IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump's proposed budget cuts deeply into the environment and Superfund programs; Landslide buries California's iconic Pacific Coast Highway 1; Wind farm company proposes to retrain unemployed coal miners to be wind technicians - for free; PLUS: Pope Francis offers a gift and a message to President Trump... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists publish an entire study refuting Scott Pruitt on climate change - by name; Pruitt's regulatory rollbacks are a boon to the oil and gas industry; Trump’s budget delivers Big Oil’s wish on reducing Strategic Petroleum Reserve; State appeals court rules Exxon must turn over records to NY prosecutor; NASA faces steep cuts in Trump budget; Mystery solved - how did whales get so big?; FERC will not delay proposed pipeline through state forest; OECD: tackling climate change will boost economic growth... PLUS: How a small PA town is standing up to fracking... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump's final budget proposal takes a hatchet to the environment:
- There's Finally a Dollar Amount Attached to How Much Trump Hates the EPA (Mother Jones):
The Trump proposal is not going to survive congressional appropriations intact, but the numbers are instructive about where the administration's true priorities lie. "Everyone believes in and supports safe food supplies and clean air and water," the budget document declares, "but the agencies of the Federal Government have gone way beyond what was originally intended by the Congress."
- What Does Trump's Budget Mean for the Environment? (The Atlantic)
- VIDEO: Bernie Sanders on Trump's Budget Plan: 'Grotesquely Immoral' (MSNBC)
- Trump advisers call for privatizing some public assets to build new infrastructure (Washington Post)
- Trump's first budget pushes Arctic drilling, starves parks (The Wilderness society)
- Ohio has to fight Lake Erie algae without EPA help (Detroit Free Press)
- Programs face steep cuts in Trump budget plan (Moab Sun News):
“I hope that Congress can step up to the plate and go through this with a fine-tooth comb, because these are essential services that are provided to the community, and I don't know how we would alleviate the impacts,” Sakrison said.
- EPA remains top target with Trump administration proposing 31 percent budget cut (Washington Post):
Candidate Donald Trump vowed to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency "in almost every form," leaving only "little tidbits" intact. President Trump is making good on his promise to take a sledgehammer to the agency.
- Trump budget proposal slashes Superfund site cleanup:
- Trump Budget Would Cut E.P.A. Science Programs and Slash Cleanups (NY Times)
- Trump wants to cut the EPA's Superfund by 25 percent (High Country News):
The Superfund program is already underfunded. It has been ever since 2003, years after Congress let expire the so-called "Superfund tax" on oil and gas companies, which was able to raise billions for cleanup per year. But now, the Superfund program only operates on about $1 billion per year in federal dollars. "Losing even that minimal amount of funding will essentially bring the program to a halt," Loeb said.
- Scott Pruitt Is the Hypocritical Liar That Trump Deserves (The New Republic):
In other words, a man who made his name by trying to break the EPA now admonishes the agency for not accomplishing enough. It's a brazen act on Pruitt's part, and one entirely in keeping with a Trump administration that's shown nothing but outright disdain for accepted truths...Pruitt's argument that Obama ignored Superfund sites-large, highly contaminated industrial sites that are difficult to clean up-is "frankly obnoxious," according to Lukas Ross, a climate and energy campaigner at the environmental group Friends of the Earth. "How effectively we're able to clean up Superfund is a question of money, and Congress never gave Obama enough money in that regard."
- Pope Francis gives Trump a nudge on climate change:
- Pope Francis politely shades Trump's climate ignorance with a parting gift (Climate Progress):
I see what you did there, Francis...Almost all of the documents Francis presented to Trump conflict with the president's agenda in some way.
- With Gift and in Conversation, Vatican Presses Trump on Climate Change (NY Times)
- Pope Francis presents Trump with a 'politically loaded gift': His encyclical on climate change (Washington Post)
- Withdrawing from the Paris climate deal could cause 'lasting damage' to ties between U.S. and Europe, official warns (Washington Post)
- Setting aside past rude talk, Trump and pope focus on peace (AP):
Climate change activists projected the words "Planet Earth First" on the massive dome of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Tuesday night, and protests are expected when he attends a NATO meeting in Brussels and a G-7 gathering in Sicily.
- Justice Department sues Fiat-Chrysler, alleging emissions-cheating software:
- U.S. Justice Department sues Fiat Chrysler over diesel emissions (Detroit Free Press):
While there are similarities between the Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen cases, Volkswagen acknowledged that it intentionally designed devices in its diesel vehicles to defeat emissions testing, but Fiat Chrysler has maintained that it did not. Marchionne has also pushed back against comparing the two cases.
- MI rep. Debbie Dingell urges Trump to spare EPA lab from budget cuts (Detroit Free Press)
- Fiat Chrysler to Modify 100,000 Vehicles After Accusations of Emissions Cheating (NY Times)
- California's iconic Highway 1 buried by landslide:
- A massive landslide that closed Highway 1 is part of a $1-billion problem for California (LA Times):
The massive landslide south of Big Sur that closed Highway 1 is one dramatic piece of a larger road repair challenge facing California in the wake of this winter’s record rains. Across the state, highways, freeways and local roads need major work.
- Landslide Closes Section of Popular Coastal Highway in California (NY Times)
- Photo of the Week: Highway 1’s Epic Landslide, Before and After (Wired)
- Wind farm company offers free re-training to unemployed coal miners:
- Wind Project in Wyoming Envisions Coal Miners as Trainees (NY Times):
Goldwind Americas, an arm of a leading wind-turbine manufacturer based in China...On Thursday at an energy conference in Wyoming, the company announced plans for a free training program for one of the nation’s fastest-growing jobs: wind farm technician. And it is aiming the program at coal miners having trouble finding work, as well as those from other industries.
- Wind Turbine Manufacturer Looks to Train Wyoming Workers (US News):
"These folks are very well-suited with transferable skills to come and work for the wind industry. We want to tap into those folks and bring them skills, so they can easily work in the wind industry, and hopefully work for Goldwind," he said. "The folks that work for me are full-time professionals, they're very well-paid and they have full benefits," Halligan said.
- LAST CHANCE to comment: Review of Certain National Monuments Established Since 1996; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment (Regulations.gov):
Note: Regulations.gov will undergo scheduled maintenance and will be unavailable Saturday, May 20, from 6:00 am through 6:00 pm (ET).
'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 Publish An Entire Study Refuting Scott Pruitt On Climate (Washington Post):
In a sign of growing tensions between scientists and the Trump administration, researchers published a scientific paper Wednesday that was conceived and written as an explicit refutation to an assertion by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt about climate change.
- Trump’s Budget Delivers Big Oil’s Wish: Reducing Strategic Petroleum Reserve (DeSmog Blog):
While most observers believe the budget will not pass through Congress in its current form, budgets depict an administration's priorities and vision for the country. Some within the oil industry have lobbied for years to drain the SPR, created in the aftermath of the 1973 oil crisis.
- How Rollbacks at Scott Pruitt’s E.P.A. Are a Boon to Oil and Gas (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Devon’s pushback, coming amid an effort to ease a broad array of federal environmental rules, is the first known example under the Trump administration of an accused polluter — which has admitted violating the law — backing away from a proposed environmental settlement. It is already being hailed by other independent energy companies as a template for the future. “Not in our wildest dreams, never did we expect to get everything,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, a Denver-based association of independent oil and gas companies.
- State appeals court rules Exxon must give records to NY prosecutor (Reuters):
May 23 A New York state appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Exxon Mobil Corp should be compelled to turn over records in an investigation into how much the company knew about global warming as it continued to publicly downplay the effects it was expected to have on the fossil fuel industry.
- What Stays, And What Goes, In Trump's $19.1-Billion NASA Budget (LA times):
President Trump’s $19.1-billion budget proposal for NASA will allow the space agency to continue its long-term efforts to explore the universe, including sending humans to the moon and to Mars.
- How a Small Town Is Standing Up to Fracking (Rolling Stone):
Grant Township, Pennsylvania, population 741, has became the front line of a radical new environmental movement --- and they're not backing down.
- Science Says: Whale Of A Mystery Solved? How They Got So Big (AP):
Scientists think they have answered a whale of a mystery: How the ocean creatures got so huge so quickly.
- Gehrke: While wrangling over undoing Bears Ears continues, treasures go unprotected (Salt Lake Tribune):
All of this wrangling comes at the expense of any real action as the yearslong failure by leaders in Washington and Utah to protect the treasures in the Bears Ears region essentially forced Obama to designate the area a monument.
- FERC Will Not Delay Pipeline At Senators' Urging (New England Public Radio):
Federal regulators have brushed off a request by both Massachusetts U.S. senators to delay construction of a natural gas pipeline running through Otis State Forest in southern Berkshire County.
- Tackling climate change will boost economic growth, OECD says (CNBC):
In a statement on Tuesday, the OECD added that bringing together growth and climate agendas could add one percent to "average economic output" in G20 nations by the year 2021, and boost output in 2050 by as much as 2.8 percent.
- California Tribe Set Out To Save Its River And Stop A Suicide Epidemic (LA Times):
The Yurok people live in a stark land of salmon runs and steep, misty mountains, where giant salamanders hide under rotting logs and Bigfoot is said to prey after dusk.
- Climate Change Is Turning Antarctica Green (Scientific American):
"It's a clear sign that the biological response to climate warming is pervasive around the globe," he said. "The Antarctic Peninsula is often thought of as a very remote and possibly even untouched region, but this clearly shows that the effects of climate change are felt here."
- Industry Meltdown: Is the Era of Nuclear Power Coming to an End? (Yale e360):
From Europe to Japan to the U.S., nuclear power is in retreat, as plants are being shuttered, governments move toward renewables, and key companies face financial troubles. Even some of the industry's biggest boosters believe nuclear is on the way out.
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:
- Wind Turbine Manufacturer Looks to Train Wyoming Workers (US News):
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