IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Big Oil CEO dies just one day after indictment on conspiracy charges; Bernie Sanders pledges to stop two more tar sands pipelines; Florida bans fracking ban bans; Oregon breaks up with coal; Iowa breaks wind --- records, that is; PLUS: NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly's new perspective on returning to Earth... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate Deniers’ Favorite Temperature Dataset Just Confirmed Global Warming; Oil And Gas Industry Has Pumped Millions Into Republican Campaigns; Bitter Contract Dispute Extends to Who Owns Yosemite Names; BHP's Samarco To Pay $5.1 Billion In Damages For Dam Disaster; Justice Department Refers Exxon Investigation Request to FBI; In An Unusual Move, The EPA Tries To Pull A Pesticide From Market... PLUS: Polar Bear Critical Habitat in Alaska Restored by Appeals Court... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Chesapeake Energy CEO Dies Just One Day After Indictment:
- Aubrey McClendon, 56, Ex-Chief of Chesapeake Energy, Dies in Crash a Day After Indictment (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The company’s problems were compounded by revelations that Mr. McClendon had taken a personal stake in Chesapeake wells and then used those investments as collateral for up to $1.1 billion in loans, used mostly to pay his share of the cost of drilling those wells....According to the Antitrust Division, the companies secretly decided who would win leases, and the winning bidder allotted an interest in the leases to the other company. The indictment said that Mr. McClendon instructed his subordinates to conspire with others from the second company to allocate leases among themselves.
- VIDEO: Looking into McClendon indictment (CNBC)
- CEO McClendon indicted on charges of rigging land prices. This Reuters story put the Feds onto him (Reuters)
- Florida Legislature Votes Down Ban on Local Fracking Bans - For Now:
- Senate panel won’t reconsider controversial fracking proposal (Florida Politics):
The bill prohibited local governments from putting local bans in place; but allowed local governments to adopt and enforce zoning and land use requirements, so long as those conditions didn’t prohibit the act. The bill also called for a moratorium on fracking until the Department of Environmental Protection completed a $1 million study and rules were adopted.
- Bill Banning Fracking Bans Gets Shut Down In Florida Senate (Climate Progress):
The Florida Senate’s Appropriations Committee has finally killed a bill that would have stopped towns from banning fracking.
- Fracking bill dies in Florida Senate (Tallahassee Democrat):
Opponents say Richter’s bill failed to protect the aquifer, provide enough money to do an adequate study and require the disclosure of chemicals used. They also oppose its prohibition on local governments banning the practice.
- Bernie Sanders Pledges to Reject Two More Canadian Pipelines:
- Enbridge Over Troubled Water Report (350.org)
- VIDEO: Bernie Sanders blasts Enbridge's proposed pipeline expansions (National Observer) [emphasis added]:
A number of U.S. environmental groups contend that Enbridge has been putting together a massive system of pipelines piece-by-piece through the U.S. Great Lakes region to increase the amount of tar sands crude that it transports into the U.S.
- Bernie Sanders’ secret weapon on Super Tuesday (Grist):
In battleground primaries, Sanders emphasized his firm position against hydraulic fracturing to drive a wedge between Clinton and Democratic voters...Sanders emphasized more than just fracking in Minnesota. He drew attention to his opposition to two pipelines that would ship Canada tar sand crude oil across the border.
- Enbridge says Minnesota regulators applied "unlawful" process to its Sandpiper pipeline review (Minneapolis Star-Tribune):"
It is the latest challenge to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's review of the pipeline, a contentious process that's been underway for 26 months. In September, after a challenge by environmental groups, the Minnesota Appeals Court faulted regulators' initial environmental-review procedures.
- Oregon Breaks Up With Coal, Boosts Renewables:
- Oregon House passes second bill to end coal power (Oregon Live):
One of the most far-reaching pieces of environmental legislation in decades, the bill would see ratepayers of the state's two largest utilities, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, stop paying for power produced at out-of-state coal-fired power plants by 2030. It would require that utilities, by 2040, serve half their customers' demand with renewable power sources such as wind and solar.
- Oregon Senate passes bill to scrap coal power by 2030 (KTVZ, Bend, OR):
The bill passed Wednesday by the Senate would make Oregon the first state to adopt legislation to eliminate coal-fired power....The Clean Electricity and Coal Transition plan was crafted by bringing diverse parties to the table, including Oregon's two largest electric utilities, energy industry and business groups, advocacy and community organizations.
- Oregon Set To Pass One Of The Most Ambitious Environmental Bills In Decades (Climate Progress)
- Iowa Breaks Wind - Wind Records, That Is:
- Branstad, Reynolds Announce Over 31 Percent of Iowa Electricity Now Supplied By Wind (Office of Gov. Terry Branstad)
- Iowa gets 31% of electricity from wind (Des Moines Register):
Iowa snagged 31.3 percent of its electricity last year from wind generation, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The state leads the nation in the percentage of electricity from wind, followed by South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
- NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly's New Perspective After A Year In Space:
- VIDEO: How Almost A Year In Space Made Astronaut Scott Kelly More Of An Environmentalist (Climate Progress):
“There are definitely areas where the earth is covered with pollution almost all the time. And it’s not good for any of us. There are weather systems that I’ve seen while I was up here that were places that were unexpected. Storms bigger than we’ve seen in the past. And this is a human effect. You can tell that that is not a naturally occurring phenomenon.”
- Astronaut Scott Kelly Grew 2 Inches After Year In Space: (CNBC)
- VIDEO: Scott Kelly from space: Earth's atmosphere 'looks very, very fragile' (CNN)
- Scott Kelly back on Earth: 'It felt like I'd been up there my whole life' (The Verge)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Climate Deniers’ Favorite Temperature Dataset Just Confirmed Global Warming (Climate Progress):
February smashed monthly global temperature records, according to the satellite data analyzed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH). At the same time, a brand new study concludes that miscalculations explain why the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) satellite temperature dataset had appeared to show a relatively slow rate of global warming.
- Oil And Gas Industry Has Pumped Millions Into Republican Campaigns (Guardian UK):
Fossil fuel barons have invested more than $100 million in Republican presidential Super Pacs – raising concerns over special interests if GOP takes White House.
- Bitter Contract Dispute Extends to Who Owns Yosemite Names (NY Times):
Marilyn and Jack Whitcher have been regular visitors to the glacier-carved valley of Yosemite National Park since they were dating more than five decades ago. This trip was different.
- Vale/BHP's Samarco To Pay $5.1 Billion In Damages For Dam Disaster (Reuters):
Mining company Samarco and its owners, BHP Billiton and Vale SA, reached a deal with the Brazilian government on Wednesday to pay an estimated 20 billion reais ($5.1 billion) in damages over 15 years for a deadly dam spill in November.
- Justice Department Refers Exxon Investigation Request to FBI (Inside Climate News):
The U.S. Justice Department has forwarded a request from two congressmen seeking a federal probe of ExxonMobil to the FBI's criminal division.
- Trudeau, Obama Set To Endorse Continental Strategy On Climate Change (Toronto Globe & Mail):
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is poised to sign on to a continental environment and climate-change strategy with outgoing President Barack Obama when the two leaders hold their first formal bilateral meeting in the Oval Office next Thursday.
- To Make A Wild Comeback, Cranes Need More Than Flying Lessons (NPR):
When a whooping crane stands up, you notice. At 5 feet in height, it's America's tallest bird. Its wingspan is more than 7 feet, its body snowy white, its wingtips jet black. By the 1940s, the birds had nearly gone extinct. Biologists have worked hard to bring them back, by breeding whoopers in captivity and releasing them in the wild.
- In An Unusual Move, The EPA Tries To Pull A Pesticide From Market (NPR):
Chances are, you've never heard of flubendiamide. It's not among the most toxic insecticides, and it's not among the widely used chemicals, either. In recent years, it has been used on about a quarter of the nation's tobacco and 14 percent of almonds, peppers and watermelons. But flubendiamide is now at the center of a public dispute between the Environmental Protection Agency and the company that sells it, Bayer CropScience.
- Senate Panel Advances Bill Blocking State GMO Labeling Rules (The HIll):
A Senate panel voted Tuesday to advance legislation that would block states from imposing labeling requirements for genetically modified foods.
- Polar Bear Critical Habitat in Alaska Restored by Appeals Court (Bloomberg):
A 187,000 square-mile swath of land and sea in Alaska was restored by a federal appeals court as a “critical habitat” for polar bears, a boon for the endangered species and yet another blow to Alaska’s tumbling petroleum industry.
- China Redoubles Its War On Coal (Climate Progress):
“In a nutshell, Beijing has been watching this play out just like all of us, and now they are stepping in to fix it. So much of this is top-down policy so we often see them turn one dial, watch what happens, then realize they need to turn another one to get what they want. They were already dialing up on the shut-down of existing inefficient plants. Now they are dialing down the new-construction pipeline.”
- Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis (Bloomberg):
A shift is under way that will lead to widespread adoption of EVs in the next decade.
- Want to fight climate change? Here are the 7 critical life changes you should make (Grist) [emphasis added]:
So, given the imperfections of this world, what is a lone wolf such as yourself to do? Here are some conclusions gleaned from this study: 1. Buy the most fuel-efficient car you can afford, then drive it as little as possible....
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).