Protect Earth News Radio Reports, End of-July – September 2022

Local elected officials call on Feds to adopt CA clean-car standards

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September 29, 2022   

Local officials concerned about climate change are calling on the Biden Environmental Protection Agency to adopt strict national clean car standards – like the ones the Golden State has already embraced.

The California Air Resources Board recently adopted new rules that will phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Alex Walker-Griffin, the vice mayor of the town of Hercules in the Bay Area, said California’s new rules are intended to cut vehicle pollution 60% by 2030. By 2026,” said Walker-Griffin, “car dealerships have to have a plan for the phasing of electric, hydrogen, and hybrid vehicles into their fleets that they sell.”

More than 600 local officials from across the country, part of a group called Elected Officials to Protect America, have signed a letter asking the EPA to start the rulemaking process for stringent clean-car standards.

WA Lummi Nation totem pole travels U.S. for ‘just’ clean energy transition

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September 26, 2022   

A totem pole from the Lummi Nation in northwest Washington is traveling across the country as part of a bid to call for clean energy and environmental justice.

The pole left the Lummi Reservation in mid-September and has made stops along the way, including in Seattle, George Floyd Plaza in Minneapolis, and in Pittsburgh – which hosted a ministerial meeting on clean energy last week.

Douglas James is a member of the Lummi Nation’s House of Tears Carvers – which crafted the 14-foot totem pole – and he is traveling with it across the country.

“We’re just standing up for those that don’t have a voice,” said James, “like the birds, the frogs, the salmon, the orcas.”

The totem pole is scheduled to reach Washington, D.C. this week.

Colorado groups petition leaders to halt Suncor Line 1 Oil Pipeline

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September 26, 2022   

More than 40 environmental groups are urging federal regulators and Colorado’s Congressional delegation to put a pause on a pipeline project under way in Weld County, called Line 1, which would nearly triple the current capacity to deliver crude oil to the Suncor refinery in Commerce City.

Patricia Garcia-Nelson, Colorado fossil fuel just transition advocate for the group Green Latinos, said if officials allow the extension of Line 1 to continue, they essentially will be rewarding bad behavior.

“Suncor has a history of being a problematic operator,” Garcia-Nelson asserted. “They have violated pollution limits. They had been operating under an expired permit since 2011.”

Clean-energy investments from IRA and Infrastructure law to boost PA economy

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September 26, 2022   

Renewable energy has the possibility to boost the economy and benefit workers and the environment in the Keystone State. That was the message at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum that just wrapped up in Pittsburgh.

Clean energy will be essential to improving air quality and health, reducing the state’s carbon footprint and fighting climate change, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Pittsburgh City Council member Erika Strassburger said the transition to cleaner energy sources also means more energy workforce opportunities.

“We know that there are already jobs to be had, and jobs that have been created in truly clean energy production,” said Strassburger, “whether it’s wind power, solar power, geothermal, hydroelectric – and even increasing the energy efficiency of vehicles and of buildings, and retrofitting homes and buildings.”

Meanwhile, House Bill 1161 made it through the Pennsylvania House in June and was just heard last week by a Senate Committee.

New maps expose methane ‘super-emitter’ sites

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September 20, 2022 

new study mapping methane pollution across five oil and gas production basins in states including Colorado and New Mexico found a small number of sites account for a disproportionately high level of overall pollution.

Jon Goldstein, senior director of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, one group behind the study, said nearly 40% of emissions are coming from what are sometimes referred to as “super emitter” sites.

“So these are big leaks, these are big problems,” Goldstein asserted. “What that means, though is that if we can find them and fix them, we can get a handle on this problem pretty quickly.”

Elected officials condemn Sen. Manchin proposal to fast-track energy permits

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September 12, 2022   

Local officials concerned about climate change are urging Democrats to scuttle a deal reached with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to pass a bill to fast-track permitting for energy projects.

Some 445 officials from across the country are asking the Democratic National Committee to support a resolution condemning the proposed bill before the committee’s summer meeting ends tomorrow.

Devin Murphy, mayor pro-tem of the City of Pinole, north of San Francisco, said Democratic leaders promised to support the proposal in exchange for Manchin’s vote on the Inflation Reduction Act.

Murphy thinks the plan runs counter to what is happening in the Golden State.

“The deal that Sen. Manchin made would undo many of the new gains that this legislature just enacted,” Murphy asserted. “It really turns back the clock, and we can’t afford that here in California.”

Indian Youth Services Corps offers jobs in conservation, preservation

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September 12, 2022   

Indigenous youths have been enlisted in the Southwest, including New Mexico, to help conserve natural and cultural resources on tribal lands as part of the Indian Youth Service Corps.

Authorized in 2019, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland launched the program over the summer with a goal of offering employment and training opportunities to Native American and Alaska Native youths.

According to Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation, it’s designed for young people seeking a path to good-paying jobs while working in a program that also tackles the climate crisis.

“To do projects in and around national parks that mostly have relevancy around the experience of tribes,” said Shafroth. “And so it could be stewardship of the land by the tribes in the area that could specially connect tribal youths to their homelands in a lot of ways.”

Inflation Reduction Act provides hope for Michigan’s climate-change policies

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August 23, 2022   

With the Inflation Reduction Act now law, many states are beginning to bring their climate goals to fruition.

In the last decade, Michigan has seen rapid increases in flooding and other drastic weather events. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, Michigan’s declining ice cover could result in greater shoreline erosion, making the state vulnerable to greater flooding.

Gary Schlack, a city council member in Allen Park, feels a climate emergency needs to be declared on top of the money from the new law. He recognizes political fights over climate change are detracting from accomplishing certain climate-oriented goals.

“We only have so much time,” Schlack stressed. “As stewards of our planet, we have to reach now, and not continue letting the other side drive our language. And, if we continue to do so, we’ll just move a step back, and fossil fuels will take advantage of that. When you have the momentum, use it.”

Inflation Reduction Act is law yet climate future still murky

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August 17, 2022   

Although President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, many are hoping he will declare a climate emergency to provide further funding. It would allow for additional provisions to fight the effects of climate change and reduce fossil-fuel usage in the U.S.

New York State has been seeing the effects of climate change firsthand since 45 counties, or three quarters of the state, are currently under a drought watch. Although this is the mildest of the four drought advisories, there are concerns climate change might only exacerbate future drought conditions in the state.

Dominic Frongillo, executive director of Elected Officials to Protect America, believes declaring a climate emergency is a major necessity.

“What declaring a climate emergency will allow President Biden to do is to halt crude exports for crude oil, stop offshore oil and gas drilling, restrict international investment in fossil fuels, and to be able to accelerate the manufacturing and the homegrown jobs here in the United States in an investment to ramp up renewable-energy production,” Frongillo outlined.

EOPA and Tribes praise IRA, call for Climate Emergency Declaration

Alex Cornell du Houx on left, Phillip Williams and Dereck Wood all veterans who are elected officials spoke at the press conference in Washington D.C. on the Inflation Reduction Act and the need for a Climate Emergency Declaration on Aug. !5, 2022

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August 16, 2022   

As President Joe Biden gets ready to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, California conservation groups are hailing it as the country’s largest-ever investment in the battle against climate change.

The bill puts $369 billion into projects to reduce carbon emissions, boost clean energy, mitigate damage from climate change, and more.

Phillip Williams, Councilmember for the Yurok Tribe in Northern California, said the money could supercharge his tribe’s effort to restore their land after 150 years of environmental degradation.

“It’s a great start to help fix the environmental damage that has been done on the Yurok territory,” Williams outlined. “From gold mining, clear-cut logging of our redwood trees, and then damming of our rivers.”

Offshore wind backers: Long-term benefits outweigh initial costs

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July 29, 2022   

As part of New York state’s climate goals, Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced the third competitive solicitation of offshore wind projects, with the hope of powering 1.5 million homes. This comes after Hochul committed $500 million to offshore wind development earlier this year.

The state’s goal is to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. However, it isn’t without cost to local communities, said John Polimeni, an associate professor of economics at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

“With any new initiative, it is expensive to develop the ports,” he said. “If your port is not currently prepared for wind energy, you need to do some changes to the port to make it accessible and proper for wind energy.”

Inaction on climate change called an “unprecedented failure”

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By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman

July 28, 2022   

Calling it a “clear and present danger,” President Joe Biden announced new measures last week to make communities more resilient against climate change.

Environmental groups want the administration to declare a National Climate Emergency.

Tracy Sabetta, Ohio state field coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force, said the emergency declaration would allow Biden to use executive powers to combat climate change. “It’s an unprecedented failure to not invest in a safe and healthy Future for our kids,” Sabetta asserted. “The Biden administration must use every tool at their disposal to reduce climate pollution that is directly threatening our children’s health.”

Actions could include halting crude oil exports to reduce emissions and directing federal investments toward renewable energy projects.

Protect Earth News Radio Reports, March 21 -July, 2022 click HERE
For Protect Earth News Radio Reports: November, 2021 Click Here
For special edition elected officials urging climate change BBB bill click here.
Protect Earth News Radio Reports: Jan – Feb 16, 2021 Click Here