What Environmental News to Watch the Week of March 6


resized coal fired plant March

Here’s a list of some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch this week.

Clean Power Plan to get unplugged. President Trump is expected to issue an executive order this week ordering the EPA to begin the process to rescind the 2015 Clean Power Plan, which aims to slash carbon pollution from power plants. Andrew Childers is reporting.

And another executive order anticipated. Trump is expected to sign an executive order Thursday that ends an Obama-era freeze on new coal leases on public lands. Stephen Lee is watching.

Calling the shots on public land. The Interior Department’s new Secretary Ryan Zinke says decisions about public land use should be moved more to the agency’s regional, state and local offices, which may portend changes in permitting of such activities as mining, timber harvesting and leasing for oil and gas development.  Alan Kovski is reporting.

Fast Growth Headed for Northeast Shale Gas Pipelines. An increase in pipeline capacity for natural gas in the U.S. Northeast this year and next is expected to boost profits for producers and help hold down prices for Midwest and East Coast buyers. Alan Kovski has the story.

National Academies Meeting. EPA and state regulators, toxicologists, statisticians and other experts discuss at a meeting Monday and Tuesday how insights from cell and molecular research can help policy makers make decisions about whether chemical and other exposures cause disease. Pat Rizzuto will be there.

What’s next for clean water? The path ahead to rewrite the Clean Water Rule (following Trump’s order to withdraw it) is filled with legal bumps and curves, lawyers say. Amena Saiyid has the story.

Mark your calendar. A court date is set in May for when an appeals court hears arguments over the EPA’s appeal of a decision that requires an evaluation of job losses to the coal industry caused by air pollution regulations. Andrew Childers has the story.

Circuit judges mull endangered species case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hears arguments Monday challenging pesticide approvals under the Endangered Species Act, a potentially precedent-setting case.  Tiffany Stecker is on it.

Pesticides and bees. Pesticide producers in Brazil are now required to study the potential toxic effects of their products on bees under a new ordinance.  Michael Kepp has the story.

Gray wolf protections dropped in Wyoming. Gray wolves can be crossed off the list of endangered species in Wyoming, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rules--a decision activists call illegal, Alan Kovski is reporting.