April 14, 2020

A U.S. Tribe’s Uphill Battle Against Climate Change

From rising sea levels flooding villages to vital populations of salmon disappearing, Fawn Sharp has seen her tribe on the coastline of Washington state—the Quinault Indian Nation—lurch from crisis to crisis. Now she's planning to move the tribe to higher ground, restore the fishery, and diversify its economy.

April 13, 2020

Methane Levels Reach an All-Time High

A preliminary estimate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that levels of atmospheric methane, a gas that is roughly 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, have hit an all-time high this year. The findings pose a major challenge to international climate goals.

Easter Storms Sweep South, Killing At Least 19 People

Tornadoes and heavy rain swept across the South late Sunday through early Monday, killing at least 19 people and damaging hundreds of homes from Louisiana into the Appalachian Mountains. Eleven people were killed in Mississippi, and six more died in northwest Georgia. Two other bodies were pulled from damaged homes in Arkansas and South Carolina.

April 10, 2020

Joe Biden Must Convince Climate Voters He’s a True Believer

The departure of Bernie Sanders—and his progressive climate plan—from the presidential race has left hardcore global warming activists in mourning. And with Joe Biden all but set to receive the Democratic nomination, some still wonder where the former vice president stands on climate change, worrying he may be too close to the fossil fuel industry.

Cities Are Flouting Flood Rules. The Cost: $1 Billion

It's a simple rule, designed to protect both homeowners and taxpayers: If you want publicly subsidized flood insurance, you can't build a home that's likely to flood. But local governments around the country, which are responsible for enforcing the rule, have flouted the requirements, accounting for as many as a quarter-million insurance policies in violation, The New York Times reports.

Tentative Deal Would Slash Global Oil Production by 10 Percent

Oil-rich nations on Thursday cut a tentative deal to reduce production by 10 million barrels a day, cooling a trade war between Russia and Saudi Arabia as prices at the pump fall amid the coronavirus outbreak. The deal represents a 10 percent decrease in global oil production for May and June.

Some of America’s Oil Refineries May Be on Brink of Shutting

As the petroleum industry reels from the coronavirus outbreak and an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, some U.S. refineries that have already cut production way back could soon be stopping altogether. A refinery owned by oil giant Marathon Petroleum Corp. will be the first to shut down because of the pandemic, Bloomberg reports, but it likely won't be the last.

Climate Change Activists Test Strict Singapore Protest Laws

In an ominous development, young people protesting the use of fossil fuels in Singapore are being summoned by police for questioning and having their possessions confiscated. The low-lying island nation will likely be heavily impacted by rising seas, but the country's economy is built on the fossil fuel industry.

April 9, 2020

U.S. Power Demand Falls to 16-Year Low as Coronavirus Cuts Use by Companies

Electricity demand in the U.S. plunged to a 16-year low last week as government travel and work restrictions aimed to slow the coronavirus spread forced offices to shut down and industrial activity to slow sharply, Reuters reports. Power output fell to 64,896 gigawatt hours during the week ending April 4, down 5.7 percent from the same week in 2019.

Cargill Wants to Pay U.S. Farmers to Capture Carbon

Starting this spring, a new fund led by global commodities trader Cargill will pay American farmers for capturing carbon in their field soils and cutting fertilizer runoff in exchange for credits in carbon-offset schemes, Reuters reports. The fund will then sell those credits to polluters such as cities and companies, including Cargill itself.

April 8, 2020

Trump Rollback of Obama-Era Mileage Standards Faces Challenges in Courts

President Trump's rollback of Obama-era mileage standards last week may prove to be one of the administration's most vulnerable environmental overhauls as opponents prepare to challenge it in court. Environmental and watchdog groups say the rule falls short of laws requiring the government to set ambitious fuel efficiency standards.

Lawmakers Announce Legislation to Fund Government Purchases of Oil

A group of lawmakers from oil producing states announced Tuesday that they are introducing legislation to help the oil industry, which is struggling amid plummeting prices due to coronavirus and an international price war. The bill would give the Energy Department $3 billion to purchase oil to be stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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