IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau admits Alberta's oil sands' days are numbered; 2016 was the 2nd most expensive year for extreme weather disasters for the U.S.; New York State to close Indian Point nuclear power plant; Wisconsin caught deleting climate change from state websites --- again; PLUS: California catches a break in historic drought (sort of)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists have a new way to calculate what global warming costs. Trump’s team isn’t going to like it; Who's responsible for making plastic packaging more recyclable?; EPA: Fiat Chrysler software enabled emissions cheating; EPA rejects automakers’ bid to weaken fuel efficiency standards; Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA Pick, Backed Industry Donors Over Regulators; Poison Fruit: Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD... PLUS: US Agrees To Pay Billions To Marines Affected By Toxic Water... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Bernie Sanders - 'Pruitt for EPA is crazy. It's insane' (MSNBC's Morning Joe)
- Big week for the environment with 3 controversial climate denier confirmations ahead:
- At Scott Pruitt's Confirmation Hearing, Science Will Be on Trial (The New Republic):
Trump's EPA nominee is more than just a climate change denier. Democrats must frame his appointment as a corporate-backed attack on science itself.)
- 8 Reasons To Worry About Rick Perry Running The Department Of Energy (Huffington Post):
For one thing, he doesn't seem to understand what the DOE even does.
- Will the real Ryan Zinke please stand up? (Denver Post):
When Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to run the Department of the Interior, gets his confirmation hearing Tuesday, Westerners will find out which Ryan Zinke plans to show up for the job: Will it be the Ryan Zinke who says he will defend our public lands, or the Ryan Zinke who votes to undermine them?
- Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admits oil sands must be phased out:
- VIDEO: Trudeau's 'phase out' oilsands comments spark outrage in Alberta (CBC):
"You can't make a choice between what's good for the environment and what's good for the economy," Trudeau said. "We can't shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels."..."If [Trudeau] wants to shut down Alberta's oilsands ... he'll have to go through me," says Wildrose leader.
- Trudeau challenged on carbon pricing, oilsands comments during town hall tour (CBC)
- Trudeau's oil sands 'phase-out' comments spark anger in Alberta (Toronto Globe & Mail)
- California gets a break in historic drought:
- Before-and-after photos show California storm's insane impact on water levels (SF Gate)
- More storms forecast to pummel California with flooding rain, snowy mountain travel (Accuweather)
- Gleick: Is the drought over? Wrong question! (San Jose Mercury News):
We should be asking: Are we managing our water in a sustainable way? That answer is 'No'
- California Got Soaked-But Don't Start Your Endless Showers Just Yet (Mother Jones)
- Tornado, flooding, fatalities and a piles of snow as California deluge continues (LA Times)
- NOAA: 2016 was 2nd costliest year for extreme weather disasters:
- Climate Disasters Cost U.S. $46 Billion as Flooding Leads List (Bloomberg):
Climate-based disasters caused $46 billion in damage and killed at least 138 in the 48 contiguous U.S. states last year, with inland flooding emerging as the costliest weather event for the first time since 1997. The number of billion-dollar occurrences was the second-highest since 1980, with one less than the 16 in 2011...It was the first time that more than two inland flooding events caused losses exceeding $1 billion each.
- Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Summary Stats (NOAA)
- NY State to close Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant:
- Cuomo Confirms Deal to Close Indian Point Nuclear Plant (NY Times):
In his State of the State address in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Cuomo characterized the deal as a hard bargain he had driven to rid the region of a "ticking time bomb" less than 30 miles from Midtown. He said the state would bear no costs in the shutdown or decommissioning of the plant's two operating nuclear reactors.
- New York’s Plan to Bridge From Nuclear Power to Offshore Wind (Greentech Media):
the state has been working since 2012 on a plan to replace a resource that serves about one-quarter of the metro New York area’s power needs with a set of demand-side and distributed generation resources downstate, along with a lot of upstate wind and hydro power and the new transmission capacity to deliver it.
- Wisconsin caught deleting climate science from another state website:
- Wisconsin's PSC also cut climate topics from site (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):
For years, the Public Service Commission featured material devoted to climate change, including strategies designed to reduce Wisconsin's reliance on coal. Then, sometime after May 1, the agency eliminated its global warming web page. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discovered the change when reviewing archived web pages of the DNR and the PSC. The agencies are the most influential in state government on the subject of climate change because of their role in regulating coal-fired power plants. Coal emissions from power plants are the state's largest sources of carbon emissions.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Scientists have a new way to calculate what global warming costs. Trump’s team isn’t going to like it. (Washington Post):
A much-anticipated new report, just released by the National Academy of Sciences, recommends major updates to a federal metric known as the “social cost of carbon” — and its suggestions could help address a growing scientific concern that we’re underestimating the damages global warming will cause.
- Who's responsible for making plastic packaging more recyclable? (Utility Dive):
Brands and recyclers are working on solutions from both ends, with MRFs often caught in the middle.
- EPA: Fiat Chrysler software enabled emissions cheating (Washington Post):
The Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler on Thursday of installing software that enables certain diesel trucks to emit far more pollutants than emissions laws allow. The company denied those accusations, saying its software meets regulatory requirements.
- EPA rejects automakers’ bid to weaken fuel efficiency standards (Washington Post):
Citing eight years of research, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said that “at every step in the process the analysis has shown that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks remain affordable and effective through 2025, and will save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump while protecting our health and the environment.”
- Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA Pick, Backed Industry Donors Over Regulators (NY Times):
A legal fight to clean up tons of chicken manure fouling the waters of Oklahoma’s bucolic northeastern corner — much of it from neighboring Arkansas — was in full swing six years ago when the conservative lawyer Scott Pruitt took office as Oklahoma’s attorney general. His response: Put on the brakes.
- Poison Fruit: Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD (The Intercept):
In 2014, the first and most comprehensive look at the environmental causes of autism and developmental delay, known as the CHARGE study, found that the nearby application of agricultural pesticides greatly increases the risk of autism.
- A Big Test for Big Batteries (NY Times):
In Southern California in the fall of 2015, a giant natural gas leak not only caused one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history, it also knocked out a critical fuel source for regional power plants. Energy regulators needed a quick fix.
- Wyoming Bill Would Prevent Utilities From Using Clean Energy (Inside Climate News):
While many U.S. states have mandates and incentives to get more of their electricity from renewable energy, Republican legislators in Wyoming are proposing to cut the state off from its most abundant, clean resource—wind—and ensuring its continued dependence on coal.
- Japan Caught with Dead Whale in Australian Whale Sanctuary (ENS):
Hours after Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull smiled for a photo with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Sydney on Saturday, Japanese whalers were caught killing whales in the icy waters of the Australian Whale Sanctuary off Antarctica.
- National Monuments: Obama Protects 3 New Sites, Expands 2 More (E&E News):
President Obama today announced three new national monuments honoring key events in the civil rights movement and expanded both the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and the California Coastal National Monument.
- US Agrees To Pay Billions To Marines Affected By Toxic Water (AP):
After years of wait, veterans who had been exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may now be able to receive a portion of government disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion.
- Federal Agencies Budget $42M For Asian Carp Prevention (AP):
Federal officials say they'll continue efforts to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, despite uncertainty about what Donald Trump might propose.
- 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