In this week's Newsletter: The EPA won't go away quietly (or perhaps at all), Resilience, thy name is Tardigrade, RGGI considers upping its game and much more!
View this email in your browser

Dismantling the EPA Is Tougher Than Expected


In the 2018 White House budget announced back in May, the US Environmental Protection Agency would receive cuts in funding that amounted to over 30% of 2017 budget levels. Projects to address water pollution in the Great Lakes, Puget Sound and the Chesapeake Bay were all on the chopping block. Around the country, activists were deeply and rightfully concerned that the US might give up on the agency all together.

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee released a draft of their 2018 budget proposal, and while it still retains some cuts, they are not nearly as far-reaching or draconian as had been expected. Instead of a 31% budget reduction, the House budget includes a 7% cut to the Department of the Interior and a 6.5% cut to the EPA. Most of the major programs and initiatives will reman more or less intact.

Of course, it's one thing to retain a program and quite another thing to make sure it's properly staffed, particularly on the enforcement side. But even Republican representatives know that their constituents are not "standing on the rooftops begging for dirty water and dirty air and dirty soil,” to quote Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev).

You can read more about this story on Grist.org here.

Tardigrades: The Last Species on Earth?

They look a bit like inflatable balloons made out of kraft paper, but tardigrades, also known as water bears, space bears or moss piglets, are microscopic eight-legged creatures that can withstand almost unbelievable environmental extremes.

For a long time, it was believed that rats and cockroaches were the most indestructible of earth's species, but those varmints have nothing on the tardigrade. They can survive being frozen for years on end, blasted with high doses of radiation, endure unbelievable pressure and survive pretty much everything else researchers have been able to throw at them or subject them to...up to and including a star's supernova, asteroid impacts and gamma radiation (the kind that turned Peter Parker into Spiderman and Bruce Banner into The Hulk). At this point, it's possible that tardigrades will outlast every form of life on Earth and continue to thrive until the Sun itself burns out. And even the death of the Sun might not mean the end of the tardigrade- they can even survive for short periods in the cold vacuum of space.

“To our surprise we found that although nearby supernovae or large asteroid impacts would be catastrophic for people, tardigrades could be unaffected,” David Sloan, one of the researchers who published a recent study in Nature magazine, said in an interview for a Harvard press release. “Therefore it seems that life, once it gets going, is hard to wipe out entirely.”

You can learn more about tardigrades at Futurism.com here.

RGGI Considering Aggressive New Goals

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a mandatory market-based program among nine northeastern states, including New York, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using a cap and trade model. The initial plan, created in 2014, calls for decreases of carbon permits by 2.5 percent each year, but new discussions among member states could adjust that percentage to 3 or even 5 percent decreases in permits allotted in the coming years.

New York consistently has been below cap levels set by the RGGI, at 5 percent below the cap in 2014 and 8 percent below the cap in 2016.  Under the current RGGI goals, the emissions cap would remain constant after 2020, but now, Governor Cuomo is advocating for a new goal for after 2020 that pushes for 30 percent carbon reduction below 2020 levels by 2030. Although some states that are part of the RGGI have similar carbon reduction goals to New York, a number of them will be difficult to convince to further cut their states’ carbon emissions.

It's possible that the reason NYS has stayed under its cap levels is that there are too many permits being issued. Getting RGGI states to agree to fewer carbon permit allotments per year would be a major step towards addressing climate change. If the system can be perfected, this market-driven solution could represent an economically viable way to incentivize clean energy in the Northeast.

You can learn more at NYLCV.org here.
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website
Now you can support Solar One when you shop on Amazon.com. Just click here or on the image above!

Upcoming Events at Solar One

7/24
Stuyvesant Cove Park Association Presents Laughing Boy
Solar 1, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 6:30-8pm, free

Other Events


7/21
Island Channel Paddle
Floyd Bennett Field, Seaplane Ramp, 50 Aviation Road, Brooklyn, 12:30-3pm, free

7/22
E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Chelsea
Mike's Tech Shop, 120 West 20th Street bet 6th & 7th Aves, Manhattan, 8am-5pm, free

7/23
E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Riverdale
West 236th Street & Independence Avenue, Bronx, 10am-4pm, free

7/25
NYC Food Waste Fair
Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble Street bet Franklin & West Sts, Brooklyn, 9am-6pm, $15+
Copyright © 2016 Solar One, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this list because you expressed interest in Solar One programming. 
Our mailing address is: 
Solar One
37 West 26th Street
#209
New York, NY 10010