By Megan Darby for Climate Home News
By Steve Horn and Martha Pskowski
The Costa Azul liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal sits on an isolated stretch of the Pacific Coast north of Ensenada, Baja California, in Mexico. When Sempra and its Mexican affiliate IEnova sought to acquire the land in 2002, the site’s remoteness worked in their favor. It was only frequented by fishermen, a few surfers, and a handful of beach-front property owners.
“That was the last stretch of coastline between Tijuana and Ensenada that was pristine and undeveloped,” Bill Powers, a San Diego-based energy engineer and founder of the Border Power Plant Working Group, told DeSmog. “There was just a little fishing village.”
After breaking ground in 2005, the Costa Azul LNG plant opened in 2008. Despite Sempra’s messaging strategy that the U.S. was running out of gas, the terminal has imported limited amounts of natural gas since. Now, San Diego-based Sempra hopes to build an LNG export facility at the same site.
Thirty years ago, oil company Shell was warned in private that its own products were responsible for climate change which in turn could lead to large scale climate migration.
Yet over the following decade, the company publicly justified the ongoing need for fossil fuels as the only realistic way to achieve sustainable development and lift vulnerable communities out of poverty.
Shell has repeatedly used the arguments of population growth and increasing energy demand at the heart of its public pronouncements about its role in driving economic and sustainable development.
But Shell also knew that burning fossil fuels would “alter the environment in such a way” that it would affect parts of the world’s “habitability” and could lead to new migration patterns.
Leadership in addressing climate change in the United States has shifted away from Washington, D.C. Cities across the country are organizing, networking and sharing resources to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and tackle related challenges ranging from air pollution to heat island effects.
But group photos at climate change summits typically feature big-city Democratic mayors rubbing shoulders. Republicans are rarer, with a few notable exceptions, such as Kevin Faulconer of San Diego and James Brainard of Carmel, Indiana.
The UK has been accused of trying to “fudge” how much money it spends on subsidising coal mining and fossil fuel use despite its pledge to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020.
The country ranked first on its commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies but last on transparency in a new study led by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) which ranks each G7 country on ending support for the production and use of oil, gas and coal ahead of a group meeting which starts in Canada on Friday.
The UK does not provide national reports on its fiscal support for fossil fuel production and consumption and the government has repeatedly denied providing fossil fuel subsidies. However, the report states that the UK is providing subsidies in the form of tax breaks for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and the decommissioning of oil.
Researchers also argue that the UK is using public finance through the UK Export Finance, a government agency which underwrites loans to boost British companies’ exports, to support fossil fuel projects abroad - a finance stream they say the government should be counting as a subsidy.
One year on from Donald Trump’s announcement he would withdraw the U.S. from the UN climate pact, leading figures assess the “dire consequences”
On the first day of June last year, Trump ended months of speculation by siding with conservative aides who had urged him to remove the U.S. from the Paris deal.
That “reprehensible decision” has had “dire consequences,” Laurent Fabius, the former French prime minister who presided over the Paris talks in 2015, wrote on the Profiles of Paris website last week.
Under the purported banner of national security, Energy Secretary Rick Perry appears again to have heeded the self-described “desperate” calls of coal baron Robert Murray in order to prop up dying coal and nuclear plants. This time, Perry is planning to resort to federal emergency measures typically employed during wartime or natural disasters, according to Bloomberg.
This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.
On Tuesday evening, The Washington Post announced that it has hired Mark Lasswell to be the paper’s associate op-ed editor. According to the post, Lasswell oversaw The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page from 2012 through 2016.
The Post’s hire continues the worrying trend of legitimate media bending over backwards to accommodate conservative opinions, like The New York Times’ hiring of the Journal’s climate bullshitter Bret Stephens. Or Bari Weiss, who formerly worked with Lasswell at The Wall Street Journal and now writes for The Times where she pens puff pieces for hate speech, misunderstands cultural appropriation, and criticizes the #MeToo movement.
Today, one of New Mexico's largest oil and gas producers, Hilcorp Energy, dropped its recently filed request to increase the number of wells it can drill or frack in the San Juan Basin, already home to tens of thousands of gas wells. Hilcorp's proposal also would have shut the public out of the decision-making process by establishing an “administrative approval” process.
Back in 2014, this corner of northern New Mexico made international headlines when NASA researchers discovered a persistent methane plume the size of Delaware. Two years later, they pinned one of the main sources of this methane “hot spot” to natural gas wells, pipelines, storage tanks, and processing plants in the San Juan Basin. A second peer-reviewed study last year confirmed those findings.
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.