IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump orders EPA to roll back fuel economy standards...and plans to slash EPA's budget by even more than previously known; Large sections of the Great Barrier Reef have now died, thanks to global warming; PLUS: Six years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, radioactive wild boars complicate residents' return... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find; Lawmakers ask Trump to stop nuke waste storage plan near Lake Huron; White House Proposes Reviving Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Site; NV plant closes after half-century of producing coal-fired pollution; Interior Department To Withdraw Obama-Era Fracking Rule, Filings Reveal; National Academies Praise Obama Climate Report Pending Under Trump; 17 Republicans Back Resolution Urging Action On Warming; WV Senate Bill Eliminates Mine Safety Enforcement... PLUS: Unsealed Documents Raise New Safety Doubts on Monsanto Weedkiller Roundup... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump orders EPA to roll back fuel economy standards:
- Trump fuel economy rollback will kill jobs and cost each car buyer $1,650 (Climate Progress):
It would also boost U.S. oil use 1.2 billion barrels while reducing the car industry’s global competitiveness.
- Trump Reinstates Review of Tough Fuel Economy Standards for US Cars (Voice of America)
- Trump begins process to roll back fuel economy goals, automakers rejoice (Ars Technica):
The rule-making process had been underway for years, and the fuel economy numbers had been negotiated with the auto industry in 2012. Still, the EPA wasn't set to review and finalize the 2025 numbers until 2018. When the agency ended the rule-making process in January, automakers complained that the EPA was trying to subvert their influence and prevent the incoming Trump administration from relaxing the proposed rules.
- No time to retreat on fuel efficiency (Op-ed, NRDC President Rhea Suh)
- Trump plans to slash EPA's budget by even more than previously known
- EPA hit hardest as Trump budget targets regulation (Reuters)
- Trump targets climate as part of 31% EPA budget cut (CNN):
Climate change programs were targeted, including discontinuing funding for the Clean Power Plan, President Barack Obama's signature environmental regulation intended to curb global warming. Funding would also be cut for international climate change programs and climate change research and partnership programs.
- Trump’s budget calls for seismic disruption in medical and science research (Washington Post)
- Donald Trump Budget Slashes Funds for E.P.A. and State Department (NY Times)
- Oceans are heating up faster than previously thought:
- The world’s oceans are storing up staggering amounts of heat — and it’s even more than we thought (Washington Post):
The scientists incorporated an updated database of pre-Argo measurements that have been corrected for certain biases, as well as information from climate models, and extended existing observations of ocean conditions taken at specific locations to larger areas of the sea. They then conducted a comparison of recent Argo data with measurements created using their new methodology and found that the method produces true-to-life results.
- Earth's oceans are warming 13% faster than thought, and accelerating (Guardian UK):
Our new study improves estimates of the rate of ocean warming - a critical component of climate change
- Large sections of the Great Barrier Reef have died, thanks to global warming
- Large Sections of Australia’s Great Reef Are Now Dead, Scientists Find (NY Times)
- Great Barrier Reef survival relies on halting warming, study warns (BBC):
Australia's Great Barrier Reef can be saved only if urgent steps are taken to reduce global warming, new research has warned. Attempting to stop coral bleaching through any other method will not be sufficient, according to scientists. The research, published in the journal Nature, said bleaching events should no longer be studied individually, but as threats to the reef's survival...Improving fishing practices or water quality would not be enough, he said.
- Climate Change Has ‘Permanently’ Changed the Great Barrier Reef (Pacific Standard)
- Six years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster: radioactive wild boars
- Fukushima 6 years later: radioactive boars and $188 billion in clean-up costs (Climate Progress):
Nuclear safety may not come cheap, but lack of safety is very costly indeed...Six years after an earthquake and tsunami led to three nuclear reactors melting down, Japan is still generating and struggling with staggering amounts of radioactive waste. In November, the Japanese government said cleanup and compensation costs for the March 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster would be an unprecedented 20 trillion yen ($180 billion)?—?double the previous estimate. Nuclear safety may not come cheap for an industry that is increasingly noncompetitive nationally and globally, but lack of safety is very costly indeed.
- VIDEO: Fukushima-hit towns scramble to clear out wild boars (Reuters)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page
- To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find (Bloomberg):
President Donald Trump will find the job of reining in spending on climate initiatives made harder by an Obama-era policy of dispersing billions of dollars in programs across dozens of agencies --- in part so they couldn’t easily be cut.
- Lawmakers ask Trump to stop nuke waste storage plan (Detroit News):
Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation on Wednesday led the introduction of resolutions in the U.S. House and Senate in opposition to a controversial Canadian plan to build a nuclear waste repository less than a mile from Lake Huron in Ontario.
- Nevada: Reid Gardner plant closes after half-century of producing coal-fired power (Las Vegas Review-Journal):
One of Southern Nevada’s oldest and most controversial power plants has ceased operation after burning through its stockpile of coal. The Reid Gardner Generating Station, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, switched off its final unit over the weekend after more than 50 years of operation.
- Unsealed Documents Raise New Safety Doubts on Monsanto Weedkiller Roundup (NY Times):
The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto.
- Interior Department To Withdraw Obama-Era Fracking Rule, Filings Reveal (Washington Post):
The Trump administration plans to withdraw and rewrite a 2015 rule aimed at limiting hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” on public lands, the Interior Department indicated in court filings Wednesday.
- National Academies Praise Obama Climate Report Pending Under Trump (Washington Post):
The United States’ top independent science experts have blessed a draft Obama administration climate science report — left behind for the Trump administration to finish — that presents a strong contrast to inaccurate scientific claims by President Trump’s top environmental official.
- White House Proposes Reviving Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Site (Reuters):
The White House’s fiscal 2018 budget plan for the U.S. Department of Energy includes $120 million to restart licensing for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada, a project stalled for years by lawsuits and local opposition.
- WV Senate Bill Eliminates Mine Safety Enforcement (Charleston Gazette):
State safety inspectors wouldn’t inspect West Virginia’s coal mines anymore. They would conduct 'compliance visits and education.'
- Climate: 17 Republicans Back Resolution Urging Action On Warming (E&E News):
The Republican climate resolution that jump-started a conversation on global warming ahead of Pope Francis' 2015 visit to Capitol Hill is back.
- Judge Denies Tribe's Request To Stop Oil Flow In Dakota Access Pipeline (Reuters):
A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by a Native American tribe for an emergency injunction to prevent oil from flowing through part of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying such a move would be against the public interest.
- Arctic Sea Ice Melt, Driven by Global Warming, Accelerated by Nature (Inside Climate News):
A new study zeroes in on just how much of the Arctic sea ice's precipitous decline in recent decades is attributable to manmade global warming and how much is due to natural processes, finding that between 50 and 70 percent is caused by mankind.
- New York attorney general: Tillerson used 'Wayne Tracker' email at Exxon to discuss climate (CNN):
The New York attorney general has accused Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of using the pseudonym "Wayne Tracker" to send emails related to climate change while serving as CEO of Exxon Mobil.
- Americans are confused on climate, but support cutting carbon pollution (Guardian UK):
There’s broad support for climate policies in every state and county, but Americans view global warming as a distant problem
- Climate Deniers, You're Climate Deniers--Deal with It (Scientific American):
The Freuds wrote the playbook, and you're following it to the letter.
- No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously (Vox):
If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page