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Climate Emissions From Gulf Coast’s New Petrochemical, Oil and Gas Projects Same as 29 New Coal Power Plants

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 22:02
Read time: 5 minsPetrochemical plant in the Houston Ship Canal

In the last six years, officials in Texas and Louisiana issued permits allowing 74 petrochemical, oil, and gas projects to pump as much climate-warming pollution into the atmosphere as running 29 coal-fired power plants around the clock, according to numbers released September 26 by the nonprofit watchdog Environmental Integrity Project.

And construction appears to be speeding up, with over 40 percent of those projects permitted between 2016 and mid-2018. The 31 most recent projects combined will add 50 million tons of greenhouse gases — equal to 11 new coal-fired power plants — to the world’s atmosphere in a year, the watchdog adds.

Tags: oilgaspetrochemicalFlorenceHurricanespillsclimate changeinfrastructuregreenhouse gasesMarcellus Shale basinAppalachia Development GroupNatural Gas Liquids
Categories: News

'Mud and Confusion': Oil and Gas Industry Goes On Defense as Studies Show Offshore Exploration Could Kill Zooplankton

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 03:59
Read time: 5 minsOil rig in Santa Barbara Channel

“We knew it was going to cause a stir,” said Australian marine scientist Dr. Robert McCauley.

McCauley was referring to the results of an experiment testing the impacts of a common oil and gas industry technique in waters off southern Australia, which were reported in a scientific paper in June 2017.

The world’s powerful offshore oil and gas industry has used seismic surveys for decades as the primary way to locate fossil fuels under the ocean floor.

Tags: Robert McCauleyAmerican Petroleum InstituteInternational Association of Geophysical ContractorsIAGCAPIzooplanktonseismic
Categories: News

KXL Pipeline Developer Plans to Start Construction in 2019

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 00:16
Read time: 4 minsWoman holding a protest sign against Keystone XL reading 'Stop the pipeline'

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Construction on the long-delayed Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline is planned for 2019, developer TransCanada said Monday.

“Keystone XL has undergone years of extensive environmental review by federal and state regulators,” TransCanada spokesman Matthew John told Omaha World-Herald. “All of these evaluations show that Keystone XL can be built safely and with minimal impact to the environment.”

Tags: Keystone XLTransCanadaTrump AdministrationStanding RockBakken
Categories: News

Hard-Brexit Lobbyists Demand UK Roll-Back Environmental Standards to Strike Free Trade Deals with India, China and US

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 14:18
Read time: 6 minsBrexit

Hardline Brexiters are calling on the UK government to cut EU environmental regulations to secure free-trade deals with the US, China and India after Brexit. Environmental NGOs said the plans were not credible if the UK was to fulfil its own environmental commitments, warning that the Brexit vote was not a mandate to lower standards.

The alternative Brexit plan, which is backed by former Brexit secretary David Davis and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and was published today by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), claims that if the UK continues to strengthen its regulatory environment, it will lead to “wealth destruction” and will “push people into poverty”.

The report slams the EU as saddling the UK with regulations that are “damaging to growth” and singles out environmental protection rules as one of the areas where EU regulation is “moving in an anti-competitive direction”.

Tags: Institute Economic Affairs (IEA)IEAMark LittlewoodShanker Singhambrexit climate deniers
Categories: News

Relaxed Environmental Regulations Heighten Risk During Natural Disasters

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:35
Read time: 6 minsHurricane flooded homeBy Brian J. Gerber and Melanie Gall, Arizona State University

Heavy rains following Hurricane Florence have raised concerns over the release of toxic materials. Ash from coal-fired power plants stored at a landfill has spilled out and the state of North Carolina has said dozens of sites have released hog waste or are at risk of doing so.

These types of events not only highlight the potential of harm to humans and the environment due to this type of uncontrolled pollution, but also the linkage between environmental regulations and the risks communities face when natural disasters occur.

Tags: HurricaneHurricane Florencenatural disastersTrump Administrationcoal ash
Categories: News

Top EPA Watchdog Since 2010 Announces Departure

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 12:15
Read time: 3 minsArthur Elkins EPA Inspector General

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) internal watchdog organization announced plans to leave for a job outside the federal government Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

Arthur A. Elkins Jr., who has held the position of Inspector General since he was appointed by former president Barack Obama in 2010, will spend his last day at the agency October 12, The Hill reported.

Tags: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyTrump AdministrationAndrew WheelerScott PruittEPA Inspector General
Categories: News

The Fracking Industry’s Water Nightmare

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:48
Read time: 7 minsSign reading "hot water"

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has clearly documented the multiple risks — despite repeated dismissals from the oil and gas industry — that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) poses to drinking water supplies. However, the tables may be turning: Water itself now poses a risk to the already failing financial model of the American fracking industry, and that is something the industry won’t be able to ignore.

Tags: fracking wastewaterInjection Wellsfracking financesfrackingHarold HammTrump Administration
Categories: News

Charitable Donor Pulls Funding for Climate Science Denying Global Warming Policy Foundation

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 08:28
Read time: 2 minsNigel Lawson

Climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has apparently been left with a hole in its finances after a major donor did not renew its funding.

The Atkin Charitable Foundation had given the GWPF £20,000 each year between 2012 and 2016. But the foundation pulled its funding in 2017, its latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission show.

Tags: Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)Nigel LawsonBoris JohnsonEdward Atkin
Categories: News

Trump Admin Accelerates Push to Export Fracking to Argentina

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 16:00
Read time: 7 minsRick Perry and energy ministers at G20 Summit in Argentina

By Joseph Siess

In June, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry traveled to Bariloche, Argentina, for a G20 Summit where he expressed his desire to help Argentina become more like Texas, his home state.

“The technology that has allowed for the shale gas revolution in America, we want to make available to Argentina,” Perry said.

At the summit, which was intended to focus on a transition to cleaner energy, Perry instead pledged the U.S. Department of Energy’s support in helping Argentina exploit its vast fossil fuel resources. Namely by connecting the nation with U.S. companies that know how to extract shale oil and gas via hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

But DOE isn’t the only part of the U.S. government facilitating fracking in Argentina. Under the Trump administration, the Departments of Interior and State — working closely with Pennsylvania State University — have been involved in multiple workshops focused on developing shale oil and gas in the South American nation.   

Tags: Vaca Muerta ShaleRick PerryArgentinashale gasfrackingTrump Administration
Categories: News

Climate Damages and Deception: Panel Reviews California Legal Actions Against Fossil Fuel Industry

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 22:43
Read time: 5 mins

By Kaya Axelsson

In San Francisco this week, Fossil Free California hosted a panel discussion on the most recent municipal litigation against the fossil fuel industry.

Last year, San Francisco and Oakland sued the world’s five largest investor-owned fossil fuel producers over predicted climate change costs to these cities.

Tags: californiaclimate liability
Categories: News

Pipeline that Exploded in Pennsylvania Part of Push to Build Fracking-Reliant Petrochemical Network

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 00:32
Read time: 5 mins

Just before dawn Monday morning, Chuck Belczyk thought a jet had crashed near his home roughly 25 miles outside Pittsburgh – until he heard the sound of hissing gas.

“And that’s when it all hit us what was happening,” Belczyk told NPR’s State Impact. “You knew the pipeline went.”

Tags: plasticspetrochemicalschemicalsfrackingMarcellusexplosionRevolutionEnergy Transfer Partners
Categories: News

Buried, Altered, Silenced: 4 Ways Government Climate Information Has Changed Since Trump Took Office

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 21:14
Read time: 5 mins

By Morgan Currie, Stanford University and Britt S. Paris, University of California, Los Angeles

After Donald Trump won the presidential election, hundreds of volunteers around the U.S. came together to “rescue” federal data on climate change, thought to be at risk under the new administration. “Guerilla archivists,” including ourselves, gathered to archive federal websites and preserve scientific data.

But what has happened since? Did the data vanish?

Tags: Donald Trump
Categories: News

Report: 90 Percent of World’s Largest 200 Industrial Firms Are Using Trade Associations to Oppose Climate Policy

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 16:00
Read time: 7 minsBig companies are using trade associations to oppose climate action

Nearly all of the world’s largest 200 industrial companies have directly or indirectly opposed climate policy since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed three years ago, according to new research.  

Analysis by InfluenceMap, a UK-based think tank, examined the lobbying activities of 200 of the world’s biggest companies and 75 of the most powerful trade groups and the links between them since December 2015.

It found that 30 percent of all companies analysed have directly lobbied against climate policy in the last three years and that 90 percent of them retain membership to trade associations which have actively opposed climate policy around the world.  

Tags: InfluenceMapbpshell
Categories: News

Declining Oil and Rise in Renewables Opens Up Possibility for North Sea Transition

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 09:10
Read time: 5 mins

Record-breaking offshore developments and decommissioning infrastructure have sent strong signals that the North Sea is getting ready for a genuine transition away from fossil fuels.

This week saw Shetland port Dales Voe named as the best ultra deep-water port for decommissioning oil rigs and other large infrastructure projects by accountants Ernst and Young. Operated by Lerwick Port Authority, Dales Voe was previously extended to allow defunct oil rigs to be moved for dismantling.

Tags: North SeaoilNorth Sea DecommissioningScotlandBrexit
Categories: News

The 19th-Century Tumult Over Climate Change – And Why It Matters Today

Tue, 09/11/2018 - 02:21
Read time: 8 mins

By Deborah Coen, Yale University

Back in the 19th century, when tractors were still pulled by horses and the word “computer” meant a person hired to carry out tedious calculations, climate science made front-page news.

One European forester remarked in 1901 that few questions had “been debated and addressed from so many sides and so relentlessly” as that of the climatic effect of deforestation. Recalling this crowded, noisy and wide-ranging conflict – a “hurly-burly” over the “climate question,” as the scientist Eduard Brückner called it at the time – reminds us that climate science has not always been the elite, well-mannered pursuit that it is today.

Tags: climate science
Categories: News

Avenue Capital’s Plans to Revive West’s Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant Spark Protests from Navajo Nation Members

Mon, 09/10/2018 - 23:48
Read time: 6 mins

Protesters arrived outside the offices of a private equity firm run by a billionaire closely tied to the Clinton family on Monday, urging the company to abandon plans to keep a 44 year-old coal fired power plant on tribal lands running five years past its scheduled shut-down.

Tags: coalNavajo Generating StationprotestsAvenue Capital Groupblack mesaBig Mountain
Categories: News

Residents of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Join Climate Movement In Call For Environmental Justice

Mon, 09/10/2018 - 19:23
Read time: 7 mins

On May 8,  “Rise for Climate” events took place in 95 countries around the world, pressing leaders to take action on climate change and other environmental issues, a week before a global summit on climate change in San Francisco.

Thousands turned out at over 800 actions spearheaded by, an environmental advocacy group,

Alaina Boyett, a member of 350 New Orleans, a local affiliate of, organized two events dubbed “Rise For Cancer Alley.”  Over 100 people were in attendance, which pleased Boyett. “Today Cancer Alley residents got a chance to tell their stories to a larger audience,” she told me, which was her goal. “I wanted to amplify the voices of people who often don’t feel they are being listened to.” 

Tags: cancer alleyLouisianaBayou Bridge pipeline
Categories: News

How Supreme Court Pick Brett Kavanaugh Could Return US Policy to the Era of Robber Barons

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 18:39
Read time: 8 minsBrett Kavanaugh

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearings get under way, understanding his appointment’s potential impacts for corporate regulation and the climate means looking back all the way to 1890.

That was when a nearly 50-year stretch known to legal historians as the “Lochner era” kicked off — a time better known in U.S. history as the age of the robber barons.

Tags: Brett KavanaughSupreme CourtU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyClean Power PlanTrump AdministrationKoch brothersFederalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
Categories: News

South Portland's Ban on Tar Sands Oil Survives Court Challenge

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 16:38
Read time: 7 minsLocation of proposed pollution control towers in South Portland Maine's harbor

The City of South Portland, Maine, won a major legal victory at the end of August when a federal judge ruled that the city’s effective ban on tar sands oil did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The decision, like a similar one in Portland, Oregon, has potentially widespread implications for other communities fighting fossil fuel infrastructure projects within their borders.

Tags: South Portland Clear Skies OrdinanceMainealberta tar sandsoil-by-railOregon
Categories: News

Scott Pruitt’s Unjustified Personal Security Cost Taxpayers Over $3.5 million: EPA Audit

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 22:13
Read time: 4 minsScott Pruitt

You, the American taxpayer, spent over $3.5 million providing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt with an unprecedented round-the-clock security detail — and that security force may have been operating both outside of the law and without justification.

That’s the message the EPA’s internal watchdog has for American taxpayers after concluding an audit of the environmental agency's security protocols from September 2016 to May 2018.

Tags: Environmental Protection AgencysecurityauditOffice of the Inspector GeneralTrump AdministrationScott PruittU.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Categories: News