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
Landmark book from 1995 by pioneering Minnesota conservationist gets update
MINNEAPOLIS — The voice of a Minnesotan who knew as much as anyone about the state’s ecology and spent a lifetime researching it and telling its story will echo again later next month.John Tester died last November, two days shy of his 90th birthday. Most of those years filtered through the lens of the state’s outdoors. As a boy in a hunting family in Gibbon, Minn. As a wildlife scientist on the front edge, for example, of wildlife radio telemetry still used to this day. As a University of Minnesota professor trying to teach what was known about the state’s environment and how the pieces conne...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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
Commentary: Gray wolf population in peril unless Biden restores 'endangered species' protections
After decades of bitter legal feuds and culture war skirmishes over the fate of wild wolves in the United States, the Trump administration has tried to put a point at the end of the sentence. In stripping gray wolves of their Endangered Species Act protection across the country, the responsible federal agency went against both science and public opinion, and declared the species “biologically recovered.”But this delisting rule won’t stand up to scrutiny. More wolves will die as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service squares off, once again, in court against conservationists with strong arguments t...
Editorial: Trump's climate policies are a disaster. For Florida's sake, Biden should undo them — quickly
This doesn’t seem normal. Tropical Storm Eta, after making landfall in the Florida Keys this month, dumped almost 14 inches in 24 hours in Miramar.Miami Lakes experienced “flooding we haven’t seen in modern times,” according to resident and Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago.Sections of North Miami received about 7 inches of rain, while parts of Kendall were hit with about 6 inches. Overall, Miami-Dade saw 4 inches to 8 inches of rain, compared with normal rainfall of 3.27 inches for all of November.And rainwater so overwhelmed Hollywood’s sewage treatment plant that officials told residents to...
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
Editorial: For Biden, ending US climate retreat is just a start
President-elect Joe Biden has made plenty of promises related to climate change and the environment. He has vowed to rescind or reverse some of the Trump administration’s moves to weaken regulations, which Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has numbered at 159. The president-elect proposes a $2 trillion “Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice” plan that’s been described as historic, despite being far less ambitious than the Green New Deal authored by progressive Democrats. And Biden plans to deeply embed what could be called climate change consciousness into f...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Landmark Flint water crisis settlement grows to $641 million as it moves to court
DETROIT — A landmark settlement in the Flint water crisis came a step closer to reality late Tuesday, when attorneys in the class-action lawsuit presented the agreement to a federal court with an additional $41.2 million.The $641.25 million settlement, if approved by the court, would largely go to victims of the water crisis that emerged after Flint residents learned their drinking water had been contaminated with lead after a source switch to river water in 2014.“After years of hard-fought litigation and extensive negotiations, plaintiffs have reached an agreement to resolve claims against th...
The Detroit News
Transgender cashier claims torment by co-workers at Miami Publix store put her in hospital
A former Publix cashier who identifies as a woman says co-workers tormented her with anti-gay and anti-trangender slurs until she suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized. It’s the latest in a series of accusations against the grocery giant by LGBTQ employees.Publix was aware of Kevin Whitter’s gender identity when it hired her to work as a cashier in June 2018 at a downtown Miami store, according to a lawsuit filed Sunday in U.S. District Court in Miami. Whitter’s driver’s license identifies her as a female.Her suit describes a series of humiliating encounters that began with s...