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Tag archives for environment

Recent Studies Provide Examples of Emissions Trading Successes, Failures

The emissions trading program in the northeastern United States—the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—is responsible for about half the region’s emissions reductions—an amount far greater than reductions achieved in the rest of the country. The study in the journal Energy Economics determined that even when controlling for other factors—the natural gas boom, the recession, and…

EPA Targets Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations

On Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took another step to make good on the Obama administration’s pledge to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26–28 percent by 2025 by proposing the first methane emissions rules for the nation’s oil and gas industry. Reducing emissions of methane, which have 25 times the heat-trapping capacity of…

Challenges Ahead for Clean Power Plan, Another EPA Rule

Less than two weeks after President Obama announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan rule, aimed at cutting carbon emissions from existing power plants 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has encouraged states to comply with the plan through emissions trading opportunities—emphasized far more in the…

Removing Oil Rigs from the North Sea – is Europe up for the Challenge?

The standards and rules for decommissioning offshore oil rigs are firmly established in the North Sea. When an oil platform is no longer economically viable, it must be removed. There is to be no dumping and abandoning these structures at sea. Save for substructures heavier than 10,000 tons, the bottom (so-called ‘footings’) of these structures…

Final Clean Power Plan More Ambitious, Flexible

On Monday, President Obama announced the release of the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), which sets mandatory limits on the amount of carbon dioxide emissions the nation’s fleet of existing power plants may emit. The rule is projected to reduce emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. “We’re the first generation to feel the…

Studies Make Predictions of How to Comply, What to Look for in Final Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is slated to release the final version of its Clean Power Plan, regulating emissions from existing power plants, any day now. Many are already predicting changes, some that could be significant. A survey by E&E publishing revealed stakeholders expect timing to be the element most likely to change in…

Black Rhino return to Samburu-Land

In the shadow of Mount Kenya lie the hot lowlands of Samburu-land. This vast, beautiful region of rocky ridges, acacia grasslands and doum palm forest is the traditional homeland of the Samburu people, the rare Grevy’s zebra and the Gerenuk antelope. For thousands of years, it was also home to the black rhino, until the…

It’s Official: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

Four independent global data sets registered 2014 as the warmest year on record, the Weather Channel reported, citing an annual review by international scientists sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The only major region of the world with below-average annual temperatures was Eastern…

How can you eat, eat, eat–and stay healthy? Ask a blind cavefish.

Barbecues and clambakes. Ice cream and berry pies. Summer is the season of food, food and more food. Is there a way to binge and still stay healthy? For answers, look far underground, say scientists, to the denizens of darkness: blind cavefish. Biologists studied blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus, living in freshwater pools in deep caves…

Power Plants Emissions Fall; Progress Unevenly Distributed

Power plant carbon dioxide emissions havedecreased 12 percent from 2008 to 2013 but remain 14 percent higher than 1990 levels, according to a new report by Ceres, four large utilities, Bank of America and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States focuses…

McCarthy: Clean Power Plan on Track; Challenges Expected

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) will have no effect on the proposed Clean Power Plan, according to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “EPA is still committed to finalizing the Clean Power Plan,” McCarthy said. “Making a connection between the Mercury Air Toxics Standards…

SCOTUS Overturns Mercury Rule

The Supreme Court, in a 5–4 decision, ruled that the Clean Air Act required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to consider the costs of its Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule when determining whether it was “appropriate and necessary” to regulate mercury emissions from the power sector. The MATS rule requires coal-burning power…

Inaction on Climate Change Has Dismal Consequences

The White House and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new peer-reviewed report saying inaction on climate change is a dire threat to human health and the economy. It specifically estimates the physical monetary paybacks across 20 sectors of the United States by year 2100 if world leaders successfully limit global warming to…

Pope Calls for Sweeping Changes to Address Climate Change

Pope Francis’s highly anticipated encyclical on the environment, which may play a key role in the United Nations climate change conference in Paris later this year, was released today. Among its key focuses: climate change is real, it is getting worse and humans are a major cause. “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of…

Federal Court Finds Challenges to Clean Power Plan Premature

Legal challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan, which would limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act, came too early, according to a panel of federal judges. “Petitioners are champing at the bit to challenge EPA’s anticipated rule restricting carbon dioxide emissions from existing…