April 6, 2020
The Interior Department on Friday extended the appointment of William Perry Pendley, known for his controversial position on selling off federally owned land to development, to lead the Bureau of Land Management in an acting capacity until May 5. Critics argue the temporary appointments allow controversial figures to stay in power.
Oil giants met with President Trump on Friday at the White House in the hopes of securing aid as crude prices plummeted in the face of coronavirus and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The move comes among growing calls from Republicans to assist oil producers after a proposal to spend $3 billion filling the nation's oil reserves was left out of the federal relief package.
Three decades fighting fires could not have prepared Chico Fire Department Captain Brian Alderman for the 2018 Camp Fire, which moved at a rate of a football field per second. "There was really no thought of being able to stop and contain or corral or redirect the fire," Alderman said.
Volkswagen installed unlawful "defeat devices" in thousands of its diesel vehicles, the UK high court has found in the first major ruling on mass litigation brought in England and Wales over the "dieselgate" emissions scandal.
April 3, 2020
Researchers at Colorado State University expect an active 2020 hurricane season, with a high chance for a major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. Warm sea surface temperatures and the lack of an El Niño in the Pacific Ocean are some of the factors supporting this prediction.
The coronavirus pandemic could result in a 5 percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, significantly larger than the 1.4 percent drop during the 2008 recession. No crisis has affected the energy sector this much since World War II, Reuters reports.
San Francisco, a city that prohibited single-use plastic bags in 2007, has now banned reusable bags in grocery stores in an effort to reduce coronavirus exposure.
California uses a carbon cap-and-trade program as a climate change mitigation method. The state uses the proceeds to credit its utility customers twice a year in April and October. With homebound Californians racking up higher than normal utility bills, the state's regulators are considering moving up the October pay date to May and June.
The Environmental Protection Agency is getting involved in the fight against bogus Covid-19 treatment products flooding the market. The EPA is seeing a surge in products like sanitizers and disinfectants that create false hope for buyers seeking to protect themselves against the pandemic, the New York Times reports.
Cleanup efforts at New Mexico nuclear waste sites were already slow-going, but now have been halted in an effort to protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus. Only essential monitoring of the site will continue during the crisis.
The energy transportation company plans to replace two pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan's upper peninsula. To stay within set deadlines, Enbridge plans to move forward with permit applications, despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Tribal governments opposed to the project say it is impossible to provide proper comment and receive official consultation during this time.
April 2, 2020
The postponement of the upcoming UN climate meeting could mean delays for countries' commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions and for funding to help developing countries cope with climate effects. But it will also allow world leaders to consider who gets elected president of the United States as they plan the global response.
The EPA was wrong to withhold information about how it devised its new fuel efficiency standards, a panel of judges ruled just a day after the Trump administration rolled back Obama-era mileage standards. The court sided with two environmental groups that sued the agency to gain insight into the modeling technique it used to argue in favor of the rollback.
A mining company wants to quadruple production at its iron mine in the Canadian Arctic by 2025, increasing the operation's climate-warming emissions. Specifically, it will increase emissions of black carbon, a pollutant that can be thousands of times more potent at trapping heat than CO2, and that scientists warn is particularly devastating for the region.
In defiance of past GOP rebukes to leave environmental measures out of efforts to combat coronavirus, Democrats are again pushing for the next relief package to include a litany of green provisions—this time aimed at infrastructure. Proposals include investment in high-speed rail and measures to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.
Mormon pioneers once saw the Columbia spotted frogs as messengers, signaling where they could find clean water. Now, the frogs' survival is jeopardized by habitat loss, drought and soaring heat. And what happens to them offers an urgent message about what humans are doing to their environment.
Inside Clean Energy: 7 Questions (and Answers) About How Covid-19 is Affecting the Clean Energy Transition
In the latest Inside Clean Energy, Dan Gearino tackles 7 questions about how coronavirus is impacting the clean energy transition, including where state clean energy legislation stands amidst the ongoing pandemic.
President Trump is set to meet Friday with the heads of some of the largest U.S. oil companies, including Exxon and Chevron, to discuss measures to help the industry weather an unprecedented oil crash, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Google is building data centers across the U.S. to meet surging demand for online information. But these facilities use billions of gallons of water, sometimes in dry areas that are struggling to conserve this limited public resource.
April 1, 2020
The Trump administration's rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for automakers means thousands fewer jobs per year, one federal analysis found. It's also a major blow to the climate. The more stringent standard for passenger vehicles would have saved 6 billion tons of greenhouse gases.
In a rare public rebuke, former President Obama on Tuesday urged voters to "demand better" of the government after the Trump administration rolled back a key Obama-era fuel standard intended to combat climate change.
The sudden drop in emissions tied to the coronavirus means that Germany, and possibly other countries, will now likely meet climate pledges under the Paris Agreement that before seemed unattainable. But scientists warn that taking that as a silver lining is problematic. Here's why.
Construction of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline will proceed, the company behind the project announced Tuesday, even as it faces opposition from native tribes and environmental groups. TC Energy plans to begin construction of the line this spring and begin operating it in 2023, The Hill reports.
As the Trump administration finalizes its plan to roll back Obama-era mileage standards, California announced it would sign a deal with Volvo to produce cars meeting stricter standards. The automaker now joins four others that have pledged to produce vehicles that could average 50 mpg by 2026.
About 25 percent of the country's sugar cane harvest is grown in Southern Florida. Farmers there have long been burning their fields to rid them of excess organic material and make harvesting sugar more efficient. Leaves burn away; water-laden cane stalks don't. But that has a cost to the climate.
Rising temperatures may be having a profound physical impact on one of the world's favourite songbirds. Over a 20-year period, nightingales had evolved smaller wingspans, new research found, with scientists linking the change to the warming region, which has seen the early onset of spring and increased drought.
March 31, 2020
The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday to announce its final rule to roll back Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards, relaxing efforts to limit climate-warming tailpipe pollution and virtually undoing the government's biggest action to combat climate change.
Four of the world's biggest beverage companies—Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Unilever—are responsible for more than half a million metric tons of plastic pollution in six developing countries each year, a new report says. When burned, that plastic waste emits 4.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the report concludes, equal to the emissions of 2 million cars.
Fossil fuel giant Citgo is liable for a 2004 oil spill that released 264,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into the Delaware River, and the company must pay back $133 million spent to clean it up. At the time, Frescati Shipping Company, which owned the vessel that spilled the oil, and the United States split the cost of the cleanup.
During the Great Recession, the Pennsylvania fracking industry helped soften the financial blow by providing many well-paying jobs and garnering billions of dollars in investments. But today, as the region braces for the coronavirus recession, natural-gas companies are far more likely to weigh on the local economy than to rescue it, The New York Times reports.