IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump EPA moves to block states' authority over pipelines; United Nations delays crucial climate summit for a year due to pandemic; Good news for breathers: 13 more coal plants to close in 2020; PLUS: Siberian heat wave brings 'zombie fires'... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EU green recovery package sets a marker for the world; As a busy hurricane season looms, NOAA's credibility has taken a hit, new emails show; New study shows global warming intensifying extreme rainstorms over North America; Energy firms urged to mothball coal plants as cost of solar tumbles; New Trump public land rules will let Alaska hunters kill bear cubs in dens... PLUS: Can planting a trillion trees stop climate change? Scientists say it's a lot more complicated that that... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- UN delays crucial COP26 climate summit for a full year due to pandemic:
- U.N. confirms year-long delay for crucial climate summit (Reuters)
- Next UN climate summit to be delayed to November 2021, UK hosts propose (Climate Change News)
- COP26: 2020 Is a Pivotal Year for Climate (UNFCCC)
- Siberian heat wave breaks records, brings 'zombie fires':
- 'Zombie fires' are erupting in Alaska and likely Siberia, signaling severe Arctic fire season may lie ahead (Washington Post)
- Parts of Siberia are hotter than Washington, with temperatures nearly 40 degrees above average (Washington Post)
- Siberia Is Experiencing Record Highs — 40 Degrees Above Average (Clean Technica)
- Climate concerns as Siberia experiences record-breaking heat (NBC News)
- Trump EPA moves to block states' authority over fossil fuel infrastructure projects:
- EPA limits states and tribes' ability to protest pipelines and other energy projects (Washington Post)
- U.S. EPA moves to curb state powers to deny permits for energy projects (Reuters):
Under the rule, first proposed in August, the EPA will alter Section 401 of the federal water law to make it impossible for a state to block a water permit for a project for any reason other than direct pollution into state waters. It will also set a one-year deadline for states to approve projects..."You won't be able to use 401 in the future, citing climate change," Wheeler said.
- Trump EPA won't delay Pebble Mine approval:
- In showdown with Army Corps of Engineers over Pebble Mine, EPA blinks (Alaska Public Radio):
If the Corps grants the permit, the EPA has the authority to veto it, but mine opponents say the new letter makes that look less likely.
- EPA clears way for Army Corps Pebble mine review (E&E News):
The Army Corps plans to release the Pebble mine's final environmental impact statement in June or July. A record of decision will follow at least 30 days later. That would be a significant milestone for a project that has been more than a decade in the making and facing sustained opposition.
- EPA opts not to delay controversial Alaska mine for now (Washington Post)
- Pebble Mine: PBS Frontline Updates Battle for Bristol Bay (NRDC):
Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier is interviewed at length...in addition to his annual salary of “around $1.5 million,” CEO Tom Collier has a $12.5 million bonus coming his way if he gets Pebble permitted this year.
- VIDEO: Alaska's Controversial Pebble Mine Was Dead. Not Anymore. (PBS Frontline)
- Good news for breathers: 13 more U.S. coal plants to close in 2020:
- Coal’s Decline Continues with 13 Plant Closures Announced in 2020 (Scientific American):
“Right now, the economics of burning coal just don’t make sense. There are fewer and fewer hours in the year where you can cover your fuel costs, let alone your staffing costs and everything else...If you are the CEO that owns coal or the energy manager at a city buying coal-fired electric power and you’re not thinking of retiring that coal contract, then maybe it’s time for you to retire.”
- AUDIO: The U.S. consumed more renewable energy than coal in 2019 (Marketplace)
- US renewable energy consumption tops coal for the first time in more than 130 years (U.S. Energy Information Adminstration)
- Major milestone: Coal consumption falls behind renewable energy in the United States (CNN):
The last time the United States consumed more renewable energy than coal was in the 19th century, when hydropower was just getting started and wood burning was a major fuel source.
- 135-year-long streak is over: US renewable sources topped coal in 2019 (Ars Technica):
But the EIA also released some numbers Thursday that highlight a related and interesting piece of trivia: if you include energy use beyond the electric sector and all types of renewable energy, renewables actually beat out coal last year. And to find the last time that was true, you have to go all the way back to the 1880s.
'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
- EU green recovery package sets a marker for the world (Guardian UK)
- As a busy hurricane season looms, NOAA's credibility has taken a hit, new emails show (Washington Post)
- New Study Shows Global Warming Intensifying Extreme Rainstorms Over North America (Inside Climate News)
- Energy firms urged to mothball coal plants as cost of solar tumbles (Guardian UK)
- New Trump public land rules will let Alaska hunters kill bear cubs in dens (Guardian UK)
- Can Planting a Trillion Trees Stop Climate Change? Scientists Say it’s a Lot More Complicated (Inside Climate News)
- U.S. Ruling Could Mean a Flood of New Claims Against Volkswagen (NY Times)
- VIDEO: Hurricanes that Stall (Climate Crocks)
- Trump Administration Looks To Fast Track Logging On Public Lands (The Hill)
- States, Democrats Want Federal Help to Clean Up Old Oil Wells (Bloomberg)
- Louisiana Bill Would Set 3-Year Minimum For Trespassing On Fossil Sites (Huffington Post)
- Economic Giants Are Restarting. Here’s What It Means for Climate Change (NY Times)
- Maryland AG Sues Closed Paper Mill for Polluting Potomac River (Baltimore Sun)
- Renewable energy supporters running out of patience with Congress, Trump (E&E News)
- U.S. Drugs Standards Group Nixes Plan To Kick Pharma's Crab Blood Habit (Reuters)
- Exxon's Snake Oil: 100 years of deception (Columbia Journalism Review)
- 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