IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt under scrutiny for first-class air travel; EPA enforcement against polluters is down --- way down; Judge rules against Trump's Dept. of Energy; PLUS: Surprise --- deodorants, perfumes, paints and pesticides are all contributing to air pollution... All that and more in today's 9th Anniversary episode of the Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): We’re witnessing the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1,500 years; In win for greens, court nixes parts of Obama-era ozone rule; Seismic surveys off U.S. coast harm marine life; Monsanto loses bid to stop Arkansas ban; Ashland, OR finds solution to controlling wildfire; Storms deepen Florida's beach sand problem; Minnesota lawsuit against 3M for water pollution finally headed to trial; Interior Dept. plans to fund national parks repairs with drilling on public lands; Senate bill would allow EPA to move forward on HFC climate treaty; No-till farmers ignites a movement in the Great Plans ... PLUS: How $225,000 can help secure a pollution loophole at Trump’s E.P.A.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- EPA Inspector General scrutinizing Admin. Pruitt's luxury travel:
- EPA's Scott Pruitt flies 1st class to talk Superfund in NH (New Hampshire Union-Leader) [emphasis added]:
“We live in a very toxic environment politically, particularly around issues of the environment,” said Pruitt, who confirmed he flew first class from the Washington area to Boston to reach New Hampshire. “We’ve reached the point where there’s not much civility in the marketplace and it’s created, you know, it’s created some issues and the (security) detail, the level of protection is determined by the level of threat.”
- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt flies first class to avoid unpleasant travelers (Vox)
- VIDEO: EPA's Scott Pruitt got waiver to fly business class on foreign carrier from Italy to U.S. (CBS News)
- First-class travel distinguishes Scott Pruitt’s EPA tenure (Washington Post)
- Pruitt postponing visit to Israel after reports of expensive travel (CNN)
- EPA changes its story on Pruitt's first-class travel (Politico)
- EPA enforcement actions are down - way down - under Pruitt:
- Civil Penalties Against Polluters Drop by Half During First Year of Trump Administration (Environmental Integrity Project)
- Don’t let Scott Pruitt’s first class travel distract you from an even bigger scandal (Climate Progress):
Environmental enforcement under Pruitt has dropped 44 percent compared to previous administrators' first years.
- VIDEO: EPA Head Says He Needs to Fly First Class Because People Are Mean to Him in Coach (AP):
"I don't spend any time with polluters. I prosecute polluters."
- Federal penalties against polluters at lowest level in a decade under Trump (Guardian UK):
Figures released by the EPA show that 115 crime cases were opened in 2017, down from a peak of nearly 400 in 2009...[T]he bulk of the $2.98bn received in penalties in 2017 is made up of the pursuit of Volkswagen for cheating on its emissions tests. The settlement, struck under the Obama administration, included a $2.8bn criminal fine for VW that was paid out in the 2017 financial year.
- EPA dramatically reduces Syngenta's fine for pesticide violations:
- Critics blast EPA for lowering Syngenta pesticide fine (AP):
EPA and Syngenta were close to resolving the case for a larger amount in 2016, when President Barack Obama was in office. But he said Syngenta pulled back after the 2016 election, figuring they could pay less under the Trump administration. “And now a year and a half later, we see that they’re absolutely right."...Syngenta failed to tell the workers to avoid the fields, and then allowed them to enter the fields without protective gear. The EPA said Syngenta also failed to provide adequate decontamination supplies at the farm and supply prompt transportation for emergency medical care.
- EPA Settles Syngenta Pesticide Claim For Pennies On The Dollar (Honolulu Civil Beat)
- Syngenta Pays Fraction of $4.8M Fine for Harming Farmworkers (Bloomberg)
- Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops (Guardian UK, 8/23/2015)
- Common household products contribute significantly to air pollution:
- Want Cleaner Air? Try Using Less Deodorant (NY Times):
California has regulated emissions from consumer products since the late 1980s, and federal regulations have followed suit, setting V.O.C. emissions limits for a range of items, including paints, varnishes and lacquers. Concerned consumers may be tempted to turn to “natural” products, though the researchers say that isn’t a cure-all. For example, one class of compounds called terpenes gives many cleaning products a pine or citrus smell. These terpenes can be produced synthetically, or naturally from oranges.
- Emissions from deodorant, bug spray and other household products may rival that of cars and trucks (Souther California Public Radio):
“VOCs in the atmosphere are actually much more of a balance now between cars and trucks and things like consumer products,” Cappa said. “This was absolutely surprising.”
- Mad about L.A.'s air quality? Blame common products like hairspray and paint, not just cars (LA Times)
- Judge orders Dept. of Energy to implement new appliance energy efficiency standards:
- Court’s energy efficiency ruling a blow to Trump’s anti-climate agenda (Climate Progress):
Federal judge orders Department of Energy to publish appliance energy efficiency standards.
- Court Rules Obama-Era Energy Efficiency Standards Should Proceed (EarthJustice):
Combined, the efficiency standards could save American consumers as much as $8 billion in energy bills, while avoiding 18 million metric tons of climate pollution over 30 years.
- Court rules Energy Dept. must implement Obama efficiency rules (The Hill)
'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
- We’re witnessing the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1,500 years (Vox)
- Alaska's Bering Sea Lost a Third of Its Ice in Just 8 Days (Inside Climate News)
- In win for greens, court nixes parts of Obama-era ozone rule (E&E News)
- Seismic Surveys Planned Off U.S. Coast Pose Risk To Marine Life (NPR)
- Monsanto Loses Bid To Stop Arkansas Ban On Farm Chemical (Reuters)
- As Fire Risk Explodes Across the West, an Oregon City Finds a Solution (News Deeply)
- Gone With The Wind: Storms Deepen Florida's Beach Sand Crunch (Reuters)
- Minnesota lawsuit against 3M for water pollution finally headed to trial (MPR News)
- Interior Plan To Fund New Projects By Drilling Met With Skepticism (The Hill)
- Senate Bill Would Let EPA Implement Global Greenhouse Gas Deal (The Hill)
- How $225,000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump’s E.P.A. (NY Times)
- U.S. Environmental Penalties Nearly Halve In Trump's First Year: Report (Reuters)
- No-Till Farmers Push for Healthy Soils Ignites a Movement in the Plains (Civil Eats)
- Defenders of science, this is the messaging strategy you've been waiting for (Climate Progress)
- Trump's failing war on green power: Wind and solar energy may have come too far for even a pro-fossil-fuel administration to stuff back into the barrel. (Politico)
- AUDIO: An Inconvenient 'BradCast' with Al Gore (The BRAD BLOG):
Guest Host Angie Coiro's exclusive interview with the former Vice President on elections, pollution, persuasion, activism, and hope...
- 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