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Green News Roundup: Week of July 3, 2013

03 Jul 2013  |   Amanda Giddon

Last week was one for the books, as President Obama gave his historic climate speech and the people of Massachusetts elected environmental champion Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate.  Celebrated actor and environmentalist Robert Redford offers his thoughts on the President’s climate plan, and calls for climate action on all fronts. [Huffington Post]  

Apple said it plans to build a solar farm with NV Energy Inc. to power its new data center, as part of its efforts to have all of its data centers - which consume large amounts of electricity - run on renewable energy. [Reuters]

Not only do we need climate action, we need it now. Fortunately, the EPA isn’t wasting any time. The agency has already sent a draft of its proposed greenhouse gas rule for new power plants to the White House. [Politico]

In his climate address President Obama also urged Congress to confirm Gina McCarthy as head of the EPA, and the Senate looks to be leaning towards confirming her and sending a clean air and public health veteran to lead the EPA. [Politico] You can keep the pressure on the Senate by showing your support for Gina McCarthy here.

No wonder Congress has largely failed to move forward with action on climate change: the climate-denying Koch brothers and their Big-Oil backed group, Americans for Prosperity, are standing in the way. They’ve been working under the radar for years, getting members of Congress to pledge to oppose legislative action on climate change in an attempt to slow walk any progress. [The New Yorker]

A University of Minnesota student has a message for climate deniers – and luckily, it’s not in-tune with the Koch brothers’ philosophy. Daniel Crawford plays the cello to show the warming trend in historical temperature data. Crawford converted the average global temperature for each year to a note, with higher notes indicating warmer weather. No surprise – the pitch of the song gets increasing higher. See the Grist video here. 

The Bristol Bay Watershed issue has been called “the biggest environmental issue you’ve never heard of” by the Washington Post. But Americans are making their voices heard. More than 360,000 Americans have urged the EPA to protect Alaska’s beautiful Bristol Bay from the two multinational corporations that want to open up one of the world’s largest open-pit mines -- the Pebble Mine -- right at the headwaters of two of the major rivers that flow into the bay. It’s projected that this mine would create anywhere from 2.5 to 10 billion tons of toxic waste. [Wall Street Journal]

After a March assessment by the EPA, it appears that more of our nation’s waters need protecting. The EPA has estimated that more than half of the nation's waterways are in "poor condition for aquatic life." Check out this Mother Jones interactive map that displays the alarming number of endangered rivers.  You can also read about the affected areas here



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