President Trump will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.
The sweeping executive order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.
Oklahoma is 1,400 miles from the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace, Md., halfway across the country. But the distance didn’t matter to Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt, after the Environmental Protection Agency drew up a plan to clean the polluted bay. He tried to stop it.
Pruitt was one of 21 state attorneys general who signed an amicus brief opposing the largest cleanup of a water body in U.S. history. The brief supported a federal lawsuit filed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau that claimed the EPA usurped the power of states in the watershed to regulate pollution that flows into the bay from cities and farms.
Pruitt is now President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to run the EPA, the agency that Pruitt has railed against, suing it more than a half-dozen times over regulations on clean water and clean air that he disagreed with.
How can anyone deny that the Chesapeake Bay needs to be cleaned up? Where did all the fish go? Oysters? Crabs? These ocean dwellers are slowly returning as clean up efforts continue. Does this bureaucrat think that people who rely on the Chesapeake Bay for their livelihoods don’t need jobs? There have to be fish, crabs and shellfish in order to make a living off the Bay.
People who live here in Prince William County can all do their part also to keep the Bay clean. We are part of the watershed. I don’t think for one second that our local government would do anything necessary to prevent the fouling of the Bay, unless of course the EPA ordered it to happen. In fact, I have heard the BOCS chairman moan and groan about the regulations the board must pay to comply with.
Taking it a step further, we need clean air to breath. Factory emissions must be curtailed. Why do people deny these things. Anyone who thinks burning coal is clean, has never lived around it. Anyone who thinks that burning coal is healthy has never met anyone with black lung disease. Read More
A group of scientists says it has now reconstructed the history of the planet’s sea levels arcing back over some 3,000 years — leading it to conclude that the rate of increase experienced in the 20th century was “extremely likely” to have been faster than during nearly the entire period.
“We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries,” said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities. Kopp said it’s not that seas rose faster before that – they probably didn’t – but merely that the ability to say as much with the same level of confidence declines.
The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Seas rose about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) from 1900 to 2000, the new study suggests, for a rate of 1.4 millimeters per year. The current rate, according to NASA, is 3.4 millimeters per year, suggesting that sea level rise is still accelerating.
A House panel’s green light Thursday to lift longstanding restrictions on kayaks, rafts and other “hand-propelled” watercraft on rivers and streams in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks has opened a new front in the battle between environmentalists and tourists.
Legislation pushed by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R), Wyoming’s lone House member, passed the Natural Resources Committee on a party-line vote and now heads to the House floor.
The bill requires the National Park Service to study a combined 6,500 miles of waterways in the parks to assess the impact on fish and wildlife of expanding paddling there. But with no study, park visitors could travel down 450 miles of rivers and streams thanks to a last-minute amendment that passed the committee.
Wisconsin, which has been in the news this week for voting to bar staff of the state public lands board from talking about climate change, is getting a new state official who is skeptical of human contribution to climate change.
Gov. Scott Walker (R) recently appointed Mike Huebsch to the state Public Service Commission, and Huebsch was asked about his views on climate change during his confirmation hearing this week. The Public Service Commission oversees utility issues in the state, including electricity, gas and water.
“I believe that humans can have an impact to climate change, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near the level of impact of just the natural progression of our planet,” Huebsch said, according to the Wisconsin Radio Network. “You know, the elimination of essentially every automobile would be offset by one volcano exploding. You have to recognize the multiple factors that go into climate change.”
Scientists have studied this issue fairly extensively, and concluded that emissions generated by human activity — specifically, the burning of fossil fuels — far surpass volcanoes when it comes to warming the planet. Human activities generate about 35 gigatons of greenhouse gases per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, while all the world’s volcanoes combined spew something in the range of 0.13 to 0.44 gigatons per year. That means the human influence on the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is 80 to 270 times greater than that of volcanoes.
I don’t think there is THAT much geothermal activity going on. Why do people say things like this regarding climate change? I believe the readers will have something to contribute on this issue.
Will the ban be lifted? Will state employees be allowed to say “climate change?” I guess not talking about something will make it go away?
WASHINGTON — House Republicans selected Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), who is on the record questioning whether humans are causing climate change, to head of the Science Committee’s environment subcommittee.
Schweikert will replace Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), who moved to the House Appropriations Committee. He said he plans to use his new post to target the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda.
“Too often, this Administration has tried to bypass Congress and impose its will on the American people through regulatory fiat,” Schweikert said Thursday in a statement, The Hill reported. “We have a responsibility to provide a check-and-balance to ensure there is fairness and openness in the process and that taxpayers are not being subjected to onerous and unnecessarily burdensome rules and regulations.”
How inexcusable is this hazardous waste spill? It was last inspected in 1991. That’s 23 years ago! That date is pre-Bill Clinton. If the states do not regulate their plants, then the feds will have to do it. Water and rivers affect us all.
In fact, the federal government has a moral obligation to regulate plants in order to avoid incidents like this one. Where does the Elk River flow? How does it get to the sea? How many of us will be exposed to this industrial filth?
ARCATA, Calif. — It took the death of a small, rare member of the weasel family to focus the attention of Northern California’s marijuana growers on the impact that their huge and expanding activities were having on the environment.
The animal, a Pacific fisher, had been poisoned by an anticoagulant in rat poisons like d-Con. Since then, six other poisoned fishers have been found. Two endangered spotted owls tested positive. Mourad W. Gabriel, a scientist at the University of California, Davis, concluded that the contamination began when marijuana growers in deep forests spread d-Con to protect their plants from wood rats.
That news has helped growers acknowledge, reluctantly, what their antagonists in law enforcement have long maintained: like industrial logging before it, the booming business of marijuana is a threat to forests whose looming dark redwoods preside over vibrant ecosystems.
Hilltops have been leveled to make room for the crop. Bulldozers start landslides on erosion-prone mountainsides. Road and dam construction clogs some streams with dislodged soil. Others are bled dry by diversions. Little water is left for salmon whose populations have been decimated by logging.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Coal country is hurting, and the people who live there want the whole nation to know it.
Thousands of miners have been laid off this year across Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, many with little hope of getting their jobs back as power plants and the coal mines that once fed them shut down. Now the families, friends and business operators who depend on those miners are planning a multi-state show of solidarity they hope will be heard in Washington, D.C., and beyond.
Virginia is second-worst in the nation for toxic chemicals dumped into its waterways, according to a report released this month.
The report, “Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act,” claims 18 million pounds of toxic chemicals are released by industrial facilities into state rivers, lakes and streams annually.
Five Virginia rivers made the report’s list of 50 worst waterways in the nation, while other findings show that more than 377,000 pounds of toxic pollutants were dumped into the Shenandoah River, and 400,000 pounds were released into the Potomac River.
Now this calls for outrage. Oh Shenandoah, one of America’s most notable rivers in folk song can now shrivel your toes because it is so toxin. How have things gotten so bad? It takes a minute to play. O Shenandoah by the Statler Bros.
“Virginia’s waterways are a polluter’s paradise right now,” said Laura Anderson, field organizer with Environment Virginia. “There’s obviously something wrong if polluters are dumping 18 million pounds of toxic pollution into our waterways here in Virginia every year.”
Morning Joe has guests sounding the alarm about plastic pollution. One guest is warning about grocery bags. She says that the plastic bags will outlive the pyramids. She strongly recommended that everyone take the recyclable bags to the grocery store.
The men on Morning Joe all cringed and said they refused to walk in a grocery store with a cloth grocery bag. Is it really a sissy thing to do?
Nearly everything is plastic. Our bottles and jars are plastic. The garbage bags we buy are plastic. Even the make up I use that used to be in glass jars has gone plastic. I thought we got to recycle plastic bottles. Is this something to fix or is someone pushing the alarm buttons again? Do you have any plastic warnings? Plastic tips? Is it sissy to take a recyclable bag to the grocery?
The male eagle brings back a fish for the female. Too bad some people aren’t this decent.
Hunters are wreaking havoc on the national bird, the Bald Eagle. The eagle population is dying because of consuming lead found in the ammunition left in animal entrails after that animal has been shot. According to the Daily Press:
Lead bullet fragments left in discarded entrails of deer and other animals are poisoning bald eagles and other scavenger birds, scientists and wildlife officials say.
The Wildlife Center of Virginia, a nonprofit that cares for sick and injured animals, has received four birds in the last two weeks suffering from lead poisoning.
The birds — two bald eagles, a red-tailed hawk and a black vulture — are not endangered but they are protected in North America under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. One of the eagles was found near Stumpy Lake in Virginia Beach.
“That bird is still alive. He’s not doing well, but that’s better than being dead,” said Ed Clark, president of the Waynesboro-based center.
From the Huffington Post:
The year 2012 promises hope for the future of America’s oceans. Changes are expected that will help the creatures that live below the surface, the people who live and vacation along our coasts, and the clean energy developers who want to tap into the vast wind potential that lies off our shores.
Any day now, the National Ocean Council — a forum for federal agencies — will release a draft blueprint of how we should best tackle the major threats facing ocean life, such as ocean acidification, habitat protection, water quality and pollution. We are looking forward to a robust public discussion of how we can help.
The Washington Post:
“Climate change has become a wedge issue,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a University of Colorado professor who has written extensively on the climate debate. “It’s today’s flag-burning or today’s partial-birth-abortion issue.”
Historically, climate change has ranked near the bottom of issues that voters care about as they evaluate presidential candidates. It wasn’t a factor in 2008’s primary season or general election. The major parties’ nominees endorsed the scientific consensus and believed that the government should curb carbon emissions.
In fact, John McCain, back in 2007 clearly said to voters,
“I do agree with the majority of scientific opinion, that climate change is taking place and it’s a result of human activity, which generates greenhouse gases.” He made global warming a key element of every New Hampshire stump speech.
So what has changed? It appears that some Republican candidates are trying to out-conservative each other. Others have stuck with scientific thought. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have both indicated that they agree with the majority of scientific opinion, that climate change is taking place. It’s a result of human activity and that green house gases are a by product of this human activity:
The nominal GOP front-runner, Mitt Romney, drew sharp fire from conservatives when he said in June that he accepts the scientific view that the planet is getting warmer and that humans are part of the reason. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) on Thursday tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”