IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unite to fight greenhouse gas emissions; The Atlantic is out, the Arctic back in, for offshore drilling; Score one for Native Americans over mining interests; PLUS: Obama's Supreme Court nominee could be good news for the environment... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Native American Tribe Gets Federal Funds to Flee Rising Seas; Record-breaking temperatures 'have robbed the Arctic of its winter'; Exxon heir: Divesting from fossil fuels required breaking a family tradition; Conservative Media Distort Hillary Clinton's Plan To Revitalize Coal Country; Rising seas could trigger 'Great Migration' from US shores; Tainted-Water Worries Spread to Vermont Village... PLUS: FDA Says Deploying Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Is Environmentally Safe... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Obama Nominates 'Moderate' to Fill Vacancy On US Supreme Court:
- Will Merrick Garland Save Obama's Climate Legacy? (Mother Jones):
"No one would say Garland is a hardened environmentalist," he said. Still, "we think we'll get a straight shot from him. He doesn't come with any inherent skepticism about the federal government overreaching [on environmental regulation]. In terms of looking for someone who would give a fair hearing [to the Clean Power Plan], he's a big shift from Scalia."
- Merrick Garland Knows He's Not A Scientist (Climate Progress):
[I]n the Clean Power Plan challenge, one critical issue comes down to whether, under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. In fact, there are two conflicting amendments regarding that authority on the books. So, it's important in this case that the the judges look not only at the Congress' wording --- which is contradictory --- but at the intent of the law. This is where Garland presents a possible victory for environmentalists.
- Background: The Potential Nomination of Merrick Garland (SCOTUSblog, 4/24/2010)
- The Supreme Court Just Did Serious Damage to the Fight Against Climate Change (Mother Jones, 2/10/2016)
- Offshore Drilling: The Atlantic Is Out, The Arctic Is Back In:
- Obama Pulls Plans To Allow Oil Drilling Off Southern Atlantic Coast (Washington Post):
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it is dropping its year-old plan to allow companies to search and drill for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean off of four southeastern states.
- Obama’s Atlantic oil drilling plan takes friendly fire — from the Pentagon (Washington Post)
- Obama Abandons Plans to Drill in the Atlantic Ocean (The Atlantic):
The revised plan will open 10 new leasing sites in the Gulf of Mexico and three new sites off the Alaskan coast.
- US-Canada Partnership To Cut Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Industry:
- VIDEO: Justin Trudeau & Barack Obama White House Rose Garden media conference, March 10, 2016 (CBC News)
- Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada in Joint Press Conference (White House)
- Methane crackdown at heart of 'historic' U.S.-Canada pact (E&E News):
[T]he Obama administration also rolled out a partnership to address climate impacts in the Arctic and vowed to accelerate efforts to shape long-term greenhouse gas reduction strategies under the Paris climate change agreement. The nations also pledged to expand renewable energy and to align energy efficiency standards.
- Obama and Trudeau Seal a Deal on Cutting Methane Emissions in the US and Canada (VICE)
- EPA: New Methane Emissions Standards for New Oil and Gas Facilities:
- EPA expands methane rules to all oil and gas wells (Fuel Fix) [emphasis added]:
The methane announcement quickly drew condemnation from the oil and gas sector. Lowering methane emissions will largely entail seeking out and repairing gas leaks in storage tanks and pipelines, time-consuming tasks companies have largely avoided so far.
- The EPA Will Limit Methane From Existing Oil And Gas Facilities (Climate Progress):
The new rule will help the two countries achieve their goal of cutting methane emissions from oil and gas by 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025.
- Pennsylvania shows EPA the way on pending methane policy (The Hill)
- Gaping Hole in EPA's Methane Rules (Legal Planet)
- Win for the Apache Over Multi-National Mine Company:
- Historic designation of mining site provokes lawmakers' anger (Tucson Sun):
The Oak Flat campground area that will be destroyed by a proposed copper mine has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, based in part on the site's spiritual ties to Western Apache tribes. But the listing of the site, about 100 miles north of Tucson, has prompted outrage from Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who insists it has no special significance to Native Americans.
- John McCain Fought For Native Religious Freedom, Then Sold Sacred Oak Flat (Huffington Post):
[C]ritics have suggested other motivations for the senators' actions: McCain was the top recipient of Rio Tinto campaign contributions in 2014, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
- Why is Congress giving federally protected Arizona land sacred to the Apache to a massive mining conglomerate? (Al Jazeera America, 4/14/15) [emphasis added]:
[T]he company announced it will use a cheaper method called block cave mining, which will result in a crater two miles wide and up to 1,000 feet deep, destroying the surface of the land. Block cave mining will also generate nearly a cubic mile of mine waste, which the company proposes to leave on a parcel of Forest Service land, just outside the town of Superior.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Native American Tribe Gets Federal Funds to Flee Rising Seas (Inside Climate News):
In a disappearing section of Louisiana coastline, the people who call Isle De Jean Charles home are moving to save their community and culture.
- Record-breaking temperatures 'have robbed the Arctic of its winter' (Guardian UK):
Fort Yukon has recorded Alaska's coldest ever temperatures but this winter temperatures have been much warmer than usual, leading to dangerously thin ice.
- My Oily Heirloom: Divesting from fossil fuels required breaking a family tradition (Other Words):
Divesting my shares lifted a great burden. I'm both a direct descendent of one of the corporation's early executives and an architect devoted to green building practices.
- Peabody Energy Warns of Possible Bankruptcy Filing (NY Times):
The world's largest coal company, the Peabody Energy Corporation, warned on Wednesday that it might have to file for bankruptcy protection as it struggles to keep up with its debt payments...Lenders to the coal industry are taking staggering losses on their investments. Some debt is trading at just pennies on the dollar.
- Conservative Media Distort Hillary Clinton's Plan To Revitalize Coal Country (Media Matters):
Clinton's $30 Billion Plan For Coal Communities Provides Support During Transition To Clean Energy. In November, Clinton released a plan to create federal programs designed to assist coal-dependent communities while transitioning toward more environmentally-friendly energy sources.
- Rising seas could trigger 'Great Migration' from US shores (Climate Change News):
Flooded coastlines may affect 13m people by 2100 on a similar scale to African-American exodus from rural South in 20th century.
- After Flint, Watchdog Urges Texas To Warn Residents About Arsenic (CS Monitor):
An environmental watchdog group analyzed a decade worth of water data in Texas, finding that 65 communities have exceeded federal limits on arsenic. The state has reassured residents that the water is still safe to drink.
- Tainted-Water Worries Spread to Vermont Village (NY Times):
Above the Walloomsac River, where ramshackle farmhouses sit just downhill from tidy homes with organic gardens out back, the old ChemFab plant was, for many, a respected local employer from the days when this village's prosperity depended on industry.
- Antarctica's Ice Is Being Carved Up From Below (Washington Post):
Two years ago, a pair of scientific studies documented that the glaciers of West Antarctica, which hold back over 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) of potential sea level rise, are melting and retreating from below. The cause? It appears that these glaciers, which are perched on the seafloor deep below the ocean surface, are being lapped at by flows of warm ocean currents.
- As Climate Heats Up, Arctic Residents Struggle To Keep Their Homes (Guardian UK):
In the spring, after the permafrost thaws and the ground settles, Wilson Andrew Sr takes a wrench to the metal pilings that hold up the foundation of his house in Atmautluak, Alaska, and makes it level again. He cranks the screws until the foundation flattens out, level with the ground. At least for now.
- FDA Says Deploying Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Is Environmentally Safe (Scientific American):
The bugs could be used to help contain Zika virus in Florida.
- Senate Blocks Bill That Would Override State GMO Labeling Laws (Reuters):
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday blocked a bill that would nullify state and local efforts to require food makers to label products made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, as the industry races to stop Vermont's law from taking effect on July 1.
- A Tale of Two Leaks: Fixed in California, Ignored in Alabama (Inside Climate News):
Eight years after a mercaptan spill in Eight Mile, its mostly black and working class residents still suffer from respiratory issues, rashes and headaches.
- Panel: Finding Climate Fingerprints In Wild Weather Is Valid (AP):
Climate science has progressed so much that experts can accurately detect global warming's fingerprints on certain extreme weather events, such as a heat wave, according to a high-level scientific advisory panel.
- 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).