February 28, 2019
Rising seas have eroded coastal property values from Maine to Mississippi by billions of dollars over the past decade as buyers pay less for homes in neighborhoods where high-tide flooding is creeping in, a new report shows. This is a serious concern for cities, eating away at the property tax base that provides the main revenue source for flood walls and repairs.
Andrew Wheeler is moving toward likely confirmation as EPA administrator, but he will do so with less support than he had last year when he was confirmed as the agency's No. 2 official. Two moderate senators voted against advancing his nomination Wednesday, saying his record at EPA is lacking.
The latest push by President Trump and his staff to question established climate science has widened the rift between the White House and scientific facts, government agencies and leading figures in the president's own party.
Australia's greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, reaching their highest on a quarterly level since mid-2011, as soaring pollution from the liquefied natural gas export sector overwhelmed the ongoing drop from power plants.
One hundred global financial institutions have introduced policies restricting coal funding, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Coal companies are finding it harder to access capital markets for expansion, but China still lags.
French energy company Engie says it plans to exit 20 countries and focus its investments on renewable energy, infrastructure and energy services in the next three years. It plans to sell another 6 billion euros worth of assets, on top of the 14 billion euros of mainly coal-related assets it sold in the past three.
Republicans in Congress failed to support meaningful climate and environmental laws last year, while Democrats voted for environment and public health issues most of the time, according to the League of Conservation Voters' annual National Environmental Score Card. House Republicans had an average score of 8 percent compared to House Democrats' 90 percent.
Florida Bay, an expanse of water between the Everglades and the Florida Keys, is suffering from the effects of climate change and Florida's century long attempt to bend the environment to its will. It's creating an existential crisis.
February 27, 2019
The EPA's enforcement chief denied that the agency is soft on polluters as Congressional Democrats asked about the decline in civil penalties and site inspections. Susan Bodine told a House panel that her agency is encouraging companies to self-report violations.
The Tennessee Valley Authority says in a new review of its facilities that it needs to invest in renewables, including solar energy, to stay competitive. But some environmentalists are questioning the utility's commitment to the idea. TVA did recently decide to close to old coal-fired power plants despite pressure from top Republicans to keep them burning coal.
Senate Democrats are introducing a resolution urging Congress to act to combat climate change that supporters say will focus on three things: that climate change is real, that it is driven by human activity, and that the U.S., especially Congress and the administration, must take action to address it.
The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau says a Texas-based company that owns the lion's share of residential solar in Puerto Rico has received hundreds of consumer complaints about not delivering on promises. It says the company, Sunnova Energy, is running a virtual solar monopoly that could hamper the island's transformation of its energy sector.
Dominion Energy says it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after a lower court declined to reconsider a ruling that would have allowed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests. Dominion also said it is looking at "legislative and administrative options" to allow the project to move forward.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has taken no public action to stop the retirements of coal and nuclear power plants, despite the Trump administration claiming a year ago that it's an emergency that threatens the power grid. Regional grid operators say there is no crisis.
A crack along part of the Brunt ice shelf in Antarctica is spreading and set to intersect with another fissure that had been stable for 35 years but is now accelerating. NASA says it could destabilize the ice shelf.
Costa Rica has an economy-wide plan to decarbonize by 2050. The country is aiming for net zero emissions, meaning it would produce no more emissions that it can offset through other initiatives, such as expanding its forests.
February 26, 2019
Confidence that human activities have been raising the global temperature at Earth's surface is at a "five-sigma" level, a statistical gauge meaning there is only a one-in-a-million chance that the signal would appear if there was no warming, Reuters reports.
A California judge has approved a $120 million settlement over the nation's largest-known natural gas leak, at Aliso Canyon, despite criticism from environmentalists. The deal calls for Southern California Gas to pay $26.5 million toward technology to capture methane from cow manure.
In a new study in Nature Climate Change, researchers show how 18 developed countries that are shifting to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels are making progress in reducing CO2 emissions. Better policies make a difference. These countries are also using energy more efficiently.
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would subsidize the state's nuclear power plants to keep them from closing as a way to address climate change. Environmental advocates want any subsidy proposal to include boosting renewable energy sources.
Hundreds of young climate activists marched on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Washington office and 42 were arrested by police, according to the Sunrise Movement, which organized the event. The activists tried, unsuccessfully, to talk to McConnell about the Green New Deal.
As the extreme weather that comes with climate change becomes more common, people aren't talking about it as much—and that could make them less motivated to take steps to fight global warming, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that analyzed social media posts between 2014 and 2016.
Europe's consensus in favor of curbing greenhouse gas emissions may be weakened by right-wing populists who question science, according a report by Adelphi, a Berlin-based think tank. The analysis underscores a challenge climate advocates face entering European Union elections in May.
February 25, 2019
The International Maritime Organization inched forward on its promises to ban the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic and reduce black carbon emissions from ships. Environmental organizations welcomed the progress but noted that much work still must be done.
Petrochemical and plastics manufacturing is spreading along the upper reaches of the Ohio River, fueled by a natural gas boom brought on by hydraulic fracturing. But at what cost to health and climate? Greenhouse gas emissions from one plant alone would wipe out all the reductions in carbon dioxide that nearby Pittsburg is planning to achieve by 2030.
Exxon Mobil Corp is trying to block an investor proposal that calls on the world's largest publicly traded oil company to set targets for lowering its greenhouse gas emissions, two of the investor groups say.
Democratic leaders in Congress have asked the EPA's office of inspector general to investigate the conduct of Bill Wehrum, the top air policy official at the agency, for potential ethics violations involving meetings with former clients from industries affected by air quality regulations. The Washington Post looks at some of those interactions.
The White House plans to create an ad hoc group to reassess the government's analysis of climate science and counter conclusions that the continued burning of fossil fuels is harming the planet, according to three senior administration officials.
Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has formally disbanded the task force formed by his predecessor to guide the state's response to global warming. He also revoked a 2017 order that established a state climate change strategy.
Stratocumulus clouds, which hover low in the sky and create vast decks of cloud cover, reflect lots of solar radiation back into space. A new study suggests that extreme levels of CO2 could cause them to disappear.