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Today's Climate

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.
(Denver Post)
The Erie Board of Trustees Tuesday night voted not to impose a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling permits on a 4-3 vote.
(VICE News)
Anti-fracking protests have escalated in the small Algerian town of In Salah since the start of January, and have now spread to neighboring towns in the region. The demonstrations have continued despite the government's announcement that plans to tap shale gas reserves have been temporarily shelved amid growing public concern over the environmental impact.
Lancashire council will decide on Tuesday whether to grant permission for the first new fracking sites in the U.K. in four years, amounting to a major expansion of shale gas industry.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Pipeline operator Enbridge Energy on Tuesday defended its proposal to build a northern Minnesota crude oil pipeline in the face of persistent suggestions by state agencies that another route, farther south, might be better.
(Washington Post)
On Monday, Senate Republicans came up short—temporarily, anyway—in their push to pass legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Democrats successfully filibustered the bill, but if a number of senators had not been absent, that strategy might have failed.
(National Journal)
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who is eyeing a run for president, will not seek a vote on an amendment to lift the ban on crude-oil exports during Senate debate on the Keystone pipeline.

January 27, 2015

(Fuel Fix)
The Obama administration is poised to unveil a draft plan for selling offshore oil and gas leases that is expected to rule out auctioning drilling rights in parts of the Atlantic Ocean as well as in some Arctic waters and along the West Coast between 2017 and 2022.
President Barack Obama's call to restrict oil exploration on 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge probably won't have much practical impact for an area already off-limits to drillers, though it's created a new fault line with the Republican-led Congress.
(The Hill)
The Obama administration told an appeals court that 12 states cannot preemptively challenge its landmark proposed climate rule for power plants.
(National Journal)
Wyoming's House of Representatives approved legislation Monday by a 39-21 vote that paves the way for public school educators to teach students that the climate is changing as a result of human activity.
(The Telegraph)
Fracking will be banned in national parks and new red tape imposed on shale gas companies, the Government has announced, in a major concession to Labour and opponents of the industry.
(Tulsa World)
In a case expected to set a precedent for future earthquake claims in Oklahoma, the state Supreme Court will consider whether two oil companies can be held liable in state court for injuries a Prague woman suffered during the 2011 earthquake.
(Chicago Tribune)
Lyle Weber paid off a sizable chunk of his son's college loan three years ago with money he got from an oil company intending to drill on his farmland.
China's coal production dropped in 2014, the first time since 2000, the China National Coal Association said Friday.
(New York Times)
The British oil giant BP announced on Monday that it was freezing the wages of its 80,000 workers, another sign that oil companies are being forced to cut back in the face of collapsing oil prices.
(Sydney Morning Herald)
Melbourne's climate can be expected to warm across all seasons, with less rainfall in winter and spring but more intense rain events, according to the latest projections by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.
(Climate Central)
La Niña events can drive weather patterns wild around the globe from helping exacerbate drought in West Africa and increase rainfall in areas as diverse as South Asia and the Pacific Northwest. The more extreme the La Niña, which is characterized by a cooling of waters in the tropical Pacific, generally the more pronounced the impacts can be.
(Think Progress)
The new Republican majorities in the 114th Congress are mostly—56 percent—on the record denying the reality of climate change. And barely two weeks into its tenure, the 114th is on a roll, with the new Senate Environment Committee Chair going on a rant about climate change being a hoax the first day he got his gavel, and a series of odd amendment votes on a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline revealing that the Senate itself may be a hoax.

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.