August 26, 2019

Summer on the Swollen Great Lakes

Across the Great Lakes, high water levels have upended summer, swallowing beaches, closing in on century-old buildings and threatening wildlife. In town after town, higher water has been causing damage and stirring fears that the worst may be yet to come.

August 23, 2019

Amazon Fires Spark Growing International Criticism of Brazil

Mounting criticism of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the large number of fires in the Amazon is threatening to derail the country's trade agreement with the EU. French President Emmanuel Macron called the fires in the Amazon an international crisis and said they would be discussed urgently at this weekend's G7 summit.

D.C. Circuit Largely Upholds Obama Ozone Standards

A federal appeals court today upheld most of the Obama EPA's 2015 thresholds for ground-level ozone. The court rejected claims from industry and conservative states that the ozone standards are impossible to achieve. Environmentalists had wanted a stricter secondary ozone standard to protect plants and animals, and the court ordered EPA to revisit that standard.

August 22, 2019

Jay Inslee Drops Out of the 2020 Presidential Race

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, he announced Wednesday, telling MSNBC that it was clear that he wouldn't become president. Inslee said he had "never been so confident" in America's ability to fight climate change, the central issue of his campaign.

DNC Expected to Vote Today on Climate Policy Debate

Democratic National Committee officials will vote today on whether to hold a presidential primary debate focused solely on climate change policy. Activists with youth-led environmental advocacy group Sunrise Movement say the topic deserves more attention than the planned town hall forums.

August 21, 2019

How Trump Tried to Put a Positive Spin on Oil Exploration in Arctic Wildlife Refuge

In its campaign to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain to oil and gas drilling, the Trump administration exaggerated the financial benefit, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. The White House had estimated an $1.8 billion windfall for the federal treasury, but the latest federal estimate is half that, and a Times analysis of previous leas sales suggests it could be as little as $45 million over the next decade.

Record Number of Fires Burning in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest, Data Suggests

Brazil's Amazon rainforest—a vital carbon sink—has seen a record number of fires this year, according to the National Institute for Space Research. Satellite data showed an 84 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018. Wildfires often occur in the dry season but they are also deliberately started to deforest land for cattle ranching.

Why the U.S. Disaster Agency Isn't Ready for Catastrophes

FEMA has mishandled billions in emergency funds and misused thousands of its employees responding to undersized floods, storms and other events that states could have handled themselves, an E&E News investigation says. It also raises questions about the agency's ability to handle more frequent disasters.

Harris to Appear in CNN Climate Town Hall after Backlash

White House hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will attend a CNN town hall focused on climate change next month after initially declining, citing a scheduling conflict. The move garnered backlash online, including from youth-led climate advocacy group Sunrise Movement.

August 20, 2019

Trump’s Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules Shows Signs of Disarray

The White House is pressuring automakers not to join California's Zero-Emission Vehicle Program and to instead support President Trump's auto emissions rollbacks, the New York Times reports, citing four people familiar with talks involving the administration and some top automakers. Yet despite the efforts, Mercedes-Benz and at least one other prominent automaker are preparing to join the pact, the Times reports.

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