News

(Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:02:55 -0500)

In the final months of the Obama administration, the EPA took steps to repair the tattered image of the agency's Office of Civil Rights.

(Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:32:26 -0500)

By Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Villagers in northern England may soon see their electricity bills slashed by as much as 50 percent in a pilot project allowing them to use solar power around the clock. In a 250,000 pound ($307,000) trial, 40 houses in the village of Oxspring, 12 miles (19 km) north of Sheffield, will be linked in a "virtual power plant" using home batteries to store electricity generated from solar panels. Without batteries, solar power can only be used during the day.

(Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:27:49 -0500)

By Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Villagers in northern England may soon see their electricity bills slashed by as much as 50 percent in a pilot project allowing them to use solar power around the clock. In a 250,000 pound ($307,000) trial, 40 houses in the village of Oxspring, 12 miles (19 km) north of Sheffield, will be linked in a "virtual power plant" using home batteries to store electricity generated from solar panels. Without batteries, solar power can only be used during the day.

(Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:57:38 -0500)

Private donors have doled out $90 million on Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, including some heavyweight public companies, according to Business Insider. The report notes that this is about the same amount of money spent toward President Barack Obama's two inaugurations combined. Chevron Corp., on the other hand, only gave $500,000, slicing its 2013 contribution in half, per OpenSecrets, the website for the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

(Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:26:06 -0500)


HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement Thursday with the company responsible for a 1,400-ton molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor in 2013.


(Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:01:35 -0500)


People who favor investing in a way that helps preserve the environment have more options than strictly focusing on companies that offer Earth-friendly products or services. Companies that make solar energy ...


(Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:44:58 -0500)


Canadian manufacturing sales rebounded in November, jumping by 1.5 percent from October on increases in the primary metal, petroleum and coal industries, Statistics Canada said on Thursday. Sales were up in 14 of the 21 industries, representing 68 percent of manufacturing revenue. Primary metal manufacturing sales rose by 9.1 percent after two months of declines, while petroleum and coal product sales expanded by 3.7 percent as a number of oil refineries returned to full production after maintenance and retooling work.


(Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:58:45 -0500)


Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) remains upbeat on a proposed petrochemical venture in the United States with Exxon Mobil and a preliminary investment decision could be made within months, SABIC's chief executive said on Thursday. Last July SABIC, one of the world's largest petrochemicals groups, said it was studying whether to build a petrochemical complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast with an Exxon affiliate. SABIC chief executive Yousef al-Benyan told Reuters on Thursday that he would travel to the United States at the end of this month to look at the proposed project.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:13:25 -0500)


WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that climate change is real, breaking with both the president-elect and his own past statements.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:04:17 -0500)


By Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressed doubt about the science behind global climate change during a contentious Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, but added he would be obliged for now to uphold the EPA's finding carbon dioxide poses a public danger. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, 48, sued the agency he intends to run more than a dozen times on behalf of his state. This earned him strong support from petroleum companies and convinced both his opponents and supporters that he would aggressively carry out Trump's campaign vows to slash EPA regulation to boost drilling and mining.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:04:00 -0500)


As Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies before the Senate today for his confirmation hearing, many pundits have noted that, if approved, he would make an unconventional administrator, largely because of the degree to which he built parts of his career fighting the very regulatory enforcement agency he would be tasked with running. Pruitt, along with other parties, has sued the EPA more than a dozen times during his career as Oklahoma's attorney general, attempting to block the EPA's authority to enforce clean air, clean water and climate regulations.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:11:08 -0500)


Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Wednesday he will review the Obama administration's recent decision to lock in fuel efficiency rules. On Friday, outgoing EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized a determination that the landmark fuel efficiency rules instituted by President Barack Obama should be locked in through 2025, a bid to maintain a key part of his administration's climate legacy.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:27:05 -0500)


President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrongly suggested on Wednesday that scientists still don't know exactly why climate change is happening. Scott Pruitt, the Republican attorney general of Oklahoma, claimed during his Senate confirmation hearing that climate experts are still debating the extent to which human activity is driving up global temperatures.  In reality, most climate scientists debate the precise impacts human-caused climate change is having, as well as the rate and severity of global warming yet to come — but they don't debate that human activity is the leading cause. SEE ALSO: Climate activists protested Rex Tillerson’s nomination in T. Rex costumes "I believe the ability to measure with precision the degree of human activity's impact on the climate is subject to more debate, on whether the climate is changing or whether human activity contributes to it," Pruitt said Wednesday in a tense exchange with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a prominent climate advocate who lost the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Pruitt had previously acknowledged at the hearing that "the climate is changing and human activity contributes to that in some manner."  He also distanced himself from his prospective boss, saying he did not agree with Trump's earlier claims that the Chinese government fabricated the idea of climate change.  "I do not believe climate change is a hoax," Pruitt told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. As EPA administrator, Pruitt would oversee the most important federal programs to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, including regulations of carbon dioxide from power plants and methane emissions from natural gas well sites and pipelines. Global average temperature anomalies per year, with the warmest years listed, including 2016. Image: nasa giss. When Sanders pressed Pruitt to give his personal opinion on why the climate was changing, the EPA nominee replied that his feelings on the topic were "immaterial" to his role as potential EPA chief. "Really?" Sanders interjected, incredulously. "You are going to be the head of the agency to protect the environment, and your personal feelings about whether climate change is caused by human activity is immaterial?" Pruitt responded indirectly, saying, "Senator, I believe the administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating CO2." Counter to Pruitt's claims of uncertainty, the overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists agree that human activity — such as burning fossil fuels and clear-cutting forests — is the No. 1 reason why the planet is warming at such a staggering rate. 2016 culminated a remarkable 3-year streak of record warm years for the globe says @NOAANCEIclimate https://t.co/5sDkZyODpI #StateOfClimate pic.twitter.com/7O54sWd3Dz — NOAA (@NOAA) January 18, 2017 In fact, during the confirmation hearing, global climate monitoring agencies including NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the UK Met Office announced that 2016 was the warmest year on record.  The agencies concluded that human-caused global warming was primarily responsible for the dangerous climate milestone. Scientists and environmentalists have expressed alarm that the top U.S. office for regulating climate change could be run by a person who disputes mainstream climate science. From the hallways outside the senate hearing of Scott Pruitt for EPA. pic.twitter.com/EKbqnXYj3l — Jeremy Symons (@JeremySymons) January 18, 2017 TODAY: we're on the hill saying #RejectPruitt! RT if you agree we cannot let a climate denier run the EPA. pic.twitter.com/YRUPXGaRCZ — LCV (@LCVoters) January 18, 2017 Earlier this week, over 170 environmental and social justice groups sent a letter to the Senate committee that claimed Pruitt's "views and actions run counter to the EPA's critical mission to protect our health and the environment." His critics also note that Pruitt has spent years fighting to dismantle the EPA's key environmental rules, often with the support of Oklahoma's powerful oil and gas industry. Pruitt is part of a coalition of Republican attorneys general who reportedly forged an alliance with some of the nation's biggest oil and gas producers to fight against the Obama administration's environmental agenda. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, points to a chart as he questions EPA nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, in Washington on Jan. 18, 2017. Image: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Democratic senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Kamala Harris also pushed Pruitt to disclose whether, if confirmed as the EPA chief, he would recuse himself from the litigation he brought against the EPA as Oklahoma's attorney general. Pruitt said only that he would step down from those cases if directed by the EPA's Ethics Office. The attorney general's top supporters on the Senate committee applauded Pruitt's efforts to limit "federal overreach" by the EPA and defend the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers in the fossil fuel industry. "As head of the EPA, attorney general Pruitt will ensure that the agency fulfills the role delegated to it by the laws passed by Congress," Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, the Senate's most prominent climate change-denier, said during the hearing.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:57:10 -0500)

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — In a story Jan. 17 about a wind energy project, The Associated Press reported erroneously on the Long Island Power Authority's plans. LIPA spokesman Sid Nathan says the utility plans to vote on whether to award a contract to Deepwater Wind, not that it plans to award the contract.

(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:59:30 -0500)

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A divided U.S. appeals court on Wednesday revived an Environmental Protection Agency rule permitting government agencies to transfer water between different bodies, such as rivers and lakes, without needing to safeguard for pollution. Reversing a lower court ruling in the widely followed case, a 2-1 panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the EPA acted reasonably in 2008 in adopting its "Water Transfers" rule, over the objections of environmental groups. The decision is a victory for New York City, and will help it provide its 8.5 million residents with "a reliable supply of clean and safe drinking water," said Hilary Meltzer, deputy chief of the New York City Law Department's environmental law division.

(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:24:57 -0500)


Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Wednesday he would honor the intent of the U.S. biofuels program, but remained open to tweaking it. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires the EPA set annual quotas for the use of ethanol and biodiesel in transportation fuels. Pruitt said during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he was committed to Congress' plan, laid out in 2007, to annually increase the amount of ethanol and other renewables blended with petroleum fuels.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:21:25 -0500)

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil Corp. is buying the Bass family's Permian Basin holdings in a more than $6 billion stock and cash deal.

(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:24:37 -0500)


By Ron Bousso LONDON (Reuters) - Oil and gas discoveries around the world dropped last year to their lowest since the 1940s after companies sharply cut back in their search for new resources amid falling oil prices. The decline in discoveries means companies such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell will struggle to offset the natural depletion of existing fields, reinforcing forecasts of a supply shortage by the end of the decade. Total oil and gas resources found in 2016 reached just more than 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), said Sona Mlada, senior analyst at Oslo-based consultancy Rystad Energy.


(Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:03:06 -0500)


By George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - Africa's biggest wind power scheme, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya, should be fully connected to the national electricity grid and producing power by the end of June, a director at the consortium building the project said on Wednesday. Carlo Van Wageningen, founder of the project, said most of its 365 wind turbines had been erected and the last batch of 30 was due to arrive in the port city of Mombasa early next month. Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems , the world's biggest wind turbine maker, is supplying the turbines for the 70 billion shilling ($674 million) project.


(Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:13:39 -0500)


By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump quipped on Tuesday that his secretary of state choice, Rex Tillerson, is finding his Senate confirmation tougher than his days as chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp when he could cut deals with foreign nations. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence appeared together at a VIP dinner featuring nearly 150 diplomats from countries around the world along with U.S. lawmakers and members of the Trump White House who will take power on Friday. "I think it's tougher than he thought," Trump told the crowd, noting that Tillerson was in attendance.


(Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:15:33 -0500)

Graphic profiles Donald Trump’s pick for EPA administrator; 2c x 2 inches; 96.3 mm x 50 mm;

(Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:14:57 -0500)


Exxon Mobil Corp said on Tuesday it will pay up to $6.6 billion to double its holdings in the Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico, the largest oil field in the United States. The deal, Exxon's biggest since its 2009 buyout of XTO Energy, is the latest by oil producers across the Permian since last summer, with technological improvements and rangebound oil prices fueling the buyouts. Exxon is exchanging an initial $5.6 billion in stock for leases covering roughly 275,000 acres from the Bass family of Fort Worth, Texas.


(Tue, 17 Jan 2017 02:47:18 -0500)


Toyota Motor Corp on Tuesday said it would begin testing its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in the United Arab Emirates as the Japanese automaker explores the potential for the zero-emissions fuel technology in hot, dry conditions. Toyota will team up with Abu Dhabi green energy firm Masdar, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co [ADNOC.UL] and French industrial gases company Air Liquide SA to examine prospects for hydrogen production, logistics and business feasibility. As part of the project Toyota will conduct driving and refueling tests using its Mirai FCV, which it launched in late 2015 as part of its goal to foster what it calls a "hydrogen society", where the zero-emission fuel would power homes and vehicles.


(Sun, 15 Jan 2017 13:03:58 -0500)


Money invested in renewable energy is not enough to reach a climate goal of limiting global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius, an Abu Dhabi-based green energy organisation said Sunday. Investment in renewables has increased dramatically in the last decade, but "the rate of growth is not sufficient yet to meet the climate goals", Adnan Amin, the head of renewable energy agency IRENA said.


(Fri, 13 Jan 2017 23:24:54 -0500)

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday denied $1.2 billion in claims for economic losses stemming from a 2015 toxic wastewater spill accidentally triggered by the agency at a defunct Colorado mine, that fouled waterways in three states. The EPA said in a statement that it was "not legally able to pay" damage claims over the discharge from the century-old Gold King Mine, located near the town of Silverton in southwestern Colorado. Farmers, ranchers and river-running raft companies, among others, filed the claims seeking compensation for lost business or wages from the spill.

(Fri, 13 Jan 2017 19:42:59 -0500)


By Emily Flitter NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rex Tillerson, the former oil executive under consideration for U.S. secretary of state, is trying to avoid giving testimony in a federal lawsuit over climate change, according to a lawyer for a group of teenagers who filed the suit. Lawyers for the teenagers, who sued the federal government claiming it violated their constitutional rights by causing global warming, were scheduled to depose Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, in his capacity as a board member of the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group.


(Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:51:59 -0500)


By Emily Flitter NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rex Tillerson, the former oil executive under consideration for U.S. secretary of state, is trying to avoid giving testimony in a federal lawsuit over climate change, according to a lawyer for a group of teenagers who filed the suit. Lawyers for the teenagers, who sued the federal government claiming it violated their constitutional rights by causing global warming, were scheduled to depose Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, in his capacity as a board member of the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group.


(Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:51:22 -0500)


DENVER (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it will not repay claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for economic damages from a mine waste spill the agency accidentally triggered in Colorado, saying the law prohibits it.


(Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:44:33 -0500)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency moved Friday to cement strict fuel economy requirements that force the auto industry to make new cars and trucks significantly more efficient, a decision that will be difficult for the incoming Trump administration to undo.

(Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:57:23 -0500)


The EPA on Friday issued a determination maintaining strong clean car standards for model year 2022-2025 cars. A July 2016 report that automakers were well on their way to attaining the strict standards was refuted by a carmaker lobby.


(Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:05:06 -0500)


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy on Friday finalized a determination that the landmark fuel efficiency rules instituted by President Barack Obama should be locked in through 2025, a bid to maintain a key part of his administration's climate legacy. Major U.S. and foreign automakers have appealed to President-elect Donald Trump, who has been critical of Obama's climate policies, to review the rules requiring them to nearly double fleet-wide fuel efficiency by 2025, saying they impose significant costs and are out of step with consumer preferences. As part of a 2012 regulation, EPA had to decide by April 2018 whether to modify the 2022-2025 model year vehicle emission rules requiring average fleet-wide efficiency of more than 50 miles per gallon.


(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 20:37:29 -0500)

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Pointing toward possible confrontation, Donald Trump's selection for secretary of state likened Beijing's island-building in the South China Sea to a takeover of another country's territory and spoke of forcing Beijing to fully apply sanctions on North Korea. China will likely be alarmed by former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson's Senate confirmation hearing remarks on Wednesday. While they focused largely on Russia, reflecting Tillerson's past relationship with its President Vladimir Putin and allegations of Russian hacking into the U.S. election, his testimony on China presented a sharp change in tone from the Obama administration's focus on cooperation.

(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:05:18 -0500)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A judge has ordered federal regulators to quickly evaluate how many power plant and coal mining jobs are lost because of air pollution regulations.

(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:31:35 -0500)

The U.S. EPA wants to largely ban the use of a chemical in paint strippers that has swiftly killed dozens of people.

(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 15:12:57 -0500)


By David Shepardson and Bernie Woodall NEW YORK/DETROIT (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of illegally using hidden software to allow excess diesel emissions to go undetected, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators' investigation of rival Volkswagen AG. FCA shares plummeted as the maximum fine is about $4.6 billion. The EPA action affects 104,000 U.S. trucks and SUVs sold since 2014, about one-sixth the vehicles in the Volkswagen case.


(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:52:00 -0500)

Italy's Transport Ministry said on Thursday that the car models that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says used a software that allowed excess diesel emissions to go undetected are not road tested or sold in Italy. "The vehicles that were the focus of the EPA report are not road tested (homologated) or sold in Italy," the Transport Ministry said in a statement. The EPA and California Air Resources Board told Fiat Chrysler it believes its undeclared auxiliary emissions control software allowed vehicles to generate excess pollution in violation of the law.

(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:25:00 -0500)


Less than a week after Fiat Chrysler committed $1 billion to revamping two Midwest plants — which would create thousands of new jobs — the company has landed in hot water with the Environmental Protection Agency. The New York Times reveals that the EPA has accused the automaker of arming over 104,000 diesel vehicles with “secret software” that would allow illegal excess emissions of nitrogen oxides. At issue are the past three years of Jeep Grand Cherokees and certain models of Dodge Ram trucks, and the EPA has notified Fiat Chrysler that these vehicles violate the Clean Air Act.


(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:39:14 -0500)


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accused Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles of violating the Clean Air Act by selling non-compliant, diesel-powered light trucks. FCA disagrees with the EPA's accusations.


(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:42:45 -0500)

The EPA has issued a statement accusing Fiat-Chrysler of violating the Clean Air Act by "failing to disclose engine management software" in 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500 trucks that use the 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine. Those accusations obviously sound a lot like what VW was found to have done in a range of diesel cars, using software to change engine characteristics in order to pass emissions tests conducted by the EPA. In VW's case, the "defeat device" detected when an emissions test was being administered, and lowered the engine's output in order to pass the test. The car then increased performance -- and emissions -- when being driven normally on the road. The EPA's statement does not outline the specifics of Fiat-Chrysler's violation, just confirms that the Jeep Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500 used software to violate the Clean Air Act in some way: “Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices. All automakers must play by the same rules, and we will continue to hold companies accountable that gain an unfair and illegal competitive advantage.” “Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.” Fiat-Chrysler has yet to respond to the allegations, but the company's stock has  taken a serious hit .

(Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:00:34 -0500)

MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler shares slumped on Thursday after a Reuters report said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will accuse the group of using software that allowed excess diesel emissions in just over 100,000 U.S trucks and SUVs sold since 2014.

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