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