IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oil and gas industry slams Donald Trump's proposed steel tariffs; Boston hit with historic flooding for second time in a month, with more on the way; Toxic coal ash waste is contaminating groundwater supplies near coal plants; PLUS: Plastic pollution has reached all the way up to the Arctic... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Ban Ki-moon: US has caused serious damage to Paris climate efforts; Emails show oil was central to decision to shrink Bears Ears National Monument; Zinke withdraws land near his home from oil lease sale; US flood insurance chief warns all Floridians, 'you're at risk'; Environmental racism: EPA rejects AL town's claim on toxic landfills; SUV sales surge globally, and that's bad for the climate; CA is rebuilding in fire country because you're paying for it; GOP pushes 80 anti-environment riders in new spending bill; Trump nominates Dow Chemical official to lead emergency response to toxic spills; South Australia leads the world in clean solar generation... PLUS: Trump reverses promise to ban imports of dead elephant 'trophies'... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Former Peabody Coal executive Fred Palmer: "Coal is green" (Heritage Foundation):
"Coal is not dirty, coal is green. I say that because coal is electricity and electricity at the point of use is the cleanest, most efficient form of energy."
- Boston slammed with second 100-year storm in a month:
- Powerful Storm Leaves 9 Dead, Swaths Of East Coast In The Dark (NBC News)
- Winds, flooding wreak havoc on Mass. as nor’easter batters state (Boston Globe):
The spectacle of seawater swamping coastal communities, including parts of Boston’s high-rent office district, once again raised concerns about how these heavily developed areas will endure rising sea levels caused by climate change. Some called the storm a preview of the extreme flooding the city can expect in the years ahead.
- ‘The storms we’re seeing now, people thought this was decades in the future’ (Boston Globe):
Lack of preparation is a refrain that echoes up and down the Atlantic coast, with cities getting wake-up calls from catastrophes...‘‘Boston will return to its historic boundary lines,’’ said Emily Norton, director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Sierra Club and a Newton city councilor.
- Oil and gas industry slams Trump's proposed steel tariffs:
- VIDEO: EU's Jean-Claude Juncker responds to Trump's trade tariffs: 'We can also do stupid' (Euronews):
"So now we will also impose import tariffs. This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this. But we have to do it. We will now impose tariffs on motorcycles, Harley Davidson, on blue jeans, Levis, on Bourbon. We can also do stupid. We also have to be this stupid," he said in Hamburg on Friday evening.
- VIDEO: Steel tariffs won't help Trump achieve his goal of 'American energy dominance,' oil industry warns (CNBC)
- U.S. energy industry slams Trump's 'job-killing' steel tariffs (Reuters)
- Wind energy: AWEA statement on proposed steel tariffs (American Wind Energy Association):
Steel tariffs will decrease competition and trade, ultimately making capital-intensive energy infrastructure projects more expensive by adding cost for U.S. manufacturers along the supply chain.
- Solar energy could see second hit with new steel, aluminum tariffs (The Californian)
- US Solar Company To Lay Off Hundreds Of Workers After Trump Tariffs (The Hill)
- Coal ash waste contaminating groundwater near coal plants:
- US Utilities Find Water Pollution at Coal Ash Dumps (AP):
Major utilities have found evidence of groundwater contamination at coal-burning power plants across the U.S. where landfills and man-made ponds have been used for decades as dumping grounds for coal ash, according to data released by plant owners under a Friday deadline...The future of that effort was cast into uncertainty Thursday when the Trump administration announced it intends to roll back aspects of the program to reduce the industry's compliance costs by up to $100 million annually.
- Coal ash is polluting groundwater across the country, according to new utility data (Climate Progress)
- Trump EPA moves to weaken coal ash waste disposal regulations:
- EPA moves to overhaul Obama-era safeguards on coal ash waste (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The proposal marks a major policy shift with ramifications for both the coal industry and communities across the country... [I]n modeling the rule on 1991 standards for disposal of household trash in solid waste landfills, it would extend how long companies can maintain unlined coal ash ponds and let states alter how frequently they would test for groundwater contamination.
- EPA's Scott Pruitt Just Gutted Rules To Fight The Nation’s ‘Second Biggest Toxic Pollution Threat’ (Huffington Post):
The EPA’s announcement makes no mention of the risks coal ash poses to human health and the environment...“People living near more than a thousand toxic coal ash sites are at risk. They face contaminated drinking water, toxic dust in the air, and serious health threats just because the EPA is choosing to side with polluters over the public.”
- EPA Report: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment of Coal Combustion Wastes [PDF] (EarthJustice)
- Study: Plastic pollution contaminating deep-sea Atlantic fish:
- High levels of microplastics found in Northwest Atlantic fish (Frontiers in Marine Science blog):
[Researchers] found microplastics in the stomachs of nearly three out of every four mesopelagic fish caught in the Northwest Atlantic — one of the highest levels globally. These findings are worrying, as the affected fish could spread microplastics throughout the ocean. The fish are also prey for fish eaten by humans, meaning that microplastics could indirectly contaminate our food supply through the transfer of associated microplastic toxins.
- Over 70% of deep-sea fish have ingested plastic, study finds (Irish Times):
Plastic pollution is affecting marine life in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.
- Seals, Large Percentage of Deep-Sea Fish Contaminated by Microplastics (Oceans Deeply)
- Mumbai moves to ban single-use plastics:
- Maharashtra government set to ban plastic containers, banners, boards, not just bags (Hindustan Times):
In the 2005 deluge in Mumbai, it was found that plastic bags were a major reason why the storm water drains were clogged, leading to floods in several areas.
- Indian State of Maharashtra to go plastic free in March (U.N. World Environment Day):
Starting in March 2018, India’s second most-populous state is set to implement a ban on most types of non-reusable plastics. Maharashtra, which includes Mumbai, India’s biggest city, will roll out a ban that includes single-use plastic bags, flex boards, banners, and disposable containers and utensils. Certain exemptions will be allowed for packaging for food and other goods.
- Hawaii moves on first-ever statewide ban on polystyrene take-out containers:
- Hawaii Moves Toward Ban on Ocean-Polluting Takeout Food Containers (News Deeply):
Hawaii’s legislature is taking action toward the U.S.’ first statewide prohibition on foam packaging, which is toxic to marine life....All plastic debris is a concern for marine and coastal health because it does not biodegrade and can end up polluting beaches and the ocean, where it breaks up into tiny pieces that can be eaten by marine life. Lightweight polystyrene foam is particularly worrisome in an island state such as Hawaii because it easily blows out of trash cans and eventually out to sea.
'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
- Ban Ki-moon: US has caused serious damage to Paris climate efforts (Guardian UK)
- Oil Was Central in Decision to Shrink Bears Ears Monument, Emails Show (NY Times)
- Zinke Yanks Land In Home State Of Montana From Oil And Gas Lease Sale (Washington Post)
- U.S. Flood Insurance Chief Message For All Floridians: You’re at Risk (Miami Herald)
- Environmental Racism: EPA Rejects Alabama Town's Claim On Toxic Landfill (Guardian UK)
- Trump Administration Reverses Promise To Ban Elephant Hunt Trophies (Huffington Post)
- The World Is Embracing S.U.V.s. That’s Bad News for the Climate. (NY Times)
- Why Is Calif. Rebuilding in Fire Country? Because You’re Paying for It (Bloomberg)
- GOP Pushes 80 Anti-Environment Riders, Dark Money Rule Changes in Spending Bill (Inside Climate News)
- Trump nominates Dow Chemical official to lead emergency response to toxic spills (Climate Progress)
- South Australia Is Leading The World In Solar Power Generation (Gizmodo)
- Replacing Clean Power Plan with efficiency focus may still challenge coal (S&P Market Intelligence)
- Washington State's Carbon Tax Bill Dies in Legislature (AP)
- US opens tough Saudi nuclear energy talks, in shadow of Iran deal --- possibly without restrictions on uranium enrichment and reprocessing (Washington Post)
- New analysis finds U.S. taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars in oil and gas well cleanup costs (Center for Western Priorities)
- America's horrifying new plan for animals: highspeed slaughterhouses (Guardian UK)
- Scott Pruitt cited the Bible to defend his oil-friendly policies (Vox)
- Black Lung Disease Comes Storming Back in Coal Country (NY Times)
- 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