June 7, 2018

June 6, 2018

These Senate Republicans Are Skewering Pruitt, and Not Over Chick-Fil-A

Senate Republicans have been mostly silent about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's growing list of potential ethics violations, but they get riled up about ethanol. Iowa Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst both hammered Pruitt over a proposal to rewrite rules for how fuel derived from corn is mixed into the nation's fuel supply—stopping just short of calling for his removal.

David Koch Steps Away from Business and Conservative Political Work

David Koch, the billionaire industrialist who has used his vast wealth to oppose climate and environment policies and influence candidates and campaigns at all levels of American politics, is stepping away from his political and business interests because of declining health, Koch Industries announced. Read more from ICN about the role of Koch brothers' money in spreading climate change misinformation.

June 5, 2018

Hawaii to Be Carbon Neutral by 2045 Under New Law

In a little less than three decades, Hawaii plans to be carbon neutral under legislation Gov. David Ige signed, setting the most ambitious state climate goal yet. In addition to the 2045 goal, he signed bills to use carbon offsets to fund tree-planting and requiring new building projects to consider sea level rise.

'Carbon Bubble' Could Spark Global Financial Crisis, Study Warns

Plunging prices for renewable energy and rapidly increasing investment in low-carbon technologies could leave fossil fuel companies with trillions in stranded assets. A new study forecasts a sudden drop in demand for fossil fuels before 2035 and—importantly—suggests that the rapid decline is no longer dependent on stronger government policies.

Major Utility Spends Big to Influence N.M. Election of Energy Regulators

New Mexico voters head to the polls today, and a race that normally flies under the radar is drawing attention. The parent company of utility PSC has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into a PAC that's trying to influence two Public Regulation Commission races. The commission has power over electricity rates and can have a big influence on the sources of that energy.

Is LEED Tough Enough for the Climate-Change Era?

Twenty years ago, the U.S. Green Building Council piloted its LEED certification, which has reshaped architecture and real estate. But how much do the standards dent buildings' energy use? The debate originates, in part, from differences over what a "green building" should be.

June 4, 2018

Coal Miners' Black Lung Fund Set for Deep Cuts as Epidemic Grows

A new government report says the black lung trust fund to help sick coal miners is running out of money and could incur a $15 billion deficit in the next 30 years because of a Congressionally mandated cut in the amount coal companies pay into it. Read more from ICN about one miner's 14-year fight to secure benefits as he battles black lung disease.

Big Investors Call on G7 to Phase Out Coal Power

Institutional investors with more than $26 trillion in assets are calling on the G7 to phase out coal power to help limit climate change. The investors said current plans to cut greenhouse gases are too weak, and they argue that spending to mitigate climate change will bring economic benefits. 

EPA Chief Loses Round in Court Over Providing Data Behind His Global Warming Comment

A federal judge scolded EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Friday for failing to respond to a nonprofit's Freedom of Information Act request for the research behind his public claim that he doesn't agree human activity is a primary contributor to global warming. "EPA's strained attempt to raise an epistemological smokescreen will not work here to evade its obligations under the FOIA," the judge wrote.

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