Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Less bike registrations, more windmills

sketchlead Morning greens: Long Beach eliminates its bike registration law. Reports LA Now: “The city’s decision to scrap its little-known bike licensing law and registration program was a victory for cyclists upset over being hit with pricey tickets for an infraction that seemed out of keeping with Long Beach’s pledge to become ‘the most bicycle-friendly city in America.’”

Calif. Coastal Commission wants to reject U2 guitarist’s Malibu mansion project. LA Times reports the Commission says the plans “would scar a steep, undeveloped ridgeline visible from much of the Malibu coastline, cause extensive geological disturbance and destroy environmentally sensitive native vegetation.”

The U.S. EPA looks into environmental problems of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Reports Greenspace: “The agency released an 84-page overview of delta problems that is the first step in possibly issuing new regulations. Among the pollutants highlighted in the report are Sacramento’s sewage discharges, urban pesticide runoff and selenium in farm drainage.”

Thousands more windmills will dot the California landscape in years to come, according to Climate Watch. “There is already something on the order of 13,000 commercial wind turbines operating in California. Ryan Wiser, who tracks wind energy trends at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, does a rough calculation that meeting that state-imposed threshold of 33% renewable energy could take 5,000 more.”

Calif. Air Board defends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Reports Climate Watch: “James Goldstene, executive director of the state’s Air Resources Board, told members of a House subcommittee that the EPA’s recently released regulations will not create a ‘regulatory train wreck.’”

Joined by officials from solar companies, the Obama administration says it sparked a boom of renewable energy projects on public land — including in California. Reports Climatewire: “Joshua Bar-Lev, vice president of regulatory affairs for BrightSource, said that within five years his company could invest up to $14 billion in developing solar projects in Southern California’s sun-baked terrain.”

In national news: Republicans fight environmental programs and regulations. Climatewire reports that Republicans launched assaults on climate and clean energy programs, while LA Times reports Republicans want to slash EPA funds in their proposed budget reductions.

Photo: Sketch of a planned bike path going down 3rd Street at Long Beach Blvd. (Courtesy BikeLongBeach.org)

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