Natural Gas

Critical List: Debt deal cuts energy programs; solar-powered spacecraft goes to Jupiter

Is Congress passing a bill? Then you can bet it's bad for the environment. The debt deal is no exception. We're almost out of time to start dealing with climate change, a new report says. Emissions would need to peak in 2020 in order for the planet to escape real damage. So … yeah. Related: "Expectations are not high at the moment" for the Durban round of climate talks, according to a UN official. Radiation levels in some parts of the Fukushima plant are still deadly.

Fossil Fuels

Fossil-fuel industries push for a Great Outdoors Giveaway

More than 70 million acres of public land would lose protection under a bill in the U.S. House. Who's behind it? Oil, gas, and coal companies.

Critical List: New fuel economy standards; flat screens use less energy

Both options currently on the table for raising the debt ceiling would cut environment and energy spending. The president will announce new fuel economy standards -- cars and light-duty trucks will need to be at 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The EPA is proposing the first air standards for fracking.

After hundreds of earthquakes, Arkansas shuts down fracking disposal wells

Here's a novel idea: if your local extraction industry is causing hundreds of earthquakes, make them stop doing whatever it was that was causing the earthquakes. That's exactly what the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission did yesterday, when its members voted to shut down a fracking fluid disposal well and ban the drilling of new ones. The Associated Press explains:

Critical List: Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in carbon; Halliburton’s profits are up

Mitt Romney doesn't think carbon is a pollutant and doesn't think the EPA should regulate it. But he has said that we should reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. May he doesn't understand what those words mean? The hybrid electric flying car! (Brought to you by the military-industrial complex.) Climate change could wipe out whitebark pine trees in the West, but the Fish and Wildlife Service can't be bothered to list the trees as endangered, or even threatened.

Natural Gas

Mark Ruffalo on fracking: ‘Gas is a bridge to nowhere’ [VIDEO]

The actor, activist, and frack-fighter spoke with Keith Olbermann Wednesday about how the gas industry is "the dirtiest, slimiest, most arrogant, and negligent that you can imagine."

Surprise! Fracking fluid kills trees

Not that this is a big surprise or anything, but a new study shows that disposing of fracking fluid can do a number on local trees. One perfectly legal dump of used fracking fluid in West Virginia ended up killing more than half of the trees in the affected area.

Critical List: Keystone XL could spill millions of gallons of oil; snails that like being eaten

The current Yellowstone spill involved 42,000 gallons of oil. That’s bad enough. But the Keystone XL pipeline could dump 6.9 million gallons of oil into the river. Republicans want to repeal the incandescent light bulb "ban," but since it's NOT SUCH A BRIGHT IDEA (har har), their bill probably won't pass. Trees can suck up carbon from the atmosphere, delaying disaster for a little while. But so can cities, it turns out. Parks, gardens, abandoned lots, golf courses, sports fields, and river banks suck up more carbon than anyone imagined

Trash trucks powered by trash gas reduce emissions by 80-90 percent

Waste Management Inc. owns 1,000 trash trucks that run on natural gas, plus a bunch of landfills that are constantly pumping out natural gas as a natural product of the decomposition of organic waste. Closing the loop on this cycle is a no-brainer, but it took Waste Management a decade to perfect the technology required. Now they’ve got trash trucks that run on gas from the trash they carry.