Oil

The true cost of gasoline? $13 a gallon

What's the true cost of the emissions from every gallon of gasoline, when you add up all the negative environmental impacts they'll lead to, from poor air quality to catastrophic climate change? Nine dollars a gallon. Add that to what you're typically paying at the pump right now, and it means that the real cost of a gallon of gas to the planet and our future is easily into double digits.

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

Critical List: Australia will tax carbon; U.S. cars kill 32.5 trillion insects each year

This is a carbon tax: Australia is going to put a tax of $23 per metric ton on carbon emissions from 500 companies. Hybrids and electric vehicles may no longer be legally allowed to slink quietly down the street, surprising pedestrians and dogs everywhere. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a rule requiring that the near-silent cars emit some sort of sound at low speeds. The EPA is not happy with ExxonMobil and the company's plan to clean up the Yellowstone River. I mean, it’s in favor of cleaning up, it just thinks this particular plan stinks.

Exxon vs. state government: Yellowstone clean-up now has dueling command centers

A week after an ExxonMobil pipeline burst under Montana's Yellowstone River, spots of oil have been found more than 80 miles downstream from the original spill. Exxon is on the clean-up case; more than 500 Exxon clean-up workers are on the scene, and the company has put down 8,000 feet of absorbent booms and 150,000 pads to soak up the oil. But the company is also being so sneaky in their proceedings that Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and his team huffed out of the incident command center and set up their own clubhouse.

Documents show Exxon downplayed time it took to seal Yellowstone spill

ExxonMobil told federal officials and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer that they had sealed the pipeline leaking oil into the Yellowstone River within 30 minutes. But federal documents show that sealing the pipe took 56 minutes -- almost twice as long as the company originally said. The company told the AP that the error came about because the Exxon representative who briefed officials was providing information without the benefit of notes. In other words, not really intended to be a factual statement.

Critical List: Republicans plan to defund the environment; no one likes the EPA

House Republicans want to defund all kinds of environmental activity -- the EPA, the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service. You know, just anything having to do with the outside. And the USDA thinks that bioengineered bluegrass doesn't fall within its regulatory sphere, which means companies could grow the stuff without any regulation. Exposing mice to air pollution makes them dumber and more depressed. So it's probably good for everyone that the EPA is putting new regulations on coal-fired power plants that should reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide by 73 percent and nitrogen oxides by 54 percent from 2005 levels. Should Republicans succeed in cutting the agency’s budget yet again, this action could be little more than an empty gesture, though.

ExxonMobil, historic flooding join forces to spread oil through Yellowstone River

The oil leaking from an ExxonMobil pipe into the Yellowstone River in Montana spread farther than the company said it anticipated. The reason, according to ExxonMobil’s spokespeople, is historic levels of flooding on the river. By Tuesday, Exxon had 280 people on the case, but still hadn’t managed to fight through floodwaters to reach the break in the pipeline. Exxon says the river is preventing its clean-up crews from going out on foot or in boats to look for oil on the river's banks. Exxon did shut down the busted pipeline, but not before spilling more than 40,000 gallons of oil that they say it’s not yet safe to clean up, due to the floods. The company had been warned twice that it needed to check the pipeline for corrosion and update its emergency plans -- but now that there is actually a broken pipeline and an emergency, it’s obviously all the river’s fault.

Critical List: Oil spills into Yellowstone River; Americans are driving less

42,000 gallons of Exxon oil spilled into the Yellowstone River in Montana over the weekend. Regulators had warned the company that the pipe wasn't safe. The river's particularly high, which isn't helping clean-up. Atmospheric pollution from China's coal use temporarily masked global warming: sulfur particulates reflected more light back into space, keeping the planet’s temperature from rising too fast. But over time the carbon dioxide released from the coal will push temperatures upwards.

Oil

Who's down with (more) MPG?

The Pew Clean Energy Program and other environmental groups are calling on Obama to raise fuel efficiency standards in the auto industry to 60 MPG.

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