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THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION
REPORTER NOTEBOOK: Keep Track of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Health, Climate, Air, Water, Energy and Conservation Issues
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was a terrible idea when it was first proposed nearly ten years ago, and it’s an even worse idea today. This dirty and dangerous export pipeline would run right through America’s heartland, threatening our water, our land, and our climate – all to pad the profits of a foreign oil company.
“For all those who want to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and leave a safer planet for future generations, and for the rights of workers, women, immigrants, the disabled, the LGBTQ community, and others, we strongly urge you to oppose the confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
“Our families are watching to see who our Congressional leaders choose to side with—Big Polluters and their profits or people living on the frontlines of climate change and their right to clean air.”
LCV IN THE NEWS:
Huffington Post: State Department Will Approve Keystone XL Pipeline: Report
The Hill: Trump Approves Keystone Pipeline
BREAKING: Trump Administration Approves TransCanada’s Permit for Keystone Pipeline
The oil company TransCanada announced this morning that it received a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of State to build the Keystone pipeline. Despite President Trump’s claims that the project is a job creator, it is all risk, no reward—Keystone would create only 35 permanent jobs while contributing endless amounts of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere, an act that threatens our water, land and environment. “It comes as no surprise,” said LCV SVP for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld, “that a State Department run by the former CEO of Exxon Mobil and an administration rife with climate deniers have acted against public health.”
READING LIST: John Podesta on Battling Climate Change in the Age of Trump
Podesta issued a call to arms in the Trump era: Fight against laws and executive orders that harm the wellbeing of the planet.
In the face of increasing oil pipeline production, 31 percent cuts to the EPA budget, and a raft of similar anti-environmental executive orders expected next week, John Podesta has some advice. An architect of many of the Obama administration’s historic achievements on climate, Podesta reminds us that people in this country consistently understand the threat posed by climate change and are taking actions.
SHOT: Report Boasts Environmental and Economic Benefits of Clean Energy
This week, the first ever report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) backed up Podesta’s point on the irreversible global momentum towards clean energy. In a double blow for the fossil fuel industry and climate deniers, clean energy is also likely to yield up to $10 trillion in economic benefits every year by 2050 and boost global GDP by $19 trillion. Read the full report here.
CHASER: This is Great News for the Paris Climate Agreement
The report found a global transition to clean energy will keep the planet on course to meet Paris Climate Agreement warming targets of 2 degrees Celsius. Is Dealmaker Trump really prepared to walk the United States away from being part of a trillion dollar deal?
SCOTUS: Greens Outline Opposition During Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings
LCV sent a letter to the Hill this week, urging senators to oppose Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Given his controversial skepticism of the legal doctrine adopted by the Chevron v. NRDC Supreme Court Case of 1984, the environmental community is not prepared to leave this nominee up to chance. “Gorsuch has a record of support for corporations and the most powerful at the expense of the public interest,” the letter states. LCV President Gene Karpinski calls on all senators “who want to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and leave a safer planet for future generations” to reject this nominee.
BLM METHANE: Chispa, Latino Groups, Urge Senate to Protect Latino Communities
Eighteen leaders of Latino advocacy groups sent a letter this week urging Senators to protect the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. Ernesto Vargas, national director of LCV’s Chispa program, noted that “communities of color, especially Latino communities, are very concerned about the health effects of methane waste and the impacts on our air and our climate now and for future generations.” The Latino community is disproportionately affected by methane and other toxic air pollution from oil and gas operations, and the BLM Methane Rule is a crucial safeguard for the health and well-being of our communities.
UNLUCKY 13: A Run-Through of Some of the Most Critical Cuts Trump Plans for the EPA
Check out the 13 most critical proposed EPA cuts in Salon. A lot is at stake with 31 percent of the EPA budget marked for elimination in President Trump’s Billionaires Budget. From slashing 21 percent of EPA staff, to eliminating restoration programs for the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, to stopping all international climate change programs run by the State Department and EPA, the threat to clean air and water is significant.
ON THE AIR: Media Continues to Ignore Coverage of Climate Change
ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox dramatically reduced their airtime devoted to climate news in 2016. Overall, coverage was cut 66 percent according to research by Media Matters, resulting in only 50 minutes of overall climate coverage from the big four networks over the entire year. The most significant drop came at NBC where reporting fell from 50 minutes in 2015 to a mere 10 minutes in 2016.
STILL TO COME: Trump to Sign Executive Order Attacking Obama Climate Legacy
The administration’s executive order rolling back regulations to tackle climate change is set to come next week, possibly as early as Monday. A draft obtained by the New York Times is consistent with reports suggesting the order will withdraw the Clean Power Plan, lift the moratorium on new federal coal leasing, and eliminate or lower the social cost of carbon metric. In addition, it is likely to lay out options for blocking a half-dozen additional Obama policies on climate change.
IN APRIL: The fight for climate, justice and a clean energy economy continues April 29 at the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC. For March details, visit the event page, here. LCV joined the Peoples Climate Movement as an official sponsor in November 2016.