IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump EPA holds climate hearings in Coal Country; Winter heat wave hits Greenland and breaks records in the U.S. West; New federal contracting scandal exposed in Puerto Rico's very slow recovery; PLUS: Good news for breathers in Wisconsin and Missouri... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NOAA nominee contradicts Trump administration talking points on cause of climate change; Atlantic hurricane season from hell is finally over; EPA curb on PFOA may have reduced number of low birth weight babies; Ex-convict coal baron Blankenship to seek WV Senate seat; Environmentalists assail plan for endangered wolf; Trump Admin may share nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia; Climate scientists watch their words for grant funding; Trump to visit UT to announce national monument cuts; MI wants to replace all lead pipes within 20 years; San Diego sues Monsanto over water pollution; Rising seas will destroy historic East Coast sites; Missouri DNR causes a stink after shutting down attempt to rein in hog farm odors... PLUS: NYT Video series: How to fix global warming... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Winter heat wave hits Greenland and breaks records in U.S. West:
- Monster heat wave reaches Greenland, bringing rain and melting its ice sheet (Climate Progress)
- Denver shatters heat record at 81 degrees, but snow is just around the corner (Denver Post)
- Record warmth roasts western U.S. and nation's snow extent shrinks to record low (Washington Post):
Winter has vanished in the western half of the country...The cold and snow in the Rockies are gone and historically warm weather has taken over.
- Trump's EPA holds climate hearings in Coal Country:
- AUDIO: EPA's 'Farcical' Climate Hearing in WV; Guest: Emily Atkin of New Republic ('BradCast' 11/29/2017)
- The New Tragedy of Coal Country (Emily Atkin, The New Republic): [emphasis added]
The Trump administration has successfully convinced West Virginians that they'll never have to give up on coal...This narrative appears to be taking hold among West Virginians. "It definitely looks good for coal, looks good for my future," David Murray, one of the miners at Tuesday's barbecue told me...Those who make money and gain power from coal's dominance know that no amount of deregulation can arrest coal's inevitable decline. But when they're face-to-face with West Virginians, like this week in Charleston, they elide that reality and claim that coal will never die, and indeed will grow.
- E.P.A. Heads to Coal Country to Hear Views on an Obama Climate Rule (NY Times):
Stanley Sturgill, a retired Kentucky coal miner who has become an activist, started out at 3 a.m. to get to the hearing. Now 71 and afflicted with black lung and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, he called repealing the plan "immoral and indefensible." He repeated a comment he gave in support of the plan in 2014: "We're dying, literally dying, for you to help us."
- New federal contracting scandal exposed in Puerto Rico's very slow recovery:
- AP EXCLUSIVE: Big contracts, no storm tarps for Puerto Rico (AP) [emphasis added]:
FEMA eventually terminated the contracts, without paying any money, and re-started the process this month to supply more tarps for the island. The earlier effort took nearly four weeks from the day FEMA awarded the contracts to Bronze Star and the day it canceled them...It is not clear how thoroughly FEMA investigated Bronze Star or its ability to fulfill the contracts. Formed by two brothers in August, Bronze Star had never before won a government contract or delivered tarps or plastic sheeting. The address listed for the business is a single-family home in a residential subdivision in St. Cloud, Florida.
- Puerto Rico: urgently needed tarps delayed by failed $30m Fema contract (Gaurdian UK)
- Puerto Rico relief has been an utter failure (Climate Progress)
- Sen. Bernie Sanders introduces $140 billion boost to Puerto Rico's recovery:
- Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren Propose $146 Billion "Marshall Plan" for Puerto Rico (The Intercept):
The far-reaching legislation would grant $62 billion to the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, $27 billion to renovate infrastructure, and $13 billion in additional Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to rebuild the electric grid "with more modern, resilient technologies," instead of the Stafford Act's requirements that the grid be restored to its condition before the storms, according to a summary of the bill from Sanders's office.
- Bernie Sanders Just Introduced a $146 Billion Aid Package for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (Mother Jones):
Sanders allocates $270 million for Puerto Rico and $20 million for the US Virgin Islands for renewable energy and energy efficiency grants for local municipalities and homeowners; $8.55 billion over 10 years for their infrastructure and jobs programs; $34 million to restore clean drinking water and sewage disposal; $200 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands; and the elimination of the cap on general Medicaid funding for US territories. The island has historically not been reimbursed by the federal government at the same rate as states, which, island officials say, means they may be forced to remove up to 500,000 people from Medicaid.
- Sanders Intros $146 Billion 'Transformation Blueprint' for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands (Common Dreams):
As Democrats co-sponsor bill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren highlights key demand for total debt relief in addition to renewable energy overhaul
- Republicans' tax cut bill sneakily opens up ANWR for drilling:
- Tax Overhaul's Arctic Drilling Byrd Problems Resolved (Roll Call):
Murkowski says Republicans drafted fixes to technical concerns
- Conservationists Face Once-Remote Prospect in Arctic Drilling Fight: Defeat (NY Times):
"It is critically important and I don't think anybody knows it is stuck in a tax bill," said Senator Maria Cantwell, the Washington Democrat who led the 2005 fight against drilling in the refuge. "It's been around for thousands of years, and for no good reason we're going to change it? Is there no such thing as a special place?''
- The Republican Tax Bill Is a Shit Sandwich That Includes Arctic Drilling and Rolling Back Obamacare (Earther):
Environmentalists, Alaska Natives like the Gwich'in, and even nuns disagree. They don't want to see any segment of the ANWR opened up to drilling. The refuge's been around since 1960, and exists to protect fauna and flora, and to ensure people like the Gwich'in can continue to live off the land and animals...Many environmentalists criticized the Murkowski's effort to tie drilling in ANWR to a tax bill, calling it a "shameless hijacking of the federal budget process."
- Trump Interior Dept. approves new Alaska offshore drilling permits:
- The Trump administration has approved drilling in the Arctic as soon as December. (Grist):
The permit was granted to Eni U.S. Operating Co. Inc., an Italian oil and natural gas company that's been vying for access to the Arctic's considerable cache of oil and gas since last August.
- Eni Receives Federal Permit for US Arctic Offshore Drilling (AP)
- Good news for breathers in Wisconsin and Missouri:
- We Energies' coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie to be shut down in 2018 (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):
The decision is the latest sign of coal’s diminishing status as a source of electric generation as utilities turn to natural gas, surplus wholesale power and renewable sources such as wind and solar.
- Southwestern Missouri utility seeks to retire coal plant early as it adds wind generation (St. Louis Today):
Empire’s proposed shift from coal to wind is striking on multiple levels. First are the projected customer savings touted by the company, which it says could amount to $325 million over 20 years, or nearly $10 per month for an average residential power user. But the transition is also noteworthy for the speed at which it is happening.
- Ameren Missouri to spend $1 billion on wind generation projects (St. Louis Today)
- St. Louis pursues 100 percent clean energy, shrugs off coal opposition (GreenBiz):
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen in late October unanimously passed the clean-energy resolution, with support from Ameren, which has its own renewable energy plans.
'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
- NOAA nominee ignores Trump administration talking points on cause of climate change (Climate Progress)
- The Atlantic hurricane season from hell is finally over (Washington Post)
- EPA Curb on PFOA May Have Reduced Number Of Babies With Low Birth Weight (Washington Post)
- Coal baron seeking Senate seat spent a year in prison for disaster that killed 29 miners (Climate Progress)
- Why the wind and solar lobby is terrified of the Senate tax plan (Washington Post)
- Enviros Assail U.S. Recovery Plan For Endangered Mexican Wolf (Reuters)
- Former CEO Who Went to Prison, Don Blankenship, Running for U.S. Senate (WV Public)
- White House May Share Nuclear Power Technology With Saudi Arabia (Pro Publica)
- East Chicago residents can argue for role in cleanup of contaminated Calumet neighborhood, judge says (Chicago Tribune)
- VIDEO: How to Fix Global Warming: We Talk to Tech Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Political Leaders (NY Times)
- Climate Scientists Watch Their Words, Hoping To Stave Off Funding Cuts (NPR)
- Trump To Visit Utah Monday To Announce Plans To Shrink National Monuments (Washington Post)
- Michigan Wants All Lead Pipes Replaced Within 20 Years (AP)
- Monsanto Fails To Shake City Of San Diego In Water Pollution Lawsuit (San Diego Union Tribune)
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline faces another delay as NC officials push for more details (Raleigh News-Observer)
- Sea-Level Rise Could Destroy Historic Sites On US East Coast (Guardian UK)
- Missouri DNR Causes A Stink by Backing Hog Farm Odors (St. Louis Today)
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: