Climate 411

Trump administration ends talks with California, presses ahead with Clean Car Standards rollback

EDF attorney Erin Murphy co-authored this post 

The Trump administration announced today that it will end negotiations with California and press ahead with its attempts to roll back America’s successful Clean Car Standards.

Rolling back the Clean Car Standards would increase pollution and raise costs for American families. The administration’s justification for weakening these safeguards is based on a deeply flawed and biased analysis that contradicts the technical progress the auto industry is making to reduce pollution. An earlier expose highlighted the roll of the oil industry in pushing and benefiting from the administration’s rollback.

State leadership under attack

The administration says it is pressing ahead with its attacks on long-standing state authority to enforce tougher standards than those implemented at the federal level.  Read More »

Also posted in California, Cars and Pollution, Clean Air Act, EPA litgation, Jobs, Partners for Change, Policy / Leave a comment

Clean Power Plan “Replacement” Will Increase Carbon Pollution in Many States – New Study

A new study is now confirming what our earlier analysis found – the Trump Administration’s proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan would actually be worse than doing nothing in many states.

The Clean Power Plan sets America’s only nationwide limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has formally released a cynical proposal to scrap the plan and “replace” it with a do-nothing framework that sets no binding limits on carbon pollution at all. The agency recently finished taking public comments on that dangerous proposal – appropriately enough, on Halloween.

EDF undertook an analysis last year that concluded the Trump administration’s sham proposal would be a step down from doing nothing in many states. Now the new study by researchers at Resources for the Future and Harvard, Boston, and Syracuse Universities confirms that conclusion. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Power Plan, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Policy / Comments are closed

Hearings in the House of Representatives put climate change back in the spotlight

A day after President Trump did not even utter the words “climate change” in his State of the Union Address, two separate House committees brought climate change back to the legislative forefront for the first time in years. And after such a long hiatus, it was encouraging to see that a clear theme emerged from both hearings– climate change is an urgent threat, but we can address it if we attack it head on.

Here are some things that stood out to us – the good and the bad – from the first Congressional hearings on climate change in far too long:

Highlights

Hearings brought a long overdue spotlight to this critical issue

Leadership from both the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change and the full Natural Resources Committee recognized that while the threat of climate change is urgent, there is still time to act. Rep. Paul Tonko, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, invoked NASA’s moon missions as proof positive that America can rise to great technological challenges. “This climate challenge is not beyond us,” Tonko said. “Time is running out but it is not gone.”

Speakers recognized that acting now is less expensive than ignoring the problem Read More »

Posted in News / Read 1 Response

Heatwaves to become more deadly and increase global inequality

A new study shows that heatwaves will worsen in the future and that the most vulnerable populations will be hit the hardest

Source: Flickr/
Rupert Ganzer

Human-caused climate change has already increased the frequency and severity of heatwaves across the globe, and new research shows that heatwaves will get even worse as the planet warms further.

Scientists have found that climate change played a major role in recent heatwaves: the chance of extreme heat at the levels seen in northern Europe in 2018 has doubled; the “Lucifer” heatwave in Europe’s Mediterranean region during summer of 2017 is four times more likely to occur; and the scorching 2016-2017 summer in New South Wales, Australia, was made at least 50 times more likely.

The new study, published on January 11th, 2019 in Nature Communications, shows the growing threat of heatwaves in a warming world, especially for less developed nations. In fact, the researchers found that less developed countries will likely be more affected by heatwaves in a 1.5°C (2.7°F) warmer world than developed countries will be in a 2°C (3.6°F) warmer world.

Read More »

Also posted in Extreme Weather, Health, Science / Comments are closed

New Attorneys General are good news for public health and the environment in 2019

EDF Legal Fellow Lance Bowman co-authored this post

Looking for some good news to start the year?

Right now, there are new state Attorneys General taking office across the country who have committed to protecting public health, the environment, and the rule of law.

Many of them are replacing Attorneys General who lost their elections last year – and who also opposed public health and environmental protections.

Here are a few examples: Read More »

Also posted in Policy / Comments are closed

Andrew Wheeler’s record shows he is unfit to lead EPA

Sad but true: since he became acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Andrew Wheeler has ramped up Scott Pruitt’s relentless attack on public health and environmental safeguards.

Wheeler is leading efforts to severely weaken or altogether eliminate meaningful limits on the largest sources of climate pollution – including cars, power plants, and oil and gas production. He is undermining policies that protect against toxic and smog-forming air pollution. He is systematically weakening the new bipartisan law that protects Americans from toxic chemicals.

These rollbacks risk thousands of additional early deaths and hundreds of thousands of additional asthma attacks every year.

After Scott Pruitt’s disastrous tenure, EPA needs a leader who will return to the agency’s life-saving and essential mission of protecting communities from harmful pollution. Yet President Trump has said he will nominate Andrew Wheeler to officially serve as EPA Administrator.

Wheeler’s existing record as Acting Administrator shows he is hostile to EPA’s mission and would double down on attacking core safeguards. He is unfit to lead EPA.

Here are a dozen safeguards Wheeler has attacked in his six months as acting head of EPA. This isn’t an exhaustive list — unfortunately there are other vital protections Wheeler has attacked, further imperiling clean water, clean air, and healthy communities across America. Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Clean Air Act, Clean Power Plan, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health, Policy, Pruitt, Smog / Read 1 Response