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Dominion's Chesterfield Power Station is the largest fossil-fuel fired power plant in Virginia. jeshan1 / Flickr

Virginia Set to Join Carbon Trading Market on Heels of Democratic Victory

By David Leestma

Following last week's Democratic victory for Ralph Northam in Virginia's gubernatorial race, regulators in the state will seek approval to join the East Coast's regional carbon-trading market, the RGGI.

The regulators' draft proposal, released on election night, would cap carbon emissions from Virginia's electricity sector by 2020 and reduce them by 30 percent over the coming decade. To accomplish this, Virginia would halt carbon emissions at either 33 million or 34 million tons per year and cut emissions by three percent each year, in accordance with RGGI commitments made in August.

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Trump Watch
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the USS Lead Superfund in East Chicago, Indiana. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / YouTube

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Scott Pruitt's Dysfunctional EPA

By Rachel Leven

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt doesn't hide his contempt for how the agency has been run, but does profess to care about one of its key programs: Superfund, which oversees the cleanup of the nation's worst toxic-waste sites. In April, he toured a site in East Chicago, Indiana, contaminated with lead and arsenic, and told residents, "We are going to get this right."

The following month, Pruitt—Oklahoma's attorney general before he joined the EPA—tapped one of his former donors, banker Albert "Kell" Kelly, to find ways to accelerate and improve Superfund cleanups. Kelly started by consulting career staff members —often-knowledgeable officials who work at the agency regardless of who holds the White House. But then Kelly closed off the process, conferring with Pruitt to produce a final plan that altered or excluded many of the staffers' suggestions. Gone, for example, was the idea that EPA officials be identified early on to lead discussions with communities on how contaminated land should be used after cleanup.

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Trump Watch
Clean Air Council

Kids Sue Trump Over Climate Rollbacks and Reliance on 'Junk Science'

Two Philadelphia-area children are suing President Donald Trump and two of his climate skeptic cabinet members, Energy Sec. Rick Perry and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, to try to stop them from rolling back existing environmental protections including the Clean Power Plan.

The plaintiffs, ages 7 and 11, are backed by the Clean Air Council, Philadelphia's oldest environmental non-profit. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Monday.

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Climate
U.S. Forest Service

Halloween Horror Story: 5 Scariest Aspects of Climate Change

By Casey Ivanovich

Halloween has arrived, and it's time once again for goblins, gremlins and ghost stories.

But there's another threat brewing that's much more frightening—because it's real.

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Climate

Dr. Michael Mann on Paris and Clean Power Plan: 'We’re Seeing Real Movement'

Climate Reality recently chatted with world-renowned climatologist and geophysicist Dr. Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, ahead of our Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the training, Dr. Mann participated in the panel "Our Changing Storms."

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Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Senators Accuse EPA of 'Denying Science' and 'Fabricating Math' to Justify Clean Power Plan Repeal

In a letter sent to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday, 19 Democratic senators demanded that the EPA boss "show your work" in his justification of repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

This move comes after suggestions that the agency seriously underestimated the costly toll of climate change. For instance, one analysis showed that the Trump EPA put the cost of one ton of emissions of carbon dioxide between $1 and $6 in the year 2020—a dramatic decrease of the Obama administration's 2020 estimate of $45. This figure is known as the "social cost of carbon"—or the public cost of burning fossil fuels—which guides current energy regulations and possible future mitigation policies.

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Trump Watch
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Photo by Tami Heilemann, Interior

Pruitt, Zinke and Perry Target Clean Air and Water Rules to Curb 'Burdens' on Energy Sector

At a speech in North Dakota last month, President Trump boasted that his administration is refocusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to its "core mission: clean air and clean water."

"That's what I want—clean air," he continued. "Think of it. We talk about the—I want beautiful clean air, and I want crystal-clean water, right? That's what we want."

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Energy
Booleansplit / Flickr, CC BY-NC

Coal Is Going Down, Even Without the Clean Power Plan

By Elliott Negin

Last Monday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he will repeal the Obama administration's regulation to curb power plant carbon emissions, telling coal miners in Kentucky that "the war on coal is over." The next day he kept his promise, issuing a proposed rule to eliminate the Clean Power Plan.

It was hardly a surprise. After all, President Trump has called climate change a "hoax" and vowed during his campaign to bring back coal jobs, which is why Pruitt made his preliminary announcement in Kentucky, where workers have a direct economic stake.

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Energy
www.youtube.com

Bloomberg Donates $64 Million to Shut Down Coal Power Plants

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's charity will give $64 million to help accelerate the retirement of coal plants in the U.S., Bloomberg announced yesterday following the Trump administration's move to kill the Clean Power Plan.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has already given $110 million to the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, which aims to help shutter two-thirds of U.S. coal-fired power plants by 2020. Despite Scott Pruitt's proclamation earlier this week that the CPP rollback means the "war on coal is over," market forces don't seem to have gotten the memo.

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