Interview of the Week: Tom Steyer


This week we sat down with Tom Steyer who is currently serving as the co-chair of California’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. We asked him about how California is handling the COVID-19 recovery and how the state can continue to be a climate leader despite the hit to its budget. Some excerpts:   […]

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Coronavirus: We’re Nowhere Near Prepared

Coronavirus: We’re Nowhere Near Prepared

CNN reported that as the American death count from coronavirus ticks above 100,000, the panel assembled by President Donald Trump to confront the pandemic has been sharply curtailed as the White House looks ahead to reopening. Vice President Mike Pence convened the White House coronavirus task force on Thursday for the first time in a […]

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One First Amendment Thing: Tweet This

One First Amendment Thing: Tweet This

President Trump decided this week to take on Twitter.  It’s just another distraction.  He wants to us to forget all the lives the pandemic cost, all the pollution his policies have caused, and all the ways he has undermined the public’s faith in government.  Tweet on. The truth matters.  Even on Twitter.

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NY Denies Water Permit to Build Pipeline for Gas, Wants to Build Transmission Line Instead

NY Denies Water Permit to Build Pipeline for Gas, Wants to Build Transmission Line Instead

New York state environmental regulators denied for a third time a permit for a pipeline that would transport fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City and Long Island for two reasons: water quality in the Long Island Sound and fidelity to the state’s new law that requires the New York to transition its power sector to net-zero emissions by 2040 and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. 

Why This Matters:  This is how the stimulus funding from the federal government should work — it must be used to build cleaner and more efficient new infrastructure that decreases our dependence on fossil fuels.

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Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

The Energy Department (DOE) reported yesterday that for the first time since basically the industrial revolution began in the late nineteenth century, in 2019 renewable energy consumption surpassed the consumption of energy generated by coal.  Coal power generation declined by 15% last year, while renewables increased by 1%.

Why This Matters:  Ten years ago coal dominated the power sector, but the trend toward wind and solar is unlikely to reverse — coal is now on its way out completely here.

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Heroes of the Week: Stranded Conservation Research Team

Heroes of the Week: Stranded Conservation Research Team

As CNN reported, a team of conservationists who were trying to save endangered seabirds from giant mice on one of the world’s most remote islands were recently rescued by the UK military after becoming stranded due to the coronavirus pandemic. A group of 12 researchers from the UK arrived on Gough Island, which is located […]

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Coronavirus: Who Gets to Break the Rules?

Coronavirus: Who Gets to Break the Rules?

Four months after the first case of coronavirus in the United States, we’ve surpassed 100,000 deaths. As the New York Times wrote, “The pandemic is on track to be the country’s deadliest public health disaster since the 1918 flu pandemic, in which about 675,000 Americans died.” At the same time, over 56% of Americans are […]

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Climate Change-Driven Locust Swarms Arrive in India

Climate Change-Driven Locust Swarms Arrive in India

We wrote earlier this year that climate change was fueling an outbreak of swarming locusts in East Africa, and now the insects have made it to India’s heartland where they have devastated crops and livelihoods in a region already struggling with coronavirus, a heatwave in the capital, a recent cyclone, and 100 million people out […]

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Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

A federal appeals court in California ruled that lawsuits against the major oil companies by San Mateo County and the city of Oakland for compensation for climate change impacts such as sea-level rise are not blocked by federal law from going forward in state court.  And a judge in Montana invalidated 440 oil and gas leases on federal land because the Interior Department did not adhere to an agreement between the agency and farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and energy groups to protect habitat for the sage grouse, which allowed the bird to remain off the endangered species list.

Why This Matters:  Oil and gas companies have suffered several high profile unfavorable rulings in recent days.

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Democrats Are Uniting Around a Progressive Climate Platform

Democrats Are Uniting Around a Progressive Climate Platform

In a well-researched and thorough story, Vox reporter David Roberts explains why Democrats should finally be hopeful that the numerous factions and “green groups” that make up the Democratic coalition are coming into alignment on climate change policy and that this growing sense of unity bodes well not only for the election but also for governing in the event that Democrats retake the White House. 

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Tropical Storm Bertha Makes Landfall In South Carolina After Flooding South Florida

Tropical Storm Bertha Makes Landfall In South Carolina After Flooding South Florida

The second named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Bertha, strengthened quickly overnight Tuesday and made landfall yesterday morning about 20 miles east of Charleston.   On Tuesday, as a result of the storm, Miami experienced more than 7 inches of rain — 6 of which fell in 2 hours, flooding streets across the city.

Why This Matters:  Tropical Storm Bertha is following an increasingly familiar pattern of unprecedented amounts of rainfall along with strong winds that persist into the interior portions.

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Coronavirus: Energy Investment Flatlines

Coronavirus: Energy Investment Flatlines

The  International Energy Agency stated in its annual World Energy Investment report released yesterday that the unparalleled decline in worldwide energy investment had been “staggering in both its scale and swiftness.” Investment in global energy is expected fall by $400bn this year, the biggest drop in the industry’s history As CNBC reported, the IEA “warned […]

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