Previous Legal and Political News 2017

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