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Court Ruling Could Affect Nation’s Electric Grid

Editor’s Note: While Tim Profeta is on vacation, Jeremy Tarr, policy associate in the Climate and Energy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will author The Climate Post. Tim will post again August 28. A unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit could change the way utilities and regulators consider electricity…

Obama Doesn’t Need Congress to Move Forward on Clean Energy

A week before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, a new report says Obama could advance key measures of his Climate Action Plan with or without the cooperation of Congress. “When they believed a national situation warranted action, some past presidents interpreted their authority broadly and exercised it aggressively,” the report said. “That is the practice of presidential authority Americans…

The Impact of Energy Development on the Environment: A Look at Wildlife with Dr. Michael Hutchins

As much as I was awed by the poverty-stricken nation of India on a recent visit, and what many westerners would consider deplorable conditions, I was impressed by the country’s “green movement,” which is rapidly emerging on the subcontinent. South Asia’s largest nation will soon surpass China as the most populated country in the world—a…

U.S. Oil Reserves Higher Than Previously Thought

According to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment, two formations in the central United States hold three times the amount of natural gas and two times the amount of oil than the federal government previously estimated. Concentrated in the Dakotas and Montana, the Bakken and Three Forks formations are expected to hold 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil and…

Studies Link Warming to Increased Weather Extremes

A new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds global temperatures to be one of the best predictors of hurricane activity. In fact, the PNAS study found that a one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in global temperatures could multiply the frequency of Katrina-like storms by two to seven times. In the Arctic, melting sea ice—which reached its sixth lowest…

Climate Change Back on Political Radar after Sandy, Election

In his re-election victory speech, President Barack Obama finally touched on a seldom-mentioned issue of the campaign—climate change: “We want our children to live in an America … that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” Whether or not Hurricane Sandy can be  attributed to climate change, the storm’s devastating flooding brought…

Motivation at Mohonk

“Sometimes you’re in a rut so deep you think it’s a groove” said Annie Leonard at the 25th Annual Environmental Grantmakers Association Retreat held at the Mohonk Mountain House in October. The conversation centered on how to ramp up our efforts and fight smarter on every level to change the environmental trajectory, preferably to one that…

Romney, Obama Make History with Failure to Mention Climate Change in Last Debate

The final foreign-policy-focused presidential debate made history Monday when candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama failed to mention climate change. Despite historic drought and record melting of Arctic sea ice, failure to visit the topic marked the first time since the 1980s climate change hasn’t come up in a presidential debate. Some argued the climate should have come up, as almost every major international issue—food prices, military operations and…

Federal Court Tosses EPA’s ‘Good Neighbor’ Pollution Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit this week threw out the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which set stricter limits on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-burning power plants in 28 states and the District of Columbia. In a 2–1 ruling, the panel held the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority under the…

More than 100 Coal Plants Shutting—But How Much Difference Will It Make?

After public pressure, Chicago will shut two aging coal-fired power plants, and the owner of one of the power plants, Midwest Generation, may shut its other four coal plants in Illinois. Since the start of 2010, more than 100 coal plants have been slated for early retirement. A major reason for coal plants shutting has been public opposition to…

Leaked Documents Describe Plan to Push Climate Change Denial in Schools

Leaked documents purportedly from the nonprofit Heartland Institute include efforts to cast doubt on climate science. The site DeSmog Blog received the documents from an anonymous informant calling himself “Heartland Insider.” The Heartland Institute gave mixed responses to the documents, calling them both “stolen” and “fake,” but only specifically calling one document, titled “2012 Heartland…

Oil, Gasoline Prices Hit All-Time Highs in 2011—and May Continue Rising

Average prices of oil and gasoline at the pump reached an all-time high in 2011, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, averaged $111 a barrel—the first time it broke $100 for a whole year. In some ways, these records snuck up on Americans, since there was no extreme…

Pleas, Hard Lines, and Accusations of Bad Faith Negotiations at Climate Talks

In Durban, South Africa, the latest round of United Nations climate negotiations opened with a plea from South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, for countries to look beyond national interests. So far, however, the talks have been marked by many of the same divisions that plagued earlier meets. A coalition of environmental groups—including the Natural Resources Defense…

Only Five Years Left to Make Transition to Low-Carbon Infrastructure

The infrastructure built over the next five years could “lock in” enough emissions to push the world past its target for limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest annual update of energy trends, World Energy Outlook. The Agency is “increasingly pessimistic” about the prospect for dealing with climate change, said deputy…

California Adopts Cap-and-Trade System, Serves as Greenhouse Guinea Pig

After a unanimous vote by the California Air Resources Board, the state adopted the most comprehensive cap-and-trade system in the country, a key part of a 2006 global warming law that had yet to be implemented. The system will cover 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and allows businesses to counterbalance up to…