IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sen. Lindsey Graham wants federal aid for South Carolina flooding --- but voted against it for Hurricane Sandy; Environmental groups slam TPP agreement; New rules to protect farmworkers from pesticides; Fracking companies wasting taxpayers' money; PLUS: Obama creates two new marine sanctuaries in the U.S.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): D.C. Water begins harnessing electricity from every flush; GOP grills Energy secretary on oil exports; Why Europeans are better at forecasting storms than the US; Will VW now turn to EVs?; BP record settlement in Gulf oil spill made official, larger than thought; DuPont to pay $1.6m in Teflon water contamination suit; Monsanto mobilized academics to write articles supporting GMOs; PLUS: What will a global agreement on climate change look like? The U.N. just gave us a clue ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Sen. Lindsey Graham votes against disaster aid for politically-inconvenient victims:
- VIDEO: Guy Who Said No On Sandy Aid Wants Blank Check For SC Floods (Crooks and Liars)
- South Carolina's rain and floods, by the numbers (CNBC)
- Lindsey Graham’s disaster relief hypocrisy: He wants federal aid for his state’s floods but voted against Hurricane Sandy relief (Salon):
"I don't really remember me voting that way," Graham now says of his vote against aid for his Northern neighbors
- After S.C. floods, Lindsey Graham reverses course on disaster aid (MSNBC):
When Congress considered federal disaster assistance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) voted against it. The right-wing lawmaker said at the time he didn’t “think Arkansas needs to bail out the Northeast.” Two years later, when it was his state that was hammered by flooding, Cotton reversed course, requesting and receiving emergency aid.
- “Biblical” Flooding Devastates South Carolina (Slate)
- Sobering before and after pictures show extent of South Carolina flooding (Washington Post)
- Environmental groups pan TPP:
- Environmentalists: The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement Is A Disaster For Climate Change (Climate Progress):
[T]he White House has touted the deal’s potential for environmental conservation, calling it a “once-in-a-generation chance to protect our oceans, wildlife, and the environment." Environmentalists aren’t buying it.
- Trans-Pacific Partnership Is Reached, but Faces Scrutiny in Congress (NY Times):
That argument — that the Pacific pact would be a bulwark against China’s power and a standard-setter for global commerce — will be central to the president’s hard sell ahead to Congress, administration officials said.
- Why Clinton’s TPP opposition unnerves me (Ezra Klein, Vox.com)
- Congress: Vote NO on the toxic Trans-Pacific Partnership! (Sierra Club)
- EPA issues new pesticide rules:
- Study: U.S. Fracking revenues wasted in flaring:
- Natural Gas Flaring: Critics and Industry Square Off Over Emissions (InsideClimate News) [emphasis added]:
Environmental group claims industry gets millions in a hidden subsidy for releasing greenhouse gases, but drilling company disputes findings....A new study of natural gas flaring in North Dakota highlights how little is known about what is released into the atmosphere. The royalty-free flaring of natural gas from wells on public and tribal lands amounts to a hidden federal subsidy worth tens of millions of dollars, according to a new study by the environmental group Friends of the Earth that focused on the industry in North Dakota.
- REPORT: A Flaring Shame: New report exposes hidden fracking subsidy (Friends of the Earth)
- President Obama designates two new U.S. marine sanctuaries:
- Obama Just Announced Plans To Create The First Marine Sanctuaries In More Than A Decade (Climate Progress):
On Monday, President Obama announced plans to create two sanctuaries — one in Maryland’s Potomac River, and another in Lake Michigan — which would be the first new national marine sanctuaries designated since 2000.
- Fact Sheet: Preserving and Protecting Oceans and America’s Waterways for Future Generations (White House)
- US, Chile Pledge To Fight Illegal Fishing And Create Marine Sanctuaries To Protect The World’s Oceans (Tech Times)
- New Zealand's new ocean sanctuary will be one of world's largest protected areas (Guardian UK)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- D.C. Water begins harnessing electricity from every flush (Washington Post):
D.C. Water, which also treats sewage from much of the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs, recently became the first utility in North America to use a Norwegian thermal hydrolysis system to convert the sludge left over from treated sewage into electricity.
- GOP grills Energy secretary on oil exports (The Hill):
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told the lawmakers at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing that oil exports are not within his purview, but nonetheless defended Obama’s opposition to the bills in both chambers to lift the ban.
- Are Europeans Better Than Americans at Forecasting Storms? (Scientific American):
European and U.S. models frequently make different predictions about weather and storm tracks, including that of Hurricane Joaquin. Here’s why/
- VIDEO: Will VW Now turn to EVs? (Climate Crocks):
However, before we all shout "Let's do it!" and march out of the VW boardroom into the brave green future, to the strains of inspiring music, let's read the rest of what Lux has to say: "VW probably lacks the vision, leadership, and ambition to do it, so they will most likely carry on as usual after some apologies."
- Energy Revolution 2015 (Greenpeace) [emphasis added]:
While our predictions on the potential and market growth of renewable energy may once have seemed fanciful or unrealistic, they have proved to be accurate. the US-based Meister Consultants Group concluded earlier this year that "the world's biggest energy agencies, financial institutions and fossil fuel companies for the most part seriously under-estimated just how fast the clean power sector could and would grow". It wasn't the IEA, Goldman Sachs or the US Department of Energy who got it right. It was Greenpeace's market scenario which was the most accurate.
- BP Comes To Record $20.8 Billion Settlement Agreement Over Gulf Oil Spill (Climate Progress)
- Congress Is Trying To Lift The Oil Export Ban. This Is Why They Will Fail. (Climate Progress):
The benefits of repeal are up for debate. Supporters, such as Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who co-sponsored the Senate bill and have ties to the oil industry, say it will lower prices for consumers and benefit the economy.
- Woman Awarded $1.6 Million Over DuPont Chemical in Water (AP):
An Ohio woman was awarded $1.6 million Wednesday in the trial of a lawsuit that alleged a chemical from a DuPont Co. plant contaminated drinking water and contributed to her contracting kidney cancer.
- How Monsanto Mobilized Academics to Pen Articles Supporting GMOs (Bloomberg):
Monsanto Co.’s undisclosed recruitment of scientists from Harvard University, Cornell University and three other schools to write about the benefits of plant biotechnology is drawing fire from opponents.
- What Will A Global Agreement On Climate Change Look Like? The U.N. Just Gave Us A Clue. (Climate Progress)
- 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).