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."

Trump Team: We Lied About Coal Jobs Coming Back

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Entire World Would Be Better Off if Donald Trump Just Watched This Video
"All you need to know about climate change in 12 minutes."

Measure of a Fog

Top Trump economic adviser: ‘Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore’
"Wind and solar could create many, many more jobs than coal—especially if the government stops propping it up."

Let's Face It—the Coal Industry Is a Job Killer @alternet

Let's Face It—the Coal Industry Is a Job Killer @alternet:

"Wind and solar could create many, many more jobs than coal—especially if the government stops propping it up."

Why Is Greenland Melting? A 360˚ Experience

Trump Has No Idea What He Just Did or the Backlash That Awaits
"The negotiations leading up to the Paris climate accord involved years of delicate diplomacy and thousands of voices offering guidance. President Donald Trump's handling of the decision to leave was the polar opposite."

Trump budget to slash toxic waste clean-up effort his EPA head called ‘essential’
"President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget plan for the EPA, however, calls for cutting the Superfund cleanup program by approximately 25 percent, according to a copy of the budget obtained by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies."

Trump Pulls Out of the Paris Climate Accord

Marijuana Compound Helps Stop Epileptic Seizures @alternet

Marijuana Compound Helps Stop Epileptic Seizures @alternet:

"For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a component of cannabis reduces seizures in children with a rare form of epilepsy."

Why Donald Trump Gave Up 'Leader Of Free World'

Trump’s reputation as a dealmaker is a sham, walking away from Paris proves it
"Trump has dealt away America’s moral authority, our world leadership, our environmental security, and our economic future. In return he has gotten absolutely nothing. He may well be the worst dealmaker in U.S. history."

Are You Proud to Be an American Today?
"It was a speech written by an angry child, to be delivered by an angry child, with the assumption that its targeted audience was made up of angry children, too. And it was of a piece with that lunatic Wall Street Journal op-ed from Tuesday in which H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn pretty much decided that international diplomacy is nothing more than a larger-than-usual barrel of cannibalistic crabs. Not content to have lined the United States up with the anti-science side of the most pressing global issue of our time, he brought up Scott Pruitt, the head vandal at EPA, after the speech, so that Pruitt could say great things about him, and actually talk about freeing the government from "special interests" without his tongue turning to sand. (Pruitt, you may recall, is the guy who, while Oklahoma's attorney general, literally passed an oil company letter along to the EPA by signing his name to it. He also doesn't believe that human activity causes the climate crisis.) The idea that these people put together a party in the Rose Garden to celebrate the withdrawal of American leadership in the world leads me to believe that they'd host a barbecue to celebrate a public execution."

Trump Pulls Out Of Paris Climate Deal

Trump’s Stupid and Reckless Climate Decision
"It’s a stupid and reckless decision — our nation’s dumbest act since launching the war in Iraq. But it’s not stupid and reckless in the normal way. Instead, it amounts to a thorough repudiation of two of the civilizing forces on our planet: diplomacy and science. It undercuts our civilization’s chances of surviving global warming, but it also undercuts our civilization itself, since that civilization rests in large measure on those two forces."

Pot is polling high and states are paying attention
"Eight states and the District of Columbia have already legalized recreational marijuana through ballot measures. But as public opinion shifts, state legislatures are getting on board. As of May, 19 states are considering bills to legalize recreational pot."

Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn

The Trump EPA Again Decided to Prioritize Oil Companies over Public Health
"Just days after releasing a budget that is an assault on our nation’s clean air and water, President Donald Trump once again took steps to prioritize the oil and gas industry at the expense of the health and well-being of communities across the country. On May 31, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally announced that it would halt and reconsider a requirement—set in 2016—that oil and gas companies detect and repair leaks of dangerous methane and other air pollution at their new operations. The EPA also is reconsidering methane pollution standards for certain types of drilling equipment. The EPA made this announcement on the same day that White House officials told the media that President Trump would likely withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. The EPA’s action will allow companies to emit thousands of tons of toxic, heat-trapping, and smog-forming pollutants into the air, forcing communities across the country to breathe dirtier air and suffer the health consequences. The parts of the country with the most oil and gas drilling—such as Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Louisiana, Texas, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s home state of Oklahoma—are likely to feel the greatest impacts."

Trump’s reported exit from Paris climate deal signals end of the American Century
"America’s time as leader of the free world is over. Now we’re the villain, thwarting the global effort to save humanity."

Top Climate Scientist, Journalist & Activists Blast Trump's Withdrawal from Paris Accord

Trump’s clean energy budget cuts would ‘devastate’ an emerging economic sector
"In its official FY18 budget, released Tuesday, the Trump administration proposed the termination of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a bipartisan initiative that funds research into cutting-edge energy technology. The decision to eliminate ARPA-E was “in line with administration policies,” according to the budget request."

Friday, May 26, 2017

Trump budget goes after 50-year-old coastal protection program
"The program, known as the National Sea Grant College Program, funds scientific research that benefits the fishing industry and coastal businesses."

Donald Trump’s Pick for EPA Enforcement Office Was a Lobbyist for Superfund Polluters
"Susan Bodine, whom Trump nominated on May 12 to be assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, does have plenty of experience with environmental issues — though most of it representing polluting industries. According to her LinkedIn account, from 2009 until 2015, Bodine was a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, the same firm that is representing FRRC, the group of industries directly affected by EPA cleanup rules. While at Barnes & Thornburg, Bodine represented the American Forest and Paper Association from 2011 to 2014. Member companies in that industry group have hundreds of EPA enforcement actions against them, including violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Trump targets USDA with some of the deepest proposed budget cuts
"President Donald Trump ran on a platform of giving a voice to rural voters who felt forgotten by politicians in Washington. But his proposed budget, released on Tuesday, proposes deep cuts to crucial Department of Agriculture programs that many rural residents, and farmers, depend on."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump’s plan to eliminate EPA regional programs puts public health ‘in jeopardy’
"The Trump administration wants to cut all funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional environmental programs, initiatives that have helped address major pollution problems from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico. Public health and environmental advocates contend that President Donald Trump’s plans to eliminate these programs as part of his fiscal year 2018 budget, released Tuesday, will harm public health and destroy ecosystems across the United States. The regional programs cover the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Champlain, Long Island, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, South Florida, San Francisco Bay, and Puget Sound."

Financial Times declares a winner in the war for energy’s future, and Big Oil won’t be happy
"The business community, though, is starting to see the writing on the wall, especially in Europe. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest company, declared in a recent speech that the transition to a low-carbon economy is not just “unstoppable.” It is a necessity that “must be embraced” if an oil company like Shell is to survive and thrive. The low-carbon future, he explained, will be built around renewable electricity and electric cars."

Rick Perry's Early Days as Energy Secretary Have Been a Bonanza for Corporations and the Koch Brothers @alternet

Rick Perry's Early Days as Energy Secretary Have Been a Bonanza for Corporations and the Koch Brothers @alternet:

"At least three staffers from conservative, anti-clean energy think tanks now have roles in the Energy Department. This comes after Thomas Pyle, a former Koch Industries lobbyist, ran Trump’s transition team for the department. Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a think tank co-founded and partially funded by fossil fuel industrialist Charles Koch, as well as its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance. A leaked Pyle memo obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy from December revealed Trump’s energy plan, a “fossil fuel industry wish list.” Travis Fisher, an economist and current Energy staffer, most recently worked for IER, where he wrote columns opposing renewable energy and defending fossil fuels. Big funders of IER have included ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, several Koch-backed nonprofits and two Koch family foundations. Fisher was once an intern at the John Locke Foundation, one of several North Carolina-based think tanks founded and funded by close Koch ally Art Pope. On April 14, Perry issued a memo requesting a study, to be overseen by Fisher, on whether clean energy programs are hindering coal and nuclear programs. The study has caught fire from the left, with a group of Democratic senators writing to Perry with serious concerns, calling it “a thinly disguised attempt to promote less economic electric generation technologies, such as coal and nuclear, at the expense of cost-competitive wind and solar power"."

Not Just Trump – House And Senate Republicans Launch Massive Barrage On Science

Trump wants to gut energy program with highest job potential and rate of return
"The Trump administration wants to slash the Department of Energy’s (DOE) investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy by 70 percent, according to a draft obtained by Axios. Even setting aside the issues of air pollution and climate change, gutting renewable energy and efficiency runs counter to the president’s stated commitment to economic growth and job creation. Clean energy is the world’s biggest new source of sustainable high-wage employment. That’s why China’s has budgeted a $360 billion investment in renewable generation alone by 2020. Beijing calculates the resulting “employment will be more than 13 million people.” Even in this country, clean energy jobs already outnumber fossil fuel jobs by more than 2.5 to 1."

Trump's EPA Replaces Scientists With Stooges

Science Is No Longer Welcome At The EPA

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trump taps opponent of renewable energy for renewable energy office
"Just so we’re clear, the purpose of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) is to “create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean-energy economy.” Donald Trump has chosen someone to lead this office who’s argued that no such transition should take place."

Indiana’s governor just signed a law that will cripple the state’s solar industry
"In Indiana, solar employs nearly three times as many people as natural gas, according to the Department of Energy. You might think, given the numbers, that legislators would want to protect the state’s nascent solar industry. You would be wrong. On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill that shreds incentives for rooftop solar, delivering a blow to solar installers and their customers."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker out to destroy beloved magazine that pays for itself
"The truth dies in the dark. So does Wisconsin’s wildlife—and Scott Walker is anxious to bring down the curtain.  On the surface, it would be hard to find a clearer example of state government success than Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. A publication of the state Department of Natural Resources , the magazine is beloved by Wisconsinites—so popular, in fact, that in this day of failing magazines, more than 80,000 families subscribe to WNR either directly or through the purchase of “deluxe” hunting and fishing licenses. As a result, the publication is completely self-funding, requiring not a dime of state revenues. So why, then, does Gov. Scott Walker want to kill it? Walker and his allies argue that the move will allow the agency to focus on its core mission. “It is not the government’s role to produce magazines that duplicate what is available in the private market,” said Walker’s spokesperson Tom Evenson in a statement to reporters. The idea that the state-focused content of Wisconsin Natural Resources is a “duplicate” of other magazines on the market is laughable. Not only does the publication provide a much more regional view of plants, wildlife, hunting, fishing, gardening, and general outdoors issues than national magazines, it also directly reports on state policy. And it’s that last point that seems to be the real focus of Walker’s hate."

Trump’s new offshore drilling order is even worse than environmentalists expected
"During the signing ceremony on Friday, Trump emphasized that the order will open the Arctic for drilling."

Marijuana Could Help Elderly and Alzheimer's Patients @alternet

Marijuana Could Help Elderly and Alzheimer's Patients @alternet:

"New research suggests cannabis may actually be good for memory, especially on the elderly, reversing brain aging and restoring learning ability."

The Surprising Thing Marijuana and Hot Peppers Have in Common @alternet

The Surprising Thing Marijuana and Hot Peppers Have in Common @alternet:

"The findings suggest that both foods could have a therapeutic effect against diabetes and colitis."