July 6, 2020

Judge Orders Dakota Access Pipeline to Shut Down Pending Review

A federal judge on Monday sided with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ordered the "highly controversial" Dakota Access pipeline to shut down until more environmental review is done. The 1,172-mile oil pipeline was the subject of months of sometimes violent protests, during its construction near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. 

Energy Companies Abandon Long-Delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The two energy companies behind the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Sunday abandoned their six-year bid to build it, saying the project has become too costly and the regulatory environment too uncertain to justify further investment. The natural gas pipeline would have tunneled under the Appalachian Trail on its way from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina.

Days of Floods and Mudslides in Japan Kill at Least 44 People as Streets Turn to Rivers

Torrential rain hit Japan's southwestern island of Kyushu on Monday, with at least one more river bursting its banks, as the death toll from three days of floods and mudslides rose to 44, including 14 at an elderly housing facility. Japanese broadcasters said evacuation orders have been issued for more than half a million residents, with tens of thousands more under evacuation advisories.

Trump Nominee Pendley Faces Senate Hurdles to Securing Public Lands Post

William Perry Pendley, President Trump's controversial pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management, is expected to come under tough scrutiny during the Senate confirmation process, posing a test for vulnerable GOP senators. Pendley has been a lightning rod for criticism as acting director for the agency over his dismissal of climate science and his record of opposing public land ownership.

American Climate Video: Floodwaters Test the Staying Power of a ‘Determined Man’

When floodwaters inundated Louis Byford's home for the fourth time in March 2019, he didn't care if people thought he was crazy for rebuilding. "I don't have any desire to be located anywhere else but right here," said Byford, who has lived in Corning, Missouri, for nearly 50 years. This is part of our American Climate series documenting how climate change is impacting people across the country.

Algae Turns Italian Alps Pink, Prompting Concerns Over Melting

Scientists in Italy are investigating the mysterious appearance of pink glacial ice, caused by algae that accelerate the effects of climate change, in the Alps. Normally ice reflects more than 80 percent of the sun's radiation back into the atmosphere, but as algae appear, they darken the ice so that it absorbs the heat and melts more quickly.

Warming Waters Could Prohibit Common Fish From Reproducing, Study Says

If the world continues to warm at its current pace, as many as 60 percent of the world's fish species could struggle to breed and reproduce by the end of the century, a new study warns. But the study, which examined nearly 700 species of freshwater and saltwater fish, added that that percentage could drop to as low as 10 percent if warming was limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

July 2, 2020

BP and Shell Write-Off Billions in Assets, Citing Covid-19 and Climate Change

Two of the world's largest energy companies have sent their strongest signals yet that the coronavirus pandemic may accelerate a global transition away from oil, and that billions of dollars invested in fossil fuel assets could go to waste. Over the last two weeks, Royal Dutch Shell and BP have both said they would slash the value of their oil and gas assets by tens of billions of dollars.

House Approves $1.5 Trillion Green Infrastructure Plan

House Democrats on Wednesday passed a $1.5 trillion green infrastructure plan that would surge funding to repair the nation's crumbling roads and bridges while setting aside funds for broadband, schools and hospitals. The legislation, which ties much of the funding to green measures such as reducing carbon emissions, has little chance of passing the GOP-led Senate.

Investigation Reveals Pro-Pipeline Letters From Lawmakers Were Ghostwritten by Fossil Fuel Company

Several North Dakota state leaders and a county commissioner sent federal regulators letters emphatically supporting the North Bakken Expansion Project, a 61.9-mile natural gas pipeline that has angered environmentalists and Native American nations alike. But the letters were exact replicas of a template provided by a subsidiary of the fossil fuel giant WBI Energy, a Guardian investigation found.

PG&E, Troubled California Utility, Emerges From Bankruptcy

Pacific Gas & Electric, California's largest utility, emerged from bankruptcy on Wednesday and put $5.4 billion in cash and 22.19 percent of its stock into a trust for victims of wildfires caused by the utility's equipment, including in the deadly 2018 Camp Fire. The utility exits bankruptcy as a new company with a restructured board of directors and an interim chief executive officer, Bill Smith.

July 1, 2020

EPA to End Policy Suspending Pollution Monitoring by End of Summer

By the end of the summer, the Environmental Protection Agency will rescind its controversial policy allowing companies to skip monitoring their pollution, the agency announced. Under the policy, in place since March, the agency didn't penalize companies that fail to monitor their pollution emissions as dictated by numerous laws—a move widely condemned by environmentalists and health experts.

Americans Face 25 Percent Jump in Power Bills, Adding to Summer of Woe

As the U.S. faces a blisteringly hot summer, millions of people already reeling from the coronavirus's economic fallout are about to face sharp increases in their electric bills that may drive some to the brink of financial ruin, Bloomberg reports. Parts of the country will see their power bills increase by as much as 25 percent as more folks stuck at home rely on air conditioning to keep cool, a federal report warns.

New Report Details How Climate Change Will Impact New Jersey

Hotter temperatures, rain patterns out of whack and the potential loss of the state bird—the goldfinch. These are the consequences of climate change that New Jersey will likely face in the coming years and decades if rising carbon emissions aren't curtailed, according to a report released Tuesday by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Locusts Devastate Parts of Northern Kenya as Climate Change Fuels Insect Population Growth

Swarms of locusts are devastating crops in parts of northern Kenya, including the country's poorest region, Tukana, putting millions of people at risk of food insecurity, Reuters reports. Numbers of locusts exploded in East Africa and the Red Sea region in late 2019, exacerbated by atypical weather patterns amplified by climate change. The insects have since been flying west and laying their eggs.

June 30, 2020

The Newest Threat to a Warming Alaskan Arctic: Beavers

Alaskan beavers are carving out a growing web of channels, dams and ponds in the frozen Arctic tundra of northwestern Alaska, helping to turn it into a soggy sponge that intensifies global warming, a new study warns. The number of new beaver dams and lakes continues to grow exponentially in the region, researchers say, destabilizing permafrost and triggering a cascade of effects.

George Washington University to Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels by 2025

George Washington University on Monday announced it will fully divest its endowments from fossil fuel holdings by 2025, becoming the latest U.S. school to make such a pledge as more students call for climate action. The University of California school system, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania have also made full or partial divestment pledges.

Koalas May Become Extinct in Australia's New South Wales by 2050

Koalas in the Australian state of New South Wales could become extinct by 2050 unless the government immediately intervenes to protect them and their habitat, a year-long parliamentary inquiry determined. Land clearing for agriculture, urban development, mining and forestry have been the biggest factor in the fragmentation and loss of habitat for the animals in the region over several decades.

Norway’s $2.6 Billion Green Bet Could Help the Whole Planet

Since discovering oil in the 1960s, Norway has become Europe's largest producer of the fuel and now faces an opportunity to use that position of strength to help fight global climate change. In October, the country's lawmakers will decide whether to fund a $2.6 billion plan that would capture carbon emissions and bury them under the seabed off the nation's west coast.

June 29, 2020

New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America

Across much of the United States, the flood risk is far greater than government estimates show, new calculations suggest, exposing millions of people to a hidden threat—and one that will only grow as climate change worsens. Under the new calculation, 14.6 million properties are at risk from a 100-year flood as opposed to the 8.7 million properties federal government maps show.

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