June 17, 2019

June 13, 2019

America's Renewable Energy Capacity Is Now Greater Than Coal

For the first time, U.S. power plants can produce more energy from renewable sources than coal, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report. Coal consumption in the U.S. recently hit its lowest level in 40 years. "It's got nowhere to go but extinction," said one clean energy investment adviser.

Adani Wins Green Light for Australian Coal Mine

Adani Enterprises received approval to start construction of a controversial coal mine in Australia, but a recent drop in prices for low grade thermal coal has raised doubts about whether the mine will be financially worthwhile. "Government approval does not mean they have a marketable product," said Professor Peter Newman from Curtin University's Sustainability Institute.

June 12, 2019

Theresa May Commits to Net Zero UK Carbon Emissions by 2050

UK Prime Minister Theresa May committed Britain to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, making it the first major economy to set that target. Environmental groups welcomed the move, but some said allowing the UK to reach the goal in part through international carbon credits would "shift the burden to developing nations."

GAO: Climate Change Poses 'High Risk' to Federal Spending

The Government Accountability Office re-affirmed the risk of climate change to the federal budget, particularly for disaster aid, insurance for crops and property, and the costs of managing federal land. "Climate change is playing a role in the increasing frequency of some types of extreme weather that lead to the billion-dollar disasters," the report says.

Oil Demand Signals Are Flashing Red as Price Dives Toward $50

President Trump's trade war with China is driving down oil prices internationally, with some indicators hitting the lowest point in years, according to Morgan Stanley. "China has slowed faster than people expected and the trade war is still having a significant impact," one trading adviser said.

In Hot Water? Study Says Warming May Reduce Sea Life By 17 Percent

For every degree Celsius that the world's oceans warm, the total mass of sea animals is projected to drop by 5%, according to a new study by an international team of marine biologists. As a result, the world's oceans could lose about one-sixth of their fish and other marine life by the end of the century if climate change continues on its current path.

June 11, 2019

Iowa Flooding Adds to Safe Drinking Water Concerns

Contamination of private well water in southwest Iowa from human and natural causes is a problem even in dry times. But in this year of prolonged flooding, well owners have heightened concerns and are keeping county health officials busy testing water for contaminants such as coliform and E. coli bacteria, nitrates and arsenic. 

Canada Plans Single-Use Plastics Ban Starting in 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will ban single-use plastics — which could include plastic bags, straws and cutlery — in Canada starting in 2021 at the earliest, following the European Union's model. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said it lacked detail about impact on the economy. 

June 10, 2019

White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show

The White House tried to stop a senior intelligence analyst from discussing climate science in congressional testimony, according to internal documents. Although the analyst was ultimately allowed to speak, the White House refused to sign off on his written testimony for the Congressional Record because it didn't match the Trump administration's political view.

Munich Re Boss Wants Higher Carbon Emission Costs

The world's largest reinsurer wants policymakers in Europe to set a fivefold increase on the cost of emitting carbon. The chief executive of Munich Re said more action is necessary to hit targets set in the Paris climate agreement. "This can be either done by emissions trading or by a tax on carbon," he said.

Insulation Plant Divides Community in West Virginia

Construction of a manufacturing plant, which promises 150 jobs, is being met with pushback in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Those opposed to the plant say the jobs aren't worth burning 84 tons of coal a day, and that pollution from the plant poses risks to health, soil, water and the local economy.  

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