July 1, 2019
The World Trade Organization has ruled against seven U.S. states' renewable energy policies, as states attempt to take action in the absence of federal regulation. Biodiesel incentives in Montana, clean energy in Michigan and other plans from California to Delaware were targeted in a complaint by India.
A Kansas utility essentially runs its coal plants year-round, even during the winter months when it's not cost-effective, unnecessarily costing consumers millions of dollars a year. The practice, known as self-committing generation, has sparked an internal investigation by the utility's parent company.
June 27, 2019
William Wehrum, the fossil fuel industry attorney who came to the Trump administration and developed a highly tactical retreat from federal action on climate change, announced his resignation on Wednesday as an assistant administrator of the EPA. His abrupt departure comes as a congressional committee investigates his contacts with former clients.
During last night's Democratic presidential debate, the moderators dedicated seven minutes to climate change, a short portion of the two-hour debate, despite many of the 2020 candidates naming climate change as the nation's primary geopolitical threat. Read more from ICN about the candidates' climate change positions.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Japan for the G-20 summit threatening to block the final communique if it didn't include strong language on climate change. Reuters reports this morning that U.S. officials have been pushing to downgrade the climate language against European opposition.
Canada and California announced an agreement to advance cleaner vehicle standards, saying they will work together "to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles like electric cars." The move comes as the Trump administration has proposed barring California from regulating vehicle emissions or requiring an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles.
New York City just became the largest U.S. city to declare a climate emergency. The City Council voted Wednesday to approve the resolution, adding to a growing list of legislation aimed at cutting emissions there. The declaration is largely symbolic and doesn't require the mayor's signature.
June 26, 2019
The historic rains that flooded millions of acres of Midwestern cropland this spring delivered bad news for the climate, flushing fertilizer and manure into waterways, triggering a potentially unprecedented season of algae blooms. A "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico—a massive overgrowth of algae—could become the size of Massachusetts this summer.
The first Democratic debates of the 2020 presidential election season are tonight and tomorrow, and the candidates' answer times will be very short. Find out where they stand on climate change and what they've done, and see how that compares to their answers.
In an open letter to the "governments of the world," a group of investors managing more than $34 trillion in assets — a large chunk of the world's invested capital — stressed "the urgency of decisive action" on climate change to achieve the Paris Agreement target. The move adds pressure as the G-20 leaders meet this week in Japan.
Bill Wehrum, the EPA's head of air policy, is stepping down amid conversy over potential ethics violations. He faced an investigation into the Utility Air Regulatory Group, an organization of power companies with coal fired plants in their fleets who sought to loosen emissions rules that Wehrum had previously represented.
Oregon Republicans Remain in ‘Undisclosed Locations’ As Senate Leader Suggests Climate Bill Won’t Pass
Oregon Republican lawmakers who fled the state to avoid voting on a cap-and-trade climate bill remain in "undisclosed locations," and attended a press conference by telephone on Tuesday, still refusing to return to the state before the state legislature's session ends on Sunday. The bill in question would have put Oregon in league with California as a state aggressively addressing climate change.
Maryland's state-owned buildings must reduce their energy consumption by 10 percent over the next decade under an executive order signed by Gov. Larry Hogan. The initiative requires the state to conduct an annual audit of the least energy-efficient buildings owned by the state, and to create a plan to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions for state property.
More than 120 million people could be pushed into poverty within the next decade because of climate change, according to a new United Nations report. It warns that, as extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and hurricanes become more frequent, the world's poorest people will be forced to "choose between starvation and migration."
Temperatures in Europe are rising and could climb above 104 degrees Fahrenheit across large stretches of the continent, meteorologists say, prompting some countries to issue warnings and postpone exams in schools. As the climate changes because of greenhouse gas emissions, heat waves around the world are occurring more often, are hotter and longer-lasting.
June 25, 2019
The nation's leading medical organizations are urging political candidates "to recognize climate change as a health emergency." As the campaign season enters full swing—and with an intense heat wave settling in across Europe—the groups cited health concerns arising from storm emergencies to the spread of diseases carried by insects, and especially heat-related illnesses.
How do the Democratic presidential hopefuls compare on their climate actions and promises to solve the crisis? With the first debates coming this week, the InsideClimate News team analyzed the climate records of the most prominent candidates and others showing the spectrum of climate policy choices.
Japan has watered down commitments to addressing climate change in its draft G20 missive, omitting the phrases "global warming" and "decarbonization" and downplaying the Paris climate agreement from the past. Analysts say it's a sign of efforts to placate the U.S., as the two countries are negotiating a potential trade deal, in which agriculture and auto parts have been sticking points.
The EPA's new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) rule will expand the ability of the agency's administrator and other administration officials to reject public information requests without explanation, according to a copy of the final rule obtained by The Hill.
Questions over emails between Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, and the EPA are highlighting blurred lines between Craft's work and her coal CEO husband's business interests. Craft's husband was copied on the emails and appears to have replied to an email addressed to Craft, responding to a question she directed to EPA.
The Democratic National Committee will hold its first debates Wednesday and Thursday in Miami, Florida, a city under siege by rising sea levels. Some 71 percent of Florida voters support government action to address climate change, according to a recent survey.
Solar is booming in Georgia, thanks to powerful market forces. Last year, the city of Dalton installed the largest solar plant in the Western hemisphere, investing $150 million. As solar technology has become better and cheaper, the availability of land and sunlight are driving solar demand.
June 24, 2019
After learning about a series of EPA air quality violations involving giant petroleum storage tanks in their city, residents in South Portland, Maine, decided to take matters into their own hands.
The White House has issued draft guidance saying federal agencies no longer have to take projects' long-term climate impacts into account when assessing how they will affect the environment, including activities ranging from coal mining to pipelines and oil drilling.
The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that warn about the effects of climate change. The studies include a discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment, findings that climate change can exacerbate allergies and warnings for farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses that feed livestock.
Fossil fuel industry giants have an outsized presence at global climate talks and are working to undermine international consensus and slow policy progress, according to a new report by an environmental monitoring organization.
A spending bill passed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House would block offshore drilling along most U.S. shores, taking development of all of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts off the table.
General Electric says it plans to demolish a large natural-gas-fired power plant it owns in California after only one-third of its useful life because the plant is no longer economically viable in a state where wind and solar supply a growing share of inexpensive electricity.
Plans for a $1.6 billion wind farm about 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City has won the backing of state regulators. The 1,110-megawatt offshore wind farm is expected to produce enough electricity to power more than half a million New Jersey homes.