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How to Get Off Fossil Fuels Quickly—and Fairly

When it comes to a just transition, it’s going to take a radical reimaging not only of our economy but also of our culture and the shape of our social structures. YES! co-hosted a conversation with experts from the nonprofit The Land Institute to discuss policy proposals and new ways to rebuild our sense of self and community from the bottom up. The discussion was prompted by a new book, The Green New Deal and Beyond, by...

Promise of Cracker Plants Comes Up Short, Group Wa...

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A group of economists and engineers from seven universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania, including John Russo, have published a letter sent to the governors of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia warning that the projected impact of the petrochemical industry won’t be as great as initially thought. The letter follows a recent report by Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis stating the Royal...

U.S. Ranks 24th in New Environmental Performance I...

President Trump‘s claim that the U.S. has the cleanest air and water in the world has been widely refuted by statistics showing harmful levels of pollution. Now, a new biannual ranking released by researchers at Yale and Columbia finds that the U.S. is nowhere near the top in environmental performance, according to The Guardian. Not only is the U.S. not in the top 10, it’s not in the top 20. It ranks 24th in the...

Trump Opens Marine Sanctuary to Commercial Fishing

In a move that environmentalists warned could further imperil hundreds of endangered species and a protected habitat for the sake of profit, President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation rolling back an Obama-era order and opening nearly 5,000 square miles off the coast of New England to commercial fishing. “We’re opening it today,” Trump said during a roundtable talk in Maine with commercial...

Clean Water Act Rollback: Trump’s EPA Limits...

The Trump administration has finalized a rule making it harder for states and tribal communities to block pipelines and other infrastructure projects that threaten waterways. The change concerns Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which essentially gives states and tribes veto power over projects that would hurt their water quality, The Hill explained. The changes, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...

Corporations Don’t Have to Pay Pollution Fin...

Corporations that flouted environmental regulations and spewed pollutants into the air and dumped them into waterways will not be required to pay the fines they agreed to during the pandemic, according to The Guardian. The forbearance of payments totals $56 million from ten corporations for a variety of violations across the country, including polluting air and water in already vulnerable communities, like East Chicago,...

Air Pollution and the Coronavirus: The Connection ...

Most Americans have spent the past couple weeks focused on staying safe and protecting their families during the coronavirus pandemic. For President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, this time has been spent differently. Trump’s EPA has been on a mission of late to quickly relax regulations and give fossil fuel companies a free pass to pollute – all at a time when we’re learning that the quality of the...

With Ohio bailout law secured, FirstEnergy Solutio...

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Leaders of a former FirstEnergy subsidiary, which Ohio electricity customers will soon begin paying $150 million annually to subsidize under a nuclear bailout law Ohio officials passed last year, have moved to spend an extra $300 million on repurchasing the company’s own stock. The stock buybacks, meant to benefit corporate shareholders, come less than a year after an aggressive multi-year lobbying...

Did The Plastics Boom End Before It Even Started?

Three years ago, the UN declared plastic pollution a global crisis, more than three decades after the discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch–a collection of marine debris 2x the size of Texas. The Year 2020 was supposed to be a watershed moment for the plastic industry after dozens of state and local policymakers planned to make the ultimate shift away from plastics. They clearly underestimated the sheer tenacity...

Trump Signs Executive Order That Will Accelerate C...

President Donald Trump issued an executive order late Thursday that environmentalists warned will accelerate the corporate exploitation of oceans by relaxing regulations on and streamlining the construction of industrial offshore aquaculture facilities, which critics deride as “floating factory farms” that pump pollution and diseases into public waters. The Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition, which was formed...

Utilities, gas industry coordinate to oppose Ohio ...

Dominion Energy’s opposition to an Ohio village’s clean energy proposal appears to be part of a larger trend nationwide in which gas utilities are becoming more active at the local government level. Unlike other cases involving bans on new gas hook-ups, however, Bratenahl’s proposed resolution stated a general goal of achieving 100% clean energy, with no specific plan or enforcement provisions. The resolution would have set...

US Supreme Court Decides Clean Water Act Applies T...

The Clean Water Act of 1972 was intended to do exactly what the name implies — protect the waters of the United States from pollution. Since the beginning, it was controversial. Precisely what waters were included? It obviously applies to the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, but what about that pond on the back 40 of a farm in Kansas? US Aquifers. Credit: USGS Over the years, state and federal courts have plumbed the...

Army Corps Abruptly Rescinds Its Position on Seism...

Agency Removes Clean Water Act Protections for National Preserve in Everglades NAPLES, Fla.— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reversed its own recent determination finding that the Texas-based Burnett Oil Company damaged “high quality wet prairie and dwarf cypress” wetlands in the Big Cypress National Preserve, degrading a water of the United States. This damage resulted from the oil company’s first phase of seismic testing...

A dirty battle for a nuclear bailout in Ohio

Last July, Ohio’s governor signed House Bill 6 (HB6) to provide FirstEnergy (now Energy Harbor), a large electric utility, with subsidies of nearly $150 million per year to keep its Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants operating. Ohio is only the fifth US state to offer such subsidies; other states include New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Although the subsidies are justified by some as necessary for...

Critics say Ohio proposal to bar foreign ownership...

The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. Lawmakers here are considering a constitutional amendment that critics say sends a message to the world’s renewable energy developers that the state is not interested in their business. A proposed constitutional amendment would prevent foreign ownership of power plants and other “critical infrastructure.” A proposed constitutional amendment in Ohio to ban foreign ownership of power...