climate change

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Former President Richard Nixon celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970 by planting a tree on the White House South Lawn. An enormous turnout of some 20 million people across the country attended Earth Day festivities, putting the fight against pollution on the political agenda.

That year Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and went on to sign the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act with broad bipartisan support.

The number of people breathing unhealthy air in the United States is increasing despite decades of declines in the overall amount of air pollution being released, and climate change is a major cause.

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has finalized its rollback of a major Obama-era climate policy, weakening auto emissions standards in a move it says will mean cheaper cars for consumers.

"By making newer, safer, and cleaner vehicles more accessible for American families, more lives will be saved and more jobs will be created," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.

LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON / FOR HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Southeastern Oklahoma averages at least 40 inches of rain per year, so its agricultural industry focuses primarily on livestock and timber. But an extended drought in 2011 and 2012 cost Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers more than $2 billion in losses statewide

When climate journalist Emily Atkin was asked to pledge to stop flying to help prevent climate change earlier this year, she said no. 

“I gave my whole spiel about how we put so much pressure on ourselves not to do anything to exacerbate the climate crisis,” she said. “We aren’t asking what airlines are doing or the money that they're putting into political causes, the effort that they've put in to fight any type of climate regulation.”

Clean energy and climate advocates say the huge stimulus bill Congress is negotiating should address not only the economy, but also climate change. But a split over that appears to have contributed to delays in passing the bill.

"Democrats won't let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the Green New Deal," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

McConnell said Democrats were filibustering the $1 trillion-plus bill hoping to include policies such as extending tax credits for solar and wind energy.

Jet fuel-guzzling Delta Air Lines and fossil fuel-pumping BP are vowing to go carbon neutral.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Monday he is committing $10 billion to fight climate change, which he calls "the biggest threat to our planet."

Bezos says the funds will go toward the creation of the Bezos Earth Fund.

Redlands, Calif., is known for its orange groves, its Victorian homes, and its small-town feel. Sixty miles east of Los Angeles, the city is home to about 75,000 people. But that number is expected to get a lot bigger.

"Redlands is already changing," says Mayor Paul Foster, "and this is just more of the future that's coming."

Updated at 10:20 a.m.

Climate change is a top issue in the Democratic presidential primaries and some candidates have taken relatively aggressive policy stands, including vows to ban hydraulic fracturing. But some Democrats worry that could push moderate voters in key swing states to reelect President Trump next November.

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