Hot News: December 15, 2016 - The Years Project

Hot News: December 15, 2016

By Climate Nexus

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Trump to Climate Scientists: Sorry, But You’re Still Wrong: The Trump team distanced itself Wednesday from the probing climate questionnaire it sent to the Department of Energy last week. After outrage from the scientific community and pushback from politicians, the White House, and the DOE itself, a Trump spokesperson told reporters that the questionnaire was not “authorized” and the person responsible “has been properly counseled.” Don’t assume all’s well in Trumpland with regards to scientists, however: transition team member Anthony Scaramucci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that the scientific community gets “a lot of things wrong” and compared current scientific consensus on climate change to past belief “that the earth was flat.” And Trump spokesperson Jason Miller refused to confirm to Fox’s Megyn Kelly Monday night if EPA nominee Scott Pruitt believes in climate change. (DOE: Washington Post $, ReutersTimeVoxNew York PostE&E $, CNNThe Hill. Scaramucci: Washington Post $, PoliticoThe Hill, Commentary: Washington Post, Philip Bump analysis $, Vox, Brad Plumer analysis)

US Solar Shines Through 2016: The US solar industry broke multiple records in the third quarter of 2016 and is on track for extended growth, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. The US installed over 4,000 MW between July and September – a rate of 1 MW every 32 minutes – providing enough solar power for 6.5 million homes. The report projects Q4 figures will surpass these new records as the industry continues to grow. (Washington Post $, CNBCLA Times $)

Reading the Tillerson Climate Tea Leaves: Facing the prospect of a cabinet full of climate change deniers, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s stated belief in climate change is leading to close scrutiny of what a Tillerson-led State department would actually mean for the climate. Some argue that Tillerson’s leadership has brought Exxon closer to climate reality than any other point in its corporate history – including publicly supporting the Paris Agreement, which Tillerson may help preserve for the US – and could make him a “moderating” climate voice. However, Exxon’s political spending against action and for denial, the investigation into its internal climate change research, the company’s oil deals with Russia, and Tillerson’s belief that humans can “adapt” to climate change raise serious flags. Regardless of Tillerson’s personal views, the oil and gas lobby has made public their celebration of Trump’s cabinet picks this week. (Tillerson analysis: Washington Post $, TimeVoxBloomberg ViewCNN MoneyThe EconomistSlateGizmodoWSJ $, The NationFusionDaily BeastMashableClimateWire $, Climate Central. Oil & gas: Washington Post $, ReutersBloombergThe HillHouston ChronicleSan Antonio Express-NewsE&E $)

G20 Panel Urges Climate Transparency for Businesses: A global task force led by Michael Bloomberg and backed by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney urged companies worldwide Wednesday to disclose the threats climate change poses to their bottom line. The group, commissioned by the G20, issued a series of recommendations for investors, lenders and insurers on how to identify the effects of climate change on investments so that markets can manage the risk, and in turn invest in innovation and ambition. “It remains the case that only one third of the top 1,000 U.S. companies produce broadly comparable information on the climate risks they face,” Carney said at the report’s launch. (New York Times $, The GuardianWSJ $, APFT $, ForbesBloombergReutersFinancial PostClimatewire $. Commentary: The Guardian, Michael Bloomberg and Mark Carney op-ed)

US News
  • The obscure climate deal that businesses hope Trump doesn’t ax (Politico PRO $)
  • Climate denial rides Trump’s coattails to a roaring comeback (InsideClimate News)
  • How climate rules might fade away (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • From Trump and his new team, mixed signals on climate change (AP)
  • Obama official urges scientists to ‘fight disinformation’ under Trump (Washington Post $)
  • ‘The time has never been more urgent’: at the world’s largest Earth science event (The Guardian)
  • Democrats stake Pruitt fight on climate change denial (PoliticoThe Hill)
  • Jerry Brown strikes defiant tone: ‘California will launch its own damn satellite’ (WSJ $, LA Times $, Sacramento Bee)
  • Trump’s skepticism about climate change is turning scientists into activists (Quartz)
  • Fleischer to Dems: Forget Tillerson, attack Trump’s EPA pick (Politico)
  • Environmentalists brace for Scott Pruitt to take over EPA (NPR)
  • Environmentalists less horrified by Donald Trump’s Interior pick than other nominees (Huffington Post)
  • Trump’s Interior nominee was for climate action before he was against it (Mother Jones)
  • Dems concerned Trump trying to ‘target’ Energy Dept. employees (The Hill)
  • Rick Perry, manager of nukes (Politico)
  • Keystone club: meet the men in Trump’s cabinet who are very excited to get Alberta oil to America (Vice)
  • Hey Trump, check this out: 78 percent of voters think climate pollution should be regulated and/or taxed (Grist)
  • House conservatives want Trump to undo regulations on climate, FDA, Uber (Washington Post $)
  • Investors sharpen focus on social and environmental risks to stocks (New York Times $)
  • Perry oversaw a Texas wind miracle — but did he lead it? (Climatewire $)
  • Battle over drilling in Arctic refuge expected to heat up in next Congress (Seattle Times)
  • North Dakota oil spill raises questions about safety (AP)
  • Far-reaching role in grid defense awaits Perry (E&E $)
  • Portland bans new fossil fuel infrastructure in stand against climate change (InsideClimate News)
  • Las Vegas now run entirely on renewable energy (ClimateWire $)
  • Exelon, New York PSC file in federal court to defend nuclear subsidy program (UtilityDive)
  • Maine nets $1.8 million in latest RGGI auction (MaineBiz)

World News

  • World energy hits a turning point: solar that’s cheaper than wind (Bloomberg)
  • Breathe less … or ban cars: cities have radically different responses to pollution (The Guardian)
  • EU lawmakers opt for more ambitious carbon market reform (ReutersClimateHome)
  • Landowners receive billions in subsidies to protect watersheds: study (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
  • Brazil set for ‘environmental civil war’, warns minister (Climate Home)
  • NASA produces first 3D animation of global carbon emissions (EcoWatch)
  • Ice-busting ship preps for trip amid push to replace fleet (AP)
  • How to fight food waste with food waste (TakePart)
  • Offshore oil regulator hires former oil firm boss as head of safety and integrity (The Guardian)
  • Food packaging is not the enemy of the environment that it is assumed to be (The Economist)

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