November 16, 2018
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.
Climate protestors at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office were joined by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said Pelosi should be "pursuing the most progressive energy agenda that this country has ever seen." With control of the House, Democrats will be debating exactly what they should do with their newfound power to address climate change.
Farmers in Ohio allege in a new lawsuit that a requirement increasing the distance that wind turbines must be from other structures violates the state constitution. Prior to the new law, 12 commercial-scale wind farms were approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board, but since the bill's passage, there have been zero, according to the lawsuit.
The authors of a recent and startling ocean warming study are acknowledging errors in their conclusions. The scientists now say that miscalculations led them to inadvertently assert that their conclusions were more certain than they actually were.
November 13, 2018
As firefighters in California battle to contain the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history, a climate scientist says the reality on the ground is surpassing what a government report projected just months ago in assessing the links between climate change and an increasing frequency and severity of wildfires in the state.
Although significant progress is being made, clean energy adoption isn't happening fast enough to avoid dangerous global warming, according to the International Energy Agency. While clean energy capacity is increasing, it's not enough to keep up with increasing energy demand.
The Trump administration is making it easier to produce oil and gas on federal acreage, and the Bureau of Land Management is struggling to keep up. In New Mexico, violations, from oil spills to haphazard land restoration, are increasing, ranchers and conservation groups say.
The EPA is expected announce new regulations for emissions on heavy duty trucks, according to an agency official quoted by Reuters. California is working on new state emissions limits.
A new TVA project will provide over 300 megawatts of power to Facebook's new data center in Huntsville, Alabama. But in a lawsuit, environmental groups allege the TVA is discouraging homeowners and small businesses from adopting renewable energy.
The natural gas industry has been working to reduce royalty payments to thousands of residents in West Virginia through dubious means, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. That includes subtracting "post-production costs" from royalty payments, sometimes deducting hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Phillips 66 and Bridger Pipeline have announced preliminary plans for a new pipeline to transport crude oil from North Dakota to Texas. Although details about the pipeline route have not yet been shared, the companies say it would transport 350,000 barrels of oil per day and could begin operating soon as late 2020.
November 12, 2018
The next freshmen class in Congress will have a striking number of environmental crusaders. With track records of taking on powerful fossil fuel interests or building clean energy businesses, many of them are talking about federal efforts to expand clean energy and green jobs.
Rising demand for home air conditioning could increase global warming an additional half a degree Celsius by the end of the century, according to a new report. The number of window units in use is expected to triple by 2050 to an estimated 4.5 billion. The problem is both their energy use and their HFCs.
Since becoming Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke has turned the agency's priorities away from conservation and toward fossil fuel industry interests, resource extraction and environmental deregulation. While presenting himself as a cowboy-esque modern-day Theodore Roosevelt, Zinke has given industry the keys to public lands, The Guardian reports.
Donald Trump won every Kentucky coal county in the 2016 presidential election, in part by promising that he'd save the struggling coal industry. Two years later, the state has seen a drop in the number of coal mining jobs—indicating the coal industry is far from being saved.
Top oil and gas companies jointly spent around 1 percent of their 2018 budgets on clean energy, a new study shows. Investments by European companies vastly outpaced their U.S. and Asian rivals. "With less domestic pressure to diversify, U.S. companies have not embraced renewables in the same way as their European peers," the report says.