March 6, 2020
The Bureau of Land Management has lost more than half of its Washington-based employees who were slated to move out West as the agency pushes ahead with a controversial plan to relocate staff. Interior Department numbers obtained by The Hill show 87 BLM employees leaving the agency, with 69 resigning over accepting their relocation.
Texas prosecutors declined this week to press felony charges against a group of Greenpeace activists who dangled off a bridge last fall, after initially charging them under a harsh new fossil fuel protest law. They were the first charged under such a law, with at least nine states having adopted similar ordinances.
A sweeping energy bill that supporters said would make Virginia a national leader in addressing climate change passed the state House Thursday amid warnings by critics that it will carry a steep price tag. The legislation would overhaul how Virginia utilities generate electricity, laying out a path toward zero carbon emissions by 2045.
Swiss banking giant UBS Group AG said Thursday that it would no longer finance new offshore-oil projects in the Arctic, thermal coal mines or oil sands on undeveloped land. It's the latest major bank to tighten its restrictions on fossil fuels amid pressure from environmentalists and investors.
U.S. coal use plunged more than 13 percent in 2019, the most in 65 years, as power plants shut down across the country. Total consumption slumped to 596 million tons in 2019 from 688 million tons in the prior year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A similar slip is expected this year.
Light is a major indicator for wildlife behavior, including helping organisms know when to mate and where and when to hunt for food. But as thinning ice and heavier ship traffic alter how the Arctic experiences light, the effects could have major impact on the region's wildlife, a new study warns.
General Motors on Wednesday announced it's spending $20 billion over the next five years on its next generation of all-electric vehicles coming out next year. The company said the vehicles will be capable of reaching 400 miles or more, rivaling Tesla's latest Model S.
With global climate stress growing ever more apparent, the world's biggest polluter is setting aside its lofty environmental ambitions as it confronts an unprecedented slowdown in growth, fueled by the coronavirus epidemic.
March 5, 2020
Researchers are warning in a new study that Amazon and African tropical forests have peaked in their ability to absorb huge amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The study found that the forests absorbed about a third less CO2 over the last decade than they did in the 1990s, a difference of 21 billion metric tons.
Call this the winter that wasn't. Or the new reality. From Kentucky to the East Coast, dozens of cities this winter saw some of the warmest temperatures on record in the months between December and February. Here's how climate change, and other factors, played a role.
Lawmakers in at least five U.S. states have proposed bills since mid-February to prevent cities from banning natural gas as an energy source in new buildings, marking an escalation in the national battle over the fuel's role in fighting climate change.
These 5 charts help explain where the U.S. stands today when it comes to the transition to clean energy. That, and more, in the latest issue of Inside Clean Energy by Dan Gearino.
Global warming played a big role in generating long-lasting heat waves that fueled Australia's deadly 2019-2020 wildfire season, a new study released Wednesday concluded. Human-caused warming increased the chances by at least 30 percent for the extreme fire weather that dried out soil, grass, brush and trees, the research found.
The White House is raising objections to a bipartisan Senate measure that would aim to phase down the use of heat-trapping chemicals in air conditioners and refrigerators. It's the latest development in a political fight over what to do about hydrofluorocarbons, a set of chemicals often referred to as "climate super-pollutants."
Amazon in the last year has pledged to do more to address the company's greenhouse gas emissions, following calls from shareholders, activists and employees to do so. But that pledge is now colliding with the company's core mission of giving customers what they want, when they want it.
A maritime people who once spanned a large swath of the eastern Long Island shore, the Shinnecock Indians have been hemmed into a 1.5-square-mile patch of land on the edge of a brackish bay. Now, because of climate change, they're battling to hold on to what they have left.
March 4, 2020
In what would be a landmark move, the European Commission on Wednesday unveiled a "climate law" to make the EU's 2050 net-zero emissions target legally binding. But Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and environmental organizations said the law doesn't address the next 10 years and more urgent action is needed to beat the climate crisis.
Air pollution, mainly from burning fossil fuels, reduces life expectancy worldwide by an average of almost three years, according to a new study in Cardiovascular Research. That's an impact greater than smoking, HIV/AIDS, vector-borne diseases such as malaria, and violence.
Lawyers for 21 youth climate activists are filing an appeal after a judge ruled they cannot sue the federal government for failure to act on climate change. The activists sought a court order to force the government to phase out the use of fossil fuels, but a panel of three judges in January ruled such a decision was beyond the reach of the judicial branch.
New research comparing today's coral reefs to ancient ones supports the idea that a sixth mass extinction is underway. The study, published Tuesday in Scientific Reports, found that the coral species that are bleaching and dying are hauntingly similar to the ones that vanished in the last mass extinction, 66 million years ago.
President Trump on Tuesday called on Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses oil and gas revenue to fund a variety of conservation efforts, such as securing land for parks. But Trump has year after year suggested cutting its funding by as much as 97 percent, including in his most recent budget proposal.
Cloud seeding—burning small amounts of silver iodide with the aim of triggering snow or rainfall—is becoming more popular as a way for some U.S. regions to deal with their dwindling water supplies. But the practice is costly and controversial, with some leading climate scientists questioning its effectiveness.
The EPA last week walked back a component of its controversial so-called "secret science" proposal, which would restrict the agency from considering scientific studies that don't make their underlying data public. But the tweaks aren't garnering support from the scientific community, as it expands the proposal in other ways.
The end of fossil fuels could be on the horizon, according to data acquired by Reuters. Fossil fuel use for generating electricity fell in 2019 in the United States, the European Union and India, three of the top four largest producers of power from fossil fuels. At the same time overall power output rose, a turning point for the global energy mix.
March 3, 2020
Five activists in Oregon have been charged with criminal trespass after planting a garden on railroad tracks used by an oil distribution facility. The otherwise run-of-the-mill trial is gaining national attention because of the novel defense the activists made in court: Their actions were justified, they argue, because of the dire threat posed by climate change.
The Trump administration's plans for addressing vehicle emissions may not be as good for society as an Obama administration rule, according to a review released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency's independent science board.
At least 3.8 million U.S. homes that lie in flood plains may be overvalued by $34 billion, new research published Monday in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper found, with markets failing to incorporate risks from flooding and climate-related catastrophes.
Wealthy nations could be asked to make significant financial contributions to biodiverse countries such as Brazil under proposals put forward during UN talks in Rome last week on a global agreement to halt and reverse biodiversity decline.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are seeking to add their bills to a fast-moving bipartisan energy package, which is expected to hit the Senate floor for a vote on Thursday. The American Energy Innovation Act would spur research and development into renewables as well as technology to ease pollution from fossil fuels.
The U.S. vehicle fleet hit a record for fuel efficiency in 2018, averaging 25.1 miles per gallon in real-world driving, an increase of 0.2 mpg, the Environmental Protection Agency said. The fleet is also preliminarily anticipated to jump to 25.5 mpg for the 2019 model year.