March 13, 2019

EPA Pushes Forward Plan to Increase Ethanol Mix in Gasoline

The Trump administration has advanced a plan that would increase the use of ethanol in gasoline. The proposal would allow year-round sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, which is higher than the most common current blends. Summer sales of E15 had been restricted because it was found to contribute to increased ground-level ozone and smog in warmer months.

Green Buildings Saved Renters $72 Million, Fannie Mae Says

A program that encourages landlords to improve their energy efficiency has cut the utility bills of renters by as much as $72 million a year, according to Fannie Mae. The government-controlled mortgage company says in a new report that about 550,000 renters had an average savings of about $145 per year over the past six years.

March 12, 2019

Science Funding Also Faces Cuts Under Trump Budget

President Trump's budget also seeks cuts to a number of scientific and medical research enterprises, including a 13 percent cut to the National Science Foundation and a 12 percent cut at the National Institutes of Health. The NSF funds roughly a quarter of all federally supported basic science and engineering research in the U.S.

The Billion-Dollar Gas Pipeline Project Dividing New York

A battle is erupting over a proposed 23-mile natural gas pipeline that would pass under Lower New York Bay, with opponents claiming it would lock in planet-warming emissions for decades while proponents say it would allow thousands of New Yorkers to switch from oil to gas heat. The underwater pipeline would link infrastructure in New Jersey to the Rockaways.

March 11, 2019

Norway Moves to Sell Some Oil and Gas Shares From Wealth Fund

After a two-year review, the Norwegian government has recommended that the country's $1 trillion wealth fund sell its holdings in a group of companies that focus on finding and producing oil and gas to "reduce the vulnerability of our common wealth to a permanent oil price decline." While it stopped short of divesting of major energy companies like Exxon and Shell, the move is still likely to increase concern among investors.

March 7, 2019

Trump Again Seeks Deep Cuts in Renewable Energy Funding

The Trump administration is again seeking deep cuts to the U.S. Energy Department division charged with renewable energy and energy efficiency research, Bloomberg reports. Citing an unidentified official, Bloomberg reports that the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would see about a 70 percent cut in Trump's next budget proposal, expected next week.

Climate Change Deniers Target School Lessons

As climate change becomes a hotter topic in classrooms, climate deniers and their political allies are trying harder to stop schools from educating students about the science. Some of the more than a dozen measures proposed this year have failed. Many are encouraged by the Heartland Institute and Discovery Institute.

The Other Kind of Climate Denialism

Two key factors that keep people from taking action on climate change, identified a decade ago by an American Psychological Association task force, have stood the test of time: habit and a feeling of a lack of control. David Wallace-Wells hits this note in his new book, too, writing, "We seem most comfortable adopting a learned posture of powerlessness." 

March 6, 2019

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