Southeast As A Region Lags In Coming To Grips With Climate Change

Southeast As A Region Lags In Coming To Grips With Climate Change

Inside Climate News published over the weekend, in collaboration with 9 newspapers across 7 Southeastern states a series of stories called “Caught Off Guard” describing how and why the region lags behind others in renewable electricity and faces some of the biggest global warming threats in the nation.  

Why This Matters:  The Southeast is particularly vulnerable on its coast due to increasingly severe storms and flooding, but the region’s problems extend far inland too.

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Utilities Promising to Get to Net Zero Need Gas To Get There

Utilities Promising to Get to Net Zero Need Gas To Get There

Numerous progressive utilities such as Xcel, which have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, are struggling to get there without expanding the use of natural gas and this is fueling a broader and divisive debate around gas’s future, according to Inside Climate News.  The plan drawn up by Xcel, which serves 3.6 million customers […]

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For the Conservation Movement, It’s Almost Heaven, West Virginia

For the Conservation Movement, It’s Almost Heaven, West Virginia

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 […]

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KY Lawmakers Allow Big Coal Hurt Their Poorest Constituents

KY Lawmakers Allow Big Coal Hurt Their Poorest Constituents

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. 

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Coal Giant Murray Energy Declares Bankruptcy, Miners and Taxpayers May Get the Shaft

Coal Giant Murray Energy Declares Bankruptcy, Miners and Taxpayers May Get the Shaft

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. 

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Court Says EPA Must Do More To Curb Interstate Air Pollution

Court Says EPA Must Do More To Curb Interstate Air Pollution

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.

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