Thu, 2015-03-12 05:58Mike Gaworecki
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Legislators Call Out California Regulators’ “Corrupt, Inept” Management Of Underground Wastewater Injection

The fallout from California officials’ failure to properly oversee the disposal of oil industry wastewater continued this week as lawmakers grilled officials with the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency for two hours while seeking assurances that they were getting the problem under control.

According to the LA Times, state senators “called the agency’s historic practices corrupt, inept, and woefully mismanaged.”

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), who said that reading the background materials ahead of the hearing “caused her blood pressure to soar,” per the Times, pretty much nailed it when she said, “There has been a serious imbalance between the role [of] regulating the oil and gas industry and the role of protecting the public.”

DeSmog helped break the initial story in this ongoing saga last year when 11 underground injection wells were ordered to shut down over fears they were pumping toxic and carcinogenic chemical-laden wastewater from fracking and other oil production processes into groundwater aquifers protected under federal law. Last week, 12 more injection wells were shut down for the same reason.

In the intervening months, the true extent of the problem has slowly come to light. It was revealed in February that regulators at California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) wrongfully issued permits for close to 500 wells to inject oil industry wastewater into aquifers containing water that is useable or could be made useable—water that is badly needed in drought-stricken California and should have been protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Thu, 2015-03-12 00:01Kyla Mandel
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Greenpeace Calls on Information Commissioner to Repair ‘Transparency Travesty’ and Publish Full Fracking Report

Greenpeace has appealed to the UK’s transparency watchdog over the government’s repeated refusal to publish an unredacted version of its Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report.

The environmental NGO has asked the Information Commissioner’s Office to force the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to release the report in full.

An unredacted version should be released before Lancashire authorities vote on whether or not to grant fracking firm Cuadrilla planning permission for two sites in the area, argues Greenpeace.

Wed, 2015-03-11 06:49Kyla Mandel
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Bank of England Says Climate Change Research 'Absolutely Essential' After Attack From Climate Denier Lord Lawson

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, hit back against climate denier Lord Nigel Lawson's accusation that the Bank had its priorities wrong by researching the impact of climate change in the insurance industry.

Speaking in the House of Lords' Economic Select Committee yesterday, Lawson said there were many issues in the banking industry, so “wouldn’t it be better if you focused your attention on those instead of engaging in green claptrap?”

Carney, however, robustly defended the Bank’s work, stating: “In the insurance business one of the top risks is climate change. Understanding those risks… is absolutely essential to discharge our responsibilities to oversee and supervise the third largest insurance market in the world.”

Wed, 2015-03-11 00:01Brendan Montague
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How the IPCC Appointed a Dynamic New Leader 20 Years Ago Against Growing Sceptic Opposition

Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post looks at how the dynamic Professor Bob Watson (pictured) became chairman of the IPCC in 1997 amidst a groundswell of political activity.

Michael Mann’s submersion into climate research coincided with a global groundswell. In 1993, he set about trying to establish when the global temperatures had last risen so high or so rapidly.

Two years later, in December 1995, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) completed its second major report and published it during the first weeks of the following year.

Tue, 2015-03-10 13:17Farron Cousins
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Florida’s War on Words 'Climate Change' Will Doom The Sunshine State

Officials in the state of Florida are finally taking action against climate change. They have declared war on global warming. They are taking a firm stand and making bold actions to finally end the threat of climate change.

But before you get too excited, we aren’t talking about the climate change that threatens our coastlines, water supplies, or agriculture. We’re talking about the actual language used to describe these events.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is no longer allowed to use the terms “climate change” or “global warming” in official correspondence. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR) spoke with former DEP officials who told the agency that the department was forbidden from using those terms when any official communication from the agency. They were also not allowed to use the word “sustainability,” according to the FCIR.

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