Environment Inhabit newsletter

Halting federal climate action isn't so easy

In this edition: Trump's effort to dismantle Obama's Clean Power; a rising mind-set of shared sacrifice regarding water in the West; progress in Flint.

What we're writing

Why Trump rollback of Obama policies isn't easy

President Trump signed an "Energy Independence" executive order, aimed especially at scrapping the Clean Power Plan, which calls on states to reduce electric-utility emissions. But, although Trump and his team can certainly slow US efforts to respond to climate change, it may be much harder for them to lock a different direction into place for the long term. // Mark Trumbull and Henry Gass

Lake Powell stretches across the Utah-Arizona border. Known for its house boat tourism, the reservoir retains water for states in the Upper Colorado River Basin that would otherwise flow through the river and into Lake Mead, which serves densely populated areas in the lower basin.
Zack Colman/The Christian Science Monitor
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On Colorado River, a mind-set of shared sacrifice

A wet winter is easing water strains in the Southwest, but the longer-term outlook is generally hotter and drier. States now have that in mind in water bargaining. Last in our six-part series on emerging water solutions in the American West. // Zack Colman

Is the end in sight for the Flint water crisis?

The Michigan city's water crisis may finally be reaching resolution, with a settlement that would require the city to replace 18,000 underground pipes by 2020. But many of the problems that led to the contamination still have to be addressed in other areas of Michigan and across the United States, some experts warn. // Weston Williams

How climate change may drive extreme weather

Scientists say climate change could be altering the jet stream in a way that causes extreme heat waves, droughts, and flooding. // Eva Botkin-Kowacki

Courts now at front line in climate battles

As governments make commitments on emissions – or fail to do so – questions of follow-through increasingly land in court. Vienna's airport is a case in point. // Tamara Micner

What we're reading

A call for 'red teams' to challenge climate science

Should Congress fund "skeptic" scientists to challenge mainstream climate science? Debate was lively at a congressional hearing. // The Washington Post

Coal-mine waste could yield elements for clean energy

Researchers in Appalachia examine whether one of the region’s biggest liabilities – coal-mine waste – might supply rare earth elements. // Southeast Energy News

Solar energy + salt water = veggies in the desert

A project uses what's abundant to make "what we need more of." // Thomson Reuters Foundation

Should weatherization programs really be axed?

Building owners who make efficiency upgrades are making big cuts in emissions, a study concludes.  // The Washington Post

What's trending

'Climate change is real': Companies challenge Trump

“We believe that investing in a low-carbon economy will not only help foster a healthier environment, it is also a key to unlocking new business growth potential for the US and around the world.” // Gap spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson, quoted in The Guardian

On network news, just 50 minutes for climate in 2016

"Combined climate coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox News Sunday decreased significantly from 2015 to 2016, despite ample opportunity to cover climate change." // Newly released analysis by Media Matters

California in gear for cleaner cars

"Eight years from now, new cars and trucks sold in the Golden State will be required to have an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon.... The sheer size of California’s market, and a unique waiver from the Clean Air Act, give it an outsize role in determining what comes out of your car's tailpipe. With this vote, it’s trying to raise those standards at the same moment when the feds and automakers want them eased." // Patrick Reilly, writing in The Christian Science Monitor

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