IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New analysis finds Dakota Access pipeline fails Obama's climate test; U.S. House Science Committee chair investigating states who are investigating Exxon Mobil; Lead paint manufacturers got legal immunity in Wisconsin after big campaign donations; PLUS: Louisiana floods now the third costliest disaster in U.S. history... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Wind, solar and electric cars are booming. Too bad that’s not enough to stop climate change; Wind, solar and electric cars are booming. Too bad that’s not enough to stop climate change; Bayer and Monsanto to merge in mega-deal that could reshape world's food supply; Reducing runoff pollution by making spray droplets less bouncy; What the sixth extinction will look like in the oceans; Obama designates the first-ever marine monument off the East Coast, in New England; New Research Documents That Sugar Industry’s Playbook Goes Way Back... PLUS: Reducing runoff pollution by making spray droplets less bouncy... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Controversial Dakota Access pipeline fails Obama's 'climate test':
- VIDEO: Bernie Sanders at rally against Dakota Access pipeline (Sen. Sanders)
- Bernie Sanders leads major rally against pipeline in front of White House (Alternet)
- A Judge Sided with Dakota Access, But the Feds Decide to Halt Pipeline Construction Instead (The Stranger)
- A Pipeline Fight and America's Dark Past (Bill McKibben, New Yorker)
- Dark Money: Report shows lead paint makers got legal immunity after huge campaign donations:
- 'Because Scott Walker Asked': (Guardian UK):
Leaked court documents from 'John Doe investigation' in Wisconsin lay bare pervasive influence of corporate cash on modern US elections
- GOP eases lead paint laws after $750,000 in donations (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) [emphasis added]:
Since the recalls, Walker and Republicans in the state have sought to shield paint makers from liability in lawsuits involving lead paint, although federal courts have in turn blocked some of those actions from standing. For instance, in an overnight meeting in June 2013, Republicans on the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee inserted a provision into the budget long sought by the paint industry that was meant to block lawsuits pending against them by 171 children sickened by lead paint.
- Walker wanted funds funneled to Wisconsin Club for Growth (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 8/24/2014):
Among the funds that flowed into the Wisconsin Club for Growth was $700,000 from a company trying to build a massive open-pit iron mine in northern Wisconsin. Soon after the 2012 recall and general elections, Walker and Republicans eased environmental regulations, helping the firm. "The Governor is encouraging all to invest in the Wisconsin Club for Growth," said an April 28, 2011, email from Kate Doner, a Walker campaign consultant
- Louisiana floods losses estimated to be $15B - third costliest disaster in U.S.:
- Louisiana governor requests bailout as flood costs rise to $15bn (Guardian UK):
With 80% of affected homes uninsured, federal government to cover 90% of Fema costs – but governor says more is needed
- Outdated FEMA Flood Maps Don't Account For Climate Change (NPR):
The floods that hit Louisiana last month were caused by rainfall that was unlike anything seen there in centuries.
- Louisiana flood seen costing up to $15 billion, mostly uninsured (Chicago Tribune)
- House to Congress: $2.6B emergency flood relief package to Louisiana, ASAP (The Advocate)
- NOAA: Climate change doubles risk of more Louisiana deluges, floods:
- Climate change increased chances of record rains in Louisiana by at least 40 percent (NOAA)
- Climate change made Louisiana's catastrophic floods much more likely (Guardian UK):
“While we concluded that 40% is the minimum increase in the chances of such rains, we found that the mostly likely impact of climate change is a near doubling of the odds of such a storm.”
- Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) investigating states who are investigating Exxon Mobil:
- New Investigation Finds Big Oil Isn't the New Big Tobacco, Big Tobacco Was the Old Big Oil: 'BradCast' 8/11/2016 (The BradBlog):
Guest: Carroll Muffett of CIEL on old documents and new revelations
- Lamar Smith Hearing Attempts to Bolster Legal Argument for Subpoenas (Inside Climate News)
- The #ExxonKnew House Science hearing was perfectly on brand for Congress right now: (Climate Progress)
- The House Science Committee's Anti-Science Rampage (The New Yorker):
Smith's subpoenas are a direct attack on the rights of scientists and others to conduct research independent of government interference. Ironically, this is precisely the issue raised in the subpoena by Smith and his colleagues. They claim that they are protecting free speech and the right to fund and conduct scientific research free from intimidation and threats of prosecution. But neither the U.C.S. nor any other group has attacked any of the scientific research conducted at Exxon; instead, they have attacked what they claim to have been a willful public distortion of that research. As Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, stated, The First Amendment, ladies and gentleman, does not give you the right to commit fraud.
- A ‘Red Scare’ tactic or standing up for ExxonMobil on climate change? (Washington Post)
- Constitutional Scholars Object to Lamar Smith's Exxon Subpoenas (Inside Climate News):
Letter from nine legal scholars says Rep. Smith's subpoenas of state attorneys general and organizations were 'invalid and constitutionally impermissible.
- Obama Interior Dept to permit 20,000 MW renewable energy on public lands by 2020:
- Secretary Jewell to Make Major Renewable Energy Announcements in Three-State Tour (Dept. of Interior):
The President’s Climate Action Plan calls on Interior to permit 20,000 megawatts of renewable power by 2020.
- Jewell Unveils Sweeping Desert Conservation, Clean Energy Plan (Desert Sun):
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell unveiled a sweeping conservation plan in Palm Desert on Wednesday, promising to protect millions of acres of California desert while encouraging solar and wind farms in limited areas.
- U.S. Plans Offshore Wind Expansion That Could Supply Entire U.K. (Bloomberg):
There’s enough potential wind power off U.S. coastlines, 2 terawatts, to almost double the nation’s total installed capacity, yet the high cost of turbines at sea have prevented development. Increasing the scale of the industry would help offshore wind become competitive in some areas by 2025, with a cost of less than $100 a megawatt-hour, according to a report issued Friday by the two agencies.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Record-smashing August means long-awaited ‘jump’ in global warming is here (Climate Progress):
We appear to be in the midst of the long-awaited jump in global temperatures. And that means “The kinds of extreme weather we have seen over the past year or so will be routine all too soon, but then even worse records will be set,” as Kevin Trenberth, one of the world’s leading climatologists, told me.
- Wind, solar and electric cars are booming. Too bad that’s not enough to stop climate change (Washington Post):
[I]t’s worth thinking about a new report on global patterns of energy investment — $1.8 trillion worth in 2015 — just released by the International Energy Agency. Because what that report essentially says is that although there’s clear progress, we’re also missing some things. Some very big things.
- Bayer and Monsanto to merge in mega-deal that could reshape world's food supply (Washington Post):
The $66 billion deal — the largest corporate mega-merger in a year full of them — could reshape the development of seeds and pesticides necessary to fueling the planet’s food supply.
- Reducing runoff pollution by making spray droplets less bouncy (MIT):
Based on the laboratory tests, the team estimates that the new system could allow farmers to get the same effects by using only 1/10 as much of the pesticide or other spray. And the polymer additives themselves are natural and biodegradable, so will not contribute to the runoff pollution.
- What the sixth extinction will look like in the oceans: (Washington Post):
“What to us was surprising was that we did not see a similar kind of pattern in any of the previous mass extinction events that we studied,” said geoscientist Jonathan Payne of Stanford University, the study’s lead author. “So that indicated that there really is no good ecological analogue…this pattern has not happened before in the half billion years of the animal fossil record.”
- Obama designates the first-ever marine monument off the East Coast, in New England (Washington Post):
Recreational fishing can continue around the three deep-sea canyons and four seamounts that are now protected, but seabed mining and any other extractive activities are banned.
- New Research Documents That Sugar Industry’s Playbook Goes Way Back (Union of Concerned Scientists):
Next year will mark 50 years since the sugar industry initiated and funded a literature review absolving sugar of its association with chronic heart disease, without disclosing the industry’s role in the study...The sugar industry was interested in increasing sugar consumption by funding science that would urge Americans to decrease calories from saturated fats and hopefully replace them with sugar.
- After Uproar, U.S. Government Says Does Not Plan To Kill Wild Horses (Reuters):
The U.S. government said on Wednesday it has no plans to euthanize a large share of the more than 45,000 wild horses and burros removed from lands mostly in the U.S. West, after an advisory panel's proposal to kill some of the animals sparked outrage.
- Arctic Sea Ice Cover Set To Be 2nd Lowest Ever Recorded, Data Suggests (Guardian UK):
Arctic sea ice cover could be confirmed within days as the second lowest ever recorded, the latest data suggests. According to the US national snow and ice data centre (NSIDC) the ice which forms and disperses annually has been close to its minimum extent for the year for several days and has begun to grow again as autumn sets in.
- S. California Gas To Pay $4-Million Settlement In Porter Ranch Gas Leak (LA Times):
Southern California Gas Co. agreed to pay $4 million to settle criminal charges over the massive gas leak near Porter Ranch last year, but the utility still faces potentially costly civil actions from both residents and regulators.
- Norway and Turkey Vote Against Ban On Dumping Mining Waste At Sea (Guardian UK):
Norway and Turkey were the only two of 53 countries to vote against an international ban on the dumping of mining waste at sea, at a major conservation summit in Hawaii last week.
- 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: