August 23, 2019
Mounting criticism of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the large number of fires in the Amazon is threatening to derail the country's trade agreement with the EU. French President Emmanuel Macron called the fires in the Amazon an international crisis and said they would be discussed urgently at this weekend's G7 summit.
People in South Portland, Maine, have been worried about their air quality since learning an oil tank farm was violating its emissions permit. Now, results from the start of a community air testing program are back, and they show troubling benzene spikes. Part of an ICN series.
Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders unveiled a $16.3 trillion plan for a Green New Deal on Thursday, giving shape to a massive program to overhaul the nation's economy and eliminate fossil fuel use by mid-century. The plan includes getting electricity and transportation running completely on renewables by 2030.
A federal appeals court today upheld most of the Obama EPA's 2015 thresholds for ground-level ozone. The court rejected claims from industry and conservative states that the ozone standards are impossible to achieve. Environmentalists had wanted a stricter secondary ozone standard to protect plants and animals, and the court ordered EPA to revisit that standard.
As climate change melts ice sheets and permafrost, exposing greater areas of the Arctic, more countries are eyeing the region for its untapped wealth of oil, natural gas and rare earth minerals. Read more from ICN of why unleashing the Arctic's carbon would have devastating consequences for the planet.
For the third time this summer, parts of Europe will soon be experiencing another heat wave, the latest in a series of extreme heat events highlighting the effects of climate change. Temperatures are expected to rise 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average in some areas starting this weekend, cooking Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
The Democratic National Committee has rejected calls for a party-sponsored debate on solving the climate crisis. The committee voted 17 to 8 against the resolution, with some committee members citing concerns over changing party rules and opening the door for a flood of single-issue events. The vote triggered protests.
A report released Thursday by Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee appears to confirm that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt—a former oil and gas lobbyist—met with a group he recused himself from dealing with as part of his ethics pledge.
August 22, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a $16.3 trillion plan for a Green New Deal on Thursday, giving shape to a massive program to overhaul the nation's economy and eliminate fossil fuel use by mid-century. He says it will pay for itself, but the dollar estimates and speed of the transitions are raising questions.
A Washington state appeals court has ruled against a company that wants to build the largest coal export terminal in the country on the Columbia River. The decision could be a fatal blow for a controversial project that could have increased global greenhouse gas emissions.
Eight environmental organizations launched the first challenge to the Trump administration's moves to weaken the Endangered Species Act, filing a lawsuit Wednesday that aims to prevent what they call the gutting of one of the country's most successful conservation laws.
America Rising—an opposition research firm linked to some influential Republicans—has been filing records requests for the emails of agency officials who have supported Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and others, Mother Jones reports.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, he announced Wednesday, telling MSNBC that it was clear that he wouldn't become president. Inslee said he had "never been so confident" in America's ability to fight climate change, the central issue of his campaign.
A Texas Company is Closing 4 Illinois Coal Plants But Plans to Keep Some of Its Dirtiest Units Running
Illinois will distance itself further from coal by the end of the year when a Texas company shutters four downstate power plants that burn fossil fuel. But an agreement brokered with Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration will let the company continue running some of its dirtiest coal plants.
Air pollution, even at levels below air quality guidelines and regulatory limits, can still pose a risk to public health, new research finds. The study analyzed 30 years of 652 cities in 24 countries and regions, and found that increases in air pollution were linked to increases in related deaths.
Democratic National Committee officials will vote today on whether to hold a presidential primary debate focused solely on climate change policy. Activists with youth-led environmental advocacy group Sunrise Movement say the topic deserves more attention than the planned town hall forums.
A scathing report from the UK's MPs says the government should discourage personal vehicle use and reward energy-efficient homebuilding to meet its legally binding target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
August 21, 2019
In its campaign to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain to oil and gas drilling, the Trump administration exaggerated the financial benefit, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. The White House had estimated an $1.8 billion windfall for the federal treasury, but the latest federal estimate is half that, and a Times analysis of previous leas sales suggests it could be as little as $45 million over the next decade.
Brazil's Amazon rainforest—a vital carbon sink—has seen a record number of fires this year, according to the National Institute for Space Research. Satellite data showed an 84 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018. Wildfires often occur in the dry season but they are also deliberately started to deforest land for cattle ranching.
In an audio recording obtained by The Intercept, an official with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers lobbying group acknowledges that the group has been playing a role behind the scenes in crafting laws recently passed in states across the country to criminalize oil and gas pipeline protests, in response to protests over the Dakota Access pipeline.
FEMA has mishandled billions in emergency funds and misused thousands of its employees responding to undersized floods, storms and other events that states could have handled themselves, an E&E News investigation says. It also raises questions about the agency's ability to handle more frequent disasters.
Three Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the EPA on Tuesday raising concerns about an expected environmental rule change that could limit the rights of individuals and communities to challenge granted federal pollution permits. They warned the move would "benefit wealthy industry groups at the expense of everyday Americans."
The U.S. will account for nearly two-thirds of the world's new oil and natural gas output over the next decade, making it a critical obstacle to mitigating climate pollution, a London-based environmental advocacy group says.
California's clean energy jobs now outnumber its fossil fuel industry jobs five to one, driven in part by the state's aggressive renewable energy and climate laws, a new study found. More than 512,000 workers are employed in jobs related to clean energy, from installing solar panels to building electric cars.
White House hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will attend a CNN town hall focused on climate change next month after initially declining, citing a scheduling conflict. The move garnered backlash online, including from youth-led climate advocacy group Sunrise Movement.
Environmental Groups Can Still Talk Climate Change During Election, Says Canada's Chief Electoral Officer
Canada's chief electoral officer issued a public statement assuring environmental organizations that they can promote plans to fight climate change during the country's fall federal election without violating the Canada Elections Act. The announcement comes after an election official suggested expressing climate change beliefs could be seen as partisan, CBC reported.
August 20, 2019
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is asking a judge to throw out a federal permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline, arguing that the government shut the tribe out of a court-ordered second environmental review and ignored its concerns.
Medications used to treat conditions from high blood pressure to mental health disorders can affect the ability to regulate heat—altering the body's ability to sweat, changing how it regulates temperature or causing dehydration. As climate change brings dangerous heat waves, too little is being done to warn patients or physicians of the growing risk, medical experts say.
Extreme weather events, reduced worker productivity and other effects stemming from climate change could cause major global financial losses if greenhouse gas emissions aren't significantly curbed in the next few decades, according to a new working paper published in the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The White House is pressuring automakers not to join California's Zero-Emission Vehicle Program and to instead support President Trump's auto emissions rollbacks, the New York Times reports, citing four people familiar with talks involving the administration and some top automakers. Yet despite the efforts, Mercedes-Benz and at least one other prominent automaker are preparing to join the pact, the Times reports.