IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Supreme Court clears the way for controversial fracked natural gas pipeline; Microplastics are raining down on our national parks; Trump plans to open up Florida for offshore drilling --- after the election; PLUS: Administration accelerates resource extraction and cruel wildlife hunting practices on the public's lands... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Trump’s EPA balks at a chance to save black lives; A war against climate science, waged by Washington’s rank and rile, protecting their jobs; Trump administration blocks tribes from protecting their waters; Americans increasingly understand that climate change harms human health; Scientists warn against Trump's consumer protection nominee... PLUS: Love is Blind: How Germany's Long Romance With Cars Led to the Nation's Biggest Clean Energy Failure... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- US Supreme Court clears Appalachian Trail for controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
- Supreme Court removes major obstacle to Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a long-delayed project crossing central Virginia (Washington Post):
The Trump administration weighed in on behalf of the project, arguing that even though the National Park Service administers the trail, the land beneath it is controlled by the Forest Service...Trying to separate the land from the trail is an “elusively metaphysical distinction” that “contradicts the government’s own long-standing approach to administering the trail,” the groups told the court in their briefs.
- Supreme Court Says Pipeline May Cross Underneath Appalachian Trail (NPR)
- Supreme Court clears way for Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail (Grist):
The case looked at whether the Forest Service had authority under the Mineral Leasing Act to grant rights-of-way within national forest lands traversed by the Appalachian Trail. “A right-of-way between two agencies grants only an easement across the land, not jurisdiction over the land itself,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court’s opinion...The dissent, by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, argued that the “outcome is inconsistent with the language of three statutes, longstanding agency practice, and common sense.”
- ‘Plastic rain’ drenches US national parks with 1,000 tons of particles every year (Miami Herald):
“I couldn’t see anything smaller than four microns, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there...Just because we can’t see them in front of us, doesn’t mean we’re not breathing them in.” Inhaling plastic particles can damage lung tissues, which can cause cancer, asthma attacks and breathlessness over time, according to the Plastic Soup Foundation.
- US Supreme Court ruling upholds Clean Water Act restrictions on suction dredge mining:
- High Court Turns Away Gold Miners' CWA Permit Challenge (Law 360)
- Justices reject Clean Water Act plea in blow to miners (E&E News):
Supreme Court justices today declined to consider whether moving — but not adding — rocks, sand and other debris within a regulated waterway is subject to Clean Water Act restrictions...The rejection carries big financial implications, said Pacific Legal Foundation senior attorney Damien Schiff, who represented the mining association. "Each person really has to make a decision whether it makes sense to continue to try to develop their claims because the federal and state limitations on when and where and how are strict and continue to become stricter..."At some point it won't be economically feasible for many of these claims to be developed," he said.
- Court ruling may force state to look at Palmer Mine permit once more (KINY Radio Juneau):
Zimmer called the ruling a common sense move by the court to fill a loophole that the industry was trying to exploit. "You can't trade one resource for another. You can't trade mining for clean water. You can't trade mining for fish and mining in the state has to have reasonable standards to protect the other uses of these waterways whether that's clean water, whether that's fishing. This is just a reasonable measure to prevent pollution of our salmon streams."
- Trump Admin. racing the red light to rollback environmental and wildlife protections:
- Agriculture secretary directs national forests be used for more mining, oil and gas (Axios)
- Oil, Logging, Mining Ordered as Forest Service Focus (Bloomberg):
[Ag Sec. Perdue's] memo announced a “blueprint for reforms” that refocuses the Forest Service to produce products and services from the 193 million acres of forests, grasslands, and wilderness areas it oversees. He directed the agency to find new ways to produce energy on national forestland, promote “active management” to support rural communities, and expedite broadband development to provide internet service to rural areas. Environmental groups on Friday accused Perdue of attempting to fast-track development of national forests that have long been managed for conservation and multiple uses.
- Trump Administration Revives Banned Hunting Techniques in Alaska (NY Times):
Baiting grizzly bears with doughnuts soaked in bacon grease. Using spotlights to blind and shoot hibernating black bear mothers and their cubs in their dens. Gunning down swimming caribou from motorboats. Hunting methods that for years were decried by wildlife protectors and finally banned as barbaric by the Obama administration will be legal again on millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness in time for the warm July weather.
- Ag secretary orders environmental rollbacks for Forest Service (The Hill)
- The Trump administration just reversed a ban on hunting bear cubs and wolf pups (Business Insider)
- Heads up, Florida - Trump plans to open up offshore drilling on your coast:
- Interior to push drilling in Florida waters after November election (Politico):
The Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state whose waters both parties have long considered sacrosanct, according to four people familiar with the plan...“It’s a given that new acreage will become available when the politics of reelection are behind [Trump],” said one person in the industry, who described the eastern Gulf of Mexico as “the prize acreage.”
- Microplastics raining down on our national parks:
- Plastic rain in protected areas of the United States (Science)
- From national parks to the deep sea, plastic pollution is showing up wherever scientists look (Washington Post):
In 2017, Janice Brahney was examining dust that had blown across the wilderness of the Western United States to determine its nutrient composition...Instead, what leaped from the lens were candy-colored shards and spherules - blue, pink and red plastics mixed with the dust like foul confetti. "I was really taken aback when I saw this," said Brahney, an assistant professor of biogeochemistry at Utah State University. "I had no idea that our pollution had extended to that level."
- 1,000 tons of microplastic rains down on National Parks and the wilderness in the western US every year, study says (CNN):
Plastic is resilient, and secondary plastics often fragment and end up in terrestrial freshwater, atmospheric and marine environments, the study says. The researchers also believe that these tiny pieces of plastic could lead to a decline in biodiversity, as there are different physical and toxicological tolerances to consuming microplastics.
- Germany mandates EV chargers at all gasoline stations:
- Germany will require all petrol stations to provide electric car charging (Reuters):
Germany said it will oblige all petrol stations to offer electric car charging to help remove refuelling concerns and boost consumer demand for the vehicles as part of its 130 billion euro ($146 billion) economic recovery plan.
- Germany requires all gas stations to provide EV charging (Electrek):
We’re not sold on the idea that gas stations are the best location for EV charging, especially if Level 2, 240-volt charging stations are used. On the other hand, petrol stations situated along expressways and equipped with ultra-fast EV charging make more sense...The decision to require every single gas station to offer EV charging is a little odd. It applies an outdated combustion-oriented frame of mind to new technology.
'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
- Love is Blind: How Germany's Long Romance With Cars Led to the Nation's Biggest Clean Energy Failure (Inside Climate News)
- A War Against Climate Science, Waged by Washington’s Rank and File (NY Times)
- Trump’s EPA balks at a chance to save black lives (David Roberts, Vox)
- Soot rule thrusts EPA into spotlight on race (E&E News)
- Trump administration blocks tribes from protecting their waters (The Hill)
- Americans increasingly understand that climate change harms human health (Yale Climate Communications)
- Scientists Warn Against Consumer Protection Nominee NPR)
- Another First: Tropical Cyclone Passes over Lake Superior (Climate Crocks)
- Louisiana's Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Imposed Harsh Penalties for Trespassing on Industrial Land (Inside Climate News)
- Environmentalists Targeted Exxon Mobil. Then Hackers Targeted Them. (NY Times)
- Capturing The Green Energy Of The Deep Blue Sea (Washington Post)
- Lake Ontario 'Aquatic Landfill' To Contain 150-Year-Old Toxic Blob (The Narwhal)
- Shell's Plastics Plant Outside Pittsburgh Has Suddenly Become a Riskier Bet, a Study Concludes (Inside Climate News)
- Bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund bill might get political, thanks to Trump (E&E News)
- TV news ignores the fact that hurricanes disproportionately harm communities of color (Grist),/li>
- Could drones spray crops? EPA is considering it (E&E News)
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:
- 1,000 tons of microplastic rains down on National Parks and the wilderness in the western US every year, study says (CNN):