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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #138

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, February 3, 2017

News of interest to green unionists:

After Trump issues science gag orders, government scientists begin going rogue, plan march on D.C. - By Jen Hayden, Daily Kos, January 25, 2017 - Aside from the new rogue Twitter feed, they have begun planning a march on Washington. The latest information on the march is below, more information is available on their website. Although no official date appears to have been set, the Facebook group has collected 60,000 members virtually overnight.

As Trump Signals a Rollback on Environmental Regulations, a New Jobs Report Indicates That May Not be Such a Good Idea - By Liz Delaney, EDF, January 26, 2017 - President Trump’s regulatory freeze that halted four rules designed to promote greater energy efficiency appears to be just the first salvo in an ongoing plan to roll back environmental protections and slash environmental budgets. While that is obviously foolish from an environmental perspective, it is also problematic from an economic/job creation standpoint.

Birth of an American Human Rights Movement? - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, January 26th, 2017 - CIW members join 4.8 million women, men and children in marches across the country — and around the globe — in resounding support of human rights for all!

Byrd Amendments Update: Senate Republicans Introduce Bill Protecting Black Lung Improvements & Analysis of Executive Order 13,765 Concerning the Affordable Care Act - By Evan B. Smith, Devil in the Dust, January 26, 2017 - The uncertainty around the future of the black lung improvements that are contained within the Affordable Care Act continues.

Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue - By Heather Hansman, The Guardian, January 19, 2017 - At stake are areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forests and Federal Wildlife Refuges, which contribute to an estimated $646bn each year in economic stimulus from recreation on public lands and 6.1m jobs.

The death of the toxic trade deal TPP was long overdue - but don’t praise Trump for it - By Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now, January 25, 2017 - It’s good news that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead. In fact, the toxic deal – a pacific version of US-EU deal TTIP – was already dead before Trump took office. Popular pressure from trade unions and campaign groups in the US and elsewhere had killed it. Even free-trader Hillary Clinton turned against it during her campaign. So let’s not thank Trump for something which campaigners defeated.

DONALD TRUMP’S POSTPONED SCIENCE TEST - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, January 31, 2017 - In its infancy, the Trump administration is struggling mightily with how to handle scientific research and technical analyses. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) warns today in a letter to the President that failure to embrace scientific integrity and informational transparency will inevitably miscarry, fueling continuing and counterproductive backlash.

Energy Dept. To President Donald Trump: I’m Not Dead Yet! - By Tina Casey, Clean Technica, February 1, 2017 - After all, since Election Day Trump hasn’t exactly gone out of his way to start getting those coal miners back to work. For that matter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents the coal state of Kentucky, also appears to have written off the coal industry.

EPA Freezes Grants, Tells Employees Not To Talk About It, Sources Say - By Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post, January 23, 2017 - EPA staff has been instructed to freeze all its grants ― an extensive program that includes funding for research, redevelopment of former industrial sites, air quality monitoring and education, among other things ― and told not to discuss this order with anyone outside the agency, according to a Hill source with knowledge of the situation.

Federal hiring freeze hits Western land agencies - By Anna V. Smith, High Country News, January 25, 2017 - President Donald Trump announced a freeze on all federal hiring on Monday, eliminating any vacant positions and prohibiting the creation of new positions as of noon on Jan. 22. The presidential memorandum will affect all federal agencies except the military, and includes land management employees. It follows on the heels of another announcement that U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts will be frozen.

Free Trade, Rural Canada and How to keep Canada from being Trumped - By Jan Slomp, La Via Campesina, January 27, 2017 - Over the decades since the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and later, NAFTA, was signed, Canadian agriculture has undergone a significant shift. There was once a multitude of diverse local and regional economic drivers, but now we have a “one size fits all” export-driven, low-priced commodity production model. Farm capital needs have sky-rocketed as illustrated by the massive $90 billion farm debt. Off-farm investors control more and more of Canada’s farmland.

Government Agencies Defy Trump by Tweeting Climate Facts - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, January 26th, 2017 - CIW members join 4.8 million women, men and children in marches across the country — and around the globe — in resounding support of human rights for all!

Groups Representing 10 Million People Oppose Fast Food CEO for Labor Secretary - By Friends of the Earth, EcoWatch, January 30, 2017 - More than 100 food and agriculture organizations, representing more than 10 million people across the food system, sent a letter to Capitol Hill Monday urging senators to oppose the confirmation of fast food CEO Andrew Puzder as secretary of labor.

How Politics and Pollution Could Push China Into the Climate Leader Role the US Is Giving up - By Larry Buhl, DeSmog Blog, January 30, 2017 - “The U.S. economy stands to suffer with Trump’s denial of clean energy,” said Hsu. “If Trump wants to create jobs like he says he does, ignoring the potential of green jobs would be a huge oversight.”

If Progressives Want to Defeat Trump, They Must Win Back Workers - By Les Leopold, Common Dreams, January 25, 2017 - In opposing Trump, we must not slip into defending neoliberalism.

The Keystone pipeline will create just 35 permanent jobs. Don't believe the lies - By Raúl M Grijalva, The Guardian, January 25, 2017 - Congressional Republicans frequently howled at far less heavy-handed exercises of executive power under the previous administration. Today, they applaud Trump’s move on the mistaken premise that these pipelines are good investments. Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.

Milk Crisis: Deregulation not in the interest of producers and consumers - By Jose Miguel Pacheco, Victor Pereira, Philippe Duvivier et Yvon Deknudt, and Stéphanie Delhaye et Henri Lecloux, La Via Campesina, January 26, 2017 - The sector's deregulatory policy is tailor-made for large-scale distribution and the dairy industry and, it does not serve the interests of producers and consumers.

The National Park Service Won't Be Silenced - By Dana Hunter, Scientific American, January 25, 2017 - Trump is in power, and one of his first acts has been to gag government agencies. After the National Park Service bruised his ego by retweeting a New York Times tweet showing Trump's inauguration numbers to be lower than President Obama's 2009 crowd, they were ordered to stop all tweets, including scheduled ones.

New Bill Could Kill Indiana's Rooftop Solar Sector - By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch, January 28, 2017 - Lawmakers in Indiana have introduced a new measure that could wipe out the state's net metering system within a decade and squash the state's burgeoning solar energy sector.

Oakland Asks Judge to Throw Out Coal Lawsuit - By Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express, January 30, 2017 - Tagami's company obtained control over the land at the old Oakland Army Base in 2013 and planned to build a bulk commodity export terminal from the start. But in 2015, four Utah counties attempted to invest $53 million in the project in order to secure the right to ship millions of tons of coal through it each year. Numerous Oakland residents, labor unions, environmental groups, and religious leaders opposed the coal proposal and demanded the city block it.

Organizing Social Self-Defense Under the Trump Regime - Interview with Jeremy Brecher by Scott Harris, Between the Lines, January 18, 2017 - Jeremy Brecher is an historian, author, and co-founder of the Labor Network for Sustainability. A new edition of his most recent book, "Climate Insurgency: A Strategy for Survival," is available for free download at his personal website.

Parks and Recreation: The sudden, widespread resistance of Alternative National Parks Twitter - By Jessica Goldstein, Think Progress, January 26, 2017 - President Trump, a man who has never indicated that he is fixated on the size of things, was none too thrilled when the National Park Service retweeted photos that showed the crowds on the National Mall at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration side-by-side with those of his inauguration last Friday.

Peasants’ Union (SPI) calls upon Indonesian government to reject WTO and FTAs, after WTO panel rules in favor of US and NZ - By Henry Saragih and Zainal Arifin Fuad, La Via Campesina, January 31, 2017 - The farmers’ movement in Indonesia see this as a clear instance of WTO imposing unequal trade regime onto the peasants of the developing world. Cheap import of potatoes, which touched 18.674 tons in the first nine months of 2016 (source: Central Statistics Agency), has meant that local potato farmers in Indonesia are forced to sell in distress often at price lower than their actual costs.

PEER’S Jeff Ruch on the Sojourner Truth Radio Show - By staff, Global Justice Ecology Project, January 27, 2017 - This week’s Earth Watch guest on the Sojourner Truth Radio show was PEER executive director Jeff Ruch. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals.

Pop-up Twitter accounts bolster image of 'rogue' rangers - By Emily Yehle, E&E News, January 25, 2017 - When Badlands National Park deleted four tweets on climate facts yesterday, a dormant Twitter account came back to life: @AltNatParkSer.

Renewables will create “real jobs”, says Shorten - By Sophie Vorrath, REnew Economy, January 31, 2017 - “There are real jobs, not just jobs for the scientists, but jobs for blue collar workers, jobs for engineers, jobs for designers,” Shorten said in his speech on Tuesday, one day before the Prime Minister is to take the same stage.

Scientists embark on their own Trump resistance - By Samantha Page, Think Progress, January 25, 2017 - Scientists have withstood years of climate denial from politicians, but the threats posed by the Trump administration appear so severe that the scientific community has been galvanized into its own resistance movement.

Siemens confirms Aalborg job cuts - By David Weston, Wind Power Monthly, January 31, 2017 - In a statement to Windpower Monthly, a spokesman for the manufacturer said: "Siemens Wind Power is planning reductions at its blades plant in Aalborg. Approximately 75 employees are expected to be informed with effect from 1 February 2017, and approximately another 75 employees with effect from 1 April 2017.

Social media blackout hits Department of Energy renewables team - By Samantha Page, Think Progress, January 26, 2017 - Employees working in a Department of Energy solar program were ordered this week not to share anything about their work on private or professional social media accounts, ThinkProgress has learned.

Solar energy workers account for most U.S. electricity jobs - By Ryan Handy, FuelFix, January 27, 2017 - People who work for solar panel companies account for nearly half of all Americans employed by electricity companies, according to a U.S. Department of Energy’s report released this month.

South Africa blames AngloGold, Sibanye of refusing to comply with safety laws - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, January 27, 2017 - The South African government has singled out two of the country’s biggest gold miners, Sibanye Gold (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL) and AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG) (NYSE:AU), as responsible for risking workers lives by refusing to comply with mining laws.

That Was Fast - By Cody Permenter, Grist, January 27, 2017 - The “alt” government agencies on Twitter are telling you everything President Trump won’t.

These Are the Defiant "Water Protectors" of Standing Rock - By Saul Elbein, National Geographic, January 26, 2017 - President Trump advances Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, despite protest by hundreds of indigenous tribes (and union members).

This Bay Area Proposal Would Strike a Huge Blow to the Dirtiest Forms of Oil Production - By Will Parrish, The Nation, January 31, 2017 - In response, a coalition of groups, including Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), the Sierra Club, 350 Bay Area, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, the California Nurses Association, and numerous others, are pushing to make the San Francisco Bay Area the first place in the world to place limits on oil refineries’ overall greenhouse-gas (GHG) and particulate-matter emissions. The proposal would prevent oil corporations from making the Bay Area a center of tar-sands refining by enforcing a cap based on historic emissions levels.

The Trump administration is ignoring one of the fastest-growing sources of new US jobs: Renewables - By James Dennin, Mic, January 26, 2017 - If President Donald Trump really cares about job creation, he might want to rethink his stance on those unsightly wind farms.

Trump Touts “Pro-Worker” Agenda at Meeting with Union Leaders; Some Waiting for Proof - By Elizabeth Grossman, In These Times, January 24, 2017 - Trump’s meeting with union leaders involved representatives from the construction industry. That’s essentially it. The group included members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the Laborers’ International Union of North America—whose president supports Trump’s secretary of state nominee, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson—the SMART/Sheet Metal Workers’ union, and members of the Steamfitters and Ironworkers unions.

Trump’s “America First” Energy Plan Leaves America Behind - By Roland Hwang, NRDC, January 30, 2017 - The administration’s new webpage on “An America First Energy Plan” is—like much of the president’s rhetoric—wrong-headed, short on details, and divorced from reality. In fact, it’s most notable for what it doesn’t say—there’s not a word about the clean energy revolution, a boom in wind, solar, and energy efficiency that is creating millions of jobs, saving billions of dollars, and even saving lives by cutting pollution. This misleading plan not only fails to put America first—it threatens to pull America back to the 20th century. NRDC will fight to make sure that the Trump administration doesn’t succeed at making America’s energy choices worse.

Trump’s Crony Cabinet May Look Strong, but They Are Scared - By Naomi Klein, The Nation, January 26, 2017 - This is the backdrop for Trump’s rise to power—our movements were starting to win. I’m not saying that they were strong enough. They weren’t. I’m not saying we were united enough. We weren’t. But something was most definitely shifting. And rather than risk the possibility of further progress, this gang of fossil-fuel mouthpieces, junk-food peddlers, and predatory lenders have come together to take over the government and protect their ill-gotten wealth.

Trump’s pro-corporate rampage of reaction - By Patrick Martin, WSWS, January 25, 2017 - While Trump claimed that the Keystone project would provide “a lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs, great construction jobs,” industry estimates suggest that the remaining construction work will employ 10,000 short-term workers, but only 50 full-time workers will be needed to operate the highly automated pipeline once crude oil begins to flow through it. Even smaller numbers of jobs are involved in the DAPL project, since major construction is nearly completed.

Trump’s war on EPA regulations will kill jobs and a lot of people - By Joe Romm, Think Progress, January 26, 2017 - In his first days in office, President Donald Trump has launched a major effort to hurt job growth, stifle innovation, and make Americans sicker and less productive. How? By waging war on regulations, particularly those designed to protect the environment.

Update on the wage talks in the Bus passenger sector - By Irvin Jim, NUMSA, January 30, 2017 - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa is disgusted at the absurd wage offer made by the Employers in the Bus Passenger sector. The Employers are offering a meagre 4% wage increase to workers.

What the hell is going on at the EPA right now? - By Brad Plumer, Vox, January 26, 2017 - It’s safe to say there’s an enormous amount of panic — and confusion — about what’s going on with the Trump administration and the Environmental Protection Agency right now.

Workers vote to strike at Escondida, world’s largest copper mine - By Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, February 1, 2017 - About 2,500 workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper operation, voted late Tuesday to reject a company wage offer and opted instead to go on strike.

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