IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hurricane Harvey's toxic legacy much worse than publicly revealed; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt gives another gift to the U.S. auto industry; PLUS: Massive omnibus bill has surprisingly good news for national parks, firefighting, and a tiny village in Alaska... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico will take decades to recover from farm pollution; These Climate Pollutants Don't Last Long, But They’re Wreaking Havoc on the Arctic; New Study Finds Children's Blood Lead Levels In Flint Are Declining; Interior Department Denies Ryan Zinke Told Staff ‘Diversity Isn’t Important; U.S. Asks China Not To Implement Ban On Foreign Garbage; Why Climate Change Skeptics Are Backing Geoengineering; 5 electric cars tested in cold Norwegian winter... PLUS: Scott Pruitt’s Dirty Politics: How the Environmental Protection Agency became the fossil-fuel industry’s best friend... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Gina McCarthy on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: “All Out Attack on Science” (Climate Crocks)
- VIDEO: Hurricane Harvey's toxic impact deeper than public told (Houston Chronicle):
More than a half-year after floodwaters swamped America's fourth-largest city, the extent of this environmental assault is beginning to surface, while questions about the long-term consequences for human health remain unanswered.
County, state and federal records pieced together by The Associated Press and The Houston Chronicle reveal a far more widespread toxic impact than authorities publicly reported after the storm slammed into the Texas coast in late August and then stalled over the Houston area.
- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt gives another deregulation gift to the auto industry:
- Trump to allow more car pollution. But by how much? (E&E News):
President Trump is poised to relax rules affecting tailpipe emissions in millions of U.S. cars, marking one of his most forceful moves against pollution standards since taking office...It will take months before officials decide the full extent of the changes, but the coming announcement means that Americans can expect their new cars to burn more fuel per mile than what was promised by the previous administration. Former President Obama's ambitious real-world target of 36 mpg by 2025 is headed for the trash bin.
- VIDEO: EPA Chief Signals Showdown With California on Fuel Emission Standards (Bloomberg)
- Pruitt touts states' rights. What about California? (E&E News):
California can call for a tighter emissions standard through the Clean Air Act administered by EPA. Congress gave it that right because its unique topography and population density contribute to smoggy skies. But fuel economy, administered by the Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is a technology standard, not an air quality one.
- EPA’s Pruitt says ‘California is not the arbiter’ of the nation’s emissions standards (Washington Post)
- Pruitt won't let California set emission standards; EPA not looking at post-2025 rules (Green Car Reports)
- Zinke's public lands advisory panel made up solely of industry representatives:
- Zinke creates new outdoor recreation panel made up entirely of industry advisers (Washington Post):
Kate Kelly, director for public lands at the liberal Center for American Progress, questioned why Interior would establish an advisory panel comprising entirely members who had a financial interest in the department’s policy decisions.
“This is less of an advisory committee on outdoor recreation and more of an echo chamber for how public lands can be tools for private profit,” she said. “The group seems to have been handpicked to cheerlead for more motorized use of public lands, more roads through the backcountry and more taxpayer-subsidies for hotels chains operating in the national parks."
- Ryan Zinke Is Trump's Attack Dog on the Environment (Outside Online)
- Zinke's Plan to Fund the Park Service Is Pure Fantasy (Outside Online):
The Secretary of the Interior's idea to support public lands with oil and mining leases isn't just wrongheaded—the numbers don't add up.
- Omnibus budget bill: good news for EPA, firefighting, national parks:
- $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill Passes After GOP Drops Anti-Environment Riders (Inside Climate News):
Congressional negotiators also rejected Trump's deep cuts to EPA and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy...
- Omnibus Would Bring Millions To National Park Service (National Parks Traveler)
- Winners, losers in omnibus bill: EPA funding stands at $8.1b, Lawmakers get wildfire funding fix (The Hill)
- Trump Wants to Cut Clean Energy. Congress, Fearful of Green Majority, Says yeah..No (Climate Crocks)
- Tiny Newtok, Alaska receives funding to move to higher ground:
- In Alaska, a town threatened by climate change gets federal funding to relocate (Climate Progress):
The village of Newtok has been trying relocate to safer ground for decades...A number of obstacles complicate the move: government agencies that provide funding for housing won’t build in areas that don’t have infrastructure, and agencies that fund infrastructure won’t build where there are no homes. The hope is that the boost in funding to the Denali Commission will break this cycle.
- Congress poised to approve $15M for village relocation in Alaska (KTOO Public Radio)
- FEMA is buying homes in this Alaskan town because climate change (Vice):
But this week things started to look a little better for the community, when FEMA and Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management approved a $1.7 million grant package. The grant will buy out seven households, allowing a total of more than 50 of the community’s 400 residents to move.
'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
- Scott Pruitt’s Dirty Politics: How the Environmental Protection Agency became the fossil-fuel industry’s best friend. (The New Yorker)
- These Climate Pollutants Don't Last Long, But They’re Wreaking Havoc on the Arctic (Inside Climate News)
- 'Dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico will take decades to recover from farm pollution (Guardian UK)
- Arctic Sea Ice Missed a Record Low This Winter. Barely. (Inside Climate News)
- A New Study Finds Children's Blood Lead Levels In Flint Are Declining (Michigan Radio)
- Simpler, Faster, Cheaper. New Solar Racking Leapfrogs Solar Tariffs (Climate Crocks)
- Interior Department Denies Ryan Zinke Told Staff ‘Diversity Isn’t Important (Huffington Post)
- U.S. Asks China Not To Implement Ban On Foreign Garbage (Reuters)
- Threat From Cyber Hackers Is Growing, U.S. Grid Regulator Says (Bloomberg)
- What on Earth? Why Climate Change Skeptics Are Backing Geoengineering (Reveal)
- Dispersants Can Turn Oil Spills Into Toxic Mist, Research Shows (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
- Taxpayers To Foot Bill For Toxic Waste At River Refuge (Detroit News)
- Car companies hire climate science denier to do hit job on clean cars: GM, Ford, and Toyota lobby for dirtier cars while touting cleaner ones (Climate Progress)
- Five electric cars tested in cold Norwegian winter: how did they do? (Green Car Reports)
- Last Three Years Hottest On Record, Severe Weather Hits 2018: U.N. (Reuters)
- Empty half the Earth of its humans. It's the only way to save the planet (Kim Stanley Robinson op-ed, Guardian UK)
- Tougher Climate Policies Could Save 150 Million Lives, Researchers Find (Washington Post)
- 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