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Tag archives for energy

Federal Science Report Finds Human Activity Does Influence Climate Change

A draft report on the science of climate change estimates that it is “extremely likely” that more than half of the rise in temperatures over the past four decades has been caused by human activity. This activity, it estimates, is responsible an increase in global temperatures of 1.1 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1951 to 2010. “Many lines of evidence demonstrate…

Court Rules Industry Must Comply with Methane Regulation

On Monday, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia order directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out an Obama-era rule that sets methane pollution limits for the oil and gas industry. Nine of the 11 court judges issued the order upholding a July ruling that found that the Trump administration overstepped its authority under the Clean…

Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Suggested for Repeal

The Trump administration is proposing to repeal a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule aimed at ensuring hydraulic fracturing does not pollute water supplies, claiming that it triggers unjustified compliance costs and duplicates state rules. “Upon further review of the 2015 final rule … the BLM believes that the 2015 final rule unnecessarily burdens industry with compliance…

Why Kill a Snow Leopard Conservation Ranger? Energy Sprawl and Land-Use Conflict

By Joe Kiesecker, Scientist for Lands Conservation, The Nature Conservancy Note: This is the second article in a series on “energy sprawl,” the conversion of new land for energy production. Read the first installment here. A mysterious and untimely death is not what first comes to mind when I think about wildlife conservation. But the…

Minding the Gap: Energy Sprawl and Access in India

By Joe Kiesecker, Scientist for Lands Conservation, The Nature Conservancy Note: this article is the first in a series on “energy sprawl,” the conversion of new land for energy production. New installments will appear approximately every other week. On my very first trip to India I experienced some of its most iconic and most infamous…

Field Notes: Conservation Music in Swaziland, Bring Your Fire!

The Crew Travels to the Bushfire Festival In the final weeks of May, the crew said their goodbyes to Maseru, the beautiful capital of Lesotho. Having lived, worked, and socialized there for the past month and a half, Alex and Chris had begun to feel at home. However, they were thrilled to embark on the…

EPA Administrator Says United States Should Exit Paris Agreement

In an interview last week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Scott Pruitt said that the United States should “exit” the Paris Agreement—the first time such a high-ranking Trump administration official has so explicitly rejected the global accord to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts…

California’s Cap-and-Trade Program Survives Legal Challenge

Last week, California’s Cap-and-Trade Program to reduce carbon emissions was handed a victory when a state appeals court ruled that program’s auction of emissions permits does not constitute an illegal tax because the program is voluntary and the emissions permits have value. In a 2–1 vote, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District…

EPA Budget Cut Priorities Outlined in Internal Document

An internal budget draft shows how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to meet Trump’s FY2018 Budget submission to Congress, which reduces EPA spending 31 percent. The memo repeatedly portrays climate as outside the EPA’s core statutory requirements. It focuses instead on funding “core legal requirements,” scrapping 56 programs dealing with scientific research, climate…

Trump Executive Order Takes Focus off Climate Change

President Donald Trump signed a long anticipated executive order greatly diminishing the role climate change plays in U.S. government decision making by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Clean Power Plan, which sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel fired power plants. The order directs each executive department and…

Carbon Tax Not on Agenda for Trump

President Donald Trump is not considering a national carbon tax proposal that a group of Republicans discussed in February. A White House official told GreenWire in an e-mail that although the group of Republican leaders visited the White House to discuss their proposal that “the Trump Administration is not considering a carbon tax.” The plan…

Executive Orders Expected on Climate Rules as Trump Contemplates Paris Agreement Fate

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dismantle Obama-era climate rules, including the Clean Power Plan, which sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel fired power plants. Originally expected this week, GreenWire reports that according to a White House official the order…

A Harmonious Resistance Creates Global Solidarity for Standing Rock

For more than a year, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been at war with natural gas’s close comrade, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), over the development of the controversial $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, which has frequently been referred to as “DAPL.” (Many resistance members call it “the Black Snake.”) The approved project designs developed by…

Trump Speech to Congress Focuses Little on Energy, Climate

In his first address to Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump touted accomplishments since taking office in January—including withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ordering construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and nominating conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Crime, immigration, trade and health care dominated the speech, with little focus…

Pruitt Confirmed to Head EPA

Friday, in a 52-46 vote, the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt was sworn in that evening. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt filed 14 lawsuits challenging EPA regulations, including limits on carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. Many of the cases are pending in…