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Today's Climate

11/19/2020

No Senate? No Problem, Progressive Group Tells Biden.

The Biden administration can still pursue its ambitious climate plan even if Democrats don't win control of the Senate, a think tank led by a former top aide to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. Most of Biden's goals can be met by teaming up with the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department to provide trillions of dollars of low-interest loans to clean economy efforts, the group said.

(Politico)

Building Roads Could Deforest Millions of Hectares in the Amazon Rainforest, Report Says

Road projects in the Amazon could drive deforestation of millions of hectares over the next 20 years, environmental researchers said in a new report. Several countries and major companies have vowed to slow or halt deforestation in the Amazon, a major carbon sink for the planet. But despite those pledges, deforestation in the region has only gotten worse, our reporting found.

(Reuters)

Iota’s Devastation Comes Into Focus in Storm-Weary Nicaragua

The devastation caused by Hurricane Iota became clearer Wednesday as images emerged showing piles of wind-tossed lumber that used to be homes and concrete walls that were pounded into pieces by the second Category 4 storm to blast Nicaragua's Caribbean coast in two weeks, the Associated Press reports. Ongoing search and rescue efforts have so far brought the nation's death toll to 16.

(Associated Press)

Inside Clean Energy: Arizona’s Net-Zero Plan Unites Democrats and Republicans

After a last minute compromise, Arizona is set to become the latest state to require 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. Vineyard Wind 1, the pioneering Massachusetts offshore wind project, sees another delay. And business giants have formed a new lobby group aimed at boosting electric vehicle sales. It's all in the latest Inside Clean Energy by Dan Gearino.

(InsideClimate News)

Utah Lawmakers Push to Block Cities From Banning Natural Gas

Republican lawmakers in Utah are pushing a bill that would prevent any cities in the state from banning natural gas in new buildings, despite no Utah city proposing to do so, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The measure comes as a growing number of cities—most of them in California—institute natural gas bans as part of their efforts to fight climate change, our reporting found.

(Salt Lake Tribune)

Forest Service Finalizes Rule Weakening Environmental Review of Its Projects

The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday finalized its decision to weaken environmental analysis of many of its plans, a move critics say will exacerbate climate change and sidestep public input. The new rule allows the service to use a number of exemptions to avoid requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, the nation's bedrock environmental protection regulation.

(The Hill)

Biden Eyes New Leadership at Troubled Public Lands Agency

The Biden transition team is in the early stages of developing a shortlist of potential nominees to lead the Bureau of Land Management, a public lands agency critics say has slipped into disarray during the Trump administration, The Hill reports. The BLM could be vital to implementing national climate policy, but recent leadership has marred the agency's reputation and decisions, our reporting found.

(The Hill)

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