Week 6

The Headlines

Trump establishes task forces to eliminate ‘job killing regulations’

February 24, 2017 | The Washington Post

“A coalition of public watchdog and environmental groups is already challenging a Feb. 8 executive order Trump signed that calls for the elimination of two regulations for every new one that is issued. Scott Slesinger, who serves as legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement that the latest directive also poses a threat to the public.”

Aggressive cuts to Obama-era green rules to start soon: EPA head

February 25, 2017 | Reuters

“”I think there are some regulations that in the near-term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way. And I think maybe next week you may be hearing about some of those,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Conservative Political Action summit in Washington DC.”

Trump to Propose 10% Defense Increase in Budget Plan, Aides Say

February 26, 2017 | Bloomberg

““Its clogged the bloodstream of our country,” Trump said of [EPA] earlier this month. “People can’t do anything, people are looking to get approvals for factories for 15 years.””

Trump has begun dismantling Obama’s EPA rules. First up: the Clean Water Rule.

March 1, 2017 | Vox

“Rolling back this rule won’t be easy to do. By law, Pruitt has to go through the formal federal rulemaking process and replace Obama’s regulation with his own version — and then defend it in court as legally superior. And, as Pruitt’s about to find out, figuring out which bodies of water deserve protection is a maddeningly complex task that could take years.”

March 1, 2017 | The Washington Post

“In addition, 38 separate programs would be eliminated entirely. Grants to clean up brownfields, or abandoned industrial sites, would be gone. Also zeroed out: the radon program, climate change initiatives and funding for Alaskan native villages.”

Top Trump Advisers Are Split on Paris Agreement on Climate Change

March 2, 2017 | The New York Times

“While the president cannot, as Mr. Trump suggested, unilaterally undo a 194-nation accord that has already been legally ratified, he could initiate the four-year process to withdraw the world’s largest economy and second-largest climate polluter from the first worldwide deal to tackle global warming. Such a move would rend a global deal that has been hailed as historic, throwing into question the fate of global climate policy and, diplomats say, the credibility of the United States.”

EPA withdraws Obama-era request for data on oil, natural gas

March 2, 2017 | Associated Press

“Methane, the key component of natural gas, has a global warming potential more than 25 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. The oil and gas industry is the largest industrial methane source in the United States.”

State Response

How will Alaskans talk climate change with the Trump administration?

February 28, 2017 | adn.com

“Climate change is an important enough priority for the state of Alaska to have been invoked by Gov. Bill Walker in his state of the state address: “Alaska is the only Arctic state in the nation — and we are ground zero for climate impacts,” he said in his address, delivered a month ago.”

In Other Congressional News…

Partisan Divide in Congress Wider Than Ever on Environmental Issues, Group Says

February 23, 2017 | InsideClimate News

“House Republicans cast pro-environmental votes just 5 percent of the time in 2016, while their Democratic colleagues tallied a 94 percent voting record, according to the League of Conservation Voters. That makes the 114th Congress the most politically polarized in the 46-year history of LCV’s Scorecard, the new numbers released Thursday show.”

Members of Congress met to discuss the costs of climate change. They ended up debating its existence.

February 28, 2017 | The Washington Post

“Can anyone on the panel give me a date certain, even a year certain, that there was absolutely no climate change on this planet since the forming of it?” Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) asked the witnesses at one point.

March 2, 2017 | The Washington Post

“Perry’s foes criticized his tepid acknowledgment of climate change, his strong ties to his state’s oil and gas industry, and his lack of experience with the department’s main budgetary area, the maintenance of the nation’s nuclear stockpile. And they wondered whether he will be able to protect the department’s national laboratories and other scientific research against those who would slash the budget.”

A Look Back

January 27, 2017 | The Washington Post

“Davis Filfred, a Navajo Nation Council delegate and official representative to Utah, said in an interview that while the tribes were prepared to go to court over the issue, the back-and-forth felt like “a tug of war” they would rather avoid.”

What Cities Looked Like Before the EPA

March 2, 2017 | CityLab

“While you can see (and breathe) the difference today, the EPA has facts to back it up. Since 1970, the agency has reduced the six most common air pollutants by more than 50 percent, reduced air toxins from large industrial sources by almost 70 percent, and eliminated the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. And this progress was accomplished even as the country’s GDP tripled, energy consumption increased by 50 percent, and vehicle use nearly doubled.”


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