August 8, 2019

U.S. Power Generators Reporting Savings, Other Benefits From Phasing Out Coal

Power generators across the U.S. are touting the cost savings of retiring coal-fired power plants, despite the Trump administration's pro-coal efforts. "You know there was once a time when we had to make a sucker's choice between clean and expensive energy or the cheap and dirty stuff," said CMS Energy Corp. President and CEO Patricia Poppe. "That just isn't true anymore."

August 7, 2019

A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises

Countries that are home a quarter of Earth's population face the increasingly urgent risk of running out of water, according to a new report from the World Resources Institute. Seventeen countries are using almost all the water they have, and several are relying heavily on groundwater instead of saving water for times of drought.

What the Seas Will Swallow

Over the course of a year, a pilot-photographer traveled along the east coast of the U.S., taking aerial pictures to document the potential risks of rising sea levels. He photographed homes, electric power lines, sewage treatment plants and airports, all vulnerable to rising waters. 

August 6, 2019

Exxon Accused of Pressuring Witnesses in Climate Fraud Case

Prosecutors in New York are accusing ExxonMobil of trying to discourage potential witnesses from testifying about whether the oil giant misled investors over the costs it may face from future climate regulations. They are asking a judge to block Exxon from making what they describe as "unreasonable" and extensive requests for documents from the witnesses.

How McConnell's Coal Guy is Helping Trump Remake Federal Energy Policy

Staffers and industry officials say President Trump and Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, have politicized the independent agency usually known for nonpartisan rule-making. Under Chatterjee, a former Mitch McConnell aid, FERC has had a tough time retaining staff, filling a vacant commissioner post and issuing rulings. 

FirstEnergy Solutions Moves to Dump Union Contracts for Bailed-Out Power Plants

FirstEnergy Solutions told a bankruptcy court it could not honor existing contracts with employee unions and that it intends to negotiate new bargaining agreements once it reorganizes. Ohio lawmakers recently approved a six-year, $1.1 billion bailout to be paid by power customers to help FirstEnergy Solutions' nuclear plants, and the company announced the money will also allow it to keep a "super-polluter" coal plant running.

U.S. Has Lost 24 Million Acres of Natural Land in 16 Years

A new report from a progressive think tank found that the United States lost 24 million acres of natural area between 2001 and 2017 due to agriculture, energy development, housing sprawl and other human factors. The loss of natural land makes the country more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the report says. 

August 5, 2019

States Sue Trump Administration for Reducing Fuel Efficiency Penalties

Thirteen states are suing the Trump administration, saying it broke the law in cutting penalties for automakers that fail to meet Obama-era fuel efficiency standards. "Without strong penalties for violating these fuel efficiency standards consumers, our economy, and our environment all remain in danger," said New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

Climate Change Becomes an Issue for Ratings Agencies

Moody's Corporation has brought on board a data firm specializing in climate risks. It's a signal that rating agencies are paying more attention to global warming and its impact in the financial markets. "More and more, issuers and investors want to know how they are exposed to climate events," a Moody's official said. 

Walruses Appear Early on Alaska Shore as Sea Ice Recedes

Thousands of Pacific walruses have come to shore off the northwest coast of Alaska in their earliest appearance since sea ice has substantially receded. Sea ice allows young walruses to rest as their mothers dive for clams and snails. When the ice recedes, walruses are forced to beaches to rest in Alaska and Russia.

August 2, 2019

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