Posted inCalifornia

Nuclear Power’s Planned Exit from CA May Trigger Rise in Emissions and Pollution if Regulators Fail to Act Aggressively, Scientists Say

OAKLAND, Calif. February 23, 2021—With less than four years left before Diablo Canyon Power Plant near San Luis Obispo starts shutting down the state’s last two nuclear reactors, experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) say energy regulators have not prepared sufficiently for what happens next. California is at risk of a 15.5 million […]

Posted inUS

EPA Rule Restricting Science Puts Agency’s Mission at Risk

WASHINGTON January 5, 2021 – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will issue a final rule that dramatically restricts the science the agency can consider in rulemaking. The broad-reaching rule would downweight studies that rely on any nonpublic data—including studies involving private medical records. That limitation would interfere with many key public-health studies the agency relies […]

Posted inUS

New Trump EPA Rule Manipulates Benefit-Cost Analysis to Undermine Public Health Protections

WASHINGTON (December 9, 2020) – The Environmental Protection Administration is set to release a final rule significantly altering how the agency analyzes the benefits and costs of its policies. The new rule would purposefully diminish or obscure many of the benefits of public health protections and downplay the harmful health impacts of pollution, according to the […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Gretchen Goldman: Defying Science and Justice, Trump EPA Refuses to Strengthen Standards for Particulate Matter Pollution

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2020 — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would not strengthen standards for particulate-matter air pollution, one of the most common—and most harmful—pollutants in the United States. By maintaining the existing standards, EPA has failed to listen to the science and protect the health of people across the country, according to […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Jacob Carter: The Damage to Science that President-Elect Biden Can Undo with a Stroke of a Pen

November 12, 2020 – The last four years were not great for science-based decision-making, but President-elect Biden can undo a good amount of damage by rolling back President Trump’s executive orders that sidelined science. We have tallied over 170 attacks on science by the Trump administration…and counting! The list includes a slew of different types of attacks […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Union of Concerned Scientists: A Comeback for Science in the Biden-Harris Administration

November 7, 2020 –Andrew Rosenberg is Director, Center for Science & Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists Our government is like a lobster. Every four years in the United States, we have a chance to renew our government. Like a crustacean shedding its old shell so it can grow, our national elections allow us to stretch […]

Posted inCalifornia

If Passed, Proposition 22 Will Be Bad for Drivers, Air Quality and Climate, Say Science and Environmental Groups

OAKLAND, Calif. October 28, 2020 — Science and environmental groups in California are advocating against Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that would exempt ride-hailing companies from a California Supreme Court ruling that classified app drivers as employees, rather than contractors. If voters reject the proposition, it will ensure gig workers are paid a living wage […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Derrick Z. Jackson: Herding People to Slaughter: The Dangerous Fringe Theory behind the Great Barrington Declaration and Push toward Herd Immunity

October 25, 2020 – Officials at the highest levels are discussing the possibility of caving in on controlling the coronavirus and instead letting it run rampant throughout the United States until we reach “herd immunity,” the point where the virus effectively runs out of people to infect. More than 6,200 scientists, health professionals, and research […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Andrew Rosenberg: As COVID-19 Crisis Continues, GAO Will Investigate Political Interference at Key Health Agencies

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2020—The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent federal agency, has announced an investigation to learn whether political appointees have interfered with the work of scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in violation of those agencies’ scientific integrity and communications policies. The […]

Posted inCalifornia

California Water Managers Not Ready for Climate Change, Science Group Says

OAKLAND, Calif. October 7, 2020 — Water managers are underprepared for climate change in ways that will leave the state simultaneously at increased risk of water shortages and floods, according to a new analysis released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and accompanying peer-reviewed study in Climatic Change. The volatile swings from very […]

Posted inCalifornia

Op-Ed: Dr. Kristina Dahl: 5 of California’s 6 Largest Fires on Record Are Burning Now

Editor’s note: This post has been revised to reflect the most accurate data on fire acreage in the 1980s. The original relied on data from the NIFC for 1980-1983 and the updated version excludes this period, as the data are less reliable. The 1980s statistics now reflect data from MTBS and CalFire. California is a state […]

Posted inCalifornia

Op-Ed | Don Anair: Governor Newsom Accelerates State’s Progress on Clean Vehicles

OAKLAND, Calif. September 23, 2020—Amid increasingly worrying climate impacts from historic wildfires, weeks of suffocating smoke and record-breaking heat waves, California Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California must be zero-emission by 2035. Emissions from cars, trucks and buses make up more than 40 percent of the state’s […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Anita Desikan: Political Officials Undermine CDC Scientists’ COVID-19 Studies

September 15, 2020 – In a scary and dramatic shift away from normal, the entire process for publishing CDC reports on COVID-19 has been upended by political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for reasons that appear to be entirely political, Politico reported late last week. Throughout the summer, including as recently as last Friday, […]

Posted inLife

Union of Concerned Scientists Web Feature Visualizes Ways Climate Change is Driving Wildfires

September 10, 2020 – With months still remaining in the wildfire season, already nearly 100 large fires covering roughly 3.5 million acres are currently active across the western United States, with California, Oregon and Washington being hit especially hard. The fires have forced some communities to evacuate, thousands of properties have been damaged, entire towns […]

Posted inCalifornia

Why Did My Power Go Out? Four Ways the Grid Can Fail and Cause an Outage

August 17, 2020 – In the midst of a global pandemic and a sweltering heatwave across the western United States, California experienced two consecutive days of rolling blackouts this past weekend. These power outages are truly historic, but not for the usual reasons. They are not historic because they affected a large number of people, nor because […]

Posted inSci/Tech

First Study to Quantify Potential COVID-19 Spread from Hurricane Evacuation

OAKLAND, Calif. August 12, 2020—With the peak of the hurricane season upon us and COVID-19 widespread and abundant in many hurricane-prone areas, the United States is poised to experience the collision of two major disasters. According to a study by scientists at Columbia University and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a large-scale hurricane evacuation […]

Posted inUS

Climate-Driven Flooding at Superfund Sites Puts Communities at Risk—but Administration Ignores the Danger

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2020—Hundreds of hazardous Superfund sites across the country are at high risk of flooding as sea levels rise in the coming decades, putting nearby communities in potential danger, according to an analysis based on research that was discontinued by the Trump administration in 2017 but released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). […]

Posted inLife

Don’t Be Deceived: How to Spot and Stop COVID-19 Disinformation (VIDEO)

July 14, 2020 – Today, UCS launched a new online resource with tips on how to spot and stop the spread of disinformation around COVID-19. Disinformation (intentionally false or misleading information) is especially dangerous when it happens during a public health crisis. Its spread can undermine the recommendations of public health officials, for example, making people […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Dr. Andrew Rosenberg: EPA Waters Rule Is a License to Pollute

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2020 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a final rule that limits the waters afforded protection under the Clean Water Act. This new, restrictive definition will enable higher levels of pollution and undermine the agency’s mission of protecting public health, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Below […]

Posted inUS

EPA’s Mercury Rule Disregards Inconvenient Science, Putting Public Health at Risk

CAMBRIDGE (April 16, 2020)—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to announce a change to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal and oil-fired power plants today. Under the revised rule, the EPA will no longer consider all public health benefits that come from reducing mercury emissions. Actions to reduce mercury also bring significant […]

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