Friday, August 18, 2017

Scott Pruitt is dismantling EPA in secret for the same reason the GOP health care bill was secret
"Pruitt is keeping his agenda as hidden as possible for the very same reasons Republicans in Congress tried to keep their recent health care bill a secret: virtually no one likes it and there’s not a coherent policy case to be made for it."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Denier-in-Chief Trump Should Read NOAA's Frightening New Climate Report
"With a climate denier in the Oval Office, a "fossil fuel puppet" heading the Environmental Protection Agency, and Big Oil lobbyists filling the ranks of secretive deregulatory teams, a new report by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed that 2016 was the hottest—and in some ways most alarming—year on record."

450 scientists present stunning rebuke of Trump’s climate science denial
"A massive new report by more than 450 scientists, confirms that the Earth warmed to a new record in 2016, driven by a record increase in carbon dioxide levels.  The 27th annual “State of the Climate” report, led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), stands as the first comprehensive rebuke by the nation’s and world’s climate scientists to the presidency of Donald Trump."

New analysis shows sharp decline in environmental enforcement under Trump
"A new report from the Environmental Integrity Project charts how EPA enforcement has fallen in the Trump era."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Trump's PC Police Purging The Term 'Climate Change'

30-Year EPA Veteran Writes Farewell Letter, Warns of Environmental Catastrophe Under Pruitt @alternet

30-Year EPA Veteran Writes Farewell Letter, Warns of Environmental Catastrophe Under Pruitt @alternet:

"A 30-year U.S. Environmental Protection Agency senior official is leaving federal service today convinced that her agency is being steered in a disastrously wrong direction, according to her farewell message posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). She is an eyewitness to the wreckage wreaked by Administrator Scott Pruitt and his cadre of political appointees."

The Cronies Behind the Energy Industry's Deliberate Misinformation Campaigns @alternet

The Cronies Behind the Energy Industry's Deliberate Misinformation Campaigns @alternet:

"Tillerson, his predecessor Lee Raymond, and their cronies knew the truth about the fate of the planet. And yet they lied, and they paid others to lie. They lied as global temperatures began rising at record rates. They lied as droughts and wildfires swept across the American West, and as California started running out of water. They lied as tornadoes and hurricanes and snowfall levels intensified in unprecedented ways. They lied as thousands died in European heat waves, and thousands more perished in Asian floods. They lied as Greenland’s ice turned liquid, and sea levels began to rise two-and-a-half times faster than anyone thought possible, and the oceans became increasingly acidic and filled with disease-causing bacteria. They lied and sacrificed future generations for their short-term profits."

The Trump Administration Has Begun Censoring Use of the Term 'Climate Change' @alternet

The Trump Administration Has Begun Censoring Use of the Term 'Climate Change' @alternet:

"New emails indicate the USDA has been directed not to acknowledge the dangers of global warming."

We Would Need 1.7 Earths to Sustain Humanity's Current Rate of Resource Consumption @alternet

We Would Need 1.7 Earths to Sustain Humanity's Current Rate of Resource Consumption @alternet:

"We're overfishing, overharvesting forests and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than natural sinks like forests can sequester."

Government Scientists Leak Climate Change Report Before Trump Can Get His Hands On It

$100 million a month in weed sales is the new normal in Colorado
"Marijuana sales in Colorado are soaring. The state, which legalized adult pot use in 2014, achieved a milestone in May, when pot sales topped $100 million for the 12th consecutive month, according to a Thursday report by marijuana news site The Cannabist.  Colorado sold over $127.7 million worth of cannabis flower, edible products and concentrates in May, according to The Cannabist’s analysis of the state’s marijuana tax data. More than $35.7 million of sales stemmed from medical marijuana purchases, and recreational-use items generated $90.1 million in sales.  Bethany Gomez, director of research for marijuana market research firm Brightfield Group, told the site that hitting the $100 million mark has become “the new norm” in Colorado, with some $1.4 billion in sales between May 2016 and May 2017. During that time, Colorado racked up over $233 million in taxes and license fees."

The Cutting Edge of Marijuana Medical Research Will Leave You Wondering What It Can't Help Cure @alternet

The Cutting Edge of Marijuana Medical Research Will Leave You Wondering What It Can't Help Cure @alternet:

"New findings highlight CBD’s therapeutic potential for cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, and other disorders."

Crime Task Force Report Leaves Sessions Without Ammo in His War on Weed @alternet

Crime Task Force Report Leaves Sessions Without Ammo in His War on Weed @alternet:

"His own hand-picked task force found no change needed for marijuana enforcement."

The War On Weed Is Stupid And Ancient

Blowing Up the Big Marijuana IQ Myth—The Science Points to Zero Effect on Your Smarts @alternet

Blowing Up the Big Marijuana IQ Myth—The Science Points to Zero Effect on Your Smarts @alternet:

"Debunking one of the oldest theories about cannabis."

Meet the Senior Federal Official Blowing the Whistle on Trump's Suppression of Climate Science

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Senior EPA official resigns with scathing message for Trump and Pruitt
"Southerland noted that Pruitt has already begun repealing 30 existing environmental regulations, like the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Water Rule, and a rule requiring stricter emissions monitoring for oil and gas operations on federal lands."

Clean water advocates tell Trump administration to ‘stop pandering to polluters’
"Environmental leaders testified at the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters on Monday in opposition to the Trump administration’s proposed delay of an Obama-era rule that limits the amount of toxic pollution power plant operators can discharge into stream, rivers, and lakes."

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trump Furthers War on Science With 'Illegal' Nomination of Climate Denier for Top USDA Scientist
"As the administration continues to take a "wrecking ball" to science, President Donald Trump on Wednesday officially nominated climate change denier, conservative talk radio host, and former Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis to the top science job at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The expected nomination drew condemnation from advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which reiterated its statement that Clovis serving as the USDA's undersecretary for research, education, and economics is illegal. That's because the 2008 Farm Bill requires the president to nominate a person for that post "from among distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics." And as ProPublica previously noted, Clovis can boast of no such credentials"

Trump Administration Coming For Your Weed

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Warnings as GOP Aims to Gut Protections for Endangered Species
"The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a formal pledge by the federal government "to conserve to the extent practicable the various species of fish or wildlife and plants facing extinction." It was passed almost unanimously by Congress in 1973, following similar measures enacted in the 1960s. For more than four decades, the ESA has helped save from extinction 99 percent of species it covers, including the gray whale and the bald eagle."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy
"President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team. Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Once and for all: Obama didn’t crush US coal, and Trump can’t save it
"What’s distasteful about the whole thing is that Trump has won the allegiance of coal communities by reinforcing and amplifying the same lie they have been told by right-wing media and politicians for years: that Obama’s pollution regulations on the US coal industry are responsible for its (and their) recent woes. It’s not true. And the information that shows it’s not true is easily available, so they should know it’s not true. Many probably do. But it is a convenient lie, one that riles up a reliable political constituency and serves as a bludgeon in the culture war. It is not, however, a benign lie. The struggles facing Appalachian coal country are very real. Unemployment, ill health, drug addiction, stress, and depression have ravaged the region. Now thousands of retired coal miners are in danger of losing their pensions and health care benefits. (Guess who has refused to schedule a vote on a bill that would address that crisis? One Addison Mitchell McConnell, Republican leader of the Senate. Guess who had a plan to funnel $30 billion to suffering Appalachian communities? One Hillary Rodham Clinton, the competent, boring president America might have had, if not for emails.) It does people in the region no good to believe that coal jobs will come roaring back once pesky pollution regulations are overturned. It sets them up for more disappointment and wastes time and energy they could be devoting to finding a new and better future for their communities."

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tillerson Considered Central Figure In ExxonMobil Investigation
"NEW YORK (AP) — “Wayne Tracker” cannot be forced to testify under oath. He does not exist. But the man who used the “Tracker” alias, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, can be questioned — and is increasingly expected to be — as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expands his sweeping probe into whether Tillerson’s former employer, ExxonMobil, misled investors about the impact of climate change."

Monday, July 10, 2017

Trump's Horrendous EPA Chief Wins Golden Padlock Award for Govt. Secrecy @alternet

Trump's Horrendous EPA Chief Wins Golden Padlock Award for Govt. Secrecy @alternet:

"As a government official, Scott Pruitt does a stellar job at keeping secrets. So far, he's evaded open record requests about his communications with the fossil fuel industry and has directed the EPA to wipe climate change data from its website. Pruitt has become so adept at keeping the public in the dark that Investigative Reporters and Editors, a grassroots group dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting, has awarded him the Golden Padlock Award, which recognizes "the most secretive publicly funded agency or person in the United States." In awarding him with this dubious distinction, IRE writes, "Scott Pruitt was selected for this honor for steadfastly refusing to provide emails in the public interest and removing information from public websites about key environmental programs." Pruitt's penchant for secrecy in public office stretches back to his tenure as attorney general of Oklahoma. It was normal for him to ignore public records requests while using a private email account to conduct government business. A New York Times report revealed that what Pruitt was hiding in his government account was a "secretive alliance" with oil company Devon Energy, one of the largest oil and gas companies in Oklahoma. Lawyers from Devon even wrote letters to the EPA in Pruitt's name and the company subsequently donated thousands to Pruitt's campaign."

EPA’s New Water Safety Official Is a Lobbyist With Deep Ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline
"The appointment signals a victory for industrial opponents of clean water regulations."

How the debate over pesticides unfolds in Donald Trump’s ‘swamp’
"The Trump administration’s top environmental official met privately with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children’s brains, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s schedule shows he met with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris on March 9 for about a half hour at a Houston hotel. About three weeks later, Pruitt ignored the findings of his own agency’s chemical safety experts to allow the use of Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide on food. The AP’s report added that EPA scientists concluded “ingesting even minuscule amounts of the chemical can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants.” A spokesperson for Pruitt’s agency said that when he spoke to Dow Chemical’s CEO, the two did not discuss the pending decision on the pesticide. The timing, apparently, is supposed to be seen as a coincidence. A separate AP report noted in April, “Dow Chemical chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris is a close adviser to President Donald Trump. The company wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump’s inaugural festivities…. When Trump signed an executive order in February mandating the creation of task forces at federal agencies to roll back government regulations, Dow’s chief executive was at Trump’s side"."

DuPont’s Latest Poison Has Ravaged Cape Fear Residents

Three New Marijuana Myth-Busting Studies That the Mainstream Media Isn't Picking up On @alternet

Three New Marijuana Myth-Busting Studies That the Mainstream Media Isn't Picking up On @alternet:

"Allegations surrounding the supposed dangers of pot are frequently reported and repeated without criticism. But these new studies cast serious doubts on three of the more prominent marijuana myths."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

When Trump attacks science, he attacks the heart of the Declaration of Independence
"while team Trump is the most anti-science administration in U.S. history, it’s worth remembering this week that the Declaration’s drafters were undeniably men of science. In sharp contrast, Trump has embraced the most anti-scientific climate denial imaginable — and surrounded himself with a team of deniers who have purged science from government websites and removed scientists from EPA advisory panels to make space for industry advocates."

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Legal Marijuana Is a Big-Time Job Creation Engine @alternet

Legal Marijuana Is a Big-Time Job Creation Engine @alternet:

"It's been less than four years since the first legal recreational sales in the United States took place in Colorado, but since then, the U.S. marijuana industry has been creating jobs at rapid pace, and there are now more people employed in the pot industry than in a number of common professions."

Trump Administration Makes Key Decision That Threatens Water Supply of Millions
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly issuing a proposed rule to undo the Clean Water Rule that was enacted in May 2015, under President Obama's last term. The rule protects the water supply for more than 117 million Americans. Also known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), the Clean Water Rule puts limits on pollution in the wetlands, rivers and streams that feed the nation's larger waterways. Those limits are essential for protecting the safety of the drinking water on which millions of American rely. The rule also safeguards those waters for swimming, fishing and other activities. In addition, the rule helps to maintain the biological integrity of those smaller waterways, in turn protecting wildlife by keeping aquatic ecosystems healthy. When the rule was issued, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers resolved decades of legal debate among politicians, environmentalists and public health advocates, saying that smaller waterways across the nations -- tens of millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of streams -- actually qualify for legal protection under the Clean Water Act, the primary federal law that protects communities and ecosystems from water pollution. Since then, Senate Republicans have made several failed attempts to overturn the rule, arguing that the rule gives undue authority to the federal agencies."

Scott Pruitt Helping Dow Chemical Poison Your Kids

Atomic Bellyflop: The US's First '21st Century Nuclear Reactor' Fails, Shuts Down After Five Months

Atomic Bellyflop: The US's First '21st Century Nuclear Reactor' Fails, Shuts Down After Five Months:

"On March 23, 2017, after less than six months of operation, the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Watts Bar 2 nuclear power unit (Watts Bar 2) was shut down. Failing components in the condenser caused America's first 21st Century nuclear reactor to cease functioning, and as of July 3, it remains shut down."

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Scientist Deborah Swackhamer: EPA Asked Me To Change Testimony To Congress

Trump bashes wind energy in a state that gets a third of its electricity from wind
"Iowa is the leading producer of wind energy in the country and generated 36.6 percent of its electricity from wind in 2016. Statewide, the wind industry employs between 8,000 and 9,000 people and has added $11.8 billion to the state’s economy through capital investments. Wind farms that are built on private land, which is leased to wind developers, collectively earn farmers and landowners an estimated $20 million annually. The mining industry in Iowa, by contrast, employs around 2,200 people — and is primarily made up of stone mining and quarrying jobs. Because of the way Iowa breaks down its employment data, that number also includes natural gas and petroleum extraction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the wind industry currently employs more than 100,000 people in the United States, and wind turbine technician is the fastest growing occupation in the country. In 2016, wind capacity — the total amount of output a particular electricity generator can produce at a given time — passed hydropower to become the largest source of renewable energy capacity in the United States."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jeff Sessions is misleading Congress to advance his inhumane war on medical marijuana

Jeff Sessions is misleading Congress to advance his inhumane war on medical marijuana

"what Sessions is doing with this letter is wrong. It is disingenuous, underhanded, and incredibly counterproductive."

Trump, You're Debunked: California Has Added Jobs and Cut Emissions—at the Same Time @alternet

Trump, You're Debunked: California Has Added Jobs and Cut Emissions—at the Same Time @alternet:

"In withdrawing from the landmark Paris climate agreement June 1, President Trump tried to set up a false conflict between the "well-being of American citizens" and the "economic burden" of honoring commitments to reduce emissions. Yet California is hardly hurting as it leads the way on climate progress. Enacting climate-friendly policies has proven to be an economic asset to California, one that delivers cleaner air, jobs, and opportunity."

Global renewables rise from the ashes of coal’s collapse
"While President Donald Trump touts a new coal mine that provides fewer jobs than a typical supermarket, the world is switching off coal at a stunning pace to create millions of new clean energy jobs. World coal production had its biggest drop ever last year, 230 million tons of oil equivalent (mtoe), BP reported Tuesday in its 2017 Statistical Review of World Energy. China led the way with a 7.9 percent decline in coal production (140 mtoe), followed by the U.S. with a 19 percent drop (85 mtoe). And while Trump is proposing to gut clean energy funding by a staggering 70 percent, the world saw the largest jump ever in renewable power production last year. Of particular note among BP’s findings regarding renewable energy: For the first time, China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s biggest producer of non-hydro renewables."

Donald Trump is handing the federal government over to fossil fuel interests
"Trump has been erratic and unpredictable in many ways, but when it comes to fossil fuels, there is no wavering. The administration has moved with remarkable speed and consistency to prosecute the industry’s interests — stocking government agencies with industry-friendly staff, removing regulatory constraints, and hacking away at support for competitors — without any resistance from Congress or its base. The Washington Post calls the takeover of the federal government by fossil fuel interests a “breathtaking power grab.” But they didn’t have to grab anything. They barely had to lift a finger. Trump and the GOP are already united in doing their bidding."

The Unstoppable Green Power Revolution

The Unstoppable Green Power Revolution:

"Now we have the Trump/Koch oligarchs fighting renewables at every turn. They are rushing to assure Detroit that fuel efficiency is once again not a concern and electric cars will never come. They are working to pull back investments and progress in renewables. The jobs, says Trump, are in the coal mines and pipelines, and in subsidized oil and gas fracking projects. Trump is trying to lead the nation in the wrong direction. More than a quarter-million Americans now work in the solar industry. Almost a hundred thousand more work in wind. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, jobs dedicated to increasing energy efficiency employed more than 830,000 in 2014, with up to 1.9 million possible by 2050. Musk’s SolarCity, part of a burgeoning project known as the Buffalo Billion, will be by far that city’s biggest employer, and installing the solar panels it produces will employ thousands more. According to the Independent, more Americans now work in solar power than in all of America’s coal mines, oil fields, and gas extraction operations combined."

DOE closing office that works with other countries to develop clean energy technology
"Wind energy is the fastest growing energy source. The fastest growing job in America is wind turbine service technician. Together, wind and solar reached 10 percent of America’s energy production last month for the first time. So clearly this is the ideal time to destroy the office that develops clean energy technology."

Jeff Sessions Asked Congress For Authority To Arrest Medical Marijuana Distributors

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trump’s cuts to energy efficiency will cost jobs and taxpayer money, report finds
"Supporters of the Energy Star program cite the high return on investment for taxpayers. Since it was established in the 1990s, the program has saved U.S. consumers roughly $360 billion, mostly in electricity and water costs. The program, jointly run by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, also saved consumers and businesses $31.5 billion in 2014 alone, while costing about $57 million a year. That puts the return on investment for taxpayers at about 550 to 1."

States Challenge Scott Pruitt's Decision to Keep Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Food Supply
"Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing a challenge from seven states over his decision to ditch an EPA proposal that would have prevented a pesticide linked to brain damage in children from contaminating the food supply."

EPA Admits Delaying Air Pollution Rule Will Harm Children, Delays It Anyway

BP’s defense attorney tapped for Trump’s environmental team
"After BP’s massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig blowout and subsequent oil spill, Clark successfully defended the company against “a multibillion-dollar appeal brought by 11 Louisiana parishes,” his law firm says. Clark was also lead counsel on BP’s appeal of the historic damages awarded in the Deepwater Horizon case, which was prosecuted by the same division of the Justice Department that Clark will run, if confirmed."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Trump Budget Enables Sale of America's Wild Horses to Foreign Slaughter: Here Are 5 Better Ideas @alternet

Trump Budget Enables Sale of America's Wild Horses to Foreign Slaughter: Here Are 5 Better Ideas @alternet:

"President Trump’s proposed federal budget adds up to disaster for America’s wild horses. Faced with a continued failure to provide horses under federal “management” the care they are entitled to by law, the budget would cut $10 million from the Bureau of Land Management’s funding for wild horses, and enable the sale of these American icons to slaughter, ending up as meat on foreign dinner plates."

‘Coal is dead’ and oil faces ‘peak demand,’ says world’s largest investment group
"BlackRock, the world’s largest investment group, with $5 trillion in assets — more than the world’s largest banks — has begun to bet on clean energy. Why? “The thing that has changed fundamentally the whole picture is that renewables have gotten so cheap,” said Barry. No, the world’s coal plants are not going to all down shut tomorrow, Barry noted to The Australian Financial Review (subscription required). “But anyone who’s looking to take beyond a 10-year view on coal is gambling very significantly.” President Donald Trump famously campaigned on restoring coal jobs, and has continued to reiterate that commitment as president, but the economic reality makes that a futile effort."

Trump Wants to Cut EPA’s Scientific Research in Half
"President Donald Trump’s budget proposal would slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific research programs by nearly half, according to a new report prepared by former EPA staffers. The newly formed Environmental Protection Network is a coalition made up of retired employees from Republican and Democratic administrations, many of whom have had decades of experience running the day-to-day work at the agency. And on Monday, this group of lawyers, scientists, and policy wonks released an analysis of the White House budget ahead of congressional testimony that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is set to deliver on Thursday. The hearing will be the first time that Pruitt will have to defend the dramatic cuts the administration has proposed for the agency."

Trump Administration Makes It Easier To Kill Endangered Whales

Nuclear Regulators' Flawed Analysis Leaves Millions at Risk From Radioactive Fires
"The renewed concerns about spent nuclear fuel storage come as the Trump administration is trying to jumpstart the controversial effort to create a permanent repository for the waste at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, which is opposed by that state's entire congressional delegation as well as by environmental advocates and nearby Native American communities."

Trump’s War on Oceans
"President Trump’s ocean policy actions to date represent a direct attack on sustainable, science-based management of America’s marine resources and coastal economies. What’s more, the policies buck decades of ocean progress delivered by recent Republican and Democratic administrations alike to balance preservation, management, and use of America’s coasts and oceans. Trump’s proposals represent a dangerous outlier from mainstream ocean policy, one that will certainly face growing bipartisan resistance over the next three and a half years."

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Oil-Obsessed Putin Trolls Climate Science To Accelerate Arctic Demise | Crooks and Liars

Oil-Obsessed Putin Trolls Climate Science To Accelerate Arctic Demise | Crooks and Liars

"Trump's master and commander, President Vladimir Putin knows how to play this fool like a fiddle. Putin needs America's know-how to drill the fragile Arctic, still somewhat frozen and rather rich with oil. With the waterway frozen posing expensive problems for transport, and extracting the very environmentally perilous supply of oil under the ice, of course Vladimir would love to see that ice simply melt. He's not terribly into being a philanthropist, if you haven't noticed."

Nationwide 'March for Truth' Events Take Aim at Trump's Destructive Fact-Free Rule
"From peddling climate lies to his refusal to come clean on his financial holdings, nationwide protests target U.S. president"

Arizona utility signs game-changing deal cutting solar power prices in half
"The TEP contract is one more sign that the renewable revolution is unstoppable."