Today's Top 5

Scott Pruitt Doesn't Know Power of the EPA

The President-elect’s pick to head the E.P.A., the Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has argued before Congress that the agency “was never intended to be our nation’s frontline environmental regulator,” and that the states should have primary authority. That argument is now a favorite among conservatives. But according to Philip Angell, who became an E.P.A. special assistant in 1970, Pruitt’s interpretation ignores the history and intent of the laws that define the agency’s mission. The statutes give the E.P.A. “the primary authority to set standards and enforce them if the states won’t do it,” he told me. “The whole point was to set a federal baseline.”  - The New Yorker

Civil Rights Panel: Flint Water Crisis Linked to 'Systemic Racism'

The Flint drinking water crisis has its root causes in historical and systemic racism, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission said Friday in a hard-hitting report that calls the public health catastrophe " a complete failure of government" and recommends a rewrite of the state's emergency manager law and bias training for state officials. The report, unanimously adopted at a meeting of the commission at the Northbank Center in downtown Flint, also calls for the creation of a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" — a model that was used in South Africa after apartheid — as a way of rebuilding government trust and credibility by listening to and addressing specific concerns raised by Flint residents. - Detroit Free Press

Climate Change Is Transforming The World's Food Supply

Climate change is poised to affect the world's food supply in three key ways, experts say. "There will be impacts on the quantity, quality and location of the food we produce," said Dr. Sam Myers, a medical doctor and senior research scientist studying environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "We've never needed to increase food production more rapidly than we do today to keep up with global demand." - Live Science.

Murray Energy CEO Claims Global Warming Is A Hoax

Murray Energy is the country's largest coal miner. Many of its mines are in Appalachia, a region that would suffer some of the biggest impacts of the rule. Murray also successfully sued to delay implementation of the Clean Power Plan, which would regulate planet-warming carbon emissions from power plants. Asked about the economic analysis behind President Barack Obama's energy regulations, Murray said, "There's no scientific analysis either. I have 4,000 scientists that tell me global warming is a hoax. The Earth has cooled for 20 years." It was not immediately clear who the 4,000 scientists Murray referenced are. - CNBC

Majority of Science Teachers Are Teaching Climate Change, But Not Always Correctly

Most public middle and high school science teachers in the United States are devoting two hours or less per course to the topic of climate change —and they are often getting the facts wrong, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science. While three out of four teachers are teaching the issue, only half of those instructors are correctly explaining that humans are driving climate change. An even smaller number of teachers are aware of how overwhelming the scientific consensus on the issue is. - InsideClimate News