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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Study Shows Majority of Fossil Fuel Power Plants Could be Obsolete by 2035

Study Shows Majority of Fossil Fuel Power Plants Could be Obsolete by 2035

A vast majority of fossil fuel power plants will reach the end of their lives by 2035, a new report shows. Experts say that this revelation shows that President-elect Joe Biden’s climate goals aren’t as lofty as they may have once seemed, according to Inside Climate News.

Why This Matters: President-Elect Biden has planned to transition the United States to net zero emissions by 2050 and carbon-free electricity by 2035.

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DITCHED:  Is 2020 the Tipping Point for Fossil Fuel Divestment?

DITCHED: Is 2020 the Tipping Point for Fossil Fuel Divestment?

Despite economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of countries, companies and financial institutions are committing to quit coal and are beginning to ditch oil and gas projects, too. 

In this episode of Political Climate’s special DITCHED series, host Julia Pyper speaks to Tim Buckley at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) about what’s driving the increase in fossil fuel exits around the globe, including in historically coal-dependent economies such as China and India.

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Trump’s Failed Promises to Coal Country Can’t Go Unchecked

Trump’s Failed Promises to Coal Country Can’t Go Unchecked

During his 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump promised to reopen coal mines and expressed to coal communities that he was their last shot at reviving the ailing industry. After the media drastically twisted Hillary Clinton’s comments about a just transition for coal miners, Trump was able to paint himself as a savior for struggling rural […]

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Methane Leaks Globally Rise Dramatically Despite COVID-Related Slowdowns

Methane Leaks Globally Rise Dramatically Despite COVID-Related Slowdowns

In 2020, oil and gas use is down but methane leaks are up dramatically during the same time period according to a study by the energy data firm Kayrros, Reuters and The Washington Post reported.  Oil and gas companies had pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

Why This Matters: Methane is a highly damaging greenhouse gas in its first 20 years after being emitted — it’s 80 to 90 times more potent than carbon dioxide during that time period.

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