Washington Post- As you enter Redwood City, Calif., you may notice a sign with a curious slogan printed on it: “Climate best by government test.” Having the best climate is a bold boast, and the sign got climate scientist Ken Caldeira of Stanford University’s Carnegie Institute of Science thinking about how he might test the town’s claim to fame. His research, published Tuesday in the journal Scientific Reports, indicates which city may actually have the nicest climate — and which city could take the title in the next 100 years if humans fail to curb carbon emissions and mitigate climate change.
The Hill- The head of the United Nations congratulated President Obama Tuesday for what he characterized as “hugely important and visionary leadership” on Obama’s landmark climate rule. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Obama Tuesday at the White House to discuss the climate rule and its impact on the UN’s upcoming global climate change agreement, among other issues.“This is hugely important and visionary leadership. The U.S. can and will be able to change the world in addressing a climate phenomenon,” Ban told reporters after the meeting. “We are the first generation, as President Obama rightly said yesterday, to put an end to global poverty,” he said. “And we are the last generation who can address climate change phenomenon.”
The Hill- Senate Republicans criticized the Obama administration and environmental groups Tuesday for what they said is a pattern of lawsuits that are settled to change and influence regulations. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) called the hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee to examine how “sue-and-settle” tactics influence the Environmental Protection Agecy’s (EPA) regulations and endangered species determinations at the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).With both agencies, the GOP says environmental groups bring lawsuits to force officials to write regulations by a certain time, and the Obama administration settles them and agrees to the demands.
Wall Street Journal- The United States is currently engaged in a number of far-reaching trade talks. However these agreements end up, Americans at least can rest assured that their economic interests are well represented . . . at least by the foreign negotiators. To be sure, the U.S. negotiators in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement want to open overseas markets for American companies. That’s certainly a worthy objective for these businesses and their workers. But it is the foreign negotiators—seeking to reduce U.S. trade barriers to their own exporters’ goods—who would deliver the most benefits for Americans. These include lower intermediate-goods costs for U.S. companies, lower prices of final goods for U.S. consumers, and more competition-inspired innovation.
E&E Daily- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's measure to reauthorize the National Estuary Program has been added to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's markup this morning as a backup approach now that efforts to move it directly to the floor have been called into question. The measure, a pet issue for the Democrat from Rhode Island, was originally slated to go straight to the Senate floor under "hotline" procedures. But it was paired by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee with a measure from Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) dealing with toxic algae blooms that plague his state, which is prepared to move sooner. Committees will sometimes pair noncontroversial bills together for unanimous consent consideration on the floor. But Portman, who is seeking re-election next year in what could be a tight race, said he wants to get his measure passed before the Senate breaks for August recess at the end of the week and expressed concern that the pairing with the estuary measure could hold it up.
The Baltimore Sun- After a series of torrential downpours in the past two years flooded hundreds of new cars and trucks at Dundalk Marine Terminal, state officials are scrambling to upgrade the port facility's old, overmatched storm drains. The Maryland Port Administration wants to sidestep state procurement rules to award contracts totaling $9.5 million for the work, with construction to start as early as next month. The state Board of Public Works, which makes spending decisions, is scheduled to take up the request Wednesday.
Eco-Business- Today, we see so many cities around the world and in this region, that are challenged to accommodate ever increasing populations and incomes, while also striving to be more sustainable, competitive and liveable. It has been shown that some 50 percent of the global population lives in cities today, and this number will continue to grow. But how can cities continue to expand in a sustainable and energy efficient way? They need to become smarter. At its heart, a smart city needs smart infrastructure to manage critical services such as power, water and heat, as well as in the automation of the factories and buildings we work in. Electricity is all around us and demand for it is growing fast due to rapid social development, but also because modern citizens increasingly depend on it to power their digital lives.
Jacksonville- The Corps announced Friday it had awarded a $99.6 million contract to install an oxygen injection system along the Savannah River to CDM Constructors Inc., or CDM Smith, of Maitland, Fla. The system involves installing, operating and maintaining a dozen Speece Cones on two sites, one in Effingham County and one on Hutchinson Island. The devices will inject oxygen into the river to maintain necessary oxygen levels during hot, dry months, when oxygen levels typically drop. The deepening of the harbor to 47 feet will enable larger container ships to call on Savannah with greater ease, heavier cargoes and fewer tidal restraints than they currently experience. The Corps of Engineers entered a partnership with Georgia for the deepening, anticipating that each dollar invested in the project will return $5.50 to the economy.
The Islander- Rain, rain, go away. And, please, let our sandy beach stay. Rainstorms barraged Anna Maria Island in July, sending down some 6.8 inches of rain during the month, hiding the sunny sky behind a cover of gray clouds. Large puddles formed on city streets as the stormwater was slowly absorbed or flowed from streets and lawns into the surrounding waters. It’s common to see stormwater standing in roads and intersections during high tides, as storm drains back up with saltwater.
Coastal Review- David and Cindy Justice were apprehensive when they visited here in early June while scouting out beaches to spend their summer vacation. The large black dredge pipe stretching as far as the eye could see on the beach at the southern end of town was an eyesore. Despite their concerns, the Raleigh couple planned a weeklong vacation here – their first on Topsail Island. Now about three and a half miles of the town’s southernmost ocean shoreline is wider, has a beefed-up dune line and, along a portion of the freshly renourished area, rocks. Blackish gray and varying from smaller pebbles to cantaloupe-size, rocks litter a long stretch of the southern-end beach, leaving a distinctive line at tide’s end on the shore. It wasn’t until about two months after the project began Dec. 18 that a winter storm blew ashore uncovering tons of rocks that had inadvertently been pumped onto the beach.