Will The March For Science Backfire By Politicizing Science?

“The science community’s effort to more actively engage in the public sphere could backfire. If science begins to be seen as a “liberal” pursuit, it risks losing public favor and the ability to attract the best talent,” writes Megan Mullin, associate professor of environmental politics. “If, however, science advocates keep the focus on supporting scientific research in all its forms, scientists may be able to protect their work from cuts in funding and support — even if the broader goals of evidence-based policy-making must take a back seat.”

Read More in The Washington Post

Impacts of Trump’s Climate Change Policy

President Trump’s order last week that took aim at the Obama administration’s efforts to tackle climate change also disbanded the Interagency Working Group that calculated the social cost of carbon across federal agencies. But the order did not eliminate the metric entirely, says law professor Jonathan Wiener. “It says each agency can employ its own social cost of carbon, so it allows agency-by-agency development,” he says.

Read More on Climate Wire

How to Solve Controversial Issues Like Climate Change

“The lesson for all leaders: Start with problems, not solutions. People will discount the evidence if they don’t like the fix you are proposing. This is particularly important in today’s extremely fractured world. The first step in moving forward during such great polarization isn’t offering solutions, it’s agreeing a problem exists,” writes Fuqua School Dean Bill Boulding.

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How the U.S. Protects the Environment, from Nixon to Trump

“The concept of the environment in our sense — an interdependent system that almost amounts to a planetary organism, that’s interconnected at every point and fragile as well as resilient — people don’t really talk that way until the middle of the 20th century,” says law professor Jedediah Purdy, author of “After Nature,” an intellectual history of the environment in America. “Even the concept that you need extensive management of resources, like forests and water and soil … that doesn’t get taken seriously in the U.S. until the decades after the Civil War.”

Read More in The Atlantic

How Will Trump’s Moves on Coal Affect the Industry?

Coal’s share of the U.S. power market has dwindled from more than 50 percent last decade to about 32 percent last year. Gas and renewables have both made gains, and hundreds of coal-burning power plants have been retired or are scheduled to shutter soon — trends over which Trump has limited influence. Utilities “are not going to flip on a dime and say now it’s time to start building a whole bunch of coal plants because there’s a Trump administration,” says Brian Murray, director of environmental economics at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Read More in The Denver Post


NC Lawmakers Move To Limit Renewable Energy’s Impressive Gains

“Despite the good news about renewable energy, over the last few years, our state legislators and the Utilities Commission have allowed these smart policies to erode, and in some cases, have worked to slow the growth of renewable energy. For example, North Carolina state law prohibits consumers from purchasing electricity from anyplace other than the utility company,” writes School of Medicine professor Dr. H. Kim Lyerly, director of the Environmental Health Scholars Program, with a  colleague.

Read More in The News & Observer

Trump Moves Decisively To Wipe Out Obama’s Climate-Change Record

President Trump will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions. Tim Profeta, who directs the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, says regulators from more than half-dozen states in the Southeast are now talking about how to chart their own path forward. “We are now talking about the evolution of the power sector in an environment of uncertainty,” Profeta says. “We’re seeing the beginning of states taking control of their destiny.”

Read More in The Washington Post

Should Congress Cut The EnergyStar Program?

It makes little sense to eliminate a program that has demonstrable benefits for the economy with fairly low cost to taxpayers, says economist Gale Boyd, who has studied energy efficiency in the industrial sector for over 25 years. “It seems short-sighted at best to eliminate a program like this,” he says. “If we’re interested in revitalizing the manufacturing sector, there may be lots of ways to do that, but having companies become more profitable by being more energy efficient, I think, is a smart strategy.”

Read More in Vice

A Budget for the People?

“The core purpose of federal taxing and spending is to provide the American people with the government services and public goods they need, want, and deserve. The new administration’s budget, if we can even call it that, does nothing of the sort,” writes Mark Paul, an economist and postdoctoral associated at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity.

Read More on Medium

What Trump’s Pending Budget May Slash at EPA

Congress is awaiting President Donald Trump’s budget proposal with the details about his vision of government. According to some reports, the Environmental Protection Agency may lose as much as a quarter of its budget. One of the EPA’s programs, Energy Star — it puts those labels on appliances — could be slashed. Billy Pizer, a professor of environmental sciences and policy, is interviewed.

Listen on “Marketplace”

Oklahoma AG Pruitt Confirmed to Head EPA

“The Senate has confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt filed 14 lawsuits challenging EPA regulations, including limits on carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants,” writes Tim Profeta, founding director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, in a summary of the week’s top environmental news.

Reads More in National Geographic

Energy Discussions Live on as EPA Rule Faces Death

If there’s an enduring upside to U.S. EPA’s doomed Clean Power Plan, it’s that it spurred some much-needed discussions about energy on the state level, says Brian Murray, director for economic analysis at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. “There really was not much going on in terms of coordination and dialogue between energy and environmental regulators at the state level before all this.”

Read More at E&E News