IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Raging wildfires in British Columbia force nearly 40,000 to evacuate just one year after catastrophic Fort McMurray Fire; Trump Administration reduces royalty payments on offshore drilling; Energy Department's electric grid study contradicts claims by the Energy Secretary; PLUS: Catholic nuns build outdoor chapel to block natural gas pipeline... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Cap-and-trade survives razor-thin votes in California Legislature; Landowners fume over natural gas pipeline boom; 8 killed, 18 missing in northeast China flooding; Macron’s delusion about bringing Trump back into the Paris climate agreement; Federal agency approves more oil exploration on Alaska’s North Slope; EPA to keep standards on NOX smog pollution in victory for oil and gas industry, carmakers; How to invest in oil without taking a risk (don't); BLM drilling mandate sparks confusion in MT; In Chile, climate change seen as biggest threat... PLUS: How climate change is spurring fires in Alaska, NWT... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- SPEAK UP for your marine national monuments (Regulations.gov)
- Tropical Storm Don (no relation) forms in the Atlantic:
- Not a tweet storm, but a real storm coincidentally named Don (AP):
It is unlikely that Don the storm will be retired. The hurricane center's forecast discussion calls the storm "small," "not particularly well organized" and likely to dissipate in 72 hours. But storm watches and warnings were issued for Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.
- AP Tweets About Tropical Storm Don. Instant Classic. (Daily Kos)
- Wildfires force tens of thousands to evacuate in British Columbia:
- 11 emergency centres across B.C. scramble to help 36,600 wildfire evacuees (CBC):
Early start to 2017 fire season means there will be risk for some time to come, transportation minister says
- 'It's homes, it's lives, it's memories': Wildfire tears through B.C.'s Loon Lake (CBC)
- 'Numerous' homes burned after grass fire breaks out in B.C.'s Lake Country (CBC)
- Pipelines secured as wildfires rage in western Canada (Reuters):
The fires have disrupted timber and mining operations, damaged a regional electric utility and forced more than 14,000 people from their homes in the interior of the province. On Friday, British Columbia declared its first state of emergency since 2003.
- Fire ban, closures in place in Banff, Kootenay national parks as wildfire burns (Global News)
- Draft of DOE electric grid study contradicts claims of Energy Secretary Rick Perry:
- Renewable Energy Not a Threat to Grid, Draft of U.S. Study Finds (Bloomberg):
Wind and solar power don’t pose a significant threat to the reliability of the U.S. power grid, Energy Department staff members said in a draft report, contradicting statements by their leader Rick Perry. "The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards," according to a July draft of the study obtained by Bloomberg..."Those statements as written are not in the current draft," Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said. She wouldn’t say they are incorrect, just the draft is "constantly evolving."
- Coal and nuclear are uneconomic — more bombshells from Perry’s draft grid study (Joe Romm, Climate Progress):
ThinkProgress has now obtained a copy of that draft, and it has many more surprises — or, rather, findings that are fairly well known to energy experts but may come as an unpleasant surprise to Perry and the White House. For instance, a large fraction of America’s aging fleet of coal and nuclear plants are simply not economic to operate anymore...the public will be able to compare the final “politically-approved” version with the draft prepared by Department of Energy (DOE) staff.
- Myths and facts to know ahead of Rick Perry's study on the electrical grid and renewable energy (Media Matters):
There are lots of reasons to be skeptical of the forthcoming study from the Department of Energy.
- Trump Administration reduces royalty rates in first offshore lease sale:
- Trump administration reduces royalty rates in first U.S. oil, gas lease sale (Reuters):
The Interior Department said it would lower royalty rates for shallow-water leases in the August sale to encourage drilling by oil companies, which have faced lower profits during years of sustained low global crude prices.
- 46 House Republicans vote with Democrats on climate amendment:
- Conservative Groups Urge Lawmakers To Gut Climate Programs In Military (Reuters):
A coalition of 14 conservative groups urged U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to support an amendment to the House of Representatives' annual defense bill that would prevent the Pentagon from implementing climate-change and green energy policies meant to save taxpayers money and protect the planet.
- GOP-Led House Approves Defense Bill Declaring Climate Change a 'Direct Threat to National Security' (TIME)
- Catholic nuns build outdoor chapel to block path of pipeline:
- FULL AUDIO INTERVIEW: Nun Too Happy: Catholic Order Builds Chapel to Block Massive PA Pipeline: 'BradCast' 7/13/2017 (The BRAD BLOG):
Guest: Pastor Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck of Lancaster Against Pipelines
- Nuns are suing to stop a pipeline—because they believe the earth is sacred (Climate Progress):
It goes on to note that the sisters adopted a “land ethic” in 2005 that proclaims “the sacredness of all creation,” and that building a pipeline would “substantially burden” their ability to “use and protect their land as part of God’s creation” — something explicitly prohibited under RFRA.
- Catholic nuns in Pa. build a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline planned for their property (Washington Post):
Now the 74-year-old nun and her sisters in their Catholic order suddenly find themselves fighting to protect the land from an energy company that wants to put a natural gas pipeline on it. "This just goes totally against everything we believe in - we believe in sustenance of all creation," she said...There, smack in the path of the planned pipeline, the nuns have dedicated a new outdoor chapel.
- Vigil held at West Hempfield Township chapel in opposition to Williams pipeline (Lancaster Online)
- Ranchers Fight Keystone XL Pipeline by Building Solar Panels in Its Path (Inside Climate News)
'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
- VIDEO: Cap-and-trade survives razor-thin votes in California Legislature (SF Gate):
Passage required two-thirds of the legislators in each house. Twenty-seven senators voted in favor — precisely the margin needed. Surviving the assembly required 54 votes in favor, and the bill secured 55. Several assembly Republicans crossed party lines to support it, even though some noted that California represents just 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- Natural Gas Building Boom Fuels Climate Worries, Enrages Landowners (NPR):
[F] of the 11 pipelines already have been approved. The rest await a decision from a federal regulator that almost never says no...Only twice in the past 30 years has FERC rejected a pipeline out of hundreds proposed.
- 18 killed, 18 missing in northeast China flooding (Global Times):
Eighteen people have died and another 18 remain missing after floods in China's northeastern city of Jilin, local authorities said Monday. Heavy rain in the central and eastern parts of Jilin Province on Thursday and Friday left much of the province inundated. The city of Jilin was severely flooded and more than 110,000 people had to be relocated, according to the city flood control and drought relief office.
- How Climate Change is Spurring Wildfires in Alaska and NWT (news Deeply):
Longer hot, dry spells in the boreal forests that stretch across Alaska and the Northwest Territories create the conditions for wildfires triggered by lightning strikes.
- Macron’s delusion about bringing Trump back into the Paris climate agreement (Climate Progress):
Trump is not a great dealmaker; he is a great deal-breaker.
- Federal agency approves more oil exploration on Alaska’s North Slope (Climate Progress):
An Italian company has been conditionally approved to explore for oil.
- EPA To Keep Standards for Nitrogen Oxides Air Pollution (E&E News):
After a five-year review, U.S. EPA has proposed leaving unchanged its two primary air quality standards for nitrogen oxides...The decision to leave the current thresholds in place represents a victory for carmakers and other industry groups. Dissenting was the American Lung Association, which had argued in a filing in November that the one-hour standard should be tightened to allow for a "margin of safety" for asthma sufferers.
- VIDEO: How to Invest in Oil Without Taking a Risk [ed: Don't.] (Bloomerg):
The firms are pitching mineral rights as a new asset class for investors seeking better returns in a world of ultra-low interest rates.
- In Montana, federal BLM drilling permit mandate sparks debate (Billings Gazette):
The demand by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that Bureau of Land Management officials get cracking on a backlog of the oil and gas permits had Montana officials a little perplexed...Oil and gas drilling permits on federal land in Montana weren’t languishing because of BLM foot dragging, Judice explained. The permits were being slowed either by public objections over project conditions or myriad other reasons. Either another government agency hadn’t signed off, or an oil and gas company hadn’t supplied all the necessary information to move ahead.
- In Chile, Many Regard Climate Change As The Greatest External Threat (NPR):
You would hardly know that this image, taken in Chile just a few years ago, is of the same depleted landscape on which Rojas is now standing, grim-faced, puzzled and — he says — full of sadness. Most of the water has gone. The jetty is marooned in a sea of mud and grass..."There is nobody who has not been affected by climate change, directly or indirectly, here in Chile."
- Trump Plans To Destroy Texas Wildlife Refuge for 1st Border Wall Segment (Texas Observer):
If the levee wall is constructed, it will essentially destroy the refuge, a federal official told the Observer.
- Trump Wants to Steer UN Climate Cash to Building Coal Plants (Bloomberg):
The U.S. will seek to use a United Nations fund designed to aid nations hard hit by climate change to promote the construction of coal-fired power plants around the world.
- The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make earth too hot for humans? (New York Magazine):
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak - sooner than you think.
- 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