IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another massive new wildfire forces evacuations for 80,000 in Southern California; Obama Administration issues new rules for heavy duty trucks; New report finds eliminating fossil fuel subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: America gets its first-ever offshore wind farm... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Beyond Coal: Imagining Appalachia’s Future; Flooding Compounds Pain of Tragic Summer in Baton Rouge; Biomass Power Slumps as EPA, Industry Spar on Science; Climate Change and Housing: Will a Rising Tide Sink all Homes?; Oregon 50% RPS will barely raise customer rates thru 2028; Massachusetts court bars electric utilities from charging ratepayers for gas pipeline construction; The Steel Magnate Helping Trump Vilify Pollution Regulations... PLUS: Flooding in the South Looks a Lot Like Climate Change... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Another new wildfire and state of emergency in the tinderbox of California:
- VIDEO: California's Blue Cut Fire Burns 49 Square Miles, Over 82,000 Evacuated: 'I've Never Seen Fire Behavior So Extreme' (Weather Channel)
- VIDEO: ‘Firenadoes’ are striking east of Los Angeles (USA Today)
- Blue Cut Fire Burning With Ferocity Never Seen by California Fire Crews (CBS)
- Southern California Fire Flared Up at 5 Acres. A Day Later, It Covered 25,000. (NY Times):
Fire officials warned on Wednesday that explosive fires like this one were becoming more common. “It’s to the point where explosive fire growth is the new normal this year, and that’s a challenge for all of us to take on,” said Glenn Barley, the San Bernardino unit chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as CalFire.
- California Braces for Unending Drought (NY Times)
- Brazil: Wildfires increase 65% over last year:
- Brazil's Amazon Hot, Dry and Ablaze (ENS):
Brazil's National Space Research Institute, INPE, registered over 53,000 forest fires in the country up to Friday, and warns that the hot, dry weather may make things worse, if law enforcement efforts are not increased. This warning indicates that many of the fires are the result of human activities, such as slash and burn agriculture.
- The [Olympics] Year the Rain Forest Burned (Yale Climate Connections):
Near-record early Amazon forest fires - not far from the Rio Olympics and coming on top of recent droughts - raise concerns that 'we're in a different regime.'...“Severe events are becoming the norm, not the anomaly.”
- NOAA: July 2016 the 15th straight month of record temperatures:
- July Makes 15 Record Hot Months in a Row (Climate Central)
- Fires, Floods, and Scorchers: Earth Destroys Yet Another Heat Record (Bloomberg)
- NASA: Last Month Was Earth's Hottest In Recorded History (AP):
NASA calculates that Earth just broiled to its hottest month in recorded history. Even after the fading of a strong El Nino, which spikes global temperatures on top of man-made climate change, July burst global temperature records.
- Obama Administration issues new mileage rules for heavy-duty trucks:
- New Rules Require Heavy-Duty Trucks to Reduce Emissions by 25% Over the Next Decade (NY Times):
The Obama administration on Tuesday issued aggressive new emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks. The rules are expected to achieve better fuel efficiency and a bigger cut in pollution than the version that was first proposed last year. Officials said the new standards would require up to a 25 percent reduction in carbon emissions for big tractor-trailers over the next 10 years, and somewhat smaller improvements for delivery trucks, school buses and other large vehicles.
- Feds release new heavy-truck emission rules (Detroit Free Press)
- Report: Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies won't raise gas prices:
- Do Oil Companies Really Need $4 Billion Per Year of Taxpayers’ Money? (NY Times):
Cutting oil drilling subsidies might reduce domestic oil production by 5 percent in the year 2030.
- The Impact of Removing Tax Preferences for U.S. Oil and Gas Production (Council on Foreign Relations):
The author concludes that the estimated effects of removing the preferences on energy prices, domestic production, and global consumption suggest that none of the three preferences directly and materially improve U.S. energy security or mitigate climate change. If eliminated, however, they could enhance U.S. influence to advocate for international climate action and generate fiscal savings.
- U.S. gets its first offshore wind farm:
- America's First Offshore Wind Farm Is Nearly Ready (Bloomberg):
Deepwater Wind LLC is on the verge of completing the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters, a milestone for an industry that has struggled for a more than decade to build in North America.
- The nation’s first offshore wind farm takes shape off R.I. (Boston Globe):
- Massachusetts just gave a huge boost to the offshore wind industry (Washington Post)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Flooding in the South Looks a Lot Like Climate Change (NY Times):
Climate change is never going to announce itself by name. But this is what we should expect it to look like. That’s what many scientists, analysts and activists are saying after heavy rains in southern Louisiana have killed at least 11 people and forced tens of thousands of residents from their homes, in the latest in a series of extreme floods that have occurred in the United States over the last two years.
- Climate Change and Housing: Will a Rising Tide Sink all Homes? (Zillow.com):
When Zillow starts warning about sea level rise, it may be time to start worrying about sea level rise.
- Biomass Power Slumps as EPA, Industry Spar on Science (Climate Central):
With the biomass power industry in financial tumult, its leaders are pinning hopes for revival on Congress’s potential willingness to interfere with climate science.
- Pacific Power: Oregon 50% RPS will barely raise customer rates thru 2028 (Utility Dive):
Five months ago, Pacific Power told lawmakers complying with Senate Bill 1547 would raise 0.8% annually through 2030 — about a 12% increase overall. In a filing with the Oregon Public Service Commission, the utility said it now expects the mandate to push rates up 0.1% over that entire timeframe.
- Flooding Compounds Pain of Tragic Summer in Baton Rouge (NY Times):
It had already been a long, painful summer in Baton Rouge. What was once a sleepy college and government town was hit in July with successive crises that seemed, at the time, to be the crises of a decade: citywide protests over the police shooting of Mr. Sterling and the gunning down of three officers 12 days later. What followed were weeks of talk about coming together as a community after a crisis. Then came the worst flooding in memory...."Even the dead can't rest," he said.
- Massachusetts court bars electric utilities from charging ratepayers for gas pipeline construction (Utility Dive):
Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court has prohibited state regulators from approving contracts requiring electric utility customers to support development of gas pipelines, throwing a major project in the state into doubt.
- Louisiana Flooding Damage Reports, Still Preliminary, Are Sobering (NPR):
Even as thousands of residents of southern Louisiana are returning to their flood-damaged homes, more danger could lie ahead as rain continues to fall and the full extent of the damage can't be known, according to state emergency response officials.
- Beyond Coal: Imagining Appalachia’s Future (NY TImes):
To offset lost mining jobs, officials, business leaders and environmentalists are setting aside political feuds to try to create an entrepreneurial economy.
- The Steel Magnate Helping Trump Vilify Pollution Regulations (Inside Climate News):
Former Nucor chief executive Dan DiMicco spent years railing against environmental regulations and trade, even as his business thrived despite them.
- Peabody Gets U.S. Court Approval For Clean-Up Deals, Executive Bonuses (Retuers):
Bankrupt coal company Peabody Energy won U.S. court approval on Wednesday for agreements with three states to partially cover $1.14 billion in potential environmental liabilities and for a bonus plan for its six top executives.
- U.S. Coal Regulator Boosts Campaign To Fix 'Outdated' Cleanup Rules (Reuters):
A leading U.S. coal regulator announced plans on Tuesday to toughen what it called "out-of-date" rules for guaranteeing mine cleanups.
- Secret 'Chemtrail' Spraying Not Real, Scientists Agree (ENS):
Long-lasting white trails left behind by aircraft are caused by well-understood physical and chemical processes, not a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program, concludes new research from Carnegie Science, University of California-Irvine, and the nonprofit Near Zero.
- Environmental records shattered as climate change 'plays out before us' (Guardian UK):
Temperatures, sea levels and carbon dioxide all hit milestones amid extreme weather in 2015, major international 'state of the climate' report finds.
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: