California's Battle Against Climate Change Is Going Up in Smoke

Mother Jones

Smoke rises from a burned out grove of trees at the Blue Cut wildfire in Wrightwood, California on August 17, 2016.Jonathan Alcorn/AFP/Getty Images Just a few months ago, climate activists in California were celebrating an impressive victory: New data showed that the state had brought greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels, four years earlier than planned. The win, a cut of emissions to 429.4 million metric tons (the equivalent of taking 12 million cars off the road) was the result of steady decreases in emissions most years. "California set the toughest emissions targets in the nation, tracked progress and delivered results," Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted. The next step was to cut emissions another 40 percent by 2030--"a heroic and very ambitious goal." But by November, skies across the state were gray.


Feds open California land to oil, gas drilling, aiming to strengthen energy independence

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 6 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com The federal government has opened hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands in California for oil and gas drilling as part of a broader effort to strengthen energy independence. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its final decision Friday, allowing oil and gas leases on plots mostly in the Central Valley and parts of the Central Coast. The 725,000 acres of public land in Central California had been off-limits to oil and gas drilling since 2013.


Washington votes to decarbonize its electricity grid

Engadget

Washington is one step closer to decarbonizing its energy grid. According to a bill voted in by the Washington House of Representatives last week, the state will end coal use by 2025, have a carbon-neutral grid by 2030 and its power sector will be emissions-free by 2045. Washington is the fourth state to pursue carbon-free electricity. California, Hawaii and New Mexico have already passed similar plans, while Nevada and New York are considering similar bills this year. But getting this far has been a hard fight for Washington's Democratic governor -- and 2020 Presidential candidate -- Jay Inslee, whose previous bids to clean up the state's power sector have been repeatedly caught up in the courts.


An Overview of Recent Application Trends at the AAMAS Conference: Security, Sustainability and Safety

AI Magazine

A key feature of the AAMAS conference is its emphasis on ties to real-world applications. The focus of this article is to provide a broad overview of application-focused papers published at the AAMAS 2010 and 2011 conferences. More specifically, recent applications at AAMAS could be broadly categorized as belonging to research areas of security, sustainability and safety. We outline the domains of applications, key research thrusts underlying each such application area, and emerging trends.


Fossil Fuel Industries Outspend Clean Energy Advocates on Climate Lobbying by 10 to 1

Mother Jones

Legislation ambitious enough to make a difference at a time when fossil fuel emissions are hitting an all-time high and climate change appears to be happening faster and more intensely than previously thought faces yet another hurdle. The false belief that scientists are not yet certain about humanity's role in global warming all but dominates the Republican Party and undergirds the Trump administration's environmental, national security and energy policies. Meanwhile, Democrats have failed to rally around a bold climate plan, instead intermittently producing legislation to set renewable energy goals with no clear roadmap on how to achieve them. Even the most purportedly hawkish Democrats on climate change have proposed conservative policies to deal with it, including a carbon tax that would have lowered the corporate tax rate by 6 percent and a cap-and-dividend bill that would have returned carbon revenues to Americans in the form of a rebate.