Just 100 Companies Responsible For 71% Of Global Emissions, Study Says

An oil rig exploring for oil and gas. A new report says more than 50% of global industrial emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 25 companies. Photograph: Dazman/Getty Images/iStockphoto

By Tess Riley for The Guardian – Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report. The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute. Traditionally, large scale greenhouse gas emissions data is collected at a national level but this report focuses on fossil fuel producers. Compiled from a database of publicly available emissions figures, it is intended as the first in a series of publications to highlight the role companies and their investors could play in tackling climate change. The report found that more than half of global industrial emissions since 1988 – the year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established – can be traced to just 25 corporate and state-owned entities. The scale of historical emissions associated with these fossil fuel producers is large enough to have contributed significantly to climate change, according to the report. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified as among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988.

A Campaign To Eliminate Plastic Straws Is Sucking In Thousands Of Converts

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By Darryl Fears for The Washington Post – Straws are among the most common plastic items volunteers clean from beaches, along with bottles, bags and cups, conservationists say. Americans use half a billion straws every day, at least according to an estimate by Be Straw Free, based on information from straw manufacturers. That many straws could wrap around the Earth 2½ times. The slightest wind lifts plastic straws from dinner tables, picnic blankets and trash dumps, depositing them far and wide, including in rivers and oceans, where animals often mistake them for food. And they are ubiquitous. Nearly every chain restaurant and coffee shop offers straws. They’re in just about every movie theater and sit-down restaurant. Theme parks and corner stores and ice cream shops and school cafeterias freely hand them out. But they are starting to disappear because of the awareness campaign Cress and dozens of conservation groups are waging. Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom bans them, as do the food concession areas of Smithsonian Institution museums. Keith Christman, a managing director for plastics markets at the American Chemistry Council, which promotes plastics manufacturers and fights attempts to ban plastic, said in a National Geographic article two months ago that the group would do the same for attempts to eliminate plastic straws.

Coalition Of 13 States Challenge Trump On Vehicle Emission Standards

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By Staff of Reuters – New York State’s attorney general and 12 other top state law enforcement officials said on Friday they would mount a vigorous court challenge to any effort to roll back vehicle emission rules by the Trump administration. In March, President Donald Trump ordered a review of U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency standards from 2022-2025 put in place by the Obama administration, saying they were too tough on the auto industry. The push to weaken the rules by the Trump administration comes as automakers are worried that consumers shift to larger vehicles and low gas prices will make it expensive or impossible to meet the regulations. They also fear a prolonged fight with states over the rules could make revising their product plans difficult. Democratic state officials have been increasingly aggressive in challenging Trump administration regulatory rollback efforts. “In light of the critical public health and environmental benefits the standards will deliver, if EPA acts to weaken or delay the current standards for model years 2022-25, like California, we intend to vigorously pursue appropriate legal remedies to block such action,” the state attorneys wrote in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, Washington State, Oregon and Rhode Island.

U.S. Military World’s Largest Polluter – Hundreds Of Bases Gravely Contaminated

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By Whitney Webb for Mint Press News – MINNEAPOLIS– Last week, mainstream media outlets gave minimal attention to the news that the U.S. Naval station in Virginia Beach had spilled an estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known fact – that the U.S. Department of Defense is both the nation’s and the world’s, largest polluter. Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others. In 2014, the former head of the Pentagon’s environmental program told Newsweek that her office has to contend with 39,000 contaminated areas spread across 19 million acres just in the U.S. alone. U.S. military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world, as perchlorate and other components of jet and rocket fuel contaminate sources of drinking water, aquifers, and soil.

Hanford Nuclear Waste Tunnel Collapses

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By Staff of Associated Press – A portion of a storage tunnel that contains rail cars full of radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday morning, forcing an emergency declaration at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington state. Officials detected no release of radiation and no workers were injured, said Randy Bradbury, a spokesman for the Washington state Department of Ecology. There were no workers inside the tunnel when it collapsed. But nearby Hanford workers were evacuated and others who were farther away were told to remain indoors, the U.S. Department of Energy said. An emergency has been declared at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, pictured in 2014, after a portion of a tunnel that contained rail cars full of nuclear waste collapsed

Trump Sides With Coal And Other Carbon Polluters

Trump flanked by the Blackstone CEO, Stephen Schwarzman, a Momentive investor and Trump’s ‘jobs czar’, and the General Motors CEO, Mary Barra. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

By Alex Guillen for Politico – President Donald Trump ordered his administration to begin dismantling his predecessor’s climate change policies on Tuesday with a sweeping directive to end what he called a “crushing attack” on the U.S. economy — by halting efforts to reduce the carbon pollution of electric utilities, oil and gas drillers and coal miners. The executive order Trump signed represents his biggest blow yet to former President Barack Obama’s climate legacy. But it does not go as far as some conservatives would like to dismantle the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, nor will it begin to separate the U.S. from a landmark international climate accord — two areas of intense disagreement within the administration.

Cuts To EPA Will Be Measured In Illness And Death

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By Sharon Lerner for The Intercept. When the Environmental Protection Agency informed people in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, last July that the local neoprene plant was emitting a chemical that gave them the highest risk of cancer from air pollution in the country, the information was received not just with horror and sadness but also with a certain sense of validation. For years, many of the people living on this little square of land between the train tracks and the Mississippi River levee have felt they suffered more than their share of illnesses. Troyla Keller has a rash and asthma that abate every time she leaves the neighborhood and worsen when she returns. Augustine Nicholson Dorris had breast cancer and seizures. And David Sanders has trouble breathing, a tumor on his thyroid, and neurological problems.

Emissions Found Coming From Dominion Cove Point Right Now!

Kayactivists on land and water protest Dominion at Solomon's Island in Cove Point community, by Jimmy Betts.

By Staff of We Are Cove Point – After being invited by We Are Cove Point, a team from Earthworks traveled to Cove Point in early February, bringing a FLIR camera operator all the way from Colorado. FLIR cameras are designed to pick up heat and gaseous emissions invisible to the naked eye. Click here for more details on Earthworks’ FLIR camera program. FLIR cameras can show that emissions are occurring, but not the volume or type of emissions. In the words of the FLIR operator who came to Cove Point, the resulting footage shows “a noticeable non-heat plume above the point source, and it went quite high into the air. There is a possibility that this emissions plume contains toxic volatile organic compounds, and it definitely contains greenhouse gasses. It is usually understood that between 92 and 97 percent of combusted point sources are actually burned. The rest, particularly methane in the context of gas-fired compressor turbine exhaust, emits without being burned off fully.

Two Fracked Gas Pipelines Equal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Of 45 Coal Plants

A sign held at an anti-Enbridge protest in Vancouver. (Photo: travis blanston/flickr/cc)

By Staff of Oil Change International – Two studies released today find that if built, the controversial Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines would together contribute as much greenhouse gas pollution as 45 coal-fired power plants — some 158 million metric tons a year. The studies, released by Oil Change International, build upon a new methodology, also released today, for calculating the climate impacts of natural gas pipelines in the Appalachian Basin based on the evolving science of methane leakage and its impact on our climate. The studies show that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is out of date on measuring climate impacts, and is failing to protect communities and citizens around the country. “Our analysis shows that both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline are climate disasters.

Hanford Nuclear Site: The Most Polluted Area In The US

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By Joshua Frank for The Investigative Fund – It’s a new year and new administration, but the strong radioactive stench is the same out at Hanford in eastern Washington, home of the world’s costliest environmental cleanup. In January, a dozen workers reported smelling a toxic odor outside the site’s tank farms, where nuclear waste is stored underground. From April to December 2016, 70 people were exposed to chemical vapors emanating from the facility — and 2017 is off to the similar start. Toxic odors at an old nuclear depot? This would be startling news anywhere else. But this is Hanford after all, where taxpayer money freely flows to contractors despite the snail-paced half-life of their work.

Factory Farms Get Bigger, Pollution Grows; Regulators Don’t Know Where They Are

As massive animals farms continue to get bigger, the EPA has trouble collecting information about where they are, much less how much they pollute. Credit: Wikimedia

By Georgina Gustin for Inside Climate News – After Hurricane Matthew churned across North Carolina earlier this month, swollen rivers deluged poultry and swine farms, killing millions of chickens and thousands of hogs and sending potentially toxic animal waste coursing into waterways. It could take weeks or months for North Carolinians to learn the scope of the pollution or where it came from—if they ever do.

VIDEO: Glyphosate – Molecules, Maps And Moms

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By Billy Talen. Over 13.42 billion pounds of Glyphosate have been sprayed on our planet in the past decade. Glyphosate use has risen exponentially since the introduction of genetically modified crops. The EPA is holding a public hearing on glyphosate on October 18th. We want to present our map as evidence. Scientific studies show that Glyphosate is carcinogenic and toxic. Glyphosate is persistent in our blood, bodies, soil and water. It is in our breast milk and most organic foods. It is ubiquitous. Glyphosate has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, birth defects, celiac disease, allergies and asthma. It only costs one dollar to reveal one public place that has been sprayed with our tax dollars. One dollar includes paying for the public record, scanning, entering, uploading and placing one skull and crossbones on our map.

Shift To Clean Energy Could Save Millions Who Die From Pollution

A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way in a business district on a heavily polluted day in Beijing

By Phil McKenna for Inside Climate News – Extra investments to control deadly pollutants like smog and soot could cut worldwide deaths from air pollution in half in a few decades and end the growth of global warming emissions in just a few years, international experts declared on Monday. In its first report ever to examine the links between these twin goals, the authoritative International Energy Agency said the solutions go “hand-in-hand.”

Hundreds Of Cancer-Causing Chemicals Pollute Americans’ Bodies

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By Alex Formuzis for EWG – WASHINGTON- Hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals are building up in the bodies of Americans, according to the first comprehensive inventory of the carcinogens that have been measured in people. EWG released the inventory today. EWG spent almost a year reviewing more than 1,000 biomonitoring studies and other research by leading government agencies and independent scientists in the U.S. and around the world. The nonprofit research group found that up to 420 chemicals known or likely to cause cancer have been detected in blood, urine, hair and other human samples.

Climate Change False Solutions Damage Land & Livelihoods

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By BioFuelsWatch. 115 civil society organisations and networks from across the globe have published a declaration today, calling for bioenergy to be excluded from the next EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) [1]. The declaration is being submitted to a consultation into the renewal of the directive for 2020 onwards [2]. The EU intends industrial bioenergy, i.e. biofuels and wood-based biomass, to continue playing a major part in its new renewable energy strategy. Campaigners say this will exacerbate the grave impacts already being experienced because of current support for biofuels and wood-based bioenergy in the EU. Bioenergy already accounts for around two-thirds of energy classed as renewable in the EU.