IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump promises to toss historic UN climate agreement; Native American tribes halt massive coal export terminal in WA; Voters halt massive Nestle water bottling plant in OR; Duke Energy ordered to close all toxic coal ash pits in NC; PLUS: Another big climate victory for kids in court, this time in MA... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New Evidence About the Dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup; Southern hemisphere CO2 level rises above symbolic 400 ppm milestone; Stuck on hot: Earth breaks 12th straight monthly heat record; Trump's son woos sportsmen, covets top job at Interior; Feds brace for another hot, expensive wildfire season; California's use of coal drops dramatically - to almost nothing... PLUS: Environmental Group Accuses ExxonMobil Of Polluting The Mystic River... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- North Carolina orders Duke Energy to clean up toxic coal ash waste dumps:
- DEQ: Duke Needs to Dig Up All Its Coal Ash (NC Health News):
State regulators have raised the risk designations for some of Duke Energy’s coal ash dumps, a move that could require 25 impoundments to be dug up by 2024. Or not. The Department of Environmental Quality wants the power to lower risk rankings in 18 months if the utility proves that coal ash is not polluting nearby drinking water and repairs dams at its waste sites."
- Regulators: Coal ash to be moved from North Carolina pits (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
[T]he state Department of Environmental Quality said it's asking for a change in state law that would allow it to reconsider its risk assessment in 18 months..."Requesting that the legislature revisit the law and requirements in 18 months allows Governor McCrory's administration to say one thing to get through the election this fall, all subject to revision after the election," attorney DJ Gerken said in a statement.
- From ashes such as these: Georgia community has decided it no longer wants to be one of big industry's waste dumps (Bitter Southerner) [emphasis added]:
Let's face it. The one thing an education offers a person is choices. Less educated people have fewer choices and because of this, fewer resources. On what other people would big industry dump its poison?...Neill talks about something called called "resource paradox."
- Trump pledges to 'renegotiate' historic UN climate agreement:
- Exclusive: Trump would talk to North Korea's Kim, wants to renegotiate climate accord (Reuters):
"[A]t a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else," the New York real estate mogul said in an interview with Reuters...Trump said he did not believe China, the world's top emitter of the carbon dioxide gas that many scientists believe is contributing to global climate change, would adhere to its pledge under the Paris deal.
- Trump won't be able to derail Paris climate deal, says senior US official (Guardian UK)
- Trump's Bizarre Climate Beliefs Would Jeopardize Meaningful Global Climate Action (Climate Progress):
Certainly it is uniquely reckless and self-destructive to undermine the world's best - and, indeed, only - hope for preserving a livable climate for ourselves, our children, and the next 50 generations to walk the Earth. In addition, Trump's nonsensical explanation eviscerates any notion that he might translate whatever deal-making skills he has in the business world into the world of international politics and negotiations...Not only has the entire rest of the world agreed to work tirelessly for many decades to save all Americans from Dust-Bowlification, they will also be saving the Trump family specifically from ruin.
- Media Should Scrutinize Trump's Fact-Free Claim That China Will Violate Paris Climate Agreement(Media Matters):
Contrary To Trump's Claim, Experts Say China Is Well On Its Way Toward Meeting Climate Change Commitments
- California: Pipeline company indicted over 2015 pipeline spill:
- Pipeline company indicted in 2015 Santa Barbara County oil spill (LA Times):
Since 2006, Plains Pipeline's rate of incidents per mile of pipe is more than three times the national average, a Times analysis of data from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last year showed. The company's 175 violations involved pipeline corrosion, operator error, pump failure and equipment malfunction.
- Oil Company To Face Felony Charges Over Massive California Spill (Climate Progress):
The investigation found that the pipeline had corroded to 1/16th of an inch before the rupture occurred, but there are also several charges relating to Plains All-American's failure to properly notify local and state officials about the leak.
- Massachusetts: Another victory for kids and climate in court:
- Court: Massachusetts failed to adopt greenhouse gas limits (AP):
Supreme Court Justice Robert Cordy, however, said the language of the law was "unambiguous." "Although the department's cited regulatory initiatives are important to the Commonwealth's overall scheme of reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time, they do not fulfill the specific requirements (of the law)," Cordy said, writing for the high court.
- SJC sides with teens in global warming fight; State not fulfilling its obligations (Boston Herald):
"It's so surreal. I always ?believed in what we were doing, so it was such an amazing moment to see the results," said Gieger, 17. "It's amazing to see what effect we can have."
- Oregon: Voters block Nestle's proposed water bottling plant in Hood County:
- Hood River County Voters Approve Water Bottling Ban (Oregon Public Broadcasting):
Hood River County voters have approved a ban on commercial water bottling, blocking a $50 million bottling plant Nestle wants to build in the Columbia River Gorge.
- Voters pass measure to keep Nestle out of Cascade Locks: Hood River County Water Protection measure passed with 68% of vote (KOIN):
Opponents of the plan also spoke out against bringing in trucks that would have made 200 trips to-and-from Nestle’s plant every day. Native Americans cited global warming, salmon die-offs and water conservation as reasons to reject the proposal.
- Washington: Native Americans, grassroots halt massive coal export terminal:
- AUDIO: Trump Gaining on Clinton; Big Grassroots Win Against Coal in WA State: 'BradCast' 5/17/2016 (The BRAD BLOG):
"Yes, grassroots activism is working and accomplishing amazing things," Hitt tells me as she describes last week's huge victory...
- Tribes prevail, kill proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point (Seattle Times):
The Lummi Nation has prevailed in its fight to block the largest coal port ever proposed in North America, at Cherry Point. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency reviewing permits for the deep water port project, agreed with the tribe Monday that it could not grant a permit for a project that would infringe on the Lummi Nation’s treaty-protected fishing rights.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- New Evidence About the Dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup (The Intercept):
"Until recently, the fight over Roundup has mostly focused on its active ingredient, glyphosate. But mounting evidence, including one study published in February, shows it’s not only glyphosate that’s dangerous, but also chemicals listed as 'inert ingredients' in some formulations of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers.
- Genetically Engineered Crops Are Safe, Analysis Finds (NY Times):
The report says that foods made from such crops do not appear to pose health risks, based on chemical analyses of the foods and on animal feeding studies, though it says many animal studies are too small to provide firm conclusions...The report says use of the insect-resistant crops has clearly led to a decrease in the spraying of chemical insecticides. Conversely, the use of herbicide-resistant crops might have led to an increase in the spraying of chemical weed killers in some cases. Overuse of glyphosate has spurred evolution of weeds resistant to that chemical, vexing farmers.
- Confirmed: Southern hemisphere CO2 level rises above symbolic 400 ppm milestone (Sydney Morning Herald):
"This year, it's just plateaued and now it's taken off again," he said, adding the site was "probably one of the last places on earth" to remain below 400 ppm.
- Stuck on hot: Earth breaks 12th straight monthly heat record (AP):
Earth's heat is stuck on high. Thanks to a combination of global warming and an El Nino, the planet shattered monthly heat records for an unprecedented 12th straight month, as April smashed the old record by half a degree, according to federal scientists.
- Photos: Record-late snowfalls in northern Maine - up to eight inches! (Washington Post):
It's the middle of May and snowfall of historic proportions has blanketed Caribou, Maine. The National Weather Service reports 4.5 inches has fallen in this town at Maine's tip, the most so deep into May since records began in 1939.
- Trump's son woos sportsmen, covets top job at Interior (E&E News):
Most notably, Trump in January broke from the GOP establishment by pledging to oppose efforts to transfer federal lands to states, gaining plaudits from sportsmen across the political spectrum who oppose the privatization of federal lands, fearing it would reduce places to hunt and fish.
- Feds brace for another hot, expensive wildfire season (Grand Forks Herald):
Forest Service officials have repeatedly asked Congress, so far without success, to set aside a special firefighting budget so the agency has some money left to do more forest planning, planting, tourism-related and ecological projects that have all declined as fires eat up more money.
- Drought, dead trees add up to big fire danger for California (SF Gate):
"You've got 40 million dead trees. You've got 40 million opportunities for fire," Vilsack said. "You're looking at a very serious situation."
- California's use of coal drops dramatically - to almost nothing (LA Times):
While California's rates are higher, the state consumes less electricity per household than most others. That's partly because of mild weather along the coast but also the greater efficiency of household appliances used in the state. California's average monthly bill in 2014 was $23 less than the national average.
- GMOs Are Safe, But Don't Always Deliver On Promises, Top Scientists Say (NPR):
The National Academy of Sciences - probably the country's most prestigious scientific group - has reaffirmed its judgment that GMOs are safe to eat. But the group's new report struck a different tone from previous ones, with much more space devoted to concerns about genetically modified foods, including social and economic ones.
- Environmental Group Accuses ExxonMobil Of Polluting The Mystic River (InsideClimate News):
The CLF and a coalition of local green groups contend that the company has understood for years the global risks posed to its business and to the public by climate change. Even so, it has failed to fortify this soft local underbelly of a sprawling oil distribution network against increasingly likely inundation from rising tides and intensifying rains.
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:
- Regulators: Coal ash to be moved from North Carolina pits (Washington Post) [emphasis added]: