IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: What to expect from the EPA following the rushed confirmation of EPA-enemy Scott Pruitt; Three fossil fuel explosions in two weeks; Alaska officials say they can't shut off leaking natural gas pipeline; PLUS: The Midwest sets U.S. wind energy record... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi oil; California Senate leader's new bill: 100% clean energy; Norway moves to reach 100% electric cars in just 8 years; Scientists Rally in Boston to Highlight Threats to Science; China steel mills caught on the hop by North Korea coal ban; Appeals court rules in favor of Virginia keeping moratorium on uranium mining; Coal magnate thrilled as Trump trashes Obama rules; Republicans Try a New Tack on Climate Change; As Standing Rock Construction Restarts, Pipeline Fights Flare Across US... PLUS: 'The wild west of wind': Republicans push Texas as unlikely green energy leader... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Rough road ahead for EPA as Scott Pruitt takes the wheel:
- Five things Pruitt can do to cripple the EPA (Politico):
The new administrator and President Donald Trump are expected to move quickly to begin unraveling the agency's rules on water and climate change.
- Trump to roll back Obama's climate, water rules through executive action (Washington Post):
President Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the measures. While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards.
- Trump Prepares Directives Aimed at Dismantling Obama's Climate Rules (Bloomberg):
The measures will set in motion Trump's campaign promises to rescind both the Clean Power Plan and the "Waters of the U.S." rule, while signaling the start of a new era at the federal agency that President Barack Obama put on the front lines of his battle against climate change. The directives are set to compel the EPA administrator to take any needed steps to withdraw those regulations, according to the people who described the documents and spoke on condition of anonymity about internal discussions.
- VIDEO: What EPA's Scott Pruitt means for environmental policy and regulation (PBS NewsHour):
"[W]hen you look at his record of suing the EPA that he's now going to lead 14 times to undermine clean air and clean water protections, that doesn't bode well for what he is going to try to do when he gets in...[W]here we go from here has to be maintaining EPA's capability and capacity to get the job done. Scott Pruitt, when he took over as attorney general in Oklahoma, he got rid of the environmental enforcement division...We're talking gutting core capacities like enforcement, like science, the health studies that need to happen to make sure that pollution is controlled. We're worried about enforcement, like what he did in Oklahoma. We're worried about interfering with science.
- Good Luck Killing the EPA (Bloomberg):
Dismembering the agency requires changing 45 years worth of laws, warns one Republican who ran it.
- Three fossil fuel explosions in last two weeks:
- Lousiana: Remains of missing pipeline worker recovered days after explosion in Paradis (NOLA)
- 'A large blowtorch': 1 worker seriously injured, 1 missing in Paradis pipeline explosion (NOLA):
Two workers suffered burns, one seriously, and another was unaccounted for after a large explosion and fire Thursday night (Feb. 9) at a 20-inch high-pressure Phillips 66 pipeline near the Williams Discovery natural-gas plant in Paradis, according to St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne and Louisiana State Police. The pipeline is located at the Phillips 66-operated Paradis Pipeline Station.
- Clash Over the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Ratchets up After Louisiana Pipeline Explosion (DeSmog Blog)
- VIDEO: At least one injured in oil field explosion in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma Thursday (KJRH-Oklahoma City)
- Kinder Morgan gas pipeline explodes in Texas, no injuries (Reuters)
- 1 Killed, 3 Injured in Saudi Aramco Oil Pipeline Leak (AP)
- Alaska: Offshore natural gas pipeline still leaking:
- Natural gas leaking from pipeline in Alaska's Cook Inlet (CBC):
Shutting down the pipe is not an option; divers can't reach the leak because of ice
- Midwest grid sets new U.S. wind energy record:
- Wind penetration on central US grid hits 52% Sunday night, breaking record (Ars Technica):
Southwest Power Pool operates transmission lines from Montana to Louisiana.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- California Senate leader's new bill: 100% clean energy (Desert Sun):
De León's bill would require California to hit 50 percent renewable energy by 2025, five years sooner than under current law, and phase out fossil fuels entirely by 2045. It's not yet clear whether the Senate leader will move forward the proposal.
- 'The wild west of wind': Republicans push Texas as unlikely green energy leader (Guardian UK):
- Texas Oil Fields Rebound From Price Lull, but Jobs Are Left Behind (NY Times):
The industry is embracing technology, and finding new ways to pare the labor force. But as jobs go away, what of presidential promises to bring them back?...As in other industries, automation is creating a new demand for high-tech workers - sometimes hundreds of miles away in a control center - but their numbers don't offset the ranks of field hands no longer required to sling chains and lift iron...energy experts say that between a third and a half of the workers who lost their jobs are not returning.
- Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi oil (Politico):
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, shifting away from an idea proposed by President Donald Trump that has rattled Iraq's leaders.
- 37% of Norways new cars are electric. They expect it to be 100% in just 8 years. Trumps policies may mean U.S. workers miss out on the electric vehicle revolution. (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: Scientists Rally in Boston to Highlight Threats to Science (NBC Boston):
The rally coincides with the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston/
- China steel mills caught on the hop by North Korea coal ban (Reuters)
- Appeals court rules in favor of keeping moratorium on uranium mining (WSET Virginia)
- Coal magnate thrilled as Trump trashes Obama rules (E&E News):
"The No. 1 item for the coal industry on our list to overturn the destruction of Barack Obama and the Democrats of the last eight years — and he is the greatest destroyer, and they are the greatest destroyers that America has ever had — our No. 1 item was to overturn the Stream Protection Rule, they called it. It didn't protect anything. What it did do is shut down all underground coal mining illegally."
- Republicans Try a New Tack on Climate Change (NY Times):
Let us ponder the craftsmanship of that second sentence. "With precision" is the key phrase, of course, and it renders the statement almost axiomatically true. Do we have trouble taking the precise temperature of an entire planet and then divining, for a given period, exactly how much of the change in that temperature is caused by human activities? Well, yes.
- As Standing Rock Construction Restarts, Pipeline Fights Flare Across US (The Intercept):
In at least four states, encampments built as bases for pipeline resistance have emerged." They include the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, the Sabal Trail Pipeline, and the Pilgrim Pipeline.
- Expect To See More Emergencies Like Oroville Dam In A Hotter World (Guardian UK):
Scientists predicted decades ago that climate change would add stress to water management systems like Oroville Dam/
- Everglades Restoration Alliance Teeters As Fla. Plans Refuge Takeover (E&E News):
Florida water managers are preparing to evict the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this summer from a swath of Everglades that it's managed for 66 years.
- Trump Administration Halts $674M Caltrain Improvement Grant (KGO San Francisco):
Late Friday the Trump administration announced it's delaying grant money that would electrify the train line between San Francisco and San Jose.
- How Norway will keep Britain’s lights on: National Grid is moving mountains to bring a reliable power supply under the sea to the UK (The Times of London)
- Once-cautious climate economist reverses course, issues warning against the cost of inaction (Climate Progress):
William Nordhaus says social cost of CO2 much higher than he thought, while team Trump says it is zero.
- 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:
- Texas Oil Fields Rebound From Price Lull, but Jobs Are Left Behind (NY Times):