What Biden's agenda on the environment could mean for the Pacific Northwest
SEATTLE — From reintroduction of the grizzly bear to its wild North Cascades redoubt to attacking climate change, a wide range of environmental policies could see a new direction in the Pacific Northwest under a Biden administration.For starters, government and nonprofit policy leaders say they are looking forward to a return to science as a basis for environmental policymaking. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than on climate warming.Gov. Jay Inslee has championed Washington climate and energy policies sharply at odds with a president who dismissed the threats posed by greenhouse gas emissio...
The Seattle Times
Federal judge knocks down 2 permits needed for proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant
SEATTLE — A U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma struck down Army Corps of Engineers permits for a proposed $2 billion methanol plant in Kalama, Cowlitz County, because they were not the result of a full review of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, according to a ruling released Monday.The loss of the two federal permits is the latest in a series of setbacks for the project first proposed in 2014 by NW Innovation Works to convert natural gas to methanol for shipment to China. The project also has so far failed to gain approval by the state Ecology Department.The permits —...
The Seattle Times
General Motors abandons Trump administration in legal fight over California standards
DETROIT — General Motors Co. is abandoning a legal battle between the Trump administration and California over the state’s right to set its own standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy rules, the automaker said Monday, and urging other automakers to do the same.The move signals a recognition by GM that its electrification and zero emissions strategy is more closely aligned with the priorities of the incoming presidential administration, and that it is preparing for the likelihood of more unified auto industry regulations under President-elect Joe Biden.On the campaign trail, Bid...
The Detroit News
GM dumps Trump in his attempt to bar California from setting emissions
DETROIT — General Motors is changing course and will no longer back President Donald Trump’s effort to stop California from setting its own emissions rules in an ongoing court fight.GM CEO Mary Barra said Monday that GM is withdrawing from preemption litigation between California, the Trump Administration and other non-government groups. In reaction to the move, President-elect Joe Biden said innovation and manufacturing will be priorities in his administration.The move comes days after GM said it is increasing the number of electric vehicles it will bring to market. GM will offer 30 new EVs b...
Detroit Free Press
Commentary: Youth must lead on climate change fight
The election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States came as a massive relief to climate activists around the world, myself included. But it will take a lot more than an election to beat back this existential threat.Biden has a promising climate action plan, but getting it through a nearly evenly divided Senate and past a conservative-dominated Supreme Court will be tremendously difficult. We’re going to need all hands on deck.Over the past several months, I have been working with young activists from around the country and world on climate issues. I am struck by the impressive...
Tribune News Service
The Sorghum Solution?: The Salk Institute's plant-based research to battle climate change gets a boost
When energy nerds talk about carbon capture and sequestration, CCS for short, the discussion normally centers on finding ways to take carbon dioxide from fossil fuel power plants, transporting it to a storage site and depositing it so the CO2 does not enter the atmosphere.But researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., take a different approach to CCS — by working to remove carbon from the atmosphere by developing better varieties of plants, such as sorghum.The institute’s plant-based solution to help fight climate change — called the Harnessing Plants Initiative — received a $2 mil...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Poll: Religious people believe climate change is a real threat, not a controversy
People of all faiths, including white evangelicals, are convinced climate change is real and a threat, according to a new poll, but whether they believe it’s caused by humans depends on the denomination.Further, climate change doesn’t seem to be controversial among Roman Catholics, despite the contention of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who is Catholic, that the issue was too “controversial” for her to comment on during a recent Senate hearing.A majority of Catholics not only believe that climate change is happening, but that it is caused by humans and they are worried by it, a...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: The case for giving everyone a job
We are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.In less than a year, COVID-19 — and the Trump administration’s lack of leadership — has killed more than 217,000 Americans and left more than 7 million infected. Today, one in 10 Americans is unemployed, and many more are underemployed or at risk of being furloughed or fired.Federal weekly unemployment benefits have expired and people cannot pay their bills. With the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium, 23 million people risk losing their homes. On top of all this, the West Coast is still on fire and the worst effects of ...
Tribune News Service
Emissions exposure may increase COVID-19 mortality
Car pollution is making the pandemic worse.For years, the effort to reduce transportation emissions has largely centered on fighting climate change. But some advocates say the pandemic underscores the need to focus on human health as well. The worst effects of air pollution are being borne by low-income communities and people of color — the same groups that have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic.Researchers say they’re seeing indications that the pollutants spewed out of tailpipes are making the people who breathe them at high levels more likely to die from COVID-19. Much of the ...
30% of California land must be conserved under Gov. Newsom's new order
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Citing a need to tackle the growing problem of climate change, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday gave the order for state agencies to conserve 30% of state land and coastal water by no later than 2030.The move is a bid to store carbon in the state’s natural and working lands and remove it from the atmosphere, according to a statement from the governor’s office.The order directs state agencies to pursue strategies and partnerships that focus on healthy soil management, wetlands restoration, active forest management and boosting green infrastructure, according to the...
The Sacramento Bee