IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Southern California's Thomas Fire now 5th largest in state history; Trump Administration attacks private company over national monument lawsuit; Trump to open up East Coast to offshore drilling; PLUS: Surprise! Trump's EPA has slowed down enforcement actions against polluters... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): GOP tax cut bill's fossil fuel provision would personally enrich GOP lawmakers; In CA, mixed results for regulations meant to help stop fires; GOP tax cut bill would penalize CA firefighting victims; France’s Macron takes lead in climate change battle; World leaders gather (without Trump) for One World climate conference; Judges skeptical of DOJ bid to dismiss kids' climate lawsuit; Alaska oil lease sale draws just 7 bids; Trump slashes NASA climate research funding; FERC seeks delay on coal-nuclear bailout; Recycling chaos as China bans 'foreign' waste; After tax cut, Trump looks to localities to fund infrastructure... PLUS: Build, flood, rebuild - Flood insurance program's expensive cycle... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Southern California's Thomas Fire now 5th largest in state history:
- Live Updates: Southern California fires live updates: Homes burn in Bel-Air as new fire erupts in heart of L.A. (LA Times):
Multiple fires are raging in Southern California. A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires have destroyed at least 180 structures, forced thousands to flee and smothered the region with smoke in what officials predicted would be a pitched battle for days.
- Firefighters wrestle to control California wildfire as winds persist (Reuters)
- California wildfires have destroyed 1,000 structures ... and counting (CNN)
- California wildfires send film, TV productions scrambling (Reuters)
- Trump Admins to open up Atlantic and Florida coasts to offshore drilling:
- Trump to Open the Door for Oil Drilling Off U.S.’s East Coast (Bloomberg):
President Donald Trump ordered his Interior Department to write the new blueprint with the aim of auctioning oil and gas drilling rights off the U.S. East Coast --- territory that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had ruled out. The Interior Department’s coming draft proposal, an initial milestone in replacing the Obama-era sale plan, dovetails with the oil industry’s push for new places to drill, said the people, who asked not to be identified before a formal announcement.
- Trump Admin. suspends rule limiting methane leaks from oil and gas drilling:
- Trump will suspend a rule to limit a pollutant far worse than carbon dioxide (Washington Post):
The Trump administration will suspend a rule to limit methane leaks from oil and gas operations on federal land, but its true aim may be to kill the Obama-era requirement...The delay, according to a BLM statement on Thursday, will avoid forcing oil and gas operations to comply with requirements “that may be rescinded or significantly revised in the near future.” The agency said it would review the rule over the next year.
- Trump EPA far more lenient on polluters than previous administrations:
- Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers (NY Times):
Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, has said the Trump administration’s high-profile regulatory rollback does not mean a free pass for violators of environmental laws. But as the Trump administration moves from one attention-grabbing headline to the next, it has taken a significant but less-noticed turn in the enforcement of federal pollution laws.
- US Fails To Enforce Smog Rules, 14 States Allege In Lawsuit (AP)
- Mining company specifically requested cuts to Bears Ears National Monument:
- Uranium firm urged Trump officials to shrink Bears Ears National Monument (Washington Post):
“This is not about energy,” Zinke told reporters Tuesday. “There is no mine within Bears Ears.” But the nation’s sole uranium processing mill sits directly next to the boundaries that President Barack Obama designated a year ago when he established Bears Ears...Energy Fuels Resources did not just weigh in on national monuments through public-comment letters. It hired a team of lobbyists at Faegre Baker Daniels — led by Andrew Wheeler, who is awaiting Senate confirmation as the Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy secretary — to work on the matter and other federal policies affecting the company.
- Report: Uranium mining firm lobbied for Bears Ears reductions (Utah Policy):
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Utah Republicans have repeatedly said that mineral extraction considerations played no role in the decision to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument. Government documents appear to contradict that claim.
- Republicans, Interior Secretary attack Patagonia over national monument lawsuit:
- VIDEO: Sec. Zinke attacks Patagonia over national monuments (Fox Business News):
"They should focus on how to bring manufacturing back into this country rather than lying to the public about losing federal land."
- I'm not going to 'let evil win': Patagonia's billionaire owner says he plans to sue Trump (Washington Post):
Outdoor goods retailers Patagonia, REI and the North Face are firing back against President Trump's executive order this week that would drastically reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah.
- Environmental, conservation groups sue Trump over monument changes (CNN)
- Zinke proposes creating new monument for his home state:
- Zinke recommends new monument for Badger-Two Medicine to president (Great Falls Tribune):
"While we appreciate Secretary Zinke recommending national monument protection for the Badger-Two Medicine, we find it reprehensible that he's doing so at the same time he's stripping protection from a place that is as sacred to five sovereign southwestern nations as the Badger-Two Medicine is to the Blackfeet," Casey Perkins, Montana Wilderness Association's Rocky Mountain Front field director, said in a statement. "We believe that Badger-Two Medicine deserves permanent protection, but any discussion of that must originate with the Blackfeet."
- Zinke defends monument reductions, supports Badger-Two Medicine (Missoulian)
- Zinke: Shrink 2 More National Monuments And Shift Management Of 10 (Washington Post):
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday called on President Trump to shrink a total of four national monuments and change the way six other land and marine sites are managed, a sweeping overhaul of how protected areas are maintained in the United States... He also would revise the proclamations for those and the others to clarify that certain activities are allowed.
'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
- Tax Bill: John Cornyn’s Fossil Fuel Provision Would Personally Enrich Republican Lawmakers (IBTimes)
- How California and Western states should shift their fire prevention strategy (San Jose Mercury News)
- In California, Mixed Results for Regulations Meant to Help Stop Fires (NY Times)
- Would the G.O.P. Tax Bill Penalize California Wildfire Victims? (NY Times)
- France’s Macron takes lead in climate change battle, with the U.S. absent (Washington Post)
- World Leaders, High Security At Paris Climate Summit (AP)
- Judges Skeptical Of Government's Request To Dismiss Kids' Climate Lawsuit (Washington Post)
- US Petroleum Reserve Lease Sale In Alaska Draws Just 7 Bids (AP)
- Trump’s Budget Will Slash Climate Change–Related NASA Missions (Salon)
- Interior Department’s Climate Science Centers Persevere (High Country News)
- FERC Seeks Delay In Considering Trump Coal, Nuclear Bailout (The Hill)
- Air Pollution: Pruitt Drops Enforcement Of Power Plant Pollution Program (E&E News)
- Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans 'Foreign Waste (NPR)
- The Environmental Scandal in Scott Pruitt’s Backyard (Politico)
- EPA Lists 21 Toxic Superfund Sites That Need Immediate Cleanup (Washington Post)
- Build, Flood, Rebuild: Flood Insurance’s Expensive Cycle (Houston Chronicle)
- Renewable Energy Is Surging. The G.O.P. Tax Bill Could Curtail That. (NY Times)
- After Tax Cut, Trump Looks To Localities To Fund For Infrastructure (Washington Post)
- 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