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Pruitt's 'Transparency' Rule Would Use Big Tobacco Plan to Gut EPA Science

Scott Pruitt

Note from the editor: On April 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt released a proposed rule that would restrict which scientific studies EPA could use in creating new regulations. The move — already controversial when it was first revealed over a month ago — would prevent EPA from considering studies in which the data is not available to the public, including the private health information of individuals in medical studies, and which is based on one-time events, such as the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Prominent climate science deniers were in attendance at the EPA announcement, including Marc Morano, Steve Milloy, and Will Happer

Market Forces Are Driving a Clean Energy Revolution in the US

Offshore wind turbines at Block Island

By Colorado State University

Transforming U.S. energy systems away from coal and toward clean renewable energy was once a vision touted mainly by environmentalists. Now it is shared by market purists.

Koch Alum’s Dark Money Group, ‘Power the Future,’ Denies Its Own Lobbying Status

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Now that Obama’s out of office, the War on Coal needs a new boogeyman, and Tom Steyer fits the bill. Last week saw the launch of a new website attacking Tom Steyer, reported the Free Beacon and Daily Caller.

Attempting to coin a new name for struggling coal communities, the site is called Steyerville.com. The claim is that Steyer’s recent climate change philanthropy is responsible for the decades-long economic decline of coal communities.

Trial Date Set for Groundbreaking Kids' Climate Lawsuit

Kids holding climate banners

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

A trial date of Oct. 29 has been set for a landmark climate change lawsuit brought by a group of young Americans despite the Trump administration's efforts to halt the case.

Juliana v. United States was filed in 2015 on behalf of 21 plaintiffs who ranged between 8 to 19 years old at the time. They allege their constitutional and public trust rights are being violated by the government's creation of a national energy system that causes dangerous climate change.

FERC Revolving Door Continues as Top Lawyer Leaves for Fossil Fuel Lobbying Firm

ExxonMobil Baton Rouge refinery

This is a guest post by  and originally appeared on Eyes on the Ties.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the main regulatory agency that oversees the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity. Made up of five commissioners and a staff of lawyers and other officials, FERC holds significant power over the approval and regulation of — among other things — proposed oil and gas pipelines that cross state lines or that will transmit fossil fuels from out of state.

FERC has also been a regular stopping point in the revolving door between the fossil fuel industry and the regulatory apparatus that overseas that industry. This trend continues, now, with the appointment of a top FERC attorney to McGuireWoods, a major lobbying firm.

New Solar Capacity Exceeded All Other Fuel Sources Combined in 2017, Study Finds

solar pv panels in Hong Kong

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch

In 2017, the world invested more in solar power than it did in any other energy technology and installed more new solar capacity than all other energy sources combined, including fossil fuels.

Those are the bright findings of a UN-backed report Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018, published Thursday.

New Internal Shell Oil Climate Documents Revealed

By the Climate Investigations Center

Newly unearthed internal documents from Shell Oil Company provide new insights into what they knew about climate change and when they knew it.

Documents unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent are being published today on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center.  These documents date back to 1988 and show intense interest in climate change internally at Shell.

A “CONFIDENTIAL” 1988 document titled, “The Greenhouse Effect”, details Shell’s extensive knowledge of climate change impacts and implications. It also reveals an internal Shell climate science program dating back to 1981, well before the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was founded.

The document includes this concise note of precaution,

However, by the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation.” (Link)

Why EPA’s U-turn on Auto Efficiency Rules Gives China the Upper Hand

Mustang tailpipe close-up
By Greg Dotson, University of Oregon

The Trump administration on Monday, April 2, took steps to ease pollution and efficiency rules for new passenger cars and trucks, giving automakers a reprieve from more stringent Obama-era standards. But in the process, the move could yield global leadership in the auto sector to the Chinese.

Buried, Altered, Silenced: 4 Ways Government Climate Information Has Changed Since Trump Took Office

March for Science sign reading 'Science matters bigly'

By Morgan Currie, Stanford University and Britt S. Paris, University of California, Los Angeles

After Donald Trump won the presidential election, hundreds of volunteers around the U.S. came together to “rescue” federal data on climate change, thought to be at risk under the new administration. “Guerilla archivists,” including ourselves, gathered to archive federal websites and preserve scientific data.

But what has happened since? Did the data vanish?

Climate Denier Group CFACT Carries on Heartland’s Failed School Propaganda Project

Empty classroom

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Back in 2012, documents obtained from the Heartland Institute revealed that the industry-funded group had plans to send teachers climate denial resources. The person leading up that effort, reporters confirmed, was to be energy consultant David Wojick. But once exposed, the plan seemed to have disappeared.

Heartland again made news last year for trying to trick teachers into propagating their denial. This time, the institute decided to send out to thousands of teachers, unsolicited, its IPCC knock-off report. Most teachers contacted by reporters for stories didn’t seem to buy the ruse. (We’ve even heard that one professor uses it in his Intro to Climate Change class for freshmen in college — to use as a punching bag to teach the kids how to critically examine claims.)

Now it looks like CFACT [Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow] is picking up where Heartland left off.

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