it’s not surprising that over time, what were once effective in fighting infection… http://wallstreetpit.com/112732-potential-global-killer-approaching-tipping-point/ Collaboration on Drought Resilience is Delivering Results for America’s Communities and Economy. Over the past year, we have seen alarming mass tree mortality in California, the development of severe drought conditions in New England and the Southeast, and dropping water tables in regions throughout the United States. The five-year Western drought and recent droughts in other states threaten our communities, our farms, our freshwater fisheries… http://blogs.usda.gov/2017/01/18/collaboration-on-drought-resilience-is-delivering-results-for-americas-communities-and-economy/ On Climate Change, Even States in Forefront Are Falling Short. Is there a more environmentally conscious state than California? It has been at the forefront of climate policy for decades — from demanding stringent fuel economy and emissions standards to wholeheartedly embracing renewable energy from the sun and wind. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/business/economy/climate-change-california-new-york.html California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.