Week 9

The Headlines

Interior Department to withdraw Obama-era fracking rule, filings reveal

March 15, 2017 | The Washington Post

“Under the proposal, companies that drill on federal and tribal lands would be subject to stricter design standards for wells and for holding tanks and ponds where liquid wastes are stored. They also would be forced to report which chemicals they were pumping into the ground.”

Trump Budget Blueprint Eviscerates Energy Programs

March 16, 2017 | Climate Central

“The proposal fully embraces fossil fuels development while deeply cutting popular environmental cleanup programs such as EPA’s Superfund program, which helps to clean up hazardous waste leftover from abandoned industrial and energy facilities.”

Trump Repeal of Climate Rules Means U.S. Paris Target Now Out of Reach

March 20, 2017 | InsideClimate News

“There were people at the [EPA] hard at work on 2.0 [of climate policy], and they were going to ratchet it up, and it was going to be justified by Paris. It all would have worked, except for that whole election thing,” Bookbinder said. “Now, it’s all over…We’re at square zero.”

Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama’s Climate Change Legacy

March 21, 2017 | The New York Times

“The moves are intended to send an unmistakable signal to the nation and the world that Mr. Trump intends to follow through on his campaign vows to rip apart every element of what the president has called Mr. Obama’s “stupid” policies to address climate change. The timing and exact form of the announcement remain unsettled, however.”

The White House calls climate change research a ‘waste.’ Actually, it’s required by law

March 21, 2017 | The Washington Post

“For each of these programs, real people live on the other side of the budget line item,” said Ali Zaidi, a Stanford energy researcher who previously served in a key role in Obama’s Office of Management and Budget overseeing funding for climate and environmental programs. “Students, small business, and sources of economic growth for communities count on this data. Now you’ve got folks waiting by the phone to learn whether they’ll be going to work tomorrow or whether the data that informs their livelihoods will still be available.”

The Hidden Risks of Trump’s EPA Cuts: Birth Defects, Bad Air

March 23, 2017 | Bloomberg

“Calling themselves the Environmental Protection Network, they worked through both Republican and Democratic administrations. The group’s members are putting aside their differences over policies and programs to stop what they say “appears to be nothing less than a full-throttle attack on the principle underlying all U.S. environmental laws—that protecting the health and environment of all Americans is a national priority.””

Trump administration grants approval for Keystone XL pipeline

March 24, 2017 | The Washington Post

“Five years ago, the Keystone XL project faced stiff opposition from Nebraska landowners and environmentalists, many of them worried about potential damage to the state’s massive Ogallala water aquifer and fragile Sand Hills region. In response, the company moved the pipeline’s path farther east. But even that route is sure to face resistance.”


In Other Congressional News…

Republican green groups seek to temper Trump on climate change

March 20, 2017 | Reuters

“Conservative green groups such as ConservAmerica and republicEn, along with politically neutral religious groups such as Catholic Climate Covenant and bipartisan groups such as the Citizens Climate Lobby, have ramped up efforts to recruit more congressional Republicans to work on addressing climate change since Trump’s election.”

Congress grumbles as White House limits spending details

March 22, 2017 | E&E News

“Cantwell was also unaware of the administration’s hesitation to send witnesses up to testify before the full budget is submitted in May but noted that fiscal 2017 appropriations will have to be wrapped up by the end of April, when the current funding resolution expires.”


State Response

Ohio environmentalists alarmed by US budget proposal’s big cuts to EPA

March 12, 2017 | The Columbus Dispatch

“Among the proposals by the Trump administration is one to slash Great Lakes restoration funding by 97 percent — from $300 million to $10 million.”

Green energy in a coal state: the struggle to bring solar jobs to West Virginia

March 19, 2017 | The Guardian

“I really feel like we’re in a race against time, that it’s important we diversify quickly so young folks don’t have to move away,” says Conant. “It’s been really frustrating over the years to see all of my friends leave – pretty much everyone I went to high school with. The state is experiencing a serious brain drain.”

California adopts strictest methane rule in the nation

March 23, 2017 | The San Diego Union-Tribune

“The Trump administration has backed away from efforts to develop a federal rule to curb methane leaks from existing facilities — the nation’s largest source of methane pollution,” Mary Nichols, CARB chair, said in a statement immediately after the vote. “California’s regulations continue our leadership in fighting air pollutants and help meet our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.”

Colorado appeals court says state must protect health and environment before allowing oil and gas drilling

March 23, 2017 | The Denver Post

“The ruling does not mean the COGCC [Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission] now must adopt the teenagers’ proposal to restrict new drilling. It means the COGCC illegally rejected it and sends the case back to district court.”

Vulnerable to climate change, New Mexicans understand its risks

March 23, 2017 | The NM Political Report

“Most New Mexicans know climate change is happening and understand it is human-caused. According to recently-released data, New Mexicans are also more likely than people in about half the country to talk not just about the weather, but climate.”


A Look Back

In race to curb climate change, cities outpace governments

March 13, 2017 | Thomas Reuters Foundation News

“If Trump relaxes standards for clean air, power plants or vehicles “there would be a greater burden on cities to implement programs to fill the gaps,” said Amy Petri of the office of sustainability in the Texas city of Austin.”

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