New Satellite Data Shows Appalachian Basin Emits More Methane than Permian Basin

New Satellite Data Shows Appalachian Basin Emits More Methane than Permian Basin

The Appalachian Basin discharged more methane last year than the Permian Basin —in Texas and New Mexico — leaving Appalachia the biggest source of greenhouse gases in the nation. Satellite data from Karryos, a global asset observation platform, showed that the Appalachian basin emitted 2.4 million tons of methane in 2020, while the Permian Basin emitted 2 million tons.  

Why this Matters: There are an estimated 538,000 unplugged abandoned oil and gas wells in the Ohio River Valley states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky alone, and plugging them could cost more than $34 billion.

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Annual Energy Use Report Projects Global Increase In Demand For Coal

Annual Energy Use Report Projects Global Increase In Demand For Coal

The International Energy Agency’s annual report on global energy use is out, with a look at energy sources, demand, and emissions as we head into the second year of the pandemic. The outlook is concerning: the IEA projects that “coal is set to roar back,” as the New York Times headline put it, with demand for the dirty fuel expected to rise 4.5%. 

Why This Matters: It’s Earth Day and this trend should be concerning to all the government and private sector leaders assembling virtually at the Global Climate Summit.

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Germany Is Shutting Its Coal Mines and Planning the Workers’ Transition

Germany Is Shutting Its Coal Mines and Planning the Workers’ Transition

Germany wants to be the model for transitioning from coal to clean energy. The country plans to stop using coal by 2038 and has dedicated billions of dollars to make it a successful transition. As BBC’s Future Planet reports, a nonprofit near one of the country’s mines are engaging locals in the North-Rhine Westphalia region — many of them employed by the mines — to plan for their future. 

Why This Matters: First off: the European Union has called for an end of coal by 2030. So Germany’s timeline is longer than recommended to hit the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target, and mine expansions are still planned in coming years.

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China Burned 53% of the World’s Coal in 2020

China Burned 53% of the World’s Coal in 2020

Despite President Xi Jinping’s pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, a new report released by energy and climate research group Ember, found that China burned more than half of the world’s coal in 2020. Experts say that China’s current Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) isn’t keeping up with the nation’s rocketing energy demands.

Why This Matters: China is the world’s largest producer of carbon emissions, but despite announcing net-zero emissions goals in 2020, its latest five-year plan included no updates to its climate goals.

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Congress Investigating Whether Coal Companies Bilked Government for Clean Coal Subsidies

Congress Investigating Whether Coal Companies Bilked Government for Clean Coal Subsidies

The General Accounting Office (aka GAO), which investigates waste, fraud, and abuse claims on behalf of Congress, is examining whether coal companies took advantage of a tax subsidy that was supposed to underwrite their costs in exchange for them emitting less air pollution and greenhouse gasses, but never delivered on their cleaner air promises.

Why This Matters:  President Biden promised to rid the tax code of all the subsidies for fossil fuels.  Subsidies for these pollution sources are bad — but fraudulently claiming them is even worse.

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Wind Power Blows Coal Away in Texas

Wind Power Blows Coal Away in Texas

Wind power has overtaken coal as a proportion of Texas’s power for the first time and promises to continue growing. In 2020, wind power made up almost a quarter of Texas’s total power, compared to just 18% from coal.

Why This Matters: Texas is the nation’s largest producer of both wind energy and fossil fuel energy.

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