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Air Pollution Increases Diabetes Risk at Levels EP...

A major study published Friday in The Lancet Planetary Health has confirmed a reported link between air pollution and diabetes in a big way, finding that particulate matter exposure can increase risk for the disease even at levels currently deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization, CNN reported. “This is important because many industry lobbying groups argue that...

How the energy boom shaped a small town in rural A...

When a fracking company came to a small community in rural Pennsylvania, many people signed the lease that allowed the company to access the natural gas resources on their land. Among them was Stacey Haney, who at that time owned a small farm. Haney saw the lease as a way to support American energy, and like many other people, a way to get some extra money to support life. But money is not the only thing fracking brought to...

Personal Care Products as Dangerous for the Air as...

People’s efforts to keep themselves clean are actually making the air dirtier, at least in Boulder, Colorado. A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Research In Environmental Sciences (CIRES) found that emissions from personal care products commuters use before leaving in the morning were roughly equivalent in magnitude to emissions from the tailpipes of...

At one end of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, there ...

Giant dump trucks haul raw oil sands material in Alberta, Canada.Todd Korol/Reuters Nebraska regulators on Monday approved Keystone XL, a 1,180-mile-long (1,900-kilometer) extension of the existing Keystone Pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. But the 3-2 vote in favor of expanding the pipeline followed aleak of 210,000 gallons of oil just days before. That oil gushed from a section of Keystone in South Dakota before...

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...