Climate Progress

Climatologist Who Predicted California Drought a Decade Ago Says It May Be Even More Dire

Climate change can worsen drought in multiple ways. Climate scientists and political scientists often confuse the public and the media by focusing on the narrow question, “Did climate change cause the drought” — that is, did it reduce precipitation?

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California's Massive Storms Will Do Little to Alleviate Its Drought Crisis

It’s the rainy season in California, but until this week you wouldn’t have known it. After many worrisome months, and three severely dry years, California finally got some respite from its drought, in the form of a deluge of precipitation of up to 10 inches in some places.

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Corporation Exploiting Major Loophole to Quickly Build 600-Mile Tar Sands Pipeline

In the five years since TransCanada submitted its first application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, protesters have held marches and vigils, chained themselves to pipeline trucks, interrupted a presidential speech and gotten themselves purposefully arrested, all in the name of stopping the pipeline.

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Colorado Becomes the First State to Regulate Methane Emissions From Fracking

Colorado will be the first state in the nation to clamp down on emissions of the super potent greenhouse gas methane from the state’s booming oil and gas industry. The rules, finalized Sunday, will require well operators to comply with stricter leak detection requirements — a provision the state’s main oil and gas industry trade group fought to change.

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Court Ruling Makes It Harder to Pollute Appalachia’s Streams With Mountaintop Mining

Last week the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia tossed out a late-2008 Bush Administration decision to scrap a decades-old rule protecting streams from the spoils of mountaintop removal mining. It said the rule violated the Endangered Species Act.

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Exxon CEO Joins Suit to Stop Fracking By His Home Because He's Worried About His Property Values

As ExxonMobil’s CEO, it’s Rex Tillerson’s job to promote the hydraulic fracturing enabling the recent oil and gas boom, and fight regulatory oversight. The oil company is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S., relying on the controversial drilling technology to extract it.

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Arsenic Could Have Been Poisoning River Before North Carolina Coal Ash Leak, Say Officials

More than two weeks after a stormwater pipe burst caused 82,000 tons of coal ash to spill into a North Carolina river that supplies drinking water, state officials have discovered that a second pipe is leaking water with elevated amounts of arsenic — and they’re not sure how long it has been happening.

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Fracking Well Blowout Causes Oil and Chemical Wastewater Spill In North Dakota

An oil well owned by Whiting Petroleum Corp. started leaking hydraulic fracturing fluid and spewing oil late on Thursday, after a blowout that company and state officials said may take “a couple more days” to clear up, according to Friday reports in Reuters.

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The Real Reason Why This Week’s Massive Ice Storm Is So Unusual

As the Weather-Channel-dubbed “Winter Storm Pax” barrels across much of the eastern United States this week, the warnings have been just short of apocalyptic. “This is a storm of historical proportions with potentially catastrophic … crippling impacts,” the National Weather Service’s Atlanta office said in a 3:39 a.m. forecast discussion on Wednesday. “Catastrophic… crippling… paralyzing… choose your adjective.”

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Company Responsible for West Virginia Chemical Spill Skips Congressional Hearing

Exactly one month and a day after 10,000 gallons of chemicals spilled into West Virginia’s water, members of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure committee on Monday traveled to the state’s capital city, ostensibly to ask state leaders the still-unanswered questions surrounding the leak. There are many.

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The Complete Guide to Everything That’s Happened Since the Massive Chemical Spill In West Virginia

It's been one month since a leak was discovered at a chemical storage facility operated by Freedom Industries on January 9, spilling an estimated 750,000 gallons of crude MCHM — a chemical mixture used in the coal production process — into the Elk River and the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.

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Train Spills 12,000 Gallons of Crude Oil in Minnesota, No Major Cleanup Planned

12,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a Canadian Pacific Railway train on Monday in Minnesota, dribbling oil along the tracks for 68 miles, according to local media reports.

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PA Governor Wants To Scrap The Ban On Gas Drilling In State Parks And Forests

As part of his state’s overall budget for the coming fiscal year, Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett has proposed lifting a 4-year-old ban on gas drilling in state parks and forests, saying leasing those public lands to private companies would bring an additional $75 million in new revenue to the state.

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5 Cringeworthy Answers From The State Department’s Keystone XL Report

It’s one of the largest in-progress infrastructure proposals in the country, crossing one of the world’s largest aquifers, transporting one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels on the planet.

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17 Foundations Pledge to Divest Their Stocks of Fossil Fuels

Seventeen foundations announced their commitment to divest their stocks of fossil fuel companies Thursday, and pledged to invest in companies working in renewable energy, efficiency and other environmental causes.

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West Virginia Water Contains Formaldehyde, Official Says

A West Virginia state official told a legislative panel on Wednesday that he “can guarantee” residents are breathing in formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, nearly three weeks after a massive chemical spill contaminated the water supply for more than 300,000 residents.

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The Chris Christie Scandal You Haven't Heard About - Trying to Ram Through Controversial Gas Pipeline

The Christie administration went to extraordinary lengths in an effort to secure approval for a controversial gas pipeline, opponents allege. Approval of the pipeline would benefit a top Christie political operative who is also enmeshed in the George Washington Bridge scandal.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About the 'Polar Vortex' That's Engulfed Much of N. America with Freezing Temps

On Sunday night, a reporter for The Weather Channel stood in a Minnesota snowstorm, talking about local efforts to move homeless children into heated shelters. “How cold is it supposed to get?” the anchor, back in the studio, asked. The reporter replied: “Colder than Mars.”

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Should We Tax Meat to Reduce Methane Emissions?

Taxing meat as an attempt to discourage consumers to buy it could be an effective way to reduce methane emissions from livestock, according to a new study.

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13 Major Clean Energy Breakthroughs of 2013

While the news about climate change seems to get worse every day, the rapidly improving technology, declining costs, and increasing accessibility of clean energy is the true bright spot in the march toward a zero-carbon future. 2013 had more clean energy milestones than we could fit on one page, but here are thirteen of the key breakthroughs that happened this year.

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What A Year: 45 Fossil Fuel Disasters the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know About

While coal, oil, and gas are an integral part of everyday life around the world, 2013 brought a stark reminder of the inherent risk that comes with a fossil-fuel dependent world, with numerous pipeline spills, explosions, derailments, landslides, and the death of 20 coal miners in the U.S. alone.

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How Our Public Land Have Become Carbon Polluters

report released Thursday by the Center for American Progress finds that our nation’s forests, parks, grasslands, and other onshore public lands in the continental United States are the source of 4.5 times more carbon pollution than they are able to naturally absorb.

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Why the California Coast May Soon Be Getting North Dakota Crude Trains

For years, California has gotten much of its crude oil via pipeline from its own oil patches, or via tankers from Alaska or abroad. But with local sources in decline and an abundant supply of crude coming out of Texas, Colorado and North Dakota, this may all soon change.

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Bombshell Study Finds Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Production Far Higher Than EPA Estimates

A major new study blows up the whole notion of natural gas as a short-term bridge fuel to a carbon-free economy.

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Oil Train Derails and Explodes in Alabama

A 90-car crude oil train derailed and exploded in Alabama early Friday morning, spilling oil and causing flames that shot 300 feet into the sky.

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Handouts For Frackers: The Pennsylvania Plan to Give Drillers $1 Billion

Supporters of the fossil fuel industry like to portray expanded drilling as a free market triumph. But in Pennsylvania, taxpayers could have to pick up the tab for gas drillers to extract highly-valuable natural gas, to the tune of $1 billion over a decade.

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Western Voters Say No to Fracking and Coal

Fossil fuels took a licking in local elections in Colorado and Washington on Tuesday, as voters resoundingly said no to oil and gas fracking and coal exports.

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Leading Scientists Issue Plea for Nuclear Power: Here's the Important Facts They're Missing

Who killed nuclear power? Hint: It’s not the people who actively supported placing a high and rising price on carbon pollution.

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New Executive Order Will Help Communities Prepare for Extreme Weather

President Obama signed an executive order this morning aimed at making it easier for states and communities to prepare for climate change and the droughts, floods and extreme storms that are likely to come with it.

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Americans Consumed Less Energy in 2012, and Pumped Out Less Carbon Dioxide to Do It

The United States emitted less carbon dioxide through energy consumption in 2012, and while this is not the whole picture of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, it is a welcome sign.

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What the Shutdown Means For Energy and Environmental Programs

As you’ve probably heard, the U.S. government has shut down for the first time in 17 years.

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