california

Gas Companies Face Californian Wipe-out, Say S&P, Moody’s

Read time: 3 mins
Surfers wiping out

By , Climate Home News. This article originally appeared on Climate Home News.

Gas companies in California face credit downgrades, ratings agencies say, after the state pledged to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2045.

On September 10, California governor Jerry Brown signed a bill which would require 100 percent of the state electricity’s to come from carbon-free sources.

That would have no immediate effect on most gas generators, according to a report by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) analyst Michael Ferguson this month. However, he said: “We believe that over the long term, with the growth of renewable energy, these utilities face a significant threat to their market position, finances, and credit stability.”

Why Californians Are Worried About the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Read time: 8 mins
Sign protesting tar sands and Phillips 66 refinery expansion in Rodeo, California

By , The Narwhal. Originally posted on The Narwhal.

Canadians might imagine Burnaby as the main site of protest against the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and tanker project, the Vancouver suburb marked as it is by dozens of peaceful demonstrations, arrests and associated court challenges in recent years.

But a new line of opposition is now being drawn on sandy beaches some 1,300 kilometres to the south — in the Bay Area of California. There, residents are increasingly concerned that the expansion of Trans Mountain may result in a major uptick in tankers carrying Alberta oilsands crude to the region’s five refineries, which comes with increased risks of spills, local air pollution, refinery accidents and a locking in of fossil fuel usage for decades to come.

Climate Damages and Deception: Panel Reviews California Legal Actions Against Fossil Fuel Industry

Read time: 5 mins

By Kaya Axelsson

In San Francisco this week, Fossil Free California hosted a panel discussion on the most recent municipal litigation against the fossil fuel industry.

Last year, San Francisco and Oakland sued the world’s five largest investor-owned fossil fuel producers over predicted climate change costs to these cities.

Trump Administration to Halt Clean Car Standards, Revoke California's Right to Regulate

Read time: 7 mins

The Trump administration will announce plans this week to revoke California’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles, according to inside sources quoted by Bloomberg.

This directly contradicts comments made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) air chief, William Wehrum, who said in January that the agency had “no interest whatsoever in withdrawing CA's authority to regulate.”

Colorado Adopts California Clean Car Standards in Defiance of Trump Admin

Read time: 5 mins
Colorado truck license plate

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday that his state would join 13 states and the District of Columbia in adopting California’s clean car emissions standards.

Colorado has a choice,” Gov. Hickenlooper said in a statement. “This executive order calls for the state to adopt air quality standards that will protect our quality of life in Colorado. Low emissions vehicles are increasingly popular with consumers and are better for our air. Every move we make to safeguard our environment is a move in the right direction.”

17 States Sue EPA Over Pruitt's Decision to Weaken Auto Standards

Read time: 5 mins
EPA union employees and supporters hold signs protesting Pruitt

It didn’t take long for the first legal challenges be filed against the Trump administration’s recent move to weaken automobile emissions standards. On April 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew the Obama-era decision to retain the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks for model years 2022-2025. On Tuesday, 17 states and the District of Columbia sued the agency, challenging Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision.

The lawsuit is short and direct — only 122 words, including the names of the 17 states — petitioning the District of Columbia Circuit Court to review EPA’s decision under the Clean Air Act.

Pruitt’s decision was immediately applauded by the oil industry and car companies through the powerful Auto Alliance trade group. It was simultaneously bashed by environmental and consumers’ rights groups who criticized the agency for replacing a comprehensive review by the Obama EPA with a shallow analysis that borrowed the auto industry’s talking points.

Aliso Canyon Disaster Highlights Risks, Inadequate Safety Rules Governing Natural Gas Storage

Read time: 9 mins
Aliso Canyon's leaking natural gas storage well in southern California

A recent report spearheaded by researchers at the University of Southern California blames the largest greenhouse gas leak in U.S. history on dysfunctional management and poor regulatory oversight. Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) is the company that operates the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch, which suffered a catastrophic methane leak that lasted from October 2015 to February 2016. 

California Is Fighting Trump's Offshore Drilling Plan but Exxon, Koch Already Drill There.

Read time: 4 mins
Offshore oil platform

Public officials throughout the state of California have made headlines for loudly opposing Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's decision to approve offshore drilling in California and throughout the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf region. 

This move is part of the Trump administration's broader plans to lease record amounts of offshore areas in the Gulf of Mexico and open up the Atlantic Ocean for drilling. Many city governments, county governments, the California AssemblyCalifornia Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and Governor Jerry Brown have all come out against Zinke's plan. Less discussed, though, is the fact that companies are already drilling offshore in southern California, an area perhaps better known for its popular beaches and oceanside resort cities.

California City Files Lawsuit Against Chevron, Others For Climate Damages

Read time: 3 mins
Chevron logo on gas truck

The city of Richmond, California is the home of oil giant Chevron’s domestic headquarters. It also happen to be the ninth city in the United States to file a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies for their contributions to global climate change.

The lawsuit filed by the city lists Chevron as the lead defendant, but 28 other oil, gas, and coal companies are listed in the suit as co-defendants. Richmond joins eight other municipalities in the United States in filing similar climate-related charges against fossil fuel companies. All but one of the communities are in the state of California.

San Francisco Becomes First Major US City to Sue Fossil Fuel Industry Over Costs of Climate Change

Read time: 4 mins
Fourth street sign underwater

Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch

San Francisco and Oakland are suing Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell—the five biggest investor-owned fossil fuel producers in the world—over the costs of climate change.

The two Californian cities join the counties of Marin, San Mateo and San Diego and the city of Imperial Beach that have taken similar legal action in recent months, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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