While Reviewing Spectra Energy Gas Pipeline Project, FERC Contractor Did Not Disclose Its Hiring by Spectra for Five Other Projects

In a potential conflict of interest, a contractor hired by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review a proposed Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline project had already been working for the company it was reviewing on a different but interconnected pipeline. Spectra then directly hired the contractor, Natural Resource Group (NRG), for no fewer than five other projects during the review period.

These revelations raise questions about the contractor’s ability to impartially review Spectra’s application on behalf of the government regulator.

In June 2013, FERC approved the hiring of NRG as a third-party contractor to conduct a comprehensive environmental review for Spectra’s then-proposed Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project, a major capacity upgrade for its Algonquin Pipeline carrying fracked gas from Pennsylvania through New York and into New England.

While third-party contractors are paid by the pipeline company seeking FERC approval, they are considered independent analysts who work under the direct supervision of FERC staff.

Yet DeSmog has found that during the time of its hiring for AIM, NRG was providing environmental consulting services for two of Spectra’s pipeline testing and renewal projects on its Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline, which interconnects with the Algonquin Pipeline.

‘Climate Inaction Figures’ Campaign Launches To Combat Anti-Science Absurdity, Promote a Price On Carbon

The cloak of denial, an anti-science shield, the Koch Brothers’ chest full of money, and James Inhofe’s weapon of choice, a spiked snowball.

These are some of the accessories that come with the newly announced Climate Inaction Figures: Toy-sized likenesses of prominent political figures who claim, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that there is no reason to act on climate change. 

The figures and the campaign are the work of the team behind the Emmy-Award winning documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously.

Besides offering a much-needed laugh during these days of convention craziness, the project hopes to inspire people to learn more about — and take action — on carbon pricing policy work.

The campaign directs people to theclimatesolution.com, a website that explores the benefits and practicality of putting a price on carbon.

Because if you’re not part of the solution, well… then the Climate Inaction Figures win. 

The Koch and Exxon Funded Think Tanks Supporting, and Being Courted by, Britain’s Brexit Campaigners

Owen Paterson speaking at the Heritage Foundation

The Republican National Convention kicks off this week in Cleveland, Ohio and among the crowd clamouring to see Donald Trump will be one man who crossed the Atlantic to be there: Nigel Farage.

The former head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) helped lead Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) and is famous for saying last year “I haven’t got a clue whether climate change is being driven by carbon-dioxide emissions.”

But he’s made the trip this week to deliver a message to Republicans that the UK’s vote to leave the EU, or ‘Brexit’, holds lessons for America.

Australia Appoints “Mr Coal” As New Climate Change Minister

Australia’s new climate change minister is an MP once dubbed “Mr Coal” who believes the climate polluting fossil fuel is the secret to lifting the world's poorest countries out of poverty.

Re-elected conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put Liberal Party MP Josh Frydenberg, the former resources minister, in charge of the country’s climate policy.

Frydenberg replaces MP Greg Hunt who, as environment and climate change minister, was responsible for approving the largest coal mine in Australian history — the giant Adani Carmichael mine in the country’s Galilee Basin.

BP Announces Final Estimate Of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, But Are They Being Honest?

Julie Dermansky

On July 14th, oil giant BP announced that they had finally finished their calculations and the final estimate for costs of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill would likely hit $62 billion. This cost includes all of the settlements and lawsuits from individuals, lawsuits from cities and states, federal lawsuits, and civil penalties and cleanup costs.

According to reports, the “after tax” total is closer to $44 billion, still a massive sum to pay out for any company.

Nearly every article available discussing these payments deals with the business impacts and market value of the company. The Washington Post says that the company has lost 1/3 of their market size as a result of the spill, which was about $180 billion before the disaster.

Lip service is paid to the victims of the spill and the long-lasting effects that the disaster had on the Gulf of Mexico, and one vital fact has been missing completely from the analysis: Taxpayers are the ones who are really getting screwed with this deal.

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