IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Good news and bad for the energy sector in Senate's coronavirus relief bill; Even COVID-19 can't stop the Trump Administration's environmental rollbacks; PLUS: Victory in federal court for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe over the Dakota Access Pipeline... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Global efforts on ozone help reverse southern jet stream damage; More evidence North Atlantic “cold spot” is human-caused; Goldman Sachs: Prepare for a massive oil demand shock; Trump Admin walks away from ethanol court battle, angers oil refiners; At a critical moment, the Coronavirus threatens to bring offshore wind to a halt; Coronavirus could disrupt normal refueling practices for nuclear facilities as staffing concerns grow... PLUS: Coronavirus holds key lessons on how to fight climate change... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Good news and bad for the energy sector in $2 trillion Senate coronavirus relief bill:
- Senate Stimulus Bill Contains Nothing for Climate Advocates (Bloomberg):
Solar power lobbyists have warned that half the industry’s jobs are at risk as a result of the pandemic. Some solar panels are stranded in other countries, and even when supplies are on hand, lockdown orders are preventing workers from installing panels. (Where oil refineries are generally exempt from shelter-in-place requirements, the waiver doesn’t extend to all renewable energy ventures.)
- Lawmakers Pushing Big Financial Break For Oil Got $4 Million In Industry Donations (Huffington Post)
- The Senate’s Stimulus Bill Is Full of Disappointments for Climate Advocates (Bloomberg News):
The omission of $3 billion to purchase oil is a significant blow to the Trump administration, which earlier this month had expressed confidence Congress would provide the full funding needed to fill the nation’s petroleum reserves.
- Coronavirus package punts on environmental fights (The Hill):
Summaries of the historic $2 trillion legislation show there is no “$3 billion bailout for big oil,” in the words of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and it does not require airlines to go carbon neutral with domestic flights by 2025.
- Senate Strikes Deal on Coronavirus Stimulus Package That Excludes Help for Renewables (GreenTech Media):
Clean-energy industry groups confirmed Wednesday that the stimulus bill, the largest of its kind in U.S. history, lacks extensions of the federal wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which would have prevented them from losing access to full credits and threatening their financial viability...The American Wind Energy Association had warned that failure to pass the provisions could threaten up to $43 billion in investments.
- Of course Republicans, rightwing media are lying about the Green New Deal:
- VIDEO: Right-wing media launch bogus attacks on Green New Deal to spin failed coronavirus relief bill vote (Media Matters):
The fact that Green New Deal policies were not part of the negotiations around the coronavirus relief package did not stop right-wing media from continuing its long-standing strategy of using any opportunity to attack the Green New Deal...The Green New Deal is NOT included in any coronavirus relief package, but that doesn’t stop right-wingers from continuing to lie about it.
- Dems Want Travel Industry To Reduce Emissions In Exchange For Bailout (Grist)
- Even global pandemic won't slow down Trump Admin. attacks on public health, environment:
- Interior official: Coronavirus won't slow lease sales, rulemakings (E&E News)
- Even coronavirus can’t stop Trump’s environmental rollbacks (Grist):
In addition to climate action, environmental protection at large may be threatened. The Trump administration is in the process of implementing major environmental policy changes, such as a rule that would allow companies to kill birds without repercussions, a total overhaul of the bedrock National Environmental Policy Act, and new restrictions on the types of scientific research the EPA can use in decisions that affect public health...“Trump wants to be able to say ‘I accomplished all this.’”
- Trump EPA Fast-Tracks Rule That Would Restrict Use of Health Science (Inside Climate News)
- Trump agencies steadily push rollbacks as pandemic rages (AP):
As Americans stockpiled food and medicine and retreated indoors and businesses shuttered in hopes of riding out COVID-19, federal agencies in recent days moved forward on rollbacks that included a widely opposed deregulatory action by the Environmental Protection Agency. The proposed rule would require disclosure of the raw data behind any scientific study used in the rulemaking process. That includes confidential medical records that opponents say could be used to identify people.
- Federal courts are slowing down Trump's drilling agenda:
- Courts slow Trump’s agenda to open public lands to oil and gas drilling (LA Times):
In the oil and gas leasing cases, the judges’ decisions have interfered with the administration’s ability to deliver on its promises to industry and handed environmentalists a legal road map that advocates are using across the West. Nearly a third of the oil and gas leases sold in 2017 and 2018 in the interior West have been suspended or canceled.
- Arguments delayed, buildings closed to public amid pandemic (E&E News)
- Oil and gas industry not slowing down during pandemic:
- Trump administration continues oil and gas leasing during price drop and coronavirus pandemic (Washington Post)
- Shale drillers slow to scale back volumes as Texas discusses mandatory production cuts (S&P Platts Global)
- Oil and gas companies want to drill within a half-mile of Utah’s best-known national parks (Washington Post)
- Oil industry cites virus in seeking broad pollution waivers (AP):
The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that it’s reviewing a request from the oil and gas industry to ease enforcement of hazardous air and water pollution and other regulatory issues during the coronavirus pandemic. The proposal is drawing objections from public health and environmental advocates...amounts to seeking a nationwide pass for the industry on almost all environmental rules.
- Victory in court for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe over Dakota Access Pipeline:
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Prevails as Federal Judge Strikes Down DAPL Permits (Earth Justice)
- Dakota access pipeline: court strikes down permits in victory for Standing Rock Sioux (Guardian UK):
The future of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline has been thrown into question after a federal court on Wednesday struck down its permits and ordered a comprehensive environmental review.
- The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Just Won a Major Court Victory Over the Dakota Access Pipeline (Earther):
The case isn’t over, but this is a major win for the indigenous groups that have been seeking acknowledgment of their environmental concerns, as well as sovereignty over their lands. During these dark times, this is something to celebrate.
- Death on the Dakota Access (Antonia Juhasz, Pacific Standard, 10/19/2018)
'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
- Global efforts on ozone help reverse southern jet stream damage (Guardian UK)
- More Evidence: The North Atlantic “Cold Spot” Human Caused (Climate Crocks)
- Goldman Sachs: Prepare For A Massive Oil Demand Shock (Oil Price)
- Trump Admin Walks Away From Ethanol Court Battle, Angers Oil Refiners (The Hill)
- Farms Could See Shortage of Protective Gear Amid Covid-19 Needs (Bloomberg)
- U.S. Solar Workforce Could Be Halved By Virus, Group Says (Bloomberg)
- At a Critical Moment, the Coronavirus Threatens to Bring Offshore Wind to a Halt (Inside Climate News)
- Coronavirus could disrupt normal refueling practices for nuclear facilities as staffing concerns grow (Utility Dive)
- As Europe fights coronavirus and climate, is 'green stimulus' the way? (Reuters)
- Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change (Yale e360)
- VIDEO: Is the Carbon Bubble Popping? (Climate Crocks)
- What Does '12 Years to Act on Climate Change' (Now 11 Years) Really Mean? (Inside Climate News)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- 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