August 27, 2018

August 24, 2018

Hawaii's Power System Makes It More Vulnerable to Hurricane Lane

Hawaii still burns oil to generate most of its electric power and relies on seaborne shipments. The unusual energy system makes the state particularly vulnerable during the rare hurricane that reaches it. Reuters reports that Hurricane Lane — still a powerful storm Friday morning — is moving slowly and causing torrential downpours and catastrophic flooding.

TVA Considering Closing Older Coal Plants

The Tennessee Valley Authority's Board of Directors announced this week that it would review its generation fleet and consider shutting down two of its six remaining coal plants. The head of the government-owned utility, which has a mandate to provide electricity at the lowest feasible cost, said TVA would review whether all of its power plants were performing economically.

Trump Plan Would Put a Much Lower Cost on Carbon Emissions

In its proposal to roll back climate rules, the Trump administration says each ton of carbon dioxide emitted by a car or coal plant in 2020 would cause only $1 to $7 in economic damage — much lower than the previous estimate of roughly $50. That change would make a big difference for the cost-benefit analyses that agencies will conduct for the new rules.

Democratic National Committee Under Pressure to End Fossil Fuel Donations

A group including environmentalists and supporters of Bernie Sanders is urging the DNC to undo its decision to allow donations from the fossil fuel industry. The group issued a letter saying it is "alarmed and dismayed" by the party's decisions to reverse a prior stance that it would not accept money from fossil fuel corporate political action committees.

Climate Change Has Already Hit Home Prices, Particularly in Small Towns

The New Jersey town of Ocean City is one of many places along the Atlantic Coast feeling the pain from dropping home prices tied to sea-level rise. Increased tidal flooding has erased $14.1 billion in home values across eight states, with some of the greatest percentage changes happening in small towns, according to a First Street Foundation report.

August 23, 2018

Climate Change Is Making Trees Bigger, but Weaker

Rising global temperatures are leading to longer growing seasons for trees, which helps them grow faster at the same time that heat and air pollution are making wood weaker, according to a new study. That may mean trees break more easily and won't soak up greenhouses gases as well as before.

Air Pollution Is Shortening Your Life

Air pollution is shortening your life expectancy by months or even years, depending on where you live, according to a new study. Worldwide, outdoor air pollution reduces the average life expectancy by a year. The effect is larger in some countries, with an average Egyptian's life span reduced by 1.9 years.

August 22, 2018

How Energy Companies Are Turning the Law Against Protesters

In at least 31 states, lawmakers and governors have proposed recent bills and orders that target protests, particularly opposition to pipelines. Activists say their First Amendment rights are under assault. Nicholas Kusnetz looks at the impact of new laws, the involvement of energy companies and recent arrests.

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