The Hill- President Obama’s new power plant emissions rules are “another blow to the economy and the middle class,” and “regressive regulations that are set to harm struggling workers and families,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Monday. McConnell, a long-time foe of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan rule for power plants, questioned the legality of the rule in a floor speech and said the rule wouldn’t help the environment because companies will move jobs in the energy sector to countries with poor environmental records, like India and China. “The administration is now trying to impose these deeply regressive regulations — regulations that may be illegal, that won’t meaningfully impact a global environment, and that are likely to harm middle- and lower-class Americans the most — all done by executive fiat,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
The Hill- A coalition of conservative states wasted little time Monday in promising to sue the Obama administration to stop its climate rules for power plants.The states, led by West Virginia, believe the rules are “fundamentally flawed and illegal” and intend to go to court to prove their case.“The final rule announced Monday blatantly disregards the rule of law and will severely harm West Virginia and the U.S. economy,” Patrick Morrisey, attorney general of West Virginia, said in a statement. “This rule represents the most far-reaching energy regulation in this nation’s history, drawn up by radical bureaucrats and based upon an obscure, rarely used provision of the Clean Air Act,” he said. “We intend to challenge it in court vigorously.”
The Hill- Environmental and public health advocates are defending the Obama administration’s new climate rules as an important and necessary step to save the planet. “We have only a few years left to reverse these trends, and the Clean Power Plan will help us do that,” Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, told reporters Monday. President Obama unveiled controversial new climate rules Monday that require power plants by 2030 to cut carbon emissions 32 percent from what they were at a decade ago.The Environmental Protection Agency’s climate rules have come under scrutiny from Republicans and business groups that say they will force coal plants out of business, but environmental activists say that’s a small price to pay for rules that will create new clean energy jobs to replace those lost in other sectors.
Wall Street Journal- As the scale of global trade gets bigger, many small and midsize U.S. ports, such as the Port of Portland, face the prospect of falling off the map entirely. Barges loaded with Idaho-grown peas and lentils until this spring regularly chugged downriver to Portland’s port, the first leg in a journey that would end in supermarkets and restaurants across Asia and Europe. But now Idaho’s farmers—along with Oregon’s grass seed growers as well as manufacturers and other exporters across the Pacific Northwest—need a new route to the global market. The last major container shipping line ended its Portland run in March, leaving the city without regular ocean-bound container service for the first time in four decades. Exporters who relied on the port say their transportation costs soared overnight.
TIME- Ten years ago hydropower might have been taken for dead in the United States. Environmentalists didn’t want hydropower dams because of the destruction they wreaked on nearby ecosystems. Energy companies had lost interest because hydropower wouldn’t produce enough energy to make the investment worthwhile. Indeed, in every decade since the 1970s, the U.S. has added less hydropower capacity than the decade prior. But now energy experts say that new ways of thinking about hydropower has placed the energy source on the verge of a resurgence in the U.S. Hydropower production is anticipated to grow by more than 5% in 2016 alone, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
CNN- I could recount several interactions like that from my week in Woodward County, Oklahoma, one of the most climate-skeptical counties in the United States. Thirty percent of the 21,000 people in Woodward County are estimated (using a statistical model based in national surveys) to believe that climate change isn't happening at all, according to the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. The county ties with six others for the highest rate of climate skepticism in the country.
PRI- Water supply in the West isn’t only about rain, or the lack thereof. A good deal of water scarcity issues have to do with decades-old policy on water issues and entrenched infrastructure. It’s a convoluted situation, and reporter Abrahm Lustgarten is part of a team that is working to make sense and put broader perspective on the Western water crisis and the central role of the Colorado River. Their findings are being reported in a series called, "Killing the Colorado."
Inframange- On May 28th Los Angeles authorities announced that two separate drainage systems would be built underground to capture Stormwater runoff from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Mayor Eric Garcetti is concerned that the water runoff from the airport is both being wasted and causing pollution to nearby beaches. The project is estimated to take four years to complete and is one of many similar projects that Garcetti is working on throughout the city of L.A.
Nature Conservancy- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized regulations known as the Clean Power Plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants — the largest source of these pollutants in the United States. Reducing these emissions is critical to addressing the immediate risk that climate change poses to communities, livelihoods and natural systems across the United States and around the world.This rule comes at a transformational moment, when the power sector is moving toward an energy economy that is cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable. These profound changes enable us to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector at relatively low cost while also increasing energy reliability and consumer choice.
SF Gate- A New Hampshire seacoast official says investing in a regional plant to convert seawater into drinking water could provide a limitless supply of clean water to communities from southern Maine to northern Massachusetts. Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine tells the Portsmouth Herald he wants to see a seacoast coalition formed to investigate the potential of building a desalination plant. Splaine says the region needs to prepare for future economic and population growth. He said a regional approach could include communities from Oqunquit, Maine to Newburyport, Massachusetts."The 21st-century technology is a challenge which we should accept and explore," Splaine said.
Bluffton Today- U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, both R-Ga., along with the entire Georgia delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives has urged the Obama administration to make the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project a priority for its fiscal year 2017 budget recommendations. In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Georgia delegation called for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to match its budget request with the public commitments for federal support expressed by several members of the Obama administration.The cost of the Savannah Harbor project is estimated at $706 million, and the federal government’s share is $440 million. Georgia already has contributed its $266 million obligation.