Pulitzer winning climate news.
facebook twitter subscribe
view counter

Tweets

ICNfreesubscription

KeystoneBeyondPreviewBlock

Donate to InsideClimate News through our secure page on Network for Good.

EagleFordProjectPreviewBlock

BloombergLegacyPreviewBlock

CleanBreakAdAmazon

Breaking News

Total Shelves $11 Billion Alberta Tar Sands Mine

Aug 14, 2014
(Globe and Mail)

The Joslyn oil sands mine has been shelved indefinitely, a result of rising industry costs that made the $11-billion project financially untenable.

French energy powerhouse Total SA, along with its partners in the Joslyn north oil sands project, unanimously decided to put the project on hold because of rising cost pressures across the entire energy industry, said André Goffart, the head of Total's Canadian division.

"Joslyn is facing the same challenge most of the industry world-wide [is], in the sense that costs are continuing to inflate when the oil price and specifically the netbacks for the oil sands are remaining stable at best – squeezing the margins," he told reporters in a conference call.

Nebraska Court Ruling on Keystone XL Pipeline Not Expected Until 2015

Aug 13, 2014
(Reuters)

The Nebraska Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a dispute over the planned route for the Keystone XL pipeline but a court ruling on the controversial project is likely to be delayed until the new year, lawyers and activists say.

The court has scheduled oral arguments for Sept. 5 in Lincoln over the proposed path of the 1,200-mile (1,900-km) pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Although it will be a talking point in several Congressional races, Keystone's fate is likely to remain in limbo during the Nov. 5 U.S. mid-term elections.

Oil Companies Fracking into Drinking Water Sources, Research Shows

Aug 13, 2014
(Los Angeles Times)

Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists.

Though researchers cautioned their study of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, employed at two Wyoming geological formations showed no direct evidence of water-supply contamination, their work is certain to roil the public health debate over the risks of the controversial oil and gas production process.

Groups Accuse EPA of Muzzling Science Advisers

Aug 12, 2014
(AP)

Journalist and scientific organizations accused the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday of attempting to muzzle its independent scientific advisers by directing them to funnel all outside requests for information through agency officials.

In a letter Tuesday, groups representing journalists and scientists urged the EPA to allow advisory board members to talk directly to news reporters, Congress and other outside groups without first asking for permission from EPA officials. An April memo from the EPA's chief of staff said that "unsolicited contacts" need to be "appropriately managed" and that committee members should refrain from directly responding to requests about committees' efforts to advise the agency.

Democrats Increasingly Backing Oil and Gas Industry

Aug 11, 2014
(Wall Street Journal)

When House Republicans took up a measure to speed the government's reviews of applications to export natural gas, a move long sought by energy companies, the unexpected happened: The bill won "yes" votes from 47 Democrats.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), anticipated some Democratic backing, but not that much. Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who leads the Democrats' House campaign arm, was a yes, as was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Both had voted to restrict oil and natural-gas exports in 2012.

The energy boom is shaping a new kind of Democrat in national politics, lawmakers who are giving greater support to the oil and gas industry even at the risk of alienating environmental groups, a core of the party's base.

EPA Must Explain Costs of Its Rules Better, Federal Watchdog Says

Aug 11, 2014
(Washington Examiner)

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to do a better job explaining and disclosing the data it uses to determine the costs of proposed regulations, particularly those regarding climate change, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

While the agency adhered to many of the guidelines outlined by the White House Office of Management and Budget when describing the economic effects of proposed rules and potential alternatives, the report said the information EPA used was "not always clear."

"As a result, EPA cannot ensure that its [regulatory impact analyses] adhere to OMB's guidance to provide the public with a clear understanding of its decision making," the report said.

Keystone XL Could Mean More Global Warming Emissions Than Estimated, Study Says

Aug 10, 2014
(Los Angeles Times)

Building the Keystone XL pipeline could lead to as much as four times more greenhouse gas emissions than the State Department has estimated for the controversial project, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change that relies on different calculations about oil consumption.

Emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide became central to the Obama administration’s review of a federal permit for Keystone XL, after the president announced in June 2013 that he would let the project proceed only if "it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."

Fracking Waste Tainted Groundwater and Soil at 4 Pennsylvania Sites

Aug 6, 2014
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Leaks of fracking waste water from three impoundments in Washington County have contaminated soil and groundwater, prompting the state to issue a violation notice at one site and increase monitoring and testing at another.

John Poister, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman, said the problems at three of Range Resources Inc.'s nine Washington County impoundments have raised concerns and increased regulators’ scrutiny. The impoundments store flowback and waste water from multiple Marcellus Shale well drilling and fracking operations.

"We have had some discussions with Range about its impoundments," Mr. Poister said. "We are looking at them and discussing things with them."

Drilling Company Owner Gets 2-Plus Years for Dumping Frack Waste in River

Aug 6, 2014
(Cleveland Plain Dealer)

The owner of a Youngstown oil-and-gas-drilling company was sentenced Tuesday to 28 months in prison for ordering employees to dump tens of thousands of gallons of fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River.

U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent also fined Benedict Lupo, 64, of suburban Poland $25,000. Nugent rejected defense attorney Roger Synenberg's request for home detention and a harsh fine.

Synenberg said Lupo is frail and extremely ill, as he requires dialysis treatments daily and suffers from chronic pain and diabetes.

Beijing to Ban Coal Use to Curb Air Pollution, State Media Says

Aug 5, 2014
(Reuters)

Beijing will ban coal use in its six main districts by the end of 2020, state media cited the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau as saying, as the Chinese capital steps up efforts to combat air pollution.

Beijing and the surrounding area in China's northeast is often wreathed in noxious smog, which has been cited as a factor in high rates of lung cancer.

Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan districts will all stop using coal and coal products and shut down coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday.