The Atlantic hurricane season starts next month — a time when coastal states have their disaster plans at the ready. Now, the federal government wants states to consider the potential effects of climate change in those blueprints.
States lay out strategies for reducing harm from a whole host of calamities that might strike, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or drought.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, gives states money to mitigate those risks — grants that might help pay for tornado safe rooms, or to elevate buildings in a flood zone, for instance.
A rare joint Congressional hearing in Washington Wednesday took up the issue of ‘Waters of the United States,’ the EPA’s attempt to more clearly define which bodies of water qualify for federal protection under the Clean Water Act.
As StateImpact’s Logan Layden reports, Republicans at the hearing — including Oklahoma’s senior senator and state attorney general — are convinced the move is a vast overreach of the EPA’s power that will place everything from ditches to farm ponds under government control.
Administrator Gina McCarthy explained the EPA’s action as a benign clarification of existing rules meant to reduce confusion for farmers and ranchers, not further burden them. Senator Jim Inhofe wasn’t buying it.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm
Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.
This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.
The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."
The Republican wave that put the party back in full control of Congress also put Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe back in charge of the Senate committee that oversees the country’s environmental policies.
The political shift in Washington comes at time when — from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to enforcement of the Regional Haze Rule that’s riled Oklahoma officials— the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a lot of things in the air.
Election night was a rough one in general for the left, but some of the tears spilled on November 4th were over the specific issue of climate change, and what a fully Republican controlled Congress might do to thwart President Obama’s environmental efforts.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:30 pm
President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.
The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.