IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Federal watchdogs find EPA violated the law on behalf of embattled Administrator Scott Pruitt; Senate confirms coal industry lobbyist for deputy EPA chief; Global shipping industry reaches first-ever agreement to cut emissions; Interior Department scraps big increases in national park entry fees; PLUS: Tech giants Google and Apple go 100% renewable... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Trump administration clips the wings of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; Kids are suing Gov. Rick Scott to force Florida to take action on climate change; 2 Canada Provinces Feud Over Pipeline; In North Carolina, Hog Waste Is Becoming A Streamlined Fuel Source; Zinke Failed To Disclose Campaign Ties To Speech Host; Shell Defends Climate Strategy In Clash With Investors; Mass. Top Court Refuses to Block Exxon Climate Fraud Investigation... PLUS: San Francisco’s Big Seismic Gamble... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Federal watchdogs report EPA violated the law on behalf of embattled Administrator Scott Pruitt:
- Watchdog reports provide new ammo for Pruitt’s critics (Politico):
The reports say EPA broke the law in building him a $43,000 phone booth and also detail raises given to his top appointees...The IG's office also uncovered several previously unreported raises, some of which were granted using the drinking water authority and others achieved by changing the employees’ job classifications.
- E.P.A. Chief’s $43,000 Phone Booth Broke the Law, Congressional Auditors Say (NY Times):
The agency paid about $24,000 for the phone booth and more than $20,000 to install a drop ceiling, remove closed-circuit television equipment and pour concrete around the booth, according to agency contracts.
- Gowdy expands probe into EPA’s Pruitt (Politico):
The development is a further sign of the deepening bipartisan scrutiny facing President Donald Trump’s environmental chief.
- The 'nightmare is now yours': EPA whistleblower details allegations against Scott Pruitt (CNBC)
- Senators: E.P.A. Files Undercut Pruitt's Need for First-Class Travel (NY Times):
The February assessment described repeated efforts by E.P.A. intelligence officials to tell the agency's inspector general and senior leadership "that 'the threat' to the administrator was being inappropriately mischaracterized" by Mr. Pruitt's security detail,Mr. Whitehouse wrote in the letter, sent jointly with Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat of Delaware.
- Senate confirms coal lobbyist for EPA #2:
- Former Inhofe aide Wheeler confirmed as EPA's No. 2 (CNN)
- Pruitt’s New Deputy: A Coal Lobbyist Steeped in Washington’s Ways (NY Times)
- Coal Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler Hosted Fundraisers for Senators Evaluating His Nomination for Top EPA Post (The Intercept)
- If Scott Pruitt Gets Fired From the EPA, This Coal Lobbyist Will Take His Place (Mother Jones):
It's like "having a tobacco lobbyist heading up the American Lung Association."
- D.C. Report: Inhofe's EPA legacy grows with Wheeler's confirmation (Tulsa World)
- Global Shipping industry reaches first-ever broad emissions agreement:
- Why do we need new rules on shipping emissions? Well, 90 percent of global trade depends on ships. (Washington Post)
- World Agrees to Cut Shipping Emissions 50 Percent by 2050 (Inside Climate News):
The new International Maritime Organization agreement to shrink shipping’s climate impact is a first. Island states facing sea level rise say it's still too weak.
- The shipping industry is finally going to cut its climate change emissions. That’s a big deal. (Washington Post):
But the United States “reserve[d]” its position on the strategy, with Coast Guard official Jeffrey Lantz, who headed the delegation to the London deliberations, saying that the country views “the establishment of an absolute reduction target as premature.” The United States also objected to how responsibilities would be divided between developed and developing countries, and expressed “serious concern about how this document was developed and finalized.”
- Interior announces small increase to national park entrance fees after backlash:
- Public outrage forces Interior to scrap massive increase in park entry fees (Washington Post)
- National Park entrance fees will increase, but only by $5 to $10 (Vox)
- Tech giants Google and Apple announce operations run on 100% renewable energy:
- Google Officially Hits Its 100% Renewable Energy Target (Green Tech Media):
The tech giant’s renewable energy purchases met—and even exceeded—the amount of electricity used in its operations last year.
- Apple is now completely powered by clean energy (CNN):
On Monday, the tech giant announced that all of its retail stores, data centers and corporate offices now run on 100% clean energy. The milestone includes facilities in 43 countries, such as the US, UK, China and India. Overall, Apple uses a variety of clean energy sources, such as solar technology, wind farms and new concepts like biogas fuel cells and micro-hydro generation systems for generating electricity.
- Apple Now Runs On 100% Green Energy, And Here’s How It Got There (Fast Company):
The most important thing about the company’s big renewable push might be that it’s bringing everyone–from suppliers to local utilities–along for the ride.
- Google Sourced 100% Of Its Electricity From Renewable Energy Sources In 2017 (Clean Technica)
'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
- San Francisco’s Big Seismic Gamble (NY Times)
- The Trump administration has officially clipped the wings of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Washington Post)
- Kids are suing Gov. Rick Scott to force Florida to take action on climate change (Miami Herald)
- Urban-Rural Collision as Farm Bill Confounds Vulnerable Calif. GOPers (McClatchy DC)
- 2 Canada Provinces Feud Over Pipeline: Will It Bring Jobs or Spills? (NY Times)
- In North Carolina, Hog Waste Is Becoming A Streamlined Fuel Source (NPR)
- Zinke Failed To Disclose Campaign Ties To Speech Host, IG Says (Politico)
- As Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt Was Big Spender in Small State (The Intercept)
- Shell Defends Climate Strategy In Clash With Investors (Reuters)
- Chemical in Fayetteville’s Tap Water May Cause Cancer (Fayetteville Observer)
- Mass. Top Court Refuses to Block Exxon Climate Fraud Investigation (Inside Climate News)
- Scientists Say Humans Helped Chesapeake Bay Grass Resurgence (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
- Republicans Criticize Spill Of Dam Water To Help Salmon (AP)
- Limiting global warming to 1.5C would have 'significant economic benefits' (Carbon Brief)
- Six Virunga Park Rangers Killed In DRC Wildlife Sanctuary (Guardian UK)
- How Warming Climate Will Turn Boundary Waters Into A Barren Grassland (MPR News)
- Limiting global warming to 1.5C would have 'significant economic benefits (GreenBiz)
- Univ. of New South Wales launches 'world-first' e-waste microfactory (ZDNet)
- 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