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Pope Francis's Climate Encyclical: Next Comes the Hard Part

After the Pope's much-anticipated document comes out Thursday, turning it into climate action will fall to the vast network of the Catholic church.

By Katherine Bagley and Lisa Song

Jun 17, 2015

When Pope Francis releases his highly anticipated encyclical on global warming Thursday, titled "Laudato Si," or "Be Praised," he will call on nations to take immediate action to curb greenhouse gas emissions on ethical grounds—cementing climate action as a pressing moral issue and sending a jolt through efforts to forge a global climate deal in Paris in December. 

Current Climate Pledges Won't Prevent Dangerous Warming, Agency Says

According to an analysis, the world will not avoid racing past the 2 degrees Celsius boundary without more urgent emissions cuts.

Jun 15, 2015

Pledges made so far by Europe, the United States and China to cut greenhouse gas emissions aren't enough to keep global warming within safe limits, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

But the agency also said that if nations increase their efforts, there is just enough time to change direction with existing technology and without economic penalty.

Plan for Fracking's Waste Pits Could Save Millions of Birds

Federal agency aims to save the 500,000 to 1 million birds that die in the industry's vats of oily residue each year.

Jun 15, 2015

In parched Jim Wells County, Texas, the glistening pits brimming with oil and gas waste appear to be an inviting refuge for birds seeking a hospitable place to find water and rest.

But the pits offer anything but sanctuary–and safety––for birds. They are filled with oily sludge or liquid contaminated with toxic chemicals used by drillers to frack wells in the booming oil and gas fields of south Texas.

Mass. Lawmakers Propose a $5 Billion Pension Fund Cleansing

Two bills are aiming to divest the state's $62 billion public pension fund of all its coal, oil and gas holdings.

Jun 11, 2015

BOSTON­­­––It's not getting the fanfare of a less-ambitious California bill, but Massachusetts is in the midst of an even bolder divestment push, calling for the state's pension funds to completely rid themselves of fossil fuel investments.

Willie Soon's Fossil Fuel-Funded Work Draws Ethics Review From Publisher

Journal publisher Elsevier has launched an investigation over the scientist's missing disclosure of funding sources.

Jun 10, 2015

A journal publisher that distributed studies written by a climate skeptic whose work was financed by fossil fuel interests has launched an ethics investigation over undisclosed funding.

The investigation by Elsevier, a global network of scientific journals, was prompted by documents showing that Harvard-Smithsonian scientist Willie Soon failed to disclose industry funding in 11 studies published by nine journals.

Scientists Band Together, Urge Canada to Stop Tar Sands Expansion

In a rare, large consensus, more than 100 scientists unite to say expanding tar sands will be catastrophic for the climate and environment.

Jun 10, 2015

More than 100 North American scientists released a consensus statement on Wednesday concluding that mining in Canada's tar sands region is destroying the local environment, endangering the rights of indigenous groups and threatening the world's ability to fight climate change—and urging Canadian leaders to curtail their development.

EPA Clean Power Plan Dodges Court Challenge—For Now

A Court of Appeals Panel rejected a gambit by Murray Coal to pre-empt the regulations before they are made final.

Jun 9, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency won an easy, early victory in federal court on Tuesday over coal industry challenges to its forthcoming Clean Power Plan. The struggle over regulating carbon and other pollution from fossil-fuel power plants, however, will continue.

Enbridge Reaches First Settlement With Justice Dept Over 2010 Oil Spill

The $4 million settlement does not resolve any possible penalties in connection with the federal Clean Water Act.

Jun 9, 2015

Enbridge Inc. has reached another settlement in connection with its massive oil pipeline spill into Michigan's Kalamazoo River five years ago. The Canadian company will pay nearly $4 million to fund several restoration projects as a part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Weeks After Texas Oil Well Explosion, Families Still Can't Go Home

Three weeks after well explosion, families are still waiting and worrying as Canadian oil company Encana decontaminates their homes in Karnes County.

Jun 9, 2015

Several families remain displaced three weeks after an oil well exploded in Karnes County, Texas, and the true extent of the contamination is unknown.

More than a dozen households were evacuated after the well blowout in mid-May. As of Monday, five families were unable to return home because their houses are being decontaminated, said Doug Hock, a spokesman for Encana, the Canadian company that owns the well.