NRDC in the News - Weekly Highlights: January 25, 2016

1. Rhea Suh discussed the impact of the California drought on the agriculture sector with Public Radio International’s “The World.” “Drought looks like no food on the table. Drought looks like no jobs to be had,” Rhea said, highlighting the disproportionate impact of the drought on minority communities in the U.S.

2. NRDC filed suit to bring clean water back to Flint, Michigan this week. Dimple Chaudhary (DC, Litigation) told The New York Times, Gizmodo, and The Detroit News that “We are asking a federal court to step in because the people of Flint simply cannot rely on the same government agencies that oversaw the destruction of its infrastructure and contamination of its water to address this crisis.” The suit was covered by Newsweek, CNN, Time, ABC and many other outlets nationally.

3. Henry Henderson highlighted the role of the EPA in the Flint water crisis with the Washington Post, Chicago Magazine and the Chicago Tribune, stating that “EPA, in the instance of Flint, was unambiguously part of the problem.” He was also quoted in Vice on the Flint lawsuit.

4. Sarah Tallman (CH, Litigation), spoke with the Associated Press about the need to replace the lead pipes in Flint, commenting that “The only way to permanently and completely fix the problem of lead in drinking water is to conduct the full replacement of the lead-containing pipes and solder in a water system.” The piece was also picked up by the Leader-Telegram, with NRDC also mentioned in ABA Journal, MLive, Global Post and Fox News on the replacement of the lead pipes.

5. Allison Clements (NY, Energy and Transportation) was quoted in USA Today and Politico on the Supreme Court decision that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can offer a cut in prices in exchange for reduced usage to large energy users, saying that the decision “gives clean energy a huge boost and keeps America moving forward toward our critical goal of slashing climate-warming emissions, while maintaining a clean, affordable, and reliable electric system.” The Supreme Court decision was also discussed in Energywire, Fortune and Vox.

6. David Doniger (DC, Climate and Clean Air) was quoted in the Los Angeles Times and Energywire, saying that West Virginia and Texas lawyers that are trying to stop Clean Power Plan rules “have trotted out the same arguments that failed to persuade the D.C. circuit panel.”

7. A Bloomberg Business piece brought attention to the global spread of bacteria that’s resistant to a last-resort antibiotic. Carmen Cordova (SF, Health) illustrated 19 countries that colistin-resistant bacteria had been detected in, according to a new NRDC analysis, and highlighted how overuse of antibiotics in livestock plays a role in threatening human health. Carmen was also quoted in Consumerist explaining that once resistance genes are acquired “it can transform bacterium from one posing little threat to a potentially lethal superbug that resists treatment by multiple antibiotics.”

8. The Obama administration proposed rules to curb methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations, which Meleah Geertsma commented on in Vice, The Hill and Energywire, stating that while the rules are an important start to reduce potent methane pollution, “At a minimum, the administration should require the industry to put all of the available and cost-effective measures in place to curb this rampant air pollution problem.”

9. Roland Hwang (SF, Energy and Transportation) was quoted in the National Journal and Grist on the pros and cons of driverless cars, highlighting that “There are clearly a lot of benefits associated with this technology, especially if we harness it and push it in the right direction… But we could create a situation where we might undermine our clean transportation systems.”

10. Midwest Energy News talked to Katharine McCormick (CH, Energy and Transportation) about a bill proposed by a Missouri state lawmaker which would require utility bills to include a separate line item for expenses related to the Clean Power Plan. Kate said the bill emphasizes compliance costs but ignores the benefits of reducing pollution and that “Determining what costs could be attributed to the Clean Power Plan would be a tricky business, because a lot of this transition is happening for purely economic reasons.”

11. Dana Gunders (SF, Health) spoke to Politico after the Rockefeller Foundation pledged to support food waste reduction at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying that reducing food waste in developing counties requires investments in infrastructure and technology.

12. Noah Horowitz (SF, Energy and Transportation) spoke to Greenwire about California Energy Commission’s newly adopted rules for LED lighting standards, which are the first in the nation and make bulbs use less electricity and last longer, saying “Let’s hope these California standards serve as a model and catalyst for future adoption by other leading states and eventually at the national level.”

13. The New York Times published a letter to the editor from Lisa Speer (NY, Oceans Program) about the wonders of the deep ocean and the need for a strong agreement at upcoming United Nations negotiations aimed at better managing and protecting the deep ocean.

14. Research NRDC and UC Berkley are working on to study the effects of ridesharing services on the environment was highlighted in KQED News in light of new rules proposed for ridesharing services in California.

15. The Los Angeles Times noted a letter from NRDC to the California Coastal Commission expressing concern about the attempted ouster of one of its executives.

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