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EPA Considering Lower Ozone Standard, Methane Strategy

In its Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards report—released Friday—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests revising the health-based national ambient air quality standard for ozone. “Staff concludes that it is appropriate in this review to consider a revised primary [ozone] standard level within the range of 70 ppb [parts…

Energy East Pipeline: Putting Eastern Canada’s Natural Heritage at Risk

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow Garth Lenz. This summer I spent two weeks exploring the proposed Energy East tar sands…

Court Ruling Could Affect Nation’s Electric Grid

Editor’s Note: While Tim Profeta is on vacation, Jeremy Tarr, policy associate in the Climate and Energy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will author The Climate Post. Tim will post again August 28. A unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit could change the way utilities and regulators consider electricity…

Rule for Regulating Existing Power Plants under Fire

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a hearing on “EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants.” Debate about the proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants has swirled since the rule’s release last month. Coal-heavy states and others have criticized both the…

June 22, 2014: Defying Gravity With Our Dog, Stalking Snow Leopards and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we soar with dogs, look for a peaceful resolution to Middle Eastern conflicts, recover lost treasures high in the Andes, save snow leopards, venture to the North Pole for the last time, preach the dangers of cheap meat, rehab injured city critters, and ponder our climate future.

States, Studies React to EPA Rule Release

On the coattails of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, the White House issued a report on the health effects of climate change. The seven-page report outlines six major risks linked to rising temperatures—asthma, lung and heart illnesses; infectious disease; allergies; flooding-related hazards and heat stroke. But one week after release of the…

Cowboys and Indians Stand Together Against Keystone XL.

Text by Kristin Moe, photos by Garth Lenz, for the International League of Conservation Photographers. On April 22, 2014, the dozen or so leather-booted ranchers mounted their horses and lined up in the midday sun. Facing them were an equal number of American Indians, in the regalia of tribes from across the U.S. The two groups…

Geography in the News: Nigeria’s Boko Haram Terrorists

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Nigeria’s Boko Haram A storm has been brewing in Nigeria for several years. In 2011, Christmas Day attacks on Christian churches and a bomb blast to an Islamic school a few days later, foretold a series of brutal attacks that have captured the world’s…

Federal Climate Assessment Report Pegs Climate Change as Culprit for Rising Temperatures, Seas

A new federal scientific report, out Tuesday, concluded that global warming is affecting the United States in profound ways and that human activity, namely the burning of fossil fuels, is the primary cause of warming over the past 50 years. Mandated by Congress and written by a federal advisory panel, the more than 800-page National Climate Assessment further says that the…

Climate Change, EPA Rules Focus of McCabe Confirmation Hearing

Climate change, extreme weather and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants were the focus of a confirmation hearing for Janet McCabe, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. In the hearing—at which lawmakers took jabs at one another on the…

Budget Provides Blueprint for Climate, Energy Goals

President Barack Obama unveiled his 2015 budget proposal Tuesday, outlining his spending and policy priorities for the upcoming year. In it, President Obama earmarked funding for both his Climate Action Plan and Climate Resiliency Fund. The budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—the agency that released stricter fuel standards this week—represented a $309 million decrease from the current fiscal year budget. The nearly $8 billion…

Keystone XL Assessment Report Finds No Significant Environmental Objections

The State Department issued its final environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL pipeline, which echoed findings in previous analyses that the pipeline would lead to no substantial increase in greenhouse gas emissions. It found that approximately 147-168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide would be created by producing, refining and burning the pipeline’s oil. The report’s release kicks off a 30-day…

Obama Doesn’t Need Congress to Move Forward on Clean Energy

A week before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, a new report says Obama could advance key measures of his Climate Action Plan with or without the cooperation of Congress. “When they believed a national situation warranted action, some past presidents interpreted their authority broadly and exercised it aggressively,” the report said. “That is the practice of presidential authority Americans…

Study Says United States Tops List of Global Warming Offenders

A new study by Canadian researchers finds the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and developing nations Brazil and India were responsible for more than 60 percent of global temperature changes between 1906 and 2005. The U.S. alone was responsible for 22 percent of the warning; China followed at 9 percent and Russia at 8 percent. Brazil…

Fuel For Thought: Is There Hope For Africa?

While driving up Africa from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Arusha (Tanzania) – over 4,000 kilometres via Botswana, Zambia and Malawi in 5 days – we saw this amazing juxtaposition with a man carrying over 100-pounds of charcoal on his bicycle being passed by a 20-tonne truck carrying gasoline. Both on their way to the nearest market…