4 Former EPA Chiefs Speak Out Against Trump Administration
It's simple. Clear air, drinkable water and a livable climate should not be partisan issues.
Four former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrators were appointed by four different presidents—two Democrats and two Republicans. So, what could they have in common?
All of them have spoken out against the current administration's environmental policies—as new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt repeats fossil fuel talking points, the president signs extreme executive orders that roll back environmental progress and a new federal budget proposes to cut EPA funding by 31 percent.
But here's just some of what these former administrators had to say:
EPA administrator under President George H. W. Bush (1989 - 1993)
"For a prospective EPA administrator to doubt or even contest a conclusion that 11 national academies of science have embraced is willful political obstruction."
Former @EPA head Reilly insists enviro progress can be made despite resistance from Trump admin. https://t.co/vx1esuT4wV @chrschwaegerl— Yale Environment 360 (@Yale Environment 360)1485551701.0
EPA administrator under President Bill Clinton (1993 - 2001)
"This budget makes significant cuts to programs that protect our air, our water, our land, which is not an American value. Eviscerating resources for scientific research on climate change and pollution is not an American value."
EPA administrator under President George W. Bush (2001-2003)
"I don't recall ever having seen an appointment of someone who is so disdainful of the agency and the science behind what the agency does … [Scott Pruitt] obviously doesn't care much for the agency or any of the regulations it has promulgated. He doesn't believe in climate change; he wants to roll back the Clean Power Plan."
"I think, as a matter of law, that carbon is a pollutant has been settled" -Christine Todd Whitman, Bush's EPA head https://t.co/s0bsgsia6n— Jim Marston (@Jim Marston)1489433727.0
EPA administrator under President Barack Obama (2013 - 2017)
"This budget … really represents an all-out assault on clean air, water and land. You just can't put America first when you put the health of its people and its country last and that's what this budget really represents."
Science Has No Party Affiliation
It's clear from the words of these former EPA chiefs—Democrats and Republicans alike—that climate science and the mission of the EPA shouldn't be political footballs. But while what's going on in Washington, DC is discouraging at best, we don't have time to waste on despair and cynicism.
As Climate Reality founder, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, has said, "We must, we can and we will solve the climate crisis. No one man or group can stop the encouraging and escalating momentum we are experiencing in the fight to protect our planet." No matter what's going on in DC, you can take action.
Here are four things you can do right now to be part of the movement to solve the climate crisis:
1. Join us at the People's Climate March on April 29 (in DC and around the country). Like we saw at the Women's March in January, regular people like us can send a powerful message to policymakers when we come together in massive numbers and speak with one voice. On April 29, we're coming together again and marching to demand climate action.
2. Subscribe to email alerts to be notified when the next Climate Reality Leadership Corps training will take place. You'll be the first to know when and where you can attend our next event with hundreds of other committed activists.
3. Take one action every day to stop climate change, organized by our friends at Years of Living Dangerously. Because every action you take can make a difference.
4. Pledge to #StandWithReality. According to a recent Gallup poll, seven in 10 Americans want to emphasize alternative energy over oil, gas and coal. Existing renewable technologies like wind and solar are creating millions of jobs around the world and will help us solve the climate crisis. But we have to make sure our leaders insist on truth, accept reality and listen to science.
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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