#environment
NY Denies Water Permit to Build Pipeline for Gas, Wants to Build Transmission Line Instead

NY Denies Water Permit to Build Pipeline for Gas, Wants to Build Transmission Line Instead

New York state environmental regulators denied for a third time a permit for a pipeline that would transport fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City and Long Island for two reasons: water quality in the Long Island Sound and fidelity to the state’s new law that requires the New York to transition its power sector to net-zero emissions by 2040 and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. 

Why This Matters:  This is how the stimulus funding from the federal government should work — it must be used to build cleaner and more efficient new infrastructure that decreases our dependence on fossil fuels.

Continue Reading 488 words
Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

The Energy Department (DOE) reported yesterday that for the first time since basically the industrial revolution began in the late nineteenth century, in 2019 renewable energy consumption surpassed the consumption of energy generated by coal.  Coal power generation declined by 15% last year, while renewables increased by 1%.

Why This Matters:  Ten years ago coal dominated the power sector, but the trend toward wind and solar is unlikely to reverse — coal is now on its way out completely here.

Continue Reading 481 words
Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

A federal appeals court in California ruled that lawsuits against the major oil companies by San Mateo County and the city of Oakland for compensation for climate change impacts such as sea-level rise are not blocked by federal law from going forward in state court.  And a judge in Montana invalidated 440 oil and gas leases on federal land because the Interior Department did not adhere to an agreement between the agency and farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and energy groups to protect habitat for the sage grouse, which allowed the bird to remain off the endangered species list.

Why This Matters:  Oil and gas companies have suffered several high profile unfavorable rulings in recent days.

Continue Reading 509 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Stay in the know, empower yourself to be a #FriendOfThePlanet, sign up to receive ODP in your inbox each morning!

Democrats Are Uniting Around a Progressive Climate Platform

Democrats Are Uniting Around a Progressive Climate Platform

In a well-researched and thorough story, Vox reporter David Roberts explains why Democrats should finally be hopeful that the numerous factions and “green groups” that make up the Democratic coalition are coming into alignment on climate change policy and that this growing sense of unity bodes well not only for the election but also for governing in the event that Democrats retake the White House. 

Continue Reading 312 words
Tropical Storm Bertha Makes Landfall In South Carolina After Flooding South Florida

Tropical Storm Bertha Makes Landfall In South Carolina After Flooding South Florida

The second named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Bertha, strengthened quickly overnight Tuesday and made landfall yesterday morning about 20 miles east of Charleston.   On Tuesday, as a result of the storm, Miami experienced more than 7 inches of rain — 6 of which fell in 2 hours, flooding streets across the city.

Why This Matters:  Tropical Storm Bertha is following an increasingly familiar pattern of unprecedented amounts of rainfall along with strong winds that persist into the interior portions.

Continue Reading 421 words
Dam Failures a Risk Across the Country Due to Climate Change

Dam Failures a Risk Across the Country Due to Climate Change

The Edenville Dam failure in Michigan causing thousands to evacuate puts a spotlight on a problem that the American Society of Civil Engineers highlighted in 2017 when it gave our country a “D” for dam safety (yep – that’s it’s grade) but this grade has not significantly improved in the last 20 years.

Why This Matters:  When we think about the security risks to our nation, we need to start counting infrastructure failure due to climate change as one of the most troubling.

Continue Reading 602 words
Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and gas companies continue to pump the government for cash.  Bloomberg Law News reported that the Administration has granted 76 royalty waivers to oil and gas companies who are drilling for oil on federal land in Utah — lowering the rates from 12.5% to as low as 2.5%. 

Why This Matters:  The giveaways to oil and gas companies in the name of saving jobs just keep coming.

Continue Reading 493 words
EPA’s Air, Water and Toxic Waste Failures Compounding Health and Safety Risks to Public

EPA’s Air, Water and Toxic Waste Failures Compounding Health and Safety Risks to Public

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, appeared before Congress yesterday and when asked about all the rollbacks of environmental regulations by the agency recently, he defended his leadership saying “All our rules make things better.” 

Why This Matters:  It is patently clear that EPA is making things better for corporate polluters, not ordinary citizens who are negatively impacted by them.

Continue Reading 496 words
Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Stop Selling Baby Powder Due To Asbestos Contamination

Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Stop Selling Baby Powder Due To Asbestos Contamination

Using the “cover” of the COVID-19 crisis, one of the largest healthcare product companies in the world decided to stop selling in the U.S. and Canada its “signature” talc-based baby powder product due to concerns over whether it was contaminated with toxic asbestos that thousands of women alleged caused their ovarian cancer.

Why This Matters:  This is another case of a company knowing that their product contained harmful chemicals and selling it anyway — like the oil companies that knew about the greenhouse gas effect of burning petroleum.

Continue Reading 375 words
Greenhouse Gasses Declining Globally, But In U.S., Air Pollution Not Down As Much

Greenhouse Gasses Declining Globally, But In U.S., Air Pollution Not Down As Much

A study published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change found that greenhouse gas emissions are down by 17% globally compared to 2019 levels thanks to strict coronavirus lockdowns, which could result in as much as a 7% decline in emissions for the year. 

Why This Matters:  We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4-7% each year globally for the foreseeable future to keep global temperature increases in check.

Continue Reading 511 words
Energy Secretary Takes a Swipe at Big Banks That Won’t Invest In Arctic Drilling

Energy Secretary Takes a Swipe at Big Banks That Won’t Invest In Arctic Drilling

The Secretary of Energy stunningly accused the major financial institutions that refuse to now invest in Arctic oil and gas exploration of discrimination against the oil and gas industry and likened the decision to the banks’ refusal in the past to make loans to minorities.

Why This Matters:  Arctic drilling has been fought due to its environmental toll since the 1960s,  In 1980, Congress decreed that no exploratory drilling or production could occur without further congressional action — and it stayed that way until President Trump demanded authority to lease the land for drilling, despite the ample domestic supply of oil and gas.

 

Continue Reading 565 words

Will We Ensure Environmental Justice in the COVID-19 Recovery?

For many who live near refineries, incinerators, and other heavy industry, lockdowns and shelter in place orders like we have all experienced lately are a far too common occurrence.  The New York Times took a closer look at these communities to show why the residents are so vulnerable to the disease. 

Why This Matters:  Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali explained to put the COVID deaths into context, “we know more than 100,000 people die prematurely in the U.S. every year because of air pollution.”

Continue Reading 523 words