Stories tagged with climate

The New “CIA”

As I write this, a new CIA, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, is completing six days of a tipi encampment on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Throughout the past week Indigenous people from Canada, Idaho, South Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma and elsewhere have joined with ranchers and farmers from Nebraska to dramatize and bring to public consciousness their historic alliance to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. They and their supporters have had meals together, have prayed together, have taken action every day together and have built connections and relationships that are a deep source of hope for our wounded earth …

Why is WGBH Legitimizing David Koch’s Climate Change Denial?

Last Wednesday, more than 50 people gathered outside of WGBH — Boston’s public television station and the largest producer of national PBS television content — with 119,000 petition signatures calling on the station to drop David Koch from its board. Even Elmo was there (well, a local climate activist dressed up as Elmo), to say that a man who has spent millions spreading lies about climate change doesn’t belong on the board of an institution that seeks to enrich “people’s lives through programs and services that educate […]” WGBH spokespeople were quick to respond that as a board member, Koch has no impact on their programming. …

Europe says its own biofuels policies increase food costs 50%, drive deforestation

Two new studies that came out in Europe during the last couple of days show that biofuel mandates are causing consumers far more pocketbook pain – and contributing more to deforestation and climate pollution – than even previous studies suggested. The European Union’s own Joint Research Center found that Europe’s biofuels mandates are dramatically driving up food prices. Here’s the summary from Euractiv: If biofuels received no EU policy support, the price of food stuffs such as vegetable oil would be 50% lower in Europe by 2020 than at present – and 15% lower elsewhere in the world – according …

BLM schedules two major coal leases, undermining President Obama’s climate action plan

Next week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to sell 148 million tons of publicly owned coal, making clear that BLM continues to ignore concerns about the carbon pollution from coal mining, burning and export proposals. In addition to this lease sale, known as “Maysdorf II,” BLM has also scheduled the sale of the “Haycreek II” lease sale for next month, which would give the mining industry access to another 167 million tons of our coal at subsidized rates – the last major Powder River Basin coal lease sale went to Peabody for just $1.10 per ton. Unless Interior …

Infographic: Piling up Keystone XL’s petcoke

In the President’s recent speech on climate change, he said “our national interest will be served only if [Keystone XL] does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” There are many reasons that the Keystone XL pipeline will clearly exacerbate the problem of climate pollution…but one that is often overlooked (at our peril) is theproblem of petroleum coke (aka “petcoke”). Petcoke is a refining byproduct of tar sands oil, and when burned is substantially dirtier than coal and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas pollution. Read below to see just how significant Keystone XL’s petcoke problem would be…with enough petcoke to …

Coal industry flails around for a new PR strategy

Last week I looked at the coal industry’s failed PR efforts, which even Luke Popovich, the head of the National Mining Association, admits has not worked: “Anyway, ‘war on coal’ never resonated with much conviction among ordinary Americans. For them, the EPA keeps the air and water clean, their kids safe.” One of the problems, of course, is that coal is Americans’ “least favored” energy source, according to a recent Gallup poll. Despite the silly “war” rhetoric, most people understand that we need to move away from coal and the damage it does to our health, environment, and climate. So …

How Europe can help Obama achieve US climate targets

As the global leader of climate action, European governments want to know how President Obama’s major climate speech affects Europe – and particularly whether the actions he outlined can allow the United States to reach its commitment to reduce emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels (or even exceed that level). The big picture: Obama’s speech amounted to the first time that President Obama had given voice to the environmental movement’s core narrative at length. Suddenly, he wasn’t just talking about energy security and the economy and “all of the above” – he was talking about protecting the future of …

The coal industry’s desperate PR efforts: old, lame, and ineffective

Among the highlights of President Obama’s climate change speech was an explicit recognition that polluting industries and the members of Congress who do their bidding will oppose climate action with the same talking points they have used for decades to try and block clean air standards. Now, what you will hear from the special interests and their allies in Congress is that this will kill jobs and crush the economy and basically end free enterprise as we know it. And the reason I know you’ll hear those things is because that’s what they’ve said every time America sets clear rules and …

Need for coal leasing moratorium reinforced by Department of Interior Inspector General report

A new report from the Department of Interior’s Inspector General highlights several problems with the way DOI gives taxpayer-owned coal to companies like Peabody, Arch, and Cloud Peak Energy, including flaws in the way DOI calculates fair market value (FMV) and a failure to consider increasing coal exports. The report reinforces the need for a moratorium on federal coal leasing, as outlined in a letter to Secretary Jewell on her first day in office which noted these and other concerns. The New York Times reports: The report, the product of one of a series of investigations under way of federal …