Daily Archives: March 3, 2017

The Pruitt Emails: E.P.A. Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry – The New York Times

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, at the agency’s headquarters in Washington on Tuesday. Credit Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images


WASHINGTON — As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt, now the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, closely coordinated with major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch to roll back environmental regulations, according to over 6,000 pages of emails made public on Wednesday.

The publication of the correspondence comes just days after Mr. Pruitt was sworn in to run the E.P.A., which is charged with reining in pollution and regulating public health. Senate Democrats tried last week to postpone a final vote until the emails could be made public, but Republicans beat back the delay and approved his confirmation on Friday largely along party lines.

The impolitic tone of many of the emails cast light on why Republicans were so eager to beat the release. And although the contents of the emails were broadly revealed in The New York Times in 2014, the totality of the correspondences captures just how much at war Mr. Pruitt was with the E.P.A. and how cozy he was with the industries that he is now charged with policing.

…(read more)

Top Trump Advisers Are Split on Paris Agreement on Climate Change – The New York Times

A bulldozer moving coal at a processing facility in Price, Utah. President Trump campaigned with a promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement, which binds countries to combat global warming. Credit George Frey/Bloomberg


WASHINGTON — The White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement, the 2015 accord that binds nearly every country to curb global warming, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge.

Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s senior adviser, is pressing the president to officially pull the United States from the landmark accord, according to energy and government officials with knowledge of the debate. But, they say, he is clashing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who fear the move could have broad and damaging diplomatic ramifications.

Mr. Trump vowed on the campaign trail to tear up President Barack Obama’s global warming policies, and on the home front he is moving aggressively to meet those pledges with deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and a new E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, who is a skeptic of climate science.

Next week, Mr. Trump plans to sign an executive order directing Mr. Pruitt to start the lengthy legal process of unwinding Mr. Obama’s E.P.A. regulations for cutting greenhouse pollution from coal-fired power plants. Those regulations are the linchpin of the last administration’s program to meet the nation’s obligations to reduce climate emissions under the Paris agreement.

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South Sudan Famine


Cape Town struggles to manage water crisis, appeals for help

Another Trump Con – Keystone Pipeline Exempt From “Buy American” Order

Revealed: Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres’ Suspected Killers Received U.S. Military Training

Trump’s Proposed EPA Cuts Threaten Health & Lives of Tens of Millions of Americans

Trump defends under-fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions – BBC News

President Donald Trump has defended Attorney General Jeff Sessions as “an honest man” amid calls for him to quit.

The Democrats say Mr Sessions “lied on oath” at his confirmation hearing about contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Mr Trump said Mr Sessions “could have stated his response more accurately but it was clearly not intentional” and accused Democrats of a “witch hunt”.

However, Mr Sessions has removed himself from an FBI probe into alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

The Democrats have maintained their attacks on Mr Sessions, saying his explanation regarding his contacts with the Russian ambassador in 2016 were “simply not credible”.

(read more).

Facing the Surge

Film Screening and Q&A: Facing the Surge
Tues. March 7th 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Littauer 130

Facing the Surge documents the tangible costs of sea level rise for the people of Norfolk, Virginia, and has lessons for cities all over the world. Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the U.S. and to thousands of hard-working Americans struggling to adapt to the rising tides and an uncertain future. But Facing the Surge is not a film about loss and inaction. It tells the stories of citizens from across the United States as they step forward to raise awareness and push their government to solve climate change.

We will have a Q&A after the film screening with the filmmaker Diogo Freire and Professor Kenneth Strzepek, an expert in climate impacts and adaptation.


Climate Justice Caucus Meeting
Mon. March 6th 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. @ Littauer 380

Come join us to discuss how to move forward a climate action and justice agenda, as well as planning for upcoming events such as the People’s Climate March in DC.

See also:

Tuesday, March 7

Climate, Oceans, Human Health, and Cholera
4:00pm  – Northwest Bldg B101, 52 Oxford St., Cambridge

The Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) hosts Dr. Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and former director of the National Science Foundation. *A separate student lunch discussion with Dr. Colwell will take place at 12:00pm in HUCE Seminar Room 429. RSVP required.*
Contact: Erika Veidis erikaveidis@fas.harvard.edu

Cities as first responders to climate change