Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site

Greg Nash

WARREN WANTS TO FORCE CLIMATE DISCLOSURES: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to require corporations to disclose to the public and investors how much they are contributing to climate change and what risks it causes their businesses.

Warren, seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2020, has largely built her political career on pushing to expand corporate accountability, like her role in launching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

She proposed the Climate Risk Disclosure Act Friday to raise public awareness of how dependent companies are on fossil fuels and how the effects of climate change could hurt them.

{mosads}The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would dictate the exact rules, but Warren’s bill spells out sweeping standards for the disclosures, including companies’ greenhouse gas emissions, their fossil fuel holdings, how climate policies would impact them and how climate effects like rising sea levels could hurt them.

“Climate change is a real and present danger — and it will have an enormous effect on the value of company assets,” Warren said in a statement.

“Investors need more information about climate-related risks so they can make the right decisions with their money,” she said. “Our bill will use market forces to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy — reducing the odds of an environmental and financial disaster without spending a dime of taxpayer money.”

Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Ed Markey (Mass), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) co-sponsored the legislation.

Will it pass?: It almost goes without saying that this kind of legislation is unlikely to pass while Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. As Warren prepares for a potential White House bid, it serves to show how she feels about climate change, and how climate interacts with the financial and economic issues that have been central to her political career.

Read more on the bill here.


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SIERRA CLUB BACKS GILLUM IN FLORIDA: The nation’s largest environmental group endorsed Democrat Andrew Gillum in his race to become Florida’s governor.

The Sierra Club backed the progressive Tallahassee mayor days after the Republican in the race, former congressman Ron DeSantis, released an environmental plan that the group panned as inadequate.

Sierra Club slammed DeSantis’s plan for not mentioning climate change, and said it was inadequate in areas like stopping offshore drilling near Florida and tackling the state’s toxic algae problem.

“Gillum established a strong track record of environmental protection while Mayor of Tallahassee,” Frank Jackalone, director of the Sierra Club’s Florida chapter, said in a statement.

“He has a wonderful, refreshing vision for protecting Florida’s natural treasures, combatting the causes of climate change, and ensuring clean air and water for our families and our wildlife.”

Gillum won the Democratic nomination for the gubernatorial race last month in a surprise upset against former Rep. Gwen Graham.

He holds progressive positions, supporting a “Medicare for All” healthcare plan and a $15 minimum wage. He would be Florida’s first black governor.

Read more.


TRUMP OFFICIALS TO OPEN REFUGE NEXT TO FORMER NUKE SITE: The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to open up thousands of acres surrounding one of the county’s most contaminated former nuclear sites in Colorado despite grave opposition.

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is pushing ahead with plans to open up more than 5,000 acres in Colorado’s Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge to the public Saturday, the agency confirmed to Colorado Public Radio.

The decision to make the more than 11 miles of hiking, biking and riding trails open to public use comes despite objections by local officials and environmentalists.

The refuge, designated by Congress in 2011, surrounds a restricted superfund site that for decades was the location for the manufacturing of Plutonium for Nuclear Bombs. Plutonium particles are known to cause cancer.

The refuge is located 12 miles northwest of Denver. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Colorado health department both say its safe for continued use following tests that found only an “an extremely small” increased risk for cancer in the area.

Local environmentalist groups sued in May over health concerns, arguing that not enough testing had been done, but no verdict has been declared. The judge denied attempts to keep the refuge closed to the public until the ruling.

Read more here.



Representatives of various nations defeated a Japanese proposal at the International Whaling Commission to end the ban on commercial whaling, The Guardian reports.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed another set of climate bills, including one aimed at reducing emissions from ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

People living near a dam in Honolulu are being warned that flood waters could spur a mandatory evacuation, the Associated Press reports.



Check out Friday’s stories …

-First deaths from Hurricane Florence reported in North Carolina

-Green group backs Gillum in Florida governor race

-Warren wants companies to disclose more about climate change impacts

-India to reduce oil from Iran ahead of US sanctions: report

Tags Brian Schatz Climate change Colorado Cory Booker Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren EPA Florida Governor Gwen Graham Interior Department Jeff Merkley Kirsten Gillibrand Ron DeSantis Sheldon Whitehouse Sierra Club Wildlife refuge
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