Tag Archives: Energy

EPA Allowing Vast Oil Refinery Waste to Pollute US Waterways

“It’s high time for EPA to crack down on the toxic pollution from oil refineries that’s threatening both wildlife and human health,” said one environmental justice advocate.

By Kenny Stancil  Published 1-26-2023 by Common Dreams

Exxon Mobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo: WClarke/Wikimedia Commons/CC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to uphold its legal obligation to regulate the nearly half-billion gallons of toxic wastewater that petroleum refineries dump into the nation’s waterways on a daily basis, according to an exhaustive study published Thursday.

The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), a watchdog founded by former EPA enforcement attorneys, analyzed publicly available records and found that in 2021 alone, the 81 refineries across the U.S. that discharge into rivers, streams, and estuaries released 1.6 billion pounds of chlorides, sulfates, and other dissolved solids harmful to aquatic life; 15.7 million pounds of algae-feeding nitrogen; 60,000 pounds of selenium, which can cause mutations in fish; and other pollutants, including cyanide; heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc; and petrochemicals like benzene. Continue reading

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Biden Admin Still Pushing Trump-Era Legal Positions After Two Years in White House

“As the previous administration violated legal and ethical norms at every turn, Attorney General Merrick Garland’s choice of continuity with the Trump DOJ’s positions erodes the integrity of the very institution he is determined to protect,” said one researcher.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 1-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Merrick Garland and Chuck Schumer in 2016 Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/CC

Two years after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, his administration continues to advance Trump-era legal positions in dozens of court cases, a progressive watchdog group revealed Friday.

Former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) “consistently made a mockery of the law throughout his four years in power,” the Revolving Door Project (RDP) noted in the latest release of its long-running litigation tracker. Continue reading

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‘Nail in the Coffin’: Study Shows Exxon Accurately Predicted Warming Decades Ago

“Our analysis shows that ExxonMobil’s own data contradicted its public statements, which included exaggerating uncertainties, criticizing climate models, mythologizing global cooling, and feigning ignorance,” said lead author Geoffrey Supran.

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 1-12-2023 by Common Dreams

Exxon Mobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo: WClarke/Wikimedia Commonns/CC

“This is the nail in the coffin of ExxonMobil’s claims that it has been falsely accused of climate malfeasance.”

That’s what University of Miami associate professor Geoffrey Supran said about a peer-reviewed study on the fossil fuel giant’s global warming projections published Thursday in the journal Science, which he began work on as a Harvard University research fellow. Continue reading

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UN Report Shows Ozone Layer Recovery Effort ‘Sets a Precedent for Climate Action’

“Our success in phasing out ozone-eating chemicals shows us what can and must be done—as a matter of urgency—to transition away from fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gases, and so limit temperature increase,” said one expert.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 1-9-2023 by Common Dreams

From the Pittsburgh Earth Day Climate Strike on 4/22/2022. Photo: Mark Dixon/flickr/CC

An assessment released Monday by leading science agencies highlights the effectiveness of an international treaty intended to protect the stratospheric ozone layer as well as the power of taking action now to limit global heating driven by human activity.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987 and entered into force in 1989. The landmark treaty regulates nearly 100 synthetic chemicals known as ozone-depleting substances (ODSs)—including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Continue reading

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Nobody loved you, 2022

From devastating floods in Pakistan to Italy’s far-right PM to overturning Roe v Wade, this was a year of extremes

By Adam Ramsay  Published 12-30-2022 by openDemocracy

A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF

How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?

Maybe you start with some events?

In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading

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Temporarily Passing Paris Climate Targets Could ‘Significantly’ Raise Tipping Point Risk: Study

“To effectively prevent all tipping risks, the global mean temperature increase would need to be limited to no more than 1°C—we are currently already at about 1.2°C,” noted one scientist.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 12-23-2022 by Common Dreams

Fire in the Amazon Photo: Luísa Mota/flickr/CC

Surpassing the global temperature targets of the Paris climate agreement, even temporarily, could dramatically increase the risk of the world experiencing dangerous “tipping points,” according to research published Friday.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines tipping points as “critical thresholds in a system that, when exceeded, can lead to a significant change in the state of the system, often with an understanding that the change is irreversible.” Continue reading

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Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

“Their ‘solutions’ are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment,” said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 12-5-2022 by Common Dreams

Nearly half of the endangered red panda’s habitat is in the Eastern Himalayas, where the loss of bamboo and nesting trees is impacting the population. Photo: Mathias Appel/flickr/CC

With the next United Nations Biodiversity Conference set to kick off in Canada this week, a report out Monday details how corporate interests have attempted to influence efforts to protect the variety of life on Earth amid rampant species loss.

After a long-delayed and mostly virtual meeting in Kunming, China last year to work on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF), nearly 20,000 delegates are headed to Montreal for the second part of COP15, which will bring together countries party to a multilateral treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Continue reading

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‘Intentional Vandalism’ Leaves Thousands Without Power in North Carolina

One right-wing extremist implied that multiple electrical substations were targeted to disrupt a drag show in Moore County. Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI are investigating.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 12-4-2022 by Common Dreams

Police officers survey the perimeter line of the West End substation in Moore County, North Carolina on December 3, 2022. (Photo: John Nagy/The Pilot)

Officials in a North Carolina county where more than 40,000 households remain without power amid freezing temperatures declared a state of emergency on Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after multiple electrical substations were damaged by gunfire in an apparent act of criminal vandalism.

“As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a statement. The massive blackout, which began just after 7:00 pm Saturday night, is “being investigated as a criminal occurrence.” No arrests have been announced. Continue reading

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Protesting Fuel Poverty, People Tell UK Government to ‘Keep Everyone Warm This Winter’

As energy bills—and fossil fuel profits—continue to soar, demonstrators around Britain demanded immediate action from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and members of Parliament.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 12-3-2022 by Common Dreams

People called for government action to ensure affordable clean energy for all in Glasgow, Scotland on December 3, 2022. (Photo: Fuel Poverty Action/Twitter)

People in dozens of cities across the United Kingdom hit the streets on Saturday to demand immediate government action to prevent thousands of struggling workers from freezing to death in their homes this winter.

Demonstrators drew attention to the worsening crisis of fuel poverty and called on lawmakers to pick up more of the tab for skyrocketing bills, fund home insulation, and accelerate clean energy production—all of which would be made easier by enacting a stronger tax on oil and gas corporations’ windfall profits. Continue reading

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After COP27, all signs point to world blowing past the 1.5 degrees global warming limit – here’s what we can still do about it

 

Young activists have been pushing to keep a 1.5-Celsius limit, knowing their future is at stake.
AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty

 

Peter Schlosser, Arizona State University

The world could still, theoretically, meet its goal of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, a level many scientists consider a dangerous threshold. Realistically, that’s unlikely to happen.

Part of the problem was evident at COP27, the United Nations climate conference in Egypt.

While nations’ climate negotiators were successfully fighting to “keep 1.5 alive” as the global goal in the official agreement, reached Nov. 20, 2022, some of their countries were negotiating new fossil fuel deals, driven in part by the global energy crisis. Any expansion of fossil fuels – the primary driver of climate change – makes keeping warming under 1.5 C (2.7 Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times much harder. Continue reading

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