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Fracking Has Contaminated Drinking Water, EPA Now Concludes

The acknowledgment of instances of fracking-related water contamination marks a notable reversal for the Obama administration.

Jun 5, 2015

After years of asserting that hydraulic fracturing has never tainted drinking water, the Obama administration issued a long-awaited study of the controversial oil and gas production technique that confirmed "specific instances" when fracking "led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells."

Fracking Returns, but Denton Vows to Keep Fighting

After their local ban is overturned by a Texas law, anti-fracking residents are angry. 'What will the next thing be that will be taken from us?'

Jun 5, 2015

Two weeks after Denton's fracking ban was rendered illegal by a sweeping new state law restricting local control of oil-and-gas activities, residents of the north Texas town are frustrated, upset and conflicted about how best to respond.

Emotions were on display at this week's Denton City Council meeting, where more than 30 people weighed in on whether the city should repeal the ban. Following the public's advice, the seven-member council decided against repealing the ban—for now—after more than five hours of testimony and discussion.

Global Warming's Great Hiatus Gets Another Debunking

Scientists had struggled to understand a slowdown in the world’s warming starting 15 years ago. A new study says it never happened.

Jun 4, 2015

The long-debated hiatus or pause in global warming, championed by climate denialists who tried to claim it proved scientists' projections on climate change are inaccurate or overblown, probably did not happen at all.

A new study by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that the world’s warming never really stalled during the last 15 years—it was just masked by incomplete data records that have been improved and expanded in recent years.

49 States Making Plans for EPA Carbon Rule—Even the Ones That Hate It

Twelve states have sued the EPA, 12 others have created legislative hurdles. Still, most are planning to meet EPA's carbon reduction targets.

Jun 3, 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.

The Environmental Protection Agency's plans to finalize the rules on carbon emissions from power plants are still several months away. But most states, even those challenging the agency in court, are already investigating ways to comply.

Obama Picks Unknown Quantity to Head Pipeline Safety Agency

If confirmed, Dominguez would take over an underfunded, understaffed and beleaguered agency that has faced criticism of cozy ties with industry.

Jun 2, 2015

The nomination of Marie Therese Dominguez, President Obama's pick to lead the federal agency that oversees pipelines, was greeted with surprise and uncertainty by pipeline safety experts.

Carl Weimer, executive director of the watchdog group Pipeline Safety Trust, said he hadn't heard of Dominguez before the nomination, and knew nothing about her track record in the pipeline sector. Weimer said he would reserve judgement until after her confirmation, and said he hoped she would speed the passage of several pipeline safety rules currently lingering in regulatory limbo.

Bonn Climate Talks Aim to Build a Springboard to Paris, Not a Sinkhole

Six months before what may be the last chance for a global climate agreement in Paris, negotiators get to work on the draft text.

Jun 2, 2015

Six months from the start of a Paris conference where the United Nations hopes to complete a far-reaching deal on the climate crisis, negotiators meeting in Bonn, Germany this week and next are back to working on their unwieldy draft text even as the treaty's goals slide over distant horizons.

Christiana Figueres, head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, optimistically compared Bonn's newly built venue to a construction site where people are moving in while the structure is still going up.

Coal Industry Fighting for Survival on 7 Fronts

The 'war on coal' started long before Obama took office to control the costly and deadly health impacts of an otherwise cheap and abundant fuel.

Jun 1, 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.

Weather Extremes Wear Climate Change's Fingerprints

Extreme heat in India, flooding in Houston, wildfires in Alberta suggest a new normal, made more chaotic by global warming.

May 29, 2015

Communities across the globe got a sobering snapshot this week of what the future is likely to hold more of: extreme weather getting even more extreme thanks to climate change.

Historic rainfall and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma left thousands homeless and dozens of people dead. India is in the midst of a prolonged heat wave that has already claimed more than 1,800 lives.  Wildfires in Alberta consumed hundreds of square miles of forest while creeping closer to Canada's tar sands, shutting down production of the carbon-intense fossil fuel.

Free of Fanfare, Maryland Adopts Fracking Moratorium

Gov. Hogan quietly lets the 30-day window to veto the moratorium measure expire. The bill becomes law Oct. 1.

May 29, 2015

Maryland's fracking moratorium survived its last possible political challenge today.

Gov. Larry Hogan's 30-day window to veto the bill ends Friday night. The governor has already said he won't reject or approve the measure, which mandates a moratorium on the controversial process for oil-and-gas drilling until October 2017. This means the bill will automatically become law later this year because it passed in both the state Assembly and Senate with more than two-thirds of the vote.

Exxon, Chevron Reject Shareholder Measures on Climate Change Again

Continued resistance by leaders of U.S. companies is a stark contrast to BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil, which supported climate resolutions this year.

May 28, 2015

Sharp differences are emerging between U.S. oil majors and their European brethren on the issue of climate change, and Wednesday's shareholder meetings at ExxonMobil and Chevron underscored the divergence as they fought all climate-related shareholder proposals and came away largely victorious.

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