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Supreme Court Blocks ExxonMobil's Effort to Conceal Decades of Documents in Probe of Oil Giant's Climate Deception

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonKnew protesters in T-rex costumes

By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams

The high court's ruling means the company must hand over records to the Massachusetts attorney general for her ongoing investigation

In a win for climate campaigners and Massachusetts' Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil's attempt to block Healey's demand for documents related to her state's ongoing investigation into allegations that one of the world's largest oil and gas corporations deceived the public and investors for decades about how fossil fuels drive global warming.

New House Speaker Pelosi Calls Climate Change 'Existential Threat' in Opening Remarks

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Nancy Pelosi

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

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi received a standing ovation after calling for action on climate change during her first address to the 116th session of Congress Thursday, according to a video shared by Newsweek.

“We must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis, a crisis manifested in natural disasters of epic proportions. The American people understand the urgency. The people are ahead of the Congress. The Congress must join them,” she said.

Pruitt Should Expect the 'Spanish Inquisition' From House Oversight Authorities

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Scott Pruitt

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup

Yesterday, a new Democratic House took up its gavel and ushered in a long-overdue agenda of government oversight. We might finally start to see answers to the many, many questions that have come up over the past two years about Trump’s regulatory rollbacks. One lobbyist told CNBC’s Tim DeChristopher that the Trump administration should expect to face “the Spanish Inquisition.”

All this change has got to be worrisome for Trump’s cabinet, even those like Zinke who have already left, given everything that reporters (who lack the power to issue subpoenas or compel testimony under oath) have uncovered about Pruitt.

Shutdown, Drilling and Coal: The Trump Administration’s Holiday Gifts to the World

Read time: 5 mins
President Trump signing papers at his desk in the Oval Office

By Tara Lohan, The Revelator. Originally posted on The Revelator.

President Trump didn’t exactly lie low over the holidays.

The battle over border-wall funding and the announced departures of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stole most of the headlines, but they were hardly the only events of the Trump administration’s Christmas.

We kept a close watch on news affecting the environment, health and wildlife, and there was plenty to keep us busy. From new developments on plans to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to attacks on air-pollution regulations, here’s a blow-by-blow account of what you may have missed:

China’s Climate Progress May Have Faltered in 2018, But It Seems to Be on the Right Path

Read time: 6 mins
Woman in a smog mask walks past an anti-pollution mural

By Phillip Stalley, DePaul University

Despite clear signs that the need to act on climate change is becoming more urgent, global greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise for the second straight year.

China, the world’s second-largest economy and ground zero in the global effort to combat climate change, is among the biggest drivers of this increase. Accounting for 27 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, China has been the world’s leading emitter for more than a decade. Although its emissions stayed flat between 2013 and 2016, they rose again in 2017 and increased by an estimated 5 percent in 2018.

While recent increases are certainly cause for concern, based on my research on China’s climate change policies, I see grounds for optimism in terms of what to expect with China’s carbon footprint.

An Indian Perspective on the UN Climate Meeting: Not Much Help for the World’s Poor and Vulnerable

Read time: 6 mins
Brahmaputra River in India

By Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan

The international climate change conference that concluded in Katowice, Poland on Dec. 15 had limited ambitions and expectations — especially compared to the 2015 meeting that produced the Paris climate agreement. It will be remembered mainly for its delegates agreeing on a common “rulebook” to implement existing country commitments for reducing emissions.

The deal is vital. It keeps the new global climate regime alive. It maintains a path to deliver financial and technical assistance to vulnerable countries and peoples. Actors with quite divergent interests, including the United States, the European Union, oil producing states, China, India, and small island nations all accepted a common approach to measuring progress.

But from my perspective as a social scientist focusing on conservation and international development, the technical orientation of the Katowice meeting failed to match the urgency of needed climate action. Negotiators made little progress toward deeper emissions cuts. Nor did the meeting do much to help the most vulnerable people, ecosystems, and nations.

Companies Blocked From Using West Coast Ports to Export Fossil Fuels Keep Seeking Workarounds

Read time: 6 mins
Proposed fossil fuel export site in Washington state

By Shawn Olson-Hazboun, Evergreen State College and Hilary Boudet, Oregon State University

A year after Washington state denied key permits for a coal-export terminal in the port city of Longview, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would proceed with its review — essentially ignoring the state’s decision.

This dispute pits federal authorities against local and state governments. It’s also part of a larger and long-running battle over fossil fuel shipments to foreign countries that stretches up the entire American West Coast.

Big Oil Hired Jerry Brown’s Close Friend to Lobby Him For Years — With Results

Read time: 7 mins
California Governor Jerry Brown

By , LittleSis. Originally posted on LittleSis.org.

Despite his reputation as a leader on climate policy, California Governor Jerry Brown has been criticized for making major concessions to the oil industry — which, along with other fossil fuels, is a key driver of the global climate crisis.

Our new report sheds light on a previously unknown channel through which Big Oil sought influence over Brown: a handsomely-paid lobbyist who is a longtime friend, advisor, and former staffer of Brown’s.

Drilled: A Podcast on the Climate Crime of the Century

Read time: 4 mins
Drilled podcast graphic

By Climate Investigations Center

A newly released podcast, Drilled, “investigates the crime of the century — the creation of climate denial.”

The eight part series takes listeners back in time to the inception of climate change denial. It tells the story of the special interests that launched campaigns against evolving climate science and the momentum created by this science, starting in the late 1980s and sustained through the 2000s.

Guided by documents uncovered by reporters, academics, and activists in recent years, Drilled exposes the campaign of climate denial as a successful public relations endeavor undertaken by the fossil fuel industry and allies.

'Conceivably the Worst': Groups, Lawmakers Blast Confirmation of Climate Denier to FERC

Read time: 4 mins
Bernard McNamee

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

Bernard McNamee, a climate change denier who helped write the Trump administration's failed coal and nuclear bailout plan, was confirmed Thursday as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Senate approved the nominee on a straight party-line vote of 50-49 after Sen. Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat of West Virginia, withdrew his support due to his concerns about McNamee's stance on climate change.

President Trump's nomination of the fossil fuel lawyer as one of the FERC's five commissioners was strongly opposed by environmentalists, public health groups and elected leaders.

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