Federal coal mining permit blocked for failing to consider climate change impacts

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Arch Coal leasing area, Colorado (Photo: WildEarth Guardians)

Arch Coal leasing area, Colorado (Photo: WildEarth Guardians)

Federal regulators failed to consider the social cost of carbon emissions in approving a proposed coal mine expansion in Colorado, said a U.S. district court judge last week in blocking the permit. The reasoning in this case should be applied to other federal decisions on permitting fossil fuel leasing, production, pipelines, and export terminals. This would help hold the Obama administration accountable for the current contradictions between its climate change rhetoric and its policy on promoting fossil fuel production.

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Posted in Energy, Science-Policy Interaction | Leave a comment

Bipartisan push for stepped up natural gas fracking and LNG export

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LNG RIVERS liquefied natural gas tanker (Photo:   Wikimedia Commons)

LNG RIVERS liquefied natural gas tanker (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A bipartisan push for stepped-up natural gas production and export, via hydrofracking and more liquefied natural gas export terminals, was evident at a recent hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change took a back seat. A couple of Democratic Senators questioned the economic benefits of promoting LNG exports. Continue reading

Posted in Congress: Legislation and Oversight, Energy | 2 Comments

New research on methane leakage questions climate benefit of natural gas

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New research from scientists at NOAA and Carnegie-Mellon finds that natural gas production globally may be leaking enough methane to negate the climate benefits of gas over coal during the next two decades. Over a 20-year time period, methane is 86 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | 1 Comment

4 Republican former EPA administrators call on Congress to take action on climate change

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capitol_domeExemplifying the proactive way authentic conservatives should be talking about climate policy, former Environmental Protection Agency administrators William Ruckelshaus, Christine Todd Whitman, Lee Thomas, and William Reilly -- all appointed by Republican presidents -- gave Senate hearing testimony last week that stood in sharp contrast to the current Republican Senators on the panel, who seemed to live in an alternative universe, offering up a sustained litany of party-line denial and delayer talking points. Continue reading

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House votes to direct the Pentagon to disregard climate change assessments

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capitol_domeThe U.S. House-passed 2015 Defense Appropriation bill apparently intends to have the Pentagon stop using leading scientific assessments of global climate disruption in national security planning. The Pentagon takes climate change and its impacts seriously and has included these issues in two Quadrennial Defense Reviews. But an amendment by a coal-state Republican would direct DoD to disregard the U.S. National Climate Assessment and the IPCC international assessment. Continue reading

Posted in Congress: Legislation and Oversight, Global Warming Denial Machine | 4 Comments

McKitrick tries and fails to move the goalposts on climate action

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In a new Financial Post op-ed (“The Global Warming Hiatus?”), Ross McKitrick continues to try to move the goalposts on climate action with a misleading argument about global climate models, while harping on the tired old “warming pause” meme. In fact, global climate models work well for the purpose they were designed for: evaluating temperatures over long timescales. We already have all the information we need to know that action now is the cheapest and most effective way to avert dangerous climate change. Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming Denial Machine | 4 Comments

On the role of methane in EPA's draft rule on carbon emissions

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Process of mixing water with fracking fluids to be injected into the ground (Wikimedia Commons)

Process of mixing water with fracking fluids to be injected into the ground (Wikimedia Commons)

The proposed rule on carbon emissions from existing electric power plants released by the Environmental Protection Agency for public comment on June 2 "has a fundamental flaw," according to Prof. Robert Howarth at Cornell University. "It addresses only carbon dioxide emissions, and not emissions of methane, another critically important greenhouse gas." Howarth, who has published research papers raising concerns about methane emissions from natural gas systems, says the EPA plan "should be revised to reflect the importance of methane and the extent of methane emissions from using natural gas." Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Obama Climate Plan | 2 Comments

American Whistleblower Tour panel at Stanford

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Stanford U photoStanford University hosted Kathryn Bolkovac and Rick Piltz for a series of talks as part of the Government Accountability Project's American Whistleblower Tour. Bolkovac and Piltz spoke on April 22 at an event hosted by the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society and the Office for Religious Life at the university.

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Posted in Climate Science Watch, Whistleblowers | Leave a comment

Recalling a climate change whistleblower action nine years ago today

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On June 8, 2005, the New York Times reported in a front page story: "A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents." Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming Denial Machine, Whistleblowers | Leave a comment

New EPA Climate Change Indicators report shows impacts on U.S.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has released the third edition of its report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States. Updating observed data on 30 key environmental indicators, EPA says "the report demonstrates that climate change is already affecting our environment and our society." This is consistent with the conclusion of the recently released National Climate Assessment, that "global climate is changing and this is apparent across the United States in a wide range of observations." Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change Education and Communication | Leave a comment