Hot News: January 6, 2017 - Years Of Living Dangerously

Hot News: January 6, 2017

By Climate Nexus

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The SEC, Climate Change, & Clayton’s New Pals: The job history of Jay Clayton, Trump’s pick to head the Securities & Exchange Commission, raises questions about his approach to climate change were he to head the agency. In a blog post Thursday, the Energy Policy Institute revealed that Clayton’s firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, has advised clients in multiple public memos to disclose climate-change related risks to the SEC and to investors, highlighting the SEC’s 2010 guidelines on best practices for climate disclosure. Despite Clayton’s background, the climate denier company he’d keep in the science-averse Trump administration does throw a shadow on the future of the guidelines under his leadership. And the SEC’s probe of ExxonMobil’s climate valuations, launched this fall, may also be in jeopardy with the oil giant’s former CEO as Secretary of State. Acknowledging climate risk is a widely accepted business practice worldwide: earlier this week, a panel of business leaders chaired by Michael Bloomberg issued a series of recommendations directed at corporations on how to disclose climate risk in yearly financial statements. (Clayton: MarketWatchInternational Business Times. Exxon: InsideClimate News. Bloomberg: WSJ.)

Take That Scuba Trip Now Before It Gets Worse: Bleaching will affect 99% of the world’s corals by the end of the century if global warming continues at current rates, according to new research published Thursday in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. The UN-sponsored study shows that 75% of corals would be exposed to hazardously warm oceans by 2070, and keeping warming under 2 degrees C would give corals just 11 additional years to adjust to the warming oceans. Reefs worldwide faced the biggest die-offs ever recorded last year. (TimeMiami HeraldMcClatchyClimate Home)

Army Corps Passes on Changing Pipeline Approval Permit: The Army Corps of Engineers disappointed environmental groups and tribal leaders Wednesday by not amending a complex permitting system that expedites oil and gas pipeline approval. The permit structure, which allowed for the approval of the Dakota Access pipeline, gives streamlined permission to pipeline projects intersecting with federally protected waters, rather than subjecting them to individual review for larger spill risk, climate impacts, or tribal conflicts. “I think the nationwide permit system serves a totally legitimate purpose for projects that have truly minor or beneficial actions, but it’s become a loophole for big projects with serious impacts, not just to water but to treaty rights and other tribal concerns,” Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, who represents the Standing Rock Sioux, told Politico. The NoDAPL struggle continues in Cannon Ball, as the remaining protesters dig in for the winter, clean up abandoned camps, and warily look toward the upcoming Trump administration. (Army Corps: Politico Pro $, Greenwire $, Platts. NoDAPL: ViceNPRReutersBismarck Tribune.)

US News
  • Sensing gains ahead under Trump, the Kochs court minorities (New York Times $)
  • The biggest environmental battles facing the Trump administration (Guardian)
  • Climate scientist pens open letter to president-elect Trump (All Things Considered)
  • Prolific Pacific storms set to punch California with blockbuster rain, snow (Mashable)
  • New Obama report warns of changing ‘threat environment’ for the electricity grid (Washington Post $)
  • Kerry warns Trump against nixing climate progress (PoliticoClimate Home)
  • UN ambassador warns retreat from group will hurt US interests (The Hill)
  • Dem Manchin lauds Trump’s EPA pick (The Hill)
  • U.S. on track to become net energy exporter by 2026 (Climate Central)
  • Sungevity deal torpedoed by Trump win, dismal stock performance (Reuters)
  • On long migrations, birds chase an eternal spring (New York Times $)
  • How does an agriculture giant like Monsanto respond to climate change? (Marketplace)
  • Oil and gas chief
 hopes for review by new president (Daily Sentinel)
  • Get a look at the innards of a 270-foot wind turbine (Vox)
  • On climate change, higher education leaders call on Trump to reverse course (InsideClimate News)
  • EPA moves anti-environmental racism program office (Bloomberg BNA)
  • The detective of northern oddities (Outside Online)
  • Louisville’s “Spaghetti Junction” is a testament to how cars degrade cities (Vox)
  • Microgrids expand in Virginia with two new projects (Southeast Energy News)
  • The people taking Trump’s secretary of state pick to court aren’t who you’d expect (Mashable)
  • MD renewable energy advocates call for veto override (AP)
  • Sources: DOE’s nuclear official to become NEI executive (Politico Pro $)
  • Conservative clean energy group beefs up staff to lobby Trump (Washington Examiner)
  • Coachella owner donates to LGBT hate groups, denies climate change, has Koch connections (Jezebel)
  • Ohio utility’s efficiency programs to move forward under settlement (Midwest Energy News)

World News

  • China cementing global dominance of renewable energy and technology (FT$, The GuardianClimate Home)
  • China aims to spend at least $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020 (New York Times $, MashableMother JonesClimate Home)
  • World heat shatters records in 2016 in new sign of global warming (Reuters)
  • Potential for collapse of key Atlantic current rises (Climate Central)
  • Israel harnessing sunshine with world’s tallest solar tower (APIndependentEcoWatch)
  • James Delingpole article calling ocean acidification ‘alarmism’ cleared by press watchdog (The Guardian)
  • Beijing is playing down its pollution problem (Quartz)
  • Study: 10-fold increase in pace of clean tech deployment required to meet Paris Agreement goals (Business Green $)
  • UK wind power overtakes coal for first time (The Guardian)
  • Mexico set for 20-fold solar expansion by 2019 (Recharge News)
  • James Delingpole article calling ocean acidification ‘alarmism’ cleared by press watchdog (The Guardian)
  • All that glitters is not green: Costa Rica’s renewables conceal its oil dependency (The Guardian)
  • The dirt on tourism and climate change (GreenBiz)
  • Kenyans at loggerheads over coal plant at world heritage site (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

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