coal

Coal Baron Don Blankenship Found Guilty Of Conspiring To Violate Mine Safety Standards

The verdict is in: Don Blankenship, the outspoken coal baron who was CEO of Massey Energy when the 2010 Upper Big Branch disaster in West Virginia claimed the lives of 29 coal miners, has been found guilty of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards.

It’s a small measure of justice for the families of the fallen miners who packed the front row of the courthouse to hear Judge Irene C. Berger read the verdict.

Blankenship is facing a maximum fine of $250,000 and a sentence of one year in prison on the misdemeanor conspiracy charge. He’ll be sentenced this spring.

Divestment Movement Hits Major Milestone As World Leaders Debate Climate Action In Paris

More than 500 institutions that manage $3.4 trillion in assets have now committed to divesting holdings in fossil fuels, divestment campaign groups announced today in Paris.

As recently as September 2014, just 181 institutions managing $50 billion in assets had made some sort of divestment commitment.

350.org and Divest-Invest, two of the key groups organizing the divestment movement, announced the new additions to the growing list of divestors this morning in Paris at the UN COP21 climate negotiations.

Matt 'King Coal' Ridley's COP21 Claims Create More Heat than Light

GUEST POST BY SOU AT HOTWHOPPER

It's not just deniers who have sunk to a new low. Scientific American has too. The magazine made something of a mockery of a collection of in-depth articles about climate change by including an article from science disinformer Matt Ridley.

I'm told Matt's article is only in the online edition, not the print edition, but it shouldn't have been in either. Matt claimed (despite all evidence that already we are seeing extreme weather disasters from global warming) that 'Climate Change Will Not Be Dangerous for a Long Time'. The publication is timed to coincide with the COP21 conference currently taking place in Paris. 

The misleading headline is really bad and something I'd never expected to see at the once admired magazine. Matt Ridley's article is full of the sort of nonsense you'd expect to read on climate conspiracy blogs. It starts with:

Alberta Climate Announcement Puts End to Infinite Growth of Oilsands

Alberta Climate Change Announcment

The days of infinite growth in Alberta’s oilsands are over with the Alberta government’s blockbuster climate change announcement on Sunday, which attracted broad support from industry and civil society.

This is the day that we start to mobilize capital and resources to create green jobs, green energy, green infrastructure and a strong, environmentally responsible, sustainable and visionary Alberta energy industry with a great future,” Premier Rachel Notley said. “This is the day we stop denying there is an issue, and this is the day we do our part.”

Notley and Environment & Parks Minister Shannon Phillips released a 97-page climate change policy plan, which includes five key pillars.

Coal is Not the Answer to Energy Poverty and Here’s Why

Worldwide, the coal industry is suffering as the demand for its product weakens in the face of a surge in clean, renewable energy options and a world that can no longer afford to continue to consume this dirty fossil fuel.

To deal with this decline in revenue, some coal companies like Peabody Energy are spending millions on advertising, public relations and lobbyists to convince politicians that coal is the answer to the issue of energy poverty in developing nations in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world.

Matt Ridley Lobbied Government on Costs of Climate Change Policies, Documents Reveal

The climate denier and Tory peer whose coal mine was targeted by protesters has been quietly lobbying government, documents newly released under Freedom of Information rules confirm.

Matt Ridley, author of Rational Optimist, benefits financially from millions of tonnes of coal extracted from open-cast mines on his Blagdon Estate, just north of Newcastle.

But he does not mention this vested interest in any of the letters sent to Baroness (Sandy) Verma attacking government subsidies to renewable energy, a commercial rival to coal.

Meet the Climate Change Activists Inside Matt Ridley’s Conscience

They slipped into place under the cover of darkness. With bicycle D-locks around their necks chained to diggers in the middle of the UK’s largest open-cast coal mine, and arms sealed inside concrete-laden, red-sequined tubes at the site’s entrance, this was Matt Ridley’s Conscience calling for the end of coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel of them all.

By dawn, mine workers and lorry drivers, unable to enter the site, turned away. After eight and a half hours of peaceful protest and nine arrests, victory was declared Monday afternoon for having successfully closed operations for the day.

This is what happens when a group of concerned individuals come together to act on climate change. But who exactly are these individuals and why are they calling themselves ‘Matt Ridley’s Conscience’?

Ignorance for a Price: How The Fossil Fuel Industry Pays Politicians To Doubt Science

One year ago, 68% of American citizens believed that climate change was real. Today, that number has jumped to 76%, according to a new poll by UT Energy. That shift is not surprising, considering the record-breaking temperatures and widespread droughts and weather disruptions that have occurred in the last 12 months.

But what is most surprising about this new poll is the shift in attitudes of Republican voters.

Six Commitments Missing From the Oil and Gas Major’s Climate Declaration

Major fossil fuel companies have today released a Joint Collaborative Declaration under the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) recognising the need to limit global average temperature rise to 2⁰C. Launched in Paris this morning, they are calling for an “effective climate change agreement at COP21”.

In the declaration, ten oil and gas giants call for “widespread and effective pricing of carbon emissions”. Signatories include the CEOs of Total, Statoil, BP, Shell, BG Group, Saudi Aramco, Pemex, Sinopec, Eni, Reliance, and Repsol.

The companies also back natural gas as a cleaner alternative to coal and want to see more research and development into renewables and carbon capture and storage.  However, the declaration has been criticised for lacking concrete targets.

Morgan Stanley Targeted Over Coal Financing

Earlier this year, Bank of America and Credit Agricole both announced they were moving away from financing coal, citing a number of factors, among them the threat of future regulation due to coal’s impact on the planet and human health and pressure from environmental activists.

Now the Rainforest Action Network is targeting Morgan Stanley with calls to meet or beat its Wall Street colleagues’ commitments by adopting policies to end its financing for companies involved in coal mining and coal-fired power.

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