The First 100 Days - Budget Week -Sawing Off the Branch on Which We Sit
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Day 60 of the First 100 Days
Administration of the 45th President of the United States
Climate and Energy News
The veil has been lifted. The administration’s budget proposal for 2018 eviscerates agencies which could have mitigated some of the climate change devastation ahead. We have confirmation that the White House is sawing off the branch on which 99% of Americans sit. The stage is in fact set for the “deconstruction of the administrative state." Those who envision a simple but high quality life in the carbon-constrained future will need to step out of the arena of outworn progressive bromides in order to truly to understand the messianic forces afoot in the oval office.
The Evidence – 2018 Budget Proposal
- Departmental Summary
- Commentary for EPA, NOAA, NASA and DOE,
- Summary of all climate-related cuts,
- Impacts on energy programs,
- Independent agencies and programs that would be eliminated,
- Inclusion of funds to restart the licensing for Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Nevada lawmakers pledge fierce opposition.
- Reactions from various sources.
Auto Industry Standards
- The auto industry filed suit against the EPA to overturn the department's final determination last year on industry standards.
- Leaders of two dozen Fortune 500 companies and roughly 1,000 others signed a letter addressed to the White House and Congress stating that “Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk."
- The administration intends to reopen the review of the 2025 CAFE standards for autos and light trucks.
- Climate Deregulation Tracker
- The administration has been contacting US energy companies to ask them about their view on the Paris Climate Accord.
- Scientists pushed back hard against the statements by Scott Pruitt about climate change.
- 17 House Republicans introduced a resolution that acknowledges the negative impacts of climate change and calls on the House to work on solutions for mitigation and adaptation.
- Eleven national medical organizations have banded together to form the Medical Society Consortium on Climate Health to help accelerate the transition to a clean energy society. Because doctors are seeing first-hand the impacts of climate change on people’s health, they thought it was important for them to speak out on the issue. You can download their report here. In addition to our physical health, climate change also impacts our mental health, as documented here.
- NOAA announced that for the second consecutive year, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have increased at a rate of 3 ppm/year, bringing the level to about 405 ppm. The rate of increase is the highest ever recorded. The International Energy Agency announced that global energy-associated CO2 emissions were constant for the third year in a row.
- Many passengers, concerned about the carbon footprint of their air travel have been purchasing offsets for the C02 emitted. It’s startling to note that other non-C02 aviation emissions can have an impact on climate change several times greater than that of C02.
- A study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that between 30 and 50% of the decline in summer sea ice in the Arctic since 1979 may be due to natural processes, with the remainder (50 to 70%) due directly to human-caused global warming.
- Germany offers an example of innovation in energy storage. The Prosper-Haniel coal mine will be converted into a 200 MW pumped-storage hydroelectric facility when it closes in 2018, ingeniously combining wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.
- The mayors of thirty cities jointly asked automakers for the cost and feasibility of providing 114,000 electric vehicles for a variety of applications from police cruisers to street sweepers. The intent is to provide electric vehicle manufacturers with reliable demand in the face of the new administration’spolicies. A quiet battle is going on at the state level over incentives for buying an electric vehicle.
- Tesla dares to solve South Australia’s energy crisis with 100 MW of batteries.
- The American Wind Energy Association in partnership with Navigant Consulting has issued a report examining the impacts of wind energy on the U.S. economy.
- A study from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, Consumer Driven Technologies, found that 80% of survey respondents were willing to forgo net metering provided the excess electricity they produced from their residential solar PV system went to their communities to provide clean energy for everyone.
- A study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology examined methane leakage from gas-fired power plants and refineries. It found that methane leakage was 2-120 times higher for power plants and 11-90 times higher for refineries than calculated from data provided by facility operators.
- A proposal to rejuvenate and electrify rail lines in the U.S. has as a key component, the use of the rail corridors as routes for electrical transmission lines. The entire proposal is called Solutionary Rail.
Why hope? The wizards behind the curtain have meticulously crafted a nihilistic agenda that will easily withstand reflexive reactions. Yet there are always choices. If we first choose to allocate time and energy to freeing our minds from the habituated thought that landed us in this morass we have a shot. Not that it will happen unless we work to radically shift our frames of reference, but Paul Hawken has a plan to stop the bleeding!
Facilitating Regional Transition to Resilience
Pamela Boyce Simms, firstname.lastname@example.org
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