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Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Scott Pruitt, EPA

Trump’s EPA Chief Billed Taxpayers $90,000 For First-Class Flights

A new report from the Washington Post sheds more light on Pruitt’s fondness for luxurious travel on the taxpayer dime, reporting tens of thousands of dollars spent on first-class tickets to jet around the country. During a short stretch in early June 2017, Pruitt’s expensive taste for premier travel cost the American government at least $90,000.

February 13, 2018

Thawing Permafrost Threatens Mercury Contamination

In what they describe as a “game-changing discovery,” scientists have measured the pool of mercury that lies underneath the permafrost layer in Alaska and found it contains nearly twice the concentration of the dangerous substance as all the other mercury in the ocean, the atmosphere and the rest of the world’s soil combined.

February 11, 2018
Climate Change

Clean Energy And Dollars Are Both Green

Some of the nation’s fiercest winds tear across the 100-odd miles separating Casper and Rawlins, making Wyoming a potential colossus of wind power. So why is Wyoming the only state to tax wind power? Ask the politicians representing America’s biggest producer of coal. Or simpler, check their donor list.

February 6, 2018

Offshore Drilling And Trump’s War On The Environment

It’s rare to see bipartisan agreement on much of anything these days. But an array of Republican and Democratic governors of states on the East and West coasts have found common cause in telling the Trump administration: Take your offshore oil rigs and put them where the sun don’t shine.

January 15, 2018

This Is What The Planet Would Be Like Without Trees

Forests account for nearly 30 percent of the world’s surface. That’s a staggering 3.04 trillion trees, each of which are continually remoistening our atmosphere, filtering the air we breathe and combating climate change by storing carbon and providing shelter for countless species of wildlife.

January 15, 2018
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump

Coal Miners Turn On Trump After They Gain Fewer Jobs Than A Local Sam’s Club

Donald Trump not only spent the 2016 campaign promising that he would resurrect America’s dying coal industry, he kept offering up that false hope in 2017. At a White House event last March, Trump announced the end to the so-called “war on coal,” and stressed “I made them this promise, we will put our miners back to work.”

January 12, 2018

Exposed: Chevron Has A Secretive Drilling Site In The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

It’s the middle of the frigid, long midnight at Tapkaurak Point, a spit of gravel curling out into the Beaufort Sea off the northern coast of Alaska. Up in the middle of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the largest remaining wilderness area in the U.S., the sun set weeks ago and won’t peek above the horizon until the middle of January.

January 12, 2018

2017 Was Bad, But 2018 Could Be Much Worse

The best thing to be said for 2017 is that it didn’t last forever. It’s gone, carrying a host of memories we’d like to forget — from white nationalists marching in Charlottesville to hurricanes devastating Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to a procession of accused sexual predators.

January 6, 2018

Trump Administration Moves To Expand Oil And Gas Drilling Off US Coasts

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the draft five-year leasing plan would commit 90 percent of the nation’s offshore reserves to leasing, with 45 lease sales proposed in 25 of 26 areas off the nation’s coastlines between 2019 to 2024.

January 5, 2018
bath bomb

Claire’s Kerfuffle Rattles Consumer Confidence

As the mother of a fashion-conscious 9-year-old girl, I’m quite familiar with the bows, bobbles and bath bombs sold in Claire’s, a retail haven for the tween and young teen set. Imagine my dismay, then, when I heard a news report alleging that Claire’s was selling makeup laced with asbestos, a dangerous carcinogen.

January 5, 2018
Minnesota nature

How A Chilean Billionaire Could Poison A Minnesota Wilderness

Trump’s Interior Department is reinstating two 1966 leases, written before today’s federal environmental laws, that could allow a Chilean mining company to build a giant copper-and-nickel mine adjacent to the Boundary Waters wilderness area in northern Minnesota.

January 5, 2018

Mars Hopes To Genetically Engineer Chocolate To Save It

The persnickety cacao plant contains seeds that are the vital ingredient in chocolate. But the plant only grows in narrow bands of land in the rainforest, where the weather stays relatively wet and humid the whole year. Climate change is projected to alter this habitat so drastically in the next 40 years that cacao won’t grow there, according to a report by Business Insider.

January 3, 2018

Pope Francis Calls 2017 A ‘Wasted’ Year Of Death, Lies

Speaking at an evening vespers service in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope said humanity had “wasted and wounded” the past year “in many ways with works of death, with lies and injustices.” Francis singled out wars as the biggest sign of “unrepentant and absurd pride,” but said there were many other offenses that led to “human, social and environmental degradation.”

January 1, 2018

The 10 Most Ridiculous Things Media Figures Said About Climate Change And The Environment In 2017

Numerous studies have found near-unanimous scientific agreement on human-caused climate change, with perhaps the most well-known study on the matter finding that 97 percent of scientific papers taking a position on the cause of global warming agree that humans are behind it. And this year, a review of the 3 percent of papers that deny climate change found that they were all flawed.

January 1, 2018
Farms, Food

City Slickers Again: What We Miss About The Farm

I miss the bluebirds, and the acrobatic feats of barn swallows that nested under our eaves. Also the Eastern kingbirds and scissor-tail flycatchers. It was a rare flying insect that made it to our porch alive. I miss the perpetual territorial squabble between the red-shouldered hawks and the crows above our pasture.

December 27, 2017

EPA Targets Already Depleted Bee Population

Neonicotinoids, the world’s most popular insecticides, affect the central nervous systems of insects, causing paralysis and death. The European Union imposed a partial ban on three neonicotinoids in 2013 because of the harm the insecticides can do to bees and butterflies that pollinate plants.

December 27, 2017

How RDX Munitions Pollute Our Waterways

British chemists toiled with a tripod-shaped bond of nitrogen and oxygen molecules linked by carbon and hydrogen they referred to as “research department explosive” — a substance one and a half times as powerful as TNT, but so delicate it had to be mixed with beeswax to be stable and pliable enough to fit into warheads.

December 26, 2017
Trump, ethics

Trump Vows To Kill 50 Years Of Federal Health And Safety Protections

Wielding a pair of golden scissors at a White House photo op, he cut red tape strung around two stacks of paper. One was a small pile of some 20,000 pages representing the amount of regulations in 1960; the other a mound of more than 185,000 pages representing those of today.

December 25, 2017
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

EPA Brain Drain As Hundreds Of Top Employees Quit

More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Donald Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.

December 23, 2017

Now Food Activists Are Fighting The Pesticide Giants

But trying to enact these policies in Texas meant taking on the enormous money and power of the chemical lobby, as well as a hostile Republican governor, and a legislature largely made up of corporate lapdogs. All of the above were howling furiously at us, snarling that they were going to shred the new protections we’d laid out.

December 22, 2017

Wall Of Shame: Top 10 Climate Deniers In The Trump Administration

More than 97 percent of climate scientists agree the planet is warming and that human activity is largely responsible. For perspective, that’s as conclusive as the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. This scientific consensus is accepted by people and their governments in virtually every corner of the world, with one notable exception.

December 21, 2017

How Pruitt’s EPA Will Ruin Our Water

For months, staffers in the Office of Water had been in help-desk mode, fielding calls from states implementing a federal rule that set new limits on water-borne pollution released by coal-fired power plants. The rule on what is known as “effluent” had been hammered out over a decade of scientific study and intense negotiations…

December 19, 2017

Hiring ‘Oppo’ Research Outfit, EPA Chief Declares War On Press

While Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt enjoys being feted by conservative and alt-right media outlets such as Fox and Friends and, he and his top aides at EPA are openly hostile toward other journalists.

December 18, 2017

Coal Mining Safety Nominee Did ‘Shoddy Work’

President Donald Trump’s choice to head a federal coal mine regulator, like more than one of his nominees, is a vocal critic of the very agency he’s being asked to lead. Steven Gardner is a longtime coal industry consultant, and he has called the agency’s marquee Obama-era regulation the product of “one of the most disingenuous and dishonest efforts put forward by a government agency.”

December 13, 2017
Trump Cronies, White House

Why Trump’s Tax Plan Spells Disaster For The Environment

For all of the terrible elements in the Republicans’ new tax plan—the extreme giveaways to the rich, tax increases for the middle class, major breaks for corporations that pollute our air and water—the reality is that this isn’t a plan to reform the tax code. This is a plan to end government as we know it.

December 10, 2017