Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readScience
The Wettest 12 Months: New Analysis Shows Spikes in Flood Alerts in the US
April 2019 marked the wettest 12-month period in the United States since record-keeping began 124 years ago, breaking the previous record set from May 2015–April 2016.  In most places in the contiguous US, by April 2019 it had already rained more tha
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
PREPA’s Agreement is Terrible for Puerto Rico
A new agreement on Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) debt represents a major setback for the future of the island.
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
The Basics of Integrated Resource Planning in California
Energy experts geek out over a process known as Integrated Resource Planning. It’s not widely followed by the general public, but Integrated Resource Plans (“IRPs”) determine where consumers’ electricity will come from, how clean that power will be,
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readSociety
Children’s Health Research Centers Protect Our Kids. The EPA Just Defunded Them.
The EPA has decided to pull out of a decades-long partnership and stop funding grants to children’s environmental health research centers across the country. Children are not little adults; they are uniquely vulnerable to environmental risks and dese
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
Acuerdo de Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica Es Pésimo Para Puerto Rico
Un nuevo acuerdo sobre la deuda de la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (AEE) de Puerto Rico representa un gran retroceso para el futuro de la isla.
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min readSociety
How Scientists are Responding to On the Media’s Reporting on Researcher Harassment
The prolific public radio show On The Media last week explored how open records laws are used to disrupt public interest research at public universities and examined the challenges of creating laws that allow for scrutiny while protecting free speech
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
If 3M Really Cares About the PFAS Science, Here’s How They Should Move Forward
Well, well, well, 3M. I’m glad to hear you are concerned about the science of PFAS, but let’s put some walk to that talk. Let me explain. As I was googling several different PFAS-related search terms last week, I kept seeing this targeted ad at the t
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Xcel Energy’s Plan to Eliminate Coal and Boost Solar in Minnesota
Today, Xcel Energy released a preliminary plan to phase out its remaining coal-fired power plants in Minnesota and replace them primarily with wind, solar, and energy efficiency—moving the company forward toward its goal of 100% carbon-free electrici
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readScience
Hot Arctic And A Chill In The Northeast: What’s Behind The Gloomy Spring Weather?
When temperatures lurk in the drizzly 40s and 50s well into flower season, northerners get impatient for summer. But when 80-degree temperatures visit the high Arctic, as they just did, and when sleet disrupts Mother’s Day weekend in May in Massachus
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readSociety
California’s Infrastructure Earns a C-. We Need More Equitable and Climate-Safe Infrastructure Now
I count on the quality and reliability of our roads, water and wastewater systems, and electric grid to help me keep my daughter safe from harm and provide an environment where she can thrive. Many other parents do, too. These expectations seem reaso
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
A Stroller Debacle at CPSC Politicizes Child Safety and I Have No Chill
I’m a self-proclaimed transparency nut. But now that I’m a mom, my need for information has grown exponentially. I want a label on baby food that tells me how much added sugar is in it. I want to know whether my daughter’s car seat or mattress contai
Union of Concerned Scientists6 min read
5 Reason’s Why HB 6, Ohio’s Nuclear Plant Subsidy Proposal, Should Be Rejected
Last November, UCS released Nuclear Power Dilemma, which found that more than one-third of existing nuclear plants, representing 22 percent of total US nuclear capacity, are uneconomic or slated to close over the next decade. This included the Davis-
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readScience
ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips Climate Risk Reports Miss the Mark
ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips downplay the urgency of climate change and the depth of emissions reductions that are needed, and generally assume that they’ll continue to come out on top.
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Three Ways Federal Infrastructure Policy Can Speed Up Our Clean Energy Transition
May thirteenth marked the beginning of Infrastructure Week and, as you might have heard, there might be at least one thing that Republicans and Democrats agree on: the need to invest in our nation’s aging infrastructure to remain competitive and buil
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readSociety
Improving Transparency and Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest for Science Advisory Committees
On Wednesday this week, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a mark-up hearing in the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 2019 introduced by Sen. Portman (R-OH). And before you stop reading, yes this is
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
The National Academies Illustrates the More Nuanced Value of Transparency in Science
Ever think about reproducibility in science? Turns out you're not alone! The National Academies of Science (NAS) just spent a year and a half studying the status quo and have released some important findings. An NAS committee released a report this w
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
How Big Is Gridlock In Our Electric Grid?
Progress in electric power, particularly the growth of renewable energy and consumer choice, is looking like gridlock.  Look closer and we can see three fundamental issues: state policy vs. federal policy; changing perspectives on reliability, and ho
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Top Clean Cars for 2019 and 2020
Looking to clean up your commute? Choosing a less polluting vehicle is one of the biggest things you can do to combat climate change and fortunately for you, I just got back from the DC and NY Auto Shows where automakers displayed the latest and grea
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
US Solar: 2 Million Systems Strong. And Definitely Growing
The latest good news from the forefront of clean energy makes me think of the old FlintstonesTM vitamins commercials about the number of kids they were reaching: “[X] million strong, and growing,” went the catchy jingle. This good news is about the c
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readScience
Trump Administration Outdoes Itself on Climate Change Denial, Insists Arctic Warming is Good
Leave it to the Trump administration to detonate the Arctic Council. normally a paragon of congeniality.
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min readPolitics
The Science Denial is Crystal Clear: The EPA Ignores Scientists on Asbestos
We ignore scientists at our peril. Why doesn’t the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) get this? The New York Times (subscription required) just reported that EPA officials actively ignored the advice of its own toxicologists last year on asbestos
Union of Concerned Scientists2 min read
Healthy Soil, Coming to a Theater Near You: 5 Lessons from “The Biggest Little Farm”
An email in my inbox last month caught my attention. It was from author, environmental advocate, and Academy Award-winning film producer Laurie David (“An Inconvenient Truth”), and it offered a preview of “The Biggest Little Farm,” a new documentary
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Putting Communities First in Deploying Energy Storage
A wide range of stakeholders just released a set of principles for equity and energy storage.
Union of Concerned Scientists4 min read
Moving Ahead on Minnesota Clean Energy Legislation
The Minnesota legislature is considering important new legislation to move forward on clean energy and build on the progress the state has already made to reduce emissions and modernize its electricity system. Let’s dig into the status of the bills a
Union of Concerned Scientists7 min read
USDA Provides Blueprint for Dismantling a Government Research Agency
For scientists, it’s a significant accomplishment to get your work published in a peer-reviewed journal. The process of submitting a paper, fielding reviewer comments, and revising the work can take months (or years!), and final publication in a resp
Union of Concerned Scientists5 min readPolitics
Challenging Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement
President Trump’s announcement in June 2017 that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement was both ignorant and irresponsible, placing the interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the health and well-being of current and future
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min readSociety
Deadly Shooting at California Synagogue—Where is the Gun Violence Research, CDC?
This weekend I learned that my hometown of Poway, California, a sleepy suburban city just north of San Diego, was the location of a violent shooting at a Jewish synagogue. A 19-year old walked into a synagogue armed with an AR-type assault rifle and
Union of Concerned Scientists6 min readScience
The Vicious Climate-Wildfire Cycle
With little fanfare and scant news coverage, fire season 2019 has arrived. Firefighters are already containing blazes in several states, including Colorado, Florida, and Oklahoma, and seasonal outlooks suggest that significant wildfires are likely in
Union of Concerned Scientists9 min readPolitics
EPA’s Plan to Ignore Co-Benefits will Cost American Lives
People who can afford to live in their most-desired neighborhood often select it for the primary reasons of convenience, cleanliness, and quiet. Those features come with what environmental scientists call social, economic, and environmental “co-benef
Union of Concerned Scientists3 min read
Taking the “Public” out of Public Service, New Interior Secretary Bernhardt Refuses to Address Climate Change
Trump Administration Cabinet officials have hit a number of new lows in recent months, but there is a more troubling trend that gets lost in all the scandal and incompetence. In the past, industry-friendly administrations hired political leaders who
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