IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: GNR Special Coverage --- Big wins and losses for the environment in the 2018 midterm elections; Science to return to the U.S. House Science Committee; PLUS: Big Oil's big money overwhelms state energy ballot initiatives... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The First Climate Election; Federal jury sides with sickened workers and families in Tennessee coal ash cleanup case; Voters rejected most ballot measures aimed at curbing climate change; The nation just elected a bunch of governors who campaigned on clean energy; Science candidates prevail in US midterm elections; What I learnt pulling a straw out of a turtle's nose; UN says Earth’s ozone layer is healing; After Hurricane Michael, toxic algae has again spread; Is warming bringing a wave of new diseases to Arctic wildlife?... PLUS: The left vs. a carbon tax: The odd, agonizing political battle playing out in Washington state... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Democrats win control of the US House, putting brakes on Trump's agenda:
- Retaking House, Democrats Cast Their Eyes on Environmental Oversight (Morning Consult):
But voters most hope to see congressional action on weather-resilient infrastructure, water and emissions...Democratic aides in Congress largely agreed that the most their party can hope for is shedding light on any missteps they see from the Trump administration on policy or implementation...Another of voters' top energy and environment priorities is for Congress to bring greater oversight to the Trump administration's actions in that area.
- Science Returns to the House (Mother Jones):
The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology may finally live up to its name...Johnson has already laid out her priorities for the future of the committee should she become chair. They include "defending the scientific enterprise from political and ideological attacks, and challenging misguided or harmful Administration actions." Another priority will be to acknowledge climate change is real "and working to understand the ways we can mitigate it."
- In Washington, politics around oil, climate change in flux (Houston Chronicle):
After almost a decade of oil-friendly Republicans controlling Congress, the energy sector faced a dramatically different political landscape Wednesday.
- Democrats to Target Trump Environmental Rollbacks (Bloomberg)
- Scientist vying to replace climate denier Lamar Smith loses to former Ted Cruz chief of staff (Climate Progress)
- Bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus falls apart:
- House climate caucus loses its Republican co-founder and almost half its GOP members (Climate Progress):
Several Republicans who joined the House Climate Solutions Caucus in the run-up to this year's midterm elections - yet had poor voting records on climate and the environment - lost their bids to return to Congress, according to the latest voting results from Tuesday's midterm elections.
- Is Climate Bipartisanship Dead? (New Republic):
Tuesday's elections wiped out moderate House Republicans on the Climate Solutions Caucus, but the group's organizer insists it will recover.
- Congress' Bipartisan Coalition to Tackle Climate Change Just Collapsed (Earther)
- Big Oil's big money won big in state ballot initiatives:
- Fossil fuel money crushed clean energy ballot initiatives across the country (David Roberts, Vox):
For the most part, they did not go well for fans of clean energy. The ones that utilities and oil and gas companies mobilized and spent big against lost. After being boxed out of climate and energy policy at the federal level, the left has turned to states, but at least last night, the states did not deliver much good news.
- How Big Oil Money Killed Green Ballot Measures (Earther):
All told, roughly $100 million was deployed in the interest of staving off these regulations, and the investment paid dividends for the opponents at the expense of the climate..."It is almost always easier to oppose than propose, because people are inherently risk averse," Ed Maibach, the head of George Mason's Center for Climate Change Communication, told Earther..."In the end, the opponents to these measures had the advantage of being able to purchase lots of advertising to get their simple, clear messages out to voters."
- Energy companies triumph by defeating carbon, fracking initiatives (Houston Chronicle):
The oil and gas industry poured millions of dollars into campaigns aimed at defeating the measures, which had the potential to cost energy companies billions of dollars. In addition, had the measures been approved, they may well have spurred environmentalists in other states to launch similar initiatives, analysts said..."That is honestly not an if, but a when," said Curtright, a senior scientist at RAND. "At some point, direct or indirect, there will be a market signal for greenhouse gases."
- Colorado voters reject fracking buffer zones, and sneaky oil and gas amendment:
- Prop 112 fails, but big vote total signals oil and gas setbacks will be headed to the statehouse (Colorado Sun):
Industry spent $40 million fighting the measure and is reluctant to face a rematch in 2020.
- Q & A: Gov.-elect Jared Polis, after Prop 112 defeat, talks drilling setbacks (Denver Post)
- Oil drilling stocks surge after Colorado voters reject restrictions on industry (CNBC)
- Energy Giants Choose Nuclear Option in Election's Biggest Fight Over Fossil Fuel (David Sirota, Capitol and Main):
Colorado's amendment is a radical model that could block all future state efforts to reduce fossil fuel extraction, carbon pollution, vehicle emissions and climate change...[I]t will radically alter the law to give oil and gas companies more power to sue state and local governments for property losses if those governments restrict or regulate fossil fuel exploration for any reason: health, safety, climate change - anything.
- Amendment 74, with its private property mandates, goes down to defeat (Denver Post)
- Alaska votes down Measure 1 protecting salmon fisheries:
- Alaska voters strike down 'Stand for Salmon' ballot initiative (KTOO-Anchorage)
- Map: How Alaskans voted on Stand for Salmon initiative (Anchorage Daily News)
- Deciding where to stand on Proposition 1: Ballot initiative raises questions about salmon, economy, Alaska's future (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
- Mike Dunleavy elected governor of Alaska: rare 2018 pickup for Republicans (Vox)
- Big Oil crushes Washington State carbon tax Initiative 1631:
- Washington state voters reject carbon-fee initiative (Seattle Times)
- Washington votes no on a carbon tax - again (Vox)
- A Carbon Tax Is Pretty Much Inevitable, Even if Voters Said No (Wired):
It would've been the first major carbon tax in the US, but not in the world. Finland was first, in the 1990s. They're common throughout Asia and Europe. In Canada, British Columbia has had one since 2008, and its outcomes have reportedly been good-more jobs, reduced emissions...A carbon tax is the sort of thing that economists have mostly agreed is obvious-greenhouse gases are an "externality," a damaging side effect that causes harm to the environment but isn't included in the price of a carbon-based economy.
- Arizona utility defeats mandate for ambitious renewable energy standard:
- Arizona voters reject clean-energy measure Proposition 127 by large margin (Arizona Republic)
- Clean-energy ballot measure Prop. 127 now the most expensive in Arizona history (Arizona Republic) [emphasis added]:
Mayes cited the resource plan that APS submitted to regulators last year that showed how the company intended to meet the growing electricity demands of its more than 1 million Arizona customers through 2032. The plan included several new natural gas plants, but no new solar except for what is installed on homes and businesses.
- The hottest fight in American politics? Arizona's smackdown over solar power. (Washington Post)
- Nevada voters choose ambitious renewable energy mandate:
- Clean energy scores midterm wins in Nevada but fails elsewhere (Solar Power World)
- Ballot measures: About $63 million was spent to defeat Nevada's Question 3. It worked. (Reno Gazette-Journal)
- Florida voters approve ban on offshore oil and gas drilling --- and indoor vaping:
- Odd Florida offshore drilling amendment passes — along with a ban on indoor vaping (Climate Progress):
Green groups had expressed some consternation over the odd combination.
- The Weird Story of How a Ban on Indoor Vaping Also Killed Offshore Drilling in Florida (Gizmodo)
- California voters reject repeal of gas tax increase:
- Prop. 6: Californians reject gas tax repeal measure (SF Chronicle)
- California voters reject efforts to repeal gas tax and rent-control limitations (Washington Post)
- Proposition 6: California’s gas tax repeal, explained (L.A. Curbed)
'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 First Climate Election (Climate Crocks)
- Federal jury sides with sickened workers and families in Tennessee coal ash cleanup case (Climate Progress)
- Midterms 2018: Mixed Results for the Renewable Energy Agenda (Greentech Media)
- Voters rejected most ballot measures aimed at curbing climate change (Washington Post)
- The Energy 202: The nation just elected a bunch of governors who campaigned on clean energy (Washington Post)
- The left vs. a carbon tax: The odd, agonizing political battle playing out in Washington state. (Vox)
- Science candidates prevail in US midterm elections (Nature)
- What I learnt pulling a straw out of a turtle's nose (Nature)
- Disappearing Islands: What Happens To Their Nations and People? (Medium)
- More Protection: UN Says Earth’s Ozone Layer Is Healing (AP)
- After Hurricane Michael, Toxic Algae Has Again Spread (Miami Herald)
- Is Warming Bringing a Wave of New Diseases to Arctic Wildlife? (Yale e360)
- The Role Harassment Plays in Climate Change Denial (Mother Jones)
- India: Delhi Pollution Level Deteriorates To 'Hazardous' Category (Al Jazeera)
- Dems’ Green New Deal Wing Takes Shape Amid Wave Of Climate Hawk Wins (Huffington Post)
- The Fossil Fuel Industry Spent $100 Million to Kill Green Ballot Measures in Three States - and Won (The Intercept)
- What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like: How to hit the most stringent targets, with no loopholes. (David Roberts, Vox)
- 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