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Did Texas Illegally Relax Rules on Coal Plants?

When Texas regulators bypassed the EPA to ease air pollution regulations on 19 coal plants, they violated the federal Clean Air Act, a new petition says.

May 27, 2015

Texas regulators quietly worked with the coal industry to illegally exempt 19 coal-fired power plants from parts of the Clean Air Act, environmental groups claimed in a petition filed today with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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.

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