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Shell to quit U.S. refining lobby over climate disagreement

Reuters | Posted on April 2, 2019

Royal Dutch Shell became the first major oil and gas company to announce plans to leave a leading U.S. refining lobby due to disagreement on climate policies.In its first review of its association with 19 key industry groups, the company said it had found “material misalignment” over climate policy with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and would quit the body in 2020.

Trump issues new executive order for stalled Keystone XL pipeline

Press Herald | Posted on April 1, 2019

Moving defiantly to kick-start the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline, President Trump on Friday issued a new presidential permit for the project – two years after he first approved it and more than a decade after it was first proposed. Trump said the permit issued Friday replaces one granted in March 2017. The order is intended to speed up development of the controversial pipeline, which would ship crude oil from tar sands in western Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. A federal judge blocked the project in November, saying the Trump administration had not fully considered potential oil spills and other impacts. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ordered a new environmental review.


‘Would you want the mess?’ Some residents of two coal towns want ban on nearby surface mining

Lexington Herald Leader | Posted on April 1, 2019

Surface mining on steep slopes overlooking two historic coal towns in Eastern Kentucky could damage their water sources and hurt the potential to boost their economies though tourism, residents said at a hearing Friday.Residents from Benham and Lynch, in Harlan County, urged the state to bar surface mining around the towns.“It’s literally going to destroy the water coming off the mountain,” Carl Shoupe, a former underground miner from Benham, said of proposed mining near the town.


North Carolina bill would cut state energy use, save money

Energy News Network | Posted on April 1, 2019

A bill moving quickly through the North Carolina General Assembly would require hundreds of prison facilities, university classrooms and other state buildings to curb energy use by 10 percent — a move that would save over a quarter billion dollars by 2025, according to state officials. “The main purpose of this bill is to save the taxpayers of North Carolina money,” bill sponsor Rep. John Szoka, a Republican from Fayetteville, told his colleagues last week in the House energy committee.House Bill 330 centers on building renovations like tighter air seals, lighting replacements and HVAC improvements — upgrades that more than pay for themselves in lower utility bills. But it also includes a no-cost directive to building managers that’s familiar to any child of frugal parents: turn the lights off when you leave the room.

Group tied to shadowy network created $93T estimate

Environmental News Network | Posted on April 1, 2019

What's in a number? When it comes to the $93 trillion estimate for the Green New Deal, the answer is found in a network of interlinked groups: a think tank, its political arm and a super political action committee.

DAVOSMARCH 25, 2019 / 8:04 PM / 2 DAYS AGO Global carbon emissions hit record high in 2018: IEA

Reuters | Posted on March 28, 2019

Global energy-related carbon emissions rose to a record high last year as energy demand and coal use increased. Energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33.1 billion tonnes from the previous year, the highest rate of growth since 2013, with the power sector accounting for almost two-thirds of this growth, according to IEA estimates.The United States’ CO2 emissions grew by 3.1 percent in 2018, reversing a decline a year earlier, while China’s emissions rose by 2.5 percent and India’s by 4.5 percent.Europe’s emissions fell by 1.3 percent and Japan’s fell for the fifth year running.

Washington Democrats chart low-carbon future

Capital Press | Posted on March 28, 2019

Washington state Democrats are fulfilling some of the hefty aspirations of the Green New Deal with their own climate-change package, one that would raise the cost of producing, processing and transporting farm goods while promising the “equitable distribution of benefits.” To do that, the Democrat-dominated Legislature is considering bills to tax carbon, cap greenhouse gases, make all electricity renewable, mandate more biofuels in gasoline and diesel, and govern by “environmental justice.”

An Arizona border sheriff confronts the wall

High Country News | Posted on March 28, 2019

Estrada grew up a few blocks from the border, in a three-room house without indoor plumbing. Rent was $10 per month. At 22, he joined the Nogales Police Department, eventually becoming a captain before running for sheriff in 1992. Estrada, who is serving his seventh term, is currently the longest-serving — and only Hispanic — sheriff in Arizona.Estrada has watched with increasing frustration as Trump continues to ignore the sheriffs along the southern border in his demands for a wall. In a letter released on Jan. 8, all 31 border sheriffs wrote that Trump’s push for a wall was “a sound bite, not a cogent public policy position.”That wall. “That magical panacea — that silver bullet,” said Estrada, chuckling. He recalled how, back in the ’90s, a new kind of latticed steel border wall was erected through Nogales. Almost immediately, Estrada started noticing small square-shaped cuts in the fence, too small for a person to go across. Why, the sheriff wondered, would people cut holes too small to climb through? He smiled, remembering: “What they were doing was cutting out sections to use as barbecue grills.”

Three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska’s coast faces an even bigger threat

High Country News | Posted on March 28, 2019

The tragedy of that coastal Alaska paradise is only deepening as it enters another, even darker act.Changes brought by human emissions of carbon dioxide — warming and acidifying ocean waters — have proved as destructive as the spill, and they will not disperse, as the oil eventually did.A rich, complex community of life established on these shores after ice receded 10 millennia ago. It probably takes a period of stability that long for the relationships of a many-channeled food web to develop. At my life’s halfway point, I’ve watched this place long enough to see how human errors and appetites could break its system of life, and to feel the urgency of addressing the carbon crisis, which I believe will happen. But the dream of recovery, climate stability and a newly healthy ecosystem — that vision may lie beyond the horizon of living generations.

Maine Legislature Approves Bill To Repeal Gross Metering

Solar Industry | Posted on March 27, 2019

The Maine legislature has approved a bill that would eliminate the state’s controversial “gross metering” rule for solar. The legislation, L.D.91, was introduced in January by State Rep. Seth Berry, R-Maine, to repeal a fee for solar customers that was enacted under the administration of Maine’s previous governor, Paul LePage.