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Shell Forges Ahead in Arctic With Exploratory Well

Jul 31, 2015
(Houston Chronicle)

Shell launched Arctic drilling on Thursday by sending a specialized bit spinning into the bottom of the Chukchi Sea, as critics protested against the campaign.

The company now has until Sept. 28 to drill the top portions of up to two wells at its Burger prospect about 70 miles northwest of the Alaska coastline, but after fixing a damaged icebreaker is hoping to convince regulators to let it go deeper this year.

The company is hoping to net a multibillion barrel oil discovery that could deliver a swift boost to its balance sheet and yield production decades from now.

Shell Icebreaker Retreats After Showdown With Activists Dangling Off Bridge

Jul 30, 2015
(AP)

A Shell Oil icebreaker has retreated after a showdown with environmental activists dangling from Portland, Oregon's tallest bridge.

Environmental activists on St. Johns Bridge and kayakers on the water below have been blocking the icebreaker from heading to the Arctic for a drill operation.

Greenpeace Protesters Dangle From Ropes Off Bridge to Stop Arctic Drilling Ship

Jul 29, 2015
(The Oregonian)

Saying they have enough supplies to last for days, a group of 13 Greenpeace USA activists rappelled off the St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette River early Wednesday in an effort to block a Shell Oil Arctic icebreaker from leaving Portland.

11:30 a.m. UPDATE: Shell Oil's icebreaker MSV Fennica remains at the Vigor Industrial dry dock on North Portland's Swan Island. A security  patrol boat is floating just to the north of the dock area. There are no indications the ship will be leaving anytime soon and heading north along the Willamette and under the St. Johns Bridge.

Clinton 'Skeptical' About Continuing Arctic Drilling

Jul 29, 2015
(NH1)

Hillary Clinton says she has "doubts" about the Obama administration's green lighting of oil drilling off the shores of Alaska.

And the Democratic presidential frontrunner also tells NH1 News that she will soon be "laying out some ideas" to help battle the serious heroin epidemic in New Hampshire.

The former secretary of state made her comments in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News following a Tuesday evening rally with grassroots supporters at the Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton. Earlier in the day at a town hall meeting in Nashua, Clinton was asked by a supporter of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline whether "as president would you sign a bill, yes or no please, in favor of allowing the Keystone XL pipeline."

Later Compliance Deadline Expected in Obama's Clean Power Plan

Jul 29, 2015
(New York Times)

The final version of President Obama’s signature climate change policy is expected to extend an earlier timeline for states to significantly cut planet-warming pollution from power plants, according to people familiar with the plan.

If enacted, the climate change plan, the final version of which is expected to be unveiled as early as Monday, could stand as the most significant action ever taken by an American president to curb global warming. But some environmental groups have cautioned that a later deadline for states to comply could make it tougher for the United States to meet Mr. Obama’s climate change pledges on the world stage.

Court Orders EPA to Redo Air-Pollution Limits in 13 states

Jul 29, 2015
(AP)

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to relax some limits it set on smokestack emissions that cross state lines and taint downwind areas with air pollution from power plants.

At the same time, the court upheld the EPA's right to impose the clean-air standards, rejecting an argument by states and industry groups that the rule was overly burdensome.

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit orders the EPA to redo sulfur-dioxide and nitrogen-oxide standards for 13 states, mostly in the South and Midwest, that contribute to soot and smog along the East Coast.

Apple, Microsoft, Google and Others Pledge Support for Paris Climate Deal

Jul 27, 2015
(Mashable)

Major companies, including tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Google have teamed up with the White House to urge international governments to reach a strong climate change agreement in Paris this December.

They're taking action. On Monday, more than a dozen large companies announced a new partnership with the White House to expand renewable energy use and cut greenhouse gas emissions and water use. The companies, which also include Cargill, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, UPS and Walmart, agreed to back a strong international climate change agreement that is to be negotiated in Paris in early December.

The Paris talks are viewed as the last chance to limit man-made global warming to an upper limit of 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. By implication, the companies are also endorsing — or at least not objecting to — the Obama administration's own climate goals, which are to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% by 2025 compared to 2005 levels.

Hillary Clinton Previews Plans to Combat Climate Change

Jul 27, 2015
(Wall Street Journal)

Hillary Clinton sought to elevate the issue of climate change in the 2016 political debate Sunday as she announced two “bold national goals” to expand clean-energy production.

Mrs. Clinton pledged to take steps as president to ensure that within a decade, the U.S. will produce enough clean, renewable energy to power every home in the country. And she set a target of half a billion solar panels installed in the U.S. by the end of her first term.

The announcements Sunday evening were the start of what the Clinton campaign said would be a monthslong rollout of a broader energy and climate strategy. The focus on these issues allows Mrs. Clinton to draw sharp contrasts with GOP presidential candidates and respond to challenges from her left flank.

Clinton's climate plan

Wealthy Donor Tom Steyer Announces New Climate Litmus Test for Candidates

Jul 24, 2015
(New York Times)

Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist who emerged as the single biggest individual political donor in the 2014 midterm elections, is ramping up his efforts to make climate change a major issue for candidates in 2016.

On Friday, Mr. Steyer’s advocacy group, NextGen Climate Action, will announce that for a 2016 candidate to receive its financial backing, he or she must pledge to enact an energy policy that would lead to the generation of half the nation's electricity from renewable or zero-carbon sources by 2030 – more than tripling the current use of such sources – and 100 percent from clean sources by 2050.

White House Threatens Veto of Bill to Weaken Coal Ash Regulations

Jul 23, 2015
(International Business Times)

The Obama administration is threatening to veto a House bill that would weaken new federal limits on coal ash, the toxic byproduct of coal-fired power plants. Legislators are set to vote Wednesday on the measure, which senior White House advisers say will “undermine the protection of public health” if passed.

H.R. 1734 targets a suite of coal-ash regulations adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December. The rules aim to prevent massive spills and protect drinking water by forcing faulty dumps to close and keeping new facilities out of wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas.

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