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Updated: 11 hours 59 min ago

Want to Fight Climate Denial? Tell a Story

October 15, 2018 - 2:15pm
Read time: 5 mins

By John R. Platt, The Revelator. Originally posted on The Revelator.

Scientists looking to communicate the truth about climate should explore the power of narrative and images.

Sometimes a polar bear is a living symbol of climate change.

Other times an image of a dying polar bear is basically raw meat for the people who want to deny the truth about global warming and demonize the scientists who are researching and communicating these important issues.

Tags: climate science denialpolar bearStephen Lewandowsky

US Oil Exports Are Exceeding Almost All Predictions—Thanks to Fracking

October 15, 2018 - 12:44pm
Read time: 5 mins

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported in September that crude oil exports are continuing to set records, mostly due to the fracking boom in the Permian Basin, in Texas and New Mexico. June exports hit a record 2.2 million barrels per day, while the monthly average was up almost 80 percent for the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.

And crude oil exports are supposed to double by 2020, according to the San Antonio News-Express. That’s a lot of oil — and almost all of it is fracked.

Tags: US Oil Export Banchinagas pricesUS Energy Information AdministrationPermian Basinfracking

'Vast Blind Spot': IPCC Accused of Ignoring 'Decades Long' Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

October 12, 2018 - 11:39am
Read time: 6 mins

The United Nations (UN) climate science panel is being accused of ignoring research into fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns that have been key to holding back action on global warming.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — an assessment of more than 6,000 research papers — found global warming caused largely by fossil fuel burning would have severe impacts even if limited to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Described by the IPCC as “one of the most important climate change reports ever published,” the report is designed to inform policy makers and the public around the world.

But several researchers are angry the report did not take account of academic research into the “decades-long misinformation campaign” funded and promoted by fossil fuel interests and so-called “free market” conservative think tanks that has been a major brake on progress.

Tags: IPCCsr15john cookJustin FarrellRiley Dunlap#ExxonKnewunited nations

Despite Lingering Land Dispute, Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline Is Nearly Complete

October 11, 2018 - 3:39pm
Read time: 6 mins

High water in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin and direct actions against the Bayou Bridge pipeline threaten to further delay work on the pipeline. However, it likely will be finished before the company’s pending legal challenges, including its most recent one over illegal construction, are settled. 

Tags: Bayou Bridge pipelineLouisianaAtchafalaya Basinkeepereminent domainEnergy Transfer Partnersoil pipelines

Climate Science Deniers Respond to IPCC 1.5C Report with Anger, Fear, and Distortion

October 11, 2018 - 7:39am
Read time: 10 mins

A big UN report arrived on Monday, saying in no uncertain terms that the world has up to two decades to massively cut emissions by transforming the global economy if we want to avoid terrible climate impacts.

Given the implications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) findings — government intervention, progressive social policies, more international aid — it’s perhaps not surprising that those who deny climate change is real or a problem pushed back. It took a few days, but the climate science deniers’ response to the IPCC report is now in full flow.

What we see is three distinct layers of climate science denial at play here:

There’s the ‘this isn’t happening’ sun-spot brigade. There’s the ‘this is happening but it’s all a Communist ruse’ zealots. And then there’s the team who reluctantly admit they’ve lost the debate but shoehorn in a number of caveats and excuses to justify why nothing should happen.

Tags: IPCCdaily mailJames DelingpoleGWPFBenny PeiserPiers CorbynRod Liddle

Massachusetts Gas Explosions Draw Scrutiny of Natural Gas Safety and Climate Risks

October 10, 2018 - 5:59pm
Read time: 6 mins

By Dan Zukowski

A quiet, sunny afternoon in New England quickly turned to chaos and tragedy as a series of 80 fires and explosions erupted across three communities in the Merrimack Valley north of Boston on September 13. Extreme overpressure in a Columbia Gas distribution system caused uncontrollable natural gas venting over a wide area, and the resulting blasts killed one and injured more than two dozen.

In the wake of this disaster, scientists and environmentalists are raising questions about the safety and climate impacts of Massachusetts’ aging natural gas infrastructure and the wisdom of continuing to rely on this fossil fuel.

Tags: natural gasnatural gas pipelinesMassachusettsmethane emissionsmethane leaks in Bostonmethane leaks

Kochs' Americans for Prosperity Group Launches Campaign to Crush Fuel Economy Standards

October 9, 2018 - 8:24pm
Read time: 3 mins

Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy network funded by the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers, recently launched a campaign to support President Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back fuel efficiency and automobile emissions standards.

Through social media feeds of the many AFP state chapters, the group is promoting a petition to “Repeal Costly Obama-era Fuel Standards.”

Tags: Koch brothersAmericans for ProsperityTrump AdministrationCorporate Average Fuel EconomyFuel Efficiency

Fossil Fuel Companies Knew How Hard Keeping to IPCC's 'Unprecedented' 1.5C Limit Would Be — And Did Nothing

October 7, 2018 - 9:00pm
Read time: 6 mins

The scientists are clear: “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed if the humans are going to prevent the world warming by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

This news — emanating from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) mammoth new special report —  comes as a surprise to almost no-one. Least of all the fossil fuel industry, which has known for decades that the carbon budget that keeps that goal within reach has been rapidly depleting thanks to its products.

Tags: IPCCintergovernmental panel on climate changeRoyal Dutch ShellexxonExxonKnewShellKnew

IPCC Report Says 1.5C Climate Target is Reachable, But Only With Rapid Fossil Fuel Phase Out

October 7, 2018 - 8:52pm
Read time: 5 mins

There is no scenario to keep global warming to 1.5C that allows coal to be burned for electricity by the middle of this century, a major United Nations climate report says.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concludes human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already pushed global average temperatures up by 1C since the second-half of the 19th century.

Warming is higher than the 1C average over land, with temperatures as much as three times higher in the Arctic, causing melting. Extreme temperatures, rainfall and sea levels have been pushed higher.

Massive and rapid transformations across societies will be needed to keep to a 1.5C target, with dramatic cuts to fossil fuel use across all sectors of society.

Tags: IPCC1.5CBill Harepiers forsterjoeri rogeljcoalclimate changefossil fuelsclimate science

Despite Trump, More Signs Coal Power’s Future Actually Looks Terrible in the US

October 6, 2018 - 6:10am
Read time: 6 mins

In August, President Donald Trump told a rally in West Virginia: “We are back. The coal industry is back.” And to be sure, Trump keeps trying to revive the dying U.S. industry by doing things like relaxing pollution rules for coal power plants, pushing initiatives to keep failing coal plants open, and nominating a pro-coal candidate as a federal energy regulator.

Despite all that, however, the outlook for coal, especially in the U.S., is actually pretty terrible, and reminders of this just keep coming.

Tags: coal powerSunflower Electric Power CorporationTrump Administrationholcomb coal plantDepartment of Energy

Trump’s Pick to Lead Energy Tech Innovation Program Is Invested in Gas Utilities and Pipeline Companies

October 5, 2018 - 4:03pm
Read time: 4 mins

A nominee to head a cutting-edge research program in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is personally invested in various natural gas-based utilities and gas pipeline companies.

In July, the Trump administration announced the nomination of Lane Genatowski to head the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which tries to bridge the gap between basic research and the commercialization of breakthrough energy technologies and is modeled after the Department of Defense program that led to the Internet and GPS.

Tags: ARPA-EDepartment of EnergyLane GenatowskiConflicts of InterestTrump Administration

Putin Apes Trump’s Climate Science Denial But Says US Open to Climate Cooperation

October 5, 2018 - 8:52am
Read time: 3 mins

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin believes US President Donald Trump is open to international cooperation on climate change beyond the Paris Agreement so long as the global community does “not antagonise the relationship with the US”. Putin echoed Trump’s climate science denial, however, saying the reasons for global warming were “not entirely clear”.

Speaking at a major energy conference in Moscow, Putin told the audience:

“Without [the US] it would be impossible to reduce the influence of anthropogenic air pollution on the global climate even a little bit. Therefore, one way or another we need to involve the US in this discussion and this joint work.”

Tags: Donald TrumpVladimir Putin

Milwaukee Bucks Owner Building LNG Export Fast Track on Rails in Florida

October 4, 2018 - 4:25pm
Read time: 8 mins

Although Wesley Edens is perhaps best known as the co-owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) team, the Milwaukee Bucks, his company Fortress Investment Group is now taking up a decidedly different sport. Thanks in part to rule changes underway in the Trump administration, Fortress has quietly positioned itself to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipped via rail — in refrigerated, high-pressure tank cars — through heavily populated areas in Florida. 

A major Democratic donor, Edens founded New Fortress Energy, a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group. Multiple news reports and documents reviewed by DeSmog confirm that New Fortress Energy formerly owned a rail line and currently owns a planned LNG export terminal which together would send so-called “small-scale” LNG tankers to the Caribbean.

In July Trump's Department of Energy (DOE) crafted a regulation which says all shipments of small-scale LNG export tankers from the U.S. automatically fall within the legal definition of the “public interest” under the Natural Gas Act, expediting their permitting. Similarly, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced just two months earlier in May that it is reviewing a January 17, 2017 petition for rulemaking submitted by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) — just three days before President Donald Trump took office — which would allow shipping LNG by rail across the country.

Tags: Jamaica Public Service CompanyGrupo MexicoLNGFlorida East Coast RailwayLiquefied Natural GasfrackingFloridaSmall Scale LNGWes EdensMilwaukee BucksNew Fortress Energy

LNG Canada Project Called a 'Tax Giveaway' as BC Approves Massive Subsidies

October 3, 2018 - 12:46pm
Read time: 8 mins

By , The Narwhal. Originally posted on The Narwhal.

Fracked gas export project will be B.C.’s largest carbon polluter

There was a telling comment from Shell Global’s Maarten Wetselaar — representing five multinational investors in a CAN$40 billion project to ship B.C. liquefied natural gas to Asia — amidst the hoopla that accompanied Tuesday’s LNG announcement.Tags: LNG Canadacanadabritish columbiaLiquefied Natural GasBC Climate Action PlanJohn HorganBC fracking

How This Man’s Legal Challenge Could Stall the LNG Canada Fracked Gas Project

October 2, 2018 - 7:59pm
Read time: 8 mins

By , The Narwhal. Originally posted on The Narwhal.

A massive new fracked gas export plant in Kitimat, British Columbia, may have just received the go-ahead, but a Smithers resident is arguing a pipeline vital to the project should have faced a federal review — and he’s won before.

Tags: LNG CanadaLiquefied Natural Gasnatural gas pipelinesbritish columbiaTransCanada

Five Climate Science Deniers to Know in Trump's Administration

October 2, 2018 - 1:14pm
Read time: 8 mins

There are five folks spearheading the United States government who think that when it comes to climate change, they know better than all of the world’s main scientific institutions.

Tags: Donald Trumpbrooke rollinsRyan ZinkeAndrew WheelerTim HuelskampHeartland InstituteALECAmerican Legislative Exchange Council ALECdaniel simmonsWill HapperTodd Wynnbill wehrum

South Carolina Still Grappling with Historic Flooding from Florence, a Storm Worsened by Climate Change

October 1, 2018 - 6:39pm
Read time: 7 mins

South Carolina was spared the worst of Hurricane Florence’s fury when the storm made landfall in North Carolina on September 14, but did not escape its catastrophic impacts. Nearly two weeks later, the state was still contending with historic flooding. 

Tags: extreme weatherHurricane FlorenceSouth CarolinafloodingTrump Administration

Why Californians Are Worried About the Trans Mountain Pipeline

October 1, 2018 - 3:59pm
Read time: 8 mins

By , The Narwhal. Originally posted on The Narwhal.

Canadians might imagine Burnaby as the main site of protest against the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and tanker project, the Vancouver suburb marked as it is by dozens of peaceful demonstrations, arrests and associated court challenges in recent years.

But a new line of opposition is now being drawn on sandy beaches some 1,300 kilometres to the south — in the Bay Area of California. There, residents are increasingly concerned that the expansion of Trans Mountain may result in a major uptick in tankers carrying Alberta oilsands crude to the region’s five refineries, which comes with increased risks of spills, local air pollution, refinery accidents and a locking in of fossil fuel usage for decades to come.

Tags: Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipelineBay Areacaliforniatar sandsPhillips 66

Don't Frack so Close to me: Colorado Voters Will Weigh in on Drilling Distances From Homes and Schools

September 28, 2018 - 4:11pm
Read time: 6 minsBy Tara Opsal and Stephanie Malin, Colorado State University

Coloradans will vote on a ballot initiative in November that requires new oil and gas projects to be set back at least 2,500 feet from occupied buildings. If approved, the measure — known as both Initiative 97 and Proposition 112 — would mark a major change from their state’s current limits: 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools.

As sociologists who have researched oil and gas drilling in the communities that host it for the past seven years, we think this measure would provide local governments and Coloradans more say over where drilling occurs and enhance the rights of those who live near these sites.

Tags: frackingColoradopennsylvaniaeminent domainoil and gas drillingsetbacks

Koch-Funded Groups—Yet Again—Speak Out Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

September 27, 2018 - 6:42pm
Read time: 6 mins

A coalition of thirty conservative free-market advocacy organizations — the majority of which have clear ties to Charles and David Koch through their funding or leadership — have sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) urging that Congress halt any expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit, or scrap it entirely.

Tags: Koch brothersAmerican Energy Alliancekochvscleanelectric carsEnergy Equality Coalition