the clean air act

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Trump’s energy plan could have devastating — and irreversible — effects

President-elect Donald Trump intends on dismantling many of the environmental protections Obama instituted and supported, according to documents from Trump’s transition team obtained by the Associated Press. The documents point to a repeal of the 1970 Clean Air Act and Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Repealing this could have devastating implications worldwide.

follow @the-future-now

Science, it’s worth remembering, doesn’t read your Tweets. It doesn’t care about the size of your Electoral College victory.
—  Jeffrey Kluger in Time Magazine, “Why Trump Will Lose His War on Science.” Read it here. 
wsj.com
Donald Trump to Call for Repeal of Obama-Era Water Regulation, Carbon-Emission Cuts
By Amy Harder

If these executive orders come out on Monday, as the Wall Street Journal reports, we’ll see then how much additional damage the man and his cabal will do to the environment. But………can’t wait for the PR and court battles. They will be juicy.

Excerpt:

President Donald Trump is planning to sign as soon as Monday an executive order calling for the repeal of a major Obama-era water regulation and directing a halt to the legal defense of the rule, according to a draft viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The order is one of at least two executive orders Mr. Trump is set to issue in an attempt to roll back the highest-profile environmental and climate regulations of former President Barack Obama’s tenure. The second would call for the repeal of a rule aimed at cutting carbon emissions from power plants, and that order would also target other climate-related policies.

The process of repealing the regulations could take years, and Mr. Trump’s efforts will almost certainly face lawsuits from environmental groups and Democratic state attorneys general. But the executive actions signal the effort is a priority for Mr. Trump, who campaigned on repealing both the water and climate rules.

This is a full-fledged environmental emergency, and we have a person who’s not just a climate denier, but a professional climate denier. This is going to be a litmus test for every member of the Senate who claims not to be a denier.
—  Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, on Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt as EPA head. Learn more. 
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May 28th 1892: Sierra Club founded

On this day in 1892, John Muir founded the famous environmental organisation - the Sierra Club - in San Francisco, California. Muir was a notable conservationist and preservationist and became the Club’s first president. The Sierra Club worked to establish and protect federal national parks, most famously Yosemite National Park. Their cause received a boost during the Progressive Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency (1901-1909), who was a naturalist like Muir. Some of the Club’s most notable successes since 1892 came during Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programme, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. The Sierra Club continues to be an influential group in the United States as one of the largest pressure groups in the nation. It has a significant influence over environmental issues and dedicates itself to tackling climate change and damage to the environment, most recently protesting against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Let me list for you a few of the “Democratic Socialist” contributions to our nation:
  •     Medicare
  •     Medicaid
  •     Medicare Part D medications
  •     Social security
  •     Child Labor laws
  •     40 hour work week
  •     Overtime pay
  •     Family leave
  •     Bankruptcy forgiveness of debts,
  •     Labor unions
  •     Workplace safety
  •     Public fire departments
  •     Public police departments
  •     The national parks
  •     Wildlife preserves
  •     Clean air act
  •     Clean water act
  •     Anti pollution laws
  •     Public education through grade 12,
  •     Public water works
  •     Public utilities for gas and electric power,
  •     Public sewer system,
  •     Public transportation trains and subways,
  •     Postal service,
  •    Safe food standards
  •    Safe Prescription Drugs
  •    Construction building codes,
  •    Hydro electric dams and power stations,
  •    Interstate highway system,
  •    The Affordable Care Act
  •     And countless more…

Our economy is a marriage of both regulated free enterprise and public enterprise. Where free enterprise offers the individual opportunity and public enterprise provides a base of services that make our lives better, safer, convenient and in many ways makes our lifestyle possible.

Make America Polluted Again

A terrific encapsulation of all the crap that trump and the Republicans in the House and Senate are doing or are preparing to do to destroy so many things that have taken years to put in place. All for money and to make few a few billionaires even more billionaire-ish.

That’s what President Trump and his climate-denying administration are seemingly trying to do. From plans to gut the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and others to promises to rid of pollution limits for power plants, oil, and gas drilling, the Trump Administration is launching a full-on assault on the environment. Republicans in Congress are no better, as they are moving fast to overturn Obama-era environmental and health protections to the delight of oil, gas, and coal industries. In the past week they have already eliminated a rule that would have limited bribery and corruption in oil operations around the world as well as the Stream Protection Rule, which would prevent toxic mine waste from being dumped in rivers and drinking water. And next week, the Senate is scheduled to vote to overturn limits on methane and asthma-causing ozone pollution from drilling.

Trump’s attacks on the environment hurt American’s health. The link between environmental hazards and public health is clear: ozone increases risk for asthma and greenhouse gases exacerbate climate change, which poses a serious threat to human health. This, coupled with Republicans attacks on the Affordable Care Act, create a two-pronged assault on public health. And it’s everyday Americans, particularly in states that voted for Trump, who will pay from poorer health and environmental degradation. Some of the states that are most at risk are Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and New Mexico. Read about Trump’s attacks on the environment and public health here and see how your state fares here.

latimes.com
'Desperate environmentalism' won't save the environment
When I started teaching environmental law and policy, I thought I would work with the next generation of extraordinary environmentalists. I don't.
By Los Angeles Times

A must read power piece in this week’s LA Times. 

“When I started teaching environmental law and policy, I thought I would work with the next generation of extraordinary environmentalists. I don’t.

My students are extraordinary, but many see themselves as “corporate social responsibility consultants,” “ecosystem service managers,” “sustainability leaders,” “industrial efficiency experts,” maybe “clean energy entrepreneurs” — not environmentalists. They avoid that label because they associate it with stalled progress on the issues they care about. But this reinvention is a losing strategy.

Without a long view, traditional environmentalism can look like a failure.-  

It is hard to blame anyone for shying away from the environmental movement. Many of my students were infants at the time of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, the last time there was national legislative success on an environmental issue. Without a long view, traditional environmentalism can look like a failure. But dormancy does not equal failure.

The kind of stewardship championed by David Brower, Paul Ehrlich, E.O. Wilson, Morris and Stewart Udall, Edmund Muskie and Richard Nixon reflected their awe at the grandeur, interconnectedness and unpredictability of the ecosystems and wild landscapes. That perspective was transformative. It ushered in the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, to name just a few successes.

This suite of laws produced real results and is still working, still protecting natural systems and the people who rely on them. After all, we have the hopeful and heroic thinkers who gave us the Clean Air Act to thank for the 2015 Clean Power Plan, the only tool the United States has to enforce national climate change action.

But from climate change denial to corporate malfeasance, resistance to enforceable environmental protection is rampant. Seeking any conceivable path forward, many young leaders are exchanging their sympathy for the victims of environmental damage for the concerns of the regulated community. They turn away from enforceability-based approaches and promote more conservative techniques that they hope will impress and persuade reticent and cynical policymakers and power brokers.

If this is environmentalism at all, it is “desperate environmentalism,” characterized not by awe, enthusiasm and enjoyment of nature but by appeasement. It relies on utilitarian efficiencies, cost-benefit analyses, private sector indulgences and anthropocentric divvying of natural resources. It champions voluntary commitments, tweaks to corporate supply chains, protection not of the last great places on Earth but of those places that yield profit or services. From market-friendly cap-and-trade to profit-driven corporate social responsibility, desperate environmentalists angle for the least-bad of the worst options rather than the robust and enforceable safeguards that once defined the movement.

So, why are you an environmentalist? Via LA Times

It’s true. Republicans have tried to turn liberal into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.“
"A Republican President ended slavery.”
“Yes, a liberal Republican, Senator. What happened to them? They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive to the liberal party? I’ll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things ­ every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.
—  The West Wing Season 7 Episode 7

“Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things…every one! So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.”
– Matt Santos, The West Wing

News You Need To Know: #Senate Majority Leader #Mitch #McConnell Writes Letter To State Governors Regarding #EPA Carbon Limits

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) penned a letter to State Governors advising that states ignore the #Obama administration’s climate standards for power plants.

“The fact is, it is the EPA that is failing to comply with the law here,” McConnell wrote to the National Governors Association, adding that the EPA is going “far beyond its legal authority.”

The proposed rule would require states to use various measures like improving the efficiency of power plants and reducing power demand, to meet individual emissions targets that the #EPA calculated for every state.

But McConnell said the EPA is “overreaching” because it doesn’t have the authority under the Clean Air Act to force states to take most of those actions.