Environmental Protection Agency
President Obama's deal with China to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions may go down as one of his lasting legacies once everything is said and done with his Administration. The deal, which was announced at a joint press conference, set far reaching goals of reducing carbon emissions that surprised most everyone over how much the two countries agreed to cut.
President Obama is set to announce far reaching regulations affecting the use of carbon dioxide at our nations existing coal fired power plants that have the potential to be a game changer regarding the way America produces and uses its energy.
One of the first actions the Trump administration took when it entered office was to crack down on the Environmental Protection Agency, starting with its social-media feeds and website.
In his previous role as Oklahoma’s attorney general, the Environmental Protection Agency’s new administrator regularly huddled with fossil fuel firms and electric utilities about how to combat federal environmental regulations and spoke to conservative political groups about what they called government “overreach,” according to thousands of pages of emails released Wednesday.
Scott Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 52-46 to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday afternoon, after a marathon all-night session in which Democrats held the floor for hours to oppose his nomination.
With a major global climate summit in Paris less than two weeks away, the Obama administration's top environmental official is saying that climate change is a major threat to US national security. "There are a variety of impacts that we're feeling from a changing climate, and we need to stop those impacts from escalating by failing to take action—one of those is instability," said Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in an interview Tuesday with Climate Desk. McCarthy pointed to drought and wildfires in California as examples of climate impacts that can displace people from their homes, and she noted that many of the same things are happening in less stable parts of the world. You can watch portions of the interview above.
There was a moment last year when beekeeper Jim Doan was ready to concede defeat. He stood in the kitchen of his rural New York home, holding the phone to his ear. Through the window, he could see the frigid January evening settling on the 112-acre farm he'd just been forced to sell two weeks earlier. On the other end of the line, his wife's voice was matter-of-fact: "Jimmy, I just want to say I'm sorry, but the bees are dead." By then, Doan was used to taking in bad news. After all, this was long after the summer of 2006, when he had first started noticing that his bees were acting oddly: not laying eggs or going queenless or inexplicably trying to make multiple queens.
Over the past three years, President Obama has quietly made global warming a major focus of his second term. And just about everything he's done has had to go through Gina McCarthy. McCarthy is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which has lately proposed a barrage of rules and regulations designed to curb US greenhouse gas emissions. That includes new rules on power plants. New rules on trucks. New rules on methane leaks from fracking. None of this has gone through Congress — it's all being done under authority the Supreme Court granted the EPA back in 2007.
The Supreme Court dealt President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda a major setback on Monday, ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency had erred in writing its 2012 limits on mercury pollution from power plants. The decision could also alter the administration’s strategy for rolling out an even grander environmental initiative — EPA’s first-ever regulations on power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions, which had been expected later this summer. Monday’s ruling capped a session that delivered mixed signals regarding how the court will judge the inevitable challenge to that landmark climate rule.
Back in 2007, Congress passed a law that would push the United States to use more and more ethanol and other biofuels derived from plants. This is known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the hope was that it would help reduce America's dependency on oil. Under the law, gasoline refiners and blenders were supposed to mix 16.55 billion gallons of ethanol into the gasoline they produced by 2013 (the vast majority of this was ethanol made from corn). That amount was supposed to keep rising until it hit 36 billion gallons in 2022.
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