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.

Continue Reading 426 words
Appeals Court Affirms Biden Reversal of Trump Rollback of Ocean Drilling Ban

Appeals Court Affirms Biden Reversal of Trump Rollback of Ocean Drilling Ban

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a previous district court decision that then-President Donald Trump had overstepped his authority when he issued an executive order rolling back Obama-era bans on offshore drilling. 

Why This Matters: After years of attacks on public lands by the Trump administration, the nation is behind schedule on meeting its climate goals.

Continue Reading 462 words
Read This:  Spreading the Zero Carbon Energy Wealth and Power

Read This: Spreading the Zero Carbon Energy Wealth and Power

The American Jobs Plan requires that every state generate all of its electricity by 2035 from fuels that produce no carbon emissions.  Ron Brownstein writes in his “Fault Lines” column for CNN that this will:
trigger a massive spending boom in wind and solar power — at least doubling the pace of investment now underway.
Continue Reading 212 words
Fossil Fuel Companies Pocketed $8.2 Billion in COVID Relief, Fired 60,000 Workers

Fossil Fuel Companies Pocketed $8.2 Billion in COVID Relief, Fired 60,000 Workers

A recent analysis (funded by Rockefeller Philanthropy) exposed that fossil fuel companies cut almost 60,000 jobs despite receiving billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief.

Why This Matters: These findings reveal two important points. First, that lucrative tax loopholes for the fossil fuel sector continue to be heavily exploited. Second, the narrative that oil companies are a “necessary engine of employment and succeed on an equal playing field in the free market” is hypocritical at best. As fossil fuel operations close, many states and former coal and oil communities are setting their sights on clean energy projects to provide new jobs and stability.

Continue Reading 597 words
Trump Administration Restart of Huge St. Croix Oil Refinery Raises EJ Concerns

Trump Administration Restart of Huge St. Croix Oil Refinery Raises EJ Concerns

The idyllic island of St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a Caribbean paradise — and also the site of one of America’s largest oil refineries. The Limetree Bay oil refinery caused one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history and violated the Clean Air Act, and until early this year had been idled since 2012. 

Why this Matters: The refinery provides jobs on the island that had been hurt by two hurricanes in 2017.  But it also raises numerous troubling issues, not the least of which is that the majority of people living near the refinery are Black and nearly a third identify as Hispanic or Latino, and many are poor.

Continue Reading 487 words
“Frack Pack” Bills Reintroduced by Congress — Time to Close Loopholes?

“Frack Pack” Bills Reintroduced by Congress — Time to Close Loopholes?

Today, four House Democrats — Matt Cartwright (PA) Yvette Clarke (NY), Diana DeGette (CO), and Jan Schakowsky (IL) — reintroduced a package of five bills that would hold oil and gas companies accountable to meet national water and air protection standards, plugging loopholes and undoing many of the anti-environment policies of the Trump administration. 

Why This Matters: President Donald Trump rolled back 28 air quality and emissions regulations and 8 water pollution regulations — these bills would reverse those rollbacks and close loopholes in current law.

Continue Reading 637 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.