Trump EPA Takes Credit For Obama-Era CO2 Reductions
Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the EPA, touted that the report shows that regulations are unnecessary to slash carbon emissions.
"Thanks to President Trump's regulatory reform agenda, the economy is booming, energy production is surging, and we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial sources," Wheeler said in a press release. "These achievements flow largely from technological breakthroughs in the private sector, not the heavy hand of government. The Trump Administration has proven that federal regulations are not necessary to drive CO2 reductions."
But as Axios' Amy Harder reported:
"This drop, between 2016 and 2017, is due largely to market forces and moves by President Obama and Congress, and occurred before President Trump officially took office. EPA's announcement contrasts with Trump, who in recent days has dismissed climate change as an issue."
America's coal plants are closing despite the Trump administration's efforts to bolster the struggling industry. The coal industry has also been unable to compete with the rise of the renewable energy sector as well as cheap natural gas, which emits less carbon dioxide than coal, Gardner said.
"In 2017 utilities shut or converted from coal-to-gas nearly 9,000 megawatts (MW) of coal plants," he noted. "The trend of U.S. coal plant shutdowns is expected to pick up this year, with power companies expecting to shut 14,000 MW of coal plants in calendar year 2018."
Walke tweeted Wednesday that the Trump EPA "deserves zero credit" for falling greenhouse gas emissions and that the president's pro-fossil fuel agenda will actually "increase" emissions.
EPA disinformation campaign continues: 1. None of the GHG drop is due to Trump EPA. 2. Relevant comparison is to be… https://t.co/orSj7cqF5s— John Walke (@John Walke)1539795794.0
Greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. have been falling steadily since 2007 but environmentalists warn that the trend could reverse. The president intends to kill the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which caps coal plant emissions; he is letting fracking companies emit more methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than CO2; and he has blocked new fuel economy standards.
Last month, the Trump administration quietly released a study admitting that carbon pollution from cars and other sources will trigger a 7-degree rise in average worldwide temperatures by 2100.
President Trump also announced he's pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement after his advisors reportedly warned to him that the U.S. could not lower its emissions reductions commitments while remaining in the international climate accord.
Trump Admin Says 7 Degrees Fahrenheit of Warming Inevitable by 2100 So let's burn more fossil fuels? 😣 https://t.co/KjJwGqypWV— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1538442141.0
A tornado tore through a city north of Birmingham, Alabama, Monday night, killing one person and injuring at least 30.
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By David Konisky
On his first day in office President Joe Biden started signing executive orders to reverse Trump administration policies. One sweeping directive calls for stronger action to protect public health and the environment and hold polluters accountable, including those who "disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities."
Michael S. Regan, President Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, grew up near a coal-burning power plant in North Carolina and has pledged to "enact an environmental justice framework that empowers people in all communities." NCDEQ
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.