IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA blocks mainstream news outlets from water contamination summit; Texas chemical plant explodes days after EPA rescinds safety rules; Shutting down coal plants delivers immediate benefits to pregnant mothers, babies; Kilauea's lava flow threatens geothermal plant; 10 million gallons of fracking sludge spilled into Wisconsin river; PLUS: National Park Service study on climate change is released, uncensored... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Hitting climate target will save world $30 trillion in damages; Trump Admin joins fossil fuel companies in climate fight against cities; Coyote Carnage: the gruesome truth about wildlife killing contests; New Jersey Governor Murphy signs nuclear plant bill environmentalists opposed; New documents show why EPA chief Scott Pruitt wanted a “campaign-style” media operation; Nuclear waste storage project In New Mexico draws criticism; White House mulled whether to simply ‘ignore’ federal climate research ... PLUS: Pollution turns India's white marble Taj Mahal yellow and green... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Kilauea's lava flow threatens geothermal plant:
- New eruptions at Hawaii volcano send lava closer to geothermal power plant: 'No one has faced this before' (USA Today):
If lava breaches wells, authorities fear it could release hydrogen sulfide, a toxic and flammable gas. Most of the wells have been capped with thick steel plates. Thomas Travis, an administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, has warned that the intense heat could weaken the metal. “That’s why having lava flow across the well causes some uncertainties that have to be dealt with," he said. "To our knowledge, no one has faced this before."
- Workers plugging energy wells at geothermal plant as lava from Hawaii volcano flows nearby(AP):
"Right now, they're in a safe state," Mike Kaleikini, senior director of Hawaii affairs for the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, said of the wells. There also were plans to install metal plugs in the wells as an additional stopgap measure.
- Hawaii volcano generates blue flames from burning methane (AP)
- Wisconsin frac sand sludge spill reaches Mississippi River:
- 10 million gallons of mine sludge turns Trempealeau River orange; officials investigating spill after dramatic rescue (La Crosse Tribune):
State and local authorities are working to determine the environmental impact after about 10 million gallons of sludge was released from a settling pond to rescue a worker at a Trempealeau County frac sand mine.
- Bulldozer operator ‘fine’ after he and machine were submerged (Eu Claire Leader-Telegram)
- EPA blocks reporters from public national water contamination summit:
- EPA again blocks journalists from attending summit: 'They ain't doing the CNN stuff' (CNN):
"Oh, you're not allowed today," a uniformed security guard told a CNN reporter when the journalist presented his credentials. "They ain't doing the CNN stuff. What's this, the press?" Other reporters, including those from Politico and E&E News, a publication that covers the energy and environment, were also turned away at the door.
- For Second Day, Reporters Barred From EPA Event On Toxic Chemicals (Talking Points Memo)
- Media push back against EPA limiting reporters at chemical summit (The Hill)
- The EPA Barred Flint's Representatives From Attending Its Toxic Water Summit (Earther)
- 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.'
- Big question at EPA summit: How many PFAS do we regulate? (MLive):
Catherine McCabe, new commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, had a tongue-in-cheek question for the PFAS panel. Should New Jersey set drinking water standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS --- which the state is poised to roll out --- or wait years for the federal government to establish nationwide standards for the seemingly ubiquitous pollutants?...[S]tates with PFAS drinking water contamination like New York and New Jersey aren't interested in waiting the decade or more one panelist estimated it could take to set new nationwide standards.
- Another chemical plant explosion injures 21 workers in Texas:
- Chemical Safety Board, OSHA investigate Kuraray explosion (Houston Chronicle):
The explosion occurred Saturday morning when part of the plant’s production system leaked ethylene, a highly flammable gas used to make many types of plastics. The release caused an explosion and a flash fire that sent 21 workers to the hospital with burns and other injuries. Eighteen have since been released.
- Workers file lawsuit after suffering injuries in Pasadena plant explosion (KPRC-TV Houston)
- Chemical Safety Board, OSHA investigate Kuraray explosion (Houston Chronicle):
- Pruitt formally rescinds Obama's chemical plant safety rules:
- Frustration in West after EPA does away with chemical plant rules (Austin-American Statesman):
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced proposed rules that will not include many of the Obama administration regulations the agency had proposed in the wake of the explosion, which would have required “user-friendly” information sharing with the public on chemical risks and accidents; the hiring of independent auditors to ensure companies conduct proper risk management planning; and the evaluation of “safer technology and alternatives.”
- Pruitt moves to rescind regulations inspired by West, Tex., chemical explosion that killed 15 (Washington Post)
- National Park Service finally releases climate change study, uncensored:
- Surprise! The Park Service Can Say “Climate Change” After All. They finally released an uncensored report. (Mother JOnes):
Maria Caffrey, the study’s lead scientist, said she was “extremely happy” that it was released intact. “The fight probably destroyed my career with the [National Park Service] but it will be worth it if we can uphold the truth and ensure that scientific integrity of other scientists won’t be challenged so easily in the future,” said Caffrey, a University of Colorado research assistant who had worked on the report for five years.
- AUDIO: National Park Service Publishes Climate Change Report, But Questions Remain About Censorship (KRCC, Colorado Public Radio)
- Shutting down fossil fuel plants benefits pregnant mothers and their babies:
- Premature Birth Rates Drop in California After Coal and Oil Plants Shut Down (Inside Climate News):
Within a year of eight coal- and oil-fired power plant retirements, the rate of preterm births in mothers living close by dropped, finds new study on air pollution.
- Air Pollution Near Power Plants Tied to Premature Births (NY Times)
'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
- Zinke, Burgum tout innovation over regulation at oil conference (Bismarck Tribune)
- New Documents Show Why Scott Pruitt Wanted a “Campaign-Style” Media Operation (Mother Jones)
- Pruitt’s Anti-Climate Agenda Faces New Challenge From Science Advisers (Inside Climate News)
- Nuclear Waste Storage Project In New Mexico Draws Criticism (AP)
- Hitting Climate Target Will Save World $30 Trillion In Damages: Analysis (Guardian UK)
- New Jersey Governor Signs Nuclear Plant Bill Environmentalists Opposed (bloomberg)
- Wyoming Approves Controversial Hunt Of Yellowstone Area Grizzlies (Reuters)
- Coyote Carnage: The Gruesome Truth about Wildlife Killing Contests (Yale e360)
- Norfolk Remaking Itself as Sea Level Rises, but Who'll Be Left Behind? (Inside Climate News)
- Pollution Turns India's White Marble Taj Mahal Yellow And Green (Reuters)
- Trump Admin Joins Fossil Fuel Companies in Climate Fight Against Cities (Inside Climate News)
- Pennsylvania: DEP Revokes Permission To Dump Brine On Dirt Roads (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Pittsburgh and Flint: Privatizing Water Systems May Have Dire Consequences (The Intercept)
- White House Mulled Whether To Simply ‘Ignore’ Federal Climate Research (Washington Post)
- Poll: Nearly Half Of Americans Not Familiar With Pruitt Controversies (The Hill)
- 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