Sustainability Reads: May 19- May 25

Ecuador Issues Permit to Drill in Amazon Reserve
Ecuador’s government has recently issued environmental permits to drill for oil in the Amazon reserve. Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa originally asked developed countries to pay Ecuador to keep the oil in the ground. Some governments were wary of the offer while other countries did in fact give some money to the cause. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and President Correa decided to allow drilling in a small section of the Yasuni reserve. With this new permit, access roads can begin being built. Published on Time.com 

Here’s what to expect from Obama’s big new climate rules
On June 2nd, President Obama plans to personally reveal proposed regulations to curb CO2 emissions from existing power plants, looking to specifically target coal-fired power plants, as the majority of US electricity generation comes from coal. This piece articulates that “regulating CO2 emissions from coal plants, under the authority of the Clean Air Act, is the biggest thing Obama can do to combat climate change without congressional action.” Although we don’t know what the new regulation will look like, we have an idea that it will not look like regulations for new power plants that was released in September. The author of this post thinks that the new regulations will set “different limits for each state on the amount of CO2 generated per megawatt-hour by the state’s entire utility fleet” but such limits will be calculated to allow for economic growth and give flexibility to the states in how to best achieve the reductions. The method would allow for states to better incentivize consumer energy efficiency and states would be able to set up their own emission trading program. The regulations would roughly model the NRDC’s proposed “system-wide” method that would “cut 35 to 40 percent of the CO2 emissions from the electricity-generation sector over 2012 levels by 2025.” By Ben Adler at Grist.org. 

The entrepreneurs turning their business savvy to food waste
This article outlines four American entrepreneurs that are making way in reducing food waste, at all levels of the supply chain, in creative ways. FoodStar Partners partners with farmers and retailers to bring excess product into supermarkets and sells them under the FoodStar brand at discounted prices, while the Daily Table, founded by former president of Trader Joe’s, sells meals and basic groceries at discounted prices with “groceries that haven’t been consumed and are about to be thrown away at supermarkets and food services.”   BluApple offers consumers the technology to keep food fresh for longer and Food Cowboy helps truckers find a place to drop-off produce that distributors reject in order to prevent them from ending up in the trash. These exciting initiatives are changing the way we react and respond to food waste. By Priyanka Sharma-Sindhar at The Guardian.

Latest Auction Results Show that California’s Cap-and Trade is in Full Swing
After California’s seventh cap-and-trade auction, there is reason to be optimistic with the California program to reduce GHG emissions. Besides the fact that “all current vintage year allowances offered for sale were purchased,signaling continued confidence in the program,” a complete sale of 2014 allowances “also demonstrates that some of California’s worst polluters are paying for their emissions.”  The price for vintage allowances was 16 cents more than the floor price of $11.34 and 44% of future allowances were also purchased. Recent emissions data released shows that California’s “continued economic growth has not resulted in the same amount of emissions growth,” showing that the state is growing in an energy efficient way. By Katie Hsia-Kiung and posted on EDF blogs.

Marco Rubio Still Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About On Climate Change
This piece by Jeff Spross at ClimateProgress gracefully undermines each of Marco Rubio’s arguments against climate change. Rubio, Florida Republican Senator, has claimed multiple times this year that he does not believe in human’s responsibility for climate change.  Rubio has not been able name any sources for the reasoning behind his suggestions and on Tuesday Senator Rubio once again stated that there’s “no scientific consensus on human responsibility for climate change, that surface temperatures have stabilized over the last two decades, that cutting carbon emissions would destroy the economy, and that U.S. policies won’t do anything about the problem” on Bill O’Reilly’s show. This article goes through each one of these four statements to find the truth behind them and demonstrate to the public just how misguided Marco Rubio is in his climate change denial. 

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