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Clean Power Plan Projection: Coal Use Would Drop Sharply and Quickly

Under the proposed federal regulations, coal production would plummet, the Energy Information Administration says.

May 22, 2015

Production of coal in the United States would drop by one-fifth in the next five years and almost one-third by 2025 under the Obama administration’s regulatory crackdown on carbon emissions from electric power plants, the Energy Department’s statistical branch said on Friday.

California Democrats Approve Sweeping Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution

The resolution could affect the Senate vote on a bill urging state's massive retirement funds to divest their holdings in coal.

May 22, 2015

The California Democratic Party approved a sweeping resolution on Sunday to drop fossil fuel stocks from the state's two major public pension funds, valued at about $500 billion. The party also wants the state's 33 public universities to purge such investments from their $12 billion in total endowments.

Well Explosion Douses Texas Neighborhood Already Weary of Fracking

Blowout in an oil and gas well owned by Encana Corp. in Karnes County prompts evacuations and heightens frustrations.

May 21, 2015

Jeanne Shepherd was on her way to a church gathering when an oil and gas well in Karnes County, Texas blew its top on Tuesday afternoon. A mixture of liquid petroleum products gushed high into the air. Some of it splashed onto Shepherd’s truck, coating her windshield in an opaque, milky film.

Shepherd said the well looked like the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park. "It spewed and it spewed … It was all over everywhere, and I knew I wasn't going home that night," she said.

With Huge Coal Ash Fines, Justice Dept. Puts Industry on Notice

In contrast to weak EPA regulations, recent ruling takes a strong stand on mishandling of coal ash by utility giant Duke Energy.

May 21, 2015

Editor's note: This article is part a series of stories by InsideClimate News reporters exploring the future of the coal industry, Coal's Long Goodbye: Dispatches From the War on Carbon.

In Heavily Fracked Ohio County, Unsafe Levels of Toxic Pollutants

New study finds fracking releases cancer-causing chemicals into the air many times higher than the EPA considers safe.

May 20, 2015

Emissions generated by fracking operations may be exposing people to some toxic pollutants at levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for long-term exposure, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati.

The researchers took air samples in Carroll County, the home of 480 permitted wells––the most in any of Ohio's 88 counties. The team found chemicals released during oil and gas extraction that can raise people's risk of cancer and respiratory ailments.

Climate Change Lands on Agenda of the PTA

California PTA adopts resolution on teaching climate science, but its passage nationwide and its impact beyond the state are uncertain.

May 19, 2015

School districts in California—and perhaps nationwide—will soon feel increased pressure from parents to teach climate science in their classrooms.

The California State Parent Teacher Association, which represents nearly 1 million parents and educators, adopted a resolution this month to urge schools to prioritize climate curriculum and improve energy efficiency, as well as to lobby lawmakers to act on climate warming.

Coal Faces Three Hurdles and Steady Decline, Projections Show

Coal's future as a major energy source is being undermined by market forces, government regulations and moral arguments.

May 18, 2015

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of stories by InsideClimate News reporters exploring the future of the coal industry, Coal's Long Goodbye: Dispatches From the War on Carbon. It begins with this look at energy source projections in the U.S.

If coal were a medical patient, its prognosis would be creeping toward the critical list.

Canada Promises Emissions Cuts, but Tar Sands Still Full Speed Ahead

Critics call Canada's climate pledge both inadequate and unreachable with no lull in tar sands oil.

May 15, 2015

Canada's federal government, in a pledge that skeptical climate campaigners called a triumph of hope over experience, promised on Friday to reverse years of emissions growth and get its global warming pollution back on a downward slope.

"This is a fair and ambitious target that is in line with other major industrialized countries and reflects our national circumstances," said the government's announcement of Canada's contribution to the goals of a new climate treaty the world is struggling to complete in Paris at the end of the year.

Why Did NY Ban Fracking? The Official Report Is Now Public

The massive study finds that health, safety and environmental uncertainties regarding fracking's dangers have 'grown worse over time.'

May 15, 2015

New York issued its long-awaited environmental assessment of fracking Wednesday detailing a wide range of health and climate concerns that underpinned Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision last December to impose a statewide ban on the practice. 

High-volume hydraulic fracturing "raises new, significant, adverse impacts not studied" in the state's last major analysis of oil and gas development in 1992, the 2,000-page report concludes. The negative effects that fracking could bring to the state include: 

Pennsylvania High School Students Convince School to Divest From Coal

George School in Newtown, after a campaign by students, decides that even a high school can make a statement, joining the divestment movement.

May 15, 2015

A Pennsylvania high school just made history.

George School in Newtown announced April 27 that it would divest its $150 million endowment of holdings in coal mining companies, likely becoming the first secondary school in the nation to join the global movement to rid investment portfolios of fossil fuel stocks. The decision was prompted by a student petition.

"I was thrilled that the kids were active and concerned and brought this to the board—and that the board was respectful," said head of school Nancy Starmer.

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