nav-left cat-right
cat-right

7 things to watch in 2019 as Trump goes to war wit...

Buckle up, folks, it’s going to be a long one. Next year will see a dramatic acceleration in environmental regulation rollbacks, as a number of Trump administration proposals gain traction and take effect, with fossil fuel restrictions, public health, and scientific studies all set to be impacted. There has already been an onslaught of environmental regulatory rollbacks so vast it can be hard to keep track of those...

Fracking in 2018: Another Year of Pretending to Ma...

2018 was the year the oil and gas industry promised that its darling, the shale fracking revolution, would stop focusing on endless production and instead turn a profit for its investors. But as the year winds to a close, it’s clear that hasn’t happened. Instead, the fracking industry has helped set new records for U.S. oil production while continuing to lose huge amounts of money — and that was before the recent...

How Fossil Fuel Allies Are Tearing Apart Ohio̵...

With scare studies, policy drafts and political donations, industry groups turned Ohio lawmakers against policies they once overwhelmingly supported. This ICN story was also published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. COLUMBUS, Ohio—On March 30, Bill Seitz, a charismatic Republican, took to the floor of the Ohio House to make a case for gutting a 2008 law designed to speed the adoption of solar and wind as significant sources...

‘Conceivably the Worst’: Groups, Lawma...

Bernard McNamee, a climate change denier who helped write the Trump administration’s failed coal and nuclear bailout plan, was confirmed Thursday as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Senate approved the nominee on a straight party-line vote of 50-49 after Sen. Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat of West Virginia, withdrew his support due to his concerns about McNamee’s stance...

Analysts skeptical of Trump’s latest play to save ...

The Trump administration is trying to remove a key barrier to constructing new coal-fired power plants in the U.S. — but don’t expect any utilities to actually build them. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed easing Obama-era limits on carbon dioxide emissions from new and modified coal power plants, including a change that would remove a de facto requirement to use expensive carbon-capture technology at...

IEEFA U.S.: A rough week for the American coal ind...

Momentum around declining consumption numbers, utility-company policy, export markets and internal assessments The economic problems facing the U.S. coal industry have been on manifest display this week. On Tuesday morning, the federal Energy Information Administration reported that coal use in the U.S. is on track to fall to its lowest level since 1979, and that by year’s end consumption will be 44% below the 2007 peak of...

What made solar panels so cheap? Thank government ...

From an economic perspective, the core challenge of climate change is that the standard way of doing things — the dirty, carbon-intensive way — is typically cheaper than newer, lower-carbon alternatives. Solving the problem means driving down the cost of those alternatives. Simple, right? But in practice, it’s not so simple. In fact, we still don’t have a very good grasp on exactly what drives technological innovation and...

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Ins...

A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. The remains of an Indonesian rain forest that was cleared to make way for oil palms.CreditCreditAshley Gilbertson/VII, for The New York Times This article is a partnership between ProPublica, where Abrahm Lustgarten is a senior reporter, and The New York Times Magazine. The...

West Virginia’s Natural Gas Industry Keeps Pushing...

Companies are deducting “post-production” costs or creating shell companies to reduce royalty payments. The firms say they have done nothing wrong. This article was produced in partnership with the Charleston Gazette-Mail, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. For decades, Arnold and Mary Richards collected monthly royalty checks — most recently from $1,000 to $1,500 — for the natural gas sucked up...

Why Plans to Turn America’s Rust Belt into a New P...

The petrochemical industry anticipates spending a total of over $200 billion on factories, pipelines, and other infrastructure in the U.S. that will rely on shale gas, the American Chemistry Council announced in September. Construction is already underway at many sites. This building spree would dramatically expand the Gulf Coast’s petrochemical corridor (known locally as “Cancer Alley”) — and establish a new plastics and...

Even most Americans in coal-reliant states prefer ...

A large majority of Americans in coal-heavy states favor increasing renewable energy use. Most would also be willing to buy solar panels for their own use, and a plurality would be willing to pay an additional $5 a month to get energy from fully renewable sources, according to a survey from Consumer Reports. The consumer advocacy group spoke with 1,200 Americans, including 400 residents of coal-reliant states: Illinois,...

Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on ...

The administration is auctioning off millions of acres of drilling rights and rolling back regulations, raising environmental concerns in states like Wyoming. CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. — The parade of trailer trucks rolling through Jay Butler’s dusty ranch is a precursor to a new fracking boom on the vast federal lands of Wyoming and across the West. Reversing a trend in the final years of the Obama presidency, the Trump...

Behind Washington State’s ambitious carbon f...

With support from labor, scientists, doctors, and communities of color, I-1631’s backers hope the initiative will succeed where others have failed. Mt. Baker and the “Sisters” across Bellingham Bay. CREDIT: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images If Washington makes history by becoming the first state in the country to put a price on carbon emissions, it will largely be thanks to the efforts of a diverse...

Solar power on the rise in Ohio but installation c...

They’re on the governor’s home. Bob Evans’ corporate headquarters has them. So does the Ikea store near Polaris. In Franklin County alone, there are more than 200 registered sites equipped with solar panels, according to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Statewide, there are more than 2,600. There is no requirement to register. Kevin Eigel believes there is likely twice that number in Franklin County. He started his...

Exelon CEO: Carbon price preferable to ‘band...

The CEO of the nation’s largest nuclear operator on Monday renewed his call for a price on carbon emissions, saying it would be preferable to current state subsidies for nuclear plants or a federal plant bailout contemplated by the White House. “What we’re doing right now is band-aids,” Exelon CEO Chris Crane said at an event in Washington. “What we need to do is a regional or national...