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Today's Climate

January 26, 2015

Federal regulators on Friday ordered a pipeline company to make major upgrades to a line that spilled almost 40,000 gallons of oil into Montana's Yellowstone River and fouled a local water supply.
(New York Times)
On the heels of data showing that last year was the hottest on earth since record keeping began, business leaders, politicians and scientists at the World Economic Forum redoubled their calls to combat climate change.
Fracking shale for oil and gas should be put on hold in the U.K. because of risks to public health and the environment, a panel of lawmakers said.
George Osborne has requested that ministers make dozens of interventions to fast-track fracking as a "personal priority," including the delivery of numerous "asks" from shale gas company Cuadrilla.
(Fuel Fix)
Crude oil producers set aside another 49 oil rigs over the last week and brought the number of rigs looking for oil to its lowest level in two years, according to oil service company Baker Hughes' weekly count.
(The Hill)
Federal investigators are blaming company safety culture, flawed emergency response and inadequate federal regulations for a 2012 fire at a Chevron Corp. refinery in California.
Meet one of the world's leading climate change skeptics. Though he is not a scientist, Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brentley, is a prolific and vocal opponent of mainstream climatology. Once a Special Adviser to Margaret Thatcher, he now spends much of his time trumpeting conservative causes.
(Christian Science Monitor)
When it comes to energy and climate politics, things are heating up on the Senate floor.
(Washington Post)
The bipartisan trio of climate risk prognosticators for the business community—Michael Bloomberg, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and billionaire investor Tom Steyer—are back. And this time, their Risky Business Project has produced a report focusing in particular on how a world of rising temperatures could threaten the Midwestern region of the U.S.: the Heartland.
(Climate Central)
It's easy to think of global warming as something that happens at a steady pace everywhere. But that's not the full story. It's true that the global average temperature has been rising overall since modern record-keeping began, and it's true that 2014 was the hottest year on record, but the rise hasn't been perfectly steady. Each year isn't always warmer than the one before, and some places—the Arctic, for example—have warmed faster than others.
European countries should be given binding targets for installing technology to capture and store carbon emissions, according to a new report for the European commission.
(Al Jazeera America)
Come hell or high water, the residents of St. Kjeld, a Copenhagen neighborhood, will be ready. Actually, skip the hell part. But when the next megastorm hits the Danish capital, St. Kjeld's residents will be safe and dry. That's because as of December, they live in the world's first climate-change-adapted neighborhood.
The latest forecasts based on updated computer model runs are clearly pointing in the direction of much higher snowfall totals than previously expected from coastal New Jersey all the way northeast to Maine.

January 23, 2015

Earthen barriers have been set up across a creek and water was being tested Thursday around the site of a nearly 3 million-gallon leak of saltwater generated by oil drilling, the largest spill of its kind during North Dakota's current oil rush.
(Columbus Dispatch)
A state appeals court has ruled largely in favor of a coal-mining company that had been fighting the Ohio EPA to mine and operate in wetland areas in eastern Ohio.
European Union carbon allowances posted their biggest drop since April after a panel in the bloc's parliament failed to agree on how to modify a measure curbing a glut of carbon permits.
(The Aspen Times)
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said during a visit to Aspen yesterday that she doesn't believe Congress will derail plans for groundbreaking regulation of carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
(Washington Post)
As governments' efforts to cut greenhouse-gas emissions continue to sputter, some researchers have discussed another possible tool for combating climate change: "geoengineering" the climate. One particular form of it, "solar geoengineering," would involve reflecting sunlight away from the Earth to reduce future warming, possibly by deploying an army of mirrors or spraying the air with reflective aerosols that would function like a chemical sunscreen.
(National Journal)
Al Gore spent decades sounding the alarm about global warming and how to fight it. He remains very active too. But there's also a public familiarity, fatigue even, with the former vice president. Gore is, to say the least, a known quantity.
(Los Angeles Times)
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa emerged as the most formidable potential rival of state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris for Barbara Boxer's Senate seat Thursday after billionaire Tom Steyer announced that he would not run.
(New York Times)
An unpainted wooden barn sits in a snow-dusted cornfield along a gravel road, one of many that dot the rural horizon here.
(The Telegraph)
Caroline Spelman, the former environment secretary, has called for a ban on fracking, citing fears that developing shale gas could jeopardize efforts to tackle climate change.
(StateImpact Pennsylvania)
An anti-gas drilling group from northeastern Pennsylvania has reached a settlement agreement with state law enforcement officials, after it accused them of conducting unconstitutional surveillance on its members.
(Think Progress)
Two communities in California are being exposed to at least 15 different kinds of pollutants from oil and gas development, according to a new report. And experts don't yet know how the pollution is affecting residents' health.
(Fuel Fix)
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at 90, according to the Associated Press. Abdullah's 79-year-old brother, Salman, has succeeded him as king. King Salman named his half-brother, Muqrin, as his crown prince and heir.
The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co, said it would not be able to meet a self-imposed deadline to decontaminate water containing highly radioactive substances by the end of March.

January 22, 2015

(National Journal)
Brian Deese, a senior White House budget aide, will replace the outgoing John Podesta as a top adviser to President Obama with a special focus on implementing Obama's climate-change and energy agenda in his final two years.
(The Hill)
President Obama on Wednesday signed an executive order establishing a new panel that will advise the federal government on preserving the Alaskan Arctic.
The European Parliament's industry committee failed to agree on a recommendation for a draft measure to curb a glut of carbon permits as lawmakers clashed.
(Climate Central)
Technological progress has been brutal to the yellow pages and compact discs. Coal may be headed the same way in the U.S., partly because of the market and partly because of national climate change policy.