Previous Fossil Fuel News 2017

The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil 12-31-17

For more than a century, the economic fortunes of Texas have depended on oil. The image of mighty geysers spewing depreciable assets out of the ground is forever linked to the state. In the popular imagination, a rich Texan is invariably an oil baron. Read more at The New Yorker

How Big Oil Lost Control of Its Climate Misinformation Machine 12-22-17

The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, launched a billboard campaign in 2012 to compare believers in global warming to “murderers and madmen” such as the Unabomber, Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden. Read more at Inside Climate News

GOP Tax Bill Sneaks Plan to Drill Arctic Refuge 12-15-17

The pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) faces a looming threat from oil and gas drilling. The little known provision, proposed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, was quietly included in the House and Senate Republicans’ compromise tax bill. Read more at EcoWatch

Fracking Study Finds Low Birth Weights Near Natural Gas Drilling Sites 12-13-17

Researchers examined over 1 million birth records in Pennsylvania and found links between babies’ health and fracking proximity. Pinpointing which aspect is harder.

Babies born near hydraulic fracturing sites are 25 percent more likely to have a low birth weight than those born only a few kilometers away, a new study of more than 1 million births in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region concludes. Read more at Inside Climate News

Reclaiming Appalachia: A Push to Bring Back Native Forests to Coal Country 12-14-17

Near the top of Cheat Mountain in West Virginia, bulldozer operator Bill Moore gazes down a steep slope littered with toppled conifers. Tangled roots and angled boulders protrude from the slate-colored soil, and the earth is crisscrossed with deep gouges. Read more at Yale Environment 360

How Bill McKibben’s Radical Idea of Fossil-Fuel Divestment Transformed the Climate Debate 12-12-17

“We need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization.” Read more at EcoWatch

The United States of Petroleum – Government’s secret alliance with Big Oil 12-12-17

To ensure a steady flow of fuel, petroleum executives met regularly with federal officials in Standard Oil’s oak-paneled boardroom on Wall Street. The same industry broken up as an illegal monopoly in 1911 had become a quasi-arm of government. Read more at Public Integrity

Atlantic Coast Pipeline files first eminent domain action in North Carolina 12-4-17

Utilities behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have filed condemnation complaints in North Carolina, the first eminent domain cases in the state over the 600-mile natural gas pipelineRead more at Triangle Business Journal

A map of $1.1 billion in natural gas pipeline leaks 11-29-17

In seven years, pipeline incidents have killed nearly 100 people nationwide.

When a crude oil pipeline is ruptured, it’s bad news, particularly if the oil gets into water, where it’s likely to impact wildlife or drinking water supplies. But when a natural gas pipeline busts, it can be far worse because of the volatility of the fuel, which is made up mostly of methane. Read more at High Country News

A Troubling Look at the Human Toll of Mountaintop Removal Mining 11-21-17

For years, the coal industry has dismissed the idea that mountaintop mining adversely affects people living nearby. But research by Indiana University’s Michael Hendryx provides stark evidence that this widespread mining practice is leading to increases in disease and deaths in Appalachia. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Massive Pipeline Leak Shows Why Nebraska Should Reject Keystone XL 11-17-17

About 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of oil leaked Thursday from TransCanada’s Keystone oil pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota, drawing fierce outcry from pipeline opponents. Read more at EcoWatch

A Small Town in Pennsylvania Has Been Ripped Apart by a New Gas Plant 11-17-17

First came questions about pollution and property values. Lawyers and public-records requests followed. Now this borough of 4,500, where it’s only a slight exaggeration to say that everybody knows everybody, is embroiled in a full-out political revolt. Read more at Mother Jones

Trump’s Mine-Safety Nominee Ran Coal Firm Cited for Illegal Employment Practices 10-17-17

Records show the coal mining company formerly run by David Zatezalo retaliated against a foreman who complained of harassment and unsafe conditions Read more at ProPublica

New Mexico’s Largest Utility Will Stop Burning Coal, Despite Trump’s Clean Power Plan Rollback 10-11-17

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration is rolling back the Clean Power Plan to end the previous administration’s “war on coal” but there’s a big problem: Obama didn’t kill the coal industry—the market for cheap natural gas and increasingly affordable renewable energy did. Read more at EcoWatch

Wood Pellet Demand, Opposition Growing 10-6-17

Wood pellets are often marketed as an energy source that’s a better alternative to fossil fuels, but environmental groups worry about ties between the industry and loss of biodiversity, deforestation, faulty trade policies and climate change. Read more at Coastal Review

These Suburbanites May Have No Fracking Choice 10-3-17

In Colorado, it’s hard to keep drillers out of the neighborhood.

When Bill Young peers out the window of his $700,000 home in Broomfield, Colo., he drinks in a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains. Starting next year, he may also glimpse one of the 99 drilling rigs that Extraction Oil & Gas Inc.wants to use to get at the oil beneath his home. Read more at Bloomberg Business Week

Controversy brews over new North Carolina wood pellet facility 9-19-17

A controversy with reverberations across the Atlantic Ocean is brewing in Hamlet, North Carolina – a literal hamlet 120 miles northwest of Wilmington – where a new wood-pellet facility is already in the initial stages of construction. Read more at Southeast Energy News

Momentum Building to Stop Gas Pipelines 9-13-17

In the past few weeks, the Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign and our partners have helped secure game-changing victories in our work to stop fracked gas pipelinesRead more at EcoWatch

Investment Giant Votes to Require Exxon to Detail Climate Risk Disclosure 09-01-17

Investing giant Vanguard voted to require ExxonMobil to include more detailed assessments of how climatepolicies impact its bottom line, according to proxy voting records released Thursday.

Vanguard’s vote at the shareholder meeting and its vote in favor of a similar resolution for Occidental Petroleum mark the first time the firm has voted for shareholder resolutions opposed by company management. Read more at EcoWatch

17 million in US live near active oil or gas wells. 08-23-17

In West Virginia and Oklahoma, almost half the population lives within a mile of a well.

More than 17 million people in the United States live within a mile of an active oil or natural gas well, according to a new study. Read more at Daily Climate

Right of Way 08-20-17

If you know where to look, you can spot them along the roadsides as you drive through the hilly farmland of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Short wooden stakes stand exactly 50 feet apart, topped with orange tape. The markers seem benign, but for many Lancaster residents, the threat they represent is anything but: These poles mark the proposed path of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline. Read more at The Intercept

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners 07-17-17

Companies have asked a federal regulator to approve thousands of miles of pipeline from Appalachia. They almost always get their way.

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people’s yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they’d spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction. Read more at The Center for Public Integrity

The coal industry is collapsing, and coal workers allege that executives are making the situation worse 07-01-17

What’s a coal miner to do when they’re laid off, leaving them without much-needed insurance or their pension? What if it happens to the whole community at the same time?

“We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know how hard it was gonna be. We’re losin’ everything,” Regina Lilly, wife of a West Virginia coal miner who was laid off after their child was born, said in a new National Geographic documentary about coal mining. Read more at Yahoo Finance News

Rising from the ashes, a Buffalo suburb ends its dependence on coal 07-11-17

Sixteen months ago, the coal-fired Huntley Generating Station, which sits on the banks of the Niagara River, stopped producing power for first time since World War I. Read more at Grist

Fossil Fuel Groups Want Out of Children’s Climate Change Lawsuit 05-28-17

The industry groups fought to have the case dismissed. If allowed to withdraw now, they could avoid releasing documents and answering questions under oath. Read more at Inside Climate News

Not a Drill 05-03-17

Alaska Natives are fighting Trump’s call to “drill, baby, drill.”

President Trump was aiming to undo a move that then-President Obama made in December, one month before Trump’s inauguration. Read more at Grist

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Would Require Extensive Mountaintop Removal 04-28-17

A new briefing paper details how Dominion Energy‘s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would involve the blasting, excavation and removal of mountaintops along 38 miles of Appalachian ridgelines as part of the construction. Read more at EcoWatch

The woman who stopped a fracking truck 04-17-17

Fed up with pollution in her town, one woman decided to block a truck from entering a fracking site – by putting her own body on the line. Read more at Yale Climate Connections

Pipeline Route Lands This Virginia Town on List of State’s ‘Most Endangered’ Historic Places 05-19-17

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline were dealt a blow after the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) denied a hearing request to appeal the state’s water quality certification for the controversial project. Read more at EcoWatch

U.S. Senate Contributions from Energy & Natural Resources, Agribusiness, and Construction 2004–2016  02-14-17

As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on the confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this fact sheet provides campaign contribution data for all current senators from three sectors that are often at odds with the EPA: Energy and Natural Resources, Agribusiness, and Construction. For full report from Public Citizen download PDF here

E.U. loophole counts wood energy as “carbon neutral.” It’s not. 01-01-17

As American foresters ramp up logging to meet the growing demand for wood pellets by power plants on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, a new European wood energy proposal would allow the power plants to continue claiming their operations are green for at least 13 more years, despite releasing more heat-trapping pollution than coal. Read more on Grist