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Trump on Earth
19 minutes | 13 days ago
What does Biden's win mean for the environment and the fight to rein in climate change?
President-Elect Biden ran as a moderate Democrat, but he also campaigned on an aggressive climate platform. How much of that agenda he can pursue could rest on who controls the US Senate, pending results of two runoff elections in Georgia. We unpack this with Jody Freeman, law professor at Harvard. Before that she worked for the Obama EPA, where she helped write fuel-efficiency regulations for cars, which were later rolled back under President Trump. Biden has pledged to re-join the Paris Climate accord. Though the agreement is non-binding, Freeman says it will be a significant step.
32 minutes | 25 days ago
How the Environment is Playing in Swing States
On this episode, we're looking at what role climate change and other environmental issues could play in deciding the election. We check in with reporters in three major battleground states--Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida--to find out. Our guests are Alex Harris, a climate reporter with the Miami Herald; Lester Graham, a reporter with the Environment Report at Michigan Radio; and Susan Phillips who covers energy for WHYY and StateImpact Pennsylvania.
37 minutes | a month ago
Will 2020 be the Year of the Climate Voter?
As Election Day nears, a majority of registered voters in the United States say climate change will be an important issue in making their choice for president. That’s according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted over the summer. And it’s a sharp contrast to the 2016 race when only 2% of likely voters listed climate or the environment as their top priority. But a surprising number of people who say they care about climate change and the environment don’t actually cast ballots. That’s where the Environmental Voter Project comes in. For the past four years, the nonpartisan organization has been building what they call an army of environmental super voters. Their goal isn’t to get people to care about the environment more or to change minds about climate change -- it’s to get already registered environmental voters to vote - in the presidential election, and others. And they do it by precisely targeting these voters. On this episode we talk with Nathaniel Stinnet, founder of the Environmental Voter Project.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Trump vs the Courts
Many of President Trump's environmental actions have faced court challenges. So how’s the administration doing? First we hear from Ann Carlson, professor of environmental law at UCLA about a climate change case just added to the Supreme Court docket. And then we take a look at how the Trump administration has been faring in court with Michael Gerrard, professor of environmental and climate law at Columbia University.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a feminist icon in the U.S., as one of the first women in many of the roles and rooms she found herself in over her life. Her death and the subsequent race by the Trump administration to confirm her successor will remake American law for decades, most notably by putting Roe versus Wade in jeopardy. But it could also remake environmental law. On this episode, we look ahead at what the loss of RBG will mean for the environment. But first, we take a look back at her environmental legacy.
22 minutes | 2 months ago
Labor Unions and Environmentalists Join Forces to Defeat Trump
President Trump calls himself a "great environmentalist” while at the same time gutting environmental protections and questioning the science around climate change. He often explains his actions by claiming regulations are job killers that hurt the economy. But even with the rollbacks, traditional blue-collar jobs like those in the coal industry are being lost. And some labor unions actually see efforts to stem climate change as their future. Enter the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labor unions and environmental organizations that pushes for green job growth. It was created by a couple of odd bedfellows - the United Steelworkers union and the Sierra Club in 2006. Jason Walsh is the executive director. On this episode, we talk with Walsh about the election and how the future of the labor and environmental movements is tied together.
135 minutes | 3 months ago
Why the Trump Administration is Rolling Back a Climate Rule that Big Oil Actually Likes
Trump's EPA recently announced that it was rolling back yet another big Obama-era climate rule. This time, the target was a rule on oil and gas emissions of methane, the powerful greenhouse gas that is the main component of natural gas. The Obama administration created the rule in 2016 and some big oil companies actually wanted the administration to keep it. But the Trump administration did away with it anyway. Why? Our guest is Tim Puko. He covers energy policy at the Wall Street Journal and he explains that there is a legal strategy at play aimed at future climate regulations.
23 minutes | 3 months ago
@ Interior: Victories and Defeats for Oil Industry
It took 40 years but this week the Trump administration announced that it would open up 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. The administration argues the decision will lead to jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue, but opponents warn that opening the area to drilling will have a devastating effect on the region - which is a critical habitat for polar bears, migrating caribou and other wildlife. On today’s episode, we talk with Darryl Fears who covers the Interior Department and Wildlife for The Washington Post about what the ANWR win means. And we’ll also talk about a recent defeat. Citing a line from To Kill a Mockingbird, a federal judge in New York struck down a Trump administration decision to scale back U.S. government protections for migratory birds. "It is not only a sin to kill a mockingbird, it is also a crime," Judge Valerie Caproni wrote.
29 minutes | 4 months ago
2020: Our last chance to save the planet?
We are now three months away from an election that could determine A LOT, including what our future climate looks like. On this episode, we discuss the 2020 election through the prism of climate change. We talk with Marianne Levelle, a reporter with Inside Climate News, about Joe Biden's evolving climate policy and why he's gotten more aggressive on the issue. And we talk with Time magazine correspondent Justin Worland who recently wrote a cover story for the magazine titled "2020 is our last, best chance to save the planet.
43 minutes | 4 months ago
Major defeats for pipelines…and Trump.
Federal courts recently handed down major decisions against big pipelines that would transmit oil and gas around the country. And other big pipelines are facing legal challenges that may put them out of business. What do these decisions mean for America's continued oil and gas buildout and the Trump administration's campaign for energy dominance? Our first guest is Ellen Gilmer, who tracks environmental policy & courtroom drama for Bloomberg News. Then, to talk about what the Dakota Access decision means for the rights of America's indigenous people, we hear from Nick Tilsen. He's CEO of NDN Collective, a Native American rights and social justice organization based in South Dakota. Nick is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
15 minutes | 4 months ago
Trump issues final rules to weaken NEPA
This week, President Trump announced he was issuing final rules to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The new rules will limit public review of federal infrastructure projects to speed up the permitting of highways, power plants & pipelines. Since its passage in 1970, NEPA has been used to ensure that federal agencies consider environmental effects of major projects. When the proposed rules first came out, we spoke about the impact of these rollbacks with Sharon Buccino, senior director of the lands division of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
24 minutes | 5 months ago
Living on Earth: Bill McKibben on the Divestment Movement
Harvard is one of the latest in a series of wealthy institutions around the world announcing steps towards pulling their investments in the fossil fuel industry. But Harvard’s announcement has been called too little, too late. Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature” and cofounder of 350.org, reflects on what the divestment movement has achieved so far and how it all began. Also, why racial justice goes hand in hand with the fight for a cleaner environment, and the big takeaways that the coronavirus pandemic has for the climate crisis. This episode comes from our friends at Living on Earth, another podcast about the environment that you should check out.
21 minutes | 5 months ago
Tracking Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks
Harvard Law School is keeping tabs on the regulatory changes of the Trump Administration. What’s the lasting legacy of the nearly 100 environmental rollbacks?
25 minutes | 6 months ago
Can the environmental movement address American racism?
There’s a growing understanding that racial disparities in the U.S. extend beyond policing, to public health and the environment. Communities of color are more likely to breathe polluted air, live near polluting industries and be exposed to toxic chemicals. And now COVID-19 is disproportionately threatening these same communities Our guest is environmental justice leader Mustafa Santiago Ali. From 1993-2017, Ali served as Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization and Assistant Associate Administrator as a founding member of the EPA Office of Environmental Justice. But when the Trump administration proposed drastically cutting EPA’s budget and eliminating the Office of Environmental Justice, Ali resigned in protest. Now Ali is the VP of environmental justice at the National Wildlife Federation.
38 minutes | 6 months ago
Can Joe Biden Convince Climate Voters He Is One of Them?
Joe Biden ran considerably to the right of his top rivals on climate policy. But now that he is the nominee, the Biden campaign is trying to convince climate activists that his campaign is taking the issue seriously.
21 minutes | 7 months ago
Trump's Executive Order to Keep Meat Plants Open Could Be Risky. Here's Why.
President Trump ordered meat processing plants to stay open despite workers getting sick with the coronavirus. On this episode, Jacob Bunge, agriculture reporter for the Wall Street Journal, talks about the meat industry, worker safety, farmers' fears, euthanizing pigs and other issues with the food supply chain.
30 minutes | 7 months ago
If it Ain't Broke What Are We Fixing, Exactly?
Last week the EPA announced a major change to a landmark regulation that has reduced toxic air pollution like mercury from coal-fired power plants. The vast majority of these plants have already complied with the rule. So why did the EPA roll it back now?
30 minutes | 8 months ago
Coronavirus is like Climate Change on Steroids
If you've been following climate change, the coronavirus pandemic might feel oddly familiar these days. Many countries have implemented radical policies that would have been unthinkable a few weeks ago to slow the spread of the virus. Is this what it will take to solve the climate crisis? On this episode, climate journalist Emily Atkin on the intersection of climate change and coronavirus.
18 minutes | 8 months ago
How Dark Money Fuels Mistrust of Science
How does doubt about science play out in a moment like we’re experiencing now where public health and millions of lives depend on good science and trusting scientists? Our guest is David Michaels, an epidemiologist and author of “The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception.”
19 minutes | 8 months ago
EPA to Polluters: Monitor Yourselves
Industry is struggling during the coronavirus crisis and one way the Trump administration has responded is by suspending enforcement of some environmental regulations. The EPA made the announcement on Thursday. Companies are usually required to report when they discharge certain levels of pollution into the air or water. But EPA is now telling them to monitor themselves for an undetermined period of time during the outbreak. Our guest is Rachel Franzin, energy and environment reporter for The Hill.
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