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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.”

Coal Can’t Compete With Cheaper Alternatives and the Industry’s True Costs Are Higher Than They Appear

Read time: 6 mins
Big Brown coal plant in Texas
By Daniel Cohan, Rice University

There are costs associated with electricity beyond what shows up on your monthly bill.

When that energy comes from coal, residents who live downwind pay through poorer health and, as with all fossil fuels, the whole world pays for this combustion in the form of a warmer climate. Cleaning up or closing the nation’s dirtiest power plants could help stem the damage all around.

As an atmospheric scientist, I worked with two students to compute some of the often-overlooked costs of coal-fired power stations. We found that the damage to public health and the climate this source of electricity causes far exceeds the money power generators earn from the electricity they sell.

Zinke's Shrinking of National Monuments and Meetings With Halliburton Could Be Center of DOJ Investigation

Read time: 3 mins
Ryan Zinke in Yosemite

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

One of the Department of Interior's (DOI) internal watchdog investigations into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's behavior while in office has been referred to the Justice Department, which only happens when investigators determine there might have been a criminal violation, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Two sources familiar with the investigation broke the news to the press, but did not specify which of the probes into Zinke's actions was involved. A senior White House official only told The Washington Post that the investigation revolved around whether Zinke “used his office to help himself.”

This 1980 Shell Chemical Company Publication Outlines Plans to Create 'Grassroots' Campaigns

Read time: 5 mins
Shell TREND publication article

Originally posted on Climate Files.

This 1980 edition of TREND, a bimonthly Shell Chemical Company (Shell) publication, featured a series of articles on issues concerning the company, including: “Emerging techniques for effective corporate response to public issues,” the Chemical Manufacturers Association “Communication Action Plan,” “Individualism,” “Gasohol,” “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on OSHA’s Benzene standards,” and “Chemical feedstocks from synfuels.”

A Cautionary Tale for Oil-by-rail: the Lac-Mégantic Disaster Five Years Later

Read time: 7 mins
Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, oil trains on fire

By James Wilt, The Narwhal. Originally posted on The Narwhal.

In this Q&A we speak with Bruce Campbell, author of a new book on the disaster that transformed a small Quebec town but left Canada’s neglected regulatory system largely unchanged

It’s now been half a decade since the catastrophic Lac-Mégantic rail disaster in southern Quebec. On the night of July 6, 2013, a runaway train carrying shale oil from North Dakota exploded, killing 47 people and destroying most of the town’s center.

But despite being the deadliest event in Canada's history since the Halifax Explosion in 1917, the Lac-Mégantic disaster has largely faded from the public’s consciousness outside of Quebec.

The Environment Is on the November Ballot — Here’s Where and What’s at Stake

Read time: 8 mins
Nevada solar array at Nellis Air Force Base

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

Environmental issues such as polluted drinking water in Michigan and harmful algal blooms in Florida could influence which candidates voters will support in this November’s midterm election, says Holly Burke, communications coordinator of the League of Conservation Voters.

Water issues really resonate with voters in states where clean water has been a dramatic problem,” says Burke.

These issues may affect certain political candidates, but in some states ballot measures will be a more direct way for residents to weigh in on environmental issues. For those hoping that statewide initiatives will help to combat environmental rollbacks at the federal level by the Trump administration, this election will be a crucial test.

Is Climate Science Denial Leading to Human Rights Violations, Asks Philippines Commission

Read time: 3 mins
Boy walking through Typhoon Ketsana floodwaters in Milan in 2009

By Kert Davies, Climate Investigations Center. Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

As climate change liability — who is to blame — increasingly lands in courtrooms around the globe, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights is taking a different and unique approach, investigating climate change impacts as a human rights infringement. The commission has held a series of hearings this year to investigate the role of fossil fuel companies (also known as “carbon majors“) in causing climate change, concealing climate science, delaying policy solutions, and facilitating the climate crisis of the Filipino people.

The Trump Administration’s 'Dishonest' Attack on Fuel-economy Standards

Read time: 7 mins
Gas pump handle on the ground

By John R. Platt, The Revelator. Originally posted on The Revelator.

A former EPA engineer calls it “the most spectacular regulatory flip-flop in history.” Other experts say the resulting emissions increase would bode ill for the planet.

The Trump administration’s plan to freeze fuel-economy standards is “the most spectacular regulatory flip-flop in history,” says a retired EPA engineer who helped to develop the new standards under the Obama administration.

These standards weren’t going to be the ultimate solution for solving the climate problem, but they were a very, very important first step,” says Jeff Alson, who retired this past April after a 40-year career at the EPA. “That’s why this delay is so risky to us.”

On 60 Minutes Trump Says: 'I'm Not Denying Climate Change'

Read time: 3 mins
Donald and Melania Trump tour Florida after Hurricane Michael

By Kert Davies, Climate Investigations Center. Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

Climate change is coming at Trump even as he tries like hell to avoid the subject. Record-setting hurricanes, Florence and Michael, have caused devastation across the southeast United States. Meanwhile, the grim UN IPCC “1.5 degree” report pushed climate scientists into the headlines last week while Trump was out and about, apparently unleashed, talking to media.

Want to Fight Climate Denial? Tell a Story

Read time: 5 mins
polar bear on thin ice

By John R. Platt, The Revelator. Originally posted on The Revelator.

Scientists looking to communicate the truth about climate should explore the power of narrative and images.

Sometimes a polar bear is a living symbol of climate change.

Other times an image of a dying polar bear is basically raw meat for the people who want to deny the truth about global warming and demonize the scientists who are researching and communicating these important issues.

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