environment

EPA approves use of bee-killing pesticide
Agency also suspends study of bee populations

Award winning bees at the Iowa 2018 State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.  The EPA said Friday it was permitting the broader use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Just days after another federal agency suspended its periodical study of honey bee populations, the EPA greenlighted the wider use of a pesticide that environmental activists warn could further decimate the pollinators.

A major conservation group says it will take the agency to court over the decision.

Levin bill would put electric car chargers at national parks and forests
Transportation sector accounts for nearly a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions

Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., introduced a bill this week to make national parks and forests more electric car-friendly. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill filed Wednesday by Rep. Mike Levin would provide millions of dollars for the federal agencies governing U.S. national parks and forests to facilitate the installation of electric car charging stations to promote the use of zero-emissions vehicles on public lands.

Under the bill, which Levin has dubbed the “Green Spaces, Green Vehicles Act,” The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service would also be required to obtain zero-emissions vehicles and shuttle buses to replace the gas-fueled fleets they use now.

In shift, Trump touts issue not important to his base: the environment
Environmental groups, Democrats not impressed

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. On Monday, he touted his own environmental record. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday pivoted to an issue to which he has devoted little time and tends not to register much with his political base: the environment.

The president said he gave his Cabinet heads early in his term “clear direction to focus on addressing environmental challenges so we can provide the highest quality of life to all Americans.” At the same time he said his administration brought energy-related business back to the United States after the Obama administration “waged a relentless war on American energy.” Under the Obama administration, the United States continued a long trend of making its way to being a total net energy exporter.

Climate change takes back seat at presidential debate — again
But several candidates said they would prioritize recommitting the U.S. to the Paris climate accord

Climate change was lightly touched on during the second Democratic presidential debate in Miami, Florida. California Sen. Kamala Harris, right, and former Vice President Joe Biden, left, speak as Sen. Bernie Sanders looks on. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The second night of the Democratic candidates’ debate Thursday dedicated just as little time to climate change as the first, leaving activists once again frustrated and amplifying their calls for a session dedicated to the issue.

“Adding only a single measly minute to the climate discussion compared to the first night was grossly insufficient — voters need to understand where every candidate stands on the most pressing emergency of our time,” Kassie Siegel, climate director at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, said shortly after the debate. “That’s why we need a climate debate.”

Climate change gets 10 minutes in Democrats’ 2-hour debate
Climate change got little debate time, but that didn’t stop some candidates from weaving climate messaging into their answers

Chuck Todd of NBC News greets Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former housing secretary Julian Castro, former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke and other candidates after the first night of the Democratic presidential debate on June 26, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Climate change is a priority for Democratic primary voters, but the issue got little debate time Wednesday night. But that did not stop some of the candidates.

Senate Democrat Elizabeth Warren came out of the gate calling out “giant oil companies that want to drill everywhere” while the rest of the country watches “climate change bear down on us.”

Oregon’s GOP senators are still missing after stopping carbon bill
Republicans stayed away from the chamber to avoid action on emissions measure

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown authorized state police to round up the missing Republicans. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Seemingly outnumbered on a polarizing climate change bill, Republican members of the Oregon Senate fled the state last week to deny Democrats the chance to pass it.

But even after Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney conceded there weren't enough Democratic votes to pass the measure, the 11 Republican members of the chamber remained away from the state capital in Salem on Wednesday.

EPA rule lets political officials block FOIA document requests
Rulemaking follows Interior Department actions that drew congressional criticism

Environmental Protection Agency prepares regulations on how it responds to freedom of information requests (CQ Roll Call photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new EPA rule would allow political appointees to review and withhold documents requested by the public under the Freedom of Information Act. 

The final rule, published Wednesday in the Federal Register, was signed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on June 14 and takes effect July 25. It was not preceded by a public comment period.

Democrats weave climate messages into spending bills
Aggressive action on climate change and halting rollback of environmental regulations

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., shepherds action on the House’s environmental spending measure. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are using the budget process to offer a clear contrast ahead of an election year between their embrace of aggressive action on climate change and the rollbacks of environmental regulation championed by Republicans when they controlled the chamber in the 115th Congress.

Many of the provisions they’ve included in the fiscal 2020 spending bills may not survive the GOP-led Senate, but Democrats are aware of national polls showing growing voter concern about the climate crisis.

Trump energy plan faces legal blitz over weaker emissions standards
Democratic state AGs join environmental groups saying they’ll sue the federal government over the rule

Emissions spew from a large stack at the coal fired Brandon Shores Power Plant in Baltimore. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Blue states and green groups are gearing up to sue the Trump administration over its new carbon emissions rule finalized Wednesday, which critics say fails to address climate change and the public health risks associated with pollution from the power sector.

The EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule rescinds the Obama administration’s ambitious Clean Power Plan and replaces it with less stringent guidelines for states and coal-fired power plants to reduce their emissions.

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