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Expert warns of upcoming threats to democracy across the nation; Judge in Trump documents case rejects suggestions to step aside; NC businesses fear effects of 'bathroom bill'; Report says restaurants allow abuse, disease risk at MD animal farms.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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

Surge in renewables keeps hopes of averting worst climate impacts alive

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Wednesday, October 11, 2023   

Record growth in wind and solar energy, battery storage and electric vehicle sales have kept the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 within reach, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

But the U.S. and other wealthy nations will need to cut fossil fuel pollution by 80% by 2035, and clean energy capacity must triple by the end of the decade.

Kelly Trout, research co-director for Oil Change International, said the biggest challenge to avoiding catastrophic climate change is not a lack of solutions.

"We have the technologies to rapidly replace fossil fuels in the energy system," Trout asserted. "And investing in those solutions is set to create new jobs, save lives by reducing air and water pollution, and actually make energy more affordable."

The American Petroleum Institute has argued more fossil fuels are needed, not fewer, and projected oil and gas will supply nearly 50% of the nation's energy needs by 2050.

Trout pointed to research confirming the U.S. is on track to release one third of the world's total climate pollution from expanded oil and gas production between now and 2050.

The International Energy Agency report also backs away from relying on unproven technologies promoted by fossil fuel companies, including carbon capture and hydrogen. Trout contended such technologies and other distractions aim to stall the expansion of proven clean energy sources, and protect industry profits.

"What we really need is politicians to stop listening to the same industry that got us into this problem, and start really investing all-in on solutions that will phase out fossil fuels," Trout stressed.

Investments in wind and solar have not yet slowed demand for oil and gas. Last year, climate pollution from fossil fuels reached an all-time high, and the Biden Administration continues to open up public lands for drilling. Trout believes the first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is stop digging.

"While governments have been investing in those sorts of solutions, they have also been allowing the fossil fuel industry -- which is the biggest cause of the climate crisis -- to continue expanding at the same time," Trout emphasized.


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The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

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Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


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The Arizona Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case brought by Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Republican Cochise …

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North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

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