NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California closing

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, California’s soon-to-be-closed last power plant | Photo by: Pacific Gas and Electric

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

The Trump threat – Republicans are worried Donald Trump is tilting the closest Senate races away from the GOP during a cycle when the election map already had them playing defense. (Politico)

California pushes for further commitment to climate change Governor Jerry Brown announced he wants to extend California’s climate law beyond 2020. (LA Times)

Bringing down the House energy bill – Environmental groups are urging the U.S. Senate not to work with the House after “controversial and problematic provisions” were added to the energy bill. (The Hill)

Trading nuclear for clean energy – With the closing of California’s last nuclear plant, wind and solar energy are on the rise, cutting emissions and costs. (The Hill)

L.A.’s heatwave threatens communities of color – L.A.’s current heatwave means dirty diesel fuel will burn in communities of color without the residents’ say so. (Grist)

Kerry’s Arctic climate message – After visiting the warming Arctic, Secretary of State John Kerry says more needs to be done to combat climate change. (Washington Post)

Teaching climate change –  Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is pushing for a climate curriculum for people of all ages as we reach the first anniversary of the Pope’s vital message on climate action. (The Hill)

Wildfires in the West – Western states such as California and Utah are feeling the effects of global warming as wildfire seasons increase in length. (ThinkProgress)

NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

Paul Ryan announces proposals that seek to find common ground with Donald Trump. Photo: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Paul Ryan announces proposals that seek to find common ground with Donald Trump. Photo: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

#NeverTrump Will stark differences on the issue of climate change between the candidates unify the electorate against Trump? (The Hill)

Paul Ryan vs. the planet – House Speaker Paul Ryan released a plan to roll back Obama’s signature reforms including the Clean Power Plan. Ryan’s plan is an attempt to find common ground between the GOP and the country’s Climate-Denier-in-Chief, Donald Trump. (Washington Post)

How Clinton won California — With last-minute endorsements, including from the NRDC Action Fund, Hillary won the California primary by a 13-point margin. (Washington Post)

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Obama air pollution rule, again – In a big win for the Obama administration (and American families), the Supreme Court refused to hear yet another request from states to overturn the EPA’s 2012 mercury rule. (The Hill)

Transportation is now America’s biggest climate problem – For the first time in over 35 years, America’s cars, trucks, and planes emit more carbon dioxide than its power plants do. (Vox)

The world nears peak fossil fuels for electricity – As renewable energy becomes cheaper and cheaper, global demand for fossil fuel electricity production will continue to fall. What happens when our cars go electric, too? (Bloomberg)

Guest Opinion: Take Trump Threat Seriously

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Many thought Donald Trump would be dumped in the GOP primary, but instead he triumphed.   Trump passed two big milestones last month as he clinched the GOP nomination and then pulled even with Hillary Clinton in national polling. We would be foolish to also underestimate the threat he presents in the general.

Give the Donald some credit (in case he didn’t do enough of that himself)—a man that few took seriously a year ago could be sitting in the Oval Office a year from now.  This would be a disaster for the country generally and the environment especially. A lot has already changed since May, but it’s still worth looking at how he reached these milestones to prepare for what might come next.

First, the nomination.  Let’s face it, for this candidate—who is historically neither a party man nor a clear conservative—to seize the party’s mantle is nothing short of a palace coup.  He held a mere plurality of support among Republican voters until the last of his opponents dropped out and faced much hostility from most of the party establishment.  He did it by exciting great intensity among those conservative supporters who did flock to him and by drawing in a segment of white working class independents and Democrats who might have gone elsewhere in a different political climate. 

It’s easy to find Democrats and independents deploring this turn of events, but it’s remarkable just how many prominent Republicans share in the shock (and awe).  Objections have come not only from compassionate conservatives such as David Brooks, Kathleen Parker, and Michael Gerson, but also from hard right figures like George Will, Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson.  Former nominee Mitt Romney has voiced all-out opposition and no living former Republican president has endorsed (OK , there are only two and they’re both Bushes; but still…).  The #NeverTrump movement didn’t prevent Trump from achieving presumptive status as the nominee, but his recent controversies have given proof to their concerns.
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NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

Clinton calls out Trump on climate – After she clinched the Democratic presidential nomination this week, Hillary Clinton urged Americans “to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century, not insist that climate change is a hoax.” (Scientific American)

Fearing Trump, greens run to Clinton – Environmental groups are rushing to endorse Hillary Clinton now that the general election matchup looks set. (The Hill)

India and the U.S. act on climate – President Obama and Prime Minister Modi of India pledged to ratify the Paris Agreement this year. (Washington Post)

Failing Flint – Senate Republicans have once again failed the people of Flint, Michigan by rejecting an amendment to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that would have addressed the drinking water crisis in Flint, provided $1.9 billion for clean water infrastructure improvements and reduced lead contamination nationwide. (NRDC press release)

Who’s behind Donald Trump’s extreme energy policies? – Donald Trump’s energy policies outlined in his May 26 speech in North Dakota are being shaped by oil billionaire Harold Hamm. (Washington Post)

Climate action for plants – The USDA is putting $14.5 million towards research into plant resilience, health, and production in the face of climate change. (CNS News)

Protecting the Paris climate deal – Despite Donald Trump’s promises to dismantle the Paris accord, the Obama administration is rushing to secure it. (Politico)

Why does Sen. Kirk keep voting against clean water?

flint water crisisFor more than two years now, the people of Flint, Mich., have been warned to drink bottled or filtered water because the stuff coming out of their taps is tainted by high levels of lead, which is especially dangerous to kids. This would be considered a dire emergency in most communities in America, but the U.S. Senate keeps telling Flint residents they’re not a priority.

It happened again this week.

The latest roadblock? Senators including Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted Thursday to kill an amendment that would have finally addressed the ongoing Flint emergency. It was another frustrating moment in the fight for safe drinking water for all Americans, and a big blow to Flint residents who need and deserve to be able trust the water coming out of their faucets.

But this isn’t the first time Kirk has shown his apparent lack of concern for clean water. Earlier this year he voted to kill EPA limits on pollution in waterways that feed into our lakes and rivers. Perhaps it’s no wonder he’s considered one of this year’s most endangered Senate Republicans.

The people of Illinois deserve a senator who will fight both for safe drinking water and clean, unpolluted waterways for fishing and swimming. That’s why the NRDC Action Fund, along with our colleagues at the Sierra Club and LCV Action Fund, were proud to endorse Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in her race to replace Kirk in the Senate. His vote against emergency aid for the families of Flint reassures us we made the right choice.

Kevin Curtis is executive director of the NRDC Action Fund.

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