April 27, 2018
The Canadian government announced new federal air pollution regulations designed to cut methane emissions between 40 and 45 percent by 2025. But Alberta, home to the sprawling tar sands industry, has its own plan for regulating the powerful climate pollutant—with some important differences.
The British Columbia government is asking a court whether provincial governments have the right to impose rules on companies that transport oil. The question is being asked amid a fight over a proposed expansion of a tar sands pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia. Read more from ICN about the pipeline fight and the impact on the industry.
If carbon mineralization, a natural process that turns CO2 into stone, could be harnessed and accelerated inexpensively, it could remove some of the billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide that humans have pumped into the atmosphere, scientists say. Rocks in Oman are serving as a test lab.
A group of winter athletes concerned about climate change and the effect it's having on snow sports is focusing on getting climate-friendly candidates elected in California, Nevada, Montana and Colorado.
April 26, 2018
A study commissioned by the Defense Department says rising seas and waves will make many Pacific atolls uninhabitable, including some with U.S. military facilities. Building sea walls and shipping in drinking water could only work for so long—and would be increasingly expensive.
Two friends of Scott Pruitt who started an Oklahoma lobbying firm after he became EPA administrator scored a big win for forest industry clients when Pruitt declared this week that burning wood for energy would be considered carbon neutral.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing questions from lawmakers today about a series of ethics issues, his move to block certain scientific research in decision-making and other regulatory changes that benefit polluters. The New York Times and Washington Post are updating news stories as two congressional hearings proceed.
"Some people think that securing current industries and their jobs is more urgent than transforming our economies to meet the challenge of global change," French President Emmanuel Macron told a joint session of Congress. "What is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, while sacrificing the future of our children?"
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is proposing to allow the owners of homes that have been destroyed by storms and bought out by the government to rebuild on the same flood-prone land. The current goal of buyouts is to limit future storm costs.
Arizona's governor signed legislation that will exempt coal from sales taxes in Arizona. Supporters hope it will help secure a buyer for the coal-burning Navajo Generating Station, which is scheduled to close. An analysis of the bill says a coal mine it would affect pays about $20 million in tax revenue.
China has ordered local governments to "ease the burden" on renewable power generators by strengthening guaranteed purchase agreements and giving them priority access to new grid capacity, the National Energy Administration said today.
A Kentucky jury agreed with two former coal miners who said defective dust masks contributed to their debilitating black lung disease. The jury awarded $67.5 million, most of which was punitive damages against 3M, the company that made the masks. Read more from ICN about the hurdles miners face in securing black lung benefits.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell says it has authorized a multibillion-dollar drilling plan in the Gulf of Mexico. This would be the first deepwater drilling project of 2018. Drilling had slowed because of low oil prices.
Mario Molina, who won a Nobel Prize for his research on CFCs, is now devoting much of his time to figuring out the best ways to talk about climate change and help others understand the dangers.
April 25, 2018
French President Emmanuel Macron talked extensively about climate change in a speech to Congress today, saying the U.S. will one day return to the Paris climate agreement because climate change is a long-term problem that won't go away. Watch the speech, posted by ABC News.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed a new regulation to restrict the scientific evidence that can be used in writing EPA rules. Scientists say it could rule out the use of major health studies that support pollution regulations because they promised the participants confidentiality.
A judge has recommended Minnesota regulators use an existing route for a proposed tar sands oil pipeline that cuts through two Indian reservations, rather than the developer's preferred route. The decision elevates the concerns of Native Americans who oppose the pipeline.
America's coastal cities are preparing for legal battles tied to who owns real estate that becomes submerged because of climate change. Under current law in some states, waterways are public property and so is the land beneath them.
A new study in Science magazine shows that Florida and Texas would each lose about $100 billion in gross domestic product because of climate change. California's losses come in third at $59.6 billion. The researchers looked at extreme events, including sea level rise, severe storms, droughts and wildfires.
"We're talking about poisoning groundwater," one mayor told the agency Tuesday at the only public EPA hearing planned on Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal to change federal coal ash rules. The changes were proposed by the utility industry.
Duke Energy will pay $156,000 for polluting waters with coal ash waste near three power plants. The fine, imposed by a state environmental agency, is described as a "paltry sum" by the Sierra Club.
Burning coal is a part of daily life in Poland. As a result, the country has some of the most polluted air in the European Union, and 33 of the EU's 50 dirtiest cities. The New York Times describes the scene in photos.
April 24, 2018
A sector-by-sector analysis of more than 600 top U.S. companies finds that those seeing the effects of global warming first-hand are taking the most concrete actions, but relatively few are making time-bound commitments based on science. One sector stands out, however.
Californians should expect an increasing likelihood of devastating flooding and more dramatic swings between dry and wet years as the climate warms, a new study warns.
A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that four protesters facing criminal charges over their efforts to shut down two Enbridge oil pipelines may use the "necessity defense." The protesters argue the threat of climate change is imminent and they had no legal alternatives.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the EPA will now consider the burning of biomass, such as wood, to be carbon neutral. His statement at a Georgia event gets into a debate over the environmental effects of using trees to produce energy.
The Trump administration is taking its time in deciding whether to grant FirstEnergy Solutions' request for emergency measures to prop up the bankrupt company's coal and nuclear power plants. There are disagreements within the administration about whether the situation warrants such a drastic response, Bloomberg reports.
Two years ago, researchers described the possibility that pulses of fresh water from glaciers could disrupt the the oceans in a way that would accelerate climate change. A new report shows evidence that the phenomenon may already have started.
April 23, 2018
As demand for chicken soars, Delmarva production is expanding, and residents dealing with the smell and breathing particulate matter from the massive chicken complexes are trying to push back. Even though the operations emit greenhouse gases and air pollution, their air emissions face little regulation or monitoring.
Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, said he will donate $4.5 million to cover some of the U.S. government's commitment to the Paris climate accord. The money is a small share of the amount the U.S. was on track to give before the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.