Republican attack on the environment

Pope Foundation a core element of Climate Change denialism network

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A network that is coordinated and very well-funded:

According to Brulle's research, the 91 think tanks and advocacy organizations and trade associations that make up the American climate denial industry pull down just shy of a billion dollars each year, money used to lobby or sway public opinion on climate change and other issues.

“The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires,” says the Guardian, “often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change.”

We've talked a lot here at BlueNC about the propaganda written by Civitas and JLF, and the amount of direct influence Art Pope has exerted on Republican lawmakers here. But those things are visible and often "in-your-face." The function of the Pope Foundation as part of a much broader scheme to undermine science is not so easily detected, unless you use science to detect the anti-science:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Go get 'em, Avner

Duke professor to address EPA over coal ash deregulation:

Nearly six years after a busted drainage pipe at a Duke Energy coal ash containment pond turned the Dan River into an oily sludge, the Trump administration is considering a move to roll back some of the Obama-era rules that ban the disposal of coal ash in soil or pits and landfills that aren't lined to protect the environment.

At his Duke University lab, ABC11 caught up with the geochemistry professor headed to the EPA hearing about the issue scheduled for Wednesday morning. Avner Vengosh told ABC11 he's going in hopes of convincing the agency to keep the protections in place. "My coming to EPA is to bring the science," said Vengosh. "Demonstrating that putting coal ash without restrictions is a really bad idea."

Professor Vengosh and his graduate students at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment have done groundbreaking work on contaminants that threaten water quality. They're the ones who (finally) proved the Methane contamination of drinking water wells actually originated from the shale being fracked miles below, by looking at the isotopic signature. So we should all be inclined to pay attention to them on this as well:

Monday Numbers: Some sobering truths for Climate Week

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Lisa Sorg at NC Policy Watch breaks it down:

1 — US rank in cumulative CO2 emissions, 1850-2013

2 — US rank among all nations in CO2 emissions, 2017

30% — Estimated decrease in CO2 emissions in 2030 over 2005 levels if the Obama-era Clean Power Plan were to remain in effect

9% — Estimated decrease with the Trump administration’s rollback of the CPP

Which sort of explains why the Trump administration is not even taking part in this year's Climate Summit at the U.N., because they don't have any good answers for the inevitable questions that would be brought up. Trump is single-handedly trying to burn the entire planet down, probably so he can buy up the scorched land with a song and build golf courses and hotels. Lisa says it better:

Climate crimes: EPA set to undo rule to curb fugitive Methane emissions

This is the price we pay for electing a dangerous idiot:

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce Thursday that it will loosen federal rules on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas linked to climate change, according to two senior administration officials.

The proposed rule will reverse standards enacted under former president Barack Obama that require oil and gas operations to install controls on their operations to curb the release of methane at the well head and in their transmission equipment, including pipelines, processing and storage facilities.

I just had a debate with a friend over the fugitive Methane problem, which is why these numbers are already in my head: We've got 2.4 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. alone, and some 1.1 million active oil & gas wells in some stage of operation. This rule was a critical step in reducing greenhouse gases, but Trump doesn't care about any of that. He's like an angry toddler breaking some other kid's toys:

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