IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump Interior Department moves to gut the Endangered Species Act; EPA paves the way for controversial Pebble Mine to go forward in Alaska; Bad news for anything that breathes near animal feedlots; PLUS: The one energy project that the Trump Administration doesn't mind slowing down... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Toxic blue-green algae is a climate-pumped threat to pets and people; World’s 6th largest bank thinks the writing is on the wall for the oil industry; Hollywood's next star could be virtual power plants as Los Angeles closes out natural gas; 'Lithium's not the only game in town': Energy storage hopefuls eye breakthrough; Electric cars look to be Colorado’s most powerful climate tool; Trump EPA won’t approve warning labels for Roundup chemical glyphosate... PLUS: FirstEnergy coal unit at center of Trump bailout bid will shut 19 months early... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump Interior Department moves to gut the Endangered Species Act:
- U.S. Significantly Weakens Endangered Species Act (NY Times):
The new rules would make it easier to remove a species from the endangered list and weaken protections for threatened species, the classification one step below endangered. And, for the first time, regulators would be allowed to conduct economic assessments — for instance, estimating lost revenue from a prohibition on logging in a critical habitat — when deciding whether a species warrants protection.
- New Trump rules weaken wildlife protections (Washington Post):
Under the administration’s new rules, it would have been nearly impossible to designate the polar bear as threatened in 2010 because of the loss of sea ice in the Arctic, one of the fastest-warming areas in the world. Nearly 200,000 square miles of barrier islands in Alaska were listed as critical habitat.
- Trump Administration Revises Endangered Species Protections (Bloomberg):
The agency must now adopt a separate rule for every threatened species on a case-by-case basis, Interior said. The changes don’t apply to species that are already on the threatened list.
- Trump administration announces changes to Endangered Species Act rules (Ars Technica):
The changes focus on how officials should decide whether to list a species as endangered or threatened, what kind of protections threatened species should receive, and how officials will decide which areas of habitat to protect. In practice, the changes may weaken the Endangered Species Act’s protections.
- Massachusetts, California Vow Suit Over Endangered Species Rollback (AP)
- VIDEO: How Trump plans to change the Endangered Species Act (PBS NewsHour)
- VIDEO: Scientists call changes to Endangered Species Act 'short-sighted' (ABC-San Francisco)
- Trump administration to weaken protections for endangered species in favor of fossil fuels (Climate Progress)
- The Endangered Species Act is incredibly popular and effective. Trump is weakening it anyway. (Vox):
The new rules allow for greater leeway in protecting threatened species and open the door to industry to skirt protections.
- EPA paves way for controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska:
- VIDEO: EPA dropped salmon protection after Trump met with Alaska governor (CNN):
The Environmental Protection Agency told staff scientists that it was no longer opposing a controversial Alaska mining project that could devastate one of the world's most valuable wild salmon fisheries just one day after President Trump met with Alaska's governor, CNN has learned...The news came as a "total shock" to some top EPA scientists who were planning to oppose the project on environmental grounds, according to sources...The decision disregards the standard assessment process under the Clean Water Act, cutting scientists out of the process.
- This time, EPA decision has Pebble mine developers cheering (Alaska Public Media)
- How investors got a heads-up on EPA's Pebble mine reversal (E&E News)
- EPA says Pebble may be riskier than study says, rekindling hope for mine foes (Alaska Public Media, 7/2/2019)
- Commercial Fishermen, Indigenous People Unite to Fight Mine in Alaska (Courthouse News)
- The Dividing Mine, Part I: Alaskans grapple with Pebble Mine permitting process (KTUU Anchorage)
- Editorial: An EPA decision reviving Alaska’s Pebble Mine endangers Bristol Bay and a vibrant fishing economy (LA Times)
- Bad news for anything that breathes near animal feedlots
- EPA: Factory Farms Don’t Need to Report Emissions (Civil Eats):
Environmental groups say a new rule from the agency eliminates one of the only tools providing communities near CAFOs with information about toxic substances in the air.
- Trump’s EPA Rule Says Animal Production Operations Shouldn’t Report Their Toxic Air Pollution (EarthJustice)
- Trump Transporation Dept. reduces automaker penalties for failing to meet mileage standards:
- Trump administration freezing fuel efficiency penalties (Reuters):
Congress in 2015 ordered federal agencies to adjust a wide range of civil penalties to account for inflation and, in response...Automakers protested the hike, saying it could increase industry compliance costs by $1 billion annually.
- Green groups sue Trump administration over reduced penalties on fuel efficiency (The Hill)
- The one energy project that the Trump Administration doesn't mind slowing down
- Trump Delay Casts Doubt on First Major U.S. Offshore Wind Farm (Bloomberg):
“When it comes to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Trump administration has cut every corner and moved through the environmental review period at record speed,” Kennedy, a Democrat, said in an email. “But when it comes to the nation’s first major offshore wind project --- which has gone through years of extensive study, public comment and mitigation plans for impacted communities --- they are trying to delay it to death.”
- Federal Review Will Further Delay Vineyard Wind (WBUR):
Vineyard Wind, the $2.8 billion, 800-megawatt offshore wind project planned for the waters off Martha's Vineyard, has been delayed and will not move forward on the timeline it has been anticipating due to a federal agency's decision to undertake a broad study of the potential impacts of offshore wind projects planned up and down the coast.
- Vineyard Wind dealt severe blow by feds (Martha's Vineyard 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
- Toxic Blue Green Algae: Climate-Pumped Threat to Pets, and People (Climate Crocks)
- One of the world’s largest banks thinks the writing is on the wall for the oil industry (Climate Progress)
- Hollywood's next star could be virtual power plants as LADWP closes out natural gas (Utility Dive)
- 'Lithium's not the only game in town': Energy storage hopefuls eye breakthrough (S&P Global)
- Colorado’s most powerful climate tool isn’t what you think (it's electric vehicles, and here's why) (Vox)
- New Puerto Rico gov suspends contract to rebuild power grid (AP)
- Coal Unit at Center of Trump Bailout Bid to Shut 19 Months Early (Bloomberg)
- Trump EPA won’t approve warning labels for Roundup chemical glyphosate (AP)
- Attorney general shuts down proposed referendum to overturn Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)
- VIDEO: Bill Maher and Richard Engle on Glaciers, Racists, and Refugees (Climate Crocks)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out (Rolling Stone)
- SEJ Backgrounder: Green New Deal Proposes Sweeping Economic Transformation (Society of Environmental Journalists)
- Explainer: The 'Green New Deal': Mobilizing for a just, prosperous, and sustainable economy (New Consensus)
- 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.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page