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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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We already have a realistic solution in the Green New Deal—we just lack the political will. JARED RODRIGUEZ / TRUTHOUT

By C.J. Polychroniou

Climate change is by far the most serious crisis facing the world today. At stake is the future of civilization as we know it. Yet, both public awareness and government action lag way behind what's needed to avert a climate change catastrophe. In the interview below, Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin discuss the challenges ahead and what needs to be done.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sutton coal ash spill, Sept. 21. Jo-Anne McArthur / Waterkeeper Alliance / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As people in North and South Carolina continue to confront flooding and other massive damage from Hurricane Florence, it's heartbreaking to watch them have to deal with yet another hazard: the toxic coal ash leaked from coal ash ponds and landfills in the region. Even more infuriating is the denial coming from the company responsible for that pollution in the first place—Duke Energy in North Carolina.

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Pixabay

By John R. Platt

Well folks, we did it. July 2019 was the hottest month in recorded human history, with record-breaking temperatures in many parts of Europe, wildfires raging over tens of thousands of square miles of Arctic Alaska and Russia, and a staggering ice melt in Greenland that dumped 197 billion gallons of water into the ocean — 12.5 billion tons of which melted over a single day.

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Win McNamee / Staff / Getty Images News

In an in-depth interview with Reuters Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Andrew Wheeler repeated claims that climate change is not the biggest environmental threat facing the world and shed some light on the agency's plans to help the Trump administration boost fossil fuel development.

The interview came a day after President Donald Trump signed two executive orders designed to speed up pipeline approvals and other fossil fuel projects. Wheeler told Reuters that the EPA was working on proposals to speed state approvals, focusing on clarifying section 401 of the Clean Water Act that lets states block projects, Reuters reported.

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Coal CEO Bob Murray pushed for looser coal ash rules similar to those put in place last week by the EPA. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Environmental groups expressed concerns over the health impacts of a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to relax regulations on coal ash, CNN reported Saturday.

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The collapsed coal ash impoundment and closed power plant at Dan River Steam Station (Duke Energy), Eden, North Carolina. The impoundment failure caused the 2014 Dan River coal ash spill. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

On Monday, Oklahoma became the first state to be granted a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dispose of its own coal ash, The Associated Press reported.

The move displaces the federal government as the body responsible for coal ash disposal in EPA head Scott Pruitt's home state. Coal ash is the residue left over from burning coal for power that often contaminates groundwater. It is a change that industry has lobbied for and environmental groups have opposed.

Read More Show Less
An oil refinery in El Segundo, CA adjacent to a residential area. Photographs by Peter Thornton / Moment Open / Getty Images

One of President Donald Trump's stated justifications for rolling back environmental regulations has been to bring back jobs in highly-polluting industries like coal.

But a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday found that, for "communities of racial/ethnic minorities," welcoming polluting industries for the sake of employment is a tradeoff that doesn't make any sense. Blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. are both less frequently employed at industrial facilities and more likely to be exposed to toxic air pollution from these sites.

Read More Show Less
The W. A. Parish Power Plant, owned by NRG Energy, is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Roy Luck / CC BY 2.0

Power plants across Texas are leaching toxins into groundwater, according to new research. A report released this week from the Environmental Integrity Project found that all of the state's 16 coal-fired power plants are leaching contaminants from coal ash into the ground, and almost none of the plants are properly lining their pits to prevent leakage.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Coal ash threatens the middle fork of the Vermilion River. Eco-Justice Collaborative / CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that a utility company is violating the Clean Water Act by letting coal ash leak into a protected river.

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Protesters interrupt the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler on Capitol Hill Jan. 16 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

This week, people across the country are joining environmental leaders to speak out against the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Scott Pruitt's hand-picked successor, Wheeler has continued to put polluters over people, most recently by using the last of his agency's funding before it expired in the government shutdown to announce plans to allow power plants to spew toxic mercury and other hazardous pollution into the air.

Read More Show Less

Trending

EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler / EPA

By Ana Unruh Cohen

As the longest government shut down in history drags on, and the experts protecting our air and water remain off the job, the Senate is barreling forward to put Andrew Wheeler at the wheel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is unfit for this public trust.

In his seven-month tenure as the acting administrator at EPA, Wheeler's relentlessly pushed to advance the pro-polluter agenda launched by Scott Pruitt, the worst administrator in the agency's storied 48-year history. Wheeler may lack Pruitt's scandals, but he's no improvement.

Read More Show Less
In 2008, coal ash spilled from a failed impoundment at TVA's Kingston plant in eastern Tennessee. Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing major changes to Obama-era coal ash disposal regulations, seeking to give states and utilities more leeway in how they dispose of coal ash, which can contain highly toxic substances such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

The Scott Pruitt-led agency claims that the proposal, if finalized, can save the utility sector up to $100 million per year in compliance costs.

Read More Show Less
A truck submerged by Florence flooding in Lumberton, NC. ALEX EDELMAN / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Florence, downgraded to a tropical depression, pummeled the Carolinas this weekend, killing 18 so far and instigating flooding that officials said could last through mid-week, CNN reported Monday.

Florence, which scientists predicted would be more than 50 percent wetter due to climate change, is expected to dump 40 inches of rain on parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, with some swollen rivers not cresting until later in the coming week.

Read More Show Less
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

We already have a realistic solution in the Green New Deal—we just lack the political will. JARED RODRIGUEZ / TRUTHOUT

By C.J. Polychroniou

Climate change is by far the most serious crisis facing the world today. At stake is the future of civilization as we know it. Yet, both public awareness and government action lag way behind what's needed to avert a climate change catastrophe. In the interview below, Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin discuss the challenges ahead and what needs to be done.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sutton coal ash spill, Sept. 21. Jo-Anne McArthur / Waterkeeper Alliance / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As people in North and South Carolina continue to confront flooding and other massive damage from Hurricane Florence, it's heartbreaking to watch them have to deal with yet another hazard: the toxic coal ash leaked from coal ash ponds and landfills in the region. Even more infuriating is the denial coming from the company responsible for that pollution in the first place—Duke Energy in North Carolina.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By John R. Platt

Well folks, we did it. July 2019 was the hottest month in recorded human history, with record-breaking temperatures in many parts of Europe, wildfires raging over tens of thousands of square miles of Arctic Alaska and Russia, and a staggering ice melt in Greenland that dumped 197 billion gallons of water into the ocean — 12.5 billion tons of which melted over a single day.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch


Win McNamee / Staff / Getty Images News

In an in-depth interview with Reuters Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Andrew Wheeler repeated claims that climate change is not the biggest environmental threat facing the world and shed some light on the agency's plans to help the Trump administration boost fossil fuel development.

The interview came a day after President Donald Trump signed two executive orders designed to speed up pipeline approvals and other fossil fuel projects. Wheeler told Reuters that the EPA was working on proposals to speed state approvals, focusing on clarifying section 401 of the Clean Water Act that lets states block projects, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Coal CEO Bob Murray pushed for looser coal ash rules similar to those put in place last week by the EPA. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Environmental groups expressed concerns over the health impacts of a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to relax regulations on coal ash, CNN reported Saturday.

Read More Show Less
The collapsed coal ash impoundment and closed power plant at Dan River Steam Station (Duke Energy), Eden, North Carolina. The impoundment failure caused the 2014 Dan River coal ash spill. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

On Monday, Oklahoma became the first state to be granted a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dispose of its own coal ash, The Associated Press reported.

The move displaces the federal government as the body responsible for coal ash disposal in EPA head Scott Pruitt's home state. Coal ash is the residue left over from burning coal for power that often contaminates groundwater. It is a change that industry has lobbied for and environmental groups have opposed.

Read More Show Less
An oil refinery in El Segundo, CA adjacent to a residential area. Photographs by Peter Thornton / Moment Open / Getty Images

One of President Donald Trump's stated justifications for rolling back environmental regulations has been to bring back jobs in highly-polluting industries like coal.

But a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday found that, for "communities of racial/ethnic minorities," welcoming polluting industries for the sake of employment is a tradeoff that doesn't make any sense. Blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. are both less frequently employed at industrial facilities and more likely to be exposed to toxic air pollution from these sites.

Read More Show Less
The W. A. Parish Power Plant, owned by NRG Energy, is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Roy Luck / CC BY 2.0

Power plants across Texas are leaching toxins into groundwater, according to new research. A report released this week from the Environmental Integrity Project found that all of the state's 16 coal-fired power plants are leaching contaminants from coal ash into the ground, and almost none of the plants are properly lining their pits to prevent leakage.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Coal ash threatens the middle fork of the Vermilion River. Eco-Justice Collaborative / CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that a utility company is violating the Clean Water Act by letting coal ash leak into a protected river.

Read More Show Less
Protesters interrupt the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler on Capitol Hill Jan. 16 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

This week, people across the country are joining environmental leaders to speak out against the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Scott Pruitt's hand-picked successor, Wheeler has continued to put polluters over people, most recently by using the last of his agency's funding before it expired in the government shutdown to announce plans to allow power plants to spew toxic mercury and other hazardous pollution into the air.

Read More Show Less

Trending

EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler / EPA

By Ana Unruh Cohen

As the longest government shut down in history drags on, and the experts protecting our air and water remain off the job, the Senate is barreling forward to put Andrew Wheeler at the wheel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is unfit for this public trust.

In his seven-month tenure as the acting administrator at EPA, Wheeler's relentlessly pushed to advance the pro-polluter agenda launched by Scott Pruitt, the worst administrator in the agency's storied 48-year history. Wheeler may lack Pruitt's scandals, but he's no improvement.

Read More Show Less
In 2008, coal ash spilled from a failed impoundment at TVA's Kingston plant in eastern Tennessee. Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing major changes to Obama-era coal ash disposal regulations, seeking to give states and utilities more leeway in how they dispose of coal ash, which can contain highly toxic substances such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

The Scott Pruitt-led agency claims that the proposal, if finalized, can save the utility sector up to $100 million per year in compliance costs.

Read More Show Less
A truck submerged by Florence flooding in Lumberton, NC. ALEX EDELMAN / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Florence, downgraded to a tropical depression, pummeled the Carolinas this weekend, killing 18 so far and instigating flooding that officials said could last through mid-week, CNN reported Monday.

Florence, which scientists predicted would be more than 50 percent wetter due to climate change, is expected to dump 40 inches of rain on parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, with some swollen rivers not cresting until later in the coming week.