IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oil stocks tank due to coronavirus and a Saudi Arabian price war; Coronavirus economic disruption could infect banks and communities dependent on fossil fuel jobs; Outdoor air pollution takes three years off human lifespans; PLUS: New York State bans single use plastic bags... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Where Biden and Sanders diverge on climate change; The climate movement doesn’t know how to talk with union members about green jobs; 10-month deadline makes Netherlands a ‘test case’ for rapid decarbonization; Paris Agreement requires one coal unit to close every day until 2040; Oil executives tell 2020 Dem candidates that halting fossil fuel production would be 'criminal'; How America's shrinking cities can 'rightsize'; Pro-Trump climate denial group Heartland Institute lays off staff amid financial woes; Your plastic addiction is bankrolling Big Oil... PLUS: Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Oil prices crash due to Coronavirus and Saudi Arabia's price war:
- VIDEO: Why Saudi Arabia launched oil price war against Russia (CNN)
- Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil Supremacy (Bloomberg)
- VIDEO: Why oil prices are crashing and what it means (CNN):
Saudi Arabia, the world's top exporter, launched a price war over the weekend. The move followed the implosion of an alliance between the OPEC cartel, led by Saudi Arabia, and Russia.
- The price war in oil escalates as both Russia and Saudi Arabia threaten to boost output (Business Insider)
- Why Russia and Vladimir Putin are waging an oil war with America (CNN):
Vladimir Putin knows America's fragile oil industry is built on a mountain of debt. So when Saudi Arabia called for production cuts to mitigate oversupply, Putin decided to pounce...Putin's goal is to wrest market share back from American frackers, whose debt-fueled growth caused Russia to lose its title in 2018 as the world's largest oil producer. "This is a response to try to cripple the US shale industry"...Russia's strategy seems to be targeting not simply US shale companies --- but the coercive sanctions policy that American energy abundance has enabled.
- Plummeting Oil Prices Could Force A Reckoning For The American Fracking Boom (Huffington Post)
- Putin just sparked an oil price war with Saudi Arabia — and US energy companies may be the victims (CNBC)
- Cracks are forming in corporate bonds as coronavirus slams Wall Street (Market Watch)
- Oil Price Crash: 50% Of U.S. Shale Could Go Bankrupt (Oil Price)
- Coronavirus economic disruption could infect banks and hit fossil fuel-dependent communities:
- The Oil Collapse Raises Fears of Financial Crisis (David Dayen, The American Prospect):
[D]rilling companies have never been so highly leveraged...But debtors, and debtors’ employees, are not the only ones at risk: What about the financiers who hold the debt? Most of this energy-related corporate debt has been securitized, pushed into low-grade junk bonds. Who owns the debt? We don’t really know. Welcome to the U.S. financial system circa 2020.
- Energy-exposed banks attempt to bounce back after second punch from oil prices (Yahoo Finance)
- Bank Stocks Are Getting Crushed. Blame Their Exposure to Falling Oil Prices. (Barron's)
- Oil price war threatens widespread collateral damage (Washington Post):
The slide highlighted the exposure of a handful of banks with large amounts of loans to energy firms, according to a report by Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, a financial services firm. Of the five with the biggest exposures to the sector, two are in Oklahoma, two in Texas and one in Kansas, the report said.
- Houston could lose thousands of jobs if oil fails to recover (Houston Chronicle)
- Bond investors say some energy companies ‘will not survive’ oil rout slamming markets (Market Watch)
- Layoffs in the oilfields expected after crude oil prices dive (CBS-7 Midland-Odessa)
- For Alberta's embattled energy industry, Saudi price war is nothing short of catastrophic (Financial Post)
- What Coronavirus Could Mean for the Global Economy (Harvard Business Review)
- China manufacturing shutdown likely saved thousands of lives from pollution:
- VIDEO: Rising Pollution Levels Show China's Returning to Work After Coronavirus Shutdown (Bloomberg)
- Coronavirus control efforts linked to better China air quality (Al Jazeera)
- China’s Economy Is Getting Back to Work After Virus Shutdowns (Bloomberg)
- COVID-19 reduces economic activity, which reduces pollution, which saves lives. (G-FEED):
Given the huge amount of evidence that breathing dirty air contributes heavily to premature mortality, a natural --- if admittedly strange --- question is whether the lives saved from this reduction in pollution caused by economic disruption from COVID-19 exceeds the death toll from the virus itself. Even under very conservative assumptions, I think the answer is a clear "yes".
- Air pollution takes three years off the average lifespan:
- Loss of life expectancy from air pollution compared to other risk factors: a worldwide perspective (Cardiovascular Research)
- Outdoor air pollution cuts three years from human lifespan – study (Guardian UK):
[T]he study reveals more than a year of life expectancy could be clawed back if fossil fuel emissions are cut to zero, while if all controllable air pollution is cut – a category that does not include particles from natural wildfires or wind-born dust – global life expectancy could rise by more than 20 months.
- Breathing Polluted Air Shortens People’s Lives by an Average of 3 Years, a New Study Finds (Inside Climate News)
- Judge orders polluting Philadelphia refinery to close permanently:
- Bankruptcy judge approves PES refinery’s sale to Hilco Redevelopment Partners (WHYY-Philadelphia):
“Rather than being a poster child for what the world is turning away from, we can now be a poster child for where the world is going,” Hughes said. “The world is moving towards a lower carbon future, a lower carbon energy system, where the transition from brown, polluting, fossil-fuel based energy systems, to green, non-polluting, clean, renewable energy systems.”
- Sold: Chicago’s Hilco is the new owner of Philadelphia refinery and 1,300 acres (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- After Explosion, Philadelphia Refinery To Be Permanently Shut Down (Forbes)
- The future of Philly’s shut-down PES refinery is wide open. Its neighbors are keeping a wary eye on what happens next (State Impact PA/NPR)
- New York State implements statewide plastic bag ban:
- New York plastic bag ban comes into force but opponents tote exceptions (Guardian UK):
California and Hawaii have implemented bans on plastic bags but New York, another bastion of progressive policymaking, has been stymied amid fierce lobbying by the plastics industry and concerns over the impact on low-income residents...New Yorkers get through an estimated 23bn single-use plastic bags each year. Around 85% end up in streets, landfills, waterways and recycling machines. The new law is aimed at swiftly transitioning to alternatives.
- VIDEO: New York State’s Plastic Bag Ban Goes Into Effect (NBC-4 NYC):
The law passed last April bars many types of businesses from using the thin plastic bags that have been clogging up landfills, getting tangled in trees and accumulating in lakes and seas. Single-use paper bags will still be allowed, but counties have the option of imposing a 5-cent fee.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page
- Where Biden and Sanders diverge on climate change (Reuters)
- Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that. (Washington Post)
- Oil Executives Claim Halting Fossil Fuel Production Would Be “Criminal” (Truthout)
- Earth to investors: Paris Agreement requires one coal unit to close every day until 2040 (Carbon Tracker)
- How America's shrinking cities can 'rightsize' (Guardian UK)
- 10-Month Deadline Makes Netherlands a ‘Test Case’ for Rapid Decarbonization (Energy Central)
- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Orders State Action On Climate Change (Oregon Public Radio)
- BLM exodus: Agency loses half of DC staff slated for relocation (The Hill)
- Pro-Trump Climate Denial Group Heartland Institute Lays Off Staff Amid Financial Woes, Ex-Employees Say (Huffington Post)
- Your Plastic Addiction Is Bankrolling Big Oil (Mother Jones)
- Put down that veggie burger. These farmers say their cows can solve the climate crisis (CNN)
- San Francisco’s “Car-Free” Market Street Boosts Bike (and Scooter) Ridership (Medium)
- The Climate Movement Doesn’t Know How to Talk With Union Members About Green Jobs (The Intercept)
- New Study Shows Sea Turtles Eat Plastic Because It Smells Like Food (Earther),/li>
- What Does '12 Years to Act on Climate Change' (Now 11 Years) Really Mean? (Inside Climate News)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- SEJ Backgrounder: Green New Deal Proposes Sweeping Economic Transformation (Society of Environmental Journalists)
- Explainer: The 'Green New Deal': Mobilizing for a just, prosperous, and sustainable economy (New Consensus)
- What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like: How to hit the most stringent targets, with no loopholes. (David Roberts, Vox)
- A Global Shift To Sustainability Would Save Us $26 Trillion (Vox)
- Project Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming (Drawdown.org)
- An Optimist's Guide to Solving Climate Change and Saving the World (Vice)
- The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. (Politico)
- The world's bleak climate situation, in 3 charts: We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. (Vox)
- The Climate Risks We Face (NY Times):
To stabilize global temperature, net carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to zero. The window of time is rapidly closing to reduce emissions and limit warming to no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the goal set in the Paris climate accord. The further we push the climate system beyond historical conditions, the greater the risks of potentially unforeseen and even catastrophic changes to the climate - so every reduction in emissions helps.
- The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make earth too hot for humans? (New York Magazine):
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak - sooner than you think.
- A beginner's guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy (Vox):
Clean-energy enthusiasts frequently claim that we can go bigger, that it's possible for the whole world to run on renewables - we merely lack the "political will." So, is it true? Do we know how get to an all-renewables system? Not yet. Not really.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page