Previous Fossil Fuel News 2020

Are We Prepared? 10-15-20

As the Mariner East pipelines become a permanent underpinning of Pennsylvania, secrecy and a patchwork of emergency plans have left many communities in the dark about what to do in case of an accident. Read more at Spotlight PA


Airborne radioactivity increases downwind of fracking, study finds 10-13-20

Particles released by drilling could damage the health of nearby residents, say scientists. Read more at The Guardian


Defund or Defend? In the Fight Over Fossil Fuel Investments, Who’s Winning? 09-21-20

Despite divestment victories, big banks and asset managers continue driving climate change through their lending practices. Read more at The Revelator


Trump administration rolls back Obama-era rule aimed at limiting toxic wastewater from coal plants 08-31-20

Power plant discharge ranks as the largest source of toxic water pollution in the United States Read more at The Washington Post


Exxon Touts Carbon Capture as a Climate Fix, but Uses It to Maximize Profit and Keep Oil Flowing 08-27-20

The company sells the CO2 to other companies that use it to revive depleted oil fields and has relentlessly fought EPA oversight of the practice. Read more at Inside Climate News


Harvard activists’ new fossil fuel divestment strategy: Make it an inside job. 08-25-20

The fossil fuel divestment movement won a significant victory on Friday: Harvard University alumni elected three new divestment-focused members to the school’s Board of Overseers, the governing body with a say over who controls the school’s $40.9 billion endowment. Read more at Grist 


How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly 08-06-20

The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035. Read more at Vox


Fracking Firms Fail, Rewarding Executives and Raising Climate Fears 07-13-20

Oil and gas companies are hurtling toward bankruptcy, raising fears that wells will be left leaking planet-warming pollutants, with cleanup cost left to taxpayers. Read more at The New York Times 


Renewable Natural Gas Isn’t a Green Solution for Climate Change 07-08-20

Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Read more at EcoWatch


This federal permit used to fast-track pipelines. Now it’s threatening them. 07-08-20

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is officially dead as of Sunday, and the Supreme Court delivered another blow to the troubled Keystone XL Pipeline on Monday. Read more at Grist 


The Next Energy Battle: Renewables vs. Natural Gas 07-06-20

As coal declines and wind and solar energy rise, some are pushing to limit the use of natural gas, but utilities say they are not ready to do so. Read more at The New York Times


Dominion cancels Atlantic Coast Pipeline, sells natural gas transmission business 07-05-20

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is dead, abandoned by Dominion Energy and its partner, Duke Energy, after the $8 billion project reached a regulatory dead end. Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch


Energy companies abandon long-delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline 07-05-20

The two energy companies behind the controversial, 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline abandoned their six-year bid to build it on Sunday, saying the project has become too costly and the regulatory environment too uncertain to justify further investment. Read more at The Washington Post


George Washington University to fully divest from fossil fuels by 2025 06-29-20

George Washington University on Monday became the latest U.S. school to announce it will fully divest its endowment from fossil fuel holdings. Read more at The Hill


Trump administration wants to open up 82 percent of Alaska reserve for drilling 06-25-20

The Trump administration wants to open up 82 percent of an Alaska reserve for oil and gas leasing, it announced on Thursday. Read more at The Hill 


How CO2 boosters’ op-ed slipped by Facebook fact-checkers 06-23-20

A team of climate scientists working as approved fact checkers for Facebook evaluated a post last year by a White House-connected group that claims the world needs to burn more fossil fuels. Read more at E&E News


Trump administration overrules NC, approves offshore seismic testing for oil and gas deposits 06-22-20

“Our energy economic is trending toward wind and solar,” said Erin Carey, director of coastal programs for the NC chapter of the Sierra Club. “This is inline with propping up a dirty industry.” Read more at NC Policy Watch


Vatican Asks Catholics to Ditch Fossil Fuel Investments 06-19-20

The Vatican urged Catholics to closely consider where they invest their money and to take a close look at the environmental impact of the companies they may be shareholders in, as Reuters reported. Read more at EcoWatch


Slip-up reveals Chevron ties to architect of climate attack 06-18-20

It was an audacious messaging campaign: White environmentalists are hurting black communities by pushing radical climate policies that would strip them of fossil fuel jobs. Read more at E&E News


Halt Expanding Offshore Drilling: Scientists 06-09-20

More than 100 scientists, including several based in North Carolina, are urging the president and Congress to stop plans to expand offshore drilling. Read more Coastal Review Online


Saving Chaco: As Coronavirus Consumes New Mexico, Drilling Threatens Sacred Land 05-19-20

The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed tribal communities in New Mexico, where Native Americans comprise about 11 percent of the state’s population but a staggering 56 percent of its recorded COVID-19 cases. Read more at Grist


New York Rejects Williams Pipeline Over Water, Climate Concerns 05-18-20

New York state has rejected the controversial Williams pipeline that would have carried fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey, running beneath New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean before connecting to an existing pipeline system off Long Island. Read more at EcoWatch


Harvard Didn’t Divest From Fossil Fuels. So What Does its ‘net-zero’ Pledge Mean? 05-05-20

In the lead-up to Earth Day, two wealthy, world-renowned universities made historic decisions about their relationships with fossil fuel companies and commitments to tackling climate change. Read more at Grist


Oxford Endowment Ditches Fossil Fuels in ‘Historic’ Decision 04-28-20

At the behest of student activist raising awareness about the climate crisis, universities around the world have recently been pulling their investments from the fossil fuel industry. Read more at EcoWatch 


As investment giant BlackRock pulls back from coal, NGOs urge the same for biomass energy 04-17-20

Responding to intense pressure from investors and environmental activists, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, signaled in January that it would reduce investments in coal for energy generation. Read more at Mongabay


Coal Industry Aims to Exploit Coronavirus Crisis to Cut Payments to Miners With Black Lung 04-11-20

Harold Sturgill, a 60-year-old retired miner who was diagnosed with black lung in 1998: “They’re crooks.” Read more at EcoWatch


U.S. oil companies hope for more economic help in next coronavirus stimulus package 03-30-20

The struggling U.S. oil industry got no special bailout in the huge coronavirus stimulus package signed by President Trump on Friday. Read more at The Washington Post


The Energy 202: Trump administration continues oil and gas leasing during price drop and coronavirus pandemic 03-23-20

The Trump administration is moving full-steam ahead to allow more drilling for oil and natural gas on public lands — despite the precipitous drop in petroleum prices now undercutting their value. Read more at The Washington Post


The Energy 202: Climate activists say JPMorgan Chase’s fossil fuel loan restrictions don’t go far enough 02-25-20

The world’s biggest lender to fossil fuel projects just took a baby step toward curbing that investment. Read more at The Washington Post


The Energy 202: Utah’s Slickrock Trail is ‘the most famous bike trail in the world.’ The Trump administration may lease it for oil. 02-19-20

It’s one of the best-known mountain biking trails in the world. But the Trump administration may lease it for oil and natural gas drilling. Read more at The Washington Post


Oil and Gas May Be a Far Bigger Climate Threat Than We Knew 02-19-20

Oil and gas production may be responsible for a far larger share of the soaring levels of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in the earth’s atmosphere than previously thought, new research has found. Read more at The New York Times


Just Transition: Amid Climate Debate And Coal’s Decline, West Virginia Considers Its Future 02-14-20

On a recent soggy Wednesday evening, dozens of West Virginians packed a conference room inside the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center to discuss the need for a “just transition” for coal-impacted communities. Read more at Ohio Valley Resource


It’s official: Federal judge shuts down the largest oil refinery on the East Coast 02-14-20

A federal judge finally confirmed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan of Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) on Thursday. Read more at Grist


Global Financial Giants Swear Off Funding an Especially Dirty Fuel 02-13-20

Some of the world’s largest financial institutions have stopped putting their money behind oil production in the Canadian province of Alberta, home to one of the world’s most extensive, and also dirtiest, oil reserves. Read more at The New York Times


Oil from federal lands tops 1B barrels as Trump eases rule 02-11-20

Oil production from U.S.- managed lands and waters topped a record 1 billion barrels last year, federal officials said Tuesday, as technological advances helped drive development in new areas and the Trump administration eases rules on the industry. Read more at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


America needs to stop its natural gas pipeline mania 02-10-20

But despite the gusher of Big Carbon profits, like all natural gas infrastructure proposed or under construction, the ACP is a risky project both financially and in its direct effect on the landscapes and communities through which it will run. Read more at The Week


Calls for law firm to #DropExxon go national with law student boycott 02-10-20

What started as a single protest against the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP by law students from Harvard University last month is now growing into a movement. Read more at Grist


Harvard faculty votes overwhelmingly to call for divesting endowment from fossil fuels 02-05-20

Harvard University faculty voted overwhelmingly to call on the school’s endowment managers to divest from fossil fuel companies, adding to escalating pressure on the school to take dramatic measures targeting climate change. Read more at The Washington Post


The Energy 202: Big businesses face pressure to avoid investing in areas Trump wants to develop 02-03-20

The USMCA is a cornucopia of free-trade provisions for oil and gas companies. One environmentalist calls it “a climate failure any way you look at it.” Read more at The Washington Post


Youth Activists Call on California State Teachers Retirement System to End ‘Toxic Relationship’ With Fossil Fuel Companies 02-02-20

Youth climate activists in California descended on the state’s capitol Sacramento on Thursday to demand divestment from the fossil fuel industry from public school teachers’ pension system. Read more at EcoWatch


5 Reasons Many See Trump’s Free Trade Deal as a Triumph for Fossil Fuels 01-24-20

The USMCA is a cornucopia of free-trade provisions for oil and gas companies. One environmentalist calls it “a climate failure any way you look at it.” Read more at Inside Climate News


Ashes to Ashes 01-13-20

A Georgia town welcomed America’s largest coal plant. Now, residents worry it’s contaminating their water. Read more at Grist


Oil and gas emissions are reversing progress from coal’s decline 01-08-20

Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station, a gargantuan coal plant responsible for more than 16 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, shut down in November. Read more at Grist


N.C. settlement results in largest coal ash cleanup in America 01-02-20

In a historic settlement SELC reached with Duke Energy and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality today, approximately 80 million  tons of toxic coal ash are now slated for excavation at six Duke Energy coal ash sites. Read more at Southern Environmental Law Center