RENEWABLES ARE LEAVING NATURAL GAS IN THE DUST THIS YEAR...

May 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Nati Harnik, AP   In the first three months of 2016, the U.S. grid added 18 megawatts of new natural gas generating capacity. It added a whopping 1,291 megawatts (MW) of new renewables. The renewables were primarily wind (707 MW) and solar (522 MW). We also added some biomass (33 MW) and hydropower (29 MW). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” reports that no new capacity of coal, oil, or nuclear power were added in the first quarter of the year. So the U.S. electric grid added more than 70 times as much renewable energy capacity as natural gas capacity from January to March. Of course, generating capacity is often quite different from the amount of power generated, since fossil fuel...

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JUST MONTHS AFTER THE LARGEST NATURAL GAS LEAK IN U.S. HISTORY, PORTER RANCH IS HIT WITH ANOTHER LEAK...

Apr 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Samantha Page CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Brian Melley This photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 shows a neighborhood in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles where residents have moved out because of a natural gas leak from a Southern California Gas Co. storage facility. Porter Ranch already experienced the largest recorded natural gas leak in U.S. history over the winter, when a leak at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility spewed more than 97,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. Thousands of families were evacuated during the nearly four-month long leak, which was sealed in February. Over the weekend, the neighborhood was hit with another natural gas leak. “This is horrible,” Porter Ranch resident Gabriel Khanlian told ThinkProgress. “This issue is not over with in any way.” Residents had been complaining...

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THE SENATE JUST PASSED AN ENERGY BILL THAT WOULD MAKE FORESTS A ‘CARBON NEUTRAL’ ENERGY SOURCE...

Apr 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alejandro Davila Fragoso CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Krupa   The first major update to the nation’s energy policy in eight years passed the Senate Wednesday with bipartisan support, as it concentrates on common ground topics like infrastructure improvements, cyber security, and energy efficiency. Yet an amendment in the bill — dubbed the Energy Policy Modernization Act — that would classify biomass as carbon neutral has angered dozens of environmental organizations, who say it puts forests at risk. Environmentalists had for months questioned an amendment from senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) instructing agencies to develop policies that “reflect the carbon neutrality” of biomass, a source of energy that includes trees and other plants. On Tuesday, more than 75 organizations sent a letter to the bill co-sponsors, Sen. Lisa Murkowski...

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THE ICY FIRE BENEATH NORWAY’S SEABED...

Apr 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] HUFFINGTON POST   Randall Hyman Arctic Deeply Randall Hyman Marine biologist Peter Linke, GEOMAR engineers and deckhands guide a specially-designed lander (commissioned by Norway’s Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE)) over the edge of RV Helmer Hanssen to begin a one-year seafloor mission monitoring marine methane off west coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago, Norway. Trapped by deep ocean pressure and cold temperatures along continental shelves, methane hydrates could be an energy windfall or a looming disaster. Norway is spending millions to discover whether this ice-like form of natural gas will prove boon or bane. The landers lashed to the aft deck of the R/V Helmer Hanssen held firm as waves crashed into the ship. The two golf-cart-sized crafts, stocked with scientific instruments, appeared ready for planetary exploration, but in a...

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WALL STREET’S RETREAT FROM KING COAL...

Mar 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Photo Credit Ty Wright/Bloomberg, via Getty Images The grave environmental damage from coal-fired power plants has done nothing to deter the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, from decrying a “war on coal” and orchestrating his own war against the Obama administration’s climate change agenda. But he and other coal-state Republicans would be foolish to ignore the growing consensus on Wall Street that King Coal, for all its legendary political power, has turned into a decidedly bad investment. JPMorgan Chase announced this month that it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants in the United States or other advanced nations, joining Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley in retreating from a fuel that provides about one-third of the nation’s electricity and accounts for about one-quarter of the carbon emissions that feed...

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FOR THE FIRST TIME, SOLAR WILL BE THE TOP NEW SOURCE OF ENERGY THIS YEAR...

Mar 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alejandro Davila Fragoso CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/John Locher   For the first time ever utility-scale solar projects will add more new capacity to the nation’s grid than any other industry this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Tuesday. Natural gas and wind energy follow somewhat closely, according to the EIA’s monthly report, which notes that solar, gas and wind energy will make up 93 percent of all new energy. Solar projects will generate about 9.5 gigawatts of new energy. Natural gas, meanwhile, will add 8 gigawatts while wind is poised to create 6.8 gigawatts. One gigawatt is enough energy to power about 700,000 average homes. “I think it’s great, it’s evidence that the [solar] industry’s moved really into the mainstream,” said Justin Baca, vice president of markets and research at...

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FOSSIL FUEL USE MUST FALL TWICE AS FAST AS THOUGHT TO CONTAIN GLOBAL WARMING – STUDY...

Feb 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Available carbon budget is half as big as thought if global warming is to be kept within 2C limit agreed internationally as being the point of no return, researchers say. Climate News Network reports Smoke billows from a coal fired power plant in Shanxi, China. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images Tim Radford for Climate News Network, part of the Guardian Environment Network Climate scientists have bad news for governments, energy companies, motorists, passengers and citizens everywhere in the world: to contain global warming to the limits agreed by 195 nations in Paris last December, they will have to cut fossil fuel combustion at an even faster rate than anybody had predicted. Joeri Rogelj, research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, and European and Canadian colleagues propose in Nature...

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THIS COUNTRY JUST PROMISED TO GET RID OF ALL OF ITS COAL PLANTS...

Nov 22, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Samantha Page CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth Tower Colliery in Wales, now closed, was the oldest continuously worked deep-coal mine in the United Kingdom, and possibly the world. The U.K. announced this week it would go off coal power in the next decade.   The United Kingdom will phase out coal-fired power plants by 2025, the country’s energy secretary announced Wednesday. This comes as welcome news to some — the U.K.’s electricity sector is responsible for a third of the country’s carbon emissions, and coal is a significant part of that. But Secretary Amber Rudd also emphasized the role natural gas would play in the country’s energy future, which disappointed environmentalists. “In the next 10 years, it’s imperative that we get new gas-fired power stations built,” Rudd said. “Gas is central...

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Meet the Federal Agency Rubber Stamping the Rampant Expansion of Fracking...

Nov 1, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] The agency that once operated quietly under public radar has become the target of activist outrage for spearheading fossil fuel corporate domination. By Dory Hippauf, Ellen Cantarow / Truthout   VIA ALTERNET October 21, 2015 Photo Credit: Calin Tatu/Shutterstock.com The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a national agency with wide jurisdiction over gas industry projects, used to be one of those unseen government organizations that go quietly about their business, creating no headlines and flying under the public radar. But mounting citizen alarm about the high-volume hydraulic fracturing industry has changed all that, and FERC’s opponents have publicly accused the agency of being a spearhead for fossil fuel corporate domination of the United States and its resources. Early opposition to shale drilling was restricted to protests against what is commonly called fracking – blasting...

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Texans are freaking out over this natural gas pipeline — with good reason...

May 20, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock / Oleinik Dmitri By Bryan Schatz  GRIST This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Earlier this year, a couple of billionaires landed a nearly $770 million contract to run a 143-mile-long natural gas pipeline through Texas’s pristine Big Bend region. As of May 11, rail shipments of pipe had begun to arrive in Big Bend’s Fort Stockton area. This recent progress on the pipeline project is fueling pushback from locals who’ve been concerned about this project since it was announced in November 2014. Big Bend is one of Texas’ last unspoiled wilderness areas and one of few remaining holdouts in a state riddled with energy transmission pipelines and large-scale oil and gas activity. Fearing potential land grabs, increased traffic, and environmental desecration,...

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5 years after a deadly coal mine disaster, what’s changed?...

Apr 3, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Governor Earl Ray Tomblin By Mason Adams GRIST It was mid-afternoon on the Monday after Easter, April 5, 2010, when a 1,000-foot longwall shearer, a massive piece of industrial coal-mining equipment, bit into sandstone, kicking up sparks and igniting a methane fireball that traveled down the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, W.Va., into an area rich with coal dust. The resulting explosion ricocheted in several directions, tearing through two and a half miles of mine, killing 29 of 31 men working in the area and searing the mine into history as the site of the most deadly coal-related disaster in nearly 40 years. Five years later, the explosion continues to reverberate, in the courts and elsewhere. Former Upper Big Branch supervisor Gary May was sentenced to 21 months in prison after...

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Climate Change 2014: What Do We Do Now?...

Jan 6, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Bruce Melton, Truthout | News Analysis (Photo: Ben Grey) As we move into 2015, the latest climate science continues to diverge from policy. New science tells us that, because of short-lived climate pollutants, current policies dealing with carbon dioxide pollution alone will likely produce more warming than doing nothing at all. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has now also said that we must begin to effect a large removal of the accumulated climate pollution already in our atmosphere – that emissions reductions alone are no longer sufficient. But all is not discouraging, when it comes to new climate discoveries. Atmospheric removal of carbon dioxide now appears to be no more expensive than many things our civilization does every day. This is a paradigm change from current policy. All policy...

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9 Things Scientists Did This Year To Ensure A Better Climate Future...

Dec 15, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Ari PhillipsCLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: flickr/ Light Brigading While in many ways this was the year of “I’m not a scientist” — a refrain used by politicians to eschew responsibility for an issue they’ve decided doesn’t behoove them or their donors — actual scientists were working hard, and mostly behind the scenes, to address an issue they see as preeminent to the future well-being of humankind. Ninety-seven percent of scientists already agree that global warming is driven by human activity and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While politicians work to obscure this consensus, scientists are working to better understand the implications of climate change and how to best deal with them through adaptation, mitigation, and innovation. If the year in climate science had to be summed up, the key takeaway...

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It’s Time for Obama to Tighten Rules on Gas Leaks...

Nov 22, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Andrew C. Revkin   NYTDOT Photo An oil storage tank looks unremarkable through a conventional camera but can be seen to be leaking plumes of methane in an infrared image (video).Credit EPA Environmental groups with varied stances on the merits of natural gas and the controversial extraction method best known as fracking have endorsed a set of cost-effective steps the Obama administration could take to stanch gas leaks from wells and other gas and oil facilities. Such emissions contribute to harmful local air pollution and — because the main constituent of natural gas is heat-trapping methane — global warming. The steps are laid out in “Waste Not: Common Sense Ways to Reduce Methane Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry,” the summary of a forthcoming report aimed at shaping new standards...

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Memo To Obama: Expanded Natural Gas Use Worsens Climate Change...

Sep 24, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   by Joe Romm   CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock A new study confirms that “increased natural gas use for electricity will not substantially reduce US GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, and by delaying deployment of renewable energy technologies, may actually exacerbate the climate change problem in the long term.” This Environmental Research Letters study should be sobering to fans of expanded gas use who care about global warming — such as the Environmental Defense Fund and President Obama — because it is true even if methane leakage from gas production and delivery could somehow miraculously be reduced to zero. “Natural gas has been presented as a bridge to a low-carbon future, but what we see is that it’s actually a major detour,” explained lead author Christine Shearer in the news release. “We find that the...

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How Residents of a Rural New Mexico County Fought the Fracking Barons and Won—For Now...

Sep 17, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Environmental Justice  |  People vs corporations In Mora County, New Mexico, corporations seeking fracking contracts came up against “querencia”—a traditional way of thinking about and defending the land. by Nina Bunker Ruiz   YES MAGAZINE Photo by the author. My parents live in Chacon, New Mexico, in a wind-chapped finger of high-mountain Mora Valley. My grandparents were determined to spend their last days there and are buried in Chacon’s campo santo. Every delicious summer of my childhood, I played in and along the Mora River, and now my children splash in the same cold mountain stream. “Querencia,” as it is used in the ordinance, means both a respect and love of place, and a safe haven from which one draws strength. Energy companies are seeking permits to explore natural gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing,...

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Drinking Water Contaminated by Fracking Boom in Texas and Pennslyvania, Says New Study...

Sep 15, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]     Fracking   The Guardian / By Suzanne Goldenberg  VIA ALTERNET Faulty natural gas well casings blamed in study for methane leakage in Barnett Shale and the Marcellus formation. Photo Credit: Still from Gasland (2010) The natural gas boom resulting from fracking has contaminated drinking water in Texas and Pennsylvania, a new study said on Monday. However, the researchers said the gas leaks were due to defective gas well production – and were not a direct result of horizontal drilling, or fracking. The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences validated some of the concerns raised by homeowners in the Barnett Shale of Texas and the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania about natural gas leaking into their water supply. The film  Gasland notoriously showed flames bursting out of a kitchen...

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Time Is Running Out for Activists to Halt Fracked Gas Pipeline Into New York City, Connecticut, Rhode Island...

Sep 14, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  By Ellen Cantarow, Truthout | News Analysis   TRUTHOUT A natural gas pipeline that Whiting Petroleum is constructing near Belfield, North Dakota, September 3, 2011. Spectra Energy has been planning extensions to its Algonquin Pipeline into New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times) Unless an extension is granted, concerned citizens have only until September 29 to comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the Algonquin Pipeline Extension pushing fracked gas through sensitive regions in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island – creating environmental and nuclear hazards. I am moving to New York City next year, a life change friends are congratulating me about but one that means fracking will be invading my kitchen in the form of the radon that will soon issue from gas jets...

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Where does Hillary Clinton stand on fracking?...

Sep 7, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Hans Watson By Lisa Hymas   GRIST Hillary Clinton never actually said the word “fracking” during her keynote address at the National Clean Energy Summit in Nevada on Thursday, but she still clearly laid out her views on the technique: She’s all for it. She says it needs to be conducted and regulated properly so it doesn’t cause excessive environmental harm, but she believes that can be done. Which puts her totally in line with President Obama, and out of line with most of the environmental community. During her address, Clinton spoke about the great promise of renewable energy and energy efficiency, for our economy, our national security, and the climate. We need to “build a safe bridge to a clean energy economy,” she said. And when she said the word “bridge,” you knew...

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Accounting for the Expanding Carbon Shadow from Coal-Burning Plants...

Aug 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Climate Change By ANDREW C. REVKIN  NYTDOT Download the NYT Opinion app for free on iPhone. » Photo A coal-fired power plant at night on the outskirts of Datong, Shanxi Province.Credit Jason Lee/Reuters Steven Davis of the University of California, Irvine, and Robert Socolow of Princeton (best known for his work dividing the climate challenge into carbon “wedges”) have written “Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions,” a valuable new paper in Environmental Research Letters showing the value of shifting from tracking annual emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants to weighing the full amount of carbon dioxide that such plants, burning coal or gas, could emit during their time in service. This makes sense because of the long lifetime of these plants once built — typically 40 years or so — and the long lifetime of carbon dioxide...

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Retired Coal Miner To EPA: ‘We’re Dying, Literally Dying For You To Help Us’...

Aug 2, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Shannon Greenwood CLIMATE PROGRESS A man sits at an EPA hearing on the Clean Power plan in Atlanta Tuesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/David Goldman A retired coal miner traveled roughly 1,300 miles from his home in Harlan County, Kentucky to Denver, Colorado where the Environmental Protection Agency was holding public hearings on its new proposed regulations to cut carbon pollution from power plants. In the five minutes he was allotted, Stanley Sturgill spoke to the EPA about how he now suffers from black lung diseases among other respiratory illnesses and how the pollution from coal plants were adversely affecting not only his health, but the public’s too. His plea: “We’re dying, literally dying for you to help us.” The hearing in Denver was one of several the EPA held across the country Tuesday...

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MAP: Which States Have The Most Expensive Energy Bills...

Jul 19, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Joanna M. Foster The greener the state, the lower the monthly energy bill. The redder the state, the higher the monthly energy bill. CREDIT: WalletHub For most Americans, summer is the time to take a moment to soak up the sun and travel to spend time with friends and family. While those are all things that most of us look forward to, the energy bill that comes along with blasting the A.C. and driving cross-country puts a definite damper on the summer fun. In the United States, the average consumer drops more than 7 percent of their total income on energy every year. While the summer months, especially July and August, are the most energy expensive in the U.S., just how much Americans spend on energy depends a lot on where they...

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Obama really wishes he could put a price on carbon...

Jun 10, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Grist staff The White House President Obama explained his thinking about climate change during a sit-down interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman; it will air Monday night during the final episode of Showtime’s climate series “Years of Living Dangerously.” Friedman also shared lots of the good bits in his Times column on Sunday. Here are some highlights: Obama would love to make polluters pay for their CO2 emissions: “[I]f there’s one thing I would like to see, it’d be for us to be able to price the cost of carbon emissions. … We’ve obviously seen resistance from the Republican side of the aisle on that. And out of fairness, there’s some Democrats who’ve been concerned about it as well, because regionally they’re very reliant on heavy industry and old-power plants. …...

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Future Of New EPA Power Plant Rules Depends On The States...

Jun 3, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Kate Sheppard huffingtonpost.com WASHINGTON — Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled new standards for emissions from power plants, responsibility will fall to the states to come up with their own plans to reduce planet-warming emissions. The EPA’s plan calls for a 30 percent cut to emissions from power plants by 2030. The goals for each state are based on a calculation that takes into account their current emissions and their potential for making reductions. States will be given a high degree of control in deciding how they will meet those individual standards. “It’s now all about the states,” said Anna Aurilio, director of the Washington, D.C. office of Environment America. States can effect cuts by implementing changes at power plants, such as equipment upgrades or improved efficiency, or by switching to...

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Thanks to coal, U.S. CO2 emissions are up. Good thing Obama’s about to regulate coal plants....

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Ben Adler  grist Rainforest Action Network We’ve gotten soft. The economic crash of 2008, and then the rise of natural gas from the fracking boom, have gotten us used to small but steady declines in U.S. CO2 emissions. Not anymore. According to the newest Monthly Energy Review from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, released Wednesday, that five-year trend is clearly over. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels increased by 2.39 percent in 2013. For January and February of 2014, the only months this year for which the EIA has data thus far, carbon emissions increased by 7.45 percent over the same period last year. The main culprit is coal, and that illustrates the importance of the EPA’s forthcoming regulations for emissions from coal-fired power plants, which President Obama is expected to unveil on Monday. CO2...

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TIME TO DEMAND ANSWERS

May 9, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Kate Sheppard Become a fan kate.sheppard@huffingtonpost.com EPA Eyeing Federal Rules On Fracking Fluid Disclosure WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is requesting public comments on how it might go about “enhancing transparency for chemicals and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing.” Hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, uses high-pressure blasts of a mixture of water, chemicals and sand to break into shale rock formations and release the oil and natural gas contained therein. On Friday, the EPA issued what is known as an “advance notice of proposed rulemaking” — in other words, a heads up that the agency is looking at new regulations for the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking. Those chemicals have become a contentious subject as natural gas development has boomed in the United States, with citizens and environmental activists calling for...

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Beverly Hills Bans Fracking: First City In California To Do So...

May 8, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Dana Feldman BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 6 (Reuters) – City leaders in celebrity-filled Beverly Hills voted on Tuesday to ban fracking, becoming the first municipality in California to prohibit the controversial technique for extracting natural gas and oil from underground rock deposits. Environmentalists say chemicals used in the process pollute underground water supplies and cause other damage. The unanimous vote by the Beverly Hills city council gives final approval to fracking ban, which was given the initial go-ahead by the panel last month. Council members, five of whom voted in favor of the ban, did not publicly discuss the measure on Tuesday. It will take effect on June 6. Beverly Hills is one of the nation’s most affluent cities and is home to numerous luxury retailers, but it is not untouched by...

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DRILL, BABY, DRILL HAS FAILED

May 2, 2014 Posted by

And Now We Can Do Something About It

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Secrets Beneath The Rubble: ExxonMobil In Papua New Guinea...

May 1, 2014 Posted by

There are some disturbing facts buried…

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