August 6, 2020
China's nylon industry may be overlooking its emissions of a potent greenhouse gas, with chemical plants potentially releasing hundreds of thousands of tons of nitrous oxide directly into the atmosphere. Our 6-month investigation found 11 plants that, together, are likely emitting greenhouse gases equivalent to 25 million cars, despite low-cost fixes available.
When California Sen. Kamala Harris and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced climate "equity" legislation on Thursday, activists saw it as a hopeful sign of Democratic unity less than three months before a hugely consequential election with both the White House and the Senate up for grabs. The bill aims to ensure environmental regulations consider impacts on low-income communities.
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday reversed a lower court's determination that the Dakota Access Pipeline should be temporarily shut down, saying the ruling wasn't necessary. A district court ordered the pipeline to be shut down last month while the Army Corps of Engineers works to prepare an environmental impact statement for a rule relaxation that allowed it to cross the Missouri River.
The U.S. stands to avoid 4.5 million premature deaths if it works to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degree Celsius, according to new research from Duke University. The findings, which also associated reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits with curbing global warming, comes as President Trump prepares to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord in November.
A "virtual power plant" comes to the Bay Area. What is that? A major success story for carbon capture in Texas goes kaput. And SoCalGas, the nation's biggest gas utility, nears a "moment of reckoning." It's all in the latest Inside Clean Energy by Dan Gearino.
For years, the mortgage industry has expected that incentives to make homes more energy efficient would provide jobs while lowering borrowing rates. But as lenders redouble their efforts to measure the carbon impact of their loans, they're finding that residential mortgages are often one of the biggest line items in their books, Bloomberg reports, putting stress on the effort to make homes greener.
Forecasters are predicting an "extremely active" hurricane season this year, with an estimated 24 named storms for 2020, or an increase of about 190 percent of the average season. According to expert meteorologists at Colorado State University, recent Hurricanes Hanna and Isaias are only the beginning of what is expected to be a long storm season ahead.
Senators and other energy sector officials warned Wednesday that foreign adversaries are continuing to target the U.S. electric grid, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has only underscored the dangers. "The threat of cyberattacks by foreign adversaries and other sophisticated entities is real and it's growing," Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Wednesday.
August 5, 2020
The growing but largely unrecognized death toll from rising global temperatures will come close to eclipsing the current number of deaths from all the infectious diseases combined if planet-heating emissions are not constrained, a major new study has found. Poorer countries that occupy the hottest areas of the world are set to suffer most.
Energy giant BP has said it will cut its oil and gas output significantly by 2030. It's the first major oil company to make such a commitment, which is critical to global efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions. Europe's leading oil companies have been announcing plans to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century, but have been silent about the need to cut production until now.
With the election just three months away, Democrats may be trying to turn the controversial nomination of William Pendley to head the Bureau of Land Management to their political advantage, calling him unfit to lead an agency that oversees oil, gas and coal development on hundreds of millions of acres of federal land.
Southern California Gas Co. is taking its battle with state officials over climate change policy to court, arguing in a new lawsuit that the California Energy Commission has failed to promote natural gas as required by state law. The lawsuit is the latest attempt by SoCalGas to shield itself from efforts to phase out the planet-warming fossil fuel.
Tropical Storm Isaias killed at least four people on Tuesday as it made its way up the U.S. Atlantic Coast, including two deaths at a North Carolina trailer park that was struck by a tornado spun off by hurricane-force winds. The storm knocked out power to more than 2.8 million homes and businesses from New York to North Carolina, according to electric companies.
President Trump on Tuesday signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act, a measure with broad bipartisan support that guarantees maximum annual funding for a federal program to acquire and preserve land for public use. Trump lauded the move as part of his environmental legacy, which includes exiting the Paris Agreement and rolling back dozens of landmark environmental protection laws.
The world's offshore wind capacity could grow eightfold by the end of the decade, powered by a clean energy surge led by China, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. A new industry report has revealed stronger than expected growth for the offshore wind industry, which could reach 234GW by 2030, from a global tally of just over 29GW at the end of last year.
An investor group managing more than $16 trillion on Wednesday launched the world's first step-by-step plan to help pension funds and others align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement on climate change. It's the first plan to lay out the steps needed to ensure investor commitments are backed up by the action required to achieve them.
August 4, 2020
With Covid-19 confining people to their homes, campaigns to get voters to the polls have gone digital. One climate activist thinks he can use that to his social media savvy to get young people out to vote in November.
Tropical Storm Isaias is moving north along the east coast after hitting North Carolina as a hurricane Monday night. Mid-Atlantic residents faced heavy rains, high winds and storm surge as the tempest quickly moved along the coast.
A study published Monday argues that the high-end projection for greenhouse gas concentrations will remain the most realistic for planning purposes through at least 2050, because it comes closest to capturing the effects of "both historical emissions and anticipated outcomes of current global climate policies."
A new report found that 41 states have managed to cut their emissions since 2005, even as their economies grew and despite lack of major climate action on the federal level. But the most successful aren't the states one would expect to rank high for climate friendliness, like California and Washington, but rather East Coast states.
When the pandemic forced scientists around the world to meet online to discuss the latest climate research, it inadvertently tested whether important scientists could inform United Nations climate conversations without flying all over the world and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. But the virtual meetings are working in unexpected ways.
Orphaned oil and gas wells in West Virginia can be dangerous to the environment and public health, and lead to lower property values. A bill, backed by the oil and gas industry, would fund both plugging of wells and providing employment for former oil field workers.
A little known American company has signed a deal with Kurdish authorities to export oil from northeastern Syria, Politico reports. The move angered the Syrian government, which called the sale illegal.
August 3, 2020
Where someone lives and the income inequality that they face today will determine, more than anything else, whether that person dies from heat, a new paper from the Climate Impact Lab warns. People in poor regions who benefit less from investment in air conditioning, protective infrastructure and elder care will die from extreme heat at much higher rates compared to wealthier peers.
The world's leading oil companies have reported billions in losses and are cutting billions more in spending as global oil demand remains low. Those latest earnings reports reveal the scale of the damage inflicted on the industry by the coronavirus pandemic and highlight the rift between American and European companies over the risks from climate change, and how to address them.
The number of coal-fired power plants operating around the world fell for the first time on record over the first six months of the year, new research found, with plant closures mostly in the U.S. and Europe outstripping new plants being commissioned, primarily in Asia. China continues to dominate coal power development, hosting almost 90 percent of the plants under construction.
Nearly a year has passed since millions of people around the globe marched with youth to demand immediate action on curbing climate change. But with the pandemic forcing people indoors, youth climate activists have turned their attention to the presidential election, campaigning with phone banks, social media and friend-to-friend organizing, The Guardian reports.
For years, residents of Arvin, California—most of whom are low-income and Latino—have been fighting to keep oil and gas development out of their neighborhoods. Now they're taking their fight statewide, where more than two million Californians live within a quarter mile of operational oil and gas wells, which release a toxic mix of air pollutants.
While the days of false equivalency in climate change journalism appear to be in the past, mainstream media outlets still disproportionately amplify the views of businesses and coalitions pushing back on climate action, a new study says. The media trend allows a few powerful and wealthy groups to define the debate on how to address global warming, researchers say.
A new proposal from the Trump administration that defines habitat under the Endangered Species Act would limit the areas species will have to recover, environmental groups say. The groups say the new definition being proposed by the Fish and Wildlife Service will allow the agency to block attempts to set aside land that isn't currently habitat, but might be needed in the future as the climate changes.