IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt still has a job, amid revelations EPA blocked study showing widespread water contamination across U.S.; New studies confirm global warming is rapidly intensifying hurricanes and their rainfall; Entergy paid actors to support power plant bid at Louisiana hearing; PLUS: California adopts landmark new solar building codes... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What Scott Pruitt’s been doing while you weren’t looking; Trump vs. the “Deep State”: How the Administration’s loyalists are quietly reshaping American governance; Pollution exposure in pregnancy linked to high blood pressure in children; Blankenship releases more bizarre ‘Cocaine Mitch’ ads; Farm Bill pesticide provisions are a sneak attack on environment, health; Trump softens call to roll back car emissions standards; Report slams faulty NOAA probe of fisheries observer deaths; Charge dismissed for journalist arrested at DAPL protest, second charge pending; Trump quietly cancels NASA research office verifying greenhouse gas emissions cuts; Rio Grande River may dry up in NM... PLUS: Female scientist who first identified greenhouse-gas effect never got credit... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump White House blocked study showing widespread chemical water contamination:
- White House, EPA headed off chemical pollution study (Politico):
The intervention by Scott Pruitt’s aides came after one White House official warned the findings would cause a ‘public relations nightmare.'...Enck, the former EPA official, said she sees one troubling gap in the emails: They make “no mention of the people who are exposed to PFOA or PFOS, there’s no health concern expressed here.”
- Trump officials worried about 'public relations nightmare' over contaminated drinking water near military bases (CNBC):
The HHS study indicated that the chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, present a risk to health at levels far lower than EPA previously determined. The chemicals have already been found in drinking water and groundwater at levels beyond what EPA says is safe near 126 U.S. military locations.
- Pentagon: Fluorinated Chemicals Taint Water at Scores of Bases, Neighboring Communities (Environmental Working Group)
- EPA Administrator still has a job and support of Trump:
- VIDEO: Mike Pence calls for an end to the Russia investigation, supports Scott Pruitt (Andrea Mitchell Reports, MSNBC)
- Trump Says He Still Has Confidence In Pruitt (The Hill)
- Scott Pruitt requested, received 24/7 security starting on his first day at EPA, contradicting previous claims (Washington Post)
- Grassley may seek EPA head Pruitt’s resignation over ethanol (Washington Post)
- Pruitt’s Dinner With Cardinal Accused of Abuse Was Kept Off Public Schedule (NY Times)
- E.P.A. Emails Show an Effort to Shield Pruitt From Public Scrutiny (NY Times)
- New studies warn hurricanes are intensifying more rapidly, and increasing rainfall capacity:
- Because of climate change, hurricanes are raining harder and may be growing stronger more quickly (Washington Post)
- Hurricane season may be even worse in 2018 after a harrowing 2017 (Guardian UK):
The initial forecasts of an above-average season for hurricanes, beginning on 1 June, follow a punishing spate of storms last year
- Supercharged by global warming, record hot seawater fueled Hurricane Harvey (USA Today):
"We show, for the first time, that the volume of rain over land corresponds to the amount of water evaporated from the unusually warm ocean," said study lead author Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Seawater in the Gulf was nearly 86 degrees, which helped boost Harvey's intense rainfall.
- Puerto Rico nervously prepares for hurricane season, as Army Corps leaves: ‘What if another one comes?’ (NY Times)
- Entergy admits it used paid actors to advocate for natural gas power plant:
- AUDIO: New Orleans Pressured To Reconsider Permit For Power Plant Backed By Paid Actors (NPR):
The meetings were so packed with apparent supporters that many opponents couldn't even get in the room. And that's a problem, says Monique Harden, a lawyer for the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. The group is suing the city over the plant, which is slated for a neighborhood that's largely African-American and Vietnamese.
- Actors were paid to support Entergy's power plant at New Orleans City Council meetings (The Lens NOLA):
Last October, about 50 people in bright orange shirts filed into City Hall for a public hearing on Entergy's request to build a $210 million power plant in eastern New Orleans...At least four of the people in orange shirts were professional actors.
- Entergy confirms actors were paid to support New Orleans power plant, says it was unaware (New Orleans Times-Picayune):
The company, releasing the results of an internal investigation, said a consultant hired to organize "grassroots support" for the power plant had paid the actors to testify.
- Entergy Paid Actor Scandal Widens, Nonprofits Used to Support Gas Plant (Energy and Policy Institute):
It turns out that many of those testifiers, whose advocacy has not come into question, were paid by Entergy too, though those payments had nothing to do with the Hawthorn Group.
- City Council approves construction of controversial Entergy plant in New Orleans East (WGNO)
- California updates building codes to require rooftop solar, energy efficiency:
- California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes (NY Times):
The new requirement, to take effect in two years, brings solar power into the mainstream in a way it has never been until now...State officials and clean-energy advocates say the extra cost to home buyers will be more than made up in lower energy bills. That prospect has won over even the construction industry, which has embraced solar capability as a selling point.
- In a First, California Requires Solar Panels for New Homes. Will Other States Follow? (Inside Climate News):
The rules are projected to add about $30 per month to a typical monthly mortgage payment, but save that same household $80 per month in energy costs, according to the commission...
+ Updated energy efficiency standards, which, combined with solar panels, aims to reduce net electricity use to zero.
+ Ventilation standards to improve indoor air quality.
+ Lighting standards for commercial and industrial buildings, with the goal of reducing energy used for lighting by 30 percent.
- California to require rooftop solar for new homes (Utility Dive)
'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
- What Scott Pruitt’s been doing while you weren’t looking (Center for Public Integrity):
As the public fixates on the EPA chief's travel habits, he's making it easier for industry to pollute.
- Trump vs. the “Deep State”: How the Administration’s loyalists are quietly reshaping American governance. (The New Yorker)
- Troubling link found between pollution exposure in pregnancy, high blood pressure in children (Washington Post)
- A week after losing primary race, Blankenship releases more bizarre ‘Cocaine Mitch’ ads (Climate Progress)
- Analysis: Farm Bill Pesticide Provisions Are Sneak Attack On Environment (Environmental Health News)
- How Solar Panels on a Church Rooftop Broke the Law in N.C. (Inside Climate News)
- Female Scientist Who Identified Greenhouse-Gas Effect Never Got Credit (Quartz)
- Trump, Softening His Tone, Calls for More Talks on Car Emissions (NY Times)
- South Florida Sounds The Alarm Amid Threat Of Rising Sea Levels (Climate Progress)
- Fisheries: Report Slams Faulty NOAA Probe Of Observer Deaths (E&E News)
- Top DOI Official Met With His Former Employer, Koch-Linked Foundation (Pacific Standard)
- 1 Charge Dismissed For Journalist Arrested at DAPL protest, 1 Pending (Bismarck Tribune)
- Trump Admin Quietly Cancels NASA Research Verifying Greenhouse Gas Cuts (Science)
- EPA Signals It Will Ban Toxic Chemical Found In Paint Strippers (Washington Post)
- Rio Grande may dry up through Albuquerque, expert says (KOB Albuquerque)
- Scott Pruitt Plans to Radically Alter How Clean Air Standards Are Set (Inside Climate News)
- How Cape Town was saved from running out of water (Guardian UK)
- Pentagon revised Obama-era report to remove risks from climate change (Washington Post)
- Trump administration axes project to generate power from plutonium (Reuters)
- Old-Boys' Club That Ran Power World Cracking With Its Model (Bloomberg)
- The Last-Ditch Climate Strategy of Total Retreat Is Failing in America (Bloomberg)
- 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)
- Limiting global warming to 1.5C would have 'significant economic benefits (GreenBiz)
- 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