IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Whistleblower says EPA chief Pruitt lied to Congress; Trump Administration's launches new effort to roll back fuel economy standards; Australia pledges of millions of dollars in bid to rescue Great Barrier Reef; PLUS: The U.S. now has its first-ever climate science denying Secretary of State... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate change will leave many Pacific islands uninhabitable by mid-century; House panel to interview EPA chief Scott Pruitt's former head of security in conduct probe; Pruitt's EPA is on the verge of 'regulatory capture', study says; Electric buses are coming, and they’re going to help fix 4 big urban problems; New York to electrify complete bus fleet; EPA grants ‘financial hardship’ waiver to oil refinery owned by billionaire, Trump confidant; The world’s bleak climate situation, in 3 charts; n the fate of the California Delta smelt, warnings of conservation gone wrong; In Cities v. Fossil Fuels, Exxon’s allies want the accusers investigated; U.S. Supreme Court rejects Constitution Pipeline over New York permit; Russia launches floating nuclear power plant, now headed to the Arctic... PLUS: It’s time to think seriously about cutting off the supply of fossil fuels... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Whistleblower alleges EPA chief Pruitt lied to Congress about employee retaliation:
- VIDEO: EXCLUSIVE: EPA whistleblower says Pruitt 'lied' to Congress (ABC News):
In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Kyra Phillips, former deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski said he was "100 percent" forced out after raising concerns about Pruitt's spending on first-class travel.
- Ex-EPA Deputy Chief of Staff: Pruitt ‘Bold-Faced’ Lied to Congress (Daily Beast):
“And I kinda got in trouble behind closed doors for not signing that. Just Kevin, ‘Sign it. You know, be done with it.’ And the last thing I was doing was signing off on that.” According to Chmielewski, chief of staff Ryan Jackson told him that Pruitt either wanted him fired or placed where he “doesn't have to see [him] again.”
- Internal documents question EPA justification for Pruitt's security spending (ABC News)
- Former EPA Staffer Says Pruitt Lied To Congress About Retaliating Against Him (Talking Points Memo)
- Koch's Rep. Mike Pompeo confirmed as US climate science-denying Sec. of State:
- Senate Confirms Pompeo as Trump's Secretary of State (Bloomberg):
"In regards to Iran, Mr. Pompeo would isolate us from our European allies," said Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. "With regards to the Paris climate talks, he would isolate us from the rest of the world."
- VIDEO: Pompeo supports US withdrawal from the Paris climate deal (CNN)
- The Koch Brothers Get Their Very Own Secretary of State (The Nation)
- Trump's pick for CIA director tried to weasel out of questions on climate change. (Grist)
- Mike Pompeo, Climate Policy Foe, Picked to Replace Tillerson as Secretary of State (Inside Climate News)
- Dem Senators Scrutinize Koch Brothers' 'Infiltration' Of Trump Team (Guardian UK)
- Trump DOT and EPA develop plan to weaken fuel economy standards:
- E.P.A. Readies Plan to Weaken Rules That Require Cars to Be Cleaner (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The preferred course of action would freeze fuel-economy standards at 2020 levels for both cars and light trucks, greatly slowing progress in reducing auto emissions. The proposal also challenges California's authority to impose its own vehicle standards...a decision that could effectively split the United States into two auto markets and set up a messy legal battle.
- As gas prices soar, Trump wants Americans to spend $100 billion more on driving (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
[T]he Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Transportation Department will soon be sending the White House a proposal to roll-back Obama-era fuel economy standards. And these standards would result in nearly $100 billion in higher costs for U.S. drivers in the coming years...The savings from the standards put in place by Obama are so significant that the EPA calculates "consumers who finance their vehicle with a 5-year loan would see payback within the first year."
- The EPA is rolling back fuel efficiency standards (Vox):
Weakening greenhouse gas targets for cars and trucks will help the dirtiest manufacturers while hurting the cleanest.
- Michelle Wolf forces sensitive DC media to remember Flint Water Crisis:
- The most damning line from the Correspondents' Dinner? 'Flint still doesn't have clean water' (CNN)
- VIDEO: Michelle Wolf complete remarks at 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner (C-SPAN)
- Michelle Wolf’s caustic comedy routine at the White House correspondents’ dinner, annotated (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: The Michelle Wolf White House Correspondents’ Dinner controversy, explained (Vox)
- Michelle Wolf Was Right About the Flint Water Crisis (Earther):
Case in point: On Monday, just two days after Wolf’s remarks, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver called on the Environmental Protection Agency to intervene and force Michigan to restart regular meetings as part of a Flint water advisory group...You know things are desperate when Weaver is calling on Administrator Scott Pruitt’s EPA to do something.
- Michelle Wolf’s ‘mic drop’ on Flint was dead serious (Op-ed, Boston Globe) [emphasis added]:
what should have been the main takeaway of the whole affair was a line that Wolf saved for the kicker, appropriately. “Flint still doesn’t have clean water,” she said. But instead of focusing on Flint, Mich., media Twitter accounts were brimming with angst about Wolf’s brand of humor. The hyperbole is particularly disingenuous when it comes from conservatives who have consistently tolerated a vulgar, bullying president. But tough love from a comedian whose job was to speak truth to power, and get some laughs in the process? An outrage.
- Australia's big funding effort to rescue its Great Barrier Reef:
- VIDEO: Great Barrier Reef to get $500m to tackle pollution and breed more resilient coral (ABC Australia):
The funding will go towards improving water quality, tackling the crown-of-thorns starfish, and expanding reef restoration. It will also help develop coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress..."So unless it comes up with a strong policy, to slash our carbon pollution, stop the Adani coal mine and rapidly shift Australia to renewable energy, we will not see a future for the reef."
- Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching could cost $1b in lost tourism, research suggests (ABC Australia)
- Australia Pledges Millions of Dollars in Bid to Rescue Great Barrier Reef (NY Times)
- Since 2016, Half of All Coral in the Great Barrier Reef Has Died (The Atlantic):
A new study warns it has become a "highly altered, degraded system."...After inspecting every one of its reefs, and surveying them on an almost species-by-species basis, the paper reports that vast swaths of the Great Barrier Reef were permanently transformed in the summer of 2016.
'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
- Climate Change Will Leave Many Pacific Islands Uninhabitable by Mid-Century, Study Says (Inside Climate News)
- House panel expected to interview EPA chief Scott Pruitt's former head of security in conduct probe (ABC News)
- Pruitt's EPA Is on the Verge of 'Regulatory Capture', Study Says (Inside Climate News)
- New York to electrify complete bus fleet (Electrive)
- Electric buses are coming, and they’re going to help fix 4 big urban problems (Vox)
- EPA grants ‘financial hardship’ waiver to oil refinery owned by billionaire, Trump confidant (Climate Progress)
- The world’s bleak climate situation, in 3 charts: We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there. (Vox)
- In the Fate of the California Delta Smelt, Warnings of Conservation Gone Wrong (UnDark)
- It’s time to think seriously about cutting off the supply of fossil fuels (Vox)
- Utilities, oil interests clash over EV policy at conservative policy summit (Utility Dive)
- Contura, Alpha to merge, creating largest U.S. met coal producer (Reuters)
- Don Blankenship’s Mine Took This Man’s Son, Brother And Nephew. Now Blankenship Wants His Vote (Huffington Post)
- In Cities v. Fossil Fuels, Exxon’s Allies Want the Accusers Investigated (Inside Climate News)
- U.S. Top Court Rejects Constitution Pipeline Over New York Permit (Reuters)
- Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Power Plant; It's Headed To The Arctic (NPR)
- EU Agrees Total Ban On Bee-Harming Pesticides (Guardian UK)
- Flint Mayor Asks EPA To Re-Start Water Meetings Cancelled By State (Flint Journal)
- Feathers Ruffled Over Oil Development in Sage Grouse Habitat (Courthouse News)
- US Seeks Revision Of Rule On Offshore Oil Wells Made After BP Disaster (Reuters)
- Here's what happens when you tell people the scientific consensus on climate change: You can turn red states green (Climate Progress)
- Limiting global warming to 1.5C would have 'significant economic benefits (GreenBiz)
- 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