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WWF’s Living Planet Report echoed on the Great Barrier Reef

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been…

Political and Weather Climates are Changing, But at What Speed?

The weather in Washington, D.C. finally turned hot in September, just in time for Congress to resume. We enjoyed an unusually moderate summer this year, with many days topping out in the high seventies or low eighties. Plenty of sun. San Diego weather, you might say. Before September, we were missing about two full weeks…

Rule for Regulating Existing Power Plants under Fire

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a hearing on “EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants.” Debate about the proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants has swirled since the rule’s release last month. Coal-heavy states and others have criticized both the…

EPA Releases Proposed Rule for Existing Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week announced a proposed rule to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel–fired power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. This first-of-its-kind proposal uses an infrequently exercised provision of the Clean Air Act to set state-specific reduction targets for carbon dioxide and to allow states to devise individual or…

Upcoming EPA Power Plant Rule Stirs Speculation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is just days away from the release of its first-ever proposed rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The rule will push states to cut pollution primarily from coal-fired generators. As many await details of the rule, The New York Times reports that sources familiar with proposal suggest that it will call for…

EPA Power Plant Rule Deadline Approaching

Next month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a proposed rule that sets the first-ever carbon emissions standards for the country’s existing power plants. The rule, to be announced by President Barack Obama, is rumored to include a phased approach leading to steeper emissions limits over time. Though little has formally come out about the rule,…

May 4, 2014: Driving to the World’s Coldest Cities and Cracking the Humor Code

The winter of 2014 was long and cold in many parts of North America. But even the most frigid midwestern temperatures would be considered mild to Oymyakon, Russia’s 472 residents. One of the candidates for the “Coldest Town in the World,” Felicity Aston visited the Siberian hamlet in the middle of winter to learn how its residents deal with sustained temperatures of -76 degrees Fahrenheit. On her 18,000 mile “Pole of Cold” drive from London to Europe and Asia’s coldest places, Aston learned that the residents love winter, because it often provides them with their livelihood, it connects them with nearby towns by letting them drive over frozen lakes and rivers. She also gives tips on how to get a car to start when the mercury dips nearly 100 degrees below freezing.

Cross State Air Pollution Rule Reinstated by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in a 6-2 ruling, upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule to regulate pollution from coal-fired power plants that drifts across state lines. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CASPR), which applies to 28 states, aims to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can lead to soot and smog. The rule was invalidated…

Climate Change, EPA Rules Focus of McCabe Confirmation Hearing

Climate change, extreme weather and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants were the focus of a confirmation hearing for Janet McCabe, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. In the hearing—at which lawmakers took jabs at one another on the…

Air Pollution Now Top Environmental Health Risk

New analysis from the World Health Organization (WHO) links exposure to air pollution to roughly 7 million deaths annually. The report confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest environmental health risk. It estimates 4.3 million people died in 2012—mainly due to cooking inside with coal or wood stoves. Another 3.7 million died from outdoor pollution, including…

Coal & Climate: Ask Your Questions About Environmental Science

We burn eight million tons of coal—the dirtiest of fossil fuels—each year, and the consequences are growing. In the April issue of National Geographic magazine, we asked the question: Can coal ever be clean? What are your thoughts about clean energy? How about freshwater or the growing global population? Do you have questions about oil spills, the…

All-Night Senate Session Focuses on Climate Change

In the last 100 years, senators have held all-night sessions 35 times on everything from the Civil Rights Act to the Iraq War. This week, climate change made the list as number 36. The more than 14-hour session, which began Monday night, was organized by the Climate Action Task Force. Dubbed an avenue to voice concerns over the issue that has…

Tougher Efficiency Standards Ordered for Large Trucks

President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his administration will begin developing tougher fuel standards for the nation’s fleet of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The new standards will build on a 2011 regulation that set the first-ever fuel standards for model years 2014–18. The next phase—for models beyond 2018—will be proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Transportation Department’s…

February 9, 2014: Cycling and Climbing Through a Sufferfest, Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week, they endure a 750-mile climbing and biking Sufferfest, crash during Olympic snowboard halfpipe training leading to a traumatic brain injury, try to save the Great Barrier Reef from dredging, launch the “coolest” space mission ever, chase Shackleton’s legacy across frigid Antarctic waters, enjoy the restorative health benefits of a 30-million person crowd, celebrate with winners’ dominant body language, and investigate 10 deaths high in a Russian mountain pass.

Carbon Markets Show Glimmers of Recovery in 2014

A year after the launch of its cap-and-trade program, California formally linked its emissions trading scheme with Quebec’s—enabling carbon allowances and offset credits to be exchanged between participants in the two jurisdictions. The linkage, which marks the first agreement in North America that allows for the trading of greenhouse gas emissions across borders, is designed to escalate…