IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 2013 West, Texas fertilizer explosion ruled a criminal act; Price of renewable energy is dropping fast around the world; US Geological Survey confirms fracking is contaminating drinking water in West Virginia; PLUS: It's official - Big Oil has abandoned the Arctic... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Obama administration announces historic new regulations for methane emissions from oil and gas; Bakken oil field leaks 275,000 tons of methane yearly; Germany had so much renewable energy on Sunday that it had to pay people to use electricity; Ocean's oxygen starts running low; The most compelling climate change visualization we've ever seen; Air Pollution rising at an 'alarming rate' in world's cities; US plan to lift Yellowstone grizzly protections faces mounting opposition... PLUS: VIDEO: Dr. Michael Mann on dying oceans and intense Fires... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Colbert mocks Trump for telling coal miners not to vote — and then obsessing about his silly hair (Raw Story)
- ATF: West, Texas fertilizer explosion was started by arson:
- Town in shock over news that Texas fertilizer-plant explosion was deliberate (CNN)
- West Texas Fertilizer Blast: 'Criminal Act' Ruling Deepens Mystery (NBC News):
Now that it has ruled out accidental causes, the ATF is offering a $50,000 reward for help finding the person who set the West fire.
- West recovery strong three years after devastating blast (Waco Tribune)
- USGS confirms fracking chemicals contaminating West Virginia creek:
- Evidence of Unconventional Oil and Gas Wastewater Found in Surface Waters near Underground Injection Site (US Geological Survey)
- Active Fracking Waste Site Leached Chemicals Into A Creek, Scientists Confirm (Climate Progress):
A dumping site for fracking fluids long suspected to be leaching into Wolf Creek, a West Virginia waterway with ties to a countys water supply, has indeed contaminated the creek with multiple chemicals, a new U.S. Geological Survey study has found.
- Dangerous Contaminants Found in Creek Near Gas Wastewater Disposal Site (InsideClimate News)
- Big Oil has abandoned the Arctic:
- Big Oil Abandons $2.5 Billion in U.S. Arctic Drilling Rights (Bloomberg):
After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery.
- As firms abandon Arctic drilling, Obama comes under pressure to do more to avert dangerous warming there (Washington Post)
- Massive cruise ship headed to the fragile Arctic:
- Luxury Cruise to Conquer Northwest Passage (Wall St. Journal):
An 820-foot vessel’s sail through icy waters shows route’s rapid opening, potential to strain resources...And it will be the first, large-scale cruise liner packed with tourists. Demand was so high, Crystal Cruises said, it is planning a second cruise for 2017....Still, “distance and lack of local infrastructure are always a concern in the Arctic...”
- Arctic rescue fears loom as massive cruise ship prepares to sail Northwest Passage (CBD):
'If the ship sinks, then that would actually break the Canadian search-and-rescue system'
- Price of renewable energy dropping fast around the world:
- VIDEO: Remarks by Former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu (Stanford Woods Institute)
- Steven Chu: Mexico's Energy Auction Reveals True Price Of U.S. Renewables (Forbes)
- New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar (EcoWatch):
The price of solar power dipped to another record low on May 1 when five international companies bid as little as 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to develop the latest phase of work at Dubai's enormous Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park, which will be one of Earth's largest solar plants when complete.
- New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar, Now Undercutting Coal (Bloomberg):
The lowest priced solar power has plunged almost 50 percent in the past year. Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power International set a record in January 2015 by offering to build a portion of the same Dubai solar park for power priced at 5.85 cents per kilowatt-hour. Records were subsequently set in Peru and Mexico before Dubai reclaimed its mantel as purveyor of the world's cheapest solar power.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Obama administration announces historic new regulations for methane emissions from oil and gas (Washington Post):
[W]hile this would not apply to the vast numbers of existing rigs, well pads and auxiliary equipment that have driven a historic boom in domestic oil and gas production, the agency also signaled that it plans to regulate these as well. It issued a new request for more information from industry to help study how to contain emissions from these sources.
- Study: Bakken Oil Field Leaks 275,000 Tons Of Methane Yearly (AP):
The oil-producing region of North Dakota and Montana leaks 275,000 tons of methane annually, a significant amount of the greenhouse gas but less than previously believed, a study released Wednesday said.
- West Virginia Democrats Just Nominated A Climate Denying Coal Baron Billionaire For Governor (Climate Progress):
In November, West Virginians will have two choices. A party-switching, self-funding, brash billionaire who denies climate change and loves coal, and a lawmaker who talks about bringing jobs back to the state...On Tuesday night, Jim Justice easily won the West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary and will face off against Republican state Senate President Bill Cole in the general election...He also told West Virginians that he will make sure the state "mines more coal … than has ever been mined before."
- Germany had so much renewable energy on Sunday that it had to pay people to use electricity (Quartz) [emphasis added]:
Power prices actually went negative for several hours, meaning commercial customers were being paid to consume electricity..."We have a greater share of renewable energy every year," said Christoph Podewils of Agora. "The power system adapted to this quite nicely. This day shows again that a system with large amounts of renewable energy works fine."
- Elon Musk: We Must Revolt Against the Unrelenting Propaganda of the Fossil Fuel Industry (EcoWatch):
"The fundamental issue with fossil fuels is … every use of fossil fuels comes with a subsidy," Musk said in his talk with forum organizer and DBL Partners venture capitalist Ira Ehrenpreis...Musk explained that the well-funded fossil fuel industry isn't even paying for their contribution to environmental destruction. "It would be like if you could just dump garbage in the street and not pay for garbage pickup," he said.
- Ocean's Oxygen Starts Running Low (ClimateWire):
The influence of climate change was evident in areas with either extreme incidents of oxygen depletion or longer-than-normal trends of low oxygen levels. Places like the southern Indian Ocean that showed the strongest warming signal the soonest tend to be the areas that will see the worst affects of warming, he explained. Those changes have a significant impact on a wide range of marine life.
- VIDEO: Dr. Michael Mann on Dying Oceans & Intense Fires (Thom Hartmann, RT):
The oceans are literally starving now. Plus the Fires in Canada - Is this a preview of what the future will look like if we don't do something right now to stop climate change?
- This is the most compelling climate change visualization we've ever seen (Mashable) [emphasis added]:
Why this visualization matters: It's clear that we're now approaching 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial temperatures, at least for the year 2015 and so far in 2016. In addition, we're edging closer to the 2-degree Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, threshold as well. More warming than this signals "dangerous interference with the climate system" under a 1992 U.N. climate treaty, according to the Paris Agreement and previous agreements as well.
- Air Pollution Rising At An 'Alarming Rate' In World's Cities (Guardian):
Outdoor air pollution has grown 8% globally in the past five years, with billions of people around the world now exposed to dangerous air, according to new data from more than 3,000 cities compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
- US Plan To Lift Yellowstone Grizz Protections Faces Mounting Opposition (Reuters):
A U.S. government plan to lift Endangered Species Act protection of the grizzly bear in and around Yellowstone National Park drew a torrent of criticism from environmentalists and Indian tribes as the public comment period for the proposal came to a close on Wednesday.
- Deadly Algal Bloom Triggers Social Uprising in Southern Chile (IPS News):
A ban on harvesting shellfish in Chiloé due to a severe red tide outbreak sparked a social uprising that has partially isolated thousands of local residents of the southern Chilean archipelago and revived criticism of an export model that condemns small-scale fishing communities to poverty and marginalisation.
- Invasive Insects Are Ravaging US Forests, And It’s Costing Us Billions (Washington Post):
Last week, a group of researchers published saddening news about “sudden oak death,” spread by an invasive water mold, that has killed over a million trees in coastal California. ... Unfortunately, it’s a familiar story.
- Want to fight climate change? Here are the 7 critical life changes you should make (Grist) [emphasis added]:
So, given the imperfections of this world, what is a lone wolf such as yourself to do? Here are some conclusions gleaned from this study: 1. Buy the most fuel-efficient car you can afford, then drive it as little as possible....
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