Environment

Spain’s rare earths pit greens against tech security — and profit

by Valentin Bontemps
Yahoo! News

“Spain’s untapped rare earths are stoking tensions between mining companies and environmentalists and farmers who fear the devastating impact from extracting the minerals considered as essential for a high-tech and low-carbon economy.  The group of 17 minerals are — despite their name — widely distributed across the globe, but exist in such thin concentrations that extracting even small quantities requires the processing of enormous quantities of ore,” according to Yahoo!News.

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Biden takes big step on rules for environmental reviews

by Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk
The Hill

“The move was the first in a two-step process, with advocates and industry leaders expected to keep a close eye on both rules, since what comes next will define exactly where the Biden administration stands on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires the government to consider environmental impacts of major projects like airports, highways and pipelines and carry out environmental reviews before construction begins,” according to The Hill.

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Biden makes early gains eroding Trump’s environmental legacy

by Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk
The Hill

“Thus far, the administration has reversed 42 actions and targeted 73, with no steps taken on another 122, according to a tracker from The Washington Post.  But the process for undoing some of the federal rules is lengthy, meaning it could be years before the Biden administration can undo some of former President Trump’s environmental actions, many of which focused on deregulation,” according to The Hill.

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Former EPA chief to chair pro-Trump think tank’s environmental center

by Zack Budryk
The Hill

“‘As we demonstrated during the Trump Administration, it is possible to have a clean environment without imposing government edicts or onerous, job-killing regulations,’ Wheeler said in a statement. ‘Other countries look to the United States for leadership on environmental issues, and we must do a better job of providing that leadership here at home,’” according to The Hill.

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The stormy relationship between solar power and the weather

by Doug Johnson
Ars Technica

“Solar panels have a love-hate relationship with nature.They need to be placed in exposed locations that get a lot of sunlight, but cloudy weather obviously reduces their production. Less obviously, more extreme weather—from snowstorms to hurricanes—can damage or even break solar hardware altogether. New research performed by Sandia National Laboratories and published in Applied Energy showcases how weather events can reduce the amount of energy produced by the United States’ solar farms,” according to Ars Technica.

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Temperature-Related Deaths Are Declining

by H. Sterling Burnett
The Heartland Institute

“Arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature was just published in the July 1 edition of one of the world’s most the prominent health journals, The Lancet. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two clear conclusions: cold temperatures contribute to far more deaths each year than warmer temperatures, and deaths associated with extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are declining,” according to The Heartland Institute.

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There Are Far Better Ways to Clean the Environment Than Taxpayer Handouts

by Ross Marchand
Real Clear Energy

“The U.S. Department of Energy is hardly on the cutting edge of technological innovation. Its guaranteed loan program bankrolls safe and well-established companies whose taxpayer-funded projects probably would have happened anyway. Its cleantech startup “investments” do not result in meaningful private sector engagement. There are plenty of examples of what goes wrong when the government tries to steer markets in a specific direction. Despite these failures, policies can be pursued to empower companies to balance innovation and ecology without breaking the bank. Free market reforms are a far better alternative to taxpayer-backed loans and subsidies,” according to Real Clear Energy.

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Climate Change Doesn’t Cause All Disasters

by Bjorn Lomborg
The Wall Street Journal

“But this framing tells only a small part of what is scientifically known. Take the recent flooding in Germany and Belgium, which many, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are blaming on climate change. Yet a new study of more than 10,000 rivers around the world shows that most rivers now flood less. What used to be a 50-year flood in the 1970s happens every 152 years today, likely due to urbanization, flood-control measures, and changes in climate,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Heads up: Biden Administration will reimpose disastrous “WOTUS” water rule

by Bonner Cohen, Ph.D.
CFACT

“The biggest power grab in the 50-year history of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was significantly blunted in April 2020, when the Trump administration – to the relief of rural communities across the country — rolled back the Obama-era “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule and replaced it with the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” (NWPR).  That respite, however, was short-lived,” according to CFACT.

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Are Wind Turbines a Danger to Wildlife? Ask the Dogs.

by Sarah Zhang
The Atlantic

“As turbines proliferate across the country, understanding their effect on wildlife is more important than ever. In the early days of turbines, scientists had focused on the danger they posed to eagles and other raptors—but it turns out those big bird carcasses were simply the easiest for humans to spot,” according to The Atlantic.

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Biden’s Monkeywrencher

by Kimberly A. Strassel
The Wall Street Journal

“Presidents are generally entitled to personnel picks. An exception might be a nominee who ran with eco-terrorists—who collaborated with Earth First! saboteurs, known for spiking trees to halt timber sales, and who misled senators about the nature of her involvement,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Biden EPA’s web of conflicts with climate groups forces ethics waiver for one official

by John Solomon
Just the News

“The reason? The other political appointees in the EPA office of general counsel (OGC) already have conflicts of interests that forced recusals, leaving the agency without someone to provide legal advice to the administration, according to new government memos unearthed by the citizen watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust,” say Just the News.

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Biden Bureau Of Land Management Nominee Tracy Stone-Manning Was Involved In ‘Eco-Terrorism’ Case, Resulted In College Roommate’s Conviction, Prison Sentence, Court Records Show

by Andrew Kerr
Daily Caller

According to Daily Caller, “Stone-Manning told a local news outlet in 1993 that she could have faced conspiracy charges had she not struck an immunity deal with a federal prosecutor in return for her testimony.”

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Biden to ‘repeal or replace’ Trump decision removing protections for Tongass forest

by Rachel Frazin
The Hill

“But the Trump administration argued that its decision would increase rural economic opportunity and decrease federal regulation. It also argued that it would only cause a “modest difference” in environmental impacts” according to The Hill.

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The federal government should look to private partners to tackle the wildfire crisis

by Jonathan Wood and Holly Fretwell
Washington Examiner

“Expanding opportunities for states and private parties to collaborate on forest restoration, increased flexibility for the Forest Service to tailor solutions to the needs of individual forests and communities, and reductions in red tape are necessary to move federal forests from a tinderbox to resilient, productive forests,” according to the Washington Examiner.

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