Tag Archives: Environment

Ticker Shows Climate Inaction Cost US Nearly $3,000 Per Second in 2023

“This exorbitant price tag, driven by an unparalleled number of weather and climate disasters, reinforces the urgent need for the Biden administration to use every tool at their disposal,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-23-2024 by Common Dreams

Road sign on U.S. Route 101 in Windsor warning of severe weather during the atmospheric rivers in January 2023. Photo: Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0)

After an unprecedented number of billion-dollar extreme weather disasters across the United States last year, advocacy groups on Friday released an updated “Cost of Inaction Ticker” estimating the price of not tackling the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency.

Launched by the Climate Action Campaign and other groups in 2022, the ticker is based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which found that 2023 was the hottest year on record and the 28 disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage collectively cost Americans at least $92.9 billion, or $2,945.84 per second.

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‘Alarming’: FERC Ignores Climate Impacts and Rubber-Stamps Texas Pipeline

“The world does not need more LNG, and FERC is out of step with the reality of the climate crisis and communities impacted by these projects,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 2-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Culberson County Hospital (left) and Van Horn Rural Health Clinic (right) are shown in Van Horn, Texas, where residents are concerned about the local health system’s ability to cope with a major pipeline explosion. (Photo: Texas.pics/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a controversial pipeline on Thursday despite opposition from local and Indigenous communities and without considering its climate impacts.

The commission limited its review of the Saguaro Connector Pipeline to a 1,000-foot stretch of the project on the Texas and Mexican border. If built, the pipeline could transport as many as 2.8 billion cubic feet of fracked gas per day to an export facility in Mexico, where it would be shipped to Asia and Latin America. The decision comes weeks after the Biden administration paused Department of Energy (DOE) approvals of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports while it updates its assessment criteria.

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Federal Dicamba Ruling Called ‘Vital Victory for Farmers and the Environment’

“The court today resoundingly reaffirmed what we have always maintained: The EPA’s and Monsanto’s claims of dicamba’s safety were irresponsible and unlawful,” said one plaintiff.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-6-2024 by Common Dreams

CUPPED LEAVES — Soybeans showing the cupped leaves which are a symptom of dicamba injury. File photo. (U of A System Division of Agriculture)/flickr/CC

In what one plaintiff called “a sweeping victory for family farmers and dozens of endangered plants and animals,” a federal court in Arizona on Tuesday rescinded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 approval of the highly volatile herbicide dicamba for use on certain genetically engineered crops.

In a 47-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David C. Bury found that the EPA failed to comply with public notice and comment requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), legislation passed in 1947 to protect agricultural workers, consumers, and the environment.

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Air Pollution From Canadian Tar Sands Up to 6,300% Worse Than Industry Reports

“In quantifying the astonishing and largely unreported levels,” said a Greenpeace campaigner, “these scientists have validated what downwind Indigenous communities have been saying for decades.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-26-2024 by Common Dreams

Tar sands extraction in northern Alberta. Photo: The Co-op Group/flickr/CC

Aircraft measurements of pollutants over the Athabasca tar sands in Alberta, Canada show levels exceeding industry reports by 1,900% to more than 6,300%, scientists revealed Thursday, underscoring the need for humanity to rapidly phase out fossil fuels.

While the Canadian government requires air quality monitoring around oil sands operations, industry figures focus on certain compounds. For this research, published Thursday in the journal Science, experts from Yale University and Environment and Climate Change Canada, a department of the Canadian government, accounted for a wider range of emissions.

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Supreme Court Rejects Bid by API, Exxon, and Koch to Kill Climate Case

“Big Oil companies will continue fighting to escape justice, but for the third time in a year, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied their desperate pleas,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-8-2024 by Common Dreams

The Pine Bend oil refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, run by Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Photo: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons/CC

For the third time in less than a year, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a key case against the fossil fuel industry to proceed in state court, delivering a win for the movement to make polluters pay for driving the climate emergency.

“This decision is another step forward for Minnesota’s efforts to hold fossil fuel giants accountable for their climate lies and the harm they’ve caused,” said Center for Climate Integrity president Richard Wiles, pointing to the previous denials of other cases last April and May.

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‘Hard-Won Movement Victory’: MVP Extension in NC Halved

“Mountain Valley Pipeline and its Southgate extension have been poorly conceived from the beginning, but today some of the communities in harm’s way can breathe easier,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett Published 12-30-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Anne_Way_Bernard/Oil Change International

Frontline critics of the Mountain Valley Pipeline celebrated after Equitrans Midstream revealed Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the distance of the proposed Southgate extension project has been cut in half.

The partially completed MVP project—long delayed by legal battles until congressional Republicans and President Joe Biden included language to fast-track it in a debt limit deal earlier this year—is set to cross 303 miles of Virginia and West Virginia.

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‘Welcome News’: EPA Starts Process of Vinyl Chloride Risk Assessment

“This is one of the most important chemical review processes ever undertaken by the EPA,” said one of the agency’s former regional administrators.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 12-14-2023 by Common Dreams

Aerial photo of East Palestine derailment site taken 02-24-23. Twelve rail cars remained on site. Photo:: Governor Mike DeWine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it had begun the process of prioritizing vinyl chloride for evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Vinyl chloride, which is primarily used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, was one of five chemicals the agency earmarked for a risk assessment. The move comes eight months after a disastrous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which included five cars carrying 115,000 gallons of the dangerous chemical.

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‘Shocking’ Share of Freshwater Fish Species at Risk of Extinction

“Ensuring freshwater ecosystems are well managed, remain free-flowing with sufficient water, and good water quality is essential to stop species declines… in a climate-resilient world,” one scientist said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 12=11-2023 by Common Dreams

The IUCN has changed the conservation status of Atlantic salmon from “least concern” to “near threatened.” (Photo: USFWS Endangered Species’ photostream/Flickr)

More than 20% of the world’s freshwater fish species are in danger of extinction, according to the first-ever assessment of the category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The assessment was released Monday as part of an update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species published to coincide with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). It found that 3,086 out of 14,898 listed freshwater fish species are at risk of disappearing, and at least 17% of threatened fish species are impacted by the climate crisis.

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‘Disastrous’: Michigan Regulators Approve Enbridge Line 5 Expansion

“Today’s decision is another notch in a long history of ignoring the rights of tribal nations,” said one Indigenous leader.

By Julia Conley. Published 12-1-2023 by Common Dreams

Activists in Michigan gather around a sign reading, “Line 5: people or pipeline? Which side are you on?” (Photo Ben Jealous/X)

Days after climate advocates applauded Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signing of a package of clean energy bills that one campaigner said would “translate into better air, water, and health for everyone,” state regulators took several steps back from a sustainable future as they approved a key permit for Enbridge’s Line 5 expansion project beneath the Great Lakes.

In a 2-0 vote with one member abstaining, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved siting for the project, granting Canadian oil firm Enbridge permission to build a concrete tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac—which connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron—to house a four-mile section of its 645-mile petroleum pipeline.

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200,000+ Urge DOE to ‘Do the Right Thing’ and Block LNG Buildout

One project in particular, the CP2 export terminal, “would be the most harmful facility built in the United States,” one frontline activist said as campaigners delivered petition signatures.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 11-30-2023 by Common Dreams

Roishetta Ozane, founder and director of the Louisiana-based mutual aid organization Vessel Project, speaks as activists deliver 200,000 signatures opposing the LNG buildout to the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., on November 30, 2023. (Photo: Jamie Henn/X)

Climate and environmental justice campaigners on Thursday delivered more than 200,000 petition signatures calling on the Biden administration to reject the Calcasieu Pass 2, or CP2, liquefied natural gas export facility as well as all other planned LNG infrastructure.

Environmental advocates and progressive lawmakers have been increasingly raising the alarm about CP2 and the broader expansion in LNG exports, pointing out that they put both the U.S. climate goals and frontline Gulf Coast communities at risk. CP2, for example, would emit 20 times as many greenhouse gases as the controversial Willow oil drilling project in Alaska.

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