IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sen. Ted Cruz promises to eliminate all energy subsidies --- but there's a catch; Sen. Marco Rubio was for climate action, before he was against it; Crashing oil prices blow a billion-dollar hole in North Dakota's budget; PLUS: Bad news for salmon, good news for solar, in California... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Amid denials, state workers in Flint got clean water; FBI joins drinking water investigation; SEC criticized for lax enforcement of climate risk disclosure; WHO declares Zikia virus a public health emergency; Historic deal to protect Canadian rainforest from logging;
G.E. to phase out C.F.L. lightbulbs... PLUS: SoCal Gas knew Aliso Canyon wells were deteriorating a year before leak... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Climate Change and Energy in the 7th GOP Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa:
- Fox News Republican debate moderators asked a climate question! (Guardian UK):
Unfortunately, no climate policy debate ensued.
- Florida is Sinking. Where is Marco Rubio? (Mother Jones)
- Republicans reject climate change fears despite rebukes from scientists (Guardian UK):
Ted Cruz has presented ‘misleading’ information in the Senate, scientists say, while Marco Rubio rejects ‘destroying our economy’ – despite pleas for action coming from officials in his own state.
- Republicans might as well deny climate change if they don't plan to address it (Guardian UK)
- Florida Is Sinking. Where Is Marco Rubio? (Mother Jones):
The Republican savior hasn't lifted a finger to deal with his state's existential crisis.
- “America Is Not a Planet”: The Only Thing Marco Rubio Got Right on Climate Change (Slate 9/17/15)
- Florida mayors to Marco Rubio: Stop ignoring climate change (Grist):
The mayors of 15 South Florida towns, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, have reached out to Rubio, asking him to consider the costs of climate change in the region.
- GOP Debate: Ted Cruz Promises to Eliminate Subsidies for All Energy Sources:
- VIDEO: Ted Cruz: Ethanol Subsidies Help Lobbyists And Hurt Farmers In Iowa (NBC's Meet The Press)
- A guide to the endless fight over the Renewable Fuel Standard (Vox.com)
- Here's One Issue Ted Cruz Actually Gets Right. And the Democrats get it wrong. (Mother Jones)
- Don’t look now, but Ted Cruz just caved on ethanol (Hot Air):
Responding to a question from an ethanol investor from Iowa about whether he would allow the landmark energy program to continue through its current expiration in 2022, Sen. Cruz responded by expressing support for the RFS through 2022.
- How Ted Cruz Tried to Reframe the Ethanol Debate (TIME):
Cruz then launched into an arcane argument designed to appeal to a narrow cadre of conservative, pro-ethanol Iowa voters. Cruz then launched into an arcane argument designed to appeal to a narrow cadre of conservative, pro-ethanol Iowa voters.
- Ted Cruz takes on Big Corn in Iowa (CBS News)
- Targeting minority, low-income neighborhoods for hazardous waste sites (U. Mich. Press) [emphasis added]:
"NIMBYism in more affluent, white communities...resulted in industry taking the 'path of least resistance' and targeting communities with fewer resources and political clout...These communities are where the poor and people of color live."
- Flint’s water crisis is a blatant example of environmental injustice (The Conversation)
- Score A Win For Coal Miners Against Black Lung Disease:
- Appeals Court rejects coal industry complaints, upholds health protections for miners (Science Blogs/Public Health):
"T]he Mine Act evinces a clear bias in favor of miner health and safety. The duty to use the best evidence and to consider feasibility are appropriately viewed through this lens and cannot be wielded as counterweight to MSHA’s overarching role to protect the life and health of workers in the mining industry....[T]he Mine Act directs the agency to ‘prevent,’ not merely reduce the incidence of, ‘occupational diseases originating in...mines.'”
- Court upholds coal dust rule for miners (The Hill) [emphasis added]:
In a pair of lawsuits, various coal industry representatives said that the regulation did not properly take into account the scientific body of evidence, which the industry said shows it would not result in nearly the health benefits the government claims.
- Appeals court upholds MSHA dust rule (Charleston Gazette):
While mine fires and explosions garner a lot of attention from the media and politicians, black lung kills far more miners — perhaps as many as 10,000 between 1995 and 2005, according to estimates from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Since 1968, 76,000 coal miners nationwide have died from black lung...
- North Dakota's Oil-Based Budget Goes Bust:
- North Dakota governor orders cuts amid $1B budget shortfall in oil revenue (AP):
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered deep cuts to government agencies and a massive raid on the oil-rich state's savings on Monday to make up for a more than $1 billion budget shortfall due to a drop in oil drilling and depressed crude prices.
- Bad News for California Chinook Salmon:
- Only 3 Percent Of Juvenile Salmon Survived California Drought In 2015 (Sacramento Bee):
Only 3 percent of the juveniles of an endangered salmon species survived the drought along the Sacramento River in 2015 despite extraordinary efforts by federal and state officials to save them, federal officials said Monday.
- Good News for California Solar:
- California Keeps System That Pays Solar Users Retail Rate for Excess Power (NY Times):
Regulators in California, home to more residential solar customers than any other state, agreed on Thursday to retain a system that compensates users of rooftop solar panels for their excess electricity.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- SoCal Gas Knew Aliso Canyon Wells Were Deteriorating a Year Before Leak (InsideClimate News):
Southern California Gas Co. knew of deteriorating wells at its underground methane storage facilities and warned state regulators of the risks almost a year before a massive, uncontrolled leak was discovered at its Aliso Canyon unit on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
- Amid Denials, State Workers In Flint Got Clean Water (Detroit Free Press):
In January of 2015, when state officials were telling worried Flint residents their water was safe to drink, they also were arranging for coolers of purified water in Flint's State Office Building so employees wouldn't have to drink from the taps, according to state government e-mails released Thursday by the liberal group Progress Michigan.
- FBI Joins Flint Drinking Water Investigation (Detroit Free Press):
The FBI is now investigating the contamination of Flint’s drinking water, a man-made public health catastrophe, which has left an unknown number of Flint children and other residents poisoned by lead and resulted in state and federal emergency declarations.
- S.E.C. Is Criticized for Lax Enforcement of Climate Risk Disclosure (NY Times):
As recently as 2011, shares in Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest private sector coal company, traded at the equivalent of $1,000. Today, they hover around $4 each. Over that time, investors who held the stock lost millions.
- Drought Tests A Changed Ethiopia (Reuters):
On a treeless plain in eastern Ethiopia, thousands of destitute pastoralists have set up camp outside the tiny village of Fedeto. Over the past six months the camp has swelled as one of the worst droughts in decades has decimated herds, dried up pasture and made even drinking water scarce.
- W.H.O. Declares Zika Virus an International Health Emergency (NY Times):
The World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency on Monday, a rare move prompted by growing concern that it could cause birth defects.
- Historic Deal To Protect Canada Rainforest From Logging (Reuters):
British Columbia on Monday unveiled a historic agreement to protect a massive swath of rainforest along its coastline, having reached a deal that marries the interests of First Nations, the logging industry and environmentalists after a decade of often-tense negotiations.
- G.E. to Phase Out CFL Bulbs (NY Times):
Just a few years ago, the compact fluorescent light was the go-to choice for customers seeking an inexpensive, energy-efficient replacement for the standard incandescent bulb. But as the light quality of LEDs improved and their cost plummeted, manufacturers and retailers began shifting their efforts in that direction.
- It’s not just Flint: Poor communities across the country live with ‘extreme’ polluters (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
[T]he study found a significant disparity when it comes to how much different facilities pollute. “90% of toxic concentration present in the study area is generated by only 809 (about 5%) of facilities,” the paper reported....The highest polluting facilities were also more likely to be located in proximity to poor and minority neighborhoods.
- Record Warmth `Almost Certainly' Due to Humans, Scientists Say (Bloomberg):
The odds are “vanishingly small” that recent years of record warmth aren’t due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, researchers in the U.S. and Germany said, adding to pressure on world governments to cut back on fossil fuel use.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
- 4 Scenarios Show What Climate Change Will Do To The Earth, From Pretty Bad To Disaster (Fast CoExist):
But exactly how bad is still an open question, and a lot depends not only on how we react, but how quickly. The rate at which humans cut down on greenhouse gas emissions--if we do choose to cut them--will have a large bearing on how the world turns out by 2100, the forecasts reveal.
- How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:
- 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).