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Updated: 6 hours 59 min ago

Top EPA Watchdog Since 2010 Announces Departure

September 19, 2018 - 8:15am
Read time: 3 mins

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) internal watchdog organization announced plans to leave for a job outside the federal government Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

Arthur A. Elkins Jr., who has held the position of Inspector General since he was appointed by former president Barack Obama in 2010, will spend his last day at the agency October 12, The Hill reported.

Tags: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyTrump AdministrationAndrew WheelerScott PruittEPA Inspector General

The Fracking Industry’s Water Nightmare

September 18, 2018 - 8:48am
Read time: 7 mins

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has clearly documented the multiple risks — despite repeated dismissals from the oil and gas industry — that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) poses to drinking water supplies. However, the tables may be turning: Water itself now poses a risk to the already failing financial model of the American fracking industry, and that is something the industry won’t be able to ignore.

Tags: fracking wastewaterInjection Wellsfracking financesfrackingHarold HammTrump Administration

Charitable Donor Pulls Funding for Climate Science Denying Global Warming Policy Foundation

September 18, 2018 - 4:28am
Read time: 2 mins

Climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has apparently been left with a hole in its finances after a major donor did not renew its funding.

The Atkin Charitable Foundation had given the GWPF £20,000 each year between 2012 and 2016. But the foundation pulled its funding in 2017, its latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission show.

Tags: Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)Nigel LawsonBoris JohnsonEdward Atkin

Trump Admin Accelerates Push to Export Fracking to Argentina

September 17, 2018 - 12:00pm
Read time: 7 mins

By Joseph Siess

In June, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry traveled to Bariloche, Argentina, for a G20 Summit where he expressed his desire to help Argentina become more like Texas, his home state.

“The technology that has allowed for the shale gas revolution in America, we want to make available to Argentina,” Perry said.

At the summit, which was intended to focus on a transition to cleaner energy, Perry instead pledged the U.S. Department of Energy’s support in helping Argentina exploit its vast fossil fuel resources. Namely by connecting the nation with U.S. companies that know how to extract shale oil and gas via hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

But DOE isn’t the only part of the U.S. government facilitating fracking in Argentina. Under the Trump administration, the Departments of Interior and State — working closely with Pennsylvania State University — have been involved in multiple workshops focused on developing shale oil and gas in the South American nation.   

Tags: Vaca Muerta ShaleRick PerryArgentinashale gasfrackingTrump Administration

Climate Damages and Deception: Panel Reviews California Legal Actions Against Fossil Fuel Industry

September 13, 2018 - 6:43pm
Read time: 5 mins

By Kaya Axelsson

In San Francisco this week, Fossil Free California hosted a panel discussion on the most recent municipal litigation against the fossil fuel industry.

Last year, San Francisco and Oakland sued the world’s five largest investor-owned fossil fuel producers over predicted climate change costs to these cities.

Tags: californiaclimate liability

Pipeline that Exploded in Pennsylvania Part of Push to Build Fracking-Reliant Petrochemical Network

September 12, 2018 - 8:32pm
Read time: 5 mins

Just before dawn Monday morning, Chuck Belczyk thought a jet had crashed near his home roughly 25 miles outside Pittsburgh – until he heard the sound of hissing gas.

“And that’s when it all hit us what was happening,” Belczyk told NPR’s State Impact. “You knew the pipeline went.”

Tags: plasticspetrochemicalschemicalsfrackingMarcellusexplosionRevolutionEnergy Transfer Partners

Buried, Altered, Silenced: 4 Ways Government Climate Information Has Changed Since Trump Took Office

September 12, 2018 - 5:14pm
Read time: 5 mins

By Morgan Currie, Stanford University and Britt S. Paris, University of California, Los Angeles

After Donald Trump won the presidential election, hundreds of volunteers around the U.S. came together to “rescue” federal data on climate change, thought to be at risk under the new administration. “Guerilla archivists,” including ourselves, gathered to archive federal websites and preserve scientific data.

But what has happened since? Did the data vanish?

Tags: Donald Trump

Report: 90 Percent of World’s Largest 200 Industrial Firms Are Using Trade Associations to Oppose Climate Policy

September 12, 2018 - 12:00pm
Read time: 7 mins

Nearly all of the world’s largest 200 industrial companies have directly or indirectly opposed climate policy since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed three years ago, according to new research.  

Analysis by InfluenceMap, a UK-based think tank, examined the lobbying activities of 200 of the world’s biggest companies and 75 of the most powerful trade groups and the links between them since December 2015.

It found that 30 percent of all companies analysed have directly lobbied against climate policy in the last three years and that 90 percent of them retain membership to trade associations which have actively opposed climate policy around the world.  

Tags: InfluenceMapbpshell

Declining Oil and Rise in Renewables Opens Up Possibility for North Sea Transition

September 12, 2018 - 5:10am
Read time: 5 mins

Record-breaking offshore developments and decommissioning infrastructure have sent strong signals that the North Sea is getting ready for a genuine transition away from fossil fuels.

This week saw Shetland port Dales Voe named as the best ultra deep-water port for decommissioning oil rigs and other large infrastructure projects by accountants Ernst and Young. Operated by Lerwick Port Authority, Dales Voe was previously extended to allow defunct oil rigs to be moved for dismantling.

Tags: North SeaoilNorth Sea DecommissioningScotlandBrexit

The 19th-Century Tumult Over Climate Change – And Why It Matters Today

September 10, 2018 - 10:21pm
Read time: 8 mins

By Deborah Coen, Yale University

Back in the 19th century, when tractors were still pulled by horses and the word “computer” meant a person hired to carry out tedious calculations, climate science made front-page news.

One European forester remarked in 1901 that few questions had “been debated and addressed from so many sides and so relentlessly” as that of the climatic effect of deforestation. Recalling this crowded, noisy and wide-ranging conflict – a “hurly-burly” over the “climate question,” as the scientist Eduard Brückner called it at the time – reminds us that climate science has not always been the elite, well-mannered pursuit that it is today.

Tags: climate science

Avenue Capital’s Plans to Revive West’s Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant Spark Protests from Navajo Nation Members

September 10, 2018 - 7:48pm
Read time: 6 mins

Protesters arrived outside the offices of a private equity firm run by a billionaire closely tied to the Clinton family on Monday, urging the company to abandon plans to keep a 44 year-old coal fired power plant on tribal lands running five years past its scheduled shut-down.

Tags: coalNavajo Generating StationprotestsAvenue Capital Groupblack mesaBig Mountain

Residents of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Join Climate Movement In Call For Environmental Justice

September 10, 2018 - 3:23pm
Read time: 7 mins

On September 8,  “Rise for Climate” events took place in 95 countries around the world, pressing leaders to take action on climate change and other environmental issues, a week before a global summit on climate change in San Francisco.

Thousands turned out at over 800 actions spearheaded by, an environmental advocacy group,

Alaina Boyett, a member of 350 New Orleans, a local affiliate of, organized two events dubbed “Rise For Cancer Alley.”  Over 100 people were in attendance, which pleased Boyett. “Today Cancer Alley residents got a chance to tell their stories to a larger audience,” she told me, which was her goal. “I wanted to amplify the voices of people who often don’t feel they are being listened to.” 

Tags: cancer alleyLouisianaBayou Bridge pipeline

How Supreme Court Pick Brett Kavanaugh Could Return US Policy to the Era of Robber Barons

September 5, 2018 - 2:39pm
Read time: 8 mins

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearings get under way, understanding his appointment’s potential impacts for corporate regulation and the climate means looking back all the way to 1890.

That was when a nearly 50-year stretch known to legal historians as the “Lochner era” kicked off — a time better known in U.S. history as the age of the robber barons.

Tags: Brett KavanaughSupreme CourtU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyClean Power PlanTrump AdministrationKoch brothersFederalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies

South Portland's Ban on Tar Sands Oil Survives Court Challenge

September 5, 2018 - 12:38pm
Read time: 7 mins

The City of South Portland, Maine, won a major legal victory at the end of August when a federal judge ruled that the city’s effective ban on tar sands oil did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The decision, like a similar one in Portland, Oregon, has potentially widespread implications for other communities fighting fossil fuel infrastructure projects within their borders.

Tags: South Portland Clear Skies OrdinanceMainealberta tar sandsoil-by-railOregon

Scott Pruitt’s Unjustified Personal Security Cost Taxpayers Over $3.5 million: EPA Audit

September 4, 2018 - 6:13pm
Read time: 4 mins

You, the American taxpayer, spent over $3.5 million providing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt with an unprecedented round-the-clock security detail — and that security force may have been operating both outside of the law and without justification.

That’s the message the EPA’s internal watchdog has for American taxpayers after concluding an audit of the environmental agency's security protocols from September 2016 to May 2018.

Tags: Environmental Protection AgencysecurityauditOffice of the Inspector GeneralTrump AdministrationScott PruittU.S. Environmental Protection Agency

10 Really Awesome Reasons to Support DeSmog UK

September 4, 2018 - 4:49am
Read time: 3 mins

High quality investigative journalism is scarce, climate change is largely under-reported, and the mainstream media has largely abandoned efforts to do either.

Independent media can be the antidote to this. But it needs support.

That’s why DeSmog UK has launched a crowdfunding campaign, to humbly ask you, dear reader, to give what you can to help us continue our important work.

UK Councils Invest Billions in Fracking, Including Companies Tied to Donald Trump

September 2, 2018 - 7:01pm
Read time: 6 mins

Council pension funds across the UK have invested billions in companies involved with fracking, new data claims. Authorities in areas where the controversial practice is set to take place also have millions invested such companies.

Some of the funds also have investments in companies with close ties to members of President Trump’s administration, which is currently embarking on a major climate and environmental regulation roll-back.

Tags: Cuadrilla ResourcesPreston New RoadPreston New Road Action GroupDonald TrumpSteve MnuchinScott PruittDrew Maloney

The Covert Attack on John McCain’s Climate Leadership by ExxonMobil and the Koch Brothers

August 30, 2018 - 6:51pm
Read time: 10 mins

By Kert Davies, originally published on 

InsideClimate News  Marianne Lavelle published a long piece this weekend, chronicling Senator John McCain’s rise and fall as a climate leader.  The story highlights a campaign I worked on in 2000, where we asked all the presidential candidates the simple and still pertinent question, “What’s Your Plan?” on global warming. McCain was one of the only candidates that took it on. He went back to Washington in the middle of 2000, having been defeated by George W. Bush in the primaries, and immediately started holding hearings on climate change science.

As always, there is more to the story.  When McCain emerged as “Captain Climate” in the early 2000s, and introduced the first serious bipartisan legislation to cut emissions, he became the target of a multifaceted attack by anti-regulatory free market organizations.  It turns out, many of these organizations and front groups were quietly being funded by ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers.

Tags: john mccainexxonCharles Koch

Trans Mountain Pipeline a Serious Misstep for Trudeau

August 30, 2018 - 6:34pm
Read time: 5 mins

In a serious blow to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project, Canada's federal court of appeal ruled today that the pipeline cannot proceed with construction due to a lack of consultation with First Nations.

In their ruling, the court stated that the Canadian National Energy Board’s [NEB], “process and findings were so flawed that the Governor in Council could not reasonably rely on the Board’s report; second, Canada failed to fulfil the duty to consult owed to Indigenous peoples.”

What appears at the heart of the decision is that while Kinder Morgan undertook consultation with concerned communities, the consultations did not lead to any real meaningful changes in the plan. In other words, First Nations leaders felt they were paid lip service over their concerns raised about important issues like how risks to our freshwater aquifers would be mitigated in the case of a spill. 

Tags: justin trudeauKinder MorganLiberal PartyTransMountainpipeline

Will John McCain Be The Last Republican Leader In The Senate To Address Climate Change?

August 28, 2018 - 4:51pm
Read time: 6 mins

By Tim Profeta, Duke University

“He was just doing his job.”

When I asked a longtime staffer to Sen. John McCain why the senator battled to address climate change in the early 2000s, that was his answer.

A simple answer, but one essential to understanding how McCain led those early efforts to combat the challenge when no one else would step forward.

Although others had brought climate change as an issue to the Senate, McCain, a Republican, and democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman were the first to bring climate legislation that aimed to reduce emissions. That attempt was their bipartisan 2003 Climate Stewardship Act. As Lieberman’s counsel for the environment, I helped write this legislation.

Tags: john mccainrepublicanclimate action