Previous Fossil Fuel News 2018

‘Reasonably necessary’? How natural gas drilling is changing WV’s landscape 12-20-18

Lee Martin loved her 104-acre farm in Wetzel County, West Virginia. The family raised chickens there and rode horses. Read more at the Charleston Gazette-Mail

Trump Auctions Off 150,000 Acres of Public Lands for Fracking Near Utah National Parks 12-12-18

On Tuesday the Trump administration offered more than 150,000 acres of public lands for fossil-fuel extraction near some of Utah’s most iconic landscapes, including Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Read more at EcoWatch

Trump’s pursuit of ‘American energy dominance’ threatens the entire planet 12-09-18

President Trump upended decades of U.S. policy that started with Richard Nixon when he declared that the goal of the United States was no longer “energy independence” but rather “American energy dominance.” Read more at The Los Angeles Times

Global carbon emissions are on the rise, but don’t let that dash your hopes 12-06-18

Carbon dioxide, that invisible, earth-warming gas you keep hearing about, is anticipated to hit an all-time high in 2018. Emissions are expected to rise by 2.7 percent this year, according to new research. That’s compared to a 1.6 percent rise in 2017 and a plateau between 2014 and 2016. Read more at Grist

Report: 90% of Pipeline Blasts Draw No Financial Penalties 11-16-18

A striking report has revealed that 90 percent of the 137 interstate pipeline fires or explosions since 2010 have drawn no financial penalties for the companies responsible. Read more at EcoWatch

Arctic Oil Drilling Project Approved by Trump Administration 10-25-18

The Trump administration’s unrelenting quest for Arctic oil and gas took a major step on Wednesday as it approved an energy company’s controversial production plan.

Hilcorp Alaska received the green light to build the Liberty Project, a nine-acre artificial drilling island and 5.6-mile underwater pipeline, which environmentalists warn could risk oil spills in the sensitive Beaufort Sea and threaten polar bears and Arctic communities. Read more at EcoWatch

One of oldest coal companies in US files for bankruptcy 10-09-18

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — One of the oldest coal companies in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday to deal with more than $1.4 billion in debt amid declining demand for the fuel.

Englewood, Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston as part of a restructuring agreement with an unnamed group of lenders. Read more at WMBF News

Trump Lets Fracking Companies Release More Climate-Warming Methane 09-19-18

Oil and gas companies flare natural gas that cannot be processed or sold.

As expected, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday released a final rule that reverses Obama-era restrictions on methane emissions from oil and gas operations. Read more at EcoWatch

Only 11 Percent Of Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Pipelines Are Mapped For The Public 09-17-18

Maps of the majority of natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania are not readily available to the public. That includes the pipeline that exploded last week in Beaver County, demolishing one home and forcing dozens of people to evacuate. Read more at WESA Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station

Pennsylvania Oil And Gas Well Drilling Increased In 2017 After Two Years Of Decline 09-10-18

The Department of Environmental Protection has released its 2017 Oil and Gas Annual Report, which revealed 2,231 oil and gas well drilling permits were issued last year; it’s the first increase in activity since 2014. Read more at NPR Pittsburgh

When Trump tries to bring back coal, these communities pay the price 08-23-18

Christina Zacny has a rare immunological condition, mast cell activation syndrome. “I’m literally allergic to almost everything,” she says. Her symptoms became more severe four years ago when she began going into anaphylactic shock, at one point going into shock thirty times within 3 months. Read more at Grist

Colorado’s oil and gas industry goes after reporters and signature gatherers in new fracking fight 08-16-18

With large oil and gas reserves, Colorado often is at the center of the nation’s fossil fuel wars.As Colorado gears up for another fight over oil and gas drilling near homes and schools, this time the fossil fuel industry is reportedly doing whatever it takes to win. Read more at Think Progress

Fossil Fuel Industry Outspent Environmentalists and Renewables by 10:1 on Climate Lobbying 07-19-18

Industry sectors based on fossil fuels significantly outspent environmental groups and renewable energy companies on climate change lobbying. Read more at Eco Watch

Trump and Putin are clearly in cahoots — over propping up fossil fuels 07-16-18

Whether Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 is not up for serious debate — numerous intelligence agencies, both foreign and domestic, concluded it did.

During a joint press conference with President Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin went a long way toward answering why. Read more at Grist

Fossil Fuels Account for Lowest Share of U.S. Energy Consumption in More than a Century 07-05-18

Fossil fuels supplied about 80 percent of the energy consumed in the United States in 2017, the lowest share since 1902, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy. Meanwhile, renewable energy accounted for more than 11 percent, its highest share over the same period, the Houston Chronicle reported. Read more at Yale Environment 360

There’s No Power Grid Emergency Requiring a Coal Bailout, Regulators Say 06-12-18

The idea that the power grid is so frail it’s become a national security crisis got little support from FERC commissioners testifying before Congress. Read more at Inside Climate News

Report: Wood pellet mills threaten public health in North Carolina 05-22-18

An environmental group’s report says state permits allow pellet factories to violate the intent of the Clean Air Act.

The U.S. South has fast become the world’s largest supplier of wood pellets, a rising source of fuel for power plants primarily in Europe.

on this side of the Atlantic, with enormous pellet plants using regulatory loopholes to spew substantially more pollution into the air than the law intends — a charge Read more at Energy News Network

Solar Plans for a Mined Kentucky Mountaintop Could Hinge on More Coal Mining 05-18-18

Plans for the state’s largest solar farm are stuck in limbo while a coal giant, once run by West Virginia’s governor, drags its feet on required reclamation. Read more at Inside Climate News

Parents Didn’t Want Fracking Near Their School. So the Oil Company Chose a Poorer School, Instead. 04-17-18

In one of the most fracked counties in the country, a fight is underway between environmental justice advocates and the Colorado commission that oversees oil and gas development. Read more at Mother Jones

Residents ask whether the proposed Shell ethane pipeline is an acceptable risk 04-04-18

The question of what is an “acceptable risk” loomed large over the first of three public hearings on a proposed Shell Falcon ethane pipeline meant to deliver the natural gas liquid to the petrochemical giant rising in Potter Township. Read more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Here’s why Duke Energy wants to use pig poop in an NC power plant 03-29-18

Duke Energy is turning to home-grown pig poop to help it comply with state law.

The Charlotte-based utility on Thursday said one of its power plants in central North Carolina has begun burning natural gas created from N.C. manure. Read more at The Charlotte Observer

Wood Fuel is Bad News for Climate and Biodiversity 03-29-18

Burning wood for energy is thought to be carbon neutral: trees soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and burning wood puts the greenhouse gas back in the air. But wood fuel is not quite as green it’s touted to be, according to an article in the journal Science. Read more at Anthropocene

Never Mine 03-27-18

Judge to Wyoming and Montana: Less coal mining, more climate minding.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris told government officials they have to take climate change into account as they map out future infrastructure and land use in the Powder River Basin. The mineral-rich area, shared by Wyoming and Montana, produces 40 percent of America’s coal. Zoya Teirstein for Grist

Study Finds Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Near Fracking Wells 03-20-18

Dozens of chemicals that can affect the fertility of humans and animals are being found in the air near unconventional oil and gas development, according to a new study. Read more at West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Analysis: U.S. call to drill off all coasts, economic and ecological folly? 03-14-18

90 billion barrels of recoverable oil, plus 327 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lie untapped offshore on the U.S. continental shelf. In January, the Trump administration ordered that the entire coast, in the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf, and Arctic, be opened to drilling. Read more at Monga Bay

How Climate Activists Failed to Make Clear the Problem with Natural Gas 03-13-18

The climate movement’s biggest failure has been its inability to successfully make the case that natural gas is not a clean replacement for other fossil fuels. So as natural gas has boomed, U.S. emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have increased dramatically. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Maine fishermen, environmentalists join in opposition to offshore drilling 03-04-18

Multiple groups and interests plan to speak out – though there is no traditional public hearing – when federal officials visit the state this week.

Fishing groups, environmentalists, politicians and tourism advocates plan to use a pair of tailored public hearings this week to oppose the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic and other ocean waters.Read more at the Portland Press Herald

California says will block crude oil from Trump offshore drilling plan 02-07-18

California will block the transportation through its state of petroleum from new offshore oil rigs, officials told Reuters on Wednesday, a move meant to hobble the Trump administration’s effort to vastly expand drilling in U.S. federal waters. Read more at Reuters

Think wood is a greener source of energy than coal? Think again. 02-05-18

The latest round of United Nations climate negotiations, which took place in November in Germany, delivered a banner moment for wood. At the conference in Bonn, Reuters reported that 19 countries, including China, Brazil and Canada, pledged to use more trees to generate electricity—a form of power called wood bioenergy that some have hailed as a green alternative to fossil fuels. Read more at Anthropocene

First U.S. City to Ban Fossil Fuel Expansion Offers Roadmap for Others 02-05-18

On a clear July morning three years ago, dozens of environmental activists pushed their kayaks into the Willamette River in Portland while others rappelled 400 feet from the top of St. Johns Bridge in an attempt to block a Shell Oil ship and its drilling equipment from leaving the port and entering Alaskan waters. Read more at Yes! Magazine

State of the Union: Trump Glorifies Coal, Shuts Eyes to Climate Risks 01-31-18

Trump talked of the year’s climate disasters—without saying ‘climate change’—and while repeating his usual promotion of the fossil fuels that drive global warming

It was a distinct irony to hear President Donald Trump open his State of the Union address by reciting the litany of climate calamities that the nation survived in 2017. Read more at Inside Climate News

Empire State Building Shines Green After NYC’s Decision to Take on Fossil Fuel Industry 01-11-18

New York City’s iconic Empire State Building glowed green Wednesday night following two “watershed” announcements—that the city would seek to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel investments, and that it filed suit against five oil giants for contributing to climate change. Read more at EcoWatch

Pennsylvania shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline 1-3-18

Pennsylvania environmental officials ordered Sunoco on Wednesday to halt construction of a natural gas pipeline across the southern part of the state, citing a series of spills and leaks of drilling fluid and other “egregious and willful violations” of state law that have plagued the $2.5 billion project. Read more at AP News