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Today's Climate

July 30, 2014

(Denver Post)
Oil and gas spills are happening more often in Colorado—at a rate of two a day this year—and usually without anyone telling residents. Colorado has seen nearly as many spills so far this year as were recorded in all of 2013—a reflection of greater drilling activity, new reporting requirements and, the state says, tougher enforcement.
(Financial Post)
TransCanada Corp. expects to file an application for its massive Energy East project as early as next month. "We are ready," Bob Eadie, Energy East pipeline project director at TransCanada, said Tuesday in an interview in Toronto where the company and an industry group were showing off a new pipeline training program.
(The Globe and Mail)
Aboriginal people in Ontario are prepared to lay down their lives to protect their traditional lands from any unwanted development, a group of First Nations chiefs said Tuesday. Five aboriginal chiefs served notice on the Ontario and federal governments, developers and the public that they'll assert their treaty rights over their traditional territory and ancestral lands.
(North Carolina Health News)
From now until Sept. 15, North Carolinians will have the chance to raise their concerns about natural gas drilling during a public comment period. In comments to the state, residents can address a number of draft rules for drilling, including the rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Science requires replication, and lots of it. So it's been difficult to gauge the health impacts of shale development from a few scattered studies, says Bernard Goldstein, a public health expert who once led the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health and remains an active voice in the fracking health debate.
(Washington Post)
On one side were the enviros in "Climate Action Now" T-shirts who came to pass out muffins and stand up for asthmatics. The Obama administration's plan to force power plants to cut pollution 30 percent by 2030 is absurdly gentle, they argued at a public hearing Tuesday, and too toothless to save what one advocate called "civilization as we've known it."
(McClatchy DC)
Citing South Florida's unique view on climate change, a Broward County commissioner told a Senate panel Tuesday that the issue is one of the most pressing the region now faces and that local governments will help usher in necessary changes.
(Midwest Energy News)
Marcy Juarez, a hospice worker living on Chicago's Southeast side, says she still can't open the windows on hot days, because of gritty black dust that blows in. Her children have urged her to sell the house, but she's lived there for 35 years, recently remodeled, loves the community and can't imagine leaving.
(New York Times)
The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia's long-term ability to develop new oil resources, taking aim at the Kremlin's premier source of wealth and power in retaliation for its intervention in Ukraine. In announcing coordinated sanctions, American and European leaders went beyond previous moves against banking and defense industries in an effort to curtail Russia's access to Western technology as it seeks to tap new Arctic, deep sea and shale oil reserves.
Wildfire season has intensified early in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon and Washington are turning to the federal government for assistance in fighting the fires and cleaning up the mess left behind.
(Weather Channel)
Whether you call it an "unprecedented adventure" or "environmental disaster tourism" depends on your perspective, but there's little doubt it wouldn't be possible without global warming: taking cruise ship passengers into the Arctic for a voyage through the Northwest Passage.

July 29, 2014

(New York Times)
Failing to adequately reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change could cost the United States economy $150 billion a year, according to an analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers released on Tuesday.
California Governor Jerry Brown and Mexican environmental officials signed a pact on Monday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, an agreement that could eventually expand the market for carbon credits. The six-page memorandum of understanding calls for cooperation in developing carbon pricing systems and calls on the partners to explore ways to align those systems in the future.
(Think Progress)
President Obama will announce a series of executive actions on Tuesday designed to tackle the increasing problem of methane leaks from natural gas pipelines, which are significantly contributing to global warming, according to a White House press call.
(Los Angeles Times)
The Government Accountability Office is calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to step up enforcement of water contamination and seismic activity associated with fracking, the high-pressure injection of fluids into wells to extract oil and natural gas.
(Toronto Star)
Environment Canada's enforcement branch asked a spokesman to "limit information" given to reporters about how long it took to launch a federal investigation into a serious Alberta oil sands leak last summer. The comments were included in more than 100 pages of emails obtained by the Star that were generated in response to questions from journalists last summer about the mysterious leak in Cold Lake, Alta., that now totals about 1.2 million litres of bitumen emulsion, a mixture of heavy oil and water.
(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
A Chinese government anticorruption investigation that already has swept aside dozens of officials is now stretching into Canada. A shake-up has hit state-run China National Petroleum Corp.'s Canadian operations and a billion-dollar oil-sands project is now in limbo. The head of a key China National Petroleum subsidiary was recalled to Beijing last month and has since fallen from public view, according to people familiar with the matter.
(Toronto Star)
One of Washington's most influential lobbying firms made thousands of dollars in political contributions to key U.S. lawmakers last year as it worked on behalf of the Alberta government to drum up congressional support for the Keystone XL pipeline, documents reveal.
Get comfortable. An estimated 1,600 people are slated to sound off to the Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed climate change rule for existing power plants this week at a series of marathon public hearings.
Overwhelming opposition to the government's plans to expanding fracking across Britain was expressed by interest groups during an official consultation, whose results were released a day after ministers signalled a go-ahead for shale gas drilling around the country.
(Mother Jones)
As Ukraine sinks deeper into crisis, the oil and gas industry is pressing the United States to deploy its abundant natural gas supply as a weapon against Russia—and lawmakers of both parties are lining up behind the proposal. "We have this natural-gas boom," Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) said last week, after the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet, allegedly by pro-Russian rebels. "We can use this newfound energy as a diplomatic tool to give the European leaders some backbone in standing up to the Russians."
(NBC News)
A sweeping survey of coral communities surrounding the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico shows that the catastrophe had a wider effect than scientists thought four years ago.
(Midwest Energy News)
When Houston-based Dynegy Inc. bought the E.D. Edwards coal plant near Peoria, Illinois last year, Gary Hall was among many local residents who were not happy. Ameren essentially paid Dynegy to take over the financially flailing plants. Given trends affecting coal plants nationwide, including pending EPA carbon rules and competition from cheap natural gas, many environmentalists and energy experts think the E.D. Edwards plant and other aging coal plants may close in coming years.
Along much of America's coasts, the type of flooding that is more annoying than dangerous has jumped more than fivefold in the last 50 years, the federal government reported Monday. Scientists blame rising seas, saying this is one of the ways global warming is changing everyday lives.
(National Journal)
One of the world's largest food companies says it's about to take a big bite out of global warming. General Mills, maker of Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Wheaties, said Monday that it will set a target to limit air pollution throughout its entire supply chain next summer.

July 28, 2014

(Fuel Fix)
A Texas refiner is suing a Utah county over its new ordinances imposing restrictions on underground pipelines. San Antonio-based Tesoro Corp. wants to build a 135-mile pipeline to carry crude oil from the Uinta Basin to Salt Lake City refineries.
(The Hill)
The United Healthcare Workers East and New York State Nurses Association vowed to rally thousands of members against the Keystone XL pipeline for a march in September.The two unions, which together represent half a million nurses and caregivers joined forces Thursday to express their frustration with the Keystone XL pipeline, calling for action on climate change.
(The Tyee)
A new independent technical review on the cause of a large and costly 2013 bitumen leak in northern Alberta found a form of hydraulic fracturing that injects steam into the ground to be the main culprit.
(Los Angeles Times)
Every weekday, about a dozen large garbage trucks peel away from the oil boom that has spread through western North Dakota to bump along a gravel road to the McKenzie County landfill.
(Pensacola News Journal)
A common ingredient in human laxatives and in the controversial dispersants that was used to break down oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is still being found in tar balls four years later along Gulf Coast beaches including Perdido Key. This finding in a new study contradicts the message that the chemical dispersant quickly evaporated from the environment, which BP and EPA officials were telling a public who grew outraged over the widespread use of the chemicals in the Gulf of Mexico in the weeks following the April 20, 2010, oil spill disaster.