Refutation of Trump’s pick for Environmental Advisor

The federal Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) responsible for developing and recommending “national policies to the President that promote the improvement of environmental quality and meet the Nation’s goals.” According to the White House website:

Congress enacted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to “declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.”

On August 15, 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13807 on Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure. The purpose?

America needs increased infrastructure investment to strengthen our economy, enhance our competitiveness in world trade, create jobs and increase wages for our workers, and reduce the costs of goods and services for our families…Inefficiencies in current infrastructure project decisions, including management of environmental reviews and permit decisions or authorizations, have delayed infrastructure investments, increased project costs, and blocked the American people from enjoying improved infrastructure that would benefit our economy, society, and environment. More efficient and effective Federal infrastructure decisions can transform our economy, so the Federal Government, as a whole, must change the way it processes environmental reviews and authorization decisions.

Read: fast-track infrastructure projects and don’t worry about NEPA or the Clean Power Plan.

In this case, Kathleen Hartnett White is the perfect climate science denier for the job.

President Trump has nominated White to be his top environmental advisor. It’s Hot Out strongly opposes White’s nomination.

Last Wednesday the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the nomination. By now you’ve probably seen coverage of White’s stammered responses to questions on widely understood and agreed upon principles of climate change. ICYMI the full hearing can be viewed here. Below is a brief video with some highlights.

 

While her rhetoric at the hearing was extremely troubling, possibly more concerning is her record on the issue of climate change. White is Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at Texas Public Policy Foundation, a “non-profit, non-partisan research institute.” The Texas Observer found that TPPF is funded by corporations like Exxon, Chevron and Koch Industries. A few weeks back we covered Koch Industries, a multi-billion dollar energy conglomerate in the business of refining, chemicals, biofuels, forest and consumer products, fertilizers, etc. They back the Cato Institute and it comes as no surprise they also back TPPF.

White co-authored a book called Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy that was published in May of 2016. If you think it sounds similar to Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels discussed last week, you’re right. Here’s an actual quote from the prologue:

“Thanks to the shale oil and gas revolution, America will never run out of energy. We have hundreds of years’ worth of oil, natural gas, and coal–with existing technologies.

Never is a very strong word. It seems White is no stranger to strongly worded argument against the EPA and clean energy. Articles like “Signing the Paris Agreement is the worst way to celebrate Earth Day,” “Renewables are incapable of replacing hydrocarbon at scale,” “Stay the course and halt the clock on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan” and “Restrain the imperial EPA” published to The Hill website spread rampant untruths. Here’s an excerpt from the latter:

Carbon dioxide is an odorless, invisible, harmless and completely natural gas lacking any characteristic of a pollutant. It doesn’t contaminate or defile the air, as actual pollutants do. Ambient levels of carbon dioxide in the air we breathe have zero adverse health effects, in contrast to high levels of genuine pollutants listed in the Clean Air Act like lead and mercury.

Misinformation and falsehoods like this have absolutely no place in our government, especially the CEQ. We need officials who will fight for clean and sustainable energy! Kathleen Hartnett White will undoubtedly do the exact opposite. Contact your local Senator to express your opposition to the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White!

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Go Organic! Affirmation

The American Nutrition Association encourages us to eat organic and help combat global warming in this recent newsletter.  The newsletter addresses a new form of organic farming as a powerful tool in the fight against global warming. Organic farming is a new and improved agricultural production system that does not use genetically modified seed, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Conventional farming that uses pesticides and chemical fertilizers releases at least 3 times the amount of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

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However,  this new organic farming or regenerative agriculture systems reduce the release of carbon. A 23 year farming systems trail performed by the Rodale Institute found that “soil under organic agriculture management can accumulate about 1,000 pounds of carbon per acre foot of soil each year. The accumulation is equal to about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre taken from the air and sequestered into soil organic matter. When multiplied over the 160 million aces of corn and soybeans grown nationally, a potential for 580 billion pounds of excess carbon dioxide per year can be sequestered when farmers transition to organic grain systems.” 580 BILLION pounds of carbon dioxide per year can be saved from going into the atmosphere.

In addition, organic farming relays on solar power and natural techniques therefore uses 1/3 less fossil fuel energy than conventional farming. Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources that we need to conserve as much as we can. Some people argue that organic farming produces less however, the trial also proved the organic plots actually yielded 25-75% more than the conventional chemical farming. It was especially better during dry years because the soil in organic plots could retain more moisture than the soil riddled with pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

So in choosing to eat only certified organic food produced by organic farming we are not only improving our own health but also the health and well-being of our planet. Insisting farmers make transitions to more natural farming techniques we are doing our part to fight climate change.

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Zero Waste Lifestyle

The average American produces more than four pounds of trash per day. Want tips on how to reduce your impact? Look no further than Lauren Singer, a NYC resident who can fit all of her trash from the past four years into one mason jar. Watch this video by Vox about going green and then visit Lauren’s blog to learn more.

Should we eat bugs?

Last week we talked about the effects of the animal agriculture industry on climate change. Insects use a fraction of the resources necessary to raise livestock and contain comparable protein, vitamins and minerals. Watch this TED Ed video to learn more about insects as a sustainable food source.