##climatechange
Polls Show Most Americans Want Action on Climate Change; Swing Voters Are Moved by It

Polls Show Most Americans Want Action on Climate Change; Swing Voters Are Moved by It

Two new polls show that the President’s poor record addressing climate change is a key issue for a large majority of Americans, particularly “persuadable” voters who ordinarily lean toward Republican candidates. 

Why This Matters:  Climate change is undoubtedly a top-tier issue in this election.  Former Vice President Biden raises it often in speeches and events and does not seem to fear that it will cost him votes, unlike his Democratic predecessors.

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Trump Administration Squashing Science Across the Environmental Agencies At All Levels

Trump Administration Squashing Science Across the Environmental Agencies At All Levels

The great extent of the Trump Administration’s efforts to squash science and even the very words “climate change” from research reports as well as policy papers are becoming more evident, thanks to great investigative reporting by The Washington Post and New York Times, and thanks to the Freedom of Information Act through which they obtained revealing emails that tell the story — repeatedly.

Why This Matters:   President Bush’s (’43) Administration also tried to squash climate science and subsequently agencies like NOAA put in place strong scientific integrity policies to prevent such interference with agency research and its results.

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Government Continues To Go Its Own Way On Energy — Offshore Oil and Gas But Not Wind

Government Continues To Go Its Own Way On Energy — Offshore Oil and Gas But Not Wind

According to Politico, the Trump administration is preparing to open the Florida coast to oil and gas drilling but will delay an announcement until after the November election because Republicans and Democrats in the state oppose drilling.

Why This Matters:  The Interior Environmental Impact Statement on Vineyard Wind criticizes the project over harm to an extractive industry (commercial fishing) due to the low fish population numbers resulting from climate change and overfishing by the industry.  What?

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Special World Ocean Day Interview with Ambassador Peter Thomson

We were honored to get a few minutes with Ambassador Thomson, the UN Special Envoy for Oceans, to talk about the importance of the day and what lies ahead for ocean conservation.  Here are the highlights. ODP:  Ambassador Thomson tells us a little about your background? PT: I come from Fiji, I am a fifth-generation […]

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Greenhouse Gasses Declining Globally, But In U.S., Air Pollution Not Down As Much

Greenhouse Gasses Declining Globally, But In U.S., Air Pollution Not Down As Much

A study published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change found that greenhouse gas emissions are down by 17% globally compared to 2019 levels thanks to strict coronavirus lockdowns, which could result in as much as a 7% decline in emissions for the year. 

Why This Matters:  We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4-7% each year globally for the foreseeable future to keep global temperature increases in check.

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Oil and Gas Companies Use Tax Cuts in Stimulus, Renewables Promised Tax Credit Extension

Oil and Gas Companies Use Tax Cuts in Stimulus, Renewables Promised Tax Credit Extension

In what one tax watchdog called a “stealth” bailout, dozens of oil and gas companies are taking advantage of provisions in the CARES law to write off losses right away and get an immediate tax refund against prior years’ earnings going back to 2018, according to Bloomberg News

Why This Matters:  These refunds also carry forward – so oil and gas companies can expect to pay zero taxes for years to come, according to Bloomberg.

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Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Earlier this week the Trump Administration took a break from its boosting oil and gas (they announced yesterday they are going to buy 1 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a “test”) to give final approval to the Gemini Solar Project – a massive $1B solar array and battery storage project situated on federal land near Las Vegas.

Why This Matters:  The project went through a streamlined environmental review process, but the final development and operations plan will minimize and mitigate impacts on visual resources, cultural and tribal resources, recreation access, air quality, native vegetation and wildlife such as the desert tortoise, a “threatened” species.

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Earth Day at 50: Pathways to a Sustainable Future

Earth Day at 50: Pathways to a Sustainable Future

By Daniel C. Esty Tens of millions of Americans took to the streets 50 years ago this week to demand ramped-up environmental protection in the face of choking smog in cities across the country, fouled waterways (including the drama of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River catching on fire), and a terrible oil spill that blackened the California […]

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Interview of the Week: Richard Lazarus on Earth Day and Environmental Law and the Courts

Interview of the Week: Richard Lazarus on Earth Day and Environmental Law and the Courts

Richard is the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a leading expert on U.S. environmental laws. ODP:  In less than a week, it will be the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, which led to landmark laws like the Endangered Species Act, NEPA, and the Clean Water Act.  Leaving aside […]

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Pandemic Causes Gap In Data Collection That Could Impact Weather Forecasts

Pandemic Causes Gap In Data Collection That Could Impact Weather Forecasts

In yet another painful ripple effect of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Scientific American, scientists are being forced to pause critical data collection and research that could reduce the quality of weather forecasts in the near term, and threaten long-standing climate studies.

Why This Matters:  There’s that word again — unprecedented.  The loss of water and air data that is critical for use in weather forecasting models is unprecedented.

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Virginia To Greatly Expand Renewable Energy Under New State Law

Virginia To Greatly Expand Renewable Energy Under New State Law

Virginia will close all its coal-fired power plants by 2024 and its electricity will all come from renewable sources by and be 100 percent carbon-free by 2050 under a new law the Governor signed yesterday, with penalties imposed on the utilities that fail to meet these deadlines.

Why This Matters:  State government elections matter too. This is the most ambitious clean energy program enacted by a Southern state (yet).

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Interview of the Week: Gary Strieker, Executive Producer, This American Land

Interview of the Week: Gary Strieker, Executive Producer, This American Land

https://www.thisamericanland.org/

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