Hot News: January 13, 2017 - The Years Project

Hot News: January 13, 2017

By Climate Nexus

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Chrysler the Latest Emissions Cheater? The Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler on Thursday of violating emissions standards with two of its vehicle models. Chrysler, EPA alleges, outfitted more than 100,000 diesel cars with secret software allowing them to obscure the amount of pollutants they emit and “cheat” vehicle emissions tests. Chrysler has denied the accusations, which come a day after Volkswagen plead guilty to criminal conspiracy and agreed to pay a $4.3 billion fine in federal court for equipping over 600,000 vehicles with similar emissions-cheating software. (Washington Post $, New York Times $, APWSJ $, The HillNPRBloombergVox)

DOI to Trump: Overhauling Coal Program Makes Sense: The Obama administration on Wednesday rolled out a long-anticipated suite of options for updating the management of coal sales on federal lands, which contain an estimated 7.4 billion tons of coal. The Interior Department’s current program, which hasn’t been updated since the 1980s, fails to properly account for a number of factors, including climate change, the plunging cost of and domestic production of coal, and how to provide a fair rate of return on sales to taxpayers. The administration issued a temporary stop on federal coal leases a year ago to begin the review process, and Trump made reversing the moratorium a firm point of his energy policy during the campaign. While an incoming Trump administration could ignore the recommendations entirely and press for new leases, the report does present mounting evidence for an overhaul of the industry-friendly program. (APBloombergWashington Post $)

Clean Energy Investment Down, But Renewables Looking Up: Global investment in clean energy dropped by 18 percent in 2016 partially due to plummeting solar and wind prices, according to a report issued Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The drop, the first since 2013, is mostly due to decreased investment from China and Japan as the countries put a pause on renewables development to best utilize the capacity they have developed after years of growth in the sector. Global offshore wind investment, the report finds, has skyrocketed to $29.9 billion, a 40% increase from 2015. (BloombergNexus Media NewsFinancial Times $, Greentech MediaReuters)

New York Wants In on the Wind: Speaking of increased wind investment…Gov. Andrew Cuomo made wind development a core policy point of his “state of the state” addresses this week, committing New York to develop up to 2,400 MW of offshore wind by 2030. If fully realized, this wind development could power 1.25 million homes and would be a boost in the state’s goals to source 50 percent of power from renewables by 2050. Cuomo’s wind proposals include immediate approval for a 90 MW wind farm off the coast of Montauk, which would be the largest offshore wind project in the US. (ReutersUPIUtilityDiveEnergyWire $)

US News
  • Scientists have a new way to calculate what global warming costs. Trump’s team isn’t going to like it (Washington Post $)
  • Officials: More than 40 percent of California out of drought (APUSA TodayNPR)
  • Obama names five new national monuments, including Southern civil rights sites (Washington Post $, The Hill)
  • Fearing Trump data purge, environmentalists push to get records (Bloomberg)
  • New study: Carbon cap and trade has saved lives (WCAI)
  • Rex Tillerson couldn’t recall ExxonMobil subsidiary’s work with Iran. Here’s the proof it happened (Washington Post $)
  • Senators wrestle with whether to back Tillerson (The Hill)
  • California lawmakers offer a plan to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program (LA Times $, Bloomberg)
  • An aging pipeline has driven this Native American tribe into an unprecedented move (Fusion)
  • Industrial, utility emissions drop — EPA (E&E $)
  • In EPA rebuke, judge orders quick evaluation on coal jobs (AP)
  • EPA said to defy automakers, keep efficiency standards intact (Bloomberg)
  • Patchwork of Dakota Access protests across US encouraged (Washington Post $)
  • New North Dakota governor expects controversial pipeline to be built (Reuters)
  • Will Putin and Trump bond over oil? (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • Climate science denier on Commerce landing team (Greenwire $)
  • Trump stirs homebuilders’ dreams of bulldozing environment rules (Bloomberg)
  • Gas taxes may go up around the country as states seek to plug budget holes (NPR)
  • Peabody secures $1.5 billion in financing to exit Chapter 11 (Reuters)
  • Freshman Democrat Kamala Harris grills CIA director nominee on climate change (Washington Examiner)
  • Tillerson hedges on climate science, but supports Paris Agreement (InsideClimate News)
  • At State, Tillerson could let Exxon off human rights charges (Climate Home)
  • Senate Dems raise new conflict of interest charges against Pruitt (Politico Pro $)
  • Greens’ ads hit EPA pick on pollution rules, earthquakes (The Hill)
  • Cuomo hoping to reduce food waste sent to landfills (Politico Pro NY $)
  • Trump’s choice for CIA director refuses to answer questions about climate change (ThinkProgress)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley patiently exposed Rex Tillerson on climate change (Vox)
  • RFK Jr. says he’ll leave environmental group to head Trump vaccine commission (Politico Pro $)
  • USDA: Ethanol emits fewer GHGs than gasoline (Politico Pro $)
  • Facing tougher pollution regulations, Texas coal plants want old EPA rule back (Texas Observer)
  • Lawmakers: Utility-scale wind farm poses security threat (AP)
  • Chief of solar group ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Trump, Perry (E&E $)
  • New York seeks to develop U.S.’s biggest offshore wind projects (Reuters)
  • Greens’ ads hit EPA pick on pollution rules, earthquakes (The Hill)
  • Sanders: There are some opportunities to work with Trump (The Hill)
  • Report Ranks Top States for Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement (Greentech Media)
  • A new label could release a flood of organic food (Grist)
  • ‘Strange times’ ahead on climate change (ClimateWire $)
  • Northeast U.S. warming is off the charts, study finds (Fusion)
  • Report assesses impact of federal coal emissions (Public News Service)

World News

  • Swansea Bay tidal lagoon backed by government review (GuardianReutersBloomberg)
  • German power battery storage to grow three-fold this year: study (Reuters)
  • China’s embrace of a new electricity-transmission technology holds lessons for others (The Economist $)
  • India solar prices set to drop on competition, costs (Bloomberg)
  • Gas companies have manufactured shortage myth, economist says (Guardian)
  • Victoria’s plans for hydrogen exports to Japan are ‘way of making brown coal look green’ (Guardian)
  • Almost 75% of Japan’s biggest coral reef has died from bleaching, says report (Guardian)
  • You can literally bet on when a massive iceberg will break off Antarctica (USA Today)
  • Trump climate advisor Myron Ebell heads to Brussels (Climate Home)
  • Guterres: tackling climate will prevent global conflict (Climate Home)
  • Climate change is the world’s biggest risk (Climate Central)
  • China tells air quality app to stop reporting its high pollution readings (Mashable)
  • Putin’s other American propaganda effort: Anti-fracking news (Bloomberg)
  • Climate changing for “green bonds” even in face of Trump scepticism (Reuters)
  • China eyes ocean renewable energy development (XinhuaNet)
  • World leaders set to discuss the future of energy in Davos (CNBC)

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