IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. pipelines now rupturing faster than we can keep track of them; So, U.S. Senate passes Keystone XL bill with Dem help; Obama's India trip a boost for US nuclear industry; IMF calls for end to fossil fuel subsidies; PLUS: Some good news: fracking banned in Scotland, and great 'Fox News' for a change!... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): It's not too late to stop climate change, and it'll be super-cheap; Americans are out of step with science on pretty much everything; Climate models don't over-predict warming; Big Utilties' 'Kodak Moment': a phase-change builds; Air pollution plunges in AL; Feds open waters to largest offshore wind farm; EPA sued over industrial livestock pollution... PLUS: Oceans on the verge of a 'mass bleaching event'... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- GOP Senate Passes Keystone XL Legislation:
- Senate Passes Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Bill (NY Times):
The five-year fight over the Keystone pipeline has become a proxy symbol for far broader fights over climate change, energy and the economy, and for the conflict between Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans.
- Senate approves Keystone, Obama veto looms (Politico)
- Cashing in on Keystone XL millions: Who benefits? (Politico) [emphasis added]:
Longtime Beltway operators say the scope of the Keystone battle has grown to an astonishing scale - perhaps the largest ever for a standoff over energy and the environment, and at the very least one that rivals the years-long and decades-old fights over acid rain and Arctic drilling.
- Here are the 9 Senate Democrats Who Voted for Keystone (National Journal):
1. Michael Bennet, Colo.
2. Thomas Carper, Del.
3. Robert Casey, Pa.
4. Joe Donnelly, Ind.
5. Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.
6. Joe Manchin, W. Va.
7. Claire McCaskill, Mo.
8. Jon Tester, Mont.
9. Mark Warner, Va.
- VIDEO: 5 US Pipeline Ruptures in January; North Dakota Has Zero State Inspectors: (The Rachel Maddow Show):
- NTSB: "Systemic Flaws" in US Pipeline Safety And Oversight:
- NTSB Releases Study To Better Manage Gas Pipeline Integrity (Natl Transportation and Safety Board)
- NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines (AP):
The concern then and now is that aging pipelines will rupture in populated areas. The U.S. is crisscrossed by nearly 300,000 miles of gas transmission pipelines, more than half of which were installed before 1970....There is wide variation in states' approaches to pipeline safety oversight in high-consequence areas... [and] state inspectors often lack the expertise in some areas necessary to safety oversight..
- Pipeline Not State-Inspected Before 3-Million-Gallon Saltwater Leak (AP)
- NTSB: Better oversight needed to prevent natural gas pipeline accidents (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) [emphasis added]:
The report found intrastate pipelines - those most often regulated by state agencies - had an incident rate 27 percent higher than the interstate pipelines usually inspected by federal regulators.
- Obama's Trip To India: Boost For US Nuclear Industry:
- India PM Modi's Clean-Energy Goals Face Funding, Political Hurdles (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
India is one of the few nations that do not exempt nuclear suppliers from accident liability.
- Obama, India's Modi Hail 'Breakthrough' Nuclear Deal that Limits US Corporate Liability (Common Dreams):
"We think we came to an understanding of the liability" issue, stated U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma.
- U.S. And India Announce ‘Cooperation’ On Climate Change (Climate Progress)
- Will the India-US nuclear deal work? (BBC India)
- IMF Calls For End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies:
- VIDEO: IMF Director Christine LeGarde Calls For End to Energy Subsidies: A Richer World, but for Whom? (BBC World Service)
- One upside of cheap oil - countries are ditching their fossil-fuel subsidies (Vox.com):
The price of oil is plummeting, and gasoline is getting cheaper. That's made it far less painful to pare back these fossil-fuel subsidies. Last summer, Egypt took the opportunity to start slashing billions in energy subsidies and tame its budget. Indonesia has been doing the same. Jordan and Morocco are too.
- Scotland announces moratorium on fracking for shale gas (Guardian UK):
"There is overwhelming public opinion in favour of cleaner forms of energy and a sufficient body of evidence why unconventional oil and gas are neither good for people or the planet. While this rightly puts a hold on fracking for now, we hope the final decision will be to rule it out completely."
- PA Governor Bans Fracking in State Parks:
- Wolf restores fracking ban in state parkland (Philadelphia Enquirer):
Fracking companies that already have leases on public lands can continue to operate. And new leases may be signed to drill under land for which the state lacks "sub-surface" rights.
- Pennsylvania's New Governor Will Ban Fracking In State Parks And Forests (Climate Progress):
Pennsylvania's fracking boom has fueled its economy for years, but the state has also seen its fair share of environmental problems, including 243 cases of contaminated private drinking water wells across 22 counties.
- Pennsylvania Fracking Companies Regularly Commit Serious Environmental Violations (Climate Progress)
- "Rare, Elusive" Red Fox Sighted In Yosemite:
- Rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox Spotted in Yosemite National Park (National Park Service):
Yosemite National Park is excited to report the first confirmed sighting in the park of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) in nearly 100 years. Park wildlife biologists had gone on a five-day backcountry trip to the far northern part of the park to check on previously deployed motion-sensitive cameras.
- AUDIO: Rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox Sighted In Yosemite National Park (Capitol Public Radio)
- Rare Fox Takes A Walk In The Park, And Yosemite Staff Cheer NPR)
- For Those Too Young To Remember: The Other Redd Foxx (Wikipedia)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- It's Not Too Late To Stop Climate Change, And It'll Be Super-Cheap (Climate Progress):
I rarely disagree with Dave Roberts. But he has a column on Grist, "We can solve climate change, but it won't be cheap or easy," that is wrong, pure and simple....The most important climate issue is the cost and consequences of inaction.
- Oceans about to experience a 'mass bleaching event' (Mother Jones):
[C]oral scientist C. Mark Eakin, who coordinates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Watch program, is surprised that the warning he has been sounding since last year (PDF)—that the globe's reefs appear to be on the verge of a mass-scale bleaching event—hasn't drawn more media attention.
- Americans Are Way Out of Step With Scientists on Pretty Much Everything (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
Despite the wide consensus among scientists that it's real and caused by humans, the general public-not to mention a disconcerting number of prominent politicians-remains divided. It's not just climate change. On a range of pressing social issues, scientists and the public rarely see eye-to-eye.
- Climate models don't over-predict warming, study shows (LA Times):
A study that combined 114 possible 15-year trends since 1900 found that there was nothing statistically biased in the ways model-generated data differed from actual measurements of global mean surface temperatures. These short trends cannot predict "chaotic" fluctuations in such factors as ocean currents, according to the study.
- Big Energy's Kodak Moment - "Phase Change" as Solar Cheaper than Gas in Dubai (Climate Crocks):
Fast forward, wrap your mind around this fact. Solar energy is now cheaper than gas, in Dubai. And Texas.
- Air Pollution Plunges in Alabama (Scientific American)
- Feds Opening Waters to Largest U.S. Offshore Wind Farm (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
Currently, there is not a single wind turbine generating even a watt of electricity in American waters as oil platforms represent the only offshore energy development in the U.S. But the race is on to change that, beginning with a landmark wind rights auction on Thursday, which aims to open a vast swath in the Atlantic off the Massachusetts coast for what could be the the first and largest offshore wind power project in the U.S.
- Groups Sue EPA Over Emissions From Industrial Livestock Production (InsideClimate News):
Two new lawsuits are part of an effort to push EPA to regulate methane from agriculture, the country's biggest source of methane.
- Court Backs EPA, Greens In CAFO Privacy Lawsuit (Greenwire):
A federal judge ruled for U.S. EPA yesterday in a lawsuit filed by agribusinesses angry about the agency providing information on large livestock farms to environmentalists.
- The GOP’s Plan To Stop Environmental Protections: Attack Science (Washington Post):
Congressional Republicans plan to re-launch some bills they fielded last year --- bills attacking the science on which environmental and health regulations are based. But this time, with GOP control of the Senate, the bills may clear Congress.
- Southern California's Water Supply Threatened By Next Major Quake (NPR) [emphasis added]:
Southern California gets the vast majority of its water from four aqueducts that flow from the north, but all of them cross the San Andreas Fault. That means millions of people are just one major earthquake away from drying out for a year or more.
- Study: Global warming 'doubles risk' of extreme weather (BBC):
Extreme weather arising from a climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean will get much worse as the world warms, according to climate modelling....The latest data - based on detailed climate modelling work - suggests extreme La Nina events in the Pacific Ocean will almost double with global warming, from one in 23 years to one in 13 years.
- Another Climate Denial Myth Scuttled as 2014 Confirmed Planet's Hottest Year Ever Recorded (The BRAD BLOG):
How fossil-fueled global warming hoaxsters cherry-pick scientific data to con the incurious...
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).