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China, India on Course to Surpass Climate Pledges, Making Up for U.S. Climate Action

Slowing coal use in China and India has put the two most populous countries on a trajectory to beat their carbon emissions goals under the Paris Agreement, making up for rollbacks in U.S. climate action under the Trump administration, according to a new analysis released by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) at intersessional climate talks concluding…

Upcoming U.S. Decision on Paris Agreement Overshadows Climate Talks, Arctic Council Meeting

On Tuesday, the White House postponed a scheduled meeting of officials to discuss the fate of the Paris Agreement, which business leaders and the international community (subscription) have pressed U.S. President Donald Trump to continue to support and which Trump’s conservative allies have urged him to exit. The decision will now come after the Group of…

Appeals Court Pauses Litigation over Clean Power Plan

Last week President Donald Trump’s bid to rescind the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which seeks to regulate emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, was made easier by a Court of Appeals ruling that put a 26-state lawsuit challenging the plan on hold for 60 days without deciding on the plan’s legality. That decision followed…

Why Kill a Program that Saves Water, Energy, and Money – and that Business Likes?

This week the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), a non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois, sent a letter to US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that makes an unassailable case for continuing a program called WaterSense. As most of us know, Mr. Pruitt is on a quest to reduce the regulation of air, land, and water,…

EPA Budget Cut Priorities Outlined in Internal Document

An internal budget draft shows how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to meet Trump’s FY2018 Budget submission to Congress, which reduces EPA spending 31 percent. The memo repeatedly portrays climate as outside the EPA’s core statutory requirements. It focuses instead on funding “core legal requirements,” scrapping 56 programs dealing with scientific research, climate…

Trump Executive Order Takes Focus off Climate Change

President Donald Trump signed a long anticipated executive order greatly diminishing the role climate change plays in U.S. government decision making by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Clean Power Plan, which sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel fired power plants. The order directs each executive department and…

Trump’s Detroit Visit Focuses on Fuel Standards

President Donald Trump announced in Detroit Wednesday that standards requiring automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 will be reviewed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards as a single program alongside the Department of Transportation’s fuel economy rules, popularly…

Executive Orders Expected on Climate Rules as Trump Contemplates Paris Agreement Fate

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dismantle Obama-era climate rules, including the Clean Power Plan, which sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel fired power plants. Originally expected this week, GreenWire reports that according to a White House official the order…

Trump Speech to Congress Focuses Little on Energy, Climate

In his first address to Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump touted accomplishments since taking office in January—including withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ordering construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and nominating conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Crime, immigration, trade and health care dominated the speech, with little focus…

Conflicts of interest could, possibly, trump climate change denial

Over the weekend, Donald Trump’s Palm Beach country club, Mar-a-Lago, was the location where he interviewed two candidates for National Security Advisor. The previous weekend, the club’s open dining room was where Trump and his advisors discussed how to respond to a North Korean missile test. Trump’s insistence on conducting government business at his beach…

Congressional Review Act Used to Repeal Energy Disclosure Rule as Trump Cabinet Members Await Vote

The Congressional Review Act was used to repeal a rule that forced energy companies on the U.S. stock exchanges to disclose the royalties and other payments that oil, natural gas, coal and mineral companies make to governments in an effort to fight corruption in resource-rich countries. President Donald Trump signed legislation to scrap the rule,…

White House Scrubs Mentions of Climate Change, Tells EPA to Do Same, Then Backtracks

Shortly after Donald Trump’s inauguration as 45th president of the United States, a revamped White House website announced the new administration’s intention.” That same day, Reuters reported that all references to climate change had been removed from the WhiteHouse.gov site, and the Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder tweeted that the URL to the climate change…

Senate Hearings for Trump’s Environmental Cabinet Members Continue

As the nation prepares for the inauguration of its 45th president, environment-focused hearings for some of President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees continue. They include hearings for Scott Pruitt, nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and former Oklahoma attorney general, as well as Ryan Zinke, nominee for secretary of the interior and a…

Fate of the Clean Power Plan Remains Uncertain

Last month, a 24-state coalition led by Texas and West Virginia state attorneys general—leading litigators in the fight against the Clean Power Plan—penned a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump asking him to issue an order to stop working to enforce the rule to reduce emissions from existing power plants. More recently, officials from states and…

U.S., Canada Ban Arctic Drilling

Invoking the so-called 12(a) provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, President Obama announced a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in more than 100 million acres of the Atlantic and Arctic. The ban affects oil and gas drilling in the Chukchi Sea and most of the Beaufort Sea off Alaska…