February 7, 2018
There's a new danger lurking in the Arctic's thawing permafrost: some 15 million gallons of mercury, a powerful neurotoxin. At these levels, it could put the health of people and ecosystems, especially the Arctic's subsistence hunters and fisheries, at risk.
FERC completed a court-ordered analysis of greenhouse gas emissions for the Southeast's Sabal Trail Pipeline, but it hasn't yet taken the critical step of issuing an order to reauthorize the project. The pipeline could be forced to shut down.
In the past few years, Oakland, California, has become ground zero for a battle over coal as residents fight the development of a coal export terminal. Meanwhile, increased coal shipments and pollution in nearby Richmond—by the same company trying to develop in Oakland—have drawn little attention.
A New South Wales court will be asked to overturn a decision to expand a Peabody Energy coal mine on the grounds that the state government failed to consider the impact on the climate. The "landmark" case was brought by a community group from a small village that says it has been devastated by the mine over the last decade.
February 6, 2018
After seeing the treatment of the Dakota Access pipeline protesters, Marathon Petroleum Corp. shareholders want the company—which bought a minority stake in the Dakota Access pipeline—to explain how it weighs environmental and social risks associated with its acquisitions.
In a new climate risk report requested by investors, ExxonMobil said that keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius might mean cutting the use of oil by 20 percent between now and the year 2040. But the oil giant insists it would still be able to produce all the oil in its existing fields and keep investing in new reserves.
More than 2,500 sites that handle toxic chemicals are in flood-prone areas in the U.S., with about 1,400 located in areas at highest risk of flooding, according to a New York Times analysis. As the climate changes, the risks of toxic spills is growing.
The White House has withdrawn its attempt to make fossil fuel advocate and climate policy opponent Kathleen Hartnett White, who said coal helped end slavery and carbon dioxide was not a pollutant but 'the gas of life', the president's top environmental adviser.
A cost of about $18 per ton of carbon could reduce deforestation in the tropics by nearly 16 percent and the associated release of carbon by nearly 25 percent, according to a new study. Some economists have calculated that the world could lose an India-size chunk of tropical forest by 2050.
European lawmakers have backed a deal to reform the EU's carbon market after 2020. The new rules will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from about 12,000 industrial and power installations by cutting cap-and-trade permits and lowering the cap on emissions by 2.2 percent.
February 5, 2018
Earthjustice and other environmental groups say the Trump administration's 10 million-acre lease sale in the National Petroleum Reserve violated the law by failing to consider how burning fossil fuels could impact climate change. There's a precedent of courts ruling in favor of this argument.
Two months after President Trump rescinded protections for much of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, the public lands around them have been opened up to mining claims.
It might seem counterintuitive, but global warming plays a role in blasts of bitter cold weather. The reason: It influences the jet stream. In graphics and animations, we show how it works.
A federal court is allowing the EPA to give U.S. livestock producers more time to comply with a mandate on reporting emissions from animal waste, after the agency argued farmers weren't ready to meet the requirements.
The American Meteorological Society sent a letter to President Trump offering their scientific expertise after his latest TV interview statements about climate change. Other scientific groups, including the IPCC, are also doubling down on addressing the challenge of communicating climate science.
Florida Keys officials are launching the first elevated road project designed for adapting to future sea level rise, which includes collecting, pumping and treating storm water runoff. Monroe County has spent $10 million on road projects already, and plans to spend at least $7 million more.
The long-term decline of coal mining in Appalachia will continue to have ripple effects on related businesses, health, education and the regional population, according to a new analysis of the industry ecosystem from researchers at the University of Tennessee and West Virginia University.
President Trump has released little detail about his proposed infrastructure plan, except that speeding up permitting processes is a big feature. It raises questions about climate change mitigation and about the potential for updating sewage and energy infrastructure.
February 2, 2018
The snowpack in the Sierras, a source of about a third of California's water supply, is at critically low levels: only 27 percent of normal. It's approaching the historic lows of the state's prolonged drought, which officially ended in 2016. "This year it's going to be pretty stark," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA.
An Interior Department memo directs its field offices "to simplify and streamline the leasing process" for oil and gas drilling on public land, requiring the Bureau of Land Management to process a proposed lease within 60 days. According to the memo, this will ease "impediments and burdens" like environmental reviews.
Polar bears' metabolism is 1.6 times higher than scientists previously thought, according to a new study that attached cameras and Fitbit-like devices to bears living on the sea ice off Alaska. The research offers new insight into the challenges polar bears face as the Arctic sea ice disappears with global warming.
Idaho lawmakers are holding hearings this week on proposed science standards for public schools to decide if the standards—which haven't been updated since 2001—should address climate change. Idaho is the only state where legislators have blocked climate science from curriculum requirements.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to revisit its 2017 ruling that FERC should have looked closer at climate impacts from the Sabal Trail pipeline, which runs from Alabama to Florida. If the court finalizes the decision, the pipeline's operations will have to stop, though a shutdown may be short-lived.
During a speech to Republican lawmakers, President Trump said he hadn't considered the prospects of opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for drilling until a friend "who is in that world and in that business" called him.. Read more from ICN about how the Republican tax bill allows for drilling in ANWR, and what's at stake in Alaska.
Ten states and the District of Columbia are challenging the Trump administration's decision to drop an Obama-era requirement that Harley-Davidson spend $3 million to reduce air pollution. In 2016, the motorcycle company agreed to pay a $12 million fine and stop selling illegal after-market devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution.
The average temperature between 2007 and 2016 exceeded the warmest centuries of the last 11,000 years by more than 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study. The research also confirms a 2013 study that human-caused carbon pollution has ended the stable climate.
February 1, 2018
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder rejected a recommendation from the state's Pipeline Safety Advisory Board to immediately shut down the 65-year-old Enbridge Line 5 crude oil pipeline for safety measures. The pipeline has been losing pieces of its protective coating where it crosses under the Great Lakes.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has fast-tracked President Trump's agenda, proposing to open coastal waters to drilling, shrink national monuments and lift Obama-era fossil fuel regulations. Legal experts say Zinke hasn't considered the law when making these moves and his actions are vulnerable to legal challenges that could delay or block them.
The U.S.'s third-largest public pension fund is doubling its stake in a portfolio of companies that are trying to lower their carbon emissions. New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli made the announcement at the Investors Summit on Climate Risk, attended by top global fund managers.
Between 2018 and 2022, rising global temperatures are likely to exceed 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and could exceed the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold outlined in the Paris climate agreement, according to British scientists at the Met Office forecasting service.