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Forget About Tar Sands Oil

There are two principal issues at play within the tar sands oil controversy.  First and foremost, the extraction of tar sands oil is a process that releases significantly more greenhouses gasses into the atmosphere than conventional drilling methods. As a primer for those not privy to this situation, the oil industry has revamped old methods of extracting oil from sediment…

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LASmog

EPA Tackles Air Pollution with New Cleaner Fuels Rule

Taking a systems approach to tackle the problem of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA’s new Tier 3 motor vehicle emissions rule reduces the sulfur content of fuels for passenger cars and trucks, which in turn will improve human and environmental health and sustainability by cutting down on a range of pollutants.

What was once forest is now a barren expanse of land surrendered to dirty fuels

EarthTalk: Defining Dirty Fuels

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What are “dirty fuels” and why are they so called? – Bill Green, Seattle, WA The term “dirty fuels” refers to fuels derived from tar sands, oil shale or liquid coal. Just like their more conventional fossil fuel counterparts such…

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17 foundations are divesting their holdings away from dirty energy companies. Will the fossil fuel divestment movement grow to have real impact in our energy economy?

17 Foundations Divest from Fossil Fuels

Seventeen U.S. nonprofit grantmaking charities have announced they are divesting from fossil fuel investments.  For those new to this world, foundations are typically funded by endowments created by a benefactor or family legacy.  These funds are invested, usually in a combination of mutual funds, stocks, hedge funds and bonds.  The foundations distribute a portion of the profits as grants and…

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USCO2Emissions2013

An Uptick in US Greenhouse Gas Emissions as Utilities Use More Coal

Natural gas prices coming off their lows prompted utilities to burn more coal, which in turn led to the first increase in U.S. carbon emissions in three years. Longer term, US greenhouse gas emissions are 10% or more below 2005 levels, a downward trend the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts will continue.

Energy and climate scientists call for a coal moratorium, saying unabated coal is the road to climate catastrophe

Energy, Climate Scientists Call for a Moratorium on Coal-Fired Power Plants

An international group of 27 prominent energy and climate scientists are calling for a moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants, a policy they say has become a global imperative if “climate catastrophe” is to be avoided this century. Their call comes amid renewed efforts by coal and power utility lobbies “to portray ‘high efficiency low emissions coal combustion’…

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A sunny day in Beijing

Is Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies Even on the Agenda in Warsaw?

For all their potential promise, apparent earnestness and gravity – not to mention their possible effects and potential ramifications – it’s hard at times not to be cynical about high-level political negotiations. Such might be felt of the United Nations (UN) climate treaty negotiations which got under way this week in Warsaw, Poland. People have good reason to be skeptical…

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