IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Temporary reprieve for the planet as Trump postpones decision on Paris Climate Agreement; Emergency declared at the most contaminated nuclear site in the U.S.; Majority of toxic Superfund sites located near low-income residential areas; PLUS: A win for taxpayers, and the climate, as Republicans fail to repeal methane flaring rule... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): U.S. regulators block new drilling on pipeline after 18 spills; U.S. wind energy installations surge; Glacier National Park's namesakes will be gone within a few decades; WI grapples with manure-tainted drinking water wells; Oil industry to begin seismic surveys in Atlantic Ocean; New Jersey's working class are forgotten as federal government funds fixes for wealthier neighbors; Climate deniers predictably side with authoritarians; Uncertainty over Trump decision on Paris Agreement clouds Arctic Council meeting; The economy-changing power of LED bulbs; Water crisis unfolding on Long Island, NY... PLUS: Trump's reasons for leaving the Paris Climate Agreement are based on a myth... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Emergency declared at Hanford Nuclear Reservation:
- HANFORD EMERGENCY INFORMATION (Hanford.gov)
- Hole atop nuclear waste storage tunnel filled, energy chief says (AP):
Perry announced that the 400-square foot partial collapse of the tunnel roof had been filled by 53 truckloads of dirt delivered by workers in protective gear at the highly radioactive site.
- VIDEO: Tunnel collapses at Hanford; no radiation released, officials say (NBC Seattle King 5)
- Emergency Declared At Nuclear-Contaminated Site In Washington State (NPR)
- The Waste That Remains From Arming Nuclear Weapons (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
- Tunnel collapse renews safety concerns about Hanford nuclear site (AP)
- Superfund: majority of sites located near low-income housing:
- Majority of Superfund Sites Near Low-Income Housing (BNA):
About 70 percent of the country’s contaminated sites are near low-income housing, two federal agencies have found. About 1,000 low-income housing properties are within a mile of current or proposed National Priorities List sites, according to an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- EPA head says he wants to ‘prioritize’ Superfund cleanups (Washington Post)
- Ocean oxygen declining 2 to 3 times faster than previously predicted:
- Carbon pollution is suffocating ocean life and speeding up the next mass extinction (Climate Progress):
Oxygen levels ‘falling 2 to 3 times faster than predicted’ in our warming oceans, study finds.
- Decades of Data on World’s Oceans Reveal a Troubling Oxygen Decline (Georgia Tech):
Falling oxygen levels in water have the potential to impact the habitat of marine organisms worldwide and in recent years led to more frequent “hypoxic events” that killed or displaced populations of fish, crabs and many other organisms.
- Decades of data on world's oceans reveal a troubling oxygen decline (National Center for Atmospheric Research):
“The oxygen in oceans has dynamic properties, and its concentration can change with natural climate variability,” said Taka Ito, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences who led the research. “The important aspect of our result is that the rate of global oxygen loss appears to be exceeding the level of nature's random variability.”
- Trump postpones decision on Paris Agreement - again:
- Trump will punt decision on the Paris climate agreement until after the G-7, Spicer says (Washington Post)
- What the Hell Is Going on With Trump's Delay on the All-Important Paris Decision? (Mother Jones):
Ivanka saves the world? Hah.
- These tech giants told Trump not to ditch the Paris Climate Agreement (Mashable)
- U.S. will lose jobs if it quits Paris climate deal: U.N. (Reuters):
The United States will shoot itself in the foot if it quits the Paris climate accord because China, India and Europe will snap up the best power sector jobs in future, U.N. Environment chief Erik Solheim said on Thursday.
- Bannon is pulling one over on Trump. There is zero reason to exit the Paris climate accord. (Vox):
Even if, like Trump, you think climate change is a hoax; even if, like Trump, you think pollution regulations kill jobs; even if, like Trump, you want to Make America Great Again — there’s just no reason to do it. It will cause serious damage in exchange for absolutely no practical advantage. The only person who stands to gain from it is Bannon. If the US leaves Paris, it will be because he played Trump for a fool.
- Trump shadow hangs over climate talks opening (BBC)
- Debate Over Paris Climate Deal Could Turn on a Single Phrase (NY Times)
- Senate Republicans fail in bid to repeal methane flaring rule:
- Trump Just Suffered a Big Defeat on the Environment (Mother Jones):
Trump can still weaken or roll back the government's limits on methane emissions, though that will have to go through the agency's formal rulemaking process and could take years.
- Senate unexpectedly rejects bid to repeal a key Obama-era environmental regulation (Washington Post):
The rule would force oil and gas companies to capture methane that had been previously burned off or “flared” at drilling sites. According to federal estimates, the rule would prevent roughly 180,000 tons a year of methane from escaping into the atmosphere and would boost federal revenue between $3 million and $13 million a year because firms only pay royalties on the oil and gas they capture and contain.
- GOP fails to repeal Obama methane rule after John McCain, 2 other Republicans defect (Climate Progress)
'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
- U.S. blocks major pipeline after 18 leaks and a 2 million gallon spill of drilling mud (Washington Post):
The pipeline regulator blocked Energy Transfer Partners, which also built the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, from starting horizontal drilling in eight areas where drilling has not yet begun. In other areas, where the company has already begun horizontal drilling, the FERC said drilling could continue.
- U.S. Wind Energy Installations Surge: A New Turbine Rises Every 2.4 Hours (Inside Climate News):
The wind power industry just chalked up its strongest first quarter in eight years. Tax credits play an important role.
- Glacier National Park's Glaciers Will Be Gone In Our Lifetime (USA Today):
Montana's Glacier National Park is quickly losing an important part of its natural beauty: Its glaciers. U.S. Geological Survey data released Wednesday shows the park's 37 glaciers, along with two others on federal Forest Service land, have shrunk an average of about 40% since 1966.
- Wisconsin DNR Begins Giving Water To Those With Manure-Tainted Wells (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):
With livestock-contamination of drinking water a growing concern in Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources has quietly started efforts to provide temporary water supplies to people with tainted wells.
- Government To Begin Seismic Surveys In Atlantic In Drilling Push (AP):
The Trump administration said Wednesday it is moving forward on seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean, the first step toward offshore drilling in a region where it has been blocked for decades.
- Trump’s biggest reason for leaving the Paris agreement is based on a myth (Climate Progress):
Climate finance is a benefit, not a burden.
- The Injustice of Atlantic City’s Floods (Climate Central):
New Jersey's working class are forgotten as federal government funds fixes for wealthier neighbors.
- VIDEO: Whose Side are You On? Predictably, Climate Deniers Side with Authoritarian Attack on America (Climate Crocks)
- Uncertainty over Trump decision on Paris climate accord clouds Arctic meeting (Washington Post):
Although Tillerson is among the Trump Cabinet officials and advisers arguing that the United States has more to gain than lose by remaining a part of the Paris climate agreement, he cannot promise some of the nations most engaged on the issue that Trump will see it that way.
- US Military & Security Leaders Call On Tillerson & Mattis To Lead On Climate Security (Clean Technica):
With the internal White House debate over whether to remain in or pull out of the Paris Agreement heating up, a bipartisan group of 20 retired senior military officers and national security experts have signed companion joint letters urging US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis to lead on addressing the security implications of climate change.
- The Economy-Changing Power of the LED Bulb (Bloomberg)
- ‘Dead Rivers, Closed Beaches’: A Water Crisis on Long Island (NY Times):
The Great South Bay, flanked by Fire Island and the South Shore of Long Island, once produced half the shellfish consumed in the United States, and supported 6,000 jobs in the early 1970s.
- Obama Sees New Front in Climate Change Battle: Agriculture (NY Times):
His brief speech was devoted to agriculture’s role in climate change, noting that after energy, agriculture is the second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Now, he said, those emissions are starting to take their toll on food production itself. “Our changing climate is already making it more difficult to produce food,” he said. “We’ve already seen shrinking yields and rising food prices.”
- U.S. Vulnerable to Worst of Extreme Sea Rise (Climate Central):
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report warned that regional effects of gravity and ocean current changes triggered by the start of the ice sheet's collapse could lead to more than 12 feet of sea level rise engulfing some coastlines in the Lower 48. That's about the height of a one-story house.
- 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.
- 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