Hot News: December 2, 2016 - The Years Project

Hot News: December 2, 2016

By Climate Nexus

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Fossil Fuel Influence & Climate Conspiracies in Transition Team: The Trump camp added fracking enthusiast, EPA critic and ALEC-linked Amy Oliver Cooke to the EPA landing team on Thursday. Cooke once co-authored an op-ed titled “Clean Energy’s Dirty Secret: Cancer.” NBC’s Joe Scarborough tweeted that Trump is considering ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the Secretary of State position, following pushback against Mitt Romney’s possible nomination. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post has unearthed audio of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions arguing that investing in clean energy “is a conspiracy to afflict poor people.” (Cooke: Greenwire $, E&E News $, The HillTillerson: The HillClimate HomeReutersDallas Morning NewsSessions: Huffington Post)

Energy Secretary Musical Chairs: Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, long considered a top pick for energy secretary, denied he was a contender and told CNBC he suggested Trump instead nominate Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-ND. Cramer, who has receivedhundreds of thousands of dollars from oil and gas interests, has stated he believes the world is cooling and that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas. Red-state Democrats Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota may also be in the running for the DOE job. Heitkamp, who opposes the Clean Power Plan, meets with Trump today. (Hamm: CNBCFox BusinessOilPriceHeitkamp: PoliticoReutersThe HillE&E News $. Manchin: PoliticoWashington ExaminerReuters)

Cities Must Lead on 1.5 Goal: As dozens of mayors gather in Mexico City for the C40 Mayors Summit, a new report highlights the need for significant leadership from cities to keep warming below 1.5 degrees. The report finds that cities around the world need more than $375b of investments to avoid “locking in” catastrophic warming by the end of the decade. The summit, which ends today, includes mayors from major US cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, and will highlight the participation of female mayors at sessions later today. (APLA Times $, CitylabChristian Science Monitor,GreenBizThinkProgressXinhuaNDTV)

Death Toll Rises in Tennessee Wildfire: The ferocious ‘Chimney Tops Fire’ in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park has killed at least 11 people, destroyed 700 structures and led to mass evacuations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Nearly 24 hours of incessant rain since Wednesday helped douse the flames (leading to flooding concernsin the previously dry region), but not before the fire spread to more than 17,000 acres. Unusually parched conditions in the Southeast have created the “perfect storm” for wildfires, with as many as 20 wildfires blazing across an estimated 142,000 acres. Current science is not strong enough to link climate change to increased wildfire risk in the region, but long-term trends point to increased risk by the end of the century. (News: ABC NewsAPEcoWatchBBCReutersUSA TodayThe WeekCNNPopular ScienceChicago TribuneCommentary: MinnPost, Ron Meador analysisGuardian, John Abraham columnForbes, Marshall Shepherd op-edObserver, Michael Sainato & Chelsea Skojec op-ed)

Trump Supporters Love Renewables: Two-thirds of Trump voters support faster clean energy deployment and use, according to a new post-election survey of 1,000 voters by a Republican polling firm. A majority of Trump voters want to see more development of solar, wind and natural gas while they also rank energy efficiency, community renewable projects and net-metering as important policies. (Greentech Media,Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel)

US News
  • Amid Dakota Access protests, tribes continue to pursue clean energy (Midwest Energy NewsTIME)
  • James Mattis, outspoken ex-marine, is Trump’s choice as defense secretary (New York Times $, E&E News $)
  • US businesses push against Trump’s attempts to dismiss climate change (Guardian)
  • Quitting UN climate change body could be Trump’s quickest exit from Paris deal (Guardian)
  • Next test for pipeline protesters: The North Dakota winter (AP)
  • Pence refused to help Carrier in 2014 (Politico Pro $)
  • Buffett’s firm facing pressure to sell fossil fuel stocks (AP)
  • Rockefeller descendants speak out against company to which they owe their prosperity (CBS)
  • What to know about newly appointed UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s position on climate change (Mic)
  • Report: Florida is battleground for utilities and fossil-fuel-backed anti-solar campaign (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Can Trump revive Keystone XL? Nebraskans vow to fight pipeline anew (InsideClimate News)
  • Trump could face the ‘biggest trial of the century’ — over climate change (Washington Post $)
  • Climate change pushing U.S. fund managers out of apparel stocks (Reuters)
  • U.S. could see emission cuts freeze under GOP policies (E&E News $)
  • Nation’s largest solar installer to open Florida facility (AP)
  • U.S. daily record highs beat record lows by a staggering 51-to-1 ratio in November (Mashable)
  • Obama stays busy on environmental front in final weeks (AP)
  • DOJ slaps cruise line with record fine on pollution charges (Politico Pro $)
  • Utah counties sue over Obama’s coal moratorium (The HillPolitico Pro $)
  • $1,000 fine for taking supplies to Dakota pipeline protesters (CNN)
  • EIA: Renewable generation composed 15% of output over the last 3 quarters (Utility Dive)
  • DOE grants $44M in CO2 storage research (Utility Dive)
  • Climate denying tweet only hints at how twisted the House Science Committee is (Mashable)
  • High price tag for defense of AG in suit by Exxon Mobil (Boston Herald)
  • Mapping 20 years of pipeline accidents (City Lab)
  • Can Hawaii shake its addiction to Big Oil? (OZY)
  • What does the insect industry want? A cricket in every pot. (Washington Post $)
  • In a decade, Oklahoma’s earthquakes will be normal again (The Atlantic)
  • Trump’s victory reignites battles over national parks and other federal lands (ThinkProgress)
  • Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure (Washington Post $)
  • Utilities are losing the battle against solar energy (Motley Fool)
  • Google Earth’s time-lapse update won’t convince deniers that climate change is real (Mic)
  • California governor taps longtime U.S. Representative Becerra as attorney general (Reuters)
  • New Orleans most vulnerable of 138 coastal cities (E&E News $)
  • Tesla hosts lobbying group shunned by Ford over climate stance (Bloomberg)

World News

  • Tornado swarms are on the rise—but don’t blame climate change (Bloomberg,, Science, Gizmodo, AP, Climate CentralBackground: Climate Signals)
  • Four world capitals are banning diesel vehicles from 2025 (CNBCGuardian)
  • World states and regions ‘on track’ with 2020 climate goals (BusinessGreen $)
  • Ocean acidification: a natural experiment (Economist $)
  • Great Barrier Reef threatened by climate change, chemicals and sediment (New York Times $)
  • Germany tells World Bank to quit funding fossil fuels (Climate Home)
  • Off-grid solar to help Myanmar bring electricity to all by 2030 (Guardian)
  • Farming causes 32 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (Irish Examiner)
  • France’s nuclear-energy champion is in turmoil (The Economist $)
  • Cap-and-trade will cost Ontarians $8B in first years with minimal greenhouse gas reductions: auditor (National Post)
  • Shell ties in bonuses to reinforced emissions strategy (Reuters)
  • Plastic island: how our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard (CNN)
  • India unveils the world’s largest solar power plant (Al Jazeera)
  • Climate change escalating so fast it is ‘beyond point of no return’ (Independent)
  • Trump plans another wall in Ireland … to keep out the sea (The National)
  • Death of Castro could free Cuba to produce biofuels (Reuters)
  • Joy as China shelves plans to dam ‘angry river’ (Guardian)
  • Islamic banks slowly embrace green finance – survey (Reuters)
  • Climate change uncorks British wine production (Wall Street Journal $)

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