The Good News…The Bad News…Week of March 17, 2017 - Years Of Living Dangerously

The Good News…The Bad News…Week of March 17, 2017

By Margaret Badore

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

The struggle over vehicle emissions was in the news a lot this week, on both the good and bad sides of the climate beat. Meanwhile, methane and a worse-than-expected official budget are cause for worry. 

The Bad News

METHANE LEAKS ARE A BIGGER PROBLEM

A Purdue University study found that methane leaks are occurring at a much higher rate than reported by either facility operators or the Environmental Protection Agency. Burning natural gas could be cleaner than burning coal, but only if the methane—the main component of natural gas—doesn’t leak before it’s used. If more than 3 percent of the gas escapes, the methane will contribute more to climate change than using coal. Read More

TRUMP ANNOUNCES PLAN TO LET CARS POLLUTE MORE

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that he will bow to automakers’ request to loosen standards that aim to reduce pollution from vehicles. Despite the fact that car manufacturers hit the first set of targets well ahead of schedule, while also increasing the number of vehicles sold, Trump said rolling back emissions standards will create more jobs. Read More 

TRUMPS’ OFFICIAL BUDGET WORSE FOR CLIMATE THAN ANTICIPATED

On Thursday, Trump released his first official budget. In addition to cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding more deeply than anticipated, the budget also kills the State Department’s climate finance funding, the Energy Department’s clean energy research funding, and NOAA and NASA research budgets. Read More and Take Action

The Good News

CALIFORNIA SET TO DEFEND CLEAN CAR STANDARDS

The vehicle emissions standards put forward by President Obama brought federal standards in line with the stricter standards set by the state of California, which has a special waiver to set its own regulations. In light of Trump’s announcement to weaken national standards, California is prepared to move ahead without the rest of the country. Read More and Take Action

CITIES SEEK 114,000 ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Cities want cleaner cars. An initiative that includes dozens of U.S. cities is asking automakers about the feasibility of spending roughly $10 billion on electric cars. Read More

MADRID TO BAN OLD CARS

The city of Madrid announced a plan to ban old and polluting vehicles from the city center to cut emissions. The ban prohibits gasoline cars registered before 2000, and diesel cars registered before 2006. The measure is scheduled to go into effect by 2025. Read More

MASSACHUSETTS AWARDS $1.4 MILLION TO CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS

Green communities in Massachusetts have been awarded over $1 million to invest in clean energy projects. The funds come from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s price on carbon. Read More