IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It begins: Trump re-launches controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines; Team Trump imposes gag orders and lock downs on science-based federal agencies; PLUS: New U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations won't commit to supporting United Nations Paris Agreement... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Trump's unsupported claim he has 'received awards on the environment'; Lead Levels Fall Below Federal Limits In Flint, Michigan: State; Iowa Oil Spill Marks Pipeline Risks After Trump Revives Major Projects; In Michigan, a Fight Over the Future of a Fabled Trout River; Senate Democrats Unveil A Trump-Size Infrastructure Plan; Fla. DEP Secretary Going To Work For Firm That Just Got New DEP Contract; This Week's Jersey Floods Are A Taste Of What's To Come... PLUS: Gag Order Or Not, Here's Why Trump Cracking Down On Government Science is So Scary... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump White House deletes climate, replaces with "America First Energy Plan":
- With Trump in Charge, Climate Change References Purged From Website (NY Times)
- An America First Energy Plan (WhiteHouse.ogv)
- "America First" Energy Plan Puts Americans Last (Clean Technica)
- Trump's unserious 'America First' energy plan (Op-ed, Sacramento Bee):
But the Trump administration's apparent cynicism about clean energy produces the real jaw-dropper: the plan's complete disregard for the competition, innovation and job growth accompanying the explosion in renewable energy and utility reform. Rather than being at the center of the administration's energy plan, these economic drivers are missing entirely from it. This is not a good start.
- Communications shut down at some federal agencies:
- Information lockdown hits Trump's federal agencies (Politico):
'It's a dark time right now,' a former Obama administration spokeswoman says as multiple agencies tell employees to restrict news releases and social media.
- Federal agencies ordered to restrict their communications (Washington Post)
- Trump Admin retaliates against National Park Service:
- Trump Admin orders EPA on lock-down: media, grants, contracts:
- VIDEO: Maddow on EPA Gag (Climate Crocks)
- Sudden changes at the EPA, USDA, and CDC under Trump, explained (Vox):
Government scientists are being ordered not to talk about their research - and it's only week one.
- EPA Freezes Grants, Tells Employees Not To Talk About It, Sources Say (Huffington Post)
- Trump Administration Imposes Freeze On EPA Grants and Contracts (Pro Publica)
- Trump Admin Orders EPA Contract Freeze and Media Blackout (AP)
- Trump officials reviewing EPA website, may not scrub all climate data (UPI)
- EPA: "Staff Told To 'Stand Down' On Axing Climate Page" (Greenwire)
- Trump political appointees must approve all EPA work:
- Trump EPA Team Vetting ‘Controversial’ Public Meetings and Presentations (Pro Publica):
On Tuesday, the new administration’s efforts to take hold of the EPA continued, this time with a memo from EPA headquarters requiring all regional offices to submit a list of “all external meetings or presentations by employees planned through February 17.” The memo demanded the offices provide a short description of each event and a note explaining “whether it is controversial and why.”
- Trump's political appointees will vet EPA's scientific work before release (Mashable)
- EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff (AP)
- CDC abruptly cancels long-planned conference on climate change and health (Washington Post):
With little warning or explanation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently canceled a major climate change conference that had been scheduled for next month in Atlanta.
- Scientists fight back against Trump Admin censorship:
- Scientists plan March on Washington (Scientists' March on Washington)
- There is Now an Underground EPA (Climate Crocks):
We are underground @EPA Supporting the #WomensMarch and #climatechange.
- National Parks Service 'goes rogue' in response to Trump Twitter ban (Guardian UK):
Badlands National Park sent out a series of (now-deleted) tweets on climate change, seemingly in defiance of Trump administration
- Rogue National Park Accounts Emerge On Twitter Amid Social Media Gag Orders (NPR)
- Trump paves way for controversial pipelines to move forward:
- Trump Revives Keystone Pipeline Rejected by Obama (NY Times)
- President Trump Takes Action to Expedite Priority Energy and Infrastructure Projects (WhiteHouse.gov)
- Bold Nebraska Responds to Trump Action on Keystone XL (Bold Nebraska)
- How Trump's White House Is Driving a Wedge in the Pipeline Debate: Labor against environmentalists. (Esquire)
- VIDEO: Activists protest Trump's executive order on Dakota Access pipeline (Washington Post)
- Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines: How did we get here? (CNN)
- New US Ambassador to UN doesn't support UN climate agreement:
- VIDEO: Nikki Haley does not commit to the Paris agreement (Washington Post)
- Gov. Nikki Haley's UN appointment is even more reason to worry about the climate (Climate Progress)
- Make China Great Again: As U.S. falters, China take lead on climate change:
- As U.S. Cedes Leadership on Climate, Others Step Up at Davos (NY Times)
- Xi at Davos Urges Trump to Stay in ‘Hard Won’ Paris Climate Deal (Bloomberg):
“If the U.S. does step back from leadership in the climate process then China will step forward, not least for pure realpolitik reasons,” said Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “If you’ve got large parts of the world including all of Africa, really hungry for investment and energy solutions, then the U.S. is seen as an unreliable partner, or trying to push dirty solutions, then I think China will step into that breach.”
- As Trump stresses 'America First', China plays the world leader (Reuters)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Gag Order Or Not, Here's Why Trump Cracking Down On Government Science is So Scary (Modern Farmer):
"This isn't just a matter of keeping reporters from doing their jobs," says Humiston. "There are real safety issues at stake here."
- Trump's unsupported claim he has 'received awards on the environment' (Washington Post):
He repeatedly claimed this during the 2016 presidential campaign: "I've won many environmental awards, by the way. I've actually been called an environmentalist, if you can believe that." Are there any facts to support this claim to environmental fame? The short answer is: No.
- Lead Levels Fall Below Federal Limits In Flint, Michigan: State (Reuters):
Lead levels in Flint, Michigan's drinking water, the focus of a public health crisis, have fallen below federal limits, state officials said on Tuesday, although they cautioned residents to keep using filtered water as the city's old lead pipes are replaced.
- Iowa Oil Spill Marks Pipeline Risks After Trump Revives Major Projects (Guardian):
Rupture of 138,600 gallons is ‘not a major disaster’ but environmental advocates say it highlights their fears about the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects.
- In Michigan, a Fight Over the Future of a Fabled Trout River (NY Times):
The greatest sign posted at a public fishing access spot in the United States is on the South Branch of the Au Sable River at a place called the Mason Tract. It reads: “Sportsman slow your pace … ahead lies the fabled land of the South Branch. Here generations of fisherman have cast a fly on one of the great trout streams of America.
- Senate Democrats Unveil A Trump-Size Infrastructure Plan (Washington Post):
A group of senior Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled their own $1 trillion plan to revamp the nation’s airports, bridges, roads and seaports, urging President Trump to back their proposal, which they say would create 15 million jobs over 10 years.
- Fla. DEP Secretary Going To Work For Firm That Just Got New DEP Contract (Tampa Bay News):
At the end of January, two things will change about the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. One is that Secretary Jon Steverson will leave his post after two stormy years in charge, to take a new job with the law firm of Foley & Lardner. The other is that Steverson's new employers at Foley & Lardner will take over representing Florida in handling the billions of dollars awarded to the state as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
- This Week's Jersey Floods Are A Taste Of What's To Come (Philadelphia Inquirer):
Every year or two, the Jersey Shore tends to get flooding as severe as this week. But by midcentury, the Shore should expect floods this bad every month, on average, according to projections summarized in a new U.S. government report.
- Gore's New Movie Highlights Alternative Energy In Deep-Red Texas (CS Monitor):
'An Inconvenient Sequel' takes viewers to Georgetown, Texas, which will soon draw all of its electricity from wind and solar. Could stories like this one point toward a possible shift in conservatives' energy policy?" "In his 2006 film "An Inconvenient Truth," former vice president Al Gore warned that humanity had 10 years to avoid reaching an environmental "point of no return.
- Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
In reality, the Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.
- Hottest year ever and Arctic meltdown put the world on the brink of catastrophe (Climate Progress):
The Trump presidency may kill our last chance to avoid the worst..."The fact that we're punching at the ceiling every year now, that is the real indicator that we're undergoing big changes," said Deke Arndt, NOAA's chief of global climate monitoring.
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:
- Senate Democrats Unveil A Trump-Size Infrastructure Plan (Washington Post):