UK Climate Diplomacy Staff Cut Again as Post-Brexit Links to Trump and US Deniers Strengthen

Read time: 3 mins

With Donald Trump set to become the President of the United States, the international climate change political scenery has shifted.

The president-elect’s stance on “quitting” the Paris Agreement seems to have softened in recent days. But countries are still going to need strong diplomatic teams to shore-up the global commitment to tackling climate change, reiterated at the Marrakech climate talks last week.

So it’s notable that the UK’s climate diplomacy team appears to weakening.

For the second year in a row, the foreign office reduced the number of people working on climate change and energy, documents released by the government this week under a freedom of information request show.

What Green New Deal Advocates Can Learn From the 2009 Economic Stimulus Act

Read time: 6 mins
Assembling capacitors for electric automobiles at SBE, Inc. in Barre, Vermont, July 16, 2010. SBE received a $9 million stimulus grant to build electric drive components.
By Joseph Aldy, Harvard Kennedy School

Congressional Democrats have introduced a “Green New Deal” proposal that calls for a 10-year national mobilization to curb climate change by shifting the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels. Many progressives support this idea, while skeptics argue that a decade is not long enough to remake our nation’s energy system.

The closest analog to this effort occurred in 2009, when President Obama and Congress worked together to combat a severe economic recession by passing a massive economic stimulus plan. Among its many provisions, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided US$90 billion to promote clean energy. The bil’s clean energy package, which was dubbed the “biggest energy bill in history,” laid the foundation for dramatic changes to the energy system over the last 10 years.

'It's About Economics': Two Coal Plants to Close Despite Trump's Tweet

Read time: 4 mins
Paradise coal plant in western Kentucky

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.

Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.

The Latest Propaganda Push From Pro-Pipeline Front Group GAIN

Read time: 4 mins
Natural gas pipeline warning at a Pennsylvania pipeline construction site

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Although pipelines have been facing a number of setbacks recently, pro-pipeline groups aren’t giving up. One of those is Grow America’s Infrastructure Now (GAIN), which came to our attention because it’s recently begun sponsoring the Washington Examiner’s daily energy newsletter.

GAIN’s website simply describes the group as supporting strengthening infrastructure development and only mentions pipelines as one aspect of its focus, which also includes bridges, roads, etc. But the group’s blogTwitter, and coverage in the media are pretty exclusively dedicated to pro-pipeline messaging. Hmmm, almost like it isn’t an all-around infrastructure group, and perhaps may have some ulterior motive …

Court Throws out Energy Transfer’s ‘Racketeering’ Claims Against Dakota Access Pipeline Opponents

Read time: 4 mins
Dakota Access pipeline protest in Philadelphia

A North Dakota federal judge dismissed Energy Transfer’s racketeering lawsuit against Greenpeace and all its co-defendants in a sharply worded ruling issued today, finding that the pipeline builder’s allegations fell “far short of what is necessary to establish a [racketeering] claim.”

In August 2017, Energy Transfer filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act civil complaint against Greenpeace and other environmental groups who had opposed the company’s Dakota Access pipeline, claiming that the protests had caused $300 million in damages (and requesting three times that amount from the defendants).

Today’s ruling flatly rejected Energy Transfer’s claims.

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