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Energy

New Green Bank Is Powering A Net-Zero Development With Affordable Housing

For nearly a century, Hillcrest Golf Club was home for golf aficionados in St. Paul, Minnesota. Opened in 1921 on land that was originally home to the Dakota people, the 110-acre course was designed by the brother of pro golfer Harry Vardon, grandfather of the modern golf swing. Over the course of its storied existence, the property was bought by Jewish businessmen as a haven for Jewish golfers facing antisemitism and survived challenges from caddy strikes to a fire that engulfed its clubhouse. In 2017, its owners sold the property. Two years later, as owners struggled to find a buyer due to soil contamination issues that would complicate redevelopment, it was purchased by St. Paul’s Port Authority.

Hawaiian Electric Reaches Tentative $4 Billion Maui Wildfire Settlement

In a lawsuit over the Maui wildfires of August 2023, Hawaiian Electric and other defendants have tentatively agreed to a settlement of more than $4 billion. The proposed deal, which has not yet received final approval, would settle the lawsuits of thousands of businesses and homeowners against the island’s utility, Hawaiian Electric, said people familiar with the agreement who were not authorized to speak about it publicly, Bloomberg reported. The devastating wildfires killed 102 people, damaged or demolished 2,207 structures — most of them residential — and caused approximately $5.5 billion in damages.

Big Oil Rallies To Obstruct Accountability

In the face of mounting scrutiny from local, state, and federal officials, fossil fuel companies and their allies are deploying a range of tactics to obstruct ongoing lawsuits and investigations concerning evidence that the industry has misled the public about the harms it knew its products would cause to the climate, environment, and human health. Far-right industry allies with ties to Chevron have mounted an “unprecedented” pressure campaign calling on the Supreme Court to stop a potentially historic climate deception lawsuit against oil majors from going to trial. Republican attorneys general are separately urging the Supreme Court to throw out similar climate fraud lawsuits from five states.

The ‘Clean Energy’ Industry Ravaging Natural Forests To Feed Generators

The port of Longview, Washington has served as a bustling hub of commerce for more than a century. Ships carrying everything from grain to wind turbine parts pass through it every day headed for distant places — but it’s to the timber industry that Longview owes its existence. Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Cowlitz rivers, this town of 38,000 was founded by the Long-Bell Lumber Company in the early 1920s to house workers at its nearby mills. Today the community is at the center of a political debate with immense implications for the region’s forests. Longview is one of at least four locations on the U.S. West Coast where companies hope to begin manufacturing wood pellets — compressed wood used as fuel for power generation or home heating — for export on an industrial scale.

Oil And Gas Leases On Federal Lands In Question

A dozen Democratic lawmakers on the House Natural Resources Committee want to know if shale drillers could see their oil and gas leases and operations on federal lands suspended amid allegations that the companies may have colluded to drive oil prices up. “Such market manipulation would have enormous impacts on the price of gas paid by working families across the country,” the lawmakers wrote in a July 9 letter to the Department of the Interior. The lawmakers, who include Democratic representatives like Arizona’s Raul Grijalva and California’s Katie Porter, cited evidence that the Federal Trade Commission uncovered during its roughly six-month review of an ultimately successful merger between ExxonMobil and Permian shale giant Pioneer Natural Resources, and class action litigation alleging at least eight major shale producers engaged in antitrust violations.

Out LUMA!: Puerto Ricans Demand End To Privatization Of Energy

Hundreds of Puerto Ricans took to the streets of the capital, San Juan, on Wednesday July 3, to demand an end to the controversial contract signed by the government of Puerto Rico with the US-Canadian company LUMA Energy. During the march, organized by the Union of Electrical and Irrigation Industry Workers (UTIER), workers and activists shouted slogans like: “Privatized energy is rejected by the people”, “We demand electric energy because it is a human right”, and “They privatize energy and steal from us every day”, among others. According to the protesters, there has not been a significant improvement in the electricity service as promised with the privatization. Major blackouts and electricity connection problems continue.

First Nations And Allies Resist Radioactive Waste Repository

On April 30, 2024, First Nations leaders organized a rally in Anemki Wequedong (Thunder Bay) to protest a proposed nuclear waste repository in northwestern Ontario between Ignace and Dryden. The speakers included representatives of Grassy Narrows First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, Gull Bay First Nation, and Fort William First Nation. Michele Solomon, Chief of Fort William First Nation, welcomed all the participants to her traditional territory and stated that her community is “strongly opposed to the transportation of nuclear waste through our territory and we will stand by that, we will continue to stand by that, and we stand with all those who are also opposed.”

How US Cities Outsource Their Carbon Emissions To Rural Areas

A new report shows that at least 36% of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from rural America, but they’re mostly used to produce energy and food for urban and suburban America. And while rural communities — particularly low-income and rural communities of color — are exposed to a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, they’re not receiving the federal investments to decrease these emissions. “If we really want to meaningfully reduce emissions, [we need to invest] in efforts that are rural to reduce the emissions that are connected to that consumption,” said Maria Doerr, lead author of the report and program officer for the Rural Climate Partnership.

Greenpeace Turns To Italy’s Highest Court In Lawsuit Against Oil Giant Eni

Italy’s Supreme Court will decide on a landmark lawsuit brought by Greenpeace Italy and advocacy group ReCommon against oil and gas company Eni, according to the two groups. Both nonprofits said on June 21 that their Supreme Court appeal was to expedite the trial, by showing that the Italian judiciary is the right jurisdiction to decide on climate lawsuit cases like this one. “The climate crisis fueled by fossil fuel companies is here. We have seen it with soaring temperatures, we see it with extreme weather events.” Simona Abbate of Greenpeace Italy said in a press briefing. “We want immediate action to be taken, and that is why we went to the Supreme Court.”

San Diego Ponders A Bid To Take Over Its For-Profit Energy Utility

Activists pushing San Diego to take over the city’s investor-owned utility aren’t letting last year’s defeat of a similar effort in Maine deter their goal of establishing a nonprofit power company. They recently submitted petitions bearing more than 30,000 signatures from residents who want the City Council to let voters decide the matter this fall. Advocates say a municipal takeover of San Diego Gas & Electric would deliver cheaper rates and a faster, more affordable, and more equitable transition to clean energy. Still, the measure faces long odds from skeptical council members who have twice rejected similar proposals.

Inside Big Oil’s Business: Failure On Climate And Profits From War

Oil majors are not on track to hit Paris Agreement climate targets that limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, a new report reveals. Eight fossil fuel giants – Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, TotalEnergies, BP, Eni, Equinor, and ConocoPhillips – are on course to use 30 percent of the world’s remaining carbon budget for that 1.5°C goal, according to the Big Oil Reality Check report by nonprofit Oil Change International (OCI). Combined, the oil and gas companies’ extraction plans are consistent with a temperature rise of over 2.4°C, the report found. That level of warming, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will reduce food security, risk irreversible loss of ecosystems, and increase heat waves, rainfall, and extreme weather events.

The Real Cowboys Of Alberta Battle Zombie Coal Mine

Ranchers in southwest Alberta are contending with one of the worst droughts on record and a dwindling mountain snowpack. However, the latest threat to critical rivers near the Crowsnest Pass is being served up not by climate change but their own provincial government — in the form of a zombie coal mine proposal on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains that simply refuses to die. The Grassy Mountain open pit mine proposal from Australian-based Northback Holdings, formerly known as Benga Resources, was rejected by both provincial and federal regulators in 2021 because the impacts from water contamination were judged to outweigh the limited benefits.

G7 Fail To Deliver On Fossil Fuel Promises At Italy Summit

Today, G7 leaders released a joint communique, marking a significant failure to build on the momentum from last year’s UN COP28 decision to transition away from fossil fuels. New Oil Change International data shows that G7 nations are not leading on climate either at home or abroad. G7 countries represent 27% of global oil and gas production, and will be responsible for nearly 48% of CO2 pollution from planned oil and gas expansion – the equivalent lifetime emissions of nearly 600 coal plants. They are also major providers of taxpayer finance for international fossil fuel projects, providing USD $25.7 billion a year in international public finance for fossil fuels, compared to USD $10.3 billion for clean energy.

Big Oil Aims To Cash In On Hydrogen Tax Credits With Natural Gas

Less than two years after securing generous subsidies in President Joe Biden’s landmark climate legislation, some of America’s largest oil and gas companies are directing their advocacy toward shaping one of the law’s obscure but potentially lucrative provisions: a tax credit for hydrogen production. The hydrogen tax credit – known among advocates and industry players as “45V” for the section of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that created it – felt at times as if it were the sole focus of the Hydrogen Americas Summit, a two-day industry confab held June 11-12, that wrapped up yesterday in Washington, D.C.

Towards Democratic And Ecological Cities

Cities are an integral part of human history. With their creation a public space emerged, which allowed their inhabitants to experience true political freedom. The city gave birth to direct democracy and the concept of the polis – both based on the idea that citizens can and should collectively and equally self-manage their common urban life, in all its spheres. Such free cities networked with each other into democratic confederations. Their relation with the countryside was one of symbiosis and mutual aid. With the expansion of empires, nation-states and capitalism, cities were submitted to the paradigms of political oligarchy and unlimited economic expansion.
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