April 3, 2019
Climate change is increasingly affecting the world's central banks and their monetary policies. Bloomberg runs down some recent papers highlighting some of the challenges they're now facing.
Several moderate Democrats are working on developing more focused climate policies as alternatives to a sweeping Green New Deal, such as a national mandate for cleaner power sources or a carbon tax.
The Interior Department's internal watchdog is looking into allegations that acting secretary David Bernhardt may have violated his ethics pledge by taking actions in support of a former lobbying client. This is happening as a Senate panel is preparing to vote on whether to confirm Bernhardt as the next interior secretary.
In the western highlands of Guatemala, which extend from Antigua to the Mexican border, the malnutrition rates is around 65 percent, extreme weather has caused extensive damage in recent years, and unpredictable rainfall and heat are making farming more difficult. It's helping drive migration to the United States.
A handful of elected Republicans now acknowledge that human activity is the primary cause of climate change and are calling for action to address it, a big shift from a previous position of denying the existence of climate change. Sens. Mitt Romney is among those who have made this shift at a time when climate change is high on the agenda because of the Green New Deal.
More than 40 governments have adopted some sort of price on carbon emissions as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These are some of the results.
April 2, 2019
The Trump administration has proposed slashing funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency research by 86 percent across the national energy labs. Even if Congress ignores some of those cuts, the message it sends can have a chilling impact on the nation's "crown jewels" of innovation.
Oil giant Shell has pulled out of the industry lobbying group American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers citing differences over the Paris climate agreement, carbon pricing, fuel mandates and the reduction of methane emissions. It's still in the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, despite what it called "some misalignment" on climate.
An environmental adviser to the Trump administration projects that its attempt to reverse Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards could have a steep long-term toll on the U.S. economy and eventually cost the country hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The American Action Forum, where Elaine Chao was a director before becoming transportation secretary, created the "price tag" being used to argue against the Green New Deal, even though the Green New Deal's details haven't been written yet. The group received financial support from conservative groups that fund political attacks through undisclosed donors, E&E reports.
Saudi Arabia's national oil company listed climate change as a risk several times in a document released for an international bond filing. It wrote that "increasing attention on climate change risks may result in an increased possibility of litigation" and could lead to "government policies, laws and regulations, international agreements and treaties" reducing demand for oil.
The findings of a test well drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge three decades ago have been a closely guarded secret, but now, as the Trump administration pushes to open ANWR to more drilling, details are coming out. "The discovery well was worthless," said a retired lawyer who was involved in a long-since-forgotten lawsuit filed there in 1987.
North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality ordered Duke Energy to excavate all of it caol ash ponds in the state, including the Allen plant, listed in a recent report as of one of the worst locations in the nation's widespread coal ash groundwater contamination problem.
In a symbolic first, electric cars outsold fossil fuel-powered ones in Norway last month. Norway has provided incentives to boost electric car sales, including waiving vehicle import duties and sales taxes for buyers and road tolls for users. Its Parliament voted to require that all new cars sold in the Scandinavian country be electric by 2025.
The Rockefeller Foundation announced it will wind down funding for its 100 Resilient Cities program, the largest privately funded climate-adaptation initiative in the U.S. The foundation will shift some of its resilience funding to the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, and will provide a $12 million grant to continue to support some aspects of the program.
April 1, 2019
A federal judge in Alaska sided with environmental groups in a lawsuit over offshore drilling, ruling that President Trump didn't have the authority to overrule his predecessor's orders that put large parts of the Arctic and some of the Atlantic off-limits to offshore drilling. It throws Trump's oil and gas lease sale plans into question.
President Trump has signed a new order granting permission for the construction of the Keystone XL fossil fuel pipeline, a move that appears to try to circumvent a court decision from November that blocked a previous federal permit for the most controversial infrastructure proposal.
Hundreds of miles of river levees have been overwhelmed by flooding in the Midwest, and some residents are now questioning whether farming the fertile bottomland might not be viable much longer without major changes.
At least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland across nine major grain-producing states were left under water by last month's storms, new satellite data show, and NOAA has warned of what could be an "unprecedented flood season" as it forecasts more heavy spring rains.
As global warming makes extreme weather more common, meteorologists have become critical to finance, mitigating uncertainty and boosting risk-related profits for a wide cross section of the economy including insurers, banks and commodity traders, shippers, retailers and the travel industry.
A troubled EPA advisory panel is asking for help as its ability to handle a high-stakes review of particulate matter standards is under scrutiny. The panel agreed to recommend that EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler reconvene an auxiliary panel of experts he abruptly fired last October—or name a new panel made up of members with similar know-how.
Colorado Withdraws Request to EPA for More Time to Bring State into Compliance with Federal Air-Quality Standards
Colorado is withdrawing a request for more time to comply with federal health-based air standards. The state is developing zero-emissions vehicle standards, reforming oil and gas laws, and adding more renewable energy, rather than relying on extensions that would allow more polluted air to be acceptable, Gov. Jared Polis said.
Andrew Beal, a billionaire and major Trump backer, could upend California's carbon-free power goals with a case before federal regulators. Beal, who owns a natural gas power plant in California's Central Valley, is arguing before federal regulators that state policies discriminate against fossil fuel generators.
March 29, 2019
Extreme weather, intensified by climate change, affected about 62 million people around the world last year, the UN's World Meteorological Organization says. Its annual "State of the Climate" report says flooding affected 35 million people and droughts affected 9 million. Officials note the number of disasters around the world is growing because of climate change.
About a billion more people could be exposed to mosquito-borne diseases as the earth warms with climate change, a new study says. Scientists say diseases like Zika, chikungunya and dengue will continue spreading farther north.
Some of the nation's top tech firms, manufacturers and consumer companies are banding together to create a boom in renewable energy purchases throughout corporate America. Their new Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance is a trade organization to help companies take advantage of new ways to purchase clean energy.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered state agencies to stop action on a proposed tunnel to encase the controversial Enbridge Line 5 fossil fuel pipeline under the Great Lakes' Straits of Mackinac. It follows a legal opinion issued by Attorney General Dana Nessel that a law signed by the previous governor creating a state authority to oversee the project is unconstitutional.
Unless fruit breeders can produce more climate-resilient varieties, fruit-growing regions of the United States will be seriously disrupted by future warming scenarios, scientists say. Even the groups trying to breed those more resilient varieties are struggling with climate change.
David Bernhardt, the president's choice to lead the Interior Department and its current acting secretary, faced questions from senators, including a stinging rebuke from Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon, who told Bernhardt, "You're just another corrupt official." Meanwhile, Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said the nominee's qualifications are "unparalleled."
President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked wind energy this week for reasons that are dismissed by "frequently asked questions" guidance published by the U.S. Department of Energy, including at his latest political rally and in appearances on Fox.