Friday, November 15, 2019 - 11:20 • Laura Peterson

With the backing of the mining industry and anti-regulatory groups, the Trump administration has been seeking to expand mining on public lands and further loosen environmental rules under the banner of weaning the United States off importing minerals deemed “critical” to national security. 

This move may have particular implications for the struggling U.S. coal industry and its promoters, which have begun rallying behind efforts to extract some of these so-called “critical minerals” from coal and its by-products.  

Friday, November 15, 2019 - 06:17 • Sophie Yeo
Read time: 5 mins

From its tense soundtrack and flickering images of suspicious-looking wires, you could mistake the BBC’s latest documentary on climate change for some kind of cyber spy thriller. And that’s kind of what it is. 

The BBC documentary, Climategate: Science of a Scandal, begins with Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University recounting how he opened a letter and unleashed wafts of white powder. “My first thought was: I may have been subject to a deadly substance, anthrax,” he says. “All because I decided to study applied math and physics, and move into climate science.”

Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 07:58 • Justin Mikulka
Read time: 7 mins

A recent paper analyzing the major players in the organized efforts to attack climate change science and delay action had a surprising revelation — the biggest contributing industry/sector was not oil and gas but rail/steel/coal with the most active organization in the climate denial movement being the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

In the paper, Networks of Opposition: A Structural Analysis of U.S. Climate Change Countermovement Coalitions 1989-2015, author Robert Brulle, looks at “key political coalitions that worked to oppose climate action. In conjunction with their allied trade associations, these coalitions have served as a central coordination mechanism in efforts opposed to mandatory limits on carbon emissions.”

And the allied trade association that was most active was the AAR. Why would the rail industry care about climate change and be active in promoting denial? Coal.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 18:02 • Lee van der Voo
Read time: 5 mins

The Oregon Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday, November 13 to decide the fate of one of a half dozen state-level climate lawsuits filed on behalf of American youth. The plaintiffs in the Oregon case, appealing a state appellate court decision in January, charge that the state has a public trust obligation to protect the atmosphere on behalf of future generations.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 17:14 • Dana Drugmand
Read time: 4 mins

Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States, has significantly increased its lobbying spending this year, including efforts to influence policy on key climate and transportation issues and legislation. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 07:58 • Guest
Read time: 6 mins

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

This piece is published in partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 380 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Friday, November 8, 2019 - 13:54 • Guest
Read time: 12 mins

By Dan Zegart

Last week, in a historic first, the former CEO of a major oil company took the witness stand in a New York City courtroom and spent four hours defending his company against charges that it misled investors about the potential impact of global warming on its viability as a business.   

Rex Tillerson, who led ExxonMobil from 2006 until the end of 2016 when he became U.S. secretary of state, was grilled by an attorney for the New York State attorney general for allegedly participating in a “longstanding fraudulent scheme” by Exxon to fool investors. More specifically, the company is charged with exaggerating the stringency of its financial safeguards in pricing risks from regulations restricting greenhouse gas emissions, according to the complaint filed last year in New York state court.    

But Tillerson's appearance was just one of several recent watershed moments for efforts to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its dominant role in causing climate change.

Friday, November 8, 2019 - 12:26 • Dana Drugmand
Read time: 6 mins

It’s been a bumpy ride for the auto industry in the ongoing battle over clean car regulations and California’s authority to set stricter rules for vehicle emissions. The industry is now divided as several automakers reached a deal over the summer with California to embrace a cleaner emissions standard through 2026, while a coalition of other carmakers recently backed the Trump administration in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s withdrawal of California’s waiver allowing it to set tougher tailpipe pollution controls. That coalition, which includes auto giants like General Motors and Toyota, claims to support “year over year increases in fuel economy” but also opposes California’s authority to set tailpipe emissions standards aligned with that increase.

The announcement by the Toyota and General Motors group was “not surprising, but it’s disappointing,” according to Don Anair, deputy and research director for the Clean Transportation program at Union of Concerned Scientists.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 18:00 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 7 mins

The company that for the past decade has been emblematic of the rise and pitfalls of shale drilling and fracking, Chesapeake Energy, saw its stock price collapse today, plunging by 29.15 percent in a single day.

At the end of the day on November 6, a share in Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) was worth less than a buck, priced at $0.91.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 20:06 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 7 mins

California and Colorado’s public pension funds together lost out on over $19 billion over the past decade by investing in fossil fuel stocks, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The three public pension funds analyzed are currently worth a combined $663 billion. However, if they’d divested from fossil companies in 2009 while keeping their other investments at the same proportions, they could have amassed a combined additional $19 billion in ten years, the report published by Corporate Knights, a Canadian media, research and financial firm, concludes.

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