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President Trump is in need of a science adviser but hasn’t settled on a final candidate for the post yet. Among those in the running is a Princeton atomic physicist named William Happer.

Happer is unique among scientists: he has, for the last 10 years, rejected any and all evidence that humans are causing climate change. He describes himself as an expert on the subject, but has almost no record of peer-reviewed scientific journals on the matter.

But that doesn’t stop him from vilifying actual climate scientists whenever he can.

They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science,” he recently told The Guardian in an interview, speaking about climate scientists.

He also likened their fight to reduce our carbon dioxide footprint to the “demonization of poor Jews under Hitler.”

But Happer isn’t an independent scientist so much as a fossil fuel patsy trying to make a buck. In 2015, Happer was caught by Greenpeace activists in a sting offering to write a report on the benefits of carbon dioxide. In the sting, he suggested ways to hide the identity of the fake organization that would have funded his story.

Perhaps Trump will look to a more reliable, less corrupt science adviser. But probably not.


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100507-N-6070S-316 Gulf of Mexico (May 7, 2010) -- Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard working in partnership with BP PLC, local residents, and other federal agencies conducted the "in situ burn" to aid in preventing the spread of oil following the April 20 explosion on Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/Released)

Oil spills are an expensive thing to clean up, and you’d think with the billions they make a year, oil companies could afford to clean up their spills. But Australian treasury officials have confirmed that oil companies can claim a tax deduction for oil spill cleanup expenses under the PRRT.

“If there was a problem with an exploration well requiring remediation expenditure, to the extent that the expenditure had a close or quite direct connection with the physical activities of the petroleum project, it would be considered exploration expenditure for petroleum resource rent tax purposes and would be available to be carried forward and uplifted,” a treasury official said.

Of course, this is infuriating taxpayer and environmental advocacy groups. Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is speaking out against the new rule.

“The rules have been written by the oil companies for the oil companies and they are laughing all the way to their banks. Parliament enacted these broken laws and its time that Parliament reasserted itself over the fossil fuel giants and rewrote them.”

Jason Ward of the Tax Justice Network called it an “absolute scandal.”

“First we learn that we are giving away our natural resources to the world’s largest oil companies for free and now we know they can get tax credits for oil spills,” he said. “It is mind-boggling that this is actually how the PRRT works.”


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Ever since Trump started forcing through pipelines and rolling back regulations that protect the environment, environmentalists have had to face down a two-dimensional, tired argument:

“Well, if you don’t like pipelines, stop driving your car!”

“If you care about nature so much, stop using polluting electricity!”

“Your computer is made out of plastic you know!”

The worst is when it’s self-identified environmentalists trying to shame others for fighting environmental destruction. Here’s the thing:

It’s fucking bullshit, you’re not clever, and you’re not helping anything.

More than anything, fossil fuel companies, industries that pollute, and the politicians funded by their dirty money want you to believe that it’s either their way or live in an uncomfortable off-grid yurt in the wilderness. And when you take this cheap shot at people who love nature, you play right into the hands of the world’s worst people.

It is up to us to consider the things we do in our daily lives that have an impact on the environment. Don’t let the personal action you take be scrutinized by trolls on Facebook. But it’s also up to us to hold those we give money and votes accountable for their actions.

Don’t get distracted by attempts to paint you as a hypocrite for loving the planet you live on. It’s all a manipulation.

Don’t stop fighting for clean air and clean water. Don’t stop fighting for innovations that make your impact less harmful. Don’t let trolls gaslight you.


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A new poll out from Quinnipiac University has found that a total of 61% of Americans oppose Trump’s rolling back of regulations that keep our air and water clean as well as combat climate change. 29% support the rollback.

The same poll found that 50% of Americans oppose reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, while only 40% support.

Regardless of public opinion being against environmental deregulation, President Trump and Republicans in Congress have launched an assault on any regulation that seeks to keep the environment healthy.

The big question is: will the public remember this when it comes time to vote again in 2018 and 2020 or will they continue to reward the same bad behavior that they oppose? Only time will tell. If you aren’t registered to vote or need to update your voter registration to a new state or address, click here.

The poll surveyed more than 1,100 voters across the country and had a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.


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We hear a lot about oil spills from pipelines and drilling platforms, but we don’t hear all that much about fracking spills. Do they simply not happen all that frequently? Not exactly. States don’t standardize their data on spills, meaning we don’t hear much about them and steps aren’t usually taken to prevent them.

Which brings us to a study conducted by the SNAP Partnership. The study examined available data from four states, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Colorado, and found that in the last decade, there have been over 6,600 spills in just those four states.

But the data itself is fuzzy. For example, in Colorado and New Mexico, a spill only has to be reported if it’s more than 210 gallons. In North Dakota, a spill has to be at least 42 gallons.

What the study found was that there are about 55 fracking spills for every 1,000 unconventional oil and gas wells. The most common spills didn’t have a cause listed. The data states catalog about these spills is spotty and often incomplete, making it difficult for citizens and stakeholders to know the risk of these operations.

This study doesn’t just illustrate the need for more safety measures, but the need for standardized data collection about these spills. The public is being largely left in the dark about it.


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North Dakota State Senator Dwight Cook, a Republican, has rewritten a bill that would allow a public commission to supervise the rates of public utilities to ban wind power for the next 2 years.

The rewrite would effectively terminate “wind option agreements, wind easements and wind energy leases.”

The Senator engaged in what’s called “Hog-Housing” a bill, where the original bill is completely rewritten and new amendments are added. This is a sneaky trick some lawmakers try to use to slip things past the public.

“Coal plants are shutting down and my assumption is wind generation has something to do with it,” said Senator Cook, stating the obvious. Cook thinks that wind power has an unfair advantage because polluting coal plants have so many regulations.

North Dakota has 7 coal plants, one of which will shut down by the end of the year.

About 70% of coal burned in the state doesn’t get fed to the state’s residents but is exported to neighboring states. So this move won’t positively impact the state’s residents whatsoever.

Eight GOP lawmakers have joined him in co-sponsoring the legislation, several of whom have direct ties to the coal industry.


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California is fed-the-fuck-up with all this climate change fossil fuel dirty energy bullshit, that much is clear. They’ve been a leader on the renewable energy and carbon-reduction front for years. And in the age of Trump, they’re pulling no punches.

California Senate leader Kevin de Léon has introduced a bill that aims to make California 100% renewable energy-powered by 2045. 50% of their power must come from renewable energy by 2025, 5 years earlier than the current mandate.

California has some good company. Individual cities, tired of inaction from their state and federal governments, have begun pledging to reach the 100% renewable mark. Pueblo, Colorado and Moab, Utah pledged to go 100% renewable.

Nevada also recently moved to join California by proposing an 80% renewable energy grid by 2040. Nevada assemblyman Chris Brooks proposed AB 206, which mandates 80% renewable power instead of the current 22%. That’s quite the leap!

Massachusetts got even more aggressive by proposing a similar bill for 100% renewable energy by 2035.

Do you think they can do it?


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Trump’s new Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao (Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife) has moved to end funding for a major infrastructure project in California to expand high-speed rail in the Bay Area. The federal government had promised $647 million.

The state of California already invested $150 million into the project set to break ground in less than 2 weeks, and most if not all of that money will be lost.

California’s governor Jerry Brown has been an outspoken critic of Trump, drawing the president’s ire in tweet form on more than one occasion. Trump has even suggested “defunding” California, whatever that means.

This may be the first of many federal programs for California that Trump will kill over petty politics.

While running for president, Donald Trump promised to double down and invest in American infrastructure, creating good-paying, permanent jobs. I guess this is just one more broken campaign promises. Add it to the growing list.


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Since the beginning of the year, South Carolina, Kansas, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, and Tennessee have all proposed legislation that would require electric vehicle drivers to pay an additional fee each year for exercising their right to drive an electric car.

Of course, this isn’t really a fee. It’s a tax on doing the right thing.

Wyoming, Colorado, Virginia, Nebraska, Washington, Missouri, North Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, and Michigan already charge electric vehicle owners annual taxes ranging from $50-$300.

Much of this legislation has come from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a pro-everything-awful legislation writing organization funded by the Koch brothers and other billionaires.

Proponents argue that the fees help make up for gasoline taxes, but the gas taxes we have don’t even adequately fund infrastructure projects. What’s clear is that oil companies, by way of ALEC, simply want to punish EV owners.

Instead of taxing electric car owners, we should be encouraging them with rebates. In Georgia, you used to be able to get a tax credit of up to $5,000 for purchasing an electric car. Since they replaced that program with a $200 yearly tax, EV sales dropped 80%.

This is all just another attempt by big oil to slow the inevitable. Electric cars are the future whether they like it or not.


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You only have to know one thing to be able to see clearly what’s going on here: oil is a finite resource. All fossil fuels are finite resources. So it makes sense that Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil producer, is working desperately to get away from oil use.

The Middle Eastern nation, known for its oil production and disgusting human rights violations, has begun a $50 billion push for renewable energy to decrease their demand for oil while meeting growing demands for energy.

This money will go into building more solar, wind, and nuclear power plants in an attempt to diversify not just how they produce energy, but income for the restive country’s government.

Two huge solar projects are being rolled out. The first, in the Al Jouf province, is a 300-megawatt solar farm. The second is a 400-megawatt wind farm in the Tabuk province.

Many audacious thinkers have tried to pinpoint when “peak oil,” the moment where oil production can no longer increase, is going to happen. Some argue it already has and that the world’s governments are simply hiding it well.

You could look at this news and think maybe that’s the case. It’s hard to know for sure. What we can know for sure is that oil is a finite resource and Saudi Arabia’s investment is a smart one. Every nation needs to follow suit.


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