IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: DHS waives environmental laws, prepares to bulldoze wildlife refuge for Trump's border wall; Court of Appeals orders EPA to enforce methane regulations; Now Great Britain to phase out all diesel and gasoline cars; PLUS: Shell Oil CEO says his next car will be electric!... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA Chief Backtracks On Delaying Rules Reducing Emissions; The Gulf Of Mexico's Dead Zone Is The Biggest Ever Seen; Dangerous Pollutants in Military’s Open Burns Greater Than Thought; Scott Pruitt's Crimes Against Nature; The long and winding road of electric car adoption; The Miami area endured an absurd flooding event Tuesday afternoon... PLUS: Al Gore says fight for Paris accord, climate will continue despite Trump's policies.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Al Gore pickup lines (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
- Record heat wave hits Pacific Northwest:
- Pacific Northwest threatened by hottest weather ever recorded; Seattle could hit 100 (Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post):
“If Seattle hits triple digits on Thursday or Friday, it’ll be the third time in the past 23 years — after reaching it only once in the first 100 years of weather observations,” notes The Seattle Weather blog. It has never before hit 100 in August...in Seattle the heat wave is “major” but that in Portland it would be “historic.”
- Portland heat wave: Daily record set as temps hit 103 (The Oregonian)
- Portland weather forecast heats up as haze from Canadian wildfires descends over Pacific Northwest (The Oregonian)
- Oregon wildfires prompt governor to declare state of emergency (The Oregonian)
- Appeals court orders EPA to enforce methane regulations:
- Court tells Trump’s EPA to enforce methane rule for oil and gas drillers (Climate Progress):
EPA’s failure to enforce rule is causing release of “hazardous air pollutants,” court rules.
- 16 state attorneys general sue EPA to enforce ozone pollution rule:
- UPDATE: EPA caves the day after Pennsylvania & other states sue over ozone (Biz Journals)
- 16 attorneys general sue Scott Pruitt for blocking implementation of EPA smog rule (Climate Progress):
“The science linking smog to adverse health impacts is clear and definitive.”
- DHS will waive environmental laws to jump start Trump's border wall:
- Homeland Security waives environmental rules for San Diego border wall (San Diego Union Tribune)
- U.S. eases environment laws for Mexico border wall near San Diego (Reuters)
- AUDIO: Homeland Security To Waive Environmental Rules On Border Wall Projects (NPR)
- Trump admin waives environmental laws to allow border wall construction (CNN)
- CPB plans to destroy wildlife refuge in Texas to build border wall:
- Trump’s Big, Beautiful Wall Will Cut Through a Big, Beautiful Texas Wildlife Refuge (Texas Tribune):
This could do some serious environmental damage.
- Rep. O’Rourke tours Santa Ana refuge, a priority border wall construction location (McAllen Monitor)
- DHS waives environmental laws to speed border wall construction (The Hill):
The notice exempts the border infrastructure projects from complying with major laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Solid Waste Disposal Act, among dozens of others.
- Tribes sue to restore Yellowstone grizzly endangered species protections:
- Indian Tribes Take the Lead in Fight for Grizzly Bears (Courthouse News)
- Yellowstone Grizzly Bear to Lose Endangered Species Protection (NY Times):
In deciding to lift the protection, Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, remarked on the long-term efforts that have allowed the bear to thrive...The action will not affect the protected status of the other major population of grizzlies in the lower 48 states, those that live in and around Glacier National Park of Montana, which number about 1,000. However, experts say this population, too, could soon be delisted. Several small, isolated populations would remain protected.
- Native Americans Challenge Government Over Fate Of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears (Huffington Post):
For these leaders, saving grizzlies is a matter of religious freedom.
- Court of Appeals overturns de-listing of gray wolves:
- Gray wolves just won another battle to stay on the endangered species list (Washington Post):
“When a species is already listed, the service cannot review a single segment with blinders on, ignoring the continuing status of the species’ remnant,” the court ruled. The Endangered Species Act “requires a comprehensive review of the entire listed species and its continuing status. Having started the process, the service cannot call it quits upon finding a single distinct population segment.”
- Great Lakes Gray Wolves' Spot Safe On Endangered Species List — For Now (NPR)
- Britain to phase out diesel and gasoline cars by 2040:
- UK to require EV charging at all major petrol (gas) stations (Treehugger)
- New Diesel And Petrol Vehicles To Be Banned From 2040 in UK (BBC):
New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government has announced.
- UK to require EV charging at all major petrol (gas) stations (Treehugger):
Now here in the US, where many citizens are notoriously, if selectively, reticent about government "picking winners", I suspect a government mandate might face some opposition. But let's not forget that these businesses owe their existence to massive public subsidy of roads, not to mention the "hidden subsidies" of environmental and health impacts of gas car emissions.
- Analysis: Switch to electric vehicles would add just 10% to UK power demand (Carbon Brief)
- Queensland, Australia to build world's longest EV highway:
- The future is electric for Queensland motorists (Queensland Government)
- Queensland electric car 'super highway' announced, with 18 fast charging locations (ABC Australia):
Eighteen fast-charging charging stations will be installed around Queensland to create a "super highway" to allow electric vehicles to travel from the Gold Coast to Cairns. Acting Roads Minister Steven Miles said the stations would be able to charge electric vehicles in about 30 minutes, and would be made free for at least 12 months. The rollout will take place over the next six months.
- Australia to build electric-vehicle highway beside Great Barrier Reef (Globe & Mail)
- Los Angeles Metro to switch entire bus fleet to electric:
- Los Angeles to have fully electric bus fleet by 2030 (AFP):
The current fleet operates on compressed natural gas (CNG), seen as the most environmentally-friendly option when the buses were purchased in the 1990s. A CNG coalition had previously protested the transition, arguing that, while the goals were worthy, electric buses were not yet a reliable technology.
- L.A. Metro votes to have all electric buses by 2030 (SoCal Public Radio)
- Proterra Opens Los Angeles Electric Bus Plant Targeting West Coast Transit Sales (Forbes)
- Europe’s electric bus market in transformational growth mode (Energy Storage News)
- Shell Oil CEO supports move to electric vehicles (and natural gas, too):
- VIDEO: Shell CEO Says His Next Car Will Be Electric (Bloomberg):
When the boss of Europe’s biggest listed oil company says his next car will be electric, it says a lot about the future of fossil fuels.
'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: Al Gore says fight for Paris accord, climate will continue despite Trump's policies (CBS News):
"Even though President Trump announced he was going to pull out of the Paris agreement, the very next day the world doubled down on their commitment," said Gore on "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday.
- EPA Chief Backtracks On Delaying Rules Reducing Emissions (SF Chronicle):
One day after getting sued by 15 states, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt reversed his earlier decision to delay implementation of Obama-era rules reducing emissions of smog-causing air pollutants.
- The Gulf Of Mexico's Dead Zone Is The Biggest Ever Seen (NPR):
It's become a rite of summer. Every year, a 'dead zone' appears in the Gulf of Mexico. It's an area where water doesn't have enough oxygen for fish to survive. And every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) commissions scientists to venture out into the Gulf to measure it. This week, NOAA announced that this year's dead zone is the biggest one ever measured.
- Dangerous Pollutants in Military’s Open Burns Greater Than Thought (Pro Publica):
The federal government appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants that are sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous waste at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia, according to a draft of a long-awaited report compiled by researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Scott Pruitt's Crimes Against Nature (Rolling Stone):
Trump's EPA chief is gutting the agency, defunding science and serving the fossil-fuel industry.
- The long and winding road of electric car adoption (Telegraph UK):
Electric cars are forging the way to the future: car makers want to get their hands on the technology, as many governments look to cut down their carbon emissions. However, the data show that there's a long way to go, with more traditional models still holding the biggest slice of the car market.
- The Miami area endured an absurd flooding event Tuesday afternoon (Washington Post):
During the afternoon hours Tuesday, torrential rain drenched parts of Miami and Miami Beach. Four to seven inches of rain fell in a matter of a few hours before and during the evening rush, causing extensive flooding and gridlock. Cars floated on the curbs, and neighbors helped push stranded motorists down the street. Parked cars on flooded roads bobbed in the wake as larger trucks and SUVs passed.
- Death Valley just experienced the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S. (Washington Post):
But perhaps more alarming in this new record is the month’s overnight temperatures — when things are supposed to cool down. The temperature didn’t fall below 89 degrees at any point in the month of July at Death Valley. On three nights, the “low” temperature was 102-103 degrees.
- Like Exxon, Utilities Knew about Climate Change Risks Decades Ago (Inside Climate News):
A new report shows through documents and testimony how utilities researched climate change and determined in the 1970s that it could force a shift away from coal.
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: