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Landmark Agreement: Shipping Industry to Cut Emiss...

On Friday, the 170+ nations in the International Maritime Organization set the first-ever emissions target for the shipping industry and agreed to halve CO2 emissions by 2050, based on 2008 levels. The unprecedented deal was welcomed by activists as a first step towards meeting the Paris agreement targets. The IMO nations also began a process to ban heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters. The sulfur-laden oil is a significant...

Methane whiplash: Enviros prep appeal as court ice...

On-again, off-again Obama-era standards for methane emissions on public lands are off, again. A federal court in Wyoming yesterday halted core parts of the Bureau of Land Management’s methane venting and flaring rule, which had been fully revived by a different court six weeks ago. “Obviously we are disappointed, and we think the ruling just simply disregards fundamental legal principles,” Earthjustice...

Methane explosions trigger questions about greenho...

Natural gas burns cleaner, but two recent explosions in Ohio show how accidental and “fugitive” emissions compromise some climate benefits. An explosion at a well pad in eastern Ohio last month forced nearby residents to evacuate for three weeks while crews worked to cap a gas leak. Just two weeks earlier, a gas pipeline in an adjacent county ruptured and caused several fires. The incidents illustrated a risk related to...

XTO Well in Powhatan Point Capped After 20 Days

POWHATAN POINT — After weeks of work through inclement weather and the evacuation of 30 households following a well pad explosion Feb. 15, XTO Energy announced Wednesday that the well was successfully capped. In order to make the site safe for workers to plug the leak, XTO “flared,” or burned off excess gas, at the site. The mostly methane gas was directed to an excavated containment area and ignited. The gas burned through...

XTO Methane Leak from Deep Shale Well in Powhatan,...

XTO Energy spokeswoman Karen Matusic said officials are still unsure what caused the Schnegg well near Captina Creek to explode nearly one week ago. With several residents still displaced, unknown quantities of methane gas continue to leak into the air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that methane “absorbs much more energy than (carbon dioxide).” Nevertheless, Matusic said officials are working as quickly as...

Psychosocial implications of unconventional natura...

As unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) activities such as “fracking” have proliferated across the U.S., research has begun to examine their impacts on human life. Much scholarship has centered on possible health and environmental impacts. However, a range of plausible psychosocial impacts has begun to emerge. Utilizing grounded theory methods and data from qualitative interviews with residents of two counties in...

EPA moves to replace Obama-era climate rule

U.S. EPA today is taking a first step toward potentially replacing the Obama administration’s signature climate rule. The agency released a notice asking the public for comment on what a replacement rule for Obama’s Clean Power Plan should look like. “EPA is considering proposing emission guidelines to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing electric utility generating units (EGUs) and is...

New, Major Evidence That Fracking Harms Human Heal...

A child born very close to a well is likely to be smaller and less healthy than a child born farther away. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, may pose a significant—but very local—harm to human health, a new study finds. Mothers who live very close to a fracking well are more likely to give birth to a less healthy child with a low birth weight—and low birth weight can lead to poorer health throughout a person’s life. The...

Pollution kills 9 million people globally each yea...

Your chances of dying from war, smoking, hunger or natural disasters pales in comparison to pollution, which kills nine million people globally each year. A comprehensive study published in medical journal The Lancet, reports that one in every six premature deaths on earth, are caused by diseases from toxic exposures in the environment.  In particular, coal kills over ten times more people than any other energy source, per...

A tale of two parks: How the Bakken boom transform...

  A tale of two parks: How the Bakken boom transformed a landscape www.hcn.org | 13 mins read While a North Dakota national park is an oasis from drilling, a nearby state park is thrown open. I moved to North Dakota for the same reason everyone else did: because oil was selling for over $100 a barrel, and there was work to do. I drove in from the south on June 8, 2014, on highways crowded with semis hauling oil,...

What has fracking done to our air quality?

Urban air pollution in the U.S. has been decreasing near continuously since the 1970s. Federal regulations, notably the Clean Air Act passed by President Nixon, to reduce toxic air pollutants such as benzene, a hydrocarbon, and ozone, a strong oxidant, effectively lowered their abundance in ambient air with steady progress. But about 10 years ago, the picture on air pollutants in the U.S. started to change. The “fracking...

Pollution kills 9 million people each year, new st...

Dirty air in India and China. Tainted water in sub-Saharan Africa. Toxic mining and smelter operations in South America. Pollution around the globe now contributes to an estimated 9 million deaths  annually — or roughly one in six — according to an in-depth new study published Thursday in the Lancet. If accurate, that means pollution kills three times more people each year than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined,...

‘This is a really big deal’: Canada na...

Pioneering peer reviewed study measured methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure in two regions in Alberta: ‘If we thought it was bad, it’s worse’ Alberta’s oil and gas industry – Canada’s largest producer of fossil fuel resources – could be emitting 25 to 50% more methane than previously believed, new research has suggested. The pioneering peer reviewed study, published in Environmental Science & Technology on...

Court nixes Trump admin’s ‘unlawful...

The Trump administration acted unlawfully when it froze Obama-era restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry, a federal court ruled today. According to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the Interior Department misused a provision of the Administrative Procedure Act when it stalled key provisions of a rule aimed at reducing methane venting and flaring on public and...

GM commits to ‘all-electric future’ as...

This photo provided by General Motors Co. shows a Chevrolet Bolt, surrounded by nine electric and fuel cell vehicles covered by tarps. On Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, GM announced the company will produce two new electric vehicles on the Bolt underpinnings in the next 18 months and 20 electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. (Courtesy of General Motors Co. via AP)(AP) General Motors presented its strategic vision on how it...