Virginia, which now has a Democrat as governor and Democrats in control of the statehouse, has followed the lead of several other blue states and committed itself to transition away from fossil fuels to a clean, renewable, carbon-free energy, as Vox reported. It makes Virginia the first state in the South to commit to 100 percent clean energy.
Last September, Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order for the state to run on 100 percent renewable energy completely by 2050. His order forced several state agencies to create a plan for meeting that goal and for moving 30 percent of the state's power to renewable sources in the next decade, according to PBS. The order also brought Virginia into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine state carbon-trading market.
However, Republicans had control of the state house and prohibited Virginia from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Yet, in November, the balance of power shifted to Democrats. That led to last week's passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, as Vox reported.
Virginia now joins seven other states — California, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Washington — along with Washington DC and Puerto Rico, which have passed similar legal requirements. More states, like Oregon, will have similar laws enacted soon.
The bill actually pushed Northam's mandate up five years for Dominion Energy, one of the state's two power companies. It will run on clean energy by 2045, at the latest. The other, Appalachian Power, will have to 2050 to transition.
The bill also calls for setting targets for massive investments in energy efficiency, energy storage and in-state solar and wind power, according to Green Tech Media. It also brings the state back into the RGGI carbon-trading network.
The Virginia Clean Economy Act will also hold costs down and protect low-income and vulnerable communities. It also requires the state's energy suppliers to boost power storage, increase their offshore wind energy generation and invest in rooftop solar panels, according to Vox.
"The cost of doing nothing is staggering," said State Sen. Jennifer McClellan of Richmond, as the Virginia Mercury reported. "Yes, this is a big bill, but it does some very important things that Virginia is far, far behind in doing. … Sometimes change is necessary to meet a greater good."
While the bill faced criticism from Republicans who sounded the usual dog whistle of clean energy costing jobs and being expensive, it also faced Democratic defections, mainly from delegates who believed the bill isn't strong enough.
General Assembly Delegate Ibraheem Samirah of Fairfax did not cast a vote, saying in a statement that he abstained "because the legislation fails to rise to the level of urgency needed to tackle the climate crisis," according to the Virginia Mercury.
Unlike in Oregon, where Republicans fled the state to stop the state from establishing a cap-and-trade market, Virginia Republicans do not have the option of walking out and shutting down the legislature, as Vox reported.
Virginia has two major power suppliers, Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power. The two hold enormous lobbying power and have resisted progress toward clean energy. However, a broad coalition sprouted up to support the Virginia Clean Economy Act.
As GreenBiz noted:
[A] broad coalition of clean energy businesses, environmental groups, grassroots groups and lawmakers came together to craft the bills, negotiate with the state's major utilities and shepherd them to final passage.
A number of businesses that are not tied to the energy sector also spoke up in support of these bills, helping state legislators understand that there is broad business support for decarbonizing the entire Virginia economy.
Furthermore, a study by Advanced Energy Economy concluded that the bill would lower rates, create jobs and boost the state's GDP. Advanced energy, especially efficiency, is a huge and growing source of employment in the state, according to an AEE analysis, as Vox reported.
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Running on Green New Deal, Virginia Democrats Take Full Control of State Government for First Time in Decades
By Jake Johnson
The Virginia Democratic Party took full control of the state government for the first time in nearly three decades Tuesday night by winning majorities in both chambers of the legislature, a massive shift progressives celebrated as a testament to the electoral power of bold policy proposals like the Green New Deal.
Democratic candidates — including Green New Deal backers Joshua Cole, Ghazala Hashmi and Dan Helmer — flipped at least five Republican seats in the House of Delegates and at least two in the state Senate, overcoming the GOP's thin majorities. Additionally, Green New Deal champions like Democratic socialist Del. Lee Carter, Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler and Del. Elizabeth Guzman won reelection.
In a statement, the youth-led Sunrise Movement noted that Virginia Democrats' historic victory comes just months after the state's Democratic Party unanimously endorsed a Green New Deal for Virginia.
"Tonight showed that running on the Green New Deal is a key part of how Democrats can win elections," said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement. "The polls and election results tell a clear story: the Green New Deal is a winning issue."
"When Nancy Pelosi and corporate Democrats try to argue otherwise," Prakash said, "it's nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to shut down progressive policies and protect the interests of corporate donors."
According to Data for Progress polling conducted ahead of Tuesday's election, progressive policy proposals like the Green New Deal, free insulin, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and expanding Medicaid were widely popular across the state.
Delegate-elect Cole flipped a district President Donald Trump won in 2016 by running on a bold policy platform including a Green New Deal and ending cash bail.
"Rethink your 'electability' assumptions," tweeted Nick Tagliaferro of Data for Progress in response to Cole's victory.
Evan Weber, the Sunrise Movement's political director, said Tuesday's election demonstrated that "when candidates reject corporate money and run on ambitious plans to tackle climate change, lower utility costs, and create good jobs, they win — despite right-wing attack ads trying to paint them as too radical."
"This is the roadmap Democrats need to follow in the years ahead," said Weber.
Voting data uploaded by VCU Capital News Service on Nov. 6 shows support for Democratic candidates strongest among younger and middle-aged Virginians.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
A massive winter storm dumped snow on the midwest Friday, killing at least nine, before moving east to bring snow and freezing rain to the Mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas Saturday and Sunday, AccuWeather reported.
"We have a strong snowstorm that's stretching 1,400 miles from Kansas to the East Coast," CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. "St. Louis is seeing its worst snowstorm in five years. We're going to see a significant snow event for the mid-Atlantic to start the year for 2019."
Here are the expected snow accumulations for this weekend's #snow storm from the Midwest into the Mid-Atlantic, wit… https://t.co/cakWraUICI— National Weather Service (@National Weather Service)1547250584.0
The storm prompted winter storm warnings or advisories for more than 35 million people in the Ohio River Valley and Mid-Atlantic regions. Heavy snowfall in the Midwest and eastern U.S. is consistent with predictions about the impacts of climate change, Climate Communication explained, as a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, which can fall as greater amounts of snow when the conditions are right.
The town of Montgomery City, Missouri, which is to the northwest of St. Louis, got 20 inches of snow, CNN reported.
The storm was deadliest in Missouri, where four people died in car accidents, including a 53-year-old woman and her 14-year-old relative, The Washington Post reported. The state saw more than 800 crashes and 57 injuries.
As of 2:00 pm this afternoon, MSHP has responded to: • 3918 calls for service • 1790 stranded motorists • 878 cras… https://t.co/QiVAATC6lm— MSHP General HQ (@MSHP General HQ)1547329493.0
In Kansas, three people died including one 62-year-old man who lost control of his car. In Illinois, Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was struck by a vehicle and killed while standing outside his car at the scene of another crash.
"Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself," Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz Schmitz said in a statement reported by The Washington Post. "He will be remembered for his dedication to the Illinois State Police and for giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois."
A ninth death took place in Indiana, AccuWeather reported.
The storm then moved east Saturday and Sunday. North Carolina reported more than 125,000 power outages Sunday as freezing rain caused ice to accumulate.
County Volunteer Fire Departments are dealing with hundreds of downed trees and many downed power lines. They're wo… https://t.co/0eZq1gjijb— Forsyth County North Carolina (@Forsyth County North Carolina)1547408261.0
Parts of Virginia and Maryland received up to six or seven inches of snow, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, The Washington Post reported. In the nation's capital, seven inches of snowfall led to the cancellation of at least 500 flights as of Sunday afternoon and the temporary suspension of the city's metrobus service, AccuWeather reported. The storm is the biggest Washington, DC has seen since 2016.
36 Hours, 11.7 inches, 113 seconds. Take a look at the biggest snowstorm the DC region has seen in three years!… https://t.co/w8QYlOGMmk— Logan Giles (@Logan Giles)1547440140.0
By Jeff Deyette
Despite the Trump administration's ongoing attempts to prop up coal and undermine renewables—at FERC, EPA and through tariffs and the budget process—2018 should instead be remembered for the surge in momentum toward a clean energy economy. Here are nine storylines that caught my attention this past year and help illustrate the unstoppable advancement of renewable energy and other modern grid technologies.
1. California Goes All-In for Carbon-Free Electricity
In late August, California—the world's 5th largest economy—committed to the target of fully decarbonizing its power sector by 2045. The landmark legislation also strengthens the state's renewable portfolio standard (also known as a renewable energy standard, or RES) from 50 to 60 percent by 2030. What's more, at the bill signing, Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order that establishes a goal of achieving carbon-neutrality across all sectors of California's sprawling economy by 2045, cementing the state's place as a global leader in climate action.
2. Several States Strengthen Their RES Requirements
State-level renewable electricity standards continued to be a primary driver of new renewable energy development in 2018. In addition to California, legislatures in New Jersey (50 percent by 2030), Connecticut (40 percent by 2030) and Massachusetts (35 percent by 2030) all adopted stronger targets for renewable energy, accelerating their states' transitions away from fossil fuels. In addition, voters in Nevada overwhelmingly approved a measure to increase their state's RES to 50 percent by 2030 (the measure must be approved again in 2020 to officially become law).
3. Clean Energy Champions Win Gubernatorial Races
One of the bright spots in November's election results was the number newly elected governors who campaigned on aggressive clean energy and climate change agendas. Newly elected governors in at least 10 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin, have pledged to accelerate clean energy and carbon reductions in their states by supporting U.S. commitments to the Paris agreement, joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and/or calling for renewable energy targets of 80 to 100 percent. These election results demonstrate the widespread support for greater investments in renewable energy and signal the push for even stronger clean energy policies in the coming year.
4. Record Low Prices for Renewables
Innovation, growing economies of scale and attractive financing continued to drive the costs down for renewables in 2018. Power purchase agreements for wind and solar projects in states like Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas have reportedly ranged between $20 to $30 per megawatt-hour, well below the cost of natural gas generation—and the technologies are positioned for further cost reductions to continue to be low-cost options even as federal tax incentives change. What's even more exciting is that the many of these low-priced projects also include energy storage components, increasing their value to the grid.
5. Major Utilities Commit to Low-Carbon Portfolios
Earlier this month, Xcel Energy became the first major utility to commit to a completely carbon-free electricity supply across the eight states it operates in. In doing so, it joins a growing number of utilities that are committing to phasing out their use of coal and transitioning to substantially lower carbon energy portfolios. Also this year, both Consumers Energy in Michigan and NIPSCO in northern Indiana announced plans to phase out coal generation and utility giant American Electric Power announced a goal of reducing its carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. What's especially exciting about these utility actions is that they are driven primarily by economics, clearly demonstrating the competitiveness of clean energy technologies.
6. Corporate Renewable Energy Purchases Keep Growing
Low renewable energy prices continue to attract major corporations looking to save money and achieve ambitious sustainability goals. As a result, direct corporate purchases of renewable energy have become a major driver of renewable energy deployment. In 2018, the Rocky Mountain Institute reports, corporate renewable energy purchases—led by companies like Facebook, Walmart, ATT and Microsoft—reached more than 6.4 gigawatts (GW). The number of corporations investing in renewables expanded at a record pace this year as well, with nearly two-thirds of Fortune 100 and nearly half of Fortune 500 companies now having set ambitious renewable energy goals.
7. Offshore Wind Moves Forward
Kim Hansen / Wikimedia Commons
While no new offshore wind projects came online in the U.S. this year (the next project—off the Virginia coast—is scheduled for 2020), the industry did take some big leaps toward becoming a major player in the nation's power supply. For example, the winning bid for Massachusetts' first request for offshore wind proposals to help meet the state's offshore wind requirements passed in 2016 went to an 800-megawatt project from Vineyard Wind at a shockingly low price of about 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. In addition, the latest U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management auction for leasing parcels of water for future projects resulted in 11 bidders and $405.1 million in winning bids, both smashing previous records. And strong state policies, including new offshore wind requirements in New Jersey and elsewhere, mean that there's a lot more action to come.
8. Storage Steps Into the Spotlight
Lithium-ion batteries for advanced energy storageArgonne National Laboratory / Flickr
Once a fringe player in the electric power sector, the energy storage industry is quickly emerging as a game changer in the transition to a clean energy economy as a tool for integrating much higher levels of renewable energy. In 2018, the pipeline for new storage projects doubled to nearly 33 GW as more utilities are investing in the technology thanks largely rapidly falling prices and growing support from state policies. While California has led the nation in storage deployment to date, New York recently established the strongest storage requirement in the country at 3,000 MW by 2030. Earlier this year, New Jersey set an ambitious storage target of 2,000 MW by 2030 and Massachusetts significantly increased its storage requirement to 1,000 megawatt-hours by 2025. At the federal level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 841, which directs regional grid operators to set market rules that allow energy storage to participate on a level playing field in the wholesale energy, capacity and ancillary services markets.
9. PG&E Turns Down the Gas With Storage and Renewables
In one particular sign of what's to come in 2019 and beyond in terms of how these technologies fit together to displace fossil fuels, one of the most exciting regulatory decisions I saw this year was the California Public Utility Commission's approval of PG&E's plan to use energy storage to replace retiring gas generators. One of the key barriers to fully transitioning to a carbon-free economy is replacing natural gas generation and the ancillary services they provide to the power grid. This decision, which marks the first time a utility will directly replace power plants with battery storage, should spur many more similar projects to move forward in California and across the country and open the door for integrating much higher levels of renewable energy onto the power grid.
These nine stories are just a sampling of what occurred in 2018 to further the clean energy transition. As the year comes to a close, UCS will continue to work hard to keep up the clean energy momentum in 2019.
All Renewables Will Be Cost Competitive With Fossil Fuels by 2020 https://t.co/QectZLGqOF #renewables @350… https://t.co/9rc89HJlCz— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1516026187.0
Jeff Deyette is the director of state policy and analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Democratic attorneys general from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York filed a motion on Thursday to intervene in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by several conservation groups and South Carolina coastal communities.
These seismic surveys will expose marine life to repeated sound blasts louder than 160 decibels, according to a press release from Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who is leading the coalition.
What's more, the release noted, these tests are a precursor to offshore drilling for oil and gas, which will harm coastal and marine resources should a leak occur.
"Seismic testing will have dangerous consequences for hundreds of thousands of marine mammals, including endangered species," Frosh said in the press release. "While the administration continues to place the interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of our precious natural resources, attorneys general up and down the Atlantic coast will continue to fight these and other efforts to open the waters off our shores to drilling for oil and gas."
Diane Hoskins, campaign director for Oceana, one of the nine conservation groups suing the Trump administration, applauded Thursday's motion from the AGs.
"These attorneys general are standing up for their states, their way of life and their coastal economies," Hoskins said in an emailed statement to EcoWatch. "Putting our oceans, marine life and coastal economies at risk for dirty and dangerous offshore drilling is wrong and we are not backing down. Seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic defies law, science and common sense. They acted unlawfully and we're going to stop it. Oceana is pleased so many states are joining this critical fight."
Last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued five Incidental Harassment Authorizations that permit companies to use airgun blasting in waters off the Atlantic coast.
"Seismic testing is the first step toward economically devastating oil spills and climate disasters like flooding u… https://t.co/3yzgFlYsvK— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1543597813.0
During these seismic surveys, ships fire blasts of air to the bottom of the sea every 10 to 12 seconds for weeks or months at a time to map the contours of the ocean floor in search of oil and gas deposits. The loud, continuous and far-reaching noise can damage the hearing and potentially disorientate and kill marine life, displace fish, devastate zooplankton and cause whales to beach. Blasting can also impact commercial and recreational fishing by decreasing catch rates.
"The federal government's decision is flat-out wrong, and offshore drilling will harm our pristine coast and the residents and industries that rely on it," New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Thursday at a news conference, as quoted by CBS. "Now it is also clear the (Trump) administration is willing to harm over 300,000 marine mammals, even endangered species, in pursuit of its fossil fuel agenda."
- Seismic Blasting Devastates Ocean's Most Vital Organisms ›
- Huge Victory: Seismic Blasting Is Halted in Atlantic Ocean - EcoWatch ›
Work on the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would carry fracked natural gas along a 600 mile route through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, has been halted by court order and may not resume for several months, The News & Observer reported Monday.
A federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia ruled on Friday that work must stop on the pipeline until March, when courts are set to review federal permits that allow the pipeline to operate in the habitat of four endangered species, which wildlife advocates say were rushed.
"When we said we won't stop fighting this dirty, dangerous, unnecessary pipeline, we meant it. Every day that this pipeline isn't operating is a day that it's not hurting our health, water, climate and communities," Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Kelly Martin said in a statement.
BREAKING: Fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline Halts All Construction. “This latest setback casts serious doubts on… https://t.co/LUuM75AGJB— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1544223167.0
The Sierra Club has joined with other environmental groups including the Virginia Wilderness Committee to sue to stop the pipeline through the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). A case brought by these groups led the courts to vacate two key permits for the project in August. But work resumed when federal agencies issued revised permits in September. It is the revised permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond has once again put on hold until a full legal challenge can be considered.
"The Fish and Wildlife Service scrambled to reissue this permit and its haste is evident in its analysis," SELC attorney Patrick Hunter told WFAE. "This is yet another instance of government agencies rushing out ill-considered permits for this project."
Breaking news: Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction halted after court determines U.S. Fish and Wildlife permit is… https://t.co/sG2tBVe99w— SELC (Environmental Law) (@SELC (Environmental Law))1544220210.0
Dominion Energy, which is building the pipeline with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and the Southern Company, announced Friday it was stopping construction.
"Dominion Energy, on behalf of Atlantic and itself, has stopped construction on the entire project, except for stand-down activities needed for safety and that are necessary to prevent detriment to the environment," it wrote in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reported by WFAE.
However, the pipeline's builders are also challenging the work stoppage, arguing that the habitat of the species in question only covers 100 miles of the route in Virginia and West Virginia, and that they should be able to continue construction in other areas.
Here are the species at the heart of the dispute, and how pipeline construction could impact them, according to The News & Observer.
1. Indiana Bat
An Indiana batAndrew King, USFWS
The Indiana bat lives along most of the pipeline's route in Virginia and West Virginia. The clearing of trees for the pipeline would compel pregnant female bats to change their flight patterns and make them more vulnerable to predators.
2. Clubshell Mussel
Clubshell mussels USFWS
This freshwater mussel could be buried alive by the dredging and grading required to build the pipeline.
3. Madison Cave Isopod
A Madison cave isopod USFWS Northeast Region / CC BY 2.0
A type of freshwater crustacean, this tiny isopod could be crushed or trapped by digging or blasting by the pipeline builders.
4. Rusty-Patched Bumblebee
A rusty-patched bumblebeeKim Mitchell, USFWS
The rusty patched bumblebee could be hurt or killed by falling of trees cleared to make way for the pipeline.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of a "multistate infestation" with the Asian longhorned tick—the first new tick species to enter the U.S. in 50 years.
New Jersey was the first state to report the Haemaphysalis longicornis on a sheep in August 2017. Since then, it has been found in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, according to Friday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
"The presence of H. longicornis in the United States represents a new and emerging disease threat," the report said.
The ticks were reported from 45 counties in nine states from August 2017 to September 2018.CDC
As EcoWatch previously mentioned, in Asia the species carries a disease that kills 15 percent of those infected, but no human diseases have been linked to the species in the U.S. since it was first found in New Jersey.
The CDC is currently working with public health, agricultural and academic experts to understand the possible threat posed by the insect.
"The full public health and agricultural impact of this tick discovery and spread is unknown," said Ben Beard, Ph.D., deputy director of CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in a press release. "In other parts of the world, the Asian longhorned tick can transmit many types of pathogens common in the United States. We are concerned that this tick, which can cause massive infestations on animals, on people, and in the environment, is spreading in the United States."
LiveScience further reported:
"In other parts of the world, longhorned ticks are known to spread diseases, including the bacterial infections babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, theileriosis and rickettsiosis, as well as certain viral diseases. In China and Japan, the longhorned tick transmits a disease called severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), which can be deadly."
The Asian longhorned tick is new to the United States and has the potential to spread germs. People should take ste… https://t.co/P34DHHTsTa— Dr. Robert R. Redfield (@Dr. Robert R. Redfield)1543591201.0
Unlike most tick species, a single female Asian longhorned tick can reproduce offspring without mating and lay up to 2,000 eggs at a time.
This means hundreds to thousands of ticks can be found on a single animal, person or in the environment, the CDC said.
Earlier this month, the CDC reported that in 2017, state and local health departments reported a record number of tickborne illnesses like Lyme disease.
"Tick-borne diseases like Lyme hit an all-time high this year, just as a new tick capable of spreading disease rears its ugly head," Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted Friday in reaction to the report. "It's clear, urgent federal action is needed to fight the debilitating & growing public health threat of tick-borne diseases."
Tick-borne diseases like Lyme hit an all-time high this year, just as a new tick capable of spreading disease rears… https://t.co/U536hH5A5d— Richard Blumenthal (@Richard Blumenthal)1543594213.0
You can protect yourself from tick-borne diseases by using insect repellents, wearing protective gear and clothing, checking your body and clothing for ticks after returning from potentially tick-infested areas and showering soon after being outdoors, the CDC advises.
The CDC also advised livestock producers and pet owners to work with their veterinarians to maintain regular tick prevention and report any unknown tick species to their local department of agriculture.
Here's the agency's advice on what you should do if you think you have found an Asian longhorned tick:
- Remove any tick from people and animals as quickly as possible.
- Save the ticks in rubbing alcohol in a jar or a ziplock bag, then:
- Contact your health department about steps you can take to prevent tick bites and tickborne diseases.
- Contact a veterinarian for information about how to protect pets from ticks and tick bites.
- Contact your state agriculture department or local agricultural extension office about ticks on livestock or for tick identification.
Longhorned tick. Nymph and adult female, undersideCDC
By Courtney Lindwall
Communities along the 300-mile proposed route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) heard some good news this week. On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously voted to vacate a permit required by the Clean Water Act, which was previously issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The ruling stated the Army Corps lacked the authority to substitute one type of construction for another for the natural gas pipeline, which would crisscross rivers and other sensitive aquatic ecosystems hundreds of times between northern West Virginia and southern Virginia.
MVP is one of two pipelines (the other is the Atlantic Coast Pipeline) that have drummed up fierce public backlash across the region. Concerned residents have been peacefully protesting the projects for months, sometimes among the trees they would be helping to save.
Day 28 and we're #stillhere ... this picture was taken a couple days ago and is of Nettle watching loggers hike pas… https://t.co/IIK0JzkNpD— Appalachians Against Pipelines (@Appalachians Against Pipelines)1538506757.0
The Trump administration hastily approved both pipelines late last year, ignoring the serious risks a spill would pose to the region's watersheds, such as the Chesapeake Bay. Between the two projects, more than 315 acres of critical wetlands are at stake, many of which drain into Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The extra sediment that construction would kick up would also harm fish and other aquatic life.
Tuesday's decision isn't the first time the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has pushed back against the Trump administration's fast-track approval process for environmentally questionable projects. It also pulled a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in May after finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to set clear and adequate limits on its threats to the environment and endangered species.
The court will soon issue an opinion to more thoroughly explain its decision, but the pipeline builders are already saying they're looking for a workaround. So Virginians, keep fighting the good fight, and call on your governor, Ralph Northam, to block the pipeline once and for all.
With Treetop Protest, 61-Year-Old Red Terry Leads Fight Against Mountain Valley Pipeline https://t.co/kvIkoZQL7k… https://t.co/BVNFojO1fv— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1524519909.0
- Mudslide Pushes Landowners to Sue Mountain Valley Pipeline ›
- North Carolina Denies Key Water Permit to Mountain Valley Pipeline Extension - EcoWatch ›
Hurricane Florence: Four Things You Should Know That Your Meteorologist Is Truly Too Busy to Tell You
By Kristy Dahl
Hurricane Florence is currently making its way as a Category 4 storm toward the southeast coast and is expected to make landfall sometime on Thursday, most likely in North Carolina. Our hearts are with those who are looking at the storm's predicted path and wondering what this means for their homes, families and communities.
As millions of residents in the storm's path make preparations to stay safe, our hearts are also with the thousands of people who have faced similar risks in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in the past year. If you are in the Carolinas, please do take care to heed local warnings and evacuation orders—and know that we are all hoping for your safety.
Florence, like any hurricane, is a fearsome storm. But the direction and northward extent of Florence's path make it unusual, and the atmospheric and oceanic conditions in which Florence is brewing are contributing to the storm's outsized strength for its location. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the climate dynamics that make Florence stand out amid our historical knowledge of Atlantic hurricanes.
ONE: Florence's path is unusual—in a way that's similar to Sandy's.
Atlantic hurricanes tend to develop off the coast of Africa, then move in a north/northwest direction. By the time they reach the position Florence was in a couple of days ago, they tend to take a hard right turn toward the north/northeast, staying well away from the U.S. In fact, as reported by Brian McNoldy and the Washington Post, of the nearly 80 recorded storms that passed within 200 nautical miles of Florence's position on Friday, none made landfall on the U.S. coast.
Florence's path, however, has been blocked by a ridge of high pressure in the atmosphere, which is essentially blocking the storm from moving northward and keeping it on a westward trajectory toward the coast instead.
A ridge of high pressure along the northeast coast of North America, shown here in orange, has prevented Hurricane Florence from making the typical northward turn of most hurricanes.
Six years ago, when Sandy slammed into the coast of New Jersey, a "blocking ridge" over the eastern half of northern North America prevented Sandy from moving north. Never before had we seen a hurricane take such a perpendicular path toward the Mid-Atlantic coastline. One important difference between the paths of Sandy and Florence, however, is that during Sandy, the blocking ridge also prevented a low-pressure storm system coming from the west from moving north, so the two storms collided (hence the "Superstorm Sandy" moniker).
TWO: Major hurricanes this far north are rare.
The Southeast U.S. is no stranger to hurricanes. The Carolinas have experienced dozens of hurricanes since modern record-keeping began in 1851. The vast majority of these hurricanes have been Category 1 storms; together the Carolinas have only been hit three times by a Category 4 storm or above. The last time North Carolina was hit by a Category 4 storm was over 60 years ago.
Why is this? Hurricanes require a supply of fuel in the form of warm sea surface temperatures. Historically, as storms moved northward they did so closer to the central Atlantic and they encountered progressively cooler temperatures and weakened. Not so with Florence. While temperatures off the coast of Africa, where most Atlantic hurricanes develop, are running cooler than average right now, Florence's path, determined largely by the blocking ridge, has taken it westward into a wide swath of the Atlantic where temperatures are running 2 to 3°C above normal. Because of that ridge, even as Florence's latitude increases, it's projected to stay within a zone of warm temperatures that will allow Florence to stay strong and indeed strengthen as it churns its way toward the coast.
Over the next few days, Hurricane Florence will encounter abnormally warm sea surface temperatures, which will enable it to remain strong as it churns toward the coast.
We have seen the effects of warmer than average temperatures on hurricanes in the recent past. Last summer, for example, Hurricane Harvey passed over Gulf of Mexico waters that were 2.7 to 7.2°F above average before slamming into the coast and dropping unprecedented amounts of rain on the Houston area. We know that warmer temperatures help to fuel hurricanes and that such conditions are more likely to occur in a warming world.
THREE: The expected storm surge will be amplified by higher average sea levels.
The National Hurricane Center is expected to issue storm surge warnings tomorrow, but residents are already being cautioned that Florence's storm surge could be life-threatening.
Storm surge is driven by several factors, but its primary driver is wind. As Florence makes its way over more than 1,000 miles of ocean, its winds push surface water toward the coast. That water piles up and creates a surge. The stronger the winds and the farther the storm travels, the bigger the surge. While some storms, like Harvey, cause most of their flooding through intense rainfall, for others, like Sandy, storm surge is the primary cause of flooding.
The last time a Category 4 hurricane made landfall North Carolina was in 1954. Since then, sea level along the coast of the Carolinas has risen roughly 8 inches. That rise is already playing out in the form of increasingly frequent high tide flooding in the region. Charleston, for example, has experienced more than a quadrupling in the number of high tide flooding events just since the 1970s. And when it comes to storm surge, higher sea levels make for larger, farther-reaching surges.
Given that Florence is moving relatively slowly and is predicted to stall over the Southeast or Mid-Atlantic, the storm will likely remain along the coast during at least one high tide cycle. The timing of landfall relative to high tide remains to be seen, but the current state of sea level along the Carolina coast has the potential to add more height to the storm surge, which allows it to reach farther inland, than a storm like Florence would have caused, historically.
FOUR: In a warmer world, the atmosphere can hold more moisture and there is increased potential for extreme rainfall during storms.
Like the rest of the U.S. since the late 1950s, the Southeast has experienced a dramatic increase in the percentage of rain that falls during the heaviest events. This trend has been linked to human-caused climate change because warmer air holds more moisture. And in the case of Hurricane Harvey, human-caused warming was found to have made the storm's record-breaking rainfall three times more likely and 15 percent more intense.
With Florence's path through very warm waters, we can expect a lot of moisture with this storm. Current forecasts are predicting 10 to 15 inches of rain for much of North Carolina and Virginia in the next few days.
Just as when Hurricane Matthew hit the region in 2016, the extreme precipitation expected during Hurricane Florence will be falling on already saturated ground. Stream gauges in inland areas of North Carolina and Virginia, where Florence could stall, are recording streamflow—or the flow of water in streams, which is primarily driven by rainfall amounts—"much above normal," which calls into question just how much more rainfall they'll be able to accommodate.
Parts of North Carolina and Virginia could see 10 to 15 inches of rain in the coming days.
The combination of saturated soil and rivers, heavy rainfall and elevated sea levels due to long-term sea level rise and storm surge could make it very difficult for floodwaters to drain after the storm has passed.
As I wrote this, Governor McMaster of South Carolina was telling residents of his state that they should expect more wind than with Hurricane Hugo and more rain than with Hurricane Matthew. As South Carolinian listeners would know, these storms each caused grave damage through their respective mechanisms. In that press conference, the governor also ordered the mandatory evacuation of the state's entire coastline. This means that more than 1 million people will be fleeing the coast in that state, and more in North Carolina, Virginia and elsewhere. The threat to the coast is the obvious priority as this week gets underway. Later, the challenge of managing the impacts to North Carolina's interior regions may need to take center stage, as the stalled storm deluges large areas.
People talk about the "calm before the storm" and, if we do things well, there will indeed be an eerie quiet along much of the southeast of the U.S. later this week. In the meantime, as we scramble, hunker down, and prepare to ride out the latest in a terrible spate of hurricanes, we also hope that, unlike with Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and Maria, we don't surface to find our communities fundamentally scarred by this latest in spate of brutal storms.
We'll be updating this blog post as conditions continue to evolve.
Category 4 #HurricaneFlorence Forecast to Hit #EastCoast State of emergency declared. https://t.co/4s9L9ngngm— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1536600794.0
After starting off as a tropical storm, Florence has rapidly intensified and is expected to become a major hurricane that could make landfall in North and South Carolina later this week.
The storm is now a Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center's Atlantic branch tweeted in its latest update Monday.
"Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen and has maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (195 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 946 mb (27.93 inches)," the agency wrote.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus
tweeted Sunday that Florence "is going to be about the size of North Carolina when it arrives."
Holthaus added that if Florence arrives on the coast as a Category 4, it could "potentially become the strongest East Coast hurricane landfall in recorded history."
Category 4 winds range from 130-156 mph and can cause catastrophic damage to properties, humans and animals.
"Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months," the National Hurricane Center explains.
National Hurricane Center
Florence, which is about 580 miles southeast of Bermuda, is moving at a speed of 13 mph (20 km/h), with an increase in forward speed expected during the next couple of days, the hurricane center announced Monday. It is forecast to approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday.
Swells generated by Florence are already affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast.
"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the hurricane center said.
NEW: Florence is now a category 4 hurricane. Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter indicate that Florence has continued… https://t.co/5UmMDo2vxI— National Hurricane Center (@National Hurricane Center)1536595324.0
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Monday that Florence could be the most powerful storm to strike the area in three decades, and bring water up to 15 feet high along the coast and dump up to 20 inches of rainfall in inland locations over the next four to five days.
The National Weather Service Eastern Region also predicts damaging impacts from heavy rainfall and flooding.
"In addition to potential life-threatening storm surge at the coast, indications are that Florence may slow down by the end of the week, resulting in prolonged heavy rainfall & dangerous freshwater flooding inland. Rainfall forecast is very preliminary, please continue to monitor," the agency tweeted Sunday.
In case you're wondering what a category 4 storm surge looks like along the South Carolina coast. This was Garden… https://t.co/ZdpogkdD8R— Ed Piotrowski (@Ed Piotrowski)1536543258.0
The National Hurricane Center advised the region's residents to have a hurricane plan in place and to follow any advice given by local officials.
The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have each declared states of emergency in anticipation of Florence.
"With this order government agencies will begin to mobilize in anticipation of a hurricane," South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted over the weekend. "Now is the time for your family also to prepare and stay tuned for more updates. Plan for the worst, pray for the best."
The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring hurricanes Helene and Isaac in the Atlantic, but they are not expected to hit the U.S. mainland.
Visit Ready.gov for hurricane preparedness tips.
Max sustained winds in #Hurricane #Florence have increased to near 105 MPH with higher gusts. Per @NHC_Atlantic, ra… https://t.co/shEhs62SoD— NASA SPoRT (@NASA SPoRT)1536580962.0
By Andrea Germanos
Spotlighting the terrible human impact of the nation's continued reliance on coal, new research shows the most severe form of black lung disease, progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), is on the rise—big time.
"This is history going in the wrong direction," said lead researcher Kirsten S. Almberg, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The findings are based on information from the U.S. Department of Labor, which has the data on former miners seeking benefits from the Federal Black Lung Program.
From when that program began in 1970 until 2016, 4,679 miners were determined to have PMF. Yet about half of those cases—2,318—were identified since 2000.
The overall trend was not a shock to the researchers, given that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, using surveillance data of active coal miners, found a similar upward trend in 2014.
"We were, however, surprised by the magnitude of the problem and are astounded by the fact that this disease appears to be resurging despite modern dust control regulations," Almberg stated.
The largest increase of the miners with PMF was in central Appalachian states. Virginia experienced the greatest increase in percentage of PMF cases over the past four decades, surging from 0 to 12 percent in 2015. West Virginia came in second place, increasing from 0 percent in 1972 to 11 percent in 2016.
The new research was presented at the American Thoracic Society's International Conference, which ended Wednesday.
The Trump administration, meanwhile, continues to try to save the dying industry and boast that it's "saving coal." Coal workers, however are not being saved. As Newsweek reported earlier this year, "The president has been quick to celebrate the 771 net workers that were hired in 2017, but the administration's push to support the dirtiest of fossil fuels has been accompanied by a surge in deaths of the workers who procure it. The 2017 death toll was the highest since 2014—when there were roughly 60,000 more miners at work in America."
According to Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, "Whether coal will rebound or not (it won't) isn't the real issue. These are the questions we should be asking: What will replace it? And how will the transition affect the same coal-mining communities that received spurious promises from candidate Donald Trump that he could bring coal back from the brink? For the answers, we need only consider what most Americans agree on: Investing in clean, renewable energy makes more sense than going from one dirty fuel (coal) to another (gas)."
New Black Lung Epidemic Emerging in Coal Country https://t.co/iLotNusK4E @BeyondCoal @dirtyenergy— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1519440604.0
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
By Michael Sainato
The Mountain Valley Pipeline will extend 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia, with a recently proposed 70 mile extension into North Carolina. The project is being funded and operated by Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, owned by EQT Midstream Partners, LP; NextEra US Gas Assets, LLC; Con Edison Transmission, Inc.; WGL Midstream; and RGC Midstream, LLC.
The pipeline will transport up to 2 billion cubic feet of fracked natural gas daily from the Marcellus and Utica shale basins, "to supply the growing need for natural gas in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the United States," according to a EQT Midstream Partners spokesperson.
The Federal Energy Reserve Commission approved the pipeline in October 2017 with a 2-1 vote, with two seats on the commission vacant. The only dissenting vote was cast by Cheryl LaFleur, who cited environmental concerns and skepticism over the pipeline's necessity as influential factors on her vote against its approval. In February, a federal court denied a request to delay the pipeline's construction filed by Appalachian Voices and five other conservation organizations. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC is currently clearing forest along the Appalachian Trail and in Jefferson National Forest for the pipeline construction. According to FERC, Mountain Valley Pipeline has until May 31 to complete tree cutting.
Pipeline opponents claim the pipeline's construction will negatively impact the scenery and pose various environmental risks in the Appalachian region. "We are concerned about the Appalachian Trail and the devastation that's going to occur to the views from Peters Mountain and all along this region," said Maury Johnson, a resident and property owner in West Virginia opposing the pipeline, in an interview. "Back when I was a teenager I used to help maintain the trail, and I heard stories from those folks who helped build it in the 1930s and 40s. The trail took a 22 mile detour just to get on top of Peters Mountain and get the iconic view across West Virginia. Now with this project, you'll see the pipeline coming at you probably for thirty miles."
Johnson noted that pipeline surveyors visited the property on his family farm, and he has dealt with them since surveying began in early 2015. He claimed the surveyors rushed the job, often missing details that he had to frequently point out for them to record. "Some of the work that has been done has been very flawed," he said. On his Facebook account, Johnson has posted several photos of sediment barriers set up by Mountain Valley Pipeline being breached to prevent erosion, just one of the several risks to water quality in the area posed by the pipeline. Johnson also expressed concern for Bentley's coral root, a plant listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, only found in a few areas of Virginia and West Virginia, as one of the species at risk from the pipeline's construction.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline has sued several hundred landowners in West Virginia and Virginia to invoke eminent domain to allow it to cut trees and run the pipeline through their properties. Some landowners and pipeline opponents have resorted to conducting tree sit-ins, building treehouses in trees on their own property to prevent the Mountain Valley Pipeline from clearing their land.
"They came through a few days ago and cut all around me," said Red Terry, a 61 year woman who has lived in a tree on her property off Poor Mountain Road in Roanoke County, West Virginia for at least three weeks, in an interview. "My daughter is also in a tree and had them on all four sides of her. She cried all day. Nobody should have the right to eminent domain for something that is not going to help people. It's to help themselves, profit before the people."
Neighbors, friends, family and activists have helped assist Red in her tree sit-in. Despite her continued protest, she said that Mountain Valley Pipeline cut down several trees on her property and have pressured her to come down, including allegedly blackmailing her sister with artifacts found on her property in exchange for Red leaving the tree.
"When they were cutting my trees and I had tears running down my face, the cops were watching the devastation also, I looked at one of them and I thought he was going to start crying. At the same time, four Mountain Valley Pipeline security guards were laughing, carrying on, and thought it was the greatest thing in the world."
Last Thursday, police formally pressed charges against Red Terry and her daughter; trespassing, obstruction of justice and interfering with property rights. The charges have now created a stand-off, as Red and her daughter will be arrested as soon as they descend from their trees. But their fight has become a rallying call among other pipeline opponents in the area.
On Peters Mountain, along the West Virginia and Virginia border, activists and local residents have organized other tree sit-ins, including setting up a monopod tower to try to block an access road to the pipeline construction. "The frontline communities impacted by the pipeline have been very supportive. The people in Appalachia have consistently throughout history fought back against exploitative industries like the Mountain Valley Pipeline," said Ashley, a tree sitter on Peters Mountain, in an interview. "There have been consistent police and security forces harassing us. Some are more hostile to us than others, but even when they try to play the good cop role, there's no doubt in my mind they are working on behalf of the interests of those building the pipeline." The identity of this tree sitter is being kept anonymous to prevent legal action against them.
The U.S. Department of Agricultural Forest Service shut down the road and the area around the monopod from the public, only permitting Mountain Valley Pipeline services access. The monopod organizers have accused the U.S. Forest Service of preventing supplies, water and food from being brought to the protesters. The U.S. Forest Service did not respond to a request for comment.
On March 20, Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Robert Irons denied an injunction filed by the Mountain Valley Pipeline against protesters to have them removed, permitting the tree sit-ins to continue.
Pipeline opponents have pointed out the powerful political influence the Mountain Valley Pipeline companies have on elected officials in West Virginia and Virginia.
The companies invested in Mountain Valley Pipeline have significantly backed both Republicans and Democrats. In the 2017-2018 election cycle, EQT Midstream Partners gave Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's campaign $25,000 and his inaugural committee another $25,000 after donating $20,000 to Republican Governor candidate Ed Gillespie's campaign. In total, they've donated $60,000 to Republican state legislators in Virginia and $56,000 to Democrats. At the federal level, EQT has donated $5,000 to Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and $1000 to Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) this election cycle.
Opposition to the pipeline has started to draw some support from elected officials. On April 16, 11 Virginia House delegates, including Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist who unseated one of the state's top Republicans in a November 2017 election, signed onto a letter of support for peaceful protesters against the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
"We oppose both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines," said Tom McIntire,a spokesperson for Delegate Lee Carter, in an email. "These projects do not provide any benefit for Virginia or her residents and ask those same residents to bear costs that are too great to reasonably expect of them. With every avenue we are given, we will work (with our colleagues of both parties alongside advocates) to ensure that these disastrous projects are halted."
As elected officials begin to support efforts to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline, conservation organizations are still pursuing litigation to halt construction.
There are currently four separate cases in litigation being represented by attorneys for Appalachian Mountain Advocates and other conservation organizations. One challenging the state of Virginia's clean water act 401 certification of the pipeline and one challenging the the actions of the U.S. Forest Service to grant a right of way through Jefferson National Forest are scheduled to be heard on May 8. The third case challenging the Army Corps of Engineers' Water Quality Review is scheduled to be heard in September, with the fourth case challenging the "certificate of public convenience and necessity" granted to the pipeline by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission still pending a briefing schedule in Washington, DC court.
Major East Coast Pipelines Approved by FERC Despite Strong Opposition https://t.co/qgIFQCEEKL @Ecowatch— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1508164487.0
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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