NRDC in the News – Weekly Highlights: Week of June 12, 2017

  1. NRDC, along with other environmental groups and eleven states, filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Tuesday for failure to finalize five energy-efficiency regulations, that has been receiving widespread national media coverage.  Lauren Urbanek told the Washington Post that without these standards, “consumers are the ones who really lose” while Kit Kennedy was quoted as saying “the delays are not only baffling, they’re unnecessary and illegal” in The Hill, The Daily Caller, MassLive, and Politico. NRDC’s  lawsuit aiming to get the standards published were also cited in scores of other news outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg BNA, and the Associated Press with reprints in more than 80 print and broadcast outlets across the country, including the Washington Post, NBC Miami, Jurist and more.

 

  1. Simon Mui spoke to Los Angeles Times about the importance of California’s unique power to set its own car and truck pollution standards, especially as the administration looks at rolling back fuel mileage standards and other federal rules. “You start messing around with this, and the ability for states to address climate pollution starts falling apart,” he reasoned.Simon also spoke to Consumer Reports about how the longevity of lithium-ion batteries helps consumers save on electric outdoor gear.

 

  1. In a TIME piece about cities and states continuing the clean energy revolution despite Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement, Nathanael Greene said, “I don’t think any state has been quite as fast as blowing past their [wind power] goals as Texas has.” Dylan Sullivan told Bloomberg a Nevada bill sitting on the Governor’s desk that would require 40 percent of the state’s electricity come from clean energy sources by 2030 would be “the most impactful clean energy and climate decision he will have the chance to make.”

 

  1. Geoffrey Fettus was a panelist of a daylong forum on decommissioning New York’s troubled Indian Point nuclear power plant, which received significant coverage. Journal News highlighted Geoff’s remark that “This is a huge industrial cleanup with an extraordinarily different component, waste that will last for hundreds of years.” Mid-Hudson News, WAMC – Northeast Public Radio and The Daily Freeman also quoted Geoff in coverage from the event. Likewise, Matthew McKinzie questioned the longevity of nuclear to Bloomberg BNA, pushing back against industry arguments asking, “‘Is nuclear a reliable partner?’ The trend is negative right now.” NRDC was also cited by The Hill for advocating for more economically-viable energy sources.

 

  1. A series of stories this week magnified the need for water infrastructure investment across the country. Vox quoted Dimple Chaudhary noting that for the first time, “there will be an enforceable commitment to get the lead pipes out of the ground”—thanks to NRDC’s lawsuit—in a story about five Michigan officials facing involuntary manslaughter charges over the Flint water contamination. Anjali Waikar spoke to The Times of Northwest Indiana about the public health concerns surrounding East Chicago’s water, saying “We need to change the conversation in this country when we’re talking about lead to one that takes a zero-tolerance approach.” In addition, The Hill highlighted NRDC’s Safe Drinking Water report as ademonstration of the urgent need for investment in water infrastructure – a missing piece of Trump’s national infrastructure plan. The Daily Mail also cited NRDC’s report and the 80,000 safety violations across the U.S. affecting 77 million people’s drinking water.

 

  1. NRDC’s “Less Beef, Less Carbon” report was highlighted in a Civil Eats article featuring a cartoon of Sujatha Bergen explaining that “Whether we realize it or not, Americans have been fighting greenhouse gas emissions with their fork.” Lena Brook also appeared on Rootstock Radio, explaining the issues behind the overuse of antibiotics in meat, the rise of drug-resistant superbugs and the commitments NRDC is pushing companies to make to change the way meat and poultry is raised.

 

  1. John Moore was featured on E&E TV’s “On Point” program, where he discussed grid vulnerabilities, replacing baseload generation with wind and solar, FERC and other issues. “We know the grid can function on very high levels of renewable energy. It’s not just the federal studies that say so. It’s on the ground experience in large parts of the country where coal is largely irrelevant now,” he explained. Similarly, Peter Miller told Utility Dive that legislation calling for California to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 can work but will require significant changes in grid operations: “This is not Thomas Edison’s grid and it is not as easy as turning power plants on and off to meet demand.”

 

  1. The Buffalo News published an op-ed by Kit Kennedy about New York’s growing wind power development success and how it would be hampered by a State Senate Bill to stop wind power development within 40 miles of military bases throughout New York. “The truth is that the Pentagon already has a thorough process in place to ensure that renewable energy development doesn’t conflict with military operations,” Kit argued.

 

  1. In response to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy calling for a permanent ban on fracking within the Delaware River Basin, Rob Friedman emphasized public concerns in New Jersey Spotlight, saying that should drilling permits be granted, “Regulations won’t prevent the harmful impact of fracking.”

 

  1. David Doniger criticized the two year stay proposed on the methane rules by the Trump Administration, on top of an existing 90-day stay NRDC already filed suit over, in Energywire. NRDC’s lawsuit was also mentioned by E&E News and Platts. David also spoke to Bloomberg BNA about the EPA’s proposal to reconsider the Clean Power Plan, noting that “There is no question making the Trump/Pruitt administration follow the law is going to be difficult.” In addition, David was quoted by Slate about the anti-climate history of Trump’s top DOJ environmental attorney nomination, while David Pettit told Los Angeles Daily News that the EPA’s delay of the Obama -era regulations on ozone emissions is “a step backward in a longer process to move backward on the Clean Air Act.”

 

  1. As part of the Energy & Transportation team’s #DefendEfficiency radio tour, Noah Horowitz appeared on the “Thom Hartmann Show” discussing the attack on energy efficiency. Noah also spoke on “Top of Mind” on Sirius XM and BYU Radio, WILS AM News/Talk Radio in Lansing, MI, and numerous other outlets across the country. Meanwhile, Lauren Urbanek was interviewed on Brainfood for the Heartland on Youngstown, Ohio’s WHTX-AM, and participated in a gaggle of other interviews about the possible end of the Energy Star Program and the benefits of energy efficiency standards.  Elizabeth Noll also appeared on WPHM AM in Detroit, MI and Pat Remick was interviewed on KWAM AM in Memphis.

 

  1. Elly Pepper was quoted by National Geographic on the debate surrounding pangolin conservation efforts by U.S. zoos.

 

  1. Alvin Lin spoke to The Diplomat about China’s efforts to expand renewable energy and lower coal consumption. Barbara Finamore also led a Reuters Live Chat on China’s clean energy role post U.S. Paris withdrawal.

 

  1. The first ever United Nations Ocean Conference ended last week with over 1,300 voluntary commitments in support of improving ocean and marine life protections. Lisa Speer spoke to The Quint about next steps in a potential international “Paris Agreement for the Ocean” to address management of the high seas that lie beyond national jurisdiction. Lisa also spoke to Devex about the critical need to move ahead and address the enormous problems the oceans face.

 

  1. Bobby McEnaney expressed concern about the Interior Departments planned review of federal sage grouse conservation efforts in a collaborative Magic Valley/Associated Press piece, saying “Secretary Zinke has found a new way to imperil the threatened sage grouse: through executive action.”
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