Tag: coal

Conservation advocates start building legal resistance to Trump’s environmental wrecking crew

A surface coal mine in Wyoming. PHOTO COURTESY BLM.

Lawsuit aims to maintain moratorium on federal coal leasing based partly on climate impacts

By Bob Berwyn

As Trump’s sputtering political bulldozer takes aim at public lands, the environment and the climate, conservation advocates are preparing to throw up a few legal roadblocks that could delay for years implementation of the administration’s anti-environmental agenda. The battles Trump has unleashed will begin a new era of uncertainty for American energy companies, even as the market-driven shift to renewable energy continues.

The first lawsuit against the Trump administration’s attack on the environment has already been filed in U.S. District Court in Montana, where Earthjustice attorneys, on behalf of citizen conservation groups and communities, including Native Americans, are seeking to block Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to repeal a coal mining moratorium on public lands. Continue reading “Conservation advocates start building legal resistance to Trump’s environmental wrecking crew”

Advertisements

Global CO2 emissions flat for 3d year in a row

U.S. emissions at 1992 level, according to IEA report

The Craig Station power plant in northwest Colorado pollutes lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

Carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s biggest economies — the U.S. and China — dropped in 2016 and didn’t grow in Europe, showing that economic growth can occur without an increase in heat-trapping pollution, according to the latest emissions report from the International Energy Agency.

Despite the slowdown in emissions from the power sector, CO2 levels are still climbing at a record rate, though, according to scientists who recently released a report showing that concentrations of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas increased 3 parts per million for the second year in a row. The concentration is now above 400 ppm, more than 43 percent more than pre-industrial levels. Continue reading “Global CO2 emissions flat for 3d year in a row”

Environment: Can a lawsuit shut down one of the West’s biggest and dirtiest coal-burning power plants?

asf
So much coal, so much pollution!

Legal challenge seeks to hasten the end of the fossil fuel era in the Southwest

Staff Report

A coalition of environmental and community groups is challenging the federal government’s decision to extend operations at the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant for another 25 years. In a new lawsuit, the activists say the approval lacked an assessment of clean energy alternatives.

Specifically, the legal challenge says the federal government’s claim that the power plant won’t harm endangered species violates the Endangered Species Act, and that the final decision violates the National Environmental Policy Act. Continue reading “Environment: Can a lawsuit shut down one of the West’s biggest and dirtiest coal-burning power plants?”

Police shoot and kill climate activists in Bangladesh

Climate activists say at least four anti-coal demonstrators were killed when police opened fire during this protest in Bangladesh.
Climate activists say at least four anti-coal demonstrators were killed when police opened fire during this protest in Bangladesh.

Months of anti-coal protest end with deadly violence 

Staff Report

Climate activists working to limit heat-trapping pollution from fossil fuels have faced serious crackdowns around the world in recent months, but this week, the showdown over climate change turned deadly in Bangladesh.

The Climate Action Network, a global community of over 950 NGOs in more than 110 countries, says that police forces opened fire on unarmed protesters in Gandamara who had gathered to oppose two new Chinese-funded coal projects. According to officials, at least four people were killed by police bullets. Continue reading “Police shoot and kill climate activists in Bangladesh”

Environment: Feds face legal challenge over Four Corners power plant approval

The Four Corners Power Plant in a 1972 photo via Wikipedia.
The Four Corners Power Plant in a 1972 photo via Wikipedia.

Climate impacts, environmental justice at issue in looming legal battle

Staff Report

Community and environmental activists say they’ll contest federal approval of continued operations at the giant pollution-spewing Four Corners Power Plant in court.

In a formal notice of their intent to sue, the groups said Office of Surface Mining, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies failed to look at clean energy alternatives and didn’t adequately consider the carbon pollution, health and other environmental impacts when they approved operation of the plant last summer. The notice also says the environmental studies didn’t look at water contamination from coal ash waste, and impacts to Navajo culture. Continue reading “Environment: Feds face legal challenge over Four Corners power plant approval”

Climate: Big banks back away from coal industry

The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world, thanks in part to massive surface mines like this one in Wyoming. Photo courtesy BLM.
Reducing financial support for the coal industry will help speed the transition to a low-carbon economy. Photo courtesy BLM.

New energy era on the horizon?

Staff Report

Citing concerns about climate change, major financial institutions today announced they are backing away from financing the coal industry. As the COP21 climate talks started in Paris, Morgan Stanley said its policy changes cover both lending and underwriting, with a long-term view toward ending financing for coal-fired power plant construction in developed countries.

The policy changes follow similar coal financing cuts at eight other banks earlier this year (Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Crédit Agricole, ING, Natixis, and Société Générale). Morgan Stanley’s commitment came after public pressure from climate activists as part of a campaign launched by Rainforest Action Network in October, as the group sought to hold U.S. banks publicly accountable. Continue reading “Climate: Big banks back away from coal industry”

Environment: $160 million cleanup ordered at coal-burning, pollution-spewing Four Corners power plant

asf
New pollution controls will cut emissions at the Four Corners power plant.

Settlement includes requirements for regional public health and environmental mitigation projects

Staff Report

FRISCO — One of the dirtiest coal-burning power plants in the country will be required to upgrade pollution controls, cutting thousands of tons of harmful sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions.

The $160 million cleanup at the Four Corners Power Plant, located on the Navajo Nation near Shiprock, New Mexico, comes under a court-ordered Clean Air Act settlement between the EPA and several Arizona and New Mexico-based utility companies.

The total combined emission reductions secured from the settlement will exceed 2 million tons each year, once all the required pollution controls are installed and implemented. Continue reading “Environment: $160 million cleanup ordered at coal-burning, pollution-spewing Four Corners power plant”