National Public Radio caught up with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who last week was named the United Nations’ special envoy for cities and climate change.
The billionaire former mayor talks about what cities worldwide are doing to help cut emissions (such as bike sharing and efficient lighting) and harden defenses against disasters.
He also says national-level policies should go after coal. “The biggest thing you can do in this country is to close coal-fired power plants. They generate a third of all of the emissions,” he said.
Bloomberg has given millions of dollars to the Sierra Club’s anti-coal-plant campaign. Meanwhile, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is planning first-time carbon-emissions standards for new and existing power plants.
Reuters has a dispatch from EPA’s public hearing Thursday on the proposed emissions rules for new plants, which face heavy pushback from Republicans and industry groups.
Here’s Reuters‘ lead: “Proposed pollution standards for new U.S. power plants, a central part of the Obama administration’s climate -change plan, should not rely on a soon-to-be completed project in Mississippi as an example of how to capture emissions from coal-fired power plants, the plant’s owner said on Thursday.”
The Wall Street Journal has a new story that examines Europe’s coal use in detail.
“The European Union sees itself leading the world in curbing carbon-dioxide emissions and doing more than any other region to mitigate climate change. But it is also increasing the share of electricity being generated by the most carbon-intensive energy source of all: coal,” the paper reports.
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"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.