April 20, 2018
In their bid to prop up the coal industry, Trump administration officials are now considering using a cold war-era law, Bloomberg reports. A senator from West Virginia urged Trump to use the Defense Production Act, which allows the president to effectively nationalize private industry to ensure the U.S. has resources that could be needed amid a war or after a disaster.
Internal emails show how Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who has been trying for years to get Congress to ban certain scientific research in government decision-making, is now pushing for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make those changes internally on its own. Read more from ICN about Smith's anti-climate agenda and Pruitt's "secret science" proposal.
The Trump administration took the first step this week in an aggressive effort to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the country's most pristine and environmentally sensitive areas.
A $500 million public works project is trying to preserve Miami Beach in the face of rising sea levels. The community has spent money on water pumps and on elevating certain roads, but there are no assurances that these actions will be enough.
The Los Angeles/Long Beach metro area once again has the most ozone-polluted air in the country, and California has eight of the top 10 cities with the worst ozone levels. The Golden State gets this dubious distinction from the American Lung Association's annual State of the Air report. In all, about four in 10 Americans live in a region that has unhealthy air.
The ride-sharing service Lyft has a plan to offset the carbon footprint of its vehicles by purchasing carbon credits. Lyft's main competitor, Uber, has not made a similar pledge and declined to comment.
Wind power and other sources were enough that the United Kingdom's power grid used no electricity from coal-fired power plants for 55 hours straight, from Monday night through Thursday morning, its longest stretch yet.
A new report from the World Resources Institute looks at five areas struggling to deal with shrinking water supplies. Cape Town, South Africa, which has cut its water use in half since 2015, has managed to stave off its taps running dry so far, but it isn't in the clear.
April 19, 2018
The Senate voted today to confirm Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) as the next NASA administrator. During his confirmation hearing, the former Navy pilot wouldn't agree that human activity is the primary cause of climate change, an unusual position when NASA provides some of the world's most comprehensive data on climate change.
A living carpet of algae, dust and wind-blown soot is darkening the Greenland Ice Sheet and exacerbating melting as Arctic temperatures rise. That "dark zone" is expanding, scientists say, and it's raising alarms about sea level rise.
The Canadian government is preparing legislation that would help push through a controversial pipeline expansion to carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the Pacific coast. British Columbia and First Nations oppose the pipeline, and there are ongoing legal fights over its construction.
Canadian officials say their small decrease in carbon emissions is short of what's needed to meet the country's Paris climate agreement goals. The comments come as Canada and France have signed an agreement to work together on meeting climate targets.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing a growing number of investigations, from his use of taxpayer dollars on travel and security to big raises given to some staff, plus meetings with industry officials and undisclosed email accounts.
The Australian government has canceled a program that was trying to convert coal into a cleaner fuel. It was the latest in a series of attempts to find new uses for coal.
Climate change is affecting the timing in which species interact with each other, which affects eating and other functions. A new study looks at changes to "biological timing" and finds that some animals are increasingly out of sync.
A California couple restored a barren field using a process that shows how certain types of farming can maximize the carbon-cutting properties of grasses. Questions remain about whether this can work on a larger scale.
April 18, 2018
The city of Boulder and two Colorado counties are the latest to sue the fossil fuel industry over damages related to climate change. While California's coastal city lawsuits focus primarily on sea level rise, the Colorado lawsuit has a litany of damages the communities are already paying for.
With bone-dry vegetation and high winds, states from Kansas to New Mexico are facing an "extremely critical" fire risk this week, the National Weather Services warns. Changes related to global warming are part of the problem. One megafire in Oklahoma has already burned about 250,000 acres.
In a new report on climate change and human health in Virginia, the Natural Resources Defense Council says the risk of heat-related illnesses will grow; coastal flooding, already a major concern, will worsen; and allergy season will start earlier and last longer.
The Trump administration has undertaken an unprecedented leasing of public land to energy companies while pulling back regulations designed to protect the western wilderness. Some Republicans are now questioning whether the Interior Department has gone too far.
Mike Pompeo, President Trump's nominee to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, has a history of skepticism on climate change but seemed to moderate his views during a Senate confirmation hearing. Read more from ICN about Pompeo's Koch brothers connections and climate policy opposition.
With more property and business owners wanting to know how climate change will affect them, a growing number of businesses are stepping up to help assess and prepare for the risks.
April 17, 2018
The northeast's carbon cap-and-trade system — the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI — has led to $1.4 billion in economic benefits for the nine participating states over the past three years, according to an analysis released today. The program has also contributed to a big decrease in carbon emissions without harming the reliability of the electricity grid, the analysts said.
The UK plans to review its long-term emissions-reduction targets and will consider ways to keep global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, the Paris climate agreement's aspiration, energy and climate minister Claire Perry announced today.
The Government Accountability Office found that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violated federal spending laws when he had a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed in his office. The Washington Post also reports that Pruitt ordered a bigger SUV for himself with bullet-resistant seat covers.
In Colorado, officials from the city of Boulder, Boulder County and San Miguel County are expected to provide details at a rally today about a climate action that's expected to involve a lawsuit to recover costs related to climate change. Read more from ICN about cities suing over climate change.
Alberta is considering cutting oil shipments to British Columbia, which could affect supply and pricing all the way to California. It's the latest move in a dispute between the two provinces over a proposed tar sands pipeline expansion. Read more from ICN about the difficulty companies are facing building oil pipelines in Canada.
BP says it intends to keep carbon emissions flat into 2025, even as the company is expanding its oil and gas production. The announcement follows shareholder pressure to respond more forcefully to climate change. Read more from ICN about shareholder resolutions targeting energy companies on climate issues this spring.
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says investors should reject a shareholder resolution calling for targets on greenhouse-gas emissions. He has previously said the company will cut its "net carbon footprint" in half by 2050, which critics say is not specific or ambitious enough. Read more from ICN about Shell's history with climate change.