China, Canada, EU join forces on climate action – without Trump

May 25, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump still hasn’t made up his mind on whether he’ll keep the United States part of the 2015 Paris agreement , even though everyone from the Vatican to ExxonMobil have called for America to stick with the deal. But China , Canada , and the European Union (EU) aren’t going to sit around and wait for him to make his decision. They’ve formed a pact for continued climate action regardless of where the Trump administration stands. Officials from the two countries and the EU met in Berlin on Tuesday. China’s special envoy on climate change Xie Zhenhua, Canada environment minister Catherine McKenna, and EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete talked about climate leadership and how to keep momentum going should Trump yank America out of the agreement. They’ve also planned a meeting at the ministerial level backing the agreement for September. Related: World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement According to Bloomberg, the new pact is a signal that Trump and America will become detached from other nations on the planet. Since the historic deal was signed by nearly 200 countries, only the United States has indicated they may leave the agreement. At the recent Petersberg Climate Dialog, McKenna said, “It’s very important that we continue the shared programs on climate change. There is a need to bring together key players.” She said Canada, China, and the EU are in a good position to gather other countries together for talks on how to move forward. Xie said China has been questioned recently on what they’ll do about the Paris agreement as Trump dithers over whether to keep the United States in the deal or not; he said China, one of the world’s biggest polluters, will stick to their word, and “all signatories should stick to it instead of walking away.” Via Bloomberg Images via Catherine McKenna on Twitter and Wikimedia Commons

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China, Canada, EU join forces on climate action – without Trump

You’ll never guess why Trump wants to scrap the Energy Star Program

May 2, 2017 by  
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We’re all familiar with the little blue star label on home appliances that tells us how much electricity it will use. The EPA’s Energy Star program is about as uncontroversial as they come: it is a win for consumers and saves billions of dollars. But for some reason, Trump wants to toss the program out. Why would he want to do a thing like that? It probably has nothing to do with the low Energy Star ratings his properties have… right? Beyond rating appliances, Energy Star rates commercial buildings in a voluntary scoring system. Coincidentally, Trump’s properties tend to rate lower than other comparable buildings. In fact, 11 out of 15 of his skyscrapers in New York, San Francisco and Chicago rate low. The Mayfair Hotel, for instance, has a rating of 1. On a scale of 1 to 100. Related: Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service This is all speculation, of course. The program does have some critics, but given all the other promises Trump  made on the campaign trail, this seems like an unnecessary fight to pick. Ditching Energy Star will undoubtably help Trump, because investors and tenants usually take note of a building’s efficiency when decide to invest. It’s all just par for the course in Trump’s White House: another day, another grift. via Daily Kos and NPR lead image via Flickr

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You’ll never guess why Trump wants to scrap the Energy Star Program

Trump signs executive order aimed at eliminating national monuments

April 26, 2017 by  
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President Trump just signed an executive order that threatens millions of acres of public land. The order seeks to reduce or eliminate multiple national monuments across the US, potentially eliminating public access and water and land protection safeguards. It’s an unprecedented (unpresidented?) move that will likely be challenged in courts. The executive order wouldn’t eliminate the national monuments just yet, since the President doesn’t have the power to do that. Instead, it orders a review of any existing monuments (which Presidents have the power to create under the 1906 Antiquities Act ) designated in the past 21 years that are over 100,000 acres in size. The Department of the Interior will review monuments and determine which it recommends changing. Related: Patagonia launches campaign to protect Utah’s Bear Ears National Monument 21 years might seem like an arbitrary timeline, but the executive order is aimed directly at the newly-designated Bear’s Ears Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, designated by President Clinton 21 years ago. Republicans called the designations an over-reach of federal power and have been fighting to have the monuments eliminated ever since. Polls show that a vast majority of Americans support maintaining or adding more public and protected lands in the US rather than reducing them. The legal battle will likely begin after the Department of the Interior makes its determination. Via The Verge images via The Bureau of Land Management

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Trump signs executive order aimed at eliminating national monuments

Trump’s cuts would have ‘devastating impact’ on NY, says NY Attorney General

March 24, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund program would have a “devastating impact” on New York State, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman declared at a rally at the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn earlier this week. Joined by activists and lawmakers on Tuesday at what is widely considered to be the nation’s most polluted waterway, Schneiderman blasted the president’s calls to slash the agency’s funding by more than 30 percent, noting that the move would stymie the progress of cleaning up America’s most contaminated sites. “President Trump’s proposed budget cuts would have a devastating impact on New York—delaying and obstructing environmental projects around the state,” Schneiderman said. “Decades of hard work have helped clean up New York’s air, water, and environment. But President Trump’s budget threatens to unravel those gains and send us back to the bad old days of choking smog and rampant pollution.” Once a bustling cargo-transportation hub, the 1.8-mile-long Gowanus Canal is now a cesspool of raw sewage, carcinogenic sludge, and oil slicks. It floundered in political limbo for decades before the EPA designated the canal a Superfund site in 2010. Related: Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal gets Superfund status Dredging work was supposed to begin in earnest later this year, but Trump’s “blueprint” to bring the EPA’s budget to $5.7 billion—its lowest level in 40 years when adjusted for inflation—could grind the already glacial progress to a halt. Schneiderman says he isn’t above taking legal action against the White House, if necessary. “As we’ve made clear: if the Trump administration won’t meet its legal obligations to ensure basic access to a clean, safe, and healthy environment, we won’t hesitate to act to protect New Yorkers,” he said. + Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Via WNYC Photos by bobistraveling

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Trump’s cuts would have ‘devastating impact’ on NY, says NY Attorney General

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