Hillary Clinton Showed Support, Associates Profited from Ex-Im Bank Financing World’s Largest Coal Plants in South Africa

In 2009, the South African government announced a major energy plan to construct two new coal-fired power stations. The project, which aimed at building the world’s largest coal plants, came under intense criticism by various governments and climate activists, who saw it as a disastrous blow to the fight against climate change.
 
Yet newly released emails from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State, reveal that she acted in support of a World Bank loan for the construction of one of the plants.
 
Furthermore, a DeSmog investigation finds that the other plant, which received funding from a US government agency led by a close Clinton ally and fundraiser, is being built by an American construction firm tied to another associate of the former Secretary.
 
These actions seem contrary to Clinton’s tough campaign talk on curbing CO2 emissions and investing in renewable energy. They also raise new questions about Clinton's ties to the revolving door lobbying culture that connects major corporations to top officials in Washington, DC

Battle Over Solar Energy’s Future In North Carolina Heats Up As Bipartisan Bills and Civil Protests Mount Against Duke Energy’s Obstructionism

Around the nation, big utility companies are successfully lobbying lawmakers and regulators to restrict individual and corporate access to solar power, denying people significant savings on electricity bills and the opportunity to take part in the growing green energy economy.
 
In third-party solar financing, a non-utility company installs solar panels on a customer’s property at little or no up-front cost, sometimes selling the solar energy back to the customer at rates typically lower than a utility would charge.
 

How Koch-, Oil-Funded Climate Deniers Inserted Themselves Into Natural Gas Debate in Israel

DeSmog recently revealed the latest troubling chapter in the story of Israel’s nascent oil and gas boom – a saga of revolving doors, multinational fossil fuel intrigue, and significant American political intervention. But there’s another interesting tale to tell, one that has gone unnoticed by many observers.
 
Individuals and groups associated with climate denial or science obfuscation have recently inserted themselves into the raging public debates over the use of Israel’s newly discovered natural gas fields.
 
Sparked in 2010, the contentious debate surrounding the offshore fields has largely revolved around how to allocate royalties and ownership rights rather than whether to extract the enormous amounts of gas in the first place.
 
There are many reasons for this narrow framing. One is the inability of Israel’s environmentalists to shift the discourse in a way that will take into account the global imperative of keeping most fossil fuels in the ground to stave off climate catastrophe.
 
As was evident in the lost battle over the construction of the Trans-Israel Highway, another privatized infrastructure project, the country’s greens always seem to be a step behind quick global investors and multinational corporations.
 
In addition, the misleading characterization of natural gas as a “clean bridge fuel” in Israeli public discourse myopically overlooks the role caused by methane leaks in perpetrating global warming. The disastrous methane leak in Porter Ranch, California is the latest case in point, although that calamity has been temporarily stopped.   
 
Clearly, though, the participation of climate change deniers in debates about Israel’s energy future surely does not help shift the conversation.

Federal Railroad Administration Moves Forward on Rail Bridge Safety

Earlier this year the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the industry’s top lobbying group, produced a new report on rail safety. While the report ignored serious safety improvements such as requiring modernized braking systems on trains carrying hazardous materials, it did address one area of concern for oil-by-rail activists — rail bridge safety.

The section of the new AAR report on rail bridges opens with the statement “Don’t judge a book by its cover” — arguing that just because a bridge looks unsafe doesn’t mean it is. The report then goes on to describe industry programs to inspect rail bridges.

Railroads have been leaders in bridge safety practices for decades. In fact, long before the federal government began its highway bridge inspection program, the railroads inspected railroad bridges routinely. These inspections require detailed annual checks of each bridge. Safety inspectors sometimes need to scale bridges — often hundreds of feet in the air — to examine the health of bridge members and components.

So the rail industry claims detailed annual checks of each bridge are standard practice. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case. And even if it is the case, the industry has only allowed the public to “judge a book by its cover” because it wouldn’t share these reports with the public.

As Warming Accelerates, Talk Of Climate Change Dissipates

There is not a single person running for U.S. President as a Republican who believes that we should take action to fight climate change. Not one. To make matters worse, the top three contenders for the Republican nomination — Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio — refuse to even acknowledge that climate change is real. The remaining two GOP candidates — John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson — don’t believe climate scientists about the scope and severity of the problem.
 
One of these men will have a 50% chance of becoming the President of the United States this coming November. And depending on which polls you look at, the three frontrunners have a very real shot at actually winning the election.
 
Cruz and Rubio are the only two candidates who currently serve in office, both in the Senate, and while they are currently both trailing Trump in delegate count, the number of primaries left to be held indicate that either could take the lead and secure the nomination. And since they both hold office, we can check their records to see where they stand on environmental issues.
 
And things aren’t looking good.

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