The following radio reports are done in partnership with Public News Service. Please click on the headline to read the entire article or on the highlighted “HERE” to listen to the report.

Climate action groups press for passage of offshore wind bills

Listen to the story HERE

August 31, 2023   

In the waning days of the legislative session in Sacramento, climate change groups are promoting two bills which would smooth the way for offshore wind energy.

Assembly Bill 3 would require the state to study improvements to port infrastructure to move power into the grid. And Assembly Bill 80 would research effects on the ocean ecosystem.

Fran Pavley, a former state senator and now environmental policy director for the Schwarzenegger Institute at the University of Southern California, said offshore wind will help California become energy independent.

“We can create the jobs here, the supply chain, and actually produce the energy here, especially when it’s renewable energy that does not pollute the environment, and helps us reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions,” Pavley outlined. “I think that’s a win-win for everyone.”

Environmental groups file lawsuit to keep VA in RGGI

Listen to the story here.

August 30, 2023   

Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to keep Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

In June, Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board voted to remove the state from the initiative, for which Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Republicans in the General Assembly have striven.

The lawsuit alleges the board did not have the authority to remove Virginia since lawmakers voted to put the state in the initiative in 2020. Activists rallied across the state on Monday to keep Virginia in.

Nate Benforado, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, said legislation like the Virginia Clean Economy Act could fill some of the gaps withdrawal from the initiative would leave.

“The way I view the Virginia Clean Economy Act is it’s more about incentivizing utility investments to decarbonize power production,” Benforado asserted. “Incentivizing energy efficiency programs that allow customers to use less electricity, and do the exact same things they were doing before.”

More climate investments sought with Climate Emergency Declaration to go with IRA

Listen to the story HERE

August 21, 2023

Backers of the Inflation Reduction Act say its historic funding is helping build a clean-energy future, but a National Climate Emergency Plan is still needed to prepare for the extreme weather to come.More than 1,000 elected officials have signed on to the plan, which would invoke the Defense Production Act to speed up efforts toward a 100% clean-energy economy.

Alex Cornell du Houx, president and co-founder of the group Elected Officials to Protect America and a former state representative in Maine, said nearly 100 gigawatts of new clean-energy have been announced in the last eight months alone.

“That’s enough to power 20 million homes, or one in seven homes in the U.S.,” Cornell du Houx explained.

He noted the Defense Department has referred to climate change as a national security threat and nations are looking to the U.S. for leadership on how to transition to clean energy for their own security and health.Backers of the Inflation Reduction Act say it also has the ability to create millions of jobs in the clean-energy sector, including in Maine, where state lawmakers recently approved the creation of a new offshore wind-energy industry.

Cornell du Houx pointed out the law is also spurring private investment leveraging at rates higher than expected.“The opportunities are endless of how we can increase the ability of the IRA to help our communities around the United States,” Cornell du Houx emphasized.

GA’s elected officials mark anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act in anticipation of more of its promised funding

Listen to the story HERE.

August 18, 2023 

It has been one year since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden.The sweeping climate legislation has had vast impacts on Georgia and the nation. Along with boosting funds for climate-smart projects, the Inflation Reduction Act has expanded green-economy jobs.

A recent Climate Power report ranked Georgia second in the nation for new clean energy projects since the measure was passed.Rep. Sandra Scott, D-Jonesboro, said transitioning to clean energy will help reduce costs for Georgians.

“Renewable energy resources offer the most affordable power options available in the present-day market,” Scott pointed out. “Embracing clean, renewable energy helps reduce dependence on volatile fossil fuel prices, ensuring stability and security in our energy supply.”

BLM Rule challenged by oil allies in Congress

Listen to the story HERE.

August 17, 2023

Two bills making their way through Congress could throw out more than 216,000 public comments on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s new Public Lands Rule, which has come under fire from the fossil fuel industry for putting conservation and outdoor recreation on par with extraction on lands owned by all Americans.

Madeleine West, director of the Center for Public Lands at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said she supports the agency’s plan to restore millions of acres of degraded public lands.

“Lands that, if improved, could be better for agriculture and grazing production, could provide higher quality habitat for species, could provide better access for recreation including hunting and fishing,” West outlined.

Assessing Climate Investments On 1st Anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act

Listen to the story HERE

August 16, 2023

The Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act turns one year old today, directing $370 billion to clean energy efforts through tax incentives, grants, and loan guarantees.

The public money has in turn spurred private investment to decarbonize the economy.Stephan Nicoleau, an investor in the Full Cycle Fund, which finances climate critical technologies, talked about the ripple effect of the funding.

“This is a chance for us to level up our American economy. That multiplier effect is massive,” Nicoleau explained. “We’re talking about millions of jobs that are now part of the clean energy future of our country, and allows us to think about a world where we are no longer on an economic basis or on an energy basis, reliant on fossil fuels.”

NY’s Elected Officials celebrate anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act progress

Listen to the story HERE

August 16, 2023

It’s been one year since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden.The sweeping climate legislation has had vast impacts on New York and the nation.

Along with boosting funds for climate-smart projects, the measure has expanded green-economy jobs.A Climate Power report found the law has created 950 clean energy jobs across New York from more than $560 million in funding.

John Polimeni, a member of the Schenectady City Council, described how the law helps New York families reduce utility costs.“Other families have struggled with high utility costs, trying to figure out how to heat and cool their homes,” Polimeni observed, adding the law “provides New Yorkers with the opportunities to purchase energy-efficient appliances that will save them money. These are real savings, with real effects.”

Biden announces historic National Monument near Grand Canyon

Listen to the story HERE.

August 9, 2023

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced the designation of a new national monument near the Grand Canyon.The latest move will conserve and protect nearly one million acres of greater Grand Canyon landscape which holds sacred value to at least 12 native tribes and nations.

The Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition, made up of tribal members and environmental groups, was responsible for the monument proposal and had called on the President to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect the area’s wildlife, geology, water and cultural sites from mining activity.Biden also took the opportunity to tout his administration’s conservation and climate resilience policies.

“Help write the wrongs of the past and conserve this land of ancestral footprints for all future generations,” the President said. “Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have traveled the Grand Canyon awed by its majesty, but fewer are aware of its full history.”

Colorado has adopted a new rule requiring direct measurement of methane emissions at oil and gas sites

Listen to the report here.

August 7, 2023

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission has adopted a new rule requiring direct measurement of methane emissions at oil and gas sites, a move welcomed by environmental and local government groups, and industry.Joe Antus – the executive director of the Signal Tech Coalition – said the new rule will help lower the amount of methane, the primary component of natural gas, lost at oil and gas sites.It can also kickstart a key tactic for turning the tide on climate change.

“Methane is 80% more effective at trapping heat than CO2,” said Antus. “It accounts for 25% of today’s global warming. And there are quick, cost-effective ways to slow the rate of global warming just by tackling methane now.”

Georgia receiving nearly $8 Million to create Green Spaces

Listen to the story HERE

August 3, 2023   

Organizations in Georgia are getting an opportunity to develop and enhance green spaces to help mitigate some effects of climate change.

Through the Bezos Earth Fund’s Greening America’s Cities initiative, nine groups in Atlanta have received nearly $8 million to create more parks, community gardens, nature trails and tree canopies.Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, emphasized with the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and rising temperatures, the role of green spaces in climate resilience becomes even more crucial.

“Cities are much hotter in those areas because there is more concrete, there’s less grass and trees to absorb the heat,” Steer explained. “In the city areas it can be nine degrees hotter than the suburbs.”

ME labor groups applaud progress with offshore wind energy and its new industry standards

Listen to the story HERE

August 1, 20223 

Labor advocates are hailing Maine Governor Janet Mill’s signing of a landmark bill creating a new offshore wind energy industry in the state, with strong protections for workers.

The bill was negotiated by lawmakers, advocates for Maine’s fishing industry and organized labor, who say it will create thousands of union jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for years to come.International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 12-53 apprentice electrician Kimberly Tobias said the new industry will not only mean steady paychecks, but strong safety standards.

“You know, at the end of the day, we’re all just here to go home to our families, and having the strong labor standards there can ensure that we all go home the same way that we came in,” she explained.

Local CA leaders press for passage of offshore wind bills

Listen to the story HERE

July 18, 2023

Local elected officials are speaking out in support of two bills to usher in offshore wind in California. Assembly Bill 3 would require the state to complete phase two of the offshore wind strategic plan and study the feasibility of manufacturing and building 70 to 85 percent of the projects in state.

Devin Murphy is mayor of the town of Pinole and an executive chair with MCE Community Choice Energy, a nonprofit that provides clean energy. He explained that strategic plan is key to reaching the state’s goal to deploy 25 GW of offshore wind energy by 2045.

“California still needs to move with speed and scale on steps to bring offshore wind. This includes the transmission and port upgrades it’s procuring at scale. It’s the permitting roadmap, supply chain, logistics, workforce training programs, and all of these have to have objectives and goals,” Murphy explained.

The bills aim to move California away from fossil fuels such as oil and gas while promoting clean-energy jobs. Opponents cite concerns about potential disruptions to marine life and military exercises. AB 80 would require the state’s Ocean Protection Council to establish a nonprofit West Coast Offshore Wind Science Entity – to study the effect of wind farms on the marine ecosystem.

Public comment for EPA’s EV standards has finished

Listen to the story HERE

July 6, 2023   

The Environmental Protection Agency’s comment period on new electric vehicle standards has ended.New regulations from the agency would phase-in standards for medium- and light-duty electric cars starting in model year 2027.

The hope is the standards will curtail gas-burning car emissions and speed up the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

EV advocates have been working to educate people and break myths about the cars through the Route Zero Relay, a cross-country trip using only EVs.Sheryl E. Ponds, founder and CEO of Dai Technologies Corporation, said the trip broke the common misconception about the range of electric vehicles.

“You plan your trip, you can identify stops where you can go and recharge the vehicle,” Ponds explained. “You can make it across the country in swatches of 250 and 350 miles at a time.”

PA elected officials and other groups support new EPA standards for coal, gas plants

June 28, 2023

Listen to the story here.

More groups are getting on board, including in Pennsylvania, to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for tougher new carbon pollution standards for coal and gas-fired power plants.

The agency said reducing pollutants like carbon dioxide will deliver up to $85 billion in climate and public health benefits over the next two decades.

Martin Miller, a West Norriton Township commissioner, pointed out in Pennsylvania, the state’s Constitution guarantees clean air and pure water for all its citizens. He explained working as a pharmacist for more than 20 years in lower-income areas of Philadelphia, he has seen firsthand the health effects of pollution.

“And I’ve seen the impact that pollution has simply just through one disease, and that’s asthma,” Miller recounted. “One of the things that we’ve seen over the years is that these particulates that are discharged into the environment really increase the incidence and severity of asthma.”

NY Senate passes HEAT Act, Assembly poised to take up bill

Listen to the story HERE.

June 8, 2023   

The New York State Senate has passed the HEAT Act, which now goes to the Assembly.

The legislation aims to phase out gas-line extension allowances, which would reduce the use of natural gas in the state. It would also allow the Public Service Commission the authority to keep utility companies in line with the state’s climate laws.

Robin Wilt, a town council member in Brighton, said the equity component in the bill is needed. It would protect low- to moderate-income customers from bearing energy burdens greater than a certain percentage of their income.

She thinks it would also help communities disproportionately affected by climate change.

“I think it’s important, as we move forward, that we always keep that equity piece in mind, and that we’re reparative,” Wilt asserted. “Those communities that bear the brunt of our past climate policy should be the first beneficiaries of any future policy.”

NM advocates: Climate crisis demands end to Feds’ fossil-fuel leasing

NM advocates: Climate crisis demands end to Feds’ fossil-fuel leasing

Listen to the story HERE

By Roz Brown

June 8, 2023   

The Bureau of Land Management has auctioned off another 10,000 acres of New Mexico public lands to the oil and gas industry, despite a local rally and national letter writing campaign requesting its cancellation.

The letter, signed by 272 local and national groups, unions, businesses and institutions, failed to stop the May 25 sale and the BLM did not respond.

Miya King-Flaherty, Our Wild New Mexico organizing representative for the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club, said four Western states have the highest concentration of federal oil and gas leases.

“New Mexico is ground zero,” King-Flaherty asserted. “We are essentially — I use the word ‘sacrifice zone’ — but lands in New Mexico are continually being held up for lease.”

Offshore wind farms grow job opportunities in New York and New Jersey

Listen to the story HERE.

June 2, 2023   

Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth.

New York’s offshore wind investments are slated to create between 18,000 and 23,000 jobs, according to a state estimate.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority reported offshore wind jobs will hit their peak in 2030 at 20,000, with steady growth in the next decade.

More than 120 elected officials in New Jersey have signed a letter calling for further growth in the sector.

Caren Fitzpatrick, an Atlantic County commissioner, believes southern New Jersey can become a hub to provide offshore wind development for the East Coast.

“Our manufacturing area over in Salem County, in the southwestern part of the state, is perfectly situated to create and build the turbines, the monopolies, the bases, and they can just ship them down the Delaware River,” Fitzpatrick pointed out.

Fitzpatrick noted misinformation about the wind farms endangers their futures. Some of the opposition surrounds the turbines obstructing Atlantic City’s views, and hazards to bird species. But the Ocean Wind Offshore Wind Farm will be 15 miles offshore, about five times farther than the human eye can see, and eight miles farther than birds migrate.

Dangers of fracking wastewater put spotlight on ‘Halliburton Loophole’ in Congress

Listen to the story HERE

May 30, 2023   

A law known as the “Halliburton Loophole” is under growing scrutiny. It exempts oil and gas companies from revealing the chemicals they use in the hydraulic fracking process.

The latest study finds between 2014 and 2021, companies used hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals – without any governmental oversight.

Another report published last year by scientists and medical organizations says living near fracking sites increases risks for cancer, respiratory diseases, heart problems, birth defects and more.

Leatra Harper, managing director of the Freshwater Accountability Project, explained that the loophole prevents communities from understanding potential harms.

“People need to know what the exposures could be,” said Harper. “We need to know what the chemicals are to look for when we find water contamination. And we don’t even know how to test for it, because we don’t know what to test for.”

Looming U.S. default would impact clean energy investments

Listen to the story HERE

May 30, 2023   

The looming U.S. debt default could affect a host of programs across the country – and in New York, the list includes clean-energy investments.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the U.S. has until June 5 before a default would occur. In the meantime, states like New York have been ramping up their clean-energy infrastructure with federal Inflation Reduction Act funds.

A Climate Power report finds the IRA created 950 clean-energy jobs in New York from more than $560 million in funding.

Zander Bischof, head of Regulatory & Government Affairs at MN8 Energy, described how a default could jeopardize the future of these investments.

“It would put pressure on clean energy investment through a few mechanisms,” said Bischof. “I think, firstly, it would drive up interest rates, and therefore the financing costs of clean energy assets – which are generally pretty capital intensive. We’re talking about most of the costs being to get the steel in the ground, and then very low ongoing operating – and then from there, fuel costs.”

NY/NJ Elected Officials celebrate offshore wind during Earth Month

Listen to the story HERE.

BY Edwin J. Viera

April 24, 2023   

Throughout Earth Month, elected officials across the U.S. are celebrating renewable energy projects.

In New York, several wind, solar and hydroelectric developments were completed that will power more than 150,00 homes across the state with clean electricity.

Along with these, several offshore wind farms are under construction off the coast of Long Island. East Hampton Town Council member Cate Rogers described the public feedback from residents.

“The community as a whole was in favor,” said Rogers. “There are concerns, I don’t want to make it like there weren’t legitimate concerns from our fishing industry out there. We have a lot of generational fishermen out here in Montauk who are fearful of the impacts to their industry.”

Conservative group urges action to plug orphaned UT oil wells

Listen to the story HERE

By Alex Gonzales

,April 24, 2023   

Correction: Diversified Energy was mentioned as one of the companies operating in Utah, but they currently don’t own assets in the state. (8:13 a.m. PST, April 24, 2023)
Congress allocated billions of dollars through the infrastructure law to plug orphaned well sites across the country, with Utah being one of the first states to receive the help.

Dave Jenkins, president of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, said lawmakers should be doing more to hold “bad actors” accountable. According to the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining’s website, a reported 46 orphan wells in the state are not plugged and are abandoned, scattered on private, state and federal lands.

Jenkins claimed the number is much higher, closer to 1,000, saying the discrepancy is due to whether federal or state agencies declare oil wells orphaned.

“Some of them may not be put in the ‘orphan well bucket’ by the state yet, or a lot of them because they are idle and non-producing and haven’t produced oil for many years,” Jenkins explained. “They are sitting there dotting the landscape and nobody’s plugging them or cleaning them up.”

Earth Day in NV: ‘Don’t give In to climate despair’

Listen to the story HERE

April 21, 2023   

Tomorrow is Earth Day, a day to show support for protecting the planet, and one Nevada lawmaker wants Nevadans to give some thought to actions they could take to help fight climate change.

Asm. Howard Watts, D-Las Vegas, and member of the Elected Officials to Protect America Leadership Council, wants to see more community members engaging with elected officials to continue the push for a clean energy future. Watts, who also sits on the council for the group Elected Officials to Protect America, said it will take huge federal policies like the Inflation Reduction Act, stronger federal environmental regulations and measures at the state and local level to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

He adds it is crucial to not lose hope. “We’ve seen constant reports about how we’re feeling the impacts of climate change,” Watts observed. “Now, we know that those impacts are going to get worse, but some of these policies that have been recently passed have the opportunity to put us on a much better trajectory.”

NY renewable-energy projects coming to fruition

Listen to the story HERE

April 20, 2023   

During Earth Week, several projects in New York to boost energy efficiency have been completed.

These projects, which consist of wind, solar and hydroelectric developments will provide clean electricity to more than 150,000 homes across the state.

But, these are just a few of the numerous projects helping New York reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 70% by 2030.

Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, described what lies ahead for the state’s climate future.

“More and more, New Yorkers will be seeing solar projects and wind projects under construction,” said Reynolds. “There’s only one offshore wind project under construction now, but there’s five others that have contracts. So, New Yorkers are going to start to see or hear about offshore wind construction.”

Science Moms: climate solutions aren’t out of reach for families with Inflation Reduction Act

Listen to the story HERE

April 6, 2023   

April is Earth Month, and moms who work in scientific fields are trying to get the attention of other parents, hoping they’ll take advantage of clean-energy opportunities. They say there are options even in rural states like South Dakota.

The federal Inflation Reduction Act includes a number of tax credits households can use to transition to clean-energy products for consumers.

A campaign by the nonpartisan group Science Moms has launched to let more people know about these incentives.

Joellen Russell, professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona and co-founder of Science Moms, said there is greater awareness about the effects of fossil fuels, and staying with them is not in children’s best interest. “The normal, the status quo, is taking a toll on children’s developing bodies and threatening their futures,” Russell asserted.

Protect Earth News Radio reports: January – March 2023. Click HERE.
Protect Earth News Radio Reports: End of July – September 2022. Click Here
Protect Earth News Radio Reports: End of July – September 2022. CLICK HERE
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