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Bayou Bridge Protesters Arrested as Louisiana Advances Bill Toughening Penalties for Pipeline Protests

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 23:29
Protester chained to a barrel in the road

On Thursday, April 5, opponents of the Bayou Bridge pipeline attempted to shut down its construction by blocking an industrial supply company’s facility in Iowa, Louisiana, just outside of Lake Charles on the same day a bill spelling out harsher penalties for pipeline protesters was advanced to committee during the Louisiana legislative session. 

Tags: Louisianapipeline protestAmerican Legislative Exchange Council ALECBayou Bridge pipelineEnergy Transfer Partners
Categories: News

Climate Science Deniers Spring to Pruitt's Defense as Ethics Concerns, Calls for Resignation Mount

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 23:36

Calls for Trump's climate-science denying Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to resign are mounting, as the New York Times today published a detailed look at four high-ranking EPA staffers who were forced out of their jobs after objecting to Pruitt's spending habits and management of the agency.

Inside EPA, Pruitt lost the support of many long-time Trump associates, like Kevin Chmielewski, who pushed back against Pruitt's attempt to use taxpayer money on unlimited access to a private jet at a stunning $100,000 a month and $70,000 for two desks for Pruitt and his security team, one of which was to be “bulletproof.” Chmielewski was placed on unpaid administrative leave after objecting to Pruitt's plans for that luxury spending spree on the taxpayers dime.

Tags: Scott PruittEPATrumpdenierscompetitive enterprise instituteheritage foundationHeartland Institute
Categories: News

Here is what #ShellKnew about Climate Change in the 1980s

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 06:15
AttachmentSize Image icon rise in sea temp.JPG9.71 KB Image icon acidification of sea.JPG9.79 KB Image icon Agriculture.JPG8.79 KB

Shell knew climate change was going to be big, was going to be bad, and that its products were responsible all the way back in the 1980s, a tranche of new documents reveal.

Documents unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent, published today on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center, show intense interest in climate change internally at Shell.

Tags: Royal Dutch Shell#ShellKnew
Categories: News

New Internal Shell Oil Climate Documents Revealed

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 05:04

By the Climate Investigations Center

Newly unearthed internal documents from Shell Oil Company provide new insights into what they knew about climate change and when they knew it.

Documents unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent are being published today on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center.  These documents date back to 1988 and show intense interest in climate change internally at Shell.

A “CONFIDENTIAL” 1988 document titled, “The Greenhouse Effect”, details Shell’s extensive knowledge of climate change impacts and implications. It also reveals an internal Shell climate science program dating back to 1981, well before the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was founded.

The document includes this concise note of precaution,

“However, by the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation.” (Link)

Tags: Shell Oil Company#ShellKnewclimate liabilityDe Correspondent
Categories: News

Pruitt, Auto Industry, and Climate Deniers Retreat Behind Closed Doors to Weaken Fuel Efficiency Targets

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:09
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announcing rollback of Obama fuel efficiency standards

On Tuesday, April 3, surrounded by representatives of the auto industry and conservative climate deniers, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt formally announced his decision to rewrite greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light duty trucks, undercutting one of the Obama administration’s most effective climate programs.

From the last-minute, controversial venue change to the hypocritical messaging of its attendees, the announcement reflected the new normal in Trump's Washington: the placement of industry influence and climate science denial front and center.

Tags: Scott Pruittautoscafe standardsauto alliancemyron ebellcompetitive enterprise instituteUS Environmental Protection AgencyNational Automobile Dealers Association
Categories: News

Shell Threatened with Court Unless it Takes Serious Climate Action

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 10:56

Campaigners are threatening to take oil company Shell to court in the Netherlands unless it takes major climate action.

Friends of the Earth Netherlands sent a formal letter (see below) to the company today, outlining the steps the campaigners believe Shell must take to bring its business plan in line with the global climate goals as set out in the Paris Agreement.

The legal action was started after Shell announced it planned to continue to put around 95 percent of its investments into extracting more oil and gas. It expects to invest only around five percent in sustainable energy.

Tags: Royal Dutch ShellFriends of the EarthShell Knew
Categories: News

UN Accused of Promoting 'Greenwash' by Supporting Shell's Solution to Climate Change

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 08:02
Oil in the Niger Delta

The UN has been called out for acting as a mouthpiece for oil giant Shell in a tweet campaigners have slammed as evidence of the conflict of interest inside the international organisation overseeing global climate policy.

UN Climate, previously known as the UNFCCC, was accused of “greenwashing” after it promoted the oil giant’s vision for how the world can move away from fossil fuels and oil.

In its latest “Sky” scenario, Shell set out its vision on how to limit the global temperature rise to “well below two degrees” compared with 1990 level.

In a series of tweets, UN Climate secretariat, which facilitates global climate negotiations between countries, directly linked and quoted from Shell’s report.

Tags: UNFCCCshellNiger Delta
Categories: News

Why EPA’s U-turn on Auto Efficiency Rules Gives China the Upper Hand

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 22:55
Mustang tailpipe close-upBy Greg Dotson, University of Oregon

The Trump administration on Monday, April 2, took steps to ease pollution and efficiency rules for new passenger cars and trucks, giving automakers a reprieve from more stringent Obama-era standards. But in the process, the move could yield global leadership in the auto sector to the Chinese.

Tags: US Environmental Protection Agencychinaelectric vehiclesTrump AdministrationScott Pruitt
Categories: News

Auto Alliance Pushed Climate Denial to Get Trump Admin to Abandon Obama Fuel Efficiency Standards

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 19:21
Car getting refueled at the gas pump

The Trump administration officially announced Monday that it will scrap fuel economy and emissions targets for cars and light-duty trucks sold in the United States and set new weaker standards, effectively undermining one of the federal government’s most effective policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times anticipated late last week, the two agencies responsible for auto standards — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — both claimed that their internal reviews have found the Obama-era standards to be too strict, and that the agencies would go back to the drawing board to revise standards for model years 2022-2025. 

The weaker standards, expected to be revealed in coming months and reported to be well below the current targets of 54.5 miles per gallon (or roughly 35 miles per gallon in real-world driving conditions), will be celebrated as a victory for the automakers, which have been lobbying the Trump administration since the day after the presidential election and which used a major trade group to peddle climate science denial in support of the rollback.

Tags: auto allianceborg warnertony coxScott PruittNHTSATrump AdministrationUS Environmental Protection Agencyclimate science denialelectric vehicles
Categories: News

A Death in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Reinforces a Small Town’s Fears of Industry Impacts

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 17:00
Keith Hunter in St. James, Louisiana

Sixty-year-old Keith Hunter lived in St. James, Louisiana, for roughly 27 years, and during that time, he watched as the sugarcane farms gave way to oil storage tanks and as a railroad terminal was being built down the road, all visible from his front yard. Hunter was an outspoken critic of the industrialization of his neighborhood. And in a similar fashion as some of his neighbors, Hunter died on February 10 following a respiratory illness.

Tags: LouisianaLouisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ)St. James Parishcancer alleypetrochemicals
Categories: News

TigerSwan Employee Applied for Security License in Louisiana Without Disclosing Ties — After Firm’s Attempt Was Denied

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 16:24
Bayou Bridge pipeline protester Ann White Hat being arrested in Louisiana

The private security firm TigerSwan, known for its controversial military-style tactics against Dakota Access pipeline protesters, is appealing the decision to deny its application for a license to operate in the state of Louisiana, where Energy Transfer Partners is building the Bayou Bridge pipeline. In November, several environmental groups opposed to the Bayou Bridge pipeline attempted to intervene in this case, saying their members were particularly vulnerable to TigerSwan’s security and surveillance practices should it be allowed to operate in support of that oil pipeline, but today the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners denied this request.

However, during this process, it came to light that the state board denied another security license application from a TigerSwan employee who failed to disclose her employment with the firm after TigerSwan’s application was rejected.

Tags: TigerSwanDakota Access PipelineEnergy Transfer PartnersLouisianaBayou Bridge pipelineJames Spider Marks
Categories: News

How Canada Could Prevent Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and Save the Porcupine Caribou

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 15:15
Peter Mather porcupine caribou herd

In the mid-1970s, a young lawyer named Ian Waddell took a helicopter ride across the Crow Flats, in northern Yukon. He was accompanying Justice Thomas Berger on his visits to community after community — the so-called Berger Inquiry — to gain their input into a proposed gas pipeline from the Beaufort Sea to Alberta.

When they landed, Berger turned to him and, as Waddell recounts it, said, “You know, Ian, do you realize the magnificence of what we saw yesterday? It’s the last of North America — the eighth wonder of the world.”

That landscape the judge so admired is home to the Porcupine caribou herd, around 200,000 strong, which roam on the world’s longest land-mammal migration between Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. On the Canadian side of the border, two national parks, Ivvavik and Vuntut, protect much of the herd’s habitat.

But on the Alaska side of the border, the land and the herd that depends upon it have come under threat from oil and gas drilling after President Trump opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in his recent tax bill.

Tags: ANWRArctic National Wildlife RefugeDonald Trumpjustin trudeauPrudhoe BayIan WaddellPorcupine CaribouElizabeth MayRichard Cannings
Categories: News

Mapped: Cambridge Analytica’s Ties to the Fossil Fuel Industry

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 14:30
Network map

Revelations continue to emerge about Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has found itself embroiled in a scandal around data privacy and electoral manipulation.

Three whistleblowers have gone public in the Guardian and Observer to outline how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to influence the outcomes of the US presidential election and Brexit referendum.

DeSmog UK has previously mapped how the company ties to climate science denial through its Brexit and Trump connections. Now, Nafeez Ahmed over at Motherboard has outlined how Cambridge Analytica has ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Tags: cambridge analyticaBrexitDonald Trumprex tillersonExxonMobilbpRoyal Dutch ShellTotalStatoilPeabody Energy
Categories: News

Another Renewable Energy Basher and Koch Network Alum Joins Trump's Department of Energy

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 10:06
Technicians on top of a Department of Energy NREL wind turbine

Until February, Christine Harbin spent much of this decade fighting against state and federal clean energy initiatives for organizations with close ties to the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers. Now, however, she has joined the Trump administration as a senior adviser for external affairs in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, which deals primarily with the electricity grid.

Before joining a number of other Koch network alum in the Trump administration, Harbin served as vice president of external affairs at Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded group with nearly three dozen active state chapters pushing for conservative legislation at the state and national levels. She had worked for Americans for Prosperity since 2012.

Tags: christine harbincrissy harbinkoch vs cleanDepartment of Energyamericans for prosperity (AFP)American Legislative Exchange Council ALEC
Categories: News

‘We’re Talking Very Big Bucks’: New Bill Could Put Oil Companies on the Hook for Climate Change Costs

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 22:46
Fort McMurray wildfire

Oil companies have become some of the wealthiest organizations in history by producing a product that we now know is endangering the future of humanity.

Many of these companies have known about the effects of carbon dioxide for decades, yet while they adapted their own businesses to survive climate change, they actively undermined efforts to understand it.

Should Canadians be able to sue oil companies for that?

Tags: climate changefossil fuel companiesPeter Tabunsclimate lawsuitsMerchants of DoubtClimate Cover-up
Categories: News

Climate Science Deniers Have a New Hero and His Name Is Peter Ridd

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 21:36
Peter Ridd

Climate science deniers and conservative media have found themselves a new “free speech” hero — an academic who is suing his own university and thinks the multiple human threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are overblown.

Professor Peter Ridd might be a new name to some, but the marine geophysicist has a long association with groups pushing denial of the well-established links between human activity and dangerous climate change.

Outlets including Breitbart and Fox News have joined a steady flow of columns and interviews across Australia’s conservative media landscape covering Ridd’s case, sometimes handing over space to him in their column pages.

Each time, Ridd, of Australia's James Cook University, has been painted as a bastion of truth pushing back against the establishment. But how does that image hold up to scrutiny?

Tags: peter riddjames cook universityaimsaustralian institute of marine sciencecentre of excellence for coral reef studiesInstitute of Public Affairscato instituteAustralian Environment Foundationgalileo movementmalcolm robertsandrew boltJames Delingpole
Categories: News