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Plunging Prices, Climate Concerns Hit Canadian Oil Sands Producers Hard

Canadian producers share an uncertain future with the oil industry, but higher costs and opposition to expansion and pipelines bring extra hardship.

Aug 11, 2015

Canadian oil sands producers, facing a double whammy of low oil prices and higher taxes in Alberta, are slashing spending, suspending production, cutting jobs and halting shareholder dividends. They are fighting the same market forces that are putting pressure on the entire oil industry, but face even more hurdles than the oil majors.

Several Butterfly Species Could Go Extinct by 2050

Worsening droughts that come with climate change threaten butterflies' survival in Great Britain, new research shows.

Aug 10, 2015

A team of British scientists warned on Monday that if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked and droughts become more frequent and extreme, several butterfly species could become extinct as early as 2050.

Where the Presidential Candidates Fall on Climate Change

There are subtle differences on a key issue even among candidates of the same party.

Aug 7, 2015

American voters are in a tough spot: With five Democrats and 17 Republicans vying for the Oval Office in 2016, the U.S. has one of its largest pools of presidential candidates in nearly a century—making the task of navigating their stances on the issues more onerous than usual.

On the issue of climate change,  while most Democrats are strong proponents of climate action and most Republican contenders fall on the side of denial or hedging about the human role in climate change, there are subtle differences even among candidates of the same party.

Climate Remains a Non-Issue in GOP Primary Season

Even in a week when the Obama administration unveiled its major climate initiative, Republican presidential candidates ignored the topic altogether.

Aug 7, 2015

The top 10 Republican candidates for president spent 120 minutes of their first primary season debate Thursday night in Cleveland duking it out over issues like foreign policy, national security, immigration, abortion and the economy.

Colorado Community Likes its Beer, but it Likes its Coal Jobs More

Brewers like New Belgium who supported an environmental group that has challenged local coal mines are facing a boycott by businesses in Craig, Colo.

Aug 7, 2015

The coal business is personal in Craig, a small town in northwest Colorado.

It’s so personal, businesses are boycotting several Colorado craft breweries including New Belgium Brewing Company for giving money to an environmental group that’s challenging their local coal mineseven though the breweries haven’t actually supported that particular campaign.

Is the Oil Industry Off a Cliff or Just in a Down Cycle?

Low prices are forcing companies to curtail exploration and borrow to sustain dividends and stock value as the world looks to curtail emissions.

Aug 6, 2015

With the oil industry facing what could be its worst downturn in more than 45 years, the major companies are taking extraordinary, perhaps even desperate, measures to preserve their dividends. This is raising the question of whether the current price slump is just another in a long history of down business cycles, from which oil companies always emerge victoriously, or a sign of more deeply troubled times ahead.

Alberta Earthquakes Tied to Fracking, Not Just Wastewater Injection

While most fracking-related earthquakes in the U.S. are pegged to wastewater injection, Canadian scientists believe fracking itself is to blame in Alberta.

Aug 6, 2015

Fox Creek, an oil town of nearly 3,000 residents in western Alberta, recently experienced its third earthquake of at least magnitude 4.0 this year. The difference between this one and many of the quakes felt in fracking country in the U.S., however, is that Canadian researchers are attributing the cause to fracking itself, not just the wastewater disposal process.

Don't Like the Clean Power Plan? Try Cap-and-Trade

The Obama administration offers a carbon trading system as an option for states that don't want to comply with emissions cuts.

Aug 5, 2015

If enough states "just say no" to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, refusing to impose limits on the carbon dioxide emissions of electric utilities within their borders, that could hasten the emergence of an interstate cap-and-trade regime designed by the federal government.

Geoengineering Will Not Save Ocean Life from Acidification, Research Says

Without reducing emissions, carbon removal schemes will not undo the damage climate change is doing to the oceans by increasing their acidity.

By Phil McKenna

Aug 5, 2015

Waiting to tackle ocean acidification caused by climate change through yet-to-be developed geoengineering schemes will be too little too late to prevent mass extinction of ocean life, a new study concludes.

EPA Dangles Carrot for States to Cut Emissions Quicker

Plan to reward states for renewable energy use and efficiency gains was an unexpected addition to the Clean Power Plan.

Aug 5, 2015

One unexpected twist in the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules governing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants is a proposal to create incentives to move more rapidly toward energy efficiency and renewables like wind and solar power.

The feature could help compensate for the agency’s decision to delay by two years, until 2022, the first compliance deadline imposed by the Clean Power Plan regulations, which were published on Monday.