IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder criminally charged in Flint Water Crisis; Trump EPA's parting gift to polluters --- severe restrictions on all future pollution regulations; U.S. annual emissions plummet, due to coronavirus; PLUS: World's biggest battery farm now online in California... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Record Ocean Heat In 2020 Supercharged Extreme Weather; Trump Admin Slashes Critical Habitat For Northern Spotted Owl; >How Trump Admin's Climate Denial Left Its Mark on The Arctic Council; A Late Burst of Climate Denial Extends the Era of Trump Disinformation; Wildfire Smoke Causes Up To Half Fine-Particle Pollution in Western U.S.... PLUS: House Poor, Pollution Rich: Thousands of public housing residents live near the most polluted places in the nation - and the government has done little to protect them... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) criminally charged in Flint Water Crisis:
- Ex.-Michigan Gov. Snyder charged in Flint water crisis (AP):
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday with willful neglect of duty after an investigation of ruinous decisions that left Flint with lead-contaminated water and a regional outbreak of Legionnaires' disease...The charges are groundbreaking: No governor or former governor in Michigan's 184-year history had been charged with crimes related to their time in that office, according to the state archivist.
- Ex-Governor of Michigan Charged With Neglect in Flint Water Crisis (NY Times):
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician who warned officials about lead in the drinking supply, said that the prospect of new charges was a reminder that "accountability and justice are critical to health and recovery."
- Former Gov. Rick Snyder faces 2 criminal charges in Flint water case (Detroit Free Press)
- VIDEO: Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) on Former Gov. Snyder to face criminal charges in connection to Flint water crisis (WXYZ-Detroit)
- Former Gov. Snyder and the poisoning of Flint's water: Where he could be vulnerable (Detroit Free Press)
- EPA's parting gift to polluters - severe restrictions on all future pollution regulations:
- Trump EPA aims to tie Biden's hands with rulemaking surprise (E&E News)
- Trump's EPA Now Says Oil and Gas Production Are 'Insignificant' Sources of Pollution (Earther):
In an unexpected move, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule that will limit future greenhouse gas standards under the Clean Air Act to applying only to industries whose emissions account for more than 3 percent of the nation's total greenhouse gas output. Effectively, that means the limits will apply only to power plants while allowing the producers of oil and gas, petrochemicals, steel, and other polluting sectors to avoid regulation.
- Trump's EPA launches surprise attack on Biden's climate rules (Politico)
- EPA rule exempts many polluting industries from future air regulations (The Hill)
- Trump EPA political appointees interfered with PFAS health assessment:
- Trump's EPA team overrules career scientists on toxic chemical (Politico):
"They're just trying to lay as many landmines as possible," said a Democratic congressional aide with knowledge of the changes. "Every single thing that they're doing ends up being a landmine for whoever comes next. It's going to take a lot of time to unravel, which sort of takes away from the ability to do anything proactive."
- White House intervened to weaken EPA guidance on 'forever chemicals' (The Hill):
The guidance in question sought to limit potential exposure to a group of chemicals abbreviated as PFAS, used as a nonstick coating on products ranging from raincoats to carpets to cookware. They've been dubbed "forever chemicals" due to their persistence in the environment and the human body...[T]he White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stepped in and significantly watered down the guidance in December.
- U.S. greenhouse gas emissions drop, but it's not cause for celebration:
- Report: Preliminary US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates for 2020 (Rhodium Group)
- U.S. emissions fell by 10 percent last year - for the worst possible reasons (Grist):
Some might be tempted to think of this plague year, when the spread of COVID-19 slowed global movement to a crawl, as giving the country a head start in meeting its targets. But reducing emissions through death and poverty is no way to solve the climate crisis - it's both cruel and politically unviable.
- Coronavirus pandemic causes historic - but fleeting- drop in US climate emissions (Oregon Public Radio)
- World's largest battery storage project comes online in California:
- Inside Clean Energy: The Energy Storage Boom Has Arrived (Inside Climate News):
After years of build up, a giant battery storage project is online in Moss Landing, California, and a huge one is on the way in Florida.
- California dreamin': Irving-based Vistra launches largest energy storage project on an old site overlooking the ocean (Dallas Morning News)
- Scientists unveil battery breakthrough for energy storage (E&E News/Governors Wind & Solar Energy Coalition)
'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
- Climate Crisis: Record Ocean Heat In 2020 Supercharged Extreme Weather (Guardian UK)
- Trump Admin Slashes Critical Habitat For Northern Spotted Owl (Oregon Public Radio)
- How Trump Admin's Climate Denial Left Its Mark on The Arctic Council (Inside Climate News)
- A Late Burst of Climate Denial Extends the Era of Trump Disinformation (NY Times)
- Wildfire Smoke Causes Up To Half Fine-Particle Pollution in Western U.S. (LA Times)
- 17 States Sue EPA For Declining To Tighten Air Pollution Standards (The Hill)
- Navajo Nation, New Mexico Reach Settlements Over Mine Spill (AP)
- House Poor, Pollution Rich: Thousands of public housing residents live near the most polluted places in the nation - and the government has done little to protect them (APM/The Intercept)
- 50 Countries Vow To Protect 30% Of Land And Sea By 2030 (AP)
- Insect Populations Suffering Death By 1,000 Cuts, Say Scientists (Guardian UK)
- 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