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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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Louisiana Marshes May Be A Goner Due To Expected Sea Level Rise

Louisiana Marshes May Be A Goner Due To Expected Sea Level Rise

A new study in the Journal of Science Advances concludes that the “drowning” of the roughly 15,000 square kilometers of remaining marshland in the Mississippi River Delta of Louisiana is “past the tipping point” and now “probably inevitable,” according to The Washington Post

Why This Matters:  Louisiana has already lost one-fourth of the land in the Delta at the beginning of the last century.

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Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and gas companies continue to pump the government for cash.  Bloomberg Law News reported that the Administration has granted 76 royalty waivers to oil and gas companies who are drilling for oil on federal land in Utah — lowering the rates from 12.5% to as low as 2.5%. 

Why This Matters:  The giveaways to oil and gas companies in the name of saving jobs just keep coming.

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EPA’s Air, Water and Toxic Waste Failures Compounding Health and Safety Risks to Public

EPA’s Air, Water and Toxic Waste Failures Compounding Health and Safety Risks to Public

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, appeared before Congress yesterday and when asked about all the rollbacks of environmental regulations by the agency recently, he defended his leadership saying “All our rules make things better.” 

Why This Matters:  It is patently clear that EPA is making things better for corporate polluters, not ordinary citizens who are negatively impacted by them.

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US Fishing Industry Hopes You Will #EatSeafoodAmerica

US Fishing Industry Hopes You Will #EatSeafoodAmerica

With supermarkets running low on meat, seafood is a healthy option, and sales of frozen seafood like shrimp and canned seafood (much of which is imported) are up over last year, according to some retailers.  Most of the domestic seafood landed and sold in the U.S. comes from small fishing businesses and goes to restaurants and those sales are down as much as 95% across the country.

Why This Matters:  Congress provided $300m for fishers in stimulus funding, but it is only a “drop in the bucket” of what is needed to keep fishers afloat said Alaskan commercial fisher Julie Decker on Tuesday at a forum convened by the Ocean Caucus Foundation.

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Energy Secretary Takes a Swipe at Big Banks That Won’t Invest In Arctic Drilling

Energy Secretary Takes a Swipe at Big Banks That Won’t Invest In Arctic Drilling

The Secretary of Energy stunningly accused the major financial institutions that refuse to now invest in Arctic oil and gas exploration of discrimination against the oil and gas industry and likened the decision to the banks’ refusal in the past to make loans to minorities.

Why This Matters:  Arctic drilling has been fought due to its environmental toll since the 1960s,  In 1980, Congress decreed that no exploratory drilling or production could occur without further congressional action — and it stayed that way until President Trump demanded authority to lease the land for drilling, despite the ample domestic supply of oil and gas.

 

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Will We Ensure Environmental Justice in the COVID-19 Recovery?

For many who live near refineries, incinerators, and other heavy industry, lockdowns and shelter in place orders like we have all experienced lately are a far too common occurrence.  The New York Times took a closer look at these communities to show why the residents are so vulnerable to the disease. 

Why This Matters:  Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali explained to put the COVID deaths into context, “we know more than 100,000 people die prematurely in the U.S. every year because of air pollution.”

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First Named Storm of the Season – Tropical Storm Arthur – Heads for NC Coast

First Named Storm of the Season – Tropical Storm Arthur – Heads for NC Coast

Hurricane season does not officially start until June 1, but the first named storm of the season is arriving early — Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to graze or even come ashore along North Carolina’s Outer Banks later today. 

Why This Matters:  The state of North Carolina has been battered by storms over the last few years.

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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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One “Creepy” Thing: Georgia’s Newest Pest — The Tegu Lizard

The New York Times reported over the weekend that Georgia has yet another problem besides continuing increases in COVID patients.  An invasive South American exotic lizard species has made its way to Georgia where it is now threatening native wildlife because, according to state Fish & Game officials, they can eat whatever they want (insert […]

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Hero of the Week: Miles Fetherston-Resch

Hero of the Week: Miles Fetherston-Resch

After being inspired by Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, 7-year-old Miles Fetherston-Resch decided that he wanted to donate the money in his piggy bank — all $13 of it — to ocean conservancy. But Miles didn’t stop there, and with the help of his moms Jess and Libby Fetherston-Resch, he’s launched launch Kids Saving Oceans, a […]

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Yellowstone and Grand Canyon Re-Open – But Can Public Parks Safely Meet Increasing Users?

Yellowstone and Grand Canyon Re-Open – But Can Public Parks Safely Meet Increasing Users?

More of the most famous and most visited National Parks are beginning to re-open as summer tourist season looms, but they will open sections of the parks in phases, with concessions and other public spaces also re-opening within the open areas, but there is no requirement for visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Why This Matters: What the pandemic and social distancing requirements are revealing is that many communities do not have enough park and open space — both large cities and suburbs.

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