To Fight Clean Power Plan, Fossil Fuel Companies Paid for Private Meetings with Republican State Prosecutors

Republican Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma.

Just one week before Republican state attorneys general asked federal courts to reject the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which requires states to regulate emissions from electricity generation, they met privately — for a handsome fee — with energy companies Murray Energy and Southern Company, which are also suing to halt the plan’s implementation. 

The timing of the secret meetings and financial contributions reveal what appears to be a well-coordinated effort to hobble the Obama administration’s climate policy agenda.

Destruction of Sacred Burial Grounds Prompts Federal Judge to Protect Some Tribal Sites from Dakota Access Pipeline

Tribe members and their supporters march with signs protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. halted construction on a portion of the contentious Dakota Access Bakken oil pipeline route, which falls on federal land. However, because the court lacked jurisdiction, he ruled that construction could continue on the area* that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had recently identified as sacred tribal burial ground, a site that was bulldozed over the Labor Day weekend by pipeline construction crews.

Discovered only recently, the ancient site's location was filed just one day* before its destruction and was awaiting review by the state historic preservation office.

At the judge’s request, Dakota Access LLC agreed to halt construction on only a small area in contention until the judge issues a separate ruling this week on a preliminary injunction motion brought by the tribe over the pipeline.

Company Led by Donald Trump's Energy Aide Says Its Oil Will Flow Through Dakota Access Pipeline

Continental Resources — the company founded and led by CEO Harold Hamm, energy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and potential U.S. Secretary of Energy under a Trump presidency — has announced to investors that oil it obtains via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from North Dakota's Bakken Shale basin is destined for transport through the hotly-contested Dakota Access pipeline.

The company's 37-page September 2016 Investor Update presentation walks investors in the publicly-traded company through various capital expenditure and profit-margin earning scenarios. It also features five slides on the Bakken Shale, with the fifth one named “CLR Bakken Differentials Decreasing Through Increased Pipeline Capacity” honing in on Dakota Access, ETCOP and how the interconnected lines relate to Continental's marketing plans going forward.

Climate Impacts: Melting Glaciers, Shifting Biomes and Dying Trees in US National Parks

By Patrick Gonzalez, National Park Service

Trees are dying across Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks. Glaciers are melting in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Corals are bleaching in Virgin Islands National Park. Published field research conducted in U.S. national parks has detected these changes and shown that human climate change – carbon pollution from our power plants, cars and other human activities – is the cause.

As principal climate change scientist of the U.S. National Park Service, I conduct research on how climate change has already altered the national parks and could further change them in the future. I also analyze how ecosystems in the national parks can naturally reduce climate change by storing carbon. I then help national park staff to use the scientific results to adjust management actions for potential future conditions.

Research in U.S. national parks contributes in important ways to global scientific understanding of climate change.

National parks are unique places where it is easier to tell if human climate change is the main cause of changes that we observe in the field, because many parks have been protected from urbanization, timber harvesting, grazing and other nonclimate factors. The results of this research highlight how urgently we need to reduce carbon pollution to protect the future of the national parks.

Climate Change Cynics: How to Effectively Communicate With a Denier

This is a guest post by Aaron Viles from Care2.

For climate activists, the growing trend of climate change denialism in recent years isn’t just frustrating—it’s alarming. We know that the longer we wait to shift our energy sources and increase the efficiency with which we utilize the energy we produce, the more jarring the shift will be. Despite the powerful message that world leaders have sent by coming together in Paris to agree to limit warming to 2 degrees, currently national and global plans are not enough to make that a reality.

Yet, rather than focusing energy on the how, climate activists in the United States are still stuck trying to explain the why to folks who still doubt there’s a problem at all. It’s an important task: as the second largest emitter in the world, our country needs to implement strong climate action, something that’s impossible without strong political support. So how can those of us who see the looming disaster convince our neighbors to join our side?

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