Previous Legal and Political News 2015-2020

2015     2016     2017     2018     2019

Joe Biden’s Climate Team Actually Cares About Climate 12-28-20

His administration’s staffing shows how seriously the incoming president takes this issue. Read more at The New York Times

Congress takes action against ‘super greenhouse gases’ in coronavirus stimulus 12-22-20

This week, with Americans distracted by tinsel, wrapping paper, and the prospect of a much-needed $600 stimulus check, Congress achieved something that in recent years has seemed impossible: It passed legislation that will cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost clean energy spending at the same time. Read more at Grist

Ahead of Georgia’s runoff elections for US Senate, what do young climate activists think? 12-20-20

On January 5, voters in Georgia will decide which political party controls the US Senate and, in turn, how far President-elect Joe Biden will be able to take his ambitious $2 trillion climate plan. Read more at Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Biden to Pick Brenda Mallory to Run White House Environment Office 12-16-20

The office, the Council on Environmental Quality, is expected to have an expanded focus on environmental justice under Ms. Mallory, an environmental lawyer. Read more at The New York Times

Gina McCarthy will be Biden’s ‘climate czar.’ What the heck is a climate czar?? 12-16-20

President-elect Joe Biden will name Gina McCarthy as his domestic “climate czar,” multiple outlets reported on Tuesday, elevating the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to a Cabinet-level position in the White House. Read more at Grist

As leaders set fresh climate goals, Biden pledges US support 12-12-20

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden pledged Saturday to rejoin the Paris climate accord on the first day of his presidency, as world leaders staged a virtual gathering to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the international pact aimed at curbing global warming. Read more at AP News

Learning how to talk: What climate activists must do in the Biden era 11-29-20

For four years the country has been governed by the GOP and only one guy has gotten to talk — disagree with him and you became a non-person. Read more at Grist

In Obama’s new memoir, a warning for Biden’s climate plans 11-27-20

President Barack Obama wanted to do something big to combat climate change. He just couldn’t. Read more at Grist 

Alaska’s Controversial Pebble Mine Fails to Win Critical Permit, Likely Killing It 11-25-20

The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, likely dealing a death blow to a long-disputed project that aimed to extract one of the world’s largest deposits of copper and gold ore, but which threatened breeding grounds for salmon in the pristine Bristol Bay region. Read more at The New York Times

A record 6 Native Americans were elected to Congress. Here’s where they stand on climate. 11-18-20

Indigenous peoples have a critical role to play in the fight against climate change. Read more at Grist

How a Biden administration could push companies further on climate 11-13-20

Over the past year or so, as the Trump administration continued to roll back or weaken as many climate regulations in the United States as it could get its hands on, the corporate world seemed to be doing the opposite. Read more at Grist

Post-election, youth climate activists celebrate, recuperate, and organize 11-13-20

Now that President-elect Joe Biden has won the White House, Claire Hedburg is ready to finally get back to her chemistry homework. Read more at Grist

The Biggest Environmental Wins and Losses of the 2020 Election 11-09-20

Election Day 2020 — the day before the United States officially left the Paris climate agreement — didn’t deliver an immediate rebuke to President Trump or relief for environmentalists. Read more at The Revelator

Biden won the election. Now can he save the planet? 11-07-20

After five days of nail-biting, anxiety-inducing ballot counting in half a dozen key swing states, Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Read more at Grist 

The U.S. just left the Paris climate accord, even as the presidential race is undecided 11-04-20

On Wednesday morning, the result in the race between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden remains unclear. Read more at The Washington Post

Moby Dick is a perfect parable for what’s at stake in the 2020 election 11-03-20

The lines of voters stretch as far as the eye can see, winding their way to polling booths across the country despite a life-threatening pandemic, an economic crisis, and a year that’s been filled with upheaval and uncertainty as the United States heads into an exceptionally heated presidential election. Read more at Grist 

Joe Biden makes a final pitch to Americans in 2 new climate ads 10-31-20

As you read this, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are making their way through crucial swing states broadcasting one last pitch to Americans ahead of the general election on Tuesday. Read more at Grist

Can climate change win Florida Latinos for Biden? 10-30-20

The “Latino vote” is complicated. More than half of U.S. population growth in the last decade has been among Latinos, and conventional wisdom holds that this trend is a boon for the Democratic party. Read more at Grist

Trump to strip protections from Tongass National Forest, one of the biggest intact temperate rainforests 10-28-20

President Trump will open up more than half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging and other forms of development, according to a notice posted Wednesday, stripping protections that had safeguarded one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests for nearly two decades.  Read more at The Washington Post

Climate change is on the ballot in 7 cities and states 10-28-20

On election night, as you scan for updates on your phone, keep half an eye on the television in the background, and click refresh on a series of tabs, you are going to want something else to check on besides presidential and congressional results. Read more at Grist

Alaska’s oil tax 10-28-20

The Alaskan state government gets most of its tax revenue from oil. The state was once so rich with oil money that it created a giant trust fund that pays out to residents every year. Read more at Grist

Environmental Voters Show Up Strong in Early Voting 10-27-20

At least 62 million Americans have already cast their ballots nationwide, with Election Day still more than 10 days away. Read more at Our Daily Planet

With Justice Barrett, a Tectonic Court Shift on the Environment 10-26-20

The accession of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court will cement a conservative majority that is likely to give polluting industries freer rein, limit the ability of citizens to sue, and call into question the very basis of the EPA to issue and enforce regulations. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Farmers Have Long Memories: Trump’s Climate Record Could Hurt Him in Iowa 10-24-20

Keith Puntenney never gave his permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cut through his Iowa farmland. Read more at Capital and Main

Biden schools Trump on environmental justice during debate 10-23-20

There was a first in the second and final presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle: NBC News White House correspondent and Thursday’s moderator Kristen Welker asked a question about environmental justice. Read more at Grist

Dear Gen Z, to protect your right to protest, you must exercise your right to vote 10-23-20

If people don’t vote, they’ll be playing right into the hands of the fossil fuel industry. Read more at Grist

Sen. Merkley Introduces Bills to Stop Banks From Funding Fossil Fuels 10-22-20

“We need to hit the ground running undoing the damage of the Trump administration” -Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) Read more at EcoWatch

Not up for debate: It’s time to ask Trump and Biden some serious questions on climate. 10-22-20

After a total shutout of the topic of climate change throughout the 2016 presidential and vice-presidential debates, moderator Chris Wallace asked President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden for their positions on the issue in their first tilt last month. Read more at Grist 

How Should the Media Talk About Climate Change? 10-17-20

It is now October of 2020, the homestretch or—God help us—the halfway point of the Donald Trump years. Read more at The New Yorker

Kamala Harris makes Amy Coney Barrett’s climate views a campaign issue 10-15-20

Questions about how the Supreme Court would rule on climate cases are now officially a campaign issue. Read more at The Washington Post

Feeling the Heat 10-14-20

“We should be a little nervous,” U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California said to a room full of his fellow conservatives at a political conference in Georgia last October. Read more at Grist 

Why voting rights are climate rights: Two experts talk GOTV 10-12-20

The jury is in: Most Americans agree that climate change is a problem and would like to see the government do more to reduce carbon and protect our air and water. Read more at Grist 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day 10-12-20

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, an important reminder that we cannot hope to preserve nature and fight climate change without the inclusion of native people. Read more at Our Daily Planet

How Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Might Hinder Climate Action 10-08-20

Environmental law likely won’t get the same attention as abortion or health care at next week’s Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Read more at National Public Radio 

Kamala Harris and the Push to Cut Hospital Bills in California 10-06-20

She took on the drug and hospital industry as California attorney general, seeking consumer relief from anti-competitive pricing. Read more at The New York Times

Biden Makes Campaign History With Climate Ad 10-06-20

Past Democratic presidential nominees have certainly acknowledged the threat of climate change in their campaigns, though the issue has never been one to run on in and of itself. Read more at Our Daily Planet

Worry Wards 10-05-20

Climate change could tip the scales in these 6 toss-up House races. Read more at Grist

Black voters could swing the election for the environment 10-03-20

It’s not only been a summer season (now autumn) of a deadly pandemic, toxic politics, and social unrest, but the nation has also been rocked by a nonstop series of environmental calamities triggered by the human-pressed climate crisis. Read more at Grist 

Live on K Street and work for an oil company? Team Biden doesn’t want you. 10-02-20

If Joe Biden wins the White House in November, the former vice president has pledged that his advisers won’t be taking orders from the fossil fuel industry. Read more at Grist

Oil search in Atlantic on hold as Trump administration permits expire 10-01-20

A major court battle over the Trump administration’s plan to use deafening blasts to search for oil under the sea is ending with a whimper. Read more at The Washington Post

Four Environmental Fights on the 2020 Ballot 09-30-20

Maybe we can blame COVID-19 for making it hard to hit the streets and gather signatures to get initiatives on state ballots. Read more at EcoWatch 

Trump was forced to talk about climate at the first presidential debate 09-29-20

“I’d like to talk about climate change,” Chris Wallace said in the last 10 minutes of the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday. Read more at Grist

How long has it been since debate moderators asked about climate change? 09-29-20

The year was 2008. The first Iron Man movie was in theaters, California had just become the second state to legalize same-sex marriage, and — oh yeah — presidential debate moderators asked candidates two questions about climate change. Read more at Grist

Kentucky’s climate is changing. Will its politics? 09-25-20

April 15. That’s the traditional frost-free date in Schochoh, the small community in south-central Kentucky, where Sam Halcomb and his family own and operate Walnut Grove Farms. Read more at Grist

Want the Youth Vote? Prioritize Climate Change 09-23-20

In the speech she gave at the People’s Climate March in Washington in 2017, Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, then 15, told a crowd of thousands, “This [climate change] is not just an environmental issue. This is a race issue, this is an immigration issue, this is a feminist issue.” Read more at EcoWatch

Ginsburg left a long environmental legacy 09-19-20

Ginsburg was also a reliable vote over the decades in favor of environmental protections. Read more at Politico

Senate 2020: In Kansas, a Democratic Climate Hawk Closes in on a Republican Climate Skeptic 09-16-20

State Sen. Barbara Bollier says climate change is an urgent threat. U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, close to Trump, questions whether it’s even real. Read more at Inside Climate News

Conn. Sues ExxonMobil, Claims Company Deceived Public on Climate Change 09-14-20

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong Monday announced a lawsuit filed against ExxonMobil alleging the oil giant has known for decades that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, but that the company deceived the public about the connection. Read more at NBC Connecticut

The Energy 202: Top green group aims record $100 million at defeating Trump and Republicans 09-10-20

To defeat President Trump, a big-spending green group is planning to drop more money than ever on the 2020 election. Read more at The Washington Post

Who’s advising Joe Biden on climate? His former rivals. 09-03-20

Over the past several months, Joe Biden has assumed the herculean task of bringing the progressive left under his banner while maintaining the support of the more moderate liberals who form his base. Read more at Grist

145 Progressive Groups Urge Biden to Shun Fossil Fuel Execs and Lobbyists 09-01-20

A diverse coalition of nearly 150 progressive advocacy groups is demanding that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ban fossil fuel executives and lobbyists from his 2020 campaign. Read more at EcoWatch

A Climate Change Skeptic, Mike Pence Brought to the Vice Presidency Deep Ties to the Koch Brothers 08-31-20

Pence’s record on climate is built on ironclad support for oil, gas and coal, and an abiding antipathy for the ‘job-killing’ Paris climate accord. Read more at EcoWatch

Democrats’ climate plan takes aim at the fossil fuel industry’s political power 08-24-20

Senate Democrats are set to release a 200-page plan arguing that significant U.S. climate action will require stripping the fossil fuel industry of its influence over the government and the public’s understanding of the crisis. Read more at Grist

“The Proof Is In The Pudding.” Coal Country Responds To Democrats’ Clean Energy Transition 08-21-20

Democrats made their pitch to the American people during a largely virtual Democratic National Convention and addressing climate change emerged as a central tenet of the party’s plan. Read more at Ohio Valley Resource

New Trump Rule Could Create ‘Bomb Trains,’ Environmentalists Say 08-20-20

The administration has a ‘wildly unsafe’ plan to transport liquified natural gas on railroads, with tanks carrying enough explosive power to level a city, according to a new lawsuit. Read more at Rolling Stone 

Lujan Grisham touts clean energy jobs in convention speech 08-19-20

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took center stage Wednesday at the top of a lineup of party heavy hitters on the third night of the Democratic National Convention, stressing the need to invest in clean energy jobs. Read more at The Santa Fe New Mexican

Trump Eliminates Major Methane Rule, Even as Leaks Are Worsening 08-13-20

The weakening of Obama-era efforts to fight climate change amounts to a gift to many oil companies. Researchers warn that the decision ignores science. Read more at The New York Times 

On Climate, Kamala Harris Has a Record and Profile for Action 08-12-20

As Joe Biden’s running mate, the California senator will draw in the activist community that Biden hopes to have behind his candidacy. Read more at Inside Climate News

The Environmental Legacy of Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s Newly-Announced Running Mate 08-12-20

Former Vice President Joe Biden made a historic announcement Tuesday when he named California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election. Read more at EcoWatch

Memo: Battleground Senate Voters Support Bold Climate Action 08-06-20

Voters in the key senate battleground states of Arizona, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina support a broad range of climate policies and are more likely to support candidates that pledge bold climate action Read more at Data for Progress

Democratic Bill Banning Toxic Pesticides Applauded as ‘Much-Needed’ Step to Protect Kids and Planet 08-05-20

Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced sweeping legislation that would ban some of the most toxic pesticides currently in use in the U.S. Read more at EcoWatch

Why Biden’s car plan might not be a ‘clunker’ 08-04-20

Former Vice President Joe Biden wants millions of Americans to trade in their older, polluting cars for shiny new electric vehicles. Read more at E & E News

Inside the rise of the green super PACs 07-29-20

Conservative outside groups spent nearly a year airing ads in Michigan attacking Democratic Sen. Gary Peters and boosting his main Republican rival, John James. Read more at E & E News

EPA Watchdog to Investigate Trump’s Tailpipe Emissions Rollback 07-28-20

The inspector general for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will look into one of the Trump administration’s hallmark environmental rollbacks: the weakening of Obama-era emissions standards. Read more at Ecowatch 

The curse of ‘both-sidesism’: How climate denial skewed media coverage for 30 years 07-28-20

Ever wonder why Americans have been so slow to support climate action? A new study lays some of the blame on media bias —for 30 years, three of the country’s most influential sources of news gave too much credence to arguments that the world shouldn’t take decisive action to mitigate climate change. Read more at Grist

House passes major conservation package with bipartisan support 07-23-20

A major piece of land conservation legislation is making its way to President Trump’s desk after overwhelmingly passing the House late Wednesday. Read more at The Washington Post

Political, Not Partisan: Covering the 2020 Elections as a Climate Story 07-17-20

Every presidential election is critical in its way. Even so, 2020 manages to feel unique. With a deadly virus stalking the land and crashing the economy and political polarization so high that the truth itself is often in question, this November will certainly mark a turning point in American history. Read more at EcoWatch

Court strikes down Trump administration’s methane rollback 07-16-20

A federal court late Wednesday struck down a Trump administration rule that weakened restrictions on methane gas releases from drilling on public land, restoring an Obama-era rule. Read more at The Hill 

The BREATHE Act would defund police — and fund environmental justice 07-10-20

As the U.S. enters another month of sustained protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality, organizers are working to turn the protests’ energy into legislative action. Read more at Grist

The House Select Committee’s “Blueprint” for Solving the Climate Crisis 07-10-20

Historically, the ocean has been overlooked in the climate debate. That makes no sense. Read more at Our Daily Planet

Biden consolidates support from mainstream environmentalists with new endorsement 06-25-20

Joe Biden further consolidated the support of mainstream environmentalists by scoring the endorsement of a major green group on Wednesday. Read more at The Washington Post

The Energy 202: Senate passes big conservation bill to spend billions on national parks and other public lands 06-18-20

Backers of the bill, called the Great American Outdoors Act, hailed it as one of the most significant pieces of conservation legislation in decades. Read more at The Washington Post

Big Money Bought the Forests. Small Logging Communities Are Paying the Price 06-11-20

Its surrounding forests are still being logged. But Falls City isn’t seeing the profits. Read more at ProPublica

Trump trashes 50-year-old environmental law, blames coronavirus 06-10-20

With the nation’s eyes on ongoing protests for racial justice (not to mention a seemingly endless public health crisis), last week President Trump signed an executive order that would waive key requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Read more at Grist

A Powerful Petrochemical Lobbying Group Advanced Anti-Protest Legislation in the Midst of the Pandemic 06-07-20

Analysis by Yale and Columbia universities shows US lagging far behind other industrialized countries in a range of categories. Read more at The Intercept

US ranks 24th in the world on environmental performance 06-04-20

Analysis by Yale and Columbia universities shows US lagging far behind other industrialized countries in a range of categories Read more at The Guardian

At last, a climate policy platform that can unite the left 05-27-20

The factions of the Democratic coalition have come into alignment on climate change. Read more at Vox

The Most Anti-Nature President in U.S. History 05-21-20

President Donald Trump has thrown in reverse the United States’ proud, bipartisan record of nature conservation. Read more at American Progress

Big Oil Taking $1.9 Billion in CARES Act Tax Breaks 05-17-20

A federal judge upheld his April 15 ruling Monday, tossing a key permit required by the Keystone XL and other pipeline projects to cross streams and wetlands. Read more at EcoWatch

House Democrats don’t touch oil and gas company aid in new coronavirus bill 05-13-20

House Democrats unveiled a huge, new coronavirus relief package that would inject more than $3 trillion into state and local governments, health systems and other parts of the economy rocked by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more at The Washington Post

Federal Judge: Pipelines Must Not Cross Streams Without Considering Endangered Species 05-12-20

A federal judge upheld his April 15 ruling Monday, tossing a key permit required by the Keystone XL and other pipeline projects to cross streams and wetlands. Read more at EcoWatch

Plastic recycling is broken. So why does Big Plastic want $1 billion to fix it? 05-11-20

As the coronavirus pandemic cripples the U.S. economy, corporate giants are turning to Congress for help. Polluting industries have been among the first in line: Congress has already bailed out airlines, and coal companies have snagged over $30 million in federal small-business loans. Read more at Grist

The Trump Administration Is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List. 05-06-20

After three years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies the president promised to undo. Read more at The New York Times

GOP lawmakers target banks’ refusal to fund fossil fuel projects 05-05-20

“You think this is a cost-free action? Let’s see about that,” Alaska’s Dan Sullivan said in an interview. Read more at Politico

‘A big deal’: Keystone XL ruling could threaten other pipelines 04-22-20

A sweeping court ruling last week that halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through waterways set off alarm bells for some energy industry analysts. Read more at E&E News

How Earth Day gave birth to environmental movement 04-22-20

Denis Hayes, one of the event’s founders, recalls the first and how its influence spread. Read more at Environmental Health News

How did you first become interested in environmentalism? 04-22-20

When I grew up, in a [Washington state] paper-mill community, there was no form of pollution control on the smokestacks. The stench from sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide was pervasive. Read more at Environmental Health News 

The Energy 202: Biden says he’s open to ‘expanding’ his climate plan to win over young voters 04-20-20

Joe Biden, who picked up an endorsement from a big-spending green group this morning, says he will expand his climate plan as part of an effort win over young voters who see rising global temperatures as a generational crisis. Read more at The Washington Post 

How will Earth Day celebrate its 50th birthday? Not as planned. 04-19-20

Picture the biggest protest you’ve ever seen. Crowds stretch on for miles between downtown skyscrapers on streets normally bustling with cars. From a birds-eye view, the moving bodies form a glittering mosaic. Zoom in, and the mass of chanting people brims with bright signs and unmistakable enthusiasm. Read more at Grist

Republicans Are Planning to Use Coronavirus to Gut Renewable Energy 04-13-20

Conservative groups aligned with the oil industry hope to block any aid for the solar and wind industries, which have been decimated by the pandemic. Read more at Vice

U.S. to Announce Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules, a Key Effort to Fight Climate Change 03-30-20

The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday to announce its final rule to rollback Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards, relaxing efforts to limit climate-warming tailpipe pollution and virtually undoing the government’s biggest effort to combat climate change. Read more at The New York Times

DOI Is Using Coronavirus as a Smoke Screen 03-26-20

With the public distracted, Secretary Bernhardt is advancing environmental harm Read more at Outside

How Washington allows clear-cut logging in cities that don’t want it 03-19-20

When the community of Newcastle protected a critical salmon watershed, they didn’t know state regulations would undermine them decades later. Read more at Crosscut

EPA Is Hiding Information About New Chemicals: Green Groups Sue to Stop the Secrecy 03-18-20

When Congress updated the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016 for the first time in 40 years, public health and environmental advocates hoped it would be a game-changer for protecting Americans from dangerous chemicals, enabling the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finally ban harmful substances like asbestos. Read more at EcoWatch

Judge Rules Against Trump’s Attempt to Log in America’s Largest National Forest 03-13-20

A federal judge in Alaska ruled late Wednesday against a Trump administration plan to open 1.8 million acres of America’s largest national forest to logging. Read more at EcoWatch

Holding the Bill 03-04-20

Insurance companies and lenders are responding to climate change — by shifting risk to taxpayers. Read more at Grist

The Energy 202: How a powerful lobbying group got stricter energy efficiency codes out of a big Senate energy bill 03-04-20

Making new homes and businesses more energy efficient has long been recognized as a key way of curbing climate change. Read more at The Washington Post

Trump’s environmental rollbacks are deeply unpopular with swing voters 02-26-20

It may be hard to tell, but in between jabs at climate science, federal science agencies, and stalwart environmental regulations, President Trump has been trying to position himself as an environmentalist. Read more at Grist

Op-ed: Trump’s polluted policies leave children in bad air 02-27-20

Children get a vicious message from President Trump in his proposed budget cuts for 2021 Read more at Environmental Health News

How Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan teamed with a climate-crusading Democrat to pass an ocean cleanup bill 02-23-20

An unlikely friendship between a climate change champion from the East Coast and Alaska’s junior U.S. senator paved the way for a bipartisan effort. Read more at Anchorage Daily News

This Is Why the GOP Can’t Have Nice Climate Plans 02-14-20

Some Republicans want to respond to moderates’ concerns about global warming. Others are appalled by any concessions at all. Read more at The New Republic

Makers of plastic products tell Democrats to back off 02-12-20

Democrats’ wide-ranging anti-plastics bill garnered a severe reaction from the plastic industry after Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Rep. Alan Lowenthal of California introduced the legislation yesterday. Read more at E & E News

A federal appeals court judge’s remarkable speech is the latest surprise in NC’s hog nuisance lawsuits 02-03-20

Over the last two years, juries at the federal district court level have awarded 34 eastern North Carolina plaintiffs $97.9 million in compensatory and punitive damages for nuisance claims. Read more at NC Policy Watch

EPA’s new water rule is a mockery of science and the Clean Water Act 01-27-20

If the Trump administration’s own scientific advisory board, a host of biological societies, and scores of former government agency officials are disappointed, the rest of America should be fearful and angry. Read more at Environmental Health News

‘This Will Be the Biggest Loss of Clean Water Protection the Country Has Ever Seen’: Trump Finalizes Clean Water Rule Replacement 01-23-20

Today, the Trump administration will finalize its replacement for the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in a move that will strip protections from more than half of the nation’s wetlands and allow landowners to dump pesticides into waterways, or build over wetlands, for the first time in decades. Read more at EcoWatch

Republicans’ Climate Change Plan Is Big Oil’s Climate Change Plan 01-21-20

Three GOP legislators have proposed a set of policies that look mighty familiar. Read more at The New Republic

Energy Companies Have a Great Friend At Trump’s Interior Department: Their Former Lobbyist 01-16-20

They’ve spent $30 million lobbying the government since Trump arrived. Read more at Mother Jones

New emails show the Justice Department is helping Big Oil fight climate lawsuits 01-14-20

Three years ago, a first-of-its-kind legal case argued that fossil fuel companies were liable for climate change — and should pay up to help cities adapt. Read more at Grist


Science Panel Staffed With Trump Appointees Says E.P.A. Rollbacks Lack Scientific Rigor 12-31-19

A top panel of government-appointed scientists said three of Trump’s most far-reaching and scrutinized proposals to weaken major environmental regulations are at odds with established science. Read more at The Washington Post

US Court Upholds Ruling on Vast Marine Monument Established by Obama 12-31-19

Defenders of ocean habitats celebrated Friday after a federal court upheld a lower court ruling defending the right of the U.S. executive branch to set aside marine areas as national monuments. Read more at EcoWatch

Forests and Climate Big Losers in 2020 Federal Spending Package 12-19-19

Using satellite data, scientists have confirmed that a 2018 blowout turned a natural gas well in Ohio into a “super-emitter,” leaking more methane in 20 days than all but three European nations emit over an entire year. Read more at RCC

RCC Leads Climate Comments to U.S. House 12-19-19

In three parts, this memorandum identifies the key climate threats posed by continued mismanagement of US forests, policies responsive to those threats, and steps needed to implement the policies. Read more at RCC

UNC Asheville Fossil Fuel Divestment: Four Years of Action 12-18-19

In 2016, UNCA Divest was able to meet with members of the UNC Asheville Endowment Investment Committee and the Board of Trustees to present the case for divestment. Read more at RCC

‘Our War Against Nature Must Stop’: UN Secretary General Launches COP25 With Urgent Call for Climate Action 12-02-19

COP25, the UN Climate Change Conference, begins today in Madrid, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres wants everyone to know the stakes are high. Read more at EcoWatch

At a Protest in Arizona, Border Communities Are Fighting Trump’s Wall 11-24-19

“This is a human tragedy and an ecological tragedy.”

On a Saturday morning in early November, Edwina Vogan and a few of her friends drove over two hours from the Phoenix suburbs to southern Arizona to protest new wall construction at the US-Mexico border. Read more at Mother Jones

FBI eyes how Pennsylvania approved pipeline 11-12-19

The FBI has begun a corruption investigation into how Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration came to issue permits for construction on a multibillion-dollar pipeline project. Read more at Associated Press

E.P.A. to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules 11-11-19

The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking. Read more at The New York Times

Trump Interior nominee fast-tracked a ‘deficient’ drilling permit 11-04-19

In March 2017, a politically connected oil firm called Cimarex Energy Co. was in a hurry to begin fracking on a flat expanse of farmland in the western Oklahoma oil patch. Read more at Reveal

White House Pressed Car Makers to Join Its Fight Over California Emissions Rules 10-30-19

Monday’s surprise move by General Motors, Toyota and other auto giants to back President Trump in his fight with California over pollution rules came after days of White House pressure to support one of the administration’s biggest efforts to weaken climate regulations. Read more at The Washington Post

House Democrats set to introduce first-of-its-kind climate refugee bill 10-26-19

House Democrats are set to introduce the first major piece of legislation to establish protections for migrants displaced by climate change, ramping up a push for a long-overdue framework for how the United States should respond to a crisis already unfolding on its shores. Read more at Grist

The Student Vote Is Surging. So Are Efforts to Suppress It. 10-24-19

The share of college students casting ballots doubled from 2014 to 2018, a potential boon to Democrats. But in Texas and elsewhere, Republicans are erecting roadblocks to the polls. Read more at The Boston Globe

Peter Dykstra: Spoiling “America’s Best Idea” 10-20-19

The bipartisan neglect of our National Parks Read more at Environmental Health News

Bipartisan Report Says Trump’s Abuse Has Pushed Federal Science to a ‘Crisis’ 10-03-19

All presidents over the past two decades have nudged science to support their policies, but a report out of N.Y.U. said the Trump administration has driven federal science to a “crisis point.” Read more at The New York Times

The EPA fired these air pollution scientists. They’re meeting anyway. 09-28-19

An advisory panel of air pollution scientists disbanded by the Trump administration plans to continue their work with or without the U.S. government. Read more at Grist

September Climate Strikes 09-25-19

Over the weekend, climate strikes swept across the nation as activists sought to apply pressure on world leaders gathering in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly. Read more at RCC

Why California Is Standing Firm Against Trump on Auto Emissions 09-16-19

In an e360 interview, Mary Nichols, the long-time chair of the California Air Resources Board, talks about California’s continued efforts to stop the Trump administration’s rollback of stricter fuel efficiency standards, and why the auto industry is largely on its side. Read more at Yale Environment 360 

Trump Admin Goes After States for Protecting the Environment 09-09-19

The Trump administration has been on a collision course with California, and it appears that collision is imminent. An administrative action to undermine the authority granted to the state by the Clean Air Act to protect its citizens from vehicle pollution appears to be imminent. Read more at EcoWatch

U.S. Beekeepers File Suit Against Trump EPA Charging ‘Illegal’ Approval of Insecticide Linked to Mass Die-Off 09-08-19

A group of beekeepers joined forces on Friday against Trump’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by filing a lawsuit over the agency’s move to put a powerful insecticide — one that scientists warn is part of the massive pollinator die-off across the U.S. — back on the market. Read more at EcoWatch

Democrats’ Climate Forum Exposes Rifts On Fracking, Nuclear Power And The Filibuster 09-05-19

Turns out there would be plenty for the Democrats to debate, should they ever get the chance. Read more at HuffPost

America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting 2019 09-03-19

The schools doing the most to turn students into citizens. Read more at Washington Monthly

Emails Show Monsanto Orchestrated GOP Effort to Intimidate Cancer Researchers 08-23-19

In 2015 the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified glyphosate, an active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, as a “probable carcinogen,” setting off a global debate about the world’s most popular weedkiller. Read more at The Intercept

22 states sue the Trump administration over its climate ‘plan’ 08-13-19

Twenty-two states and seven cities sued the Trump administration on Tuesday over the Environmental Protection Agency’s new plan for power plants. Read more at Grist

Trump Pushed for Mining Project That Could Destroy Alaska Salmon Ecosystems, Despite EPA Opposition 08-12-19

“Gold over life, literally.” Read more at EcoWatch

Revealed: FBI and police monitoring Oregon anti-pipeline activists 08-08-19

Emails show the latest example of environmental groups facing increased surveillance by law enforcement Read more at The Guardian

What Would a City-Level Green New Deal Look Like? Seattle’s About to Find Out 08-15-19

The next step is turning the City Council’s resolution into pro-climate policies and finding ways to pay for them. Seattle has a few big ideas. Read more at Inside Climate News 

Debate’s Attempt to Show Candidates Divided on Climate Change Finds Unity Instead 08-01-19

The Democrats may butt heads on climate policy details, but they all see growing risks to security, economy and health that the next president can’t ignore. Read more at Inside Climate News

Berkeley Approves Natural Gas Ban in New Buildings 07-25-19

Berkeley, California on Tuesday became the first U.S. city to approve a ban on natural gas hook-ups in all new residential buildings, a move that proponents argued is a needed step for all cities in the state if California is to meet its goal of shifting to net-zero carbon emissions from energy sources by 2045. Read more at EcoWatch

Ohio Governor Signs Nuclear and Coal Bailout at Expense of Renewable Energy 07-23-19

Opponents fear the law will send the growing wind and solar industry to neighboring states while Ohio homeowners are stuck boosting old, uneconomical power plants. Read more at Inside Climate News

How fast can the political pendulum swing? Ask Maine. 07-17-19

In a world of political hot takes and partisan outrage, it can feel as if an opposing politician or party is doing irreparable damage. But Maine shows how quickly and dramatically things can change. Read more at The Christian Science Monitor

Intelligence aide, blocked from submitting written testimony on climate change, resigns from State Dept. 07-10-19

Rod Schoonover’s decision to leave was voluntary, according to individuals familiar with the matter Read more at The Washington Post

Trump’s Misleading Speech on His Environmental Record Is a ‘True “1984” Moment’ 07-09-19

President Donald Trump delivered a speech Monday on “America’s environmental leadership” that failed to even once mention climate changeThe New York Times reported. The speech was also riddled with inaccuracies, as the president took credit for environmental achievements enacted by previous administrations and downplayed the impacts of his deregulatory agenda. Read more at EcoWatch

U.S. Mayors Pressure Congress on Carbon Pricing, Climate Lawsuits and a Green New Deal 07-02-19

The U.S. Conference of Mayors opposed any limits on suing fossil fuel companies over climate change, which would rule out a carbon tax plan supported by industry. Read more at Inside Climate News

Politicians are Choosing Corporate Polluters & Planet Wreckers over Our Welfare: Can we Make them Stop? 06-29-19

From the White House to Ohio, too many politicians care more about protecting toxic industries than their constituents. Read more at Informed Comment

This North Carolina lawmaker is trying to slam the brakes on wind. Again. 06-24-19

North Carolina State Senator Harry Brown just doesn’t like wind. Read more at Grist

Supreme Court Upholds Virginia’s Ban on Uranium Mining 06-18-19

In a blow to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled Monday to uphold a Virginia ban on mining uraniumReuters reported. Read more at EcoWatch

The uphill battle for communities that ban pesticides 06-17-19

As cities and counties across the US restrict or ban pesticides, many are realizing passing a law is but a battlefield victory in a prolonged war. Read more at Environmental Health News

A Bipartisan Group of Former EPA Heads Say the Agency Must Return to Its Mission 06-12-19

Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leaders from four different administrations testified before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Tuesday, and all agreed on one thing: They don’t like what the Trump administration has done with the place. Read more at EcoWatch

Breathe easier: States are passing a buttload of clean-energy bills 06-10-19

Climate victories are thundering down from statehouses like hail in a spring storm. Read more at Grist

These senators are going after the biggest climate villains in Washington 06-07-19

Sens. Whitehouse, Heinrich, and Schatz discuss how to hold the Chamber of Commerce accountable. Read more at Vox

Court to Big Fracking Company: Trespassing Still Exists — Even For You 06-06-19

In a key property rights decision, two West Virginia residents scored a rare victory from the state Supreme Court. Read more at ProPublica

EPA Science Advisers Push Back on Wheeler, Say He’s Minimizing Their Role 06-06-19

Under Trump, the EPA administrator — a former coal lobbyist — is also pushing a plan to reduce the use of science in decision making, particularly with pollution. Read more at Inside Climate News

Chicken Farmers Thought Trump Was Going to Help Them. Then His Administration Did the Opposite. 06-05-19

The Agriculture Department is barely enforcing regulations on big meat companies. Read more at ProPublica

Trump Administration Is Restricting How Scientists Conduct Climate Science 05-28-19

The Trump administration is changing the way some government agencies conduct climate science, The New York Times reported Monday, limiting them from assessing the future consequences and worst-possible outcomes of climate change. Read more at EcoWatch

States aren’t waiting for the Trump administration on environmental protections 05-19-19

More than a dozen states are moving to strengthen environmental protections to combat a range of issues from climate change to water pollution, opening a widening rift between stringent state policies and the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda. Read more at The Washington Post

Maryland Department of the Environment and Delmarva Poultry Industry Partner for New Air Quality Project 05-12-19

For a variety of reasons, the meeting ultimately pitted growers against community members and environmentalists, a frustratingly consistent pattern on the Eastern Shore. Read more at Rachel Carson Council

Notes from a Remarkable Political Moment for Climate Change 05-01-19

On Wednesday, the British House of Commons, led by the Conservative Party, voted to declare that the planet was in a “climate emergency.” Read more at The New Yorker

Colorado Democrats Took on the Oil and Gas Industry. Now the Recalls are Starting. 04-28-19

AFTER SEIZING UNIFIED control of the Colorado state government in November’s wave election, Democrats there did something unusual: They governed. Read more at  The Intercept

The Energy 202: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doubling down on Green New Deal 04-18-19

Even after recent setbacks in Congress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is expanding her push for her Green New Deal. Read more at The Washington Post

Trump signs executive orders fast-tracking the pipeline approval process 04-10-19

When Donald Trump was campaigning to become president in 2016, he promised to speed up the government review process for “private sector energy infrastructure projects.” On Wednesday, he made good on that pledge by signing two executive orders that would put pipelines on the fast track to success. Read more at Grist

Trump Is About to Make the Pork Industry Responsible for Inspecting Itself 04-05-19

Next time you tuck into a pork chop or a carnitas-filled burrito, spare a thought for the people who work the kill line at hog slaughterhouses. Read more at Mother Jones

Interior Nominee Intervened to Block Report on Endangered Species 03-26-19

After years of effort, scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Service had a moment of celebration as they wrapped up a comprehensive analysis of the threat that three widely used pesticides present to hundreds of endangered species, like the kit fox and the seaside sparrow. Read more at The New York Times

Can New York have a Green New Deal and a new fracked gas pipeline? 03-21-19

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment Dale Bryk faced a riled up crowd Wednesday night in New York City. Nearly two dozen local advocacy groups organized an accountability forum on the state’s own version of a Green New Deal, calling on the governor to get even tougher on fossil fuels. Read more at Grist 

US judge halts hundreds of drilling projects in groundbreaking climate change ruling 03-20-19

In a rebuke of the Trump administration’s ‘energy-first’ agenda, a judge rules greenhouse gas emissions must be considered. Read more at The Guardian

Senate Votes to Overturn Trump’s Emergency Declaration to Fund Wildlife-Harming Border Wall 03-15-19

The U.S. Senate voted 59 to 41 Thursday to overturn President Donald Trump‘s emergency declaration to fund a border wall that would threaten 93 endangered species and devastate the environment and communities of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Read more at EcoWatch 

How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms 03-09-19

Across the midwest, the rise of factory farming is destroying rural communities. And the massive corporations behind this devastation are now eyeing a post-Brexit UK market. hollowed out. Read more at The Guardian

How Much Would Trump’s Climate Rule Rollbacks Worsen Health and Emissions? 03-06-19

Using government data, a new analysis adds up the harm to humans and the climate from scrapping 6 greenhouse gas rules involving cars, power plants and oil and gas. Read more at Inside Climate News

Facing Pushback, Markey Makes the Case for the Green New Deal 03-05-19

Senator Ed Markey has heard the criticism of the Green New Deal as overly broad and unrealistic. But in an e360 interview, Markey, who co-introduced the proposal in Congress, explains why he believes it will spark a much-needed debate about how to confront the climate crisis. Read more at Yale Environment 360

A look into Big Oil’s fight against electric cars 03-04-19

Last November, oil industry representatives huddled with conservative state lawmakers at a hotel a few blocks from the White House. Read more at E&E News

A bunch of representatives got Fs on their environment report cards 02-27-19

Every year since 1970, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) tallies how members of Congress vote on environment and public health-related legislation and has released a scorecard that shows where they stand on all things environment. Read more at Grist

Scientist who resisted censorship of climate report lost her job 02-17-19

For several years, climate change scientist Maria Caffrey led a trailblazing study outlining the risks of rising seas at national parks. After Friday, she’ll be out of a job. Read more at Grist

GOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats 02-17-19

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) decision to put the Green New Deal resolution to a Senate vote will backfire. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has quickly pounced, urging the GOP leader to “bring it on.” Read more at The Hill

The Energy 202: The Senate just saved a popular park conservation fund 02-13-19

The Senate just passed the largest public lands bill in a decade on Tuesday, a rare bipartisan package that will impose more stringent federal protections for millions of acres and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country. Read more at The Washington Post

How the Trump Admin Pulled Back on Regulating Toxic Chemicals 02-10-19

The Trump administration has halted bans on toxic chemicals that are known to cause serious health threats. These moves, led by an ex-industry group executive now at the EPA, have allowed the continued use of products found to cause cancer, birth defects, and other ailments. Read more at Yale Environment 360

The Energy 202: Ocasio-Cortez, Markey unveil Green New Deal with backing of four presidential candidates 02-07-19

For months, the term Green New Deal has been bandied about by Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail for president as their catchall phrase for a sweeping effort to halt runaway climate change. Read more at The Washington Post

What the New Green Deal Means for the Food on Your Plate 02-07-19

The long-awaited policy proposal from Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey has finally surfaced—and it aims to turn U.S. agriculture into a positive force for climate change and social justice. Read more at Civil Eats

The House Natural Resource Committee’s climate change hearing turned into a heated conversation about race 02-06-19

On Wednesday, while the rest of the nation was busy scrolling through Pelosi State of the Union golf clap memes, two major panels — the House Natural Resources Committee and a separate subcommittee on energy and commerce — met to discuss the impact of global warming on the nation as a whole. Read more at Grist

House Committees Hold Hearings on Climate Change for First Time in Years 02-05-19

Climate change is back in the House. Emboldened under a new Democratic majority, two main energy and environment committees are holding simultaneous hearings Wednesday to discuss rising global temperatures and averting climate catastrophe, Roll Call reported. Read more at EcoWatch

The Only National Park Site Reopening Amid Shutdown Is a in Trump Hotel 01-03-19

Although the government shutdown is expected to continue into next week at least, the tower is set to reopen by the end of this week, according to a report by E&E News. Read more at EcoWatch


House Dems end year with Interior-EPA spending plan 12-31-18

House Democrats signaled their readiness for 2019 combat with President Trump with the New Year’s Eve release of an omnibus spending bill aimed at reopening the government. Read more at E & E News

Inside the bill that set the ‘strongest clean energy requirement in the nation’ 12-29-18

Washington, D.C., is positioning itself on the climate policy fast track. The District of Columbia city council voted unanimously last week to approve an expansive climate bill requiring utility providers to generate 100 percent of their energy supply from renewable sources by 2032. Read more at Grist

EPA to make it harder to tighten mercury rules in the future 12-28-18

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed a major change in the way the federal government calculates the costs and benefits of dangerous air pollutants, arguing that authorities should exclude some of the public health benefits stemming from new rules. Read more at The Washington Post

‘Turns Out,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez, ‘Everyday People Like It When We Fight for Everyday People’ 12-18-18

Celebrating new poll that shows widespread support for a bold ‘Green New Deal,’ newly-elected progressive Democrat pinpoints winning formula Read more at Common Dreams

D.C. Just Passed A Historic Bill Mandating 100 Percent Renewable Power By 2032 12-18-18

The unanimously approved legislation puts the nation’s capital at the vanguard of climate policy — even as the federal government is going in reverse. Read more at Huffington Post

Stop Letting Republicans Lie on TV About Climate Science 11-27-18

Conservatives have been repeating the same handful of absurd talking points for years. Why aren’t reporters calling them out? Read more at The New Republic

Energy priorities shift as a new administration takes hold 11-25-18

After eight years of what some call obstructionist policies, renewables advocates look forward to Janet Mills in the Blaine House. Read more at the Portland Press Herald

5 Election Winners to Watch on Climate as Environment Crusaders Head to Congress 11-12-18

They’ve taken on polluters and built climate solutions. Now they’re bringing activism to Congress in one of the most diverse freshmen classes in U.S. House history. Read more at Inside Climate News

The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry 11-12-18

Trump’s interior secretary has been remaking the agency charged with protecting public lands as an ally of big energy. Read more at The Guardian

The era of bipartisanship on climate is dead. Here’s what comes next. 11-07-18

As the results of the midterms continue to trickle in, one thing is clear: Bipartisan climate action in the U.S. is over. Read more at Grist

With Democratic Majority, Climate Change Is Back on U.S. House Agenda 11-07-18

Fossil fuel supporters will still control the Senate, but the House will soon be able to turn a spotlight on climate change and Trump’s retreat from responsibility. Read more at Inside Climate News

The hottest fight in American politics? Arizona’s smackdown over solar power. 11-02-18

It is the hottest, most expensive campaign in Arizona this year — and it’s not the one for the U.S. Senate. Read more at The Washington Post

Worry Wards 10-30-18

How might environmental anxiety impact the midterm elections? Grist looked at the nation’s most competitive House races.

Earlier this fall, the world’s top climate scientists gave humanity about 10 years to avoid a future that really sucks. With the midterm elections right around the corner, that warning means voters are effectively deciding which candidates to trust with the keys to the climate. If voters are sufficiently worried about warming, that anxiety might help determine who is put in office. Read more at Grist

A Caucus and Bull Story 10-23-18

The Climate Solutions Caucus welcomes former climate deniers and would-be-EPA abolishers in the name of bipartisanship. Read more at Grist

The Environment Is on the November Ballot — Here’s Where and What’s at Stake 10-12-18

Environmental issues such as polluted drinking water in Michigan and harmful algal blooms in Florida could influence which candidates voters will support in this November’s midterm election, said Holly Burke, communications coordinator of the League of Conservation Voters. Read more at EcoWatch

‘We need some fire’: climate change activists issue call to arms for voters 10-12-18

Campaigners say more than 15m people who care about the environment did not vote in the 2014 midterms – can they create a ‘green wave’ this November? Read more at The Guardian

6 New Governors Who Will Lead the Way on Climate Action 10-07-18

Climate action was on the ballot in yesterday’s election. By electing candidates who ran on platforms to protect the planet for future generations, voters picked the environment as a winning issue. Read more at Center for American Progress

If Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, We Need to Mobilize Like Never Before 10-05-18

His record indicates that he would stonewall movements against poverty, militarism, and racism for a generation. It’s a familiar story: A candidate for president loses the popular vote, is still selected by the Electoral College, and nominates judges to federal courts who reverse groundbreaking civil-rights laws.

Trump and Kavanaugh aren’t the first. Read more at The Nation

Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction Permit Revoked by Federal Court 10-04-18

Communities along the 300-mile proposed route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) heard some good news this week. On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously voted to vacate a permit required by the Clean Water Act, which was previously issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Read more at EcoWatch

Former Koch staffer appointed to key EPA position 10-02-18

The agency is stocked full of industry insiders.The Environmental Protection Agency has hired a former Koch Industries staffer who worked on water and chemical policy to fill a key role within the agency, continuing a Trump administration trend of appointing company insiders to oversee the industries they are meant to regulate. Read more at Think Progress

How Brett Kavanaugh Could Help Trump Weaken Mercury Pollution Regulations 10-01-18

The president wants to let coal plants emit more of the neurotoxin. The Supreme Court nominee’s views on the subject are already clear.

How much mercury should coal plants be allowed to emit? There’s been a years-long fight in Washington, D.C., over that very question—and who wins it may ultimately depend on whether Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court. Read more at The New Republic

Citizens put renewable energy on this year’s ballots 09-29-18

The fossil fuel-friendly Trump administration has been busy rolling back environmental regulations and opening millions of acres of public land to oil and gas drilling. Just last week, the Interior Department announced plans to gut an Obama-era methane pollution rule, giving natural gas producers more leeway to emit the powerful greenhouse gas. Read more at Grist

EPA Places Children’s Health Leader on Unexplained Leave 09-27-18

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed the head of the Office of Children’s Health Protection on administrative leave Tuesday in a move that those close to the agency suspect is intended to sideline the office’s work, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Read more at EcoWatch

Report: 140 House Members Vote Against Chemical Safeguards Every Time 09-18-18

The Environmental Working Group Action Fund, the political arm of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), released a first-ever report that scores how each member of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on chemical policy and safety. or co-sponsored measures that weaken existing chemical safety laws. 09-18-18

Read more at EcoWatch

Stunning Victory for Indigenous Nations as Canada Halts Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion 08-30-18

A Canadian court “quashed” approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Thursday, a major setback for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government agreed to purchase the controversial project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion Canadian dollars (U.S. $3.5 billion) in May. Read more at EcoWatch

South Portland, Maine Wins Critical Fight vs. Big Oil 08-29-18

The city of South Portland, Maine has won an important victory in a three-year legal battle to stop a pipeline company from offloading tar sands crude oil on its waterfront. Read more at EcoWatch

Top interior staffer who backed shrinking national monuments to join BP 08-28-18

For much of last year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s deputy chief of staff pursued his agenda with vigor.

Downey Magallanes led an effort to cut the size of two vast protected areas in southern Utah, opening public lands to possible development and energy exploration. She participated in deliberations over how to scale back safety monitoring rules for offshore oil and gas operations. And she helped develop a leasing plan that would permit drilling in most U.S. continental shelf waters. Read more at The Washington Post

How the environment has become a key factor in Florida’s elections 08-26-18

It was less than a month ago, in early August, that Southwest Florida fishing guide Nick Fischer told Good Morning America that a putrid combination of blue-green algae and a red tide in the region had him feeling anxious about the impacts the ecological disaster would have on his business. Read more at ABC News

Trump’s Plan for Coal Emissions: Let Coal States Regulate Them 08-17-18

The Trump administration next week plans to formally propose a vast overhaul of climate change regulations that would allow individual states to decide how, or even whether, to curb carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants, according to a summary of the plan and details provided by three people who have seen the full proposal. Read more at The New York Times

Exclusive: Draft details Trump’s plan for reversing Obama climate rule 08-14-18

A portion of the rule obtained by POLITICO shows Trump’s EPA easing the planned limits on the pollution from power generators driving climate change.

The Trump administration is preparing to unveil its plan for undoing Barack Obama’s most ambitious climate regulation — offering a replacement that would do far less to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, according to POLITICO’s review of a portion of the unpublished draft. Read more at Politico

Why Alaska might seriously consider a carbon tax 08-11-18

Alaska isn’t exactly the first state you’d expect to embrace a price on carbon. Yet the state legislature will likely be weighing one after the November elections. When carbon taxes keep getting scrapped by blue states like Washingtonand Oregon, why would such a plan succeed in Alaska: a red state where oil companies are a major economic lifeline? Read more at Grist

Baltimore voters will decide on the future of their water 08-09-18

Water bills in Baltimore are out of control. Between 2010 and 2017, the typical household’s annual water and sewer bill jumped from $347 to $720. Residents have even turned to buying bottled water and purchasing gym memberships just to use the showers, because its more affordable than using their tap. Read more at Grist

Court Rebukes EPA, Orders Ban on Pesticide That Harms Kids’ Brains 08-10-18

In a scathing opinion, a federal court on Thursday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide linked to brain damage in children. Read more at EWG

North Carolina & The GOP Are Feeding You a Bunch of Hogwash 08-03-18

It is almost trite these days to point out that Trump’s Republican party is engaged in Orwellian doublespeak, but what is unique about this morning’s “Roundtable to discuss the threat that nuisance lawsuits pose to the U.S. agriculture industry, rural America, and farm families nationwide,” in Raleigh N.C. — attended by North Carolina Senator Thom Tills, North Carolina Congressman David Rouzer and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway — is that it doesn’t just perpetuate a lie; it reveals how the lies coming from Trump’s GOP suppress the power of local communities and, especially, marginalize disenfranchised communities of color. Read more at the Daily Kos

From Dow’s ‘Dioxin Lawyer’ to Trump’s Choice to Run Superfund 07-28-18

The lawyer nominated to run the Superfund toxic cleanup program is steeped in the complexities of restoring polluted rivers and chemical dumps. He spent more than a decade on one of the nation’s most extensive cleanups, one involving Dow Chemical’s sprawling headquarters in Midland, Mich. Read more at The New York Times

The Energy 202: Unintentional email dump shows Trump team’s intentions with national monuments 07-24-18

President Trump told an audience in Salt Lake City in January that he was shrinking the size of two national monuments in the state so that Utah’s natural resources were no longer “controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington.” Read more at The Washington Post

Trump’s USDA Fights Global Guidelines on Livestock Antibiotics 07-23-18

Instead, the U.S. is helping draft an alternative approach that appears more favorable to agribusiness. The Trump administration is resisting the World Health Organization’s effort to sharply limit antibiotic use in farm animals, a move intended to help preserve the drugs’ effectiveness. Read more at Bloomberg

6 Ways EPA’s New Leader, a Former Coal Lobbyist, Could Shape Climate Policy 07-07-18

With Scott Pruitt’s resignation, Andrew Wheeler inherits some important decisions, including on the Clean Power Plan, auto standards, methane and use of science.

With Scott Pruitt’s resignation, responsibility for leading President Donald Trump’s retreat from climate action passes from an ideological fighter to a Washington political pro. Read more at Inside Climate News

What the Failure of the House Farm Bill Means for Good Food Advocates 05-23-18

Last week’s collapse of the bill surprised many, but it’s too soon to declare it a win.

When the House Farm Bill failed to pass in a 198-213 vote last Friday, many food and farm advocates declared victory. Read more at Civil Eats

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Faces Civil Rights Complaint After Key Permit Is Blocked 05-18-18

Opponents of the pipeline say state & federal agencies failed to assess the health impacts the project would have on minorities, as required under federal law. Read more at Inside Climate News

The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt’s ‘red team-blue team’ debate prep largely left out mainstream climate scientists 05-10-18

When Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt wanted to set up opposing teams to debate the science of climate change, his staff sought advice primarily from well-known climate doubters at conservative think tanks. Read more at The Washington Post

Pruitt’s EPA Is on the Verge of ‘Regulatory Capture’, Study Says 05-01-18

When EPA decisions are based on industry priorities rather than public interest, that’s regulatory capture. Social scientists say Trump’s EPA is on the edge.Under the Trump administration, the EPA has veered so far from its foundational mission of protecting human health and the environment that it faces the highest risk in its 47-year history of being reshaped to serve industry rather than the American public, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health. Read more at Inside Climate News

Jury hits pork giant for $50M for hog operation’s nuisance 04-26-18

A federal jury on Thursday awarded more than $50 million in damages to neighbors of an industrial hog operation found responsible for intense smells, noise and other disturbances so bad people couldn’t enjoy their rural homes. Read more at

Across the U.S., Climate Change Lawsuits Are Gaining Steam 04-20-18

The scandal-plagued head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says he’s not sure whether “human activity … is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” The president has moved to pull the U.S. out of the landmark Paris climate agreement. And climate-science deniers and skeptics control Congress. Read more at EcoWatch

‘Sick Joke’: House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill Attacking Environment, Endangered Species 04-19-18

The House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 2, the 2018 Farm Bill, Wednesday on a party-line basis. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), includes dozens of poison-pill riders that would gut fundamental environmental safeguards. Read more at EcoWatch

The Energy 202: NAACP joins environmental groups in calling for Scott Pruitt’s ouster 04-18-18

Environmental organizations have made themselves hoarse calling for Scott Pruitt’s ouster from the Environmental Protection Agency over his controversial spending and personnel decisions, as well as his deregulatory agenda. Read more at The Washington Post

Commentary: Lawmakers want the EPA to ignore impacts of pesticides on endangered species 04-13-18

It would be hard to overstate the dangers of this Farm Bill rider

According to the latest push by House Republicans, pesticides — all of them — are so safe there’s no longer any need to bother asking experts to determine their harm to our most endangered species before approving them. Read more at Environmental Health News

If Scott Pruitt Gets Fired From the EPA, This Coal Lobbyist Will Take His Place 04-09-18

It’s like “having a tobacco lobbyist heading up the American Lung Association.”

The Senate is about to confirm the man who would take over the Environmental Protection Agency should Scott Pruitt step down. Andrew Wheeler, an energy lobbyist who has worked for the Senate’s biggest climate change denier, faces a confirmation vote for deputy administrator, the number two position at the agency, as soon as Tuesday. Read more at Mother Jones

EPA To Gut The Only Major Federal Rule To Cut Climate Pollution From Vehicles 04-02-18

The decision could divide automakers and set the Trump administration up for a series of legal battles.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it plans to undo a landmark Obama-era rule tightening fuel standards for vehicles. Read more at the Huffington Post

Day in Court 03-20-18

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed two class-action lawsuits over contaminated water to go to trial.

Flint residents and businesses brought civil rights claims against state and local officials in the suits, filed in 2014 and 2016. The city’s lead crisis has been linked to an increase in fetal deaths, a deadly Legionnaire’s disease outbreak, and long-term effects on children’s health. Read more at Grist

‘We’ll See You in Court’: Kids Climate Lawsuit Moves Forward After Judge Denies Trump 03-08-18

Young plaintiffs cheer outside a federal courthouse in Eugene, Oregon. Robin Loznak

A federal court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to shut down a landmark lawsuit initiated by 21 young plaintiffs suing the government for its creation of climate danger. Read more at EcoWatch

Millennials’ Climate Views Could Sway 10 House Elections This November 03-05-18

Millennial voters are poised to drive the U.S. debate on climate change—and they could have an oversized impact on 10 competitive congressional elections this year, two new studies suggest. Read more at Scientific American

Monsanto Judge Says Expert Testimony Against Roundup Is ‘Shaky’ 03-4-18

A lawsuit claiming Monsanto Co.’s popular weed killer Roundup causes cancer was dealt a blow by a judge’s conclusions that the opinions of the experts testifying against it are “shaky,” a potentially devastating development for the case getting to trial Read more at Bloomberg

Congressional Republicans got F’s on their environmental report cards 02-27-18

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats have never been further apart on environmental issues. The top leadership in the GOP is comprised entirely of climate change deniers, while Democrats have aligned in opposition to President Trump’s agenda. Read more at Grist

Court Orders Trump Administration to Enforce Obama-Era Methane Rule 02-23-18

A federal judge reinstated a widely supported methane waste rule that President Trump’s administration has repeatedly tried to stop.

Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for Northern California ruled Thursday that Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to suspend core provisions of the 2016 Methane and Waste Prevention Rule was “untethered to evidence.” Read more at EcoWatch

PA’s Environmental Rights Amendment grows some teeth 02-18-18

After decades of irrelevance, two court decisions uphold people’s right to ‘clean air, pure water,’ hearten activists to push for more

For all of its natural bounty, Pennsylvania has environmental woes aplenty. Take your pick — 19,000 miles of impaired streams, 5,500 of them from abandoned coal mines; state environmental agencies and programs starved of funds as Pennsylvania fails to do its part to maintain safe drinking water and clean up the Chesapeake Bay; and state forests carved up by drilling pads and pipelines. Read more at Bay Journal

This Scientist Stands Between Scott Pruitt and the Destruction of the EPA’s Advisory Boards 02-14-18

“This is an inappropriate action being taken by the federal government and the right thing to do is to push back on it.”

On January 26, after serving as a scientific advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency for about two years, Robyn Wilson received her first note from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt thanking her for her service—which was officially over. She had one year left in her term. Read more at Mother Jones

Why This California City Is Taking On Chevron, Exxon And Shell Over Climate Change 02-10-18

Richmond became the ninth U.S. community in the last year to sue fossil fuel giants over climate change.

Andrés Soto remembers the first time his parents allowed him to walk to a friend’s house after dark. As he made his way down the street in Richmond, California, where he lived, he could see a massive flame shoot up into the air from the refinery in the distance. Read more at Huffington Post

N.C. governor stuck between a pipeline and offshore drilling plan 02-08-18

Song, signs, and prayer filled the corridors of North Carolina’s state administration building. Activists would occupy the space all day to protest Gov. Roy Cooper’s approval of a fracked gas pipeline slated to end in the state. Read more at Energy News Network

Bye! 02-05-18

Trump’s controversial environment pick is out.

President Trump’s nominee for the Council on Environmental Quality called CO2 a “plant nutrient,” which is true, I guess, but Kathleen Hartnett White also said that “Carbon dioxide has none of the characteristics of a pollutant that could harm human health,” so … Reprinted from Grist

A Rollback of DACA Would Undercut American Science, Too 01-29-18

Those who know what it’s like to be undocumented note that large percentages of DACA recipients study or work in the sciences. Read more at Undark

3 Reasons a Meat Tax Is a Good Idea 01-29-18

A new analysis from the investor network Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) Initiative argues that meat is going down the same road as tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar toward a “sin tax”—a levy intended to reduce consumption of products that are harmful. Read more at EcoWatch

Once a cheater, always a cheater 1-26-18

The Trump administration just axed a decades-old air pollution policy.

The Environmental Protection Agency relaxed regulations on some major sources of pollution on Thursday. The agency repealed its “once in, always in” policy under the Clean Air Act, which had been used to regulate major polluters since 1995. Read more at Gris

Monsanto’s Fingerprints All Over Newsweek’s Opinion Piece, a Hit on Organic Food 01-24-18

“The campaign for organic food is a deceitful, expensive scam,” according to a Jan. 19 Newsweek article authored by Dr. Henry I. Miller of the Hoover Institution.

If that name sounds familiar—Henry I. Miller—it may be because the New York Times recently revealed a scandal involving Miller: that he had been caught publishing an article ghostwritten by Monsanto under his own name in Forbes Read more at EcoWatch

Gov. Murphy Plays to NJ Environmentalists from Day One 01-17-18

Inaugural speech touches on climate change, renewables, lead — and making Garden State a ‘green’ leader once more

Imagine this: A governor talking about the sad reality of climate change, investing aggressively in renewable energy, and creating housing safe from the danger of lead. Read more at NJ Spotlight

Atlantic Coast Pipeline hits more delays in North Carolina 01-11-18

North Carolina regulators Wednesday announced the latest round of setbacks for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline — delaying a decision on the project’s clean water certificate until as late as February and postponing several other environmental permits. Read more at Southeast Energy News

States Vow to Fight Trump’s ‘Disastrous’ Offshore Drilling Plans 01-08-18

As Washington continues to digest the explosive revelations in the book Fire and Fury about the chaotic and dysfunctional White House and whether the president is mentally fit for office, the Trump administration continues its full-frontal assault on the environment. Read more at EcoWatch

Climate Scientists Exiled by Trump Form Panel to Continue Work 01-04-18

Columbia University’s Earth Institute has hired one of the committee’s researchers, Richard Moss of the University of Maryland, who will reconvene most of the former panel members and produce the same report. Read more at Bloomberg

Dem senator will try to block Trump from changing offshore drilling rules 01-03-18

A Democratic senator plans to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block President Trump from overturning safety rules put in place after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in 2010. Read more at The Hill


GOP Tax Bill: How the Environment Lost 12-19-17

While the electric vehicle industry and the wind and solar sector can breathe a little easier that the sweeping legislation preserves their tax credits, fossil fuel producers are likely cheering the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling. Read more at EcoWatch

Doug Jones’ Win Breaks Alabama’s Long Record Of Electing Climate Change Deniers 12-13-17

The lesson to Democrats: Don’t shy away from climate change.

For the last two decades, climate scientists have been issuing increasingly grave warnings to lawmakers about greenhouse gases warming the planet. And, for just as long, Alabama senators have been brushing them off. Read more at Huffington Post

Trump vs. Bears Ears: Outraged Native Groups Respond 12-4-17

The proclamation to remove more than a million acres from protection has been called everything from illegal to racist.

“Offensive.” “Illegal.” “Racist.” Those are just a few of the words used by Native American leaders and groups this week in response to President Trump’s plan to remove protections from 85 percent of the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. Tribes have spent decades trying to protect the culturally and historically significant Utah landmark. Read more at The Revelator

The Energy 202: Why the wind and solar lobby is terrified of the Senate tax plan 11-30-17

The version of the tax overhaul approved by House Republicans earlier this month contained a lot of red meat for redder members of Congress. Read more at The Washington Post

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Over New Elephant and Lion Trophy Policies, Still in Effect Despite Trump’s Tweets 11-21-17

The Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Trump administration Monday for allowing U.S. hunters to import elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe. The lawsuit aims to protect animals and resolve confusion created by the administration’s contradictory announcements in recent days. Read more at EcoWatch

Trump Interruped 11-13-17

Singing protesters interrupt a White House presentation at COP23.

The Trump administration gathered a group of mostly fossil-fuel executives for a panel promoting coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy at the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany over the weekend. The topic of discussion, ironically enough: the role of fossil fuels in mitigating climate change. Originally published by Grist

Science’s Top Foe in Congress Is Retiring 11-3-17

It’s been a tough year for scientists, but a number of climate scientists found reason to celebrate on Thursday. TheTexas Tribune broke the news that Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), one of the most ardent skeptics of climate change in Congress, will be retiring next year. Read more at Mother Jones

Science’s Top Foe in Congress Is Retiring 11-3-17

Scientists rejoice.

It’s been a tough year for scientists, but a number of climate scientists found reason to celebrate on Thursday. TheTexas Tribune broke the news that Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), one of the most ardent skeptics of climate change in Congress, will be retiring next year. Read more at Mother Jones

National Forests, Endangered Species Under Attack as House Republicans Pass Reckless Logging Bill 11-2-17

In a partisan vote, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday that would devastate national forests by gutting endangered species protections and rubber-stamping huge logging projects. The final vote was 232 to 188. Read more at EcoWatch

In unprecedented move, EPA to block scientists who get agency funding from serving as advisers 10-30-17

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is poised to make wholesale changes to the agency’s key advisory group by jettisoning scientists who have received grants from the EPA and replacing them with industry experts and state government officials. Read more at The Washington Post

Energy Secretary Perry Requests Federal Rules to Boost Cost Recovery for Coal and Nuclear 09-29-17

The DOE grid reliability study has yielded a policy request that clean energy advocates are decrying as politically motivated and factually unproven. Read more at Green Tech Media

Chemical Industry Ally Faces Critics in Bid for Top E.P.A. Post 9-19-17

The scientist nominated to head the federal government’s chemical regulatory program has spent much of his career helping businesses fight restrictions on the use of potentially toxic compounds in consumer goods. Read more at The Washington Post

California rewrites the GOP’s climate playbook 09-18-17

For the past decade, Democrats hoping to pass a big climate law have played Charlie Brown to the Republicans’ Lucy. Despite the GOP making it clear it has no intention of holding the ball for a global warming kick, the left routinely convinces itself that their counterparts will kneel into position once it gets a running start. Schwarzenegger, who wrote: “I hope Republicans around the country can learn from the example.” Read more at Grist

North Carolina delays decision on Atlantic Coast Pipeline 09-15-17

At public hearings and through written comments, a significant number of North Carolinians urged state regulators to deny the Atlantic Coast Pipeline a clean water permit this summer.

Faced with a Monday deadline and a lopsided number of public comments opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has delayed until mid-December its decision on whether to permit the controversial project. Read more at Southeast Energy News

Why Environmentalists Can’t Afford to Wait Until 2018 09-10-17

2017 has been a devastating year for the millions of Americans who care about the environment.

Since Donald Trump took office in January, his administration has made fracking easier on public lands, paused regulations that keep power plants from pouring arsenic and mercury into waterways, proposed cutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent, started planning to strip protections from national monuments, and pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accordRead more at EcoWatch

EPA now requires political aide’s sign-off for agency awards, grant applications 9-4-17

The Environmental Protection Agency has taken the unusual step of putting a political operative in charge of vetting the hundreds of millions of dollars in grants the EPA distributes annually, assigning final funding decisions to a former Trump campaign aide with little environmental policy experience.
Read more at The Washington Post

Menominee Tribe seeks stricter federal oversight in Michigan mine fight 08-25-17

The fate of a mine near headwaters of a sacred river hinges on a wetlands permit; the tribe wants tougher federal standards to apply—not looser state ones.

In its continued fight against a mine near sacred waters, the Menominee Indians of Wisconsin want stronger federal regulations to apply as officials weigh the final permit for mine approval. Read more at Environmental Health News

Court Rejects Pipeline Rubber-Stamp, Orders Climate Impact Review 08-22-17

The ruling on the Southeast Market Pipelines Project is the second federal court decision this month to conclude climate impacts must be taken into account.

The court sent the pipeline project back to FERC for a more detailed impact review.

An appeals court rejected federal regulators’ approval of a $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline project on Tuesday over the issue of climate change. Read more at Inside Climate News

Court Rejects Pipeline Rubber-Stamp, Orders Climate Impact Review 08-22-17

The ruling on the Southeast Market Pipelines Project is the second federal court decision this month to conclude climate impacts must be taken into account.

The court sent the pipeline project back to FERC for a more detailed impact review. Read more at Inside Climate News

Trump’s Interior Department moves to stop mountaintop removal study 08-21-17

Trump administration officials have told the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to halt a review of the increased public health risks faced by Appalachian residents who live near mountaintop removal coal-mining sites, the academies revealed in a statement issued Monday. Read more at Charleston Gazette-Mail

Greenpeace Activists Interrupt Operations at Arctic Oil Drilling Site 08-17-17

Peaceful activists, including one American, from a Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, have stalled Statoil’s oil operations in the Barents Sea off the Norwegian coast. The activists entered the exclusion zone of Statoil’s oil rig, Songa Enabler in the Barents Sea with kayaks and inflatable boats, while swimmers protested in the water with banners. Read more at EcoWatch

How Much Should Major Polluters Pay? A Case Against DuPont Provides a Model 08-16-17

It was just another sweltering summer afternoon gathering blood samples from Shenandoah Valley birds when the news came in. The ornithologist Dan Cristol had been conducting a preliminary assessment funded by DuPont to determine to what degree the company’s pollution of the watershed might have affected the avian community. Read more at Audubon

Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say 08-11-17

When career employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are summoned to a meeting with the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, at agency headquarters, they no longer can count on easy access to the floor where his office is, according to interviews with employees of the federal agency. Read more at The New York Times

Over 60 Members Of Congress Condemn Trump’s Threat To North Korea 08-10-17

Dozens of members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday, urging “utmost caution and restraint” in further dealings with North Korea and condemning President Donald Trump for promising “fire and fury” in response to reports that the Asian nation is escalating its nuclear program. Read more at Huffington Post

Drilling Opponents Dominate Public Hearing 08-09-17

Gov. Roy Cooper’s message last month to Washington echoed throughout a state-hosted public hearing Monday night on the proposed federal offshore leasing program.

The North Carolina governor’s stern statement “not off our coast” or a variation thereof reverberated throughout the two-hour public hearing attended by about 175 people. Read more at Coastal Review

Massive Crowd Marches to Give ‘KXL the Boot’ 08-07-17

Pipeline Fighters from Nebraska and across the region marched through the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska Sunday—on the eve of a weeklong public hearing on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline before the Nebraska Public Service Commission, where Nebraska farmers and ranchers, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Yankton Sioux Tribe, Bold Alliance and other environmental and citizen advocates will present evidence on why TransCanada’s tar sands export pipeline is unnecessary and not in the public interest. Read more at EcoWatch

Trump’s Top Trade Nominees Have Strong Links to U.S. Beef and Growth Hormone Lobbies 07-31-17

Donald Trump’s nominee to be the U.S. chief agricultural trade negotiator previously called for the U.S. to walk away from trade talks with the EU if it refused to drop its ban on beef reared with antibiotics and growth supplements, Energydesk can reveal. Read more at EcoWatch

Bee Pesticide Ban Debate Could Arise in Next Farm Bill 07-27-17

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) wants to include a ban on pesticides linked to declining bee health in next year’s farm bill, one of several initiatives he is pushing in the legislation to reauthorize agriculture and nutrition programs.

Thirty-one Democrats are backing a bill—the Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2017 ( H.R. 3040)—that would suspend the approval of neonicotinoid pesticides, common insect-killers that are said to harm honeybees, aquatic insects, birds, and other insects and animals. Read more at Bloomberg BNA

I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration 07-19-17

Joel Clement was director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the U.S. Interior Department until last week. He is now a senior adviser at the department’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue.

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science. Read more at The Washington Post

Trump’s ‘drill, baby, drill’ energy policies are being met by ‘sue, baby, sue 07-12-17

President Trump promised to grow jobs by rolling back Obama-era energy and pollution rules. And he’s fulfilling his pledge, but not how he intended. In just six months, Trump’s policies have resulted in a surge in employment — for environmental lawyers. Read more at McClatchy DC Bureau

Rachel Carson Council “Walks the Line” to learn about the negative effects of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline 07-07-17

This summer, RCC Interns have been working with staff to write a comprehensive report on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. They have been interviewing experts, researching policies, maintaining the RCC social media sites and helping to grow the campus network. Read more at Rachel Carson Council

EPA Boss Launches Program to ‘Critique’ Scientific Consensus on Climate Change 07-01-17

The ever-prescient John Oliver talked about this back in 2014. In the clip above, the Last Week Tonight host takes aim at climate change deniers who contest the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is causing the planet to warm.

“You don’t need people’s opinion on a fact,” the British comedian said. “You might as well have a poll asking: ‘Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?’ or ‘Do owls exist?’ or ‘Are there hats?’” Read more at EcoWatch

‘We’ve Made History’: Ireland Joins France, Germany and Bulgaria in Banning Fracking 06-29-17

Ireland is set to ban onshore fracking after its Senate passed legislation on Wednesday that outlawed the controversial drilling technique.The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill 2016 now awaits Irish President Michael D. Higgins’ signature. The president is expected to sign it into law “in the coming days.” Read more at EcoWatch

Is Giant Sequoia National Monument Next on the Hit List? 06-27-17

Sequoiadendron giganteum. That’s the scientific name for the giant sequoia: the mammoth trees found in California’s Sierra Nevada that are the largest organisms on Earth, and among the longest-lived. Biologists estimate that about half of all sequoias live in Giant Sequoia National Monument, a 328,000-acre preserve in the Southern Sierra Nevada established by President Clinton in 2000.

Now that national monument is in jeopardy. Read more at EcoWatch

How to Tell If Your Reps Are Serious About Climate Change 06-26-17

In the wake of Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, how serious are your elected leaders about fighting back? Read more at Rolling Stone

Into the Void 06-23-17

EPA science adviser says clearing board of experts leaves “huge void.”

On Monday, 38 of the EPA’s research advisers found out that their terms, set to end in August, would not be renewed. Read more at Grist

EPA cuts will harm NC’s air and water quality, hurt fishing, says state agency 06-22-17

Planned staff cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency, which employs more than 2,000 people in Research Triangle Park, are seen as the beginning of major cutbacks to scientific research and pollution enforcement in North Carolina. Read more at The News & Observer

Rick Perry loses his cool when confronted by Sen. Franken on climate science 06-22-17

After a week full of misleading and inaccurate statements, Energy Secretary Rick Perry remained incredulous and defiant when confronted with climate science-related facts in a budget hearing Thursday. Read more on Think Progress

A new take on political science: Training researchers to run for office 06-15-17

They have built careers isolating cells, designing integrated circuits and mastering computer languages. Now they are knocking on doors. Read more at Los Angeles Times

Senators Question DeVos on Connection to Heartland Institute’s Mailing to Educators Denying Climate Science 06-08-17

Four Democratic senators sent a letter to Education Sec. Betsy DeVos this week calling out her support of President Trump’s decision to pull out of Paris.

The letter points out that DeVos has not commented “on any administration decisions or policies outside of the purview of the Department of Education” except for Paris, which she praised in a statement last week. Read more at EcoWatch

How This Energy Company’s Deep Influence Is Tainting Atlantic Coast Pipeline Approval Process 06-08-17

There is a growing political scandal in Virginia regarding the ubiquitous influence of the state’s largest energy company, Dominion Energy, and it’s raising fundamental questions about the integrity of the governor’s office and state regulators who will decide the fate of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Read more at EcoWatch

Defying Trump, Hawaii Becomes First State to Pass Law Committing to Paris Climate Accord 06-07-17

Hawaii on Tuesday became the first state to pass a law committing to the goals and limits of the Paris climate accord, defying President Trump, who announced last week that he would withdraw the United States from the historic agreement. Read more at The New York Times

Regional Officials to Ask Trump Administration to End Uranium Mining Ban Near Grand Canyon 06-05-17

A draft letter backed by officials in Arizona and Utah is urging the Trump administration to review the uranium mining ban near the Grand Canyon. The letter, which is expected to be sent to Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke on Monday, asks the department to completely overturn the Obama-era environmental protections. Read more at EcoWatch

With Trump, A Full-Scale Assault on Protections for U.S. Public Lands 05-31-17

With a series of actions – including proposals to de-authorize recently created national monuments and open environmentally sensitive lands to fossil-fuel development – the Trump administration is moving to overturn long-standing U.S. policies on protecting the nation’s public lands. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Michael Mann: If You Believe in Science You Must Now Make Your Voice Heard 05-21-17

“It’s an honor to address this group of distinguished faculty, proud parents, supportive family members and friends.” Read more at EcoWatch

With public lands at stake, outdoors enthusiasts head to D.C. 05-21-17

Professional rock climber Tommy Caldwell admits he feels more comfortable climbing sheer cliff faces thousands of feet in the air than discussing public policy with national lawmakers. Read more at Grist

Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas Has a Problem with Science – and with Voters 05-20-17

For most of his four years as chair of the Science Committee, Republican Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas has served up more spectacle than policy. Read more at The Intercept

Huge Victory: Natural Gas Storage Plan Halted at Seneca Lake 05-11-17

The news broke Wednesday in the most banal of venues: the biweekly environmental compliance report submitted by Arlington Storage Company to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Read more at EcoWatch

Omnibus deal ignores Trump calls for deep energy, enviro cuts 05-01-17

Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal last night to fund the government through the rest of the year that avoids steep cuts for U.S. EPA and renewable energy programs sought by the Trump administration. Read more at E&E News

The Case for the Politicization of Science 04-28-17

The sorrow of the March for Science did not hit me until I saw a photo from it—an older woman standing next to a homemade sign adorned with Ms. Frizzle.You know Ms. Frizzle, if only from a PBS ad. Read more at The Atlantic

Legislators Retreat from Active CAFO Lawsuit Attack 04-26-17

A Senate committee backs a bill to limit financial awards in farm nuisance lawsuits, but steers clear of current cases. Read more at North Carolina Health News

Thoughts from the Science March in Berkeley 04-23-17

At the urging of my STEM-educated husband, I went to the UC Berkeley campus on Saturday for the science march. Despite living six years in Berkeley during my PhD work, this was my first protest at Sproul Plaza, site of the Free Speech Movement of the sixties, and many legendary protests since. Read more at Pop Theology

N.C. Bill to Shield CAFOs’ Liability Would Curb Legal Rights for Hundreds of Thousands 04-17-17

North Carolina lawmakers are rushing to pass legislation to fundamentally alter the legal rights of property owners, severely restricting the longstanding right to fair compensation for hundreds of thousands of residents whose air, water, health, quality of life and property values are threatened by the pollution and stench of animal waste from factory farms. Read more at Environmental Working Group

North Carolina is Latest in State CAFO Battles 04-13-17

A bill to restrict damages in active lawsuits in North Carolina against the world’s largest hog grower and pork producer may be one of the more aggressive moves nationally to shield intensive livestock agriculture from court penalties. Read more at North Carolina Health News

House passes limited hog farm liability bill 04-10-17

A proposal to limit the financial payoff from citizen lawsuits against North Carolina’s hog farming operations passed the state House on Monday, but only after lawmakers agreed to exempt lawsuits currently pending. Read more at The News & Observer

The Corrupt Politics of Pork 04-07-17

The INDY has previously reported that state Representative Jimmy Dixon—who has received $115,000 in campaign contributions from the pork industry—is the chief sponsor of a controversial hog-farm-protection bill that passed its second reading in the House Thursday under strange circumstancesRead more on Indy Wee

California’s cap-and-trade program isn’t a tax, court rules 04-07-17

State judges told the California Chamber of Commerce on Thursday that its members don’t have a right to pollute, rejecting claims by its attorneys that payments required to release greenhouse gases under a marquee climate program are a kind of tax. Read more at Grist

30-Year EPA Veteran: ‘I Have Never Seen Anything Like It’ 04-04-17

President Trump’s visit to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week to sign an executive orderoverturning years of work on the Clean Power Plan and other policies is just the latest sign of sinking employee morale at the EPA. Read more on EcoWatch

Bill would weaken neighbors’ ability to be compensated in hog farm lawsuits 04-01-17

The civil justice system in North Carolina exists to protect people and their property from unreasonable actions by others. One of the longest standing causes of action in civil courts is for nuisance claims, which allow you to bring suit when your neighbor creates a condition on their property that interferes with your ability to use and enjoy your property, Read more on The News Observer 04-01-17

Scott Pruitt’s office deluged with angry callers after he questions the science of global warming 03-11-17

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s phones have been ringing off the hook — literally — since he questioned the link between human activity and climate changeRead more at The Washington Post

Fracking Ban Nears Approval in Maryland 03-23-17

Maryland is poised to become the third state to outlaw fracking, as the Senate prepares to vote on a statewide ban and with Gov. Larry Hogan saying he will sign it. Read more at Inside Climate News

Trump to Strike Biggest Blow Against Obama Climate Legacy 03-28-17

President Trump will travel to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today at 2 p.m. to sign a broad executive order that will take aim at key Obama-era climate policies, setting the stage for several extended energy fights in the months and years to come. Read more at EcoWatch

Donald Trump’s Disastrous Plan To Derail U.S. Climate Action 03-29-17

The long-awaited order instructs the Environmental Protection Agency to review the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature policy for slashing greenhouse gas emissions from the utility sector, by far the country’s biggest emitter. This review marks the first step toward scrapping the regulation. Read more at Huffington Post

How Trump’s Environmental Policy Is a Total Joke, Explained 03-30-17

With the mix of bluster and incompetence that is fast becoming its trademark, the Trump administration recently unveiled its newest executive order, which was intended to slap down the climate-change programs initiated by Barack Obama. Read more on Vanity Fair

Trump’s potential science adviser William Happer: hanging around with conspiracy theorists 02-20-17

The Princeton atomic physicist is no climate scientist – and he’s pushing the same old denier myths. Read more on The Guardian

House Passes NRA-Backed Bill Legalizing the Killing of Bear Cubs in Wildlife Refuges 02-17-17

The House of Representatives approved a controversial bill to overturn an Obama-era rule that protects wolves, bears, coyotes and other animals on more than 76 million acres of national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The measure was passed 225-193 on Thursday on a mostly party-line vote. Read more at EcoWatch

Trump Administration Sued for Suspending Protections for Endangered Bumble Bee 02-16-17

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the Trump administration Tuesday for illegally suspending the rule to put the rusty patched bumble bee on the endangered species list. The rusty patched bumble bee has lost approximately 90 percent of its range in the past 20 years. It is the first bumble bee ever listed under the Endangered Species Act. Read more on EcoWatch

“Dark Forces” Are Coming for Your Organic Food 02-09-17

The Freedom Caucus is a rowdy band of GOP US House members most famous for triggering government shutdownspushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and driving former GOP Speaker John Boehner from his post on the theory he wasn’t conservative enough. And now they’re coming for your certified-organic food. Read more on Mother Jones

Green groups file sweeping lawsuit accusing Trump of seizing Congress’s powers on regulations 02-08-17

Three advocacy groups filed a sweeping federal lawsuit Wednesday, challenging President Trump’s executive order requiring two federal regulations to be “identified for elimination” for every new one added — arguing that the order fundamentally takes over Congress’s powers to enact laws to protect public health, safety, and the environment. Read more on The Washington Post

Does the Constitution hold the key to climate action? 02-06-17

The day before Donald Trump’s inauguration, a group of environmental lawyers had hoped to depose Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, in Dallas, Texas. Julia Olson wanted to grill the former ExxonMobil CEO and American Petroleum Institute board member about climate change. Read more on High Country News

Women scientists: “We’re not backing down, and we’re not going away” 01-29-17

It started as a group text message among four friends from graduate school about new kids, puppies, and jobs. You know, the successes and struggles that are the building blocks of everyday life. Read more on Grist

Trump’s War on Science Sparks Massive Resistance 01-26-17

The Trump-Pence Administration’s war on facts may have galvanized the next major demonstration in the nation’s capital—the Scientists’ March on Washington, which is as yet unscheduled but is garnering significant enthusiasm online. Read more on EcoWatch

Beginning of a Movement 01-23-17

Tens of thousands of students and academics join Women’s March on Washington. Read more on Inside Higher Ed

At the Women’s March, a call for climate protection, too 01-22-17

Amid a sea of signs and pink hats, plenty of people also marched for environment and climate science. Read more at The Daily Climate

The Most Dangerous Bill You’ve Never Heard of Just Passed the House 01-10-17

Last, week, under the cover of a media bliss-out except among Koch funded right-wing channels, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would effectively repeal future standard setting under every important environmental, public health, consumer protection, labor standards, occupational safety and civil rights law on the books. Read more on EcoWatch

Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Would Trash Air And Water Safeguards 01-03-17

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has sued the Environmental Protection Agency more than a dozen times to block air, water and climate protections. Read more on Huffington Post


Elections Expert Says North Carolina is No Longer A Democracy 12-23-16

Andrew Reynolds, an adviser with the Harvard-based Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), has observed elections across the world — from Afghanistan to Burma, Egypt to Sudan. Read more on Grist

EPA Turns Away from CAFO Water Pollution 12-22-16

Inspections and enforcement have declined since 2011, but fines for all pollution increased. Read more on Circle of Blue

Leaked Transition Team Memo Outlines Trump’s Catastrophic Energy Agenda 12-8-16

A memo obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy outlining Donald Trump’s energy agenda for when he takes Office next January has revealed the full extent to which Donald Trump is going to lay waste to America’s climate record and clean energy industry. Read more on Cleantechnica

The dirty deplorables: Who’s who on Trump’s team 12-9-16

What do Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees and advisors think about climate change and other sustainability issues? As you would expect, it’s not looking good so far for those of us concerned about a habitable climate and livable cities. Read more on Grist

Fighting a pipeline in the age of Trump 11-18-16

Politics and property rights take center stage as Mid-Atlantic pipeline opponents strategize post-election. Read more on The Daily Climate

Trump and his key advisors stand to profit from the Dakota Access Pipeline 11-15-16

Trump has personally invested between $500,000 and $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners — the very same company that’s constructing the pipeline. Read more on Grist

These Are The Protesters Fighting For Their Rights At Standing Rock 11-24-16

For the past seven months, members of the Sioux Nation at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota have been fighting for their way of life by protesting the planned construction of the Dakota Access PipelineRead more on Huffington Post

What It Means To Be A Writer In The Time Of Trump 11-17-16

Ernest Hemingway said, “The writer’s job is to tell the truth.” Read more on Huffington Post

Exclusive: EPA’s top official commits to doing right by communities of color 10-27-16

The fundamental facts of environmental justice — that communities of color face disproportionately higher rates of pollution — have been known for decades. It’s been more than 20 years, for instance, since President Bill Clinton signed an executive order directing federal agencies to provide environmental protection for poor and minority communities. Read more on Grist

Citing Environmental Risks, Scientists Back Tribes in Dakota Access Fight 10-15-16

Close to 100 scientists have signed onto a letter decrying “inadequate environmental and cultural impact assessments” for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and calling for a halt to construction until such tests have been carried out as requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Read more on Common Dreams

U.S. companies tout climate policies, fund climate skeptics 9-16-16

U.S. companies that have expressed the most fervent public support for President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda are also funding its biggest enemies – the scores of U.S. lawmakers who are climate change skeptics and oppose regulation to combat it, according to a Reuters review of public records. Read more on Reuters

What a liberal sociologist learned from spending five years in Trump’s America 9-6-16

Five years ago, right as the Tea Party was becoming a major force in American politics, Arlie Russell Hochschild realized she didn’t really know any conservative Republicans. Ensconced in her liberal outpost at the University of California, Berkeley, the famed sociologist understood little about the lives or beliefs of a huge swath of the country. Read more on Vox Energy & Environment

EPA Won’t Investigate Scientist Accused of Underestimating Methane Leaks 8-12-16

Environmental advocates accused former EPA adviser of scientific fraud in study of oil and gas facilities, but agency’s Inspector General declines to investigate. Read more on Inside Climate Change

Supreme Court Is About To Get A Good Look At How North Carolina Messes With Voting Rules 8-18-16

The state’s Republican Party is making tweaks to early voting, and the justices will know all about it.

An appeals court in July said that North Carolina’s voter ID law and similar provisions targeted black voters “with almost surgical precision.”  Read more on Huffington Post

Lawmakers Fund New Policy Center at UNC 8-10-16

A new policy center being set up to take a lead research role in a legislative effort to revise state water pollution rules has environmentalists on alert and UNC-Chapel Hill officials moving quickly to hire staff and begin work. Read more on Coastal Review Online

Commentary: To tax or not to tax—that is the question 7-18-16

Flawed models, downplayed risk and uncertainty—why we need to pump the brakes on carbon tax clamoring and ask the hard questions

As in most things, the devil is in the details. Read more on The Daily Climate

Election Guide 2016 – We’re here to make sense of an election that doesn’t 7-18-16

In the United States, presidential elections get all the attention (especially when reality TV stars are topping national tickets). Regrettably, that means they also tend to dictate which issues hog the spotlight — and sustainability too often gets the shaft. Read more on Grist

Hanford union blackballed for insisting on safety 7-7-16

At the most contaminated worksite in America – the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland – observers could assume workers don every necessary protective device, including breathing masks similar to what firefighters use. Read more on NBC King 5 Western Washington

Sanders and Clinton teams fight over climate language in Democratic platform 6-28-16

The Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee has written a stronger climate change section than the platform had in 2012, but it also rejected a series of more ambitious climate and energy amendments on Friday. That’s raised the ire of Bernie Sanders and his appointees to the drafting committee, like climate activist and author Bill McKibben. Read more on Grist

When the oil boom went bust, Oklahoma protected drillers and squeezed schools 5-17-16

Oilmen won a big victory when legislators made permanent one of the juiciest tax breaks in the United States. Schools, meanwhile, are having to cut classes, administrators and teachers to make up a growing revenue shortfall. …Full article

Many Davids Beat Goliath 3-24-16

Eight years ago a business lobbyist who had formerly worked for then Gov. Mike Easley called just as I was leaving the office for the day. He said he wanted to give me a “heads-up” that a major new industry was about to announce plans to locate in Wilmington, and that it would be a wonderful economic stimulus for southeastern N.C. He assured me that the company would be a good coastal steward, and encouraged the N.C. Coastal Federation to welcome the project …Full article

Scalia’s Death Means Obama’s Clean Power Plan is More Likely to Succeed 2-14-16

Three weeks ago, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied motions to stay the EPA’s Clean Power Plan there was cautious optimism about what that decision signaled for the future of the historic climate rule. For the first time in U.S. history, the Supreme Court setpped in to stay a regulation that was still being reviewed by the lower court …Full article

Banning Fracking Isn’t Enough: How We Fight to Stop Pipelines, Compressor Stations and Gas Plants 1-15-16

Hundreds of climate activists and renewable energy advocates gathered for a State of the Climate rally and march outside of Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address in Albany recently. Along with the petition scroll, the groups also delivered more than 500 letters to Gov. Cuomo’s office …Full article

Congressmen Urge Halt to Seismic Permitting 1-6-16

39 members of Congress, including Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones of coastal NC, signed a letter in December expressing deep concerns about the use of seismic air guns for oil exploration off the …Full article


Environmental Justice Scores A Win in California Carbon Policy 12-7-15

The cap part of California’s cap-and-trade program gets a lot of love. It place hard limit on emissions, which benefits everyone. The trace part, however, has its detractors—and with good reason. Plenty of communities in the state, largely communities of color, still suffer from disproportionate pollution. In short, a log of the good that’s created for by by the cap is negated for some people by the trade …Full article

EPA Warns State on Permit Cases 11-12-15

An official with the Environment Protection Agency has put North Carolina’s environment secretary on notice regarding two recent pollution permit cases facing public challenges: Decisions in the cases may affect the state’s authority to issue water and air quality permits int he future …Full article

Cuomo Adminstration Blocks Massive Tar Sands Oil Facilty Expansion in Albany 5-21-15

In the face of a court challenge from a broad coalition of environmental and community groups and massive community opposition, the Dept. of Environment Conservation halted Global Companies’ proposed expansion of its massive Albany oil train facility to handle tar sands oil. The expansion would have allowed Global to pump tar sands oil out of railcars, store and heat it in storage tanks on-site at the Port of Albany, and transfer the oil onto barges for transport down to the Hudson River to East Coast refineries …Full article

As Opposition to Offshore Drilling Mounts, Activists to Join “Hands Across the Sand” for Annual International Day of Action 5-14-15

Ocean activists kicked off the 5th Annual Hand Across the Sand International Day of Action, by joining hands in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool in a symbolic gesture to oppose the expansion of offshore drilling to the Atlantic and Arctic oceans …more

Protesters to Join Hands Against Oil and Coal 5-11-15

North Carolinians will take 15 minutes Saturday to join hands with strangers in a peaceful demonstration against fossil fuels. The event, known as Hands Across the Sand, will take place in different states and countries around the world. “What it does is it creates an amazing, powerful image,” said Dede Shelton, executive director of Hands Across the Sand. “We send this image to elected officials so they see people won’t want this to happen” …Full article

This is Not My State 4-17-15

This speech, by Derb Carter, Director of the Southern Environmental Law Center, focuses on the damage being inflicted on North Carolina’s environment by the state’s General Assembly and current state administration. Budget cuts, the repeal of longstanding legislation and sweetheart deals with polluters have all contributed to increasing damage to North Carolina’s beautiful mountains, coast, rivers and natural areas …more

19 Students Arrested by Yale Police at Fossil Fuel Divestment Sit-In 4-10-15

Nineteen Yale students were arrested by Yale police yesterday following a day-long sit-in that called for the university to reopen the conversation on fossil fuel divestment. Yale is one of the first schools where a fossil fuel divestment action has led to arrest. “Yale would rather arrest its students than re-engage in the conversation” said Fossil Free Yale Project Manager Mitch Barrows …Full article

Drought Stricken California Exempts Big Oil and Big Ag From Mandatory Restrictions 4-2-15

An April snowpack assessment in California, which set an all-time record for lowest snowpack levels in the state’s history, finally spurred governor Brown’s office to issue an executive order to residents and non-agricultural businesses to cut water use by 25% in the first mandatory statewide reduction in the state’s history. Some groups have been exempted from the water restrictions, specifically big agriculture which uses about 80% of Caiifornia’s water, and oil companies …Full article

New Fracking Rules on Public Lands ‘A Giveaway to Oil and Gas Industry,’ Advocates Say 3-20-15

The new rules are released following a 4-year process that included more than 1.5 million public comments. The Bureau of Land Management claimed they would “support safe and responsible hydraulic fracking on public and American Indian lands.” Drilling has been occuring on federal lands for years with more than 100,000 wells in existence. However, following the fracking book of the last 2 decades, more than 90% of new drilling operations involve that process, evading the regulations of 30 years ago …Full article

U.S. Interior Department Plan: Open Atlantic Coast to Offshore Drilling 1-27-15

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s new five-year offshore drilling strategy calls for opening the offshore stretch from Virginia to Georgia, an area the energy industry says could hold large amounts of oil and gas. The Obama administration proposes an unprecedented opening of the waters off the Atlantic coast for oil and natural gas drilling …Full article