Trump’s Repeal of Stream Rule Hurts Climate, Species


When he rolled back a regulation to protect streams from mining pollution last week, President Donald Trump made good on his promise to ease up on coal mining. “This repeal is ignoring a lot of the recent science that clearly documents a lot of these downstream impacts,” says biology professor Emily Bernhardt, who has studied the ecological effects of coal mining.

Read More at Inside Climate News


Economics of Dakota Access Pipeline

“The financial crisis and ensuing banking bailouts ensured private profits while socializing losses. Trump is bringing the same logic to the table, socializing costs associated with pollution — and not counting them — while privatizing profits from the pipelines,” writes Mark Paul, postdoctoral associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. (Photo by Tony Webster)

Read More in The Huffington Post

Where Will Clean Power Plan Organizers Refocus Their Efforts?

Think tanks and other groups around the country for the past few years have examined how states could comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. As the fate of the plan remains uncertain under the Trump administration, those organizers turn their focus to the questions states face as they navigate a still-changing electricity system. Tim Profeta, director the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, says the institute’s work “on climate policy and clean energy extends beyond a single policy. Ultimately, power sector planning does not occur in four- or even eight-year increments.”

Read More in Climatewire

Behind Trump Pipeline Orders, a Pledge to Deliver Energy Jobs

President Trump has issued executive orders backing pipelines, and wants to open federal lands and loosen regulations. All that may add jobs in the industry, but market forces are in driver’s seat. Opening up federal lands “won’t necessarily lead to more wells if natural gas prices are low,” says Lincoln Pratson, a professor of earth and ocean sciences. For oil, Pratson says that demand from car drivers and truckers looks more stable than poised for big increases.

Read More in the Christian Science Monitor

Trump Signs Away TPP, But Will Better Deals Result?

President Donald Trump is expected to focus more on trade deals with individual countries now that he has ended U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Could the bilateral deals be better for the US than the 12-nation TPP? Law professor Rachel Brewster says an advantage of big trade agreements like TPP is they can put pressure on companies because they do not want to be left out of the partnership.

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Future Uncertain for Clean Power Plan

Legal challenges and the recent U.S. presidential election have left the future uncertain for the Clean Power Plan, which regulates greenhouse gases from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. A new working paper from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and UNC’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics examines possible responses.

Read More From the Nicholas Institute

Federal Environmental Policy Not Easily Changed

An analysis co-authored by Megan Mullin, associate professor of environmental politics, examines President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. “(Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt) is more deeply skeptical of the agency’s mission than any EPA administrator in a generation,” they write.

Read More in The Washington Post

Green Technologies Need to Proliferate 10 Times Faster

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with an ambition of limiting temperature rises even further to 1.5°C. But the United Nations later said in a report that current greenhouse emissions will exceed that which is needed to keep global warming in check by 2030 unless the pace at which emissions are curbed is not increased. “Based on our calculations, we won’t meet the climate warming goals set by the Paris Agreement unless we speed up the spread of clean technology by a full order of magnitude, or about 10 times faster than in the past,” says Gabriele Manoli, a former postdoctoral associate at the Nicholas School of the Environment, who led the study.

Read More in E&T

Trump’s ‘Historic’ Opportunity to Reshape the Federal Courts

Ernest Young, a Duke University law professor focused on the federal courts, expects Democrat-led states to respond to President Trump’s potential regulatory changes by issuing their own regulations on issues such as climate change and immigration. If that happens, Young predicts the lower federal courts will see cases involving conflicts between federal and state law.

Read More in the Daily Signal