Tue, 2015-03-31 11:39Carol Linnitt
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Pipeline Industry Promises to Review Disclosure Rules After Kinder Morgan Secrecy Scandal

pipeline spill Jimmy Jeong

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) is working hard to undo damage caused by pipeline company Kinder Morgan’s refusal to release oil spill response plans in British Columbia. The company's lack of disclosure angered the province of B.C., especially when it was revealed that Kinder Morgan released detailed spill response plans in Washington State for portions of the pipeline that extend across the border.

The pipeline association recently announced it would form a task force to address the issue, hoping to waylay growing public concerns by developing “guiding principles” for disclosure.

A number of our members have faced significant public pressure to disclose all information contained in emergency response plans. The CEPA task force will work to support that by establishing clear principles and guidelines that seek to find the right balance between the public’s right to know, the privacy of personal information and the security considerations also required for public safety,” Jim Donihee, chief operating officer with CEPA, said.

Tue, 2015-03-31 05:49Kyla Mandel
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Tim Yeo Just Called Out ‘Old, White, Male’ Tories For Not Accepting Climate Change

The UK Conservative party has a climate sceptic problem warns Tory MP Tim Yeo, current chair of the Commons’ Energy and Climate Change (ECC) committee.

There is a strong minority of open climate sceptics in the Conservative party, Yeo told Leo Hickman, editor of Carbon Brief. This is mainly due to the party’s age profile, he said, as it has a higher proportion of older MPs compared to the Lib Dems and Labour.  

There’s a very strong representation of older people, of, I have to say it, of older, white males, actually,” Yeo said. “That’s the group who seem to have the most difficulty in understanding the science and accepting the urgency of the case. So it’s just that that group is a bit more strongly represented.

But I think, I mean you know, to be brutal, they’re going to die off. Very few people under the age of 40 now, I think, seriously question the science, and that group is gradually taking over.”

Mon, 2015-03-30 04:58John Mashey
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Fred Singer Recalls Silly Attack On Consensus And Naomi Oreskes By Klaus-Martin Schulte, Lord Monckton's Endocrinologist Front Man

By the 1950s, smoking's cause of disease had risen to strong scientific consensus, but Big Tobacco needed an illusion of scientific controversy to keep the public in doubt. As seen in the new film Merchants of Doubt,  they developed superb marketing tactics copied by others, including the fossil fuel industry and allies.

The scientific consensus on human causation of climate change is just as strong as that on smoking, so the same tactics are used against it, plus Internet-amplified harassment of scientists. Fred Singer recently tried to revive a nearly-forgotten 2007 attack on climate consensus, one of the silliest and least competent, entangled with plagiarism and falsification. A revisit of this episode may be instructive, as consensus (not unanimity) is important enough that people keep challenging it.

Mon, 2015-03-30 01:08Brendan Montague
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You’ll Never Guess How This UKIP Candidate Came to Believe Climate Change Is A Hoax...

Scientists have spent years in Antarctica drilling ice cores to measure the levels of carbon dioxide in the air over millennia. 

They have travelled to northern Siberia to count tree rings as a proxy measure of historic temperatures. 

They have devised some of the most complex computer models in existence to see how rising emissions will impact different regions of the planet.

But John Stocker, the UKIP candidate standing against the well-known climate denier Peter Lilley, has used a sophisticated and novel method to prove that the scientists are all wrong. 

Sat, 2015-03-28 08:19Kyla Mandel
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Naomi Klein Calls for System Change to Address Climate and Inequality

A radically new economic and social system is urgently needed to tackle climate change and address intersecting social justice issues, the internationally bestselling author Naomi Klein told activists meeting in London today.

It’s not too late to get off the road, to grab the wheel of history and swerve,” the author of This Changes Everything told an audience of more than 1,000 attending a one-day interactive conference on climate change and social justice inspired by her book.

It is possible to lower our emissions in line with what science is telling us,” she said via Skype. “But to do that means we need to change everything about our system.”

Sat, 2015-03-28 07:58Mike Gaworecki
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What Are The Top 5 American Cities Best Poised To Reap The Benefits Of The Solar Boom?

Representatives from 30 European cities got together in Paris last week to formally commit themselves to reducing greenhouse gas emissions no less than 40% by 2030 — the same target set by the European Union’s climate change roadmap — and to call attention to the role major urban centers can play in combating global warming.

According to a joint statement published in French newspaper Le Monde, the representatives say that while climate change is a global issue, the solutions are primarily local, which was why they “decided to join forces and strengthen the instruments that will lead us toward the energy and environmental transition.”

While there haven’t been any major gatherings by mayors of cities in the United States recently, there are still plenty of local solutions being implemented. And, as you might expect, some major American cities are better poised to reap the benefits of the clean energy revolution than others.

For instance, Los Angeles currently has more solar photovoltaic capacity installed than any other American city, followed by San Diego, Phoenix, Indianapolis and San Jose, California.

If you sort major American cities by installed solar PV per capita, however, then Honolulu, Indianapolis, San Jose, San Diego and Wilmington, Delaware top the list. All of them have 50 watts or more of installed capacity per resident, qualifying them as what a new report by Environment America calls America’s “Solar Stars.”

Sat, 2015-03-28 00:01Brendan Montague
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The Moment When Global Leaders Signed The Kyoto Protocol, And How Industry Responded

Our DeSmog UK epic history series recalls the moment when leaders from around the globe agreed to limit emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Exxon boss, Lee Raymond's attempt to warn the developing world against signing the Kyoto Protocol – which would threaten his business – appeared to be unsuccessful.

At 4am on the 11th December 1997, the leaders of more than 150 countries meeting in Kyoto, Japan agreed – after two years of negotiations – to binding reductions on carbon emissions.

Fri, 2015-03-27 15:21Julie Dermansky
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Texas-sized Dose of Hypocrisy Served Up To Local Governments Statewide in an Effort to Overturn Denton's Fracking Ban

On March 24, the Texas House of Representatives’ Energy Resources Committee passed a bill that would rescind the fracking ban in Denton and other efforts by local Texas municipalities to protect themselves from the oil and gas industry. Once language in the bill is finalized, which could happen today, the legislation will make its way to the full Texas Senate for a vote. 

“The oil and gas industry are getting what they always wanted – to get these pesky cities out of the way. They’re utilizing the lack of diligence and gullibility of state government – who are bought and paid for by industry, by using the Denton fracking ban to get what they want,” Denton Councilman Kevin Roden told DeSmogBlog. 

“It is a political cliché to take advantage of a good crisis. And the fracking ban gave them a good crisis.” Roden said.

Instead of fighting the ban in the courts, industry made a preemptive move to eliminate local ordinances altogether by pushing representatives to pass laws against ordinances in their way. 

Fri, 2015-03-27 11:48Steve Horn
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Industry-Stacked Energy Department Committee: Shale Running Dry, Let's Exploit the Arctic

A report assembled by an industry-centric US Department of Energy committee recommends the nation start exploiting the Arctic due to oil and gas shale basins running dry. 

In the just-submitted report, first obtained by the Associated Press, the DOE's National Petroleum Council — many members of which are oil and gas industry executives — concludes that oil and gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) will not last beyond the next decade or so, thus the time is ripe to raid the fragile Arctic to feed our fossil fuel addiction. 

The NPC just launched a website and executive summary of the report: Arctic Potential: Realizing the Promise of U.S. Oil and Gas Resources.

Confirming the thesis presented by the Post Carbon Institute in its two reports, “Drill Baby, Drill” and “Drilling Deeper,” the National Petroleum Council believes the shale boom does not have much more than a decade remaining.

The NPC report appears to largely gloss over the role of further fossil fuel dependence on climate change, or the potentially catastrophic consequences of an oil spill in the Arctic.

The first mention of climate change appears to refer to “concern about the future of the culture of the Arctic peoples and the environment in the face of changing climate and increased human activity,” but doesn't mention the role of fossil fuels in driving those changes. Instead, the report immediately pivots to focus on “increasing interest in the Arctic for tourist potential, and reductions in summer ice provide an increasing opportunity for marine traffic.”

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a National Petroleum Council member, chimed in on the study in an interview with the Associated Press.  

“There will come a time when all the resources that are supplying the world's economies today are going to go in decline,” remarked Tillerson. “This is will [sic] be what's needed next. If we start today it'll take 20, 30, 40 years for those to come on.”

The National Petroleum Council also deployed the energy poverty argument, utilized most recently by coal giant Peabody Energy in its “Advanced Energy For Life” public relations campaign, to make its case for Arctic drilling as a replacement for fracking.

“But global demand for oil, which affects prices of gasoline, diesel and other fuels everywhere, is expected to rise steadily in the coming decades — even as alternative energy use blossoms — because hundreds of millions of people are rising from poverty in developing regions and buying more cars, shipping more goods, and flying in airplanes more often,” reads the report. “In order to meet that demand and keep prices from soaring, new sources of oil must be developed, the council argues.”

Fri, 2015-03-27 02:27Guest
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Industry-Funded Taskforce for Shale Gas Just Published Its First Report. This Is How People Reacted

The industry-backed Taskforce for Shale Gas has just published its first report. But as Ben Lucas, MA Investigative Journalist student at City University, finds, the reaction from local communities and industry shows it may have missed the mark.

This week, the Taskforce for Shale Gas published its first interim report, calling for a new single regulator for the UK’s inland oil and gas extraction sector.

The industry-backed body said that the current system is too fragmented. Currently, responsibilities are shared between the Environment Agency, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Health and Safety Executive, and local authorities.

The report recommends that the next elected government legislates the creation of a new, unified regulator for onshore underground energy as soon as possible.

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