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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…

Whale Attack Video, Space Debris Issue, More…Today’s Top 10 Headlines

On our radar today: Video footage shows killer whales attacking sperm whales, the space debris issue is becoming more and more dire, and…

South Sudan: Oil, the Environment and Border Conflicts

In this guest-article, Dr. Tore Knos, member of the Disaster Aid USA  Response Team and its Board of Directors, and Dr. Michele Zebich-Knos, Professor Emeritus at Kennesaw State University and former Director of the International Policy Master’s Program, discuss the current situation in South Sudan and how long-term strife affects the environment. This blog post…

Obama Announces Leaders of His Energy, Environment Team

After weeks of speculation, President Barack Obama officially announced his selections to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Monday. Gina McCarthy was chosen to lead the EPA, replacing Lisa Jackson, while Ernest Moniz will take over as energy secretary, replacing Steven Chu. Together, Obama said, they are charged with “making sure that we’re investing in…

Mixing Oil and Water: Scenes From the Texas Oil Boom

By Monika Freyman, Manager, Water Program, Ceres This post is the first in a two-part series from Monika Freyman, Manager in Ceres’ water program on hydraulic fracturing, water supplies and energy development. Boarding a puddle jumper in Dallas, I picked up a copy of USA Today and opened to the headline“Wealth Rises in the USA’s Heartland.” It was a fitting…

February 3, 2013: Paddle Boarding Down Waterfalls, Searching for Venomous Snakes, and More

Join National Geographic Weekend radio show this week, as we kayak off waterfalls, refuse to run from charging lions, and treat disease with venom from some of the most poisonous snakes around.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Reached, Clean Energy Not Forgotten

After months of negotiating, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., reached an agreement to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Featured in the measure is an extension of a renewable electricity production tax credit for wind, geothermal and some biomass projects, which gives credit for each kilowatt-hour of energy they produce. Highly contested prior to the bill’s passing was the credit’s impact on the wind industry. The credit, which offers 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of…

Climate Change under the Microscope in Report, Leaked IPCC Draft

As lawmakers in Washington, D.C., debate the so-called fiscal cliff—when U.S. federal tax increases and spending cuts are due to take effect at the end of 2012—new research in the journal Nature Climate Change says we are already at the edge of a climate cliff. It explores the cost and risk associated with surpassing critical emissions thresholds by 2020, and what would need to…

British Columbia Bans Oil and Gas Development in Sacred Headwaters

The response to a decade of work came yesterday, when the B.C. government announced a permanent ban on oil and gas exploration in the Sacred Headwaters.

Sandy Surfaces, Kyoto at Stake in U.N. Climate Talks

Thousands have converged for a two-week meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha for the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Running through Dec. 7, the U.N. conference brings together environmental minds across the world to work toward a legally binding agreement on climate change. At stake: the Kyoto Protocol.…

Climate Change a Focus for President in Second Term

In his first press conference since being re-elected, President Barack Obama acknowledged he’ll focus on climate change in his second term. “I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior, and carbon emissions,” Obama said at a televised news conference on Wednesday. “And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to…

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…

Experts Debate a Link between Climate Change and Extreme Weather

As the 2012 harvest season comes to a close, pumpkins appear to be one of the few successes for farmers following the severe drought felt across many parts of the United States. Damage to the nation’s two largest crops, corn and soybeans, puts these staples below demand for the first time since 1974, while the rising cost to feed cattle drives up…

What Is the True Social Cost of Carbon?

A new study in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences contends that the U.S. government significantly underestimated the social cost of carbon in 2010 in its effort to establish a unified cost of carbon for various agencies to use when formulating policy. The government arrived at a cost at $21 per ton of carbon, but the new study argues the…

Deep-Sea Methane, Wind that Could Power World?

The U.S. Energy Department announced plans to spend more than $5 million researching the potential to produce natural gas from deep-sea methane hydrates—ice-like formations that contain natural gas and are stable at depths of more than 300 feet. The Energy Department calls them “the world’s largest untapped fossil energy resource”—some estimate they are twice as abundant as all remaining…