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Today's Climate

January 30, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will file a response to a federal study of the Keystone XL pipeline released a year ago, raising the hopes of critics who argue the findings understated the project’s climate risks.
(National Journal)
The Senate's approval Thursday of legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline was about more than just that project. The three-week floor battle gave lawmakers in both parties a chance to force votes and debate a broad array of topics, from climate change to fracking and much more.
(The Hill)
The Republican-led House Natural Resources Committee agreed to put climate change on its agenda over the next two years.
President Obama's signature environmental initiative, his Clean Power Plan, is designed to fight climate change and crack down on America's carbon-emitting power plants. But behind the scenes, a dispute is raging over obscure language that could promote the rapid destruction of America's carbon-storing forests.
(Hartford Courant)
The mayor received threats after appearing on MSNBC on Monday, a city spokesman said. Mayor Bill Finch appeared on the show PoliticsNation for an interview about the weather conditions in the city during the blizzard.
Shell may have angered green groups this morning with its decision to revive plans for drilling in the Arctic, but in a surprise move the company has also signalled its support for a shareholder resolution that will see it provide more information on its climate change strategy.
(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
Rumor became reality here last week when dozens of workers lost their jobs at Laredo Petroleum Inc. The Oklahoma-based energy outfit said it closed its regional office to cope with plunging oil prices.
(Columbus Dispatch (sub. req'd))
Millions of gallons of some of the most volatile crude oil in North America are being transported on rail lines through Ohio each week, according to reports that the state had kept secret until this week.
(Washington Examiner)
Federal regulators said nuclear waste can be stored safely at Yucca Mountain, and Republicans quickly seized on the report to promote designating the Nevada site as the nation's permanent waste dump.
Japan began deliberating its 2030 targets for power generation on Friday, a process likely to turn contentious when nuclear restarts are considered even as the much delayed cleanup at Fukushima continues four years after the meltdowns there.
(Climate Central)
Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan chilled global attitudes toward nuclear power, the world has been slowly reconciling its discomfort with nuclear and the idea that it may have a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change.
(Los Angeles Times)
If you listen to climate change skeptics, Earth's surface hasn’t warmed appreciably in the last 15 years, and any "record" set last year is just the result of the planet doing what the planet naturally does.
World cities are experiencing more heatwaves and fewer cold spells, according to a study of extreme temperatures in hundreds of urban areas over the past 40 years. It found that many cities are seeing fewer extremely windy days than in the 1970s and have more extremely hot individual days and nights.

January 29, 2015

The Senate is set to greenlight its Keystone XL bill on Thursday, just 48 hours after Democrats forced Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to postpone victory on the oil pipeline he has made the GOP's first priority for 2015.
Gov. Tom Wolf plans to sign an executive order ending a short-lived effort by his predecessor to expand the extraction of natural gas from rock buried deep below Pennsylvania's state parks and forests, his office said Wednesday.
(BBC News)
Royal Dutch Shell is reviving plans to drill for oil in Arctic in a move likely to intensify its battle with environmentalists.
(New York Times)
Chevron and BP said on Wednesday that they would work together to explore, appraise and, possibly, develop 24 offshore leases in a deepwater part of the Gulf of Mexico known as the lower tertiary.
(Los Angeles Times)
Each year, the American Assn. of Drilling Engineers hosts a meeting here affectionately called the Liar's Club.
(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
India's government will sell up to 10 percent of Coal India Ltd. on Friday, helping raise more than a third of the $10 billion it hopes to get by auctioning minority stakes in several companies this fiscal year.
(Financial Times)
Glencore is considering a partial shutdown of a coal unit in South Africa in what would be the most decisive response so far to weak coal prices by one of the world's largest exporters.
(The Tyee)
Hydraulic fracturing, a technology used to crack open difficult oil and gas formations, appears to have set off a swarm of earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta, including a record-breaking tremor with a felt magnitude of 4.4 last week.
North Dakota's oil industry is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble.
Britons are more likely to agree the climate is changing than at any time in recent years, with nearly nine in 10 people saying climate change is happening and 84 percent attributing this somewhat or entirely to human activity, new research has found. Two-thirds say they are concerned by global warming.
(National Journal)
Behemoth defense contractor Northrop Grumman is the latest blue-chip corporation to end its affiliation with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group that has endured the departure of several prominent tech companies in recent months,National Journal has learned.

January 28, 2015

(Akron Beacon Journal)
An ethane pipeline ruptured and produced a fireball on Monday morning in northern West Virginia.
(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
In the coming days, the world's biggest publicly traded oil companies will report fourth-quarter earnings, offering the best look yet at the bite lower crude prices have taken out of Big Oil.
(Think Progress)
The multi-billionaire Koch brothers are planning to spend a staggering $889 million in the 2016 election cycle, more than double what they spent in 2012. Politico called it "a historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative megadonors as more powerful than the official Republican Party."
(National Catholic Reporter)
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to make a brief Vatican visit at the end of the week on the topic of addressing climate change.
(Mother Jones)
Here's some good news: According to a new study, the major broadcast news networks are covering climate change more than they have in years. Now here's the bad news: Much of that coverage includes misleading arguments from commentators who reject the scientific consensus that humans are warming the planet.
(Casper Star-Tribune)
A legal settlement reached by environmental groups, Wyoming regulators and the oil services giant Halliburton will make it harder for companies to withhold information from the public about the chemicals used in fracking.