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First Rules for Arctic Drilling Released

The U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled the first draft rules for offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic. The rules would require energy companies to clear a number of safety hurdles before being approved for drilling. “The Arctic has substantial oil and gas potential, and the U.S. has a longstanding interest in the…

McCarthy: Clean Power Plan Targets May Change

The EPA Administrator this week, suggested (subscription) that interim goals for existing power plants to comply with the agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan could be softened before the rule is finalized this summer. The proposal unveiled last year calls for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and sets state-by-state…

First Stop: Bruderheim

Standing on the outskirts of Edmonton and looking northeast, a cluster of twinkling lights amid tall silvery smokestacks puffing out steam and smoke rises up out of the horizon. Driving northeast towards those lights, following along the North Saskatchewan River, you will pass through the industrial city of Fort Saskatchewan, where petrochemical processing plants and…

Following the Oil Trail: From Alberta to British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BC – It’s nearing the end of January, and I am close to four months into my storytelling project, documenting the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline that will carry oil from the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta to the British Columbia coast. From the oil boom town of Fort McMurray, where the oil is…

House and Senate Votes, Court Decision Shorten Road to Keystone Decision

On Monday the Senate passed a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline in a procedural vote just shy of the 67 votes needed to override a veto, setting up what could be an extensive debate on energy policy and climate in next year’s presidential election. The move followed a bipartisan vote in which the House…

Pakistan’s Polarized Polity May Find Convergence in 2015

I heralded the start of 2015, seated together with family around a bonfire, on a mildly foggy night in Lahore, Pakistan. The mist that surrounded us was metaphoric of the uncertainty that enshrouds my land of origin. During a three-week visit, I had witnessed the national horror of a terrorist attack against promising adolescents and…

UN Climate Negotiators Ink Deal in Lima

Negotiators have reached a deal at United Nations (UN) talks in Peru, setting the stage for a global climate pact in Paris in December 2015. The agreement, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, for the first time in history commits every nation to reducing its rate of greenhouse gas emissions. “As a text, it’s not perfect…

Optimism at UN Climate Change Conference

At the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference twentieth Conference of the Parties, known as COP20, in Lima, Peru, delegates from more than 190 nations are hashing out details of an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curb permanent damage caused by global warming. Those details will set the stage for next December’s…

Report from Fort McMurray, the Heart of Canada’s Oil Sands Development

EDMONTON – It is 7 a.m. and I am on bus with a group of sleepy students from the University of Alberta on our way up to Fort McMurray, the heart of oil sands extraction in Alberta, a western province of Canada. Soft conversations drift across the bus. It is still dark outside and many of the students…

IEA Unveils World Energy Outlook 2014: Looking Ahead to 2040

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2014 report, which for the first time provides energy trend projections through the year 2040. Among the key challenges in the next two and a half decades is, a 37 percent rise in global energy demand, driven mainly by emerging markets in Asia,…

U.S., China Reach Climate Deal

Two nations that account for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions reached a climate deal. The United States will accelerate the pace of its net greenhouse gas emissions reductions from 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 to 26–28 percent by 2025. China will increase the non-fossil fuel share of all its energy…

Under the Desert Sun: Journey through the California Desert

iLCP Fellow Krista Schlyer captures the beauty of the California desert and the impact that energy development is having on the region. If there is a poster-child for the potential and already realized devastation energy development could bring to the wild desert, the tortoise is it. These hardy, desert-adapted creatures have suffered a 40-year decline due to human development of various sorts. They have lost 90 percent of their population despite being a protected species for most of that time.

EPA Refines Pollution Rules

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was told by a federal appeals court that it could move forward with implementing a program to curb air pollution that crosses state lines. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CASPR) would require 28 states to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by power plants.…

Ozone Focus of EPA’s Latest Rulemaking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that sets domestic production consumption limits for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)—eventually phasing them out completely by 2020. The rule aims to reduce emissions from leakage and stockpiles of four HCFCs, a class of refrigerant linked to ozone depletion and climate change. “This rule finalizes allowed amounts of HCFC…

Ann Chen: Identifying the Zeitgeist of Canada’s Proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

Alberta, Canada — 731. This is the length in miles of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline that will carry bitumen oil products extracted from the oil sands of northern Alberta to the coast of British Columbia. From there the oil will be exported by oil tankers to a demanding global market. For the next…