IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down first-ever mercury pollution rules; NJ Gov. Chris Christie jumps into the 2016 GOP race - we'll tell you his position on climate change; Coal plant forced to clean up toxic air pollution in the Navajo Nation; PLUS: Solar-powered plane finally takes off on dangerous Pacific Ocean crossing... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): China works for 'Win-Win' climate plan, Poised for U.N. Pledge; BP, Anadarko Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court on Gulf Spill fines; Lung-damaging silica a slow-motion tragedy for American workers; Dark region of ocean may shed light on climate change and other issues; 16 states file lawsuits against EPA over Clean Water rule; Farm waste and animal fats to power a United jet... PLUS: Aid Package for Coal Country Goes Ignored by Congress... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Supreme Court Strikes Down EPA Mercury Rule:
- Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Limits on Power Plants (NY Times):
The E.P.A. had argued that it was not required to take costs into account when it made the initial determination to regulate. But the agency added that it had done so later in setting emissions standards and that, in any event, the benefits far outweighed the costs.
- The Supreme Court Just Delivered A Victory To Coal Plants That Want To Emit Unlimited Mercury (Climate Progress):
Coal- and oil-fired power plants are the largest industrial sources of toxic air pollution in the country. Power plants are responsible for 50 percent of all U.S. emissions of mercury, a neurotoxin particularly dangerous to unborn children.
- Obama May Win by Losing in Quirk of Supreme Court EPA Review (Bloomberg News):
A loss shores up the legal basis of the biggest environmental rule of the second term.
- EXPLAINER: This EPA Rule Will Save Thousands of Lives—if the Supreme Court Upholds It (New Republic)
- Justice Kagan’s Blistering Response To The Supreme Court’s Ruling On Mercury Pollution (Climate Progress)
- NJ Gov. Chris Christie Jumps Into 2016 Race:
- VIDEO: Chris Christie Announces Run, Pledging ‘Truth’ About Nation’s Woes (NY Times)
- What does Chris Christie believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues (PBS NewsHour)
- Chris Christie Makes Big Admission On Climate Change (Climate Progress):
But Christie, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, also added that he thinks the degree to which humans contribute is questionable, according to MSNBC...Based on Christie’s past policy decisions as governor, however, there’s not much evidence he would act on climate change as president.
- SPECIAL COVERAGE: The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes... (The BRAD BLOG)
- Audio: Chris Christie Lets Loose at Secret Koch Brothers Confab (Mother Jones):
In our exclusive recordings, David Koch introduces the New Jersey governor as "my kind of guy" and "a true political hero."
- TRANSCRIPT: 'Inside the Koch Brothers' 2011 Summer Seminar' - Gov. Chris Christie's Keynote Address (Intro by David Koch) (The BRAD BLOG):
David Koch, introducing Christie: "Another example of Governor Christie’s commitment to the free enterprise system is that only a few weeks ago he announced that New Jersey would be withdrawing from the [Regional] Greenhouse Gas Initiative … [cheers and applause] … which would have raised energy costs, reduced economic growth, and led to very little, if any, benefit for the environment". [A ‘boo’ is heard.]
- Chris Christie met with Koch brother before pulling out of climate pact (Grist)
- Confused Chris Christie embraces climate science, rejects climate action (Grist)
- Coal Plant Fined, Forced to Cut Toxic Pollution In Navajo Nation:
- U.S. Requires Arizona and New Mexico Plant Owners to Reduce Emissions at Navajo Nation Four Corners Power Plant (EPA.gov)
- $168 Million Settlement Between Navajo Coal Plant and Environmental Protection Agency (Indian Country Media Network):
The settlement requires owners of the Four Corners Power Plant near Shiprock, New Mexico, to pay an estimated $160 million in upgrades to the plant’s sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution controls. The settlement also sets aside $6.7 million for health and environmental mitigation projects for tribal members and levies a copy.5 million civil penalty.
- APS settles pollution suit over Navajo coal plant (AP) [emphasis added]:
The owners of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation reached a settlement Wednesday with federal agencies over complaints they flouted rules for permits and violated the Clean Air Act, leading to further pollution control upgrades that will cost millions of dollars.
- $160 million cleanup ordered at coal-burning, pollution-spewing Four Corners power plant (Summit County Voice) [emphasis added]:
It is also a reflection of how serious we are about addressing environmental justice issues in Indian country,” said John C. Cruden, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
- Solar Impulse 2 Passes 'Point of No Return' In Historic Trans-Pacific Flight:
- Solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 finally leaves Japan for Hawaii on epic five-day leg (Sydney Morning Herald):
"It is the point of no return, not only for Solar Impulse as a flight and an airplane, it's for the project. Now the airplane ends up in the water, and Andre [Borschberg] on the liferaft and we're done," Solar Impulse co-founder Bertrand Piccard said to BBC. "Or Andre reaches Hawaii - it would be a triumph."
- Solar Impulse 2 passes point of no return of 120-hour trip to Hawaii (CBC)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Aid Package for Coal Country Goes Ignored by Congress (InsideClimate News):
President Obama's $3 billion plan called 'cold comfort' by Republican leaders, who haven't allocated it to help coal-dependent communities.
- China Works for 'Win-Win' Climate Plan, Poised for U.N. Pledge (Reuters):
China seeks a fair, global system to tackle climate change and will deliver its pledge to the United Nations by the end of Tuesday on how much it will cut emissions, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said after talks with top European Union officials.
- Slow-Motion Tragedy for American Workers (Center For Public Integrity):
Lung-damaging silica, other toxic substances kill and sicken tens of thousands each year as regulation falters.
- Dark Region of Ocean May Shed Light on Climate Change and Other Issues (NY Times):
The tiny fish known as the bristlemouth is part of a detective story that bears on everything from feeding the planet and monitoring ocean health to learning how to better predict climate change.
- Sixteen States Sue EPA Over Clean Water Rule (Reuters):
Sixteen states on Monday filed lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, contesting a rule that expands the definition of bodies of water subject to federal pollution controls.
- BP, Anadarko Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court on Gulf Spill Fines (Bloomberg News):
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and left intact a ruling that opens the companies to potentially billions of dollars in fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
- Protected Florida Mangroves Razed for Boat Show (Reuters):
New revelations that a long strip of protected mangrove trees were illegally razed amid preparations for the 2016 Miami International Boat Show has outraged Florida environmentalists.
- Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet (NY Times):
Sometime this summer, a United Airlines flight will take off from Los Angeles International Airport bound for San Francisco using fuel generated from farm waste and oils derived from animal fats.
- Germany's Oldest Remaining Nuclear Plant Shuts Down (AP):
Germany's oldest remaining nuclear reactor has been shut down, part of a move initiated four years ago to switch off all its nuclear plants by the end of 2022.
- Dear Sirs, I Am the Son of US President George H.W. Bush and I Have a Business Proposition for You: The fraudulent Nigerian water pump deal that continues to haunt Jeb Bush’s political career. (Mother Jones)
- Smithsonian Will Tighten Its Guidelines on Disclosure (NY Times):
The Smithsonian Institution said Friday it would adopt tighter procedures to govern conflicts of interest involving its researchers, the latest development in a widening national discussion of scientific integrity.
- E.P.A. Warns of High Cost of Climate Change (NY Times):
In the absence of global action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the United States by the end of the century may face up to $180 billion in economic losses because of drought and water shortages, according to a report released Monday by the White House and Environmental Protection Agency.
- Study: The World Is In The Midst Of A Mass Extinction, And Humans Are To Blame (Climate Progress):
In the last century, certain kinds of animals have gone extinct up to 100 times faster than usual, according to new research.
- Every country is now pledging to tackle CO2 emissions. It's still not enough. (Vox.com):
In other words, if the world wants to stay below 2°C of global warming - which has long been considered the danger zone for climate change - these pledges are only a first step. Countries will have to do a whole lot more than they're currently promising. And the IEA has a few ideas for what "do a whole lot more" might entail.
1. Increase energy efficiency in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors.
2. Progressively reduce the use of the least efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction.
3. Increase investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2030.
4. Gradually phase out fossil fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030.
5. Reduce methane emissions in oil and gas production.
- Now's Your Chance to Help Save the Imperiled Monarch Butterfly-and Get Paid to Do So (Take Part) [emphasis added]:
Another threat, according to Grant, has been well-intentioned individuals who have planted a tropical form of milkweed, which competes with native varieties and is not beneficial to monarchs or other pollinators.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).