By William S. Becker Donald Trump is having a tough time keeping his campaign promise to save the coal industry. More than 20 coal-fired power plants have closed during his presidency so far. His problem is pretty obvious: He is fighting against very strong market forces. And despite his claims to the contrary, his efforts to promote coal and fossil fuels in general will make the United States weaker and more vulnerable. Trump is anachronistic when it comes to energy, At a time when the world must turn away from fossil fuels because of global climate change -- and every nation except the United States has promised to do so -- the president wants the U.S. to become the planet’s leading producer of oil, coal and natural gas. He is trying to push us back into last century's fossil energy economy by relaxing pollution standards and opening new lands and coastal waters for oil and gas production. He seems to have a special interest in coal. He and Energy Secretary Rick Perry are contriving ways to keep this dirtiest of
By William S. Becker With important elections coming up this fall and in 2020, the American people will have opportunities to correct the mistake of putting Donald Trump in the White House, where he has used his office to undermine some of our most important institutions and laws. Trump’s damage has been widespread. Others have spoken about his impact on international relations; the stewardship of public lands; the press and the courts; the government’s divorce from science; and so on. Of special importance to those of us in the environmental sector is Trump’s great leap backward on environmental protection, energy policy and climate change. The question now is what we can do to rebuild what Trump and his minions have weakened or destroyed. On these and other issues, there seems to be three levels of volume in national politics right now. There is virtually no sound coming from the Democratic Party. It seems to have no message beyond an implicit “We’re not Trump”. Perhaps party strategists are content to remain quiet and hope that Trump will hang himself along with
December 2015 - The United States joins 195 other nations at COP-21 in Paris, resulting in a historic international climate action agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. PARIS – The world made history at approximately 7:25 p.m. Paris time on Saturday when 195 nations did something that had never been done before. They all agreed on something. The “something” is really something: a global commitment to confront global climate change after 21 years of diplomatic wrangling. In the plenary hall at a former airport in Paris, there were tears among the hundreds of delegates and support staff who worked for years toward this achievement, climaxing in more than two weeks of around the clock effort to reach that moment on Saturday. Among them were a tired Secretary of State John Kerry and an obviously delighted Al Gore, who has dedicated years of his life and has taken enormous abuse for his efforts to persuade the world that climate action threatens our survival. Read more here: The World Has Spoken in Paris
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releases the final rule for the Clean Power Plan, which seeks to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The White House honors 12 faith leaders for their work on climate action. Evangelical, Franciscan, Lutheran, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, Church of God and Baptist faiths are represented.
The White House releases a progress report, Highlighting Federal Actions Addressing the Recommendations of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and announces a series of new climate resilience focused actions, including over $25 million in private and public investments.
The EPA finalizes its rule to reduce hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions, a potent manmade greenhouse gas. The rule is projected to reduce HFC emissions by 54 to 64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025.
The White House announces a new bilateral climate agreement with Brazil, in which each country commits to increase renewable energy production to 20 percent of its energy portfolio by 2020.
The White House hosts the first-ever Summit on Climate Change and Health. President Obama announces numerous actions to protect communities from the health impacts of climate change.
June 2015 - via The White House Continuing to cut carbon pollution, protect American communities, and lead internationally. Read full report here: President Obama's Climate Action Plan - 2nd Anniversary Progress Report
The EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) jointly propose a new round of emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles through model year 2025, which will reduce GHG emissions by one billion metric tons.
The White House launches a public-private partnership, Climate Services for Resilient Development, to assist developing nations in building resilience against the impacts of climate change. An initial $34 million is provided to developing nations for this purpose.