US Politics in Trump era
If this week is the “Super Bowl” of trade policy—as Republican Senator Rob Portman called it Wednesday—the planet won’t be getting a ring. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Nafta replacement that passed 89-10 through the Senate on Thursday, never mentions the climate crisis. It will do plenty to fuel it.
The White House on Thursday introduced major changes to the nation’s benchmark environmental protection law, moving to ease approval of major energy and infrastructure projects without detailed environmental assessment or consideration of climate change.
The Trump administration notified the international community Monday that it plans to officially withdraw from the Paris climate accord next fall, a move that will leave the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases as the only nation to abandon the global effort to combat climate change.
Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention.
A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal watchdog for his dealings with industry players who lobbied the government to ease carbon pollution limits. It is the third inquiry into whether Bill Wehrum, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s air policy division from November 2017 until last month, violated federal ethics rules.
In the biggest blow he’s dealt to the renewable energy industry yet, President Donald Trump decided on Monday to slap tariffs on imported solar panels. The U.S. will impose duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry that relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply.
More than 40 percent of insects could go extinct globally in the next few decades. So why did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week OK the 'emergency' use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor on 13.9 million acres?
The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change, defying a longstanding practice of touting such findings by the Agriculture Department’s acclaimed in-house scientists.
The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled its final plan to rewrite a major Obama-era climate change policy, replacing proposed regulations that cracked down on coal-burning power plants with a weaker alternative.
White House blocked intelligence agency’s written testimony calling climate change ‘possibly catastrophic’
White House officials barred a State Department intelligence agency from submitting written testimony this week to the House Intelligence Committee warning that human-caused climate change is “possibly catastrophic.” The move came after State officials refused to excise the document’s references to federal scientific findings on climate change.
President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses.
President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, brushed aside dire predictions about the effects of climate change, and turned the term “global warming” into a punch line rather than a prognosis.
Trump Administration Plans to End Some Protections for Endangered Species After UN Report Warns of ‘Mass Extinction Event’
A United Nations report released this week found that one-eighth of the world’s animals and plants are at risk of extinction and that biodiversity was declining at an “unprecedented pace,” but David Bernhardt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, said this dire portrait won’t stop the Trump administration from ending protections for endangered species in the United States.
One of America’s major political parties may not yet be willing to acknowledge that climate change is real, but it is already having significant effects on the U.S. military. Flooding in Nebraska and a hurricane in Florida that damaged military installations led to a recent Pentagon request of $5 billion in relief money. Now Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., are calling on the Government Accountability Office to assess military contractors’ vulnerability to climate risks.
The White House plans to create an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of climate science and counter conclusions that the continued burning of fossil fuels is harming the planet, according to three administration officials.
As young people from around the world are marching in the streets and calling on adults and elected leaders to act urgently to address runaway global warming and the climate crisis, this video of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) explaining to youth activists in her office on Friday why she won't back the joint congressional resolution on the Green New Deal has to be seen in order to be believed.
President Trump derided the Green New Deal as a “high school term paper that got a low mark.” Congressional Republicans mocked it as “zany.” Even Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, called the proposal a “green dream,” and some of the party’s 2020 candidates are starting to describe it as merely aspirational. Yet, despite that disdain, the goals of the far-reaching plan to tackle climate change and economic inequality are within the realm of technological possibility, several energy experts and economists said in recent interviews.
White House Panel Will Study Whether Climate Change Is a National Security Threat. It Includes a Climate Denialist.
President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine how climate change affects national security, and will include a White House adviser whose views are sharply at odds with the established scientific consensus that human-caused global warming poses a threat to the nation’s economy, health and security.
The first hand of the Green New Deal has been dealt. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on Thursday unveiled a five-page, nonbinding resolution that frames a 10-year “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization” to confront the climate crisis. The plan envisions the creation of millions of “good, high-wage jobs” and will serve to “counteract systemic injustices.”
America’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years, according to a preliminary estimate published Tuesday. Strikingly, the sharp uptick in emissions occurred even as a near-record number of coal plants around the United States retired last year, illustrating how difficult it could be for the country to make further progress on climate change in the years to come, particularly as the Trump administration pushes to roll back federal regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Nowhere in an 1,800-word executive order to address forest management and wildfires — quietly issued on Friday — does President Donald Trump draw a connection between climate change and increased wildfire risk. Instead, critics say it looks like a potential handout to the logging industry. The executive order, titled “Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk,” calls on the secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to reduce “regulatory barriers” to getting rid of “hazardous fuels” that contribute to wildfires.
Democratic leaders on Thursday tapped Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) to head a revived U.S. House panel on climate change, ending a dramatic monthlong effort to establish a select committee on a Green New Deal. Castor’s appointment came as a surprise to proponents of a Green New Deal. The move also kicked off a controversy as the six-term congresswoman dismissed calls to bar members who accept money from fossil fuel companies from serving on the committee, arguing it would violate free speech rights.
President Trump’s top White House adviser on energy and climate stood before the crowd of some 200 people on Monday and tried to burnish the image of coal, the fossil fuel that powered the industrial revolution — and is now a major culprit behind the climate crisis world leaders are meeting here to address. “We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” said Wells Griffith, Trump’s adviser.
The Environmental Protection Agency, now led by acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, has announced more rollbacks regulations on coal-fired power plants. It’s a striking move for two big reasons: No new coal plants are being built in the US, and the EPA itself (along with 12 other federal agencies) recently put out a sweeping report detailing the need to reduce emissions from fossil fuels because of the grave threat of climate change.
Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are doing. Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent.
The biggest untapped onshore trove of oil in North America is believed to lie beneath the refuge’s coastal plain along the Beaufort Sea. For more than a generation, opposition to drilling has left the refuge largely unscathed, but now the Trump administration, working with Republicans in Congress and an influential and wealthy Alaska Native corporation, is clearing the way for oil exploration along the coast.
Under Jerry Brown, California has become a leader on climate politics. But the state has done little to phase out fossil fuel emissions at their source. Among other things, they called on Brown to “listen to science, not carbon polluters” by moving to keep fossil fuels in the ground. California — the world’s sixth-largest economy — has the country’s most ambitious climate policies by a mile, but it is also among the most prolific oil and gas producers in the U.S. — hence the papier-mâché likeness of Brown’s head atop an oil rig.
A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.
EPA.gov pages that previously provided information about climate change have been changed from claiming that they are "updating" to an error message that reads, "We want to help you find what you are looking for," as revealed by a report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. The change indicates that information related climate change is not being “updated,” but removed entirely.
A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”
You can't manage what you don't measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned.
As director of the National Economic Council, Kudlow will have a sizable influence on U.S. economic policy, including issues related to energy as well as domestic and international climate policies. Cohn, in his tenure as director, worked to keep the Trump administration from leaving the Paris climate agreement. Kudlow, with his history of climate denial, is unlikely to be similarly concerned with climate action.
Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.
What should be a sparkling opportunity to push forward an ambitious agenda on climate — to condemn Republicans for not just ignoring but fueling a crisis with increasingly human and economic consequences — is going quite literally up in smoke. Even the most dogged climate champions in Congress are doing something Republicans would never dream of: letting a crisis go to waste.
Organizers of a Monday conference on the Narragansett Bay were told three E.P.A. scientists would not be allowed to present their work. Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.
In a Friday night news dump, the White House announced that President Donald Trump Plans to nominate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), a climate science denier to be administrator of NASA. Bridenstine is a politician without any scientific credentials, unlike previous NASA chiefs, and for that reason his nomination has already been criticized by both Florida’s senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D), Politico reports. Rubio said, “I just think [his nomination] could be devastating for the space program.”
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a large spending bill for fiscal year 2018 that slashes clean energy spending and approves keeping fossil fuel research at current levels.
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.
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement has come under attack from elected officials across the United States and the CEOs of some of America's biggest companies. But it’s also likely to cause anger and unease at a surprising place: the Pentagon. That’s because some of the Defense Department’s top officials have already expressed their fears that a warming planet poses serious threats to the US. Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that climate change would make the world less stable and require the entire government to curb it.
In announcing his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, President Trump also said the United States would stop contributing to the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations program that he claimed could eventually cost the country “billions and billions and billions” of dollars.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement drew immediate reaction from big-city mayors, governors and Congress members. See who supported the decision and who is opposing it.
Donald Tump didn't listent to reason. He failed to understand that climate change means that millions are threatened with starvation because rain has stopped falling in some regions of the planet. It means that sea levels are rising and islands and coastal zones are flooding. It means the melting of the ice caps, more powerful storms, heatwaves, water shortages and deadly epidemics. All of that leads to conflicts over increasingly limited resources, to flight and to migration.
The U.S. is failing at both symbolism and action. We are the only country led by someone who does not think climate change poses a real threat, and our problems go beyond the president. Our Republican-led Congress prevented the Paris Agreement from asking countries to make stronger initial pledges in the first place: World leaders knew the American Republicans would never ratify a binding agreement, so they settled for the softer one. More recently, 22 Republicans in Congress have written a letter to Trump imploring him to withdraw even from that. Attorneys general from 10 Republican-led states have done the same. We were never going to lead the way on climate change, even under Obama, because we are held hostage by a GOP that refuses to acknowledge the reality of the threat.
A withdrawal by Donald Trump from the Paris climate accord would go down as a hallmark of his presidency. It would be unilateral, reckless and splashy – trademark Trump. But while Trump has often stood on a range of issues as a maverick outlier from mainstream Republican politics, on climate change he is at the centre of the party’s orthodoxy. Twenty-two senators wrote a letter to the president when he was said to be on the fence about backing out. They received more than $10m from oil, gas and coal companies the past three election cycles.
President Trump announced Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from participation in the Paris climate accord, weakening global efforts to combat climate change and siding with conservatives who argued that the landmark 2015 agreement was harming the economy. The withdrawal process could take four years to complete, meaning a final decision would be up to the American voters in the next presidential election.
The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt on Wednesday to an Obama-era rule created to reduce methane leaks from new and modified oil and natural gas drilling wells. The action places a 90-day stay on portions of the rule, set in 2016, that requires oil and gas companies to detect and repair leaks of methane and other air pollution at new operations.
President Donald Trump reserves a special level of antipathy for the Environmental Protection Agency. He campaigned on eliminating the EPA "in almost every form," and his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, declared that its climate change programs "waste your money." But his full budget wish list released Tuesday actually assigns a dollar value to his promises. In it, the EPA faces the steepest cut of any agency or department across the government, a 31.4 percent reduction, to $5.7 billion, its lowest level in 40 years.
The Trump administration’s attack on basic science continues apace, with rumors circulating that President Donald Trump will soon tap former campaign policy adviser and one-time conservative radio talk show host Sam Clovis to be the lead scientist at the Department of Agriculture. Trump will reportedly name Clovis to lead the USDA’s Research, Education and Economics division despite the fact that Clovis has no background in the hard sciences, as well as no demonstrable policy experience with either food or agriculture.
On what could be a record-hot day, tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to assemble in Washington on Saturday. Their large-scale climate change protest will mark President Trump’s first 100 days in office, which have been punctuated by multiple rollbacks of environmental protections and Obama climate policies.
The solar industry may only have 60 days to prove it’s not destroying the electric supply of the United States, or Energy Secretary Rick Perry will start dismantling its federal infrastructure, returning the United States to its rightful place as the world’s leading 19th century energy producer.
As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. In truth, some of the maps we use today haven’t been updated since the second world war. Navigating uncharted waters can prove difficult, but it comes with the territory of working in such a remote part of the world.
On Tuesday the Army Corps of Engineers gave notice to Congress that within 24 hours it would grant an easement allowing Energy Transfer Partners to move forward with construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, which North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands of allies have attempted to halt out of concern for water contamination, dangers to the climate, and damage to sites of religious significance to the tribe.
President Trump moved assertively on Tuesday to resurrect a pipeline in the Dakotas that had become a major flashpoint for Native Americans, while reviving the Keystone XL pipeline, which had stirred years of debate over the balance between energy needs and environmental concerns.
The removal of the page from the White House’s website came around the same time the site and other Executive Branch digital platforms were overhauled to reflect the new administration.
If you’ve been wondering which environmental protections the incoming administration will target and how exactly how they’ll try to undo them, take a look at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s legislative agenda, “Free to Prosper.” They are classifying environmental regulations as "war on affordable energy". They are also claiming that climate regulations effect the poor, where in truth the poor are disproportionately affected by climate change
Donald Trump picks Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, and key architect of the legal battle against President Obama’s climate change policies, while admitting that there is a connection between human activity and climate change. He had also met with Al Gore which instilled some hope for the environmentalist.
On Thursday afternoon, the committee tweeted a Breitbart article alleging: “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists”. The story linked to a British tabloid, the Daily Mail, which claimed that global land temperatures were plummeting, and that humans were not responsible for years of steadily increasing heat.
Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said. Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.
Donald Trump's election is sending shock waves through the energy and environmental world. President-elect Trump, who declared victory just before 3 a.m. EST today, has promised a fundamental shift from the Obama administration's energy and climate policies, proposing to eliminate U.S. EPA, pledging to boost fossil fuel development and calling global warming a "hoax."
Ayotte is the only Republican senator in a competitive race who acknowledges humans are behind climate change. Her stance came at a cost: millions of dollars in lost funding from the climate-denial-funding oil billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.
The energy advisers to the two campaigns squared off. It wasn’t half bad. The hour-long debate featured its share of depressing nonsense, like when Cramer waffled on whether humans are causing global warming. (Spoiler: They are.) But the discussion was genuinely substantive, and the advisers delved into issues like the Paris climate deal, nuclear power, and (oh yes) transmission policy.
Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA, the sources said.
It's a new low for major news organizations to sell their brand to lobbyists and let climate truthers go unchallenged. GOP and media just featured climate deniers without offering any dissenting speakers and this should violate the editorial standards of any credible news organization.
Want to see how giant corporations try to rig the system in their favor? Look at what ExxonMobil is doing to try to intimidate Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office is one of several AGs who are investigating whether ExxonMobil broke state consumer and investor protection laws by knowingly misleading people about climate change since the 1970s.
In 1986, Republican Sen. John Chafee convened a remarkable set of climate change hearings. The congress was told on the consequences of climate change. The facts have followed the predictions since and yet Donald Trump wants to renegotiate the climate change agreement on favor of business.
A new investigation exposes how one of the top scientists involved in denying climate change has failed to disclose his extensive funding from the fossil fuel industry. Dr. Wei-Hock Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has downplayed global warming and rejected human activity as its cause, arguing the sun is more responsible than greenhouse gases from pollution. Climate denialists — including Republican Senator James Inhofe, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — frequently cite Soon’s work to reject concrete action.