Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 13:50 • Justin Nobel

For several years a mysterious fleet of tractor trailers loaded with natural gas cylinders has been crisscrossing U.S. roads, and in the dark early morning hours on Sunday, March 3, one drove off a highway near Cobleskill, New York, careened down an embankment, and flipped over. The driver had fallen asleep, according to a New York State police accident report, the truck was demolished, and “several tanks ruptured and were leaking” natural gas. Five nearby homes were evacuated.

For retired New York Department of Transportation commercial vehicle inspector Ron Barton, an alarm bell he had been ringing for months suddenly grew even more urgent. “This is a catastrophe waiting to happen,” says Barton.

The trucks are part of a little-known system of moving natural gas called “virtual pipelines.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 17:41 • Itai Vardi
Read time: 5 mins

In a surprise move that threw a controversial fossil fuel project into a whirlwind, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) late last week revealed new evidence of toxins in the area of a proposed natural gas facility in the greater Boston area.

The sequence of events leading to the disclosure was set in motion by DeSmog’s recent revelations that the state had not released air pollution data, including evidence of carcinogens, which were collected from the proposed site of Enbridge’s gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Now, DEP’s air permit for the compressor station, which is currently under appeal, is teetering.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:51 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 7 mins

A lawsuit filed today in federal court in Louisiana challenges the state’s “critical infrastructure” law, used to press felony charges against fossil fuel pipeline construction opponents, as unconstitutional.

Louisiana’s critical infrastructure law is unconstitutionally vague and broad, the suit alleges, because it lets “any authorized person” exclude people from public places like sidewalks and roads if the state’s 125,000 miles of mostly unmarked pipelines cross there. The law could even be used to bring felony charges against a landowner for being on their own land, the lawsuit alleges.

And, as more than a dozen arrests of peaceful protesters under the new law demonstrate, its actual aim is to chill, and harshly punish, speech and expression in opposition to pipeline projects,” the complaint adds.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 16:00 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 8 mins

In April, the Department of Justice informed Southern Company that it was under investigation “related to the Kemper County energy facility” in Mississippi, where Southern had spent $7.5 billion, including hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds from the Department of Energy, trying to build a coal-fired power plant that would capture carbon emissions.

Former engineers and officials from the Kemper plant have described evidence of possible intentional fraud at the construction project, alleging that the company knew of design flaws early on but pressed forward with the project in the hopes that costs could be passed on to power customers even if the project ran severely over-budget.

But the while the company remains under investigation, the Trump administration is doubling down by offering new funding — not just millions for more “clean coal” research and development, but also billions more for another construction project, which is also far behind schedule and over-budget, by the same company.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 06:17 • Jocelyn Timperley
Read time: 8 mins

UN shipping talks stalled last week as slow-moving players, including Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the US, obstructed attempts to decide how the sector should begin to decarbonise.

The negotiations, which took place at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), are part of a global process on how to cut shipping’s large and growing emissions.

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 15:11 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

This is a guest post from ClimateDenierRoundup.

Last week, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary David Bernhardt testified in front of the House Natural Resources Committee about his leadership of the agency, flanked by “swamp monsters” in the audience highlighting his corruption.

When Rep. Huffman asked Bernhardt for specific examples of times when he told former clients “no,” when they asked for a policy change, he struggled to name a single instance. Remember, this is the man with so many conflicts of interest he has to carry them on a card, so he has plenty of former clients to choose from. After being pressed further by Huffman to name something specific, Bernhardt makes a reference to a “well control” rule.

That’s really where it gets interesting. Bernhardt’s industry clients actually praised the DOI’s well control rollback. And not only that, but the rule actually relies on the industry’s own guidance, effectively supplanting an Obama-era regulation with an American Petroleum Institute document.

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 12:50 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By Tara Lohan, The Revelator. Originally posted on The Revelator.

There’s something amiss in the Southwest. The region has the best solar potential in the country, yet thousands still live in homes without electricity. The problem is especially acute in native communities like the Navajo Nation, which was passed over in earlier efforts to bring electricity to rural communities.

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 15:05 • Guest
Read time: 3 mins

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Yet another study has shown that glaciers in Antarctica are melting at accelerating rates.

Almost 25 percent of the West Antarctic ice shelf is now thinning, and the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers are losing ice at five times the rate they were in the early 1990s, CNN reported.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 15:48 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 9 mins

The plastics industry plays a major — and growing — role in climate change, according to a report published today by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).

By 2050, making and disposing of plastics could be responsible for a cumulative 56 gigatons of carbon, the report found, up to 14 percent of the world's remaining carbon budget.

In 2019, the plastics industry is on track to release as much greenhouse gas pollution as 189 new coal-fired power plants running year-round, the report found — and the industry plans to expand so rapidly that by 2030, it will create 1.34 gigatons of climate-changing emissions a year, equal to 295 coal plants.

It’s an expansion that, in the United States, is largely driven by the shale gas rush unleashed by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 16:46 • Itai Vardi
Read time: 3 mins

An uproar ensued last week within Democratic party circles with the news that Heather Zichal, a former fossil fuel company board member, is serving as an advisor on climate change to presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Yet the fossil fuel connections of Biden’s burgeoning circle of advisors do not end with Zichal.

Pages