February 3, 2016

Study: Burden of Frack Waste in South Texas Falls on Poor, Minority Communities

Black, Hispanic and poor communities bear a disproportinate share of fracking wastewater sites in South Texas, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health.

"We already had issues. Right here in San Antonio, fuel storage tanks were all located on the eastside, predominantly African American neighborhoods," Chavel Lopez, a South Texas resident, told Environmental Health News. "For some of these Hispanic neighborhoods, they were already dealing with uranium mining impacts and now the fracking of oil and gas."

February 2, 2016

Polish Developments Fight Coal Plans

Local Polish officials recently sent a letter to the federal government opposing plans to build new coal mines.

"We call for a radical change in direction of development of the Polish energy sector," they wrote. "Our country has so far only been betting on outdated coal technologies, neglecting the innovative energy efficiency sector, renewable and distributed energy resources, becoming uncompetitive and singled out in Europe."

February 1, 2016

Feds to Review California Offshore Fracking

The U.S. Department of the Interior recently agreed to review whether fracking in federal waters is safe for the environment. Regulators will not issue any new permits for hydraulic fracturing offshore of California until the review is completed.

January 29, 2016

Copenhagen to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Copenhagen plans to divest the city's roughly $1 billion investment fund of all holdings in fossil fuels, according to the Danish capital's mayor Frank Jensen.

"Copenhagen is at the forefront of world cities in the green transition, and we are working hard to become the world's first CO2 neutral capital in 2025. Therefore it seems totally wrong for the municipality to still be investing in oil, coal and gas. We must change that," Jensen said.

Study: Europe's Recent Summers Have Been Hot, Hot, Hot

Scientists reconstructed the last 2,000 years of temperatures for Europe and found the most recent 30 years have been especially hot.

"Climate modelers are always reticent to say a weather event is because of anthropogenic effects - but if you see those 30 years in the context of 2,000 years, and it's so unusual, it really suggests it is because of the greenhouse effect," Danny McCarroll, a study author and professor from Swansea University in the U.K., said to the BBC.

January 28, 2016

Two Canadian Pipeline Projects Face New Delays

Canadian officials this week unveiled updated environmental review standards for energy infrastructure projects. Consequently, the applications for two proposed pipelines will undergo additional scrutiny.

"All we're saying here is that Canadians deserve to have trust in their environmental assessment process or else no projects will go ahead," Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said on Wednesday.

Bankruptcies Won't Necessarily Slow the Coal Glut

When a coal mining company goes bankrupt, there's no guarantee the company's coal production will go down, a new analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence reveals.

"Some people think that if a company goes bankrupt, everything just stops," James Stevenson, director of North American coal at industry consultant IHS Inc. in Houston said. "That's just not the case. What we've seen in recent years is that it's a slow process."

January 27, 2016

26 States Ask Supreme Court to Block the Clean Power Plan

Twenty-six states, led by West Virginia and Texas, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Clean Power Plan, which regulators greenhouse gas emissions for power plants.

"While we know a stay request to the Supreme Court isn't typical at this stage of the proceedings, we must pursue this option to mitigate further damage from this rule," West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement on Tuesday.

Canadian PM: Pipeline, LNG Project Reviews to Consider Climate Impacts

Environmental reviews of oil pipelines and LNG export projects will soon consider the impacts of climate change, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday.

"The federal role is to put into place a process by which TransCanada and any other company could demonstrate that their projects are in the public interest and could have public support," Trudeau said.

South Florida Mayors to Bush, Rubio: Get Serious About Climate Change

A group of Florida mayors confronted the state's two presidential contenders, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, on climate change this week.

Fifteen mayors from cities in south Florida, including Miami, sent letters to Bush and Rubio, urging them to "acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change and to address the upcoming crisis it presents our communities."

January 26, 2016

California to Insurers: Divest from Coal

The California Department of Insurance encouraged insurers to divest from thermal coal for climate risk reasons on Monday. 

"The movement away from coal and the rest of the carbon economy poses a potential financial risk to insurance companies," Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner, said in a statement.

January 22, 2016

Will Peabody Be the Next Coal Company to File for Bankruptcy?

Now that the second largest coal miner in the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy, energy experts wonder if the even bigger Peabody Energy Corp. is headed for the same fate.

"Lots of people are wondering: What's the next shoe to drop? Who might be the next company? Peabody's on everybody's list," Spencer Cutter, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said in a webcast presentation last week.

January 21, 2016

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