IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The impacts of Hurricane Florence ain't over yet, with new evacuations underway; As predicted, Florence flooding spills toxic coal ash waste in North Carolina; National TV media failed to connect the dots between Florence's impacts and climate change; PLUS: Endangered species and more hang in the balance as Republicans rush to get their nominee onto the U.S. Supreme Court... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Kavanaugh confirmation fight is also about the future of economic and environmental regulations; At this rate, Earth risks sea level rise of 20 to 30 feet, historical analysis shows; Hurricane Florence blows hole in Trump team's case for helping coal and nuclear power; ARPA-e seeks an energy holy grail: long-term energy storage; Super Typhoon Trami explodes in strength on its way toward Taiwan; Will Florence force a hog waste reckoning in N.C.?; Donald Trump called himself an environmentalist; Federal judge restores grizzly protections, canceling bear hunt; National parks are getting hotter and drier. What’s the outlook for 2100?... PLUS: The fracking industry's water nightmare is coming true... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Hurricane Florence's impacts ain't over yet, by a long shot:
- Florence is nation's second wettest storm, behind Harvey (AP)
- ‘You need to leave’: Georgetown starts to see flooding, warns of major road closures (Myrtle Beach Online)
- 11 Days After Florence, South Carolinians Are Bracing For The Worst (Huffington Post)
- Fish tale: Thousands of carcasses power-washed off North Carolina roads (USA Today)
- Dam breach sends toxic coal ash flowing into a major North Carolina river (Washington Post)
- Duke Energy says coal ash isn’t contaminating Cape Fear River; state awaits its own tests (Charlotte News Observer):
Kemp Burdette of Cape Fear River Watch, reached by phone Sunday, said he didn’t know when the group will get results back. “Keep in mind, Duke sent their samples to their in-house lab,” said Burdette, the Cape Fear Riverkeeper. “Until you have a third-party analysis, any analysis should be taken with a grain of salt.”
- NASA can see dark, polluted Carolina rivers spilling into the ocean from space (Charlotte News Observer)
- Charlotte Shows How to Beat Flooding (Bloomberg):
Long before Florence, the city’s buyout program was helping residents leave flood-prone areas.
- Corporate TV media mostly failed to connect Florence's extremes to climate change:
- National TV news is still failing to properly incorporate climate change into hurricane coverage (Media Matters):
ABC did not mention climate at all during Florence, while CBS, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC did worse than last year during Harvey.
- Trump Admin. PHMSA rolls back oil train safety regulations:
- Trump Officials Just Killed A Safety Rule For Trains Carrying Oil (Buzzfeed):
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced the rule reversal online, citing an updated federal analysis that found the high costs of implementation outweighed the benefits...After the 2015 rule was finalized, giving oil-carrying trains until at least 2021 to install the new brake technology, Congress called for an updated analysis on its costs and benefits. Trump officials did that study and concluded in late 2017 that the brake requirements “are not economically justified.”
- Trump officials roll back Obama oil train safety rule (The Hill):
“Despite the additional testing and modeling, we still believe that there is insufficient data demonstrating that ECP braking systems provide a demonstrable increase in safety over other more widely used braking systems,” the American Petroleum Institute told the PHMSA after it proposed Monday’s action in December.
- Trump Rolls Back Train-Braking Rule Meant to Keep Oil Tankers from Exploding Near Communities (Fortune)
- Republicans panic to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, with important environmental cases ahead:
- AUDIO: Slate's Mark Joseph Stern on New Allegations Against Kavanaugh: 'BradCast' 9/24/2018 (The BRAD BLOG)
- The Court Without Kavanaugh (Mark Joseph Stern, Slate):
The key cases that will be affected if Trump’s nominee doesn’t get confirmed in September.
- High stakes for environmental law as new term launches (E&E News):
"This term is going to be more of a blockbuster, clearly, than last term in terms of environmental and energy law," University of Colorado law professor Sharon Jacobs said. In addition to the ESA case, the court will hear disputes over property rights, uranium mining and public lands management. The term will also feature nonenvironmental litigation over executive branch power that could have spillover effects across many agencies.
- Argument preview: Justices to consider critical-habitat designation for endangered frog (SCOTUS Blog)
- Court orders Trump Admin. to enforce chemical plant safety rule:
- U.S. court orders Trump administration to enforce chemical safety rule (Reuters):
The court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Chemical Disaster Rule, saying the agency did not have authority to delay the rule for 20 months.
- Court orders EPA to implement Obama chemical plant rule (The Hill):
The order comes after the same court in August ruled that the Trump administration unlawfully delayed the rule written in the final days of the Obama administration...“[T]here is no textual basis for EPA’s current interpretation” of the law. Usually the court would allow 52 days for the EPA to consider appealing the order and plan out how to implement the rule, which would have put it on Oct. 8. But the groups supporting the regulation argued that it can’t wait.
- Cleveland, OH becomes newest major city to commit to 100% renewable electricity:
- 100% Renewable Energy: Cleveland Sets a Big Goal as It Sheds Its Fossil Fuel Past (Inside Climate News):
The plan stands out in a state that in recent years has been more inclined to roll back clean energy rules than strengthen them, and in a territory served by FirstEnergy, which has been a leading burner of fossil fuels. City officials announced the 100 percent renewable power target Thursday as they released an update to Cleveland's climate action plan, which aims to reduce greenhouses gases to 80 percent below the 2010 level by 2050.
- Local solar at the heart of Cleveland’s 100% renewable energy goal (PV Magazine)
'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
- The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight is also about the future of the economy: His jurisprudence would render economic and environmental regulation nearly impossible. (Vox)
- At this rate, Earth risks sea level rise of 20 to 30 feet, historical analysis shows (Washington Post)
- The Energy 202: Hurricane Florence blows hole in Trump team's case for helping coal and nuclear power, critics say (Washington Post)
- A tiny, beleaguered government agency seeks an energy holy grail: long-term energy storage (Vox)
- The Fracking Industry’s Water Nightmare (DeSmog Blog)
- Super Typhoon Trami explodes in strength on its way toward Taiwan (Washington Post)
- Donald Trump just called himself an environmentalist. Wait, what? (Grist)
- Will storm force a hog waste reckoning in N.C.? (E&E News)
- National parks are getting hotter and drier. What’s the outlook for 2100? (Miami Herald)
- Federal judge restores grizzly protections, canceling bear hunt (NBC News)
- Northern Indiana utility ditching coal in favor of renewable energy in next 10 years (Indiana Star)
- Appeals court reverses Tennessee coal ash cleanup order (AP)
- A Global Shift To Sustainability Would Save Us $26 Trillion (Vox)
- Project Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming (Drawdown.org)
- An Optimist's Guide to Solving Climate Change and Saving the World (Vice)
- 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)
- 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