Polluters are expecting big savings from Scott Pruitt’s EPA

The Republican plan to give your kids cancer gets the expected reception from grateful polluters, now pulling back from past environmental promises because they know a Scott Pruitt-led EPA will have their backs.

Devon Energy, which runs the windswept site, had been prepared to install a sophisticated system to detect and reduce leaks of dangerous gases. It had also discussed paying a six-figure penalty to settle claims by the Obama administration that it was illegally emitting 80 tons each year of hazardous chemicals, like benzene, a known carcinogen.
But something changed in February just five days after Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general with close ties to Devon, was sworn in as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Devon, in a letter dated Feb. 22 and obtained by The New York Times, said it was “re-evaluating its settlement posture.” It no longer intended to move ahead with

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U.S. sinks to third place behind China, India as most attractive nation for renewables investments

Last year, in its annual evaluation of the 40 most attractive national markets for investments in renewable energy, the accounting and professional services firm of Ernst & Young assessed the United States as No. 1. But this year the U.S. slipped to No. 3 with China placing first, and India second. The reason: that climate science denier squatting in the White House. You can see an E&Y infographic for all 40 countries here.

Nina Chestney at Reuters reports:

Trump has issued orders to roll back many of the previous administration’s climate change policies, revive the U.S. coal industry and review the Clean Power Plan, which requires states to cut carbon emissions from power plants.

Meanwhile, China announced this year that it would spend $363 billion on developing renewable power capacity by 2020. India‘s government has unveiled plans to build 175 gigawatts of renewable energy generation by 2022.

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Spotlight on green news & views: NYT hit on denier hire; ALEC & criminalizing eco-activists

This is the 498th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) usually appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here is the May 10 Green Spotlight. More than 26,900 environmentally oriented stories have been rescued to appear in this series since 2006. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – crossing paths with sea turtles: “Sea turtles are rare and gentle creatures. Occasionally I’ll cross paths with one when I’m diving in the Caribbean, and I respectfully pause to watch them calmly but purposefully cruising the depth. For one thing, I know they are holding their breath the whole time, but never look out of their element. They are air breathers like me but completely at home in the

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Years of resistance blocks Seneca Lake fracked gas storage project. But the fight is only half won

Seven years ago, Arlington Storage Company began plans to expand an underground natural gas storage operation in abandoned salt mines in the Finger Lakes region of New York, specifically Seneca Lake. 

In 2014 the project to store natural gas pried from underground rock in Pennsylvania by hydraulic fracturing gained federal approval. That same year, a grassroots coalition—We Are Seneca Lake—began efforts to stop Arlington’s plans. Over the next two years, police made more than 650 arrests of protesters aged 18 to 92 who engaged in civil disobedience on company property. On Wednesday, Arlington, a subsidiary of Crestwood Midstream Partners, announced that it was abandoning one part of the two-part Seneca Lake Storage Project:

“Despite its best efforts, Arlington has not been successful in securing long-term contractual commitments from customers that would support completion of the Gallery 2 Expansion Project,” it wrote. “Accordingly, Arlington has discontinued efforts to complete the Gallery 2

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Possible tunnel collapse at Hanford Nuclear Site—no radioactivity release reported

Workers have been evacuated from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on Columbia River in Washington State. The emergency seems to have started near the PUREX facility, used for extracting plutonium from spent fuel rods. PUREX was last operated in 1988, but radioactive waste from the processing is still stored on site. The tunnel in question may itself contain items that were used when the plant was operating and which remain contaminated.

The building has been vacant for nearly twenty years, but it remains highly contaminated. Its walls are surrounded by razor wire and barbed wire fences. Several rail cars used to transport the irradiated fuel rods from the Hanford nuclear reactors to the processing canyons are temporarily buried inside a tunnel near PUREX as a result of becoming contaminated.

Those rail cars aren’t just contaminated, they are still loaded with material left over from processing. That tunnel containing the rail cars

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Utah senator sticks with centuries-old contempt: TELLING Indians rather than LISTENING to them

“Rising from the center of the southeastern Utah landscape and visible from every direction are twin buttes so distinctive that in each of the native languages of the region their name is the same: Hoon’Naqvut, Shash Jáa, Kwiyagatu Nukavachi, Ansh An Lashokdiwe, or Bears Ears. For hundreds of generations, native peoples lived in the surrounding deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas  one of the densest and most significant cultural landscapes in the United States.”  
             —
Dec. 28, 2016 proclamation by President Barack Obama establishing the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument


The designation of Bears Ears as a national monument—which environmental advocates, including many American Indians, fought for decades to get protected—was a victory that some in the Trump regime would like to see overturned, or at least weakened. Pr*sident Trump has called for a review

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Trump EPA to replaces scientific review boards with climate deniers and industry lobbyists

There’s disregard for honesty, integrity, and public health. There’s blatant disregard for honesty, integrity, and public health. There’s a giant middle-finger to honesty, integrity, and public health. And there’s this:

The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research.

That’s step one. Step two is to replace knowledgeable scientific advisers by scouring obscure sources for climate change deniers.

“We want to expand the pool of applicants” for the scientific board, [EPA spokesman J. P. Freire] said, “to as broad a range as possible, to include universities that aren’t typically represented and issues that aren’t typically represented.”

Yes. Why restrict the pool of applicants to reputable universities with relevant programs when there’s always a community college

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