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Today's Climate

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.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has so far avoided taking a position on the Keystone XL pipeline, is sure to face the issue again on Wednesday in a return to Canada as Congress considers approving construction of the contentious project backed by the United States' northern neighbor.
Major fossil fuel companies and energy utilities have used their financial power to take control of key renewable energy lobby groups in Europe in an effort to slow the continent's transition to clean energy, according to industry insiders.
(New York Times)
President Vladimir V. Putin surprised the world in December when he aborted long-laid plans for a natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Europe, saying Russia would run pipes to Turkey instead.
(Albuquerque Journal)
A federal judge has overturned a New Mexico county's ban on oil and natural gas drilling that was the first of its kind when it was enacted nearly two years ago. In a sprawling, nearly 200-page decision that touched on several constitutional elements, U.S. District Judge James O. Browning ruled that the ordinance clashes with federal law.
(StateImpact Texas)
A seismic hazard map is essentially what it sounds like—a map that shows the potential for earthquakes in certain areas. The maps give people a sense of the likelihood of earthquakes occurring, where they might occur, and how strong they might be. The maps can influence everything from public policy to building codes to insurance rates.
New York state's fracking fight has moved offshore. And now the key players include not just New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) but also New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
A highly controversial oil project that Spain's national government had pinned its hopes on was just cancelled. Spanish oil giant Repsol has decided to call off drilling near the Canary Islands, a small chain of Spanish-controlled islands off the coast of Morocco.
(Fuel Fix)
A retired Coast Guard official testified Wednesday the massive oil spill response BP managed out of Houston in 2010 fell short of typical efforts to remove crude from the ocean.
(Christian Science Monitor)
Three years ago, Eugene, Ore., teenagers Kelsey Juliana and Olivia Chernaik sued Gov. John Kitzhaber for failing to protect future generations from the effects of climate change.

January 21, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama mocked congressional Republicans' popular "I am not a scientist" demurral on climate science, and vowed to prevent Congress from undermining his administration's steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
(National Journal)
President Obama needled congressional Republicans for their early focus on the Keystone XL pipeline in his State of the Union address Tuesday, saying that Congress should instead be working on a long-term infrastructure bill.
Europe is launching a major diplomatic push for an ambitious deal on global warming, mobilising A-list celebrities and tens of thousands of diplomats to exert "maximum pressure" on key countries in international climate negotiations.
(New York Times)
Two charitable groups will spend $48 million over the next three years to help states figure out how to reduce emissions from electricity production, an effort to seize the possibilities that are opening up as the cost of clean power falls.