Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, introduced the first “Halliburton Loophole” bill back in 1999, calling for the EPA to exempt enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act as it relates to fracking. (Global Research)
California Air Resources Board Chair Sounds Off On New EPA Head
Capital Public Radio | Ben Bradford
California’s top pollution regulator says her agency is not changing its approach to climate change and air regulation due to the election of Donald Trump and his nominee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. State Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols says California will continue to tighten limits on emissions, even if the EPA scales back its efforts.
Democrats’ Domination May Save Calif. Climate Program
Climate Central | John Upton
As Democrats in Congress confront the specter of watching as the country’s climate policies are dismantled by President-elect Trump, key gains by the party in California could help Sacramento take over as the nation’s leader in the fight against global warming. With a Democrat last week securing the final seat in the state senate, the party held onto its supermajority there. It also expanded its majority in the Assembly beyond the two-thirds supermajority threshold.
OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE
Oil fracking is not the best way to sustain a city
Western Herald | Brenden Mariage
In North Dakota, the uncovering of oil through fracking in recent years has spiked the state’s long time stagnate economy, producing a steady growth in population that has fed the government money by the barrel. The state may need to invest in research to extract water from the liquid gold when the faucets turn to torches. Michiganders have watched the North Dakota economy grow as if the mid-twentieth century automobile peak in Detroit had melted into a black fluid and seeped into the ground beneath, only to be piped back through into a bitter nostalgic barrel of sludge. The appeal of economic expansion may seem like the answer, but cannot take place of environmental longevity.
Oil Company Applies for First New Offshore Fracking Permit in California
Center for Biological Diversity
Federal officials this week announced receipt of a new permit application to frack an oil well in federal waters off the coast of California. If approved it would be the first offshore frack near the California coast since the federal government lifted a moratorium on the controversial oil-extraction process earlier this year. DCOR, LLC submitted the application to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the agency that permits offshore drilling in federal waters. The oil company wants to frack an offshore well in the wildlife-rich Santa Barbara Channel from Platform Gilda and would be allowed to discharge fracking flowback fluid into the ocean.
Trump Expected to Pick Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to Run Interior
Wall Street Journal | Amy Harder and Michale C. Bender
President-elect Donald Trump is expected to tap Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) to lead the Interior Department, according to a person familiar with the matter. Ms. McMorris Rodgers, a senior member of the House of Representatives, if confirmed by the Senate, would lead Mr. Trump’s efforts to open up federal lands and waters to fossil-fuel development and reverse environmental policies the Obama administration has pursued over the past eight years.
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill to Exempt Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Global Research | Steve Horn
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, introduced the first so-called “Halliburton Loophole” bill back in 1999 before it was ever known as such. Sessions co-sponsored the bill (S.724) with the climate change-denying Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). The bill called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exempt enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act as it relates to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). The bill’s language eventually became a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, known today as the “Halliburton Loophole” because the company’s ex-CEO and then-Vice President Dick Cheney headed up the industry-loaded Energy Policy Task Force which helped pen the bill’s language.
Matter of Degrees: How Hot it Gets Still Depends on Us
California Magazine – UC Berkeley | Andrew Leonard
The interviews for this story were all conducted prior to the 2016 presidential election, at a time when the likely outcome appeared quite different. One of the sources was so certain about what would transpire on Election Day that he referred several times to “President Clinton’s energy plan.” The “other option,” he noted, was “so unattractive” as to not bear thinking about. For climate change activists, no truer words could be spoken. The actions taken by President Barack Obama’s administration to tackle climate change now appear to be in great jeopardy. The conclusion of this article—that there is a viable path forward to mitigate the worst possible impacts of climate change—still holds, but at this point it does not seem likely that a Trump administration and a Republican Congress will follow that path.
Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills Are Destroying The Gulf
Wired | Emma Grey Ellis
Hurricane Ivan, after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, stewed for more than a week in the Caribbean, fluctuating between a Category 3 and 5 storm while battering Jamaica, Cuba, and other vulnerable islands. And as it approached the US Gulf Coast, it stirred up a massive mud slide on the sea floor. The mudslide created leaks in 25 undersea oil wells, snarled the pipelines leading from the wells to a nearby oil platform, and brought the platform down on top of all of it. And a bunch of the mess—owned by Taylor Energy—is still down there, covered by tons of silty sediment. Also, twelve years later, the mess is still leaking.
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