Week 4

The Headlines

5 possible futures for the EPA under Trump

February 13, 2017 | Vox

“Rewriting regulations isn’t the only way for the Trump administration to curtail the EPA. They’ll also submit budget requests to Republicans in Congress, many of whom want to shrink the agency considerably.”

Trump signs law rolling back disclosure rule for energy and mining companies

February 14, 2017 | The Washington Post

““It’s a big deal,” Trump said as he signed the measure in the Oval Office. “The energy jobs are coming back. Lots of people going back to work now.” The White House later issued a background paper saying the measure Trump signed “blocks a misguided regulation from burdening American extraction companies.””

Trump’s vow to scrap the Paris climate change accord faces skepticism from corporations, GOP moderates

February 15, 2017 | The Los Angeles Times

“Exxon Mobil is all in on Paris, which aims to contain global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial-age levels; so are DuPont, Unilever and Monsanto, the multinational genetically engineered food juggernaut that often tangles with the environmental movement. Half of the companies on the Fortune 500 already have greenhouse gas reduction plans in place.”

Trump’s likely science adviser calls climate scientists ‘glassy-eyed cult’

February 15, 2017 | The Guardian

““There’s a huge amount of money that we spend on saving the planet,” [Tapper] said. “If it turns out that the planet doesn’t need saving as much as we thought, well, there are other ways you could spend the money.”

Trump’s Repeal of Stream Rule Helps Coal at the Expense of Climate and Species

February 15, 2017 | InsideClimate News

“Central Appalachia, where much of the mining that would have been affected by the rule takes place, hosts some of the richest biodiversity in North America. Many endemic species live only within particular river systems or valleys.”

EPA staff told to prepare for Trump executive orders: sources

February 16, 2017 | Reuters

“”It was just a heads-up to expect some executive orders, that’s it,” one of the sources said.

The second source said attendees at the meeting were told Trump would sign between two and five executive orders.”

E.P.A. Workers Try to Block Pruitt in Show of Defiance 

February 16, 2017 | The New York Times

“But because Civil Service rules make it difficult to fire federal workers, the show of defiance indicates that Mr. Pruitt will face strong internal opposition to many of his promised efforts to curtail E.P.A. activities and influence.”

February 17, 2017 | The Washington Post

“The vote came after Democrats held the Senate floor for hours overnight Thursday and then through the morning to criticize Pruitt and push for a last-minute delay of his confirmation. Part of their argument centered on an Oklahoma judge’s ruling late Thursday that Pruitt’s office must turn over thousands of emails related to his communication with oil, gas and coal companies. The judge set a Tuesday deadline for release of the emails, which a nonprofit group has been seeking for years.”


State Response

February 13, 2017 | The Boston Globe

“The plan was designed to comply with a landmark 2016 Supreme Judicial Court decision that requires specific limits on sources of greenhouse gases. But while the regulations might help the state curb emissions, they could cause electricity production to be diverted to less efficient power plants outside the state that might use more polluting energy sources, such as coal or oil, critics say.”

Environmentalists push for 100% renewable energy use in Massachusetts

February 13, 2017 | MassLive

“”We’re seeing in real ways the public’s desire in Western Massachusetts to forge ahead with a new generation renewable energy economy that provides more higher paying jobs, cleans our air, and protects our earth for future generations,” Linsky said.”


In Other Congressional News…

Republicans want EPA to investigate use of encrypted texts

February 14, 2017 | CNN

“”It is clear the new administration has created an environment where government scientists are feeling intimidated and fearful for their ability to continue to do their work without political interference,” said spokeswoman Kristin Kopshever. “That said, attempts to evade federal records requirements are unacceptable whether they take place at a federal agency or in the White House.””

Collins says she’ll vote against confirming Scott Pruitt to head EPA

February 15, 2017 | Portland Press Herald [Maine]

“Collins called Pruitt an accomplished attorney, but said his record raises several concerns. She pointed out that he has opposed and sued the EPA on “numerous issues that are of great importance to the state of Maine, including mercury controls for coal-fired power plants and efforts to reduce cross-state air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”

“His actions leave me with considerable doubts about whether his vision for the EPA is consistent with the agency’s critical mission to protect human health and the environment,” Collins said.”

Senate Dems plan all-night protest over Trump’s EPA pick

February 16, 2017 | The Hill

“Democrats blasted McConnell on Thursday for refusing to delay a vote on Pruitt. They wanted more time to wait for records from his time as Oklahoma attorney general requested more than two years ago.”


A Look Back

On his first day in office, Trump broke 34 promises

January 21, 2017 | ThinkProgress

“Trump promised to begin canceling billions in climate change spending for the United Nations on day one.

Therefore, on the first day of my term of office… We’re going to cancel billions in payments to the United Nations climate change programs, and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

Trump’s new administration had not announced any such cancellation on the first day. In the last days of the Obama administration, the State Department transferred $500 million in commitments to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund.”

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