IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Nebraska greenlights controversial Keystone XL pipeline --- but it still may not get built; Virginia moves to cut emissions 30 percent by 2030; Trump withdraws plan to lift ban on importing elephant body parts; PLUS: Elon Musk unveils breakthrough all-electric, long haul semi-truck... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New study reaches a stunning conclusion about the cost of solar and wind energy; Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change; Whitefish halts work early in Puerto Rico over non-payment; Head of Puerto Rico's utility resigns; Antarctic glacier's rough belly exposed; New science of climate change impacts on agriculture implies higher social cost of carbon; Growing gas glut threatens West Texas oil boom; Panel's approval of off-shore drilling bill imperils ban off Florida; Global energy storage market to double 6 times by 2030... PLUS: How politics and bad decisions starved NY's subway system... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Nebraska state regulators approve Keystone XL pipeline - but hurdles remain:
- Nebraska gives long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline new life (AP):
The Nebraska Public Service Commission’s vote also is likely to face court challenges and may require another federal analysis of the route, if project opponents get their way.
- The Energy 202: Keystone XL pipeline seems like a done deal for Trump. But it's not. (Washington Post):
The energy business in the United States has changed significantly since the Keystone XL was first proposed nine years ago, taking a back seat to the political battles surrounding the pipeline and making them ultimately less relevant. In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that TransCanada is struggling to line up customers to purchase the oil.
- VIDEO: Nebraska has approved the #KeystoneXL pipeline, but there are changes. (CBC)
- Nebraska OKs 'alternative route' for Keystone XL pipeline (CBC):
Commissioner Crystal Rhoades, one of the two who voted against approval, gave several reasons for her vote, saying during the meeting that about 40 landowners may not even know they are impacted by the path of the proposed pipeline. She also questioned whether the project will lead to jobs for Nebraskans.
- Keystone pipeline spill injects new uncertainty into Nebraska decisio (Washinton Post)
- Keystone XL Partially Denied; Landowners Vow to Keep Fighting (Bold Nebraska)
- TransCanada Is Seizing People’s Land To Build Keystone, But Conservatives Have Been Dead Silent (Climate Progress)
- Keystone XL Foes Want to Turn Nebraska Win Into a Court Loss (Bloomberg)
- Keystone XL Approval May Open Door for Foes to Fight Route (Washington Post)
- Existing Keystone pipeline spills 210,000 gallons in South Dakota:
- TransCanada starts excavation work after South Dakota pipeline leak (Reuters)
- Keystone pipeline oil spill could be worse than we thought (Vice):
Kent Moeckly, a nearby land owner and member of the Dakota Rural Action Group, told VICE News he’s concerned that the spill could be much larger though, in large part because the computers used to detect oil pressure drops don’t always detect small leaks. “TransCanada thought it was 200,000 gallons. What we found out working with TransCanada, it could very well be 600,000 gallons,” Moeckly said.
- Massive pipeline spill exposes serious flaws in Keystone XL approval process (Climate Progress)
- Elections have consequences: Virginia moves to join RGGI, cut emissions:
- Virginia Launches Plan to Join East Coast Carbon Market, Cut Emissions 30 per cent (Inside Climate News):
State regulators on Thursday unanimously approved a draft proposed rule that would cap emissions from Virginia's electricity sector beginning in 2020 and reduce them by 30 percent over a decade. Under the proposal, Virginia would join nine other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's longest-running mandatory carbon market.
- Virginia Moves to Join RGGI Carbon-trading Market (Power Magazine)
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: an initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States of the U.S. (RGGI)
- Governor McAuliffe Statement on Virginia Air Board Approval of Clean Energy Virginia Initiative (Office of the Governor of Virginia)
- COP23: Little progress, but world holding firm against Trump Administration:
- UN Climate Talks Conclude with World Leaving Trump Behind (Inside Climate News)
- COP23: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Bonn (Carbon Brief)
- What Happened (and Didn’t) at the Bonn Climate Talks (NY times)
- Balance of Power: Cracks Spread Through Global Climate Alliance (Bloomberg)
- Treaty to Phase Out ‘Greenhouse Gases on Steroids’ to Enter Force (NY Times)
- 19 Countries Vowed to Phase Out Coal. But They Don’t Use Much Coal. (NY Times)
- Trump postpones lifting ban on imports of elephant body parts:
- Trump puts hold on this week's decision to again allow trophies from elephant hunts in Zimbabwe (Washington Post)
- Trump about-face on elephant trophies could be legal misfire (E&E News):
Citing the confusion, the Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Trump administration today in a bid to keep the initial ban in place. "Trump's abrupt backpedaling after public outcry, while appreciated, shows how arbitrary this deplorable decision was. These incredibly imperiled creatures need a lot more than vague promises," said Tanya Sanerib, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity...The Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014 had banned the trophy imports from Zimbabwe, after concluding that it could not make the finding that sport killing of the Zimbabwe elephants "would enhance survival of the species," as the law requires.
- Hunters are livid over Trump's elephant trophy decision (Washington Post):
“Botswana disallowed all trophy hunting, and Botswana has more elephants by a long shot than every other country,” Pacelle said. “It’s recognized that this would damage the brand of the nation. Trophy hunting subtracts animals from nature. It diminishes the value of animal populations.”...Hunters never say “we want to trophy hunt because we want to mount the head,” Pacelle said. “They always apply something to it. They could just give the money for conservation. But they want something out of it.”
- Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration's Elephant, Lion Trophy Import Decisions: Despite Trump's Tweets, New Trophy Policies Still In Effect (Center for Biological Diversity)
- New rules will ban import and export of ivory, and make it harder than ever to sell (Washington Post, 2/11/14)
- Tesla unveils long haul, all-electric semi-truck:
- VIDEO: Meet the Tesla Semitruck, Elon Musk's Most Electrifying Gamble Yet (Wired):
Musk believes that going after the big boys is the best way to have a real impact on climate change...Trucks offer a more effective way to do that, because they are particularly toxic. “Heavy-duty vehicles make up a small fraction of the vehicles on the road, but a large fraction of their emissions."
- Tesla's Electric Truck Is Coming—And So Are Everyone Else's (Wired)
- Tesla Semi: Walmart orders 15 new electric trucks, several other companies jump on board too (Electrek)
'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
- How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subways (NY Times):
Disruptions and delays have roiled the system this year. But the crisis was long in the making, fueled by a litany of errors, a Times investigation shows.
- New study reaches a stunning conclusion about the cost of solar and wind energy (Climate Progress)
- Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change (Guardian UK)
- Whitefish Halts Puerto Rico Work Early Over $83 Million Bill (Bloomberg)
- Head of Puerto Rico’s electric utility resigns amid questions about slow repairs in hurricane’s wake (Washington Post)
- Antarctic glacier's rough belly exposed (BBC)
- New science of climate change impacts on agriculture implies higher social cost of carbon (Nature)
- Recently amplified arctic warming has contributed to a continual global warming trend (Nature)
- Growing Gas Glut Threatens West Texas Oil Boom (Wall St. Journal)
- Rep. Rooney worried panel's approval of off-shore drilling bill imperils ban off Florida (USA Today)
- Global Energy Storage Market to Double Six Times by 2030 (Bloomberg)
- Floored by Fluorochemicals: Who Pays to Decontaminate Water? (BNA)
- CDC Sounds Alarm on Chemical Contamination in Drinking Water (BNA)
- Here’s a road map for solving 3 of the world’s biggest problems (Vox)
- Conservatives probably can’t be persuaded on climate change. So now what? (Vox)
- The Climate Risks We Face (NY Times):
To stabilize global temperature, net carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to zero. The window of time is rapidly closing to reduce emissions and limit warming to no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the goal set in the Paris climate accord. The further we push the climate system beyond historical conditions, the greater the risks of potentially unforeseen and even catastrophic changes to the climate - so every reduction in emissions helps.
- 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