Proposed federal budget and its impact on energy and environment: A roundup

Below is a roundup of some of the most recent stories about the effect of President Trump’s proposed budget on energy and environmental agencies. I’ll do additional roundup posts as more information becomes available.

New York unveils state methane reduction plan with focuses on food waste, landfills

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Dive Brief:

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a new multi-agency “Methane Reduction Plan” that is part of the state’s goal to reduce energy sector emissions 40% by 2030, based on 1990 levels. According to the plan, landfills account for 58% of the state’s methane emissions and 5% of overall emissions.
  • Recovering or recycling organic waste from large generators is listed as the state’s top priority for reducing emissions from landfills. This is said to include support and funding from multiple agencies for food donation networks, composting facilities and anaerobic digesters.
  • As for landfills themselves, the report cites proposed revisions to the Part 360 permit system that would require the installation of horizontal gas collection wells in newly constructed landfills or cells. The state also plans to review strategies for active or closed sites and review its guidance in comparison to the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas reporting criteria to identify any potential regulatory updates.

A Trump twist? Environment over economy in Michigan

Read the full story from Michigan State University.

Most Michigan residents would prefer policymakers prioritize the environment over economic growth, finds a new survey by Michigan State University researchers.

Great Lakes Scientist says, “If We Lose The EPA, We Lose Lake Erie”

Read the full story from Great Lakes Now.

At the 8th Binational Meeting of the Lake Erie Millennium Network, 125 scientists gathered at the University of Windsor in Ontario to hear experts weigh-in on the health of the southernmost, warmest and shallowest of the Great Lakes.

They presented research on everything from climate change, water quality, phosphorous, agricultural run-off, cynobacteria (blue-green algae), hypoxia (deficiency in oxygen), cladophora (green algae) to ice, invasive species, sediment concentrations, and much, much more.

Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume, and yet it has the highest population living along it’s shorelines, which makes it more vulnerable to pollution and many other problems than the rest of the Great Lakes.

The Canadian province of Ontario as well as the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan share its shoreline. Nearly 12 million people get their drinking water from Lake Erie.

Its primary inlet is the Detroit River.

Lake Erie is important not just for its drinking water, beaches, swimming and boating, but for its fish.  The number of anglers on Lake Erie is greater than any other of the Great Lakes.

The lake, unfortunately, is famous for getting so polluted in the late 1960’s, one of its tributaries caught fire. The incident helped lead to the formation of the EPA, the Clean Water Act and other regulatory agencies and regulations.

Over the past fifty years, there have been incredible improvements to the quality of Lake Erie, but the scientists at the conference admitted they were concerned about some of the old issues that led to Lake Erie’s pollution returning once again without constant research, monitoring and regulations.

Trump’s 2018 budget will squeeze civilian science agencies

Read the full story in Science.

The chunk of the federal budget that includes most of the U.S. government’s spending on basic science would shrink by 10.5% in 2018 under a plan outlined today by President Donald Trump and administration officials.

The Trump Presidency’s Potential Impact On Climate Change

Read the full transcript from Fresh Air.

ProPublica senior reporter Andrew Revkin discusses President Trump’s possible cuts to the EPA, as well as the potential impact of pulling out of the Paris climate accord.