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Ep. 36: One Down, Three to Go.

There have been lots of presidential orders and proclamations, and many proposals are in the works. But just how effective has Trump been in changing environmental policy during his first year in office? To answer that we spoke with Dan Farber, an environmental law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He also blogs about these issues at


Ep. 35: Do Regulations Kill Jobs? Or Save Lives?

Rolling back regulations is fundamental to the philosophy of the Trump administration. And a lot of the action has been directed towards environmental regulations. According to a review done by the Washington Post, 63 environmental rules have been targeted across all agencies. That’s more than other policy area. So what’s the case for environmental regulations? Do they work? Do they make our lives better in any measurable way? We hear a lot from the Trump administration about how...


Ep. 34: Inside the EPA's Regulatory Rollback Machine

The Trump administration has rolled back 60 environmental policies at last count. ProPublica reporter Talia Buford dug into the overturning of one of EPA rules that took the agency a decade to craft and the Trump administration just months to undo. The rule was meant to keep toxic waste out of rivers and streams. Now it's in limbo as the EPA has decided to open it back up for review. The story of what happened with this rule is a case study in how the EPA operates under the Trump...


Ep. 33: The Crux of Coal

The whole concept of "clean coal" is wonky. Real technical, real complicated. Not as simple as President Trump would have you believe. But what does the term actually mean? In truth, it can mean a lot of different things. When many people talk about clean coal, they are talking about cleaning up carbon dioxide out of coal emissions. In Wyoming, where the majority of this country’s coal is still mined, clean coal is looked at as a possible economic savior. It’s a big deal for a lot of other...


Ep. 32: Who Will Pay for Trump's Plan to Bail Out Coal?

We all remember the financial and auto bailouts during the Great Recession. They arguably saved significant parts of the economy from even further damage. The Trump administration says the federal government now needs to step in to save the coal and nuclear industries. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has proposed a rule that will force the electric grids in some parts of the country to basically guarantee profits for coal and nuclear plants. But who will pay for that guarantee? Anyone who...


Ep 31: The Incredible Shrinking Monuments

A few weeks ago, President Trump approved the largest rollback of federal land protection in our country’s history. Trump’s announcement to drastically slash the size of two national monuments in Utah - Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante among additional changes to other national monuments- was not a surprise. But it has indeed been controversial.The day after Trump signed the order, the outdoor recreation company Patagonia posted a message on its website under the headline, “The...


Ep. 30: Meet the Scientist Standing Up to Scott Pruitt

Can scientists who get grant money from the Environmental protection agency be objective enough to serve on its advisory boards? According to Administrator Scott Pruitt, the answer is “no.” Today’s episode examines one aspect of the sweeping changes taking place at EPA: Scott Pruitt’s bar on scientists who’ve taken money from the agency also serving on its scientific advisory boards. These are the scientists who help EPA evaluate the science behind its regulations. Some people who weren’t...


Ep. 29: Living With Oil and Gas

The Trump administration has been pulling back federal environmental regulations as fast as it can. The legal argument is that states should be the ones to decide what level of environmental protection and regulation is right for them. In practice, many regulations related to oil and gas development are already in the hands of states, and even local governments. On this episode, we look at how one state is handling one of those regulations, a pretty basic-sounding rule that says how far...


Ep. 28: A Profound Shift in Environmental Protection

In October, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt ordered scientists who receive EPA grants to either end their grants or get off EPA scientific advisory boards. What about industry-backed scientists? They can stay In this episode of Trump on Earth, we talk with Washington Post Environmental Reporter Brady Dennis about industry influence at EPA as well as latest climate-denying nominees to top environmental posts and the U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Germany.


Is Ryan Zinke *really* a 'Teddy Roosevelt Guy'?

About three quarters of the 640 million acres of land that the federal government owns is managed by the Department of the Interior. And under the leadership of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Department of Interior is poised to shrink the borders of at least four national monuments, potentially opening up hundreds of thousands of acres to development. On this episode, we try to find out who Ryan Zinke is by learning about the man Zinke calls his biggest inspiration. Teddy Roosevelt...


Roads, Bridges and the Future of Civilization

As Congress pays out more than 36 billion dollars in disaster relief, the General Accounting Office recommends that the federal government find ways to minimize the economic impacts of climate change. President Obama started moving in this direction. He signed an executive order requiring infrastructure like roads and bridges be designed to survive flooding and other consequences of climate change. But President Trump issued an executive order that pretty much undid it. Our guest is Daniel...


Ep. 25: Global Warming: How Bad Could it Be?

The NY Magazine article "The Uninhabitable Earth" presents a portrait of a worst case scenario of climate change in which the planet gets so hot, humans can no longer live there. It imagines a future so grim, it spawned response articles like “Are we as doomed as that New York Magazine Article Says?” In this episode, we talk to the author of the article, David Wallace-Wells, to find out -- is it really as bad as all that? And does fear motivate people to action or acceptance?


Ep. 24: A Clean Power Postmortem

On Tuesday, administrator Scott Pruitt signed the paperwork to revoke the Clean Power Plan. But what is the case for its repeal? And what happens next in the search to rein in carbon dioxide pollution?We’ve heard from many of the proponents of the Clean Power Plan over the past few months, but on this week’s episode, we talk to someone who opposed it and hear why he thought it should have never been written in the first place. Jeff Holmstead has worked on environmental issues for previous...


Ep .23: Scientists Need Not Apply?

It’s no secret that President Trump doesn’t respect science - and his recent agency nominations continue to reflect that. Sam Clovis is Trump's pick for head scientist at the USDA. He has been many things -- Air Force fighter pilot, conservative talk show host, defeated U.S. Senate candidate, co-chair of Trump’s presidential campaign. But one thing not on his resume: scientist. We learn more about why we should be paying attention to what happens with Clovis from Mike Lavender of the Union...


Ep. 22: The Quiet Dismantling of Obama's Environmental Legacy.

While the world has been paying attention to President Trump's action on immigration and health care, his administration has been steadily reshaping environmental policy. But how far has it gotten? And what can we expect out of Washington in the coming months?


Is it Okay to Talk About Climate Change Now?

Increasingly sophisticated climate science is able to tell us a lot more about the role climate change is playing in extreme weather events. But while Hurricane Irma was bearing down on South Florida last week, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said now is not the time to talk about climate change and its impacts on these terrifying storms. So if not now, when? Ben Kirtman is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric...


Ep. 20: The Red State Paradox

Arlie Russell Hochschild spent five years in some of the most polluted parishes of Louisiana trying to find out why some of the people whose lives have been ravaged by the oil and petrochemical industry are deeply hostile to environmental regulation. She is the author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right.


Ep: 19. Renewables in the Trump Era: Doomed or Too Big to Fail?

What is the future of renewable energy under Donald Trump? Are recent gains made by solar and wind in jeopardy? Or is the momentum these industries have gained over the past eight years made them borderline unstoppable. This week on the Trump on Earth podcast we talk with a man who's literally writing the book on this topic. Varun Sivaram has been following following energy policy as the Phillip D. Reed fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author...


Ep. 18: Meet the Republican Who is Breaking Ranks with Denial

Only 11 percent of conservative Republicans say climate scientists understand the causes of climate change very well. So, can anything change their minds? One conservative says ‘yes’. Bob Inglis is a former South Carolina Republican congressman who now heads a group called which aims to promote ‘free market’ solutions to climate change.


Ep. 17: Trump Says Great Lakes a Local Issue. Congress Disagrees.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds projects that protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world. Can it be saved?


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