November 19, 2018
The Defense Department has recognized for years that climate change poses a national security threat, but it's still struggling to protect its most vulnerable facilities. That includes Norfolk Naval Shipyard, one of the few facilities able to service the Navy's nuclear fleet. Part of a new ICN series: Dangers Without Borders.
In a new series, ICN examines the risks that climate change presents to the U.S. military and national security. At home, climate change threatens key military installations. Abroad, it threatens to destabilize countries and prompt mass migration.
David Bernhardt, a former fossil fuel lobbyist, has been steadily pushing forward President Trump's environmental deregulatory agenda as deputy secretary at the Interior Department. If Secretary Ryan Zinke steps down, it likely will be Bernhardt who steps in.
Drawing inspiration from President Franklin Roosevelt's Depression-era New Deal, progressive Democrats are pushing for an ambitious plan to wean the U.S. off fossil fuels, boost renewable energy and build a smart grid.
President Trump says he intends to nominate former coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as the EPA's next administrator. Wheeler has lead the agency on an interim basis since July, when the former administrator, Scott Pruitt, stepped down amid multiple scandals.
The Trump EPA has overhauled many of the government's pages on fracking, a new report shows. That term has all but disappeared from the site, replaced by "unconventional oil and gas," and other information has been deleted, too.
The Convention on Biological Diversity, a UN organization, is trying to solve the biodiversity crisis, but it's doing so without the support of some major world players, including the U.S.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has removed two members of the state's Air Pollution Control Board ahead of a key vote on a controversial natural gas pipeline project, raising concerns among environmental groups.
Pennsylvania could dramatically increase the amount of energy it gets from solar panels by 2030, a new report says. But those gains won't be possible without policy changes that encourage more solar installations, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
November 16, 2018
After regaining control of the House, Democrats are looking to use their newfound power to "put a hot spotlight" on the Trump administration's climate agenda, the Washington Post reports. Although there's a long and varied list of priorities, investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's alleged ethics violations is at the top.
The Trump administration is advancing a plan to revoke Obama-era protections and open 65 million acres of federal waters in the Arctic to oil and gas drilling. It's already being challenged in court.
Despite evidence that coal is becoming less competitive than clean energy, the Trump administration plans to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual UN climate talks next month, Reuters reports. It did something similar last year and drew protests.
Since 2010, interstate pipelines have exploded or caught fire 137 times, according to an E&E News analysis. In about 90 percent of those cases, federal regulators sought no fine.
Bernard McNamee, President Trump's latest nominee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, appeared at a Senate hearing Thursday, where he stressed that he could act objectively and independently if appointed to lead the commission. As an Energy Department lawyer, he worked on a Trump administration plan to subsidize coal plants.
A UK scheme that provided subsidies to the owners of coal, gas and other power stations to keep them ready as backup power has been halted by court. Tempus Energy had sued, arguing that the capacity market favored fossil fuel generation at the expense of alternatives.
Brazil's next top diplomat has said that climate science is nothing more than "dogma," echoing the incendiary climate semtiments of his boss, president-elect Jair Bolsonaro. Environmental activist were dismayed by Bolsonaro's election as he has expressed interest in environmental deregulation and commercialization of the Amazon.
November 15, 2018
If widely implemented, "natural climate solutions"—low-tech changes to farm and land management—could have the same impact as "if every car and truck in the country stopped polluting the climate," the lead author of a new report says.
Crab fishing on the West Coast has become so threatened by warming oceans that a coalition of commercial fishers is now suing to hold 30 fossil fuel companies accountable for losses caused by climate change. The lawsuit pits fishing industry interests against the biggest oil giants, including Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP.
A lack of Arctic sea ice as the planet warms is delaying plans to build the first oil and gas drilling operation in federal waters off Alaska. Hilcorp Energy needs stable ice to build its drilling platform and will now have to extend its construction timetable by at least a year.
Two studies provide new insight into the role human activity can play in making hurricane impacts worse. One study concluded that climate change increased rainfall between 5 and 10 percent in hurricanes Katrina, Irma and Maria. The other found that Houston's urban footprint dramatically increased the odds of extreme flooding during Hurricane Harvey.
At the EPA's sole public hearing for proposed methane regulation rollbacks, people who live near oil and gas wells urged against the deregulation. The Trump administration wants to reduce the frequency of inspections for methane leaks and give energy companies more time to repair detected leaks.
It will cost billions of dollars to recycle Virginia's toxic coal ash or move it to lined landfills, Dominion Energy says. Environmental groups say it would be money well spent, fearing potential leaks, especially in the face of extreme weather like hurricanes.
In the latest Bayou Bridge Pipeline legal battle, several Louisiana landowners have filed a lawsuit alleging the company building the pipeline did not obtain legal authority before starting construction on their property.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts will hold multiple hearings after a failing natural gas pipeline caused dozens of explosions in September. Legislators intend to dive into the specific incident as well as the safety of the natural gas industry at large.
Researchers say Yellowstone National Park will see a massive transformation over the next few decades due to the effects of climate change. Big changes to weather and plant life will affect the unique animal wildlife that roams the nation's first national park.
November 14, 2018
California is starting to see a trend toward drier autumns, and it's contributing to wildfires like we're seeing this year. In a Q&A, California climate scientist Daniel Swain breaks down the influences on the state's devastating blazes and what the future could bring.
With the Paris Agreement, countries said they want to change, but will they? Among the G20 nations, 15 reported a rise in emissions last year, international organization Climate Transparency notes in a new report. The report found 82% of energy in these countries is still being provided by coal, oil and gas.
Spain has an ambitious plan to get all electricity from renewable sources by 2050. The country is committing to installing at least 3,000 megawatts of wind and solar power capacity each year over the next decade, The Guardian reports.
Trey Glenn, the director for EPA's southeast region, has been indicted on multiple alleged violations of Alabama ethics laws. The allegations involve helping a client fight EPA efforts to test and clean up contaminated sites before President Trump appointed him to his current position. Glenn has had other ethics violations referred for prosecution in the past.
The Trump administration says it is considering stricter nitrogen oxide emissions regulations for heavy duty trucks, though it didn't release a specific proposal. "This is a positive step and may be the first thing this EPA has done that will actually reduce air pollution," an official with the American Lung Association told the Washington Post.