By Monica Medina, Founder and CEO of Our Daily Planet And now, for those of you who need a break from a long week of impeachmentpalooza, take a trip with us to Shepherdstown, West Virginia — a small town, nestled at the northeastern edge of the Shenandoah Valley, practically an exurb of Washington, D.C. It […]Continue Reading 955 words
The Stats: 9 of the 10 states that emit the most heat-trapping CO2 pollution per person helped block the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would have been the largest effort by the U.S. government to limit climate change.
People in those states are facing some of the worst climate-driven extreme weather in the US.Continue Reading 524 words
For the fifth time this year, a major coal company — this time Murray Energy — declared bankruptcy, despite all the President’s efforts to buoy the dying industry. The company will get to continue to operate even as it restructures is 2.7 billion in operating debt. But The Washington Post reported that according to its bankruptcy court filings, Murray Energy may seek relief from its $8 billion in pension debt and future payments into a federal fund for miners’ pensions and that relief for Murray would result in the depletion of the retirement fund for all 90,000 miners (most of whom are retired) across the country by 2020.
Why This Matters: The bottom line is that the coal industry’s success in getting Trump to lift environmental rules did not result in enough savings to make these coal companies solvent. So everyone (other than coal company executives) loses — the workers, the people who are stuck living near the denuded mess after these mines shut down, and taxpayers who will ultimately pay for both.Continue Reading 566 words
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A three-judge panel that included a Trump appointee held on Tuesday that the EPA needs a better plan for addressing smog that travels across state lines from the midwest to the densely populated Northeast, where states are failing to meet federal air quality standards.
Why This Matters: The EPA is failing to protect the public in the northeast from air pollution that is generated by coal power plants and manufacturing facilities in the midwest that travels with the winds and air currents into northeastern states who then are unable to meet their air quality standards. This problem is EXACTLY why the federal government must be involved — and why the Clean Power Plan the Obama Administration put in place was so important.Continue Reading 498 words
The Energy Department put out its 2019 International Energy Outlook and two big headlines emerged — first that CO2 emissions worldwide will increase by 20% overall through 2050 because of emissions from developing countries, and second that renewable sources will provide half of all electricity globally by midcentury.
Why This Matters: CO2 emissions from developed nations decrease by -.2% annually for the next 30 years, while in developing countries CO2 emissions are expected to grow 1% a year. Countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are growing in key respects — they collectively have more population, a larger gross domestic product, more energy consumption, and higher energy-related CO2 emissions.Continue Reading 536 words
We’ve all read the headlines about economic depression in America’s coal country where unemployment rates are high as are rates of opioid mortality. However, despite this reality, residents of former mining towns are working diligently to reinvigorate their local economies. Most commonly we’ve heard of the promise of bringing green jobs to coal country […]Continue Reading 435 words
Last week, with no warning, Blackjewel LLC, which operates Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines — closed both which are the largest and most productive mines in Wyoming, because the United Bank of West Virginia denied Blackjewel financing, forcing the company to file for bankruptcy. The 700 mine employees are now struggling to survive, with unresolved questions about the mess left behind, for both the people and the unreclaimed mining sites.Continue Reading 531 words
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged in a graduation speech at MIT late last week to spend $500m on a campaign focused on persuading state and local governments to speed the closure of the 241 remaining coal-fired power plants in the U.S. and to end the growth of plants that run on natural gas. Blocking natural gas from filling in behind coal will be especially difficult, and Axios’ Amy Harder reported that it was “the fastest-growing energy source last year —accounting for 45% of all such growth — with most regions and many industries turning to the fuel as a cleaner alternative to coal and oil.”Continue Reading 386 words
In India, the world’s third largest emitter of GHG emissions, a staggering 74% of the country’s electricity generation comes from coal-fired power plants, and coal use is continuing to increase as the population continues to grow. But new data suggests that coal usage might be slowing as India, for the first time, is investing more […]Continue Reading 464 words
We often hear that fossil fuels are heavily subsidized but by how much exactly? As Vox recently reported,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) periodically assesses global subsidies for fossil fuels as part of its work on climate, and it found in a recent working paper that the fossil fuel industry got a whopping $5.2 trillion […]Continue Reading 542 words
The Sunrise Movement’s Road to a Green New Deal tour stopped today in D.C. (you can read more coverage above) yet last Saturday their event in Frankfort, KY may have been one of the most important stops as it was a litmus test for how progressives might garner support for the GND in coal country. […]Continue Reading 786 words
In Tuscon, 90 percent of the public gets its power from coal and other fossil fuels, which degrades the air quality particularly for the Latinx community there. The south side neighborhoods are home to all the area’s major polluting sources, including a gas-burning power plant, the I-10 freeway, and a Superfund site, and not surprisingly, […]Continue Reading 160 words