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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 23, 2017, 07:56:31 pm »

Action After Tragedy: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Posted On March 22, 2017 by Andrew Hartsig

SNIPPET:

Friday will be the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Nearly 11 million gallons of oil spewed into the ocean over the course of three days. Even today, there are still some places in Prince William Sound where you can find oil that is as toxic as it was 28 years ago.   :( :P

But, I’m optimistic that we can learn from the mistakes of the past and work together to make sure another Exxon Valdez doesn’t occur off the coast of Alaska. We saw first-hand what happens when we don’t take preparedness seriously.

Will you join me in taking action to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

Now, nearly three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, the Arctic Ocean is facing threats from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Strait.

As Arctic sea ice continues to melt, the Bering Sea—including the narrow Bering Strait—is experiencing more and more ship traffic. As ship traffic increases, so do the risks, including oil spills, vessel strikes on marine mammals, air pollution, discharge of waste into the water and production of underwater noise. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect the Arctic.

Take action today by asking the U.S. Coast Guard to take steps to reduce the risks of increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea. This can’t wait—we need to put in place key measures to increase safety and reduce risk in the Arctic waters.

The Bering Sea is used by millions of seabirds and an array of marine mammals including whales, seals, walruses and polar bears. Alaska Native communities rely on these resources for food security and cultural practices that date back millennia.

There’s no doubt that the Arctic Ocean is unique and important—there is a lot at stake if we don’t work together to do all we can to protect this region. Please take action today by asking the U.S. Coast Guard to reduce the risks from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea.

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/03/22/action-after-tragedy-the-exxon-valdez-oil-spill/exxon-valdez-2/

Agelbert NOTE: I do not share the optimism of the author. I think it is bad and it will get a LOT worse.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 18, 2017, 07:23:26 pm »

Monsanto Isn't Feeding the World -- It's Killing Our Children

 Saturday, March 18, 2017 

By Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association | News Analysis

Quote
"How could we have ever believed that it is a good idea to grow our food with poisons?" -- Dr. Jane Goodall

SNIPPET:

Two new reports published in recent weeks add to the already large and convincing body of evidence, accumulated over more than half a century, that agricultural pesticides and other toxic chemicals are poisoning us.

Both reports issue scathing indictments of US and global regulatory systems that collude with chemical companies to hide the truth from the public, while they fill their coffers with ill-gotten profits.

According to the World Health Organization, whose report focused on a range of environmental risks, the cost of a polluted environment adds up to the deaths of 1.7 million children every year.

A report by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council, focused more narrowly on agricultural chemicals. The UN report states unequivocally that the storyline perpetuated by companies like Monsanto -- the one that says we need pesticides to feed the world -- is a myth. And a catastrophic one at that.

Full article:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39866-monsanto-isn-t-feeding-the-world-it-s-killing-our-children
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:16:06 pm »



Big Win Over Oil Trains in California -- Thank You

We're celebrating the news this week that the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors rejected Phillips 66's proposed oil-train offloading terminal.

 The oil-train terminal would have allowed more than 7 million gallons of crude oil to be shipped via rail to its local refinery each week, and made it possible for Phillips 66 to refine volatile and carbon-intensive tar sands crude from Canada. These trains also would have jeopardized numerous ecologically sensitive areas along California's coast.

More than 25,000 Californians opposed the project -- many thanks those who spoke out.


 "This is a huge victory for public safety, health and California's environment," said the Center's Valerie Love. "Hopefully it spells the end for this reckless plan. Our communities will be safer and our air will be cleaner because of it."

 Read more in the East Bay Times.
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/14/east-bay-activists-hail-crude-oil-by-rail-rejection-in-san-luis-obispo/


The Center for Biological Diversity released a groundbreaking report this week identifying the top 15 members of Congress trying to seize, destroy, dismantle and privatize America's public lands. These "Public Lands Enemies" are part of a growing movement to industrialize public lands for profit -- increased exploitation for oil and gas drilling, fracking, logging, mining and development.

 The Center's report analyzed 132 anti-public-lands bills that were introduced in the past three congressional sessions and the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored those bills.

 "These 15 members of Congress are trying to turn America's public lands into an open cash register for corporations," said Randi Spivak, the Center's public lands director. "Everyone who cares about our national forests, wildlife refuges, national parks and monuments need to watch these elected officials very closely -- and oppose them at every step."

These 15 Public Lands Enemies are:

1. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
2. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah, 1st District)
3. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
4. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz., 4th District)
5. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
6. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah, 2nd District)
7. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska, At Large)
8. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
9. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho, 1st District)
10. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah, 3rd District)
11. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev., 2nd District)
12. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
13. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M., 2nd District)
14. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif., 4th District)
15. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)


 Check out our new Public Lands Enemies website, where you can download shareable "Wanted" posters and find out if your congressional rep is on our list.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/public_lands_enemies/index.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 15, 2017, 02:09:02 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: What you see above is a Tanker Dumping Ballast Polluted Water with BMS (Ballast Management System). When a tanker offloads its crude oil, it must take on ballast ocean water to keep it stable in the return voyage. This water CAN be cleaned up, but it is NOT actually cleaned up as they claim. And yeah, they DO NOT put the ballast water in separate tanks form where they had the crude oil (which is toxic to marine life), no matter what you may have heard. They could do that, but they won't because then they would not be able to carry as much crude (ALL the tanks are filled with crude oil, not half, as would be required for separate tanks).

BMS is a fig leaf for in-your-face ocean pollution for fossil fuel industry profits. Ballast Management Systems (BMS) are a cruel joke. They are nothing but a threadbare excuse used to make the mendacious claim that tankers are not polluting the oceans willy nilly for the sake of fossil fuel industry profits.

THEY ARE POLLUTING!

THEY DO IT FOR PROFITS.

THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE BIOSPHERE DAMAGE THEY DO.

The article published with this photo is wishful thinking.

Shipping On Right Course for the Ballast Water Management Convention

March 14, 2017 by Editorial

By Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping

The Ballast Water Management Convention (the Convention), aimed at establishing standards and procedures to prevent the spread of aquatic organisms  , enters into force and takes effect on 8 September this year  ;). While it represents a significant environmental milestone for our planet, the Convention also means that the maritime industry has to gear up for a huge operational change.

Under the Convention, ships trading in international waters will need to ensure they are fitted with a ship-specific Ballast Water Management System (BWMS), according to the agreed implementation schedule. The BWMS installed must be approved by the Flag State in accordance with approval process defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  

Even vessels from countries which have not acceded to the Convention are required to comply with the standards when entering the ports of IMO Member States that have ratified the Convention.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the Convention, ships entering U.S. waters will also need to meet the stringent standards laid down in the U.S. Ballast Water Regulations and enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The U.S. has not acceded to the Convention but adopted its own ballast-water regulations in 2012.

Quote
Agelbert NOTE: What you just read means that the U.S. "standards" are EVEN MORE LAX, NOT "more stringent", than the new BMS standards BECAUSE we have a fossil fuel corrupted government.
This disconnect in requirements has left many shipowners wondering if their vessels will be able to operate in U.S. waters when the Convention comes into force. The uncertainty in this area has been compounded by the fact that only three equipment makers – Optimarin, Alfa Laval and Ocean Saver – have systems that are approved and considered fully compliant with both the Convention and US Ballast Water regulations. A fourth system is currently being considered by the USCG for full approval.

With the Convention entering into force in less than 7 months, the pressure is certainly on for shipowners who must find a suitably robust BWMS for their operations and in the case of existing ships have the system installed by the date of their first International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Renewal Survey after 8 September this year.

Absorbing costs


Industry watchers expect that the global maritime industry will spend upwards of USD75 billion on equipping their vessels with ballast water treatment systems. Depending on the size of the vessel, its ballast water capacity and type of treatment, estimates show that the cost of implementation of the treatment systems can range from half a million to five million USD per vessel with some 40,000 ships to be equipped. This is in addition to other maintenance and operational costs.

Given these costs, there is the consideration that it may be more economically feasible to scrap a substantial number of older ships rather than modify them to meet the Convention’s standards.

Moreover, individual shipowners will also need to invest in training crew members to handle new equipment, ensuring that appropriate safety protocols are well established, and costs associated with disruptions due to dry-docking and equipment installation are contained.

In the current depressed market, these compliance costs, and other ancillary costs have been of significant concern to shipowners. For many countries, they have even been a barrier to ratification.

Making progress

In spite of the nervousness about the ratification, shipowners are generally confident of meeting the standards in time. Having a firm date for the Convention’s implementation provides certainty for timelines and budget.

Furthermore, faced with the pressure of the Convention, equipment manufacturers and engineering companies are innovating to ensure that effective equipment and systems are made commercially available to help shipowners move forward. Currently, there are over 60-type approved systems, some of which make use of UV.

To spur greater trust in ballast water systems, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has also been collaborating with the IMO to ensure a more rigorous type approval process exists and as a result, the IMO adopted the more robust 2016 Guidelines for the Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8) in October 2016.

The IMO also agreed in 2016 that the approval guidelines should be made into a mandatory code and the Convention amended accordingly following its entry into force. As a result, the availability of commercial equipment that can be considered to effectively treat ballast water in conditions normally encountered in the daily operation of ships should grow as systems gain approval in accordance with the latest revision of the approval guidelines (G8). The availability of systems approved in accordance with the 2016 Guidelines (G8) and with USCG approval will fuel confidence in the Convention.

Navigating the way forward

It has taken 13 years to take the Convention from adoption to ratification and while there have been significant concerns and challenges in its ratification, the long-term benefits should outweigh the costs. The risks to aquatic biodiversity and human health arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water will be eradicated with the implementation of treatment systems.

As an aside, some in the industry are saying the Convention may address existing vessel over-supply in the market, by encouraging shipowners to consider scrapping vessels that are over 15 years old.

More importantly, compliance with the Convention offers shipowners the opportunity to feedback on the efficacy of treatment systems, to help shape the Convention, and the industry as a whole. Here, the ICS provides a key avenue for shipowners to collaborate with other industry players and the IMO to refine the Convention and help facilitate implementation.

The success of the Convention is ultimately dependent on multi-level collaboration within the global maritime industry. On a macro level, inter-agency coordination amongst the flag States is necessary for effective enforcement of ballast water management strategies. On a micro level, careful planning and coordination is vital if shipowners are to meet the requirements of the Convention while minimising preparatory and compliance-related costs.

This multi-level collaborative approach will also be in action during the Sea Asia 2017 conferences. Held in April in Singapore, Sea Asia 2017 will bring together leaders from across the industry and around the globe to analyse, debate and find solutions to issues confronting the maritime industry.

One of the areas we will discuss is the Convention and its expected impact on the sector. I look forward to continuing the discussion on how we can work together as an industry to navigate these challenges moving forward.

Peter Hinchliffe is a speaker for the ‘Navigating Challenges: The Way Forward’ session at Sea Asia 2017.

http://gcaptain.com/shipping-on-right-course-for-the-ballast-water-management-convention/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 13, 2017, 02:16:20 pm »


Opening Arctic Waters to Drilling Is Trump Priority, Key Senator Says

March 12, 2017 by Bloomberg

SNIPPET:

Bloomberg) — Senator Lisa Murkowski said President Donald Trump is interested in opening up new coastal waters for oil and gas drilling and reversing Obama-era policies that restrict energy development in Alaska.

Both Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are weighing ways to expand opportunities to drill in Arctic waters though the changes could take years to accomplish administratively, Murkowski said in an interview on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston. 


http://gcaptain.com/opening-arctic-waters-to-drilling-is-trump-priority-key-senator-says/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 10, 2017, 12:43:27 pm »

March 7, 2017 | Rona Fried | Policy/Trends

War on Regulations Takes Off

Last week, Trump ordered supervisors installed in all federal agencies to carry out his “2 for 1” scheme to eviscerate big bad regulations that supposedly hold our economy back. Only regulations that cost industries $0 in 2017 can stay in place – forget any benefits of holding corporations accountable, such as saving lives, protecting human health, safeguarding fundamental rights, worker rights, environmental rights, and caring for wildlife and wildlands. And for any regulation that is put in place, two must be eliminated even if they are entirely unrelated.

“This fundamentally changes our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits, and will lead to a dangerous new era of deregulation and corporate “self-regulation,” says Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, which is suing Donald J. Trump for the regulations assault.

But this is just the beginning. If the Midnight Rules Act, REINS Act and Regulatory Accountability Act pass, major items long on the Republican wish list will finally be fulfilled. The bills have passed in the House and now await Senate action.
◾Midnight Rule Relief Act allows Congress – in just one vote – to repeal all regulations passed over the past year.

◾REINS Act (Regulations From The Executive In Need of Scrutiny  ::)) gives Congress control over major new regulations, taking it out of the hands of professionals in federal agencies. For the first time, Congress would be in charge of approving regulations. If not approved within 70 days, the regulation dies and the agency is barred from taking it up again.

◾Regulatory Accountability Act  makes it very hard to set new regulations by bogging the process down with over 60 new steps. Until now, agencies balance costs and benefits when considering new rules, but this law requires them to choose the “least costly” option as opposed to the “most effective” option.

The House passed the REINS Act several times during Obama’s term, but it was stopped in the Senate. The House voted down Democrat amendments to exempt rules that affect veterans’ health care, nuclear reactor safety, transportation of hazardous materials, and the safety of products used by children under the age of 2, reports USA Today.

Read our article, REINS Act Would Increase Toxic Pollution

These bills “give Congress sweeping authority to substitute political judgement for scientific judgement. It gives Congress permission to ignore all the years of technical work and public comment used to develop public health, safety, and environmental protections, and simply dismantle all these vital safeguards in one fell swoop,” says Union of Concerned Scientists. It’s ironic, because federal agencies develop regulations at the behest of Congress in the laws they pass!

The REINS Act “could, in effect, impose a slow-motion government shutdown, and would replace a process based on expertise, rationality and openness with one characterized by political maneuvering, economic clout and secrecy. The public would be less protected, and the political system would be more abused. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more far-reaching, fundamental and damaging shift in the way the government goes about its business of safeguarding the public,” says Natural Resources Defense Council.

Conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute is helping out with a 193-page agenda with a long list of regulations to eliminate, and Rep. Meadows (R-NC) has offered a list of 232 regulations that can be repealed immediately.

And who did Trump put in charge of advising on which regulations to gut? Billioinairre corporate raider Carl Icahn. With $16.5 billion, Icahn has plenty of money to protect (and grow!).

Corporations are Thrilled   

Real estate developers, for example, are thrilled with the rollbacks. Eliminating the “Waters of the US” rule makes it much easier to build without worrying about protecting wetlands and the streams half of Americans rely on for their drinking water. When the Endangered Species Act is gone, that will take a big pain out of the way.

Environmental Protection   Agency

Federal contractors are thrilled that the House repealed Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, which requires them to comply with worker health and safety laws before getting new contracts. 30% of the worst violators received $81 billion in federal contracts, according to a 2013 Senate report.  It affects the family of Rodney Bridgett, who was killed when a piece of heavy equipment crushed him and Calvin Bryant, crippled by a workplace explosion that killed 14 co-workers, for example. A vote in the Senate is imminent.

On the chopping block:

◾lead safety standards in drinking water

◾unsafe chemicals to be removed from the market under the Toxic Substances Control Act

◾gut enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts

◾prohibit payday lenders from praying on consumers with high interest rates

◾gut Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform,  Consumer Protection Act, Food Safety Modernization Act, Pipeline Safety Act and many more.

◾gut food safety regulations, net neutrality rules that protect he Internet from monopolies, energy efficiency standards for appliances and vehicles, and of course, the Clean Power Plan that reduces emissions from power plants.

◾no more restrictions on oil drilling or coal mines on public land

◾no more standards for healthy school lunches

◾standards that protect health workers from exposure to infectious diseases

◾a rule to prevent mining equipment from crushing miners

◾rules that protect communities from oil trains from exploding

◾protections for endangered species

Visit rulesatrisk.org to keep up (if you can!) with the rules on the chopping block.


“It’s horrifying that even after the Wall Street crash, the massive BP oil spill and numerous other public health and safety disasters across the country due to a lack of strong regulations, Americans will once again have to pay the price for the consequences of corporate recklessness, greed and lawbreaking,” says Weissman.

“Congress totally lacks the technical competence to review these kinds of complex rules. Do we really want members of Congress deciding whether a chemical can safely be used in food packaging? Or the proper procedures for approving new drugs as safe and effective? Or setting the allowable safety standard for heavy metals in drinking water?,” asks Carl Pope, former Sierra Club president.

Say Goodbye to Class Action Lawsuits?


HR 985, which would make it almost impossible for citizens to join class action lawsuits – among the most effective tools for victims of corporate abuse – will soon get a vote. Think about the BP oil spill or Wells Fargo’s illegal bank accounts. HR 720, HR 725 and HR 732 would make it harder for victims of corporate wrongdoing to sue and hold them accountable.

How About a Rule that Requires the President to Reveal His Taxes?

Although the vast majority of Americans want Trump to reveal his taxes, House Republicans don’t like that rule either.  Every single one of them voted to block a resolution that would force Trump to do what all other presidents have done on their own volition.

The House Ways and Means Committee has the power to demand Trump’s taxes, but the full House voted it down when Rep. Pascrell (D-NJ) brought it to the floor.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/war-regulations-takes-off/

Agelbert NOTE: Message from the Trump Team to we-the-people:

 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 09, 2017, 05:49:32 pm »

Quote
Pascal Molineaux  · Professor at Universidad Javeriana Cali

Trump's priorities are crystal clear. His proposed budget speaks volumes. As a corporate stooge who couldn't care less for our health, our well-being, worker rights and the environment. He is literally doing an EVE (extinction level event) with his power, bending backwards as far as he possibly can to ease their "burden" and deregulate all federal oversight and defunded all institutions meant to protect the common good.

While throwing even more massive amounts of money at the world's most bloated military budget (the USA is already out spending the next big seven spender countries TOGETHER). Such waste, such blusterful nonsense, such blind hubris, such a know-nothing approach to our most pressing and urgent issues.

By GOD, I hope the American voter soon gives him a kicking. That's all Pumpkin head deserves! 

Trump Proposes Cutting Great Lakes Funding by 97%

Mar. 08, 2017 08:55PM EST '

Sierra Club By Melinda Pierce

SNIPPET:

New findings revealed Wednesday show which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs will be most affected by the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts, including a 97 percent budget cut for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative strategically targets the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem, including toxic substances, invasive species and pollution. As the Senate currently works to finalize 2017 appropriations and develop legislation to fund the federal government in 2018, it is up to them to make sure that the EPA receives the funding it needs to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and the environment, through programs such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Quote
Budgets are statements about values and priorities. Trump's budget
shows his priorities are corporate profits  , not our communities or drinking water for the 1 in 10 Americans who live in this region.

Don't miss the Graphic at article link:

http://www.ecowatch.com/great-lakes-restoration-initiative-2306413346.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 08, 2017, 05:43:46 pm »



Trump Cuts Regulations as  Oceanic Dead Zones Release Massive Amounts of Methane

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 

By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report

SNIPPET:

The Trump administration's campaign to roll back as many government regulations as possible is well underway. On the environmental front, Trump administration officials have already -- in one day alone, and without allowing any opportunity for public comment -- delayed the dates of 30 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. A rule that restricted animal welfare requirements for organic poultry and livestock has been delayed by two months, and a bumble bee which was about to be added to the endangered species list has just found itself in jeopardy of extinction since the Trump administration said it would postpone the listing until at least March 21.

Meanwhile, Trump administration officials are indicating that they will be making marked changes in oil and gas industry regulations. In November, the Obama administration's EPA requested that nearly 20,000 oil and gas companies measure their methane emissions within two to six months, depending on their type of facility. Methane is a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2, and reducing methane emissions is a critical part of mitigating climate disruption. However, the Trump administration has been granting a 90-day extension on the measurement regulation to every oil and gas company that wants one. Many oil and gas officials now expect the methane survey to be scaled back dramatically, or altogether abandoned.  


http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39752-trump-cuts-regulations-as-oceanic-dead-zones-release-massive-amounts-of-methane

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 07, 2017, 02:28:13 pm »





Forecast: Trump to Shower Industries with Gifts This Week
 
 The forecast this week calls for flurries of climate (in)action from the White House. Let’s run through the list of nightmares.
 
 Today, the EPA and DoT are expected to announce that they’re starting the process to revise fuel economy standards. The rollbacks will be a gift to the auto and oil industries, while the American public will pick up the tab at the pump. There are also murmurs that Pruitt will also go after California’s right to create stricter fuel efficiency standards than the federal government--a remarkably hypocritical position for Scott “States’ Rights” Pruitt to take.
 
 Also expected this week is an executive order instructing the EPA to begin the long and intensive process of undoing the Clean Power Plan while also lifting the moratorium on coal leasing on public lands. This will be framed as energy independence or security, but we all know it’s just another piece of corporate welfare for Trump’s fossil fuel buddies.
 
 Speaking of which, here’s a scary sentence from E&E: “The Inhofe   infantry   continues to grow at U.S. EPA.” Apparently a number of alums from Inhofe’s staff have found positions within the EPA and across the Trump administration. Which is just lovely.
 
 On a slightly sunnier note, Team Trump has not yet figured out what to do about the Paris Agreement, despite conflicting reports. While they deliberate, we’ll read and re-read Andrew Freedman’s perfect explanation of why “Leaving the Paris Agreement would be Trump's worst move yet.”
 
In the meantime, there are still clouds on the horizon to worry about. One big storm cloud we’re watching: Trump’s proposed budget. While Congress’s budget will most likely be better than the bloodbath of Trump’s initial proposal, it will still be bad. It’s not surprising that the proposed cuts to the EPA’s scientific research would be so severe as to cause the department to “implode,” but Trump’s even going after bipartisan-supported efforts like the Energy Star program, turning it over to industry.
 
 Fortunately even GOP appropriators have said the money that pours from the EPA to states will make it difficult for Congress to cut the budget to the degree Trump is asking. And if the pork barrel rationale doesn’t save the budget, maybe the GOP majority will actually listen to their constituents?
 
 That might be a good idea: a new survey out of Yale shows there is widespread support for reducing carbon pollution and increasing our investment in renewables. Even 62% of Trump supporters think there should be taxes or regulations on carbon pollution.
 
 Unfortunately, not polled were the only voices Trump appears to listen to: the corporate overlords he will apparently do just about anything to appease.
 
 So while uncertainty rains in the Trump camp, one thing is certain: we’re bracing for a SHITSTORM.


 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:52:51 pm »

 
EPA Comforts "Harassed" Industry

The EPA will not require oil and gas producers to provide information on methane emissions at drilling sites, withdrawing a late Obama-era request that was meant to be a first step in a larger crackdown on methane emissions. The EPA withdrew the request a day after receiving a letter from 11 state attorneys general  - including Scott Pruitt's successor in Oklahoma - alleging that the request amounted to "harassment" of fossil fuel companies and asking the EPA to withdraw the "unnecessary and onerous burden"      on oil and gas producers.   

Methane regulations may come under friendly fire during the administration's budgetary bloodbath as well: a source tells Reuters that the EPA's budget plan currently includes a 70 percent budget reduction in a climate program intended to reduce "emissions of greenhouse gases like methane."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-methane-idUSKBN1692ZR

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 04, 2017, 01:40:06 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: It's going to flood again in Texas. So, you Texans that still have two neurons to rub together had better take precautions. Trumpers be warned: No Regulations means NO CLEANUP of oil and gas "industry"  produced toxins in the water.

Flooding sweeps oil, chemicals into rivers
SNIPPET:

AUSTIN — Scores of photographs taken by state emergency-management officials show that when floodwaters rise in Texas, they inundate oil wells and fracking sites, sweeping crude and noxious chemicals into rivers throughout the Lone Star State.

Most recently, rainbow sheens and caramel plumes can be seen radiating from tipped tanks and flooded production pads during the March flood of the Sabine River, which forms much of the state’s boundary with Louisiana. Similar scenes are visible in photos from last year’s floods of the Trinity, Red, and Colorado rivers.

Quote
“In other areas, cattle that drank the fracking fluid actually died an hour after drinking it. There are potential carcinogens that can lead to leukemia, brain cancer and other endocrine disruptors that can affect premature births.”

http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2016/04/30/flooding-sweeps-oil-chemicals-into-rivers/83671348/

2013 photo of a flooded fracking site.


   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 01, 2017, 06:04:26 pm »

Analysis: Clean Power Plan repeal could cost $600B, result in 120,000 premature deaths

SNIPPET:

Dive Brief:

•Repealing the Clean Power Plan would have significant impacts on the United States' economy and the health of its citizens, according to new analysis from Energy Innovation, a clean energy think tank.

•Rolling back the carbon rule would lead to $100 billion in extra costs by 2030, rising to $600 billion by 2050, according to the organization's power sector modeling tool. And the resulting impacts to air quality would lead to more than 40,000 premature deaths in 2030, and 120,000 in 2050.

•President Trump campaigned on rolling back regulations, focusing on energy production and undoing the CPP. He has now installed former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, and is preparing a budget that is expected to slash the agency's finances and resources.

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/analysis-clean-power-plan-repeal-could-cost-600b-result-in-120000-prema/437036/


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 28, 2017, 05:22:39 pm »

 

WOTUS On the Chopping Block Today

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today repealing the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule, administration officials told multiple outlets Monday. The EO, which an official told Politico directs the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to "review and reconsider the rule," will have no immediate legal impact on its own but will serve as a signal to new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to prioritize undoing WOTUS, a lengthy task which experts say could last well beyond this administration. Today's EO is also expected to be the first in a series of executive actions targeting the EPA. Finalized by the Obama administration in 2015, WOTUS gives the federal government authority to regulate pollution in smaller streams and wetlands feeding into larger bodies of water, and has been fiercely opposed by industry interests. (New York Times $, Washington Post $, Bloomberg, Politico Pro $, The Hill, Greenwire $, Reuters, Time)


EPA May Have 3,000 Empty Desks

The Trump administration proposed slashing the EPA's funding by nearly 25% in a budget plan it sent to the agency Monday, agency sources told various outlets. The proposal cuts the EPA's $8.1 billion budget by nearly $2 billion, and would also potentially eliminate one-fifth of the agency's 15,000-person workforce, reducing the EPA to its funding and staffing levels of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The White House is seeking an additional $54 billion in military spending by cutting funding across agencies, with the EPA reportedly one of the top targets for cuts. The administration will send its first submission to Congress by March 16, and could face backlash from lawmakers over the radical changes proposed at EPA. (E&E $, Politico, Bloomberg, The Hill, Vox, Huffington Post, Climate Central)

DC: EPA removes mention of "climate change" in water utilities program (InsideClimate News), records show EPA’s Pruitt used private email, despite denial (Washington Post $), dumping Interior rules means tossing waste safeguards (EnergyWire $), Senate moves closer to final Zinke vote (Politico Pro $)

DIPLOMACY: Marshall Islands first to ratify global HFC greenhouse gas pact (Reuters, Climate Home), EU clashes with maritime industry over ship emissions (Climate Home)

JUSTICE: Judge to hear arguments today on Dakota Access oil pipeline work (AP), is Pa. pipeline fight on Amish farm the next Standing Rock? (Penn Live), in Portland, one plan tackles climate change and racial discrimination (Governing)

INT'L ENERGY: Japan accelerates wind power development as govt support pays off (Reuters), China's coal consumption falls for 3rd year in a row (AP, Climate Home), Pakistan races to tap virgin coal fields to meet energy crunch (Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Guardian)

SCIENTISTS: Scientists are at the Vatican discussing how to save the planet (Fusion), Bill Nye warns Trump administration could have ‘catastrophic’ effect on the planet (Huffington Post)

INFRASTRUCTURE: Water shut from Oroville Dam's damaged spillway in race against Mother Nature (LA Times $), California moves to ease pressures on aging dams (New York Times $), Senate GOP to investigate Oroville failure (Washington Examiner)

STATES + RENEWABLES: Minnesota: Legislation would boost standard for renewable energy (Minnesota Star Tribune), clean energy advocates ask Iowa regulators to reconsider solar ruling (Midwest Energy News), a Texas energy company offers a glimpse of what carbon capture could look like (Texas Monthly)

LOCAL ACTION: How will Alaskans talk climate change with the Trump administration? (Alaska Dispatch News), Indiana’s forests are for sale — but this bill tries to stop them from being cut down (Nexus Media News)

CALIFORNIA: California is likely to see more flooding due to climate change (KQED), how California's utilities are mapping their grids for distributed resources (Utility Dive), wrong statements by lawmaker on solar energy stir backlash (Sacramento Bee)

COLORADO: Climate change is already reducing flows in the Colorado River, scientists report (Washington Post $), new study sheds light on how climate change affects Colorado's snowpack (AP, CPR, EcoWatch)

BUSINESS: Warren Buffett says global warming is not impacting the way Berkshire writes insurance (CNBC), Hawaiian Airlines joins international climate change study (AP)
 
ARCTIC: Scientists just measured a rapid growth in acidity in the Arctic ocean, linked to climate change (Washington Post $), for some Arctic plants, spring arrives almost a month earlier (New York Times $)

SHELL: ‘Shell knew’: oil giant's 1991 film warned of climate change danger (The Guardian), Shell shuns new oil sands projects as low prices force cost control (Bloomberg)

WILDLIFE: Before Vaquitas vanish, a desperate bid to save them (New York Times $)

HEALTH: "A sense of despair": The mental health cost of unchecked climate change (CBS News)

FUTURE OF FOOD: Robots are raising your kale now (Grist), bread's environmental costs are counted (BBC)

READ UP: American teachers may soon face several state restrictions on teaching climate science (Mother Jones), rogue librarians are in a race to save the truth from Trump (GOOD Magazine), 6 words that could go extinct because of climate change (Outside)

•Senate should stand up for environment and not block Obama methane regulation (LA Times editorial $)

•Develop 'renewables first' energy strategy (Philadelphia Inquirer, David J. Murphy op-ed)

•Just who are these 300 'scientists' telling Trump to burn the climate? (The Guardian, John Abraham column)

•What Is Wrong with a Carbon Tax (Scientific American, Keith Harrington op-ed)

•New York's nuclear subsidies contradict economic principles (UtilityDive, Devin Hartman guest post)

•RGGI is good for NH businesses (New Hampshire Union-Leader, David Worthen op-ed)

•Is February Washington’s new May?  Freak thunderstorms pound area for second straight year. (Washington Post, Ian Livingston analysis $)

•Severe heatwaves show the need to adapt livestock management for climate (The Conversation, Elisabeth Vogel & Christin Meyer op-ed)

•Trump Is Very Wrong About Clean Coal (Gizmodo, Sidney Fussell analysis)

•Did President Trump save 77,000 coal mining jobs? (Washington Post, Glenn Kessler fact-check $)   

•The mobile solar boom is just beginning (The Hill, Craigh Erhlich op-ed)

DENIER ROUNDUP

Pruitt’s Private Emails Bad, Scientist’s Public Participation good
 
 Hey, remember that time the GOP and climate deniers made a huge stink over an ex-EPA administrator using a private email address? Or all those times deniers sued for climate scientists’ emails? Or the time the GOP made a massive fuss over a presidential candidate’s emails?
 
 They, apparently, do not. Because despite explicitly telling the Senate during his confirmation hearing that he never used a personal email account for state business, the Oklahoma attorney’s general office has confirmed that Scott Pruitt... used a personal email account to conduct state business.
 
 We eagerly await the months of investigations, hearings and op-eds to discuss this circumvention of transparency laws and abuse of process.  ;)
 
 Just kidding! Obviously, that’s not going to happen, because as we all know those “concerns” were pretense for pointed political attacks.
 
 And those political attacks aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Take, for example, the list of 300 so-called “experts” who called on Trump to pull out of the UNFCCC. John Abraham took a quick look at the signatories, and, surprise surprise, there are not many actual climate scientists on the list. The few who are nominally credible on climate (like Richard Lindzen) are far from consistently correct on the issue.
 
 On the other hand, actual scientists across the country are gearing up for the March for Science in DC at the end of April. With major groups like AAAS coming on board, there seems to be a growing acceptance of the fact that scientists are feeling more comfortable speaking up about politics.
 
 For those who oppose the effort and claim that it’s a bad idea that will damage the credibility of science, well, science says you’re wrong. A new study found that climate scientists can speak out on social media about recent findings, the risks and impacts of climate change, policy options available, broad actions and specific co2 reduction policies without losing any credibility with a Facebook audience. The only message that resulted in a dip in trustworthiness was a proposal to build more nuclear power.
 
 So all you scientists wondering if joining the march is going to cost you, fear not! You’re safe to engage with the public. Just maybe don’t talk about nuclear power! 
 
 Or send too many emails...     



 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 28, 2017, 04:57:10 pm »

Chief Engineers Convicted in ‘Magic Pipe’ Pollution Case

February 24, 2017 by gCaptain
Agelbert NOTE: Yep, this ship rigged to pollute (built in 2014!  :o) is named "Green Sky". 

SNIPPET:

Evidence presented to the jury showed that the Green Sky was regularly pumping this contaminated and oily water directly overboard, while failing to disclose the discharges on the vessel’s oil record book as required. The illegal overboard discharges were falsified from February to August 2015.

“Methods of falsification included omitting illegal bypass operations, claiming that the oil water separator was used when it had not been, and a series of false entries regarding the levels of the bilge holding tank, which were designed to further the cover-up. While most of these discharges occurred in international waters, evidence at trial revealed that at least two of these discharges were within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States during the ship’s voyage from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Houston, Texas in May 2015,” the Department of Justice said in a statement on Thursday.

The evidence presented during the fifteen-day trial demonstrated that the chief engineers covered up illegal overboard discharges that took place through two systems of “magic” hoses and a separate “magic” valve system designed to bypass the ship’s oil water separator. Koutoukakis and Julian falsified the oil record book to hide their illegal discharges. The vessel arrived in Charleston, South Carolina on August 26, 2015, when the false record was presented to the U.S. Coast Guard during an inspection of the vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard was tipped off by three whistleblowers who came forward to report the crimes and ask for protection from U.S. authorities.

Full article with "magic pipe" picture included for your viewing pleasure: 8)

http://gcaptain.com/engineers-convicted-in-magic-pipe-pollution-case/

Agelbert NOTE: As usual, the top dogs who influenced the crew members to do this creative criminal exercise in profit over planet will not be caught, charged, fined or imprisoned. This "magic pipe" trick is the tip of the massive pollution iceberg in the shipping industry.

Do you want to guess who the champion polluter ships in the oceans are? If you said, CRUDE OIL Tankers, you win the prize. The foot dragging on regulating them began with Reagan and has continued pretty much until today.

And now that Trump is there to make sure the Coast Guard looks the other way when the tankers do their ballast fun and games after discharging the crude, the pollution will be TOTALLY UNREGULATED. That means more of THIS for marine life in and around ports.

Have a nice day.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 27, 2017, 05:43:10 pm »

International team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean

February 27, 2017



Over the last decade, the Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (CHINARE) and US collaborators have studied the environmental and climate changes of the western Arctic Ocean and has witnessed rapid expansion of the 'acidified' water in the upper water column. This photo shows the science team working on an ice station in front of the icebreaker XueLong during the summer 2010 cruise in the northern Canada Basin, very close to the North Pole. Credit: Zhongyong Gao and Di Qi

The research shows that, between the 1990s and 2010, acidified waters expanded northward approximately 300 nautical miles from the Chukchi slope off the coast of northwestern Alaska to just below the North Pole. Also, the depth of acidified waters was found to have increased, from approximately 325 feet to over 800 feet (or from 100 to 250 meters).

"The Arctic Ocean is the first ocean where we see such a rapid and large-scale increase in acidification, at least twice as fast as that observed in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans," said Cai, the U.S. lead principal investigator on the project and Mary A.S. Lighthipe Professor of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at UD.

"The rapid spread of ocean acidification in the western Arctic has implications for marine life, particularly clams, mussels and tiny sea snails that may have difficulty building or maintaining their shells in increasingly acidified waters," said Richard Feely, NOAA senior scientist and a co-author of the research. Sea snails called pteropods are part of the Arctic food web and important to the diet of salmon and herring. Their decline could affect the larger marine ecosystem.

Quote
Among the Arctic species potentially at risk from ocean acidification are subsistence fisheries of shrimp and varieties of salmon and crab.

Other collaborators on the international project include Liqi Chen, the Chinese lead principal investigator and scientist with the Third Institute of Oceanography of State Oceanic Administration of China; and scientists at Xiamen University, China and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, among other institutions.


Pacific Winter Water

The researchers studied water samples taken during cruises by Chinese ice breaker XueLong (meaning "snow dragon") in summer 2008 and 2010 from the upper ocean of the Arctic's marginal seas to the basins as far north as 88 degrees latitude, just below the North Pole, as well as data from three other cruises.

Scientists measured dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity which allows them to calculate pH and the saturation state for aragonite,  a carbonate mineral that marine organisms need to build their shells.

This graphic, produced by the University of Delaware, shows where ocean acidification is spreading in the Arctic Ocean, both in area and in depth. Credit: Tammy Beeson, University of Delaware


International team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean
This graphic, produced by the University of Delaware, shows where ocean acidification is spreading in the Arctic Ocean, both in area and in depth. Credit: Tammy Beeson, University of Delaware

Data collected by ship and model simulations suggest that increased Pacific Winter Water (PWW), driven by circulation patterns and retreating sea ice in the summer season, is primarily responsible for this OA expansion, according to Di Qi, the paper's lead author and a doctoral student of Chen.
 
"This work will help increase our understanding of climate change, carbon cycling, and ocean acidification in the Arctic, particularly as it affects marine and fishery science and technology," said Chen.

PWW comes from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait and shelf of the Chukchi Sea and into the Arctic basin. In recent years, melting sea ice has allowed more of the Pacific water to flow through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean. Pacific Ocean water is already high in carbon dioxide and has higher acidity. As the ocean mass moves north, it absorbs additional carbon dioxide from decomposing organic matter in the water and sediments, increasing acidity.

The melting and retreating of Arctic sea ice in the summer months also has allowed PWW to move further north than in the past when currents pushed it westward toward the Canadian archipelago.

Arctic ocean ice melt in the summer, once found only in shallow waters of depths less than 650 feet or 200 meters, now spreads further into the Arctic Ocean.

"It's like a melting pond floating on the Arctic Ocean. It's a thin water mass that exchanges carbon dioxide rapidly with the atmosphere above, causing carbon dioxide and acidity to increase in the meltwater on top of the seawater," said Cai. "When the ice forms in winter, acidified waters below the ice become dense and sink down into the water column, spreading into deeper waters."

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-international-team-ocean-acidification-rapidly.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 26, 2017, 05:46:35 pm »


Trump Gives Pen to Dow Chemical CEO After Signing Executive Order to Eliminate Regulations 

Feb. 24, 2017 08:43PM EST

Lorraine Chow

President Donald Trump has signed another executive order aimed at eliminating regulations that he claims are damaging to the U.S. economy, but some worry that the measure will roll back critical environmental protections.

The order, called "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda," directs each government agency to create a task force to evaluate existing federal regulations and recommend whether they should be kept, repealed or modified.

A White House official told POLITICO that the task forces will "focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations."

The new order also directs agency heads to appoint "regulatory reform officers" to ensure that agencies are carrying out the president's other executive orders, such as his recent 2-for-1 rule that requires federal agencies to repeal two old regulations for every new one.

"Excessive regulation is killing jobs," Trump said during the signing ceremony. "Every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it."
Quote

"We will stop punishing companies for doing business in the United States," Trump added. "It's going to be absolutely just the opposite. They will be incentivized to doing business."


The president was flanked by leaders of major U.S. corporations, including Lockheed Martin, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Chemical Co. and Campbell Soup.

Dow Chemical Co. chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris, who leads Trump's advisory council on manufacturing and received the presidential signing pen. Just yesterday, Liveris praised the Trump administration for being "the most pro-business administration since the Founding Fathers."

Bloomberg Politics pointed out that The White House already has an entire agency, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, that reviews all government regulations before they are issued. It is unclear how the existing office will be working with the new officials.

Environmental groups have criticized Trump's latest executive order, saying that it is crafted to help the country's biggest polluters.

"The Trump administration wants less government, except when it wants more to carry out its oil and gas industry agenda ," Greenpeace spokesperson Travis Nichols said in a statement. "This executive order will put Trump's unvetted corporate minions above experts at our federal agencies in charge of protecting our water, our land and our climate." 

"We can only hope that the resistance inside these agencies will be strong enough to stop these destructive Trump toadies from dismantling protections for the American people," Nichols continued. "This administration and its deluded enforcers will never understand what it feels like to worry about the water their families are drinking, the food their families are eating or if their houses will survive the next superstorm. It's up to all of us outside the billionaire bubble to resist the ways in which the Trump administration is destroying this country."


Tiernan Sittenfeld of the League of Conservation Voters had similar sentiments.

"President Trump is rigging the system so corporate lobbyists can lower standards that protect the public health and safety of all people in this country," Sittenfeld told NPR . "These task forces will attempt to roll back common-sense protections for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the lands we cherish."

Waterkeeper Alliance said that Trump's latest order will only help destroy agencies and regulations that are designed to protect people and the environment. For instance, rules that ensure that tap water does not contain pollutants that cause cancer or brain damage could be on the chopping block.

"President Trump's action to slash regulation is more like a pollution prison sentence, subjecting our communities to increased exposure to polluted water, toxins, disease and economic burden for generations to come. There is no justification for this type of brazen policy that only benefits the richest and most powerful corporations in the world," said Waterkeeper Alliance Executive Director Marc Yaggi. "Americans and all world citizens want and deserve clean water and clean air. President Trump will face massive resistance to this misguided executive order."

The Waterkeeper Alliance pointed out that the assumption that regulations have a negative impact on job creation is false 

"The reality is that only two-tenths of one percent of layoffs are caused by all governmental regulations, including environmental ones,"  the organization said. "Earlier this month, job loss was cited as a major reason for overturning the Stream Protection Rule despite the fact that the Congressional Research Service found the rule would have created as many jobs as it eliminated. If implemented, the Stream Protection Rule would have protected an estimated 6,000 miles of streams over the next two decades from the devastating effects of mountaintop removal coal mining."

Earlier at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday, Trump promised to slash 75 percent of regulations all while claiming he wanted to "protect our environment."  

"We're going to put the regulation industry out of work and out of business. And by the way, I want regulation. I want to protect our environment. I want regulations for safety," Trump said, according to CNBC. "I want all of the regulations that we need and I want them to be so strong and so tough. But we don't need 75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs." 

But Trump's first month in the White House has been a nightmare for environmentalists and the planet alike.


He has appointed a cabinet full of polluters with ties to the fossil fuel industry
, and signed executive orders to push through the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline and nullify Obama-era climate policies such as the Stream Protection Rule.

And as Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group's senior vice president for government affairs, put it, "President Trump is engineering the most hostile assault on public health, and mark my words, his administration's planned destruction of many rules will put the health of millions of hard-working Americans and their families in jeopardy."

Incidentally, it emerged Friday morning that his daughter, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pushed the president to exclude language that criticized the Paris agreement from an upcoming executive order, the Wall Street Journal reported.

http://www.ecowatch.com/trump-executive-order-regulations-2282814216.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 26, 2017, 03:55:37 pm »




DuPont and Chemours Settle Teflon Toxin Lawsuit for Up to $921 Million

Sharon Kelly, Earth Island Journal: C-8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, is a soap-like powder that DuPont used for decades at its Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, to smooth lumps in freshly made Teflon. It is has caused cancers, pregnancy complications and chronic health conditions like thyroid disease. Finally, those harmed by C-8 have won some restitution.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39585-dupont-and-chemours-settle-teflon-toxin-lawsuit-for-up-to-921-million


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 24, 2017, 12:57:41 pm »


Study Links Childhood Leukemia With Living Near Oil and Gas Development

SNIPPET:

But a key takeaway of the study seems to be that fracking and horizontal drilling have enabled oil and gas development to encroach more and more into places where people live (something the city of Greeley, Colorado, is grappling with firsthand) and as the researchers noted, "This has the potential to expose a large population to oil and gas development related pollutants."

http://www.ecowatch.com/leukemia-oil-gas-wells-2280665249.html

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleteing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 23, 2017, 11:05:49 pm »

Fracking Spills - More Than You think!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 22, 2017, 06:35:06 pm »



February 22, 2017

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Signal to Berlin

Stuttgart had run out of options to cut nitrogen dioxide pollution, a poison that makes people ill and even kills them, writes Jan Heidtmann in a commentary for Süddeutsche Zeitung.

He argues the state government also wants to put pressure on federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt, from CDU sister party CSU, who resists federal regulation to introduce driving bans using a “blue badge” to label cleaner cars. Heidtmann argues this is why it’s partly the minister’s fault that nitrogen dioxide levels now exceed legal limits in almost 80 German cities, including Berlin and Munich.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 20, 2017, 12:22:48 pm »



Major Victory for California Cities vs. Monsanto Over PCB Contamination

Feb. 18, 2017 03:44PM EST

Lorraine Chow
 
SNIPPET:

Monsanto may be looking forward to turning a new leaf with its potential $66 billion mega-merger with Bayer AG, but the agrochemical giant just can't shake its notorious past as the primary manufacturer of highly toxic and banned substances called polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that were once used for paints, electrical equipment and other products.

Monsanto manufactured about one billion pounds of PCBs for between the 1930s-70s before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the chemical in 1979. PCBs are harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment. To this day, the toxins are dispersed throughout landfills, water bodies and even in the deepest part of the ocean.

In recent years, eight West Coast cities, the Port of Portland as well as Washington state have taken legal action against Monsanto to recover PCB cleanup costs. In Washington, for instance, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said that the state has spent tens of millions of dollars on cleanup efforts in bays, rivers, streams, sediment, soil and air throughout the state, all while the pollutants cause harm to protected salmon and orcas.

Monsanto has been dismissive of the lawsuits for a number of reasons, including "having nothing to do with the company's current business."


But the litigation is gaining momentum. Earlier this month, a California federal judge denied Monsanto's motion to dismiss separate public nuisance lawsuits filed by the cities of San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley. The cities are suing Monsanto for costs associated with PCB cleanup and stormwater system retrofit damages.

The cities also allege that Monsanto knew for decades that PCBs were dangerous but continued to sell them anyway. As stated in U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila's Feb. 3 order, an internal Monsanto report identified PCBs as "nearly global environmental contaminants" but urged "a number of actions which must be undertaken to prolong the manufacture, sale and use of these particular Aroclors," which was the trade name of commercial PCB mixtures. Furthermore, an internal memo declared that despite the hazards of PCBs, Monsanto "can't afford to lose one dollar of business."  



http://www.ecowatch.com/monsanto-pcb-lawsuits-2268543132.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 20, 2017, 11:47:42 am »


Monarch Populations Plummet: 27% Decrease From Last Year

SNIPPET:

Populations of this once-common iconic black and orange butterfly have plummeted by approximately 90 percent in just the last two decades. The threats to the species are the loss of habitat in the U.S.—both the lack of availability of milkweed, the only host food plant for monarch caterpillars, as well as nectar plants needed by adults–through land conversion of habitat for agriculture, removal of native plants and the use of pesticides and loss of habitat in Mexico from illegal logging around the monarchs' overwintering habitat. The new population numbers underscore the need to continue conservation measures to reverse this trend.

http://www.ecowatch.com/monarch-butterfly-populations-2265703408.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 18, 2017, 12:42:28 pm »

Pruitt WORKS for the Fossil Fuel Industry, NOT we-the-people

Published on Feb 17, 2017

On tonight’s Big Picture, Thom discusses Scott Pruitt’s confirmation to head the EPA and what it means for environmental protections in the United States with Naomi Ages of Greenpeace.

Then, Thom talks to Scott Greer of the Daily Caller and political strategist Sam Bennett about Trump’s bizarre press conference and interaction with the media, and a House vote paving the way to defund Planned Parenthood.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 17, 2017, 05:41:43 pm »


Fri Feb 17, 2017 | 7:02am EST
Air pollution linked to 2.7 million premature births a year: scientists

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - (This story has been refiled to clarify institute's full name in paragraph 10.)

Curbing outdoor air pollution may help prevent 2.7 million premature births a year, a condition that threatens children's lives and increases their risk of long-term physical and neurological problems, scientists said on Thursday.

Fine particles in the air from diesel fumes, fires and other sources, may increase the risk of premature births - alongside other risks including a mother's age and health - according to a study published in the Environment International journal.

"Air pollution may not just harm people who are breathing the air directly - it may also seriously affect a baby in its mother's womb," said Chris Malley, lead author of the study which is based on data for 2010.

The majority of premature births linked to air pollution occur in South and East Asia, the researchers said. India alone accounts for about 1 million premature births, and China for another 500,000.
 
Diesel vehicles, forest fires, crop burning, and cooking with wood, dung or charcoal, are major contributors to the problem, the researchers said.

A pregnant woman in a city in China or India may inhale more than 10 times as much pollution as she would in rural England or France, the report said.

In Western sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East premature births were mainly linked to exposure to desert dust, the research showed.
 
Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely and nearly 1 million of them die of complications, the World Health Organization says.

Pre-term birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years old, the U.N. agency says.

Countries need to work together to address pollution, a cross-border problem, said Johan Kuylenstierna, co-author of the study, and policy director of the Stockholm Environment Institute centre at the University of York.

"In a city, maybe only half the pollution comes from sources within the city itself – the rest will be transported there by the wind from other regions or even other countries," he said.

(Reporting by Alex Whiting @Alexwhi, Editing by Katie Nguyen.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women's rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-pollution-idUSKBN15V2BE
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 16, 2017, 11:51:42 am »

Toxic Chemicals Banned in 70s Found in Deep Ocean Creatures  :(

SNIPPET:

Dr. Alan Jamieson led the team and is lead author of the study, Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna, which was published online in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution in February.

"Here we identify extraordinary levels of persistent organic pollutants in the endemic amphipod fauna from two of the deepest ocean trenches … " the study abstract states. The study also explains that the creatures tested contained more pollutants than similar crustaceans from some of the earth's most polluted waters, including China's Liaohe River and Japan's Suruga Bay.

The amphipods held "10 times the level of industrial pollution than the average earthworm," a Newcastle press release stated.

The researchers employed remotely-operated vehicles to trap the amphipods.

http://www.ecowatch.com/deep-sea-trenches-pcbs-2264067589.html




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 16, 2017, 11:44:17 am »

Farmers in 10 States Sue Monsanto Over Dicamba Devastation

SNIPPET:

Farmers across 10 states are suing Monsanto, alleging that the agrochemical company sold dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean crops knowing that illegal spraying of the highly volatile and drift-prone herbicide would be inevitable.

Steven W. Landers, et al v. Monsanto Company was filed on Jan. 26 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division. Kansas City law firm Randles & Splittgerber filed on behalf of Steven and Deloris "Dee" Landers and similarly harmed farmers in 10 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

http://www.ecowatch.com/monsanto-lawsuits-dicamba-drift-2265408929.html


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 11, 2017, 06:27:18 pm »


New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse: CO2 Smokescreen w/ Arnie Gundersen

Published on Oct 19, 2016


What you’re about to see is a profound presentation that’s taken Fairewinds almost a year to develop. The topic today is the CO2 smokescreen.
I was in the nuclear industry and built nuclear power plants in the 70’s and the 80’s, and I can assure you that when those plants were built, they had absolutely nothing to do with carbon dioxide and global warming.
The bottom line here is that 35 years in the future, that this nuclear plants that are proposed are only going to mitigate carbon dioxide by about 6 percent. And what I’d like you to do today – I’m going to ignore for the purposes of this presentation the desecration of native lands from mining, the desecration of Fukushima Prefecture and other areas that might be destroyed from nuclear disasters; and also, of course, the long-term storage for a million years of the nuclear waste. So let’s just set all of those liabilities aside and talk about money.
And what I’d like to do for the first half of this presentation is focus on the impact that the nukes that are running right now are having on the environment.
438 plants that the nuclear industry will tell you are critically needed, and if we shut them down, we’re going to melt the arctic ice – are only contributing 3 percent.
So each power plant reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 7/1000’s of 1 percent. (...)
FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE: http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-ene...

CO2 Smoke Screen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse uncovers the ludicrously small impact that nuclear power has on saving the Earth from CO2 emissions in contrast to the promises of the atomic power industry. Well received by fellow experts in the field and filmed by award winning photographer Martin Duckworth, the CO2 Smoke Screen is the culmination of one year’s worth of research and hard work by the Fairewinds Crew, Fairewinds science advisors, and a group of amazing interns from the University of Vermont (UVM).

CO2 Smoke Screen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse had its debut presentation at the 2016 World Social Forum at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). Invited to present both a keynote speech and during workshops, Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen and Program Administrator Caroline Aronson attended the Montreal Forum and made presentations at UQAM and McGill University, where Mr. Gundersen shared a condensed version of the “CO2 Smoke Screen” keynote and addressed the issue of radiation releases from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean.

A groundbreaking presentation like the CO2 Smoke Screen takes time, hard work, and funding for the Fairewinds Energy Education Crew to conduct the necessary research and create the videos, podcasts, and newsletters we share with you.

Your donations to Fairewinds Energy Education non-profit provide the funding necessary to produce work of this quality, and it also feeds the fire to push forward, to do more for you, our viewers and listeners. The information we provide on www.fairewinds.org is free for all to read and share, but it takes money to produce. That’s where you can step in and help support Fairewinds. http://tinyurl.com/gp7yrwy

Keep Fairewinds’ work accessible to all; please donate today! http://www.fairewinds.org/donate

CO2 Smoke Screen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse Presentation http://tinyurl.com/zm72d2r

FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE: http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-ene...
~~~~~

or listen here https://soundcloud.com/fairewinds-energy

BONUS LINK: Donald Trump Addresses this topic in the following campaign speech last week: https://youtu.be/PJAjoQ4J5pk?t=56m10s called Donald Trump Disassembles Teleprompter In The Middle Of Campaign Rally In North Carolina! at 56:10 into the video.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 09, 2017, 10:57:57 pm »


The GOP Plan to Prevent a Repeat of Obama's Climate Action

John Light, Moyers & Company

SNIPPET:

 Congress is moving to get rid of a legal precedent that allowed the Environment Protection Agency to tackle climate change under President Obama. The push is part of a larger package of laws that passed the House earlier this month called the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39420-the-gop-plan-to-prevent-a-repeat-of-obama-s-climate-action
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 09, 2017, 10:46:06 pm »

The Congressman   who’s trying to make the environment worse, again  >:(  :P

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-congressman-whos-trying-to-make-the-environment-worse-again

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 01, 2017, 02:13:51 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Anchor dragging on a ship the size of a U.S. Navy’s guided missile cruiser is more evidence that the extremely rough ocean conditions predicted due to Catastrophic Climate Change are increasingly being experienced.  :o  :(

U.S. Navy Ship Runs Aground Off Japan

January 31, 2017 by gCaptain .3K

USS Antietam (CG54). U.S. Navy file photo (at article link)


The U.S. Navy’s guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground off the coast of Yokosuka, Japan on Tuesday, damaging the ship’s props and causing hydraulic oil to spill into the water.

The incident was first reported by the Navy Times. The report, citing two Navy officials familiar with the incident, says the ship grounded after dragging anchor in high winds near its home port of Yokosuka. The grounding caused the ship to dump some 1,100 gallons of oil into the water, the officials said.

The extent of the damage and grounding is unclear, but the U.S. Navy did confirm that the ship damaged during anchoring in a statement obtained by gCaptain.com.

In the statement, the Navy confirmed that the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) damaged its propellers while anchoring in Tokyo Bay in the vicinity of Yokosuka, Japan, Jan. 31. The ship was towed back to port following the incident.

“The ship safely returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka with the help of tugs. There were no injuries to U.S. or Japanese personnel. The incident did result in the discharge of hydraulic oil into the water,” the Navy statement said.

“The Navy is cooperating with the Government of Japan and Japanese Coast Guard in response to this issue and is taking appropriate measures to minimize impacts to the environment,” the statement added.

The Navy has launched and investigation to assess the full extent of the damage. 

The USS Antietam is homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

http://gcaptain.com/report-us-navy-ship-antietam-runs-aground-off-japan/


Agelbert NOTE: Meanwhile, the Phillipines is requesting help from the NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN (I'm sure the Trumpers are overjoyed... ).

Philippines Asks China :o to Patrol Piracy-Plagued Waters

January 31, 2017 by Reuters l 

International Maritime Bureau map showing reported incidents of piracy in southeast Asia during 2016. Image: IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (at article link)

ReutersMANILA, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he had asked China to help in the fight against Islamic State-linked militants by sending ships to patrol southern waters plagued by raids on commercial vessels.

Speaking to newly promoted army generals, Duterte said he had sought China’s help in dangerous waters in the south to check the activities of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim rebel group sustained by piracy and kidnap-for-ransom activities.

A surge in piracy off parts of the Philippines Government is forcing ship-owners to divert vessels through other waters, pushing up costs and shipping times.

Duterte said piracy in the Sulu Sea between eastern Malaysia and the southern Philippines would escalate to levels seen in Somalia, and raise insurance costs for firms and increase prices of consumer goods and services.

“We would be glad if they have their presence there … just to patrol,” Duterte said, adding that China could send coastguard vessels, not necessarily “gray” warships.

“In the Malacca Strait and here in Sulu Sea remains to be a big problem,” he said. The Malacca Strait, between Malaysia’s west coast and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, has over the years also been plagued by pirates.

He did not say if China had responded.

The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia had an agreement to patrol and tackle the Abu Sayyaf in the Sulu and Celebes Sea after they kidnapped the crew of Indonesian and Malaysian tug boats and South Korean and Vietnamese merchant ships.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last week said cooperation might be expanded to include Brunei and Singapore. The United States has also expressed concern about the security problem and held exercises with Malaysia and the Philippines last year.

Lorenzana said on Tuesday the military had intensified operations on land with the aim of defeating Abu Sayyaf within six months. (Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Martin Petty, Robert Birsel)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

http://gcaptain.com/philippines-asks-china-patrol-piracy-plagued-waters/

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