The Good News... The Bad News... Week of February 10, 2017 - Years Of Living Dangerously

The Good News… The Bad News… Week of February 10, 2017

By Margaret Badore

We’re in a race against time to solve climate change. Can the goods news catch up to the bad?

This week, there’s both good news and bad news for wind power and pipelines.

The Bad News

PIPELINE PUSHES FORWARD, SKIPS ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

On Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers granted the final easement needed to complete the North Dakota Pipeline, without finishing its Environmental Review. Construction is expected to continue immediately, although Native American tribes and environmental groups have vowed to continue protesting. Read More

OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR WANTS TO TAX THE WIND

Governor Mary Fallin has proposed a new tax on wind power, in addition to the early phaseout of tax incentives for wind generation. The existing tax credit was not set to expire until 2021. As a new tax, the state legislature would have to approve Fallin’s proposal by a three-quarters majority. Read More

PROPOSED BILLS COULD DOOM THE EPA

Two bills introduced in the House of Representatives could overturn the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency. One bill proposes stripping the agency of the ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. A different bill, proposed by Matt Gaetz of Florida, would end the agency altogether. Read More

CALIFORNIA’S SINKING VALLEY

A new study from NASA find that California’s San Joaquin Valley has continued to sink due to groundwater depletion, even as drought conditions across much of the state have improved. In some areas, NASA observed drops of one to two feet in some areas, which damages infrastructure like roads and has created problems for the aqueduct system which is vital for delivering water across Southern California. Read More

The Good News

2 CITIES BREAK FINANCIAL TIES WITH PIPELINE BACKER

The cities of Seattle, Washington and Davis, California said they will stop banking with Well Fargo, in part because of its role in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. The two cities will divest over $3 billion total funds from the bank. Read More

REPUBLICANS PROPOSE CARBON TAX

James A. Baker, who served as Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff under George Bush Sr., is leading a group of former Republican officials proposing a carbon tax to fight climate change. We’re filing this this one under “Good News”–considering that many of Republican leaders have either denied climate change is real or have fought efforts to solve climate change. The suggested price for pollution is also relatively robust. However, the proposal could have some drawbacks (like insulating fossil fuel companies from lawsuits) and it’s unclear how the current Trump administration will receive the proposal. Read More and Take Action

WIND BEATS OUT COAL IN EU

More of the EU’s energy comes from wind power than coal for the first time, making it second only to energy generated from natural gas. In 2016, Germany led the way in installing the most new wind capacity. Read More

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