June 10, 2019
Philadelphia introduced a new fleet of electric buses, putting the city ahead of others in converting to a less carbon-intensive transportation system. The effort is one of the largest zero-emission bus fleet on the East Coast so far, but not the only one. New York City is aiming to go all-electric by 2040.
A recent report from the American Wind Energy Association found that the industry supported 114,000 full-time-equivalent jobs, roughly 8,500 added last year alone. But association executives worry that tariffs on Chinese imports may stifle some of that headway.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said holding a presidential debate just on climate change solutions is "not practical," responding to criticism from activists. He added that "once you have one single issue debate, then every debate leads to become a single issue debate in order to address the concerns."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed climate change as a longstanding trend, suggesting that that modern societies could adapt to a changing environment, possibly with people moving to different places. (Here's what the GAO told the State Department earlier this year about climate-change-fueled migration.)
June 7, 2019
A federal appeals court on Thursday threw out a lower court decision to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. But several major obstacles remain to the controversial project's progress, ensuring that the much-delayed Keystone XL will likely not be built soon.
A global conference on plastics this week showed that the industry is starting to feel the pressure as the world wakes up to the growing problem of plastics waste, particularly in the oceans. Industry leaders talked openly about it, with people representing businesses all along the supply and packaging chain suggesting a range of risks and responses.
The world's largest automakers warned President Trump on Thursday that one of his plan to weaken tailpipe pollution standards threatens to cut their profits and produce "untenable" instability in a crucial manufacturing sector. The carmakers are addressing a crisis that is partly of their own making.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will donate $500 million to a new initiative, Beyond Carbon, which intends to work with state and local governments to close coal plants — and halt the growth of natural gas.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on Thursday endorsed the Green New Deal, putting it at odds with other unions that have been critical of the ambitious environmental agenda.
The head of the national coal miners' union urged the Trump administration to impose regulation on silica dust in mines, which researchers believe is responsible for a resurgence of black lung disease in central Appalachia. "We are seeing the most serious levels of black lung, mainly caused by silica and there are no silica standards out there," union president Cecil Roberts said.
Japan is calling for further efforts to cut carbon emissions by promoting renewables but also nuclear energy despite the 2011 Fukushima reactors meltdowns. The call comes as the Fukushima nuclear reactors are slowly being restarted amid lingering anti-nuclear sentiments.
After the world's appetite for natural gas grew last year at the fastest pace since 2010, growth is expected to slow down, according to the International Energy Agency. Over the next five years, the agency expects demand to increase by an average of 1.6 percent per year, returning to levels before the unexpected growth period starting in 2017.
In Canada, climate advocates say one of the worst-case scenarios for the upcoming federal election is this: The Liberals, NDP and Greens offer emissions-fighting plans that are difficult for the average voter to distinguish from one another, leading to a confused electorate, while the Conservatives unify their base under opposition to climate policy.
June 6, 2019
Reducing greenhouse gases enough to meet the Paris climate agreement goals could help America's biggest cities avoid hundreds of deaths during future heat waves, a new study shows. Even half a degree Celsius makes a difference in the number of lives lost.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler vowed on Wednesday to make greater use of the agency's official board of science advisers, but soon after he spoke, some of those advisers and other outside experts protested that the agency was instead limiting their role. Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, was also pushing a plan to reduce the use of science in EPA decision making.
A ruling by a Minnesota court and statements by Michigan's attorney general are calling into question to fate of two major tar sands crude oil pipelines. The pipelines have faced fierce opposition over both the risk of oil spills and the climate impact from tar sands oil, a particularly carbon-intensive fuel.
Democratic presidential hopeful and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday called the Democratic National Committee's decision to rebuff his repeated entreaties for a primary debate focused on climate change "deeply disappointing."
Natural gas producers in West Virginia no longer can drill on one person's property to reach gas reserves under adjoining or neighboring tracts, the state Supreme Court said in a much-anticipated ruling that gives additional leverage to residents struggling with the effects from the booming industry.
Companies too often make the mistake of thinking climate change is a long-term issue, but it's actually affecting decisions today, according to an analysis of more than 1,100 company reports by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.
Oil demand needs to halve, gas use must drop by 10 percent and coal use needs to be all but eradicated by 2050 to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement to limit global warming, oil company Equinor said in its energy outlook released today. Meeting that with enough renewable energy, battery storage and EVs presents an "enormous challenge," the company said.
New Jersey regulators have denied key permits for a hotly contested pipeline project that would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York, but they're allowing Tulsa-based Williams Companies to adjust its plan for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project and re-apply.
India is considering ordering ride-sharing services like Uber and Ola to convert 40 percent of their fleet of cars to electric by 2026, Reuters reports, citing records of government meetings to discuss new rules for clean mobility.
June 5, 2019
Three years after the Standing Rock pipeline protests in North Dakota, an activist group called Indigenized Energy is fighting to bring renewable energy to Native communities. Solar energy initiatives are growing in popularity among Native groups across the Midwest, Rolling Stone reports.
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil sped up in May to the fastest rate in a decade, according to data from an early-warning satellite system, as experts pointed to activity by illegal loggers encouraged by the easing of environmental protections under President Jair Bolsonaro.
Eight coal-fired power stations in Chile will close over the next five years, the country's president announced. The move is part of a plan to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2040. About 40 percent of the country's electricity currently comes from 28 coal-fired plants.
As the UK prepares to adopt ambitious new long-term carbon targets, the government is drawing criticism over the idea of carrying forward past "overperformance" in emissions reductions, the Financial Times reports.
California's solar farms and rooftop installations frequently generate more electricity than the state needs. That might benefit ratepayers: Overbuilding solar facilities and dialing down production when demand is low can keep electricity prices low, new research suggests.
Coal mines in West Virginia, including some owned by the governor's family, released pollutants far exceeding allowable limits, Reuters reports. "Federal and state regulators continue to look the other way," said Sierra Club attorney Peter Morgan.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill that directs utility NV Energy to develop new solar access programs for low-income customers, residents who can't install rooftop solar panels and disadvantaged businesses and nonprofits.
The Alberta Energy Regulator issued an order restricting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, near Alberta's Brazeau Dam after an earthquake in the region. The order acknowledges that fracking and other forms of industry fluid injection pose risks to infrastructure.