February 11, 2019
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given Enbridge the green light to activate its Valley Crossing Pipeline, a 165-mile natural gas pipeline that begins near Corpus Christi and ends under the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico a few miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande.
Nearly four years after it banned staff from advocating for climate change-related policies, the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands unanimously voted to lift what it called a gag order. The three commissioners are the secretary of state, state treasurer and attorney general. The two Republicans who approved the ban were replaced by Democrats in the last election.
Developers have lost a court appeal to build a coal mine in Australia's Hunter Valley over its potential environmental impact, after the country's first legal review of a coal mine project to hear evidence from a climate scientist.
Thinning sea ice has driven large numbers of polar bears ashore on a small Arctic island in northern Russia, causing government officials to declare a state of emergency.
February 8, 2019
Backers of a Green New Deal introduced a resolution to launch an all-out, decade-long mobilization aimed at transforming the economy to carbon-free energy. They say their goal would restore America's global leadership on climate change, build national prosperity and protect the most vulnerable.
With Democrats now in the control in the U.S. House, two key committees used their first hearings of the year to press for more vigorous action on climate change. They invited governors and scientists to talk about the need for urgent action, the impacts on communities and bipartisan solutions. Republicans questioned the costs and viability of a Green New Deal.
Hurricanes Are Strengthening Faster in the Atlantic, and Climate Change Is a Big Reason Why, Scientists Say
Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean have gotten worse and climate change is part of the reason, according to a new study from top hurricane experts including federal researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The study looks at how hurricanes are now more likely to rapidly intensify, as happened before hurricanes Harvey and Michael made landfall.
Chevron says it will reduce its own air pollution intensity by 25 to 30 percent by 2023, which may avert an initiative by shareholders to force the change. But the targets do not apply to emissions by consumers using Chevron products.
When the East Baton Rouge Parish school board rejected a $2.9 million property tax break for ExxonMobil, it went off like a bomb in a state where the oil, gas and chemical industries are king. This is part of a larger fight as local governments and activists are trying to change a system of deference to big business.
Federal officials say there will not be seismic testing for oil and gas this winter in a large part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The testing proposal is still pending, but the company behind it has asked that the start date be moved to next December.
February 6, 2019
Mountain Glaciers to Seabeds, 5 Research Projects to Watch as Scientists race to Understand Global Warming
The landscapes and climate in many parts of the world could be nearly unrecognizable by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, research suggests. These five teams are racing to understand the changes ahead as the ecosystems they study disappear.
President Trump focused on natural gas and oil in last night's State of the Union address. Coal, once one of his favorite talking points, including in last year's State of the Union, was entirely absent.
A draft obtained by Bloomberg of the Green New Deal legislative package calls for guaranteed jobs, health care and housing, but doesn't include a ban on fossil fuels that has been sought by some supporters. Legislation, likely to be introduced this week in Congress, is being crafted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey.
A Senate panel is recommending approval of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to become permanent head of the EPA. Wheeler's nomination moved forward to the full Senate on an 11-10 party-line vote, with Republicans praising his work on rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations.
How Police, Private Security and Energy Companies Are Preparing for a New Pipeline Standoff in Minnesota
Minnesota police are preparing for a standoff over Enbridge Line 3, a planned tar sands pipeline replacement. Records show law enforcement officials have taken steps to identify potential anti-pipeline camps and monitor individual protesters, and have turned for help to the North Dakota officials behind the militarized response to protests at Standing Rock in 2016.
Oil and gas companies and utilities are muscling in for a share of the burgeoning industry around electric vehicle charging. It is projected to be a big business, which may be one reason older energy companies are using acquisitions to become part of it.
From Wisconsin to Japan, lakes that used to freeze every winter are already seeing some years without ice, part of an increasing loss of lake ice. A new study quantifies the effects of rising temperatures across 1.4 million lakes in the Northern Hemisphere.
February 5, 2019
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed orders to revamp the state's environmental policy apparatus, becoming the latest newly elected Democratic leader in an industrial swing state to pick up the reins of action on climate change.
President Trump said he will nominate a former oil and gas and lobbyist to head the Interior Department. David Bernhardt is currently the acting secretary. Read more from ICN on the industry's influence in the department under Bernhardt.
As the Democratic Party pushes Congress to consider climate change legislation for the first time since 2009, Democrats from oil-rich states like Texas are being pulled between the party's growing call for carbon-free energy and the powerful fossil fuels industry.
U.S. and California officials met briefly on Monday and said they are still far from agreeing on auto emissions standards, with a crucial deadline just two months away. "That disagreement may turn into a legal disagreement at some point," California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols said.
For the first time in years, the House will hold two congressional hearings on fighting climate change this week, a significant departure from the skepticism on climate change that prevailed during the past eight years of GOP leadership.
Several Democrats plan to bring academics and activists who focus on climate change as their guests to President Trump's State of the Union speech tonight as they try to place new emphasis on the issue.
Chinese solar companies have unveiled plans for more than $3 billion in manufacturing plants in Saudi Arabia signaling an emerging shift in energy geopolitics away from states that rely heavily on fossil fuel exports to those that lead on renewable energy development.
February 4, 2019
Torrential rain in northeastern Australia has forced hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes in what officials are describing as an "unprecedented" event. Scientists say the severity and frequency of such flooding events will continue to increase with climate change.
EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who is awaiting Senate confirmation to become administrator, held or attended more than 50 meetings with representatives of companies or industry groups regulated by the EPA between April and August of last year, including a company he previously lobbied for, a CNN review of his internal schedules found.
The Trump administration is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Keystone XL oil pipeline. A federal judge determined in November that the administration had not fully considered potential oil spills and other impacts and that further reviews were needed.
Dominion Energy raised the estimated cost of its Atlantic Coast pipeline to a range of $7 billion-$7.5 billion and said it has delayed the expected completion date to early 2021. When it started building the natural gas pipeline, to run from West Virginia to North Carolina, its cost estimate was $6 billion to $6.5 billion.
The UK's carbon dioxide emissions have declined by around 38% since 1990, faster than any other major developed country. Zeke Hausfather explains the reasons for the decline, including a cleaner electricity mix based on gas and renewables instead of coal and falling demand.