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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Advocates call on Biden administration to decarbonize maritime shipping

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024   

With the Port of Baltimore nearing a return to full commercial operations, advocates are renewing their call for an executive order to address maritime shipping emissions.

Last year, 45 environmental groups sent a letter calling on the Biden administration to decarbonize the maritime shipping sector. Among their recommendations was eliminating in-port ship emissions by 2030, with one approach to connect ships to shore power while docked.

Antonio Santos, federal climate policy director for the nonprofit Pacific Environment, said reducing emissions is not just about climate change.

"As you're reducing emissions, you're also protecting those directly impacted," Santos pointed out. "When we talk about where these ships tend to congregate, it is port workers and those frontline communities, those port adjacent communities that are directly affected."

Since the collapse of the Key Bridge, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Air Resources Lab have been taking samples in the Curtis Bay neighborhood to eventually assess the effect of the closure of the Port of Baltimore on local air quality.

The letter also called on the administration to fund the electrification and quieting of the U.S. federal ferry and harbor craft fleets, as well as supporting domestic shipbuilders to build low and zero emission marine vessels. Advocates are also making the case the administration can use existing Clean Air Act authority to establish a goal-based fuel standard for ships entering U.S. ports.

Santos acknowledged advocates recognize ports are hubs of economic activity and attempting to protect the environment does not mean ignoring economic considerations.

"We can have a good economy, and we can also protect the environment," Santos contended. "A lot of these recommendations that were in our letter put in front of the White House include provisions that will create good paying union jobs."

Estimates indicate if shipping were a country, it would be the world's sixth-largest greenhouse gas emitter.


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