Week 5

The Headlines

Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action

February 20, 2017 | The Washington Post

“While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards.”

Pruitt questions agency’s authority to regulate carbon

February 20, 2017 | E&E News

“Those sentiments seem to contrast with Pruitt’s testimony at his confirmation hearing last month.

“I believe the EPA has a very important role at regulating the emissions of CO2,” Pruitt said during one exchange with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).”

Pruitt Enters EPA With Conciliatory Words, but Staff Braces for Steep Cuts

February 21, 2017 | InsideClimate News

“Pruitt’s view echoes the complaints of industry lobbyists who have decried EPA’s settlement of a number of lawsuits brought by environmental groups during the Obama administration. Under these agreements, the EPA finalized regulations to control mercury from power plants, address air quality issues due to ozone, clean up the Chesapeake Bay and regulate greenhouse gases.”

Thousands of emails detail EPA head’s close ties to fossil fuel industry

February 22, 2017 | The Washington Post

“In one example, Pruitt was a speaker at an ALEC conference on May 3, 2013, in Oklahoma City. He was part of a panel called, “Embracing American Energy Opportunities: From Wellheads to Pipelines.” The event also featured a reception at the Petroleum Club and a luncheon sponsored by Koch Industries.”

February 23, 2017 | The Washington Post

“Noting that “there was no discussion between the transition team and CEQ” in the months between the November election and Trump’s inauguration, Goldfuss added, “There is little regard for environmental policy. And moving the staff that’s responsible for speaking to the public about environmental policy out of their home just highlights the agenda to disregard the environment and the public interest.””

State Response

Pueblo, Colorado and Moab, Utah commit to 100% renewable energy

February 14, 2017 | Sierra Club

“In Utah, Canyonlands National Park has been marred by haze pollution from two neighboring coal plants, which threatens the local Moab tourism industry – the economic lifeblood of the community. With this week’s announcements, both communities are poised to confront these threats by transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.”

New record: plain states exceed 50 percent wind power

February 15, 2017 | Into the Wind

“This latest achievement in SPP is only the most recent in a series of wind power setting records in various electricity markets. Just last December, four other grid operators saw wind set new output records.”

‘The wild west of wind’: Republicans push Texas as unlikely green energy leader

February 20, 2017 | The Guardian

“But while the president and many Republicans in Congress have been disdainful of renewable energy and dismissive of climate change, support for wind in conservative areas has been quietly noted. In 2015, Congress extended a tax credit for wind production until 2020. With many rural communities feeling the benefits of wind energy, it’s unlikely that Trump would find much backing if he attempted to pull away this support.”

Will Oregon regulate carbon emissions?

February 20, 2017 | Statesman Journal

“Previous attempts to put a price on carbon have been opposed by Associated Oregon Industries and some of its member businesses. They have argued that climate change is a global problem and Oregon’s emissions account for just a small fraction of those worldwide.”

California Bill Aims for 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2045

February 22, 2017 | InsideClimate News

“The California Energy Commission says the state got about 27 percent of its electricity from renewables last year, slightly better than the 25 percent required by law. Capacity has more than doubled over the past decade. California’s largest utilities have also said they are ahead of schedule for meeting their 2020 goal.”

In Other Congressional News…

House Republicans demand climate documents from state attorneys general — again

February 17, 2017 | The Washington Post

“In a letter accompanying the reissued subpoena, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chair of the science committee, noted that the reissued subpoena was part of a continued “investigation of potential adverse effects of the actions of the ‘Green 20’ attorneys general on the national scientific enterprise.” The “Green 20” was a name applied to a group of state attorneys general who vowed last March to address the issue of climate change, in part by holding fossil-fuel companies accountable for any efforts to combat or suppress climate science.”

Citing tweet, Chaffetz asks whether Bryce Canyon officials had advance notice of Bears Ears designation

February 21, 2017 | The Washington Post

“In a Feb. 2 response, Fritzke wrote that a summer intern who had read media coverage of the prospect of Bears Ears becoming a national monument created the map slot in 2016. The intern’s supervisor approved the request, she wrote “knowing that if the Bears Ears National Monument was not created, the slot could be used by another regional recreation area.””

A Look Back

The EPA Has Started to Remove Obama-era Information

February 2, 2017 | Climate Central

“Federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation have been stricken from the site.”


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