NRDC in the News - Weekly Highlights: Week of October 17, 2016

1. Last week, nearly 200 countries adopted a global agreement to phase down the powerful climate-warming gases called hydrofluorocarbons. A widely carried Associated Press piece quoted David Doniger, who was at the negotiations in Kigali, Rwanda, saying the new agreement is “equal to stopping the entire world’s fossil-fuel CO2 emissions for more than two years.” The piece was picked up by PBS News Hour, Politico, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, ABC News, Albany Times Union, San Francisco Gate, MSN, Times of India, South China Morning Post, and over 250 other outlets.

2. David Doniger also spoke to The New York Times about the collaboration between industrial and environmental groups behind the Kigali deal, saying the chemical industries “learned that without a rule change, their new products couldn’t compete. They woke up and said, ‘The science is real.’” The piece was picked up by MSN. In addition, David was quoted on the agreement in The New York Times’ blog “Dot Earth,” Politico, International Business Times, Christian Science Monitor, Buffalo News, Mashable, and a ClimateWire piece carried by Scientific American.

3. Tracy Quinn expressed concern about California water usage to The New York Times, criticizing the lifting of the mandatory conservation targets earlier this year. “We had one normal, average precipitation year among five. We certainly don’t know what the next few years will bring,” Tracy said. The article was also carried by Las Vegas Sun.

4. Kate Poole was quoted in an Associated Press piece on water regulators’ finding that endangered native fish in the California Delta need more water to survive. The article ran in over 130 outlets nationwide, including Yahoo! News, CNBC, US News, ABC News, Washington Times, Fort Wayne (Indiana) News-Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, Seattle Times, and Daily Mail.

5. In a Washington Post piece highlighting how the floods in North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew spurred renewed criticism of factory farming practices, Mae Wu explained that “what this flooding does is really bring to light all the human health and environmental consequences of letting them have these open pits of [fecal] waste just sitting out there.” The piece was picked up by Houston Chronicle, Standard Examiner, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Virginian-Pilot, Jacksonville (North Carolina) Daily News, and UK Progressive Magazine. United Press International also quoted Mae on the issue.

6. David Wallinga spoke to Bloomberg News about how despite new FDA efforts to reduce antibiotic abuse in livestock and limit the rise of superbugs, the pharmaceutical industry continues to market antibiotics to veterinarians while expanding sales internationally. “It just underscores that this has to be a change that happens across the entire world. And the companies bear a big responsibility for that approach,” David explained. The story was picked up by Chicago Tribune, (Magic Valley, Idaho) Times-News, Pharmacy Choice and The Malone (New York) Telegram.

7. Scott Slesinger spoke to Bloomberg BNA about conservationist efforts to block some of the harmful environmental riders in FY17 budget legislation. Riders aimed at scaling back environmental regulations have spiked significantly in recent years. “The one thing that seems to bring together the old, business-friendly Republican caucus and the Tea Party is rolling back environment regulations,” Scott said.

8. Franz Matzner expressed concern to The San Jose Mercury News over a new solar enhanced oil recovery program that uses sunlight instead of gas to pump oil, explaining that pollution, land degradation and negative health impacts are still associated with petroleum production. It’s “a sign of solar’s advantages over oil and coal and gas,” he said. The piece was picked up by East Bay Times.

9. Sasha Stashwick spoke to Offshore Wind about a new NRDC study showing that wind and solar are likely to be less expensive than burning trees for replacing coal power in the United Kingdom, saying “the emissions risks associated with biomass are simply too big to be ignored, and now we see that the economics of biomass don’t make sense” either. Sasha was also quoted on the report’s finding by Business Green, Bioenergy Insight Magazine, Clean Energy News, Clean Technica, and Debbie Hammel was also quoted by EU Reporter Energy in its coverage of organizations participating in the International Day of Action on Bioenergy.

10. Ralph Cavanagh appeared on Greentech Media’s podcast, “The Interchange.” Ralph discussed how to transition to a clean, decentralized grid with a representative from the Edison Institute for Electric Innovation, answering questions about how to charge customers, recover fixed costs, and more.

11. Mae Wu spoke to The Liberty Beacon about the dangerous levels of pharmaceutical drugs and other chemicals in drinking water throughout the country, saying “This hasn’t been getting enough attention. The problem hasn’t been getting better because we are just ignoring it.” Mae also highlighted that “consumers shouldn’t just assume that bottled water is more clean, more safe and pure than tap water” to Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, advocating for stricter regulations on both bottled and tap water. Likewise, The Washington Post discussed EPA admitting it should have intervened in the Flint water crisis earlier, mentioning that NRDC petitioned the agency to take emergency action last October.

12. Richard Schrader talked to Morning Ag Clips about a letter NRDC and coalition groups sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urging him to sign the “Farm to Food Bank” tax credit bill into law. “This legislation helps farmers and the hungry as well as mitigating climate change. It should be signed into law,” said Richard. The Associated Press also mentioned NRDC in its coverage of the issue.

13. In an EcoWatch story unveiling the devastating environmental impact of American homeowners’ desire to keep their lawns greener and lusher than their neighbors, Ed Osann pointed to sustainable landscaping strategies that move away from mowed turf and water-guzzling, chemical-hungry lawns.

14. Ashok Gupta spoke to St. Louis Post-Dispatch about a recently released scorecard issued by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) that showed Missouri is the most improved state in the nation in terms of energy efficiency. “The improvement was great. The question is: How are we going to continue to improve?” asked Ashok.

15. Inside EPA Climate featured Jackson Morris and NRDC in its coverage highlighting that RGGI states are expected to adopt a stronger 2020-2030 greenhouse gas cap. “It’s a question of how much more stringent” than EPA’s rule it will be, Jackson stated, adding that the 5 percent reduction is “entirely realistic and viable.”

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