IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Historic Interior Department nominee Rep. Deb Haaland pledges balance amid GOP attacks; New U.S. Postal Service trucks won't be all-electric; Texas deregulation cost electricity customers $28 billion more than a regulated utility market; PLUS: Refineries legally released tons of toxic air pollution during Texas power crisis... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Bats, birds killed by Southern freeze; Winter storm could cost Texas more money than any disaster in state history; Frozen Pipes Are Warnings of Yet Another Climate Threat; Corporate Climate Disclosures to Get Aggressive Scrutiny by SEC; Minnesota Supreme Court Hands Victory To PolyMet Copper Mine; Hot Houses: The Race To Save Bats From Overheating As Temperatures Rise... PLUS: New Evidence Shows Fertile Soil Gone From Midwestern Farms
... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Another 'bomb train' explosion, this time in Texas:
- Fallout grows from Texas Power (and Water) Crisis::
- Texas Grid Operator Defends Storm Performance as Sixth Director Resigns (US News):
Texas has no mandatory weatherization standards for the power plants that supply the grid, Magness said, pointing to a likely direction for lawmakers as they begin hearings on the weather disaster on Thursday.
- Gov. Greg Abbott, in statewide address, promises answers on winter weather disaster (Texas Tribune)
- Texas' deregulated market raised consumer costs by $28 billion:
- Texas Electric Bills Were $28 Billion Higher Under Deregulation (Wall Street Journal):
"Those deregulated Texas residential consumers paid $28 billion more for their power since 2004 than they would have paid at the rates charged to the customers of the state's traditional utilities," the Journal found.
- Texas's deregulated electricity market raised consumer costs by $28B: WSJ (The Hill)
- Republicans defend energy deregulation as new report says Texas consumers overpay by $28 billion for power (Independent UK)
- Denton Municipal Electric seeking to borrow up to $300 million following winter storm (Denton Record-Chronicle)
- The Texas electricity crisis and the energy transition (Utility Dive)
- Texas refineries legally released tons of toxic air pollution during power crisis:
- Texas freeze led to release of tons of air pollutants as refineries shut (Reuters):
The largest U.S. oil refiners released tons of air pollutants into the skies over Texas this past week, according to figures provided to the state, as refineries and petrochemical plants in the region scrambled to shut production during frigid weather.
- Texas plants released nearly as much pollution during winter storm as during Hurricane Laura (Texas Tribune)
- Interior Sec. nominee Rep. Deb Haaland pledges balance, makes history:
- Senate Republicans say Interior pick Deb Haaland has "radical views" on Big Oil (Vox)
- Partisan Fight Over Deb Haaland, First Native American Cabinet Pick (NY Times)
- VIDEO: Interior Secretary Nominee Representative Deb Haaland Confirmation Hearing (C-SPAN)
- Interior pick Deb Haaland wins key Manchin endorsement as GOP grouses (Roll Call)
- GOP Science Deniers Lecture Interior Secretary Nominee Deb Haaland On Science (Huffington Post):
"Republicans, by the way, are guided by science," Sen. Bill Cassidy told the Native American congresswoman, despite his past vote rejecting climate science.
- Biden Energy Dept. launches sweeping review of Trump-era efficiency rollbacks:
- Biden Energy Dept Orders Sweeping Review Of Trump Energy Rules (The Hill):
On the list are a number of pet policies of Trump, who often complained about low flow fixtures and LED lightbulbs on the campaign trail. One such rule eliminated efficiency standards for about half the bulbs on the market, pushing continued use of less-efficient bulbs expected to cost the average household more than $100 a year and create more pollution as utilities produce energy that otherwise would not be needed.
- Biden administration targets Trump’s water-flow legacy, other energy rules for scrutiny (CNBC)
- New U.S. Postal Service vehicles won't be all-electric:
- U.S. Postal chief commits to 10% of new delivery fleet as electric vehicles (Reuters):
The U.S. Postal Service said on Tuesday it had awarded a $482 million contact to Oshkosh Defense to finalize production for the next-generation postal vehicles...“We don’t have the 3 or 4 extra billion in our plan right now that it would take to do it, DeJoy said, adding he was willing to talk to Congress and the Biden administration about funding.
- USPS announces postal fleet replacement contract, doesn’t even go all-electric (Electrek):
This is a completely missed opportunity by USPS. There’s no reason not to make this contract only for all-electric postal vehicles. There are plenty of companies that can do it, especially on the 10-year timeline.
- ZETA Opposes DeJoy Move to Buy Gas-Powered Vehicles (ZETA2030):
US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is trying to lock our postal vehicle fleet into decades of carbon-intensive transportation. This directly conflicts with the administration’s stated goals and is certain to see swift pushback from appropriators who have sought to drive USPS vehicle electrification.
- Post Office purchase of gasoline trucks seems to defy Biden order (AJOT)
- A no-brainer stimulus idea: Electrify USPS mail trucks (David Roberts, Vox, 4/22/2020):
Electric vehicles for the US Postal Service would reduce noise, air, and carbon pollution in every community.
'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
- Bats, birds among wildlife pummeled during Southern freeze (AP)
- Winter storm could cost Texas more money than any disaster in state history (Texas Tribune)
- Texans’ Frozen Pipes Are Warnings of Yet Another Climate Threat (Bloomberg)
- China Confirms Xie Zhenhua Appointed As New Special Climate Envoy (Reuters)
- An Ever-Moving, Unloved Fish Is Stirring Chaos in the North Atlantic (The Atlantic)
- Corporate Climate Disclosures to Get Aggressive Scrutiny by SEC (Bloomberg)
- New Evidence Shows Fertile Soil Gone From Midwestern Farms (NPR)
- Minnesota Supreme Court Hands Victory To PolyMet Copper Mine (AP)
- Hot Houses: The Race To Save Bats From Overheating As Temperatures Rise (Guardian)
- Kerry, at U.N., Likens Global Inaction to a ‘Suicide Pact’ (NY Times)
- Global Freshwater Fish Populations At Risk Of Extinction, Study Finds (Guardian)
- 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