In an executive order on Tuesday, President Donald Trump will direct the federal government to begin dismantling his predecessor's most significant climate change policies, with a sweeping directive telling agencies to stop trying to reduce the carbon pollution of electric utilities, oil and gas drillers and coal miners.Read original story
President Donald Trump is expected to lift a moratorium on federal coal-mining leases as part of an executive order on Tuesday. But the industry won't be looking to secure new reserves of the fossil fuel on federal land for years, as mining slows amid the sector's worst downturn in generations.Read original story
"Oil has been placed in the Dakota Access Pipeline underneath Lake Oahe. Dakota Access is currently commissioning the full pipeline and is preparing to place the pipeline into service," the pipeline's owner said in a filing. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes still have an unresolved lawsuit that seeks to stop the project.Read original story
A Maryland bill that bans fracking cleared its final hurdle Monday night when the Senate approved the measure with a 35-to-10 vote. The legislation now heads to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has vowed to sign it.Read original story
For the first time in recent years, there is a real possibility of four famines—in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen—breaking out at once, endangering 20 million lives. Climate change has increased the frequency of droughts behind the crisis.Read original story
Environment Canada, a federal agency, is projecting that the country is on pace to miss its reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, pumping out at least 30 percent more than promised that year.Read original story
President Donald Trump is set to sign a sweeping executive order on Tuesday aimed at unleashing domestic fossil fuels by reversing much of President Barack Obama's climate change efforts. The order will force federal agencies to identify any actions that could burden oil, gas, coal and nuclear power, and then work to suspend, revise or rescind many of these policies. It also will toss out directives that advise agencies to factor climate change into environmental reviews as well as use the "social cost of carbon" calculation.Read original story
As part of President Donald Trump's executive order on Tuesday, he will state his intention to unravel the Clean Power Plan, President Barack Obama's single most important initiative to rein in global warming gases, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Sunday. "This is about making sure that we have a pro-growth and pro-environment approach," said Scott Pruitt. He also called the Paris climate agreement a "bad deal" and said fuel economy standards were "counter-helpful to the environment."Read original story
The California Air Resources Board, in a unanimous vote on Friday, approved standards that the White House said still need review, setting up a potential face-off between federal and state regulators. The board finalized 2022-2025 vehicle pollution rules for the state, set a mandate for zero-emission sales over the same time period, and ordered its staff to start work on targets for after 2025. About a dozen states follow California's car regulations in full or part.
Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor and Trump adviser, has been working behind the scenes to revamp an Environmental Protection Agency rule that governs the way corn ethanol is mixed into gasoline. As majority investor in oil refiner CVR Energy, the regulatory fix would have saved him more than $200 million last year.Read original story
Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, chairman of the House science committee, acknowledged that the committee is now a tool to advance his political agenda rather than a forum to examine important issues facing the U.S. research community. "Next week we're going to have a hearing on our favorite subject of climate change and also on the scientific method, which has been repeatedly ignored by the so-called self-professed climate scientists," Smith told the Heartland Institute's conference on climate change.Read original story
Prime Minister Justice Trudeau has sought to strike a balance between supporting Canada's oil and gas sector and slashing greenhouse gas emissions. "I think they would have been happy to let Keystone die because of the U.S. and not have to pay the political costs for its approval," said Matthew Hoffmann, co-director of the Munk School's Environmental Governance Lab.Read original story
Several recent studies have shown that changing weather patterns linked to the rise in global temperatures have resulted in a dearth of wind across northern China. That has exacerbated a wave of severe pollution in the country's most populous cities that has been blamed for millions of premature deaths.Read original story
Last week, a group of Indonesian residents and activists were in Japan to demand that the Japanese Government and banks do not finance the Indramayu coal power plant expansion project (1000MW) and Cirebon 2 coal-fired power plant project (1000MW), located in West Java. If completed, these planned projects would add a further 2000MW of polluting coal power capacity, further increasing hardship on local villagers and go against both Indonesia and Japan’s commitments to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
The Indramayu coal power plant expansion project builds on the existing coal power plant in Indramayu (originally funded by China), which has caused negative impacts on farmland, endangered children’s health, and polluted fishing grounds that villagers depend upon for their livelihood. In preparation for the expansion project, villagers have reported coercion in land acquisition processes, inconsistency in compensation measures as well as a lack of community consultation in the Environmental Impact Assessment process in violation of local laws. Despite these concerns, Japan’s foreign aid agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is currently considering financing for the expansion project. Citing ongoing environmental and social issues as a result of the first power station, local villagers have expressed their strong opposition to JICA regarding the expansion project, requesting that JICA withdraw funding consideration for the project. To date, JICA has delivered no meaningful response to five formal letters sent by the community.
Cirebon 2 (1000MW) is another problematic coal-fired power expansion project located in West Java that the Japanese government, private companies, and banks are currently considering for finance. This would be built adjacent to the existing coal-fired power plant in Cirebon, also funded by Japan, which has resulted in negative impacts on local farmers, fisherman and unresolved land issues. Local villagers sent three formal objection letters to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in 2016, however they have not received any formal response. Partner NGOs have also sent formal letters to the Japanese commercial banks (Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi-Tokyo UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) involved in the expansion project. The project is currently being challenged in court by a group of villagers who dispute the legality of the development project. Local activists are demanding that Japan help to shut down Cirebon 1, stop finance for Cirebon 2 and instead support renewable energy development in Indonesia.
On March 23 in Tokyo, the group of affected residents and representatives formally submitted to JICA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry a letter opposing financing into the coal fired power plants. The letter was supported by 280 organizations spanning over 47 countries.The letter also emphasized that funding into this project is “a fatal violation of the JICA environmental and social guidelines, which require ‘appropriate participation by affected people in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of resettlement action plans’ and ‘the disclosure of resettlement action plans’.”
The problem of Japan’s coal finance is two-fold. First, the Paris Agreement, to which Japan is a signatory, directs signatory countries to make efforts to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius. Reaching this goal means no new fossil fuel projects can be built. Second, coal combustion produces a great amount of pollutants, and the expansion of coal plants is doing more harm than good for those most most in need. This is not in line with the principles of overseas development assistance.
During the Global Divestment Mobilization planned for Japan this May, we will make a direct connection between the banks we entrust our money to and how our money is being used for unsustainable energy projects worldwide, which are damaging local livelihoods and worsening climate change. Emphasizing the power of our everyday choices, we will encourage people to divest their personal accounts from banks funding coal and fossil fuel projects overseas and pressure banks to take on more sustainable environmental policies.
One of the Indonesian residents visiting Japan pleaded that “I want Japanese people to think carefully about what kinds of harmful projects their money is being directed into.” This applies to all of us if we want to protect a safe climate and a livable planet.
Today, nearly six years after the fight over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline moved into high gear, Donald Trump approved the federal permit for the pipeline — but this fight is far from over.
It’s not a surprise, but it still feels like a punch in the gut. A punch that should get us good and angry, not knock the wind out of our sails. Seizing this moment will require more of the things that carried us through to this point: passionate organizing, committed actions, and courage on all of our parts.
Here’s how I’ve been thinking about things today, as we prepare to mobilize again:
1) The approval doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. There’s no permitted route through Nebraska; native tribes are hard at work in South Dakota; and a team of lawyers are gearing up to play their role as I write.
2) We’ve already won an awful lot. Six years times 800,000 barrels of oil a day equals a lot of carbon emissions saved. Not to mention that six years of delay has cost Transcanada a small fortune.
3) Every new pipeline, frack well and coal port is being fought and fought hard. You’ve heard of some of these fights, like the Dakota Access pipeline, but there are now hundreds of them across the world. Keystone jumpstarted a whole new phase of the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
There are many, many people who’ve been working to stop Keystone since the beginning, and they’re gearing up for this next round of the fight.
I’ll be one of the presenters on the webinar together with brilliant organizers, Jane Kleeb with Bold Alliance, Wayne Frederick, Rosebud Sioux Tribe Council, Michael Brune from Sierra Club, Lindsey Allen from the Rainforest Action Network and Eriel Deranger from Indigenous Climate Action. We’ll talk about how we can fight this pipeline with every available tool in our toolbox.
I wish there was a silver bullet — there’s just more of the hard work we’ve been doing for years. We organize, we build big movements, we fight.
We’ve got each other, and together we do good things. The next step we’ll take together is in DC on April 29 for the Peoples Climate March. You’ll see some familiar pipeline fighters there, along with tens of thousands of others, standing together against this industry’s endless greed.
Sign up now to join the live strategy session and we’ll send you a link to watch the live stream. During the webinar, you’ll be able to share your thoughts and submit questions.
See you there and in many places after that,
The White House's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline Friday opens a fierce, new battle over a project that has become a front in the fight against climate change.Read original story