As CMD has reported, the fossil fuel industry has been engaging in an aggressive PR and political campaign to convince Americans that drilling for oil and gas domestically is the only way that the nation can break its dependence on foreign oil, bring down prices at the pump, and usher in a new era of economic prosperity. A new report from the DC-based public interest group Food & Water Watch knocks down these claims one by one. While the industry uses the phrase "energy security," the report contends that only industry profits will be secured by the expansion of controversial hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for shale oil and gas.
Despite over half a million dollars spent by the fossil fuel industry in Longmont, Colorado, residents voted Tuesday to make the city the first to ban hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" in the state. The city of 87,000, nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, voted 59 to 41 to ban the controversial method of extracting shale oil and gas, as well as to ban the storage of the toxin-laden wastewater in the city limits.
With millions of Americans feeling the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is comparing the massive recovery effort to cleaning up "rubbish and paper products" from a high school football field. But don't expect him to discuss how Sandy's severity is directly linked to climate change. Romney shifted his position on climate change in October 2011, around the same time he was seeking support from billionaire industrialist David Koch, a major funder of climate change denial groups and whose profits could be impacted by limits on carbon emissions.
Bill McKibben, founder of the international climate change group 350.org, is one of the world's leading campaigners on the climate change crisis. In 2010, the Boston Globe called him "probably the nation's leading environmentalist."
In a backward leap of anti-Copernican proportions, North Carolina's state legislature recently passed what may be the nation's first state-wide global warming denial legislation.
The legislature on July 2 effectively nullified the state's own science panel's report predicting a 20 to 55-inch rise in sea level. The statehouse also commanded scientists to wait until July 1, 2016, to make their next report (and only after it is approved/scrubbed by the powers that be).
Gasland director Josh Fox released a short film last month targeting the Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, for his plan to open economically distressed parts of the state to hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." The 18-minute film skewers Cuomo for his plans and exposes oil and gas industry internal documents which detail that some of corporations also have concerns about well safety and water contamination.
The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Thursday on a measure to urge the Transportation Conference Committee to strip the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the ability to designate toxic coal ash as a hazardous waste. This spring, the House approved H.R. 4348, the Surface and Transportation Extension Act of 2012. In this bill the House included an amendment by West Virginia Republican Representative David McKinley, that would prohibit the EPA from ever setting federally enforceable safeguards for the disposal of toxic coal ash. Now McKinley and the coal lobby are fighting to keep his amendment from being stripped out during House-Senate conference committee negotiations.