Air

The Impact of the Oil Price War On Methane Flaring Is Uncertain

With oil prices plummeting to 18-year lows, oil and gas companies are scaling back by cutting workers, halting infrastructure investments, and drastically reducing oil and gas production. But will the natural gas industry finally get their outrageous methane leaks under control?

Why This Matters:  Methane is the most potent greenhouse gas in terms of its short term impact.  The Trump Administration made flaring methane even easier.

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Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, Trump Administration Finds Time to Roll Back Fuel Efficiency Standards

Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, Trump Administration Finds Time to Roll Back Fuel Efficiency Standards

As the United States is in throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and is desperately looking for federal leadership, the Trump Administration is expected to finalize its rollback President Obama’s fuel efficiency standards. A move that could see billions of tons of additional emissions from cars over their lifetimes. What The Rollbacks Achieve: As the New […]

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Tesla and other US Car Companies Suspend EV Plants — GM Will Make Ventilators and Masks

Tesla and other US Car Companies Suspend EV Plants — GM Will Make Ventilators and Masks

The President late on Friday finally used his Defense Production Act authority to order General Motors to begin to make ventilators, and the CEO Elon Musk of Tesla said the company’s New York electric vehicle factory will reopen in order to make ventilators and will also purchase and donate devices to the New York hospitals.

Why This Matters:  EV manufacturing shutdowns particularly impact the next wave of EVs that were about to start to roll off the assembly line – such as Volkswagen’s ID.3 and Tesla’s Model Y.

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Happiness in the Age of COVID-19

Happiness in the Age of COVID-19

By Beth Allgood,  U.S. Country Director, IFAW In 2013, the United Nations (UN) marked March 20th as the International Day of Happiness to recognize the importance of happiness and well-being in the lives of people around the world. Last year, I attended the launch of the annual UN World Happiness Report in New York. This […]

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One Less Thing: China’s Air Pollution Thanks to Coronavirus Shutdowns

One Less Thing: China’s Air Pollution Thanks to Coronavirus Shutdowns

NASA released satellite images yesterday that make apparent the impact of the coronavirus on air pollution in China — and the good news is that the factory shutdowns made the air across the entire country of China — particularly over Wuhan — much cleaner.  NASA released a statement explaining that the maps above show concentrations […]

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Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations Emit Much More Methane Than Previously Thought

Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations Emit Much More Methane Than Previously Thought

CNN and The Guardian reported late last week on a new study published in the journal Nature that concludes that methane emissions from fossil fuels are between 25% and 40% larger than past research had estimated, which means that oil and gas production is contributing roughly half of all greenhouse gas emissions — “far more” to climate change than previously estimated.

Why This Matters:  Methane is about 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide when looked at over a 20-year period.

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Fossil Fuels Cost the US Economy Billions According to Greenpeace Report

Fossil Fuels Cost the US Economy Billions According to Greenpeace Report

According to a new report from Greenpeace Southeast Asia and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, air pollution that’s generated by burning fossil fuels is responsible for approximately 4.5 million premature deaths worldwide every year. The report underscored that, Air pollution increases the incidence of chronic and acute illnesses and contributes to […]

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New Report Finds One-Third of Americans Breathe Dirty Air At Least 3 Months A Year

New Report Finds One-Third of Americans Breathe Dirty Air At Least 3 Months A Year

In 2018, nearly 110 million Americans lived in areas with air quality that was unhealthy for more than 100 days of the year, according to a new report published on Tuesday by Environment America Research & Policy Center, USPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group.

Why This Matters:  Dirty air negatively impacts’ people’s health and even their life expectancy — as we have often reported here in Our Daily Planet, and air quality in the U.S. is not good enough, despite what the current administration may try to claim.

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PTI – In 2020, Let’s Talk More About Air Pollution

PTI – In 2020, Let’s Talk More About Air Pollution

By Miro Korenha and Monica Medina Pardon the interruption from the constant conversation about the stock market, impeachment and conflict in the Middle East.  We’d like to talk about something completely different.  2020 is the 50th anniversary of the passage of one of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws — the Clean Air Act.  This week […]

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Ships To Become LA’s Biggest Polluters

Ships To Become LA’s Biggest Polluters


Ships visiting Southern California’s bustling ports are poised to become the region’s largest source of smog-causing pollutants in the coming years and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) wants to tackle this looming problem.

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Top Stories of 2019: Car Wars and Federalism

Top Stories of 2019: Car Wars and Federalism

News about electric vehicles — both cars and trucks — and particularly the efforts of California and other states to elevate their standards on tailpipe emissions to both reduce carbon and toxic air emissions made headlines throughout the year in Our Daily Planet.

Why This Matters: The future of cars is electric — if only we can get out of our own way to speed them to the finish line.

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Making Plastic From Fracked Natural Gas Could Replace Coal and Steel in Ohio Valley

Making Plastic From Fracked Natural Gas Could Replace Coal and Steel in Ohio Valley

Here in Madrid, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, touted his city as a green Phoenix, rising from the ashes of the failed steel and coal industries, with a growing economy based on high tech and health care companies and improved air and water quality — the city is turning a corner.  But he pointed out that just up the road Royal Dutch Shell is building a giant, greenhouse gas-spewing plant near Pittsburgh that will (using a process called “ethane cracking”) make tiny plastic pellets that can be turned into items like phone cases, auto parts, and food packaging according to The New York Times.

Why This Matters:  The Pittsburgh plant will be allowed to emit each year 2.25 million tons of carbon dioxide, 522 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and 160 tons of particulate pollution or soot, according to local NGO the Breathe Project.

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