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‘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...

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...

General Motors’ EV Plan May Sound Good, But it’s B...

General Motors has proposed what it’s calling a “National Zero Emission Vehicle (NZEV) program” that would require automakers to sell a minimum volume of plug-in or fuel cell vehicles in the US. While this may sound like an innovative idea, it could dramatically undercut existing programs in states including California that are showing real leadership in cutting vehicle emissions. The GM proposal calls for a 50-state ZEV...

‘It’s a ghost page’: EPA site...

Material that said humans were warming the planet was taken down last year for an ‘update’ More than a year after the US Environmental Protection Agency took down information on climate change from its website for an “update”, it now seems uncertain whether it will ever reappear. In April last year, the EPA replaced its online climate change section with a holding page that said the content was being updated to “reflect the...

A climate scientist who decided not to fly

I’m a climate scientist who doesn’t fly. I try to avoid burning fossil fuels, because it’s clear that doing so causes real harm to humans and to nonhumans, today and far into the future. I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly. Back in 2010, though, I was awash in cognitive dissonance. My awareness of global warming had risen to a fever pitch, but I hadn’t yet made real changes to my daily life. This disconnect made me...

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...

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...

Editorial: United States can’t afford to wai...

Buried in a report from the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration of President Donald Trump is an acknowledgement that the planet is on course to warm by 6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. That could be disastrous, and carbon emissions from car and truck tailpipes is contributing to that. This acknowledgement, from a Republican environmental administration, no less, weakens the case that was already not fully...

Why We Can’t Reverse Climate Change With ‘Negative...

In a much-anticipated report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the world will need to take dramatic and drastic steps to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change. Featured prominently in the report is a discussion of a range of techniques for removing carbon dioxide from the air, called Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies or negative emissions technologies (NETs). The IPCC said the...

Don’t Frack So Close to Me: Colorado to Vote on Dr...

Coloradans will vote on a ballot initiative in November that requires new oil and gas projects to be set back at least 2,500 feet from occupied buildings. If approved, the measure—known as both Initiative 97 and Proposition 112—would mark a major change from their state’s current limits: 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools. As sociologists who have researched oil and gas drilling in the communities that...

DOE spent more than $500M on dead projects

CARBON CAPTURE Nearly half the $2.7 billion in fossil research money spent by the Department of Energy over the last seven years supported nine carbon capture demonstration projects, the majority of which were canceled or withdrawn, according to a report yesterday from the Government Accountability Office. The GAO analysis highlights an ongoing debate about carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS). Opponents say...

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Re...

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere. Methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, routinely leaks from oil and gas wells, and energy companies have long said that the rules requiring them to test for emissions...

Trump to Roll Back Obama-Era Methane Rules

The Trump administration is planning to roll back Obama-era rules on methane emissions from oil and gas production, the New York Times reported Monday. Documents reviewed by the Times show that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning as early as this week to significantly relax two-year-old regulations on how often drillers must monitor and repair methane leaks, and let producers in states with lax methane...

Opinion: The Next Financial Crisis Lurks Undergrou...

Fueled by debt and years of easy credit, America’s energy boom is on shaky footing. About 20 years ago, an entrepreneur named George Mitchell proved that it was possible to get lots of oil and gas out of parts of the earth long thought to be sucked dry, by injecting liquid at high pressure into a horizontal well below the surface. About 10 years ago, fracking — the common term for this process — began in earnest. In that...