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Critics Challenge “Fundamental Flaws” in Energy Department LNG Export Study Draft

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 18:37
Read time: 5 mins

The Department of Energy (DOE) missed the mark in its newly published draft Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) study, ignoring economic costs associated with climate change and the growth of the renewable energy industry, dozens of national and grassroots environmental groups said in public comments filed with the DOE on Friday.

In June, the DOE published a draft study that predicted expanding LNG exports worldwide could double American natural gas prices by 2040 — but that would carry relatively limited costs to the overall economy.

Tags: Department of EnergyEnergy DepartmentNERA Economic Consultingclimate changeLNG ExportsLiquefied Natural Gasfree trade agreementnon-free trade agreementpeer review
Categories: News

Trump Administration to Halt Clean Car Standards, Revoke California's Right to Regulate

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 16:45
Read time: 7 mins

The Trump administration will announce plans this week to revoke California’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles, according to inside sources quoted by Bloomberg.

This directly contradicts comments made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) air chief, William Wehrum, who said in January that the agency had “no interest whatsoever in withdrawing CA's authority to regulate.”

Tags: koch vs cleancaliforniaclean carsauto allianceTrumpAndrew Wheelerbill wehrum
Categories: News

Mapped: Whistleblower Accuses Nine Organisations of Colluding over Hard Brexit

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 15:15
Read time: 6 mins55 Tufton Street network

Nine right-wing organisations including think tanks pushing disinformation about climate change have been accused of mounting a coordinated campaign to push for a hard Brexit, according to court documents.

Whistleblower Shahmir Sanni, formerly of youth campaign group BeLeave, claims that think tanks and campaign groups held regular meeting at 55 Tufton Street — an office close to Westminster and home to the climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation — to “agree on a single set of right-wing talking points” and “securing more exposure to the public”.

Some of the topics discussed allegedly included “new policy announcement by the Labour Party, developments in the Brexit negotiations, or any other political news story”.

The accusations were made in documents from an employment tribunal setting out Sanni’s case  against pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which he has accused of unfair dismissal after he spoke out about illegal behaviour at Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit campaign group.

Tags: 55 Tufton Streetclimate science deniersbrexit climate deniersGlobal Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)institute for economic affairsLeave Means LeaveBrexit CentralTaxPayers' AllianceCentre for Policy StudiesMatthew Elliott
Categories: News

Who Needs Science Advice Anyway? Governments, for One

Sat, 07/21/2018 - 13:14
Read time: 6 minsMolly Shoichet, former chief scientist of OntarioBy Jim Woodgett, University of Toronto

There has been much consternation within the Ontario research community since Premier Doug Ford summarily dismissed the province’s first chief scientist, Molly Shoichet, after she’d been in the job for only six months.

The new government, elected on a populist wave in June, quickly fired the esteemed scientist — widely lauded for her biomedical engineering expertise and skill at communicating science — only a few days after being sworn in. Yet the new government has promised to appoint a replacement.

The move raises the question: What is the role of a “chief scientist” within government?

Tags: National Science AdvisorObama administrationTrump AdministrationGovernment of Ontario
Categories: News

The Big Apple Loses to Big Oil as Judge Dismisses Climate Liability Suit

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 19:25
Read time: 4 minsFlooded MTA train in New York after Hurricane Sandy

A federal judge ruled on Thursday in favor of a motion by five big oil companies to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by New York City, which demanded they pay the costs of adapting the city's infrastructure to climate changeThe New York Times reported.

The ruling comes nearly a month after a federal judge in San Francisco dismissed a similar case brought by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco.

Tags: climate liabilitynew york cityChevron (NYSE: CVX)ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)conocophillipsbpRoyal Dutch Shell
Categories: News

Antarctic Melt Accelerates Sea Level Rise—and the Likelihood of Climate Migration

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 15:49
Read time: 6 minsWest Antarctica ice shelf loss in 2012

By Martin Bush. Reposted with permission from

While renewable energy is on a roll — setting records in Europe over the last few months, and racking up impressive numbers in capacity buildout in 2017, it’s easy to forget what is happening behind the scenes.

Extreme weather gets all the headlines: the wildfires in Canada and Sweden, the flooding in Japan, the heatwaves in Canada and the U.S. But what are called the slow onset climate change events are inexorably moving forward.

Tags: climate migrantssea level riseisland nationsAntarcticaantarctic warming
Categories: News

Oil Industry Plans to Keep Workers Safe—by Firing Them and Having Robots Do Their Jobs

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:48
Read time: 8 minsDeepwater Horizon oil rig on fire in Gulf of Mexico

The oil and gas industry is finally acknowledging how dangerous employment can be for its workers after years of touting the sector as a beacon of worker safety. This sudden honesty about the dangers of working in the oil patch coincides with the industry’s new solution to greatly improve the safety of those workers — which is to fire them and replace them with robots.

Tags: oil industryautomationjob lossesSafetyfrackingColumbia University Center on Global Energy PolicyJason Bordoff
Categories: News

Fossil Fuel Industry Outspent Environmentalists and Renewables by 10:1 on Climate Lobbying, New Study Finds

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 01:37
Read time: 3 minsPowerShift rally protesters hold signs against fossil fuel lobbying

Industry sectors based on fossil fuels significantly outspent environmental groups and renewable energy companies on climate change lobbying, new research has found.

In a study published today in the journal Climatic Change, Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle shows that between 2000 and 2016, lobbyists spent more than $2 billion trying to influence climate legislation in the U.S. Congress.

Tags: lobbyingcorporate lobbyingfossil fuel industryus climate legislationWaxman-Markey
Categories: News

Years After EPA Cited Health Risks From Chemical Plant, Is Enough Being Done to Protect its Louisiana Neighbors?

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 20:56
Read time: 10 minsDenka Performance Elastomer plant, located in LaPlace, Louisiana.

What should be done about a chemical plant in Louisiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish that releases chloroprene — a chemical so toxic that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined nearby residents face the highest risk in the country of developing cancer from air pollution?

Tags: DenkaDuPontchloropreneair pollutionLouisianaConcerned Citizens of St. JohnLouisiana Environmental Action Network LEAN
Categories: News

Billionaire Mining Magnate Gina Rinehart Revealed As Key Donor to Australian Climate Science Denial Promoter Institute of Public Affairs

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 03:09
Read time: 5 mins

Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has been revealed as a key funder of the right wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) – a major pusher of climate science denial.

Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting Proprietary Ltd (HPPL), donated $2.3m to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2m in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales Supreme Court.

As part of a long-running legal dispute over the use of company funds, Gina Rinehart’s daughter Bianca had served a subpoena to access documents that would have shed light on the two donations from HPPL to the IPA.

The IPA is an influential right wing think tank with close ties to Australia’s governing Liberal Party.  IPA fellows regularly appear in the media. The payments suggest that more than a third of the IPA’s income in 2016 and 2017 was from HPPL – majority-owned privately by Gina Rinehart.

Tags: Institute of Public Affairsgina rinehartHancock Prospectinghppl
Categories: News

When Corporations Take Credit for Green Deeds, Their Lobbying May Tell Another Story

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 22:42
Read time: 6 minsScott Pruitt meeting with auto industry leaders

By Tom Lyon, University of Michigan and Magali (Maggie) Delmas, University of California, Los Angeles

Today most large companies like Exxon Mobil, Ford and GM issue slick reports extolling their efforts to conserve resources, use renewable energy or fund clean water supplies in developing countries. This emphasis on efforts to curb environmental harm while benefiting society is called corporate sustainability.

Once uncommon but now mainstream, this show of support for a greener and kinder business model might seem like a clear step forward. But many of these same companies are quietly using their political clout, often through industry trade associations, to block or reverse policies that would make the economy more sustainable. And because public policy raises the bar for entire industries, requiring that all businesses meet minimum standards, lobbying to block sound public policies can outweigh the positive impact from internal company initiatives.

Tags: auto alliancealliance of automobile manufacturersTrump AdministrationClean Power Plangreenwashingcorporate lobbying
Categories: News

Mexico's New Populist President Considers Foreign Pipeline Plans Despite Indigenous Protests

Sun, 07/15/2018 - 10:57
Read time: 12 minsAndrés Manuel López Obrador at a rally in Mexico in 2012

By Martha Pskowski and Steve Horn

Andrés Manuel López Obrador looked out at the crowd of reporters at a Mexico City Hilton Hotel the night of July 1. It was a moment that he had waited years for: his victory speech for the Mexican presidency.

To win in his third presidential campaign, López Obrador, a left-wing populist whose roots are in the oil-producing state of Tabasco, had to calm business leaders, who warned that foreign investment would flee the country if he took office. However, the candidate who once said he would overturn Mexico's 2013 reforms privatizing its energy sector — which opened the oil and gas industry to foreign investment and created a subsequent pipeline boom — struck a different tone on election night.

Tags: TransCanadafrackinghydraulic fracturingAndrés Manuel López ObradorMexicoSempra Energy
Categories: News

Fake Grassroots Campaigns Deserve Uprooting

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 13:13
Read time: 4 minsPatch of astroturf on real grass

AstroTurf looks and feels like grass—in an all-too-perfect way. But it’s not grass.

Now the well-known artificial turf’s brand name has taken on a new meaning, referring to purported “grassroots” efforts that are actually funded and supported by industry and political entities.

Tags: PhillipMorrisclimate science denialHeartland Instituteastroturfingoregon petitionethical oil
Categories: News

Exxon Leaving ALEC: Important But Insufficient Step in Addressing Company's History of Climate Science Denial, Campaigners Say

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 12:08
Read time: 3 minsExxon Mobil forecourt

ExxonMobil has announced it will leave the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate lobby group known for its attempts to block climate action. Campaigners cautiously welcomed the decision, though said Exxon had to do more to prove it was committed to addressing climate change.

Exxon’s decision comes after opposition to ALEC’s attempt last December to get the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon its position that climate change proposes a risk to human health.

Tags: ExxonMobilAmerican Legislative Exchange Council ALECKoch brothersenvironmental defence fundUnion of Concerned Scientists
Categories: News

Still No Evacuation Plan for Vulnerable Residents at End of Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 21:38
Read time: 6 minsEthel M. Harris, a long-time resident of St. James, Louisiana

Sharon Lavigne and Geraldine Mayho took me to meet some of the most vulnerable members of their community, handicapped residents of St. James, Louisiana, who live near a terminal where the Bayou Bridge pipeline will end. “These people have no way of getting out if there is a spill or explosion,” Lavigne told me. She explained with only one road in and out of the area, if the pipeline fails or an industrial accident occurs, “we are all trapped back here.” 

Tags: Bayou Bridge pipelineSt. James ParishEnergy Transfer Partnersenvironmental racismLouisiana Department of Natural ResourcesLouisiana
Categories: News

From Donald Trump to Theresa May: How a US-UK Network Pushes Climate Science Denial and Lobbies for a Hard Brexit — Mapped

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 05:01
Read time: 7 minsNetwork map of US-UK climate science deniers

Donald Trump has finally come to the UK, 20 months after he won the election to make him the 45th President of the United States.

During that time, a trans-Atlantic network of business people, think tank analysts, and lobbyists have grown in influence — pushing a free market ideology and spreading climate science denial on both sides of the Atlantic.

DeSmog UK first mapped the network when Trump was sworn into office in January 2016. Things have moved on a bit since then.

Tags: Donald TrumpTheresa MayDominic RaabAndrew Wheeler55 Tufton StreetGlobal Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)Boris JohnsonMichael Goveliam foxMichael HintzeLegatum InstituteShanker Singhamheritage foundationcompetitive enterprise instituteHeartland Institutecato institute
Categories: News

Big Oil’s 'Explore Offshore' Propaganda Is Corporate Ventriloquism

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 17:55
Read time: 4 minsOffshore oil rig

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup

A couple of weeks ago, Reuters reported on a new effort by the American Petroleum Institute: Explore Offshore. Its goal is “to convince Hispanic and black communities to support the Trump administration’s proposed expansion of offshore drilling.”

Per Reuters, a key part of the American Petroleum Institute's (API) effort to convince minority communities to support a product that disproportionately hurts them is through a series of op-eds. Media Matters took a look at the pieces that have been published so far, and surprise! They’re misleading. They can’t even get the API talking points (which are going to be biased) right, as one API stat about economic benefits of drilling was exaggerated “by a factor of 20.”

Tags: American Petroleum Instituteoffshore drillingTrump Administrationastroturfingminority communities
Categories: News

3 Reasons the Deadly Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Disaster Could Happen Again

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:57
Read time: 10 minsOil trains burning in Lac-Megantic, Quebec

In the five years since the oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, claimed 47 lives, the world has learned much about the risks that hauling oil by rail poses. One of the clearest lessons is how little has been done to address those risks, which means that deadly event could easily happen again.

Tags: Lac-Meganticbakken bomb trainsoil trainsTrump AdministrationRail IndustryDOT-111 rail carsBakken oil
Categories: News

What #ShellKnew and How it was Used to Stall International Climate Change Negotiations

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 23:01
Read time: 7 mins

Shell, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has gained privileged access to the UN Climate negotiations while pushing the same unworkable solutions for almost 20 years, internal company documents reveal.

DeSmog UK has previously reported on a tranche of documents first unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent published on Climate Files, that reveal Shell knew about the causes and impacts of climate change since at least the 1980s.

Analysis of these documents, combined with new sources freshly uncovered by DeSmog UK, shows that while Shell’s understand of the science developed, its proposed solution to the problem has remained remarkably static.

Tags: #ShellKnewclimate changeshellClimate Change negotiationsUNFCCCParis Climate Change AgreementIPIECAICCWBCSD
Categories: News

Court Reaffirms Bayou Bridge Pipeline OK to Cut Through America’s Largest River Swamp

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 21:00
Read time: 6 minsJulie Dermansky standing on a cypress tree stump in the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana

A day before a federal court reaffirmed Bayou Bridge LLC could keep building an oil pipeline through Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin, I stood on a cypress tree stump there, viewing the destroyed trees which pipeline opponents were trying to save. 

On both sides of the Bayou Bridge pipeline’s right-of-way, a path of shredded trees cut through the massive river swamp — the nation’s largest — home to abundant wildlife and fishing grounds for wild crawfish. 

Tags: Bayou Bridge pipelineEnergy Transfer PartnersAtchafalaya BasinkeeperLouisianaDakota Access PipelineU.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Categories: News