IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump rolls back federal protections for two national monuments in Utah; Native American tribes and conservation groups file suit to stop him; Republican tax bill slashes renewable energy; PLUS: Investment firm warns cities: address climate risks or you'll be downgraded... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Native Americans rewrote the playbook for preserving public land — and Trump is trying to erase it; Exxon pushes climate change probe to MA's highest court; EPA passes on rule on hardrock mining companies cleanup costs; Microgrids keeps these US cities running when the power goes out; Secrecy surrounds pro-coal anti-wind group attacking Ohio renewable energy policy; Koch-funded network targets New Hampshire’s renewable energy policies; Anchorage's climate change conundrum; VW engineer tells judge bosses coached him to lie; Builders told Houston homeowners their homes were not in flood zone - then Harvey came; Utah county wants to drain 77 million gallons a day out of Lake Powell, threatening Colorado River... PLUS: CNN shows the right way to report on hurricanes and climate change... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump rolls back protections for 2 national monuments in Utah:
- VIDEO: Trump shrinks two huge national monuments in Utah, drawing praise and protests (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The changes plunge the Trump administration into uncharted legal territory, as no president has sought to modify monuments established under the 1906 Antiquities Act in more than half a century. His decision removes about 85 percent of the designation of Bears Ears and nearly 46 percent of that for Grand Staircase-Escalante, land that potentially could now be leased for energy exploration or opened for specific activities such as motorized vehicle use...If these revisions are successfully sustained in court, they would redefine not only how existing public lands are protected but the extent to which future presidents could dictate that they remain untouched.
- The President Stole Your Land (Patagonia):
In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.
- Why Society for Vertebrate Paleontology is suing over Monument reductions (Society for Vertebrate Paleontology):
Scientifically important paleontological resources motivated the creation of both monuments...Loss of monument status endangers funding streams for paleontological research and exposes sites to damage or destruction from multiple-use activities, which could feasibly include ranching, mining, or shale gas extraction.
- Trump greeted by thousands of Utah protesters, some who blocked downtown Salt Lake City streets and faced off with cops in riot gear (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Trump turned two vast Utah national monuments into five smaller ones. Here's a look at the new sites — and key lands that got left out. (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Native American tribes and conservation groups sue to stop rollback:
- VIDEO: Navajo Nation VP blasts Trump's move to drastically shrink national monuments (Media Matters)
- Navajo Nation Council condemns downsizing of Bears Ears National Monument (Navajo Nation)
- In rare move, 5 tribes join to file lawsuit against President Trump over Bears Ears (KUTV)
- Environmental, conservation groups sue Trump over monument changes (CNN):
The lawsuit, which comprises The Wilderness Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and seven other groups as plaintiffs, argues that Trump's decision to reduce the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante was "unlawful" and "exceeds his authority under the US Constitution and the Antiquities Act."
- Patagonia joins environmental groups, Native Americans in fight against Trump for slashing national monuments (NY Daily News)
- AUDIO: In Utah...Trump's Scheme to Sell Off Sacred Tribal Public Lands ('BradCast' 5/11/2017)
- GOP tax cut bill slashes renewable energy and consumer tax credits:
- GOP tax bill will devastate renewable industry while incentivizing automation (Climate Progress)
- Tax Bill Impact: What Happens to Renewable Energy? (Inside Climate News):
Tax credits for solar, wind and EVs fare differently in the House and Senate bills. The industry says some changes would be devastating, but the fight isn’t over.
- The $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit is still in danger as Senate passes tax reform (Electrek)
- 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."
- China plans to extend its EV tax credit for consumers:
- China Is Said to Plan Extending Electric Vehicle Tax Rebate (Bloomberg):
China is planning to extend a tax rebate on the purchase of new-energy vehicles after the incentive helped the country become the world’s biggest market for clean fuel automobiles, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
- Moody's warns cities, states: address climate risks:
- Moody's Warns Cities to Address Climate Risks or Face Downgrades (Bloomberg):
Coastal communities from Maine to California have been put on notice from one of the top credit rating agencies: Start preparing for climate change or risk losing access to cheap credit..."What we want people to realize is: If you’re exposed, we know that. We’re going to ask questions about what you’re doing to mitigate that exposure," Lenny Jones, a managing director at Moody’s, said in a phone interview. "That’s taken into your credit ratings."
- Trump Disbands Group Meant to Prepare Cities for Climate Shocks (Bloomberg):
"This was the federal government’s primary external engagement for resilience in the built environment," Keenan, a researcher at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design...The group advised local officials on making buildings, communications, energy systems, transportation and water more able to withstand severe weather and climate change. That mission made the group especially vulnerable, Keenan said.
- Rising Seas May Wipe Out These Jersey Towns, but They're Still Rated AAA (Bloomberg 5/25/2017)
'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
- Native Americans rewrote the playbook for preserving public land — and Trump is trying to erase it (LA Times)
- Exxon Climate-Change Probe Goes To Massachusetts Top Court" (Reuters)
- VIDEO: CNN shows the right way to report on hurricanes and climate change: Climate scientist Michael Mann tells CNN climate change is "absolutely" making hurricanes worse (Media Matters)
- EPA Passes On Rule Covering U.S. Hardrock Miners' Cleanup Costs (Reuters)
- Microgrids Keep These Cities Running When the Power Goes Out (Inside Climate News)
- Zinke seeks protections for public lands in his home state while attacking Utah monuments (Climate Progress)
- Secrecy surrounds pro-coal group eyeing Ohio anti-wind cases (Midwestern Energy News)
- Anchorage's climate change conundrum (The World, PRI)
- Koch-funded network targets New Hampshire’s renewable energy policies (Climate Progress)
- VW Bosses Coached Me to Lie, Jailed Manager Tells U.S. Judge (Bloomberg)
- Builders Said Their Homes Were Out of a Flood Zone. Then Harvey Came. (NY Times)
- A county in Utah wants to suck 77 million gallons a day out of Lake Powell, threatening the Colorado River (LA Times)
- Climate Scientists Watch Their Words, Hoping To Stave Off Funding Cuts (NPR)
- VT: Governor's staff struck climate change language from Act 250 report (Burlington Free-Press)
- 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