Know your cement, get greener concrete

Read the full story from Phys.org. The research paper is available here.

An international team of scientists has created a new database of molecular dynamics models that simulate the properties of cement in all its varieties. It’s intended to help fine-tune this component of concrete and curtail emissions in its manufacturing process.

The Energy 202: The other scientific consensus the EPA is bucking

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Trump administration skepticism of climate-change science is no secret.

But there’s another scientific consensus the Environmental Protection Agency just bucked on Tuesday when it announced it is unraveling the Obama administration’s effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s electricity sector known as the Clean Power Plan.

That would be the scientific agreement that there is no safe level of coal-fired power plant pollution that is healthy to breathe.

The Myth That ‘Business’ Hated Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

But the Clean Power Plan, which which would have required states to meet certain individualized targets to limit emissions from existing power plants, was also supported by a wide array of businesses. Many big companies that have publicly pledged to reduce their environmental footprint would have been happy to see a shift toward more renewable energy, and even stood to benefit from it if it brought their energy costs down. The divide highlights something that is becoming increasingly obvious as the Trump administration rolls back various Obama-era policies: The business world isn’t a monolith, and some benefit from regulations that others detest.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Buh-Bye to Clean Power Plan — and Maybe His Job, Too

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

On Tuesday October 10, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is expected to set the wheels in motion to rescind the Clean Power Plan. The Obama-era initiative was designed to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from power plants in general and coal fired power plants in particular. President Trump made tearing up the Clean Power Plan a key element in his 2016 campaign, so the squeeze is on Pruitt to deliver.

As if Pruitt doesn’t have enough pressure on him already, several factors are combining to turn up the heat to the boiling point — and somewhat ironically, his own job may be at stake.

E.P.A. Says It Will Write a New Carbon Rule, but No One Can Say When

Read the full story in the New York Times.

When Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, signed a blueprint Tuesday to eliminate a major Obama-era climate change regulation, the text said the agency would at some point consider a new rule to ratchet down greenhouse gas emissions.

But those adept at reading between the lines of dense federal documents say the subtext reads more like: “Don’t hold your breath.”

How Will the Clean Power Plan Repeal Change Carbon Emissions for Your State?

Read the full story in the New York Times.

new analysis from the research firm Rhodium Group breaks down which states appear to be still on track to meet their Clean Power Plan targets even after repeal and which are not. Nationwide, the group projected that emissions from electricity would fall 27 to 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 even without the plan — but could have declined even further if the rule had gone into effect.

What Filthy Old Birds Can Tell Us About Air Pollution

Read the full story at Gizmodo.

By analyzing sooty birds housed in museum collections, scientists have been able to track patterns of US air pollution over the last 135 years. As the new study shows, air at the turn of the 20th century was even dirtier than we thought—a finding that will now be used to improve our climate models.