fracking

What Do Dems Think about Climate Policy?

The candidates are united on some issues, but divided or equivocal on others.

Yesterday, the Washington Post published a survey of the Democratic candidates’ positions on climate change.  The differences between candidates probably don’t have a lot of immediate policy relevance, given the political and legal constraints on what a new president could accomplish. But they are very revealing about the direction of the Democratic Party today. The …

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What the Market Is Telling Us About Coal

Dump your coal stocks while you still can!

The market’s message is simple: coal’s day is ending. Three major coal companies (Alpha Natural Resources, Walter Energy, and Patriot Coal) have gone into bankruptcy. The two largest publicly traded  companies (Peabody and Arch) are now trading for a dollar a share, down from $16 and $33 within the past year. They, too, may well …

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California Governor Jerry Brown: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

Brown’s National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists

California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy.  He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive.  Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state …

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Injecting Earthquakes

The scientific evidence shows a clear link between injection wells and earthquakes. The legal consequences are less clear.

A recent study of injection wells and earthquakes got a lot of press, but the reports missed an important nuance.  The study, published in the June 19 edition of Science, found a definite connection between well injection and earthquakes.  But there was an interesting wrinkle: “The scientists found that disposal wells were 1.5 times more likely to …

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Good News from the Middle East!

Israel Tells Dick Cheney: Get Your Paws Off Our Energy Policy

You’re checking your calendar: is it April Fool’s Day already? Alas, no. But there is some genuine good news our of the Middle East — at least for those who care about the Middle East’s natural environment. Terminating a several-year saga that has pitted claims of energy independence against environmental risk, the Jerusalem District Committee …

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Feds Downgrade Monterey Shale Oil Reserves by 95.6%

LA Times op-ed highlights increase in trains transporting oil into California

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reducing its previous estimate for technically recoverable oil in California’s Monterey Shale from 13.7 billion barrels of oil to just 600 million barrels of oil—a dramatic 95.6 percent reduction. Has the oil industry been chasing rainbows in search of illusive “black gold” Monterey oil? For years, the oil …

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Not nonsensical at all

The main State Capitol columnist for the Sacramento Bee wrote a piece today on whether California should encourage or discourage additional oil development in the state. This has been a major debate politically, with Governor Brown resisting calls by many environmental groups to ban fracking. Brown has noted the potential economic benefits from tapping into …

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Fracking and the Environment

A new RFF report sheds light on the critical issues.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about natural gas and fracking.  A recent report by Resources for the Future sheds light on some of the answers.  RFF is unusual among Washington think tanks — an honest broker that uses expertise to try to answer hard questions.  The report reaches three important conclusions. The first …

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IPCC Report Highlights Need for Rapid Shift to Renewable Energy; Delay Will be Costly

Meanwhile, EPA Considers Methane Regulations for Oil and Gas Production

According to the newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report, only a few decades remain to halt the worst effects of global climate change. To meet climate goals, globally we will need to reduce emissions to 40 to 70 percent below today’s levels, by mid-century. Delaying action will be enormously costly from an …

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As Oil by Rail Gains Momentum, Is California On Track to Protect Human Health and the Environment?

A closer look at the data and key legal issues

California will soon see a surge in the number of trains carrying crude oil into the state, as oil production in North Dakota’s Bakken region and Canada continues to increase, sending more crude to California refineries. Last week, the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the safety of …

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