IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Elections have consequences: Trump executive order to begin ripping up Obama's climate legacy; Not so fast - Trump approves Keystone XL Pipeline, but Nebraska gets final say; North Dakota pipeline spill three times larger than original estimate; PLUS: Maryland state legislature and Republican Governor approve permanent ban on fracking... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate Deniers Are Winning—and Getting Greedy; Climate Change-Fueled Jet Stream Linked to Floods and Heatwave; A Merciless Bat-Killing Fungus Is Now In Texas; Michigan, Flint To Replace 18,000 Lead-Tainted Water Lines; EPA Didn't Tighten Standards For Lead, Leaving Communities Adrift; California vs. Trump: California regulators move forward on climate change rules; California passes nation’s toughest methane emission regulations; Perry Pushes Nevada Nuclear Waste Site In First Official Visit... PLUS: USDA Drops Plan To Test For Monsanto Weed Killer In Food... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump Executive Order to begin ripping up Obama's climate legacy:
- Trump Just Released His Plan to Gut Obama’s Climate Policies. It’s Worse Than You Thought. (Mother Jones):
The wide-ranging order, which will be accompanied by other environmental directives, targets Obama-era policies across the government, including in the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior, and the Department of Defense. It directs the EPA to revisit the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon pollution from power plants and was considered the center-piece of former President Barack Obama's climate policy. Additionally, Trump is asking the Justice Department to stop defending the plan in court.
- VIDEO: Four-and-a-half false statements EPA head Scott Pruitt made in just one interview (Climate Progress0:
Team Trump begins to roll out its plan to kill climate action, making up facts and ruining your children’s future.
- Trump will officially start hacking away at Obama’s climate policies on Tuesday (Vox) [emphasis added]:
Pruitt can’t just repeal these rules by fiat. He has to go through the formal rulemaking process, which entails proposing entirely new rules to replace Obama’s versions, posting them for public comment, responding to all those public comments, and then defending his new rules in court. He’ll have to make sure any new rule complies with the Clean Air Act — which, thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling and a 2009 EPA endangerment finding, now requires the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide. The whole process could take years, and he might face setbacks in court.
- Obama climate rules created jobs: Clean energy employs more than fossil fuels:
- Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels in nearly every U.S. state (Climate Progress):
Trump’s upcoming executive order meant to boost fossil fuel jobs may end up harming an even bigger job creator?—?renewable energy.
- Clean energy employs more than fossil fuels in nearly every state (Sierra Club):
- Top US coal boss Robert Murray: Trump 'can't bring mining jobs back' (Guardian UK):
The founder and chief executive of Murray Energy supports Donald Trump’s move to roll back Obama’s clean power plan but cautions the president to go easy on talk of a jobs revival
- Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels in nearly every U.S. state (Climate Progress):
- North Dakota oil spill 3 times larger than original estimate:
- North Dakota oil spill 3 times larger than first estimated (Rapid City Journal):
No decision has been made on any fines against Wyoming-based True Cos., which operates the pipeline. The company says it is committed to cleaning up the spill and that the job is about 80 percent done.
- North Dakota pipeline spill larger than previously thought (CS Monitor):
An initial appraisal of the Belle Fourche Pipeline spill in December estimated that 176,000 gallons of oil had been released from the leaking pipe. But now, officials are saying that number was actually about three times larger – 529,839 gallons of leaked oil.
- Trump approves Keystone XL pipeline, but Nebraska, courts have final say:
- VIDEO: As Trump administration grants approval for Keystone XL pipeline, an old fight is reignited (Washington Post)
- Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline, but its future remains in question (LA Times):
[A]lthough Trump portrayed the pipeline as a done deal now, its future remains uncertain. It faces difficult economic issues as well as a newly revived protest movement dedicated to stopping it.
- What’s Next for the Keystone XL Pipeline: Activists plan an all-out resistance on multiple fronts. (The Atlantic) [emphasis added]:
Because that which has never lived cannot really die, the Keystone XL—the grinding, symbolic climate-change fight of the Obama era—has returned...as the price of crude has fallen around the world, the Albertan tar sands will likely only now get drilled if there’s a cheap way to transport their haul—like an extra-large pipeline, for instance.... “Trump said he would only approve Keystone XL if America got 25 percent of profits, which we will not; and only if it used U.S.A. union steel, which it does not,” [Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska] said. That argument also has the benefit of matching the facts.
- Keystone Foes Prepare Fight as Trump Issues Pipeline Permit; shifts pipeline battle to Nebraska (Bloomberg)
- Maryland state legislatures approves permanent ban on fracking:
- VIDEO: Maryland lawmakers vote to ban fracking (WBAL-TV)
- Maryland General Assembly approves fracking ban: (Baltimore Sun):
The Maryland General Assembly on Monday gave final passage to a ban on fracking in the state, sending the measure to Gov. Larry Hogan for his promised signature. Environmental advocates and climate change activists have pressed for years to ban the controversial form of drilling for natural gas also known as hydraulic fracturing, which had been proposed in Western Maryland. Hogan surprised the advocates this month when he threw his support behind the ban legislation.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page
- Climate Deniers Are Winning—and Getting Greedy (The New Republic):
With Trump in the White House, an anti-environmental conference in D.C. should have been a celebration. Instead, there was fear and loathing.
- Climate Change-Fueled Jet Stream Linked to Floods and Heatwaves: Study (Inside Climate News):
When Michael Mann goes before Congress Wednesday to testify on global warming, he'll be armed with one more piece of evidence that greenhouse gases from fossil fuel burning are fundamentally altering the climate and leading to life-threatening and costly extreme weather.
- A Merciless Bat-Killing Fungus Is On The Move Again. Now It’s In Texas. (Washington Post):
A notorious fungus that’s killing bats by the millions is now in Texas, the state with the nation’s largest diversity of bats and, in a cave outside San Antonio, one of the world’s largest colonies of a single species.
- Michigan, Flint To Replace 18,000 Lead-Tainted Water Lines (AP):
Michigan and the city of Flint agreed Monday to replace thousands of home water lines under a sweeping deal to settle a lawsuit by residents over lead-contaminated water in the struggling community.
- EPA Didn't Tighten Standards For Lead, Leaving Communities Adrift (STAT News):
Mayor Eric Bryant was leading his usual tour the other day, driving visitors past the poisoned lake, around the abandoned bungalows, and over dusty ball fields until he reached a glittering metal mountain known here as the 'Pile of Black Death.'
- California vs. Trump: California regulators move forward on climate change rules (Sacramento Bee):
The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to move ahead with progressively stricter tailpipe emissions regulations, along with a separate mandate that requires automakers to sell more zero-emissions vehicles.
- California passes nation’s toughest methane emission regulations (SF Gate):
California air quality officials have approved what are widely considered to be the most rigorous and comprehensive regulations in the country for controlling methane emissions, a move that helps cement the state’s status as a standard-bearer for environmental protection.
- Perry Pushes Nevada Nuclear Waste Site In First Official Visit (Reuters):
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry pushed for opening Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in a meeting with the state's governor on Monday, but the local leader said he remains staunchly opposed to the project.
- Senate votes to lift limits on hunting Alaska grizzlies and wolves on federal land (Washington Post):
“It was the state of Alaska that broke with this tradition,” former Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe said in an interview, noting that under federal law the agency is supposed to manage “for wildlife first” on its refuges. “We did everything we could to try to resolve the controversy, but the basic issue is what’s your basic philosophy with regard to the management of predators. And these are national wildlife refuges.”
- USDA Drops Plan To Test For Monsanto Weed Killer In Food (Huffington Post):
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has quietly dropped a plan to start testing food for residues of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer and the key ingredient in Monsanto’s branded Roundup herbicides.
- When Is It Time to Retreat from Climate Change? (New Yorker):
Isle de Jean Charles, a stitch of land on the tattered southern fringe of Louisiana, is thin and getting thinner. Battered by storms and sea-level rise, and deprived of revitalizing sediment from the Mississippi River, its surface area has shrunk by ninety-eight per cent since 1955, and its remaining three hundred and twenty acres can flood in little more than a stiff breeze.
- U.S. Army is teaming up with a Davis startup to turn trash into energy (Sacramento Bee):
“People always ask, ‘What are you powering it with? Is it electricity? Is it natural gas?’ ” Hart told me. “No, it’s the garbage. It’s the reaction of the carbon in the garbage, reacting with oxygen, that creates that high temperature … It creates its own power to operate the system.”
- Mining Company’s Bankruptcy Exit Will Leave Taxpayers a Cleanup Bill (WSJ):
A mining company’s debt-cutting plan will leave taxpayers facing a bigger bill for cleaning up nearly two dozen hazardous sites primarily in the central U.S., including a swath of northeast Oklahoma that once produced lead ore for bullets in both World Wars.
- In California, Salt Taints Soil, Threatening Food Security (Environmental Health News):
Salty soil in California’s Central Valley spurs sacrifice zones, solutions and, in some cases, solar panels.
- VIDEO: Shell's 1991 warning: climate changing ‘at faster rate than at any time since end of ice age’ (Guardian UK):
The company’s farsighted 1991 film, titled Climate of Concern, set out with crystal clarity how the world was warming and that serious consequences could well result.
- Massive Permafrost Thaw Seen in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release (Inside Climate News):
Study shows 52,000 square miles in rapid decline, with sediment and carbon threatening the surrounding environment and potentially accelerating global warming.
- 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