Environmental Issues Report, September 2017




September 5, 2017



 I.  Climate Change

Aug 29:  ExxonMobil’s Climate Change Court Case

Story from Chemistry World, Aug. 29, 2017; from Inside Climate News, Sep.  16, 2016; from Union of Concerned Scientists, Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air, Jan. 2007; Inside Climate News, Nov. 21, 2016; ExxonMobil Corporate Statement, 2015


Aug 8:  Trump’s Climate Change Denial Polcy

Story from The Guardian, Aug. 8, 2017
  • Trump’s ‘experts’ have blacklisted most terms referring to Climate Change and be replaced with terms to camouflage the real issue, for example:
    • ‘Climate Change’ is to be changed to “extreme weather”;
    • ‘Climate Change adaptation’ changed to “resilience to weather extremes”; and
    • ‘Reduce Green House Gases” to “increase nutrient efficiency”.
  • The Administration’s fear has to do with solving the problem with engineering technology without emphasis on an economic system change and to use the power of words and terminology to shield against doing anything immediately about Global Warming and more climate disasters.
  • There are also states like Florida and North Carolina that forbid the use of terms or plans to deal with sea level rise.


Aug 4:  Schwarzenegger Muscles In Against Trump

Story from Politico, Aug. 4, 2017
Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking on Treasure Island
July 24, 2017
Arnold Schwarzenegger is pictured. | Eric Risberg/AP
  • Speaking out against Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement he comes up with something called a Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook.
  • It’s a “curated list” of legislative actions created to protect the Environment and produce jobs.
  • It’s especially meant to provide politicians and other policy leaders of States the information needed to prepare bills on Climate Change and other environmental issues.
  • Fran Pavley, author of AB 32 (California’s Global Warming Solutions Act) spoke out positively about the ex-Governor’s effort.


II.  Fossil Fuels

 Sep 3:  Kremlin Backed Anti-Fracking Groups in U.S.

Story from AlterNet, Jul. 31, 2017
  • Two Texas House members maintain that the Russian government financed such organizations like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters to further Russian natural gas instead of U.S. exported gas.
  • Democrats consider this a “cheap ploy” by Republicans to further their own programs and take attention off their own Russian-connection accusations.
  • Gathered information reveals a Hillary Clinton speech with vague reference to Russia supporting environmental groups.
  • A Bermuda-based company called Keith, Ltd. allegedly got funds from Russia to give to Environmental organizations was also referenced.


III.  Water and Food Reports      

Aug 31:  Paris Goals Must Include Eating Less Meat

Story from DeSmog Blog, Aug. 31, 2017
  • The UN climate talks in 2016 had over 80 sessions on the role agriculture plays in Climate Change.
  • beef cattle in feedlot“Keep t in the cow” is a recent slogan on the Climate Change front advocating for doing something about the importance agriculture plays in GHGs (Green House Gases).
  • Eating less meat, especially ruminant meat (beef & lamb) and preferably moving the world toward a vegetarian diet are advocated.
  • Planting crops that store carbon in the soil and revising the production techniques of factory farms are favored techniques.


Aug 22:  Merger of Largest Pesticide-Seed Companies

Story by The New York Times, Aug.22, 2017; European Commission, Aug. 22, 2017; Food and Water Watch, Aug. 21, 2017
  • Bayer, the German multinational, announced it would like to buy Monsanto last year and the deal is being investigated by the European Commission.
  • The press release made the announcement official regarding  this important agricultural merger that would have worldwide impacts.
  • It’s barely mentioned in congress and farmers are worried the corporate profit control means increased costs to them and to the consumer.
  • If the merger happens Monsanto-Bayer would own 69% of the GMO patents and control:
    • 70% of all cotton seed sales in the U.S.
    • 77% of the corn and canola seed market
    • and would have a say in the price of every row crop seed in U.S
  • Both companies have a long history of disregard for public health and ethics shrouded in the profit motive.


Aug 21:  The Delta Tunnel Project

Story by The Sacramento Bee, Aug 21, 2017; from Restore the Delta; from San Francisco Examiner, Aug. 31, 2017


Aug 3:  Groundwater and Oil Wastewater

Story from KQED Science, Aug. 3, 2017; EcoWatch, Oct. 27, 2016

An injection well in San Joaquin County



IV.   Politics and Miscellaneous Items

Sep 4:  The Arkema, Inc. Toxicity Mystery

Story from NBC News, Sep. 4, 2017; Story from EPA website, Aug. Explanation from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)


Aug 30:  Hurricane Harvey and Climate Policy

Story from inside climate news, Aug. 30, 2017: ProPublica, Mar. 3, 2016

Hurricane Harvey makes landfall on the Texas coast near Corpus Christi. Image: NOAA/GOES Project

  • The Trump proposed budget has cuts to almost all agencies that deal with natural disasters, including climate-related research.
  • After rescue and disaster control Congress will grapple with funding natural disasters and, hopefully, Climate Change/Global Warming issues.
  • It’s almost as if Harvey came knocking on the door of the nation’s fossil fuel capitol, Houston, for a lesson in future economics and ethical budgeting – right on time for Trump’s budget negotiations!!  (Last year, a ProPublica report warned of this very storm.)
  • Will they recognize Climate Change’s role in this and all future storms, rising sea levels and a promise of steadily increasing migrations?


Aug 26:  The National Monuments’ Issue

Story from The Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2017; Los Angeles Times, Aug. 22, 2017


  • Trump’s executive order signed in February, is to review all national monuments established since 1996, and are larger than 100,000 acres.
  • The Dept. of Interior minister, Ryan Zimke, is soon to make public his recommendations for “boundary adjustments” to as many as 21 national monuments.
  • Zimke is to identify those national monuments that can be shrunk to  smaller areas for economic purposes raising fears of Environmentalists that large chunks of land will be opened to oil & gas drilling, logging, cattle grazing, and mining.
  • So far, Zimke is not recommending elimination or selling off any parks and claims his list for changes is still in draft form and not ready for public viewing.
  • The list of national monuments created under the Antiquities Act since Theodore Roosevelt contains 129 protected areas ranging from 31 states, DC, and Pacific Islands.
  • California has 6 such national monuments for reconsideration:
    • Berryessa Snow Mountain
    • Giant Sequoia National Monument
    • Carizo Plain National Monument
    • San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
    • Mojave Trails National Monument


V. Events


Aug. 15 – Sept. 15 – Get involved to Help pass SB 100, Calif.’s Clean Energy Bill


Wednesday – Saturday, Sept. 6 – 9 – Soil Not Oil Conference: the agriculture – climate change connection returns to Richmond for a 4-day conference.

Location:  Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA.


 Saturday, Sept. 9, 9:30am – 12:00pm – National Day of Action against Energy Transfer Partners (the pipeline company) or #StopETP.

Location:  Todos Santos Plaza, 2151 Salvo St., Concord, CA

Sunday, Sept. 17, 6:30 – 9:00pm – The Cap and Trace Scam, to find out what happened in passing the Cap & Trade extension supported by Gov. Brown.

Location:  California Nurses Association, 155 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA.


Saturday, Sept. 23, 11:00am – 3:00pm – Rainwater Harvesting Workshop

Oakland location revealed upon registration.


Other Sources of Events:

Includes other 350 branches in the Bay Area.

Located in San Francisco, has a basic focus on watersheds but   emphasizes community projects and promotes ecological awareness.

 The environmental center of leadership and events in Berkeley

The Long-time Berkeley nonprofit focusing on green and healthy activities, especially in East Bay.

The Bay Area umbrella organization for spearheading activism centered around the SF Bay oil refineries, oil and coal trains, and environmental justice issues centered in East Bay but not limited to the Bay Area.



The End