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Parts Per Billion
14 minutes | 8 days ago
Arctic Drilling Push Comes Down to Trump's Final Days
The Trump administration may need every single minute of its four-year term to accomplish its goal of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.On today's episode of Parts Per Billion, we hear from Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer A. Dlouhy about how the administration is in a race against the clock to auction off leases in this environmentally sensitive area of northeastern Alaska. Jennifer says there's so little time that it's possible the auctions may take place on Inauguration Day, just hours before President-elect Biden takes office.
22 minutes | 23 days ago
The Morning After and Federal Agencies Hang in Balance
It's the morning after the elections and we don't know who the next President of the United States will be. But, despite that, we do have some idea of how things might change for the federal agencies that regulate the environment.On this special episode of our weekly environmental podcast, Parts Per Billion, we speak with three Bloomberg Law reporters about exactly how environmental policy could shift and about who would be on the shortlist to lead the EPA and the Interior Department.
13 minutes | a month ago
Post-Soviet Treaty Complicates EU's Climate Ambitions
The European Union is on a continent-wide push to reduce its carbon emissions. But some environmentalists say this goal is threatened by a nearly 30-year-old treaty enacted in response to the fall of the Soviet Union.On this episode of our weekly podcast, Parts Per Billion, we hear from Stephen Gardner, Bloomberg Law's Brussels correspondent. He explains how a treaty meant to spur energy investment in post-Soviet republics has turned into a powerful tool of Europe's fossil fuel industry.
13 minutes | a month ago
States Are Taking Action, Slowly, on Nonstick Chemicals
Several states—including the biggest, California—have moved to partially or fully ban the use of nonstick chemicals known as PFAS in firefighting foam. But many of these bans won't take effect for years or, in some cases, many years.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, we talk with Bloomberg Law California correspondent Emily C. Dooley about the Golden State's own recently enacted PFAS ban and its long, winding journey through the state's legislature.
15 minutes | a month ago
Trump's Wetland Dispute Slogs On at Bedminster Course
President Donald Trump has been in a nearly decade-long dispute with New Jersey environmental officials over some relatively minor wetlands violations at his signature golf course there. Though these violations were minor, they bring up some interesting questions about what happens when a President in charge of making environmental policy decisions is also personally affected by those decisions.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, we talk to Bloomberg Law's Stephen Lee about what's going on at the President's golf course and why managing this or any golf course is environmentally tricky.
13 minutes | 2 months ago
Oil Wildcatters a Wild Bunch in Oil-Poor Nevada
The federal government is granting leases that allow oil drilling on huge amounts of federal land in the state of Nevada. This is despite a fossil fuel market with highly depressed prices—and despite scant evidence that any oil actually exists below the Silver State.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, we talk with Bloomberg Law's Bobby Magill about the colorful bunch of so-called "wildcatters" who are not only willing but eager to search for oil in Nevada's vast public lands.
13 minutes | 2 months ago
Do EPA Chemicals Protections Protect 'Cancer Alley?'
There's a section of the Gulf Coast in the South that has significantly higher rates of cancer than other parts of the country. This section, nicknamed "Cancer Alley," is also home to dozens of chemical factories and petroleum refineries.Today on Parts Per Billion, we talk with Bloomberg Law's Pat Rizzuto about how the EPA calculates the risk of toxic chemical exposure in areas like Cancer Alley and about how some activists are using the agency's own data to prod it to change.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
How Ginsburg, and Her Absence, Affect the Environment
Though she may be better known for her work on gender equality, late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a substantial impact on environmental law.On today's episode of Parts Per Billion we hear from Bloomberg Law's Ellen M. Gilmer about some of Ginsburg's most notable environmental opinions and about how these types of cases may fare at the high court after her death.For more on this topic, check out a column written earlier this week by Harvard Law School professor Richard Lazarus.
19 minutes | 2 months ago
Air Quality Gadgets Fly Off Shelves in Smoky, Hazy West
One sign of how bad the wildfires have gotten along the West Coast is that the newest must-have tech gadget there is a personal air quality sensor.These devices send data on air quality to any smartphone or computer and, with wildfire smoke blanketing cities up and down the coast, manufacturers say demand is off the charts.On this episode of Parts Per Billion we speak with Laura Bliss, a reporter with Bloomberg's CityLab. She reported on the rapid adoption of these devices in communities affected by wildfires and about the way they're responding to a desire for real-time data that federal regulators can't provide.
17 minutes | 3 months ago
EPA Racial Justice Plan Has Interestingly Timed Debut
EPA chief Andrew Wheeler rolled out a new plan recently that addresses issues of environmental justice, when pollution disproportionately affects low-income communities and people of color.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, Bloomberg Law's Stephen Lee joins us to explain what's in this plan and why the timing of its rollout, just a couple months before Election Day, may not be a coincidence.
18 minutes | 3 months ago
Markey Win Shows Green New Deal Far From Irrelevant
Prospects for the Green New Deal legislative package were looking dim after it was introduced in Congress early last year. But since then it's had some surprising ripple effects.For example, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) used his early support of the Green New Deal to fend off an intra-party challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III. Markey beat Kennedy by more than 10 percentage points in their state's Sept. 1 primary.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, environment reporter Dean Scott explains how Markey used his environmental credentials to hold onto his seat and how the Green New Deal may play a significant role on Capitol Hill for years to come.
15 minutes | 3 months ago
California Fighting Massive Wildfires With Blackouts
California's power companies are trying to stop wildfires by imposing targeted blackouts in high risk areas. Their hope is that this will prevent a downed live wire from sparking a conflagration.This strategy was effective a tamping down fires last year, but in the year of Covid-19, many worry the solution will be nearly as bad as the problem.On this episode of our podcast, Parts Per Billion, California correspondent Emily C. Dooley talks about how power companies are struggling to ensure people fighting the pandemic don't lose power, and also about whether there may be a long-term solution that doesn't require ad hoc power shutoffs.
16 minutes | 3 months ago
Arctic Drilling a Bittersweet Prize for Oil Industry
Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a decades-long dream of the energy industry, is closer to reality than ever before after the Trump Administration announced it will start auctioning off drilling rights as early as this year.But these drilling rights could easily be slow-rolled—or even outright canceled—if Democratic nominee Joe Biden becomes President next year, according to Jennifer A. Dlouhy, an environmental reporter with Bloomberg News. And beyond that, the oil industry is facing record-low prices, with many firms struggling to simply stay in business, Dlouhy said. Will anyone even want to drill in the Arctic?Dlouhy joins our podcast, Parts Per Billion, to talk about what exactly the Trump Administration did with ANWR and why so much of the refuge's future depends on the outcome of this November's elections.
47 minutes | 3 months ago
Investigating the Killing of an Environmental Activist (Podcast)
Parts Per Billion is on a short vacation this week. But while we’re gone, we wanted to share with you the first episode of a new podcast from our colleagues at Bloomberg News.The podcast is called Blood River and it’s about the search to find the killers of Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres, who was assassinated in her home country in 2016. Blood River follows a four-year quest to find her killers – a twisting trail that leads deep into the country’s circles of power.You can subscribe to Blood River on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you get your podcasts.
14 minutes | 4 months ago
Biden Win Would Be Game Changer for Climate Lawsuits
We don't know what environmental policy will look like under a potential Biden administration, but we do know that the Democratic presidential candidate has signaled he wants to get much more involved in a series of high profile climate change lawsuits.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, Bloomberg Law's Ellen M. Gilmer looks at what it would mean if a Biden Justice Department starts assisting cities and states in their legal fight against fossil fuel giants.
2 minutes | 4 months ago
Introducing: Blood River
The killers of Berta Caceres had every reason to believe they’d get away with murder. More than 100 other environmental activists in Honduras had been killed in the previous five years, yet almost no one had been punished for the crimes. Bloomberg’s Blood River follows a four-year quest to find her killers – a twisting trail that leads into the country’s circles of power.Blood River is out now.
16 minutes | 4 months ago
Polluted Town Says EPA Declaring Premature Victory
Much of the town of East Chicago, Ind., is a federal Superfund site, having endured decades of pollution from a now-shuttered lead smelter.Recently, the EPA said cleanup work there has been successful and is moving to take a large swath of East Chicago off of its Superfund list, a compilation of country's most polluted sites. However, some residents of the town, which is predominately Black and Hispanic, say they weren't consulted on this decision and don't think their community is safe yet.On this episode of our podcast, Parts Per Billion, Bloomberg Law's Sylvia Carignan talks about how the EPA's Superfund program works and why some disadvantaged communities feel that it has too much of a top-down orientation.
17 minutes | 4 months ago
EPA Funding May Get Snarled in Campaign Brinkmanship
Funding for the EPA, the Interior Department, and all other federal agencies expires on Oct. 1, the end of the government's fiscal year. But House Democrats may have a strong incentive to try to push this deadline past November's elections into the lame duck session of Congress.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, Capitol Hill reporter Kellie Lunney talks about how lawmakers are crafting spending bills for environmental agencies and also explains the complicated game theory at play in this pivotal election year.
17 minutes | 5 months ago
Big Pipeline Projects Get Rapid Fire Bad News
Just within the past few days, two big energy pipeline projects suffered major legal defeats and another one was abandoned by the company pushing it.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, Bloomberg Law's Ellen M. Gilmer updates us on this fast-moving news and explains why the litigation strategy of environmentalists who oppose these projects is now paying off big time.
17 minutes | 5 months ago
Water Shortage Hits Tribes, But Is Mining to Blame?
With the coronavirus spreading rapidly, several American Indian reservations in the Southwest are experiencing extreme water shortages, a problem worsened by poor water infrastructure.Though no one denies the acuteness of the problem, what is in dispute is who's to blame. Activists and environmentalists in these communities say decades of water-intensive coal mining has caused a dramatic drop in their aquifer. But the company that ran these now-shuttered coal mines disagrees.On this episode of Parts Per Billion, Bloomberg Law correspondent Tripp Baltz explains the effect this dispute is having on these tribal communities and why Congress may be about to step in.
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