IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: While we were out: President Obama created two new national monuments; Wisconsin solved climate change...by deleting it; Ohio's governor reinstated renewable energy standards; Michigan banned plastic bag bans; PLUS: Activists got high to protest Dakota Access Pipeline... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How to Save $23 Trillion Per Year: 100% Renewable Energy for the World; Warming Crushes Global Records Again In 2016; House Passes Bill To Overturn 'Midnight' Regulations En Masse; Oil Industry Fears Trump May Hit Them Up on Tax Reform; China To Plow $361 Billion Into Renewable Fuel By 2020; Court Delays Appeal Over Obama’s Fracking Rule; US Workers Making BPA Have Enormous Loads Of It In Them... PLUS: Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest Faces Fracking Threat... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- President Obama creates two new national monuments:
- With new monuments in Nevada, Utah, Obama adds to his environmental legacy (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
[D]espite the uniformly acknowledged historical significance of the area, some people regard the conservation efforts by the White House as classic federal overreach. In the current-era conflict between Washington and rural Westerners, the idea of a Bears Ears national monument has produced warnings of a possible armed insurrection.... in 1938, the U.S. Attorney General wrote a formal opinion saying the Antiquities Act authorized a president to establish a monument but did not grant a president the right to abolish one.
- Utah trust lands in Bears Ears monument an issue (Durango Herald):
Utah looks to hold onto education revenue as White House proposes land exchange to protect Bears Ears.
- VIDEO: The two sides of the Bears Ears debate (Washington Post)
- A major Native American site is being looted. Will Obama risk armed confrontation to save it? (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
"You usually wait for the harder ones for the last moment...and the window is closing for permanent protection of some of the grandest landscapes, I think, in the entire United States."
- Gold Butte proclamation still allows hunting, fishing in area (Las Vegas Review-Journal):
In his proclamation, the president provided a rather extensive list of vulnerable natural, cultural and historical resources he said will be protected by the area's designation as a national monument.
- For tribes, new designations are culturally monumental (High Country News)
- Republicans, Trump plan assault on Obama legacy, Antiquities Act::
- House GOP rules change will make it easier to sell off federal land (Washington Post):
Under current Congressional Budget Office accounting rules, any transfer of federal land that generates revenue for the U.S. Treasury - whether through energy extraction, logging, grazing or other activities - has a cost. If lawmakers wanted to give such land to a state, local government or tribe, they would have to account for that loss in expected cash flow.
- Congress Will Battle Over Obamacare, Environmental Regs, Cabinet (Newsweek):
A new, Republican-controlled U.S. Congress convenes on Tuesday eager to repeal major portions of President Barack Obama's healthcare law and roll back environmental and financial industry regulations, but could quickly become embroiled in fights over President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet choices.
- House GOP rules change will make it easier to sell off federal land (Washington Post):
- Vermont: U.S. electric grid was not hacked:
- Don't Read Too Much Into the Vermont Hack Debacle (The Atlantic):
A botched article about an attack on the power grid was bad reporting-but it doesn't mean attributing cyberattacks is impossible.
- Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation (Washington Post)
- Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say (Washington Post):
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.
- Wisconsin solves climate change by deleting it:
- DNR purges climate change from web page (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):
The state Department of Natural Resources recently scrubbed language from an agency web page on the Great Lakes that said humans and greenhouse gases are the main cause of climate change. The DNR now says the subject is a matter of scientific debate.
- Wisconsin censors accepted climate science on DNR website (Minnesota Public Radio)
- Michigan bans plastic bag bans:
- Yes, this is real: Michigan just banned banning plastic bags (Washington Post):
You read that correctly: It's not a ban on plastic bags - it's a ban on banning plastic bags...The rationale is simple: Plastic bags are infamous non-biodegradable sources of pollution - although they will eventually break down into tiny pieces, scientists believe this process can take hundreds of years, or even up to a millennium, in landfills.
- Ban on local plastic bag bans now Michigan law (MLive):
The bills were championed by the Michigan Restaurant Association, which claimed a victory with the bill's signing. It prevents chain restaurants and retailers for having to comply with a patchwork of local container ordinances.
- Why Michigan Banned Banning Plastic Bags (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Minnesota: Dakota Access Pipeline protesters call out US Bank to divest:
- Two Dakota Access Pipeline protesters scaled the indoor heights of U.S. Bank Stadium during Vikings game (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
- Dakota Access pipeline protesters had tickets to Bears-Vikings game, stadium officials say (Chicago Tribune)
- Ohio: Gov. Kasich reinstates renewable energy standard:
- Ohio Gov. Kasich vetoes bill extending freeze on renewables, efficiency standard (Utility Dive):
"Over the past six years, Ohio has enjoyed the most improved business climate in the nation," he wrote. "Job creators have attributed their reasons for expanding, growing and creating jobs in Ohio to, among other things, our state's stable fiscal health, jobs-friendly tax climate and sound regulatory policies - as well as our state's wide range of energy generation options.
- Nevada: City of Las Vegas now powered by 100% renewable energy:
- Las Vegas’s city government is now powered by 100% renewable energy, and more cities will follow (Quartz):
Ten years of effort finally paid off for Las Vegas this week when officials announced the city government will now be powered entirely by renewable energy.
- City of Las Vegas reaches clean energy goal (Las Vegas Review_Journal):
Overall, the city’s energy savings because of its shift to renewable sources is estimated at roughly $5 million annually.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- How to Save $23 Trillion Per Year: 100% Renewable Energy for the World (Weather Underground)
- Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest Faces Fracking Threat (Guardian UK):
The latest battleground for the future of fracking in Britain looks set to be Sherwood Forest, the legendary home of folk hero Robin Hood and now the target of a seismic survey by Ineos.
- House Passes Bill To Overturn 'Midnight' Regulations En Masse (The Hill):
Legislation to allow Congress to repeal in a single vote any rule finalized in the last 60 legislative days of the Obama administration sailed through the House Wednesday, the second time in less than two months.
- Oil Industry Fears Trump May Hit Them Up on Tax Reform (Time):
Industry officials worry tax reform could target energy companies.
- New Study Confirms NOAA Finding Of Faster Global Warming (Washington Post):
Thomas Karl and colleagues were harassed by Republicans for publishing inconvenient science. A new study proves them right.
- China To Plow $361 Billion Into Renewable Fuel By 2020 (Reuters):
China will plow 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country's energy agency said on Thursday, as the world's largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels.
- Court Delays Appeal Over Obama’s Fracking Rule (The Hill):
A federal court on Wednesday delayed oral arguments in the Obama administration’s appeal to reinstate its hydraulic fracturing regulation for federal lands for two months.
- US Workers Making BPA Have Enormous Loads Of It In Them (Environmental Health News):
Some workers who make or work with the endocrine-disrupting chemical have levels 1,000 times higher than the general public, a federal study found.
- NOAA Releases Plan For Alaska Endangered Beluga Whales (AP):
A federal plan for the recovery of an endangered Alaska beluga whale calls for a reduction in threats of high concern while scientists try to pinpoint what has kept the population from growing.
- Warming Crushes Global Records Again In 2016 (Climate Progress):
2016 has crushed the record for hottest year, set way back in 2015, which itself smashed the previous record for hottest year that was set in 2014.
- NC Environmental Chief Moves To Block His Own Removal By New Governor (AP):
The head of the Department of Environmental Quality will stay at the agency, despite an incoming Democratic administration. A top state environmental regulator who has urged Trump to rein in the EPA and has been criticized for his lenient treatment of polluters, stepped down over the holidays --- giving himself a staff position that will be protected under the new North Carolina administration.
- Corals: Accidental discovery spurs coral growth, ignites hope (E&E News)
"We can [cycle through] an entire life cycle of a coral and make a selection predicting better survival," Vaughan said. "Otherwise, you would have said I got to wait 75 years and see if the next offspring are OK. And now, literally it's our lifetime. We can do something in our lifetime."
- I'm a scientist who has gotten death threats. I fear what may happen under Trump. (Washington Post):
I've faced hostile investigations by politicians, demands for me to be fired from my job, threats against my life and even threats against my family... with the coming Trump administration, my colleagues and I are steeling ourselves for a renewed onslaught of intimidation, from inside and outside government. It would be bad for our work and bad for our planet.
- No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously (Vox):
If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page