February 13, 2018
The rate of sea level rise is accelerating so fast that some coastal communities could confront an additional 4 inches or more per decade by the end of the century, according to a new study with detailed analysis of satellite observations spanning a quarter of a century.
In an agreement to get investors to drop a shareholder resolution, Marathon officials acknowledged that the company has a responsibility to address environmental and social risks, but it said the ultimate responsibility for protecting human rights lies with government regulators.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he wants to expand energy development on public lands and off the U.S. coasts to pay for the National Park Service's $11.7 billion maintenance backlog.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States, a lender run by the American government, said PetroVietnam has withdrawn its application for financial support to build a coal-fired power plant in Vietnam. The project faced intense criticism in the U.S. and abroad.
Heat waves can severely harm canola—used for vegetable oil—by leading to premature fruit development that destroys vast amounts of the crop, according to a new study. Scientists say a genetic discovery offers a potential path to protecting crops from heat waves.
Much of what EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said about climate change in a TV interview last week had been refuted by his own agency's website, until his staff started deleting the references. Read more from ICN about Pruitt's involvement in scrubbing climate information from EPA websites.
An international team of scientists is headed out to explore the seabed ecosystem exposed when a giant iceberg broke away from the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula last year. Read more from ICN about the impacts of disappearing polar ice.
February 12, 2018
President Trump's spending plan for fiscal year 2019, released today, would cut the EPA's funding by 34 percent from current levels and eliminate virtually all climate-change related programs.
The California Air Resources Board voted to adopt emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks starting with the 2020 model year, setting up a potential conflict with the Trump administration. The regulations seek to preserve California's authority to regulate emissions for glider kits and truck trailers.
Hurricane Irma caused the worst year for Florida oranges since 1945, knocking out 50 to 90 percent of Florida's citrus fruit and causing $760 million in damage. The storm also wiped out 56,000 jobs tied to Florida's agricultural sector, which was already reeling from a citrus greening disease.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is requiring that any new structures in a floodplain be built well above projected flood levels as part of the $7.4 billion in disaster aid approved after Hurricane Harvey. It is basically the same Obama-era requirement Trump revoked six months ago.
A new Interior Department report claims that even if oil prices rose to $160 per barrel, little or no oil is likely to be pumped off much of the U.S. coast, and only marginal drilling will occur. Oil and gas industry officials reject the agency's calculations, saying they underestimate the amount of oil and gas.
Heat worsens asthma, heart and lung disorders; rising seas push polluted flood water into neighborhoods; a changing climate helps spread mosquito-borne diseases. Doctors across Florida say they see climate change affecting patients, and they're forming a new group to get the word out about the risks.
Coverage of climate change on the major broadcast networks increased in 2017, mostly driven by the rollback of climate policies by President Trump, according to a new study from Media Matters for America.
February 9, 2018
Congress passed a compromise federal spending bill early this morning that includes an array of tax credits for renewable energy, along with a controversial tax break for carbon capture technologies that will benefit fossil fuel industries.
The Trump EPA has fined far fewer polluters for breaking emissions rules than the Obama administration did. New data shows that polluters were fined $1.6 billion in penalties in fiscal year 2017, about a fifth of the $5.7 billion in penalties collected the year before.
A new study using models of high and low oil prices finds that ending fossil fuel subsidies by 2030 would have only a modest impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, cutting carbon by half a billion to 2 billion metric tons annually. Globally emissions are currently about 40 billion tons.
If the World Builds Every Coal Plant That’s Planned, Climate Change Goals are Doomed, Scientists Say
If all planned coal plants were constructed, the world would hardly have a chance of meeting climate change goals, a new study shows. Based on current plans, nations like Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia could increase their coal emissions enough by 2030 to burn through much of the carbon budget.
Connecticut has won a federal court battle that forces the EPA to halt pollution from a coal-fired Pennsylvania power plant that experts say is hurting Connecticut's air quality. The EPA now has to schedule a public hearing and make a decision on cleanup within 60 days.
By studying an ancient cypress forest on the ocean floor off Alabama, scientists are learning what happens during periods of climate change. They say the information about the ecosystems could be useful to states like Louisiana that are dealing with coastal land loss from sea level rise.
February 8, 2018
Toxic substances like arsenic may be leaking from unlined pits and contaminating groundwater at hundreds of coal ash storage facilities around the U.S., according to an analysis by Earthjustice. The report comes as the EPA considers revising groundwater monitoring rules.
The Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee voted along party lines to advance Andrew Wheeler as EPA deputy administrator. Wheeler, President Trump's nominee, is a former coal lobbyist for companies including Murray Energy.
As Southern California communities rebuild after last year's devastating wildfires and this year's mudslides, environmental advocates, residents and city officials are calling for smarter planning when developing in the expanding wildland-urban interface.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he will sue the Interior Department if it tries to open Washington offshore waters to oil and gas exploration. Interior was scheduled to hold a hearing about the proposed plan this week but cancelled it. Read more from ICN about how states are pushing back against offshore drilling.
As Climate Changes Threaten California’s Giant Redwoods, the Key to Their Salvation Might be Within Them
Along the California coast, scientists are mapping the redwood's genome—a genetic code 12 times larger than a human's—to better understand how to diversify the forests to withstand effects of climate change.
February 7, 2018
The U.S. carbon footprint will change little in the foreseeable future and be slightly higher in 2050, according to new projections by the Energy Department's data office. That would single-handedly exhaust much of the world's carbon budget by midcentury and end an era where the U.S. was a world leader in reducing emissions.
The Trump administration missed its Jan. 1 deadline to submit its emissions report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Despite Trump announcing plans to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, the U.S. remains in the treaty.
The top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is questioning why the Trump EPA has awarded so few grants when $4 billion had been allotted by Congress and why its grants reporting is months late. The administration has a political appointee reviewing grant decisions.
European scientists say policymakers are being "seriously over-optimistic" about how much carbon capture technologies can help end the global warming crisis. That doesn't mean giving up on the technologies, though.