April 11, 2019
The Trump administration is considering a plan to auction off Florida's coastal waters for oil and gas drilling, while some Republicans are warning is could cost the president dearly in the 2020 election. Fossil fuel industries are lobbied to ability to gain access to the resource rich eastern Gulf of Mexico. But the idea is politically toxic in Florida.
Automakers are preparing for a divided American auto market, with some states following the Trump administration's weakened emissions rules while others stick with tougher ones. This is a worst-case scenario for the industry, splitting the national market in two.
Canada is considering its "first substantive" introduction of climate change considerations in its national building codes for buildings and crucial infrastructure. Without changes to boost resilience in the face of extreme weather, infrastructure failures linked to climate change could cost Canada $300 billion over the next decade, according to estimates cited by CBC.
April 10, 2019
Iowa's solar entrepreneurs are in a political fight for their future as lawmakers consider new fees that could bring the state's young rooftop solar industry to a screeching halt. Small businesses and jobs hang in the balance.
Alberta's Old, Unproductive Oil and Gas Wells Could Cost up to $70 Billion to Clean Up, Report Finds
Cleaning up all of the old and unproductive oil and gas wells in Alberta, Canada, will cost between $40 billion and $70 billion, according to a new report based on data from the Alberta Energy Regulator. About 3,000 wells in the province are slated for remediatation, but more than 100,000 unproductive wells will need to be cleaned up.
The cost of reaching global climate goals is falling as wind and solar energy prices plummet and policy makers push electrification as the main tool to cut pollution, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA lowered its cost estimate for the investments needed by 2050.
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a Republican who previously represented Nebraska in Congress, told a House committee Tuesday that the country must confront the dangers posed by climate change. "Climate change is a real and present threat to our national security, which most likely will get worse," he said. "There needs to be a dedicated effort to address this threat."
Dept. of Energy Calls for Building Large Natural Gas Plant in Puerto Rico, Despite 100% Clean Energy Plan
The U.S. Department of Energy is recommending the installation of a large natural gas plant in Puerto Rico — a move it admits could run counter to emerging clean energy policies in the U.S. territory, where the governor is expected to sign legislation setting a target of 100% clean energy by 2050.
To meet the international goal of keeping global warming well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial times, today's young people will have to live their lives with significantly smaller carbon footprints than their grandparents, a new analysis of "allowable" lifetime CO2 emissions shows.
Big real estate investment companies are pouring resources into calculating climate risk and its likely effect on property portfolios — everything from increasingly extreme weather to sea-level rise — to better gauge and develop mitigation strategies, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute.
Local communities are taking the world's largest polluters to court, and they're using the legal strategy that got tobacco companies to pay up. Luciano Lliuya, who had never left Peru, is suing on RWE, Germany's largest energy utility, for its role in climate damage that has put his house at risk.
April 9, 2019
By the end of the century, the manifold consequences of unchecked climate change will cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars per year, according to a new study by scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency.
If the planet heats up by more than 2 degrees Celsius, investments in a wide swath of industries will suffer, investment advisory firm Mercer warns in a new report. It modeled the financial fallout from global temperature rises of 2, 3 and 4 degrees through 2100 and found the 3 degree scenario would mean negative returns by 2030 for most sectors, including agriculture and industry.
The White House earlier this year devised a plan to challenge the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is a main driver of climate change and poses increasingly serious economic and health threats. Several agencies have said that they do not anticipate taking part, the Washington Post reports.
Earth's glaciers are melting 18 percent faster than an international panel of scientists calculated in 2013, a new study shows. The world's glaciers are shrinking five times faster now than they were in the 1960s.
Congress has approved the Colorado River drought contingency plan agreed to by Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The agreements among the states aim to keep two key reservoirs from falling too low to deliver water or produce hydropower. Read more from ICN about the influence of climate change on the river.
A network of satellites for the European Union that collects weather, soil, air and water data captured dozens of images illustrating how climate change is unfolding on Europe's landscape, from forest fires to glaciers retreating.
April 8, 2019
Global warming is transforming the Arctic, and the changes have rippled so widely that the entire biophysical system is shifting toward an "unprecedented state," an international team of researchers concludes. Rising temperatures are triggering cascading effects across the polar region, from diminishing ice to changes in when plants flower and where wildlife is found.
Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and BHP have invested in Carbon Engineering, a start-up developing technology to take carbon out of the atmosphere. Proponents say such "direct air capture" technology could play an important role in arresting climate change. Critics say the cost of capturing and sequestering enough carbon would require trillions of dollars.
Oil and gas and other fossil fuel interests, working with the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, are funding an effort to stamp out state subsidies for renewable energy in Texas, according to an investigation by the Austin American-Statesman. Texas generates more wind power than any other state.
U.S. government officials plan to meet with executives from automakers and lithium miners in early May as part of a first-of-its-kind effort to launch a national electric vehicle supply chain strategy. China currently produces nearly two-thirds of the world's lithium-ion batteries and controls most of the world's lithium processing facilities.
Government records raise questions about Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's role in permitting construction of a controversial fossil fuel pipeline that now faces two criminal investigations stemming from environment and property damage. Emails, text messages and regulatory records obtained by the Guardian show the state cut short its environmental review.
April 5, 2019
A climate change panel disbanded by the Trump administration considered the work so important that its members kept going. The Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment released its report on Thursday, warning that the country continues to be in harm's way because of its failure to act on climate change.
David Bernhardt, President Trump's choice to lead the Interior Department, continued to lobby for a major client for several months after he filed papers saying that he had stopped lobbying, according to a newly disclosed invoice. Bernhardt's nomination was still approved by a Senate committee Thursday, moving him closer to confirmation.
A judge told FirstEnergy Solutions it must change its reorganization plan, which will push back its planned emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and may mean former parent FirstEnergy Corp. will be responsible for power plant-related environmental costs. Read more from ICN on FirstEnergy's influence and a nuclear bailout plan in the Ohio legislature.
The central banks of South Pacific islands, joined by those of Australia and New Zealand, announced today that they will focus on the impact of climate change on their financial systems and ways to respond. The bank governors also started a project to find ways to boost access to cheaper capital flows.
A new U.S. House committee set up to address climate change held its first hearing, starting with testimony from young climate activists. "What is necessary to address the climate crisis is to stop carbon pollution from accumulating in the atmosphere. That requires action. Urgent action. Ambitious action," said Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who chairs the panel.
Workers at two TVA power plants in Tennessee say they are being exposed to fly ash and flue gas without proper safety equipment. It follows cleanup workers' similar claims involving toxic coal ash exposure, which led to lawsuits.
Scramble across exposed rocks in the middle of Antarctica and it's possible to find the mummified twigs of shrubs that grew on the continent some three to five million years ago. Scientists say it should serve as a warning to the world about where climate change could take us if carbon emissions go unchecked.
April 4, 2019
With electric vehicle sales climbing, utilities are investing in thousands of new EV charging stations, recognizing that if they don't move now, they could lose out on a growing and increasingly competitive market. Duke is the latest, with the largest EV infrastructure investment in the Southeast to date.