Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Washington State Clean Air Rule Defies Court Order

Climate
Washington State Clean Air Rule Defies Court Order

The Inslee administration released its revised Clean Air Rule Wednesday, which defies an unprecedented May 16 court order issued by King County Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill and fails the children of Washington. Judge Hill ordered the state to adopt a rule “to limit greenhouse gas emissions in Washington" by the end of the year.

The proposed Clean Air Rule, however, is based on outdated emissions data and only requires emissions reductions of a mere 1.7 percent annually, completely disregarding current science that would put Washington on a path toward climate stability.

Further, loopholes in the proposed rule may actually foster an increase in greenhouse gas emissions within the state. For example, a third of instate emissions are not even covered under the proposed rule. Also, Washington polluters may obtain emission reductions from out-of-state emissions market programs and certain sectors (imported petroleum) don't have to reduce emissions for several years.

“We are extremely disappointed with Ecology's revised Clean Air Rule," Andrea Rodgers, the Western Environmental Law Center attorney representing the youths in their lawsuit against the state, said. “This doesn't even come close to fulfilling Ecology's legal responsibility to protect the constitutional rights of young people in this state. The youths will participate in the rule making process and will continue to hold Ecology accountable for complying with the law."

Inslee ignored the youths' requests to meet with him to discuss the state's responsibility to protect the constitutional rights of young people in Washington.

“Emission reductions of only 1.7 percent per year are not much different than business as usual," Dr. James Hansen, director of the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program at Columbia University, said. “They would leave young people with an intolerable burden to somehow suck enormous quantities of CO2 from the air if they are to avoid a climate system running out of control. The state should live up its obligations to young people, reducing emissions 8 percent per year, which is what the science indicates is needed to stabilize climate."

The young plaintiffs, who are all members of Plant for the Planet Academy, are asking their supporters to submit a public comment on the proposed rule to let the Inslee administration know that paltry 1.7 percent emission reductions aren't based on science or reason.

“All developed nations and states should be doing no less than the global average emission reductions required to return to a safe level of 350 ppm by 2100," Julia Olson, executive director and chief legal counsel at Our Children's Trust, said. “In fact, those who have caused the lion's share of the problem and have the wealth to transition more quickly, should be declining at a more rapid pace."

This case is one of several similar state, federal, and international cases, all supported by Our Children's Trust, seeking the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

New York State Assembly Passes Nation's Most Ambitious Climate Bill

This 6-Year-Old Has a Message for People Who Are Rude to the Planet

Stephen Hawking: One Thing Threatens Us More Than Donald Trump … Climate Change

Student Abandons Economics Major at George Mason Over Koch 'Donations'

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

This image of the Santa Monica Mountains in California shows how a north-facing slope (left) can be covered in white-blooming hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius), while the south-facing slope (right) is much less sparsely covered in a completely different plant. Noah Elhardt / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.5

By Mark Mancini

If weather is your mood, climate is your personality. That's an analogy some scientists use to help explain the difference between two words people often get mixed up.

Read More Show Less
Flames from the Lake Fire burn on a hillside near a fire truck and other vehicles on Aug. 12, 2020 in Lake Hughes, California. Mario Tama / Getty Images

An "explosive" wildfire ignited in Los Angeles county Wednesday, growing to 10,000 acres in a little less than three hours.

Read More Show Less
Although heat waves rarely get the attention that hurricanes do, they kill far more people per year in the U.S. and abroad. greenaperture / Getty Images

By Jeff Berardelli

Note: This story was originally published on August 6, 2020

If asked to recall a hurricane, odds are you'd immediately invoke memorable names like Sandy, Katrina or Harvey. You'd probably even remember something specific about the impact of the storm. But if asked to recall a heat wave, a vague recollection that it was hot during your last summer vacation may be about as specific as you can get.

Read More Show Less

A film by Felix Nuhr.

Thailand has a total population of 5,000 elephants. But of that number, 3,000 live in captivity, carrying tourists on their backs and offering photo opportunities made for social media.

Read More Show Less
Scientists have found a way to use bricks as batteries, meaning that buildings may one day be used to store and generate power. Public Domain Pictures

One of the challenges of renewable power is how to store clean energy from the sun, wind and geothermal sources. Now, a new study and advances in nanotechnology have found a method that may relieve the burden on supercapacitor storage. This method turns bricks into batteries, meaning that buildings themselves may one day be used to store and generate power, Science Times reported.

Bricks are a preferred building tool for their durability and resilience against heat and frost since they do not shrink, expand or warp in a way that compromises infrastructure. They are also reusable. What was unknown, until now, is that they can be altered to store electrical energy, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.

The scientists behind the study figured out a way to modify bricks in order to use their iconic red hue, which comes from hematite, an iron oxide, to store enough electricity to power devices, Gizmodo reported. To do that, the researchers filled bricks' pores with a nanofiber made from a conducting plastic that can store an electrical charge.

The first bricks they modified stored enough of a charge to power a small light. They can be charged in just 13 minutes and hold 10,000 charges, but the challenge is getting them to hold a much larger charge, making the technology a distant proposition.

If the capacity can be increased, researchers believe bricks can be used as a cheap alternative to lithium ion batteries — the same batteries used in laptops, phones and tablets.

The first power bricks are only one percent of a lithium-ion battery, but storage capacity can be increased tenfold by adding materials like metal oxides, Julio D'Arcy, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who contributed to the paper and was part of the research team, told The Guardian. But only when the storage capacity is scaled up would bricks become commercially viable.

"A solar cell on the roof of your house has to store electricity somewhere and typically we use batteries," D'Arcy told The Guardian. "What we have done is provide a new 'food-for-thought' option, but we're not there yet.

"If [that can happen], this technology is way cheaper than lithium ion batteries," D'Arcy added. "It would be a different world and you would not hear the words 'lithium ion battery' again."

Aerial view of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama, where a new soil study was held, on Sept. 11, 2019. LUIS ACOSTA / AFP via Getty Images

One of the concerns about a warming planet is the feedback loop that will emerge. That is, as the planet warms, it will melt permafrost, which will release trapped carbon and lead to more warming and more melting. Now, a new study has shown that the feedback loop won't only happen in the nether regions of the north and south, but in the tropics as well, according to a new paper in Nature.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods speaks during a press conference after a shooting at Forest High School on April 20, 2018 in Ocala, Florida. Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A sheriff in Florida is under fire for deciding Tuesday to ban his deputies from wearing face masks while on the job—ignoring the advice of public health experts about the safety measures that everyone should take during the coronavirus pandemic as well as the rising Covid-19 death toll in his county and state.

Read More Show Less