IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: On way out the door, Trump Transportation Dept. approves natural gas 'bomb' trains; Trump EPA's parting gifts include more asthma attacks and premature deaths from air pollution; MI's Gov. Whitmer signs $640 million settlement in Flint Water Crisis; PLUS: Japan unveils ambitious national plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Global Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly After Emissions Go to Zero; Trump auctions Arctic refuge to oil drillers in final major decision affecting US wilderness; Trump To Approve AZ Land Swap For Rio Tinto's Resolution Copper Project; Detroit business dumped liquid landfill waste in Flint system; How Trump Tried, but Largely Failed, to Derail Top U.S.Climate Report; Four U.S. Water Stories to Watch in 2021... PLUS: 117th Congress opens to new energy, environment fights... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump vetoes bill banning massive driftnets
- Trump Vetoes Ban on Driftnet Fishing (Maritime Executive):
In the U.S., the nets are used exclusively by about 20 vessels to catch swordfish and sharks in federal waters off the coast of California...An estimated two thirds of all animals caught are discarded.
- Trump vetoes bipartisan bill to ban large driftnet fishing nets (Jurist):
US President Donald Trump has vetoed a bipartisan bill that, if enacted, would have banned the use of large driftnet fishing nets on the coast of California. The bill targeted fishnets used for commercial fishing that were up to a mile and a half long and often captured marine life beyond their intended targets. In his veto message Friday, Trump warned that “forcing the West Coast drift gillnet fishery to use alternative gear that has not been proven to be an economically viable substitute for gillnets."
- Trump DOT approves natural gas 'bomb' trains:
- LNG Shipments by Rail Approved in US Amid Pipeline Battles (AP):
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Trump administration has taken the final step to allow rail shipments of liquefied natural gas, a new front in the movement of energy products that had been opposed by environmental groups and 15 states...The states had argued that the trains will share tracks with passenger trains and travel through congested areas.
- AUDIO: 'That Terrifies Me': Trump Rule Allows Natural Gas Transport By Rail In Dense Areas (NPR)
- Train cars carrying crude oil derail and burn north of Seattle (AP, 12/23/2020)
- EPA refuses to tighten ozone standards
- EPA sets new ozone standard, disappointing all sides (Seattle Times)
- Trump EPA retains ozone standards despite COVID-19 link to air pollution (Reuters)
- Trump administration keeps existing smog limits, rejecting calls to toughen them (Washington Post):
At least 120 million Americans live in communities that don’t meet current federal standards for clear air...“We know climate change makes things worse because it creates more hot, stagnant conditions that lead to more ozone pollution.”
- Trump EPA’s 2020 Final Ozone Standard Not Protective Enough for Public Health, Process Flawed (Environmental Law and Policy Center)
- Trump EPA finalizes Orwellian 'transparency' rule to restrict scientific data:
- A Plan Made to Shield Big Tobacco From Facts Is Now E.P.A. Policy (NY Times):
Critics say the agency’s leaders disregarded the E.P.A.’s scientific review system to create an additional layer of scrutiny designed to impede or block access to the best available science, weakening the government’s ability to create new protections against pollution, pesticides, and possibly even the coronavirus.
- EPA finalizes rule to limit science behind public health safeguards (Washington Post):
“The people pushing it are claiming it’s in the interest of science, but the entire independent science world says it’s not,” said Chris Zarba, a former director of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board who retired in 2018 after nearly four decades at the agency. “It sounds good on the surface. But this is a bold attempt to get science out of the way so special interests can do what they want.”
- EPA rule change restricts using some health studies in public health regulations (AP)
The change could limit not only future public health protections, but “force the agency to revoke decades of clean air protections,” Chris Zarba, former head of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, said in a statement.
- Trump EPA issues 'update' to Lead and Copper Rule:
- Trump EPA overhaul of lead pipe regulations allows toxic plumbing to stay in the ground in Chicago, other cities (Chicago Tribune)
- EPA finalizes new lead and copper rules for drinking water (ABC News)
- Justice for residents in Flint Water Crisis:
- Whitmer OKs creation of $641M fund for Flint water crisis settlement (Detroit News):
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Wednesday creating a trust fund to handle a $641 million settlement that will be distributed to Flint residents affected by the water crisis. The legislation authorizes the state to issue bonds to cover Michigan's $600 million share of the settlement, money that will be repaid through an annual $35 million appropriation over the next 30 years.
- Japan sets target for net zero emissions by 2050:
- Japan adopts green growth plan to go carbon free by 2050 (AP):
The “green growth strategy” urges utilities to bolster renewables and hydrogen while calling for auto industries to go carbon free by the mid-2030s.
- Japan to lay out 'green' growth strategy to meet Suga's net-zero emissions goal (Reuters)
- Japan’s Green Push Seen Sparking $1.8 Trillion Windfall by 2050 (Bloomberg)
'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 Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly After Emissions Go to Zero (Inside Climate News)
- Trump auctions Arctic refuge to oil drillers in final major decision affecting US wilderness (The Hill)
- Feds: Business dumped liquid landfill waste in Flint system (Detroit News)
- 117th Congress opens to new energy, environment fights (E&E News)
- Chemicals: EPA finds possible carcinogen poses no harm to public (E&E News)
- Trump To Approve Land Swap For Rio Tinto's Resolution Copper Project (Reuters)
- Biden Dept. of Energy set to supercharge clean energy push with $40B stash (Politico)
- Four U.S. Water Stories to Watch in 2021 (Circle Of Blue)
- Trump Interior Finalizes Plan To Open 80 Percent of NPRA To Drilling (The Hill)
- How Trump Tried, but Largely Failed, to Derail Top U.S.Climate Report (NY Times)
- Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado’s Water (NY Times)
- How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains (Grist)
- Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration (Pro Publica)
- 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