Hot News: December 14, 2016 - The Years Project

Hot News: December 14, 2016

By Climate Nexus

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#YEARSproject: Don’t miss the Years of Living Dangerously season finale, airing tonight at 10/9c on National Geographic Channel.

Perry Waltzes Into DOE Job As Agency Resists Transition Interrogation: It’s official: former Texas governor and Dancing with the Stars contestant Rick Perry will be Trump’s pick for Energy Secretary, the Trump team announced Wednesday. As Perry preps to run the DOE – a department he once targeted for elimination but famously couldn’t remember the name of during a debate – the agency announced that it would not respond to a questionnaire sent by the Trump transition team last week that appeared to target DOE employees working on climate policy. In an email to staff obtained by press, a DOE spokesperson said that the questionnaire had left many employees “unsettled” and stated DOE “will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.” For more on Perry, scroll down to today’s Denier Roundup. (Perry: New York Times $, Washington Post $, APNPRNBCBBCBuzzfeedInsideClimate NewsMother Jones. Questionnaire: PoliticoReutersThe HillCNBCBloombergGreenwireNew York MagazineUS News & World ReportHuffington PostIFL Science. Commentary: Vox, Brad Plumer analysisMother Jones, Tim Murphy analysis)

Scientists, You’re Our Only Hope: In the face of the DOE questionnaire, multiple climate denier cabinet nominees, and hints that Trump plans to cut NASA earth sciences programs, scientists with access to decades of government data on climate are taking steps to protect it. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the scientific community is working furiously to archive federal data on independent servers to preserve it from possibly being tampered with by a science-hostile Trump administration. Meanwhile, dozens of prominent scientists and activists rallied outside of the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco Tuesday, vowing to “stand up for science” over the next four years. In her keynote address at AGU today, DOI Secretary Sally Jewell will tell scientists “if you see science being ignored or compromised, speak up,” Reuters reports. (Science: Washington Post $, PoliticoViceThe Verge, Rally: APMashableViceCBSSFGateLive Science. Commentary: Washington Post, Eric Holthaus op-ed $)

Big Sky Rep Will Take Over Interior: In a move that surprised many on the Hill, Trump tapped freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-MT, for the top Interior position Tuesday, passing over previously reported favorite Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Zinke’s track record in Congress includes pushing pro-fossil fuel legislation – the lobby backed his campaigngenerously – and his positions on climate change aren’t clear. However, Zinke’s fierce defense of public lands and opposition to transferring federal land to the states has put him at opposition with his own party in the past. Zinke has not yet officially accepted the position. (New York Times $, Washington Post $, WSJ $, NPRNBCCBSCNNAPReutersPoliticoThe Hill)

Arctic Gets New Dismal Report Card: The Arctic broke multiple climate records and saw its highest temperatures ever recorded this year, according to NOAA’s annual Arctic Report Card released Tuesday. The report shows surface air temperature in September at the highest level since 1900 “by far,” and the region set new monthly record highs in January, February, October, and November. “The Arctic as a whole is warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the planet,” report author and NOAA climate scientist Jeremy Mathis told NPR. (Washington Post $, APNPRWSJ video $, TimeUSATodayGizmodoNew York PostForeign PolicyMashableInsideClimate NewsCNBC.)

US News
  • Voters say U.S. should stay in the Paris accord — survey (ClimateWire $)
  • America’s first offshore wind farm spins to life (New York Times $)
  • Fracking can harm drinking water in ‘some circumstances,’ EPA says (New York Times $, Washington Post $, WSJ $, APReuters)
  • These are the climate myths guiding Trump’s EPA team (Washington Post $)
  • North Dakota says crude oil spilled into waterway (WSJ $)
  • Dakota Access protesters say major oil spill validates their concerns (Mashable)
  • What the resistance at Standing Rock means for a world wrapped in pipelines (San Antonio Current)
  • Trump vows to boost drilling and fracking foes turn to courts (Bloomberg)
  • Future of fracking research uncertain under Trump (E&E $)
  • Climate skeptic Perry has some clean energy cred (Bloomberg)
  • Tillerson’s relations with autocrats forged during decades in industry (Washington Post $)
  • Rex Tillerson’s view of climate change: It’s just an ‘engineering problem’ (Washington Post $)
  • Tillerson’s record at Exxon shows a tough pragmatist (PoliticoNew York Times $)
  • Oil bubbles back to top with Trump (The HillBloomberg)
  • U.N. environment chief concerned at climate science skeptics among Trump picks (Reuters)
  • Senate fight looms after Trump taps Exxon CEO as top U.S. diplomat (ReutersWSJ $, Bloomberg)
  • Awaiting Trump, agencies brace for freeze on regulations (The Hill)
  • Peabody bondholders tout Donald Trump’s plan to roll back emission rules (WSJ$)
  • Trump complicates Jerry Brown plan to regionalize power grid (Politico)
  • West Coast states to fight climate change even if Trump does not (Reuters)
  • Gov. Brown asks President Obama to permanently ban new drilling off California’s coast (LA Times $, AP)
  • Big zap: huge new power lines in West get federal OK (AP)
  • Donald Trump’s pledge to loosen regulations on businesses is a heavy lift (WSJ $)
  • Obama spokesman takes jab at Perry (The Hill)
  • Obama talks Russian hacks, Muslim registry and climate change on ‘The Daily Show’ (Digg)
  • Power plant towns helped deliver Rust Belt to Trump (ClimateWire)
  • How forward-thinking utilities are addressing corporate demand for renewables (UtilityDive)
  • Scientists, concerned about rising natural gas use, bash Cuomo’s renewable energy efforts (Politico PRO NY $)
  • Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands, study says (
  • Pa.’s new net-metering rules face a challenge (E&E $)
  • Fossil fuel meets renewables: Vermont gas station goes solar (AP)
  • City seeks to halt oil and gas activity again (E&E $)

World News

  • Companies should report possible climate costs, say global executives (WSJ $)
  • S.Korea pairs state utility, private tech giants in $37 bln bid to seize global green energy lead (Reuters)
  • Climate change forced over 1 million Africans from their homes in 2015 (ThinkProgress)
  • Scientists are making artificial ice storms (Vice)
  • Climate forecasts could help drought-hit herders make smarter moves (Reuters)
  • These Tokyo holiday lights are powered by used cooking oil (Bloomberg)
  • Climate change is melting ‘the Roof of the World’ (Huffington Post)
  • Climate change brewing more extreme weather, shifting breaking points (Ars Technica)
  • The latest satellite imagery of the Arctic bodes very poorly for polar bears (Quartz)

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