Friday, February 22, 2019 - 10:18 • Justin Mikulka

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced the city is scrapping plans for a multi-billion-dollar update to three natural gas power plants, instead choosing to invest in renewable energy and storage.

This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The climate crisis demands that we move more quickly to end dependence on fossil fuel, and that’s what today is all about.”

Last year America’s carbon emissions rose over 3 percent, despite coal plants closing and being replaced in part by natural gas, the much-touted “bridge fuel” and “cleaner” fossil fuel alternative. 

As a new series from the sustainability think tank the Sightline Institute points out, the idea of natural gas as a bridge fuel is “alarmingly deceptive.” 

But signs are emerging that, despite oil and gas industry efforts to shirk blame for the climate crisis and promote gas as part of a “lower-carbon fuel mix,” the illusion of natural gas as a bridge fuel is starting to crumble.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 04:15 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By This article originally appeared on Climate Home News.

Even among those sympathetic to it, the climate movement’s success in persuading President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015 was widely regarded as a symbolic victory.

Stopping one pipeline was hardly going to stop climate change, after all. And even the more limited goal that activists had set — stopping the exploitation of Alberta’s highly polluting tar sands — was dismissed as unrealistic. The oil would simply find another way to the market, the argument went, leading New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, for example, to declare “The Keystone Fight is a Huge Environmentalist Mistake.” Well, perhaps not.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 09:34 • Ben Jervey
Read time: 4 mins

The Trump administration just took a big step closer to handing the Koch network one of it biggest wins yet under this presidency. Bloomberg has reported that there will be no deal between the Trump administration and California on fuel efficiency and emissions standards for cars and light vehicles.

This move sets the stage for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to attempt to revoke California's special waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state to set its owns standards that are more stringent than federal standards.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 03:11 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 12 mins

In September 2018, two prospective buyers announced they were dropping out of negotiations to purchase the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), the American West’s largest coal-fired power plant.

Avenue Capital Group and Middle River Power had sought to keep the aging coal plant in business, but “said they could not get anyone to commit to buying power from the plant, delaying the start of an environmental review,” the Associated Press reported. The plant, located in northern Arizona near the Utah border, is currently scheduled to shut down in December, after its current owners concluded in 2017 that its power was too costly to be competitive.

The two firms had progressed further in talks with the coal power plant’s owners than any of the 15 others identified as potential buyers by a consulting firm hired by Peabody Energy, which for decades has mined the coal burned at the plant.

A think tank that’s been backed by Peabody Energy is pushing the sale of the ailing plant and coal mine — and is now finding an audience in the Navajo Nation with the help of a Heartland Institute policy advisor.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 23:03 • Graham Readfearn
Read time: 4 mins

In 2016, retired Princeton physicist Professor Will Happer accepted an invitation from conspiracy theorist G. Edward Griffin to give a keynote at his conference to talk about the “positive effects of CO2.”

Griffin thinks the science behind global warming is a scam. He also thinks there is “no such thing” as the HIV virus and that some plane contrails are part of a political plot to spray the population with poisons.

In an interview at the conference, Happer repeated his well-oiled mantra that “CO2 will be good for the Earth” and how it was “pretty clear we are not going to see dangerous climate change.”

Under normal circumstances, you might think that Happer's association with a notorious anti-science conspiracy theorist might not look good on your résumè for a government science committee. However, these are not normal times.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 23:00 • Mat Hope
Read time: 11 mins

Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry's playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work.

MIT Associate Professor David Hsu analyzed organisations in DeSmog’s disinformation database and the Guardian’s tobacco database and found 35 thinktanks based in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that promote both the tobacco and fossil fuel industries’ interests.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 14:34 • Julie Dermansky
Read time: 7 mins

Updated 2/22/2019: On February 21, after over two hours of testimony mostly against Entergy’s proposed gas plant, the New Orleans City Council voted unanimously  to let the company keep its permit despite the paid actors scandal, clearing the way for the project to proceed. 

Sparks flew at a New Orleans City Council’s utility committee meeting on Valentine’s Day, compelling the committee to delay voting on a resolution that would scrap plans to rescind the permit for Entergy’s proposed $210 million natural gas power plant in exchange for a $5 million fine.

The contentious permit was awarded to Entergy, which provides power to the city, on March 18, 2018, but the city council's third-party investigation of Entergy found the allegations that the company took part in an astroturf campaign to influence the vote for its proposed New Orleans East gas plant to be true. The investigation concluded that the company was responsible for hiring paid actors, who were wearing t-shirts supporting the plant, to fill council chambers and speak in support of the project.

Monday, February 18, 2019 - 03:00 • Guest
Read time: 6 mins
By Joseph Aldy, Harvard Kennedy School

Congressional Democrats have introduced a “Green New Deal” proposal that calls for a 10-year national mobilization to curb climate change by shifting the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels. Many progressives support this idea, while skeptics argue that a decade is not long enough to remake our nation’s energy system.

The closest analog to this effort occurred in 2009, when President Obama and Congress worked together to combat a severe economic recession by passing a massive economic stimulus plan. Among its many provisions, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided US$90 billion to promote clean energy. The bil’s clean energy package, which was dubbed the “biggest energy bill in history,” laid the foundation for dramatic changes to the energy system over the last 10 years.

Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 04:46 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.

Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 10:39 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Although pipelines have been facing a number of setbacks recently, pro-pipeline groups aren’t giving up. One of those is Grow America’s Infrastructure Now (GAIN), which came to our attention because it’s recently begun sponsoring the Washington Examiner’s daily energy newsletter.

GAIN’s website simply describes the group as supporting strengthening infrastructure development and only mentions pipelines as one aspect of its focus, which also includes bridges, roads, etc. But the group’s blogTwitter, and coverage in the media are pretty exclusively dedicated to pro-pipeline messaging. Hmmm, almost like it isn’t an all-around infrastructure group, and perhaps may have some ulterior motive …

Pages