IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Whistleblower says EPA chief Scott Pruitt kept secret calendar to hide industry meetings; Minnesota regulators approve controversial new tar sands pipeline; Record overnight heat temperatures in Oman, drought-fueled riots in Iran; PLUS: Rhode Island becomes first U.S. state to sue fossil fuel companies for knowingly contributing to climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Big Oil, utilities are lining up for an electric vehicle war; China carbon emissions in retreat after 'structural break' in economy; China carbon emissions in retreat after 'structural break' in economy; Solar is saving low-income households money in Colorado, and could be a national model; Alaska Gov. Walker urges suspension of Pebble Mine project; U.S. Navy is taking climate change seriously; Seattle becomes first major U.S. city to ban straws; Mexico’s new president promises more nationalistic energy approach; China has refused to recycle the West's plastics. What now? ... PLUS: Decarbonizing the not so low hanging fruit... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Whistleblower: EPA chief Pruitt kept secret calendar to conceal industry meetings:
- Updated: A Guide to the Scott Pruitt Investigations (Bloomberg)
- Pruitt aides reveal new details of his spending and management at EPA (Washington Post):
The interviews conducted by staffers for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee late last week shed new light on the EPA administrator’s willingness to leverage his position for his personal benefit and to ignore warnings even from allies about potential ethical issues...
- VIDEO: Whistleblower: EPA's Pruitt kept secret calendar to hide meetings (CNN):
"We would have meetings what we were going to take off on the official schedule. We had at one point three different schedules. One of them was one that no one else saw except three or four of us," Chmielewski told CNN. "It was a secret ... and they would decide what to nix from the public calendar."
- How will Pruitt exit? Riding high unless Trump fires him (E&E News)
- Top EPA ethics official discloses that he has urged additional investigations into Scott Pruitt (Washington Post)
- Oman breaks world record for hottest overnight low temperature:
- A Minimum Temperature of 42.6 °C (108.7 °F) in Oman on June 26, 2018: a New World Record (Weather Underground):
[T]he previous high-minimum temperature record for any 24-hour period was 41.9°C (107.4°F), set at nearby Khassab Airport in Oman on June 27, 2011....With sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Oman at 32°C (90°F), about 1°C (1.8°F) above average for this time of year, these waters were warm enough to allow the city to set the new all-time high minimum temperature record.
- A city in Oman just posted the world’s hottest low temperature ever recorded: 109 degrees (Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post):
Over a period of 24 hours, the temperature in the coastal city of Quriyat, Oman, never dropped below 108.7 degrees (42.6 Celsius) Tuesday, most likely the highest minimum temperature ever observed on Earth...For example, in nearly 150 years of weather records, Washington, D.C.’s high temperature has never exceeded 106 degrees.
- A city in Oman may have just had the hottest night ever recorded on Earth (USA Today)M/li>
- Iran: Drought-fueled riots over water scarcity:
- Gunfire, clashes amid Iran protests over water scarcity (AP):
[R]esidents of the predominantly Arab city near the border with Iraq complain of salty, muddy water coming out of their taps amid a yearslong drought...“Although Iran has a history of drought, over the last decade, Iran has experienced its most prolonged, extensive and severe drought in over 30 years,” said a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Some 230 people were poisoned in Khuzestan province after a 20-hour water outage in Ramhormoz county led to drinking water not being chlorinated, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday. The protests did not appear to be linked to the poisoning.
- Several injured during Iran water protests (AFP):
The unrest erupted after some 500 people, mostly youth, gathered at a main square in the city to protest against pollution that is seeping into the city's drinking water network, IRNA reported.
- Minnesota: Regulators approve permit for controversial Enbridge 3 tar sands pipeline:
- Controversial Enbridge Line 3 Oil Pipeline Approved in Minnesota Wild Rice Region (Inside Climate News):
The "certificate of need" granted Thursday by the state's Public Utility Commission greenlights a replacement for Enbridge's Line 3, a 1,000-mile pipeline that runs from Hardistry, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. The new Line 3 will have an initial capacity about twice that of the current pipeline, and that volume could be increased and also allow for other increases elsewhere in Enbridge's cross-border pipeline network.
- Minnesota approves Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline project (AP):
All five members of the Public Utilities Commission backed the project, though some cited heavy trepidation, and a narrow majority later approved the company’s preferred route despite opposition from American Indian tribes and climate change activists...Several commissioners said the issue was difficult. Chairwoman Nancy Lange choked up and took off her glasses to wipe her eyes as she described her reasoning for approving the project. Another commissioner, Katie Sieben, said it was “so tough because there is no good outcome.”
- VIDEO: Winona LaDuke of Honor The Earth, following today's approval of Line 3 (Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light twitter feed):
"What I will tell you is we are not backing down... We have been here for 10,000 years. We're the home team, and we're not going anywhere."
- Protesters continue fight to stop Line 3 oil pipeline in Minnesota (MPR News)
- Mass protests could follow approval of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline project (Wisconsin Gazette)
- Minnesota Commerce Department recommends against Line 3 plan (AP, 9/12/2017)
- California: USFS offers Nestle new permit to withdraw millions of gallons of water for cheap:
- US allows Nestle to keep taking water from California forest (AP):
The offer announced by the U.S. Forest Service allows Nestle Waters North America, the biggest bottled-water company in the nation, to keep piping water from the Strawberry Creek watershed that it’s tapped for decades...The company, a division of the Swiss food giant, took about 32 million gallons of water from wells and water collection tunnels in the forest in 2016. It contends that it inherited rights to forest water dating back more than a century.
- VIDEO: Nestlé granted three-year permit to keep piping water out of California national forest (Desert Sun):
The Forest Service took up the matter in 2015 after a Desert Sun investigation revealed Nestlé was piping water out of the mountains under a permit that listed 1988 as the expiration date. The revelation that officials had allowed the company to use the permit without a review for 27 years generated an outpouring of opposition and prompted the permit review, as well as a lawsuit by environmental groups and an investigation by California regulators.
- Nestlé Offered Permit To Continue Taking Water From California Watershed (NPR)
- Bottling water without scrutiny: Companies tapping springs and aquifers in California with little oversight (Desert Sun, 3/8/2015)
- Environmental groups, Forest Service reach settlement on Nestlé water permit lawsuit (Desert Sun, 6/7/2018):
Ultimately though, Anderson said her organization wants Nestlé out, and she hopes the settlement could be a first step in a process that leads to shutting down the company’s operation. “What we hope for is that they’ll deny it,” she said.
- Rhode Island becomes first U.S. state to sue fossil fuel industry over climate damage:
- Rhode Island Sues Oil Companies Over Climate Change, First State to Do So (Inside Climate News) [emphasis added]:
"Big oil knew for decades that greenhouse gas pollution from their operations and their products were having a significant and detrimental impact on the earth's climate," [state Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin] said. "Instead of working to reduce that harm, these companies chose to conceal the dangers, undermine public support for greenhouse gas regulation and engage in massive campaigns to promote the ever increasing use of their products and ever increasing revenues in their pockets."...The lawsuit [pdf]...names 14 oil and gas companies and some of their affiliates, saying they created conditions that constitute a public nuisance under state law and failed to warn the public and regulators of a risk they were well aware of.
- Rhode Island sues major oil companies over climate change (Reuters)
- R.I. AG sues fossil-fuel companies over alleged role in climate change (Providence Journal)
- Here's why the Bay Area lost its lawsuit against Big Oil (Grist)
- RI Officials Release First-Ever Statewide Plan For Responding To Climate Change (RI Public Radio)
'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
- Decarbonizing the not so low hanging fruit (Science Blogs)
- Big Oil, Utilities are Lining Up for an Electric Vehicle War (Bloomberg)
- China carbon emissions in retreat after 'structural break' in economy (Reuters)
- Solar Is Saving Low-Income Households Money in Colorado. It Could Be a National Model. (Inside Climate News)
- Alaska Gov. Walker urges suspension of Pebble Mine project (KTVA Anchorage)
- Trump’s denial aside, the Navy is taking climate change seriously (USA Today)
- This Mine Threatens America’s Largest Wild Salmon Run (Mother Jones)
- Costs of Trump’s Coal and Nuclear Bailout Proposal Remain a Mystery (Houston Chronicle)
- Carbon Fee Likely Headed to Voters in Washington State, and the Fight Is Heating Up (Seattle Times
- Seattle becomes first major U.S. city to ban straws (Washington Post)
- Anthony Kennedy’s Betrayal of the Planet (Washington Monthly)
- VIDEO: Teacher Confronts Scott Pruitt at Lunch, Urges Him to Resign (Daily Beast)
- Smog rules: Utah producers scored under Pruitt (Politico)
- Hawaii Soon To Ban Your Favorite Sunscreen To Protect Its Coral Reefs (Washington Post)
- Mexico’s New President Promises More Nationalistic Energy Approach (Bloomberg)
- China Has Refused To Recycle The West's Plastics. What Now? (NPR)
- IG Will Review Zinke’s Role In Land Deal Backed By Halliburton Chairman (Washington Post)
- Justice Kennedy's Retirement Could Reshape the Environment (The Atlantic)
- The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. (Politico)
- 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)
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: