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Report: Solar, wind on the rise in corporate America — despite Trump

By Louis Hansen / December 7, 2016 at 12:59 PM


Even as solar companies struggle — including layoffs at local firms SolarCity and SunPower — corporate America is stepping up its renewable goals.

Demand for renewable energy is growing among Fortune 100 companies, according to a survey released this week by Advanced Energy Economy, a lobby for the renewable energy industry. The report found 71 companies have set renewable energy goals or targets for sustainability, an 18 percent increase from two years ago.

Among the top 500 companies surveyed, 43 percent, or 215 firms, said they have renewable targets. The number has remained unchanged since the last report.

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Iran’s big new oil deal with Shell will help keep its nuclear agreement safe from Trump

Foreign investment in the country makes it harder to return to sanctions.

Updated by Zeeshan Dec 7, 2016, 12:40pm EST


Getty Images

Iran is showing signs of attracting major foreign investment in its long-neglected oil fields. That’s good news for its economy, and it could make it harder for Donald Trump to reinstitute sanctions against the country should he try to fulfill his promise to rip up President Obama’s controversial nuclear deal with Tehran.

On Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, more commonly known as Shell, announced that it was agreeing to develop major oil and gas fields in Iran for the first time since sanctions related to the country’s nuclear deal were lifted at the beginning of the year. It’s not a done deal — Shell and the Iranian government have just signed preliminary agreements known as “memoranda of understanding,” and it doesn’t come with an investment commitment.

But if they do end up working out, it’s a major win for Iran, whose economy was devastated by international sanctions imposed because of its quest for a nuclear weapon. The two oil fields involved in the deal are estimated to have about 8.2 billion barrels’ worth of recoverable oil, which is equivalent to about 15 percent of the proven crude reserves in the US.

The French energy firm Total, which signed a multibillion-dollar contract with Iran for its huge South Pars gas field in November, is also now in talks about developing Iranian oil fields.

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In Dakota Access pipeline controversy, Obama’s ties to tribes played pivotal role

By Juliet Eilperin December 5 at 7:03 PM

Three months ago a young Malaysian woman asked President Obama about the protests taking place over the Dakota Access pipeline: She wanted to know what the president was doing “to ensure the protection of the ancestral land, the supply of clean water, and also environmental justice.”

Obama was at a town hall with young leaders in Luang Prabang, Laos, thousands of miles from the sit-in on the Great Plains, and he did not have an answer: “I’d have to go back to my staff and find out how are we doing on this one,” he said.

The standoff, which evolved into a massive gathering of tribal representatives, environmentalists, veterans and other activists from across the nation, took the president and his aides by surprise. But it quickly captured their attention.

Former assistant secretary for Indian affairs Kevin K. Washburn, who left the administration in January, said in an interview that Obama changed the federal culture around tribal affairs during his eight years in office.

“There’s definitely a sense within the administration if you’re on the wrong side of tribes, you better be able to explain yourself,” said Washburn, now a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, “because the federal government’s been on the wrong side of tribes for 200 years, and it hasn’t been successful.”

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How Standing Rock sparked a national movement toward environmental justice

By Wes Enzinna on Dec 6, 2016

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Ome Tlaloc walked through the North Dakota hills with a flashlight and a walkie-talkie, scouting for police in the prairie dark. Earlier that evening, I’d met the 30-year-old on Highway 1806, where he’d been sitting behind a makeshift barricade. Now he was doing reconnaissance. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department and the National Guard, stationed ahead of us on the road, were planning to raid the camp where Tlaloc and hundreds of other protesters had been living for the past week. The barricade was meant to stop the cops, or at least to slow them down. As he walked, Tlaloc listened to his radio for the code words that would signal when he and his comrades were to spring into action: “Eagle’s Claw.”

The Standing Rock Sioux reservation sits in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, an endless sweep of elephan­tine hills once home to millions of members of the Lakota Nation. Today, it’s inhabited by fewer than 9,000 of their surviving descendants, and one of the few places in America where buffalo roam wild. In late July, the Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners informed the Standing Rock Sioux that in five days its subsidiary would begin construction on a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) next to the reservation. After that, members of more than 200 Native American tribes and their allies gathered to block what would be America’s longest crude oil pipeline. Their encampments of teepees, tents, and RVs were mostly ignored by the media until private security guards set dogs on protesters and a few journalists were arrested, sparking a national conversation about tribal sovereignty, environmental racism, and police brutality.

The October night I met Tlaloc, the stakes in the #NoDAPL movement were as high as they’d ever been. If the “water protectors,” as the protesters called themselves, were cleared out, the pipeline would continue east under the Missouri River, coming within 1,500 feet of Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply. A leak or spill, activists believed, would poison the drinking water of as many as 10 million people, nearly all of them on Native American reservations. The protesters’ goal was to block construction until March 2017, when Dakota Access would have to reapply for a federal construction permit — a delay that might make the project financially unfeasible. If the protesters were removed before then, Dakota Access would complete the 1,172-mile pipeline that would transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude a day. (On Dec. 4, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not approve a permit for the pipeline to run beneath Lake Oahe.)


Mother Jones / Zen Lefort

Tlaloc stopped at the top of a ridge. Off in the distance was the trench holding the lengths of 30-inch metal pipe. “An old Sioux prophecy says that a black snake will come to destroy the world at a moment of great uncertainty,” he said. “Unless the youth stop it.”

Back at the barricade, men in camo fatigues sipped cowboy coffee and waited. Pup tents formed a circle around a pit fire. “They’ve killed us before,” said Harry Beauchamp, a 63-year-old Assiniboine from Montana. Resting his cowboy boots on a soup pot, he told us about his participation in the 1973 standoff between members of the American Indian Movement and law enforcement agents in South Dakota that ended in the deaths of two Native American activists. A few weeks earlier, he’d been attacked by a dog brought in by a pipeline security contractor. His future son-in-law, he said, was bringing him a rifle. “I’m not going to let this be another Wounded Knee,” he said.


Mother Jones / Zen Lefort

The next day, a pale sun burned through the morning haze, backlighting 200 sheriff’s deputies and National Guardsmen in full riot gear. Behind them were an armored personnel carrier, a land-mine-resistant truck, and the pipeline’s private security force — overseen by TigerSwan, a North Carolina firm that’s done work for the U.S. government in Afghanistan and Iraq. “This is a state highway,” a police commander said into a loudspeaker. “You must clear the road.”

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Forgiveness Ceremony Unites Veterans And Natives At Standing Rock Casino

“We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke.”

12/05/2016 04:55 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago


    Jenna Amatulli

    Trends Editor, The Huffington Post

    On Monday, Native Americans conducted a forgiveness ceremony with U.S. veterans at the Standing Rock casino, giving the veterans an opportunity to atone for military actions conducted against Natives throughout history.

    In celebration of Standing Rock protesters’ victory Sunday in halting construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Leonard Crow Dog formally forgave Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO, Wesley Clark Sr.



    Wesley Clark Jr., middle, and other veterans kneel in front of Leonard Crow Dog during a forgiveness ceremony at the Four Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Monday.

    Salon published Clark’s apology to the Natives, which read as follows:

    Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.

    This was a historically symbolic gesture forgiving centuries of oppression against Natives and honoring their partnership in defending the land from the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    Chief Leonard Crow Dog offered forgiveness and urged for world peace, responding that “we do not own the land, the land owns us.”

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    Renewable energy is here to stay: The industry has grown up, and it’s too big to kill

    Donald Trump's meeting with Al Gore could signal that he understands renewable energy isn't do-gooder business now


    If you’re an American environmentalist, there’s a lot to be sober about these days. The crippling defeat of progressive politics in the November elections swept Republicans into Congress that could help Trump fulfill his campaign promises to dismantle environmental policies established under the Obama administration, revive a dying U.S. coal industry and pull out of the 193-country Paris accord aimed at coordinating a reduction in global greenhouse gases.

    The markets have reacted accordingly. Since the Republican victory in the Nov. 8 elections, investors have been dumping shares in renewable-energy companies like Vesta Wind Systems, the world’s top maker of wind turbines, whose stock has plunged nearly 19 percent since the election, while plying cash into mining interests like Glencore, one of the world’s largest coal producers, whose shares have jumped almost 14 percent in the same period of time. The markets are predicting Trump, who walked back his claim that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese after the election, will nevertheless be a great booster of oil and gas interests while capping progress the country has made in developing fossil-fuel alternatives.

    If you’re an American environmentalist, there’s a lot to be sober about these days. The crippling defeat of progressive politics in the November elections swept Republicans into Congress that could help Trump fulfill his campaign promises to dismantle environmental policies established under the Obama administration, revive a dying U.S. coal industry and pull out of the 193-country Paris accord aimed at coordinating a reduction in global greenhouse gases.

    The markets have reacted accordingly. Since the Republican victory in the Nov. 8 elections, investors have been dumping shares in renewable-energy companies like Vesta Wind Systems, the world’s top maker of wind turbines, whose stock has plunged nearly 19 percent since the election, while plying cash into mining interests like Glencore, one of the world’s largest coal producers, whose shares have jumped almost 14 percent in the same period of time. The markets are predicting Trump, who walked back his claim that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese after the election, will nevertheless be a great booster of oil and gas interests while capping progress the country has made in developing fossil-fuel alternatives.

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    Google, Apple, Facebook race towards 100% renewable energy target

    A global campaign to promote 100% renewable energy use in the business world means more Silicon Valley giants are now investing in solar and wind electricity


    Businesses, like homeowners, have historically relied on their local utilities for power. Now, tech companies like Google and Facebook are racing to reach a 100% renewable energy target. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Supported by

    Alison Moodie

    Tuesday 6 December 2016 11.53 EST

    Tech giants are jockeying to be the first to hit a 100% renewable energy goal. Google, which has invested in solar and wind energy for a decade, intends to get there by 2017.

    Google is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, and plans to buy enough wind and solar energy to offset all the electricity used by its 13 data centers and offices in 150 cities worldwide, the company said Tuesday.

    Apple seems close to reaching its own 100% goal as well. The company said it achieved 93% in 2015. An Apple spokeswoman said the company has yet to set a year for when they would likely cross the finish line.

    For Google, hitting the 100% target means for every unit of electricity it consumes – typically from coal or natural gas power plants – it would buy a unit of wind or solar electricity. The company wouldn’t say how much electricity it will need to have purchased by the end of next year to reach its 100% goal, but did say that the amount would exceed the 5.7 terawatt-hours solar and wind energy that it bought in 2015.

    “We want to run our business in an environmentally responsible way, and energy consumption is the largest portion,” said Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy and development at Google’s Global Infrastructure Group.

    Google is taking a big leap to that 100% goal, having achieved just 37% in 2014. The company has invested in renewable energy ever since it kicked off the construction of a 1.6-megawatt solar energy system in 2006. Since 2010, it’s signed 2.6 gigawatts worth of solar and wind contracts.

    The tech giant isn’t alone in setting the 100% target. A global campaign to promote 100% renewable energy use in the business world includes Ikea, Facebook, Starbucks and Johnson & Johnson.

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    Want to Bring Back Jobs, Mr. President-Elect? Call Elon Musk

    Andrew Ross Sorkin

    DEALBOOK DEC. 5, 2016



    An employee working on an assembly line at Tesla, one of Elon Musk’s enterprises.


    Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — Donald Trump: Please think about calling Elon Musk.

    President-elect Trump has spent a lot of time talking about how he plans to reinvigorate the manufacturing sector, repeatedly telling the public on the campaign trail, “We are going to bring back jobs that have been stolen from you.”

    And yet the group of business luminaries he named on Friday to advise him on “job creation” — which included Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Robert Iger of Disney and Mary Barra of General Motors — was missing a key name: Mr. Musk, the real-life Tony Stark behind Tesla, the electric car company; SolarCity, the solar power provider; and SpaceX, the rocket company.

    Mr. Musk, 45, is arguably the one person in the nation more responsible than anyone else for generating a vision for the re-emergence of manufacturing in the United States en masse. And he is revered among most of his peers here in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

    In the last decade, Mr. Musk has created nearly 35,000 jobs among his various enterprises — and most of those jobs are classic manufacturing ones. His Tesla Gigafactory, a 5.5-million-square-foot battery factory under construction outside Reno, Nev., is expected to employ 6,500 people in manufacturing jobs by 2020.

    After the factory is complete, 95 percent of the parts contained in Tesla vehicles will be made in the United States. His company’s leading-edge advances have pushed the entire auto industry to innovate, with rivals seeking to copy many of Tesla’s best features.

    This is the future of manufacturing — much more so than the 1,000 jobs saved at the Carrier plant in Indiana last week.

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    Jerry Brown predicts ‘negative, and very powerful’ reaction if Donald Trump halts climate change action

    DECEMBER 6, 2016 4:15 PM

    Gov. Jerry Brown, joined Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, by his nominee for Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, said California would collaborate where possible with President-elect Donald Trump but also uphold the state's values. Christopher Cadelago


    In his global evangelism about the threat of climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown has dismissed skeptics as “troglodytes” and “deniers of the obvious science.”

    But Brown, who in recent years has emerged as a premier climate warrior, has refused to ascribe those characteristics to Donald Trump since his election as president, despite the Republican businessman’s support for fossil fuels and repeated dismissals of climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

    In brief remarks about the subject, Brown said Monday that it would be difficult for the U.S. to “go rogue” on climate change. He went further Tuesday in a broadcast discussion with former Vice President Al Gore, predicting a “negative and very powerful” backlash throughout the world should Trump continue to voice his denials and impede the environmental progress of the last eight years.

    “I don’t think given the science and given the rising concern that that is a sustainable political trajectory – even for the president of the United States,” he said.

    Brown was a guest on Gore’s sixth-annual “24 Hours of Reality” broadcast, a program that at least during the final hour did not appear to offer much in the way of dissenting views. Gore, one of the world’s most prominent climate activists, met with Trump on Monday, offering hope to some environmentalists.

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    County, Cities Consider Alternative Electricity Program

    Bay City News Service Published 12:37 am, Wednesday, December 7, 2016

    Several Contra Costa County cities and the county's Board of Supervisors are considering developing a way for residents to buy more electricity from renewable sources while simultaneously abandoning PG&E.

    The so-called community choice programs, allowed under a 2002 state law, grant cities and counties the ability to set up nonprofit government entities in order to procure electricity from sources other than PG&E and then to sell it back to local consumers.

    County staff will present a draft technical study on the possibility to a Board of Supervisors committee on Monday and to a public workshop later that same day.

    "It's a pretty remarkable change in the energy environment here in California," said Jason Crapo, deputy director of the county's Department of Conservation and Development. "It looks like a pretty good possibility that you'll have a majority (of people) in the Bay Area getting their electricity from one of these programs."

    Contra Costa County and 14 of its 19 cities last year hired a consultant to draft the $175,000 study, which lays out how the community choice program could work, Crapo said.

    The study spells out three basic options: the county and cities could form a community choice program together, each city and the county could enter an existing program on an individual basis, or they could all simply continue getting electricity from PG&E.

    Currently, five of the county's cities are already members of such a program in Marin County, Marin Clean Energy, and more could join in the future.

    Also, Alameda County's newly formed program, East Bay Community Energy, might welcome additional cities, although the details of how that membership would work have yet to be established, Crapo said.

    If Contra Costa County and its cities start their own program, it would likely start by providing consumers with an electricity delivery portfolio that's comprised of 50 percent renewable sources, Crapo said.

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    Will the Next Deepwater Horizon Be in Mexico?


    Christopher C. Sellers is a professor of history and the director of the Center for the Study of Inequality and Social Justice at Stony Brook University, and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He is writing a book on the energy industries in Mexico and the United States.



    Workers on the Centenario deepwater drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico in 2013.


    Dario Lopez-Mills/Associated Press

    On Dec. 5, Mexico’s Energy Ministry began auctioning off the crown jewels of its oil reserves, deepwater tracts that, along with those for fracking, are supposed to set off an oil-and-gas rush south of the border. The auctions are a result of a 2013 law that opened the country’s oil and gas industry to private companies, after 75 years of public ownership. What could go wrong?

    Plenty, as recent experiences in the United States suggest.

    Five years ago, Deepwater Horizon familiarized the world with the risks of deepwater drilling, and Americans are increasingly aware of the dangers of hydraulic fracking. In Mexico, the threats from both will be magnified: The state-owned oil company, Petroleros Mexicanos, or Pemex, has long operated with scant environmental oversight, a legacy that will most likely carry over as private-sector operations take over.

    Mexican environmental and workplace safety laws have greatly improved over the last 30 years, but they have lacked teeth. Insufficient investment in monitoring and enforcement has curbed their sway, especially in places that need them the most, such as the Coatzacoalcos River in southern Veracruz, seat of a vast majority of Pemex’s petrochemical production.

    Despite decades of enforcement efforts, conditions along the Coatzacoalcos had not improved appreciably by 2013, when I gathered local citizens, from fishermen to accountants, to talk about these issues. Testifying to the repeated explosions and spills, decimated fisheries and neighborhood eruptions of leukemia and other cancers, most agreed that Mexico’s environmental laws were simply not being enforced here.

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    Sacramento is finalist for electric truck factory owner says will ‘create thousands of jobs’

    DECEMBER 6, 2016 10:16 AM


    The Nikola One electric semi-truck is unveiled at the Salt Lake City headquarters of Nikola Motor Company on Dec. 1, 2016. Nikola Motor Company


    Sacramento is in the running again for a major factory, an electric-truck facility that could employ thousands of workers. But it’s far from certain whether the region will be any more successful than the last time it competed for a big assembly plant.

    Nikola Motor Co. of Salt Lake City, a privately held startup that just unveiled a prototype, considers the Sacramento area “a top finalist” for its assembly plant, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council announced Tuesday. The Greater Sacramento group said its chief executive, Barry Broome, traveled to Utah recently to make a 15-minute pitch to Nikola founder and Chief Executive Trevor Milton. Broome was accompanied by Sacramento County Executive Nav Gill.

    Broome said Sacramento is competing against locations in Tennessee, Arizona, Utah and possibly one other state.

    It’s highly unusual for a group such as Greater Sacramento, the region’s leading business recruiter, to make an announcement about a company that’s considering Sacramento but hasn’t made a decision. Broome said he made the disclosure because he’s trying to rally community leaders and state officials behind the effort to bring Nikola, and companies like it, to Sacramento.

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    The Historic Victory at Standing Rock

    What it means, what the law says, and what comes next


    A protester blocks highway 1806 in Mandan, North Dakota, in late November, 2016

    Stephanie Keith / Reuters

    1. ROBINSON MEYER DEC 5, 2016 SCIENCE Updated on December 5 at 12:50 p.m. ET

    Surely some of the protesters believed they would prevail, but among the experts—the law professors, financial analysts, and industry journalists who pride themselves on knowing the ins and outs of federal rules—almost no one expected it. The so-called experts were getting ready to shake their heads and sigh, to lament that once again a federal agency had failed to respond to a historic protest and had failed to protect the most vulnerable.

    And then the incredible happened.

    On Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers legally blocked the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, denying it a needed easement to drill beneath the Missouri River.

    The corps will now investigate and write an environmental-impact statement, a roughly two-year process that will assess the risks of building a pipeline so close to the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply. It will specifically examine whether the pipeline should be moved or cancelled altogether.


    “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing,” said Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army assistant secretary for civil works who oversees the Corps of Engineers, in a statement.

    In doing so, the Corps recognizes the demands of the “water protectors,” the indigenous and non-native people who have assembled in protest camps at Cannon Ball, North Dakota, since the spring. The protests had charged the Army Corps never investigated the full environmental risks of the pipeline’s construction.

    Cheers and cries of joy went up when Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, announced the Army Corps’s decision to the protesters. “You all did that. Your presence has brought the attention of the world,” he told the group, according to The New York Times.

    “We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing,” Archambault said in a further statement.

    Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, calls the decision “just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”

    The firm says that previous filings by the Army Corps, and two federal court rulings, support that it “played by the rules” with the pipeline. And it adds that it “fully expects to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this administration has done today changes that in any way.”

    Upon completion, the $3.7-billion Dakota Access pipeline would stretch more than 1,100 miles, linking the oil fields of North Dakota’s Bakken formation with a river terminal in southern Illinois. Energy Transfer Partners sought to avoid the acrimonious public battles that doomed the Keystone XL pipeline by running the Dakota Access pipeline entirely across private land. This freed the firm from seeking public permits in some states. But the pipeline still required the federal government’s permission to drill beneath the Missouri River, a federal waterway.

    Jim Dalrymple, the governor of North Dakota, called the Army Corps’s decision a “serious mistake.”

    “This purely political decision flies in the face of common sense and the rule of law,” said Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the MAIN Coalition, an industry group that primarily exists to defend the pipeline. “Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that the president would, again, use executive fiat in an attempt to enhance his legacy among the extreme left.”

    But rule of law is a tricky thing in this case—and, indeed, in all cases where tribal and federal claims conflict.

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    The next big step for California on climate change

    DECEMBER 5, 2016 2:07 PM


    Daryl Maas, owner of Maas Energy Works in Redding, checks the generator on its methane digesting operation at a dairy farm in Galt in August. Many more digesters would be needed to meet California’s climate change goals. Lezlie Sterling Sacramento Bee file


    Special to The Bee

    Bonnie Holmes-Gen is senior policy director for the American Lung Association of California and can be contacted at Nick Lapis is director of advocacy for Californians Against Waste and can be contacted at

    The California Air Resources Board is proposing an important climate change reduction plan that will help residents breathe easier, eat healthier and reduce food waste.

    The Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy aims to cut so-called super pollutants that remain in the atmosphere for less time than carbon dioxide but inflict much greater harm on people and the environment. It includes 2030 targets established in legislation approved this year to significantly cut methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons emitted by landfills, oil and gas production, agriculture operations, diesel engine exhaust, wood smoke, refrigerants and more.

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    You’re Buying a Home. Have You Considered Climate Change?

    By RON LIEBERDEC. 2, 2016


    Houses in Norfolk, Va., on waterfront property. Some have raised foundations to ward off flood damage.


    Benjamin Donald Boshart for The New York Times

    So you want to buy a home in a global warming zone.

    Wait, you weren’t thinking of it that way? You didn’t even realize it or think to check? Well, it’s time to adjust your outlook.

    That was my conclusion, at least, after reading my colleague Ian Urbina’s recent article about climate change and the residential real estate market. No one knows when (or if) a panic may set in among insurance companies, lenders or home buyers — one that causes prices to fall and never recover in vulnerable areas. But given that homes are the most expensive thing that many of us ever purchase, it’s foolish not to consider the long-term implications of owning one in a growing number of increasingly damage-prone places.

    This is also an area of financial life that is ripe for mistakes and delusional thinking. Buying a home involves an enormous amount of money, and few people do it often enough to be experts. Given the realities of climate change, the process is now set against a backdrop of radical uncertainty about the very ground you will live on and the air you will breathe. Throw political uncertainty into the mix and — well, good luck keeping your head on straight.

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