Peter Dykstra: Support your local enemies of the state

Peter Dykstra: Support your local enemies of the state

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This Tuesday, the 27th, is designated as Giving Tuesday. It's the day when we're encouraged, exhorted, and maybe a little guilt-tripped to support all manner of worthy causes.


This was a big year for journalists – the first full year of our presidential designation as Enemies of the State.

We're proud of what we do, and grateful that you read what we report and aggregate. It goes without saying that we feel our work on climate and environment is more important than ever with the Trump Administration hell-bent on dismantling environmental protection and denying basic science.

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Diluting the meaning of "toxics"

Oxford Dictionaries has named "toxic" as its official word of the year. We use it a lot in its original context – to identify a poisonous or harmful substance. But the real growth in use of the word has been as a metaphor – "toxic" relationships or "toxic" attitudes, like those that inspired the #MeToo movement.

Oxford reports a 45 percent increase in searches for the word. Environmental scientists and activists have labored for years to defeat the notion that "dilution is the solution to pollution." Now, it's the word "toxic" itself that faces dilution.

Didn't see that one coming.

Belated birthday wishes

Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr

Last Thursday, Senator Jim Inhofe turned 84. I have a standing interview request with the Senator for Nov. 17, 2034, his hundredth birthday – he's an unusually youthful octogenarian, so he may make it.

At that time, I'm looking for a sit down to discuss how the Senator's climate "hoax" is going.

Zinke: Next to resign?

There's stiff competition on which Trump principal will go next: Chief of Staff Kelly? Homeland Secretary Nielsen? But for those who keep records on such things, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is another likely pick, with multiple ethics investigations underway.

Ronald Reagan's scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford and Interior Secretary James Watt both made fairly quick exits – Gorsuch lasted two years, two months before spending more time with her family, including future Supreme Court Justice and son Neil. Watt made it two years, nine months.

Scott Pruitt bested the elder Gorsuch, exiting in a year and six months. If Zinke leaves any time before next October, Trump's environmental team will enjoy a clean sweep in the swampy Olympics.

algoma steel sault pollution
Algoma Steel, pictured in 2020. (Credit: Christopher Katsarov Luna/EHN)

Cleaner steelmaking can’t come fast enough for this Northern Ontario city

Algoma Steel continues to exceed Canada’s standard air pollution limits for cancer-causing compounds and struggles with spills as it pushes toward a “green” makeover.

SAULT SAINTE MARIE, Mich. — Peter McLarty technically stopped teaching science in 2000. But the retired high school teacher continues to educate — only now it’s about the dangers of a massive steel-making plant in his Northern Ontario community.

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Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
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groundwater conservation aquifer depletion
Credit: kaninw/BigStockPhotos ID: 430959740

Recent court rulings bolster state power to safeguard groundwater

In a significant shift, western states are gaining ground in the battle to conserve their precious groundwater resources.

Christopher Flavelle reports for The New York Times.

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preserving language amid climate change
Credit: Larry Lamsa/Flickr

The struggle to preserve North Sami language amid climate change

In a warming Arctic, the North Sami language, rich in specialized terms for snow, reindeer and fishing, faces the loss of words and knowledge integral to the Sami people's heritage.

Erika Benke reports for the BBC.

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EPA power plant pollution rules
Credit: The White House/Flickr

EPA revises its approach to regulating natural gas plant emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency delays implementing emissions regulations for existing natural gas plants, opting for a more comprehensive review to include more pollutants.

Matthew Daly reports for the Associated Press.

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Vermont moves to protect pollinators by proposing pesticide restrictions

Vermont's legislation to limit neonicotinoid pesticides, known for harming bees, progressed through the House Committee with substantial support.

Abagael Giles reports for Vermont Public.

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West Texas faces a surge in abandoned well blow-outs

An abandoned well explosion in West Texas exposes the broader issue of orphan wells and environmental oversight.

Martha Pskowski reports for Inside Climate News in partnership with Carlos Nogueras of the Texas Tribune.

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From our Newsroom
petrochemical shell pennsylvania plastic

Tracking petrochemical accidents across the US

A new database monitors fires, flares, spills and other accidents at petrochemical plants.

petrochemical houston gulf coast

Lives “devastated’ by petrochemical industry pollution in Texas: Report

New analysis illustrates the climate, environmental, and human rights tolls linked to petrochemical production surrounding the Houston Ship Channel region.

LNG gulf coast

LNG production comes with a price, Gulf Coast communities warn

US takes the global lead on liquid natural gas production and export, as economic promises and environmental worries collide.

LNG gulf coast

La producción de gas natural licuado tiene un precio, advierten las comunidades la Costa del Golfo

Entre promesas económicas y preocupaciones ambientales, Estados Unidos lidera la producción y exportación de gas natural licuado.

Ante la expansión del GNL en la costa del Golfo, la comunidad espera erigirse como un muro de contención

Ante la expansión del GNL en la costa del Golfo, la comunidad espera erigirse como un muro de contención

“La gente no sabe qué haríamos sin el petróleo y el gas. Esto nos sale muy caro”.

extreme heat

Op-ed: We are undercounting heat-related deaths in the US

Knowing how many people die or get sick from heat-related causes is essential for the policy arguments to equitably adapt to and mitigate climate change.

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