IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Saudi Arabia invests $50 billion in renewable energy projects; Wildfires are getting bigger and more frequent, thanks to global warming; The Arctic now has a plastic pollution problem; EPA moves to scuttle more air pollution regulations; PLUS: Scientists fight back in the March for Science and the People's Climate March... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists have discovered vast systems of flowing water in Antarctica; Fossil Fuel Industry Steps in to Help Save Paris Climate Deal for All the Wrong Reasons; Europe's coal-fired power plants are shutting much faster than predicted; Southern Company Says Kemper Not Viable as Coal Plant; EPA Chief Visits Indiana Waste Site Amid Proposed Budget Cuts... PLUS: While Flint waits, Nestle pumps Michigan water on the cheap.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Saudi Arabia invests $50 billion in renewables to wean itself off oil:
- VIDEO: Saudis Target 30 Solar, Wind Projects in $50 Billion Pledge (Blomberg):
Saudi Arabia will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of the kingdom's $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption...The projects are part of a plan to transform the Saudi economy by weaning it off oil and creating new industries.
- VIDEO: Saudis Seek Up to $50 Billion in Renewable-Energy Expansion (Bloomberg)
- Exxon asks Trump Admin. for a waiver from Russia sanctions:
- Exxon Seeks U.S. Waiver to Resume Russia Oil Venture (Wall St. Journal) [emphasis added]:
Exxon has been seeking U.S. permission to drill with Rosneft in several areas banned by sanctions and renewed a push for approval in March, shortly after its most recent chief executive, Rex Tillerson, became secretary of state on Feb. 1, according to one of these people. The company originally applied for a waiver to gain access to the Black Sea in July 2015 but its application wasn't approved, the person said...Under the terms of its deal with Rosneft, Exxon needs an oil discovery in the Black Sea by the end of this year to obtain a Russian government license to drill.
- Exxon Mobil Seeks U.S. Sanctions Waiver for Oil Project in Russia
- The Arctic now has a plastic pollution problem:
- Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters (NY Times):
"This plastic is coming from us in the North Atlantic," he said. "And the more we know about what happens in the Arctic, the better chance we have" of solving the problem.
- The pristine Arctic has become a garbage trap for 300 billion pieces of plastic (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
“It’s only been about 60 years since we started using plastic industrially, and the usage and the production has been increasing ever since,” said Carlos Duarte, one of the study’s co-authors and director of the Red Sea Research Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. “So, most of the plastic that we have disposed in the ocean is still now in transit to the Arctic.”
- Arctic meltdown: Sea and land ice are cracking up at a record pace (Climate Progress):
The images from the Arctic ice death spiral are haunting. The impacts will be terrifying...Last month set records for the lowest Arctic sea ice extent ever in March, as well as the lowest sea ice volume and lowest sea ice thickness.
- Get used to it: Wildfires will get bigger and more frequent:
- New era of western wildfire demands new ways of protecting people, ecosystems (Univ. of Colorado):
[C]urrent wildfire policy can’t adequately protect people, homes and ecosystems from the longer, hotter fire seasons climate change is causing. Efforts to extinguish every blaze and reduce the buildup of dead wood and forest undergrowth are becoming increasingly inadequate on their own. Instead, the authors—a team of wildfire experts—urge policymakers and communities to embrace policy reform that will promote adaptation to increasing wildfire and warming.
- As Climate Change Fuels Wildfires, Fighting Them Must Change, Report Says (Inside Climate News):
Study says letting some wildfires burn would help control them, as drier forests and expanding development make the problem worse.
- CU Boulder researchers: Current wildfire policies can't protect people (Boulder Daily Camera):
Schoennagel: 'We're going to have to adapt to wildfire rather than the other way around'
- State of the Air Report: 125 million Americans live with polluted air:
- 'State of the Air 2017' - Who's Best and Worst? (Huffington Post):
The American Lung Association's 18th annual "State of the Air" report, released today, couldn't be more important, because the Clean Air Act - the law that works to make the air we all breathe clean and healthy - is under relentless attack.
- State of the Air 2017 (American Lung Association):
The American Lung Association State of the Air 2017 report grades U.S. counties on harmful ozone (smog) and particle pollution recorded over a three-year period, and details trends for metropolitan areas over the past decade. The report ranks also both the cleanest and most polluted areas in the country.
- 125 million Americans breathe unhealthy levels of air pollution where they live, 2017 'State of the Air' report says (Accuweather):
While that number has decreased from the previous report, and the report card found continued improvement in air quality, it was found that there is a continued increase in dangerous spikes in particle pollution.
- EPA moves to scuttle more air pollution rules:
- EPA seeks delay over rule curbing coal plants’ toxic pollution (Washington Post):
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday asked a federal court to delay an oral argument in a challenge involving a 2012 regulation limiting the amount of mercury, lead and other airborne toxins emitted from power plants.
- Trump's EPA To Reconsider Oil And Gas Emissions Rule (Reuters):
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will reconsider a rule on greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas operations and delay its compliance date, the agency said on Wednesday in the Trump administration's latest move to reduce regulations.
- EPA considers repealing two Obama air pollution rules (the Hill):
The EPA is reviewing whether it supports a 2016 regulation that the Obama administration wrote to fix a problem that the Supreme Court found when it ruled in 2015 that the EPA did not follow the law in writing the mercury rule.
- EPA Should Not Delay an Update to Its Chemical Facility Safety (RMP) Rule (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- March for Science April 22nd, People's Climate March on April 29th
- VIDEO: Scientists to march on Washington to protest 'alternative facts': (COA News):
"This is pretty remarkable and unprecedented," said geochemist Eric Davidson..."I can't think of another example where scientists have organized themselves in as many cities with an event as big as this," he said.
- Getting Scientists out of the Lab and Into the Street Is Harder Than It Sounds (Mother Jones):
The experience of pulling together this march, Aquino said, was tantamount to starting an NGO from scratch and immediately having "1 million members and running it with total strangers."
- Science Strikes Back: Anti-Trump March Draws Thousands To Washington (Guardian UK):
On Saturday, thousands of scientists are set to abandon the cloistered neutrality of their laboratories to plunge into the the political fray against Donald Trump in what will likely be the largest ever protest by science advocates.
- Kentucky: Coal company builds solar farm on reclaimed coal mine:
- Coal company plans huge solar farm on strip mine (Louisville Courier-Journal):
The Berkeley Energy Group and EDF Renewable Energy are exploring what they're billing as the first large-scale solar project in Appalachia. They're focused on two mountaintop-removal mining sites outside Pikeville, where engineering and feasibility studies are underway for a 50- to 100-megawatt project.
'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
- Scientists have discovered vast systems of flowing water in Antarctica. And that worries them. (Washington Post):
We now know that, rather than simply pooling where it melts in every case, liquid water may run for miles across the continent first — and that discovery comes with some worrying implications.
- Fossil Fuel Industry Steps in to Help Save Paris Climate Deal for All the Wrong Reasons (DeSmog Blog):
Has the fossil fuel industry finally awoken to the reality of dangerous climate change? Are these companies abandoning previous science-denying ways and moving into the future? The answer, sadly, is no.
- Europe's coal-fired power plants are shutting much faster than predicted (Bloomberg):
After centuries of use, coal burning may disappear in a decade.
- Southern Company Says Kemper Not Viable as Coal Plant, Blames the PSC (Energy and Policy Institute):
In an apparent first salvo in a public relations campaign to shift blame for the Kemper power plant boondoggle away from himself and corporate management and onto state regulators, Southern Company chief executive officer Tom Fanning admitted that the Kemper plant is not economically viable as a coal-burning power plant.
- While Flint waits, Nestle pumps Michigan water on the cheap (PRI):
We've heard a lot about the environmental troubles in Michigan, and now there's a new chapter to this water saga: Nestle extracts billions of dollars worth of groundwater from western Michigan, but it pays the state just $200 a year in paperwork fees to do so.
- EPA Chief Visits Indiana Waste Site Amid Proposed Budget Cuts (Reuters):
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toured his first hazardous waste site on Tuesday amid proposed budget cuts that could devastate efforts to clean up contaminated land and water around the country.
- March Was Second Hottest on Record Globally (Climate Central):
The exceptional global heat of the past few years continued last month, with March ranking as the second hottest on record for the planet. It followed the second hottest February and third hottest January, showing just how much Earth has warmed from the continued buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- Last Stand: Nebraska Farmers Could Derail Keystone XL Pipeline (Reuters):
When President Donald Trump handed TransCanada Pipeline Co. a permit for its Keystone XL pipeline last month, he said the company could now build the long-delayed and divisive project 'with efficiency and with speed.' But Trump and the firm will have to get through Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup first, along with about 90 other landowners in the path of the pipeline.
- A beginner's guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy (Vox):
Clean-energy enthusiasts frequently claim that we can go bigger, that it's possible for the whole world to run on renewables - we merely lack the "political will." So, is it true? Do we know how get to an all-renewables system? Not yet. Not really.
- Analysis: Just four years left of the 1.5C carbon budget (Carbon Brief):
Four years of current emissions would be enough to blow what's left of the carbon budget for a good chance of keeping global temperature rise to 1.5C.
- 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