Tag Archives: Clean Power Plan

Trump’s EPA pick makes his intentions on climate change clear

President Elect Trump has selected Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is a close ally of the fossil fuel industry who has been a leader of efforts to block President Obama’s climate change rules.

Pruitt has put himself at the forefront of an alliance among state attorneys general, including Montana’s Tim Fox, who are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which are in turn contributing large amounts of money for their political campaigns.

Don’t believe it when Trump tells reporters he has an “open mind” about climate change. Actions speak louder than words.

To find out more about Pruitt’s intentions, click the link. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Politics and History | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Environmental implications of a Donald Trump presidency

Regardless of where you stand politically, Donald Trump’s election yesterday was an unexpected shock. There is no way to know all the environmental implications of his election, but we can expect significant deviation from the policies of the last eight years, and a return to the environmentally ruinous policies of the Bush/Cheney era.

This occurs at a time when public understanding and acceptance of the need to combat climate change is growing. We should be moving quickly to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy to reduce carbon emissions; instead it appears we will moving back to the era of “drill baby drill.”

Based on what I have heard and read, here are some of the known positions and statements of Donald Trump on the environment.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Community Organization, Politics and History | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Impacts of Justice Scalia’s death on the federal Clean Power Plan and Paris climate agreement

This article looks at possible impacts of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the federal Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the Paris climate change agreement. Scalia died on Saturday, February 13.

Last December in Paris, representatives of 195 countries, representing more than 95% of global greenhouse gas emissions, reached a landmark climate agreement that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. United States leadership was key to passage, with President Obama committing to significant cuts in carbon emissions.

From a policy perspective, the key to the US commitment was the Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which will require power plants to make significant reductions in emissions. The standards limit the amount of carbon pollution released for every power plant covered by the rule, and they are the same for every plant in every state. The cuts would have their biggest impact on coal power.

The viability of the Paris agreement was threatened last week when, in one of the final decisions in which Scalia participated, the Court voted 5-4 to temporarily block the CPP. Scalia voted with the majority.

To find out what this means for the CPP, particularly with regard to its implementation in Montana, click the link.

Continue reading

Posted in Legal | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Paris climate talks: the future of the planet is at stake

Beginning today 40,000 world leaders, diplomats, experts and partisans will meet in Paris to begin 12 days of climate talks that could very well decide the future of our planet.

The conference is called Conference of the Parties 21, or COP 21, which refers to the countries that have signed up to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). UNFCCC is an international treaty now signed by 195 parties, with the aim of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to control climate change. This is the 21st meeting since 1992, hence COP 21.

The goal is a new global climate treaty, involving all nations, that would take effect in 2020 to help the world avoid the worst consequences of manmade global warming. According to the UNFCCC, this means limiting global warming in 2100 to less than 2°C, or 3.7°F, above pre-industrial levels.

According to recent data, we’re already halfway there. In 2015, global temperatures have reached 1°C higher than pre-industrial levels. Without action, temperatures are expected to increase by 3.7 – 4.8°C by 2100.

To learn more about what can be accomplished in Paris, and why we should feel great urgency about acting now, read on. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments