Trump Administration OKs Draining the Swamp — The Okefenokee Swamp

Trump Administration OKs Draining the Swamp — The Okefenokee Swamp

Companies have been trying to mine near Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge for decades without success, but last August the Army Corps of Engineers determined that now it needs no federal Clean Water Act permit because there are no water bodies that are covered by the law that will be impacted. 

Why This Matters:  The president of Twin Pines claims that the mining operation won’t affect the swamp.

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Trump’s Plumbing Obsession:  Showers, Sinks and The Third Thing

Trump’s Plumbing Obsession: Showers, Sinks and The Third Thing

Donald Trump has been boasting on the campaign trail about his “rollback” on plumbing standards  — taking credit for making it possible to wash hands (huh?) and for making dishwashers faster and even for a more powerful toilet flush.

Why This Matters:  Trump claims to have “freed” water and as a result, women in the suburbs “like him a lot.”  Well, that is not true either.

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Navajo Lack Water to Fight COVID-19 Because Coal Company Drained the Tribe’s Aquifer

Navajo Lack Water to Fight COVID-19 Because Coal Company Drained the Tribe’s Aquifer

Bloomberg News reports that Peabody Energy, the largest coal producer in the country, operated two coal mines on Navajo and Hopi reservation lands that pulled so much water from the Navajo Aquifer that many wells and springs have now run dry. This comes when water is more necessary than ever for essential hygiene since Covid-19 has hit the Navajo Nation harder than any state.

Why This MattersPeabody never replenished the aquifer water it took under a suspect agreement with the Tribes —  as much as 1.3 billion gallons of water from the aquifer annually —  and one-third of residents have no running water in the midst of the worst pandemic in generations.

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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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Despite COVID Worries, Climate Still A Top Concern For 66% of Americans

Despite COVID Worries, Climate Still A Top Concern For 66% of Americans

A new, nationwide public opinion survey conducted by Yale from April 7–17 found that a record-tying 73% of Americans think global warming is happening and only 10% deny it, but most believe it is happening to others and not to them. 

Why This Matters:  The pollsters expected they would find that because the public is so concerned about the pandemic that they would not have the ability to maintain their concern about climate change — a theory that social scientists call the “finite pool of worry.”  But that was not the case.

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California Wins Battle With Trump Administration About Water and Endangered Species

California Wins Battle With Trump Administration About Water and Endangered Species

A federal court on Monday put on hold President Trump’s February order that overturned agency scientists and revised federal water supply plans in California, frustrating a political promise he made to farmers in central California to lift water restrictions for the benefit of agriculture there. 

Why This Matters:  This decision is just a temporary hold on the Trump administration’s water grab.  But the time is key for both the species at risk of extinction and for the farmers who will lose out on additional water that they would get to take out of the system for agriculture now, while there is spring runoff happening — water they can’t get back later because it is already flushed through the system.

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