August 30, 2019
The number of abandoned oil and gas wells in North Dakota has grown 10 percent over the past two years to more than 700 amid low oil prices, the Bismarck Tribune reports. State regulators are considering new rules.
China—the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions—is at risk of missing its emission reduction pledge as a result of the U.S.-China trade war, Reuters reports.
August 29, 2019
Europe's flood patterns are changing, new research has found, as global warming increases how much moisture the atmosphere can hold. The study maps out which regions have seen increases in the magnitude of destructive river flooding, and why.
Hurricane Dorian hit Florida's coast early Thursday, prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency the day before. The storm left the Caribbean without doing any major damage, but warm Atlantic waters could help strengthen the storm to a dangerous category 3 wind levels.
Reports of spiking homeowner's insurance tied to increasing wildfires is no longer anecdotal evidence, The New York Times reports. From 2017 to 2018, the number of non-renewals by insurers in the ZIP codes most affected by damaging wildfires in 2015 and 2017 jumped by 10 percent.
Dow Inc. is partnering with a Dutch company that has developed a method for turning plastic trash back into oil in a plan to expand its recycling, as chemical companies face pressure to address their role in plastic pollution. The move raises questions over not just global plastic waste, but carbon emissions, too.
With the Amazon fires drawing international attention and concern, Harvard biology professor Brian Farrell explains what's behind the spike in fires and their impact on the planet.
Climate change is raising temperatures in Europe even faster than climate models predicted, according to new research. Extreme heat days in Europe have become hotter by an average of 4.14 degrees Fahrenheit, the study found, while extremely cold days have warmed by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Oil giant Chevron is leading a joint venture among several energy companies, spending $37 billion to expand an oil field in Kazakhstan, known for its longstanding productivity. At the same time, global oil demand continues to flatten.
August 28, 2019
BP, one of Alaska's biggest oil producers, is selling all of its Alaska operations to a privately-owned company with a troubled safety and environmental track-record. The sale includes BP's stakes in the Trans Alaska Pipeline and the Prudhoe Bay oil field, and it's raising concerns about everything from oil spill response to Alaska's state finances.
President Trump has instructed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to allow new logging in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, the Washington Post reports. The move could expose more than half of the worlds' largest intact temperate rainforest to potential logging, energy and mining projects.
CNN plans to host a live, seven-hour town hall dedicated to the issue of climate change next week with 10 Democractic presidential candidates. The network announced the details and participants on Tuesday.
Norway's biggest investors, together managing about $170 billion in assets, are telling companies to refrain from contributing to the environmental damage in the Amazon rainforest, which is seeing an unusually high number of fires this year and drawing international attention.
Colorado lawmakers are starting to rewrite the state's oil and gas rules under a new law that prioritizes public welfare above energy production, but industry defenders and critics are already testing the legislation's limits.
For years, there has been fierce debate over water levels at a popular lake in Oklahoma, where keeping water levels high for boaters meant flooding in nearby towns during extreme storms. Local officials wanted a federal agency to step in, but Sen. James Inhofe, who has a vacation home on the lake, introduced legislation that would hamstring the agency, the Times reports.
August 27, 2019
We've been hearing variations of the phrase "the world only has 12 years to deal with climate change" a lot lately. Sen. Bernie Sanders put a version of it front and center of his presidential campaign last week, saying we now have "less than 11 years left to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels." But where does the idea of having 11 or 12 years come from, and what does it actually mean?
Heat-related deaths have spiked since 2014 in Nevada and Arizona, raising concerns that the country's hottest region is struggling to protect its most vulnerable residents from global warming. ICN has been reporting on heat illnesses in the military and wants to hear from more service members about their experiences.
President Donald Trump, responding to a question about climate change after skipping a G7 session on the issue, said Monday that American wealth is based on energy and he will not jeopardize that for dreams. The other G7 leaders discussed the fires in the Amazon and agreed to draw up an initiative for the Amazon to be launched at the UN General Assembly next month.
As Brazil and the world mobilize soldiers and finances in response to a wave of wildfires in the Amazon, far more is at stake than Brazil's international reputation. The Amazon is a vast sink for storing carbon dioxide and a key element of any plan to restrain climate change.
White House hopeful Andrew Yang is betting on private sector investment and nuclear power to drive his plan for combating climate change and significantly cutting global greenhouse gas emissions. The plan includes $50 billion in incentives for private companies to invest in modernizing the country's power grid, among other ideas.
Officials are warning residents of Barbados and other Caribbean islands of heavy rains, saying Tropical Storm Dorian could reach hurricane level winds Tuesday. Puerto Rico's new governor declared a state of emergency there in anticipation of the storm.
A federal magistrate judge in West Virginia recommended overturning the conviction of former coal executive Don Blankenship, who served a year in prison after a deadly 2010 explosion at his company's mine. The magistrate judge said prosecutors withheld evidence that could have helped his case. Blankenship was convicted of conspiring to violate mine safey standards.
August 26, 2019
People in South Portland, Maine, have been worried about their air quality since learning an oil tank farm was violating its emissions permit. Now, results from the start of a community air testing program are back, and they show troubling benzene spikes. Part of an ICN series.
President Donald Trump skipped a crucial discussion Monday on climate and biodiversity at the G7 summit in Biarritz, missing talks on how to deal with the Amazon rainforest fires as well as new ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
A Nebraska court has affirmed the latest route set out for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver 830,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada to Nebraska. The pipeline has been delayed for years because of fierce opposition from environmental groups and landowners.
Connecticut is seeking bids for off-shore wind power projects that could meet 30 percent of the state's electricity needs. Read more from ICN on the federal government's move that's delaying the first big U.S. offshore wind power project.
Documents show that more than 100 ponds and landfills containing coal ash lie in areas FEMA has deemed high-risk flood zones, Politico reports. Floods can spread the toxic materials found in the ash. The report comes as scientists warn that climate change is triggering heavier rains, increasing flood risk.
The company Blackjewel LLC filed for bankruptcy in July owing $6 million to its 1,700 workers in Wyoming and Central Appalachia. It also owed $32 million in loans to Riverstone Holdings. Court filings suggest the miners won't be getting paid first, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
The Bureau of Land Management might move to Grand Junction, Colorado, if the Trump administration has its way. The agency plays a major role in green lighting energy projects that could sway the direction of climate change. And critics argue moving the agency is a tactic to reduce its staff and influence.