IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Lawmakers blast Big Oil CEOs for using wartime profits to enrich investors; Europe moves to ban Russian coal; EPA to finally ban deadly asbestos; PLUS: More destructive storms are causing more power outages, costing taxpayers more money... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): This battery could freeze solar and wind energy for months; As Russia's War In Ukraine Disrupts Food Production, Experts Question the Expanding Use of Cropland for Biofuels' High risk, small reward: Regulators should tread carefully when reviewing utility hydrogen proposals; Supreme Court Revives Trump-Era Environmental Regulation; Researchers Find Microplastics Deep In Lungs Of Living People';US To Boost Water Supplies Hit By Climate Change; Zoos Hiding Birds As Avian Flu Spreads In North America... PLUS: UN warns Earth 'firmly on track toward an unlivable world' ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Top oil executives get grilled in House Energy Commerce hearing:
- House panel grills oil company executives on high gasoline prices (Washington Post):
Rising gas prices pose a political liability for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections in November, when the party could lose control of Congress. Top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), have huddled to discuss legislative strategies for curbing prices at the pump in recent weeks.
- What we learned from the Big Oil hearing (E&E News):
In reality, there's not much Congress can do to immediately lower oil prices.
- VIDEO: Big Oil CEOs refuse to commit to reduce buybacks and dividends (CNN):
During a hearing, Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, asked the top executives from ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron, BP, Shell, Pioneer Natural Resources and Devon Energy if they would commit to "doing whatever it takes," including not just increasing production but reducing dividends and buybacks to lower prices for American consumers.
- VIDEO: Full hearing --- Big Oil Execs to Face Charges of Price-Gouging at House Hearing (Common Dreams)
- House Democrats accuse oil companies of 'rip off' on gas prices in hearing (PBS NewsHour)
- VIDEO: Gas prices are high. Oil CEOs reveal why they're not drilling more (CNN)
- VIDEO: Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (Twitter):
It's past time we promote long-term energy independence through clean, renewable energy to insulate our economy & consumers.
- Democrats Worried About Gas Prices Are Begging Oil Companies to Drill More (Kate Aronoff, The New Republic)
- Blamed for high gas prices, oil executives defend themselves at a House hearing. (NY Times)
- New report confirms Big Oil using wartime profits to enrich investors:
- Big Oil's Wartime Bonus: How Big Oil Turns Profits Into Wealth (Bailout Watch):
The 24th of February, 2022 was a terrible day for Ukraine, as Russia launched its invasion. It also was a great day to own oil company stock. The Texas driller EOG, awash in cash from high energy prices, declared it would treat shareholders to a bonus cash payout of $585 million via a special dividend. That same day, two other companies, Occidental and Ovintiv, announced their own double-digit dividend increases.
- Big oil companies are using wartime profits to enrich investors, report says (Washington Post):
The nation's biggest oil and gas companies have significantly increased stock buybacks and dividends since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, raising questions about whether the firms are using wartime profits to enrich investors instead of curbing Americans' pain at the pump, three liberal advocacy groups write in a new report shared exclusively with The Climate 202.
- EU moves to ban Russian coal, but not yet oil or gas
- EU not expected to fully ban Russian coal imports until August, sources say (CNBC):
The EU's proposed ban on coal imports from Russia is not expected to take effect until August - a month later-than-expected. Germany is one of the most skeptical nations when it comes to blocking energy supplies from Russia, but it's not the only one. Austria and Hungary, for instance, are also opposed.
- E.U. proposes ban on Russian coal after Bucha massacre in Ukraine (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: EU Commission Pres. Ursula Von der Leyen (Twitter)
- Some EU countries move faster away from Russia and fossil fuels:
- Lithuania cuts off Russian gas imports, urges EU to do same (AP):
Lithuania says it has cut itself off entirely of gas imports from Russia, apparently becoming the first of the European Union's 27 nations using Russian gas to break its energy dependence upon Moscow.
- Portugal brings forward 80 percent clean energy target to 2026 from 2030 (Electrek)
- Climate impacts causing longer blackouts in U.S.
- Storms batter aging power grid as climate disasters spread (AP):
Power outages from severe weather have doubled over the past two decades across the U.S., as a warming climate stirs more destructive storms that cripple broad segments of the nation's aging electrical grid, according to an Associated Press analysis of government data..."The electric grid is our early warning," said University of California, Berkeley grid expert Alexandra von Meier. "Climate change is here and we're feeling real effects."
- EPA moves to finally ban all uses of asbestos:
- EPA rule would finally ban asbestos, a known carcinogen still in use (AP):
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed a rule to finally ban asbestos, a carcinogen that is still used in some chlorine bleach, brake pads and other products and kills thousands of Americans every year.
- EPA moves to ban asbestos after decades of failures (Politico/MSN):
EPA tried to ban asbestos in 1989, but the effort was largely struck down two years later by a federal appellate court, a fate that epitomized the toothlessness of the original 1976 TSCA law...Reinstein and others criticized the Trump administration for not doing enough to ban asbestos. That included a 2019 rule that required companies to notify EPA if they resume the import or manufacture of products containing asbestos, but didn't go so far as to ban those uses.
'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
- UN warns Earth 'firmly on track toward an unlivable world' (AP)
- Debunking Demand (IPCC Mitigation Report, Part 1) (Amy Westervelt, We Are Drilled)
- This battery could freeze solar and wind energy for months (Anthropocene Magazine)
- As Russia's War In Ukraine Disrupts Food Production, Experts Question the Expanding Use of Cropland for Biofuels (Inside Climate News)
- High risk, small reward: Regulators should tread carefully when reviewing utility hydrogen proposals
- Supreme Court Revives Trump-Era Environmental Regulation (NY Times)
- A First: Researchers Find Microplastics Deep In Lungs Of Living People (NPR)
- US To Boost Water Supplies Hit By Climate Change (AP)
- Zoos Hiding Birds As Avian Flu Spreads In North America (AP)
- Environmental Sacrifice Zones: 8 Places We've Given Up-Probably Forever (Environmental Health Network)
- "Rare Earths" from Coal Waste (Climate Crocks)
- Feeling Hopeless About the Climate? Try Our 30-Day Action Plan (The Revelator)
- Green Upheaval: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Foreign Affairs)
- VIDEO: 2050: what happens if we ignore the climate crisis (Guardian UK)
- Guilt, grief and anxiety as young people fear for climate's future (Reuters)
- 99.9 percent Of Scientists Agree Climate Emergency Caused By Humans (Guardian UK)
- An Empire of Dying Wells: Old oil and gas sites are a climate menace. Meet the company that owns more of America's decaying wells than any other. (Bloomberg)
- Climate Fund Choices for Investors Are Multiplying (Bloomberg/Yahoo)
- How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains (Grist)
- Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration (Pro Publica)
- Exxon's Snake Oil: 100 years of deception (Columbia Journalism Review)
- What Does '12 Years to Act on Climate Change' (Now 9 Years) Really Mean? (Inside Climate News)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- 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.
- Big oil companies are using wartime profits to enrich investors, report says (Washington Post):