Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 17:29 • Sharon Kelly

Back in 2011, The New York Times first raised concerns about the reliability of America's proved shale gas reserves. Proved reserves are the estimates of supplies of oil and gas that drillers tell investors they will be able to tap. The Times suggested that a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule change allowed drillers to potentially overbook their “proved” reserves of natural gas from shale formations, which horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) were rapidly opening up.

Welcome back to Alice in Wonderland,” energy analyst John E. Olson told The Times, commenting on the reliability of these reserves after the rule change. Olson, a former Merrill Lynch analyst, is best known for seeing the coming Enron scandal 10 years before the infamous energy company imploded in 2000.

Today, those same rules have allowed shale drillers to boost their reserves of oil, as well as natural gas. As a result, these “proved” reserves, which investors and pipeline companies are banking on, could potentially be much less proven than they appear.

And the unprecented degree to which this is happening in the shale industry casts a shadow of doubt on the purportedly bright future of America's booming oil and gas industry.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 13:51 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By David Tindall, University of British Columbia

In the lead-up to the last federal election [in Canada], Justin Trudeau said: “Governments might grant permits, but only communities can grant permission.”

Vancouver and Burnaby did not grant permission to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. Neither did a number of smaller Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Nevertheless, Trudeau’s Liberal government approved the expansion. Then, this week, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the government was taking over the project from Kinder Morgan.

Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 07:14 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By Alexa Capeloto, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera acknowledged this month that his school gave the Charles Koch Foundation “some influence” over hiring and evaluating faculty as it accepted millions of dollars for its free-market research center, the Mercatus Center.

This news rankled the academic world, but it perhaps didn’t come as a surprise. Many scholars saw this as just the latest revelation of strings-attached giving with an ideological slant — another encroachment on the sacrosanct idea that teaching and research at universities, especially public ones like George Mason, must be immune from outside influence.

Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 06:58 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

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

Ten families from Fiji, Kenya and countries across Europe who are already suffering the effects of climate change filed a case against the EU Wednesday in a bid to force the body to increase its commitments under the Paris agreementAFP reported.

The “People's Climate Case,” as it is being called, challenges the climate policies of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, saying they will not reduce emissions quickly enough to stop rising temperatures from disrupting the plaintiffs' lives. While an increasing number of communities and individuals have taken fossil fuel companies and governments to court over climate change in recent years, this is the first such case to be brought against the EU as a whole.

Friday, May 25, 2018 - 13:21 • Guest
Read time: 2 mins

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

new study in the AMS journal Weather, Climate and Society suggests that there’s an interesting way to soften denier rejection of the consensus on climate change: validate their conspiracy theories.

Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 17:44 • Julie Dermansky
Read time: 8 mins

Today, residents of St. James, Louisiana, and groups opposing the Bayou Bridge pipeline petitioned a state court to halt construction on the oil pipeline along its final 18 miles. This segment falls in an area known as the coastal zone and requires a special state permit.

The court previously ruled against the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for issuing a permit that did not follow state guidelines and consider if the project had adequate environmental and emergency response plans for the town of St. James in case of a pipeline failure.

Opponents thought the court’s order would bring a stop to construction but that hasn’t been the case. As a result, today’s petition asks for a pause in construction until all the permit’s conditions are met.

Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 09:38 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

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

Builders of the controversial Atlantic Coast pipeline told federal authorities they will delay construction along 21 miles in West Virginia and 79 miles in Virginia until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issues a revised “incidental take statement,” which limits the number of threatened or endangered species that might be accidentally killed or harmed during development activities.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 15:04 • Guest
Read time: 8 mins

By Logan Carroll

The Minnesota section of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline accounts for nearly 300 miles of the longest crude oil transport system in the world, and it is failing. The multi-billion-dollar transnational corporation has applied for a permit to replace it. Opposition from tribes in the region and environmental groups is slowing the project, but the process at times appears so tilted in Enbridge’s favor that, watching the court battles and utility commission meetings, it almost feels like Enbridge wrote the rules.

At one point in its application to build the new Line 3, Enbridge listed all the federal and state laws that regulate the permitting and construction of pipelines. Nearly all the Minnesota laws originated in one 1987 Senate bill: S.F. 90.

This bill was accompanied by unprecedented pipeline industry lobbying — led in spending by Enbridge — and included subtle but major handouts to pipeline companies. One such provision imposes a sweeping limit on the public’s ability to oppose new pipelines, including the Line 3 replacement project.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 12:02 • Justin Mikulka
Read time: 9 mins

Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) is a hugely influential policy group filled with heavy hitters from politics and the oil industry. While the center's home page describes it as “an independent, interdisciplinary, and nonpartisan platform,” its track record shows that CGEP consistently supports the same policies favored by the fossil fuel industry. 

And one of its latest moves — hiring former Trump energy advisor and fossil fuel defender George “David” Banks as an expert on “international climate policy” — shows that trend will continue.

Monday, May 21, 2018 - 09:47 • Graham Readfearn
Read time: 4 mins

Climate science denial groups from the UK, U.S., and Australia have leapt to support a controversial marine scientist who was fired from his job at an Australian university.

Dr. Peter Ridd, formerly a professor at James Cook University (JCU), was sacked for repeated breaches of his employment’s code of conduct, according to a statement from the university.

Ridd claims that the Great Barrier Reef is “in great shape” and dismisses evidence that human activities including dredging and human-caused global warming have damaged the internationally iconic marine wonder. Back-to-back coral bleaching events linked to record-breaking sea surface temperatures have killed about one third of the reef's corals.

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