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'Nobody knows better than Angelenos the importance of cleaner vehicles to our health,' said Eric Garcetti Mayor of Los Angeles. Jeff Turner / Flickr

50+ Mayors Vow to 'Vigorously Resist' EPA's Fuel Efficiency Rollback

Attorneys general and mayors from more than 25 states have banded together to oppose the easing of auto efficiency standards proposed by Scott Pruitt, the scandal-plagued administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"All Americans—not only the residents of the states, cities and counties signing this manifesto—deserve to enjoy fuel-efficient, low-emission cars and light trucks that save money on gas, improve our health and support American jobs. We strongly urge the auto industry to join us, and to use its influence with the Administration to ensure that these standards remain in place," the declaration states.


The document was signed by attorneys general from 11 states including New York, Iowa and Massachusetts, and mayors of more than 50 cities.

The lawmakers promised to legally defend current Obama-era fuel economy standards calling for new cars and light trucks to average 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

"Given our responsibilities to our citizens, we also strongly oppose and will vigorously resist any effort by the Administration to prevent states from enforcing reasonable, commonsense emissions performance standards for vehicle fleets sold in their jurisdictions," they state.

"Such standards are particularly appropriate given the serious public health impacts of air pollution in our cities and states and the severe impacts posed by climate change, including recent storms, droughts, floods and fires that have hit multiple regions of the U.S. in just the past few years. If the Administration attempts to deny states and cities the basic right to protect their citizens, we will strongly challenge such an effort in court."

They conclude, "If federal officials obstruct progress on this front, states and cities will pick up the leadership mantle to protect our constituents' health, support our local economies, and maintain the international competitiveness of the U.S. automotive industry. With the support of the American people, which we already strongly enjoy, we are confident we will prevail."

They anticipates more state and local elected leaders will "soon be added" to the declaration.

The industry-friendly EPA head announced Monday his intention to weaken the emissions standards—largely at the request of automakers.

Pruitt defended his decision at the EPA headquarters on Tuesday. He said that revising the standards is "another step" in President Donald Trump's "deregulatory agenda."

"This president has shown tremendous courage to say to the American people that America is going to be put first, and I think this mid-term evaluation, the auto sector, the importance of auto manufacturing in this country, the president is again saying, America is going to be put first, and we have nothing to be apologetic about with respect to the progress we've made in reducing emissions as a country," he said.

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A snapping turtle held by a Virginia Tech researcher. Virginia Tech

Land Use and Pollution Lead to More Male Snapping Turtle Babies, Researchers Find

The sex of reptiles like snapping turtles is determined by the temperature of the nest, with warmer temperatures leading to female births and colder temperatures leading to male babies. Because of this, climate change is projected to increase the number of female turtle births. However, scientists have discovered that other human impacts on the environment are leading to conditions that actually produce more males.

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Organic Agriculture Is Going Mainstream, But Not the Way You Think It Is

By Jeremy L. Caradonna

One of the biggest knocks against the organics movement is that it has begun to ape conventional agriculture, adopting the latter's monocultures, reliance on purchased inputs and industrial processes.

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‘Business Unusual’ Must Be the Mantra in Bonn as UN Climate Talks Resume Next Week

As the 2018 climate talks kick off under the auspices of the UN next week, "business unusual" must be the mantra delegations need heard resoundingly in Bonn, said the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Speaking ahead of the start of the meeting, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF's global climate and energy programme leader, said the window of opportunity to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C is fast closing.

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While there are predictions that climate change will displace masses of people in the near future—an Environmental Justice Foundation study reported on by The Guardian put the number in the tens of millions within the next decade—some have indicated that the climate refugee crisis has already begun.

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Central Park. Ingfbruno / CC BY-SA 3.0

New York's Central Park Is Going Car-Free

One of the world's most iconic parks is going vehicle-free this summer; New York City is banning all cars and trucks from Central Park.

"This park was not built for automobiles," Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday in Central Park. "It was built for people."

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Infant receiving polio vaccine. CDC Global / CC BY 2.0

Did the Polio Vaccine Cause Cancer?

By Vanessa Schipani, FactCheck.org

Q: Did people develop cancer because of the polio vaccine?

A: There are no known cases, and it's very unlikely. In the 1950s and 1960s, people did receive polio vaccines contaminated with a virus that causes cancer in rodents. But research suggests this virus doesn't cause cancer in humans.

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'Nowhere Is Immune': Researchers Find Record Levels of Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice

Scientists found record levels of microplastics in Arctic sea ice, a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications revealed.

Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) sampled ice from five Arctic Ocean regions and found up to 12,000 microplastic particles per liter (approximately 1.06 liquid quarts) of ice, an AWI press release reported.

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