Week 11

The Headlines

Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’

March 29, 2017 | Politico

A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO.

EPA chief says Paris climate agreement ‘bad deal’ for U.S.

April 2, 2017 | Reuters

“To demonstrate the leadership that we have shown on this issue with China and India and other nations is very important and discussions should ensue,” Pruitt said on Fox News Sunday, “but what Paris represents is a bad deal for this country.”

Trump Plan to Slash EPA Budget Goes Even Deeper, New Memo Shows

April 3, 2017 | InsideClimate News

The memo repeatedly portrays climate as outside the agency’s “core statutory requirements.” That’s a radical change from the Obama administration’s last EPA budget proposal, which called greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation “the issue of highest importance facing the agency.”

U.S. coal companies ask Trump to stick with Paris climate deal

April 4, 2017 | Reuters

In Cloud Peak’s view, staying in the agreement and trying to encourage “a more balanced, reasonable and appropriate path forward” on fossil fuel technologies among signatories to the accord seems like a reasonable stance, said Cloud Peak’s vice president of government affairs, Richard Reavey.

U.S. would slash EPA vehicle testing budget under Trump plan

April 4, 2017 | Reuters

The proposal, which would also cut 168 out of 304 full-time jobs, seeks to partially fund current operations by boosting fees automakers and engine manufacturers pay for testing. An EPA official confirmed the document’s authenticity.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s claim that ‘clean coal’ helped reduce carbon emissions

April 5, 2017 | The Washington Post

Pruitt said additional regulation is unnecessary because carbon emissions have already been reduced to pre-1994 levels. He attributed the decline to a host of nonregulatory efforts, including the ability for factories to use technology to “burn coal in clean fashion.”

Trump declares end to ‘war on coal,’ but utilities aren’t listening

April 5, 2017 | Reuters

The utilities gave many reasons, mainly economic: Natural gas – coal’s top competitor – is cheap and abundant; solar and wind power costs are falling; state environmental laws remain in place; and Trump’s regulatory rollback may not survive legal challenges.

U.S. land agency website drops hiking photo to give coal top billing

April 6, 2017 | Reuters

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, an avid hunter and angler from coal-producing Montana, who rode to his first day of work on a horse named Tonto, approved a $22 million coal lease in central Utah last month.


In Other News…

Even Fox News slams EPA chief’s climate denial: ‘All kinds of studies contradict you’

April 2, 2017 | ThinkProgress [with Fox News video]

“What if, in fact, the earth is warming, what if it is causing dramatic climate change and we as humans through carbon emissions are contributing to it? Simple question, what if you are wrong?”


State Response

New York, other states take on Trump over energy efficiency

April 3, 2017 | Reuters

Ten Democratic attorneys general, plus New York City and a Pennsylvania regulator, on Monday notified Energy Secretary Rick Perry of their plan to sue in 60 days for stalling proposed standards for air compressors, commercial boilers, portable air conditioners, power supplies, and walk-in coolers and freezers.

EPA Should Not Be Allowed to Dodge Clean Power Plan Ruling, Cities and States Tell Court

April 6, 2017 | InsideClimate News

The brief even made a veiled threat that if the courts ultimately rule that states have no recourse under the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2, they might fall back on a tactic that worked for them in the past: suing polluters under common law for the “nuisance” of intense storms, rising seas and damage to public health.


NEW SECTION: Indigenous Response

Tribes That Live Off Coal Hold Tight to Trump’s Promises

April 1, 2017 | The New York Times

But some of the largest tribes in the United States derive their budgets from the very fossil fuels that Mr. Trump has pledged to promote, including the Navajo in the Southwest and the Osage in Oklahoma, as well as smaller tribes like the Southern Ute in Colorado. And the Crow are among several Indian nations looking to the president’s promises to nix Obama-era coal rules, pull back on regulations, or approve new oil and gas wells to help them lift their economies and wrest control from a federal bureaucracy they have often seen as burdensome.


A Look Back

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

March 28, 2017 | The Guardian Opinion

From Philadelphia to Toronto, hackers raced against the clock to protect crucial datasets before they disappeared. Volunteers tried tirelessly to save what they could, but the federal government is a massive warehouse of information. Some data was bound to get left behind.

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