IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: While we were out --- Dangerously early extreme wildfires erupt in Western U.S.; Accountability for investor-owned utilities caught behaving badly; PLUS: Biden Administration protects old-growth forests and restores a bedrock environmental law, but resumes some oil and gas leasing on public lands... All that and MUCH more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Weary of many disasters? UN says worse to come; European Wind-Energy Sector Hit in Wave of Hacks; California Briefly Runs on 97 percent Renewable Energy; LA County bans throwaway dishes and cutlery; World’s Largest Batteries are Tried and True Tech; The difference you make when you eat less meat... PLUS: Geothermal: Clean energy is buried at the bottom of abandoned oil wells... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- US wildfire season off to dangerously early, extreme start::
- VIDEO: "Earliest and Most Intense Fire Season" Underway in Southwest (Climate Crocks)
- VIDEO: Wildfires hit Southwest as season starts "dangerously early" (CBS News)
- New Mexico hit hard as wildfires sweep parched Southwest (Yahoo News):
The wildfires are the most severe of nearly two dozen in the U.S. Southwest and raised concerns the region was in for a brutal fire year as a decades-long drought combined with abundant dry vegetation.
- Emergency declaration for multiple wildfires in New Mexico (AP)
- Accountability for utility companies behaving badly:
- PG&E to pay more than $55 million to avoid criminal prosecution for starting two wildfires (LA Times)
- California gas utility fined $10M for ratepayer money misuse (AP):
A major California gas utility must pay a nearly $10 million fine and reimburse customers for money it improperly spent related to the development of more energy efficient building codes.
- Earth Day protests in D.C. include tragic, deadly action:
- Wynn Bruce: Outside the Supreme Court, a life of purpose and pain ends in flames (Washington Post)
- About that death in front of the Supreme Court (Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Don’t Do This: Climate Activist Burns Himself, and No One Noticed (Climate Crocks)
- Boulder climate activist dies after apparent act of protest outside U.S. Supreme Court on Earth Day (Denver Post):
Friend of Wynn Bruce says his actions in Washington, D.C., were planned to "bring attention to climate crisis."
- A man who died after self-immolating in front of Supreme Court was a climate activist (CNN):
"This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis," [Kritee Kanko, a climate scientist and a Zen Buddhist priest who claims to know Bruce] posted on Twitter.
- Protesters amass at White House, demanding action on climate (Seattle Times)
- Congressional Dems try to revive climate funding:
- Congress is back. Will it act on climate? (Washington Post/MSN):
The White House is still seeking to strike a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), a key swing vote in the evenly divided Senate, on President Biden's stalled climate and social spending bill.
- Manchin signals he's willing to abandon Biden's economic agenda if he strikes a climate deal with the GOP (Business Insider)
- Manchin Explores Possibility of [bipartisan!] Energy, Climate Package With GOP (Bloomberg):
"If I can find something bipartisan, we don’t need reconciliation," Manchin, of West Virginia, said in an interview on Monday.
- Biden Administration re-opens oil/gas lease sales:
- Biden increases oil royalty rate and scales back lease sales on federal lands (AP):
The royalty rate for new leases will increase to 18.75% from 12.5%. That's a 50% jump and marks the first increase to royalties for the federal government since they were imposed in the 1920s...New leases that are developed could keep producing crude long past 2030, when Biden has set a goal to lower greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%, compared with 2005 levels.
- Biden resumes oil and gas leases on federal land at dramatically lessened scale (Washington Examiner/MSN)
- Environmentalists blast Biden for new federal fossil fuel leasing (Yahoo News):
The lease sale follows an injunction issued by a federal judge in Louisiana, who ruled that Biden’s Jan. 27, 2021, executive order pausing new federal oil and gas leasing violates laws governing federal land management.
- The Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Process [PDF] (Taxpayers for Common Sense):
Under the MLA [Minerals Leasing Act of 1920], the Secretary of the Interior is required to hold leases sales at least quarterly in every state where unleased lands are available.
- Biden moves to protect old-growth forests, restore NEPA:
- Climate progress remains elusive for Biden on Earth Day (AP):
Biden said he was staking his hopes on an up-and-coming generation. "Every time I get a little down ... I just turn on the television or take a look at all the young people," he said. "This younger generation is not going to put up with all this stuff. No, they’re not."
- Biden signs order to protect US old-growth forests from wildfires (Al Jazeera)
- VIDEO: President Biden Delivers Remarks on Earth Day and Signs Executive Order (C-SPAN)
- Biden restores stricter environmental review of big projects (AP)
- New Biden NEPA regs won’t stop legal war over Trump overhaul (E&E News)
'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
- Weary of many disasters? UN says worse to come (AP)
- European Wind-Energy Sector Hit in Wave of Hacks (WSJ - free to read)
- Geothermal: Clean energy is buried at the bottom of abandoned oil wells (Vox/Recode)
- California Briefly Runs on 97 percent Renewable Energy—Reveals a Future in Which Oil and Gas Dictators Can Be Defunded (Common Dreams)
- LA County bans throwaway dishes and cutlery (Salon)
- The difference you make when you eat less meat (Vox)
- World’s Largest Batteries are Tried and True Tech (Climate Crocks)
- Four solutions to mitigate climate change, from the IPCC (Dr. Michael Mann, Penn Today)
- UN warns Earth 'firmly on track toward an unlivable world' (AP)
- Environmental Sacrifice Zones: 8 Places We've Given Up-Probably Forever (Environmental Health Network)
- "Rare Earths" from Coal Waste (Climate Crocks)
- Feeling Hopeless About the Climate? Try Our 30-Day Action Plan (The Revelator)
- Green Upheaval: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Foreign Affairs)
- VIDEO: 2050: what happens if we ignore the climate crisis (Guardian UK)
- Guilt, grief and anxiety as young people fear for climate's future (Reuters)
- 99.9 percent Of Scientists Agree Climate Emergency Caused By Humans (Guardian UK)
- An Empire of Dying Wells: Old oil and gas sites are a climate menace. Meet the company that owns more of America's decaying wells than any other. (Bloomberg)
- Climate Fund Choices for Investors Are Multiplying (Bloomberg/Yahoo)
- 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 9 Years) Really Mean? (Inside Climate News)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- 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.