Guest's blog

Sizing Up Trump’s Dirty Replacement for the Clean Power Plan

Read time: 3 mins
Trump digs coal

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Thirteen months ago, we made some guesses about what a replacement for the Clean Power Plan might look like. We speculated the new rule would be the sort of “inside the fenceline” policy preferred by the industry–one where coal plants are only required to make marginal improvements, basically just upgrading existing plants to run more efficiently.

Such an approach, which makes coal plants more profitable to run and would keep them running for longer, would ultimately lead to even higher levels of pollution than if there was no policy at all.

Judge Orders Full Environmental Review of Keystone XL in Nebraska

Read time: 3 mins
Niobrara State Park Bridge in Nebraska

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

TransCanada's long-gestating Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline was dealt another setback after a federal judge in Montana ruled Wednesday that the Trump State Department must conduct a robust environmental review of the alternative pipeline route through Nebraska.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris sided with environmentalists, landowners, and tribal plaintiffs in their challenge to the Trump administration. Pipeline opponents argued that the State Department's approval of the KXL was based on an outdated Environmental Impact Statement from 2014 of the original route, and accused the administration of trying to short-cut the permitting process.

DNC Will Take Fossil Fuel Money After All

Read time: 4 mins
Tom Perez in 2016

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

That was fast. Just two months after the Democratic National Committee (DNCunanimously prohibited donations from fossil fuel companies, the DNC voted 30-2 on Friday, August 11 on a resolution that critics say effectively reverses the ban, The Huffington Post reported.

All the Battles Being Waged Against Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Are Following a Single Strategy

Read time: 6 mins
Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst, a Democrat, at a Mountain Valley pipeline protest before he took office.
By Luis Hestres, The University of Texas at San Antonio

The activists holding a growing number of protests against oil pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects from coast to coast are winning some courtroom victories.

For example, a federal appeals court recently struck down two key decisions allowing a natural gas pipeline to cut through Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest, just days before a three-judge panel nixed two permits for another pipeline intended to transport natural gas in Virginia because it would compromise efforts to protect endangered wildlife. At the same time, Oregon’s Supreme Court declined to revisit a lower court ruling that let Portland’s prohibition of big fossil fuel export projects stand.

Just like when activists refuse to leave their treetop perches to stop oil companies from axing an old-growth forest or when they lock their bodies to bulldozers to prevent the machine from making way for a new coal mine, these legal challenges are part of a coordinated strategy I have studied for years while researching the movement to slow down and address climate change.

How the Federal Government Came to Control Your Car's Fuel Economy

Read time: 5 mins
Cars wait in line for gas during the 1970s energy crisis
By Brian C. Black, Pennsylvania State University

The Environmental Protection Agency in August announced a plan to freeze fuel economy standards and revoke the ability of California to set more stringent rules than the national ones, prompting a legal showdown between the state and the federal government.

The proposal, which would keep fuel economy at planned 2020 levels, is the most significant step to halt the rise on the mileage standards of the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet in decades.

But how did fuel efficiency even become mandated? After all, manufacturers go to great lengths to analyze the consumer marketplace and build in the most tantalizing features to create top sellers, whether it’s great acceleration or a deep bass sound system. One feature is different, though: Carmakers are legally bound to innovate more efficiency into their vehicles.

Canada, US Governments Watching, But Not Intervening, in Coal Mine Pollution Controversy

Read time: 8 mins
Teck's Greenhill's mountaintop removal coal mine in BC's Elk Valley

By , The Narwhal. Originally posted on The Narwhal.

The U.S. State Department is not going to intervene in a dispute that has split the International Joint Commission (IJC), despite a letter from U.S. commissioners charging that their Canadian counterparts are refusing to publish data showing the full effects of selenium pollution flowing from B.C. coal mines into Montana.

A State Department official told The Narwhal that there are “no plans to weigh in at this time,” and, instead, both the U.S and Canadian federal governments are urging IJC representatives to work out their differences.

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