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Study Gets a Handle on Gas Leaks: 80 Billion Cubic Feet

Four percent of the facilities surveyed accounted for 23 percent of the leaked natural gas, worth about $240 million.

Jul 23, 2015

About 80 billion cubic feet of the potent greenhouse gas methane escapes into the air each year from the complex U.S. system for carrying natural gas to power stations and other consumers, according to new research published this week.

Five Years After Michigan Oil Spill, Unfinished Business Remains

The EPA has yet to levy a Clean Water Act fine for the biggest inland oil spill in U.S. history. The agency has until July 25 to act.

Jul 22, 2015

Today the gently rolling Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan flows clear once again. There are few reminders that five years ago the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history turned 40 miles of the river black.

There is, however, a $100 million piece of unfinished business.

Enbridge Expects $40 Million Fine, EPA's Stiffest Ever for a Pipeline Spill

The fine could top $100 million if the agency finds negligence or other adverse circumstances.

Jul 22, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency may penalize Enbridge Inc. with the stiffest fine ever imposed under the Clean Water Act for an oil pipeline disaster, based on an InsideClimate News review of EPA enforcement data covering the past 15 years.

New Study Says Even 2 Degrees of Warming 'Highly Dangerous'

James Hansen and 16 others aim to pressure Paris climate talks toward strong outcomes with a new paper published ahead of peer review.

Jul 21, 2015

When world leaders meet in Paris this December to agree on a new international treaty on climate change, their goal will be to keep atmospheric warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the point after which catastrophic climate change will be nearly inevitable, scientists say.

Climate Treaty's Finances on Shaky Ground

This primer explains why faith is beginning to wane in the Green Climate Fund, designed to heal divisions between rich and poor nations.

Jul 20, 2015

Faith in the Green Climate Fund, the finance arm long believed to hold a key to achieving a global climate change accord in Paris in December, is beginning to wane.

The Green Climate Fund is supposed to be the primary distributor of tens of billions of dollars in climate aid to help the world's poorest countries deal with climate change caused primarily by the actions of others. It was designed to help heal the deep divisions between rich and poor nations that have long dimmed hopes for a meaningful global warming solution. 

On Climate, a Rough Road Ahead for California

An executive order issued by Gov. Brown would reduce global warming emissions by 40% by 2030, but achieving that is shaping to be a difficult task.

By Kate Galbraith, CALmatters

Jul 20, 2015

Editor's note: We want to introduce readers to a nonprofit news organization launching today called CALmatters. Its first story is about California's world-leading climate policies, and the hurdles that face leaders as they try to implement them. Success is crucial because California efforts are expected to provide the template for states, the federal government and other nations.

Report Fuels Fracking Ban Push in California

Activist groups have launched a petition calling for a moratorium on fracking like New York's after a study shows how little is known about its dangers.

Jul 17, 2015

A new state-mandated report underscores how little is known about the risks associated with fracking in California, fueling a push by activists to temporarily halt the controversial practice statewide.

The study's key takeaway is that "the state does not have adequate information to effectively regulate the process," said Andrew Grinberg, oil-and-gas program manager at the environmental group Clean Water Action. "To me, it is a clear indication that a moratorium is needed."

Biggest Coal Polluters Dominate Emissions

Despite a downward trend in coal use and emissions overall by utilities, a handful still pump an inordinate amount into the air.

Jul 17, 2015

Although several of America's biggest investor-owned utilities have seen a significant drop in their carbon footprints as they have shifted away from coal in recent years, just five––led by Duke Energy, American Electric Power and Southern––are still responsible for spewing out 25 percent of the nation's power plant carbon emissions.

Polar Bears Can't Adapt to Melting Arctic, Will Waste Away

Study finds that polar bears' metabolism will not slow enough to survive the increasing scarcity of their food resources.

Jul 16, 2015

Polar bears have been one of the species hit hardest by climate change over the last decade, experiencing population declines up to 40 percent in some areas. Even so, scientists have long held out hope the mammals might adapt in some way to their melting Arctic habitat and rebound––or at least stabilize in numbers––as the world continues to warm.

But new research published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science deals a blow to that optimism.

Global Climate Treaty May Hinge on the Strength of Its Teeth

Negotiators working toward the Paris talks debate whether strict requirements will endanger cooperation, particularly from the U.S.

Jul 15, 2015

One of the most sensitive unresolved questions facing negotiators of a new global climate treaty is how binding it will be.

If the treaty expected to be reached in Paris this year is without enforceable strict rules, some argue it will not be credible, while others say if nations are bound too rigidly, they won't agree to anything ambitious enough to matter. And the key to the whole conundrum is likely the United States.