February 14, 2020
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 was approximately 30 percent larger than previously thought, according to a study published Wednesday. The study found that large portions of the Gulf of Mexico were exposed to "invisible and toxic oil that extended beyond the boundaries of the satellite footprint."
The Earth had its hottest January in recorded history last month, continuing an alarming upward trend as the climate crisis accelerates, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Global land and ocean temperatures in January hit 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.13 degrees Celsius, above the 20th century average.
In the first installment of Inside Clean Energy, InsideClimate News' Dan Gearino discusses the energy transition that may offer reason for optimism; net-zero announcements by BP and Dominion and the rising budgets but shrinking head counts at the federal clean energy office.
Nearly a year after EPA head Andrew Wheeler said the agency would roll back President Barack Obama's stringent fuel efficiency standards, the plan has made little to no progress. That's because the new auto pollution rule lacks the detailed technical analysis required by law and would therefore likely fail against court challenges.
President Trump on Thursday announced the nominations of two officials to become the deputy chiefs of the Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department. Both nominees are former energy company lobbyists.
As the coronavirus outbreak spreads in China, the International Energy Agency projects that global demand for oil in the first quarter will drop for the first time in a decade. The impact of the virus on the oil industry will be significant, experts say, as China's oil demand is responsible for more than three-quarters of oil demand growth in the past year, AP reports.
Around the world and particularly across much of the United States, a question has emerged: What happened to winter? A shift in the jet stream could help send the U.S. toward the warmest winter in the country's recorded history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
An environmental group is trying to block one of President Trump's most far-reaching environmental rollbacks from taking effect, arguing the administration has not provided proper access to public documents on a new rule that would limit the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act.
From carbon pricing schemes to fracking bans to tree planting, a wave of legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions has emerged in Congress in recent weeks, indicating climate change is taking up significant political bandwidth from both parties ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
A group aiming to spur climate change legislation that would tax carbon emissions stepped up efforts by issuing a blueprint on Thursday after previewing it with a group of bipartisan U.S. senators earlier this week. The plan aims to halve carbon emissions by 2035 from 2005 levels with a tax starting at $40 per ton.
After BP announced this week that it would become the first major oil company to zero-out the emissions from all its operations by mid-century, the oil giant began expanding its team working on carbon capture and storage projects as part of that ambition.
February 13, 2020
With President Trump having repeatedly called climate change a hoax and his administration working to suppress research, some in the science community have felt forced to take an unorthodox step of becoming activists. This Boston University environmental science professor just wrapped up a 2-week hunger strike.
We've relaunched our Clean Economy Weekly newsletter with a new name and fresh look. For our debut edition, ICN's Dan Gearino talks to energy experts about staying positive in a world full of negative climate change news, as well as takes a closer look at the net-zero emissions pledges from BP and Dominion.
The House passed legislation aimed at providing additional protections for more than 1 million acres of public land on the West Coast on Wednesday. The package would designate roughly 1.4 million acres in Colorado, California and Washington State as federally protected wilderness, granting it the highest level of protection possible.
Even as the nation's demand for coal tumbles, the Trump administration is considering a permit that would allow strip mining on protected ridgelines in Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau over the objection of environmental groups and the state's Republican attorney general.
Midwest states are the biggest exporters of air pollution, a new study found, sending much of that pollution into the Northeast. In fact, more than four in 10 deaths in the U.S. associated with air pollution can be attributed to emissions that came from states other than where the deaths occurred, it said.
New York's Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Florida's Rep. Darren Soto, both Democrats, officially introduced in the House a bill that would ban fracking nationwide, which was announced late last month and would accompany a Senate version introduced by Vermont's Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.
As the climate warms, billions of acres of once cold and inhospitable land will become suitable for farming. But if that happens, it could unleash more carbon dioxide than the U.S. will emit in nearly 120 years at its current rate, a new study warns.
Bernie Sanders wasn't the only victor in New Hampshire on Tuesday. At the first-in-the-nation primary, climate change rose from obscurity to a place among the top issues for Democratic voters. Exit polling showed that 28 percent of Tuesday's voters said climate change was the most important issue, second only to health care.
After weeks of devastating bushfires that killed dozens living in Australia and displaced thousands more from their homes, an Australian fire service announced Thursday that all wildfires in the state of South Wales were contained.
February 12, 2020
Typically when the EPA makes a large proposal, its independent Science Advisory Board is asked to weigh in and give nonpartisan, empirical feedback. But the agency is now proposing to centralize that input process to the board's chair and cut out the other roughly 40 members, raising alarm bells with lawmakers who see the move as retaliatory.
BP, Shell, Chevron and Exxon have made almost $2 trillion in profits in the last three decades from their exploitation of oil, gas and coal reserves, as fossil fuels have endangered the planet, an analysis for the Guardian revealed.
Bernard Looney, BP's CEO of just a week, has set out the boldest climate plan of any major oil company, pledging to eliminate almost all of the carbon emissions from its operations and the fuel it sells to customers. BP is now the only major oil company to promise to zero-out all its emissions.
Some of the world's largest financial institutions, including The Hartford and BlackRock, said they would no longer fund oil production in the Canadian province of Alberta, home to one of the world's most extensive, and also dirtiest, oil reserves. They're the latest in a flood of banks pulling support from fossil fuels to fight climate change.
The Trump administration has opened up 461 million acres of public land—four times the size of California—to drilling from oil companies, a plan that threatens to entrench the industry at the expense of other outdoor jobs, while locking in enough emissions to undermine global climate policy.
Meanwhile, U.S. oil production on public lands hit more than 1 billion barrels last year, a nearly 30 percent increase over production at the end of the Obama administration. The billion barrel figure for fiscal 2019 is the highest the Department of the Interior has seen over the last decade.
Republican lawmakers on Wednesday will propose legislation setting a goal for the United States to plant a trillion trees by 2050 to fight global warming, a plan intended to address climate change by sucking carbon out of the air instead of by cutting emissions, which critics say is the far more important goal.
A rare policy enacted in 2018 under President Trump to address climate change by offering a lucrative tax break for companies that use carbon capture technology has remained blocked for two years, as the Internal Revenue Service struggles to explain how the credit can be claimed.
U.K.'s government could ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the country by 2032, three years earlier than previously suggested, the country's transport secretary Grant Shapps said in a radio interview Wednesday.
February 11, 2020
After two years of increase, global carbon dioxide emissions from power production flattened last year to 33 gigatonnes even though the world economy expanded, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. The trend was largely led by growth of renewable energy and natural gas replacing coal use.